Religion: Founder on Film

One night in 1709, a gang of bullies set fire to a thatched cottage in Epworth, England, where their censorious Anglican vicar lay sleeping. The Rev. Samuel Wesley and his family escaped in their nightshirts, but one small son got left behind in the rush. It took a valiant rescue effort to save five-year-old John Wesley from the flames, and when he was restored to his mother, she is supposed to have offered a prayer: "See—is not this a brand, plucked from the burning?"*

John Wesley never seemed to forget his mother's words. A...

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