II.D.1 Repairing the Theology of Sanctification

 Part II  –  Application to Reformed & Evangelical Theology



By Daniel Irving      

a.  The Great Awakening Advances the Doctrine of Sanctification

b.  The Holy Club, Georgia, & the Moravians

c.  Calvinism versus Armianism within Early Methodism

d.  Wesley’s Doctrine of Sanctification

e.  The Controversy of Christian Perfection

f.   Methodism’s Second Cure

g.  A Culminating Witness of God’s Completed Work

Wesley - John 02


a.  The Great Awakening Advances the Doctrine of Sanctification

We normally think of the Great Awakening as a wide scale revival in New England.  The revival’s influences were much broader.  Europe experienced the same intensive phenomenon.  Methodists 1839And from those revival winds arose a system of Christian thought concerning the operation of God in personal salvation which would prosper in the realm of experiential religion and constitute the most fixed platform for Spirit-empowered revival in the succeeding generations of the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries.  This system of thought had as its particular focus, the doctrines relating to the Church’s sanctification.  John Wesley may be regarded as the Christian leader and theologian most identified with the development of doctrinal principles relating to sanctification.  Even so, Wesley’s teachings were highly controversial in his time, would be substantially neglected by the denomination owing its origin thereto, and would never be accepted by the evangelical denominations at large.

The original small band of Methodists formed as an effort to find the power of a personal religion which the Church at large seemed to neglect.  As the effects of the Great Awakening were being felt in England, Wesley’s doctrines which predicted a personal and powerful encounter with the Spirit of God in fulfillment of His promise to write His law upon the heart, took greater hold.  From the earliest resistance to these teachings there formed the original small band of Methodists, preaching a restored doctrine of sanctification focused upon the atoning sacrifice at Calvary.

Although founded upon the teachings of John Wesley, Methodism itself would ultimately cast away the teachings of its founder.  Adherents to Wesleyan-sanctification constituted a minority within Methodism for most of its 200-plus year history, existing as a subclass within Methodism throughout the nineteenth-century. At the end of the nineteenth century, Wesley’s teachings on sanctification would be jettisoned entirely from Methodism.  Discarded within its own denomination, it is not surprising that Wesleyan-sanctification has been rejected by nearly the entirety of evangelicalism.

One of the chief features of Wesleyan teaching is the characterization of sanctification as an event of salvation; a moment in time in which redemption is Divinely wrought upon the soul.  Wesleyans were promised that their patience in the faith would lead them to a time and a place where and when God would meet them for the purpose of transacting His covenant with Abraham in an operation performed upon the heart.  John Wesley referred to this as the instantaneous work, which soon became known as the Second Work of Grace.  This second work was taught as the necessary precursor for the advancement of true holiness.  Wesley also stressed the importance of the sacraments in this work.  In addition to the Instantaneous Work of Grace, Wesleyan sanctification is also known for its much misunderstood and controversial doctrine of Christian Perfection.

b.  The Holy Club, Georgia, & the Moravians

John Wesley was educated at Oxford where he was a founding member of The Holy Club, whose membership included his brother Charles and the famous and effective open-air evangelist, George Whitefield.  Whitefield - GeorgeThe fellowship’s first meeting occurred in November of 1729 – the year Wesley first commenced upon the intensive study of Scripture[1] – and consisted of just four persons, united by a common design to follow the Bible as closely to the primitive Church as they understood it, under the opinion that salvation was a more rare and valuable thing than commonly perceived,[2] and that there was no middle ground between serving God or serving the Devil.[3]   Two years previous, in 1727, there occurred the event known as the Moravian Pentecost which marked a new era of spiritual vitality, discipleship, and experimentation with Christian communal living.  The Wesleys and their friend Whitefield had been greatly influenced by William Law’s[4] A Practical Treatise Upon Christian Perfection (1726).[5]  Wesley’s small Oxford fellowship set upon regulating their lives according to their understanding of the Biblical standard, and this earned for them the name “Methodists.”[6]  On January 1, 1733, John Wesley preached a sermon of great precedent for Methodism entitled Circumcision of the Heart at St. Mary’s church, Oxford University.  This was during a period when revival winds were beginning to blow throughout England and its colonies in America.  Later that year would signal the Great Awakening in New England.

