Four Lessons on Money
John Wesley not only turned 18th century England around with his preaching, but he made lots of money in the process. Here is a story about, and advice from, a man who knew how to make money… and how to spend it.
Most of us know that John Wesley was used by God to revive 18th-century England and to start the Methodist Church. We know him as a great preacher, and a greater organizer. We remember him for his contribution to the Church’s thinking on sanctification. But few of us realize that Wesley made enormous sums from preaching; the sale of his writings made him one of England’s wealthiest men. In an age when a single man could live comfortably on £30 a year, his annual income reached £1,400. No wonder Wesley had strong opinions about the place of financial matters in the Christian life. This “rich” preacher has much to say to us about money.
Why Revival Tarries
In later life, Wesley grew discouraged with Methodism. Although he had seen the movement grow from two brothers to a society of almost a million people, he felt that it had lost much of its spiritual power. He believed the Methodists no longer hungered and thirsted for righteousness as they once had. He observed that they were not as eager to attend the 5 a.m. preaching services as in the past. He feared his followers had lost much of their love for their neighbors for he saw that they were not as ready as they had been to visit the sick and needy. He was convinced that this decline in the way they loved the Lord and their neighbors had grieved God’s Holy Spirit, and had driven him from their midst. He feared his lifetime of labor had been in vain.
Besides thinking that God had abandoned the Methodists, Wesley thought he knew the cause of this desertion: A particular ...