Hannah, John, Dd
Hannah, John, D.D.
an eminent Wesleyan minister, was born at Lincoln, Eng., Nov. 3, 1792. After receiving a Christian education, he entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1814 at Bruton, Somersetshire. From 1815 to 1817, inclusive, he was on the Gainsborough Circuit; 1818 to 1820, Lincoln; 1821 to 1823, Nottingham; 1824 to 1826, Leeds; 1827 to 1829, third Manchester Circuit; 1830 to 1832, Huddersfield; 1833, Liverpool; and in 1834 he became theological tutor at the Wesleyan Training Institution at Hoxton. In 1842 he was removed to the college at Didsbury, where he remained as theological tutor till he became a supernumerary at the Conference of 1867. In the year that he was removed to Didsbury he was elected president of the Conference (London), and he was again president in 1851, when the Conference met at Newcastle upon Tyne. He was Conference secretary in the years 1840, 1841, 1849, 1850, and 1854 to 1858. On two occasions he represented the Wesleyan Conference, once with the Rev. R. Reece, and the second time with Dr. J. F. Jobson, at the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. His full term of service as a Methodist minister extended without interruption from 1814 to 1867 fifty-three years. After becoming 'supernumerary in 1867 he continued to reside at Didsbury, under an arrangement liberally devised by Mr. Heald and other prominent Wesleyan laymen. He died in Didsbury from congestion of the lungs, after a brief illness, Dec. 29, 1867. "For about thirty-three years he was a chief instructor of the young Wesleyan ministry, sending out such men as Arthur, Hunt, Calvert, etc.; men who have attested his salutary power throughout the United Kingdom, and in the hardest mission fields of the Church. Nearly three hundred preachers were trained by him. His influence over the connection through these men has been beyond all estimation. As a preacher he was exceedingly interesting and effective not remarkably 'fanciful,' seldom rising into declamation, but full of entertaining and impressive thought, and a certain sweet grace, or, rather, graciousness and unction, which charmed all devout listeners. He was singularly pertinent, and often surprisingly beautiful in Scripture citation; his discourses were mosaics of the finest gems of the sacred writings. He was a fond student of the sterling old Anglican divines; he delighted, in his vacation excursions, to make pilgrimages to their old churches and graves, and his sermons abounded in the golden thoughts of Hooker, South, and like thinkers. He was constitutionally a modest man, in early life nervously timid of responsibility, but, whether in the pulpit or on the platform, always acquitted himself with ability; and often his sensitive spirit kindled into a divine glow that rapt himself and his audience with holy enthusiasm. For fifty-three years his labors for Methodism had no interruption; they were unobtrusive, steady, quietly energetic, and immeasurably useful. With Thomas Jackson, he was one of the last of that second and mighty rank of Wesleyan preachers, healed by Bunting, Watson, and Newton, who, when Wesley's immediate companions were rapidly disappearing, caught the Methodistic standard from their trembling hands, and bore it forward abreast of the advancing times, and planted it, especially by the missionary enterprise, in the ends of the earth. He was, withal, a model of Christian manners-a perfect Christian gentleman; not in the sense deprecated by Wesley in his. old Minutes, but in the sense that Wesley himself so completely exemplified. His amiability and modesty disarmed envy. No prominent man passed through the severe internal controversies of Wesleyan Methodism with, less crimination from antagonists. The whole connection spontaneously recognized him as impeachable, amid whatever rumors or clamors. All instinctively turned towards him as an example of serenity, purity, and assurance, in whatever doubtful exigency. The influence of Dr. Hannah's character, aside from his talents, on the large ministry which he educated, has been one of the greatest blessings Wesleyan Methodism has enjoyed in this generation."-Methodist (newspaper), Jan. 25, 1868; Annual American Cyclopaedia for 1867, p. 601; Wesleyan Minutes, 1868, p. 14.