The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Charles Wesley

The Wesley family was made famous by the two brothers, John and Charles, who worked together in the rise of Methodism in the British Isles during the 18th century. They were among the ten children surviving infancy born to Samuel Wesley (1662-1735), Anglican rector of Epworth, Lincolnshire, and Susanna Annesley Wesley, daughter of Samuel Annesley, a dissenting minister.

Charles Wesley

Born: December 28, 1707, Epworth, Lincolnshire, England.

Charles Wesley wrote over 6,000 hymns in his lifetime. In addition, he and his brother John founded the Methodist Church. To learn more about them, click here.

Died: March 29, 1788, London, England.

Buried: Marylebone Parish Church, London.

Charles Wesley, b. Dec. 18, 1707, d. Mar. 29, 1788, was perhaps England's greatest hymn writer. Educated at Oxford, he was ordained in 1735 and went to Georgia as Oglethorpe's secretary. He returned a year earlier than John. After a religious experience similar to John's, he continued for many years in close association with the Methodist movement. After 1756, however, he left the itinerant ministry and settled first in Bristol and later in London. He wrote more than 5,000 hymns, among them "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" and "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling."

John Wesley

John Wesley, b. June 28, 1703, d. Mar. 2, 1791, was the principal founder of the Methodist movement. His mother was important in his emotional and educational development. The rescue of little "Jackie" from the burning rectory ("a brand plucked from the burning") has become legendary. John's education continued at Charterhouse School and at Oxford, where he studied at Christ Church and was elected (1726) fellow of Lincoln College. He was ordained in 1728.

After a brief absence (1727-29) to help his father at Epworth, John returned to Oxford to discover that his brother Charles had founded a Holy Club composed of young men interested in spiritual growth. John quickly became a leading participant of this group, which was dubbed the Methodists. His Oxford days introduced him not only to the rich tradition of classical literature and philosophy but also to spiritual classics like Thomas a Kempis's Imitation of Christ, Jeremy Taylor's Holy Living and Dying, and William Law's Serious Call.

In 1735 both Wesleys accompanied James Oglethorpe to the new colony of Georgia, where John's attempts to apply his then high-church views aroused hostility. Discouraged, he returned (1737) to England; he was rescued from this discouragement by the influence of the Moravian preacher Peter Boehler. At a small religious meeting in Aldersgate Street, London, on May 24, 1738, John Wesley had an experience in which his "heart was strangely warmed."

After this spiritual conversion, which centered on the realization of salvation by faith in Christ alone, he devoted his life to evangelism. Beginning in 1739 he established Methodist societies throughout the country. He traveled and preached constantly, especially in the London-Bristol-Newcastle triangle, with frequent forays into Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. He encountered much opposition and persecution, which later subsided.

Late in life Wesley married Mary Vazeille, a widow. He continued throughout his life a regimen of personal discipline and ordered living. He died at 88, still preaching, still traveling, and still a clergyman of the Church of England. In 1784, however, he had given the Methodist societies a legal constitution, and in the same year he ordained Thomas Coke for ministry in the United States; this action signaled an independent course for Methodism.

Some of Charles Wesley's Hymns:

1.Ambassadors of God

2.And Are We Yet Alive?

3.And Can It Be That I Should Gain?

4.Arise, My Soul, Arise

5.Author of Faith, Eternal Word

6.Because Thou Hast Said

7.Blest Be the Dear Uniting Love

8.Blow Ye the Trumpet, Blow

9.By Faith We Find the Place Above

10.Captain of Israel's Host

11.Celebrate Immanuel's Name

12.Charge to Keep I Have, A

13.Christ from Whom All Blessings Flow

14.Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

15.Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

16.Come, and Let Us Sweetly Join

17.Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above

18.Come, Let Us Join with One Accord

19.Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine

20.Come, Let Us Who in Christ Believe

21.Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown

22.Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast

23.Come, Thou Almighty King

24.Come, Thou Conqueror of the Nations

25.Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

26.Come, Ye Weary Sinners, Come

27.Depth of Mercy

28.Father, I Stretch My Hands to Thee

29.Father of Jesus Christ, My Lord

30.Forever Here My Rest Shall Be

31.Forth in Thy Name, O Lord

32.Give Me the Faith Which Can Remove

33.Great Archangel's Trump, The

34.Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise

35.Hark! A Voice Divides the Sky

36.Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

37.Hearken to the Solemn Voice

38.How Can We Sinners Know

39.How Happy Are the Little Flock

40.How Happy Every Child of Grace

41.I Know That My Redeemer Lives

42.I Want a Principle Within

43.Infinite God, to Thee We Raise

44.Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

45.Jesus, Faithful to His Word

46.Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee

47.Jesus, Lover of My Soul

48.Jesus, My Strength, My Hope

49.Jesus, the Conqueror, Reigns

50.Jesus! the Name High over All

51.Jesus, the Sinner's Friend

52.Jesus, Thine All Victorious Love

53.Jesus, Thou All Redeeming Lord

54.Jesus, United by Thy Grace

55.Lamb of God, I Look to Thee

56.Let Earth and Heaven Combine

57.Let Us Plead for Faith Alone

58.Lift Your Heads

nds and Seas Obey

62.Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

63.Maker in Whom We Live

64.O Come and Dwell in Me

65.O for a Heart to Praise My God

66.O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

67.O Jesus, My Hope

68.O Love, Divine, How Sweet Thou Art

69.O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done

70.O Thou Who Camest from Above

71.O Thou, Whom All Thy Saints Adore

72.Our Earth We Now Lament to See

73.Our Lord Is Risen from the Dead

74.Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above

75.Prisoners of Hope, Arise

76.Rejoice, the Lord Is King

77.See How Great a Flame Aspires

78.See, Sinners, in the Gospel Glass

79.Sinners, Believe the Gospel Word

80.Sinners, Obey the Gospel Word

81.Sinners, Turn: Why Will You Die?

82.Soldiers of Christ, Arise

83.Spirit of Faith, Come Down

84.Talk with Us, Lord

85.Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose

86.This Is Thy Will, I Know

87.Thou Judge of Quick and Dead

88.Thousand Oracles Divine, A

89.'Tis Finished! The Messiah Dies

90.To Us a Child of Royal Birth

91.Weary of Wandering from My God

92.Weary Souls That Wander Wide

93.Where Shall My Wondering Soul Begin?

94.Ye Ransomed Sinners, Hear

95.Ye Servants of God

96.Ye Thirsty for God




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