C. K. OGDEN
LETTER OF JOSEPH HAET TO HIS NEPHEW.
it l^ifats 0f % ritisjj Hgrnn Writes
Personal Memoirs derived largely from unpublished materials
(Author of "The Life of William Cowper," "The Life of
William Huntington," &c.)
FARNCOMBE & SON, 30 IMPERIAL BUILDINGS,
LUDGATE CIRCUS, E.G.
BY KIND PERMISSION, TO
THE RIGHT REV. H. C. G. MOULE, D.D.,
LORD BISHOP OF DURHAM.
CHILDHOOD, YOUTH, AND EARLY MANHOOD Page
1 Early Days, 1712 1733 ..... i
2 Soul Trouble, 1734 1739. Early verses . 2
3 Whitefield and Wesley, 1741 . ' 4
4 The Unreasonableness of Religion, 1741 . . . 7
5 " The Road to Death " ..... 13
HART AS A TRANSLATOR
6 Phocylides, May, 1744 ... 15
7 Herodian, Nov., 1749 ..... 18
1751 3ist Dec., 1756
I WILL ARISE
8 Marriage, about 1752 . . . / . . . 26
9 Andrew Kinsman ...... 27
10 A Sermon by Whitefield, 1755 .... 30
THE VISION AND THE EARLIER HYMNS
11 The View of the Agony, Easter, 1757 (Hymn i, Part i) . 34
12 " All for Love " (Hymn i , Part 2) . . . . 35
13 He becomes personally acquainted with Whitefield. Hymns
2 and 3 .... . 37
14 At the Moravian Chapel, 2gth May, 1757. Hymns 4 6 . 38
15 Dates of the Hymns . . . . . . 41
16 Hymns 715 43
THE HYMNS OF 1758
17 New Year's Hymn and Hymns 17 32 , 44
18 The Good Friday Hymns of 1758 and Hymns 3761 , 46
vi LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK. Page
19 At the Sign of the Lamb. Hymns 62 75 . . 48
20 Hart's First Sermon ... 50
21 Romaine and the Prodigal . 51
22 Hymns 76 119 ... 52
23 The Experience ...... 54
24 First Edition of the Hymns, 7th July, 1759. Andrew
Kinsman makes his acquaintance . . *'. ' 57
PASTOR AT JEWIN STREET
25 Jewin Street Chapel ...... 62
26 The Supplemental Hymns. Death of George II., 25th
Oct., 1760 ...... 63
27 Second and Third Editions, 1762, 1763. John Wilkes . 68
28 The Dr. Johnson Anecdote. Fourth and Fifth Editions,
1765, 1767 ..... 70
THE YEAR 1767
29 Hart in the Pulpit. John Katterns. The Toplady
Anecdote . . . . . . 74
30 Hart's Friends. Dr. John Ford . . ... 77
31 " The King of the Jews," 25th Dec., 1767. Garnet Terry 79
32 Letter of Hart to his Nephew, 2gth Dec., 1767 . . 83
LAST DAYS AND DEATH
33 The John Wilkes Riots. Deathbed Scenes . . 86
34 The Funeral Oration delivered by the Rev. Andrew
Kinsman . . . . . . .91
35 Rev. John Hughes's Sermon, 5th June, 1768 . 94
36 Rev. John Towers . . . . -^ . * 95
"' CONCLUSjjpN, v **
37 Tributes to Hart ' 97
38 Death of Whitefield,\Iughes, and others . . . 100
39 Hart's Memorial in Bunhill Fields . , , , 103
1 Bibliography of Joseph Hart . . . . 106
2 History of the Jewin Street and Barbican Churches sub-
sequent to 1774 . . ... . 107
3 Descendants of Hart ... . . 107
4 List of Essays on Hart's Hymns by Rev. A. J. Baxter . in
5 References in Dr. Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology . 113
LIST OF PLATES
1 Letter of Hart to his Nephew . . Frontispiece
2 Title-page of The Unreasonableness of Religion . Facing page 5
3 Title-page of Hart's "Phocylides" . . . 12
4 Title-page of Hart's "Herodian" . 17
5 Moravian Chapel, Fetter Lane ... ,,32
6 The Tabernacle, Tottenham Court Road . . ,,32
7 Rev. Andrew Kinsman ... ,,36
8 Rev. William Romaine .... ,,36
9 Title-page of First Edition of Hart's Hymns 45
10 Inscriptions in Hart's handwriting from the Pulpit
Bible used at Jewin Street Chapel . 49
11 Rev. John Towers . ,,64
12 John Benjamin Moor . >. . . 64
13 Hart's Tomb .... . 80
14 Title-page of Funeral Sermon preached by the
Rev. John Hughes .... 97
THERE has hitherto been no Life of Joseph Hart the most
spiritual of the British hymn-writers, as one of his admirers
has styled him, and yet those glorious productions, " Come,
all ye chosen saints of God," " Come, Holy Spirit, come,"
" Descend from heaven, celestial Dove," "Christ is the Friend
of sinners," and " Ye souls that trust in Christ, rejoice," have
for more than a century and a half been the delight and com-
fort of the churches. When I first mooted the desirability of
a work of this kind, I was met with the assurance that there
was no material. Impelled, however, by a high estimate of,
and a deep affection for, a writer whom I place unhesitatingly
among the six or seven very greatest of our hymnists, I
gave myself to research ; and, as the following pages will
show, success rewarded my efforts.
I naturally commenced my labours by making a careful
study of Hart's Experience, the " Advertisements " and pre-
faces to the numerous editions of his Hymns, the first editions
of The Unreasonableness of Religion and The King of the Jews, the
Oration delivered at his grave by the Rev. Andrew Kinsman,
and the Funeral Sermon by the Rev. John Hughes. I found
Shrubsole's Christian Memoirs helpful, notwithstanding its veil
of allegory, for its author evidently had his information
concerning Hart direct from Whitefield. The History and
Antiquities of Dissenting Churches, by Walter Wilson, Bunhill
Memorials, by Andrew Jones, Toplady's Works, and the early
volumes of The Evangelical Magazine, The Gospel Standard,
and The Earthen Vessel, also furnished material. I have
never met with a portrait of Hart, and I fear there is
not one in existence. The Rev. A. J. Baxter's Essays on
Hart's Hymns, which appeared in the Gospel Advocate, have
been invaluable. There is a copy of Hart's translation
of " Herodian " in the British Museum, and a copy of
his " Phocylides " in the University Library at Cambridge.
x LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
There is nothing of his in the Bodleian, with the exception
of a few copies of the Hymns (1769, 1777, 1856, 1867).
Both the " Phocylides " and the " Herodian " throw, by
means of preface, introduction, and annotation, curious and
welcome light on Hart's life and character. A number of
miscellaneous facts respecting Hart, that have hitherto been
unknown, will be found in these pages ; but to the majority of
readers, the discoveries respecting the origin of various of the
hymns will prove the most attractive portion of the book. A
new interest, for example, attaches itself to hymn 41 in the
Supplement by the discovery that it was suggested by the
death of King George II.
I have seen an old picture representing a poet offering on
bended knee a volume of verse, bound in crimson and adorned
with golden roses, to King Richard the Second. To-day we
are all kings and queens, and Joseph Hart bending before us
extends his precious volume. Let us, like the gracious Plan-
tagenet, not only accept the proffered treasure but also give
it Our frequent and thoughtful attention. Exteriorly it may
be without ornament, but we have only to open it in order
to come upon whole gardens of golden roses.
I wish to express my hearty thanks to the following ladies
and gentlemen who have helped me in different ways : Miss
Emily Hart, Miss Jane Hart, Miss R. L. Moor (descendants
of Hart), Miss Louisa Sharp (a descendant of Hart's friend,
Robert Jacks), Sir John Thorold, the Rev. A. C. E. Thorold,
the Rev. W. J. Latham, the Rev. Dr. Stokes, the Rev.
W. J. Styles, Mr. W. J. Martin, Mr. Charles King, Mr. J.
Wilmshurst, Mr. H. Belcher, Mr. William Wileman, Mr.
T. R. Hooper, Mr. R. Heffer, Mr. F. M. Jordan, the Rev.
H. H. McCullagh, Mr. A. Smith, of the Moravian Church,
Fetter Lane, Mr. E. Thorold Garland, Mr. J. Lock, Miss
Julia Smart, Mr. H. Buck, Mr. Joseph Wittome, Mr. J. P.
Wiles, Mr. B. Hunt, Rev. T. G. Crippen, Miss Annie Paul,
Mr. Wright, of the Plymouth Library, and Councillor E. H.
The warm interest that the Bishop of Durham (the Right
Rev. H. C. G. Moule, D.D.), to whom this book is dedicated,
has so kindly shown in my undertaking has been of great
encouragement to me.
I have been indebted to the following books and periodicals :
1768. A Sermon occasioned by the Death of the Rev. Mr.
Joseph Hart, preached in Jewin Street, June 5th, 1768, by
John Hughes, brother-in-law to Mr. Hart ; and an Oration
delivered at his interment by Andrew Kinsman.
1773. A Funeral Sermon occasioned by the Death of the Rev.
Mr. John Hughes. By Thomas Chorlton.
1790. Christian Memoirs. By W. Shrubsole. A new
1793. Evangelical Magazine. 1793, vol. i. Life of Rev.
Andrew Kinsman, pp. 45 60, with portrait.
8 1 o. The History and A ntiquities of Dissenting Churches. By
Walter Wilson. 4 vols., 1810.
Barbican Chapel, Vol. 3, pp. 221 227.
Jewin Street, pp. 320353.
Fetter Lane, pp. 420 426.
1811. A History of the English Baptists. By Joseph Ivimey.
1814. The King of the Jews. Also the edition of 1821,
published by E. Huntington.
1816. The Unreasonableness of Religion. Edition of 1816.
Published by E. Huntington.
1825. Toplady's Works. 6 vols.
1849. Bunhill Memorials. By John Andrew Jones.
Hart, pp. 80, 81.
Towers, pp. 280, 281.
Terry, p. 275.
1864. Gospel Standard, p. 253. Estimate of Hart, by Rev.
J. C. Philpot.
1868. Gospel Standard, p. 186. Notes respecting Miss
1873 to 1907. Gospel Advocate. Articles on Hart's Hymns,
by Rev. A. J. Baxter.
1877. Memorial to Mr. Joseph Hart, Minister of the Gospel
and Author of Hymns. J. Gadsby, 18, Bouverie Street,
1883. Joseph Hart's Hymns. Article by Robert Hoddy,
in The Gospel Herald, 1883, P* 2 3 8 ' Mr. Hoddy died on 8th
November, the same year,
1 904. A BrieffJistory of the Moravian Chapel, 32, Fetter Lane.
1908. Barbican Congregational Church, New North Road.
1908. Dr. Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology. 2nd edition.
The History of Nonconformity in Plymouth. By R. W. North,
THE LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
CHILDHOOD, YOUTH, AND EARLY MANHOOD
Joseph Hart, the hymn-writer, " dear Hart,"
"that dear man of God," 1 as -his i. Early
devoted admirers lovingly style him Days '
(and admirers more devoted never man had), was
born in London about 1712. His parents, who
were gracious and stedfast Calvinists, worshipped
at some Independent meeting 2 in the City, and
they endeavoured both by example and precept to
bring up their son in the fear of God.
" I imbibed," says Hart, " the sound doctrines
of the gospel from my infancy ; nor was I without
touches of heart, checks of conscience, and melt-
ings of affections, by the secret striving of God's
Spirit with me while very young ; but the impres-
sions were not deep, nor the influences lasting."
He was a warm-hearted, self-reliant, highly-
strung, ambitious lad ; his parents gave him a
sound education ; and he applied himself
1 "That Master in Israel, second to none." Thorpe Smith in the
Gospel Advocate, Vol. VIII. p. 84.
2 "Mr. Hearty was born in Independent Street." Shrubsole's
Christian Memoirs, 2nd ed., p. 209.
2 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
assiduously to his studies, especially French,
Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, in all of which he
became proficient. He was neat and methodical
in his habits. A devotee to literature, he might
any day be seen bending over the dingy book-
stalls of Moorfields. He read with relish most of
the great English writers, but his master bias was for
the literatures of Greece and Rome ; and after
leaving school he became a teacher of the classics,
though where or whom he taught has not trans-
pired. That he was a practical, enthusiastic, and
successful teacher is clear from the notes to his
translation of Phocylides, in which he explains
how it was that in those days so many lads made
but indifferent progress in their classical studies.
The reason is, he says, because the teachers them-
selves study their subjects only perfunctorily;
consequently, instead of carrying their pupils, as
they should, into the very presence of an ancient
author, they leave them to stagger about as best
they can " under a load of indigestible rules." 1
He laid down that, as with other temples so with
the classics, it is love alone that unlocks.
Soon after reaching the age of twenty-one, he
began to be under serious concern
2 'b?(? U 'ri u " res P ectm g ms eternal state. He says,
1734^1739 " The spirit of bondage distressed me
sore ; though I endeavoured to com-
mend myself to God's favour by amendment of
' Hart's " Phocylides," pp. 2 and 19.
YOUTH AND EARLY MANHOOD. 3
life, virtuous resolutions, moral rectitude, and a
strict attendance on religious ordinances. I strove
to subdue my flesh by fasting and mortification,
and other rigorous acts of penance ; and when-
ever I was captivated by its lusts I endeavoured to
reconcile myself again to God by sorrow for my
faul'ts, which, if attended with tears, I hoped would
pass as current coin with heaven." From his boy-
hood he had aspired to authorship, and these
spiritual conflicts victories alternating with
defeats had the effect of leading him to express
his thoughts in verse, but all his early poems are
lost, with the exception of a few lines which many
years afterwards he thought good enough to be
incorporated in some of his hymns. 1 His religion,
however, proved to be only superficial. Possessor
of rare natural talents, he was a welcome guest in
gilded and convivial circles ; and the public
garden, the play-house, and the tavern were his
habitual resorts. 2 " He wasted his substance."
The name given him by Shrubsole Mr. Hearty
was probably the one bestowed on him by his
worthless companions. He was indeed hearty in
the devil's service. If he broke with these com-
panions, as now and again happened, it was only
to return with impetuosity, after a brief interval,
to his old and vicious courses. " In this uneasy,
1 See Preface to First Edition.
2 In the words of Shrubsole. " he spent the day in rambling from one
diverting scene to another. In the evening he came into Wine Street,
and put up at an elegant tavern known by the sign of the ' Tun and
4 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
restless round of sinning and repenting, working
and dreading," he says, " I went on for above seven
years, when, a great domestic affliction befalling
me (in which I was a moderate sufferer, but a
monstrous sinner), I began to sink deeper and
deeper into conviction of my nature's evil, the
wickedness of my life, the shallowness of my
Christianity, and the blindness of my devotion."
Long after, recalling those days, he likened him-
self to an insensate mariner, who " sees yet strikes
the shelf" ; x and in one of the most agonizing cries
that ever poet uttered, he exclaims, referring to the
" I broke His law, and (worse than that)
Alas ! I broke His heart. 2
While Hart's mind was in this deplorable condi-
tion, while the sores of sin were cor-
and Wesley, roding his soul, 3 and while he was
11 reckoning trash for treasure, 4 the
country was being feverishly agitated by the
magnetic preaching of Whitefield and Wesley ;
and Hart, who, notwithstanding the looseness of
his life, still called himself a Calvinist, followed the
career of Whitefield, first with curiosity and after-
wards with passionate enthusiasm.
In August, 1739, Whitefield, who since the pre-
ceding April had preached regularly in Moorfields,
set sail for America, 5 his main object being the
1 Sup. 20. 2 Sup. 71. 8 Sup. 39. 4 Hymn 112.
5 His second visit to America.
RE MARKS and AN IMADVERSIONS
Mr, John Weflejs Sermon.
On Romans vni. 32.
Cut ft ihou by fe arching find out Cod? Cdnf tkott
jir.j out the Almighty to Perfection ?
It is- fc/gjb as Heaven. What canft fbou dof
J>ccpcr than HclL What catift ihou JKOIP ?
Job xi. 7, 8.
- The Spirit fearsketh all things , yea^ the
Deep things of God. i Cor.ii. 10.
Printed for the A U T H O R.
TITLE PAGE OP "THE UNEEASONABLENESS OF
From the copy in the British Museum. (By permission.)
YOUTH AND EARLY MANHOOD. 5
establishment of an orphanage for the benefit of
the colony of Georgia. 1 One evening in the fol-
lowing November, Wesley, who for long had been
diverging doctrinally from Whitefield, preached at
Bristol a sermon from Romans viii., in which he
declared himself an unhesitating believer in per-
fection 2 and universal redemption, speaking
pointedly against the Calvinistic position, and
against election and predestination in particular.
The' sermon was afterwards published with the
title of " Free Grace," 3 and it fell like a thunder-
bolt upon the religious world. The line of argu-
ment alone would have had the effect of exciting
to fever heat those who had ranged themselves on
the Calvinistic side ; but the title which Wesley
had tacked to his sermon acted like oil to the fur-
nace. On receiving a copy, Whitefield, who
insisted that the doctrine of election had been
taught him of God, wrote at once to Wesley a
letter, every line of which bubbles with indigna-
tion. It is dated 24th Dec., 1740, and runs :
" Reverend and very dear Brother, God only
knows what unspeakable sorrow of heart I have
felt on your account since I left England last.
Whether it be my infirmity or not, I frankly con-
1 On 3ist Jan., 1740, he wrote, " I am building a large house. It will
cost much money. But our Lord will see to that."
2 "Thursday, i5th Nov., 1739. On Saturday evening I explained at
Bristol the nature and extent of Christian perfection." Wesley 's Journal,
Dent's ed. i., p. 248.
3 Free Grace. A Sermon preach 'd at Bristol by John Wesley, M.A.,
Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. London. Printed by W. Strahan.
6 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
fess that Jonah could not go with more reluctance
against Nineveh than I now take pen in hand to
write against you. . . . For some time before,
and especially since my last departure from
England, both in public and private, by preaching
and printing, you have been propagating the
doctrine of Universal Redemption. . . . Dear,
dear sir, oh, be not offended. . . . Down with
your carnal reasoning. Be a little child. And
then, instead of pawning your salvation, as you
have done in the late hymn-book, 1 if the doctrine
of Universal Redemption be not true ; instead of
talking of sinless perfection, as you have done in
the preface to that hymn-book, and making man's
salvation depend on his own free will, as you have
in this sermon, you will compose a hymn in praise
of sovereign, distinguishing love."
Such is the substance of this epoch-making
letter. It is the conspicuous white way-post with
unmistakable finger, erected at the angle where
the great evangelical high road suddenly and
unexpectedly splits. This letter was afterwards
printed, and hundreds of copies were handed to
Wesley's people, both at the door of his preaching
place in Moorfields the Foundry and inside the
building. Having procured one, Wesley, who
believed it had been printed without Whitefield's
leave, gave an account of its origin, concluding
his remarks with, " I will do just what I believe
Hymns and Sacred Songs by John and Charles Wesley.
YOUTH AND EARLY MANHOOD. 7
Mr. Whitefield would were he here himself," and
then he tore it in pieces before the congregation.
" Everyone who received it," he says, " did the
same, so that in two minutes there was not a whole
copy left." 1
When Whitefield landed again in England on
nth March, 1741 it was to declare that he could
no longer work with Wesley. However, they
" were kept from anathematising each other,"
though there were at times ominous rumblings,
and each persevered in the course that seemed
best to him.
But if Whitefield refrained from attacking
Wesley, others who disapproved of the 4 The Un .
Bristol sermon trenchantly assailed it n 2r?f Ren-
both by lip and pen, the most uncom- ion - 1741
promising being Joseph Hart, who issued in 1741
a caustic and powerful pamphlet entitled, " The
Unreasonableness of Religion, being Remarks and
Animadversions on Mr. John Wesley's Sermon on
Romans viii. 32. " 2 Gifted, acrimonious, hasty to
proclaim his opinions sound or unsound ; not alto-
gether pleasing in his manner, even when in the right;
impatient to flesh his sword, Hart rushed upon
1 Wesley 's Journal, ist Feb., 1741, Dent's ed., i. 297. Wesley's Sermon
and Whitefield's Letter to Wesley are both advertised in the London
Evening Post, 7th April, 1741, and in other numbers of that newspaper,
the latter just below the former.
