Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This is an ongoing series of quotes from the Wesleyan Movement with citations to the original sources.
I am pained for you that are ‘rich in this world’. Do you give all you can? You who receive five hundred pounds a year, and spend only two hundred, do you give three hundred back to God? If not, you certainly rob God of that three hundred. You that receive two hundred, and spend but one, do you give God the other hundred? If not, you rob him of just so much. ‘Nay, may I not do what I will with my own?’ Here lies the ground of your mistake. It is not your own. In cannot be, unless you are Lord of heaven and earth. ‘However, I must provide for my children.’ Certainly. but how? By making them rich? Then you will probably make them heathens, as some of you have done already. “What shall I do, then?” Lord, speak to their hearts! Else the preacher speaks in vain. Leave them enough to live on, not in idleness and luxury, but by honest industry. And if you have not children, upon what scriptural or rational principles can you leave a groat behind you more than will bury you?
Sermon 131, “The Danger of Increasing Riches”, II. 17.
For more such quotes see: The United Methodist Church General Board of Church & Society, http://www.kintera.org/site/c.frLJK2PKLqF/b.4452011/k.7E8E/Quotations_by_John_Wesley.htm