Isaac Watts & Charles Wesley

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pete, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. Pete

    Pete
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    Another post got me thinking.

    Isaac and Charles, both brilliant men, possibly the two greatest hymn-writers in Church history (after King David and other Biblical writers ;) ), however on different sides of this 'discussion'.

    So what are your thoughts on the gents? Both Christian but one not understanding salvation? Or one saved and the other not? Or something else?

    Pete

    While I am here, many thanks again to all regulars on this part of BB.
     
  2. Harald

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    It cannot be denied that Isaac Watts penned some good hymns. I am not so familiar with the hymns of Charles Wesley, but think I have come across one or two which were OK (in agreement with revealed scriptures, Isa. 8:20). But yet I fear Mr. Wesley was a deceived man just as his brother John Wesley, sometimes called the King of the Arminians. As for Watts I cannot tell for sure. But I wonder if there is any truth to a statement I once came across that Watts entertained heretical notions respecting the Trinity, the triune nature of the Godhead. I also recall Watts held to the heresy of universal atonement, but have not yet seen it from his own writings. If these be true it would not have added to Watts' credibility as a professing Christian.

    Harald
     
  3. KenH

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    Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley were both great Christians. We would all do well to emulate the best of both men in our walk with God.
     
  4. Ray Berrian

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    Harald,

    I believe John Wesley to have been a godly man and a man of God as far as what I have read. Put it this way, I think his chances of getting into Heaven are greater than John Calvin, the butcher of Geneva. Calvin wrote to Farel, 'I hope that sentence of death will be passed upon him.' He had Serventus burned at the stake. It is said of Serventus that 'When the flames reached his face he shrieked with agony. After half an hour of burning he died.' Do you think that Calvin was a paradigm of Christian character? Because of rejecting the Trinity and infant baptism he was burned at the stake.

    John Wesley made a couple of interesting remarks with which I agree. 'The doctrine of predestination as maintained by rigid Calvinists is very shocking, and ought to utterly be abhorred, because it charges the most holy God with being the Author of sin.' {A.W. Harrison, "Arminianism", Duckworth, 1937 p. 189} And secondly, 'God decrees, from everlasting to everlasting, that all who believe in the Son of His love, shall be conformed to His image.' {John Wesley, "Sermons on Several Occcasions"} Harold, do you agree with Wesley's last statement?

    And Isaac Watts was exactly correct, from God's view and vantage point. Unlimited Atonement is a Biblical truth. All who believe in Jesus will not be found in Hell.

    I don't know if Mr. Watts was saved but we are told by Jesus Himself that He will judge people and not any human being, as to personal salvation. [John 5:22]

    My regards . . .
     
  5. KenH

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    Ray,

    Going to heaven is not a matter of chance. There is no casino of salvation. Going to heaven is a matter of the grace and mercy of God.
     
  6. Pete

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    Some of C Wesley's probably best known hymns include: And Can It Be That I Should Gain?..Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus..Hark! the Herald Angels Sing..Jesus Christ Is Risen Today..Jesus, Lover of My Soul..Love Divine, All Loves Excelling..O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing..Rejoice, the Lord Is King..Ye Servants of God..It is estimated Charles wrote around 6000 hymns, plus other writings and preaching.

    I came across that on www just a couple of nights ago. I don't give any credibility to a "oneness" site as a reliable source, but it claims THIS is Mr Watts' questioning. I saw the same elsewhere on web, having trouble surfing at the moment though.

    Pete
     
  7. Harald

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    Thank you Titus2_1 for that link on Watts. I hope to read it shortly, and trust to learn something.

    Harald
     
  8. Harald

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    Ray Berrian. There are many things Mr. Wesley said that I cannot accept. As for election I believe the Biblical doctrine is that God unconditionally elected some men, in His Divine Son, unto salvation. Election in eternity by God the Father quaranteed the gift of spiritual faith in the Lord Christ, which faith was purchased by Christ in His mediatorial work of obedience unto death. It appears to me Wesley held to the Arminian heresy of election by or based on foreseen faith in time.

    As for Calvin I have no high regard for him right now in spite of many truthful interpretations he may have held to. He exhibited quite a murderous spirit as pertained to Michael Servetus. He could not find assent to such from the New Testament scriptures. The apostles exhibited no such attitude towards those who disagreed with them, nor did Christ the Lord. Calvin's pedobaptism was neither to his credit, nor his view of the local assembly. He was also blurry on justification and in some statements clearly unbiblical, i.e. heretical.

