John Wesley’s Quotes | Seedbed
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John Wesley Quotes


On Justification and being a Christian

“‘Hast thou received the Holy Ghost?’ If thou hast not, thou art not yet a Christian.” -Awake, Thou That Sleepest

“Every one, though born of God in an instant, yea and sanctified in an instant, yet undoubtedly grows by slow degrees…” -Letter, 27 June 1760

“We allow, it is the work of God alone to justify, to sanctify, and to glorify; which three comprehend the whole of salvation.” -Predestination Calmly Considered

“By a Christian I mean one who so believes in Christ as that sin hath no more dominion over him; and in this obvious sense of the word I was not a Christian till May the 24th last past.” -Letter to Samuel, 30 October 1738

“God would first, by this inspiration of His Spirit, have wrought in our hearts that holy love without which none can enter into glory” -Letter to John Smith, 30 December 1745

“And by this token you may surely know whether you seek it by faith or by works. If by works, you want something to be done first, before you are sanctified. You think, I must first be or do thus or thus. Then you are seeking it by works unto this day. If you seek it by faith, you may expect it as you are; and expect it now.” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“And at the same time that we are justified, yea, in that very moment, sanctification begins.” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“And is it not incumbent on all that are justified to be ‘zealous of good works?’” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“By justification we are saved from the guilt of sin, and restored to the favour of God; by sanctification we are saved from the power and root of sin, and restored to the image of God.” -On Working Out Our Own Salvation, 1785

“I believe justification by faith alone, as much as I believe there is a God…I have never varied from it, no, not a hair’s breadth from 1738 to this day.” -Journal, 1766

On Sanctification and the Christian Life

“…none shall live with God but he that lives to God…” -Christ Stabbed in the House of Friends

“>One design you are to pursue to the end of time, — the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity. Desire other things, so far as they tend to this.” -The Circumcision of the Heart

“May we all thus experience what it is to be, not almost only; but altogether Christians.” – The Almost Christian

“Beware, lastly, of imagining you shall obtain the end without using the means conducive to it.” -The Nature of Enthusiasm

Our gospel, as it knows no other foundation of good works than faith, or of faith than Christ, so it clearly informs us, we are not his disciples while we either deny him to be the Author, or his Spirit to be the Inspirer an Perfecter, both of our faith and works.” -The Circumcision of the Heart

“Having, first, gained all you can, and, secondly saved all you can, then give all you can.” -The Use of Money

“I answer, some sin of omission, at least, must necessarily precede the loss of faith; some inward sin: But the loss of faith must precede the committing outward sin.” -The Great Privilege of Those That Are Born of God

“Every one, though born of God in an instant, yea and sanctified in an instant, yet undoubtedly grows by slow degrees…” -Letter, 27 June, 1760

“The more any believer examines his own heart, the more will he be convinced of this: That faith working by love excludes both inward and outward sin from a soul watching unto prayer…” -The Great Privilege of Those That Are Born of God

This is “sanctification;” which is, indeed, in some degree, the immediate fruit of justification, but, nevertheless, is a distinct gift of God, and of a totally different nature. The one implies what God does for us through his Son; the other, what he works in us by his Spirit. -Justification by Faith

“It is incumbent on all that are justified to be zealous of good works.” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“…all who preach among them declare…’by grace we are saved through faith;’ saved both from the guilt and from the power of sin.” -A Short History of Methodism, 1765

“Let me have the pleasure of making him a whole Christian.” -Journal, January, 1727

“By justification we are saved from the guilt of sin…by sanctification we are saved from the power and root of sin…” -On Working Out Our Own Salvation, 1785

“We allow, it is the work of God alone to justify, to sanctify, and to glorify; which three comprehend the whole of salvation.” -Predestination Calmly Considered

“All who preach among them declare,…by grace we are saved through faith; saved both from the guilt and from the power of sin.” -A Short History of Methodism, 1765

“He may be almost as orthodox as the devil . . . and may, all the while be as great a stranger as he to the religion of the heart.” -The Way to the Kingdom

“But beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.” -Letter to Joseph Benson, November 7, 1768

“The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness.” -Preface to “Hymns and Sacred Poems,” 1739

“What the Scripture promises, I enjoy. Come and see what Christianity has done here; and acknowledge it is of God.” -Letter to Rev. Dr. Middleton, January 4, 1749.

