John Westley Verses George Whitfield
George Whitfield was a Calvinist and believed in predestination that God elected some and bypass others known as the non elect and believed we not capable choosing God without the aid of the Holy Spirit or to be born again. He believed in regeneration. While John Wesley was an Armenian, and believed that man could choose between good and evil and God gave them the know-how to choose and serve God or the devil. He also believed in the second blessing of the Holy Spirit. They both had several heated exchanges and wrote several letters to each other about this matter. Despite the difference in their theology, they were still friends and respected each others because they’re strong believes in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and those who believe in it will be saved, and will have eternal life with Christ.
John Westley was born in 1,703 Epworth England the fifteenth of nineteen children of Samuel and Susanna Wesley. He died in March 02 1791 in London England He was reared as an Anglican his fathers was an Anglican priest. On May 24th 1778 he wrote in his journal the following, “In the evening, I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” George Whitfield, was member of Holy Club where they met.
George Whitfield was born on December 16, 1714, in Gloucester, England died September 30, 1770. He was the youngest seven children While attending Pembroke College, George Whitfield met the John and Charles Wesley at the Holy Club where Charles Westley gave him book called Life of God in the Soul of Man. He realized that, to get right with God, he needed to be born again.
Whitfield wrote these words, “The Lord Jesus Christ when he first comes to you, finds you full of sin and pollution; you are deformed, defiled, enslaved, poor, miserable, and wretched, very despicable, and loathsome, by reason of sin; and he maketh choice of you, not because of your holiness, nor of your beauty, nor of your being qualified for them; no, the Lord Jesus Christ puts these qualifications upon you, as may make you meet for his embrace; and you are drawn to make choice of the Lord Jesus Christ because he first chose you.”
John and his brother along George Whitfield founded the Methodist movement. Whitfield went to America to declare the gospel with blessing of John Wesley. He became the best-known preacher in Great Britain and North America during the 18th century.
Whitfield accepted the Church of England’s doctrine of predestination and disagreed with the Wesley brothers viewed on the Arminianism doctrine in which they believed in sinless perfection could be obtainable in this life. Whitfield embarrassed John Wesley in print, and published publicly instead of addressing in a private conversation. Even thou Whitfield did repent of this offence as he recorded “ Ten thousand times would I rather have died than part with my old friends. It would have melted any heart, to have heard Mr. Charles Wesley and me weeping, after prayer that if possible, the breach might be prevented.
When they did finally meet John they had very heated debate. Wesley gave the following account of that confrontation: “He (Whitfield) told me that he and I preached two different gospels; and therefore, he would not only not join with me or give me the right hand of fellowship, but was resolved publicly to preach against me and my brother (Charles), wheresoever he preached at all.” But, the damage had already been done, and the rest of their lives they both were odds with each others.
When they settle down, both men saw issues as non-essentials. However, the letters written by these men display wisdom and insight in which their philosophy shape two schools of evangelism.
Below are some example; a letter written by Whitfield to Wesley he wrote, “, Honoured sir, you are about to print a sermon on predestination. It shocks me to think of it; what will be the consequences but controversy? If people ask me my opinion, what shall I do? I have a critical part to act; God enable me to behave aright! Silence on both sides will be best. It is noised abroad already, that there is a division between you and me. Oh, my heart within me is grieved. In further letter, he encouraged to rethink position on free grace and election “O that you would study the covenant of grace!. . O that you would not be too rash and precipitant! If you go on thus, honoured sir, how can I concur with you? It is impossible. I must speak what I know he says; further:” I must preach the gospel of Christ, and that I cannot now do, without speaking of election.
My dear Brother,
I thank you for yours, May the 24th. The case is quite plain. There areas bigots both for predestination and against it. God is sending a message to those on either side. But neither will receive it, unless from one who is of their own opinion. Therefore, for a time you are suffered to be of one opinion, and I of another. But when his time is come, God will do what man cannot, namely, make us both of one mind. Then persecution will flame out, and it will be seen whether we count our lives dear unto ourselves, so that we may finish our course with joy. I am, my dearest brother,
PS “ Thus my honoured friend, I heartily pray God to hasten the time, for his being clearly enlightened into all the doctrines of divine revelation, that we may thus be closely united in principle and judgment as well as heart and affection. And then if the Lord should call us to it, I care not if I go with him to prison, or to death. For like Paul and Silas, I hope we shall sing praises to God, and count it our highest honour to suffer for Christ’s sake, and to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
Furthermore, he wrote,”The good Mr. John Wesley has done in America is inexpressible. His name is very precious among the people; and he has laid a foundation that I hope neither men nor devils will ever be able to shake. Yet another quote, ““I am but a novice; you are acquainted with the great things of God,”
Although they never came to terms over their theological differences, they eventually learned to respect each other.
