?–Circa 1790


[Langford] is said to have been con­nect­ed with the ear­ly Me­tho­dists, and then to have be­come a mem­ber of the Bap­tist church in Ea­gle Street, Lon­don.

In 1765 he be­gan to preach in a cha­pel called Blacks­fields, in Gains­ford Street, Lon­don, and in the fol­low­ing year was or­dained pas­tor. There he re­mained for 12 years, then re­moved to Rose Lane, Rat­cliff, and af­ter­wards to a small place in Bun­hill Row.

But his im­pru­dent con­duct com­pelled him at length to give up preach­ing. He in­her­it­ed con­sid­er­a­ble pro­per­ty, but squan­dered it in ex­tra­va­gance, and died in great wretch­ed­ness about 1790.

J. Lang­ford pub­lished a few Ser­mons, and, in 1776, a col­lec­tion of Hymns & Spi­ri­tu­al Songs, which reached a se­cond ed­i­tion The ex­cel­lent and well-known hymn Now be­gin the heav­en­ly theme, has been as­cribed to him.

It is in his col­lec­tion; but since, in the pre­face to his se­cond ed­i­tion, he tells us that he has marked his own hymns with an as­ter­isk, and this one is not so marked, it is clear­ly not of his com­po­si­tion.

W. R. Ste­ven­son

John Ju­li­an, 1907



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