Books by Dave Armstrong: “The Quotable Wesley”

Books by Dave Armstrong: “The Quotable Wesley” April 18, 2012
Cover (555 x 904)

[288 pages. $18.99 list price for the paperback. Completed on 2 May 2012. A contract with the Protestant / Wesleyan publisher Beacon Hill Press was signed on 17 December 2012. Published on 1 April 2014. Portrait by William Hamilton (1788) that I used on my original back cover (see below) ]



[cover design by Robbie Knight]


— for purchase information, go to the bottom of the page —


Dedication (p. 3)

Introduction (p. 5) [read below]

Brief Biography of John Wesley (p. 9) [from Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911]

Bibliography and Abbreviations (p. 15)

Quotations (p. 19)

Index of Topics [see below]

I have long felt an immense admiration for John Wesley, as a person of extraordinary “missionary zeal” and devotion to the gospel and Christianity: the man who is said to have delivered more than 40,000 sermons, and traveled more than 250,000 miles on horseback (almost the distance to the moon). As an apologist and (to some extent) evangelist myself, Wesley’s sterling example has always been a great inspiration.


My background is broadly Wesleyan / Arminian, and I was raised initially in the United Methodist Church, though I hasten to add that in those days (up to age ten) I was quite ignorant of theology. In any event, my subsequent evangelical (and “moderately charismatic”) Protestant theological and spiritual development was not all that different from what Wesley or Methodism would teach. I even had an uncle (very sadly murdered at age 40) who was an Anglo-Catholic priest.

I entered the (Roman) Catholic Church in 1991. I mention this only for the sake of “full disclosure.” My intention is to present Wesley’s full theology and spiritual outlook, as a detached editor (as much as one can possibly be). I’m simply being open and honest upfront about my own possible biases.

John Wesley (it may surprise some to discover) never ceased being an Anglican. My own favorite writers are all either lifelong or initial Anglicans (C. S. Lewis, John Henry Cardinal Newman, G. K. Chesterton, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Thomas Howard). John Wesley is also among these Anglican writers and thinkers that I respect so much and love to read.

My first goal in my selection of Wesley’s writings is to provide the reader with Wesley’s theological views as he expressed them, and to locate (to the best of my ability, in my editor’s judgment) the most representative and best-expressed portions of his writings in order to fulfill that purpose.

The second, lesser aim (in harmony with the first) is ecumenical. Much of what Wesley held and expressed can be enthusiastically accepted by those from a wide spectrum of Christianity: Arminians, Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox, Baptists, charismatics and non-denominational Christians, or self-described “evangelicals.” Even Calvinists (the traditional opposition to Wesleyans / Arminians) disagree mainly on a relatively small number of theological points.

In a broad sense, the theology and thoughts of John Wesley are treasures for all Christians. He was a great man, whose thinking and teachings ought to be more widely known and appreciated; and that is my third goal in compiling this book.

The quotations are categorized into 245 topics (see the Topical Index at the end), with entries drawn from the entire range of Wesley’s writing: his famous journal, letters, treatises, tracts, biblical commentary, and the “Minutes” of various Methodist conferences (dominated by Wesley, and certainly reflective of his own views). They are arranged chronologically within the categories, with dates (to the day, where known) and primary and secondary bibliographical documentation.

My sincere hope is that readers will benefit from these quotations from Wesley as much as I have in finding and sharing them. May his evangelistic zeal and Christian integrity and “heart for God” spread like wildfire.


