Friday, November 30, 2012
Who may be saved?
From John Wesley's Journal for this day in 1767:
30 Nov 1767: I took coach for Norwich, and in the evening came to Newmarket.On Tuesday, being alone in the coach, I was considering several points of importance. And thus much appeared clear as the day:
That a man may be saved who cannot express himself properly concerning imputed righteousness. Therefore to do this is not necessary to salvation;
That a man may be saved who has not clear conceptions of it (yea, that never heard the phrase). Therefore clear conceptions of it are not necessary to salvation; yea, it is not necessary to salvation to use the phrase at all;
That a pious churchman who has not clear conceptions even of justification by faith may be saved; therefore clear conceptions even of this are not necessary to salvation;
That a mystic who denies justification by faith (Mr. Law, for instance) may be saved. But if so, what becomes of articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiae?[The article of doctrine by which the church stands or falls] If so, is it not high time for us Projicere ampullas et sesquipedalia verba,[To lay aside big words that have no determinate meaning] and to return to the plain word, ‘He that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.’
Every evening this week, I preached at Norwich to a quiet, well-behaved congregation. Our friends, the mob, seem to have taken their leave. And so have triflers; all that remain seem to be deeply serious. But how easily are even these turned out of the way! One of our old members, about a year ago, left the society and never heard the preaching since, ‘because Mr. Lincoln said Mr. Wesley and all his followers would go to hell together!’ However, on Tuesday night, he ventured to the house once more. And God met him there and revealed his Son in his heart.