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The founder of Methodism was a prolific writer: sermons, tracts, essays, letters, journals, and diaries all help us better understand his personality, relationships, and theology. Wesley wrote as he travelled thousands of miles on horseback and in carriages, while staying in the homes of his many friends, and at all hours of day and night. He encouraged others to follow his practice of keeping a detailed journal, in order to further spiritual growth and discipline. He kept up an extensive correspondence throughout most of his life, counseling, admonishing, and encouraging the women and men who joined the Methodist movement.

“When you speak to God, do your lips and your heart go together?”From Farther Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion, Part II [1745]

“O praise God for all you have, and trust Him for all you want!”From a letter to Alexander Knox, July 11, 1778

“Grace is the source, faith the condition, of salvation.” From a sermon, “Salvation by Faith” [1738]

“The world never made any one happy, and it is certain it never will. But God will.”From a letter to Mrs. Barton, July 5, 1783

“But we must love God before we can be holy at all; this being the root of all holiness.”From a sermon, “Witness of the Spirit, I” [1746]

“Faith, hope, love, are the sum of perfection on earth; love alone is the sum of perfection in heaven.”From A Letter to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Gloucester [1763]

“Love is the end of all the commandments of God. Love is the end, the sole end, of every dispensation of God, from the beginning of the world to the consummation of all things.”From a sermon, “The Law Established through Faith, II” [1750]

“Our main doctrines, which include all the rest, are three, that of repentance, of faith, and of holiness. The first of these we account, as it were, the porch of religion; the next, the door, the third, religion itself.” From The Principles of a Methodist Farther Explained [1746]

“I wish to be in every point, great and small, a scriptural, rational Christian.”From a letter to Freeborn Garrettson, January 24, 1789

“The longer I live, the larger allowances I make for human infirmities. I exact more from myself and less from others.”From a letter to Samuel Furly, January 25, 1762

“Always take advice or reproof as a favor; it is the surest mark of love.”From a letter to John Kin, July 28, 1775

“Believing is the act of the human mind, strengthened by the power of God.”From a letter to Isaac Andrews, January 4, 1784

“Yea, I am a Bible-bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small.”From A Farther Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion, Part I [1745]

“Condemn no man for not thinking as you think: Let every one 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.”From Advice to the People Called Methodists [1745]

“You will have no reward in heaven for what you lay up; you will for what you lay out. Every pound you put into the earthly bank is sunk: it brings no interest above. But every pound you give to the poor is put into the bank of heaven. And it will bring glorious interest; yea, and such as will be accumulating to all eternity.”From a sermon, “The More Excellent Way” [1787]

“Whatever enemies you have, it is enough that you have a Friend who is mightier than them all. O let Him reign in your heart alone!”From a letter to Dorothy Furly, June 14, 1757

“What a blessing it is to have these little crosses, that we may try what spirit we are of. We could not live in continual sunshine. It would dry up all the grace of God that is in us.”From a letter to Ebenezer Blackwell, April 29, 1755

“A string of opinions is no more Christian faith, than a string of beads is Christian holiness.”From a letter to Conyers Middleton, January 4, 1749

“All believers are forgiven and accepted, not for the sake of anything in them, or of anything that ever was, that is, or ever can be done by them, but wholly and solely for the sake of what Christ hath done and suffered for them.”From a sermon, “The Lord Our Righteousness” [1765]