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John Wesley: The World His Parish (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) Paperback – March 1, 2007
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About the Author
Janet and Geoff Benge are a husband-and-wife writing team with more than twenty years of writing experience. Janet is a former elementary-school teacher. Geoff holds a degree in history. Originally from New Zealand, the Benges spent ten years serving with Youth With A Mission.
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Top customer reviews
The books are exciting, moving, and are great faith-builders. The missionaries featured become heroes in the eyes of my children. I cannot recommend this series high enough. Hope you'll give it a try!
I have enjoyed reading the earlier collection of books from the Benges, particularly 1-10. But this one I cannot recommend.
John spent his early years in Epworth, twenty miles from London. His parents, Susanna and Samuel, married in 1688 in the same month that King William III and Queen Mary ascended the throne. Samuel was a rector of a Church of England church. John’s parents were very strict. Susanna could speak and write both English and French which was very unusual for women in that era when only 1 in 4 women could sign their name.
Samuel, not money savvy, was always in debt. Before the devastating fire of Feb 9th, 1709, Samuel spent 3 months in Lincoln Debtor’s prison. The fire changed everything. The family was homeless and penniless. John was sent to live with a family that just 24 hours previously he was not even allowed to associate with. It was one year before the family was reunited. What was this about Old Jeffrey, a ghost, in the rectory?
Later in life, believing he was called to Georgia, John found himself on the boat, Simmonds, in 1735. He was onboard with Moravians sent out by Count Zinzendorf. What did he write in code that was not deciphered until the 1930’s?! Encountering a storm, John was surprised that the Moravians were not afraid to die like he was! John, although extremely legalistic and expecting others to follow him, did not have a personal relationship with Jesus and was challenged by the Moravian leader, Bishop August Spangenberg. How did John end up with a warrant over his head and escaping back to England?
The Holy Club was the start of the Methodists with many folks looking to John as their founder and leader. It wasn’t until John got a hold of “by grace you are saved through faith” that things began to change. Once he began preaching this “radical” message, most of the Church of England churches did not want him in their pulpits! New Year of 1738-1739 was spent with a group of Methodists meeting in Fetter Lane. Seven members of the old Holy Club were present including George Whitefield and Charles Wesley. The power of God came upon them about 3am!
On April 1st, 1739 after trying to preach indoors due to being handed the “reins” by George Whitefield who was headed to the Georgia Colony, John preached his first sermon outdoors. (Prior to this he had really been digging in his heels against preaching outside.) It took off! People were convicted, Pentecostalism had hit!
In these days of heightened persecution is it is important to know about and remember the persecution that John Wesley and Methodism experienced.
Was John Wesley perfect? Absolutely not! He eventually married but had no clue how to be a husband and sadly the marriage failed. God continued to use John though and throughout his lifetime he traveled over a quarter of a million miles and preached to thousands and thousands of people.
To some this book may be a little "dry" but it is well worth taking the time to read. Important happenings in history were also occurring at the same time, one of them being the Boston Tea Party. Great for kids to understand and discuss the good and the bad of John's story.
John Wesley 1703-1791