Outraged of Buckingham

‘It is monstrous to be told that you have a heart as sinful as the common wretches that crawl on the earth. This is highly offensive and insulting; and I cannot but wonder that your Ladyship should relish any sentiments so much at variance with high rank and good breeding.’

 

So wrote the Duchess of Buckingham to her friend the Countess of Huntingdon. She was outraged by the suggestion, of the newly emerged Methodists, that all people were equally sinful and in need of God’s grace, and distressed that her good friend Countess Selina should have fallen under their spell.  Not one to mince her words, the Duchess asserted that such doctrines were ‘repulsive and strongly tinctured with impertinence and disrespect towards their superiors.’

 

But in clinging to her station in society the good Duchess forfeited the freedom that the Countess had discovered in Christ; the freedom spelt out by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians in which he wrote ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’

 

It is the heart of the Gospel that regardless of our rank in the world we are all equal before the cross – equally sinful and equally saved by God’s grace.

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