MR. WESLEY ENCOURAGED THE PROFESSION OF CHRISTIAN HOLINESS.
"IT requires a great degree of watchfulness to retain the perfect love of God; and one great means of retaining it, is Frankly to declare what God has given you, and earnestly to exhort all the believers you meet with, to follow after full salvation." — Vol. ii. p. 13.
"Mr. Wesley came to Macclesfield, and I saw and conversed with him for the first time. He behaved to me with parental tenderness, and greatly rejoiced in the Lord's goodness to my soul; encouraged me to hold fast and to declare what the Lord had wrought."— Journal of H. A. Rogers.
"At the love-feast, Mr. C. related the manner how God perfected him in love, — a testimony which is always attended with a peculiar blessing." - Vol. iv. p. 458.
"A few witnesses of pure love remain there still, but several are gone to Abraham's bosom. Encourage those in Macclesfield who enjoy it to speak explicitly what they do experience; and to go on till they know all that 'love of God that passeth knowledge."' — Letter to H. Ann Rogers.
"By silence, he might avoid many crosses which will naturally and necessarily ensue if he simply declare, even among believers, what God has wrought in his soul. If, therefore, such a one were to confer with flesh and blood, he would be entirely silent. But this could not be done with a clear conscience, for undoubtedly he ought to speak." — Vol. vi. p. 502.
"Undoubtedly it would be a cross to declare what God has done for your soul; nay, and afterward Satan would accuse you on the account, telling you, 'You did it out of pride.' Yea, and some of your sisters would blame you, and perhaps put the same construction upon it. Nevertheless, if you do it with a single eye it will be well pleasing to God." — Vol. vii. p. 103
"Nor does anything under heaven more quicken the desires of those who are justified, than to converse with those whom they believe to have experienced a still higher salvation." - Vol. vi. p. 502.
"Several then did speak, and not in vain (at Bristol). The flame ran from heart to heart, especially while one was declaring, with all simplicity, the manner wherein God, during the morning sermon (on those words, 'I will, be thou clean'), had set her soul at full liberty. Two men also spoke to the same effect; and two others who had found peace with God. We then joyfully poured out our souls before God, and praised Him for His marvelous works." -Journal, July, 1761.
"I rode to Tadcaste; and preached within, the rain not suffering us to be abroad, as I intended. In the evening, I preached at Otley, and afterwards talked with many of the society. There is reason to believe that ten or twelve of these are filled with the love of God. I found one or two more the next day at Fewston, a few miles north of Otley (where I preached at noon), whom God had raised up to witness the same good confession. And, indeed, the whole congregation seemed just ripe for receiving all the promises." — Journal, July, 1761.
"I visited the classes, and wondered to find no witness of the great salvation. Surely the flame which is kindled in Dublin will not stop there. The next evening God did, in-deed, kindle it here; a cry went up on every side; and the lively believers seemed all on fire to be 'cleansed from all unrighteousness."' — Journal, June, 1762.
"One of our brethren was constrained openly to declare he believed God had wrought this change in him. I trust he will not lightly cast away the gift which God has given him. In the morning I left them rejoicing and praising God, and rode to Monaghan." — Journal, April, 1762.
"For about three years he (Joseph Norbury) has humbly and boldly testified that God had saved him from all sin." — Vol. ii. p. 297.
To his brother Charles, 1766: —
"You are a long time in getting to London; therefore, I hope you will do much good there. 'Yes,' says William; 'Mr. Charles will stop their prating in the bands at London, as he has done at Bristol.' I believe not. I believe you will rather encourage them to speak, humbly and modestly, the words of truth and soberness. Great good has flowed and will flow therefrom. Let your 'knowledge direct, not quench, the fire.' That has been done too much already. I trust you will now raise, not depress, their hopes." — Works, vol. vi. p. 668.
To Mrs. Elizabeth Bennis, 1766: —
"Now, certainly, if God has given you this light, He did not intend that you should hide it under a bushel. 'It is good to conceal the secrets of a king, but it is good to tell the loving-kindness of the Lord.' Every one ought to declare what God has done for his soul, and that with all simplicity; only care is to be taken to declare to several persons that part of our experience which they are severally able to bear: and some parts of it, to such alone as are upright and simple of heart.
"One reason why those who are saved from sin should freely declare it to believers is, because nothing is a stronger incitement to them to seek after the same blessing. And we ought, by every possible means, to press every serious believer to forget the things which are behind, and with all earnestness go on to perfection. Indeed, if they are not thirsting after this, it is scarcely possible to keep what they have: they can hardly retain any power of faith, if they are not panting after holiness." — Works, vol. vii. p. 50.
"Saturday, 15, rode to Derry-Anvil, a little village out of all road, surrounded with bogs, just like my old parish of Wroote, in Lincolnshire. The congregation, however, was exceeding large and exceeding lively. I talked largely with several of them who believe they are saved from sin, and found no cause to disbelieve them: and I met with many more in these parts who witness the same confession." — Journal, April, 1769.
To Mrs. Mary Savage, 1771: —
"O exhort all whom you have access to, not to delay the time of embracing all the great and precious promises! Frankly tell all those that are simple of heart, what He has done for your soul." — Works, vol. vii. p. 127.
To Miss Chapman, 1773: —
"You can never speak too strongly or explicitly upon the head of Christian perfection. If you speak only faintly and indirectly, none will be offended, and none profited. But if you speak out, although some will probably be angry, yet others will soon find the power of God unto salvation.' — Works, vol. vii. p. 254.
"At our love-feast in the evening (at Redruth), several of our friends declared how God had saved them from inbred sin, with such exactness, both of sentiment and language, as clearly showed they were taught of God." - Journal, Sept., 1785.
"We had afterwards a love-feast (at Epworth market-place), at which a flame was soon kindled; which was greatly increased while Mr. Cundy related the manner how God perfected him in love: a testimony which is always attended with a peculiar blessing." — Journal, July, 1776.
"In the evening we had a love-feast (at Bristol Boom), at which Mrs. Fletcher simply declared her present experience, I know no one that is so changed for the better in a few years, even in her manner of speaking. It is now smooth, easy, and natural, even when the sense is deep and strong." — Journal, March, 1787.
To Mrs. Mary Savage, 1772: —
"It is easy to see the difference between those two things, sinfulness and helplessness. The former you need feel no more; the latter you will feel as long as you live, and indeed the nearer you draw to God, the more sensible of it you will be. But beware this does not bring you into the least doubt of what God has done for your soul. And beware it does not make you a jot the least forward to speak of it with all simplicity." — Works, vol. vii. p. 128.
To Miss H. A. Roe, 1782: —
"I am in great hopes, as J. S. got his own soul much quickened in Macclesfield, he will now be a blessing to many at Chester. A few witnesses of pure love remain there still; but several are gone to Abraham's bosom. Encourage those in M. who enjoy it, to speak explicitly what they do experience; and to go on, till they know all that 'love of God that passeth knowledge.'" — Works, vol. vii. p. 195.
"In the evening (at Macclesfield) we had a love-feast; and such an one as I had not seen for many years. Sixteen or eighteen persons gave a clear, Scriptural testimony of being renewed in love. And many others told what God had done for their souls, with inimitable simplicity." — Journal, April, 1782.
To Mr. John King, 1787: —
"It requires a great degree of watchfulness to retain the perfect love of God; and one great means of retaining it is, frankly to declare what God has given you, and earnestly to exhort all the believers you meet with to follow after full salvation." — Works, vol. vii. p. 13.