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John Wesley on ‘Leaving an inheritance for your children’

“And why should you throw away money upon your children, any more than upon yourself, in delicate food, in gay or costly apparel, in superfluities of any kind? Why should you purchase for them more pride or lust, more  vanity, or foolish and hurtful desires : They do not want any more : they have enough already:

Nature has made ample provision for them. Why should you be at farther expense to increase their temptations and snares, and to pierce them through with many sorrows :

Do not leave it to them to throw away. If you have good reason to believe they would waste what is now in your possession, in gratifying, and thereby increasing the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, or the pride of life; at the peril of theirs and your own soul, do not set these traps in their way. Do not offer your sons or your daughters unto Belial, any more than unto Moloch. Have pity upon them, and remove out of their way what you may easily foresee would increase their sins, and, consequently, plunge them deeper into everlasting perdition.

How amazing, then, is the infatuation of those parents, who think they can never leave their children enough What! cannot you leave them enough of arrows, firebrands, and death. Not enough of foolish and hurtful desires 2 Not enough of pride, lust, ambition, vanity. Not enough of everlasting burnings?

Poor wretch Thou fearest where no fear is. Surely both thou and they, when ye are lifting up your eyes in hell, will have enough both of “the worm that never dieth, and of the fire that never shall be quenched . “

8. What then would you do, if you were in my case ? If you had a considerable fortune to leave?

“Whether I would do it, or not, I know what I ought to do : This will admit of no reasonable question. If I had one child, elder or younger, who knew the value of money, one who, I believed, would put it to the true use, I should think it my absolute, indispensable duty, to leave that child the bulk of my fortune; and to the rest just so much as would enable them to live in the manner they had been accustomed to do. “But what if all your children were equally ignorant of the true use of money?” I ought then, (hard saying ! Who can hear it 2) to give each what would keep him above want; and to bestow all the rest in such a manner as I judged would be most for the glory of God.

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