I took an assignment that frankly is a bit of a stretch for me, but I'll give it my best shot. It's the influence of Romans on Wesley. I thought I'd take some notes here. I might add that the next installment of A Great Time for the Wesleyan Tradition is now on the seminary Dean's blog.
1. The starting point is surely Aldersgate, May 24, 1738. Wesley had been wrestling with the idea that you could be assured you were saved. "In the evening I went quite unwillingly to a society on Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation: And an assurance was given me, that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." (Wesley's Journal).
Bud Bence pointed me to the part of the Preface to which he thinks Wesley is referring. It reads, "Faith is the divine work in us. It changes us and makes us born anew of God... Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure, so certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times. This confidence in God's grace makes us glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and all his creatures: and this is the work of the Holy Ghost in faith."
Romans was thus key to Wesley's belief not only in justification by faith (which he took from Luther) but also in the assurance of faith (which he took from the Moravians and experienced through Luther's idea of justification by faith).
2. Nine of the 44 standard sermons Wesley published in 1746, 48, 50, and 60 were on Romans. These sermons are roughly laid out along the lines of Wesley's ordo salutis, the order of salvation. Interestingly, the sermons on Romans congeal around issues relating to justification and assurance, as well as awakening and the law. Romans does not here feature in relation to Wesley's doctrine of entire sanctification.