John developed a poetical gift early in his life. He wrote about “water nymphs playing with the clouds on mountain tops, frolicking with the snow and rain in rugged gorges, coquetting (flirting) with the sun and dancing to the sheen of the moon.”
Studying the Bible with great earnestness and searching for religious truth became a quest of John’s youth. At the age of sixteen, he left the Church of England to join the Methodists because he liked the commitment they showed to their faith and their emphasis on prayer. He prayed constantly in his heart.
Beautiful music played frequently in John’s head. “Often when alone, and sometimes in company, I heard sweet, soft, melodious music as if performed by angelic or supernatural beings.” He felt like he was never alone. God was leading him, teaching him as he studied about Christ. At times he saw “dreams and visions.”
John talked a group of friends into joining him in the fields each day for prayer. They came a few times but eventually quit. John was disappointed, but he soon turned his enthusiasm for religion to preaching to his friends about living a good Christian life.