- List All

  • Web   The Point


+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory

« It was the best of books | Main | Understanding Why We Suffer »

April 30, 2009

Sustaining revival

Jwesley John Wesley, one of the great revivalists and founder of the Methodist movement, on the danger of revival:

I fear, wherever riches have increased . . . the essence of religion, the mind that was in Christ, has decreased in the same proportion.  Therefore, I do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of true religion to continue long.  For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality; and these cannot but produce riches.  But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches.  How then is it possible that Methodism, that is, the religion of the heart, though it flourishes now as a green bay tree, should continue in this state?  For the Methodists in every place grow diligent and frugal; consequently they increase in goods.  Hence, they proportionably increase in pride, in the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life.  So, although the form of religion remains, the spirit is swiftly vanishing away.  Is there no way to prevent this? this continual declension of pure religion?  We ought not to forbid people to be diligent and frugal; we must exhort all Christians, to gain all they can, and to save all they can:  this is, in effect, to grow rich!  What way then, I ask again, can we take that our money may not sink us to the nethermost hell?  There is one way, and there is no other under heaven.  If those who gain all they can, and save all they can, will likewise give all they can, then the more they gain, the more they will grow in grace, and the more treasure they will lay up in heaven.

(Image courtesy of Project Canterbury)
AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Sustaining revival:


Jason Taylor

And yet, as it happened, the ninteenth century was more religious then the eighteenth despite what Wesley said.
Still, there was plenty of pride and love of the world to go round in both centuries.


What Wesley said seems quite plausible, and seems a plausible explanation for what we are experiencing in our own nation. Was Wesley a sufficient student of history that he was speaking from good evidence, or is this more of a conjecture on his part? Jason?

I am betting his solution has not yet been demostrated on a large scale. I'm not so sure it is a solution. Giving is certainly a good thing, but it could easily be perverted into another source of the pride that he wisely calls out as the real danger.

Jason Taylor

Actually David, it is a common morality tale in Western history and variations of it are heard as far back as the pre-christian era. History does at least superficially bear out that cycle and the image of dirt-poor barbarians swarming around the statue of Ozymandias is a haunting one.

However as usual in such things there is more to it. In any case it is a suitable warning and it is close enough to the truth to remember. But it amused my pendantry to make the correction.

The comments to this entry are closed.