Program Review - A Heart Set Free: Charles Wesley
If you are reading this review on the Sabbath, then I would like to wish you a Sabbath filled with the glorious knowledge that God is our refuge and fortress, our God who we trust.
This week’s review is for the documentary, A Heart Set Free: Charles Wesley, by T N Mohan.
I didn’t know anything about Charles Wesley, so this documentary was all new information for me and what a delight it was to watch! It’s packed with facts and thoughts about the life of a man, known for his preaching and hymns, all to the glory of God, through Jesus Christ.
The documentary covers Charles Wesley’s birth and events throughout his life. The description of the society Charles Wesley grew up in was graphic and included a description about the church environment - described as “spiritually careless”.
We get to know about the miracle of Charles’ survival from a fire and his mother devotion to homeschooling, manners and morals. I found the way she cared for her children inspiring. It was said that she considered the saving of the souls of her children her main priority. They were taught to read through the Bible and she taught her children to love God and how to endure hardship.
Even though she had a lot of children she still found the time to devote attention to each one, each week, talking to them about their concerns, hope and dreams.
I found it interesting how the children turned to their father for academic support and their mother for spiritual advice.
I really liked learning about the mentor relationship Charles had with his brother, John, who, for example, heard of his straying from the Christian life in his early years at Oxford university and went there to lead him back to the values their Christian family held dear. Letters from the brothers were read - I found the tone of their conversations so interesting. It made me think that a lot has been lost from communication since that time.
It was very interesting to learn about John’s spiritual journey too, as the brothers were very close and had significant impact on one another’s lives.
There is so much information about both of their journeys, including their years of despair and efforts to gain righteousness through deeds, for example, during their missionary work in USA.
We learn about their moments of conversion and how that impacted the rest of their lives. It’s amazing to think how they were trying to minister to people, yet they knew deep inside that they too had to be converted. Psalm 32:1 was referenced: Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
It was really interesting to learn how Charles went from preacher’s notes to using no notes at all by 1739 - even preaching from whatever Bible text his eyes happened to fall on. We learn how they preached to 10,000 or more people, outside of church buildings, despite being banned by the Anglican church to preach within their church walls. What a blessing!
I was astonished to learn the number of hymns Charles Wesley wrote in the period of 50 years, after his conversion - around 9000! I was surprised to recognized some of the hymns they played in the documentary and had no idea Charles wrote them. For example, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Love Divine. I’m astonished - 9000 hymns, in addition to life in ministry, a family life, amongst other things. God really provided him with the energy for it all.
As I mentioned, this documentary is full of facts about the life of Charles and John Wesley and it has inspired me to watch the documentary on John Wesley.
I also looked up Charles Wesley hymns on Spotify and really look forward to playing them each day.
I watched A Heart Set Free - Charles Wesley on the Vision Video YouTube Channel.
Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.
Film and thumbnail source: Vision Video