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Witnesses of Perfect Love: Narratives of Christian Perfection in Early Methodism (Tyndale Studies in Wesleyan History and Theology)

Witnesses of Perfect Love: Narratives of Christian Perfection in Early Methodism (Tyndale Studies in Wesleyan History and Theology)

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Overview

In Witnesses of Perfection Amy Caswell Bratton explores how the eighteenth-century doctrine of Christian Perfection spread in the early British Methodist communities. Alongside leaders such as John and Charles Wesley teaching about Christian Perfection, Methodist men and women told narratives of Christian Perfection which transmitted the doctrine. Using narrative to spread Christian Perfection was effective because it both communicated the content of the experience of Christian Perfection and also commended this experience to the listener.
This study is noteworthy for its detailed analysis of several first-hand narratives that testify to the experience, and which were made public for the edification of the Methodist community in the Arminian Magazine and other publications. The narratives of four Methodist people are examined at length: Sarah Crosby (1729-1804), George Clark (1710-1797), William Hunter (1728-1797) and Bathsheba Hall (1745-1780). In addition to observing the transmission of the doctrine through narrative, the study of these stories illuminates early Methodist spirituality and the doctrine of Christian Perfection (or entire sanctification) through the embodiment of Perfection in the life of real people. This lived-out expression of Christian Perfection draws attention to unique elements of the doctrine as each narrative illustrates nuances of Christian Perfection. Finally, the narratives of Perfection offer the embodiment of transformation which resulted in lasting change.

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