Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wesley's view of Quakerism

"I trust you will never sink into Quietism (or Quakerism, which is only one mode of it). For then you would soon sink into lukewarmness; and what would come next who can tell? I have not known ten Quakers in my life whose experience went so far as justification. I never knew one who clearly experienced what we term 'sanctification.' But, indeed, their language is so dark and equivocal that one scarce knows what they do experience and what they do not." ~ John Wesley in a letter dated July 31, 1780 (Wesley was 77 years old at the time)

Faith and Works

"In the Antinomian days of Dr. Crisp arose the honest people we call Quakers. Shocked at the general abuse of the doctrine of justification by faith, they rashly inferred it never could be from God; and seeing none 'shall be justified in glory but the doers of the law,' they hastily concluded there is but one justification, namely, the being made inherently just, or the being sanctified, and then declared holy. Admit our doctrine, and you have both parts of the truth, — that which the Antinomians hold against the Quakers, and that which the Quakers maintain against the Antinomians. Each alone is dangerous; both together mutually defend each other, and make up the Scriptural doctrine of justification, which is invincibly guarded on the one hand by FAITH against Pharisees, and on the other by WORKS against Antinomians. Reader, may both be thy portion!" ~ John Fletcher of Madeley

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Luther and the book of James

"As for St. James, I need not quote him. You know that, when Luther was in his heat, he could have found it in his heart to tear this precious epistle from among the sacred books, and burn it as an epistle of straw. He thought the author of it was an enemy to free grace, an abettor of Popish tenets, an antichrist. It is true, the scales of prejudice fell at last from his eyes; but, alas! it was not till he had seen the Antinomian boar lay waste the Lord's flourishing vineyard all over Protestant Germany. Then was he glad to draw against him St. James's despised sword." ~ John Fletcher of Madeley

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nothing can be more false

"We have received it as a maxim, that 'a man is to do nothing in order to justification.' Nothing can be more false. Whoever desires to find favour with God, — should 'cease from evil, and learn to do well.' Whoever repents, should do 'works meet for repentance.' And if this is not in order to find favour what does he do them for?" ~ John Wesley

"Permit me to answer [Mr. Wesley's question] according to Scripture and common sense. If he do them in order to purchase the Divine favour, he is under a self-righteous delusion; but if he do them as Mr. Wesley says, 'in order to find:' what Christ has purchased for him, he acts the part of a wise Protestant. Should you say that 'such a penitent does works meet for repentance from a sense of gratitude for redeeming love:' I answer, this is impossible; for that 'love must be shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him,' in consequence of his justification, before he can act from the sense of that love and the gratitude which it excites. I hope it is no heresy to maintain that the cause must go before the effect." ~ John Fletcher

Monday, August 16, 2010

A prayer for living faith

If, drawn by thine alluring grace,
My want of living faith I feel,
Show me in Christ thy smiling face;
What flesh and blood can ne'er reveal,
Thy co-eternal Son, display,
And call my darkness into day.

The gift unspeakable impart;
Command the light of faith to shine,
To shine in my dark, drooping heart,
And fill me with the life divine:
Now bid the new creation be!
O God, let there be faith in me!

~ Charles Wesley

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Seeking to find

"He, who cannot contradict Himself, hath said to all, 'Seek and ye shall find.' It is true, indeed, that he who would seek God, and is yet unwilling to forsake his sins, shall not find Him, because he seeks not aright; and therefore it is added, 'Ye shall die in your sins.' On the other hand, he who diligently seeks God in his heart, and that he may draw near unto Him sincerely forsakes sin, shall infallibly find Him." ~ Madame Guyon