2 There is a copy of the first edition in the British Museum. (Press
mark iii. a. 56.) This pamphlet and Hart's sermon, "The King of the
Jews," were reprinted by Ebenezer Huntington in 1821 ; by John Bennett
and John Gadsby, in 1836 ; and reviewed in the Gospel Standard for
May of that year. A portion of the pamphlet appeared in the Gospel
Advocate for 1876, Vol. 8, pp. 42 and 107.
8 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
Wesley with a confident and exulting, " Ha ! ha ! "
" It is a truth," he commences, " of singular use
and solid comfort to those whose understandings
are enlightened by the Spirit of God to perceive it,
that religion and reason are not only widely
different, but directly contrary the one to the
" i. Reason bids me expect acceptance from the
Almighty in a future state according to the moral
justice, equity, and goodness of mine actions in the
present. Religion teaches me that I shall be
acquitted, justified, and accepted of God by the
righteousness of another, freely bestowed and given
me, without the least regard to my own personal
either merit or demerit.
"2. Reason tells me that in order to secure an
interest in eternal life, I must by mine own natural
strength strive, struggle, and labour. Religion
plainly shows me that when I was in my natural
state it was impossible for me to move one step
towards heaven ; but was as incapable of exerting
the least power or motion towards any spiritual
good as a dead carcase is of performing any action
of natural life.
" 3. Reason in some asserts that, admitting man
in his natural state cannot turn or prepare himself
to seek the Lord, yet that divine power necessary
to enable him so to do is given, or rather offered,
indiscriminately to all alike. Religion, in contra-
diction to this, declares that the glory of God is the
YOUTH AND EARLY MANHOOD. 9
ultimate and only end of all His works ; and that
as even the wicked, made for the day of evil, shall
be instruments of setting forth this glory in their
destruction, which they are utterly unable by any
means to avoid ; so, on the other hand, those who
are predestinated to the adoption of sons shall
infallibly receive the grace given them here, and
enjoy the glory prepared for them in Christ before
the foundation of the world.
" 4. Reason in those who are converted is ever
speaking thus : Although in my unregenerate state
I was utterly unable to move the least step forward
in the pursuit of religion, yet, now I am converted
and born again, I must stir up the gift that is in
me. It is my duty to pray to the Lord to increase
my faith. I must endeavour to grow in grace, and
in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The voice of
Religion speaks in this wise : I plainly see, and
experimentally feel, that as before conversion I
could not move one hair's breadth towards God
and goodness ; so, since I am new created in
Christ Jesus, the old man in me is as rebellious
and stubborn as ever. . . . My greatest labour
is to be quiet, my strongest struggling to sit still, 1
and my most active endeavours to apprehend
myself entirely passive in God's hand."
After various observations ancillary to these
statements, he deplores the degeneracy of an age
" when religion is almost thrown aside ; when
1 Cf. Hymn 30. " The strength of e% r ery tempted son
Consists in standing still."
io LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
self-named preachers of all professions seem unani-
mously agreed in a literal sense to do nothing,
except it be to strive for the fattest livings and
wealthiest congregations." " Feebly, however, as
the doctrines of truth had been proclaimed, alarm,"
he tells us, " had been felt by the adversary, and
zealous opposers of that little truth " had arisen.
And then it transpires that he has in mind one
person in particular, " Mr. John Wesley, who,"
he adds, " in a sermon lately come to my hands,
preached at Bristol, and published under the
specious title of Free Grace, has debased and
vilified the glorious doctrine of God's eternal love
to elected sinners."
He then takes Wesley's sermon paragraph by
paragraph, and comments bitterly on the " old
" Many things that happen," he says, " are
inconsistent with one's natural notions of justice
and mercy " good men are weighed down with
trouble ; evil men go through life like a band of
music. Think again of the sufferings of the brute
creation. " Surely these things are disagreeable to
our natural notions of goodness and mercy. And
yet we see so they are, and ever have been. How
then can any man presume to say that the doctrine
of predestination cannot be true, only because it
disagrees with our reason, and contradicts our
natural conceptions of justice and mercy ? "
After commenting on the uselessness of "a mere
YOUTH AND EARLY MANHOOD. n
notional assent to the doctrine of election," which,
he observes, is as incapable of helping the soul as
the bare ocular sight of meat is of nourishing the
body, he sets down what we may take to be his
own experiences. " The first thing generally done
by the Spirit in the conversion of a sinner is to
show him that he is lost in himself, and must die
eternally without the free grace and mercy of God
in the Mediator. . . . Thus is he continually
distressed . . . till God shall shine in upon him by
His Spirit. . . . He now begins to see a mar-
vellous light in the sacred writings, unknown to
him before by the letter."
In his sermon, Wesley had described election
as " an uncomfortable doctrine." " Indeed, so it
is," says Hart, " to those who cannot see their
interest in it, but marvellously sweet and comfort-
able to all who by grace are made partakers of it." 1
" I believe the doctrine of election to be true
because I believe myself elected. It is so because
it is so, is good logic in religion, though ridiculous
Up to this point Hart's line of argument is one
which commends itself in almost every particular
to those who uphold the doctrines of Free Grace 2
as understood by Whitefield and his co-religionists;
but having gone so far he shoots off at a tangent
1 Cf. Huntington's remark : " Election is a formidable mountain before
us so long as we do not know our interest in the Saviour, but when we do
it is an iron pillar at our back."
a As opposed to those of Free Will.
12 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
taking upon himself to make the outrageous and
portentous assertion that sinners' sins " do not
destroy but often increase their comfort even here." 1
The painful part is that his actions at this time
comported generally with his notions, for he says
in his " Experience," " Having (as I imagined)
obtained by Christ a liberty of sinning, I was
resolved to make use of it, and thought the more I
could sin without remorse, the greater hero I was
Often and often in after days whatever his
attitude towards one or two other passages in the
pamphlet he deeply regretted this pronounce-
ment those after days in which he could but
write, deeply sighing the while,
"How sore a plague is sin,
To those by whom 'tis felt ;
The Christian cries, ' Unclean, unclean ! '
E'en though released from guilt." 2
Far from finding "comfort" in the recollection
of his sins, he could only look back upon them with
horror and loathing. Though the sores had healed,
there were still the unsightly scars.
This passage would have revealed, even if the
knowledge had not come to us from another
source, that Hart was at the period of his pamphlet
1 There is a review of The Unreasonableness of Religion in the
Gospel Standard for May, 1836, but the Reviewer seems to have been
unaware of the state of Hart's mind at the time the pamphlet was being
written. Its grave faults do not escape his notice, but he attributes them
to a " temporary short-sightedness on the author's part."
3 Hymn 106.
Translated into ENGLISH.
To which are fubjoin*d
NOTES, explaining the difficult Paf-
fages ; enlarging on feveral ufeful and exten-
five Precepts ; illuftrating various Philofophi-
cal Opinions ; and containing ibme general
Obfervations on Propriety of Expreffion,
and Grammatical Order.
By J. HAR r.
. . . id quod
pauperibus prodcft, locupletibus ceqite :
negktfum pueris, fenibujque nocemt.
Printed for J. ROBINSON, at the Gclden-Lwh in
TITLE PAGE OF HART'S TRANSLATION OF PHOCYLIDES.
YOUTH AND EARLY MANHOOD. 13
an extreme Antinomian. " His choice friends,"
says Shrubsole, " were Antinomians, and he loved
nothing better than to sit under high Antinomian
preachers." It is true he adopts the role of a con-
vert, and he doubtless persuaded himself that such
a one he was ; but when the great awakening came
he was able to see, even in those portions of the
pamphlet which he could heartily endorse, nothing
more than " dry doctrine," and then none so
emphatic as he in pronouncing that dry doctrine
cannot save us, 1 adding,
" In vain men talk of living faith,
When all their works exhibit death." 2
From high Antinomianism to Humanism,
which is a fancy name for Paganism,
was an easy course, and Hart, having 5> D e lth d
constructed a religion which combined
the libertinism of ancient Greece with the
doctrines of Christianity, " published a few tracts
in favour of the way in which he chose to live." 3
" He joined himself to a citizen of that country."
Ultimately he " ran such dangerous lengths, both
of carnal and spiritual wickedness," that he even
1 In April, 1742, was published, by an anonymous writer, a pamphlet,
Christianity Not Founded on Argument, the title of which seems to
have been suggested by Hart's pamphlet. It was answered by a book
in two volumes, The Reasonableness of Religion, by George Benson,
D.D. (advertised in the London Evening Post for May, 1744). I have
not seen the former, but to judge by the latter, it had nothing in common
with Hart's pamphlet.
a Supplement, No. 56.
8 Shrubsole, p. 211. I have not been able to trace any of these
i 4 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" outwent professed infidels." He says, " I com-
mitted all uncleanness with greediness." 1
" The road of death with rash career
I ran, and gloried in my shame ;
Abus'd His grace, despised His fear,
And others taught to do the same.
Bold blasphemies employ'd my tongue,
I heeded not my heart unclean ;
Lost all regard of right or wrong,
In thought, in word, in act obscene." 3
1 We know what Shrubsole means when he says of Hart, " When he
came to the sign of the Weather-cock, he was so pleased with Mr. Shandy
that he plunged into all the vice and dissipation of his house," but the
allegorist was unhappy in his choice of landlord for that irregular tavern,
for the period was 1742 17441 ant ^ the first volumes of Tristram Shandy
were not published till 1760.
'* Hymn 27, " The Author's own Confession."
HART AS A TRANSLATOR
" In this abominable state," says Hart, " I con-
tinued a loose backslider, an audacious 6 p hocy) j des
apostate, a bold-faced rebel, for nine or M& *' 1744 -
ten years, not only committing acts of lewdness
myself, but infecting others with the poison of my
delusions. I published several pieces on different
subjects, chiefly translations of the ancient
heathens, to which I prefixed prefaces and sub-
joined notes of a pernicious tendency, and indulged
a freedom of thought far unbecoming a Christian."
The books to which he refers particularly are
his translations of Phocylides and Herodian. 1
From the time of Elizabeth downwards, transla-
tion from the classics had been the pastime for
in most cases the incentive was pleasure of a
long line of English gentlemen. The Golden Age
of Translation that of North's Plutarch, Hobbes's
Thucydides, and Adlington's Apuleius had indeed
passed away, but it had been succeeded by an age
that was respectable though not brilliant that of
1 It is alleged that Hart published other translations, but I have not
met with any at the British Museum, at Oxford, or at Cambridge.
i6 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
John Clarke, 1 " Mr. Cooke," 2 Philip Francis, 3 and
William Melmoth, 4 and it may have been the suc-
cess of some of these writers that incited Hart to
similar exertions. For the work of a translator he
was admirably equipped. An excellent classical
scholar, he had read with avidity every known
Greek and Roman writer. Again, if he was deeply
versed in Livy, Tacitus, Ovid, Horace, whose " Art
of Poetry" was one of his enthusiasms, the horribly
curious Suetonius, who was his special favourite,
and other classics, he was also deeply versed in
such writers as Orosius, that " learned editor
Henry Stevens," and the " ingenious Salmasius."
He had indeed Salmasius's own hunger for know-
ledge, and his salient ambition in those days was
to win the reputation of a scholar. His rendering
of Phocylides 5 or rather of " The Preceptive
Poem " attributed 6 to that author appeared in
May, I744- 7 It consists of a Preface (pp. iii. to vi.),
the concluding portion of which is in execrable
taste, and the Translation, with voluminous notes
(pp. i to 44) . 8 In the Preface, speaking of the
1 Translator of Suetonius, 1732. 2 Translator of Hesiod, 1743.
3 Translator of Horace, 1743. 4 Translator of Pliny, 1746.
6 A Greek philosopher, born at Miletus, who flourished about B.C. 535.
6 There are critics who insist that the poem was not by Phocylides,
but by an Alexandrian Jew of the first century. It was also translated
by W. Hewitt in 1840.
7 Announced in the Gentleman's Magazine for May, 1744, p. 288.
" The Preceptive Poem of Phocylides. Translated into English, with
Notes. By J. Hart. Price 6d. Robinson."
8 On the title-page is an appropriate motto from the Epistles of Horace
(Bk. i, Ep. i), the translation of which is, " that which is of equal benefit
to the poor and to the rich, which neglected will be of equal detriment to
young and to old."
HEROD I AN's
His Own Times,
OR O F T H E
Roman Empire after MARCUS,
TranQated into ENGLISH.
With large NOTES, explaining the moft remark-
able Cuftoms, Ceremonies, Offices, &V.
among the ROMANS.
To which is prefix' d,
An INTRODUCTION, giving a (hort Account of the
Roman State, from its firft Origin, to the Time
where Herodian's Hiftory commences ;
An APPENDIX added, containing the mpfl memorable
Tranfa&ions under the fubfequeut Emperors to the
Reign of CONSTANTINE THE GREAT.
With a CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE,
And a Copious INDEX.
The Whole defign'd as a Compendium both of the
HISTORY and ANTIQUITIES of ROME.
By J. H A R T.
waAAov T^iTrov^). Thucydidcs,
Printed for the AUTHOR,
And fold by T. WALLER in Fleetftree^ T. PAYNE in
Round Court in the Strand, and R. DODSLEY in
Pall- Mall. M D c c x 1 1 x .
TITLE PAGE OF HART'S TRANSLATION OF HERODIAN.
HART AS A TRANSLATOR. 17
original, Hart says, " The style is masculine and
nervous, not embellish'd with tropes, or set off
with imagery; but majestic and simple, as the
dignity and importance of the subject required.
The language of Phocylides is pure, and his
sentences neither dull nor tedious, but full and
This was precisely how Hart himself wrote when
he came to compose his hymns, and it can hardly
be doubted that the study of Phocylides one of
the compactest of ancient writers influenced
healthily him who must be pronounced the com-
pactest of English poets. The following citations
will give some idea of Hart's translation :
" For favour wrest not judgment : nor reject
A poor man's suit ; nor show the least respect
Of persons, but remember, God will be,
If e'er thou judgest wrong, a Judge to thee."
" Be all thy passions with the mean endow'd, 1
Nothing too great, too lofty, or too proud.
Ev'n profit when redundant, noxious proves,
Immoderate pleasures breed immoderate loves."
" One moment men some sudden ill endure,
And find the next some unexpected cure."
In another couplet we are bidden to shun the con-
tagion of the worthless. Phocylides was an ardent
advocate of matrimony, for does he not say :
" Remain not single, lest obscure thou die,
And buried in oblivion nameless lie ;
1 Cf. Ruskin. Moderation is the girdle of beauty.
i8 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
Render to nature what for thee was done,
And be a father as thou wast a son." 1
Then we are taught our duty to those about us :
" Love all thy kindred with unfeigned respect,
Revere the head with hoary honours deckt,
Rise to a senior, and resign thy seat,
And show him all regard and homage meet ;
For thy domestics keep no scanty board,
His undiminished hire to each afford."
And there are other verses on what Hart in his
title to hymn 7 of his Appendix calls " the Rela-
tive Duties." When he was writing that hymn,
doubtless he was thinking of the apostle's words
in the fifth of Ephesians, but it is probable that
he also had in mind some of Phocylides' maxims ;
and other lines in his hymn-book have a Phocy-
lidian ring. Although here and there we find a
happy expression, Hart's translation is not litera-
ture. The notes are heavy as well as voluminous,
and most are quite unnecessary to the elucidation
of the text, which, indeed, scarcely requires anno-
Having launched the Phocylides, Hart turned
7. Hart at ms attention to other classical writers,
M He L rooTan 8 ' and on 2 & h Nov -> J 749, he published
25 NOV., 1749. a translation of Herodian. 2 The work
1 Or, suppose we say, putting it more compactly still, and allowing the
old Greek a little humour :
" Get married and preserve your name : those who
Had parents should themselves be parents too "
2 A Greek historian who lived at Rome. Herodian's work is the
history, in eight books, of the Roman emperors who flourished in his
lifetime, that is to say, between A.D. 180 and A.D. 238. Herodian had
been translated into English in 1550 (?) by W. Smyth ; in 1629 by Tames (?)
Maxwell ; in 1652 by C. B. Stapylton ; and in 1698 by "A Gentleman at
HART AS A TRANSLATOR. 19
is advertised in the London Evening Post, Tuesday,
Nov. 2ist, to Thursday, Nov. 23rd, and also in the
number dated " Nov. 23rd to Nov. 25th." At the
end of the advertisement appears : " N.B. Such
gentlemen as have been pleased to favour the
Author with their subscriptions are desired to send
for their books at his lodgings, at Mr. Liford's,
Mathematical Instrument Maker, near the new
church in the Strand." 1 Those who do not possess
a copy of " Herodian " can obtain a tolerable idea of
his subject-matter from the pages in Gibbon that
cover the same period ; and it may be added that
Gibbon, unlike some other scholars, had for
Herodian a genuine respect. Hart's work, which
was " printed for the author," consists of Preface
(v. to xvi.), Introduction (i to 42), the Translation
with Notes (i to 326), an Appendix (i to 14), a
Chronological Table, and an Index. 2 As regards
the Introduction, the end he had in view was to
endeavour " to say as much as was requisite in as
small a compass as possible."
One of his objects in producing this work was
the mischievous one of trying " to show," by means
of his notes, " the parity," or he might in some
articles say the identity, of the religious notions of
the heathen with those of the Jews of old, and the
Christians of all denominations. He had set him-
1 St. Mary-le-Strand, finished in 1723.
2 My own copy, which appears to be in the original binding, is in old
calf with gilt lines at the edges of each lid, and the words, HART'S
HERODIAN, in gilt letters on the back.
20 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
self, indeed, the quixotic task of endeavouring to
form a homogeneous whole out of incompatible
materials. He was an i8th century Walter Pater.
" The external evidence of all religions," he goes
on, " is much the same. But the internal evi-
dence of pure Christianity is invincible. I mean
the divine doctrines of salvation and universal
charity." Further, he has the grace to admit that
" the Bible well deserves the title of the best book
extant," and we may recall that in his Unreason-
ableness of Religion he had styled it " that reposi-
tory of sweet treasures." His method of procedure
is well illustrated by the following note in reference
to the procession in honour of Cybele : " However
odd and fantastic these dancing festivals among
the heathen may seem to us moderns, I cannot but
observe that there is in them a strong resemblance
of some in use among the Jews. ... In 2 Sam.
vi. 14, King David is described dancing before the
ark in a very extraordinary manner. . . . Even the
frantic behaviour of the priests of this goddess, in
their mad processions at her festivals, so comically
described by Juvenal (Sat. VI.), is equalled by
the phrenzy of the Jewish prophets. . . . Nor
is the similitude conspicuous only in the religious
ceremonies of the Jews and heathens, but it appears
as plain in the several accounts of the political
advantages made of their religion by their respective
rulers " and he parallels the story of the rape of the
Sabine virgins with the narrative in Judgesxxi. 16-23.
HART AS A TRANSLATOR. 21
How wide the difference between Hart's wrang-
ling note on divination and necromancy and his
judicious remarks on those vain studies in his
sermon, " The King of the Jews ! " " The Magi,"
he says in the " Herodian," 1 " seem to have learnt
the birth of our Saviour from the aspect of the
heavenly bodies. That miracles may be per-
formed by magicians and prophets of heterodox
principles is plain from the story of the Egyptian
conjurers, who, as well as Moses, produced several
plagues. The witch of Endor is a glaring instance
of necromancy. ... In a word, though it would
be the height of superstition to credit all the silly,
absurd stories of oracles, augurs, conjurers, and
fortune-tellers among the pagans, yet that they
sometimes revealed future events is confirmed at
least by the testimony of the Scriptures," and
there is more, written for the most part in an
unenlightened and cavilling spirit.
