John Wesley: The Original Design of the Church
14-04-08 13:45 Filed in: John Wesley Quotes | Wesleyan Theology
This is the original design of the Church of Christ. It is a body of men compacted together, in order, first, to save each his own soul; then to assist each other in working out their salvation; and, afterwards, as far as in them lies, to save all men from present and future misery, to overturn the kingdom of Satan, and set up the kingdom of Christ. And this ought to be the continued care and endeavour of every member of his Church; otherwise he is not worthy to be called a member thereof, as he is not a living member of Christ.
— John Wesley, Sermon #52: The Reformation of Manners.
I smiled at ‘the church is a body of MEN ‘. Interesting way to put it ‘from present and future misery ‘
Well, the generic use of “men” was common and unquestioned at the time. In the nineteenth century, a common liberal theme was “the brotherhood of man” under the “Fatherhood of God.” That kind of language wouldn’t pass muster today, either.
Yes, I also like the phrase “from present and future misery” — it reminds us that we often make life “hell on earth” through our sins.