Stacks Image 385

A Criticism of Dr. James Mudge's "Growth in Holiness Toward Perfection"

Irrelevant Proof Texts.

COMPLAINT is made of "unwarrantable perversions of Scripture to which the special advocates of this theory (the Wesleyan) find themselves driven. The utmost violence is continually done both to the text and the context." This is a sweeping accusation brought against a whole class of writers, not against some more zealous than wise in the promotion of this doctrine and experience. The author well knows that some of the strongest men in Methodism have specially advocated this doctrine, beginning with its founder, the scholarly Oxonian, and that they used strong and pertinent proof texts, some of which he quotes on page 171 in a lump, and then makes this brief comment on them in the gross that they contain "no note of time whatever, and not the slightest suggestion of the peculiar doctrine to maintain which they have been so strenuously laid hold of." Any jury of twelve laymen with a common school education would decide that these texts all relate to the present life and not to the resurrection; and any jury of candid Greek scholars, noting the aorist tenses, would give a unanimous verdict that the sanctification was not a continuous series of acts, but a decisive work, done once for all. While slurring over these great texts, he finds room to amplify on irrelevant texts to the extent of several pages.