Exposition of the Catechism Commended in the West

A second edition of the exposition of the catechism appeared in 1776. It was commended in the circular letter of the Western Association.

The churches are desired to take notice, that at their repeated request, a new edition is printed of that excellent little body of divinity, A fcriptural exposition of the Baptift catechism, by our Brother B. Beddome, it having been long out of print. And as the reprinting this CATECHISM will be attended with a very considerable expence to the author, it is hoped the several churches will take a competent number of them to keep by them for future as well as prefent use, as the author will not otherwise be indemnified for the expence he is necessarily put to by this labour of love.

In 1771 the same Association had added an NB to its circular letter as ollows

N. B. Those churches that are in want of Beddome's Baptift Catechism, which has long been out of print, are desired forthwith to send orders for any number of them they are willing to take, to the Rev. Hugh Evans, Bristol; that another edition of that useful work may be speedily obtained, should there be a sufficient number subscribed for to defray the expence.


The Evesham Association 1789

This was the last time Beddome preached, presumably the last time he attended.

The Ministers and Messengers of the Churches met on Tuesday evening, at six o'clock. Brother L. Butterworth was chosen Moderator. He read a short preliminary discourse concerning the nature and design of the Association; after which the letters were read; the intelligence was agreeable in general; and the meeting was introduced and concluded by prayer.
Wednesday morning, met at half after six o'clock. The Moderator produced the Circular Letter, which was read, approved, and signed. This meeting was also begun and concluded by prayer.
About half past ten o'clock the public service began. Our Brother [Thomas] Hiller prayed. Brother Beddome preached from Phil. iv. 3. Whose names are in the book of life. Brother [William] Wilkins prayed, Brother [James] Dore preached from Jude 3. Earnestly contend for the faith: once delivered to the faints. Brother Spencer concluded with prayer. At fix o'clock in the evening had a Lecture. Brother [John] Tift [Henley-in-Arden] prayed. Brother [Peter] Reece [Warwick] preached from Phil. ii. 8. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss, &c. Brother [James] Afton [then of Pershore] concluded with prayer.
At this Association agreed to continue the monthly meeting of prayer, for the revival of religion. In the associated Churches, there were

Baptized 76
Received by Letter 7
Dead 17 
Dismissed 7
Excluded 25 
Increase 58

The letter from the church, meeting in Bond-street, Birmingham, came too late to be inserted with the other letters. It mentions their having baptized 22, three of whom living at a distance, were not added :-received one by letter, and another by experience, from the General Baptists:- lost one by death, and excluded five. Increased 15.
Total increase of the associate Churches 73
The next Association to be held at Tewkesbury, on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Whitsun Week. Our Brethren [William] Wilkins and [Peter] Reece to preach. In case of failure, Brother L. Butterworth. Put up at the Fleece.

The Warwick Association 1778

B R E V I A T E S.
Most of the Messengers arrived in safety on Tuesday evening, and after some time spent in prayer, Brother [James] Turner was chosen MODERATOR, the Letters from the several Churches were read, minutes taken, and their contents considered. In general, the Churches are in peace, and we hope have the truth amongst them, and love it. Several Letters make mention of the state of public affairs, and recommended fasting and prayer, as highly necessary at the present awful crisis, that God may be pleased in mercy to remember us, reform and bless us. This opportunity was closed by prayer.
We met again next morning for prayer. One of the Brethren produced the Circular Letter, which was read and approved, At ten o'clock the public service was introduced by singing and prayer by Brother [Thomas] Hiller; Brother Beddome preached from 1 Kings xviii. 17. Art thou he that troubleth Israel? and Brother [Robert] Hall [1728-1791 Arnesby] concluded the morning service.-At two o'clock the service was introduced as before; Brother (John) SUTCLIFF [1752-1815] prayed; Brother [John] Ash preached from 2 Cor. iv. 3. And if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are losi; and Brother (Caleb) EVANS concluded by prayer. - We met again in the evening, six o'clock;- Brother LAWRENCE BUTTERWORTH prayed, Brother [James] Dore preached from Luke viii. 18. Take heed therefore how you hear; and closed the solemnities of the Association by prayer.
The present STATE of the CHURCHES.
Added this year Baptised 55