When John was gravely ill, Whitfield wrote to Charles about his brother these words “my very dear old friend” and described John as “your honored brother.” To each he bequeathed a mourning ring, “in token of my indissoluble union with them in heart and Christian affection, notwithstanding our difference in judgment about some particular points of doctrine. He later recover from his illness, Whitfield died before John, and Whitfield requested that John would speak at his funeral. John spoke these words about friend, ”George Whitfield was so bright a star in the firmament of God’s glory, and will stand so near the throne, that one like me who is less than the least, will never catch a glimpse of him.” Furthermore he stated, “There are many doctrines of a less essential nature with regards which even the most sincere children of God…are and have been divided for many ages. In these, we may think and let think; we may ‘agree to disagree.”
After his funeral lady asks John Wesley if see Whitfield in heaven his answer was no shock by his response she said, “what do you mean”!!, He said, “George Whitfield was so bright a star in the firmament of God’s glory, and will stand so near the throne, that one like me who am less than the least, will never catch a glimpse of him.”
Furthermore, he wrote,” The good Mr. John Wesley has done in America is inexpressible. His name is very precious among the people; and he has laid a foundation that I hope neither men nor devils will ever be able to shake. Yet another quote, ““I am but a novice; you are acquainted with the great things of God,”
Despite their theological differences and theirs spin on the Bible both of these men love the Lord profoundly; however, they also recognize that God love them first, and they both realize that Jesus is Son of God that took their sins, and replaces it with His riotousness. Without Christ love first their love of God would been very weak, and the more they understood the more they love God.
The more Christ shines more brightly in all believe Jesus Christ the Savour of the world, H.A. Ironside penned these words,“Ò We must learn to keep a low profile and to efface ourselves and our own weak love for Him. In doing so, we shall discover more and more of His excessive love for us. The only thing that really counts is His love for us, for our love for Him is imperfect and changeable, while His love for us is stable and unchangeable.”Ó Both Wesley and Whitfield rejoice in this love, because it has been poured out in their hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to mankind to them by Jesus Christ. The Greek word “agapao” is used for the love of the Lord for John. This word always indicates divine love, which originates in God Himself instead of in something attractive in us. God loves us because He is loving.
Whether you hold to Armenian view or Calvin view remember it was Jesus who was crucified and atones for our sins? not Calvin. Did you get Baptist in Armenian or Jesus name? These men were servant of Christ. Perhaps the words penned by H.A. Ironside whosoever will spoken by D.L. Moody used to put it very simply.”Ó The elect are the ‘whosoever wills’ the non-elect ‘whosoever wont’s’. This is exactly what scripture teaches, the
invitation is to all, those who accept it are the elect. Remember, we are never told that Christ died for the elect. Whosoever means, whosoever.” Only a biased theologian, with an axe to grind, could ever think that it meant only the elect.”
Quote From George Whitfield & Wesley
For in Jesus Christ there is neither male nor female, bond, nor free; even you may be the children of God, if you believe in Jesus. George Whitfield
O that unbelievers would learn of faithful Abraham, and believe whatever is revealed from God, though they cannot fully comprehend it! Abraham knew God commanded him to offer up his son, and therefore believed, notwithstanding carnal reasoning might suggest may objections. George Whitfield
Do all the good you can. By all the means, you can. In all the ways, you can. In all the places, you can. At all the times, you can. To all the people, you can. As long as ever you can.”
― John Wesley
We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.”
― John Wesley
“ God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But, if God be for you who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing!”
― John Wesley
Perhaps the words written by Tony Cooke, “The greatest deception any of us could walk in is to have the attitude, “I’m right about everything, and anyone who doesn’t agree with me is obviously wrong.” While we need to be grounded in the basic and essential truths of the faith, we all need to have the humility to realize that God has given others wisdom and insights as well, and we need to remain teachable in our lives and ministries. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) says, “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” Dudley Malone said, “I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.”
None of us of have a full understanding of the scripture only in heaven we will understanding deeper of God’s Word. On the account of our sinful nature we only partial understanding of the Bible As Scripture states, “ For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But, when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now, I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.