Did You Know ...


Did you know that George Whitefield's famous letter speaking peace to John Wesley (even though he said Wesley was in error) was in response to Wesley's calling predestination "blasphemy" in a sermon? Wesley's sermon, entitled "Free Grace," said this: "... the doctrine of predestination is not a doctrine of God ... this doctrine not only tends to destroy Christian holiness, happiness, and good works, but hath also a direct and manifest tendency to overthrow the whole Christian Revelation. ... it is a doctrine full of blasphemy ... I will mention a few of the horrible blasphemies contained in this horrible doctrine. ... this doctrine represents our blessed Lord, 'Jesus Christ the righteous,' 'the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth,' as an hypocrite, a deceiver of the people, a man void of common sincerity. ... It overturns both his justice, mercy, and truth; yea, it represents the most holy God as worse than the devil, as both more false, more cruel, and more unjust. ... This is the blasphemy clearly contained in the horrible decree of predestination! [emphasis in original -- CA] ... This is the blasphemy for which (however I love the persons who assert it) I abhor the doctrine of predestination ..."

In response to this, Whitefield wrote these words of peace to Wesley: "Reverend and very dear brother, ... I am very apprehensive that our common adversaries will rejoice to see us differing among ourselves. ... And if so, let not the children of God who are mine and your intimate friends, and also advocates for universal redemption, think that doctrine true -- because you preached it up in compliance with a lot given out from God. ... the dear mistaken Mr. Wesley ... I love and honour you for his sake; and when I come to judgment, will thank you before men and angels, for what you have, under God, done for my soul. There, I am persuaded, I shall see dear Mr. Wesley convinced of election and everlasting love. And it often fills me with pleasure to think how I shall behold you casting your crown down at the feet of the Lamb, and as it were filled with a holy blushing for opposing the divine sovereignty in the manner you have done."

-- submitted by Christopher Adams


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