Born: January 6, 1740, Lidget Green, Yorkshire, England.
Died: July 25, 1817, Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, England.
Buried: Baptist Church, Wainsgate, Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, England.
This John Fawcett, a hymn writer, should not be confused with John Fawcett the composer.
Fawcett was converted at age 16 under the ministry of George Whitefield. He first joined the Methodists, but three years later began attending the Baptist Church in Bradford, England. Having begun to preach, he was ordained a Baptist minister at Wainsgate, Yorkshire.
In 1772, he was invited to London to succeed J. Gill as pastor of the Carter’s Lane Baptist Church. On the day of his departure, he had preached his farewell sermon, the wagons were loaded, and he was ready to go. But he was so overcome by the thought of leaving the congregation he had come to love, that he canceled his plans and stayed in Wainsgate. In 1793, Fawcett was invited to become president of the Baptist Academy in Bristol, but he similarly declined.
In 1811, Fawcett received a Doctor of Divinity degree from an American school.
Despite his accomplishments, Fawcett practiced humility, as shown in the preface to Hymns Adapted to the Circumstances of Public Worship and Private Devotion:
I blush to think of these plain verses falling into the hands of persons of an elevated genius, and refined taste. To such, I know, they will appear flat, dull and unentertaining…If it may be conducive, under divine blessing to warm the heart or assist the devotion of any humble Christian in the closet, the family or the house of God, I shall therein sincerely rejoice, whatever censure I may incur from the polite world.