The fact that Charles Wesley is so well known as one of the great English hymn-writers has tended to obscure his role as a preacher and evangelist in the great revival of the eighteenth century. Whereas the journals of his brother John are commonly available, having been reprinted on many occasions, the two volumes of Charles’s Journal are far rarer. In them we understand more of the man who penned so many of the church’s hymns of praise and expressed so eloquently the aspiration and passion that lay behind the Methodist awakening. Here we see not only Methodism poet but one of their most powerful field preachers who proclaimed the gospel with divine unction.
Volume I begins with his arrival in the colony of Georgia in 1736 and continues through to 1747. In Volume II the journal ends in 1756. To this are appended selections from his correspondence and his poetry.
We gather up, with pious care,
What happy saints have left behind;
Their writings in our memory bear,
Their sayings on our faithful mind:
Their works, which traced them to the skies,
For patterns to ourselves we take;
And dearly love, and highly prize,
The mantle for the wearer’s sake.