And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15: 14)
John and Charles Wesley soon found themselves out of favor with many fellow Anglican ministers who spurned their fiery evangelistic preaching. Many pulpits were closed to them.
A friend from his Oxford days, George Whitefield, 22, who was having the same trouble, began preaching in the open air. In London, he asked Charles to stand with him as he preached to thousands on the open air at Blackhearth, and Charles, too, got a vision for reaching the multitudes.
He made his first attempt in the outskirts of London. "Franklyn, a farmer, invited me to preach in His field," he wrote. "I did so to about 500, I returned to the house rejoicing." soon he was preaching to thousands, "My load was gone, and all my doubts and scruples. God shone upon my path; and I knew this was his will concerning me."
A man named Joseph Williams heard Charles in Bristol: "I found him standing on a table-board, in an erect posture...surrounded by, I guess, more than a thousand people, some of them fashionable persons, but most of the lower rank of mankind. He prayed with uncommon fervency...He then preached about half an hour in such a manner as I have scarce ever heard any man preach...I think I never heard any man labor so earnestly to convince his hearers they were all by nature in a sinful, lost, undone, damnable state; that notwithstanding, there was a possibility of their salvation, which he explained and illustrated, and then by a variety of the most forcible motives, arguments, and expostulation, did he invite, allure, quicken, and labor, if it were possible, to compel all, and every of his hearers, to believe in Christ for salvation."
Charles Wesley still preaches today in much the same way through his ageless hymn which are sung around the world each Sunday.