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John Wesley, The Preacher DVD
As a child he was pulled from a burning building. As a young man he would fail at the one thing he wanted to do- preach. One, life-changing moment, however, would transform John Wesley’s path from one of fearful failure to that of a heart set on fire for God. John Wesley, the Preacher, a re-release of the J. Arthur Rank classic from 1954, brings to life the story, struggles, and triumphs of one of history’s greatest evangelists. Walk with Wesley through his early childhood, his Oxford days, his failed mission to America, his life-transforming Aldersgate experience, and his passionate life of bringing the gospel to the masses of England. As you do, you will be encouraged and challenged by the faith and lives of some of the greatest revivalists of all time.
Although John Wesley is by far the better known, much of his success and faith was coupled with that of his brother Charles. If Wesley could be called the mouth of the Methodist movement, Charles could be called the heart. Born into the strong Anglican family of Samuel and Susanna Wesely their childhood was one of thoughtful and prayerful instruction from their mother. Despite the fact that they received education and religious instruction from a young age, however, the Wesley’s early life was far from easy. Born respectively as the fifteenth and eighteenth children, John and Charles were accustomed to hardship and lack early on in their lives. Their Father, a poverty stricken preacher, was often away from home, and Susana Wesley took it upon herself to educate and train up her children in “the way they should go.” Much to her delight, I am sure, when the boys grew older they both set out for Oxford University to study. It was at Oxford that Charles (not John) would first set them down a path of the immense faith that would mark their later lives. Shocked by the “tepid” atmosphere of religion in Oxford, Charles set about forming the “Holy Club,” an organization whose members focused on observing strict spiritual study. It would be the first stirrings of the Methodist movement. Following their ordination, both men would set out for the Americas to minister to the Indians. The trip was a disaster in the young men’s minds. They were ridiculed, sick, and heartbroken when they returned home to England, but they had been touched and confused by the great faith of the Moravians. Soon the two brothers would individually experience a “re-awakening” of their faith and set out to share their new found joy with the people of England. While John preached, Charles wrote hymns declaring the glory and praise of God. With John’s words and Charles’ music thousands of people were soon earnestly seeking to follow God. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a states, “Two are better than one, because they have good reward for their toil. For if they fall one will lift up his fellow.” The Wesley brothers are a testament to the the truth of this verse, as one stumbled the other picked his brother up. As you watch John Wesley, The Preacher you will become encouraged by the mutual support and encouragement of the Wesley brothers, and perhaps you will come to realize the powerful effect your faith can have on others.
The Power of a Praying Mother
It is easy to remember the faith of great men, “the faith of our fathers” we call it, but little do we remember the “faith of our mothers.” Were it not for the prayers and efforts of Susanna Wesley, we may never have had the Wesley brothers to convict and inspire our hearts. Susanna Wesley was the mother of nineteen children, and the wife of a poverty stricken minister- two overwhelming and discouraging thoughts in themselves- yet she used her position to influence the lives she touched for good. She taught her children (girls included) not only to read and write English, but also Greek, Latin, and French. She read them the great classics of the day while smoothly running a large household on mere pennies a day. What she should most be admired for, however, is her desire to see her children following God. She viewed each child as a “soul committed to me as a talent under trust,” and earnestly sought to instill godly values in her children’s hearts from a young age. She prayed for them, she talked with them, and she read and quoted scripture to them. Though many would now view her position as a mother as one of little influence, she changed the world through her earnest desire to raise her children in the “way they should go”. She, in fact, fulfilled one of John Wesley’s famous phrases, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can,” perhaps she was his inspiration. As you watch John Wesley, The Preacher you will be reminded continually of the influence your faith has over those you touch, and encouraged that even in the places it seems God can use you the least he can use you to change the world.
John Wesley, The Preacher is a real life story of faith in the face of failure, and the power of second chances. As you journey through the dramatic life of John Wesley your family will be reminded of the “faith of our fathers” as well as that of our mothers. You will be encouraged by the words of the Wesley brothers as they marvel in the riches of God’s love. This film spotlights the life of an incredible man and over the course of the movie, you will come to understand what a powerful impact he made on our world.
John Wesley, The Preacher is not rated. As always, parents are encouraged to view John Wesley, The Preacher for their children, but this movie is acceptable for most audiences.
A re-release of the historical 1954 classic. This film follows the life of Wesley.