From The Telegraph:
Rev Prof Kenneth Newport, pro vice-chancellor of Liverpool Hope University, has deciphered more than 1,000 pages written 250 years ago between 1736 and 1756.
He has uncovered details of Wesley’s anxieties over the possibilities of a split from the Church of England, his younger brother’s plans to marry and even over the growing influence of Islam.
He used a handwritten transcription of the four gospels made by Wesley as a guide to deciphering the journals themselves.
“He was very much opposed to separation, he saw the Methodist Societies as within the established church and anything that smacked of separation was something he took a very strong view of,” Rev Prof Newport said.
“At one point in the journal he is talking to the society at Grimsby and goes into block capitals and says ‘I told them I would remain with them as long as they remained with the Church of England but should they ever turn their back on the Church they turn their back on me’.”
Wesley’s opposition to the split is disclosed despite his older brother John, with whom he co-founded the Methodist Church, being widely credited with setting the process in motion.
It was John Wesley who ordained clergy to lead the movement in America and who set up the structures which would ultimately replace those of the established church.
The story is covered in several other papers today including The Times, and The Independent