Hart's remarks on the Lucretia incident arrest
attention on account of his insistence on the power
of pride, a subject with which he was to deal so
effectively in his well-known hymn 58. 2 " Of all
the passions of the soul," he says, " the power of
pride is the most extensive. By this, as by a
spring, the several movements of the human mind
are actuated and directed. It is to this principle
we are beholden for most of that valour and virtue
1 The Herodian, p. 195.
* See also hymn 106, v. 5,
22 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
the world so much admires. This was sufficiently
verified in Lucretia. . . . She who had been
deaf to prayers and entreaties, had rejected all
offered rewards, and had remained intrepidly firm
against the threats of death itself, was conquered
by the fear of disgrace. . . . She endured
adultery to save herself from the scandal of an
When Hart confines his remarks purely to the
subject of literature he is delightful. The follow-
ing, for example, is worthy of being written in
letters of gold : " It is with books as with persons,
they who are most trifling and capable of giving
least instruction or benefit by their conversation,
are commonly understood at the first or second
interview, and seldom fail to please for a time,
because the eye is always most sensibly struck
with beauties which are most superficial and glar-
ing. But wherever there is any instructive good
and real work, it is generally so couched as not to
be presently seen by a slight external view ; but
the more we grow acquainted with the object, the
more we are delighted with its excellency, and the
higher esteem we have of its intrinsic merit. Truth
loves to unveil herself to the patient, humble, and
impartial mind, but scorns to expose her charms to
the vulgar eyes of traditional superstition, or the
unequal inquiries of prejudiced infidelity; to the
narrow views of popularity, pride, or interest, the
hasty conclusions of self-conceit, the rash judg-
HART AS A TRANSLATOR. 23
ment of partial zeal, or the shallow perceptions of
indolence or levity." The translation itself, like
that of Phocylides, is simply an honest piece of
work, without literary charm. Many of the sen-
tences are wearisome, owing to their extreme
length. The chronological table at the end,,
compiled with great labour and care from the best
ancient historians, as well as the poets, who " in
some particulars " had been " very helpful," bears
witness, along with other features in the book, to
the author's industry, his love of system, and the
orderliness of his mind.
Hart's reference in his Experience to these trans-
lations is liable to mislead, suggesting, as it does,
annotatory vagaries in the Gibbon or Sir Richard
Burton manner. Phocylides, like Juvenal and
other ancient moralists, has unpleasant verses that
have been responsible for fungoid horrors ; but to
Hart's comments upon them none but the captious
would take exception. Certainly it could not have
been inferred from them that he was at the time
living an immoral life. Indeed, it pleased him
more to make tremendous dissertations on gram-
matical niceties, and to bolster up his theory of the
moment, than to expend labour upon the erotic
and the esoteric. His humanity and common
sense peer through a number of passages. Thus
he deplores the prevailing practice of duelling, and
he denounces those men who 1 " readily improve
1 Hart's Phocylides, p. 21.
^4 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
every advantage the letter of the law will allow
them to oppress and rack their weaker brother,
whose only fault perhaps is that he is poor and
defenceless. Than this unjust, though lawful, pro-
ceeding, nothing can be more dishonest and
wicked, nothing more repugnant to the eternal
dictates of benevolence and chanty, by which
external laws should sometimes be superseded.
For such is the weakness of mankind, that the
wisest legislators cannot invent or institute any
law extensive enough to conduce in every respect
to the good of society. The truly honest man
should, therefore, in many cases, recede from what
the rigour of the law would give him, because the
strictest and most legal prosecutor is very often the
greatest and worst offender. According to the old
Latin proverb, Jus summum saepe summa injuria." 1
Nevertheless his annotations (and the same may
be said of his prefaces) have indubitably an un-
pleasant a grating tone. In some of those
which we have cited there is a flippancy, an
absence of reverence, an attempt to put unwar-
rantable constructions upon the actions of certain
Bible characters, and to drag the religion of the
Bible down to the level of other religions a habit
of speaking authoritatively upon matters concern-
ing which no man is competent to pronounce.
Very often it is less what he says than his manner
of saying it that gives umbrage, but he has the
1 Law enforced to strictness often becomes the severest injustice.
HART AS A TRANSLATOR. 25
superciliousness, the perversity, and the assurance
of a Matthew Arnold, with no more " vision "
than had that writer when he produced St. Paul
and Protestantism. Like his polished successor, he
was a superior person. In short, to use his own
words, he was "puffed up with each fantastic
whim," 1 and it was this attitude which in after days
he recalled with so much sorrow. How different
the Hart of the inconsiderable Herodian transla-
tion from the man who, at the time he was pro-
ducing deathless verse, could write,
" The author's merit none,
And therefore none his boast !" 2
His notes are cumbrous with quotations from the
Hebrew, to say nothing of the Greek, but, with all
his erudition, the Bible was as yet a sealed book
to him. He had still something to learn which
mountains of Hebrew and oceans of Greek were
incapable of imparting. 3
1 Hymn 27.
2 Hymn 119, the last in the ist edition.
8 The motto on the title page of Hart's ' Herodian ' is from Thucydides,
i. 20. It may be translated : " Owing to their impatience of labour in the
search of truth, most men accept straightway whatever is readiest to hand."
1751 3IST DECEMBER, 1756
"I WILL ARISE"
In the year 1751 Hart began "to reform a little
and to live in a more sober and orderly
8 a b 5J*t r 'i i 752. manner." " And now," he says, " as I
retained the form of sound words, and
held the doctrines of free grace, justification by
faith and other orthodox tenets, I was tolerably
confident of the goodness of my state ; especially
as I could now also add that other requisite, a
moral behaviour." About this time he became
united in marriage to a young woman of whom we
know nothing, except that her Christian name was
Mary, that she was fourteen years his junior, 1 and
that she may have been the sister of the Rev.
John Hughes, a Baptist minister, who, as we shall
see, succeeded to Hart's pulpit. Mr. Hughes is
styled Hart's brother-in-law, but whether Mrs.
Hart was Hughes's sister or whether Hughes mar-
ried Hart's sister is not disclosed. 2 In either case
Hart and Hughes, who became affectionate friends,
had probably by this time made each other's
1 Mrs. Hart was born in 1726.
2 Mrs. Hughes's name was Mercy, and, as we have seen, Mrs. Hart's was
Mary. Mrs. Hart's younger daughter was called Mary Mercy, and there
were Mary Mercys in the family for two more generations.
I WILL ARISE." 27
acquaintance. " The generality of both sexes,"
laments Hart in a note to his Phocylides, " rush
into marriage as carelessly as if their interest were
but lightly concerned in it, and their happiness or
misery did not at all depend on their choice." It
may be assumed, therefore, that he himself exer-
cised reasonable caution. Be that as it may, the
union, which was doubtless one of the causes of
his reformation, proved an ideal one, and he be-
came a tender and attentive husband.
For several years he continued with a " luke-
warm, insipid kind of religion, yet not without
some secret whispers of God's love and visitations
of His grace, and now and then warm addresses
to Him in private prayer." Then, too, he regularly
read the Scriptures, both in English and the
original languages; but he could not see that there
was any necessity for our Saviour's death, and
often resolved that he never would believe it.
In the meanwhile Whitefield, to use the phrase
of an enemy, had been travelling from 9 Andrew
common to common, preaching from Kinsman.
chairs, joint stools, and garden walls, and making
the people cry, 1 but his principal preaching place
was a huge shed which he had erected in Moor-
fields, very near to Wesley's centre, u The
Foundry." About 1744 he visited Plymouth, 2 and
among those who received serious impressions
1 See also Whitefield's Letter, i2th March, 1744.
3 See Whitefield's Letters, a6th June, 1744, to 4th Aug., 1744.
28 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
under him, and with whom he became personally
acquainted, was a young man of splendid physique
a Hercules for strength Andrew Kinsman, of
Tavistock who was destined to become, through
Whitefield's instrumentality, Joseph Hart's most
devoted friend and correspondent. A little later
Kinsman removed to Plymouth, wherehe fell in love
with and married a Christian lady of means, Miss
Ann Tiley. They resided in a thoroughfare called
Briton Side ; and, moved by pious desires, they
erected at the end of their garden a chapel, which
they called, after the Free Grace centre in London,
the Tabernacle. The supplies were Whitefield's
colleagues, John Cennick, 1 the hymn-writer, John
Adams, and occasionally Kinsman himself. 2
Several years passed away, and in 1749 White-
field, who had been making a tour in the West,
once more approached Plymouth. His spiritual
children, headed by Kinsman, rode out on horse-
back to meet him, and welcomed him 3 as an "angel
of God." Hundreds waited " to hear the Word,"
and he preached to them (" celestial radiance
shining in his face ") in the Briton Side Taber-
nacle. Like Whitefield, Kinsman was often
roughly treated sometimes stoned by the rabble,
and persecuted in other ways. Thanks, however,
to a powerful frame and a mind insensible of fear
1 See Gospel Standard, February and March, 1850.
3 Philip's Life of Whitefield, pp. 201, 490, 496. Life of Countess of
Huntingdon, vol. ii. p. 173.
3 See Whitefield's Letter to Lady Huntingdon, i6th Feb., 1749.
"I WILL ARISE." 29
and inured to contempt, he proved equal to every
emergency. On one occasion a lieutenant in the
Navy led a gang of rioters into the Tabernacle,
and commenced smashing the windows and beating
the worshippers. Kinsman straightway grappled
with the leader, wrested his sword from him, and
by main strength, and notwithstanding the opposi-
tion of the other rioters, dragged him bare-headed
(for his laced hat had fallen in the struggle) into
the yard, and thence through the street to a
magistrate. In 1752 Kinsman settled at Devon-
port, where he built another chapel ; and he not
only superintended the services at both places of
worship, but he made preaching tours throughout
the surrounding country, sometimes journeying as
far as Bristol.
In the meantime Whitefield, finding the Taber-
nacle shed in Moorfields inconvenient and inade-
quate, took it down and erected on its site a huge
hive-shaped building capable of seating 4,000 per-
sons.' It was opened with the name unchanged,
loth June, 1753. A little earlier Whitefield had
made a tour through Kent, and among those con-
verted by him and with whom he became per-
sonally acquainted was William Shrubsole 2 a ship-
wright of Sheerness the William Shrubsole who
afterwards by his Christian Memoirs linked his name
not only with Whitefield's but also with Hart's.
1 See Life of Countess of Huntingdon, p. 203.
2 Born in 1729.
30 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
In 1754, just before setting sail for America,
Whitefield sent for Kinsman to London, and in
his announcement at the Tabernacle he told his
people that " a promising young man, Mr. Kins-
man," would preach to them. The news circulated
that he had said, " my kinsman " ; and curiosity
having been whetted, a large and expectant crowd
gathered on the following Sunday. However,
Kinsman's evident sincerity, conjoined with a har-
monious voice and a sprightly and pathetic delivery,
enabled him to rivet the attention of an exacting
audience ; and thenceforward he was second in
popular favour only to Whitefield himself. Among
his regular hearers were Hart's father and mother,
and he became an honoured guest at their house.
Whitefield returned to England in May, 1755,
and among those who were attracted
10. A Sermon
by Whitefield. to the " dear old bee-hive," as Ber-
ridge of lverton called the laber-
nacle, was Joseph Hart. Whitefield in wig, black
robe, and bands ascended the pulpit, his pockets
bulging with notes 1 written by persons " brought
under concern." The notes having been read,
the sermon followed. The earnestness of the
preacher was even terrible. " Mr. Fervidus " 2
had never more truly deserved his name. He
threw out his arms. To threatenings (the " wild
fire " of the profane and even of some of the faith-
1 He sometimes received as many as a thousand in a day.
3 Shrubsole's name for Whitefield.
"I WILL ARISE." 31
ful 1 ) succeeded " soft compassion." The people,
always emotional, were exceptionally moved; some
wrung their hands, others cried out; and Hart,
becoming thoroughly alarmed, " manifested all the
signs of a sincere repentance of his sins." 2 There
was but one thought in his mind : " I will arise and
go to my Father." A few days later he fell into a
deep despondency because "he had never ex-
perienced grand revelations and miraculous dis-
coveries." " I was very melancholy," he says,
" and shunned all company, walking pensively alone
or sitting in private and bewailing my sad and dark
condition, not having a friend in the world to
whom I could communicate the burden of my soul,
which was so heavy that I sometimes hesitated
even to take my necessary food." To the end,
Hart continued to be a solitary man.
He often fell on his knees and besought God,
with strong and frequent cries and tears, to
reveal Himself in a clearer manner. In the
midst of one of these prayers, a voice said to
him, " Do you choose the visionary revelations of
which you have formed some wild idea, or to be
content with trusting to the low, .despised mystery
of a crucified Man ? " Hart was enabled to prefer
the latter, and the choice gave him sweet comfort.
" His Father had compassion on him." But to
dejection he was still at times a prey. " From
1 Wild fire, said "John Thornton the Great," was never absent from
the Tabernacle, "but better wild fire than no fire."
32 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
this," he says, " I used to be relieved by pouring
out my soul to Christ, and beseeching Him, with
cries and groans and tears, to reveal Himself to
A verse of Scripture answered his petition :
" That which thou hast already, hold fast till I
Clasping fast his hands, he exclaimed with
emotion, " I would sooner part with every drop of
blood than let go the hopes I already have in a
Another scripture having presented itself, " Be-
hold I come quickly, and My reward is with Me,"
he cried in ecstasy, " Come, Lord Jesus, come ! "
The year 1756 passed away a ye^r of gloom
for England, for the country had been plunged
into the horrors of war. There was talk of nothing
but gorgeous uniforms, muskets, and the departure
of troops ; the kettle-drum, the fife, and the
trumpet were heard in the stree^ ; and yet the
year was marked by at least one conspicuous
religious event the erection by Wnitefield of a
second " soul-trap," as the " indolent clergy who
battened in ease" 1 thought fit to call it the chapel
in Tottenham Court Road. 2 The spring of 1757
an even more calamitous time marked as it
was by defeat and disgrace to Britain (" Oswego
gone, an army cut to pieces, an admiral shot to
1 Hart's expression in Unreasonableness of Religion.
8 Opened 7th Nov., 1756.
THE MORAVIAN CHAPEL IN FETTER LANE.
From " Old and New London," Vol. 1 , p. 97. By permission of Messrs. Cassell & Co.
WHITEFIELD'S TABERNACLE, TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD.
"I WILL ARISE." 33
death ! Ml ) also passed away ; and then finally came
the answer to Hart's fervid prayer. It was the
central event of his life ; and cannot better be
described than in his own words.
1 Fast Sermon by Hervey, of Weston Favell, 1757. Byng was shot.
1 4th March, 1757.
THE VISION AND THE EARLIER HYMNS
" The week before Easter, 1 1757," he says, " I
had such an amazing view of the agony
f the Agony of Christ in the garden as I know not
to Describe. I was lost in
wonder and adoration, and the impres-
sion it made was too deep, I believe, ever to be
obliterated. I shall say no more of this, but only
remark that, notwithstanding all that is talked
about the sufferings of Jesus, none can know any-
thing of them but by the Holy Ghost; and I
believe he that knows most knows but very little."
The vision led him to resume his pen, and within
a day or two he wrote the first part of the impas-
sioned ode, " Come, all ye chosen saints of God,"
which appears as hymn i in his collection. He
says he afterwards " mutilated and altered it."
The original, if superior to the present version,
must have been powerful indeed. Here, as in
everything else that he wrote, poetical embellish-
ment is religiously avoided. " All he aimed at
was to enter into the deep mysteries of Geth-
semane, and the intense reality of the sufferings
1 Easter Sunday was on April loth in 1757.
THE EARLIER HYMNS. 35
of Christ." 1 Even the name Gethsemane, " the
olive press," had a deep significance for Hart.
Stupendous are the lines in which he represents
our Lord as bearing all that incarnate God could
" With strength enough, and none to spare ; "
and what a picture of desolation is there in :
" Soon as the Chief to battle led,
That moment every soldier fled ! "
The black polluted Kidron is represented as roll-
ing its torrent of sin, and the lyric ends with a
stanza that connects sweetly the two surpassing
earthly gardens Eden and Gethsemane. Forked
lightnings play over this hectic hymn ; and none
but a soul fluctuating between mortal agony and
divine rapture could possibly have penned it.
Gethsemane had for Hart an ever-abiding fascina-
tion. He returns to the theme again and again. 3
In the midst of the poetic ecstasy attendant on
12. "AH for the composition of these passionate
Love> lines, Hart left his home and paced the
adjoining London streets. On his way, as he
passed one of the theatres, his eye caught the
words on a bill, " All for Love," 3 the title of a play
1 Rev. A. J. Baxter, Gospel Advocate, 1873, P- I2 -
* Thus in hymn 75 he dwells lovingly on the touching fact recorded in
John xviii. 2, that Gethsemane had for long been our Lord's favourite
retreat when He needed quiet.
3 Gospel Advocate, Vol. 5, p. 45. All for Love, or the World well
Lost, was first acted at the King's Theatre in 1678. It was revived about
1746, when Anne Bellamy took the part of Cleopatra, and Barry that
of Antony. It was popular for years.
3 6 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
by Dryden. With its story, which hinges on the
crass infatuation of Mark Antony for Cleopatra,
and the fact that Europe, Africa, Asia were
" put in balance,
And all weighed down by one light, worthless woman,"
Hart, as a student of English literature and as a
play-goer in his graceless days, must have been
thoroughly familiar, for the piece had often been
on the boards. The words, impinging upon him
at a time when his soul was so sensitive, had the
effect of suggesting a parallel which at a calmer
moment might not have presented itself; and,
hastening home, he wrote what now forms the
second part of his first hymn the melting lines
" And why, dear Saviour, tell me why
Thou thus would'st suffer, bleed and die ?
What mighty motive could Thee move ?
The motive's plain 'twas all for love ! "
The agony of Part I. has given place in Part II.
to moving pathos one tender verse sweetly fol-
lowing another, and all straining towards the final
and vividly impressive :
" For love of me, the Son of God
Drained every drop of vital blood ;
Long time I after idols ran,
But now my God's a martyr'd Man."
A little later he wrote hymn 2, in which the
influence of the play is still discernible ;
" Tortured with bliss, I cry, ' Remove
That killing sight ! I die with love ! ' "
THE EARLIER HYMNS. 37
Further examples might be given of the influ-
ence of passing events on Hart's hymns. For
instance, the first line of verse n, in hymn 75,
" Poor disciples, tell me now,"
is evidently an echo, intentional or unintentional,
of the popular song of the day,
' Gentle shepherd, tell me where."
These moments of exaltation and tension were
naturally followed by a period of dejec- 13 . He be .
tion. Even from his Bible he o
little comfort. One text in particular
distracted him : " And cast ye the un- H v mns 2 * 3 -
profitable servant." 1 " Despair," he says, " began
to make dreadful head against me : hopes grew
fainter, and terrors stronger; which latter were
increased by a faithful letter I received from a
friend, who had also run great lengths of impiety
with me formerly, but was now reclaimed. The
convictions I now laboured under were not like
those legal convictions I had formerly felt, but far
worse, horrible beyond expression. I looked upon
myself as a gospel sinner ; one that had trampled
under foot the blood of Jesus, and for whom there
remained no more sacrifice for sin. ... So deep
was my despair that I found in me a kind of wish
that I might only be damned with the common
damnation of transgressors of God's law. But, oh !
I thought the hottest place in hell must be my
portion." It was while he was in this piteous state
1 Matthew xxv. 30.
38 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
that he composed hymn 3, " The Doubting
Then followed an illness. " One morning," he
says, " I was waked with intolerable pain, as if
balls of fire were burning my reins. Amidst this
excruciating torture, which lasted near an hour,
one of the first things I thought on was the pierced
side of Jesus, and what pain of body as well as
soul He underwent. Soon after this fiery stroke I
was seized in the evening with a cold shivering, which
I concluded to be the icy damp of death, and that
after that must come everlasting damnation." He
feared to close his eyes lest he "shouldawake inhell."
" While these horrors remained," he continues, " I
used to run backwards and forwards to places of
religious worship, especially to the Tabernacle, in
Moorfields, and the chapel in Tottenham Court
Road ; where, indeed, I received some comfort ; but
in the general almost everything served only to
condemn me, to make me rue my own backslidings,
and envy those children of God who had continued
to walk honestly ever since their first conversion."
About this time he became personally acquainted
with Whitefield, and a friendship ensued between
them which was severed only by death.
On Whit-Sunday afternoon (that is, on May
14. The Mora- 2Qth), 1757, he went to the chapel, in
F^L a a P n e e; Fetter Lane > belonging to the Mora-
whiteuntide,' vians> or United Brethren, where he
Hymns4 6. had attended several times before.
THE EARLIER HYMNS. 39
" The minister," 1 he says, " preached on these
words, ' Because thou hast kept the word of My
patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of
temptation, which shall come upon all the world,
to try them that dwell upon the earth ' (Rev. iii.
10). Though the text, and most of what was said
on it, seemed to make greatly against me, yet I
listened with much attention, and felt myself
deeply interested by it. When it was over, I
thought of hastening to Tottenham Court Chapel ;
but presently, altering my mind, returned to my
" I was hardly got home when I felt myself
melting away into a strange softness of affection,
which made me fling myself on my knees before
God. My horrors were immediately dispelled, and
such light and comfort flowed into my heart as no
words can paint. The Lord, by His Spirit of love r
came not in a visionary manner into my brain, but
with such divine power and energy into my soul
that I was lost in blissful amazement."
