Bennett, Samuel (1761-1838)
MEMOIR OF SAMUEL BENNETT,
Samuel Bennett was born at Carr, in the parish of Kettleshulme, Sept. 22, 1761. His father dying when he was about ten years of age, he went to live with his uncle in Cheshire. And on hearing a sermon in a poor man’s house at Butley, he said, “This sermon was a lasting benefit to me in convincing me that preaching was not confined to churches only. This was the commencement of a new era in my life. My mind began to enlarge. I began to form the best ideas I could of my Maker, and to act consistent with the light I had, by behaving well in my place, paying attention to truth, and attending church; but still I had no knowledge of conversion.”
He lived four years with his uncle, who treated him as one of his own children; and, at the age of sixteen put him apprentice to a joiner and carpenter, at a place about three miles from Macclesfield. He occasionally heard the Rev. D. Simpson, at Macclesfield new church, and was benefited and instructed. Also a sermon by a Mr. Roberts was a blessing to him.
At the age of twenty-three, he entered into the marriage state, with one of whom he says, “She was a woman that feared God and wrought righteousness; was mighty in faith and prayer, and many, no doubt, will be the crown of her rejoicing in heaven,”
In the 1784, he says, “Under a sermon preached by Mr. Smith, the veil of darkness was removed from my heart, and my soul was converted to God. Then it was that the word was spirit and life, quick and powerful, enlightening the eyes of my understanding, and. giving me to see the beauty and harmony of scripture. I fully believed in the Son of God, to be my only Saviour.”
He was diligent in searching the scriptures, and in reading the writings of Mr. Wesley and Mr. Fletcher. And he was a class leader among the Wesleyan and P. Methodists, upwards of forty years; and a prayer leader more than twenty, besides filling other offices.
He was a man of great stability, was instant in season, and out of season; and paid particular attention to the spiritual wants of his family, praying with them, warning and instructing them in all things pertaining to life and godliness.
In the year 1803, he was married again, to her who is now his widow; and whose piety and attention to his domestic comforts greatly contributed to his happiness in life. Like Zachariah and Elizabeth, they walked together in the fear of the Lord, sympathizing with each other in their sorrows, and sharing each others joys; and as a natural consequence, she much laments her loss; but lives in hope of meeting him again, where they will be ever with the Lord.
In April 1837, he was deprived of the use of his right side by a stroke. But he would say, “This affliction is for some wise end. The Lord knows what is best for me. Praise his name, he cannot err, he cannot be unkind.”
I have frequently had the pleasure, and reaped the profit, of being in his company. He was a real primitive Methodist, and loved to talk of the early days of methodism, when Mr. Wesley and others were labouring; and with satisfaction would refer to the success which crowned the labours of various praying companies. He would often say, “Well, my race is nearly run, but I have a good hope through grace I believe the Lord will bring me to himself. I trust alone in Christ, my only Saviour.
Sunday, Feb. 4, 1838, a second stroke deprived him of the power of speech, and caused him to sink into a state of almost insensibility. But he a little recovered: and a short time before he died, his son asked, “Is Jesus precious?” He answered, “Yes.” “Is the sting of death taken away?” “Yes.”
At this time he seemed much engaged with the Lord. His son said, “You will soon shout victory through the blood of the Lamb.” He said, “Yes.” And Feb. 8, 1838, in the seventy-seventh year of his age, he bid adieu to this vale of tears, and, like a ripe shock of corn, he was gathered into the garner of God.
I preached his funeral sermon in our Stockport chapel to a crowded congregation.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 388-389.