Fletcher: None perish for Adam’s sin

In the midst of a controversy with the Calvinist ministers of his day, John Wesley was defended by John Fletcher in published works that would become known as the Five Checks to Antinomianism, a book of profound influence in early Methodism. Having recently acquired a copy, I have been reading it.

Here is Fletcher on Wesley’s doctrine of salvation and damnation:

In short, he would think that he had mangled the Gospel, and forgot part of his awful commission, if, when he has declared that “he who believeth shall be saved,” he did not also add, that he “who believeth not shall be damned;” or which is the same, that none perish merely for Adam’s sin, but for their own unbelief, and wilful rejection of the Saviour’s grace. Thus he advances God’s glory every way, entirely ascribing to his mercy and grace all the salvation of the elect, and completely freeing him from blame of directly or indirectly hanging the millstone of damnation about the neck of the reprobate. And this he effectually does, by showing that the former owe all they are, and all they have, to creating, preserving, and redeeming love, whose innumerable bounties they freely and continually receive; and that the rejection of the latter has absolutely no cause but their obstinate rejecting of that astonishing mercy which wept over Jerusalem; and prayed, and bled even for those that shed the atoning blood — the blood that expiated all sin but that of final unbelief.

 

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