II.D.2 The Wesleyan Effort Toward a Pneumatology

Part II   –   Application to Reformed & Evangelical Theology

Subpart D  –  Wesleyan Methodism

Article 2 – THE WESLEYAN EFFORT TOWARD A PNEUMATOLOGY

By Daniel Irving

a.  Methodism Addressed Pentecost Theoretically   

b.  John Fletcher; Theologian of Wesleyan-Methodism     

c.  Wesley & Fletcher Recognized the Necessity that Pentecost be Integrated  Within the Theological Model of Redemption

d.  The Erroneous Integration of Pentecost within the Wesleyan Model

e.  Wesley Would Have Been Resistant to the Pentecostal Doctrine Correlating the Spirit’s Baptism to the Spirit’s Reception

f.   Wesley’s Burden to Defend Methodism Led to His Practical Resistance to the Manifestations of Pentecost

g.  The Legacy of John Wesley & Early Methodism

Ladder to Glory 01

Article 2

THE WESLEYAN EFFORT TOWARD A PNEUMATOLOGY

a.   Methodism Addressed-Pentecost Theoretically  

Until the twentieth-century instances of outpourings of God’s Spirit that bore the character of those described in the book of Acts as accompanied by speaking in tongues and gifts of prophecy were rare.[1]  This was particularly true in the eighteen-century during which time Methodism arose and developed the doctrines on sanctification that proved such vital vehicles of revival in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  While many in early Methodism made claim to having been baptized in the Holy Spirit, they did not describe the Pentecostal baptism as related in the book of Acts nor what occurred during the Pentecostal movement of the twentieth-century. Therefore when Methodism undertook to integrate the Scriptural doctrines of Pentecost with those Scriptural doctrines of justification and sanctification that were the strength of the movement, it did so without the benefit of experience.  This meant that Methodism was forced to deal with the apostolic doctrine of Spirit baptism and the Holy Spirit’s anointing in a very conjectural way.

b. John Fletcher; Theologian of Wesleyan-Methodism     

It is generally, agreed that the inidividual most responsible for formally laying down the theology of Methodism in terms of its doctrines of the Spirit was Wesley’s protégé and close-confidant, John Fletcher.[2]    fletcher - JohnFletcher was an immigrant from Swizterland and been recently ordained a priest in the Church of England when he met John and Charles Wesley early in their ministries.  Almost instantly he became a dedicated proponent of Methodist teaching and an able assistant and close confidant to both John and Charles Wesley.  He would commonly preach for Wesley, and became perhaps the most vital member of the Methodist theological inner circle.  Those who knew Fletcher were in virtual unanimity in praising his personal piety, and he was revered by early Methodists as a great man of God.

The Wesleys found Fletcher to an able communicator of the Methodist belief system and an insightful expounder of Methodist theology.   His most significant theological work was produced between 1771 and 1774 in his well known Checks to Antinomianism, which he undertook at the behest of, and under the review of John and Charles Wesley.  The work was originally commenced as a written defense of John Wesley against a formalized accusation from the Calvinistic Methodists at Trevecca College alleging he had departed from the simplicity of the Gospel message of justification by faith through his emphasis upon sanctification as constituting the salvation. Whitefield - GeorgeThe rift between the Calvinists and Wesley had been exacerbated in 1770 as a result of Wesley having used the occasion of George Whitefield’s funeral memorial services to champion the superiority of the principle that salvation is inseparable from sanctification; a point that had divided Wesley from Whitefield since the early days of their ministries.  In response to these charges, Wesley’s able theologian friend took pen in hand and ventured upon a treatise through which many of Wesley’s teachings were explained, ironed out for consistency, and fitted into a comprehensive theological system.  The treatise developed into a five part series referred to as Fletcher’s; Checks to Antinomianism, which was produced with the full participation of John and Charles Wesley, who collaborated, edited, endorsed and often cited to Fletcher’s Checks when explaining Methodist teaching.  Thus Fletcher’s Checks became the manifesto of primitive Wesleyan theology until falling out of favor with later generations of Methodists during the nineteenth-century.

c.  Wesley & Fletcher Recognized the Necessity that Pentecost be Integrated  Within the Theological Model of Redemption

