I had some trouble figuring out the title for the book. The title of my thesis was The Story of Perfection — you know, with the story being both the narratives and the narrative history of the doctrine. I thought it was clever. But, as I thought about attaching that title to my first publication, that was just too much pressure.
I was looking for a different turn of phrase and my husband suggested something about love, so I looked through some notes I had taken on references to the doctrine of Christian Perfection using love language and I found this gem.
The title Witnesses of Perfect Love comes from a journal entry by Sarah Crosby on May 1, 1774, noting Wesley’s protective attitude toward those who experienced God through perfecting love. She writes: Wesley “told the Society, that whosoever spake against those who were simple witnesses of perfect love, spake against those, who were as dear to him as the apple of his eye."
I find it significant that as much as John Wesley was protective of the doctrine, he was more so protective of the people and their experiences.