“Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.” John Wesley

John Wesley Teaching His Sunday School, 1897 by Alice Barber Stephens

John Wesley Teaching His Sunday School, 1897 by Alice Barber Stephens

Random Wesley quotes that inspired many in the 19th century and beyond:

“It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people. ”

“Vice does not lose its character by becoming fashionable.”

“Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.”

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

“What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.”

“We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.”

Getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden–Buck Crenshaw

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courtesy of Bennington Museum

Who doesn’t like solid rooms, good cigars and suits that fit as they should? Who doesn’t like coming home to a flowering cottage garden with white hydrangeas lining the drive and roses over the door? Your wife appears in the latest fashion with well fed kids in tow and your money has given them music lessons, good schools and the admiration of all the people in town who thought you ugly, small and powerless.

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Wouldn’t it be easy to imagine that you deserved such things? A comfortable living. Yes, after all Buck’s been through, this time of plenty seems a blessing from the God he’s virtually ignored since that silly conversion experience melting away in the fog of memory. And doesn’t he buy art that speaks to the beauty of creation? Doesn’t he serve on the church board and fund the stained glass windows being installed?

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You know where this is going, don’t you? Buck is a man of integrity, but not perfect and this romantic interlude with money–no–with the power money gives to lull a person into a pretty reverie must come to an end when the markets crash. Is he bad because he worked hard for what he’s got? No. Is he naive to think that success in banking doesn’t come at someone’s expense sometimes? People need bankers, don’t they?