Warburton, Dr William

Bishop of Gloucester 1759-1779 and critic of Methodism. Despite his slipshod scholarship he became a prominent figure in the literary world and a friend and executor of Alexander Pope. He directed his violent and abusive invective at Hume, Gibbon and John Wesley. In Part II of The Doctrine of Grace, or the Office and Operations of the Holy Spirit vindicated from...the abuses of fanaticism (1762), he attacked Methodist teaching on justification by faith as leading to antinomianism and Wesley as a hypocritical charlatan. Wesley's reply in a open Letter (1763) protested against Warburton's inaccurate quotation from his Journal and misrepresentation of Methodist doctrine.

  • A.W. Evans, Warburton and the Warburtonians (1932)
  • Gerald R. Cragg (ed.), The Appeals to Men of Reason and Religion and Certain Related Open Letters, Works of John Wesley (Bicentennial Edition (Oxford, 1975) pp. 459-63
  • Oxford DNB


Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person
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