Gibson, Dr Edmund

Bishop of London 1720-1748, the author of the authoritative Codex Juris Ecclesiastici Anglicani (1713) and other scholarly works. He ordained Charles Wesley to the priesthood in 1735 and in 1738 questioned both brothers about their teaching onjustification, assurance and the rebaptism of dissenters. He agreed that religious societies were 'not conventicles', but in 1739, in a pastoral letter, criticized both John Wesley and George Whitefield. He supported the Islington parishioners in their dispute with George Stonehouse. In 1740 he questioned Wesley on his understanding of Christian perfection and professed himself satisfied. But the anonymous Observations upon the Conduct of a Certain Sect (1740) was widely attributed to him. A further attack in 1747, in a Visitation Charge dealing with Methodist doctrines, provoked John Wesley's Letter to Dr Gibson, deemed to be 'direct but courteous', exemplifying 'his controversial style at its best'. The two men had a common concern at the prevailing moral laxity and a strong pastoral concern.

  • N.H. Sykes, Edmund Gibson (1926)
  • Gerald R. Cragg, The Appeals to Men of Reason and Religion and Certain Related Open Letters (Works of John Wesley, Bicentennial Edition, Oxford, ) pp.327-51
  • Oxford DNB