“[Full sanctification] is the grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called Methodists; and for the sake of propagating this chiefly God appeared to have raised us up.” -Letter to Robert Carr Brackenbury, September 15th, 1790.

On Salvation and Grace

“We allow, it is the work of God alone to justify, to sanctify, and to glorify; which three comprehend the whole of salvation.” -Predestination Calmly Considered

“All the blessings which God hath bestowed upon man are of his mere grace, bounty, or favour.” -Salvation by Faith

“And by this token may you surely know whether you seek it by faith or by works. If by works, you want something to be done first, before you are sanctified. You think, ‘I must first be or do thus or thus.’ Then you are seeking it by works unto this day. If you seek it by faith, you may expect it as you are: and if as you are, then expect it now.” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“Allow that Humanity is wholly fallen and you are so far a Christian. Deny it and you are but a heathen still.” -Original Sin

“And first let us inquire, What is salvation? The salvation which is here spoken of is not what is frequently understood by that word, the going to heaven, eternal happiness. It is not the soul’s going to paradise, termed by our Lord, ‘Abraham’s bosom.’ It is not a blessing which lies on the other side death, or (as we usually speak) in the other world. The very words of the text itself put this beyond all question. ‘Ye are saved.’ It is not something at a distance: it is a present thing, a blessing which, through the free mercy of God, ye are now in possession of. Nay, the words may be rendered, and that with equal propriety, ‘Ye have been saved.’ So that the salvation which is here spoken of might be extended to the entire work of God, from the first dawning of grace in the soul till it is consummated in glory.” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“And at the same time that we are justified, yea, in that very moment, sanctification begins.” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“Taking the word in a more particular sense, faith is a divine evidence and conviction, not only that ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,’ but also that Christ ‘loved me, and gave himself for me.'” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“Beware you are not a fiery, persecuting enthusiast. Do not imagine that God has called you (just contrary to the spirit of Him you style your Master) to destroy men’s lives, and not to save them. Never dream of forcing men into the ways of God. Think yourself, and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love.” -The Nature of Enthusiasm

“And I saw more than ever that the Gospel is in truth but one great promise from the beginning of it to the end.” -Journal, June 4, 1738

“But if we do not then love him who first loved us; if we will not hearken to his voice; if we turn our eye away from him, and will not attend to the light which he pours upon us; his Spirit will not always strive: He will gradually withdraw, and leave us to the darkness of our own hearts. He will not continue to breathe into our soul, unless our soul breathes toward him again; unless our love, and prayer, and thanksgiving return to him, a sacrifice wherewith he is well pleased.” -The Great Privilege of Those That Are Born of God

Holiness and Happiness

“As the more holy we are upon earth the more happy we must be.” -God’s Love to Fallen Man

Suffering

“How innumerable are the benefits which God conveys to the children of men through the channel of sufferings!” -God’s Love to Fallen Man

Prayer and Devotion

“O God, ‘in the midst of wrath, remember mercy!’ Be glorified in our reformation, not in our destruction!” -Awake, Thou That Sleepest

“Without love, nothing can make death comfortable.” -On Love

“The best of all is, God is with us.” -John Wesley’s final words

“And now run the race which is set before thee, in the royal way of universal love.” -Catholic Spirit

“Keep an even pace, rooted in the faith once delivered to the saints, and grounded in love, in true catholic love, till thou art swallowed up in love for ever and ever!” -Catholic Spirit

Ministry and Travel

“Leisure and I have taken leave of one another.” -Letter to Samuel, December 5, 1726

“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, June 11, 1739.

