From Science 2.0 (believe it or not)
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is the beginning to one of the world's most popular hymns, yet while millions of people can oddly identify Nicki Minaj, almost no one knows the name of Charles Wesley or his Hymns and Sacred Poems. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” became regarded as one of the Great Four Anglican Hymns and was published as number 403 in "The Church Hymn Book". It has been recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to the kids on "Charlie Brown"(1) and now the private letters of the composer have been edited by Dr. Gareth Lloyd of The University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library and Professor Kenneth Newport of Liverpool Hope University and published by Oxford University Press. They provide a rare glimpse into both the man and the birth of Methodism.
The early Methodists were viewed by their opponents as dangerous extremists: they had visions, fell into trances and some even developed a reputation for possessing supernatural power. Likely for that reason, some of the letters were written in a complex 18th century shorthand developed by John Byrom, sometimes inter-mixed with Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
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