Web brousing reveals that John Wesley the founder of the Mehodist movement in his writings called “American slavery the vilest that ever saw the sun”. The last letter that John Wesley wrote was to William Wilberforce, a man who had been converted under Wesley's ministry and who was a member of Parliament. The letter concerns his opposition to slavery and encouragement for Wilberforce to take action for change.
Balam, February 24, 1791
“Dear Sir:
Unless the divine power has raised you us to be as Athanasius contra mundum, [2] I see not howyou can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be fore you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.
Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a "law" in our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villainy is this?
That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear sir,
Your affectionate servant, John Wesley”

Parliament finally outlawed England's participation in the slave trade in 1807.

Wesley and the earliest Methodist fought against the vileness of slavery and we modern Methodists must now take up a battle against another equally vile aspect of American life. It is the be senseless and totally destructive attack against fellow Americans who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual. They are falsely accused of polygamy; pedophila, and bestiality. This homophobia is prompting very bitter and distractive divisions in our denomination and others at the very moment when Christianity and other faiths are on the decline.

On the personal level John Wesley was 87 years old when he made his last attack against slavery. I am at age 86. I pray for Wesleyan courage and wisdom to dedicate my final days to fighting against all aspects of homeophelia.

Rev. Bernard F. Hillenbrand

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