Sunday, July 25, 2010

John Wesley Quotes

Wiki quote yields a bounty of John Wesley bon mots. Actually, the man is a quote machine due to the quantity and quality of the written work he put out. If you know someone who studied religion at a Master's level at a college or seminary sponsored by one of the denominations that look to Wesley for inspiration, chances are you know someone with the collected works of John Wesley in their library--and they actually may have read some of that collection! Anyway, here are some of the ones that came to Wiki's attention:

I observed, "Love is the fulfilling of the law, the end of the commandment." It is not only "the first and great" command, but all the commandments in one. "Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise," they are all comprised in this one word, love.
Wesley quoting his own sermon on "The Circumcision of the Heart" (1 January 1733) in the work A Plain Account Of Christian Perfection (Edition of 1777)

I look on all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that, in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty, to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation.
Journal (11 June 1739)

Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.
Letter to Joseph Benson (7 November 1768); published in The Letters of John Wesley (1915) edited by George Eayrs

Permit me, sir, to give you one piece of advice. Be not so positive; especially with regard to things which are neither easy nor necessary to be determined. When I was young I was sure of everything. In a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before. At present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to man.
Reply to a letter signed "Philosophaster" addressed to him in the London Magazine of 1774, in London Magazine 1775, p. 26

Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry.
Letter (10 December 1777)

Are you a man? Then you should have an human heart. But have you indeed? What is your heart made of? Is there no such principle as Compassion there? Do you never feel another's pain? Have you no Sympathy? No sense of human woe? No pity for the miserable? When you saw the flowing eyes, the heaving breasts, or the bleeding sides and tortured limbs of your fellow-creatures, was you a stone, or a brute? Did you look upon them with the eyes of a tiger? When you squeezed the agonizing creatures down in the ship, or when you threw their poor mangled remains into the sea, had you no relenting? Did not one tear drop from your eye, one sigh escape from your breast? Do you feel no relenting now? If you do not, you must go on, till the measure of your iniquities is full. Then will the Great GOD deal with You, as you have dealt with them, and require all their blood at your hands.
Thoughts Upon Slavery (1774)

Three notes: 1) On the haste/hurry one, does that sound familiar, sports fans? John Wooden, maybe..."Be quick but don't hurry." 2) Adam Hamilton wasn't the first one to confess that the content of what was important to his faith was changing. 3) Some tough preaching against slavery. This is one of the reasons some in England thought Wesley had moved from preachin' to meddlin' and found him profoundly aggravating. Conviction is very uncomfortable. You either get saved or slander the one God is using to convict you.

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