Frasi di John Wesley

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John Wesley

Data di nascita: 17. Giugno 1703
Data di morte: 2. Marzo 1791
Altri nomi: 約翰衛斯理

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John Wesley è stato un teologo inglese che ha fondato il movimento protestante del metodismo. È commemorato dalla Chiesa anglicana il 3 marzo.

Il metodismo ha avuto tre tappe fondamentali: la prima all'Università di Oxford con la fondazione del cosiddetto Holy Clud , la seconda mentre Wesley era curato nella città statunitense di Savannah, in Georgia, e la terza a Londra dopo il ritorno di Wesley in Inghilterra. Il movimento ha preso forma dopo la terza tappa, intorno al 1740 con Wesley, insieme ad altri, istituendo predicatori locali e le società religiose per la formazione dei fedeli. Questo è stato il primo grande movimento evangelicale della Gran Bretagna. L'organizzazione metodista di Wesley includeva società in Inghilterra, Scozia, Galles e Irlanda prima di diffondersi negli altri paesi anglofoni e non solo. Wesley ha diviso le sue società religiose in classi e gruppi per garantire istruzione religiosa e assistenza capillare a tutti, in special modo alle classi povere.

I metodisti, sotto la direzione di Wesley, sono diventati promotori di molte iniziative volte a garantire giustizia sociale, incluso la riforma della legge penale e movimenti abolizionistici. Wesley incentrò le sue riflessioni teologiche e spirituali su quella che chiamò perfezione cristiana, o santità del cuore e della vita. Wesley insisteva sul fatto che in questa vita ogni cristiano può giungere a uno stato dell'anima dove l'amore di Dio, o amore perfetto, regna supremo nel cuore di ogni persona. Insisteva continuamente sull'usare i mezzi di grazia quali preghiera, meditazione delle Scritture, Santa Cena, ecc. come mezzi tramite i quali Dio trasforma i credenti. Wesley a un certo punto della sua vita si staccò dalla chiesa anglicana e riteneva che anche il suo movimento avrebbe dovuto farlo.

Frasi John Wesley

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„But beware of retorting. It is not your part to return evil for evil.“

— John Wesley
Context: In order to examine ourselves thoroughly, let the case be proposed in the strongest manner. What, if I were to see a Papist, an Arian, a Socinian casting out devils? If I did, I could not forbid even him, without convicting myself of bigotry. Yea, if it could be supposed that I should see a Jew, a Deist, or a Turk, doing the same, were I to forbid him either directly or indirectly, I should be no better than a bigot still. O stand clear of this! But be not content with not forbidding any that casts out devils. It is well to go thus far; but do not stop here. If you will avoid all bigotry, go on. In every instance of this kind, whatever the instrument be, acknowledge the finger of God. And not only acknowledge, but rejoice in his work, and praise his name with thanksgiving. Encourage whomsoever God is pleased to employ, to give himself wholly up thereto. Speak well of him wheresoever you are; defend his character and his mission. Enlarge, as far as you can, his sphere of action; show him all kindness in word and deed; and cease not to cry to God in his behalf, that he may save both himself and them that hear him. I need add but one caution: Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own. It is not impossible, that one who casts out devils himself, may yet forbid you so to do. You may observe, this is the very case mentioned in the text. The Apostles forbade another to do what they did themselves. But beware of retorting. It is not your part to return evil for evil. Another’s not observing the direction of our Lord, is no reason why you should neglect it. Nay, but let him have all the bigotry to himself. If he forbid you, do not you forbid him. Rather labour, and watch, and pray the more, to confirm your love toward him. If he speak all manner of evil of you, speak all manner of good (that is true) of him. [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/sermons.v.xxxviii.html Sermon 38 "A Caution against Bigotry]

„It has in all ages been allowed that the communion of saints extends to those in paradise as well as those upon earth as they are all one body united under one Head.“