In October of 1735, as New England began to suffer a time of trouble during its own revival,[7] John, his brother Charles, and Mr. Ingham (of their membership) sailed to the American colonies as missionaries with a design to preach to the Indians in Georgia.[8]  On the ocean voyage, the Wesleys became acquainted with a group of Moravian settlers and were impressed by their deeply personal spirituality.  Wesley’s own experience in Georgia would prove traumatic due to events which began on the voyage itself in the form of a romantic relationship with Sophia Hopkey.  Wesley was counseled against the relationship by a Moravian minister.  After ending the relationship Hopkey accused him of promising to marry her.  After arriving in Georgia, a lawsuit was filed against Wesley by Hopkey and her new husband, William Williamson.  After a court mistrial, still pursued by the accusations of Williamson, and with his ministerial reputation now damaged, a dejected Wesley returned to England.  His return to England was also unfortunate for his good friend George Whitefield, who was now sailing westward in route Georgia to assist Wesley’s ministry, unaware that Wesley had sailed east.

Wesley’s experience with the Moravians, having been one of the few positives in his missionary journey, inclined him to seek their fellowship when back in England.  He came under the counsel of another young missionary by the name of Peter Bohler, who convinced him that true salvation was attended by power over sin, by personal holiness, and by joy.  While attending a Moravian meeting on May 24, 1738 Wesley had an experience that became known within Methodism as the Aldersgate Experience.  He had been listening to Martin Luther’s preface to Romans when – Wesley writes – “I felt my heart strangely warmed.”  The year afterward, he wrote of that experience as follows:

Mr. Hall, Hinching, Ingham, Whitefield, Hutching and my brother Charles were present at our love feast in Fetter Lane with about 60 of our brethren.  About three in the morning as we were continuing instant in prayer the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exulting joy and many fell to the ground.  As soon as we were recovered a little from the awe and amazement at the presence of his Majesty, we broke out with one voice, “We praise thee O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.”[9]

Wesley’s ministry became intensely evangelical, preaching the free gift of salvation by faith with an emphasis upon sanctification and the works of faith.  Valley 2George Whitefield’s rejection from the churches in Bristol opened an opportunity for Wesley to join him in “open air” preaching in the Spring of 1739, which proved an effectual means of spreading revival in England.  During this period, Wesley broke his association with the Moravians given his objections to their support of Quietism, which he considered a heresy.[10]  The period from 1739 to 1743 became an intensive period of revival during the Great Awakening in England and its American colonies.[11]

c.  Calvinism versus Armianism within Early Methodism

One renown controversy of Christiandom is the schism within early Methodism between Wesley and the Calvinists at TreveccaCollege.  John Wesley and George Whitefield held fundamental disagreement on what was the proper emphasis of the gospel; Whitefield asserting justification by faith, and Wesley asserting sanctification by faith.  This led to a separation between the two ministries in 1741.  Wesley characterized their disagreement as involving the issue of general redemption (Whitefield’s view) versus particular redemption (Wesley’s view).  This controversy remained a substantial divide within early Methodism of the eighteenth-century.

While the two managed a close personal friendship, upon Whitefield’s death, Wesley preached the superiority of the latter doctrine at Whitefield’s memorial services causing an abrupt falling out between the two camps.  Whitefield - George 02When Wesley heard Whitefield declare; “You are saved by faith” he perceived a neglect for the principle of a salvation inseparably tied to works of faith and sanctification as that genuine article of salvation.  On the other hand, when Whitefield and the Calvinists heard; “You are saved through sanctification they perceived a compromise upon that inviolable principle that salvation is by faith alone as a gift of grace.  While the two camps disagreed upon the Gospel-emphasis, it is interesting that vital revivals were preached by both men and men of both doctrinal camps throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

d.  Wesley’s Doctrine of Sanctification

The doctrine that stood Wesley apart and which arguably constituted the strength of early Methodism was that relating to the meaning and manner of receiving sanctification.  Wesley taught an experience wherein God would perform a work upon the believer in an instant; allowing him/her to enter upon a perfect conscience and sanctified condition.  Through this experience, the believer would be perfected and empowered for true progress in holiness.  It was asserted that until this experience had occurred, true growth in holiness was impossible.

