Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Another Denial Concerning Erasmus

Occasionally, someone will bring up the myth that John Wesley was consecrated a bishop by the Orthodox bishop Erasmus.  There is, of course, no factual support for this assertion.  Further, it flies in the face of everything that Wesley says about ordination.  Nevertheless, there are those who look for some way of placing Wesley within an historical, apostolic succession of bishops so as to shore up their own ordination.

What this attempt actually does is deny Wesley's own claimed authority to ordain as an elder given God's providential placement of him as an overseer of the people called Methodist.  In other words, by their very attempt, they are denying the validity of their own orders and hanging their hopes on this supposed myth.

Wesley, of course, denies these assertions of seeking consecration by Bishop Erasmus.  His right to ordain is on wholly other grounds.

Today, I was reading a passage where Wesley specifically addresses this issue.

In Wesley's "An Answer to Mr. Rowland Hill's Tract, Entitled, 'Imposture Detected,'" printed in volume 10 of Wesley's Works (Jackson ed.), on page 450, Wesley says:

I never entreated anything of Bishop Erasmus, who had abundant unexceptionable credentials as to his episcopal character. Nor did he "ever reject any overture" made by me. (Page 14) Herein Mr. Hill has been misinformed. I deny the fact; let him produce his evidence.
That sounds pretty clear, to me.  -  So, please, let's put an end to the spreading of this unfounded myth.  ☺  

1 comment:

Joseph Zheng said...

That hardly settles the matter- Wesley had every reason to avoid publicizing or admitting to the consecration, if it in fact happened, as he would face prosecution under the praemunire act. In fact he would have every reason to flatly deny it if it did not actually happen.