John Wesley on John Wesley
In a letter to his brother Charles in June 1766, the
Arminian evangelist John Wesley, now in his sixties, confesses that he
does not and never did love God, believe or have the direct witness of
divine sonship or even of things invisible or eternal. Read for
"In one of my last [letters] I was saying that I do
not feel the wrath of God abiding on me; nor can I believe it does. And
yet (this is the mystery), I do not love God. I never did.
Therefore I never believed, in the Christian sense of the word.
Therefore I am only an honest heathen … And yet, to be so
employed of God! And so hedged in that I can neither get forward nor
backward! Surely there was never such an instance before, from the
beginning of the world! If I ever have had that faith, it would not be
so strange. But I never had any other evidence of the eternal or
invisible world than I have now; and that is none at all, unless
such as faintly shines from reason’s glimmering ray. I have no direct
witness (I do not say, that I am a child of God, but) of anything
invisible or eternal."
"And yet I dare not preach otherwise than I do,
either concerning faith, or love, or justification, or perfection. And
yet I find rather an increase than a decrease of zeal for the whole work
of God and every part of it. I am borne along, I know not how, that I
can’t stand still. I want all the world to come to what I do not know."
(quoted in Stephen Tomkins, John Wesley, A
Biography [Oxford: Lion Publishing, 2003], p. 168; italics mine)
For a book review article on Tomkins' biography of
Wesley, see John
Wesley, False Apostle of Free Will.