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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Personal Memoirs derived largely from unpublished materials 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.) 
















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 



6 Phocylides, May, 1744 ... 15 

7 Herodian, Nov., 1749 ..... 18 

1751 3ist Dec., 1756 


8 Marriage, about 1752 . . . / . . . 26 

9 Andrew Kinsman ...... 27 

10 A Sermon by Whitefield, 1755 .... 30 




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 




17 New Year's Hymn and Hymns 17 32 , 44 

18 The Good Friday Hymns of 1758 and Hymns 3761 , 46 




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 

1760 1767 


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 




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 


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. 


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. 
Norman, J.P- 

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. 
4 vols. 

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 
Sarah Katterns. 

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. 
Report, 1908. 

1908. Dr. Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology. 2nd edition. 

The History of Nonconformity in Plymouth. By R. W. North, 




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. 


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. 


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 
Bacchus.' " 


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 
Lord Jesus, 

" 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- 

3. Whitefleld 

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. 





O N 

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. 



From the copy in the British Museum. (By permission.) 


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. 



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. 


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. 


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 


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." 


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 
Arminian errors." 

" 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 


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 
in philosophy." 

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. 


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 
in faith." 

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. 



O F 


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 
Ludgate-ftreet. M.DCC.XLIV. 



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 


" 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." 



" 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. 


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." 



O F 

His Own Times, 


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 


And a Copious INDEX. 

The Whole defign'd as a Compendium both of the 

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 . 



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 
yet concise." 

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. 


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 


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. 


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. 


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, 


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- 


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. 


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. 


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 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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- 

Autumn, 1755. 

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. 


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." 
a Shrubsole. 


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 
crucified Saviour." 

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. 

From " Old and New London," Vol. 1 , p. 97. By permission of Messrs. Cassell & Co. 



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 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. 


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. 


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 ! ' " 


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. 


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 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 
own house. 

" 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 


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. 


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. 


tionally welcome in that it enables us to compile 
the following invaluable table : 


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 - * 
1732. Spring. 

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. 

HYMN .S,. 


On . various Subjects 


P'.R- E F A C E, 






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. 


xcv. r. 


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 


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.. 
PP- 339341)- 

9 Hymn 27. 


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- 
pected times: 

" 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." 



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 notrrtU 

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 



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. 


" 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. 


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 
Spiritual Pride." 

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 
some mistake. 

2 Shrubsole. 


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. 


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. 


" 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. 


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. 


" 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 
much tribulation." 

"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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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 

No. 4: 

" Come, Holy Spirit, come, 

Let Thy bright beams arise," 
recalls Watts's 

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. 


" 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. 



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. 


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 

. Hymns. 

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. 


" 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. 


w J 

S g 


" 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- 
ment) : 

" 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. 


The battle-hymn, 29, is particularly rich in 
cheering and quickening passages. The following, 
for example, should hearten even the most 
timorous : 

" 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 


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 
following year. 

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. 


" 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, 
at 3d. 

2 " To the Reader," in the 3rd edition. 


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 
April, 1763. 

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. 


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. 


" 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 
" trivial." 

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 ? " 


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. 


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. 


" 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. 


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 
Supp., 70. 

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 
and pomander. 

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," 


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 


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. 


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 


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 
Dear Nephew, 

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 


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 


" 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 


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. 


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 
verse : 

" 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. 


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. 


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 
world." 1 

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. 


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. 



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 
blessed office." 

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- 
clude : 

" 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. 


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 


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. 


" 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. 



Rev. Mr. J O S E P H HART, 



JUNE 5, 1768. 


Brother-In-Law to Mr, HART. 







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. 



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. 


" 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, 
come.' " 

Mr. W. J. Martin, one of the promoters of the 
Hart Memorial, describes Hart's hymns as the 

No. 70. 

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. 


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 

Whitefield, J 

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. 


means of quicksilver, of which he took altogether 
over a hundredweight. He died on 28th Feb., 

I793- 1 

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, 
1 804.2 

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.,. 


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. 

(Hymn 119.) 
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. 




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. 




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. 



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. 


" 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 
epileptic fits. 

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. 


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Vol. page. 




5 Jo 

Hymn 35 n 

Hymn i 

12, 40 




6 5 





38 12 












4 1 








43 J 3 



6 33 












>, 193 





48 14 











7 5 

5 1 



65, 130 

52 ,, 








54 J 5 







8 33 


257, 289 







58 16 



257, 289 








9 34, 65, 



193 .225 




10 33 

63 17 




6 4 










3 1 


67 ,, 







ii 46 





70 18 







Hymn 71 



Hymn no 


















225, 257, 







321, 353 




















Sup. i 
















2 4 






2 5 








2 7 

i93 22 5 





















3 1 






















































4 1 

4 1 








J 93 




J 5 






1 06 























Sup. 61 


























Vol. page. 

29 129 

30 153, 181 

33 22 

34 29 

35 201 



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 

Anecdotes : 

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 
God, 90. 

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 

Hart, 99 

Bunhill Fields, 91 
Bunhill Memorials, by J. A. Jones, 

Preface xi. 
Bunyan (John) 45 
Burford (Rev. Samuel) 95 
' ' But they that in the Lord confide " 

46. 89 

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, 
108, no. 

" Hearty (Mr.) " of Shrubsole, 3, 

Herodian, 18 

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 

Bible, 76 

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 

w, 83 

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, 

Bermondsey, 51 
Ovid, quoted, 79 

Philpot (Rev. J. C.) his tribute to 

Hart. 56, 98 
Phocylides, 15 

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, 

hymn-writer, 101 
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 

Court, 47 
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 


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 ; 

death, 100 

Whittome (Mr. Joseph), 77 
Wilkes (John) 67, 68, 87 
Wilson (Walter) His History of 

Dissenting Churches, 62 
Woodgate (Rev. Richard) 107 



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." 

30 Imperial Buildings, Ludgate Circus, E.G. 



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. 

30 Imperial Buildings, Ludgate Circus, E.G. 





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