In his treatise A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, Wesley points to his sermon entitled The Circumcision of the Heart which he preached on January 1, 1733, as the hallmark doctrine of his ministry.[12]  Wesley’s text was the Lord’s commandment; “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” and he declared “love [as] fulfilling of the law, the end of the commandment”.  He concluded with the words: “Here is the sum of the perfect law, the circumcision of the heart.”  His preached this “circumcision” as an instantaneous work which God would perform.  Wesley held to this doctrine through his distressing experience in Savannah, and continuing to the year 1738 when he had his Aldersgate Experience.  He writes:

In the same sentiment did my brother and I remain . . . till we embarked for America, in the latter end of 1735.  It was the next year, while I was at Savannah, that I wrote the following lines; . . . “Is there a thing beneath the sun, that strives with thee my heart to share?  Ah!  Tear it thence, and reign alone, the Lord of every motion there!” In the beginning of the year 1738, as I was returning from thence, the cry of my heart was, “O grant that nothing in my soul may dwell, but thy pure love alone!  O may thy love possess me whole, my joy, my treasure, and my crown!  Strange fires far from my heart remove; my every act, word, thought, be love!” [13]

Wesley describes himself as being in an “awakened” spiritual condition during this time.  Later in 1738, he accepted the testimony of Arvid Gradin who related to him his own experience of sanctification as one of:

Repose in the blood of Christ; a firm confidence in God, and persuasion of his favour; the highest tranquility, serenity, and peace of mind, with a deliverance from every fleshly desire, and a cessation of all, even inward sins. [14]

This testimony struck a chord in Wesley, and he writes:

This was the first account I ever heard from any living man, of what I had before learned myself from the oracles of God, and had been praying for, (with the little company of my friends,) and expecting, for several years.[15]

Thus Wesley’s doctrine of sanctification was made to him experience.  Wesley’s “Methodist” was described as “one who loves the Lord his God will all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength.”[16]  Wesley’s “Methodist” was one of whom:

God is in all his thoughts; He walks with God continually; having the loving eye of his soul fixed on him, and everywhere ‘seeing Him that is invisible.’  And loving God, he loves his neighbor as himself; he loves every man as his own soul.  He loves his enemies . . . For he is pure in heart.  Love has purified his heart from envy, malice, wrath, and every unkind temper.  It has cleansed him from pride, whereof ‘only cometh contention.’  . . . He is not content to ‘keep the whole law and offend in one point,’ but has in all points a conscience void of offence towards God, and towards man.’  Whatever God has forbidden, he avoids; whatever God has enjoined, he does.  He ‘runs the way of God’s commandments,’ now He hath set his heart at liberty. . . He cannot therefore ‘lay up treasures upon earth,’ no more than he can take fire into his bosom.  He cannot speak evil of his neighbour, any more than he can lie either for God or man.  He cannot utter an unkind word of any one; for love keeps the door of his lips.  He cannot speak idle words.[17]

For Wesley, this was Gospel perfection; something not only possible, but promised for this lifetime.  Wesley’s apprehension of the Gospel, the witness He sensed of the Holy Ghost, personal experience, and the testimony of others combined to bring him to the conclusion this circumcision of heart was meant to be experienced in this lifetime.  For Wesley, this experience was not only possible in this life, but God’s promise.

e.  The Controversy of Christian Perfection

Eventually, Wesley’s teaching that the believer may receive the experience of an instantaneous perfection came into heated controversy.  In the early years of their ministry, as the Wesley brothers commenced upon their message that the Christian course should be characterized by a perfection of heart and the conquest over sin, they found their doctrine highly controversial:

But after a time a cry arose, and, what a little surprised me, among religious men, who affirmed, not that I stated perfection was wrong, but that “there is no perfection on earth,” nay, and fell vehemently on my brother and me for affirming the contrary.  Wesley - John 02We scarcely expected so rough an attack from these; especially as we were clear on justification by faith, and careful to ascribe the whole of salvation to the mere grace of God.  But what surprised us, was, that we were said to “dishonour Christ,” by asserting that he “saveth to the uttermost,” by maintaining he will reign in our hearts alone, and subdue all things to himself.[18]

Wesley clarified that by “perfect” he did not mean that sanctification wrought a perfection of the natural condition.  He writes:

They are not perfect in knowledge.  They are not free from ignorance, no, nor from mistake. . . They are not free from infirmities, such as weakness or slowness of understanding, irregular quickness or heaviness of imagination.  Such in another kind are impropriety of language, ungracefulness of pronunciation; to which one might add a thousand nameless defects, either in conversation or behavior.  From such infirmities as these none are perfectly freed till their spirits return to God; neither can we expect till then to be wholly freed from temptation; for ‘the servant is not above his master.[19]

The “perfection” Wesley intended, was that perfection of the heart that makes us children of God.  He writes, “But even babes in Christ are so far perfect as not to commit sin.”  Wesley’s perfection, was the perfection wrought through having been delivered from sin’s bondage:

