Really Draw Daggers?
by Charles Simeon
Here is the
wisdom of Charles Simeon of Cambridge on the subject, in conversation with the veteran
John Wesley on Dec 20th, 1784:
"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," says the veteran, "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?" "Yes, solely through Christ."
"But, Sir, supposing that 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?" "No."
"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."
-- (Charles Simeon, "Horae Homileticae", Preface: I.xvii f; quoted in J.I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, IVF, London, 1961, pp. 13-14).