Feb 12

J A Wood Author of Perfect LoveI picked up a copy of J. A. Wood’s “Perfect Love” 1861 edition on eBay for $6 USD from Bbrrmm Books.

Wood published a revised and enlarged version in 1880, which I have read a number of times.

This book is one of the best books I have read on the subject of entire sanctification.

I have wanted for some time to read the 1861 edition, so I was very happy to be able to pick up a copy.

The following are the chapters for both versions:

Perfect Love Edition 1861 by J A Wood“Perfect Love” 1861 Edition:
Chapter 1 Terms Signifying a Complete Gospel Salvation
Chapter 2 Regeneration and Entire Sanctification Not Identical
Chapter 3 The Nature of Regeneration
Chapter 4 The Nature of Christian Perfection
Chapter 5 Holiness Attainable
Chapter 6 The Time Between Regeneration and Entire Sanctification
Chapter 7 Holiness Not Obtained by Growth in Grace
Chapter 8 Directions for Obtaining Holiness
Chapter 9 The Evidences of Perfect Love
Chapter 10 The Profession of Perfect Love
Chapter 11 Witnesses of Perfect Love
Chapter 12 Reasons Why Every Christian Should Be Entirely Sanctified
Chapter 13 Ministers Should Be Entirely Sanctified
Chapter 14 Holiness Must Be Preached
Chapter 15 Holiness Preached in Early Methodism
Chapter 16 Holiness Identified with the Promotion of the General Work of God
Chapter 17 Results of Not Seeking Holiness
Chapter 18 Trials of the Sanctified
Chapter 19 How a State of Entire Sanctification May Be Retained
Chapter 20 Objections to Seeking Perfect Love
Chapter 21 Advice to Those Professing Perfect Love
Chapter 22 Miscellaneous
Chapter 23 Making a Hobby of Holiness
Chapter 24 Wearing Jewelry and Costly Array
Chapter 25 The Use of Tobacco
Chapter 26 Enthusiasm – Confusion – Shouting – Falling etc.
Chapter 27 The Author’s Experience

Perfect Love 1880 Edition“Perfect Love” 1880 Edition:
Chapter 1 Terms Signifying Complete Gospel Salvation
Chapter 2 Justification
Chapter 3 The Nature of Regeneration
Chapter 4 Regeneration and Entire Sanctification Not Identical
Chapter 5 The Time Between Regeneration and Entire Sanctification
Chapter 6 The Nature of Christian Perfection
Chapter 7 Holiness Attainable
Chapter 8 Directions for Obtaining Holiness
Chapter 9 The Evidences of Perfect Love
Chapter 10 The Profession of Perfect Love
Chapter 11 Witnesses of Perfect Love
Chapter 12 Reasons Why Every Christian Should Be Entirely Sanctified
Chapter 13 Ministers Should Be Entirely Sanctified
Chapter 14 Holiness Must Be Preached
Chapter 15 Holiness Identified with the Promotion of the General Work of God
Chapter 16 Results of Not Seeking Holiness
Chapter 17 Trials of the Entirely Sanctified
Chapter 18 How a State of Entire Sanctification May Be Retained
Chapter 19 Objections to Christian Holiness
Chapter 20 Objections to Seeking Perfect Love
Chapter 21 Advice to Those Professing Perfect Love
Chapter 22 Holiness Historically
Chapter 23 Miscellaneous
Chapter 24 The Author’s Experience

In the 1861 edition there is a section called “Recommendations”, a list of testimonies from different people. I found these recommendations very good, so I have posted them below. The “Recommendations” was not published in the 1880 edition.

“Recommendations” 1861 edition:
I have read this book with great profit, and if it were in my power would place a copy on the study table of every young preacher in the connection. — 1Min. George Hughes.

The work aims at no profound disquisition, no original views, no novel theology. It is a plain, clear statement of the doctrine of Christian holiness as held in our Church. He who will read this work will see that what we hold all good men may. –Edward Thompson, Editor of the Christian Advocate and Journal.

This is a complete hand-book of the subject on which it treats. Its theology is Wesleyan. Its arrangement is logical. Its style is lucid, and its spirit is admirable. May God bless this work to the souls of thousands. — Wilber Fisk Watkins, Pastor of Washington St. M. E. Church Brooklyn, New York.

We commend this book to the humble inquirer after truth. We read it, and our piety grows warm as we read. — Min. I. S. Bingham, Editor of the Northern Christian Advocate.

A pointed, pithy, searching work, embracing a complete compendium of matters referring to the subject of full salvation. The sale of ten editions since the fall of Fort Sumpter is no small proof of its merit. We warmly recommend it to those who feel interested in the subject on which it treats. It is just the book. — Editor of the Guide to Holiness.

The author of this work presents the doctrine of Christian holiness in so clear a manner, that it seems impossible for any converted person who reads this book to misunderstand it. We cordially recommend it to all our readers. — Earnest Christian and Golden Rule.

