ABSTRACT

This chapter examines John and Charles Wesley’s communicative method and considers how it was applied to the central evangelical media of the sermon and the hymn. I look at the strategies which the Wesley brothers employed to authorise and discipline a discourse that was negatively identified with the common and the female voice in its capacity to inflame emotion and the sensual imagination. The Wesleys’ rational method was shaped by their simultaneous endorsement of, and embarrassment with, these enthusiastic characteristics. A disciplined enthusiasm was demonstrated in John Wesley’s plain clarity of diction and Charles Wesley’s lyrical use of strong and simple scriptural metaphor.