Segments in this Video

Charles Wesley's Life (01:08)


Born two months premature, Charles Wesley finally opened his eyes and mouth cried. He gifted the world with his voice in over 9000 hymns.

Charles Wesley's England (01:22)

The world of Charles Wesley was a world of change. Science was on the rise. Yet, depictions of society at the time show the disintegration and poverty. England was the most drunken nation in the world.

Hogarth's London (01:33)

Hogarth's paintings depict the depravity and ruthlessness of London society. Babies were abandoned and left to die. The Church was in a similar state of despair. Deism was rampant in the Church.

Charles Wesley: Early Years (01:02)

Charles Wesley's father was a strict priest whose parishioners twice set fire to his rectory. Charles and his siblings were home-schooled by their mother.

Wesley's Upbringing (01:05)

Charles Wesley learns valuable things from his parents, including appreciation of poetry, regulation, and piety. Wesley's two brothers enter the church and become priests. Wesley enters Oxford.

Wesley the "Methodist" (01:30)

Wesley's adherence to the methods of study prescribed by the statutes of the university earned him the name "Methodist."

Charles Wesley: Missionary to the Georgia Indians (00:60)

In 1734, Samuel Wesley peacefully passes away with his sons at his bedside. Charles Wesley decides to go to America to minister to the Georgia Indians.

Charles Wesley and Moravian Christians (01:21)

To facilitate his work in America, Charles is ordained as a minister and priest in the Church of England. On their journey to America, the Wesley brothers meet a group of Moravian Christians.

Wesley Brothers in America (01:27)

Neither of the Wesley brothers had positive experiences in their American missionary assignments. Charles records that he felt his employer was not his friend but his enemy.

Trouble in Georgia (01:25)

Charles Wesley discovers that malicious gossip is the cause of his troubles with his boss. Wesley prepares to leave Georgia for England. A year later, John Wesley also left Georgia.

Wesley Brothers in England (01:07)

Charles Wesley is welcomed by the family that loves him. A year later, John Wesley returns to England in a dispirited mood.

Wesley Brothers and Moravian Christianity (01:22)

The Wesley brothers believe their religious occupations have been failures, and they return to Oxford. A Moravian Christian teaches them that salvation comes through faith and not works.

Doctrine of Salvation (01:07)

At first, Charles Wesley strongly opposes the doctrine of justification by faith alone. He would accept it after studying the doctrines of the Church of England.

True Conversion of Charles Wesley (01:21)

Charles Wesley's religious torment was nearly overwhelming him. Then Mr. Bray came into his life, a simple mechanic who knew nothing but Christ. His true conversion comes on a Pentecost Sunday.

Charles Wesley: At Peace with God (01:25)

Mr. Bray's sister enters the room of Charles Wesley and orders him to rise up and say, "I believe." This Wesley does with passion and conviction.

Wesley and Christ's Protection (01:18)

Charles Wesley feels the protection of Christ. He opens his Bible and reads a passage about a "new song in his mouth." This passage inspires Wesley for the rest of his life.

Final Conversion (01:33)

Charles Wesley's final conversion changes his life forever. As a result, he changes the lives of countless thousands who came after him.

Wesley Brothers and Martin Luther (01:33)

The catalyst for John Wesley's' conversions was Martin Luther's preface to the Book of Romans. Their conversions were from one understanding of faith to a different understanding.

Wesley Brothers: Assured of Salvation (00:23)

Having taken the love of God into their hearts and embraced the doctrine of justification by faith, the Wesley brothers were prepared to assure others of their salvation. This they did for the next 50 years.

Charles Wesley: Evangelist (01:12)

Charles Wesley had transformed into an emotional evangelist. Because of the earnestness and forcefulness with which he preached, few churches would allow him a pulpit.

Missionaries and Music (01:20)

Ousted from the Anglican community, the Wesley brothers turn to the work of converting the whole of England. They use the words of songs to spread the word of Christ's love and forgiveness.

Poetry and Hymns (01:21)

The gift of writing poetry ran in the Wesley family. Wesley's gifts give ring throughout his hymns. Wesley's older brother Samuel also contributes to Charles' hymnody.

