I was just reading about John Wesley's ideas about Christian Perfection. Unfortunately, it started a "movement", (we at the Picnic are opposed to "movements") the Holiness Movement. Like all good ideas not guided by the Church it ended badly, with Pentecostalism and all sorts of tent-oriented weirdness. But the idea itself seems in its origin to be more or less indistinguishable from St. Francis de Sales' doctrine of holiness attainable in ordinary life.
Apparently, I'm not alone in that realisation. Wesley was persecuted for his attempts to bring the Anglos back to a real Christian faith.
Too bad it failed.
From 1739 onward, Wesley and the Methodists were persecuted by clergymen and magistrates because they preached without being ordained or licensed by the Anglican Church. This was seen as a social threat that disregarded institutions. Ministers attacked them in sermons and in print, and at times mobs attacked them. Wesley and his followers continued to work among the neglected and needy. They were denounced as promulgators of strange doctrines, fomenters of religious disturbances; as blind fanatics, leading people astray, claiming miraculous gifts, attacking the clergy of the Church of England, and trying to re-establish Catholicism.
Wesley felt that the church failed to call sinners to repentance, that many of the clergymen were corrupt, and that people were perishing in their sins. He believed he was commissioned by God to bring about revival in the church; and no opposition, persecution, or obstacles could prevail against the divine urgency and authority of this commission. The prejudices of his high-church training, his strict notions of the methods and proprieties of public worship, his views of the apostolic succession and the prerogatives of the priest, even his most cherished convictions, were not allowed to stand in the way.
I wish again that Mr. Wesley's ideas had taken hold in the Anglican Church, as he meant them to.
Things would have been better.