“May we not endeavor, Secondly, to instruct them? to take care that every person who is under our roof have all such knowledge as is necessary to salvation?…and you should take care that they have some time every day for reading, meditation, and prayer; and you should inquire whether they do actually employ that time in the exercises for which it is allowed. Neither should any day pass without family prayer, seriously and solemnly performed.”
Sermon 94, On Family Religion Volume 7
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But the most common of all the enthusiasts of this kind, are those who imagine themselves Christians, and are not. These abound, not only in all parts of our land, but in most parts of the habitable earth. That they are not Christians is clear and undeniable, if we believe the oracles of God. For Christians are holy; these are unholy; Christians love God; these love the world: Christians are humble, these are proud; Christians are gentle; these are passionate; Christians have the mind which was in Christ; these are at the utmost distance from it. Consequently, they are no more Christians, than they are archangels. Yet they imagine themselves so to be; and they can give several reasons for it: For they have been called so every since they can remember; they were christened many years ago; they embrace the Christian opinions, vulgarly termed the Christian or Catholic faith; they use the Christian modes of worship, as their fathers did before them; they live what is called, a good Christian life, as the rest of their neighbours do. And who shall presume to think or say that these men are not Christians? – though without one grain of true faith in Christ, or of real, inward holiness; without ever having tasted the love of God, or been “made partakers of the Holy Ghost!”
John Wesley’s Journal
We had a triumphant hour when the Society met. Several captives were set at liberty: one of these was Mr. Joseph Ch–. He had been an eminent man many years for cursing, swearing, drinking, and all kinds of fashionable wickedness. On Monday last he had rode fifteen miles to Tyrrels' Pass, and came thither before five in the morning. He was immediately convinced [i.e., convicted], and followed me in from the preaching. I was then examining a Class. The words cut him to the heart. He came after me to Athlone… having his eyes continually filled with tears, and being scarce able either to eat, drink, or sleep. But God now wiped away the tears from his eyes; and he returned to his house, to declare what things God had wrought.
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.
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