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2009-04-13ChurchHistory - Page 1 of 8 Church History 14 He...

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Page 1 of 8 Church History 14 April 13, 2009 He hopes at some point we find out why we’ve learned all of these things. He’s at a disadvantage in talking about Wesley. The hymns: two kinds to speak of. Some are exegetical works. Come O Thou Traveler Unknown…. With Thee all night I mean to stay and wrestle til the break of day. The Lord watch over thee and me when we can not longer watch each other. Laban cheats Jacob , Jacob cheats Esau and Laban. Jacob’s wrestling with the stranger is not much explained in the text. Jacob’s hip was thrown out of joint, and thus the Israelites won’t eat that cut of meat. Jacob asks for his name and the stranger won’t give his name. The stranger asks Jacob (trickister and deceiver) to Israel (prince of God). To know the name is to know the nature. To have power over. His nature is known, and his name is changed to indicate that his nature will also change. This wrestling happens late at night, when he is all alone. The women, children and animals are all gone ahead. In the morning the sun dawns, the stranger leaves, and Jacob limps away from the encounter. “Come Thou O Traveler Unknown”….. It becomes clear in the course of the story that the stranger’s name is “Love” and that the stranger is Christ, and the sun that rises at dawn in the story is the sun that rises in the heart of Jacob. Furthermore, the wrestler conquerors the stranger not by strength but by weakness. He is too weak to leave the stranger, it by weakness that the stranger is conquerored. Not about how a cut of Kosher meat got it’s name, but in Charles Wesley, the story of wrestling with God, the triumph of faith and the realization that pure universal love is the name of the stranger with whom the archetypical wrestler is wrestling. In the course of the hymn / exegesis, it becomes an archetypal story of the birth of faith. Doctrinal subjects: Wesley doesn’t write much on some subjects, but there are hymns. Eucharistist theology: several hundred hymns by Charles. Charles writes, but John edits. So even though Charles writes, it gets edited by John.
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Page 2 of 8 Is Christ present, how is He present, who may receive the sacrament? Is there a past, future and present dimension? All of these are specifically answered in the hymns, but not in the theological writings. In the 18 th century there were many praying for an evangelical revolution in England. John wasn’t praying one – he was horrified when one broke out. He was high church and low church… catholic and protestant. On Eucharist, he was High Calvinism, the spiritual real presence, sure and “earthly spirits rise, with heavenly food they are fed.” He wants you to take the Eucharist on a daily basis. On the other hand, experimentation with lay groups, with women, with preachers….
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2009-04-13ChurchHistory - Page 1 of 8 Church History 14 He...

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