Robert Cruttenden

Short Name: Robert Cruttenden
Full Name: Cruttenden, Robert, 1691-1764
Birth Year (est.): 1691
Death Year (est.): 1764

Cruttenden, Robert, born cir. 1691, died cir. 1764. He was educated for the ministry among the Dissenters, and when a young man frequently preached for his uncle, the Rev. Mr. Bragg. But finding that he did not really believe in the Evangelical doctrines, he gave up the ministry, and betook himself to trade, in which for a number of years he was successful. In his 52nd year, having retired from business, he was living near to Whitefield's Tabernacle, when, his attention being excited by what he heard concerning the preaching there, a strong impulse seized him to go and hear for himself. The result was his conversion through the ministry of John Cennick. Twelve months later he joined a Congregational Church, of which he continued a member until his death, about 20 years subsequently. The narrative of his Experience, as read to this Church on his application for membership, was published in 1744, with a preface by Whitefield, and republished in 1790, with the addition of a letter from Mr. Cruttenden to Mr. Cennick. To this narrative his Psalms & Hymns, 17 in all, were appended. The full title of the Experience is too quaint to be omitted. It is:—

"Sovereign Efficacious Grace displayed in the awakening and converting a Rational, Learned, Aged sinner, exemplified in the Experience of Robert Cruttenden, Esq., as delivered by himself to the Congregational Church, then meeting in Lime Street, near Leadenhall Market, 1743, in order to be admitted into their society. Published, prefaced and recommended by the late Rev. George Whitefield, 1744, as an extraordinary effect of the Divine Spirit. To which is prefixed a Letter from Mr. Cruttenden to Mr. Cennick, 1742. Also several Psalms, Hymns, &c., composed by him. Now particularly addressed to all rational Christians for their perusal. Lon¬don, printed and sold by T. Wilkins, Aldermanbury, MDCCXC."

From his Psalms & Hymns in the Experience the following are still in common use:—
1. And is it yet, dear Lord, a doubt? Desiring to love God.
2. Did Jesus die, but not for me? Pardon through Jesus.
3. I own my guilt, my sins confess. Lent.
4. Let others boast their ancient line. Adoption.
5. Rise, Sun of glory, shine reveal'd. Happiness desired.
6. 'Tis false, thou vile accuser, go. Divine Mercy.
7. What adverse powers we feel within. Sin and Holiness.
8. What jarring natures dwell within. Sin and Holiness. This is part of No. 7.
Cruttenden's hymns are full of Christian experience: some, as "Let others boast their ancient line," have a good deal of spirit, and the versification is usually smooth and flowing. [Rev. W. R. Stevenson, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


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