Charles Wesley 300th birthday


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  • In England in the county of Lincolnshire, 3 little rivers and a canal come together to make a small green island of the town of Epworth. This was the market town for a wild and rough farming country. Here the Reverend Samuel Wesley preached in the village church and here his wife Susannah cared for their children in a cottage nearby.
  • 1716 Westminster – most famous school in England at the time
  • His great grandfather, grandfather, father, and two brothers and Charles three sons were all educated at Oxford. Holy Club was also known as Bible Moths, The Reformers Club, The Godly Club, The Enthusiasts, AND Methodists
  • Had disputes with a couple of women, Veda Hawkins and Mrs. Welch, while on board ship. This continued while on St. Simon’s Island and caused Wesley and Oglethorpe to lose communication with each other. Charles did not have a cabin or even a bed and often had to sleep on the ground. Oglethorpe wouldn’t let him have a teapot. People wouldn’t speak to him and he couldn’t even get his clothes washed. He became ill with dysentery and discouraged. John Wesley came down from Savannah and straightened things out a bit.
  • Charles said “He has put a new song in my mouth.” “Where shall my wondering soul begin? How shall I all to heaven aspire? A slave redeemed from death and sin, A brand plucked from eternal fire.
  • Charles records in his journal July 10, 1738 “ I went to Newgate (prison) and preached to the ten malefactors under sentence of death, but with a heavy heart. My old prejudices against the possibility of a death-bed repentance still hung upon me; and I could hardly hope that their was mercy for those whose time was so short. But in the midst of my discourse, a sudden spirit of faith came upon me, and I promised them all pardon, in the name of Jesus Christ, if they would then, as at the last hour, repent and believe the Gospel. I had no doubt that God would give me every soul of them.” Charles and his friend, Mr. Bray, were locked in the prison cells as they wrestled in mighty prayer. All of the criminals were present and all delightfully cheerful. Wesley hymns were sung, especially “Behold the Saviour of Mankind”. Charles recorded in his Journal, “It was one of the most triumphant hours I have ever known.” The next day, the 10 were taken to Tyburn for execution. Wesley joined them on the cart and they showed no terror, no fear, no crying, no tears. Charles Wesley prayed with each of them and took leave of each. He spoke a few suitable words to the crowd and returned full of peace and confidence. “That hour under the gallows was the most blessed hour of my life.” What an amazing testimony to the Gospel and to the man!
  • As Charles Wesley once began to sing a hymn at a public service, he was interrupted by a company of half-drunken sailors, singing the indecent song, “Nancy Dawson”. A great commotion resulted. Charles’ quick ear mastered the tune and meter of their song. At the next service, when the sailors were ready to repeat their performance, he sang his new hymm – to the tune of “Nancy Dawson.”
  • Charles Wesley 300th birthday

    1. 1. Charles Wesley “ Sweet Singer of Methodism” Presented by the Moore Methodist Museum
    2. 2. Charles’ Birth Epworth England
    3. 4. Charles Wesley
    4. 5. Boyhood <ul><li>Born at Epworth December 18, 1707 </li></ul><ul><li>Premature – wrapped in wool for weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Carried out of fire at house - 1709 </li></ul><ul><li>18 th child and youngest of three surviving sons </li></ul><ul><li>Parents Samuel and Susanna Wesley </li></ul><ul><li>Father was Anglican priest; poor </li></ul><ul><li>Four years younger than John </li></ul><ul><li>Mother started home-schooling at age 5 </li></ul>
    5. 6. John and Charles Samuel and Susannah
    6. 7. Young Adult <ul><li>Entered Westminster School in London at age 9 - 1716 </li></ul><ul><li>Became Kings Scholar – provided free board/tuition </li></ul><ul><li>Became Captain of Westminster School - 1725 </li></ul><ul><li>Selected to attend Oxford - 1726 </li></ul><ul><li>He organized Holy Club during this time. </li></ul>
    7. 8. Oxford University England
    8. 9. While students at Oxford University, Charles and John began a fellowship of students. What was this group known as? Do You Know? The Holy Club
    9. 10. Georgia <ul><li>Sailed with John from Gravesend December 22, 1735 </li></ul><ul><li>Simmonds – ship </li></ul><ul><li>Landed Savannah February 5, 1736 </li></ul><ul><li>26 Moravians on board greatly influenced both brothers </li></ul><ul><li>Oglethorpe’s secretary and Secretary for Indian Affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Left July 26, 1736 (less than 6 months) </li></ul>
    10. 11. Early Savannah
    11. 12. Fort Frederica
    12. 14. Back to England <ul><li>Left from Boston to return to England – 1736 </li></ul><ul><li>Warmly welcomed; interested in Georgia </li></ul><ul><li>Resumed activities with Oxford Methodists </li></ul><ul><li>Met and reconciled with Oglethorpe in London </li></ul><ul><li>Continued Holy Club </li></ul><ul><li>Visited family </li></ul><ul><li>Considered returning to colonies </li></ul>
    13. 15. Conversion of Charles Wesley <ul><li>May 21, 1738 in London at the home of a friend </li></ul><ul><li>William Holland read Luther’s commentary on Galatians </li></ul><ul><li>“He loved me and gave himself for me.” </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote the hymn “Where shall my wondering soul begin?” </li></ul><ul><li>May 24, 1738 - John Wesley had his Aldersgate experience. </li></ul>
    14. 16. Do You Know? When John and Charles Wesley founded the Holy Club, how many members of the House of Commons went to church? 5 or 6 members
    15. 17. Life in England <ul><li>Driven out of Anglican pulpits </li></ul><ul><li>Mobbed and harassed; even accused of treason </li></ul><ul><li>Yet a tireless Evangelist </li></ul><ul><li>Field Preacher as inspired by George Whitefield </li></ul><ul><li>Preached to coal miners and prisoners </li></ul>
    16. 18. Marriage <ul><li>Met Sarah at her house while recuperating from illness </li></ul><ul><li>Father was a magistrate; affluent </li></ul><ul><li>Married Sarah Gwynne April 8, 1749 </li></ul><ul><li>John performed wedding </li></ul><ul><li>Sarah was a gifted singer </li></ul><ul><li>8 children; only 3 survived infancy </li></ul><ul><li>Children – Charles, Jr., Sarah, and Samuel </li></ul><ul><li>Married until his death on March 29, 1788 </li></ul>
    17. 19. Sarah and Charles
    18. 20. Were Charles Wesley’s hymns sung in the parish churches during his lifetime? Do You Know? No, they were sung in the market squares and fields of England.
    19. 21. Charles wrote over 6,000 hymns!
    20. 22. What famous classical composer wrote tunes for Charles Wesley and also wrote the famous oratorio “Messiah”? Do You Know? George Frederic Handel
    21. 24. “ Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” <ul><li>Appeared in 1739 in the book, Hymns and Sacred Poems </li></ul><ul><li>Originally called “Hymn for Christmas Day” </li></ul><ul><li>10 four line stanzas; 6 generally used today </li></ul><ul><li>George Whitefield included it in his Collection in 1753 </li></ul>
    22. 25. How many hymns did Charles Wesley compose? Do You Know? Over 6,000
    23. 26. Charles’ Death Final Words “ Whatever the world may have thought of me, I have lived, and I died, in the communion of the Church of England, and I will be buried in the yard of my parish church.” Died in London on March 29, 1788 at the age of 81
    24. 27. Buried at Marylebone Old Church, England
    25. 28. Wesley Memorial Westminster Abby
    26. 30. Happy 300 th Birthday!
    27. 31. You’re invited to see all this and more at the Moore Methodist Museum. Sign up for the Charles Wesley Celebration.