Wednesday, November 04, 2009
JOHN WESLEY'S HERETICAL DOCTRINE OF PERFECTIONISM
What is then the perfection of which man is capable while he dwells in a corruptible body? It is the complying with that kind command, "My son, give me thy heart." It is the "loving the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind." This is the sum of Christian perfection: It is all comprised in that one word, Love. The first branch of it is the love of God: And as he that loves God loves his brother also, it is inseparably connected with the second: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:" Thou shalt love every man as thy own soul, as Christ loved us. "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets:" These contain the whole of Christian perfection.
Several persons have enjoyed this blessing, without any interruption, for many years. Several enjoy it to this day. And not a few have enjoyed it unto their death, as they have declared with their latest breath; calmly witnessing that God had saved them from all sin till their spirit returned to God.
(The Works of John Wesley (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI) (1996) Volume 6 – See Pages 413-420)
By perfection I mean the humble, gentle, patient love of God, and our neighbour, ruling our tempers, words, and actions. ... As to the manner. I believe this perfection is always wrought in the soul by a simple act of faith; consequently, in an instant. ... I believe this instant generally is the instant of death, the moment before the soul leaves the body. But I believe it may be ten, twenty, or forty years before. I believe it is usually many years after justification; but that it may be within five years or five months after it, I know no conclusive argument to the contrary.
(The Works of John Wesley (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI) (1996) Volume 11 – Page 446)