|MINISTER, COMPOSER (GREAT BRITAIN)|
BORN 1712, London - DIED 24 May 1768, London|
GRAVE LOCATION London: Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, City Road, Finsbury
Joseph Hart was a Calvinist minister. He is best known for his book "Hart's Hymns" that was still well known after 200 years.
During the 1740s he was a libertine and he wrote the pamphlet "The Unreasonableness of Religion" (1741) in which he argued that religion both supported and opposed by reason. He wanted to influence John Wesley with it, but the latter regarded it as blasphemy. Hart apologised to Wesley afterwards. He became convinced that he should do good works and believe in God as well.
He translated Phycolides from the Greek in 1744 and Herodian from the Latin in 1749. Around 1752 he married Mary Hughes (1726-1790), who was fourteen years his junior. After many doubts he achieved his final conversion in 1757. From 1760 until his death he preached at Jewin Street chapel in London. Most of his letters are lost, but the sermon that he preached on Christmas morning in 1767 has survived. He died in 1768 in London. His funeral at Bunhill Fields Burial Ground was attended by 20,000 people.