BEET, JOSEPH AGAR: English Wesleyan; b. at Sheffield Sept. 27, 1840. He attended Wesley College, Sheffield (1851-56), and took up mining engineering, but afterward studied theology at the Wesleyan College, Richmond (1862-64). He was pastor 1864-85 and professor of systematic theology in Wesleyan College, Richmond, 1885-1905. He was also a member of the faculty of theology in the University of London 1901-05. He delivered the Fernley Lecture on The Credentials of the Gospels in 1889, and lectured in America in 1896. Though long recognized as one of the ablest theologians and exegetes of his denomination, his sympathy with the modern critical school of interpretation and particularly his views on eschatology have occasioned much criticism. In The Last Things (London, 1897; 2d ed., 1905) he opposed the belief that the essential and endless permanence of the soul is taught in the Bible and denied that eternal punishment necessarily means endless torment, holding that the sinner may suffer a relative annihilation of his mental and moral faculties and sink into a dehumanized state. He reiterated these views in The Immortality of the Soul (1901). Charges of heresy were brought against him at the Conference of 1902, but he was reelected to his professorship on condition that he refrain from expressing his opinions on immortality and future punishment. To regain liberty of speech in 1904 he gave notice that he would retire from his chair in twelve months. His other works are: Commentary on Romans (London, 1877); Holiness as Understood by the Critics of the Bible (1880); Commentary on Corinthians (1881); Commentary on Galatians (1883); Commentary on Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (1890); Through Christ to God (1892); The Firm Foundation of the Christian Faith (1892); The New Life in Christ (1895); Nature and Christ (New York, 1896); Key to Unlock the Bible (1901); Transfiguration of Jesus (1905); and Manual of Theology (1906).