This article is an examination of John Wesley's relationship with the German Moravians in Georgia, which focuses on their respective conceptions of primitive Christianity. Wesley saw Georgia as a laboratory to implement his High Church Anglican/Nonjuror inspired vision of introducing the doctrine, discipline, and practice of the primitive church in the new colony. Wesley's determination to implement his views of primitive Christianity affected all of his relationships in Georgia including his interactions with the Moravians. A close investigation of Wesley's journals and diary along with the journals and letters of the leaders of the Moravians shows that discussion of the nature of the primitive church dominated their conversations. Wesley believed that primitive Christianity could be restored by renewing the precise doctrine, liturgy, discipline, and devotional practice of the primitive church, while the Moravians stressed the communal spirit of the primitive church as worthy of contemporary emulation. Although the Moravians claimed to maintain episcopal apostolic succession, they did not agree with Wesley that it was essential to an efficacious ministry. The leaders of the Moravians, while showing some sympathy with Wesley's High Church primitivism, retained their focus on the spirit and communal form of the early church. Therefore, relations between Wesley and the Moravians in Georgia were marked by mutual respect and tension due to their differing conceptions of primitive Christianity.

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