Thursday, November 8, 2012

Charles Wesley's conversion

On May 17, 1738 thirty-year-old Charles Wesley lay gravely ill, but well enough to write the following in his journal.

I experienced the power of Christ rescuing me in temptation. To-day I first saw Luther on the Galatians, which Mr. Holland had accidentally lit upon. We began, and found him nobly full of faith. My friend, in hearing him, was so affected, as to breathe out sighs and groans unutterable. I marvelled that we were so soon and so entirely removed from him that called us into the grace of Christ, unto another Gospel. Who would believe our Church had been founded on this important article of justification by faith alone I am astonished I should ever think this a new doctrine; especially while our Articles and Homilies stand unrepealed, and the key of knowledge is not yet taken away. 
From this time I endeavoured to ground as many of our friends as came in this fundamental truth, salvation by faith alone, not an idle, dead faith, but a faith which works by love, and is necessarily productive of all good works and all holiness.
I spent some hours this evening in private with Martin Luther, who was greatly blessed to me, especially his conclusion of the 2d chapter. I laboured, waited, and prayed to feel "who loved me, and gave himself for me." When nature, near exhausted, forced me to bed, I opened the book upon, "For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness, because a short work will the Lord make upon earth." After this comfortable assurance that He would come, and would not tarry, I slept in peace.

via Carmen Fowler LaBerge

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