Nevertheless, when he considered his past life,
he could scarcely believe there was mercy for him,
" What, for me, Lord! " he cried.
" Yes, for thee," replied a voice.
" But I have been so unspeakably vile and
wicked," moaned poor Hart.
" I pardon thee," followed the voice, " fully and
1 Perhaps the Rev. John Gambold, who was minister at the chapel from
1742 to 1768. In 1754 he was consecrated a Bishop of the United
40 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
freely. Thy own goodness cannot save thee, nor
shall thy wickedness damn thee. I undertake to
work all thy works in thee and for thee ; and to
bring thee safe through all." 1
" The alteration," says Hart, " I then felt in my
soul was as sudden and palpable as that which is
experienced by a person staggering and almost
sinking under a burden when it is immediately
taken from his shoulders. Tears ran in streams
from my eyes. I threw my soul willingly into my
Saviour's hands ; lay weeping at His feet, wholly
resigned to His will, and only begging that I might,
if He was graciously pleased to permit it, be of
some service to His church and people." 2
As the Easter vision had led Hart to write the
hymn on the Passion, so the Fetter Lane sermon
inspired him to write the three Whitsuntide hymns,
4, 5, and 6, two of which, " Come, Holy Spirit,
come," and " Descend from heaven, celestial
Dove," are among the finest in our language.
The fourth verse of hymn 6 concludes with a line
that is eminently characteristic of Hart. The Earls
of Nottingham may proudly cite their motto, Nil
conscire sibi ; 3 but none, to use Hart's expression,
save those arrayed in coverings not their own, 4 will
be able to cry on the Great Day :
" We're clean, just God, we're clean."
1 See Experience, and hymn 27.
3 Cf. hymn 27, verse 20.
3 To be conscious of no guilt.
4 Hart's Hymns, 82.
THE EARLIER HYMNS. , 41
We must here notice the statement made by
Hart that his hymns are arranged in
the order in which they were written. 1 the Hymns*
This fact seems to "have escaped the
eye of others, but it is of first importance, seeing
that it enables us to fix the date, or approximate
date, when every hymn was composed. When
dealing with the subject of " Holy Days," 2 he says:
" Some Christians to the Lord regard a day,
And others to the Lord regard it not."
Now Hart himself was a punctilious observer of
days, and it is probable that he wrote this hymn in
answer to some excellent friend who remonstrated
with him for making so much of Good Friday and
the festivals. His affectionate argument is, " My
dear brother, the shell is certainly not the meat ;
but, all the same, commemoration is no sin.
You have your reasons for not observing these
days, I have mine for observing them. Our con-
descending Lord will approve both of us.
" ' Let each pursue the way that likes him best ;
He cannot walk amiss, that walks in love.' "
So as each " Holy Day " came round Hart kept
it as seemed fit to him, and it was usually provo-
cative of a hymn. This will explain how it is that
the Easter hymns and the hymns congenial to the
festivals are scattered throughout his book instead
of being grouped together, and the fact is addi-
1 Preface to First Edition.
2 Hymn 33.
42 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
tionally welcome in that it enables us to compile
the following invaluable table :
DATES OF HART'S HYMNS.
i. Easter Sunday. J 757- April 10.
2, 3. Spring.
4, 5, 6. Whit Sunday. May 29.
7 ii. Summer and Autumn.
12 14. Christmas. Dec. 25.
15. Last Week of 1757.
16. New Year's Day. J 758- J an - *
33 36' Good Friday. March 24.
37 44. Easter to Whitsuntide.
45, 46. Whit Sunday. May 14.
47. Trinity Sunday. May 21.
48 56. May to December. ,,
57. New Year's Day. 1759 Jan. i.
58 61. Early in 1759.
62 76. Easter Week. April 15 22.
77 119. April and May. 1
[The Book appeared 7th July, 1759.]
i 30. Early in 1760. 1760.
31 34. Easter. April 6.
35, 36. Ascension Day. May 15.
37 40. May to October.
41 43. Death of George II. Oct. 25.
44 47. Nov., 1760 Mar., 1761.
48 50. Easter. 1761.
51 82. Between Easter, 1761, and date of going to
press in 1762.
i 13. Between 1761 and 1765.
Fast Hymn. 2
1 The Fast Hymn, No. 96, was probably written on Fast Day, 16 Feb.,
2 This hymn is placed in front of the book in the 4th edition, the edition
in which it first appeared. In some editions it appears as No. 14 of the
THE YEAR 1758. 43
Hymns 7 to 15 were written between May and
December, 1757. " A Man there is, a 15. Hymns
real Man," savours of Watts's, " With 7 to 15 '
joy we meditate the grace." 1 Hart, indeed, like
his saintly predecessor, loves to dwell on the con-
soling thought that Christ can fully sympathise
with the sorrows of His people, seeing that He
Himself experienced trial and temptation ; and we
find him over and over again, when in deep waters,
extracting comfort from the recollection that our
Lord was not only the Son of God but also " a
real Man." In hymns 8 to n he endeavours to
push home the cardinal truth that there is salva-
tion by Christ alone, the most arresting verse
being the last in the autobiographical hymn, 10:
" Then sinners black as hell
May hence for hope have ground ;
For who of mercy needs despair,
Since I have mercy found ? "
The four hymns produced at Christmastide, 1757,
breathe, every one, a holy joy, that has lifted the
hearts and spirits of thousands who have sung or
read them. The weakness of the Infant Jesus a
little Child born in little Bethlehem appealed to
Hart persistently ; 2 and the world's harsh treat-
ment of its Lord and King was never for long
absent from his devout meditations :
" But see what different thoughts arise
In ours and angels' breasts;
To hail His birth they left the skies,
We lodged Him with the beasts."
1 Watts's Hymns. Book i., No. 125.
a See 17 and 31.
THE YEAR 1758
Hart opened the new year with a hymn that has
17. "New aptly been described as " an epitome
Y l a nd S H H y y r^n n 8 of vital and experimental religion," 1
17 to 32. Lamb of God ! we fall before Thee."
Many a good man has regarded it as his creed,
and has recited it on his death-bed with streaming
eyes and quivering lip deriving comfort from
every sustaining sentence. Fitting companions to
it are " Oh the pangs by Christians felt," and
hymn 19, which contains the verse,
" Our good Guide and Saviour
Hath helped thus far ;
And 'tis by His favour
We are what we are."
Few hymnists can approach Hart when he is upon
the subject of sorrow.
" Boast not, ye sons of earth,
Nor look with scornful eyes ;
Above your highest mirth
Our saddest hours we prize.
For though our cup seems fill'd with gall,
There's something secret sweetens all." 8
Then there is that other cheering reminder :
" Trials may press of every sort,
They may be sore, they must be short." 8
1 Rev. A. J. Baxter.
2 Hymn 20.
3 Hymn 21.
On . various Subjects
P'.R- E F A C E,
A BRIEF and SUMMARY ACCOUNT
The great Things that God hath done
for his Soul.
By J. H A R T.
fng unto the Lird a new 'Song ; for be bath done
M A R V H L L O U S T H J N G S : His right Hand*
and his hsly Arm hath gotten him the Fitfory.
Printed by J. E v E R i N G H A M j nnd Sold by
T. WALLER, in Fleet-ftreet 5 G, KEH
in Gracechurch-Streetj and D. WILSON an,
D. DURHAM, oppofite Buckingham-flreet in
the Strand. 1759.
[Price Bound j s. 6 d, j
TITLE PAGE OF FIEST EDITION OP HART'S HYMNS.
From the copy in the British Museum. (By permission).
THE YEAR 1758. 45
It should steadily be borne in mind that many of
the hymns were intended simply for private read-
ing No. 24, for example, " A Dialogue between a
Believer and his soul," being quite unsuited for
public worship. No. 26, " The Narrow Way,"
reminds us, along with other hymns, 1 that Hart
was saturated with John Bunyan. The Christian's
way, as Hart sees it, is choked first of all by " two
dangerous gulfs" Dead Sloth and Pharisaic
Pride. The pilgrim is confused by the beckoning
finger of Jack o' Lantern and the cries of untrust-
worthy guides. At every turn he encounters new
dangers and new foes ; and these dangers passed,
these foes overcome, he is confronted by the last
foe of all, the " ghastly phantom, death." The
sequel is an answer to the question, " If this be
the way, who can hope to attain the prize ? " "Be
not afraid," says Hart, " One is at your side, even
though you neither feel nor see Him. Therefore,
whatever foe oppose, you are absolutely safe."
" When all these foes are quell'd,
And every danger past ;
Though death remains, he but remains
To be subdued at last."
We may sum it all up with, Only dastards doubt
their God. 2 To " The Author's own Confession " 3
1 ' Come and welcome to Jesus Christ," the title of hymn zoo (" Come,
ye sinners, poor and wretched ") is taken from the title of one of Bunyan 's
2 For Scott's criticism of the attitude of Hart towards doubt and fear,
see Life of the Rev. Thomas Scott, by John Scott, chap. ii. (yd ed..
9 Hymn 27.
46 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
reference has already been made. Hymn 28 con-
cludes with the oft-quoted
" Meanwhile that foe can't boast of much
Who makes us watch and pray " ;
and in No. 32 Hart once more dwells lovingly on
the recollection that Jesus was once a helpless
babe in a little Syrian town, concluding with the
tremendous stanza :
" No less almighty at His birth
Than on His throne supreme ;
His shoulders held up heaven and earth
While Mary held up Him."
In hymns 33 to 36, which were written on
or near Good Friday, 17^8, Hart
1 8. The Good
Friday Hymns endeavours to touch the human heart
Hymns 37 to by the recital of our Lord's sufferings,
and in hymn 42 he deals with the sub-
ject of election, 1 the doctrine which he had so
stoutly championed even in his unregenerate days.
Hymn 48 is the ouch for that gem of gems, the
verse commencing, " But they that in the Lord
confide," a verse which sweetly harmonizes with
the concluding lines of another hymn that has
endeared itself to multitudes :
" Fly to the throne of grace by prayer,
And pour out all your wishes there ;
Effectual fervent prayer prevails
When every other method fails." 2
In No. 58 Hart once more reveals some of the
1 Hymns 60, 61, and 113 are on the same subject.
a Hymn 52.
THE YEAR 1758. 47
secrets of his own heart. His great and un-
wearied internal enemy, he tells us, was " Pride,
accursed pride," that ubiquitous enemy whose
appalling power had so forcibly impressed him at
the time he was compiling the notes to his
" Herodian." Even after he had become en-
lightened, he found it present at the most unex-
" This moment, while I write,
I feel its power within ;
My heart it draws to seek applause,
And mixes all with sin."
This hymn was a favourite with the militant
minister and hymn-book compiler, John Stevens,
of Meard's Court, Soho, who naturally changed
part of the third verse into :
" From sinner and from saint
I meet with many a blow."
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK
Spring had once more returned, and the
approach of Easter led Hart to ponder
19. At the ^.
sign of the again, as he had so often pondered
Hymns before, the terrible tragedy of Golgotha,
and to write thereupon the series of
hymns, Nos. 62 to 75. Among them, however, are
compositions on other subjects, two of which call
for special notice, namely 69 and 71.
As we have seen, Hart was in 1748 lodging at
" Mr. Liford's, mathematical instrument maker,
near the new Church in the Strand." He prob-
ably left these lodgings at the time of his marriage.
In any case, his home at the period to which we
have come, and for the rest of his life, was over a
shop the sign of the Lamb near Durham Yard, 1
on the south side of the Strand, which, with its
unending stream of coaches, chaises, drays and
waggons, was already one of the noisiest streets of
London. The rent must have been low, for the
house was old and crazy so old and crazy that ten
years later it had become, along with the houses
1 That is somewhere near the present Durham House Street and
opposite the Adelphi theatre.
' What have we
1 inot * rrtU we call the proud hPi>V :
, , And 00* Jj wick j nc f s t are let
^''^M'tCiod are even
frrvant. wfei. h 1
Horebfcw )1 li u 1,
J j Behold. I V
prophet, hefors the <
and dreadi'ul dav o thv.
6 And 'hc(hl turn
thers to the cVi'ildren, .
children to thciv i.iili'
(mite the earth with A
INSCEIPTIONS IN HART'S HANDWRITING FROM THE
PULPIT BIBLE USED AT JEWIN STREET CHAPEL.
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK. 49
adjoining, " an unprofitable heap of ruin." 1 The
shop may have been his too ; in any case, it was
afterwards (on the title-page of the Hymn-book,
for example) called " Hart's Warehouse," and it
pleases us to assume that the name of the sign
was of his own choosing. No doubt a board with
a painting of a lamb hung and creaked over the
entrance an appropriate sign for him who sang r
" My portion is the Lamb ; 2 whose thoughts were
never long absent from '" the Lamb for sinners
slain." Hymn 69 should have for lovers of Hart
a peculiar fascination, seeing that it carries us
right to his fireside, and sets us down in the very
midst of his family circle. We see him seated in
pensive mood, with writing materials before him.
It is a plain apartment, with uneven floor, and old
and worm-eaten wainscoted walls, which are bare
save for a bookcase, whence look down upon him
his old friends the classics, including his favourite
" Horace," and along with them the best English
devotional books, from John Flavel to Isaac Watts,
each of which had tinctured his mind. A girl
about six, and a boy of four the latter, sad to
say, subject to epileptic fits are playing at his
side, and hard by is his wife nursing a child of ten
months or so. Something the rattling of a
window, perhaps startles the sleeping infant, and
1 In 1768, within a few weeks of Hart's death, the estate of Durham
Yard was purchased by Messrs. Adam, architects, who erected the Adelphi
Terrace, and made several new streets.
a Hymn 72.
5 o LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" he fondly strives to fling his little arms about
her neck." Thereupon Hart, moved by the pretty
sight, hastily sets down the lines :
" As when a child secure of harms
Hangs at the mother's breast."
To use his own expression, the thoughts come
quickly enough, but it takes some time to hunt for
the tinkling rhymes. 1 However, he at last finds
them, with the result of an idyllic and touching
picture teaching the lesson of the importance of
renunciation of self and absorption in the Beloved
Shepherd. Another hymn that reflects his home
life is No. 7 in the Appendix :
" Parents, be to children tender ;
Children, full obedience render
To your parents in the Lord.
Wives, to husbands yield subjection ;
Husbands, with a kind affection,
Cherish as yourselves your wives."
One is apt to think of Hart as perpetually mewed
up in bricks and mortar, forgetting that the London
of those days was far more confined than the
present metropolis. Hart was never very far from
the fields, and his love for verdant meadows,
yellow crops, 2 and tinkling rills is reflected in many
of his hymns ; while he had all a townsman's
passion for a garden.
That Hart was anxious to enter the ministry has
20 Harts a l rea -dy been mentioned. His first
First Sermon. se rmon, they tell us, was preached "in
1 Hymn 119.
2 E.g. Appendix No. 5.
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK. 51
the Old Meeting House, St. John's Court, Ber-
mondsey," 1 and he seems to have served occa-
sionally in other chapels. The burden of his cry
was Phil. iii. 7, 8, 9 : " What things were gain to
me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubt-
less, and I count all things but loss for the excel-
lency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,
not having my own righteousness . . . but the
righteousness which is of God by faith," and the
fervour of his preaching made a lasting impression
on his hearers. Shrubsole, in his allegorical way,
says that Hart, using his " Philippian powder, blew
up making a terrible explosion -the city of self,
and was the means of causing many to quit that
city." Against the Arminians Hart urged the
twin texts, Romans iii. 27, 28 ; and if he angered
them, on the other hand he delighted Whitefield,
who expressed himself " highly pleased with this
exploit." 2 A little later Hart as Shrubsole tells
us gave Whitefield a detailed " account of his
journey along the River of Life," dwelling par-
ticularly on his struggles with the more insidious
of his foes, namely, " Merit, Self-sufficiency, and
Among those who had listened with wonder to the
new and perfervid Hart was a hearer
. 21. Romaine
ot Komaine, and after the sermon he and the
11 i i i- > i i Prodigal.
called on the distinguished preacher
1 What chapel this was I cannot discover. It is not mentioned in any
old list of licensed chapels that I have come across. There seems to be
52 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
and gave some account of it. Romaine, with all
his virtues, was wanting in geniality and everyday
wisdom ; and he was apt to relieve his feelings by
short and quick comments. Moreover, he had
known Hart personally, and was aware of the
lengths to which Hart had gone ; so pulling him-
self up smartly, he exclaimed, " What, that devil!"
The words drifted to Hart, who thereupon seized
a pen, and having written the beautiful lines en-
titled " The Prodigal," 1 he sent them, by way of
reproof, to Romaine. 2 It would be pleasant to
know that the elder son William Romaine and
the younger son Joseph Hart afterwards met
on delightful terms, and that the elder, ever swift
to acknowledge an error, expressed regret for the
rashness of his judgment. But history is mute.
How sweetly the hymn concludes :
" Good God, are these Thy ways !
If rebels thus are freed,
And favour'd with peculiar grace,
Grace must be free indeed."
Hymns 76 to 119 seem to have been written in
22. Hymns the spring of 1759. The series, taken
76 to 119. as a w ij O i e> j s j ess impressive than some
of the earlier groups, but it includes two of the
most precious hymns Hart ever wrote, namely,
" Christ is the Friend of sinners," 3 and, " Come, ye
1 Hymn 71. See also Gospel Advocate, vo\. xviii., p. 65.
2 Some have taken exception to Hart's description of the elder son as a
child of God, though a murmuring one.
3 No. gi.
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK. 53
sinners, poor and wretched." 1 The second verse
of the former has been quoted myriads of times.
It has comforted the sorrow-laden, cheered the
dying, and dried the eyes of generations of
mourners. The words have fallen like refreshing
rain upon parched and fissured pastures :
" Trust not to joyous fancies,
Light hearts, or smooth behaviour :
Sinners can say,
And none but they :
How precious is the Saviour."
From this beautiful hymn one instinctively turns
to that union pearl, " Come, ye sinners, poor and
wretched." No man had a deeper knowledge of
the depravity and the needs of the human heart
than he who wrote :
" Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream ;
All the fitness He require th
Is to feel your need of Him."
William Huntington used to object to the line
in hymn 84,
" Some long repent and late believe,"
on the ground that repentance could not precede
faith ; but others have dulled the force of the
objection by the allegation that in this place Hart
had in view, not the burgeoning, or first budding,
but the full assurance of faith. 2
Hymn 1 12 is an admonition urging triflers to turn
their backs upon this gew-gaw world ; and hymn 96,
1 No. ioo.
a See Gospel Advocate, vol. v., p. 48.
54 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" For a Public Fast," discloses that the nation
was just then passing through a period of extreme
tension and anxiety an anxiety that led the
Government to appoint a day or days in each year
(usually a Friday in February) 1 for public humilia-
tion, and special sermons were preached on them. 2
On Fast Day, 1756, says Wesley, " Every church
in the City was more than full, a solemn serious-
ness sat on every face, and the day was observed
with equal solemnity by the Dissenters;" and on
Fast Days, 1758 and 1759, the places of worship
were equally crowded. To hymn 119 and last we
have already alluded. It is slightly autobiogra-
phical, and in its reference to the author's
pursuit after elusive rhymes there is a tincture of
humour, or at any rate the nearest approach to
humour that Hart ever made. 3
Having finished his hymns, Hart set himself to
23. The write that immortal piece of prose, the
Experience. Ex p er i ence , W e have elsewhere dealt
with the autobiographical element 4 in it. The
chief glory of Hart's prose masterpiece is a series
1 Thus ; Fast Day, 1756 was on Feb. 6th.
1758 ., ,, i7th.
1759 ,, ,, i6th.
,, 1760 ,, ,, i3th.
2 See stereotyped edition of James Hervey's Works, pp. 643 672.
8 He was not wanting in irony, however, e.g.,
' ' Why so offensive in their eyes
Doth God's election seem ?
Because they think themselves so wise
That they have chosen Him" (Hymn 113).
4 See also Notes to Hart's Experience, by Thorpe Smith. Gospel
Advocate, vol. v., p. 295 ; vol. xii., p. 361.
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK. 55
of versicles which flash like diamonds of the first
water. The following are a few :
" None can make a Christian but He that made
the world." 1
" It is the glory of God to bring good out of evil."
