John Wesley on the Way Methodists Live

Today we conclude our series of excerpts from the writings of Fr. John Wesley that celebrate/commemorate his Aldersgate experience. I hope you have enjoyed Fr. John!

There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these [Methodist] societies: “a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins.” It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, First: By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is  most generally practiced, such as: The taking of the name of God in vain. Drunkenness. Slaveholding. Secondly: By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all men. Thirdly: By attending upon all the ordinances of God; such are: The public worship of God. The ministry of the Word, either read or expounded. The Supper of the Lord. Family and private prayer. Searching the Scriptures. Fasting or abstinence.

If there be any among us who observe [these rules] not, who habitually break any among them, let it be known unto them who watch over that soul as they who must give an account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways. We will bear with him for a season. But then, if he repents not, he has no more place among us. We have delivered our own souls.

The Book of Discipline of the UMC 1996, 70-72

There you have it. Mutual Christian accountability to help live lives worthy of the call. Cool.

John Wesley on the Means of Grace

Is not the eating of that [communion] bread, and the drinking of that [communion] cup, the outward, visible means, whereby God conveys into our souls all that spiritual grace, that righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy ghost, which were purchased by the body of Christ once broken and the blood of Christ once shed for us? Let all, therefore, who truly desire the grace of God, eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

Sermon 16, 5.195

John Wesley on the Poor

Here is a hard season coming on, and everything very dear; thousands of poor souls, yea, Christians, dread the approaching calamities. O that God would stir up the hearts of all that believe themselves his children, to evidence it by showing mercy to the poor, as God has shown them mercy! Surely the real children of God will do it of themselves; for it is the natural fruit of a branch in Christ. I would not desire them to lose one meal in a week, but to use as cheap food, clothes as possible.

Journal, 3.307