Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This popular quote above has oft been attributed to John Wesley, while others attribute it to Saint Augustine. Actually, as the following articles point out, it may have been the German pietist movement that first coined the term during the violently divisive years of church conflict. Wars were being fought over theology and church history. But this phrase emerged and was popularized when embraced by John Wesley, who may have heard it while residing among the Moravians in Germany early in his ministerial career. Read these articles for an interesting history.
Regardless of its genesis, this motto provides a helpful reminder for today’s divided culture and church.
Though the quote above is attributed to John Wesley and though this sums up John’s thinking and writing, it cannot be traced back to John’s pen. For more see Kevin Watson’s article here: https://vitalpiety.com/2010/09/02/wesley-didnt-say-it-unity-liberty-charity/
Also read the Moravian History account below (followed by a discussion started by a Georgetown University scholar on the origin).
And for a discussion started by a professor at Georgetown University read more here … https://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/augustine/quote.html