In my course, “The Means of Grace in Wesleyan Theology” this semester, we read John Wesley’s sermon, “On Zeal.” The dominant image in the sermon is an illustration by Wesley that is sometimes called the Throne of Love.
My student Mimi White reviewed the sermon for our class, and she drew an illustration to help our class understand Wesley’s throne of love. It was so fantastic, I took a picture of what she drew so I could share it:
Children, dogs, cats, and butterflies. The love of Jesus is for the whole creation!
Why this image? It’s because Wesley is trying to paint a picture in the sermon of what the holy life looks like in a true Christian believer. Here’s how he describes it:
“In a Christian believer love sits upon the throne which is erected in the inmost soul; namely, love of God and man, which fills the whole heart, and reigns without a rival. In a circle near the throne are all holy tempers; — longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, fidelity, temperance; and if any other were comprised in ‘the mind which was in Christ Jesus.’ In an exterior circle are all the works of mercy, whether to the souls or bodies of men. By these we exercise all holy tempers — by these we continually improve them, so that all these are real means of grace, although this is not commonly adverted to. Next to these are those that are usually termed works of piety — reading and hearing the word, public, family, private prayer, receiving the Lord’s supper, fasting or abstinence. Lastly, that his followers may the more effectually provoke one another to love, holy tempers, and good works, our blessed Lord has united them together in one body, the church, dispersed all over the earth — a little emblem of which, of the church universal, we have in every particular Christian congregation.”
As a bonus, check out John Meunier’s post, Wesley: On Zeal and the local church.