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John Wesley, musician

September 06, 2016

Did you know that John Wesley introduced hymn singing into the English-speaking Church? When John was in Georgia he took some of the German hymns, added several others, took them to Charleston, and had them printed in 1736. It was probably the first hymn book in the Anglican (Church of England) denomination.

Before John Wesley, English-speaking congregations chanted psalms, but did not sing hymns. Wesley enjoyed the hymn singing of the German Moravians on the ship coming to Georgia and when he worshipped with them in Georgia.

When John was a student at Christ Church Collage at Oxford he played the flute. One entry in his Georgia diary indicates his desire to spend at least one hour each day playing his flute while in Georgia.

Wesley loved great singing! He rejoiced when the children in his schools sang. However, he was greatly disturbed by poor singing. He especially disliked it when several people who had good voices would sing different words at the same time. He thought that such singing was the most foolish thing he ever heard.

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