Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VI

Author: John Wesley


1. From these plain considerations we may learn, First, How important is this short, uncertain day of life! How precious, above all utterance, above all conception, is every portion of it!

The least of these a serious care demands;

For though they’re little, they are golden sands!

How deeply does it concern every child of man, to let none of these run to waste; but to improve them all to the noblest purposes, as long as the breath of God is in his nostrils!

2. We learn from hence, Secondly, that there is no employment of our time, no action or conversation, that is purely indifferent. All is good or bad, because all our time, as everything we have, is not our own. All these are, as our Lord speaks, ta allotria, — the property of another; of God our Creator. Now, these either are or are not employed according to his will. If they are so employed, all is good; if they are not, all is evil. Again: It is his will, that we should continually grow in grace, and in the living knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Consequently, every thought, word, and work, whereby this knowledge is increased, whereby we grow in grace, is good; and everyone whereby this knowledge is not increased, is truly and properly evil.

3. We learn from hence, Thirdly, that there are no works of supererogation; that we can never do more than our duty; seeing all we have is not our own, but God’s; all we can do is due to him. We have not received this or that, or many things only, but every thing from him: Therefore, every thing, is his due. He that gives us all, must needs have a right to all: So that if we pay him any thing less than all, we cannot be faithful stewards. And considering, "every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor," we cannot be wise stewards unless we labor to the uttermost of our power; not leaving any thing undone which we possibly can do, but putting forth all our strength.

4. Brethren, "who is an understanding man and endued with knowledge among you?" Let him show the wisdom from above, by walking suitably to his character. If he so account of himself, as a steward of the manifold gifts of God, let him see that all his thoughts, and words, and works, be agreeable to the post God has assigned him. It is no small thing, to lay out to God all which you have received from God. It requires all your wisdom, all your resolution, all your patience, and constancy; — far more than ever you had by nature; but not more than you may have by grace. For his grace is sufficient for you; and "all things," you know, "are possible to him that believeth." By faith, then, "put on the Lord Jesus Christ;" "put on the whole armor of God;" and you shall be enabled to glorify him in all your words and works; yea, to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ!


May 14, 1768.



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Chicago: John Wesley, "IV.," Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VI, ed. Thomas Jackson in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VI (London: Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1872), Original Sources, accessed September 24, 2022,

MLA: Wesley, John. "IV." Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VI, edited by Thomas Jackson, in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VI, London, Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1872, Original Sources. 24 Sep. 2022.

Harvard: Wesley, J, 'IV.' in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VI, ed. . cited in 1872, Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VI, Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, London. Original Sources, retrieved 24 September 2022, from