Was anyone ever more instructed than church founder John Wesley?

     The religious instruction received by John Wesley as a child is almost incomprehensible by moderns. His much older brother Sammy was studying to become an ordained Anglican minister. His father Samuel was an ordained Anglican minister. Both grandfathers had been noncomformist preachers. Religious observations permeated the Wesley home. Each day when John awakened he first had to say from memory the Lord's prayer, a prayer for his family, a 'Collect' from the Book of Common Prayer, something from his catechism and some verse from Scripture!
     After breakfast the Wesley children gathered in the parlor where mother Susanna directed their studies. Like every Wesley child John began reading on his fifth birthday. Only Holy Scripture was suitable for learning to read. He began his first few stumbling words in Genesis. Also as he grew older he read Scripture in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. However he eventually was allowed to read classics in any language. Poetry and music were not neglected. No child was considered educated who could not read and write poetry and music.
     At bedtime John once again had to say from memory the Lord's prayer, a prayer for his family, a 'Collect' from the
Book of Common Prayer, something from his catechism and some verse from Scripture. Few heroes received as children the virtue of religious training John Wesley had as a child. But the instruction nevertheless came. The 'instruction' of evangelist T. D. Jakes is more typical of Wesley than that of normal people. Jakes was raised in a family that not only attended church but participated in church. Singing in the choir was expected. Church was a vital part of his life.
     But the intensive instruction came when T. D. was seized by a craving for the Bible. The Bible was profoundly satisfying. It was the only way he could comprehend his father's long years of suffering and death. T. D. was in high school. "I found myself with this insatiable desire to read the Bible," he told the Gospel Today magazine. "It seemed almost to overwhelm me. I used to sneak my Bible inside the history books and science books. I just was extremely fascinated with the Bible - almost like, I would imagine, a pregnant woman craves food." Yes, he smuggled the Bible into school, so he could read its rich satisfying message all day long. Kids teased him as the 'Bible Boy'. He didn't care. Rather than being angered by the teasing, he felt proud. Outside of school he walked with Bible in hand, alone or not, often preaching to the sky.
     Why is the virtue of instruction so important to heroes?

The very first words John Wesley learned to read were the first words in the book of Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…"

T. D. Jakes Evangelist

T. D. Jakes grew up memorizing the Bible but at 16 he began to crave the Bible...








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