The author of this work is sound in his doctrine, according to the approved Methodistic standards. There is a convenience in the arrangement of this work that is rare and valuable, and also a freshness about it that is truly refreshing. — Min. William Reddy of the Oneida Annual Con.

This is a plain, clear, searching work, and will do any man good who will read it. — Min. Fay H. Purdy.

This is a live book, written by a live man, on a live subject. Just the book for about 600,000 in our beloved Zion, who ought to cross over and enter the Canann of ‘Perfect Love’ at once. — Min. E. Owen of the Oneida Con.

The author of this work has collected and presents a vast amount of practical hints and instructions on many points connected with the important subjects. — Min. Mansfield French, late editor of the Beauty of Holiness.

The book was greatly needed. Though it is eminently practical, it contains an admirable defense of the doctrine of Christian holiness, and a summary of Methodist authorities upon the subject. It answers just those questions which seekers of Full Salvation are wont to ask. It will do anyone good to read it. — D. W. C. Huntington, Pastor of Asbury M. E. Church, Rochester, N. Y.

I have read with great satisfaction ‘Perfect Love,’ by Min. J. A. Wood, and must say, that in my judgment it will do good wherever read. — Benjamin M. Adams, Pastor of Fleet St. M. E. Church, Brooklyn, N. Y.

I have read this book with deep interest and profit. It is the best exposition of the doctrine of entire sanctification, and the best compilation of Wesleyan authorities on this subject that I have seen. It is a book for the people; and cannot fail of doing immense good. — Geo. A. Hubbell, Pastor of Forsyth St. M. E. Church, N. Y.

This is the best work on Christian perfection that I am conversant with; hoping that God will bless it to the heart of thousands, I cheerfully recommend it. — Min. T. B. Miller, of the Phila Con.

We have read this book with much interest and profit, and most heartily recommend it to all who ‘hunger and thirst after righteousness.’ We believe it will do any man good who will read it. — Editor of the United States Economist.

This is one of the very best books on Christian holiness that has yet fallen into my hands. The author seems to have covered the ground without shading it, and makes manna on the pious hearts from a cloudless and serene sky. Min. Loran Stiles.

This book fully and explicitly states, explains and defends the doctrines, experience and practice of Christian holiness. It breathes a heavenly spirit, and must produce a holy influence upon the Church and the world. Secure it, read it, and practice it. — Min. E. Davies.

This work is one of the very best I have yet seen. The direct method in which all the various points it treats of are presented and the satisfactory answers it gives to almost every conceivable question that arises in ordinary minds in regard to this all-absorbing subject, makes it a work of rare merit and utility. — J. S. Inskip, Pastor of Green St. M. E. Church, N. Y.

All who have read this work consider it as one of the best that has been written on this subject. — Foster & Palmer, Publishers of Guide and Beauty of Holiness.

The volume entitled ‘Perfect Love’ is a heart-warmer to the minister; a mine of purest gospel ore to the mature in faith; a safe guide to the inquirer after Christian holiness; and to the young converts, the best incentive to ‘go on to perfection.’ I know its value, and with all my heart commend its perusal to others. — A. Wallance, Pastor Salem M. E. Church, Philadelphia.

I regard this as the best hand-book for the seeker of ‘Perfect Love,’ of the experienced walker in the way of holiness, which has been issued from the press in many years; because of
1. The simplicity of its method.
2. The plainness and obviousness of its verbiage.
3. The tenacity with which the author has clung to unquestioned Bible and theological authority.
4. The absence from it of all metaphysical speculations.
5. The one of earnestness and heart which pervades it.
6. Because, while the spirit of devotion glows on every page, it meets triumphantly each of the hurtful errors that have crept, in late years, into many churches, on the doctrine of holiness, and is therefore eminently a book for the times. It is a book full of the ‘old wine’; and, thank God, our people are still saying by tens of thousands ‘the old is the better.’ — B. Weed Gorham, Pastor of St. Paul’s M. E. Church, Lynn, Massachusetts.

My Testimony:
I would like to add my own testimony concerning this book. I have read many of the classic books on entire sanctification and in my opinion none of them are as easy to read, deal with the subject in completeness, nor have I benefited from the others as I have benefited from “Perfect Love”. I have read it through twice in the last couple of years and many times I go to it to look up what it says on different subjects.

When I read this book, I feel provoked unto deeper holiness in my spirit, convicted concerning my needs and lacks, and inspired to be all that the blood of Jesus can make me.

I strongly recommend the book “Perfect Love” to all that are serious in their desire to live a Christ-centered, Christ-honoring, zealous, holy, successful, fully-consecrated Christian life. In my opinion, next to the Bible, “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis and “Perfect Love” by J. A. Wood are the most important books to read and to read regularly.

I plan on ordering 30 copies of this book and passing them out to the people at our Friday evening Bible study, the six ministers at the Vienna congregation I attend, and to a number of my Christian friends here and there.

1 In the names following the testimonies for the book I have removed “Rev.”, the abbreviation for Reverend, and replaced it with “Min.”, the abbreviation for Minister. “Holy and reverend is his name” (Psa 111:9).

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