Calvinism Understood (Simeon And Wesley)

Charles SimeonThis is a conversation between Charles Simeon and John Wesley as recalled by Charles Simeon.  Mr. Simeon asks Mr. Wesley a few questions…

Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian; and I have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and therefore I suppose we are to draw daggers. But before I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I will ask you a few questions. Pray, Sir, do you feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved that you would never have thought of turning to God, if God had not first put it into your heart?

Yes, I do indeed.

And do you utterly despair of recommending yourself to God by anything you can do; and look for salvation solely through the blood and righteousness of Christ?

John WesleyYes, solely through Christ.

But, Sir, supposing you were at first saved by Christ, are you not somehow or other to save yourself afterwards by your own works?

No, I must be saved by Christ from first to last.

Allowing, then, that you were first turned by the grace of God, are you not in some way or other to keep yourself by your own power?


What then, are you to be upheld every hour and every moment by God, as much as an infant in its mother’s arms?

Yes, altogether.

And is all your hope in the grace and mercy of God to preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom?

Yes, I have no hope but in Him.

Then, Sir, with your leave I will put up my dagger again; for this is all my Calvinism; this is my election, my justification by faith, my final perseverance: it is in substance all that I hold, and as I hold it; and therefore, if you please, instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground of contention between us, we will cordially unite in those things wherein we agree.


3 comments on “Calvinism Understood (Simeon And Wesley)

  1. CW says:

    Understood, but sadly still not accepted by some.

  2. Faye says:

    I lone for the day that Calvinism is no longer a fighting word. Let’s remove that label and unite. This one thing has divided more people and churches than almost anything else. When I saw the topic, I cringed.

    • pastorron7 says:

      Oh don’t cringe! Rather determine to believe the Scriptures! That is what Simeon did! He abandoned terms and stood on theology from Scripture. When we do that the whole discussion takes a decided turn toward unity. After all… no Christian can deny the truth found in God’s Word.

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