John Wesley, the founder of the modern-day Methodist church, was an English cleric, theologian, and evangelist. He was an Anglican priest, which is a Western Christian tradition developed from the Church of England, who came to the English colony of Georgia to spread the word of God. It is not surprising that many of these John Wesley quotes are about God, religion, and the human soul. However, his initial ministry in Georgia proved unsuccessful and he returned home to England.
Upon his return to English soil, he joined a religious society led by a group known as the Moravian Christians. On 24 May 1738, after an experience where his “heart strangely warmed” he left the Moravians and began his own ministry. This experience, which has come to be known as his evangelical conversion, spurred the revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism.
Keep reading through these John Wesley quotes about his ministry, teachings, and views on life, which helped shaped the Methodist church.
Don’t forget to also check out these Mooji quotes from the Jamaican spiritual teacher.
Famous John Wesley quotes about prayer and God
1. “I have never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety or fear. Whenever I feel fearful emotions overtaking me, I just close my eyes and thank God that He is still on the throne reigning over everything and I take comfort in His control over the affairs of my life.” ― John Wesley
2. “Lord, I am no longer my own, but Yours. Put me to what You will rank me with whom You will. Let be employed by You or laid aside for You, exalted for You or brought low by You. Let me have all things, let me have nothing, I freely and heartily yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are mine and I am Yours. So be it. Amen.” ― John Wesley
3. “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.” ― John Wesley
4. “Get on fire for God and men will come and see you burn.” ― John Wesley
5. “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.” ― John Wesley
6. “Proceed with much prayer, and your way will be made plain.” ― John Wesley
7. “Not, how much of my money will I give to God, but, how much of God’s money will I keep for myself?” ― John Wesley
8. “Whosoever will reign with Christ in heaven, must have Christ reigning in him on earth.” ― John Wesley
9. “Nothing short of God can satisfy your soul.” ― John Wesley
10. “Condemn no man for not thinking as you think. Let everyone enjoy the full and free liberty of thinking for himself. Let every man use his own judgment, since every man must give an account of himself to God. Abhor every approach, in any kind or degree, to the spirit of persecution, if you cannot reason nor persuade a man into the truth, never attempt to force a man into it. If love will not compel him to come, leave him to God, the judge of all.” – John Wesley
John Wesley quotes on evangelism, the church and religions
11. “The church changes the world not by making converts but by making disciples.” ― John Wesley
12. “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.” ― John Wesley
13. “Reading Christians are growing Christians. When Christians cease to read, they cease to grow.” ― John Wesley
14. “In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church.” ― John Wesley
15. “I want the whole Christ for my Savior, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field.” ― John Wesley
16. “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!” ― John Wesley
17. “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
18. “Anything that cools my love for Christ is the world.” ― John Wesley
19. “I believe in my heart that faith in Jesus Christ can and will lead us beyond an exclusive concern for the well-being of other human beings to the broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyards, the fish in our rivers, and every living creature on the face of the earth.” ― John Wesley
20. “The bible knows nothing of solitary religion.” ― John Wesley
John Wesley quotes about love, mercy, and grace
21. “One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to those that love him is, to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them.” ― John Wesley
22. “Before I can preach love, mercy, and grace, I must preach sin, Law, and judgment. Preach 90% Law and 10% grace.” ― John Wesley
23. “Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.” ― John Wesley
24. “Humility and patience are the surest proofs of the increase of love.” – John Wesley
25. “For as long as love takes up the whole heart, what room is there for sin therein?” ― John Wesley
26. “The case is this: God offers you one of the greatest mercies on this side of heaven and commands you to accept it. Why do you not accept this mercy in obedience to His command…. God offers you a pardon for all your sins.” ― John Wesley
27. “Give me one hundred men who love only God with all their heart and hate only sin with all their heart and we will shake the gates of hell and bring in the kingdom of God in one generation.” ― John Wesley
28. “Justifying faith implies, not only a divine evidence or conviction that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, but a sure trust and confidence that Christ died for my sins, that He loved me and gave Himself for me.” ― John Wesley
29. “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
30. “Do not any longer contend for mastery, for power, money, or praise. Be content to be a private, insignificant person, known and loved by God and me….of what importance is your character to mankind, if you was buried just now. Or if you had never lived, what loss would it be to the cause of God.” ― John Wesley
Wise words from these John Wesley quotes for getting through life
31. “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.” ― John Wesley
32. “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” ― John Wesley
33. “Let your words be the genuine picture of your heart.” ― John Wesley
34. “We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.” ― John Wesley
35. “People who wish to be offended will always find some occasion for taking offense.” ― John Wesley
36. “As long as you feel your own weakness and helplessness, you will find help from above.” ― John Wesley
37. “Oh Lord, let me not live to be useless.” ― John Wesley
38. “Do you know why that cow looks over that wall? She looks over the wall because she cannot see through it, and that is what you must do with your troubles… Look over and above them.” ― John Wesley
39. “Let me do all the good I can, to all the people I can, as often as I can, for I shall not pass this way again.” ― John Wesley
40. “All worldly joys are less than that one joy of doing kindnesses.” ― John Wesley
John Wesley quotes about the soul and being saved
41. “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.” ― John Wesley
42. “You have one business on earth―to save souls.” ― John Wesley
43. “By justification we are saved from the guilt of sin…by sanctification we are saved from the power and root of sin.” ― John Wesley
44. “I want to know one thing: The way to Heaven. How to land safe on that happy shore.” ― John Wesley
45. “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
46. “The bottom of the soul may be in repose, even while we are in many outward troubles; just as the bottom of the sea is calm, while the surface is strongly agitated.” ― John Wesley
47. “A meek spirit gives no trouble willingly to any: a quiet spirit bears all wrongs without being troubled.” ― John Wesley
48. “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation.” ― John Wesley
49. “God’s command to “pray without ceasing” is founded on the necessity we have of His grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air.” ― John Wesley
50. “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
What did you learn from these John Wesley quotes?
Keeping with a key component of evangelical faith, Wesley moved his preaching outdoors and into public spaces. He helped to create religious groups of people that also believed in strengthening an intensive and personal sense of accountability.
His teachings focused on discipleship and religious instruction based on Arminian (a branch of the Protestant reformation) doctrines. With Wesley’s leadership, the members of the early Methodist church became involved in many social movements like abolishing slavery and reforming prison rules and conditions.
Wesley himself was an ordained cleric, but many of the people helping him lead the congregations of Methodist followers were not. This led other clergy members of the Church of England to attack their mission in print and sermons alike.
John Wesley believed that the heart of Christianity could be found by adhering strictly to the bible. Wesley’s last words were fitting and religious of nature. Upon his death bed, he called out, “The best of all is, God is with us.” Then he raised his hand and waved it about saying a second time, “The best of all is, God is with us.”
What’s your biggest takeaway from these John Wesley quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.
August 10, 2021 7:00 AM EST