Monday, September 20, 2004

Wesley, the 18th Century Liberal

An Anglican clergyman he was, but so evangelical that he was forced to preach anywhere he could, which eventually meant fields, pubs, mines, you name it. It was said that he prevented the English equivalent of a French Revolution.

But from the beginning he was liberal to the core. That attitude came down to his spiritual descendants to the present day. In a sermon on
Differences of Opinion Among Christians he said,
"If there's a difference of opinion, where is our religion, if we cannot think and let think."

I put this of course in the section on Methodists in my History of the Church. I can tell you I'm mighty proud of Wesley's opinion. It contrasted so much to the fratricidal strife so prevalant among those who call themselves Christians. Incidentally he remained an Anglican clergyman to the day of his death.

1 comment:

Marjorie said...

What a great post -- thanks. I really enjoyed the link as well. I'd love to see more posts that direct readers to various sources, or perhaps even direct the reader to portions of your on-line Bible!