— John Wesley
Context: It has in all ages been allowed that the communion of saints extends to those in paradise as well as those upon earth as they are all one body united under one Head. And "Can death’s interposing tide / Spirits one in Christ divide?" But it is difficult to say either what kind or what degree of union may be between them. It is not improbable their fellowship with us is far more sensible than ours with them. Suppose any of them are present, they are hid from our eyes, but we are not hid from their sight. They no doubt clearly discern all our words and actions, if not all our thoughts too; for it is hard to think these walls of flesh and blood can intercept the view of an angelic being. But we have in general only a faint and indistinct perception of their presence, unless in some peculiar instances, where it may answer some gracious ends of Divine Providence. Then it may please God to permit that they should be perceptible, either by some of our outward senses or by an internal sense for which human language has not any name. But I suppose this is not a common blessing. I have known but few instances of it. To keep up constant and close communion with God is the most likely means to obtain this also. Letter to Mary Bishop, an important Methodist "Class Meeting" leader, [https://books.google.com/books?id=E-iMVOU6PhYC&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=%22one+of+his+leading+women+class+leaders,%22&source=bl&ots=TjalEPj1rz&sig=MGwiThaIzWLfs6AWUzta-aZNBUk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiX3oyws6_TAhVHRyYKHbRvCv8Q6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q=%22one%20of%20his%20leading%20women%20class%20leaders%2C%22&f=false] (12 June 1773), in The works of the Rev. John Wesley, Seven Volumes, (1853), Carlton & Phillips, New York, vol. VII, p. 164. [https://books.google.com/books?id=P4QsAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA164&dq=It+has+in+all+ages+been+allowed+that+the+communion+of+saints+extends+to+those+in+paradise&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjejuPcrq_TAhWG0iYKHefIDYwQ6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q=It%20has%20in%20all%20ages%20been%20allowed%20that%20the%20communion%20of%20saints%20extends%20to%20those%20in%20paradise&f=false]

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„I deny that villany is ever necessary. It is impossible that it should ever be necessary for any reasonable creature to violate all the laws of justice, mercy, and truth. No circumstances can make it necessary for a man to burst in sunder all the ties of humanity.“

— John Wesley
Context: I deny that villany is ever necessary. It is impossible that it should ever be necessary for any reasonable creature to violate all the laws of justice, mercy, and truth. No circumstances can make it necessary for a man to burst in sunder all the ties of humanity. It can never be necessary for a rational being to sink himself below a brute. A man can be under no necessity of degrading himself into a wolf. The absurdity of the supposition is so glaring, that one would wonder any one can help seeing it.

„When I was young I was sure of everything. In a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before. At present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to man.“

— John Wesley
Context: Permit me, sir, to give you one piece of advice. Be not so positive; especially with regard to things which are neither easy nor necessary to be determined. When I was young I was sure of everything. In a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before. At present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to man. Reply to a letter signed "Philosophaster" addressed to him in the London Magazine of 1774, in London Magazine 1775, p. 26

„Beware you are not a fiery, persecuting enthusiast.“

— John Wesley
Context: Beware you are not a fiery, persecuting enthusiast. Do not imagine that God has called you (just contrary to the spirit of Him you style your Master) to destroy men’s lives, and not to save them. Never dream of forcing men into the ways of God. Think yourself, and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love. Sermon 37 "The Nature of Enthusiasm"

„Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own.“

— John Wesley
Context: In order to examine ourselves thoroughly, let the case be proposed in the strongest manner. What, if I were to see a Papist, an Arian, a Socinian casting out devils? If I did, I could not forbid even him, without convicting myself of bigotry. Yea, if it could be supposed that I should see a Jew, a Deist, or a Turk, doing the same, were I to forbid him either directly or indirectly, I should be no better than a bigot still. O stand clear of this! But be not content with not forbidding any that casts out devils. It is well to go thus far; but do not stop here. If you will avoid all bigotry, go on. In every instance of this kind, whatever the instrument be, acknowledge the finger of God. And not only acknowledge, but rejoice in his work, and praise his name with thanksgiving. Encourage whomsoever God is pleased to employ, to give himself wholly up thereto. Speak well of him wheresoever you are; defend his character and his mission. Enlarge, as far as you can, his sphere of action; show him all kindness in word and deed; and cease not to cry to God in his behalf, that he may save both himself and them that hear him. I need add but one caution: Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own. It is not impossible, that one who casts out devils himself, may yet forbid you so to do. You may observe, this is the very case mentioned in the text. The Apostles forbade another to do what they did themselves. But beware of retorting. It is not your part to return evil for evil. Another’s not observing the direction of our Lord, is no reason why you should neglect it. Nay, but let him have all the bigotry to himself. If he forbid you, do not you forbid him. Rather labour, and watch, and pray the more, to confirm your love toward him. If he speak all manner of evil of you, speak all manner of good (that is true) of him. [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/sermons.v.xxxviii.html Sermon 38 "A Caution against Bigotry]

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