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SAMUEL STENNETT, D. D.
PASTOR OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
LITTLE WILD STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS,
NOW FIRST COLLECTED INTO A BODY; WITH SOME ACCOUNT
BY WILLIAM JONES,
author of tit W&tor$ of tit CJjrfettan Cjjurr?>, Bftlttal
IN THREE VOLUMES.
I. SOME ACCOUNT OF THE I II. DISCOURSES ON PER-
LIFE AND WRITINGS
The interesting and valuable Works of the late Dr. Samuel Stennett, which are now first collected into a body, and presented to the Public in a uniform state, cannot fail to excite in the minds of all who peruse them, a desire to be furnished with some authentic particulars concerning the life of an individual who so highly adorned his profession; and whom God raised up and qualified, to be so eminently useful in his public and private capacity. We therefore trust the following brief account of our author will not be found wholly devoid of interest, nor prove altogether unacceptable to the Reader.
Dr. Samuel Stennett, the worthy subject of our memoir, was a native of Exeter, where his father, Dr. Joseph Stennett, the pastor of a Baptist church in that city, resided many years *. Endowed by na
* Dr. Samuel Stennett, the worthy subject of our memoir, descended from pious ancestors who, for several generations, were conspicuous in the churches of their denomination as ministers of talent, learning, and piety.—His great-grandfather was Dr. Edward Stennett, a physician, who dwelt in the castle at Wallingford, in Berkshire, in the intolerant Vol. i. a
ture with every gift requisite to form the scholar and the gentleman, our author applied himself closely in his early years, to the study of science and the belles lettres.
Being designed by his father for the Work of the ministry, his preparatory studies were pursued under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Hubbard, an eminent theological tutor residing at Stepney; and Dr. John Walker, the celebrated Linguist of the Academy at Mile-end, which was afterwards removed to Homerton. It is natural to conclude, that with these advantages, his attainments in learning must have been very considerable: indeed his proficiency in Greek,
reign of Charles II. He regularly preached during this period in his own dwelling, and though often threatened and sometimes in great danger, the high estimation in which he was held for his professional services by the gentlemen of his neighbourhood, shielded him in a great measure from the calamities to which dissenting ministers in those days were exposed. His son, the grandfather of our author, was the Rev. Joseph Stennett, who for twenty-three years was pastor of the Baptist church which assembled at Pinner's Hall, London, where his high character for piety, talents, and learning, procured for him the affectionate regard of his brethren, the dissenting ministers of the metropolis. He is known to the religious world as author of three octavo volumes of excellent Sermons, and a fourth volume containing a version of Solomon's Song, Hymns on Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and various smaller pieces on miscellaneous subjects. Several of his hymns are contained in the collections of hymns now used for public worship. His son, our author's father, was the Rev. Dr. Joseph Stennett, who, in the early part of his ministry, was pastor of the Baptist church at Exeter, from whence he removed to London, to take the charge of the church in Little Wild Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, over which he presided until his death, and was highly esteemed, not only by the principal dissenting ministers of his day, but also by many of the leading ministers of administration in the reign of George II.; amongst whom the celebrated Speaker of the House of Commons, Arthur Onslow, Esq., honoured him with his particular friendship.
in Latin, in the oriental tongues, and his extensive acquaintance with sacred literature, are so abundantly displayed in his valuable works, now presented to the Public, that they cannot fail to establish his reputation for learning and genius. To his eminent qualifications as a scholar, he united in a conspicuous degree the exterior accomplishments of a gentleman. The urbanity of his manners, the natural suavity of his disposition, the perpetual cheerfulness and entertainment of his conversation, added to the unvarying prudence of his deportment, caused him to be admired and beloved by all who knew him. It is not surprising, that possessing these accomplishments our author should have early enjoyed an extensive circle of acquaintance. They procured him in fact the distinguished notice and regard of many persons in high and honourable stations of life; and if ambition had been his idol, he doubtless might have been one of her successful votaries. In no other way, however, did he avail himself of this circumstance, than as it increased his sphere of usefulness in promoting the glory of God; for, notwithstanding he might readily have obtained preferment in the National Establishment, he chose rather to maintain a good conscience in the sight of God; for he was a dissenter from principle. It is true, he had the degree of Doctor in Divinity conferred upon him, in the year 1763, by the King's College and University of Aberdeen. This honour, however, was neither solicited on his part, nor was it accompanied by any emolument. Having devoted his life to the service of God, he sought not the honour which cometh from men, nor did the possession of it tend in any degree to lessen his exemplary humility.