Robert Sandeman, 1718-1771

Article on Sandemanians in the International Dictionary of the Christian Church:--

Sandemanians. A body of Bible-loving Christians founded by John Glas (hence the alternative name "Glasites") which flourished from 1725 until about 1900. Robert Sandeman, (1718-1771) son-in-law of Glas, came to the fore after the publication of James Hervey's 'Theron and Aspasio (1755)', a Calvinist evangelical work which Sandeman attacked on the ground that it made faith a work of man which earns salvation. Sandeman held that bare assent to the work of Christ is alone necessary. After the controversy many new churches were formed; numerous Inghamite churches in Yorkshire joined the movement after 1759, and the London church in the Barbican area, of which Michael Faraday was a member, was founded in 1760. Sandeman left England in 1764 to found churches in the U.S.A., there the group survived until 1890. Sandemanians upheld the views of Glas and Sandeman: infant baptism and foot-washing were practised; churches were organised with several co-equal presbyters, and agreement (not a majority vote) was deemed essential. Excommunication was practised. The sect was exclusive and intermarriage was usual. It was the butt of much ill-formed criticism. Conditions of membership were strict (the church could control the use of members private money) and membership low, although attendance at worship was large, at least in London. Sandeman's works, which compared with those of Glas are repetitive and of low intellectual value, include "Some thoughts on Christianity (1762)" and "Discourses on Passages of Scripture", (the 1857 edition of which contains a biography of Sandeman). R.E.D. Clark

Sandeman's hymn in 'Spiritual Songs' is No. 128.

"See mercy, mercy from on high Descend to rebels doomed to die". His hymn is included in all the editions from 1856-1978. For the first line, 1894 (W. Kelly) has "See God's rich mercy from on high" and two alterations in verses 1 & 4.

(A Sandemanian church survived in London at No. 3 Highbury Crescent until the 1950's but then seems to have discontinued. There had been a division amongst them as to the eating of blood, but which side Highbury Cresc. was on I do not know. The brothers had an interesting custom, based no doubt on 1 Tim.2:8, of lifting their hands high above their heads when they led in prayer. Ed.)

William Sanders (dates?)

Julian's account of W. Sanders:

William Sanders, a Primitive Methodist minister, who was alive in 1881, but concerning whom we have no later information, left the home connexion after some years of labour, and undertook pastoral duty at Pottsville, U.S.A. in 1838. In the early days of the Primitive Methodist movement, Sanders assisted H. Rourne in compiling the hymn-books for the use of the Connexion. In hymn-writing they often worked together, and numerous hymns in the old collections of the denomination are signed jointly as "H.B. and W.S.", and again as 'W.S. and H.B.". In the Primitive Methodist Hymnal of 1887, a hymn from the Collection of Hymns for Camp Meetings, etc. 1821, is included—"Behold, what wondrous love and grace". (The Love of God).

This hymn is No. 336 in 'Spiritual Songs'.

Sanders' hymn is included in all the editions of the Little Flock Hymn Book, with exception of 1894. (W. Kelly).

Hymns by Robert Sandeman