Absolution p. 15
Alcohol 15
Anabaptists 16
Angels 16
Anglicanism 17
Anglicanism: Faithfulness to 17
Anglicanism: Opposition to Separation and a New Denomination 20
Anglicanism: Persecution of Anglican Methodists 23
Anointing the Sick with Consecrated Oil 25
Antinomianism (Falsity of) 26
Apocrypha (Deuterocanon) 27
Apostolic Succession 27
Arminianism 27
Atonement 28
Atonement, Limited (Falsity of) 28
Atonement: Universal 32
Authority, Obedience to 35
Baptism 36
Baptism and Being “Born Again”36
Baptism and Justification 38
Baptism and Original Sin 38
Baptism and Salvation 38
Baptism, Infant 39
Baptismal Regeneration 40
Beatific Vision 41
Bishops 41
Bishops, Liberal or Nominal 41
Bishops (Opposed in Methodism) 42
Blessings (Priestly) 42
Bowing (at the Name of Jesus) 42
Buffoonery and Fools 42
Calling (Wesley’s) 43
Calvin, John 43
Calvinism: Criticisms of 44
Catholicism (Roman); Catholics 46
Celibacy and Singleness 48
Cheerfulness (and Christianity) 49
Child Killing 50
Christian 50
Christianity and Secular Knowledge 52
Church, The 53
Clothing 54
Communion, Holy: Daily Reception 54
Communion, Holy: Means of Grace 55
Communion, Holy: Preparation and Fitness for Reception 57
Communion, Holy: Real Presence 58
Communion, Holy: Transubstantiation (Falsity of) 58
Communion, Holy: Weekly Reception 59
Concupiscence 59
Confession 59
Confirmation (Rite) 59
Conversion 60
Demoniacs 61
Dialogue and Argument 62
Ecumenism; Religious Tolerance 65
Education, Methodist 70
Education, Secularization of 72
Election, Conditional 72
Election, Unconditional (Falsity of) 73
“Enthusiasm” (Opposition to) 74
Eucharistic Adoration (Wrongness of) 79
Eucharistic Sacrifice 80
Evangelism and Preaching, Lay 80
Examination of Conscience; Self-Examination 82
Experience, Religious 82
Extreme Unction (Falsity of) 84
Faith 85
Faith Alone (Falsity of) 87
Faith and Justification 87
Faith and Reason 88
Faith and Salvation 90
Faith and Works 90
Faith: Bold and Confident 94
Fasting 94
Fathers of the Church 95
Free Will 98
Friday Abstinence 100
Gifts, Extraordinary: Cessation of 101
God 101
God: All-Holy 103
God: Eternity of 103
God: His Providence 103
God: Just Judge 105
God: Omnipotence of 106
God: Omnipresence of 106
God: Omniscience of 107
God: Outside of Time 108
God: Sovereignty of 108
God: Sustainer of Creation 109
God: Will of 110
Gospel 110
Gossip 111
Government 111
Government, Church 112
Grace 114
Grace: Degrees or Greater Measure of 115
Grace, Falling Away from (Apostasy) 115
Grace, Irresistible (Falsity of) 120
Grace, Means of 121
Grace, Prevenient 123
Hades; Sheol; Paradise; Intermediate State 125
Happiness 127
Hardening of the Heart 128
Healing, Miraculous 128
Heartfelt Conversion; Wholehearted Devotion to God 130
Heathens and Salvation 133
Heaven 133
Hell 133
Henry VIII (and His Destruction of Church Buildings) 135
Holiness 135
Holy Days 135
Holy Spirit 135
Holy Spirit: Being Filled With 135
Holy Spirit, Indwelling of 137
Holy Spirit: Testimony and Witness of 138
Jesus Christ 140
Jesus Christ: Creator 141
Jesus Christ: Divinity of 141
Jesus Christ: Savior and Redeemer 141
Jesus Christ: Sustainer of Creation 142
Jews and Salvation 143
Joy 143
Judgment of Nations 144
Justification 144
Justification and Absolute Assurance of Pardon; Fiducial Faith 146
Justification and Being “Born Again” 147
Justification and New Birth 147
Justification and Present Assurance 147
Justification and “Receiving the Holy Spirit” 148
Justification and Regeneration 148
Justification and Sanctification 148
Justification by Faith 149
Justification by Grace Alone 151
Justification, Imputed 152
Justification, Infused 154
Kingdom of Heaven 156
Kneeling and Bowing 156
Latitudinarianism 157
Law and Gospel 158
Law, God’s 159
Lent 160
Lots, Casting of 160
Love 160
Luther, Martin 161
Man, Purpose of 162
Marriage: Not a Sacrament 162
Mary 163
Mary: Perpetual Virginity of 163
Merit 163
Methodism 163
Methodism: American 165
Methodism: Danger of Liberalism and Nominalism 167
“Methodist” (Title) 167
Miracles 168
Miracles, Cessation (Falsity of) 169
Miracles, Demonic 170
Miracles: Unreasonable Demand for, as Proof of Methodism 170
Moravians 172
Music (Superiority of Melody to Harmony) 172
New Birth 174
New Birth and Sanctification 177
New Birth: Wesley’s Own 178
Nudity (in Art) 186
Ordination (Holy Orders); Priesthood 187
Original Sin 188
Orthodoxy (Correct Beliefs) 189
Peace of God 193
Peer Pressure 193
Pelagianism; Works Salvation (Falsity of) 194
Penance 195
Perfection (Entire Sanctification) 195
Perseverance, Unconditional (Falsity of) 202
Polemics; Controversy 203
Popes; Papacy 204
Popularity (in Old Age) 205
Prayer 206
Prayers for the Dead 207
Prayers, Extemporary 208
Prayers, Formal 209
Preaching 209
Preaching and Opposition (Riots, Etc.) 211
Preaching in the Fields 212
Predestination: Conditional 217
Priests 217
Private Judgment 218
Purgatory; Preparation for Heaven in the Afterlife (and This Life) 218
Puritans 220
Quakers 221
Reading 223
Reformation, Protestant 223
Regeneration 224
Repentance 225
Reprobation: Unconditional (Falsity of) 225
Reproof; Rebuke 229
Revival 230
Revolution, American 232
Rewards in Heaven 233
Riches; Love of Money 233
Righteousness of Faith 235
Rule of Faith 235
Sabbath 238
Sacraments 239
Saints, Communion of 239
Saints, Honoring of 240
Saints, Intercession of 240
Salvation 240
Salvation and Invincible Ignorance 241
Salvation: Assurance of Final (Falsity of) 242
Sanctification 245
Sanctification and Salvation 248
Satan and His Demons (Fallen Angels) 248
Schism; Separation 252
Scripture and Learning 253