                           Death            21
Lost by               Dismission    1
                           Exclusion      6


Total Increase                             27

Agreed; to keep a Day of Fasting and Prayer between the Hay and Corn Harvests, on such days as may be most convenient to the Churches.
The Association next year to be at Cirencesier; our Brethren [John] Poynting and L. BUTTERWORTH to preach; in case of failure, Brother Ash.
Put up at the RAM.

The Birmingham Association 1777

The Messengers, thro' the goodness of God, arrived in safety. At 6 o'clock we met together as usual. Brother [John] SANDYS [d 1803 Shrewsbury] was requested to introduce the solemnity by prayer. Brother L. BUTTERWORTH was chosen MODERATOR, the Letters from the several Churches were read, and their contents considered. Many of them contained expressions of deep concern on account of the War with America; as also very fervent wishes that it may please God to restore peace and lasting friendship to them and to us. And that our liberties and our loyally may remain, according to the will of God! - One Letter strenuously recommended the necessity of inculcating the solemn duties of religion; and that of Baptism in particular, so much opposed. It was thought all lovers of Jesus should be stirred up to follow him in all his ordinances. This opportunity was closed by Brother [John] Cooper [Bratton, Wilts]
Wednesday morning at 6 o'clock we met again for prayer. Our Brethren [Joshua or Daniel] THOMAS, T. SKINNER, LOAD, SKINNER and [John] MASON [1706-1763 Cheshunt] were engaged, Brother [James] TURNER produced the Circulating Letter, which was read and approved.
The public meeting began at 10 o'clock. Brother [William] CLARKE [1732-1795] from London prayed, Brother [James] DORE preached from 1 Cor. 9. 9. For I determined not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified; Brother BEDDOME concluded the morning service. The afternoon service was introduced by Brother [John] Ash, Brother [Thomas] HILLER preached from Acts 16, 17. These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation; and the MODERATOR concluded by prayer. We met again in the evening. Brother [William] Wills [Eversholt, Beds] began in prayer, Brother [Samuel] MEDLEY [1738-1799 Liverpool] preached from Psalm 68, 20. He that is our God, is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord. belong the issues from death; and closed the whole by prayer..

The present day of the Churches: 
Added this year 
Baptized 35
Received by Letter 5
Total                40
Lost by
Death 21
Dismission 3
Total 24
Total Increase 16. 
N. B. The Church at Cirencester joined this Association and sent a Letter and Messenger.
The next Association to be at WARWICK, to meet on Tuesday in the Whitsun-week. Our Brethren BEDDOME and Ash to preach; in case of failure Brother J(ohn or James). BUTTERWORTH. Put up at the Three Tuns.


The Dudley Association 1775

On Tuesday evening the Messengers arrived in safety, and chosen Moderator, and the Letters from the several Churches were read; the contents of which were considered. In several of them some notice was taken of the situation of things between America and the Mother Country, particularly to urge the necessity of a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer, that it may please God to have mercy on us, to pardon our fins, and put a speedy ftop to our unhappy disputes: That our privileges may be continued to us, and we enabled to value and improve them more to the glory of God, and our own good.
We met again on Wednesday morning at 6 o'clock for prayer. Brother [James] TURNER produced the Circular Letter, which was read and approved. At 10 o'clock the Public Meeting was introduced by singing, Brother [Thomas] HILIER praying, Brother [William] Wills [Eversholt, Beds] preached from Col. iv, 2. and brother [Thomas] SKINNER concluded the morning service. At 2 o'clock the Public Meeting was introduced as before. Brother Smith prayed, Brother [John] Ash preached from Mark xvi. 15. and Brother [Daniel or Joshua] Thomas concluded by prayer. We had another service in the evening introduced by singing; Brother LOAD prayed, Brother Law. BUTTERWORTH preached from Acts xvii. 32. and concluded the service of the day by prayer. Met again next morning for prayer and tome private business, and the Moderator concluded the Association by prayer.
The present State of the Churches
Added this year
Baptized 90
Received by Letter 15
Lost by
Death 15
Dismission 12
Exclusion 2
Total increase            76

