Born: June 1, 1727, Exeter, England
Died: August 24, 1795, London, England.
Buried: Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, Islington, London, England.
Samuel was the grandson of hymnist Joseph Stennett.
The following biography appeared in Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America: Historical Papers Written in Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Organization of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference Celebrated at Ashaway, [Rhode Island], Aug. 20–25, 1902. Vol. 1, pp. 11–18.
Dr. Samuel Stennett was born in Exeter, in 1727. He was converted and was baptized when young. Like his father he was a man of superior talents and great erudition. Ivimey says:-His proficiency in Greek, Latin and Oriental tongues and extensive acquaintance with sacred literature, are so abundantly displayed in his valuable works that they cannot fail to establish his reputation for learning and genius.
He had been accustomed to move in the society of persons of refinement; and on entering upon his pastoral duties in London he was remarkable for the ease and suavity of his manners, for the good breeding, the polished language, and the graceful ways of the true gentleman.
He was frequently in company with persons enjoying the highest social distinction and in such situations as gave him an opportunity to commend Baptists and aid Dissenters of all denominations.
In 1763 he was made a Doctor of Divinity by King’s College, Aberdeen. Among the noble men who waited upon his ministry and loved him with the affection of a friend was John Howard, the philanthropist. In a letter from Smyrna, written to Dr. Stennett August 11, 1786, Mr. Howard says:-I bless God for your ministry; I pray God to reward you a thousand fold. My friend, you have an honorable work; many seals you have to your ministry.
He ministered to the Little Wild street church as his father’s assistant for ten years; and as its pastor, after his father’s death, for thirty-seven years. The meeting house was rebuilt during his ministry.
His father, Joseph Stennett, D. D.; his grandfather, Joseph Stennett; his great-grandfather, Edward Stennett; his brother, Joseph, and his son, Joseph, were all Baptist ministers—and Sabbath-keepers.
Dr. Samuel Stennett was a hymn writer of note. He wrote the beautiful and well known hymn, Majestic sweetness sits enthroned upon the Saviour’s brow; also On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand.
Most of his works were reprinted in 1784 in three octavo volumes. In 1772 he published a work entitled Remarks on the Christian Minister’s Reasons for Administering Baptism by Sprinkling. In 1775, An Answer to the Christian Minister’s Reasons for Baptizing Infants.
He was also author of productions treating of appeals to Parliament by Protestant Dissenters for relief from persecuting enactments.