Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII

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Author: John Wesley

FARTHER EXPLAINED:
OCCASIONED BY
THE REV. MR. CHURCH’S SECOND LETTER
TO MR. WESLEY.
IN A SECOND LETTER TO THAT GENTLEMAN.

——––

Reverend Sir,

1. At the time that I was reading your former letter, I expected to hear from you again. And I was not displeased with the expectation; believing it would give me a fresh opportunity of weighing the sentiments I might have too lightly espoused, and the actions which perhaps I had not enough considered. Viewing things in this light, I cannot but esteem you, not an enemy, but a friend; and one, in some respects, better qualified to do me real service than those whom the world accounts so; who may be hindered by their prejudice in my favor, either from observing what is reprovable, or from using that freedom or plainness of speech which are requisite to convince me of it.

2. It is, at least, as much with a view to learn myself, as to show others (what I think) the truth, that I intend to set down a few reflections on some parts of the tract you have lately published. I say some parts; for it is not my design to answer every sentence in this, any more than in the former. Many things I pass over, because I think them true; many more, because I think them not material; and some, because I am determined not to engage in a useless, if not hurtful, controversy.

3. Fear, indeed, is one cause of my declining this; fear, as I said elsewhere, 44 not of my adversary, but of myself. I fear my own spirit, lest "I fall where many mightier have been slain." I never knew one (or but one) man write controversy with what I thought a right spirit. Every disputant seems to think, as every soldier, that he may hurt his opponent as much as he can; nay, that he ought to do his worst to him, or he cannot make the best of his own cause; that so he do not belie, or wilfully misrepresent, him, he must expose him as much as he is able. It is enough, we suppose, if we do not show heat or passion against our adversary. But not to despise him, or endeavor to make others do so, is quite a work of supererogation.

4. But ought these things to be so? (I speak on the Christian scheme.) Ought we not to love our neighbor as ourselves? And does a man cease to be our neighbor, because he is of a different opinion? nay, and declares himself so to be? Ought we not, for all this, to do to him as we would he should do to us? But do we ourselves love to be exposed, or set in the worst light? Would we willingly be treated with contempt? If not, why do we treat others thus? And yet, who scruples it? Who does not hit every blot he can, however foreign to the merits of the cause? Who, in controversy, casts the mantle of love over the nakedness of his brother? Who keeps steadily and uniformly to the question, without ever striking at the person? Who shows in every sentence that he loves his brother only less than the truth?

5. I fear neither you nor I have attained to this. I believe brotherly love might have found a better construction than that of unfairness, art, or disingenuity, to have put either on my not answering every part of your book, (a thing which never once entered my thoughts,) or on my not reciting all the words of those parts which I did answer. I cannot yet perceive any blame herein. I still account it fair and ingenuous to pass over both what I believe is right, and what I believe is not dangerously wrong. Neither can I see any disingenuity at all in quoting only that part of any sentence, against which I conceive the objection lies; nor in abridging any part of any treatise to which I reply, whether in the author’s or in my own words.

6. If, indeed, it were so abridged as to alter the sense, this would be unfair. And if this were designedly done, it would be artful and disingenuous. But I am not conscious of having done this at all; although you speak as if I had done it a thousand times. And yet I cannot undertake now either to transcribe your whole book, or every page or paragraph which I answer. But I must generally abridge before I reply; and that not only to save time, (of which I have none to spare,) but often to make the argument clearer, which is best understood when couched in few words.

7 You complain also of my mentioning all at once sentences which you placed at a distance from each other. I do so; and I think it quite fair and ingenuous to lay together what was before scattered abroad. For instance: You now speak of the conditions of justification, in the eighteenth and following pages; again, from the eighty-ninth to the hundred and second; and yet again, in the hundred and twenty-seventh page. Now, I have not leisure to follow you to and fro. Therefore, what I say on one head, I set in one place.

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Chicago: John Wesley, "Farther Explained: Occasioned by the Rev. Mr. Church’s Second Letter to Mr. Wesley. In a Second Letter to That Gentleman.," Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, ed. Thomas Jackson in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII (London: Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1872), Original Sources, accessed April 26, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZQUT487B68BFS2.

MLA: Wesley, John. "Farther Explained: Occasioned by the Rev. Mr. Church’s Second Letter to Mr. Wesley. In a Second Letter to That Gentleman." Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, edited by Thomas Jackson, in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, London, Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1872, Original Sources. 26 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZQUT487B68BFS2.

Harvard: Wesley, J, 'Farther Explained: Occasioned by the Rev. Mr. Church’s Second Letter to Mr. Wesley. In a Second Letter to That Gentleman.' in Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, ed. . cited in 1872, Collected Works of John Wesley, Volume VIII, Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, London. Original Sources, retrieved 26 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZQUT487B68BFS2.