AGREED to hold a day of fasting and prayer to implore the interposition of Divine Providence to put a stop to the unhappy disputes between the Mother Country and the Colonies, that the effusion of human blood may be prevented, and peace established on a just and lasting foundation.
The next Association to be at Tewkesbury, to meet on Monday evening in the Whitsun week. Our Brethren BEDDOME and [Thomas] SKINNER to preach; in case of failure, Brother [Joshua or possibly Daniel] THOMAS,
Put up at the Fleece.

The Pershore Association 1773

On Tuesday Evening the Messengers of the Churches, through the Kindness of Providence arrived in safety, and after a little Time improved in Prayer, Brother [Joshua] THOMAS was Chosen Moderator, and the Letters were read, and their Contents considered: Different causes of Joy and Sorrow, we hope, made correspondent Impressions on our Hearts. We thank the Fountain of all Goodness, the Churches are in Peace, are all provided with Ministers and Plenty of the Means. Complaints we have heard, and Complaints we shall continue to hear while in the Body. The most Pious Person: and purest Church in the Present State, will have daily cause to Cry, “My Leanness! my Leanness!”. This Opportunity was concluded by Prayer. 
We met again the next, Morning at Six o'Clock to spread your Wants and ours before the Lord: Brother [John] Ash was desired to produce the Circular Letter, which he did, and it was read and approved. At half past Ten the Public Service was introduced by our Brother [William] Wills [Eversholt, Beds] with Singing and Prayer: Brother [Thomas] SKINNER proceeded in Prayer; Brother BEDDOME Preached from James 1. 26. This Man's Religion is vain: Brother JAMES BUTTERWORTHI concluded the Morning Service.
At half past Two o'Clock Brother L. BUTTERWORTH opened the Public Meeting with Singing and Prayer; Brother [James] TURNER succeeded him; Brother [Thomas] HILLER Preached from 2 Cor. 2. 16. To the one we are the Savour of Death unto Death; and to the other, the Savour of Life unto Life: And who is sufficient for these Things? Brother [John] POYNTING concluded the Service by Prayer. The Messengers made a short Stay, and Brother Ash closed the whole Business of the Association by Prayer.
At half past Six in the Evening Brother [Joshua] THOMAS Preached a Sermon from Heb. 4.7. To Day if ye will hear his Voice:
The Present State of the Associated Churches,

The ADDITIONS this Year
Baptized 43 Received by Letter 7

Dead 25
Excluded 5
Dismissed 8
The next Association to be at Bengworth, to meet on Tuesday Evening in the Whitsun Week: Put up at the UNICORN. Our Brethren [John] POYNTING and [Thomas?] [William] Wills to Preach; in Case of Failure Brother JAMES BUTTERWORTH.
AGREED, That the Messengers present their Sincerest Thanks to the Author of the "Address to the Serious and Candid Professors of Christianity,” &c. for his Noble and able Defence of some of the Fundamental Doctrines of Religion; and sincerely. With his Labours may be crowned with Success.
[Ambrose Serle 1742-1812]
AGREED, To hold a Day of Fasting and Prayer among all the Churches of this Association, the last whole Week in this Month, and that every Church observe that Day of the Week which is most Convenient: The Situation of the Poor, and of Trade in the Nation, loudly call for it.