Thus doth Jesus save his people from their sins, not only from outward sins, but from the sins of their hearts.[20]

Christians are saved in this world from all sin, from all unrighteousness; that they are now in such a sense perfect, as not to commit sin, and to be freed from evil thoughts and evil tempers. [21]

Wesley defined sanctification as the state of being “renewed in the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness”, and that this implied “loving God with all our heart, and mind, and soul.”   This condition contemplates the taking away of all sin, and begins at the moment the man is truly justified.  From this point, the believer “gradually dies to sin, and grows in grace.”[22]  While Wesley’s perfection contemplated the release from sin’s bondage, he discouraged use of the term “sinless perfection” as tending to cause misunderstanding.  He writes:

To explain myself a little farther on this head: (1) Not only sin, properly so called, (that is, voluntary transgression of a known law,) but sin, improperly so called, (that is, an involuntary transgression of a divine law, known or unknown,) needs the atoning blood.  (2)  I believe there is no such perfection in this life as excludes these involuntary transgressions which I apprehend to be naturally consequent on the ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mortality.  (3) Therefore sinless perfection is a phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contradict myself.  (4) I believe, a person filled with the love of God is still liable to these involuntary transgressions.  (5) Such transgressions, you may call sins, if you please; I do not, for the reasons above-mentioned.[23]  [emphasis added]

Wesley noted that “love itself may incline us to mistake,” as the tendency to – in goodwill – receive men as more righteous than they are, would itself create occasion for stumbling.

Wesley expressed his personal observation that many or most of those he perceived to be sanctified seemed (to him) to receive the experience shortly before death.  Yet he affirmed the experience as available to those who expect it sooner.[24]  He discouraged preaching the doctrine to those whose hearts were not set to it, as tending to engender strife.  To those who challenged him to identify the “sanctified,” he replied:

If I knew one here, I would not tell you; for you do not inquire out of love.  You are like Herod; you only seek the young child to slay it. . . . What inconveniences would this bring on the person himself, set as a mark for all to shoot at!  And how unprofitable it would be to gainsayers! [25]

Wesley also noted that carnal men would not tend to recognize sanctification were they to contact it.  While men would have lofty notions of God’s sanctification, the reality is often that God’s providence hedges in the sanctified by outward circumstances so that great works are no evidence of superior grace:

Hear ye Him; “Verily, I say unto you, this poor widow has cast in more than them all,” Verily, this poor man, with his few broken words, hath spoken more than them all.  Verily, this poor woman, that hath given a cup of cold water, hath done more than them all.  O cease to judge according to appearance,’ and learn to ‘judge righteous judgment.’[26]

A summarization of Wesley’s doctrine of Christian Perfection is provided in his own words:Wesley - John 02

(1) That Christian perfection is that love of God and our neighbour, which implies deliverance from all sin; (2) that is received merely by faith, (3) that is given instantaneously, in one moment, (4) that we are to expect it, not at death, but every moment; that now is the accepted time, now is the day of this salvation.[27]

Wesley considered that it was a general misunderstanding of the meaning of his term Christian perfection that was responsible for the protests against it.  He checked opponents to the doctrine with such questions as:

–  Are the promises of God respecting holiness to be fulfilled in this life, or only in the next?

–  Is a Christian under any other laws than those which God promises to ‘write in our hearts?’

–  Is it impossible for anyone in this life to love God with all his heart, and mind, and soul, and 


–  Does the soul’s going out of the body effect its purification from indwelling sin?

–  Do you sincerely desire to be freed from indwelling sin in this life?

–  If you do, did not God give you that desire?

–  If so, did he not give it you to mock you, since it is impossible it should ever be fulfilled?

–  Do you ever pray God to ‘cleanse the thoughts of your heart, that’ you may perfectly love Him?

–  If you neither desire what you ask, nor believe it attainable, pray you not as a fool prayeth?

