This is a solid piece of scripturally and doctrinally sound argument. Wesley is arguing against basically two opinions, that living in the Spirit is an experiential thing alone without scripture, reason or tradition and conversely that the Spirit does not dwell within at all.
The problem we are faced with, as believers who have been baptised by the Holy Spirit is that it is so personal and individual and exactly what we need as individuals that to describe it to someone would be nigh on impossible but also unbelievable and not helpful.
The only evidence that can be seen from the outside looking in is the fruit of Spirit, those special gifts from God. But there are those who puff themselves up because they believe they have been given a spiritual gift from God of prophecy or interpretation, for example. Not that they don’t have one of those gifts but that they then neglect the fruit. And not everyone who has been blessed with a gift of the Spirit so neglects the fruit.
Wesley listens to the argument: “The greatest contenders for it are some of the proudest and most uncharitable of men.” and like Wesley I concur that those people we are going hear, they are going to thrust themselves forward into the limelight but for everyone like this there are hundreds and thousands that Wesley describes as:
“firmest contenders for it are eminently meek and lowly in heart; and, indeed, in all other respects also, True followers of their lamb-like Lord.”
Meekness & Humility in a person is so much more attractive than pushy, in your face, “look at me and what I can do”
Interestingly Wesley talks of the fruit being evidenced in a person’s life preveniently. By the grace of God, to encourage us to move forward into true discipleship and believing we are introduced to one or two of the fruit of the Spirit. This is amazing and explains to my rational mind many of the things that happened to me and others before we were baptised by the Holy Spirit.
He ends by encouraging and challenging his readers to keep in the book of God, the Bible, keep in relationship with the Lord, remember the time when we cried out “Abba Father,” remember the peace that settled on us that passeth all understanding, the expelling of doubt and fear which are not of God.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”