Wesleyan Methodism (Robert S. Candlish)

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I came across this interesting observation in a book by the Free Church of Scotland's Robert S. Candlish. From what I can gather, there was a marked distinction in how Reformed divines thought about the original Remonstrant Arminians and later Wesleyan Arminians:

This reference to a body of Christians, whom to disparage were to question the seal of God himself — for no society has been more evidently owned as a branch of the true Church than the community of Wesleyan Methodists …

We can afford to smile at the bitter hatred of Calvinism which breathes through the writings of John Wesley and his friends, when we perceive the caricature of that system which they set up to be attacked; and still more, when we take into account their thorough recognition of the sovereignty of divine grace, in the work of regeneration and conversion. With the high doctrine which they hold respecting the work of the Spirit, it becomes rather an inconsistency, than a heresy, with them, that they put a more lax interpretation on the extent of the work of the Son.

On the other hand, any departure from the strict view of the extent of the atonement, among us, is to be most anxiously dreaded and deprecated; because it almost uniformly indicates a lurking tendency to call in question the sovereignty of divine grace altogether; and it is invariably found, in our Churches, to open a door for the influx of a tide of Pelagian, as well as Arminian, error.

Robert S. Candlish, The Cross of Christ; The Call of God; Saving Faith: An Inquiry into the Completeness and Extent of the Atonement. With especial reference to the Universal Offer of the Gospel, and the Universal Obligation to Believe (2nd edn, Edinburgh: John Johnstone, 1845), pp 156-57.
 
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