Henry Scougal’s Life of God in the Soul of Man was read and admired by the Wesleys and George Whitfield.
Scougal’s basic contention will sound familiar to readers of John Wesley’s sermons. True religion does not consist in holding orthodox opinions or attending to the outward rituals and trapping of religion. It is not the working up of emotions. It is none of these things. It is nothing more or less than having our soul take on the image of Christ.
Everything else in religion is either helpful to this end or not. This, for instance, is why Wesley preached justification by faith. It was not because he was convinced that the system of Christian doctrine rose or fell with justification by faith — although he certainly believed it was right doctrine. He preached it because it was instrumental in forming Christ in the souls of Christians.
It suggests to me that my ministry needs to attend much more closely to what it looks like for a person to have Christ stamped on his or her soul, and what means might be at hand for us to help foster this supernatural process along.