" Whom He loveth He loveth unto the end."
" Prayer is the task and labour of a Pharisee,
but the privilege and delight of a Christian."
" God grants not the requests of His people
because they pray ; but they pray because He
designs to answer their petitions."
" God's design is to glorify His Son alone, and
to debase the excellence of every creature."
" No righteousness besides the righteousness of
Jesus (that is, the righteousness of God) is of any
avail towards acceptance."
" To be a moral man, a zealous man, a devout
man, is very short of being a Christian."
" The dealings of God with His people, though
similar in the general, are nevertheless so various
that there is no chalking out the paths of one child
of God by those of another."
" Faith and holiness, with every other blessing,
are the purchase of the Redeemer's blood ; and
He has a right to bestow them on whom He will, in
such a manner and in such a measure as He thinks
1 Toplady quotes this in "Excellent Passages from Eminent Divines,"
adding that it was taken from Hart's Preface (meaning the " Experience").
The Posthumous Works of the late Rev. Mr. A. M. Toplady, 1780,
and Works, 1825 ed., vol. iv., p. 341.
56 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" It is not so easy to be a Christian as some men
seem to think."
" Mere doctrine, though ever so sound, will not
alter the heart."
" A whole-hearted disciple can have but little
communion with a broken-hearted Lord."
" If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is
none of His."
" A prayerless spirit is not the Spirit of Christ.
Prayer to a Christian is as necessary and as natural
as food to a natural man."
"The usual way of going to heaven is through
"The sinner who is drawn to Christ is not he that
has learnt that he is a sinner by head knowledge,
but that feels himself such by heart contrition."
" A true Christian is as vitally united to Christ
as my hand or foot to my body."
" A believer talks and converses with God."
" A dead faith can no more cherish the soul than
a dead corpse can perform the functions of life."
" Where there is true faith there will be
obedience and the fear of God."
" Faith, like gold, must be tried in the fire before
it can be safely depended on."
The Rev. J. C. Philpot ranked Hart's Experience
with Bunyan's Grace Abounding and Huntington's
Kingdom of Heaven. " Where," he asks, " can we
find three more edifying books ? '"
1 Gospel Standard, August, 1852.
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK. 57
The Hymn-book appeared on yth July, 1759, on
which day it was advertised in the
J 24. First
St. James's Chronicle: Edition of the
" This day were 1 publish'd, Price Andrew Kins-
bound One Shilling and Sixpence, his acquaint-
HYMNS, &c., composed on various
SUBJECTS, with a Preface, containing a brief
and summary Account of the Author's Experience,
and the great things that God hath done for his
soul. By J. HART. Printed by J. Everingham,
and sold by T. Waller, in Fleet Street ; G. Keith,
in Gracechurch Street; and G. Wilson and
T. Durham, opposite Buckingham Street, in the
A fastidious reader, on opening Hart's book for
the first time, would probably be repelled ; but a
work of merit, as Hart himself observes in his
" Herodian," 2 usually does repel on first acquaint-
ance. After turning over a page or two, however,
the reader comes to a hymn or a verse that goes
straight to his heart. This leads him to give more
careful attention to the rest ; and having grasped
the whole scheme with all its excellencies, he
becomes thoroughly absorbed in it. Thencefor-
ward it is a treasure with which he will never part.
The Rev. W. J. Styles observes, and justly, that
" Hart is often ungraceful and uncouth." Yet one
1 Other books were mentioned under Hart's. It was announced in the
Gentleman's Magazine for July, 1759, as follows : " Hymns on Various
Subjects. By J. Hart. is. 6d. Waller."
a Seep. 22.
58 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
would no more think of altering even a word than
of tampering with one of Hogarth's pictures.
Hart, indeed, is the Hogarth of hymnists. The
painter is not more terrible in his realism. Read
Hart's hymns, and you see that " doleful gulph," 1
the Fleet Ditch, rolling its black and fetid waters
through the heart of London to sully the lower
Thames; for it was not Kidron, but the Fleet,
with its rank and bitter weeds 2 its docks and water-
peppers upon which Hart was casting his eyes
when he wrote the powerful stanzas of his opening
hymn. Deformed indigence in rags and dirt, its
body horrible with exposed sores, jostled in any
street with ruffled and gold-waistcoated opulence.
There was bull-baiting at Hockley-in-the-Hole,
cock-fighting in Shoe Lane ; nay, the very number
of the newspaper that announces the publication
of Hart's Hymns advertises also that there " will
be fought a main of cocks between Sir Charles
Sedley, Bart., and Hugo Meynell, Esq." The
pinioned highwayman, seated on his coffin, rode
backwards any day to die game at the triangular
Tyburn Tree ; and any day too one might see on
Kennington Common, dangling on rusty chains,
the tarred and shrivelled remains " of what was
once a man." The pinched debtor appealed to
the benevolent through the gratings of the Fleet
prison. " Of all the seats of woe on this side hell,
1 Hart's Supplement, 30.
3 Hymn 75.
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK. 59
few exceeded Newgate." 1 The avenues of the
Strand were beset with troops of viragoes who,
with dreadful imprecations, beat and plundered
passengers. 2 Such were the scenes upon which
Hart's eyes or thoughts roved when he wrote :
Though filthy as Mary,
Manasseh or I." 8
His hymns, indeed, are crowded with references to
needy beggars, nasty rags, ugly gaolers, cold and
joyless cells, outcasts base and vile, rankling sores ;
and in a time of hunger and nakedness, for those
were lean years indeed, it is not surprising that
there should be so much in his pages about food
and clothing, and plenty of them : " rich savoury
meat," " celestial bread," "rich garments," "royal
Hart owes his power as a writer in great measure
to his even terrible earnestness. In respect to his
compactness, the man whose favourite motto was
Horace's Quicquid praecipies esto brevis* the man
who had entered into the soul of Phocylides, could
scarcely be other than compact and concise.
He wrote fine English because he was super-
saturated with the best in English poetry. He was
not a word-fancier; nevertheless he occasionally
introduces an archaic expression. Thus in hymn i
1 Wesley's Journal, Dent's ed. iii. 33.
a Goldsmith. Essay X.
8 Hymn 84.
4 Whatever you undertake, be concise.
60 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
he uses " condole " without the preposition ;' he
permits to " let " and " prevent " the Prayer Book
meanings respectively of "hinder" and "go
before." In hymn 3, "pretend" is used in the
sense of " stretch forward." 2 It was an axiom
with him that " there are no two native words in
any pure language exactly synonymous ; 3 and he
had a Flaubert's anxiety to hit upon the precise
word required to express his meaning. In short,
he is a scrupulously exact writer. He discrimi-
nates, for example, in hymn 79 between believing
on 4 Christ and believing into 5 Christ, that is, being
absorbed in Him. He delights in paradox. 6
Although few writers are more original than Hart,
one can here and there detect in his work the
influence of his sacred predecessors. For example,
the opening line of hymn 6, " Descend from
heaven, celestial Dove," was doubtless suggested
by Watts's " Descend from heaven, immortal
Dove " ; 7 but there is no further resemblance, and
each hymn has its special savour. Again, Hart's
" Come, Holy Spirit, come,
Let Thy bright beams arise,"
1 Having Milton's Samson Agonistes for precedent, " I come not,
Samson, to condole thy chance."
2 Latin praetendo. " Pretend to live the life divine."
8 Note on p. 4 of his " Phocylides."
4 As in Acts iv. 42.
5 As in Gal. ii. n. See Rev. A. J. Baxter's remarks in Gospel Advocate,
Vol. 19, p. zoo.
6 See Supplement, 38 ; Appendix, 4.
7 Watts's Hymns, Book 2, No. 23.
PUBLICATION OF THE HYMN-BOOK. 61
" Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With all Thy quickening powers." 1
But the two hymns have nothing else in common,
and Hart's is incomparably the finer. Then too
in hymn 8, " How can ye hope, deluded souls,"
there is an analogy to Watts's " Vain are the
hopes the sons of men," though, as the Rev. A. J.
Baxter observes, " As usual with Hart, he enters
more deeply into the details of the subject, as
experimentally understood by all the Lord's living
family; 2 and other instances in which Hart was
indebted to Watts have been pointed out by the
curious and the sedulous.
The book had been published with no idea
except that of doing good, but it met with an
enthusiastic reception. For thirty years Hart had
paid assiduous court to the uncertain goddess Fame.
She spurned him. He turned his back upon her.
She straightway sought him with winged feet.
Among the readers of the book was the Rev.
Andrew Kinsman, who was then supplying at the
Tabernacle, and he was led to seek out Hart, and
to make his acquaintance. An affectionate friend-
ship ensued. Hart was forty-seven, Kinsman
thirty-five. " From the year 1759," says Kinsman,
" a religious and literary correspondence ensued.
Oh, how full were his epistles of sound experience !
How sweetly did he write of Jesus and His great
salvation ! Since then we have lived as brethren,
and servants of the same Master."
1 Watts, Book 2, No. 34. a Gospel Advocate, Vol. 6, p. 322.
PASTOR OF JEWIN STREET CHAPEL
In 1760 Hart became minister at the Indepen-
dent chapel in Jewin Street 1 a huge
Jewin street wooden, oblong building, with four
large galleries, which had been erected
in 1672 for the eminent Presbyterian divine,
William Jenkyn. Jenkyn's friend, the great
John Flavel, had spoken from its pulpit. 2 The
building was approached from Jewin Street, from
which it was hidden by some old houses, through
a narrow passage. In 1754 it had been hired
by a congregation of Particular Baptists, pas-
tored by the Rev. Thomas Cramer ; but in
1760 they removed to Meeting-house Alley, Red-
cross Street; 3 and the congregation which chose
Hart for pastor took their place. Owing in part
to the reputation gained by his hymn-book, and in
part to his verve as a preacher, and his straining
after holiness, 4 Hart from the first attracted large
1 Nonconformists abounded in the neighbourhood. Writing in 1810.
Walter Wilson says, " Perhaps there is scarcely a spot of ground in all
London where there are so many meeting-houses."
* He was invited to succeed Jenkyn, but could not be persuaded to leave
his old congregation at Dartmouth.
8 Here Cramer preached till i8th Mar., 1773. See Ivimey's History
of the English Baptists, vol. iv. p. 242.
4 " But I would be holy," hymn 24, verse 8.
PASTOR OF JEWIN STREET CHAPEL. 63
congregations ; he dearly loved his people, and
they soon acquired the habit of speaking of him in
terms of tender affection. The old wooden chapel
has long since disappeared, but Jewin Street and
its purlieus, that labyrinth of narrow courts with
queer names Jacob's Well Passage, Harp Alley,
Jewin Court, and the rest whence Hart drew a
large portion of his congregation, will be associated
with his name as long as London stands.
He was no sooner settled in his pastorate than
he began to write more hymns those
26. The Sup-
nOW known as the Supplement. The piementai
first twenty are on the subject of the Death of
T j o XT George II.,
Lord s Supper. Nos. 31 to 34 were 25th Oct.,
written at Easter, 1760, and Nos. 35
and 36 at Ascensiontide of the same year. One
of the most striking of them is No. 38, upon the
difference between true and false faith, or notion,
of which he says,
" Notion's the harlot's test,
By which the truth's reviled ;
The child of fancy, finely dressed,
But not the living child."
The two hymns on sickness 1 point to a serious ill-
ness in the summer of 1760. Hart had for long
been " weak of body ;" 2 medicines did not ease,
food support, or sleep refresh. " Lord," he cried,
" hear a restless wretch's groans." Recovery
seemed unlikely :
1 Supplement, 39 and 40.
2 Hymn 72.
64 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" Or if I never more must rise,
But death's cold hand must close my eyes,
Pardon my sins, and take me home :
O, come, Lord Jesus, quickly come ! "
But it pleased Almighty God, who never forsakes
His dear children, be they in health or " in pain,
in sickness or in death," 1 to restore him once more.
The next three hymns, 41 to 43, were suggested
by the death of King George II., who expired
suddenly " a moment brings us all to dust " on
25th October, 1760; and Hart was probably a
spectator of the funeral solemnities, and heard the
herald at arms proclaim the many illustrious titles
and honours with which the deceased sovereign
had been invested. Funeral sermons of the
laudatory sort fluttered from the Press like the
leaves of Vallombrosa. Nonconformity in par-
ticular outwent the mark. Thinking only of its in-
debtedness to the Hanoverian idea, it set about
eulogising the man where it should have eulogised
only his polity. Dr. Gibbons pompously bade
" Fame take her silver trump and sound our mon-
arch's praise." Samuel Stennett, Daniel Noble, and
Dr. Chandler good men all were nearly as ful-
some. Hart was as loyal to the reigning family as
any of them ; but he looked upon kings in a dif-
ferent light :
" Ah, what avails the pompous pall,
The sable stoles, the plumed hearse !
To rot within some sacred wall,
Or wound the stone with lying verse.
1 Supplement, No. 41.
PASTOR OF JEWIN STREET CHAPEL. 65
" Blessed are they, and only they,
Who in the Lord the Saviour die ;
Their bodies wait redemption's day,
And sleep in peace where'er they lie."
How solemn is that verse in hymn 43 (Supple-
" The awful change not far
Dissolves each golden dream ;
Death will distinguish what you are
From what you only seem."
The four funeral hymns, which include the
stately " Sons of God by blest adoption," and
Nos. 48 to 50 were written in the spring of 1761.
Of the remaining Supplemental Hymns, the
grandest is No. 55.
The war was drawing to a close. The sinister
events of the opening campaigns had been followed
by victory after victory. The British nation,
thanks to the genius of Wolfe, 1 Clive, and others,
had triumphed on land and sea. People were proud
of being Englishmen ; and Hart's Supplement re-
flects no less faithfully than the contemporary news-
sheets the exhilaration and general feeling of the
time. In hymn after hymn there are " conquests,"
"shouts of victory," " songs of victory." The words,,
"conquering hero," "triumphant hero," as applied
to Keppel and others, were constantly in his ears,
and consistent with his habit of improving the
passing event, and utilising the phrase of the
moment he deftly leads men's thoughts from
Keppel to Christ.
1 Killed 1 3th Sept., 1739.
66 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
The battle-hymn, 29, is particularly rich in
cheering and quickening passages. The following,
for example, should hearten even the most
" Let the danger make thee bolder ;
War in weakness ; dare in doubt.
" Let thy courage wax the warmer
As thy foes and fears increase.
" Prayer's a weapon for the feeble,
Weakest souls can wield it best."
The Government were now bent on peace, but
the country in general, dazzled by the brilliance
of the British successes, and the merchants of
London specially, whom the war had enriched,
stoutly and angrily opposed it. The opinion pre-
vailed that the Government were about to surrender
the greater part of the conquests for which the
nation had expended so much blood and money.
Joseph Hart, with all his horror of war, was
evidently at one with his fellow-citizens in dis-
trusting the Government. The line in his Sup-
plementary hymn, 29,
" Patch up no inglorious peace,"
had a double meaning, as his hearers perfectly
understood. But the Government continued
its course, and the news spread that the prelimin-
aries of peace were about to be signed. While,
however, the thoughts of others were directed upon
the return of the battered and victorious British
veterans, and the acquisitions which it was hoped
would be made to the Empire, Hart's thoughts
PASTOR OF JEWIN STREET CHAPEL. 67
ran mainly on the glories of the God-man and His
victorious return, "with dyed garments, from
" Where Jesus, Son of man and God,
Triumphant from His wars,
Walks in rich garments dipped in blood,
And shows His glorious scars."
" Where ransomed sinners sound God's praise
The angelic hosts among ;
Sing the rich wonders of His grace,
And Jesus leads the song."
The preliminaries of peace, which were signed
on 3rd November, 1762, justified the national
forebodings. William Pitt, afterwards Earl of
Chatham, though suffering agonies from the gout,
voiced the general discontent in a memorable
speech which lasted nearly four hours.
" It is with the deepest concern, astonishment,
and indignation," said John Wilkes's paper, the
North Briton* that " the preliminary articles of peace
have been received by the public. . . . England
has consented to give up nearly all her conquests."
The Government, however, were not to be moved,
and the treaty was clinched at Paris in the
Hymn 77, " Holy Ghost, inspire our praises,"
contains some splendid thoughts :
" Every state, howe'er distressing,
Shall be profit in the end ;
Every ordinance a blessing,
Every providence a friend.
1 No. 28, for nth Dec., 1762.
68 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" All things for our good are given
Comforts, crosses, staffs, or rods ;
All is ours in earth and heaven ;
We are Christ's, and Christ is God's."
In 1762 appeared a second edition of the
Hymns. The Experience was omitted,
27. 2nd and , \*
3rd Editions but there was added the long-contem-
of the . . _ . r
Hymns. plated Supplement 1 of eighty-two
John Wilkes. , , j i A
hymns and seven doxologies. Apart
from this, there are only trifling alterations.
In the third edition, issued in 1763, the Ex-
perience is restored to its place, two reasons being
given for its re-appearance: i. Because earnest
and repeated enquiries had been made after it.
2. Because some " serious Christians " had de-
clared that it " had been much blessed to them."
" I beseech Almighty God," adds Hart, " to make
it further useful to His children, in making them
see by it the riches of His free grace to the worst
of men ; for which intent it was written. And let
those who may be tempted thereby to backslide,
in hopes of being so miraculously reclaimed, con-
sider that the repentance to salvation given me
may not be given to them. I charge them there-
fore, in the name of God, to beware of any such
diabolical delusion ; for they who say, ' Let us sin
that grace may abound,' their damnation is just." 2
To Hart, the year 1763 was one of unusual
anxiety. Owing to the continuous attacks of John
1 The price was is. gd. ; the Supplement was also issued separately,
2 " To the Reader," in the 3rd edition.
PASTOR OF JEWIN STREET CHAPEL. 69
Wilkes on the Government, London seethed with
excitement, and many religious men, including a
portion of Hart's congregation, condoned Wilkes's
levity, and even his vices, on account of his patriot-
ism. Hart, however, was emphatically of opinion
that, despite Wilkes's efforts in the interests of
liberty, the author of the "Essay on Woman," and
the scurrilous ribaldry of the North Briton 1 the
man who broke jests on the New Testament was
not one to be trusted ; and he repeatedly, though
without effect, gave voice to his sentiments. Hart's
house was in the very midmost of the hurly-burly,
W. Bingley's, the office of the North Briton, being
just opposite Durham Yard ; 2 and the tall, thin,
elegantly-dressed figure of Wilkes, with his
cadaverous countenance and his squint, and the
burly form of his bosom associate, Charles Church-
hill, the poet, must have been very familiar to
Hart's eyes. On December 3rd, No. 45 of the
North Briton was publicly burnt, by order of the
Government, but the mob, whose turbulence was
unprecedented, not only rescued some of the
sheets, but carried them in triumph to Temple
Bar, where they made a bonfire, and committed
to the flames, in ridicule of the Prime Minister, 3 a
huge jack-boot. The two Houses of Parliament then
voted that not only all persons who were concerned
1 No. i was issued on th June, 1762 ; the famous No. 45, on 23rd
9 See advertisement in St. James's Chronicle. i4th May, 1759. No. 45
was "printed for George Kearsley, Ludgate Street."
8 The Marquis of Bute.
70 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
in the riot but also their aiders and abettors were
perturbers of the public peace, dangerous to the
liberties of the country and obstructors of national
justice. However, a little later, Wilkes, who had
been outlawed, left the country, the storm blew
over for the moment, and Hart's mind became
more at ease.
By this time the Hymn-book had found its way
almost everywhere. " On Easter Day,"
28. The Dr.
Johnson 22nd April, 1764, says Dr. Samuel
4th and 5th Johnson, " I went to church " [St.
Editions of _. ,-. -10, j-i // T
the Hymns. Clement Danes, in the btrandj . 1
1765 & 1767. , .. j ,
gave a shilling ; and seeing a poor girl
at the sacrament in a bed-gown, gave her pri-
vately a crown, though I saw Hart's Hymns in
her hand." 1 We smile at the good man's bigotry,
for the curious scene in St. Clement Danes is one
of those that impress the memory ; and there is
the feeling that we should be glad to know a little
more of the history of that poor girl in the bed-
A fourth edition of the Hymns appeared in 1765.
Like the third, it contains both the Author's
Experience and the Supplement ; but there were also
added the Fast Hymn, which was placed imme-
diately after the dedication, and an Appendix.
