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 Original Ability - Fletcher


In the days of [b]John Wesley[/b], other Christians called him a heretic for his doctrine. So [b]John Fletcher[/b] came to the aid of Mr. Wesley, and publicly defended the doctrine Wesley taught. Thus we have the wonderful two volume set, "Checks to Antinomianism" by John Fletcher.

Now Wesley did not deny [b]original sin[/b]. But he also taught [b]original ability[/b] because of [b]free-will[/b] and he also taught [b]Christian perfection[/b].

No doubt, some of you today will call Wesley a heretic for teaching perfection and original ability. But some of you may respect the great doctrines taught by these men of God.

[b][u]So with an open heart, read the following writings of John Fletcher:[/b][/u]

"if repentance and faith are absolutely impossible to them, and Jesus came to denounce destruction to all who do not repent and believe, let every thinking man say whether he might not be called with greater propriety the destroyer of the world rather then the Savior of the world; and whether preaching the Christian gospel is not like reading the warrant of inevitable damnation to millions of wretched creatures."

"In what a pitiful light does you scheme place our Lord! Why did he "marvel at the unbelief" of the Jews, as if they could no more believe then a stone can swim? And say not, "he marvelled as a man;" for the assertion is absolutely unmans him. What man ever wondered that an ass does not bray with the nightingale's melodious voice? Nay, what child ever marvelled that the ox does not fly above the clouds with the soaring eagle?

The same observation holds with regard to repentance. "Then he began", says St Matthew, "to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not." [b]Merciful Savior, forgive us! We have insulted thy meek wisdom, by representing thee as cruelly upbraiding the lame for not running, the blind for not seeing, the dumb for not speaking!"[/b]

Fletcher goes on with his very STRONG point!

"Suppose a schoolmaster said to his English scholars, "Except you instantly speak Greek you shall all be severely whipped," you would wonder at the injustice of the school tyrant. But would not the wretch be merciful in comparison of a Savior, [i](so called)[/i] who is supposed to say to myraids of men, that can no more repent then ice can burn, "Except ye repent, ye shall all perish"?[b] I confess, then, when I see real Protestants calling this doctrine the pure gospel, and extolling it as free grace, I no more wonder thatt real Papist should call their bloody inquisition [i]the house of mercy[/i], and their burning of those whom they call heretics as [i]an act of faith.[/i]"[/b]

Fletcher goes on to make the simple point that, "everyone shall die for his own [i]avoidable[/i] iniquity."

Now before you are quick to call Fletcher a heretic for defending Wesleys belief in original ability, my advice would be to be slow to speak, and quick to listen. Read the bible, pray, mediate, and see if the Lord doesn't confirm that He only asks of men to do what He gives them the ability to do.

 2006/8/24 0:48

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