John Wesley's Deceit

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Rippon, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Rippon

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    John Wesley does not rank as high as other , more honorable Arminians . He did a number of underhanded things . One of those nefarious items dealt with Augustus Toplady . Toplady ( who is most famous for writing "Rock of Ages") , in November of 1769 , published "The Doctrine Of Absolute Predestination Stated And Asserted : With A Preliminary Discourse On The Divine Attributes " . It was translated from the Latin of Jerome Zanchius .

    Some items related to this sad matter are told in a letter A.T. wrote on March 26,1770 . I will quote some extracts from "A Letter To The Rev. John Wesley Relative To His Pretended Abridgment Of Zanchius On Predestination " .

    Accordingly , in the month of March , 1770 , out sneaks a printed paper ( consisting of one sheet , folded into twelve pages ; price one penny ) entitled , "The Doctrine Of Absolute Predestination Stated And Asserted , by the Reverend Mr. AT." Wherein you pretend to give an abridgment of the pamphlet above referred to .

    Unsatisfied with carefully and totally suppressing every proof alleged by Zanchius in support of his argument ; a false colouring must likewise be superinduced , by inserting a sentence or two now and then of your own foisting in . After which you close the motley piece , with an entire paragraph , forged every word of it by yourself ; and conclude all , as you began , with subjoining the initials of my name : to make the ignorant believe that the whole , with your omissions , additions and alterations , actually came from me . -- An instance of audacity and falsehood hardly to be paralleled !

    Your concluding paragraph , which you have the effrontery to palm on the world as mine , runs thus : "The sum of all of this : one in twenty (suppose ) of mankind are elected ; nineteen in twenty are reprobated . The elect shall be saved , do what they will ; the reprobate shall be damned , do what they can . Reader believe this , or be damned . Witness my hand , A T ."

    When I advert to the unjust and indecent manner in which you attacked the late excellent Mr. Hervey ; above all , when I consider how daringly free you have made with the Scriptures themselves , both in your commentaries , and in your alterations of the text itself ; I cease to wonder at the audacious licentiousness of your pen respecting me . I should rather wonder if you treated any opponent with equity , or canvassed any subject impartially . Rise but once to this , and I shall both wonder and rejoice . [ JW never responded or retracted his phony pamphlet . He was guilty as outlined in AT's letter -- Rip ]

    I do not expect to be treated by Mr. John Wesley with the candour of a gentleman , or the meekness of a Christian ; but I wish him , for his reputation's sake , to write with the honesty of a heathen .
     
  2. JDale

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    Interesting slander of a renowned (and long dead) Christian evangelist Rip.

    It's Toplady's word against Wesley's. You have a bias, as do I. Both these men have been gone a long time. Are you just looking for skeletons to dig up to start a fight over??

    JDale
     
  3. Rippon

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    This is not a case of someone's word against the word of someone else . This is historical fact . John Wesley deliberately fabricated something adding and deleting as he went . He even had the gall to say despicable things in the name of Toplady . He passed it off in the name of Toplady . Did you not read my post carefully ?
     
    #3 Rippon, Aug 22, 2007
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  4. Brother Bob

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    ..............:)
     
  5. Martin

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    ==Sources?

    There are several factors that a good historian must consider here.

    1. What was the motive of the author of the document you seem to be quoting?

    2. What was the personal history between the two parties?

    3. What was John Wesley's side of the story?

    I have to wonder if you have considered the larger picture or if you just don't like Wesley and are willing to accept any evidence against him (as many non-Calvinists do concerning John Calvin) without critical examination.
     
  6. Rippon

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    Martin , I am surprised that you would ask the questions you did .

    1) What was Toplady's motive for writing his letter ?!

    His motive was vindication . John Wesley falsified a work and appended words in the name of Toplady which Wesley himself included to mislead the ignorant public about one of Calvinism's leading authorities at the time .

