Hart, Joseph (1712?-1768) (DNB00)

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HART, JOSEPH (1712?–1768), independent divine and hymn-writer, was born in London about 1712, and was religiously brought up. After much spiritual perturbation, extending over four-and-twenty years, he achieved his conversion, after hearing a sermon on Rev. iii. 10 preached in the Moravian Chapel in Fetter Lane, on Whit-Sunday, 1757. From the end of 1760 until his death on 24 May 1768 he preached regularly at Jewin Street Chapel, London, where he gathered a large congregation. He was buried in Bunhill Fields. Twenty thousand people are said to have listened to the funeral sermon. He left a widow and several children.

Hart published: 1. ‘The Unreasonableness of Religion; being Remarks and Animadversions on Mr. John Wesley's Sermon on Rom. viii. 32,’ London, 1741, 12mo (an apparently serious argument to prove that religion not only receives no support from reason, but is diametrically opposed to it); and 2. ‘Hymns, &c., composed on various Subjects. With a Preface, containing a brief Account of the Author's Experience,’ London, 1759, 12mo. The hymns are of an ultra-Calvinistic tone. The preface has been reprinted as ‘The Experience of Joseph Hart,’ London, 1862, 16mo.

[Wilson's Hist. of Dissenting Churches, iii. 342–7; the Preface to the Hymns.]

J. M. R.