Henry Venn

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Henry Venn (1725 - 1797), English evangelical divine, was born at Barnes, Surrey, and educated at Cambridge. He was one of the founders of the Clapham Sect, a small but highly influential evangelical group within the Anglican Church.

He took orders in 1747, and was elected fellow of Queens College, Cambridge, in 1749. After holding a curacy at Barton, Cambridgeshire, he became curate of St Matthew, Friday Street, London, and of West Horsley, Surrey, in 1750, and then of Clapham in 1754. In the preceding year he was lecturer of St Swithins, Londod Stone. He was vicar of Huddersfield from 1759 to 1771, when he exchanged to the living of Yelling, Huntingdonshire.

Besides being a leader of the evangelical revival, he was well known as the author of The Compleat Duty of Man (London, 1763), a work in which he intended to supplement the teaching embodied in the anonymous Whole Duty of Man. A portrait of him, by John Russell, hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

His son, John Venn (1750-1813), was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society.

His grandson, also named Henry Venn, (February 10, 1796 - January 13, 1873), was honorary secretary of that society from 1841 to 1873. He expounded the basic principles of indigenous Christian missions later addressed and made widespread by the Lausanne Congress of 1974.

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