Wesley's First Hymnbook (01:16)

While in Georgia, Charles Wesley publishes his first hymnbook, though it contains no hymns of Wesley himself. He is said to have written his first hymn after his conversion.

Hymns About God's Love (01:06)

Selections from Charles Wesley's hymns illustrate the multitude of ways he wrote about the love of Christ and his confidence in salvation.

Application of Faith (01:01)

Charles Wesley's hymns are replete with references to his personal application of his faith. Several selections are sung in this segment.

Personal Amazement at God's Love (01:33)

Wesley's amazement God's love fills his songs. In a selection sung in this segment, his words are, "Amazing love, how can it be that thou my God should die for me?"

Methodist Revival (01:10)

Followers of Wesley write hymns as ways to express and energize their "Methodist" revival. Wesley wrote 9000 hymns and sacred poems over the course of 50 years.

Private Side of Charles Wesley (01:07)

Wesley's hymns and sacred poems show the private side of the man. He writes a poem about sending a daughter to boarding school, an event taken from his life.

Wesley: Poet and Parent (01:30)

Wesley's poems contain personal events of his life. They show that he brings prayer and faith into mundane occurrences such as his baby's teething pain.

Verbal Power and Imagery (01:57)

The hymns of Charles Wesley embody commitment, clarity, and enthusiasm in expression of the truths of Christian faith. The words, "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing..." are a verbal roller coaster of enthusiasm.

Wesley Brothers in Partnership (01:26)

Wesley's hymns can be seen as outbursts of his expressions of faith. He often wrote 20-30 stanzas for each hymn. The Wesley brothers were a partnership in ministry.

Hymn: "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" (01:57)

Charles Wesley's "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," written in 1740, was withheld from a 1780 publication of Wesley's hymns. Brother John Wesley found the hymn offensive and refused to publish it.

Words and Music: Expression of Faith (01:31)

Words and music in hymnody to be a wonderful way of explaining the truths of the Christian faith.

Wesley's Christmas Carol (01:20)

John Wesley is most likely to be remembered for the Christmas carol "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing." Wesley loved the poetry of the Bible.

Poetic Language of Wesley's Hymnody (01:59)

"Soldiers of Christ, Arise" and "Love Divine, All Love Excelling" illustrate Wesley's passion for putting poetic words to his expression of faith.

Lasting Quality of Wesley's Hymns (01:35)

Charles Wesley's hymns have lasted for over 2 centuries. Wesley's grammar, syntax, and his study of logic and rhetoric give to his hymns a structure and sense that contribute to their longevity.

"Amazing Love" (01:02)

Again and again, Wesley expresses his amazement of Christ's forgiving love. This segment includes a performance of "Amazing Love."

A Hymn on His Lips (01:49)

Charles Wesley was a hymn writer to the end. For 50 years, Jesus had been the subject of his sermons and his songs. He died with a hymn to Christ upon his lips.

Death of Charles Wesley (01:35)

On March 29, 1788, Charles Wesley died at age 80. The news did not reach his brother until April 4. On his tomb are penned the words he had written for a Moravian Christian friend. He is buried in the churchyard of his parish church.

Postlude: Death of Charles Wesley's Widow and Brother (00:34)

John Wesley treated Charles' widow kindly. She lived to be 96 years old. Three years after his brother's death, John Wesley died. He lived to be 88 years old.

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For a Thousand Tongues to Sing! The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley

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Between 1738 and 1788, Charles Wesley wrote more than 9,000 hymns and sacred poems, work which earned him the title “The Sweet Bard of Methodism.” This program recounts Wesley’s life and life’s work, with special attention to his better-known songs, such as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Scholars of music and theology speak about Wesley’s childhood, education, and missionary work; explore the roots of his passion for hymn-writing; and demonstrate how Wesley’s impressive body of work consistently embraced astute references to Scripture, poetic language, and personal experience. (55 minutes)

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL41275

ISBN: 978-1-61616-650-2

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.