John was the ﬁfteenth, and Charles the eighteenth, child of Samuel Wesley, Rector of Epworth, Lincolnshire. John was born June 17, 1703, and Charles, December 18, 1707.
The lives and fortunes of the brothers were closely intertwined. As founders and leaders of the “Methodist” or evangelical revival in eighteenth-century England, their continuing inﬂuence redounds throughout the world and is felt in many Churches.
Although their theological writings and sermons are still widely appreciated, it is through their hymns—especially those of Charles, who wrote over six thousand of them—that their religious experience, and their Christian faith and life, continue to affect the hearts of many.
Holy Women, Holy Men
The Collect for the Commemoration
Lord God, you inspired your servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctiﬁcation of souls, and endowed them with eloquence in speech and song: Kindle in your Church, we entreat you, such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Christ may turn to him and be saved; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Collect used in worship can be both a prayer of intercession and petition. In this Collect we are clearly praying for others (“Kindle in your Church”), it is a prayer of intercession. However, you and I are members of this Church, so we are praying for ourselves, it can be a prayer of petition. Recognizing this as a prayer for the whole church, I find it useful (almost always) to focus on the Collect as a prayer of petition. Here, I am asking this: “Kindle in me—a member of your Church, Lord God—such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Christ may turn to him and be saved.” As I join other Church members in this prayer and this mission, I believe God will be glorified. And you? ~Fr. Dan
Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.
- John and Charles Wesley (Holy Women, Holy Men)
- Lectionary readings for this Commemoration (Lectionary Page)
- The “Wesleyan Quadrilateral” (United Methodist website)
- What is a Collect?
Image: Holy Women, Holy Men