In the eighteenth century, traveling from place to place and preaching in the open air was extraordinary and new, and it was certainly irregular. Seeking to diffuse knowledge and awaken a sense of religion in the common people, brothers John and Charles Wesley, along with their friend and fellow preacher George Whitefield, excited the astonishment as well as the censure of the public with their preaching.. They felt it was of utmost importance to educate the common people in the principles of religion and the social duties of life—even if it meant preaching the Word in open-air fields against tradition. Sermons of the Late Rev. Charles Wesley brings together 13 of Charles’ best sermons, each characterized with his poetic style and spirit-filled love for God.
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Charles Wesley (1707–1788) and his brother, John Wesley, were the principle leaders of the Methodist movement. Son of Susanna Wesley and Samuel Wesley, Charles was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England. He graduated with a master’s in classical languages and literature from Christ Church, Oxford, where he also formed the Oxford Holy Club. In 1735, Charles and his brother sailed to America where Charles served as chaplain to the garrison at Fort Fredrica. One year later he returned to England. Charles and his brother traveled Britain extensively, often preaching outdoors or in town halls. Although Charles and John never officially left the Church of England, the Methodist movement that they planted quickly spread across England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and to colonial America. Today, over seventymillion people belong to Methodist organizations in the Wesleyan tradition all over the world.
Charles Wesley is best remembered by his hymns, having written over 6,000 of them. Many have become standard classics, and are still used today—including “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” and “Soldiers of Christ, Arise.”