    I quote from Toplady's letter again :

    Zanchius , if you chose to buy him , was yours to read ; and , if you thought yourself equal to the undertaking ,[ translating from Latin to English -- Rip ] was yours to answer : but he was not yours to mangle . Remember how narrowly you escaped a prosecution some years ago , for pirating the Poems of Dr. Young .

    Go now , sir , and dazzle the credulous with your mock victory over the supposed reprobation of "nineteen in twenty." Go on to chalk hideous figures on your wainscot ; and enjoy the glorious triumph of battering your knuckles in fighting them . But father no more of your hideous figures on me . Do not dress up scare-crows of your own , and then affect to run away from them as mine .

    2) What was the history of the two parties ?

    Well , A.Toplady was the younger and brilliant Calvinst opponent of Arminianism . John Wesley was the latter's champion . Weseley did not hesitate to falsify things to further his cause . They had a number of heated exchanges through various pamphlets . Usually Wesley steered clear of dealing with any of A.T's penetrating exegetical skills . He ran around the proverbial mulberry bush and tried to exploit some strange doctrines which he foisted on Calvinism . Wesley was a master of chicanery .

    3) What is Wesley's side of the story ?

    Much of that is answered in 2) . He had his lieutenants cover for his duplicity much of the time . But he personally did write "The Consequence Proved " in August of 1771 . In it he still pretends that Toplady wrote the abridgment . Now Toplady's translation of Zanchius' work was 134 pages . Wesley's work which he attributed to Toplady wa sonly 12 pages . That severely dismembered the value of what Zanchius was trying to say . But that concluding paragraph was the galling tipping-point . Toplady never said any such thing . But Wesley kept up the charade neverthless .

    BTW , John Wesley's act was considered forgery at that time . Not a very Christian thing to do . But he paagiarized the works of others as well . I had mentioned his distasteful treatment of Hervey . But he lifted works by others . It was characteristic of the man .
     
  7. Brother Bob

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    ....................:)

    Something isn't it? What goes around comes around.

    I think they were mad because Wesley wouldn't have anything to do with them over doctrine. They kept going to his house for years, but Wesley refused to associate with them or join forces with them. IMO
     
    #7 Brother Bob, Aug 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2007
  8. Rippon

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    What goes around , comes around ?!

    What in the world are you talking about BB ?

    I think you have no clue about the scene back there around the third quarter of the 18th century in England .

    Wesley was invited to be part of Lady Huntington's Connection , but his doctrine was not compatible and neither was his attitude ( which was similiar to Diotrephes ) . Actually John Fletcher , an admirable Arminian , who was esteemed in the eyes of Wesley and was able to have fellowship with the H.C .
     
  9. Martin

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    ==Don't be. When it comes to theology I am a "doctrine-wonk" and when it comes to history I have a very critical eye. I require Bible teachers to back up theology carefully with Scripture and I require historians/students to back up their historical claims with a careful examination of the sources.

    ==Ok, again I ask for sources. I can't take your word for it, or Toplady's word for it, I must be able to examine the historical situation. From both sides.

    ==That certainly sounds interesting but I have got to have sources. Where do we see Wesley willfully "falsifying" anything? I don't want a second hand quote from Toplady, or someone else, I want a first hand source that gives an example of Wesley's falsifying.
     
  10. Brother Bob

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    You still have not furnished an iota of proof for any of your "quotes" . Either furnish proof , or admit you can't come up with anything because there is nothing to your bogus claims . Yes , please come up with the lie of Wesley's that shows proof that you have perpetuated .
     
  11. JDale

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    Here is what's clear:

    1. Rippon does not like Arminianism in general, or John Wesley in particular.

    2. Rippon has discovered a controversy from over 200 years ago between a well known Calvinist, and a very well known Arminian.

    3. Rippon needs no further evidence (historical or otherwise) if it comes down to the word of a Calvinist vs. the word (or lack thereof) of an Arminian.

    4. Sometimes its easier to dredge up old controversies to besmirch long dead men, then it is to do the hard work of reaching lost men today -- or finding the elect, as the case may be.

