Presentation on theme: "Portrait of a Faithful Particular Baptist Pastor."— Presentation transcript:
Portrait of a Faithful Particular Baptist Pastor
On Thursday the 3 rd instant died, at Bourton in Gloucestershire, in the 79 th year of his age, the Rev. Benjamin Beddome, B.D. He had been Pastor of a respectable congregation of Baptists of that place for fifty-five years, during which period he had many solicitations to remove, but which his attachment to his congregation induced him to decline. ( Obituary. The Cambridge Intelligencer, 12 September 1795, 2.)
Youth: Born January 23, 1717 Parents: Rev. and Mrs. John and Rachel Beddome Father pastor of Particular Baptist church at Alcester, Warwickshire Previously member of church at Horsleydown, Southwark John Beddome assisted by Bernard Foskett 1720: Foskett takes church and seminary at Broadmead, Bristol 1723: John Beddome follows, takes Pithay church in Bristol
Conversion Visiting preacher Mr. Ware preached: Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. `Tis done; and with transporting joy, I read the heaven-inspired lines; There mercy spreads its brightest beams, And truth, with dazzling luster shines. Here’s heavenly food for hungry souls, And mines of gold to enrich the poor, Here’s healing balm for every wound, A salve for every festering sore.
Theological Education Seminary at Broadmead under Foskett Completed training at Independent Academy, London Joined church at Prescot Street (Samuel Wilson) NOT Gill’s church Beddome embraced an “evangelistic” Calvinism
Bourton-on-the-Water (first invited July, 1740) Located in The Cotswolds Known as “Little Venice of the Cotswolds”
Early preaching His father John Beddome: “I wish from my heart I could prevail with you not to strain your voice so much in the delivery of your sermons; and if you would make them shorter, and less crowded with matter, it would be more acceptable and edifying to your hearers, and more safe and easy for yourself...If you deliver the great truths of the gospel with calmness, and with a soft, mellow voice, they will drop as the gentle rain or dew.” “I cannot but advise, and earnestly press you, to strive with all your might to soften your voice, and shorten your sermons; for it would be better both for you and your hearers…you would be more popular and useful than ever you are likely to be if you retain your harsh mode of speaking…if you would strain yourself less, and shorten your sermons, it would be better for all… …Let two hours be the longest time you spend in any pulpit.”
Revival 1741: 40 converted and added to church “Come from the 4 winds O Breath & breathe upon these slain that they may live. Awake O Northwind & come thou South, blow upon our Garden that the Spices may flow out.” Formal call and ordination (September 1743) His father John Beddome: “I should have been glad to have attended your ordination, but cannot…I hope what you are about to take upon you will be a stimulus to you to walk closer with God than ever, and make you more sincerely and simply concerned for the good of the souls of men. I desire, with my whole heart, that an unction of the Holy Spirit may be poured out upon you at the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery; and that your faith therein may be strong.”
First solicitation, 1748 John Beddome: “I wish from my heart the Lord would incline you to come to this city. Here you would have a comfortable income, and a better people than you take them to be. They very much desire you, and are willing to make extraordinary efforts for your comfortable support.” The Manse:
First solicitation, 1748 Next solicitation, Prescot Street London Beddome’s reply: “If my people would have consented to my removal, though I should have had to sacrifice through the affection I bear them, yet I should have made no scruple in accepting your call; but as they refuse it, ‘the will of the Lord be done.’ I am determined not to tear myself violently from them; but would rather glorify God in a station much inferior to that I am in, than obtrude myself into a higher without his direction.”
December 1749 marriage to Miss Elizabeth Boswell (daughter of deacon in church) Life-threatening illness
Preaching ministry and gift Robert Hall: “He was eminent for his colloquial powers, in which he displayed the urbanity of the gentleman and the erudition of the scholar…As a preacher he was universally admired for the piety and unction of his sentiments, the felicity of his arrangement, and the purity, force and simplicity of his language, all of which were recommended by a delivery perfectly natural and graceful.” Catechism 1752, A Scriptural Exposition of the Baptist Catechism Preface: “When we consider the melancholy state of those churches and families, where catechizing is entirely thrown aside, how much many of them have degenerated from the faith, and others from the practice of the gospel; little need to be said in vindication of this exercise to those, in whom zeal for both still remains, and I hope will ever be increasing.”
Preaching ministry and gift Catechism Hymn-writing Over 800 hymns Volume of 830 hymns published in 1818 Robert Hall: “The man of taste will be gratified with the beauty and original turns of thought which many of [Beddome’s hymns] exhibit, while the experimental Christian will often perceive the most secret movements of his soul strikingly delineated, and sentiments portrayed which will find their echo in every heart.” Midland Baptist Association
Trials 1757 death of father 1765 death of 15 year old son John 1778 death of 25 year old son Benjamin to fever 1784 death of wife (of 34 years) 1784 death of another son, Foskett, who drowned in the Thames at age 26 Physical afflictions Relatively modest spiritual fruit
From hymn on Psalm 31:15, “My times are in Thy hand”: My times of sorrow, and of joy, Great God, are in thy hand; My choicest comforts come from thee, And go at thy command. If thou should’st take them all away, Yet would I not repine; Before they were possess’d by me, They were entirely thine.
From letter to Midland Baptist Association (1765): “Look well then to the foundation upon which you are built, and seriously and frequently examine your State God-ward: See that you lay Christ at the bottom of your Religion, as the Support of it; that you place him at the top of it, as its Glory; and that you make him the Center of it, to unite all its Parts, and add Beauty and Vigour to the whole: Remember that growth in Christianity is growth in the knowledge of Christ: Seek that sorrow, that peace, that holiness, that establishment, which flow from Christ: Let all your duties begin and end in Christ. For (as the great Dr. Owen observes), “To take up mercy, pardon, and forgiveness absolutely on the account of Christ, and then to yield all obedience in the strength of Christ, and for the love of Christ, is the life of a true believer.”
God of my life, and of my choice, Shall I no longer hear thy voice? O let that source of joy divine, With rapture fill this heart of mine! Thou openedst Jonah’s prison doors, Be pleas’d, O Lord, to open ours; Then will we to the world proclaim The various honors of thy name.