Fletcher apprehended Pentecost as that principle that should necessarily precede true holiness, and that any system failing to assimilate Pentecost, was incomplete.  This was a truly remarkable insight, as – even today – the evangelical world does not seem intent upon addressing this theological gap in doctrine.  While Fletcher wrote in the vein of Wesley’s well known doctrines of sanctification, he was particularly influential in Pentecostalizing the theology of Wesley and incorporating Pentecostal phraseology into then-existing Wesleyan teaching.  Through Fletcher’s influence John Wesley came to agree that Pentecost was poorly understood while at the same time essential to a complete theological system and recovery of the apostolic doctrines.  But for Fletcher’s influence Wesleyan teaching would have all but lacked an explicit pneumatology altogether and there would have been little talk of a baptism in the Holy Spirit within Methodism. Fletcher’s influences are evident in the words of one of Charles Wesley’s hymns:[3]Wesley - Charles 03

Now, Father, let the gracious shw’r!

 Descend, and make me pure from sin.

  An inward baptism of fire

 Where with to be baptiz’d I have;

 Tis all my long soul’s desire,

This ,only this my soul can save.

As part of his Checks to Antinomianism, and his efforts to unify theology, Fletcher developed a theory of redemption that he felt certain (as did John Wesley) to be the true model of God’s working in men. Fletcher’s  Doctrine of Dispensations asserts there to be four distinct levels of grace typified by, namely; 1) Noah (as representing the Gentile), 2) Moses, 3) the disciples of John the Baptist, and of Jesus during His incarnation, and 4) the dispensation of the Holy Spirit as given at Pentecost.  Ladder to Glory 01This final stage is key to understanding how it came that Methodist theology viewed Pentecost as a culminating event in the Christian experience rather than as an induction into the body of Christ as a commencing event.  This conclusion came as a result of an assumption upon Fletcher’s part that Wesley’s instantaneous work of entire sanctification or Christian perfection was one and the same with the apostolic baptism of the Holy Spirit. For Fletcher (and thence Wesley) the highest phase or “wrung of the ladder” was logically that of Pentecost,[4] a sort of crowning of God’s work in you.

Fletcher maintained that an understanding of these supposed stages of grace would allow men to judge their own spiritual progress and to receive insights that would prevent undue castigation of others that might be of a greater or lesser advancement in their ascent up the ladder of grace.  We should also understand that Fletcher’s doctrines (although embraced by Wesley) were not universally received by the Methodist ministry, and there was substantial criticism of Fletcher’s system within Methodism even during Wesley’s time.

d. The Erroneous Integration of Pentecost within the Wesleyan Model

It is clear from Fletcher’s writings that what he alluded to as the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” was not the experience the Church knows today.  Rather, Fletcher seems to have taken John Wesley’s doctrine of an experiential, moment in time event wherein sin was put away (ie. “purged”) within the man, and called it the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” in order to account for apostolic expressions and principles that were not a matter of common experience in his own day.  Wesley’s doctrine of the Second Work of Grace became – for many Methodists – the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  As this explanation seemed both consistent with Wesley’s historic teachings of perfection and his teachings of an instantaneous sanctification, and correlating the two principles seemed to harmonize Wesleyan-sanctification doctrine with the inexplicable Pentecostal allusions which characterize the Pauline-epistles and the book of Acts,  Fletcher’s amalgamation of Wesley and his own Doctrine of Dispensations became incorporated into the authoritative Methodist theological system.

This assumption of early Wesleyan Methodism factored substantially into the events that occurred in the twentieth-century when the Pentecostal experience of the Holy Spirit’s baptism was restored.  In fact, we find the doctrine to appear on the doorstep of Azusa Street in the days leading up to that outpouring in April of 1906.  When Pentecost was restored, it was restored first within the ranks of those that had only recently separated themselves from a Methodist system in rejection of Wesleyan sanctification teaching.  These were the “Methodist-come-outers” which spread across North America during the 1880’s and 1890’s out of devotion to the holiness (ie. Wesleyan) doctrines.  Bethel Bible StudentsThe earliest Pentecostals were the holiness come-outers.  Charles Parham’s Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas – where Pentecost first fell on January 1, 1901 – consisted of these.  When William Seymour – in 1906 – first ventured to preach Pentecost, it was within such a holiness church, which thereupon locked him out after his first sermon on the “baptism of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues.”   The record of that event brings Fletcher’s doctrine squarely to the fore when Seymour is asked to defend his theology.  The first edition of the newspaper printed from the Azusa Street mission quotes Seymour as he describes the doctrinal quandary that immediately arose between himself and ministers from the local holiness association:Seymour - William

