Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. IV. Eighteenth Century
On the Results of Methodism
By John Wesley (17031791)
From An Earnest Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion
BEHOLD, the day of the Lord is come! He is again visiting and redeeming His people. Having eyes, see ye not! Having ears, do ye not hear, neither understand with your hearts? At this hour the Lord is rolling away our reproach. Already His standard is set up. His spirit is poured forth on the outcasts of men, and His love shed abroad in their hearts. Love of all mankind, meekness, gentleness, humbleness of mind, holy and heavenly affections do take place of hate, anger, pride, revenge, and vile or vain affections. Hence, whenever the power of the Lord spreads, springs outward affection in all its forms. The houses of God are filled; the table of the Lord is thronged on every side. And those who thus show their love of God, show they love their neighbour also, by being careful to maintain good works, by doing all manner of good, as they have time, to all men. They are likewise careful to abstain from all evil. Cursing, Sabbath-breaking, drunkenness, with all other (however fashionable) works of the devil, are not once named among them. All this is plain demonstrable fact. For this also is not done in a corner. Now, do you acknowledge the day of your visitation? Do you bless God and rejoice therein!
What hinders? Is it this,that men say all manner of evil of those whom God is pleased to use as instruments in His work? O ye fools did ye suppose the devil was dead? Is he not a liar and the father of it? Suffer ye then thus far, let the devil and his children say all manner of evil of us. And let them go on deceiving each other, and being deceived. But ye need not be deceived also; or if you are, if you will believe all they say, be it so,that we are weak, silly, wicked men; without sense, without learning, without even a desire or design of doing good; yet I insist upon the fact: Christ is preached, and sinners are converted to God. This none but a madman can deny. We are ready to prove it by a cloud of witnesses. Neither, therefore, can the inference be denied, that God is now visiting His people. O that all men may know, in this their day, the things that make for their peace!