John Wesley Quotes: 23 Great Sayings

by Pamela Rose Williams · Print Print · Email Email

John Wesley was an Anglican minister who joined his brother Charles and James Oglethorpe to serve as pastor to the colonists in Savannah, Georgia in 1735. On board the ship that he also captained while en route to America, a storm caused him to doubt his faith. It wasn’t that he had no faith but what he realized was that he did not have “saving faith”. John was not well received by the colonists and so he returned to England in 1737. It was not until 1738 that he had the spiritual conversion that caused him to believe that salvation was in Christ alone. After that conversion he devoted his life to evangelism.

“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England.”

John is best known as the preacher who started the Methodist denomination; breaking away from the Church of England. His brother Charles joined with John as the “hymn writer” leaving all the preaching to John. In fact, John Wesley is said to have preached more than 40,000 messages in his lifetime. Although John is credited with bringing Methodism out of the Church of England, he remained an Anglican until he died. [1] [2] During his life John Wesley said some amazing things; here are just a few of his quotes.

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

About Affliction

“Even in the greatest afflictions, we ought to testify to God, that, in receiving them from his hand, we feel pleasure in the midst of the pain, from being afflicted by Him who loves us, and whom we love.”

“The readiest way which God takes to draw a man to himself is, to afflict him in that he loves most, and with good reason; and to cause this affliction to arise from some good action done with a single eye; because nothing can more clearly show him the emptiness of what is most lovely and desirable in the world.”

About Character

“Vice does not lose its character by becoming fashionable.”

“Let your words be the genuine picture of your heart.”

“Certainly this is a duty, not a sin. ‘Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness.’”

About Christians & Christianity

“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England.”

“When a man becomes a Christian, he becomes industrious, trustworthy and prosperous. Now, if that man when he gets all he can and saves all he can, does not give all he can, I have more hope for Judas Iscariot than for that man!”

“A Methodist (Christian) is one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength. God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul, which is continually crying, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth whom I desire besides thee.’ My God and my all! ‘Thou art the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ He is therefore happy in God; yea, always happy, as having in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life, and over-flowing his soul with peace and joy. Perfect love living now cast out fear, he rejoices evermore. Yea, his joy is full, and all his bones cry out, ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten me again unto a living hope of an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, reserved in heaven for me.”

About Evangelism

“The world is my parish” (in response to the bishop of Bristol who objected to his preaching as it “disrupted” local Anglican services)

“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.”

“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!”

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.”

“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?”

About Faith & Faithfulness

“I was indeed fighting continually, but not conquering … I fell and rose, and fell again.” (said after realizing he had no saving faith) 

“Faith is the divine evidence whereby the spiritual man discerneth God, and the things of God.”

“There is no faithfulness like that which ought to be between a guide of souls and the person directed by him. They ought continually to regard each other in God, and closely to examine themselves, whether all their thoughts are pure, and all their words directed with Christian discretion. Other affairs are only the things of men; but these are peculiarly the things of God.”

About Prayer

“Thanksgiving is inseparable from true prayer; it is almost essentially connected with it. One who always prays is ever giving praise, whether in ease or pain, both for prosperity and for the greatest adversity. He blesses God for all things, looks on them as coming from Him, and receives them for His sake- not choosing nor refusing, liking or disliking,anything, but only as it is agreeable or disagreeable to His perfect will.” [3]

“God grant that I may never live to be useless!” [3]

“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.” [3]

“… 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.” [3]

About Reading and Thinking

“It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people. ”

“Think and let think.”

Maybe You Have Some More

Do you have a favorite quote by John Wesley? Share it in the comments below.




[3] How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer, Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., Used by Permission

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