Religion: The Other Wesley

Thirty-nine years before the gleam of lanterns from the steeple of Boston's Old North Church warned Paul Revere of approaching redcoats, a short, stocky Anglican divine, clad in near-rags and wasted by dysentery, tottered ashore at Boston Harbor. After convincing one rector that he was indeed a clergyman ("my ship-clothes not being the best credentials"), Charles Wesley, prolific composer (6,500 hymns) and restless younger brother of Methodism's Founder John Wesley, preached a sermon in Christ Church, better known as the Old North Church.

Wesley arrived in Boston by happenstance. Ailing and discouraged at the failure of a tour of duty in Governor...

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