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Charles Wesley Directory

Biographical Sketch Directory Index

Charles Wesley

1707-1788


 

charleswesley.gif (32758 bytes) Born: December 28, 1707, Epworth, Lincolnshire, England.

Died: March 29, 1788, London, England.

Buried: Marylebone Parish Church, London.

Charles Wesley wrote over 6,000 hymns. Like most hymnists, his work was frequently altered. In the preface to the 1779 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists, his brother John wrote:

I beg leave to mention a thought which has been long upon my mind, and which I should long ago have in­sert­ed in the pub­lic pa­pers, had I not been un­will­ing to stir up a nest of horn­ets. Many gen­tle­men have done my bro­ther and me (though without nam­ing us) the hon­our to re­print many of our hymns. Now they are per­fect­ly wel­come to do so, pro­vid­ed they print them just as they are. But I de­sire they would not at­tempt to mend them, for they are real­ly not able. None of them is able to mend ei­ther the sense or the verse. There­fore, I must beg of them these two fa­vours: either to let them stand just as they are, to take things for bet­ter or worse, or to add the true read­ing in the mar­gin, or at the bot­tom of the page, that we may no long­er be ac­count­a­ble either for the non­sense or for the dog­ger­el of other men.

In addition to hymn writing, Charles and his brother John founded the movement which became the Methodist denomination