. . . one night they locked the door against me, and afterwards got Bro. Roberts, the president of the Holiness Association, to come down and settle the doctrine of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, that it was simply sanctification.  He came down and a good many holiness preachers with him, and they stated that sanctification was the baptism with the Holy Ghost. But he they did not have the evidence of the second chapter of Acts. . . After the president heard me speak of what the true baptism of the Holy Ghost was, he said he wanted it too, and told me that when I had received it to let him know.  So I received it and let him know. [5]

The immediate assumption of those ministers of the Holiness Association (who did not know Pentecost) was that sanctification was, in fact, the same thing as the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  They did not possess a truly complete doctrine of either work.  While they seem to have had the experience of initial regeneration as an initial act of coming to faith in Jesus Christ (which they referred to as sanctification), their understanding of regeneration was partial.  Clearly, the Wesleyan doctrine relating to Spirit baptism nullified the meaning of Pentecost by incorporating the term into the principle of sanctification.  While Wesleyan Methodism had laid a foundation upon which the Pentecostal baptism would be restored, the vast majority of Wesleyans – through commitment to their theological tradition on the subject of Pentecost, rejected the baptism once it was restored.

e.   Wesley Would Have Been Resistant to the Classical Pentecostal Doctrine Identifying the Spirit’s Baptism as the Spirit’s Reception

While John Fletcher was in the early stages of writing his Checks to Antinomianism as a statement of the Methodist theological model, he came into some resistance from Wesley over the idea that a “babe in Christ” does not have the Holy Spirit until some later time when imparted to him at Spirit baptism.  Wesley insisted that the babe in Christ must have the witness of the Spirit in some measure.[6]  Therefore one must have “received the Holy Spirit” in order to have His witness.[7]  This criticism led Fletcher to co-designate the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” with the spiritual advancement of “fathers” expressed in the first epistle of John.  Fletcher and Wesley were able to agree that the “baptism of the Spirit” must constitute the “perfection of love” commensurate with the attainment of a spiritual “father”.[8]  Wesley writes an explanation to one of his protégé’s, Joseph Benson, on March 16, 1771:[9]Wesley - John 02

A babe in Christ (of whom I know thousands) has the witness sometimes.  A young man (in St. John’s sense) has it continually.   I believe one that is perfected in love, or filled with the Holy Ghost may be properly termed a father.

While George Whitefield preached the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” as one’s induction into the body of Christ,[10] Wesley’s definition of Spirit Baptism was the reverse.  While Whitefield preached the principle of the baptism as an entry point event, Wesley and Fletcher taught it rather as a culmination of our growth in grace; albeit an event performed by Christ within the individual believer.  Therefore when Wesley heard testimony of an individual having been powerfully wrought upon by God toward the deliverance from sin, he designated the experience as the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”, which would be contrary to twentieth-century Pentecostal-doctrine and – arguably –  inconsistent with Paul’s statement that it is; “by one spirit we are all baptized into one body . .” [11]

Wesley did not perceive the baptism of the Holy Spirit within the Pentecostal framework in which it has been perceived by most Pentecostal denominations and believers having experienced the baptism since 1901 – ie. as one and the same event as “receiving the Holy Spirit”.  However, this perception of the baptism factored heavily into the circumstances of the Topeka outpouring of 1901, and was more firmly established after the Azusa Street outpourings between 1906 and 1913.   Bethel Bible StudentsIn fact, the Topeka outpouring seemed even predicated upon a doctrinal resolution of this issue; the outpouring having commenced shortly upon Charles Parham (the leader of Bethel Bible School) having received the conclusion of his students that the Scriptural evidence that one had “received” the Holy Spirit was the sign of speaking in other tongues.[12]  This resistance by Wesley to accept Pentecost as a receiving of the Holy Spirit seems to have played a substantial role in the Methodist misconstruction of Pentecost.

f.  Wesley’s Burden to Defend Methodism Led to His Practical Resistance to the Manifestations of Pentecost

Wesley was not a strict cessationist as were most of his contemporaries in that he affirmed the idea that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit presumptively should remain a part of the church of Christ.[13]  While he welcomed a theoretical Pentecost which he associated with entire sanctification, his response to the idea of a Pentecost (as intended and received by modern-Pentecostals) was tepid at best.  In fact, although we are commanded in Scripture to; “covet earnestly, the best gifts”,[14] it is hard to deny that Wesley taught the opposite.  He writes (in 1744):

. . . these gifts of the Holy Spirit . . . even in the infancy of the church God divided them with a sparing hand.  ‘Were all even then prophets? Were all workers of miracles?  Had all the gifts of healing?  Did all speak with tongues?  No, in no wise.  Perhaps not one in a thousand.  Probably none but the teachers in the church, and only some of them.  It was therefore for a more excellent purpose than this that they were filled with the Holy Ghost.

