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Wikipedia Summary for John Wesley

John Wesley (28 June [O.S. 17 June] 1703 – 2 March 1791) was an English cleric, theologian, and evangelist, who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. The societies he founded became the dominant form of the independent Methodist movement that continues to this day.

Educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, Wesley was elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1726 and ordained as an Anglican priest two years later. He led the "Holy Club", a society formed for the purpose of the study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life; it had been founded by his brother Charles and counted George Whitefield among its members. After an unsuccessful ministry of two years, serving at Christ Church, in the Georgia colony of Savannah, he returned to London and joined a religious society led by Moravian Christians. On 24 May 1738, he experienced what has come to be called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his "heart strangely warmed". He subsequently left the Moravians and began his own ministry.

A key step in the development of Wesley's ministry was, like Whitefield, to travel and preach outdoors. In contrast to Whitefield's Calvinism, Wesley embraced Arminian doctrines. Moving across Great Britain and Ireland, he helped form and organise small Christian groups that developed intensive and personal accountability, discipleship, and religious instruction. He appointed itinerant, unordained evangelists—both women and men—to care for these groups of people. Under Wesley's direction, Methodists became leaders in many social issues of the day, including the abolition of slavery and prison reform.

Although he was not a systematic theologian, Wesley argued for the notion of Christian perfection and against Calvinism—and, in particular, against its doctrine of predestination. His evangelicalism, firmly grounded in sacramental theology, maintained that means of grace sometimes had a role in sanctification of the believer; however, he taught that it was by faith a believer was transformed into the likeness of Christ. He held that, in this life, Christians could achieve a state where the love of God "reigned supreme in their hearts", giving them not only outward but inward holiness. Wesley's teachings, collectively known as Wesleyan theology, continue to inform the doctrine of Methodist churches.

Throughout his life, Wesley remained within the established Church of England, insisting that the Methodist movement lay well within its tradition. In his early ministry years, Wesley was barred from preaching in many parish churches and the Methodists were persecuted; he later became widely respected, and by the end of his life, was described as "the best-loved man in England".

Those that desire to write or say anything to me have no time to lose; for time has shaken me by the hand and death is not far behind.

--John Wesley

Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.

--John Wesley

The glories and beauties of form, color and sound unite in the Grand Canyon -- forms unrivaled even by the mountains, colors that vie with sunsets, and sounds that span the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrop; from cataract to bubbling fountain.

--John Wesley

Electricity is the soul of the universe.

--John Wesley

Employ whatever God has entrusted you with, in doing good, all possible good, in every possible kind and degree.

--John Wesley

A meek spirit gives no trouble willingly to any: A quiet spirit bears all wrongs without being troubled.

--John Wesley

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.

--John Wesley

Longer Version:

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.


Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own.

--John Wesley

Riches naturally beget pride, love of the world, and every temper that is destructive of Christianity.

--John Wesley

With all prayer (Eph. 6:18) All sorts of prayer- public, private, mental, vocal. Do not be diligent in one kind of prayer and negligent in others... let us use all.

--John Wesley

Let your words be the genuine picture of your heart.

--John Wesley

If I had 300 men who feared nothing but God, hated nothing but sin, and were determined to know nothing among men but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, I would set the world on fire.

--John Wesley

My one aim in life is to secure personal holiness, for without being holy myself I cannot promote real holiness in others.

--John Wesley

I have no objection to instruments of music in our worship, provided they are neither seen nor heard.

--John Wesley

A meek spirit gives no trouble willingly to any: a quiet spirit bears all wrongs without being troubled.

--John Wesley

If we suffer persecution and affliction in a right manner, we attain a larger measure of conformity to Christ, by a due improvement of one of these occasions, than we could have done merely by imitating his mercy, in abundance of good works.

--John Wesley

I'd had the quintessential liberal arts experience, and I came out of college not having a clue of what to do.

--John Wesley

Whosoever will reign with Christ in heaven, must have Christ reigning in him on earth.

--John Wesley

Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God.

--John Wesley

The church changes the world not by making converts but by making disciples.

--John Wesley

My ground is the Bible. Yea, I am a Bible-bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small.

--John Wesley

It is good to renew ourselves, from time to time, by closely examining the state of our souls, as if we had never done it before; for nothing tends more to the full assurance of faith, than to keep ourselves by this means in humility, and the exercise of all good works.

--John Wesley

I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation.

--John Wesley

We are always open to instruction, willing to be wiser every day than we were before, and to change whatever we can change for the better.

--John Wesley

It is no marvel that the devil does not love field preaching! Neither do I; I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these underfoot in order to save one more soul?

--John Wesley

Always remember the essence of Christian holiness is simplicity and purity: one design, one desire: entire devotion to God.

--John Wesley

I cannot help leaving my books behind me whenever God calls me hence; but in every other respect, my own hands will be my executors.

--John Wesley

The best of it all is, God is with us.

--John Wesley

God will do nothing but in answer to prayer.

--John Wesley

My mother was the source from which I derived the guiding principles of my life.

--John Wesley

The man who never fasts is no more in the way to heaven than the man who never prays.

--John Wesley

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

--John Wesley

The longer I live, the larger allowances I make for human infirmities. I exact more from myself and less from others.