This edition differs considerably in places from the
first, second, and third editions. Thus, the con-
clusion of hymn 34,
1 Prayers and Meditations. The Works of Samuel Johnson. Mur-
phy's Edition, 1823, vol. ix. p. 492.
PASTOR OF JEWIN STREET CHAPEL. 71
" To Golgotha ; the place of skull
Is heav'n enough for me."
" To Golgotha ; the place of skull
Is heav'n on earth to me,"
In the first, second, and third editions, verse two
of hymn 57 runs,
" I would not ask, like David's heir,
Exceeding wise to be ;
His was, indeed, a proper pray'r
For him but not for me."
In the fourth it is changed to,
" I would not ask a monarch's heir
Or councillor to be ;
A better wisdom I would share,
A nobler pedigree."
In verse four of the same hymn,
" I have not wisdom to perceive,
Nor strength to do Thy will,"
is altered to,
" For fear I might not well perceive,
Or fail to do Thy will."
In the seventh verse of hymn 97 :
" Those rounds of duties, forms, and ways,
Which some so much esteem,
Compared with this stupendous grace,
What trifling trash they seem ! "
the first four words are changed to " Rounds of
dead service," and " trifling " gives place to
Of the hymns in the Appendix, which were
written in 1763 and 1764, Nos. I and 2 at once
arrest attention. " What was Hart's chastisement ? "
72 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
it may be asked. Three afflictions were bearing
upon him at the time he was writing these hymns.
In the first place, as we have already noticed, his
health had given way ; in the second, his eldest
son's epileptic fits were a continual trial to him ;
and in the third, he had just lost a child, Daniel,
at the age of three years. 1 Hart's attitude to-
wards trouble, however, was that of the apostle,
who gives thanks for " tribulations also." He was
confident that God would overrule all for good.
" Gold in the furnace tried
Ne'er loses aught but dross ;
So is the Christian purified
And better'd by the cross.
Of hymn 4, the Rev. W. J. Brook, of Brighton,
said, " Mr. Hart has a curious line ; it is objected
to by some, but it is what I feel :
"' Rich of mercy, poor of grace.' " 2
What golden advice is that in hymn 10 :
" Strive to be rich in works of grace,
.Be rich towards thy God."
There is no hesitancy with Hart. "That is the
disease," we hear him say, " this is the cure ; it
works instantaneously :
" * If pain afflict, or wrongs oppress ;
If cares distract, or fears dismay ;
If guilt deject ; if sin distress ;
The remedy's before thee Pray ! ' "
This magnificent this epoch-making book
1 It died i8th Aug, 1763, and is commemorated on Hart's old grave-
8 Letters written by W. J. Brook, p. 251.
PASTOR OF JEWIN STREET CHAPEL. 73
concludes appropriately with the solemn and
double Amen. 1
The fifth edition of the Hymns the last in
Hart's lifetime appeared in 1767. There have
been editions innumerable since.
1 That is, hymn 13 in the Appendix, which is the last in the book as
Hart left it.
THE YEAR 1767
It is pleasant to be able to obtain some glimpses
of Hart in the old wooden galleried
the Pulpit" chapel in Jewin Street. The service
Katterns. usua ^y commenced with a hymn given
Ut by the Clerk > J hn Katterns /
we cannot be wrong in assuming that
it was often one of those in the Supplement
entitled, " Before Preaching; " that the congrega-
tion sang with fervour,
" Oh may not duty seem a load,
Nor worship prove a task ; "
and that they with equal fervour besought " the
Father" to send His quickening Spirit to put the
souls of pastor and people in frame, and to grant
that the scattered seed might produce " a copious
fruit." Preaching was to Hart no easy task.
" Though the Lord was pleased to confirm him in
His everlasting love to his soul," says the Rev.
John Hughes, " yet (to my knowledge) he was at
times so left to the buffetings of Satan, for the trial
of his faith, and to such clouds and darkness on
his soul, that he has been oftentimes obliged to
1 He was afterwards clerk to the Rev. William Huntington, in Titch-
field Street. His daughter Sarah died 2Oth Feb., 1867, aged 71. See
Gospel Standard, 1868, p. 186 ; Gospel Advocate, 1873, p. 45, and
1893, p. 9; The Life of William Huntington, p. 61.
THE YEAR 1767. 75
preach to the church with sense and reason flying
in his own face, and his faith at the same time like
a bruised reed ; insomuch that he has often done
by the church as the widow of Zarephath did to
the prophet Elijah, who made him a cake of that
little she had, when she herself seemed at the
point of starving." 1 Hart's delivery was soft and
pleasing, and in his sermons, as in his hymns, he
studiously avoided parade. Had he not enquired :
" What balm could wretches ever find
In wit, to heal affliction ;
Or who can cure a troubled mind
With all the pomp of diction ? " 2
An occasional Whitefieldism in his sermons bore
testimony to the influence on him of the great
preacher. " He was in the habit," says Hughes,
"of defending, with all his might, the peculiar
doctrines of the gospel, viz., the Trinity in Unity ;
the electing love of God; the free justification of
the sinner by the imputation of Christ's righteous-
ness, and salvation alone by His precious blood ;
the new birth and final perseverance of the saints;
always insisting upon a life and conversation
becoming the gospel." Like Dr. Gill, he often
complained of the neglect of fervent prayer 3
among the people in general, and he continued to
use the " Philippian powder," 4 and yet again the
1 Funeral Sermon on the death of Hart.
2 Hymn 112.
3 See Dr. Gill's sermon of zist Nov., 1754.
4 Seep. 51.
76 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" Philippian powder." The service usually con-
cluded with one of the fine hymns of dismission at
the end of the Supplement. " At the communion
table," says Hughes, Hart "was known to have
much of the power and presence of the Lord
Jesus. He was a singular man, but it seems God
had a singular work for him to do. I have thought
sometimes that as he was much beloved of God,
therefore He gave him a poetical turn to please
him in his solitary path." When, on account of
sickness or any other reason, he was obliged to
have recourse to a supply, he was most careful in
his choice. " He made it his invariable rule,"
says Toplady, " not to let an Arian, an Arminian,
or any unsound preacher occupy his pulpit. His
usual saying on those occasions was, ' I will keep
my pulpit as chaste as my bed.' '" These were the
happiest days of Hart's life. He was " a little
king of a little people," bound to him by the beau-
tiful and indissoluble cords of gratitude and love.
The pulpit Bible a quarto, printed in 1762
used by Hart is now in the possession of Mr.
Joseph Whittome, of Wimbledon. In a space at
the end of Malachi is the inscription, " Jewin
Street Meeting, 19 April, 1767"; and on the
back of the title-page of the New Testament are
the words, " This Bible belongs to Mr. Hart's
Meeting, Jewin Street, igth April, 1767" both
entries being in Hart's handwriting. The following
1 Anecdote preserved by Toplady. Works, ed. of 1825, Vol. 4, p. 134.
THE YEAR 1767. 77
appears on the cover : " This Bible, being out of
repair, was given by the Deacons of the Meeting
in Jewin Street to John Katterns, Clerk of the
said Meeting. It was used in the pulpit by those
two eminent ministers of the gospel, Mr. Hart
and Mr. Hughes. New bound, Jan. i8th, 1775;
rebound, Dec., 1825. " r
Hart's principal contemporaries in the London
pulpits were William Romaine, Dr.
Samuel Stennett, Dr. John Gill (to each Friends.
c , , i j r j\ Dr. John Ford,
of whom we have already referred),
Martin Madan 2 of the Lock, Dr. Andrew Gifford,
John Brine, and John Macgowan ; but not a single
line has come down to us to connect his name with
any of them save Romaine, the one link with whom
is the Prodigal Son anecdote, though it is true that
Madan, in the Appendix to his collection of Psalms
and Hymns, published in 1763, included Hart's
verse, " This God is the God we adore." It may
be noted, however, that George Keith, of Grace-
church Street, one of the four booksellers who
sold copies of the first edition of Hart's hymns,
was son-in-law of Dr. Gill, and Hart and Gill may
have met at Keith's counter, if not elsewhere.
Although after entering the ministry Hart pursued
1 When Mr. Katterns died the Bible became the property of his daughter
Sarah, at whose death, aoth Feb., 1867, it passed to Mrs. Whittome, wife
of Mr. Harry Whittome, of Stamford, and afterwards of i Victoria Road,
Bedford. At the death of Mr. Harry Whittome, 3oth June, 1909, it came
into the possession of his brother, Mr. Joseph Whittome, of Burleigh
Lodge, Queen's Road, Wimbledon.
2 Madan. Wesley, Whitefield, and Romaine had the reputation of being
the four most popular preachers of the day.
78 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
for the most part " a solitary path," nevertheless
he did not always walk alone. His principal
friends, besides Kinsman and Hughes, were Mr.
Justis, of Well Yard, Little Britain; Mr. William
Abingdon, 1 of Beauford's Buildings, Strand ; Dr.
John Ford, 2 the distinguished physician, and Mr.
Robert Jacks, 3 who held a position in the Navy,
and from whom came possibly those whiffs of the
sea 4 that occasionally cross Hart's hymns. Dr.
Ford, who was a member of Hart's church, had
previously worshipped at the Moorfields Taber-
nacle, of which he was at one time a trustee. 5
Under Hart he " became confirmed in the great
and distinguishing doctrines of the gospel, so that
he was ever after remarkably clear in his views of
divine truth." Even in the zenith of his profes-
sional practice when he earned ^3,000 a year
he was in his place at the chapel at each of the
three Sunday services, and he was " rarely absent
from the ordinance ; " and he also attended regu-
larly the sermons of Romaine at Blackfriars on
Tuesday mornings, and at St. Dunstan's on Thurs-
day evenings. His conversation was " remarkably
spiritual," and he had at least one other character-
1 Mr. Abingdon was a friend of Toplady. See Works of Toplady
(1825), Vol. i. P- 131-
9 Born at Castle Hedingham, Essex, in 1740.
8 His son, Rev. James Jacks, was a Congregational minister, first in
Plymouth and afterwards in Nottingham.
4 For the allusions to "rocks and shelves," see hymns 87, 114, and
5 See Life of Countess of Huntingdon, i., p. 216.
THE YEAR 1767. 79
istic in common with Hart namely, a taste for the
literatures of Greece and Rome. He was one,
indeed, of the great line of learned physicians and
book-lovers that included Mead, Sloane, and
Hunter; and a more conscientious physician never
wore black velvet coat or flirted gold-headed cane
Of Hart's sermons, only one has been pre-
served, namely, that entitled " The
King of the Jews," which was probably
preached on Christmas morning, 1767. J
It was " taken in shorthand at the
time" by Garnet Terry, a young man who was
afterwards a bookseller in Paternoster Row and
engraver to the Bank of England, but it does not
appear to have been published till i8i4. a The
text is Matthew ii. 2. After some remarks on
magic and sorcery, Hart gives his opinion that the
Magi were not magicians in the worst sense : " It
is true there were and had been in every age, and
are still, many of those wicked magicians, for we
read of their diabolical performances, and among
the rest, of a woman who raised, or pretended to
raise, the dead, as the witch of Endor did." 3 He
1 It was republished by Ebenezer Huntington in 1821, and by John
Bennett and J. Gadsby in 1839.
* This would account for the error on the title-page, on which the date
of the delivery of the sermon is given as Christmas Day, 1768, that is,
after Hart's death.
8 An allusion, doubtless, to the old hag, Dipsas, whose necromantic
exploits are referred to by Ovid in The Amores, Elegy viii :
" The double pupil in her eye emits a fearsome light,
O'er hoary sepulchres she flits alone at hush of night,
And to the clammy corpses with horrid voice she cries,
And one by one they break their bands, and (gruesome sight ! ) arise,"
8o LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
then shows that the experience of the Magi had
parallels with that of Balaam, though " these men
were of a much better sort than Balaam." Hart
comes to the conclusion that they were " men wise
in the sciences, who understood astronomy." He
then tells the story of the Magi's visit to Herod, and
their return home, and comments, " From these
circumstances we may clearly learn and safely con-
clude that no mere revelation, dream, or vision,
though it be ever so singular or great, is in itself
sufficient to constitute anyone a child of God, for
how great revelations had Balaam ! and what great
revelations had these wise men ! but we may be
confident they were believers in some sense of the
" You see then the way to heaven is not by
mere visionary revelation, but by divine faith
believing in Christ, receiving life from Him, and
depending on the promises of God ; and we may
be assured that the Spirit of God for this purpose
aids the translating and expounding the oracles of
God in all ages of the church ; nor was His aid
wanting in our present translation, and, for my
part, I could heartily wish that expositors of
Scripture in this our day were more heartily
agreed and confirmed in this one thing; and
instead of laying so many stumbling-blocks in the
way of people as theydo, by cavillings and pretended
criticisms at the translation, they would rather
labour to smooth the way of the illiterate than
HART'S TOMB IN BUNHILL FIELDS.
THE YEAR 1767. 81
make it rough, by attempting to remove pretended
difficulties that appear on some occasions where
there are none." How different his treatment of
all these matters from his treatment of them in the
old "Herodian" days! He next enquires, i. In
what sense and how Jesus Christ is King of the
Jews? 2. How it is that He is thus said to be born
King of the Jews ? 3. Where He is that is so born
King of the Jews ?
After showing that Christ is " King of true Jews
in every respect," he concludes the first part of
his sermon with " He is also King of kings, inso-
much that there is nothing that is done on the
earth but shall be ultimately for the good of His
spiritual kingdom, for without Him none can even
lift up a hand against His people ; neither wolf,
serpent, nor dog shall be able to move tongue
or tail against them j 1 so guarded is the king-
dom of Christ, and so well defended are all His
When dealing with the second head Hart brings
to bear upon it his knowledge as a classical
scholar. " As soon as Christ was born," he says,
" the powers of hell were shaken, the devil's king-
dom among men lost ground, for the world had
long been overrun with lying oracles, delusions,
witchcraft, and sorceries, as they are called ; but
as soon as Christ appeared and came, they were
1 See Exodus xi. 7. A favourite expression of Whitefield's. See his
letters of i 4 th June, 1749, 4 th August, 1750. &c. Hughes also employs
it, in his funeral sermon on Hart, when speaking of Hart's last illness.
82 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
struck dumb, 1 silenced, and, in a great measure,
destroyed ; for history informs us, and there is no
doubt of it, because the information comes from
Christ's enemies, that at that time the oracles of
the heathens ceased. To deny the existence of
such oracles would be denying all ancient history,
and with it the use of our senses."
He then comments on the passage about believers
being built up in their most holy faith. " You see
it is said," he observes, " they shall grow in grace
and knowledge ; they are not wise and strong all
at once, for Christ, you recollect, was first a babe,
supported by Mary 2 ; then a child, led by her hand,
and at length grew gradually to the stature of a
perfect man ; and, indeed, they are very bad nurses
who would kill us because we do not grow fast
enough to please them, 3 or would always keep us
dwarfs or babes in religion, as others attempt to
do. It is said of Christ that He increased
or grew in grace and stature. As the Lord Jesus
was first born into the world small and feeble,
and then grew up by degrees, it is our promised
privilege that we shall, and go from strength
to strength, as we shall hereafter from glory to
Under the third head he laments that Christ is
1 An allusion to the story told by Plutarch, De defectu oraculorum,
that a voice had been heard, proclaiming that the great Pan was dead.
Cf. Milton's poem, On the morning of Christ's nativity, "The oracles
are dumb," &c.
2 See 16 and hymn 32, quoted in 17.
3 Cf. hymn 32, verse 9.
THE YEAR 1767. 83
seldom, if ever, found in courts, in the palaces of
the wealthy, or among " the polite sort of people."
He then follows Jesus from the manger to Geth-
semane, and he argues from John xiv. 23 that " it
is as impossible for believers to perish as it was for
Christ to have perished in the womb. . . . Can
any subject of such a King have cause to be
miserable ? No, they never can ; they may fancy
themselves poor and miserable, but He says to
them, ' I know thy poverty, but thou art rich.' . . .
This indeed is a mystery to men of this world, but
a soul that has obtained ever so little of the true
grace of God will pursue it ; for observe, as I said
before, Christ never leaves His own." Then once
more he finds himself upon his favourite theme
the weakness of the infant Christ. " Littleness is
a delightful characteristic with our King; for
though He is the mighty God, Peter calls Him the
holy child Jesus; therefore little and weak believers
are precious in His sight as the strongest." The
sermon concludes with an earnest appeal to the
congregation in behalf of the poor, whose suffer-
ings had been intensified owing to the severity of
the weather. Like the Magi, they should offer
To the long religious and literary correspondence
which was carried on between Hart and
32. Letter of
Andrew Kinsman we have already Hart to his
referred. Not only are these letters Dec. P 2&th,
lost, but all the other letters that Hart
84 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
wrote seem to be lost also, with the exception of
the following, 1 which is addressed to a nephew :
London, Tuesday, 2Qth Dec., 1767. 2
I am glad the Lord has so far wrought
on your soul as to make you concerned for its
everlasting State ; and I sincerely wish you may
hold out to the End and be saved. As to your
Fears of falling back again, they are no signs that
you will fall, but rather the contrary ; for none
depart from God while they have any fears of
departing from him. You do well to hear the
Gospel at all opportunities as the means appointed
for the God 3 of Souls ; but always endeavour to
look thro' all means to the God of Grace, and
depend on his Strength and not your own. When
you are comforted, bless God for the Encourage-
ment, and when it is otherwise trust in the Name
of the Lord and stay upon the God of your Salva-
Remember the Lord will cast out none that come
unto him, tho' they come ever so poor and helpless.
The alteration of your Frames from warm to cold,
from lively to dead, is what all Christians
experience, and, therefore, let not that make you
1 Printed in Memorial to Mr. Joseph Hart, p. 27 ; Gospel Standard,
1876, p. 169; 1910, p. 133; Gospel Advocate, 1890 (Vol. 22), p. 260, but
not quite correctly in any place.
2 The original was in 1877 in the possession of Rev. Daniel Smart,
Cranbrook, Kent. It now belongs to Mr. B. Hunt, of Brighton.
3 Sic, but he evidently meant to say, " for the good of souls," or "by
the God of souls."
THE YEAR 1767. 85
cast off your Confidence ; remember, we are made
partakers of Christ if we hold fast our Profession
to the End.
" The just live by Faith ; but if any Man draw
back, my Soul shall have no pleasure in him."
" Fear not, be of good Courage ; wait on the
Lord, and he shall bring it to pass." When you
are weak, then you will be strong, if you look out
of yourself to Christ Jesus, whose strength is made
perfect in Weakness.
Be often in secret Prayer. And remember, the
Trial is, not what frames of mind you may be in,
but whether you endure to the End. The Lord
strengthen, settle, and stablish you.
If I can be of any Service to you, write as often
as you please. Our Love to you and yours, from
Your loving Brother,
P.S. Your Brother Joe never comes nigh me
nor his aunt.
THE YEAR 1768
LAST DAYS AND DEATH, 2 4 TH MAY, 1768
The new year brought sickness once more to the
sign of the Lamb. Mrs. Hart fell ill,
bfd soils'. and was invalided for the rest of her
cockades life - Hart ' s own health had again
given way, he often suffered acute pain,
and he now recognised that his days were drawing
to a close. Notwithstanding his sufferings, he
continued his labours at Jewin Street. " He was,"
Mr. Hughes a little later told Hart's congrega-
tion, " like the laborious ox that dies with the yoke
on his neck ; neither would he suffer it to be taken
off, for you are witnesses that he preached Christ
to you with the arrows of death sticking in him."
At last even these painful efforts had to be dis-
continued, and Hart took to a bed from which he
never again rose. Had he been wanting in faith,
his last hours would have been dismal indeed.
The country was enveloped in gloom as with a pall.
Although the war had ended so long previously as
1762, the ministers still retained the taxes which
had been imposed for military purposes. In the
words of Dr. Gill, many people had " scarce
clothes to cover their naked bodies," and only
LAST DAYS AND DEATH. 87
" scanty provisions of food, and that mean and
coarse." The distress and discontent occasioned
by the high price of provisions caused tumults in
every part of the kingdom. It was " a calamitous
time of dearth." A general election was proceed-
ing, London in particular being furiously agitated
owing to the return of Wilkes, who had become a
candidate for the City. Having been defeated, he
at once presented himself as candidate for the
county of Middlesex. The long-suffering people,
bled by taxes, faced by famine, came to regard
Wilkes as a saviour. They supported him and a
number of Hart's people continued to be his
warmest adherents with wild enthusiasm. London
suddenly burst into blue. Every man who loved
Wilkes, and every man who, not loving him,
respected his own unbroken skin, wore a blue
cockade. Numbers left the town for fear of riots.