And further:

Without busying ourselves in curious, needless inquiries, touching those extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, let us take a nearer view of these His ordinary fruits which we are assured will remain throughout all ages.[15]

Wesley held a firm posture against anything that could be criticized as excess in religion, which is understandable when we consider that Wesley found himself frequently engaged in the defense of Methodism and its principles against antagonism from those of the ordained clergy of the Church of England who viewed Methodism as divisive and its (lay)-ministry as a threat.  The Methodists were severely criticized for allowing lay preaching (ie. by “the ignorant”), for causing division in the Church of England, and for claiming they could live mortified lives without committing sin.  As to lay preaching, Wesley defended this practice on various grounds, including the fact that preaching was performed in the first-century without the benefit of education and ordination, but rather through one having the “call of God”, as well as upon the evidence of the good fruit of the labors of his ministers; men and women coming to faith and vital moves of God attending many Methodist-services.

Methodists were accused of condemning those rejecting their doctrine, and of assuming pretenses of speaking with divine inspiration.  Quaker MtgThese accusations played upon the deep reprehension much of England harbored toward the despised Quakers, and the religious ecstasies and presumption that had attended that movement.  Under withering attacks in which his movement was castigated and labeled as religious fanaticism, Wesley adamantly and articulately defended Methodism with stout disaffirmations of there existing any comparison with Quakerism.  He denied that he or his ministers pretended to any “extraordinary inspiration”, as evident from this responsive letter (dated May 18, 1771) to a Rev. Mr. Fleury who had fiercely condemned Methodism as “savage wolves” from his pulpit.  Wesley writes:

They do not; they expressly disclaim it. I have declared an hundred times, I suppose ten times imprint, that I pretend to no other inspiration than that which is common to all real Christians, without which no one can be a Christian at all. . . . groundless, as senselessly, shamelessly false, is the assertion following:  “To reject their ecstasies and fanatic pretenses to revelation is cried up as a crime of the blackest dye.”  It cannot be that we should count it a crime to reject what we do not pretend to at all.  But I pretend to no ecstasies of any kind, nor to any other kind of revelation than you yourself, yes, and every Christian enjoys, unless he is “without God in the world. [16]

Under a continuous barrage of criticism and frequent attacks wherein Wesley maintained a firm posture to present Methodism as a thoroughly grounded and composed movement, unassailable of any charge of “inspiration” or “ecstasy”, one has to wonder what would have occurred had an Azusa like event occurred within his movement!  In fact, Pentecostal-like phenomenon did begin to occur in the midst of London Methodists beginning in the 1760’s under the ministries of Thomas Maxfield and George Bell.  And when it did, it received Wesley’s quick censure.  Although he made some concession that those experiencing Pentecostal manifestations within Methodism were; “well favored with the extraordinary revelations and manifestations”, he adds:

But by this very thing Satan beguiled them from the simplicity that is in Christ.  By insensible degrees they were led to value these extra-ordinary gifts more than the ordinary grace of God; and I could not convince them that a grain of humble love was better than all these gifts put together.

Wesley sought to put an end to what was occurring within ministries under his charge that began to operate in the Pentecostal gifts.  When his ministers refused to quench the Spirit, he expelled both Maxfield and Bell from Methodism.  This was not an uncontroversial action, and it caused tremendous tension among Methodists.  Most notably, John Fletcher (himself, the primary-theologian of Methodism) was very unhappy over Wesley’s decision and sought to mediate a reconciliation between Wesley and Maxfield.