    So, a question -- Calvinists, are Arminians your brothers in Christ? Arminians, are Calvinists your brothers in Christ? If not, then go on with these games. If so, then let sleeping men sleep on -- but it's high time that WE all wake up.
     
  12. Jerome

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    It is ironic that Toplady threw such a fit about Wesley's abridgement, since Toplady himself apparently took great liberties in "translating" Zanchius. Toplady's title page says his work was "Translated, in great Measure, From the Latin of Jerom Zanchius," and in the preface Toplady says "I have endeavored, rather, to enter into the Spirit of the admirable Author; than, with a scrupulous exactness, to retail his very Words."
     
  13. Martin

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    ==The burden of proof here is on Rippon to show that Wesley lied. And for that, Rippon is going to have to furnish primary sources from both sides. Quoting someone who said Wesley lied is not enough. It is certainly not enough in this case where I am sure there is a paper trail and plenty of resources. Rippon has to show that Wesley actually lied (ie...willfully mislead and/or twisted the facts) and not something else (he had a misunderstanding, or he had misinformation, etc).
     
  14. Martin

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    ==When considering this topic I think Wesley's sermon when George Whitefield died. Whitefield and Wesley had engaged in a heated debate on this matters yet both regarded the other as a true Christian.

    http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/53/

    What did Whitefield say to Wesley in a letter:

    "God knows my heart, as I told you before, so I declare again, nothing but a single regard to the honour of Christ has forced this letter from me. I love and honour you for his sake; and when I come to judgment, will thank you before men and angels, for what you have, under God, done for my soul.
    [​IMG]There, I am persuaded, I shall see dear Mr. Wesley convinced of election and everlasting love. And it often fills me with pleasure to think how I shall behold you casting your crown down at the feet of the Lamb, and as it were filled with a holy blushing for opposing the divine sovereignty in the manner you have done.
    [​IMG]But I hope the Lord will show you this before you go hence. O how do I long for that day! If the Lord should be pleased to make use of this letter for that purpose, it would abundantly rejoice the heart of, dear and honoured Sir,
    [​IMG]Yours affectionate, though unworthy brother and servant in Christ, George Whitefield"

    Dec. 12, 1740

    http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/wesley.htm

    I may disagree with someone on the issue of Calvinism/Arminianism, yet I don't doubt their salvation. If I doubt someone's salvation it is not because of this debate.
     
    #14 Martin, Aug 23, 2007
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  15. Rippon

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    Be careful folks , lest in your zeal for fair-mindedness you may be violating your stated principles when countering what you believe are my evil motives . Oh the suppositions and the supposed implications from what I cited !

    This is a history forum is it not ? This subject has historical interest . I think Wesley's name is far more famous than that of Toplady . Yet the latter rather than remaining in an obscure corner for too long will be brought to the light . Yes , it's true , I believe Arminianism is sub-biblical at best . But I did not recently discover this Toplady/Wesley controversy . I have known of it for more than 20 years . My "dredging" it up has no conceivable relationship with my evangelical endeavors .

    This controversy is not the word of one against the word of another . When one creates out of thin air something another has never even remotely uttered and the "creator" signs the offensive piece with the other's name -- that my friends is fraud (or forgery back then ) .

    I do not merely "take a Calvinist's word over that of an Arminian's" . I know that Toplady's translation (done originally when he was about 19 yet published 9 years later ) -- was not the best . But Wesley's severe abridgment was disgraceful . It contained 12 pages with three blank pages . How can that be a just representation of the original ?

    But what I really object to is are the concluding words that Wesley wrote in the name of Toplady . Toplady did not write it -- Wesley did . That abridgment is included in his works ! Why would Toplady object so strenously to those words if he penned them ?! Do those words reflect well on Calvinism ? Does it portray what Calvinism is ? Are the words blasphemous or not ?

    After Toplady blasted Wesley out of the water in response to Wesley's lies the latter wrote "The Consequence Proved" .