Yard-long ballads in praise of the tall, lean,
squinting hero were sung in every street, and the
hoarse shout of " Wilkes and Liberty! " rose, ten
thousand times reiterated, amid the tramp and
roar of the frenzied multitude who poured in
unending streams through the seething Strand.
The din filtered through the bed curtains of the
dying man, and, as evening closed, his window
panes reflected the flare of the passing torches.
On hearing that some of his own people were still
sympathetic towards the rioters, he turned uneasily
on his bed, and expressed himself " grieved to the
88 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
heart." He still insisted that no cause could
prosper with such a leader as Wilkes ; and that
Christians had a better way of righting them-
selves than to fly in the face of government with
horrid blasphemies. When Wilkes leaner and
sallower than ever proceeded from Westminster
to the polling booth at Brentford, seated in a
coach drawn by six long-tailed horses, multitudes
followed him. His victory sent the people
delirious with joy. London was illuminated ;
" even the small cross streets, lanes and courts
being all in a blaze with lights." Unilluminated
windows whether belonging to nobleman or
coalheaver were promptly smashed. We may be
sure that Hart's family, despite the sick man's
sentiments, stuck a sizable candle in every window
at the Lamb. The rioting did not pass by with-
out bloodshed. In one of the encounters with the
guards seven persons were killed. If Hart was
moved by these occurrences, he was also moved by
the knowledge that he was leaving a sick wife and
a young family totally unprovided for, 1 to wit, a
girl of about sixteen, his poor afflicted son who
was " almost stupid by epileptic fits," two boys,
one eight, the other ten, and an infant of sixteen
months. But he was not the man to lose courage
in any circumstances whatever. We have viewed
him in the various capacities of pamphleteer,
1 The chapel belonged to Hart, but there must have been a heavy
mortgage on it. After his death it passed to one of his sons, and it
remained in the family until recent times. See p. no.
LAST DAYS AND DEATH. 89
annotator, poet, and preacher. We have seen a
character that was self-opinionated, dictatorial,
and given to sensuality and unbelief an epicure
in sin softened and refined by the power of the
Holy Spirit into angelic sweetness. We have seen
pride give place to humility, and unbelief to a
faith in the Almighty that has never been sur-
passed. He had learned the great lesson which
holds alike in literature and religion, that to be
everything one must first of all be nothing. He
waited upon God. He insisted that if God gave, it
was good; if He withheld, it was good also. " When-
ever," he used to say, " I know not which path to
take, I to the Saviour speed my way." 1 He has
summed up his convictions in that memorable
" But they that in the Lord confide,
And shelter in His wounded side,
Shall see the danger overpast,
Stand every storm, and live at last."
His strength, indeed, consisted in an absolute,
unwavering confidence in Almighty wisdom.
There were no "ifs" and "buts" all was cer-
tainty at the sign of the Lamb.
And yet, though he feared not death itself,
nevertheless uneasy thoughts would sometimes
intrude. For example, he had the feeling that
English people are too hasty with their interments,
and he commended 2 the custom of the ancient
1 Hymn 108.
a Notes to his " Herodian," p. 164.
go LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
Romans, " who were so scrupulously cautious of
burying any person before quite dead that they
kept their deceased seven days, during which
period the body was frequently washed with warm
water and anointed in order to restore the circu-
lation of the blood, in case it might have been
obstructed by some latent cause."
It is probable that Dr. Ford and the two other
good men of the Jewin Street congregation who
became trustees to the family Mr. Justis and Mr.
Abington were present in his last hours, and that
he urged them to take in his own case every
reasonable precaution. We may well believe that
they gave him the required assurances, and we
know that they eased his mind by promising
that Mrs, Hart and the children should be cared
To the end he was upheld by his unwavering
confidence in his Redeemer. " He knew assuredly,"
says Mr. Hughes, " that his sins were for ever
pardoned." 1 When the damps of death were upon
him he said, " I know myself to be a child of God,
and an heir of glory. Judas was lost that the
Scripture might be fulfilled ; but the Scripture
would not be fulfilled if I should not be saved." 2
These are his last recorded words. " Died," runs
an entry in the St. James's Chronicle, for Thursday,
26th May, 1768, " Tuesday, at his House in the
1 Cf. hymn 102, " How high a privilege 'tis to know
Our sins are all forgiven."
3 Toplady's Works, 1825. Vol. iv. p. 169.
LAST DAYS AND DEATH. 91
Strand, Mr. Hart, a Dissenting Minister, many
years belonging to the Meeting House in Jewin
Street." His dear and angelic spirit had winged
its way into the holy presence of Him who said,
" Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the king-
dom prepared for you from the foundation of the
Hart's remains were conveyed to Bunhill Fields,
the resting-place of Bunyan, Defoe,
Dr. Owen, and many other eminent Funeral.
Nonconformists. A vast multitude Kinsman's
estimated at 20,000 persons assembled
and spread themselves among the tombstones and
on the mounds in order to pay a final respect to
the revered writer and pastor. The service was
conducted by the Rev. Andrew Kinsman, who
commenced by giving out Hart's solemn hymn,
" Sons of God by blest adoption." 2
The occasion must have been one of the most
impressive in the memory of every person present.
Lovers of the hymns, even at this distance of time,
reading the words and recalling the mournful
scene, are strangely moved.
" Sons of God by blest adoption,
View the dead with steady eyes."
And when the last solemn notes died away Mr.
Kinsman, gazing into that vast undulating sea of
troubled and intent faces, broke the hushed still-
1 Matthew xxv. 34.
2 No. 45, Supplement.
92 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
ness by giving out Isaiah's words, " The voice said,
Cry! What shall I cry? All flesh is grass." 1
" This truth," he began, " is confirmed by every
day's experience ; and the solemn and mournful
occasion of our assembling in this place proclaims,
as with a loud voice, these things are so."
" Death and eternity," he continued, quoting
Bishop Hopkins, "are subjects of meditation never
unseasonable," and then he alluded to the fact
that men are in the habit of endeavouring, by
every method the heart can devise, to banish these
subjects from their minds. After a touching
tribute to the dead pastor and his strenuous labours
for the conversion of souls, he addressed sympa-
thetic words to the widow and her children. "You
may be indulged," he said, " to drop some few
tears of conjugal and filial affection ; for on such
an occasion Jesus wept ! But let me exhort you
not to sorrow as those without hope. For if ye
believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so
them also that sleep in Jesus will God bring with
Him; 2 and among them our departed brother;
who after his remarkable conversion, or what he
himself calls his re-conversion to God, you will
know, not only preached Free Grace, but are
witnesses that he lived Free Grace, and adorned
it by an exemplary life and conversation."
The speaker then gave a brief account of the
1 The oration was printed at the end of the Rev. John Hughes's Funeral
Sermon on the death of the Rev. Joseph Hart.
* Thess. iv. 14.
LAST DAYS AND DEATH.
friendship between himself and Hart, alluding with
particular affection to their correspondence.
The touching references led many of his hearers
to sob aloud ; and then he imagined Hart himself
to be addressing them and saying, " Weep not for
me, but for yourselves and your children." He
urged them to consider the uncertainty of life.
" You see," he said, " by this instance, that faith-
ful, laborious, useful ministers are cut down as the
grass. Oh may this striking providence be sancti-
fied, and these broken hints be attended with a
divine influence, that some may be led to seek
after Jesus, and an interest in Him. God the
Father still waits to be gracious; God the Son still
bears the character of being the Friend of sinners ;
God the Holy Ghost is now ready to execute His
It is probable that after the oration the people
sang the lines 1 entitled, " The Church's last Leave
of their beloved Pastor at the Grave " :
" Sleep on, bless'd man, in Jesus sleep,"
which were evidently written for the occasion, and
probably by the Rev. John Hughes. They con-
" Now lean thy head, thou turtle dove,
Upon thy Saviour's breast ;
And sink in everlasting love
To everlasting rest."
1 They are printed at the end of Kinsman's Oration, which was issued
with Hughes's Sermon. Hughes wrote a mumber of hymns, but ap-
parently no other has been preserved. See also the Funeral Sermon on
the death of the Rev. John Hughes, preached by the Rev. Thomas
Chorlton, 6th June, 1773.
94 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
On Sunday, June 5th, Mr. Hughes improved the
death of Hart by a sermon delivered
35. Funeral _ _,
sermon at Jewin Street Chapel, the text taken
delivered by , . A , , . ,~. A , .. T ,
Rev. John being the words in Timothy, "I have
Hughes. fouht a ood fiht ,, He set himself
to show : i . What is to be understood by a good
fight. 2. When it may be said a person has
finished his course. 3. What that faith is that
must and is to be kept. Perhaps the most striking
passage was that in which, thinking of Hart's
career, he appealed to those who had wandered
from God. " But, oh," he said, " for thy comfort,
thou poor, backsliding soul, if thou findest in thy
heart so much as a desire to return home, thy God
will make, like Samson's, thy hair to grow again ;
and who can tell but that, with our dear departed
brother, thou mayest be enabled to take vengeance
on the Philistines, thy corruptions, for the loss of
thy two eyes of faith and love; and farther, to lay
thy hands on the two pillars of unbelief and pride,
which support Dagon's or the devil's temple, and
lay them level with the dust."
To the personal references in the sermon allu-
sion has already been made in these pages. To
the widow and children the preacher addressed
encouraging and affectionate remarks, which he
followed with an apostrophe to the bereaved
church. He concluded with, " If ever there was
a time for mourning and lamentation in the
churches of Christ surely it is now ; for the Lord
LAST DAYS AND DEATH. 95
seems to appear with a drawn sword in His hand
stretched out over Jerusalem ; and to begin with
the eminent ministers 1 of God first ; and what the
end of this will be God only knows ; but, surely,
it is the duty of all God's faithful ministers to
' blow the trumpet in Zion, and sanctify a fast
. . . and say, Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give
not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen
should rule over them : wherefore should they say
among the people, Where is their God ? '"
The sermon was afterwards printed and pub-
lished for the benefit of Hart's widow and children. 2
Another funeral sermon for Hart was preached
by Mr. John Towers, a young man of
ability, and an enthusiastic admirer of J^n Towers.
Hart's character and genius, who took
as his text, Job xix. 21, " Have pity upon me, have
pity upon me, O ye my friends ; for the hand of
God hath touched me ; " and he also wrote an
1 Rev. John Brine, of Baptist church, Currer's Hall (Cripplegate
Meeting), died 2ist Feb., 1765. He was a valued writer, and
he took a prominent part in all the public transactions that
concerned his denomination.
Rev. Dr. Chandler, Presbyterian minister at Peckham, died 8th May,
Rev. William Anderson, of Grafton Street, Westminster, died 8th Sept.,
1767. Funeral sermon by Rev. Dr. Gill.
Rev. Samuel Burford, minister of the Baptist church in Prescot Street,
Goodman's Fields, died i6th April, 1768. Rev. Dr. Samuel Sten-
nett preached his funeral sermon. He was interred in Bunhill
Fields. See Ivimey's History of the English Baptists, III. 556.
Rev. William Nash Clarke, minister of the church in Unicorn
Yard, Southwark, delivered an oration at his grave. See Ivimey,
IV., p. 393. Burford was succeeded by the Rev. Abraham Booth.
2 Advertisement in the Monthly Review, for July, 1768, p. 88: "The
Christian Warrior Finishing his Course. On the death of the Rev.
Mr. Jos. Hart, at Jewin-street, by John Hughes; with an Oration at
Mr. Hart's Interment, by And. Kinsman, is. Keith," &c.
g6 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" Elegy on Hart," a feeble production which is
prefixed to some of the later editions of the hymns.
When the question of a successor to the Jewin
Street pulpit was mooted, the choice of part of the
congregation fell upon Mr. Hughes, but others
objected to him because he was a Baptist, and
expressed themselves eager to secure the services
of Mr. Towers. Those in favour of Mr. Hughes
attained their end, but, as a result, the defeated
party seceded from the church and hired for
worship an ancient meeting-house in Bartholo-
mew Close, where Mr. Towers became their
minister. After Mr. Hughes had been pastor at
Jewin Street two or three years, the old wooden
chapel was taken down, and another and smaller
building, which was square and of red brick with
three galleries, was erected on part of the site,
and flush with the houses in the street. 1
1 The old chapel, it will be recalled, stood back from Jewin Street,
whence it was approached by a narrow passage.
The Chriftian Warrior Jinijhing his Courfe.
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH
Rev. Mr. J O S E P H HART,
JUNE 5, 1768.
BY JOHN HUGHES,
Brother-In-Law to Mr, HART.
AN D A N
AT HIS INTERMENT
BY ANDREW KINSMAN.
Printed for, and fold by, the Widow HART, near Durham-Yard,
Strand; J. MILLAN, at Charing-Crofs ; G. KEITH, in Grace-
church-Street; E. and C. DILLY, in. the Poultry 5 M.
FoLiNGSBY,at Temple-Bar; G. PEARCH, N.'ia, Cheapildej
and W.HARRIS, N<>. 70, in St. Paul's Church Yard.
TITLE PAGE OP THE FUNERAL SERMON.
If all the tributes to Hart's Hymns were set
down they would make a formidable 37. Tributes
volume, but a general idea of them may to Hart
be obtained from the following selections. One of
the first to recognise the extraordinary merits of
these hymns was the Rev. A. Toplady. Referring
in his diary to Psa. xlviii. 14, he says, 1 " I
remember a delightful paraphrase of this golden
passage written by Mr. Hart, which I cannot help
putting down here ; and the rather as it is the very
language of my soul at present :
' This God is the God we adore.' " 2
Another favourite of Toplady's was, " Come, Holy
Spirit, come." 3
" Herein," says the Rev. John Towers, referring
to Hart's hymn-book, "the doctrines of the Gospel
are illustrated so practically, the precepts of the
Word enforced so evangelically, and their effects
stated so experimentally, that it may with pro-
priety be styled a treasury of doctrinal, practical,
and experimental divinity." 4
1 Works, edition of 1825, Vol. i, p. 54.
2 Hymn 73.
8 See Toplady's Works (1825 ed.) Vol. 3. p. 448 ; Vol. 4, pp. 134. 169,.
341 ; Vol. 6, p. 84.
4 Recommendation prefixed to the ninth edition of the hymns, 1777.
98 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" Hart's Hymns," says the Rev. Daniel Smart,
of Cranbrook, "have been a great blessing to the
Church of God ; but truly to have fellowship with
them we must be taught the same truths by the
same Spirit. What a blessed hymn is that on
Temptation ! m
" Hart's Hymns," wrote the Rev. J. C. Philpot,
41 will live till the angel which shall stand upon the
sea and the earth shall lift up his hand to heaven
and swear * There shall be time no longer.' " 2
"When at his best," says the Rev. W. Jeyes
Styles, " Hart is incomparable. Sententious in
expression, tender and melting in sentiment, rich
in experimental testimony, and candid without
being morbid in laying bare the most secret and
solemn exercises of his own soul, he is unapproach-
able and unique. Words cannot express our
personal indebtedness to many of his hymns." 3
The Right Rev. H. C. G. Moule, D.D., Bishop
of Durham, says in a letter to the author,
1 3th April, 1910, "I agree with you in your high
estimate of Hart ; at his best he is superlative.
What a golden hymn is ' Come, Holy Spirit,
Mr. W. J. Martin, one of the promoters of the
Hart Memorial, describes Hart's hymns as the
2 Gospel Standard, 1864, p. 253. These words are from a Review,
which contains an excellent estimate of Hart as a poet. There are many
references to Hart in Mr. Philpot's other Reviews, and also in his
8 Earthen Vessel, April, 1910.
best exposition of the Scriptures with which he is
acquainted. Mr. Herbert Buck observes, " I
should say that Hart would be more widely known
as the author of ' Come, ye sinners, poor and
wretched,' 1 than of any other hymn. No one
writes quite like Hart. Others have proclaimed
the same truths, but he had his own unique way
of expressing them ; and they are statements not
merely of doctrine but of spiritual experience."
" Hart's hymns," says Mr. H. Belcher, " are
diamond fields. They sparkle with great thoughts.
He is the most spiritual of the English hymn-
" I value Hart's hymns," observes the Rev.
W. J. Latham, 2 " i. Because there is nothing
* thin ' or ' unreal ' in them. They are not mere
pious reveries, but are full of vigour and virility.
2. Because they exalt the Divine Person and
atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in
this are strikingly unlike many of the sickly senti-
mental hymns that are in use to-day. They also
honour the Holy Ghost in a marked degree.
3. Because they are steeped in personal religion,
they are deeply experimental, and are the breath-
ings of the heart at peace with God."
" I have long thought," observes the Rev. J. K.
Popham, 3 " that for depth and clearness of
1 Mr. Robert Hoddy, editor of the Gospel Herald, was of the same
opinion. See his article in Gospel Herald, 1883, p. 238, "Joseph Hart's
3 Vicar of Holy Trinity, Beckenham. Letter of 28th April, 1910.
8 Of Brighton. Letter of i-jth May, 1910.
ioo LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
doctrine, for rich and unctuous experience, a godly
sense of sin, a humbling reception of the atone-
ment of Christ, a melting realisation of the love of
the Father, a knowledge of the indwelling of the
Holy Ghost, and for a consistent enforcement of
Christian practice all tersely and finely expressed
Hart is probably not equalled, certainly not sur-
Hart's principal friends speedily followed him to
the grave. Whitefield died in 1770;
38. Death of the Rev. John Hughes, whose funeral
Rev. John sermon 1 was preached by the Rev.
Hughes, _. _. , . ' _ ,.
and others. Thomas Chorlton, in 1773. r-arlier in
this book we referred to the conversion
by Whitefield of William Shrubsole, shipwright, of
Sheerness. After a time Shrubsole became
master mastmaker, and while still following his
trade he preached regularly to his fellow towns-
men. " I am accounted a phenomenon," he said,
" there never having been, I believe, a preaching
master mastmaker before. However, I know there
has been a preaching Carpenter."
On nth March, 1768, six students belonging to
St. Edmund Hall were expelled from Oxford
University for taking upon themselves to pray,
read, and expound the Scriptures in private houses.
1 It contains two references to Hart, one being, " And when He took
experienced Hart, did He forsake you ? " Hart's hymn, Sup. 77. is
quoted. See also Wilson's History of Dissenting Churches, iii., p. 227
and pp. 347 to 350. Chorlton, who seems to have been acquainted with
Hart, died igth Dec., 1774. From this time the church steadily declined.
It was in a low state in 1810. See p. 107.
Whitefield published a letter to Dr. Durrell, the
Vice-Chancellor, in their defence, and Shrubsole
entered the arena with an able pamphlet entitled,
The Oxford Expulsion Condemned, a performance
that won Whitefield's approval. In 1776 Shrub-
sole published the work which so deeply interests
students of Hart, namely, Christian Memoirs, 1 in
which, as the result of his intercourse 2 with White-
field he was able to characterize faithfully not
only " Mr. Fervidus himself, but also a number of
Mr. Fervidus's friends, including ' Mr. Hearty.' "
Shrubsole died in 1797. William Shrubsole
(1759 1829), 3 author of "Arm of the Lord,
awake, awake," and other hymns, was his eldest
Mrs. Hart, who survived her husband twenty-
two years, died in 1790, at the age of 64, and was
buried in the grave at Bunhill Fields. The Rev.
Andrew Kinsman continued for long to preach in
the Plymouth neighbourhood and at Whitefield's
Tabernacle. In 1786 he had differences with
William Huntington, who very considerately
refrained from naming his opponent, though he
added, he " has not done the Kinsman's part by
me." 4 Kinsman suffered during his latter years
from asthma, which he endeavoured to alleviate by
1 Written 1773, that is, five years after Hart's death, ist edition, 1778;
2nd edition, 1790.
2 See Philip's Life of Whitefield, p. 370.
8 See Julian, 2nd edition, p. 1056.
4 Bensley's edition of Huntington's Works, vol. 8, p. 102.
102 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
means of quicksilver, of which he took altogether
over a hundredweight. He died on 28th Feb.,
In 1784 the portion of Hart's congregation who
had formed themselves into a body under the Rev.
