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And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour's blood?

Samuel Wesley was a Church of England clergyman. With his wife, Susanna, he was blessed with 19 children. Two of them, John and Charles, took their faith particularly seriously. At university, Charles established the Holy Club so that those who shared their devotional piety could encourage each other. On account of their fanatical lifestyle they became known as Methodists.

Then, in 1738, something extraordinary happened to the brothers. Charles received a revelation of the grace of God and, in an instant, realised that none of his religious endeavours could raise his status before God. God's love for him had already accomplished everything necessary for his salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Three days later John experienced a similar breakthrough.

Charles expressed their shared experience in the hymn quoted above - one of 6,500 that he composed! Through John's preaching the Great Awakening sparked a revival which swept through England during the 18th century. Its enduring legacy is the Methodist Church, while Charles' hymns continue to express the convictions of 21st century Christians, inspiring a more impassioned recognition that faith is derived from God's love and is not conditional upon human performance.



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