In this first entry of the Axe to Grind Series--meant to be taken lightly--we will delve into the world of literary criticism. Literary criticism is the process of evaluating the written words of another writer. Many factors account for how one critic will appraise the merits or demerits of an author's work. On October 23, 1737, John Wesley gives us one of the most succinct literary criticisms ever recorded. Concerning a new book by William Law our evangelist pens the following in his Journal:
"Tuesday, 23.--In riding to Bradford I read over Mr. Law's book on the new birth. Philosophical, speculative, precarious; Behemish, void, and vain!"
If anyone thinks Wesley to be a wilting personality then he's got the man all wrong. John Wesley was many things and one of them was a holder of firm opinions!
I don't know if Wesley ever changed his mind about this book or not. I do know that it's impossible to go through life without having opinions. We all mentally judge things or ideas whether we voice them or remain silent. Where we must be careful of is in judging people, a thing all too easy to do rashly.
It just doesn't feel good to be judged.