--John Wesley

God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.

--John Wesley

The wearing of costly array is directly opposite to being adorned with good works. Nothing can be more evident than this; for the more you lay out on your own apparel, the less you have left to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to lodge the stranger, to relieve those that are sick and in prison.

--John Wesley

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 me.

--John Wesley

There is no love of God without patience, and no patience without lowliness and sweetness of spirit.

--John Wesley

Whether we think of, or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than his love, and the desire of pleasing him.

--John Wesley

In returning I read a very different book, published by an honest Quaker , on that execrable sum of all villanies, commonly called the Slave-trade.

--John Wesley

Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame, if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago.

--John Wesley

All outward means of grace, if separate from the spirit of God, cannot profit, or conduce, in any degree, either to the knowledge or love of God. All outward things, unless he work in them and by them, are in vain.

--John Wesley

My fear is not that our great movement, known as the Methodists, will eventually cease to exist or one day die from the earth. My fear is that our people will become content to live without the fire, the power, the excitement, the supernatural element that makes us great.

--John Wesley

I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.

--John Wesley

Making an open stand against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness which overspreads our land as a flood is one of the noblest ways of confessing Christ in the face of His enemies.

--John Wesley

Nothing short of God can satisfy your soul.

--John Wesley

When Poetry thus keeps its place as the handmaiden of piety, it shall attain not a poor perishable wreath, but a crown that fadeth not away.

--John Wesley

The neglect of prayer is a grand hindrance to holiness.

--John Wesley

Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry.

--John Wesley

This earthly body is slow and heavy in all its motions, listless and soon tired with action. But our heavenly bodies shall be as fire; as active and as nimble as our thoughts are.

--John Wesley

No man that ever lived, not John Calvin himself, ever asserted either original sin, or justification by faith, in more strong, more clear and express terms, than Arminius has done.

--John Wesley

Let it be observed, that slovenliness is no part of religion; that neither this, nor any text of Scripture, condemns neatness of apparel. Certainly this is a duty, not a sin. Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness.

--John Wesley

Fierce and poisonous animals were created for terrifying man, in order that he might be made aware of the final judgment in hell.

--John Wesley

It is hardily credible of how great consequences before God the smallest things are; and what great inconveniences some times follow those which appear to be light faults.

--John Wesley

Purge me from every sinful blot;
My idols all be cast aside:
Cleanse me from every evil thought,
From all the filth of self and pride.
The hatred of the carnal mind
Out of my flesh at once remove:
Give me a tender heart, resigned,
And pure, and full of faith and love.

--John Wesley

It is the work of God alone to justify, to sanctify, and to glorify.

--John Wesley

I desired as many as could to join together in fasting and prayer, that God would restore the spirit of love and of a sound mind to the poor deluded rebels in America.

--John Wesley

A sour religion is the devil's religion.

--John Wesley

The best helps to growth in grace are the ill usage, the affronts, and the losses which befall us. We should receive them with all thankfulness, as preferable to all others, were it only on this account, that our will has no part therein.

--John Wesley

I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God's creational intentions.

--John Wesley

Giving up witchcraft is, in effect, giving up the Bible.

--John Wesley

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.

--John Wesley

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 for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing!

--John Wesley

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can.

--John Wesley

Longer Version:

Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.



Having, First, gained all you can, and, Secondly saved all you can, Then give all you can.

--John Wesley

Humility and patience are the surest proofs of the increase of love.

--John Wesley

I build on Christ, the rock of ages; on his sure mercies described in his word, and on his promises, all which I know are yea and amen.

--John Wesley

I have not that joy in the Holy Ghost, no settled, lasting joy; nor have I such a peace as excludes the possibility either of fear or doubt.

--John Wesley

I know that I had not faith, unless the faith of a devil, the faith of Judas, that speculative, notional, airy shadow, which lives in the head, not in the heart. But what is this to the living, justifying faith, the faith that cleanses from sin?

--John Wesley

O never give me over to my own heart's desires, nor let me follow my own imaginations!

--John Wesley

Is it not hard that even those who are with us should be against us -- that a man's enemies, in some degree, should be those of the same household of faith? Yet so it is.

--John Wesley

I the chief of sinners am, but Jesus died for me.

--John Wesley

I went to America to convert the Indians, but, oh, who shall convert me? Who, what, is he that will deliver me from this evil heart of unbelief?

--John Wesley

I saw that giving even all my life to God (supposing it possible to do this and go no further) would profit me nothing unless I gave my heart, yea, all my heart, to Him.

--John Wesley

Money never stays with me. It would burn me if it did. I throw it out of my hands as soon as possible, lest it should find its way into my heart.

--John Wesley

As for reputation, though it be a glorious instrument of advancing our Master's service, yet there is a better than that: a clean heart, a single eye, and a soul full of God. A fair exchange if, by the loss of reputation, we can purchase the lowest degree of purity of heart.

--John Wesley

In a storm, I think, 'What if the gospel be not true? Then thou art, of all men, most foolish. For what has thou given up thy goods, thy ease, thy friends, thy reputation, thy country, thy life?'

--John Wesley

Catch on fire and people will come for miles to see you burn.

--John Wesley

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