from John Wesley
The [new] Society [in Portarlington] now contained above one hundred members, full of zeal and good desires; and in one week the face of the whole town is changed: open wickedness is not seen; the fear of God is on every side; and rich and poor ask, “What must I do to be saved?” How long (I thought with myself) will this continue? In most only till the fowls of the air come, and devour the good seed. Many of the rest, when persecution or reproach begins, will immediately be offended. And in the small remainder, some will fall off, either through other desires, or the cares of the world, or the deceitfulness of riches.
As for myself, I have learned to talk back to [the devil] on this score.
I say, “Yes, Devil, sin is terrible – but I remind you that I got it from you! And I remind you, Devil, that everything good – forgiveness and cleansing and blessing – everything that is good I have freely received from Jesus Christ!”
Brethren, we have been declared “Not guilty!” by the highest court in all the universe. It is good to know that on the basis of grace as taught in the Word of God, when God forgives a man, he trusts him as though he had never sinned.
God is the only desirable good; nothing without him is worthy of our hearts. Right thoughts of God are able to ravish the heart; how much more happy is the man that has interest in God. God alone is able by himself to put the soul into a more blessed, comfortable, and happy condition than can the whole world; yes, and more than if all the created happiness of all the angels of heaven did dwell in one man’s bosom.
The Fellowship of The Burning Heart
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