Wesley on Free Grace

From his March 1739 sermon:

Nothing but the strongest conviction, not only that what is here advanced is the truth as it is in Jesus, but also that I am indispensably obliged to declare this truth to all the world, would have induced me openly to oppose the sentiments of those whom I highly esteem for their works’ sake: at whose feet may I be found, in the day of the Lord Jesus.

The grace or love of God, whence cometh our salvation, is free in all, and free for all. To this some have answer’d, “No: it is free only for those whom God hath ordained to life; and they are but a little flock. The greater part of mankind God hath ordained to death; and it is not free for them. Them God hateth; and therefore before they were born, decreed they should die eternally. And this was his good pleasure.”

This doctrine represents our blessed Lord, “Jesus Christ the righteous,” “the only begotten son of the Father, full of grace and truth,” as a hypocrite, a deceiver of the people, a man void of common sincerity.

This is the blasphemy clearly contained in the horrible decree of predestination. And here I fix my foot. On this I join issue with every assertor of it. You represent God as worse than the devil: more false, more cruel, more unjust.

Whitefield’s Response

From his 31-page pamphlet, December 1740:

Jonah could not go with more reluctance against Nineveh, than I now take pen in hand to write against you. But what can I say? The children of God are in danger of falling into error. Nay, numbers have been misled.

And when I remember how Paul reproved Peter for his dissimulation, I fear I have been sinfully silent too long. O then be not angry with me, dear and honoured Sir, if now I deliver my soul, by telling you that I ...

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