John Fletcher was a dear minister and a friend and defender of John Wesley. The following incident speaks of Fletcher's loving Christ-like spirit.
Thomas Reader became so angry at John Fletcher's Last Check to Antimomianism that he traveled all the way to Madeley to rebuke the author. Upon his arrival Fletcher exclaimed, "Come in, come in, thou blessed of the Lord! Am I so honored as to receive a visit from so esteemed a servant of my Master? Let us have a little prayer, while refreshments are getting ready." Reader reported that he never so enjoyed three days of such spiritual and profitable conversation in all his life, but was never able to muster enough courage to even allude to the purpose of his visit.I want to be so Christ-like and have so much of God's love that all around are drawn toward heavenly things and away from petty strife. I want to be magnanimous with even my enemies. Joseph Benson told us, "Be generous with our enemies. Be patient with God. Be humble toward self."
John Wesley wrote, "The longer I live, the larger allowances I make for human infirmities. I exact more from myself and less from others."
This is similar to the words I have written in my Bible. "To others a heart of love, to self a heart of steel, to God a heart of fire!"
I want to bless ALL with my prayers; yes, even my enemies. Adam Clarke said, "Pray for the same good for all which you desire for yourselves."
And to my brethren, I want to esteem them better than myself, I want to show them honor and preference. I like how Clarke put it, "Consider all your brethren as more worthy than yourself."
When we walk in perfect love toward God and others, we will not return evil for evil, but rather good for evil. And in so doing we will heap coals of fire on their head. This will help lead them to repentance. In reference to heaping coals of fire, Samuel Wesley wrote,
"So artists melt the sullen ore of lead,
By heaping coals of fire upon its head:
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
And pure from dross the silver runs below."
The Amplified Bible mentions that heaping coals of fire is a picture of the ministry of the high priest on the day of atonement (Lev. 16:12). The coals of fire created a fragrant cloud which covered the mercy seat and which God accepted for atonement. I think that Romans 12 is hinting that by returning good for evil, we help save their souls. We help save them, not only in the way that Moses prayed for those who were against him, turning God's wrath away from them. But also as said Augustine, that the coals of fire heaped upon our enemies heads are the burning pangs of shame or anguish which lead them to repentance.
And remember, showing mercy and loving one who doesn't deserve it, makes us like God. God in His great grace enables us to be like Him in order to show others how loving and merciful is God really is.
[some of the quotes found in A Fundamental Wesleyan Commentary on Romans, by Vic Reasoner]