“We Love All of God’s Children”… According to John Wesley

Date Posted: 6/28/2018


By: Sherri Gragg - En Español
 
John “Jackie” Wesley was born on June 17, 1703. Although Samuel and Susanna Wesley were blessed with 19 children within a 20-year period, only 10 of those children survived infancy. Jackie was the seventh of those who lived. One night when Jackie was 5-years-old, the family home caught fire. Samuel rushed his pregnant wife and children out of the home, but as the flames shot upward into the night sky, he realized young Jackie was still upstairs asleep in his bed. Samuel ran back into the home for his son but by that time, the stairs were collapsing in the flames. Heartbroken, Samuel returned to his family outside and did all he knew to do; he knelt and commended Jackie’s soul to God.
 
Moments later, a neighbor spotted the boy in the upstairs window. He had awakened and climbed onto a chest of drawers to open the latch. Quickly, the men formed a human ladder to reach the child, pulling him to safety just as the burning roof collapsed in upon the home. Jackie’s mother, Susanna, was certain that God had spared her son for a reason. Surely her boy was destined to do great things for the Kingdom of God.
 
John Wesley did just that. He founded Methodism, preached the Gospel, and wrote extensively. He also served the poor, educated children, ministered to prisoners, and argued passionately for the abolition of slavery. As we celebrate John Wesley’s 315th birthday, let’s take a moment to reflect on his passion to serve “the least of these.”
 
Works of Mercy

  • “The longer I live, the larger allowances I make for human infirmities.” -Letter to Samuel Furley, 21 February, 1756
 
  •  “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
 
  •  “All worldly joys are less than that one joy of doing kindnesses.” -God’s Love to Fallen Man
 
  • “A poor wretch cries to me for alms. I look and see him covered with dirt and rags. But through these I see one that has an immortal spirit, made to know and love and dwell with God to eternity. I honor him for his Creator’s sake.” -On Pleasing All Men
 
  • 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. -Sermon 88
 
  • One of the principal rules of religion is, to lose no occasion of serving God. And, since he is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neighbor; which he receives as if done to himself in person, standing visibly before us." – Christian Perfection
 
  • One great reason why the rich in general have so little sympathy for the poor is because they so seldom visit them. Hence it is that one part of the world does not know what the other suffers. Many of them do not know, because they do not care to know: they keep out of the way of knowing it and then plead their voluntary ignorance as an excuse for their hardness of heart. – Sermon 98
 
Preach the Gospel
  • “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
 
 
Education
  • “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
 
  • “Read the most useful books, and that regularly and constantly.” -Circulation of Books
 
The Abolishment of Slavery
  • “Liberty is the right of every human creature, as soon as he breathes vital air; and no human law can deprive him of the rights which he derives from the law of nature.” –Thoughts upon Slavery
 
  • "Give liberty to whom liberty is due, that is, to every child of man, to every partaker of human nature. Let none serve you but by his own act and deed, by his own voluntary action. Away with all whips, all chains, all compulsion. Be gentle toward all men; and see that you invariably do with everyone as you would he should do unto you."- Christian Perfection