Wesley describes a discussion with the Bishop of London in 1740 wherein he was asked his precise meaning of the term Christian Perfection.  Wesley writes:

I told him without any disguise or reserve.  When I ceased speaking, he said “Mr. Wesley, if this be all you mean, publish it to all the world.  If any one then can confute what you say, lie may have free leave.”  I answered, “My Lord, I will;”  and accordingly wrote and published the sermon on Christian perfection. [28]

f.  Methodism’s Second Cure

Wesley’s teaching on sanctification as including an instantaneous event may have done more to distinguish Wesley’s theology from that of the established churches than any other aspect of his theology.  Even many Methodist leaders considered Wesley an eccentric on this point.  Nonetheless, Wesley was adamant on the truth of the doctrine, and consistently preached it throughout his life.  For example, Wesley writes to one of his young ministers, Joseph Benson telling him to; “encourage them in expecting a second change, whereby they shall be saved from all sin and perfected in love.” [29]  What was this “second change”-experience like?  A good-example is a testimonial is taken from his Arminian Magazine from which is recorded a journal-entry of a person having experienced this event.  We read:

Friday 28.  My body is very weak.  I feel the want of Faith, and the necessity of believing for sanctification.  Likewise I am deeply convinced of the impossibility of Happiness without Holiness.  But I have a lively sense of God’s love, and a confidence that he will fully supply all my wants. 

Whitsunday 30.  Blessed by the Lord, that he hath brought into my soul, the liberty I have so long been seeking for. . . . . . All this time my heart was broken before the Lord, and my face covered with tears; and I found nothing left but a fear lest the Spirit should depart, before he had purified me from inbred sin.   While I was thus agonizing with God in prayer, the power of the Lord came upon me, so that my whole body trembled under it.  But I kept my spirit still, and continually cried, “My heart Lord!   Work within!  Work within!”  In that instant I felt the Spirit of God enter into my heart with mighty power, and as it were literally accomplish that promise, “I will take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh”.  The old heart seemed to be taken away, and God himself taking possession of my soul in the fullness of love.  And all the time of the service, I enjoyed such a heaven of love as I never before experienced.  All the day I watched every motion of my heart, to see if the evils I before felt were there or not; but I found none.  I could find nothing there, but solid joy and heart-felt peace.

This account is typical of the testimonies given by Wesleyan-Methodists during the latter eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth centuries.  Wesleyan testimonials typically described a period of awakening and some degree of internal distress, before ultimately being brought into a state of peace and love toward God and one’s fellow man.  This experience was aggressively preached from many pulpits, and earnestly pursued by those to whom it was preached.  Wesley taught his listeners to earnestly seek God, and to expect they would receive; and that, in a tangible way they could not deny.  Edwards JonathanIn teaching this powerful encounter with the Spirit of God, Wesley’s message proved congruent with the method and manner in which the Holy Spirit is described as moving during the Great Awakening of the 1730’s and 1740’s.  If Jonathan Edwards described this encounter as a “divine and supernatural light,” Wesley emphasized allusion to the cutting of circumcision.  Indeed, Wesley’s description of the Holy Spirit’s work in his ministry, runs remarkably parallel to the Spirit’s work in New England under the ministry of Edwards.  Wesley writes concerning the generality of how men are wrought upon God under his ministry:

Indeed, how God may work, we cannot tell; but the general manner wherein he does work is this; Those who once trusted in themselves that they were righteous, that they were rich, and increased in goods, and had need of nothing, are, by the Spirit of God applying his word, convinced that they are poor and naked.  All the things that they have done are brought to their remembrance and set in array before them, so that they see the wrath of God hanging over their heads, and fee that they deserve the damnation of hell.  In their trouble they cry unto the Lord, and he shows them that he hath taken away their sins, and opens the kingdom of heaven in their hearts, righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  Sorrow and pain are fled away, and sin has no more dominion over them.[30]

Wesley explained that the deliverance from sin’s bondage through this powerful encounter with God often involved subsequent periods of spiritual attack and distresses.  He writes:

In this peace they remain for days, or weeks, or months, and commonly suppose they shall not know war any more; till some of their old enemies, their bosom sins, or the sin which did most easily beset them, (perhaps anger or desire,) assault them again, and thrust sore at them, that they may fall.  Then arises fear, that they shall not endure to the end; and often doubt, whether God has not forgotten them, or whether they did not deceive themselves in thinking their sins were forgiven.  Under these clouds, especially if they reason with the devil, they go mourning all the day long.  But it is seldom long before their Lord answers for himself, sending them the Holy Ghost to comfort them.[31]

While Edwards focused his study substantially upon the outward manifestations of God’s work upon the man and the practical application of ministering under circumstances in which the Divine Light of Christ is at work, Wesley trained his focus on its inward effects, and upon theological model of deliverance from sin.

g.  A Culminating Witness of God’s Completed Work

Wesley further predicted the advent of a witness that would come once God’s work to sanctify the man was complete.  This would occur once it was “Pure love reigning alone in the heart and life.”  Wesley writes that one may expect this witness:

When, after having been fully convinced of inbred sin, by a far deeper and clearer conviction than that he experienced before justification, and after having experienced a gradual mortification of it, he experiences a total death to sin, and an entire renewal in the love and image of God, so as to rejoice evermore, to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks.  Not that to feel all love and no sin is a sufficient proof.  Several have experienced this for a time, before their souls were fully renewed.  None therefore ought to believe that the work is done, till there is added the testimony of the Spirit, witnessing his entire sanctification, as clearly as his justification.[32]

Wesley taught that the sanctified are brought to this place through “vigorous, universal obedience, in a zealous keeping of all the commandments, in watchfulness and painfulness, in denying ourselves, and taking up our cross daily.”  Wesley taught that this witness of the fulfillment of God’s work will not come by our careless indifference to it, that “God does not, will not, give that faith, unless we seek it with all diligence, in the way which he hath ordained.”

[1] A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley (Item 5)  In the year 1729, I began not only to read, but to study, the Bible, as the one, the only, standard of truth, and the only model of pure religion.

[2] On Early Methodism, by John Wesley, Item 6.

[3] A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley (Item 2)

[4] William Law (1686-1761) English cleric and theologian.  His conscience prevented him from taking the oath of allegiance under king George I, and he was deprived of his fellowship.  In 1734 he became an avid admirer of the writings of Jacob Boehme and his writings assumed a more controversial and mystical nature.  In 1756, John Wesley wrote a letter of correction and reproof to Law warning him off from some of his more heterodox opinions.

[5] A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley (Item 4)  . . Mr. Law’s “Christian Perfection” and “Serious Call” were put into my hands.  These convinced me, more than ever, of the absolute impossibility of being half a Christian; and I determined, through his grace, (the absolute necessity of which I was deeply sensible of;) to be all-devoted to God, to give him all my soul, by body, and my substance.

[6] On Early Methodism, by John Wesley, Item 5 – The exact regularity of their lives as well as studies occasioned a young gentleman of Christ Church to say, “Here is a new set of Methodists sprung up,” alluding to some ancient Physicians who were so called.  The name was new and quaint; so it took immediately and the Methodists were known all over the University.

[7] Jonathan Edwards describes 1735 as the year of disturbing events in terms of the revival occurring in New England.  He describes this as a year many were “shaken, but not converted” and left with a sense of damnation.  Suicides relating to the revival brought criticism which many pointed to as the cause for the revival ending that year, not to resume for several years thereafter with the help of a transatlantic visit to the colonies by George Whitefield in 1740.

[8] On Early Methodism, by John Wesley, Item 8.

[9] Taken from Power Evangelism by John Wimber and Kevin Springer © 1986 Harper & Rowe pg. 25, quoting from The Works of John Wesley 3rd Ed. (Peabody, MA; Hendrickson Publishers, 1984) 1:170.

[10] QUIETISM:  Christian philosophy that gained prominence in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Europe arising from the influences of Christian mysticism.  The philosophy maintained that intellectual stillness and passivity were precursors to a perfected Christian state of being, and advocated for a self-annihilation and absorption of the soul into God.  The French mystic, Mme. Guyon is considered to have been one of the most influential proponents and teachers of the Quietist philosophy.

[11] In 1739 George Whitefield  visited New England as a guest of Jonathan Edwards who facilitated his various preaching engagements. Edwards wept as Whitefield preached in his Northampton church.  The previous years had been stressful in New England, and Whitefield’s visit was characterized by a new sense of grace and awakening.

[12] A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley 1767 (Revised through 1777) – at item 6.

[13] Ibid. at item 7

[14] Ibid. at item 8.

[15] Ibid. at item 8.

[16] Ibid at item 10.

[17] Ibid. excerpted from item 10,

[18] Ibid. at item 11.

[19] Ibid. at item 12.

[20] Ibid. at item 12

[21] Ibid. at item 12

[22] Ibid. at item 17.

[23] Ibid. at item 19.

[24] Ibid. at item 12.

[25] Ibid. at item 17.

[26] Ibid. at item 19.

[27] Ibid. at item 18.

[28] A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley 1767 (Revised through 1777) – at item 11.

[29] The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism by Laurence W. Wood © 2002, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, & Oxford at page 39.

[30] A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley 1767 (Revised through 1777) – at item 13.

[31] Ibid. at item 13.

[32] Ibid. at item 19.


About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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