Wesley Bros: The Fantastic Quadrilateral Part 5

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04202014

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I really love William Joseph Seymour, and he only made a guest appearance once before in the strip. I love him because he took the holiness of Wesleyan teaching and really reconnected it to a passionate religion of the heart.  In a time when the revivalism and mission of the church in America switched focus to building and maintaining stately church facilities, Seymour emphasized a radical trust in the Holy Spirit’s involvement in our lives through prayer.  It’s also a nice reminder that not all who follow John Wesley are Methodists.

I found two great quotes that are the closest thing I’ve seen to any sort of “Wesleyan Quadrilateral” in early writings.

First (and the inspiration for today’s comic):

“Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In his presence I open, I read his Book; for this end, to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of lights: ‘Lord, is it not thy Word, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God”? Thou “givest liberally and upbraidest not”. Thou hast said, “If any be willing to do thy will, he shall know.” I am willing to do, let me know thy will. I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, ‘comparing spiritual things with spiritual’. I meditate thereon, with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains, I consult those who are experienced in the things of God, and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach [John Wesley, Preface to Standard Sermons].

Second, from Mr. Robert Miller in 1820, so may or may not really be Wesley:

“The first time I had the pleasure of being in company with the Rev. John Wesley was in the year 1783. I asked him what must be done to keep Methodism alive when he was dead: to which he immediately answered,

‘The Methodists must take heed to their doctrine, their experience, their practice, and their discipline. If they attend to their doctrines only, they will make the people antinomians; if to the experimental part of religion only, they will make them enthusiasts; if to the practical part only, they will make them Pharisees; and if they do not attend to their discipline, they will be like persons who bestow much pains in cultivating their garden, and put no fence round it, to save it from the wild boar of the forest.”

Rupert Davies, A. Raymond George, Gordon Rupp, eds. A History of The Methodist Church in Great Britain, vol. 4 (London: Epworth Press, 1898), p.194.

Charlie Baber

Rev. Charlie Baber is author and illustrator of the weekly web comic: Wesley Bros. When he isn’t finding new ways to mash-up church history with modern culture, he has actual responsibilities as a Deacon serving at Highland UMC in Raleigh, NC. Check out Charlie’s site at www.wesleybros.com.

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1 Comment on "Wesley Bros: The Fantastic Quadrilateral Part 5"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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James D. Medley
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This very refresing.

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