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John Wesley: Those Who Judge the Law

John Wesley

John Wesley

“In the highest rank of the enemies of the gospel of Christ, are they who openly and explicitly “judge the law” itself, and “speak evil of the law;” who teach men to break (lusai, to dissolve, to loose, to untie the obligation of) not one only, whether of the least, or of the greatest, but all the commandments at a stroke; who teach, without any cover, in so many words, — “What did our Lord do with the law He abolished it. There is but one duty, which is that of believing. All commands are unfit for our times. From any demand of the law, no man is obliged now to go one step, to give away one farthing, to eat or omit one morsel.” This is, indeed, carrying matters with a high hand; this is withstanding our Lord to the face, and telling him that he understood not how to deliver the message on which He was sent. O Lord, lay not this sin to their charge! Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do!

“The most surprising of all the circumstances that attend this strong delusion, is, that they who are given up to it, really believe that they honour Christ by overthrowing his law, and that they are magnifying his office, while they are destroying his doctrine! Yea, they honour him just as Judas did, when he said, “Hail, Master!” and kissed him. And he may as justly say to every one of them, “Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss” It is no other than betraying him with a kiss, to talk of his blood, and take away his crown; to set light by any part of his law, under pretence of advancing his gospel. Nor, indeed, can anyone escape this charge, who preaches faith in any such manner as either directly or indirectly tends to set aside any branch of obedience; who preaches Christ so as to disannul, or weaken, in anywise, the least of the commandments of God.”

— John Wesley, Sermon # 25 “Upon Our Lord’s Sermon On The Mount: Discourse Five”

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