Saturday, June 16, 2012

Book Review: Charles Wesley: The First Methodist

We tend to think of Charles Wesley sitting in his study writing hymns while John Wesley traveled throughout England and even America to establish small-group Methodist “Societies.” But this book by Frederick C. Gill opens our eyes to the brothers’ teamwork. While John was a strong administrator, Charles was made of the stuff of artists and mystics. Read some of the 8,000 hymns he composed to sense his heart. John directed Charles as he placed committed Christians in charge of the small groups. At times the brothers differed over how best to proceed.

Life was not easy. Audiences sometimes pelted Charles with eggs and rocks as he preached. The Wesleys refused to break with the Church of England. Their hope was to bring the church back to its roots of basic doctrine and to serve within the church. But by offering Christ to all, they offended both the established church and reformers.

Charles married Sally who bore him eight children; only three survived to adulthood. He struggled with supporting his family, poor health and constant travel. His foundation for faith was based on the church, the scriptures and personal and family piety. Sally graciously supported him.

The book is indexed with names and the page numbers on which they appear. It’s an old book but a great read for anyone who wants to better understand the reformation process and the development of the United Methodist denomination.

Reviewed by Shirley Brosius


Unknown said...

oh, this book is very interesting! As a winner of "Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides" My Family is in the process of reading my copy! My Dad and I enjoyed the book so much. I count my blessings that I had a chance and took it and God answered.
God Bless you~I enjoy your posts via e-mail.
Cyndee Thomas

Shirley Brosius said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, Cyndee. Glad your enjoying the book.

Shirley Brosius said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, Cyndee. Glad your enjoying the book.