Scripture and Patristic Interpretation 253

Scripture: Chapter Divisions 254
Scripture, “Difficulties” in 254
Scripture: Formal Sufficiency 254
Scripture: Hermeneutics (Interpretation) 254
Scripture, Inspiration and Infallibility of 255
Scripture: Material Sufficiency 256
Scripture: Old Testament 256
Scripture: Unreasonable Demand for Explicit Proof Texts 257
Self-Defense 257
Sin 258
Sins, Forgiveness of 258
Slander 258
Slavery 260
Society and Christianity 262
Soul 262
Spirit (of Man) 262
Suffering 263
Talking 265
Temptation 266
Tongues, Gift of 266
Total Depravity 266
Tradition, Apostolic 267
Traditions of Men 268
Trinity, Holy 268
Trust in God 269
Truth 269
Unconditional Election (Falsity of Calvinist Version) 271
War 272
Whitefield, George (Calvinist Differences) 272
Works and Grace; Co-Laborers with God 273
Works (in Grace) and Salvation 276
Worship 278
Worship, Methodist 278
Writing 279
Zeal (Christian) 282
[all from Facebook]

John Wesley on Scripture and Patristic Interpretation

John Wesley Regarded Luther’s Commentary on Galatians (Emphasizing “Faith Alone”) as Blasphemy 

John Wesley Was Opposed to Experiential “Enthusiasm”? Yes, He Was

Wesley’s Reductio ad Absurdum Argument Against Calvinist Unconditional Election

John Wesley’s Remarkable Tolerance Towards Catholics (Ecumenism) 

John Wesley Explains Exactly What He Means by Perfection or Entire Sanctification

John Wesley on the American Revolution

John Wesley’s Remarkable Observation About Christianity and Secular Learning

John Wesley on Polemics and Controversy

Methodist Education in 1768

John Wesley: Unconditional Reprobation is Contrary to God’s Justice and Mercy

Wesley on Sanctification and Salvation

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