Wesley’s reaction against the manifestations that occurred within Methodism reveal his substantial discomfort with the concept of a restoration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  He writes to those of the 1762 revival:

I say yet again, beware of enthusiasm.  Such is, the imagining you have the gift of prophecy, or of discerning of spirits, which I do not believe one of you has; no, nor ever had yet.[17]

We understand in our own century that the pouring forth of God’s Spirit in Pentecost is commonly characterized by speaking in tongues, dreams, visions, and inspired utterance; just the opposite of what Wesley was trying to represent his work in Methodism to be.   Thus it appears that Wesley was operating under a profound misunderstanding of Pentecost while nonetheless accepting it in theory as a necessary component of a comprehensive Church theology.  Thus Methodism may not have been prepared to receive the Pentecost they were looking for, having satisfied themselves in a faulty theological construct correlating Pentecost – in terms of the baptism of the Holy Spirit – with entire sanctification.[18]

g.  The Legacy of John Wesley & Early Methodism

Pentecost was that principle early Methodism had struggled with for many years without locking down in terms doctrine.  Absent these doctrinal footholds, Methodism was poorly equipped to rightly embrace experience.  Wesley was Arminianistic in his message, emphasizing the principle that “all may be saved” [19] through knowledge of the truth.  Therefore the doctrines of sanctification were matters of particular focus in Wesleyan teaching.  This focus also brought Wesley into conflict with the Calvinist Methodists (e.g. George Whitefield) who emphasized those principles of calling and election[20] that gave power and brilliance to the sound of the gospel trumpet.  Pentecost  seems to be a principle profoundly related to God’s purposes in calling and election which we associate – theologically-speaking – with Calvinism.  With this in mind, it seems understandable that the reworking of Pentecostal doctrine might have been a difficult undertaking for Wesley.    This doctrinal puzzle did seem to begin coming together until after Wesley’s death when a few ministers in Scotland began rendering distinction between initial regeneration and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, thus breaking away from the misassumption held by Fletcher, Wesley, and Methodism.

While Wesley may have had difficulty assimilating Pentecost into a doctrinal framework, he consistently maintained the truth of those doctrines for which he is particularly remembered, ie. 1) the happening of a real event wherein Christ “sanctifies” a believer, releasing them from the power of sin, and 2) the real hope of a “perfection” before God in this lifetime.  These doctrines were the distinction and strength of early Methodism, and were held forth as a hope for all believers to maintain.  John Fletcher expresses this in a letter he writes to his congregation during a period of sickness wherein he urges they remain united in the promise:fletcher - John

. . . He is with you, but if you plead the promise of the Father, which, says Christ, you have heard of me, he will be in you.  He will fill your souls with His light, love, and glory, according to that verse which we have so often sung together, “Refining fire go through my heart, illuminate my soul, Scatter Thy life through every part, and sanctify the whole.”  This indwelling of the Comforter, perfects the mystery of sanctification in the believer’s soul.  This is the highest blessing of the Christian covenant on earth.   Rejoicing in God our Creator, in God our Redeemer, let us look for the full comfort of God our Sanctifier.

John Wesley’s – and Wesleyan Methodism’s – contribution to the restoration of gospel doctrine cannot be overstated.  Wesley is sometimes commended as “the last of the reformers,” however it might be more accurate to commend him as the executor upon a Puritan Reformation out-from the greater Protestant Reformation.  Wesley and his movement laid down the theology behind the sentiments of his Puritan Forbears.  This resulted in a formal separation – a “coming out” from the greater reformed system and its institutions working a separation from the greater Protestant Reformation.  The early Methodists constituted the “Come-Outers” of their time, but this “coming out” did not formally occur until Wesley was 81 years of age, at which time he effectively separated his movement from the Church of England through the ordination of a separate Methodist ministry.[21]  Wesley’s intention by this action was the preservation of a movement which he stood convinced had been divinely raised up to be the forerunner of a global-Pentecost.  And in fact, that is exactly what Methodism turned out to become.[22]

Wesley’s life was devoted – as he himself states – “to spread scriptural holiness across England.”  He was a tireless worker in the interest of leading his fellow man to faith in Jesus Christ and in guiding his fellow believers into the paths of righteousness.  John Wesley is remembered for his development of doctrine, his tireless preaching, and his great personal piety.  And yet, we find him writing to his brother at the age of 63, something incredible to our ears.  He writes:Wesley - John 02

I do not love God.  I never did.  Therefore, I never believed, in the Christian-sense of the word.  Therefore, I am only an honest Heathen . . . and yet, to be so employed of God!”

How remarkable that one of the greatest evangelical leaders of all time – whose very name is identified with sanctification and holiness, would confide his personal corruption and his moral depravity at so late a day in his earthly walk!  This might cause some to ask, “Where went Christian Perfection?”