John Towers, erected a meeting-house " on the
south side of Barbican, nearly opposite Bridge-
water Square, and at the corner of Paul's Alley ; 2
and there Mr. Towers continued to minister to
them until his death, which occurred on gth July,
Dr. John Ford, who, after working for a number
of years at his profession, took up the work of the
ministry, died 26th May, 1806. On his tomb at
Bunhill Fields he is styled, " the Rev. John Ford,
M.D." Mr. Garnet Terry, who became a contri-
butor to the press, signing himself " Onesimus,"
sat for a time under William Huntington, with
whom he too had differences. Eventually he
erected a chapel in Curtain Road, and preached in
it himself. He died 3ist July, 1817, aged 73,
leaving something under ^7,000 to charitable
Hart's resting-place was for many years marked
1 There is a portrait of him in the Gospel Magazine, Sept., 1774.
2 See Ivimey iv., 199 to 219, and p. 242.
R Hepublished several sermons and an answer to Madan's"Thelyphthora."
On his tombstone, in Bunhill Fields, are the words : " In memory of the
Rev. John Towers, thirty-four years pastor of the Independent Congrega-
tion in Barbican, who died July gth, 1804, aged 57." His death is referred
to in a letter of William Huntington's, printed in the Gospel Standard
for May, 1851. There are portraits of him in the New Spiritual
Magazine, vol. 3, and in the Gospel Magazine, vol. 3, Sept., 1776.
only by a simple headstone with the
words : " In memory of the Rev. Joseph
Hart, late minister of the gospel in in
Jewin Street, who died May 24th,
1768, aged 56 years " ; x but in 1877, the old stone
having become weatherworn and almost undecipher-
able, 2 a number of lovers of Hart's hymns erected
close to it a conspicuous red granite obelisk bear-
ing the following inscriptions 3 :
Front. Erected by lovers of Hart's hymns,
published in 1759, and still highly prized by the
church of God. The author's remains were
interred in this spot, as the original stone yet
remains to show. Joseph Hart, minister of the
gospel, died May 24th, 1765. Aged 56.
Left side. Joseph Hart was by the free and
sovereign grace and Spirit of God raised up from
the depths of sin, and delivered from the bonds of
mere profession and self-righteousness, and led to
rest entirely for salvation in the finished atone-
ment and perfect obedience of Christ.
Mercy is welcome news, indeed,
To those who guilty stand ;
Wretches who feel what help they need,
Will bless the Helping Hand. (Hymn 51.)
1 Later were added the words, "Also of Mrs. Mary Hart, wife of above,
who died nth Feb., 1790, aged 64 years; also of Daniel Hart, son of
above, who died i8th August, 1763, aged 3 years; also of Mary Mercy
Ellis, granddaughter of Rev. Joseph Hart, born i6th Oct., 1793, died
nth Jan., 1835,"
a It is still standing, however.
8 See the booklet published on the occasion : " Memorial to Mr. Joseph
Hart," &c. London, J. Gadsby ; and also the Earthen Vessel for Jan.,.
104 LIEE O F JOSEPH HART.
Right Side. Though I am a stranger to others,
and a wonder to myself, yet I know Him (Christ),
or, rather, am known of Him. 1
Where sin abounded grace did much more
O ! bring no price !
God's grace is free
To Paul, and Magdalene, and me.
None but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good. (Hymn 100.)
Such is the life story, so far as, after affectionate
pains, we have been able to decipher it, of the
gracious and forceful Joseph Hart, a writer whose
thoughts " lie deeper than did ever plummet
sound " one of the choicest souls, indeed, that the
great God in His bountiful goodness ever placed
among His people for their solace and encourage-
ment. In some respects in his persistent deter-
mination to make the very best use of his talents,
even when " sorrow and desperation" pursued
him ; and in his obstinate refusal to ornament
meretriciously even so little as a single line, he
reminds us of a later poet who sleeps hard by him
at Bunhill Fields the devout and spiritual
William Blake. But only in some respects, for,
take him as a whole, Hart stands even startlingly
alone. It would be difficult to over-estimate the
blessing he has been, right from the very first, to
the sorrow-laden, the heart-broken, and the
oppressed. Other hymn-writers have produced
1 Hart's Experience, concluding paragraph.
more melodious verses, have written single hymns
that outshine the best of Hart's, but as the friend
and consoler Hart has no equal. " I have never
been led into an experience," says one 1 who
tenderly loved him, " however intricate, dark, try-
ing, or perplexing, or soared so high in spiritual
enjoyment, or sunk so low under the felt depths of
the Fall, the hidings of God's face, His chastening
hand, or the temptations of Satan, but Joseph
Hart could in some of his lines find me." His
hymns, indeed, have created a heaven on earth for
multitudes, and if those writers have the pre-
ponderating claim on our affection who can com-
fort us most in hours of darkness and distress,
when one's being is " sated with wormwood,"
when the overstrained mind is giving way, when
the heart-strings are snapping, then Hart stands
supreme. No hymnist enters more deeply than he
into the real needs of the sorrow-laden ; of all
hymnists he is the most balsamic.
1 Thorpe Smith, Gospel Advocate, vol. 5, p. 296.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF JOSEPH HART.
1. 1741. The Unreasonableness of Religion.
2. 1744. Translation of Phocyl ides. Published, May 1744.
3. 1749. Translation of Herodian. Published, 25 Nov., 1749.
4. 1759. Hymns, &c. ist edition. Published, 7 July, 1759.
5. 1762. 2nd edition, with Supplement.
6- 1763- >, 3 r <*
7- I 7 6 5- 4th with Supplement and
8. 1767. 5th with Supplement and
9. 1767. A Sermon, "The King of the Jews," delivered
25 Dec., 1767.
10. 1769. Hymns, &c. 6th edition.
11. 1770- it 7th
12. 1774. 8th
13- 1777- 9th
14. 1784. loth
15. 1788. nth
16. 1791. i2th
17- I793- i3th
18. 1799- Hth
19. 1801. i5th
20. 1803. i6th
21. 1805. i7th
22. ? i8th
23. ? igth
24. 1811. 2oth
25. ? 2ist
26. ? 22nd
27. 1825. 23rd
There have been many editions since. The one published
by J. Tyler (83 North Street, Brighton) in 1841 has a partic-
ularly useful memoir of Hart.
HISTORY OF THE JEWIN STREET AND BARBICAN CHURCHES
SUBSEQUENT TO 1774.
THE Rev. John Hughes was succeeded by Richard Woodgate
(1774 1787), an Independent, the Mr. Ardent of Shrubsole's
Christian Memoirs. From 1787 to 1814 the pulpit was
occupied by Timothy Priestley, brother of the famous Dr.
Priestley. The resident population of the neighbourhood was
by this time gradually being displaced by warehouses and
workshops, and the cause steadily declined. It ceased to exist
about 1848; the last minister being the Rev. Joseph Ford.
To the end it was known as " Mr. Hart's Chapel."
Barbican Church has been more favoured.
The Rev. John Towers was followed by John Gore (1805
1822), Spedding Curwen (1822 1827), Dr. Tidman (1827
1849), Robert Hamilton, Robert Macbriar, and Joseph Boyle,
who began his ministry in 1862.
In 1864 the chapel was acquired by the Metropolitan Rail-
way Company ; and the congregation, after several move-
ments, eventually erected for themselves the present Barbican
Church, in the New North Road, the site having been chosen
with regard to the neighbourhood in which part of the old
congregation were living.
Joseph Boyle, who died in 1887, was followed by Ira Boseley
(1887 1891), Hampden B. Jones (1891 1894), George L.
Hurst (1895 1 9)> George Savary (1901 1905). The
present minister is the Rev. Sydney T. Carlton. The church
has a communicants' roll of 246, and a Sunday school of
37 teachers and some 330 scholars.
DESCENDANTS OF JOSEPH HART.
HART, as we have seen, left five children :
i. The eldest I assume to have been a daughter, because in
the Life of William Ellis 1 the youngest child is called Hart's
1 "By his son, John Eimeo Ellis," 1873.
io8 LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
" youngest daughter." The writer must have meant either
" younger daughter " or " youngest child " ; for as three of the
children left by Hart were sons, there could not have been
more than two daughters. I know nothing further of this
2. A son, born about 1754. Name unknown. Subject to
3. A son, born about 1758. Name unknown.
There used to be at 22 Paternoster Row, London, a firm of
the name of Hart & Co., music publishers. It was carried on
by Mr. Joseph Hart of Hatton Garden, who was a grandson
of the poet, and probably son of number 3. This Mr. Joseph
Hart died in 1856, aged 59. His daughters, Miss Emily Hart
and Miss Jane Hart, reside at Richmond. The business was
about 1880 incorporated with that of the present F. Pitman,
Hart & Co., but there is no one of the name of Hart now
connected with it.
4. Benjamin, born about 1760. He became a barrister, and
is said to have married Miss Thorold, an heiress, daughter of
of Sir Nathaniel Thorold, of Harmston, in Lincolnshire, and
an Italian lady of Capri. Sir John Thorold, in a letter of i7th
March, 1910, says of Sir Nathaniel : " I think one of his
family must have married lawyer Hart. I recollect hearing
of a Hart Thorold, to whom Harmston had belonged, living in
the village. Some years ago I went with R. Thorold, of Cux-
wold, to a small house in Chelsea where the descendants lived,
and saw several pictures of the family that were afterwards
sold at Christie's. One of Nathaniel, by Battoni, was bought
by R. Thorold. I do not think there is any son living, but
beyond seeing some ladies in Chelsea who wanted to sell
the pictures, I know nothing. They had the patent of the
baronetcy. The late H. Thorold told me that he had a book
of N. Thorold's letters."
In the obituary notices of the Gentleman's Magazine, for
October, 1836, occurs:
" Sept. loth. At Lincoln, aged 75, Benjamin Thorold, Esq.,
of Harmston Hall, High Sheriff of Lincoln, and one of the
magistrates of the city." This was probably Hart's son.
5. Mary Mercy, who married Mr. Alexander Moor. Mr.
Moor died in 1793, leaving her with two little children John
Benjamin and Mary Mercy. They are referred to in the
advertisement of the i5th edition of Hart's Hymns. Mrs.
Moor died in 1801, and her death is recorded in a footnote to
that advertisement. John Benjamin married and left issue.
He is buried at Hastings, and on his tombstone are the
words, " John Benjamin Moor, grandson of the Rev. Jos.
Hart." Mary Mercy married William Ellis, missionary to the
South Seas. 1 She died nth Jan., 1835, and is buried with
her illustrious grandfather, in Bunhill Fields. A memoir of
her, written by her husband, went through several editions. 2
Several of Hart's descendants, named Thorold and Ocken-
den, are still living, but I have not been able to get into com-
munication with them.
In the following Genealogical Table will be found the names
of many of the descendants of Mary Mercy Hart.
1 See The Life of William Ellis, pp. 23 to 25.
* See footnote to 39.
LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
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ESSAYS ON HART'S HYMNS
BY REV. A. J. BAXTER IN THE "GOSPEL ADVOCATE
Hymn 35 n
43 J 3
54 J 5
9 34, 65,
LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
i93 22 5
30 153, 181
REFERENCES IN DR. JULIAN'S DICTIONARY OF HYMNOLOGY,
REVISED EDITION, 1908.
The following hymns by Hart have special paragraphs
devoted to them in the Rev. Dr. Julian's work :
i Julian p. 244 79 Julian p. 869
4 246 90 2
8 1075 96 691
56 673 100 254
73 808 Sup. 82 366
75 6 3
"All for Love," 35
Anderson (Rev. William) 95
Kinsman and the Rioters, 29 ; Ro-
maine and the Prodigal, 51 ; Hart
keeps his pulpit chaste, 76 ; Dr.
Johnson and Hart's Hymns, 70 ;
I know myself to be a child of
Barbican, Rev. John Towers' Chapel
in, 102, 107
Barbican Chapel, New North Road,
Baxter (Rev. A. J.) Essays on Hart's
Hymns, 60, 61, iti
Belcher (Mr. H) quoted, 99
Benson (Dr. George) 13
Bible, Hart's Pulpit, 76
Blake (William) 104
Blue Cockades, 86
Brine (Rev. John) 77, 95
Brook (Rev. W. J.) of Brighton, 72
Buck (Mr. Herbert) his tribute to
Bunhill Fields, 91
Bunhill Memorials, by J. A. Jones,
Bunyan (John) 45
Burford (Rev. Samuel) 95
' ' But they that in the Lord confide "
Cennick (John) 28
Chandler (Rev. Dr.) 64, 95
Chorlton (Rev. Thomas) preaches
Funeral Sermon for Rev. John
Hughes, 93, 100
" Christ is the Friend of Sinneis " 52
Clarke (Rev. Wm. Nash) 95
"Come, Holy Spirit, come," 40, 60
Cramer (Rev. Thos.) 62.
Dates of Hart's Hymns, 42
" Descend from Heaven, Celestial
Dove," 40, 60
Durham Yard, 48
Durham, (Bishop of) quoted, 98
Editions of the Hymns ;
ist, 57 ; 2nd, 68 ; 3rd, 68 ; 4th, 70 ;
5th, 70 ; subsequent editions, 106
Ellis (Rev. William), Missionary,
107, 1 08
" Experience," Hart's, 54, 68
Flavel (Rev. John) 63
Ford (Dr. John) 78, 90, 102
Gill, John (Rev., D.D.) 75, 77,95
Gambold (Rev. John) 39
Genealogical Table of Hart Family,
George II., Death of, 64
Gibbons (Dr.) 64
Gifford (Dr. Andrew) 77
Hart (Joseph) birth, i ; teaches the
Classics, 2 ; in soul trouble, 2 ;
lapses into sensuality, 2 ; writes
The Unreasonableness of Re-
ligion, 7 ; becomes a Humanist,
13; translates Phocylides, 15; and
Herodian, 18 ; marriage, 26 ;
alarmed by a sermon preached by
Whitefield, 30 ; his vision, 34 ;
writes Hymn i, 34; he becomes
acquainted with Whitefield, 38 ; at
the Moravian Chapel in Fetter
Lane, 38 ; influenced by Watts, 43,
60 ; his first sermon, 50 ; at home,
48 ; his Experience, 54 ; ist edition
of his Hymns, 57; makes the ac-
quaintance of Rev. Andrew Kins*
Hart (Joseph) continued:
man, 61 ; pastor of Jewin Street
Chapel, 62 ; and edition of Hymns,
68 ; 3rd edition. 68 ; 4th edition
with appendix, 70 ; 5th edition, 70 ;
Hart as a preacher, 74 ; his sermon
The King of the Jews, 79 ; Hart
as a letter writer, 61, 83; death,
90; funeral, 91; bibliography,
106 ; his descendants, 107.
Hart (Mary) 26 ; left a widow with
five children, 88 ; dies, 101.
Hart, (Mary Mercy) Hart's daughter,
" Hearty (Mr.) " of Shrubsole, 3,
Hervey of Weston Favell, 33, 54
Hoddy (Mr. Robert) 99
Horace quoted, 16
Hughes (Rev. John) 26 ; referred to,
77 ; quoted, 86 ; he preaches Hart's
funeral sermon, 94 ; his death, 100
Huntington (Rev. Wm.) on Election,
IT ; a criticism by, 53 ; his King-
dom of Heaven, 56 ; Life of Wm.
Huntington, 74 ; Differences with
Kinsman, 101 ; and Terry, 102.
Hymns, Hart's, ist edition, 57 ; 2nd
edition, 68 ; 3rd edition, 68 ; 4th
edition, 70 ; 5th edition, 70 ; sub-
sequent editions, 106.
Ivimey (Rev. Joseph) History of the
English Baptists, 95
Jacks (Mr. Robert) 78
enkyn (Rev. Wm.) 62
ewin Street Chapel, 62
ustis (Mr.) 71, 90
ohnson (Dr.) 70
ulian (Dr.) Dictionary of Hymnology
Katterns (John) 74; has Hart's
Katterns (Sarah) 74, 77
Keppel (Admiral) 65
King of the Jews, The 79
Kinsman (Rev. Andrew) 27 ; makes
Hart's acquaintance, 61 ; delivers
an oration at Hart's grave, 91 ;
bis death, 101
Lamb, Sign of the, 48
Latham (Rev. W. J.) quoted, 99
Letter by Hart to his nephe
Liford (Mr.) 18, 19
Madan (Rev. Martin) 77
Martin (Mr. W. J.) quoted, 98
Monthly Review, advertisement in,
Monument, Hart's 103
Moor (Mary Mercy, Mrs. Ellis) 108,
Moor (Miss L. R.) no
Moravian Chapel, Fetter Lane, 38
Nephew, Hart's 84
Noble (Rev. Daniel) 64
" Notion's the harlot's test," 63
Ockenden Family, 109
Old Meeting House, St. John's Court,
Ovid, quoted, 79
Philpot (Rev. J. C.) his tribute to
Hart. 56, 98
Popham, (Rev. J. K.) quoted, 99
Prodigal, The, 51
Pulpit Bible, Hart's 76
Romaine (Rev. William) 51, 77, 78
Ruskin, quoted, 17
Scott (Rev. Thomas) 45
Seven Years' War, The, 32
Shrubsole (William) the elder, his
Christian Memoirs, i, 3, 13, 14,
30, 31, 100
Shrubsole (William) the younger,
Smart (Rev. Daniel) referred to, 84 ;
his tribute to Hart, 98
Smith (Thorpe) i, 54, 105
Stennett (Rev. Dr. Samuel) 64, 77,
Stevens (Rev. John) of Meards
Styles, (Rev. W. Jeyes) quoted, 57,
Tabernacle in Moorfields, 27, 38
Terry (Garnet) ' ' Onesimus, ' ' takes
down Hart's sermon in Shorthand,
79; death, 102
Thelyphthora, Rev. John Towers'
answer to, 102
LIFE OF JOSEPH HART.
Thornton (John) "The Great," 31
Thorold (Benjamin) 108, no
Thucydides quoted, 25
Toplady (Rev. Augustus) 76 ; his
tribute to Hart, 97
Tottenham Court Chapel, 32, 38
Towers, (Rev. John) preaches funeral
sermon for Hart, 95 ; tribute to
Hart, 97 ; death, 102
Vision, Hart's, 34
Watts (Dr. Isaac) 43, 60
Wesley (Rev. John) 4 ; his Bristol
sermon, 5 ; attacked by Hart, 7.
Whitefield (Rev. George) 4, answers
Wesley's Bristol Sermon, 5 ; at
Plymouth, 27 ; alarms Hart, 30 ;
becomes acquainted with Hart, 38 ;
Whittome (Mr. Joseph), 77
Wilkes (John) 67, 68, 87
Wilson (Walter) His History of
Dissenting Churches, 62
Woodgate (Rev. Richard) 107
BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
The Life of Augustus M. Toplady
The Second Volume of the Series,
Lives of the British Hymn Writers.
Price 2/6, with twelve Illustrations.
This work, written in Mr. Wright's well-known and
vivid style, will contain unpublished letters and a
deal of new information respecting Toplady and his
hymns, including " Rock of Ages."
In a letter to Mr. Wright, the Bishop of Durham says of
the series: "It ought to be most valuable and informing and
in your hands it will be. Toplady's life, following Hart's, will
be most welcome to me. Toplady at his best soars high indeed
as in his lyrical poem on Rev. vii. and Deathless Principle.
And how tender he is."
ORDERS SHOULD BE SENT TO FARNCOMBE & SON,
30 Imperial Buildings, Ludgate Circus, E.G.
BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
Life of William Huntington, S.S.
With forty-two Illustrations.
One volume, demy 8vo, cloth, 5s. net.
,,~ grip _- ,---,
vn lc o ,u.v,sts the character and work of Willi
with a distinct halo of romance." City Press.
After pointing out a few "insignificant blemishes," the
Rev. W. Jeyes Styles says, in The Earthen Vessel, that, these
removed, Mr. Wright's book " would rank as an ideal biography
worthy to live as one of the great books of the age."
"We heartily recommend this volume. It is absorbingly
interesting." Aberdeen Free Press.
" . . . At last a full, truthful, good biography of him has
been written, well written. The stately volume before us is,
as far as we are able to judge, an exhaustive life of one of
whom many foolish and hurtful things have been written. In
a sense he needed no vindication, his praise is in all the
Churches; but some gracious people may feel glad to see the
character of the man of God cleared in regard of certain things
said to his prejudice. The paper, the print, the general get up
of the book are excellent." Gospel Standard.
LONDON : FARNCOMBE & SON,
30 Imperial Buildings, Ludgate Circus, E.G.
FARNCOMBE & SON
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