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John Wesley Poetry and Hymn Collection

John Wesley Poetry and Hymn Collection


Raised in a family of poets, John Wesley appears to have recognized early that he was not as gifted in creating original verse as his brothers Samuel Jr. and Charles. His undisputed efforts in this capacity are gathered at John Wesley’s Undisputed Verse.

At the same time, John shared the appreciation of his time for the power of poetry to convey convictions, stir the affections, and strengthen moral resolve. He particularly came to value the contribution of hymns to enlivening and shaping Christian life. This led him to devote a significant portion of his vocation to selecting, editing, and publishing collections of poetry and hymns. John drew on a number of authors beyond his family in these collections. This fact led George Osborn to omit many of these works from the 13-volume Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley, which is one of the limitations of Osborn’s collection.

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