Yesterday we started a five-week series on the Wesleyan Revival. John Wesley is getting most of our attention, but it’s important to note that he wasn’t the only Wesley through whom God was at work to bring revival to England.
There was Charles, his younger brother. Charles wrote the music of Methodism. He wrote more than 6,500 hymns. He’s the main reason music has always been important to us. We are “singing Methodists”.
And there was Susanna, mother to John, Charles, and 17 other children. I’m not going to have time to give her her due in the sermon series, so I thought I’d use this space. I’ve attached a 3 minute video that will give you a deeper appreciation of this remarkable woman. It could be argued that the Wesley behind the Wesleyan Revival, even more than John or Charles, was Susanna.
She taught faith to her children, and part of the teaching was her own example. She spent an hour each day in her personal devotions. Here is one of the many prayers written in her hand that have been preserved all these years:
Enable me, O God, to collect and compose my thoughts before an immediate approach to Thee in prayer. May I be careful to have my mind in order when I take upon myself the honour to speak to the Sovereign Lord of the Universe, remembering that upon the temper of my soul depends, in very great measure, my success. Thou art infinitely too great to be trifled with; too wise to be imposed on by a mock devotion and dost abhor a sacrifice without a heart. Help me to entertain an habitual sense of Thy perfections, as an admirable help against cold and formal performances. Save me from engaging in rash and precipitate prayers and from abrupt breaking away to follow business or pleasure as though I had never prayed. Amen.
Here’s a Susanna Wesley trivia question: What did she do daily with her children that might have gotten her in trouble with law enforcement today? Come to church Sunday to learn the answer.