    Harald
     
  9. Bob Farnaby

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    Pete, I have no doubt we will meet them both in heaven, or on the new earth. They both give wonderful testimony to their saviuor, so maybe there theology is better now than it was then. [​IMG] I'm sure mine will be more accurate when i get to heaven as well.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  10. KenH

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    I am constantly amazed how people place 21st Century standards upon people living in previous centuries, in this case, the 16th Century. Here is a link to a detailed article about the Servetus incident that might clear up some misconceptions people have about what actually happened - www.whatloveisthis.com/stickelberger.html
     
  11. Hardsheller

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    I am constantly amazed how people place 21st Century standards upon people living in previous centuries, in this case, the 16th Century. Here is a link to a detailed article about the Servetus incident that might clear up some misconceptions people have about what actually happened - www.whatloveisthis.com/stickelberger.html </font>[/QUOTE]Amen Ken, If this keeps up the Arminians will suing us Calvinists for Reparations!
     
  12. KenH

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    Don't give them any ideas. [​IMG]
     
  13. Harald

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    Ken H said the following, right after having quoted Harald out of context:

    "I am constantly amazed how people place 21st Century standards upon people living in previous centuries, in this case, the 16th Century."

    Harald had said re Calvin:

    "As for Calvin I have no high regard for him right now in spite of many truthful interpretations he may have held to. He exhibited quite a murderous spirit as pertained to Michael Servetus. He could not find assent to such from the New Testament scriptures. The apostles exhibited no such attitude towards those who disagreed with them, nor did Christ the Lord."

    Now, Ken H, why did you quote only the 2nd sentence in the above paragraph? And then make it seem like I place 21st century standards on 16th century people. Was this honest of you? I for one did not in the above instance apply 21st century standards, but appealed to Christ the Lord and the apostles of the 1st century, and my appeal was more or less to the NT scriptures. Where in the NT does God loosen His standards for 16th century professors of Christianity, including Calvin and his friends and followers? Christ did not command His followers to execute heretics in the NT scriptures. Check up the following scripture references and you will learn the NT way of dealing with heretics, and they do not include Calvin's methodology:

    Tit. 3:10-11, Rom. 16:17-18, Jude 22-23, 2John 9-11, 2Cor. 6:14-7:1 etc. etc.

    This is the Bible and NT way, and has also been the way of historic Baptists. It has been called Biblical separation or ecclesiastical separation. I do not know about Calvin's way or the "Reformed" or "Protestant" way, but as for me the NT and Baptist way of dealing with heretics is good enough for me, and it does not include persecution or putting to death of such who differ with me.

    "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;" (Isa. 5:20a, KJV).

    Harald
     
  14. Rev. G

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    Charles Wesley, along with his brother John, adamantly opposed his friend, the Calvinist George Whitefield, because of Whitefield's defense of election. However, about ten years after the initial opposition Charles' stance changed and his views were more in line with Whitefield than with his brother John.
    :eek:
     
  15. Frogman

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    Christ nor the Apostles at any time sought state sanction either; perhaps it is/was this that drove Christians to such action. Calvin was influenced by the Roman hiearchy enough to establish another.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  16. Pete

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    G'day Ken & Bob [​IMG]

    I agree with you two on Charles & Isaac. I think we will see both gents there. Though it is hard trying to imagine one of those two gentlemen scratching his head working out exactly how he got there...As a "presently-sorta-inbetweenist" I am having enough fun scratching my own head now ;)

    Pete
     
  17. rsr

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    Rev. G said:

    This comes as a surpise to me. (But lots of things do.) I know the brothers disagreed on "holiness" vigorously, but I thought their main difference was on church structure and operation.

    Could you shed some light on how Charles differed from John on the issue of election?

    Thanks.
     
  18. Rev. G

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    John Wesley maintained, until the end of his life (as far as I know), the belief that election is conditional - based upon the foreknowledge of God. Charles, while initially holding this position, came to the point where he was in agreement with Whitefield (who, as a Calvinist, held to unconditional election). Charles was ready and willing to join Whitefield in his work, but Whitefield urged him to continue to work with his brother for the sake of the Methodist labors in England. He believed that it would be detrimental to the Methodists if Charles split with his brother.
     
  19. rsr

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    Interesting. I must read more. Any suggestions?

    To Harald: Charles Wesley is, without doubt, the greatest (and with Fannie Crosby the most prolific) hymnodist in the English language. Bar none. And the writer of what is widely regarded (and by me, which means nothing) of the greatest hymn in English, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul."

    And the best Easter hymn, "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today."
     
  20. Pete

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    I second that one rsr.

    A year and bit ago I put together an afternoon on Charles Wesley at old Church including biography, journal quotes, and 7 or 8 hymns. In preparation for that project I did not come across anything saying Charles "jumped the fence" (for lack of better phrase). Interested in any reference you have Rev. G.

    Pete
     

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