“Think then what you say, before you say you cannot live up to what is required of constant communicants. This is no more than is required of any communicants; yea, of everyone that has a soul to be saved.” -The Duty of Constant Communion

“I am always in haste, but never in a hurry.” -Letter, 1777

“In the evening another storm began. In the morning it increased so that they were forced to let the ship drive. I could not but say to myself, ‘How is it that thou hast no faith?’ being still unwilling to die.” -Journal, Friday 23, 1736

“I went to America, to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me?” -Journal, January 24, 1738

“It is God alone who can cast out Satan. But he is generally pleased to do this by man as an instrument in his hand.” -A Caution Against Bigotry

“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.” -Journal, May 24, 1738

“I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin, if it had not been done in a church.” -Journal, March 29, 1739

“At four in the afternoon, I submitted to be more vile and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation.” -Journal, April 2, 1739

“God would first, by this inspiration of his Spirit, have wrought in our hearts that holy love without which none can enter into glory.” -Letter to John Smith, 1745

“Secondly, all works of mercy, whether they relate to the bodies or souls of men; such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, entertaining the stranger, visiting those that are in prison, or sick, or variously afflicted… or contribute in any manner to the saving of souls from death. This is the repentance, and these the fruits meet for repentance, which are necessary to full sanctification. This is the way wherein God hath appointed his children to wait for complete salvation.” -The Scripture Way of Salvation

“The longer I live, the larger allowances I make for human infirmities.” -Letter to Samuel Furley, 21 February, 1756

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.” -Letter to Alexander Mather, August 6, 1777

“You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most. It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.” -Conversation with Francis Asbury, Thomas Coke, and others, 1784

“Be diligent. Never be unemployed a moment. Never be triflingly employed. Never while away time; neither spend any more time at any place than is strictly necessary.” -12 Rules for Preachers

Charity

“All worldly joys are less than that one joy of doing kindnesses.” -God’s Love to Fallen Man

Christian & Doctrinal Unity

“A man of a truly catholic spirit has not now his religion to seek. He is fixed as the sun in his judgment concerning the main branches of Christian doctrines.” -A Catholic Spirit

“As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think.” -The Character of a Methodist

“Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.” -Catholic Spirit

“Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own.” -A Caution Against Bigotry

“His heart is enlarged toward all mankind, those he knows and those he does not; he embraces with strong and cordial affection neighbours and strangers, friends and enemies. This is catholic or universal love. And he that has this is of a catholic spirit. For love alone gives the title to this character: catholic love is a catholic spirit.” -Catholic Spirit

“I dare not, therefore, presume to impose my mode of worship on any other. I believe it is truly primitive and apostolical: but my belief is no rule for another.” -Catholic Spirit

“A catholic spirit is not indifference to all congregations. This is another sort of latitudinarianism, no less absurd and unscriptural than the former.” -Catholic Spirit

“Speak evil of no one; else your word especially would eat as doth a canker. Keep your thoughts within your own breast, till you come to the person concerned.” -12 Rules for Preachers

Education

“Read the most useful books, and that regularly and constantly.” -Circulation of Books

“But beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.” -Letter to Joseph Benson, November 7, 1768

“But as sickness and diseases have created the necessity of medicines and physicians, so the disorders of our rational nature have introduced the necessity of education and tutors.” -On the Education of Children

Creation Care

“But truly affectionate parents will not indulge them in any kind or degree of unmercifulness. They will not suffer them to vex their brothers or sisters, either by word or deed. They will not allow them to hurt, or give pain to, anything that has life. They will not permit them to rob birds’ nests; much less to kill anything without necessity, — not even snakes, which are as innocent as worms, or toads, which, notwithstanding their ugliness, and the ill name they lie under, have been proved over and over to be as harmless as flies. Let them extend in its measure the rule of doing as they would be done by, to every animal whatsoever.” -On the Education of Children.

On Methodism

“Our main doctrines, which include all the rest, are three,—that of repentance, of faith, and of holiness.” -The Principles of a Methodist Farther Explained

“[Full sanctification] is the grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called Methodists; and for the sake of propagating this chiefly God appeared to have raised us up.” -Letter to Robert Carr Brackenbury, September 15th, 1790.