July 22, 2023
Bristol and Bath
Read Psalm 130
We began and ended our day in the rain, traveling first to Bristol. Bristol is home to "The New Room," which is the first and oldest Methodist church in the world. It is here that George Whitfield invited John Wesley to come and preach. It was the first place that Wesley preached outdoors like Whitfield did. Eventually a building was built in this place for all the "Methodists." The building held a Sunday School, sanctuary and place for care and worship. After John settled in London, he traveled to Bristol frequently. It is said it is one of the last churches he preached at preaching against the slave trade.
Charles Wesley eventually settled here with his wife Sara (called Sally). We toured his home. Charles, of course, is known for his hymn writing. They moved to London when two of their three children were proficient in their musical abilities to further their musical training.
In the afternoon we traveled to Bath and toured the remains of the Roman baths (after which Bath is named.) We had a chance to walk in the town. There really is no place in the United Kingdom that is not touched by the Wesley's and the Methodist movement. John Wesley traveled to Bath and was willing to confront immoral leaders in the community.
I chose Psalm 130 for this day because of our focus on Charles Wesley. In my opinion, he does not receive as much recognition as he should for his role in the Methodist movement. Psalm 130 was the formative scripture for Charles' Aldersgate experience four days before John's. It was during the reading, studying and praying of this scripture along with Bible study, fellowship and the singing of hymns that Wesley had his 'heart warming experience," and fully felt God's grace. v. 5-6 remind us of the peace that comes with this acceptance and assurance.
We will walk Aldersgate Street and see the places of the Wesley's Aldersgate experiences when we are in London.
Prayer: God , continue to fill me with your grace that I might wholly feel the peace and contentment you offer to us.