Friday, May 22, 2009

Charles Wesley wrote 8,900 hymns

8900 ? Now that would be a hymnal!

Even though he wrote more than 8,900 hymns in his career, Charles Wesley (1707-1788) never heard them sung on Sunday morning. Charles was an Anglican minister (the Methodists, thoguh founded, did not split off from the Church of England until after his death), and the Anglican church did not allow "new hymns" in the service until the 1820s. Charles did hear his music sung at midweek gatherings, though. In his prolific career, he averaged 10 lines of verse a day for 56 years. Not only did he write, he wrote enduring hymns. In fact, the Methodist hymnal Hymns and Praises still contains 150 of his works. What makes his works so good?

One reason is that music ran in his family. His father wrote hymns, and all three sons wrote them. His daughter was a gifted poet, and his grandson Samuel Sebastian was recognized as the greatest English composer of the 1800s. Charles had a natural talent for verse and put it to use glorifying God. Add to his natural talent the fact that his endebted father insisted he attend Westminster for a classical education, and Charles received the best training available for his gift.

Also important for a Christian hymn writer, Charles had his mind steeped in Scripture. While at Westminster, he started memorizing the New Testament in Greek. God's word was so ingrained in Charles that it had to come out.

The rest is here-

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