Originally published in 1823 in four volumes as the first attempt to systematize John Wesley’s theology, Watson’s Theological Institutes was the main Methodist/Wesleyan textbook for systematic theological studies and remained a primary text for over 50 years after his death. Influencing and guiding the later systematic theological work for Methodist theology, Watson’s Institutes is a must-read theological guide for the development of Methodist doctrine. In this later one-volume edition, Thomas Summers corrects frequent, but minor, errors in Scripture quotation, adds breath and accent marks to Greek words, and provides Scripture citations where originally omitted. Indexes for Scripture citations, Greek terms, and analytical terms (proper nouns and theological terms) have also been included.
“He is a moral agent who is capable of performing moral actions; and an action is rendered moral by two circumstances,—that it is voluntary, and that it has respect to some rule which determines it to be good or evil. ‘Moral good and evil,’ says Locke, ‘is the conformity or disagreement of our voluntary actions to some law, whereby good or evil is drawn upon us from the will or power of the law-maker.” (Page 9)
Richard Watson (1781-1833) was a British Methodist theologian who was one of the most important figures in 19th century Methodism.
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