BLTC Press Titles

available for Kindle at

Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

First check to Antinomianism

by John Fletcher


"I always did (for between these thirty and forty years) clearly assert the total fall of man, and his utter inability to do any good of himself: the absolute necessity of the grace and Spirit of God to raise even a good thought or desire in our hearts: the Lord's rewarding no works, and accepting of none, but so far as they proceed from his preventing, convincing, and converting grace, through the Beloved; the blood and righteousness of Christ being the sole meritorious cause of our salvation. And who is there in England that has asserted these things more strongly and steadily than I have done?"

Leaving you to answer this question, I remain, with due respect, Hon. and Rev. sir, your obedient servant, in the bond of a peaceful Gospel, J. Fletcher.

Madeley, July 29, 1771.

LETTER U. Honoured And Reverend Sir,—Having proved that Mr. Wesley's doctrine is not heretical, permit me to consider the propositions which close the Minutes of his last conference, on which, it seems, your charge of dreadful heresy is founded.

They wear, I confess, a new aspect; and such is the force of prejudice and attachment to particular modes of expression, that at first they appear to be very unguarded, if not altogether erroneous. But when the din of the severe epithets bestowed upon them by some warm friends was out of my ears; when I had prayed to the Father of lights for meekness of wisdom, and given place to calm reflection, I saw them in quite a different light. Our Lord commands us "not to judge according to the appearance, but to judge righteous judgment ;" appearances, therefore, did not seem to me sufficient to condemn any man, much less an elder, and such an elder as Mr. Wesley. I consider, beside, that the circumstances in which a minister sometimes finds himself with respect to his hearers, and particular errors spreading among them, may oblige him to do or say things, which, though very right according to the time, place, persons, and juncture, may yet appear very wrong to those who do not stand just where he does. I saw, for example, that if St . Paul had been in St. James's circumstances, he would have preached justification in as guarded a manner as St. James; and that if St. James had been in St. Paul's place, he would have preached it as freely as St. Paul; and I recollected that in some places St. Paul himself seems even more legal than St . James. See Rom. ii, 7, 10, 14; Gal. vi, 7, &c, and 1 Tim. vi, 19.

These reflections made me not only suspend my judgment concerning Mr. Wesley's propositions, but consider what we may candidly suppose was his design in writing them for, and recommending them to the preachers in connection with him. And I could not help seeing that it was only to guard them and their hearers against Antinomian principles and practices, which spread like wild fire in some of his societies; where persons who spoke in the most glorious manner of Christ, and their interest in his complete salvation, have been found living in the greatest immoralities, or indulging the most unchristian tempers. Nor need I go far for a proof of this sad assertion. In one of his societies, not many miles from my parish, a married man, who professed being in a state of justification and sanctification, growing wise above what is written, despised his brethren as legalists, and his teachers as persons not clear in the Gospel. He instilled his principles into a serious young woman; and what was the consequence? Why they talked about "finished salvation in Christ," and "the absurdity of perfection in the flesh," till a perfect child was conceived and born; and, to save appearances, the mother swore it to a travelling man that cannot be heard of. Thus, to avoid legality, they plunged into hypocrisy, fornication, adultery, perjury, and the depth of Ranterism. Is it not hard, that a minister should be traduced as guilty of dreadful heresy, for trying to put a stop to such dreadful practices? And is it not high time that he should cry to all that regard his warnings, "Take heed to your doctrine V As if he had said,

"Avoid all extremes. While on the one hand you keep clear of the Pharisaic delusion that slights Christ, and makes the pretended merit of an imperfect obedience the procuring cause of eternal life; see that on the other hand you do not lean to the Antinomian error, which, under pretence of exalting Christ, speaks contemptuously of obedience, and "makes void the law through a faith that does not work by love." As there is but a step between high Arminianism and selfrighteousness, so there is but one between high Calvinism and Antinomianism. I charge you to shun both, especially the latter.

... from the RetroRead library, using Google Book Search, and download any of the books already converted to Kindle format.

Browse the 100 most recent additions to the RetroRead library

Browse the library alphabetically by title

Make books:

Login or register to convert Google epubs to Kindle ebooks



Lost your password?

Not a member yet? Register here, and convert any Google epub you wish

Powerd by Calibre powered by calibre