Geez, and I thought this was a Methodist blog! So it takes a minister in the Reformed tradition to wish a belated “Happy Birthday!” to John Benjamin Wesley - “Jacky” his parents called him - who was born on June 17th, 1703. I gave you guys two days to make good this disgraceful discourtesy of forgetfulness and omission to the founder of your Church. You should be ashamed of yourselves!
Here, in homage to your leader, is a piece of vintage Wesley for you so-called Methodists, from “A Plain Account of the People Called Methodists”:
“The thing which I was greatly afraid of … and which I resolved to use every possible method of preventing, was a narrowness of spirit, a party zeal, a being straitened in our own bowels; that miserable bigotry which makes many so unready to believe that there is any work of God but among ourselves. I thought it might be a help against this frequently to read, to all who were willing to hear, the accounts I received … of the work which God is carrying on in the earth, … not among us alone, but among those of various opinions and denominations. For this I allotted one evening in every month. It is generally a time of … breaking down the partition-walls which either the craft of the devil or the folly of men has built up; and of encouraging every child of God to say, … ‘Whosoever doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.’”
And from Sermon 130, “On Living without God”:
“I believe the merciful God regards the … lives of men more than their ideas. I believe he respects the goodness of the heart rather than the clearness of the head; and that if the heart of a man be filled (by the grace of God, and the power of his Spirit) with the humble, gentle, patient love of God and man, God will not cast him into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels because his ideas are not clear, or because his conceptions are confused.”