Wesley’s ministry arose from the revival winds that swept America and England during the period known as the Great Awakening.  Wesley described the intensive phenomenon of that revival and the work under his early ministry as characterized by the conviction of sin in those to whom he and his colleagues preached:

. . .  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.[23]

The abundant mercies of God were revealed to those to whom Wesley preached.  This required the apprehension of sin and its condemning effects to go before, or else the mercy of God is without purpose for the soul.  Without the apprehension of the need for mercy, there is no apprehension of the value of God’s mercy.  To apprehend the value of God’s mercy is to apprehend the value of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ as God’s provision for sin.  The knowledge of the value of that atoning sacrifice, is the knowledge of God that is the deliverance from sin and the soul’s maintenance against its intrusions.  Recall the prophecy of Isaiah:Sacred Ht 01

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.                  Is. 49:16

Those who by faith can receive this truth into their heart will know the work of the Spirit.  That work of the Spirit will also result in their sanctification, ie. the “building of their walls.”  John Wesley was an effective instrument of this message, and himself was given apprehension of its truth lasting him to the end of his life.  As a true messenger of God’s salvation, he obtained “a good report through faith” joining the host of those who shall receive all the promises of God:

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.                                                       Heb. 11:39-40

Although they; “obtained a good report through faith”, we learn that remarkably, they “received not the promise”.  But a day is coming, when all those that; “obtained a good report through faith” shall be made perfect in the same redemption.


[1] Acts 2:4, 10:46, 19:6

[2] John Fletcher (1729-1785) Real Name; de la Fléchère.  Swiss-born theologian of early-Methodism.

[3] The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism by Laurence W. Wood © 2002, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, & Oxford at page 130.

[4] Ibid. pg. 164.

[5] The Apostolic Faith (newspaper), Vol. I No. 1, Los Angeles, CA  September 1906 – page 1

[6] The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism by Laurence W. Wood © 2002, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, & Oxford at page 59.

[7] Arguably, Paul’s question at Acts 19:2 “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” would seem to counter Wesley’s concern here.

[8] The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism by Laurence W. Wood © 2002, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, & Oxford at pages 59-60.

[9] Ibid. pg. 42.  John Wesley makes this statement in his letter to Joseph Benson of March 16, 1771 in explanation of Wesley’s concerns that Benson and John Fletcher had been erroneously linking the witness of the Spirit with full sanctification.

[10] Ibid. pg. 130. Wood writes; “Fletcher further shows in his essay that George Whitefield preached on the baptism with the Hoy Spirit and urged that every believer should be baptized wit the Holy Spirit “before we can be styled . . . true members of Christ’s mystical body.’”

[11] I Corinthians 12:13

[12] Fields White Unto Harvest, by James R. Goff, Jr., © 1988 The Univ of Arkansas Press at pgs. 74-75.

[13] ie. Wesley writes; “I do not recollect any scripture wherein we are taught that miracles were to be confined within the limits either of the apostolic or the Cyprianic age, or of any period of time, longer or shorter, even till the restitution of all things.  I have not observed, either in the Old Testament, or the New any intimation at all of this kind.”  Quote obtained from; Power Evangelism, by John Wimber © 1986 Harper & Row Publishers, San Francisco, pg. 173.

[14] I Corinthians 12:31

[15] The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism by Laurence W. Wood © 2002, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, & Oxford at page 193.

[16] The Essential Works of John Wesley, Edited by Alice Russie © 2011, Barbour Publishing, Inc. pgs. 1190-91.

[17] Quoted from a 1762 tract in A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley (1767) at Question 33.

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

[19] I Timothy 2:4

[20] II Peter 1:10

[21] Wesley had resisted this step for many years, until it became evident that Methodists (particularly those in America) were suffering from the Church of England’s neglect and indifference to provide for their inclusion in the sacraments.  The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism by Laurence W. Wood © 2002, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, & Oxford at page 151.

[22] The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism by Laurence W. Wood © 2002, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, & Oxford at pages 145 and 151.  Wood writes; “Fletcher and Wesley urged believers ‘on to perfection’ because their lives would be a significant force in ushering in this new Pentecostal-like millennium.  Since Wesley’s later sermons encouraged believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to expect their Pentecost, it is proper to speak of the later Wesley as “the Pentecostal Wesley”.  Wesley believed the holy lives of Methodist believers as a Christian witness would constitute the greatest proof of the truth of Christian faith.”

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

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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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