    I'll quote Wesley's opening :

    1. Mr. Toplady , a young , bold man , lately published a pamphlet , and extract from which was soon after printed , concluding with these words :- The sum of all is this : One in twenty , suppose , of mankind are elected : nineteen in twenty are reprobated . The elect shall be saved , do what they will . The reprobate shall be damned , do what they can .
    2. A great outcry has been raised on that account , as through this was not a fair state of the case ; and it has been vehemently affirmed , that no such consequence follows from the doctrine of absolute predestination .
    I calmly affirm , it is a fair state of the case ; this consequence does naturally and necessarily follow from the doctrine of absolute predestination , as here stated and defended by bold mr. Augustus Toplady .


    [ Now back to Rippon ] Why would Wesley maintain that the closing part of the abridgment was a reasonable consequence of the doctrine of absolute predestination ? Why was he insistent that "this consequence does naturally and necessarily follows " ? Wesley still does not own up to the fact that he himself wrote the offensive words . If he objects to Toplady's reasoning why did he agree so smoothy with the suppositions of the conclusion of the abridgment ? Of course , he wanted to put a most horrible spin on Calvinistic doctrines so he said what he did .
     
  16. Rippon

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    The following are some extracts from Toplady's "More Work For Mr. John Wesley "

    Observe , reader , for it is worth thy while , how suddenly Mr. Wesley's polemical weather-glass rises and falls . In his printed letter to the late reverend and amiable Mr. Hervey , he charged that incomparable man , and the Calvinistic party in general , with holding the reprobation of "nine out of ten." in March , 1770 , we were charged with holding , as above , that "nineteen in twenty are reprobated." In February of 1771 , we were charged with holding the reprobation of "forty-nine out of fifty." and now , about five months after , the glass is sunk 30 degrees lower , and , in "The Consequence Proved ," stands again at "nineteen out of twenty." Next spring , I suppose , it will rise to twenty-nine out of an hundred . A very capable gentleman this , to ascertain the number of the elect and reprobate , who reprobates his own calculations almost as often as the clock strikes !
     
  17. Rippon

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    Toplady : More Work For Mr. John Wesley

    The person who , in private conversation , utters a designed untruth , is deservedly branded with disgrace . but the man , who sits down , and deliberately writes a known , wilful , palpable lie to the public , may , it seems , still be "a saint,' and a "precious labourer in the Lord's vineyard ! away with such "saintship;" away with such "precious labours." Again : the man , who forges my name , in order to obtain a trifling sum of money , is deemed guilty of a capital offense . But the man , who subjoins my name to blasphemous propositions of his own coining ; is to be treated as "an ancient , venerable servant of Christ , whose whole life has been devoted to the glory of god and the good of souls ! "


    [ Toplady has an endnote regarding the blasphemous nature of Wesley's words ] : This epithet is not too strong . To say that any shall be saved , do what they will ; and others damned do what they can : is , in the first instance , blasphemy against the holiness of God ; and , in the second , blasphemy against his goodness .
     
  18. Rippon

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    Toplady : More Work For Mr. John Wesley

    More extracts follow . First from part of his first endnote :

    I speak not of all Arminians . Many there are , who , notwithstanding their entanglement in that net , stand entitled to the character of pious , moderate , respectable men . Of these I myself know more than a few and have the happiness to enjoy as much of their esteem , as they deservedly possess of mine .

    To those who know me not , it may seem needful to declare that , much as I disapprove Mr. Wesley's distinguishing principles and the low cunning with which he circulates them , I still bear not the least ill-will to his person . As an individual , I wish him well , both here and ever ... If I anywhere , however , express myself strongly , it is owing to the necessity I was under of exposing Mr. Wesley's unmanly and dishonest methods of attack .
     
  19. Allan

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    Not to mention Charles H. Spurgeon (a resolute Calvinist) stated with unabashed candor concerning Wesley:
     
    #19 Allan, Aug 24, 2007
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  20. Martin

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    Rippon,

    You are not proving anything. All you are doing is giving quotes. We need primary sources. The full documents of Wesley and Toplady so we can sit down and look through the evidence ourselves and come to our own conclusions. That is called "doing history".
     

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