Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Solitary Religion?

The following was written by John Wesley as his Preface to the 1739 Hymnbook.

"Directly opposite to this [mysticism] is the gospel of Christ. Solitary religion is not to be found there. ' Holy solitaries' is a phrase no more consistent with the gospel than holy adulterers. The gospel of Christ knows of no religion but social; no holiness, but social holiness. Faith working by love is the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of Christian perfection. This commandment we have from Christ, that he -who loves God love his brother also ; and that we manifest our love, by doing good unto all men, especially to them that are of the household of faith. And in truth, whosoever loveth his brethren, not in word only, but as Christ loved him, cannot but be zealous of good works. He feels m his soul a burning, restless desire of spending and being spent for them. ' My Father,' will he say, ' worketh hitherto, and I work ;' and at all possible opportunities, he is, like his Master, going about doing good."

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