Sunday, January 24, 2010


This little gem recently appeared on our carts of books to be shelved at Wonder Book (, priced at $2.95. It's a second edition of Samuel Wesley's poems, published in 1742. Samuel, a minister and poet, was the father of John Wesley, who founded the Methodist denomination, and Charles Wesley, who wrote well-known hymns such as "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "O For a Thousand Tongues." I love to see how literary talents are passed through generations. Perhaps Samuel Wesley's poems are not read by many people today, but his son's hymns continue to move hearts in worship.
The original boards were preserved by an anonymous 20th-century binder, who wrapped them in black fabric and painted the spine silver. I intend to protect and re-attach the boards and create a new spine.
Samuel's poetry is fun to read, actually. Here he gives advice to a friend whose demanding siblings are protesting their brother's upcoming marriage:
You dare not marry, Friend, you own,
For fear your Family should frown;
Why, Wedlock would your Freedom gain,
Which others uses to enchain:
Y' had better follow my Advice,
And marry once, than marry twice;
Betwixt your Sister, and your Brother,
Husband to one, and Wife to t'other.
As my young Wonder Book coworkers might say: "Ooooh, that's harsh!"

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