Benjamin Abbott

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This article is about the evangelist. For the lawyer and author partly responsible for the New York penal code, see Benjamin Vaughan Abbott.

Benjamin Abbott (1732 – August 14, 1796) was a Methodist evangelist.

He was born in Pennsylvania in 1732 to Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Abbott. He started out as a hatter's apprentice in Philadelphia, later leaving that position to work on his brother's farm in New Jersey. He is said to have been addicted to card-playing, cock-fighting, drinking, and brawling.

In 1772, he converted to Christianity because of the Methodist preacher, Abraham Whitworth, and became a local preacher himself. In 1790, he was ordained a deacon, and later, in 1793, he became an elder of the church and a circuit preacher. In Abel Stevens History of American Methodism, 1867 Stevens writes, " He had a temperament deeply mystic and subject to marvelous experiences which baffle all scientific explanation". Stevens also noted, "His whole soul seemed pervaded by a certain magnetic power that thrilled his discourses and radiated from his person, drawing, melting and frequently prostrating the stoutest opposers in his congregation. It is probable that no Methodist laborer of his day reclaimed more men from abject vice. He seldom preached without visible results, and his prayers were overwhelming". He died in Salem, New Jersey, in 1796.

References[edit]

  • Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1967.
  • History of American Methodism; Abel Stevens, New York, NY; Carlton & Porter,1867