The Leominster Association 1772


The Meeting house being to be opened here the day preceding the Association, and having previous notice thereof, most of us met safely and comfortably on Monday evening.
Tuesday morning, at the opening of the new place of worship, the public service was begun by our brother [John] Ash; and then a Sermon preached on the occasion by our brother C.[aleb] Evans from Hag. ii. 7. I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. There was a publick meeting also in the afternoon, introduced by our brother [James] Turner, and a Sermon preached by our brother [Benjamin] Francis, from 1 Kings viii. 27. But will God indeed dwell on the earth?
In the evening of the same day, the Messengers of the Churches met, and after some time spent in prayer, our brother [John] Ash was chosen Moderator The Letters were read, wherein we found that the Churches are in peace, and have the means of grace plenty among them, and some signs of the divine blessing. Herein we would acknowledge the goodness of God. That meeting was closed by prayer.
We met Wednesday morning at six When time was improved in prayer, the circular Letter drawn up by brother [Joshua] Thomas, was approv'd and sign'd. Other particulars proposed were seriously considered, and all the private Business of the Association concluded by prayer. At 10 the public meeting was opened by our brother [William] Wills [Eversholt, Beds], a Sermon was preached by our brother [Thomas] Skinner from Acts xx. 21. Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ: and the morning exercise ended by our brother [Benjamin] Francis. The afternoon service was begun by our brother [Thomas] Hiller, a Sermon preached by our brother [James] Turner from Acts xv 11. But we believe, that thro' the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved even as they; - and the solemnity concluded by our brother C. Evans. There was a Sermon in the evening by our brother Hiller, from Rom. viii. 14. For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The Church at Sutton sent us a friendly and respectful Letter, bidding us farewel, another Association being lately set up in the neighbourhood, to which it is more convenient for them to join, They conclude their Letter thus “We thank you for all the benefit we have received, by your prayers and letters, of which the first that we know of was dated, Worcester, June 3rd. and 4th 1707“ now 65 years ago. We pray the Lord to be with you and bless you, and make you eminent blessings. May the interest of CHRIST flourish under your hands. Desiring a continued interest in your prayers and affections, we subscribe ourselves, your loving brethren in Christ."
The next Association to be at Pershore. To meet on Tuesday evening in the Whitsun-week. Our brethren Beddome and Hiller to preach. In case of failure of either, our brother [William] Wills
Put up at the Angel.
The state of the associated Churches. 
The Addition this year
Baptized 38
Received by Letters 6
Dead 27
Dismissed 1
Increase 26

Inns used at Associations

When the annual association met at Hook Norton or Bourton on the Water it would seem that the churches made their own efforts to accommodate visitors. Where the association took place in a larger pace an inn would be recommended. Those recommended in the second half of the eighteenth century are as follows.

The Three Horse-Shoes, Leominster
The Crown, Bromsgrove
The Red Lion, Wolverhampton
The Unicorn Inn, Broad Street, Worcester
The Unicorn, Bengeworth
The Marlborough Head and The Three Tuns, Warwick
The Ram, Cirencester
The Fleece, Tewkesbury
The Castle, Birmingham
The Angel, Pershore
The Talbot, Upton upon Severn

The Alcester Association 1771

On Tuesday Evening, the Messengers being met, some little time as usual was improved in Prayer; our Brother B. Beddome chosen Moderator, the Letters read; the State of the associated Churches represented in them considered; and the Meeting concluded in Prayer.
The Morning Meeting on Wednesday was improved in Prayer, and settling the State of the Churches. At 10 o'Clock Brother Beddome opened the public Service: Brother [Thomas] Hillier followed in Prayer: Brother [Daniel or Joshua] Thomas preached from Eph. iv. 5 One Faith. And Brother [James] Turner concluded in Prayer.
Át 2 o'Clock Brother [John] Ash opened the public Meeting with Singing and Prayer: Brother [John] Poynting preached from Acts xvi. 17. These Men are the Servants of the most High God, who few unto me the Way of Salvation. And Brother [John] MacGowan concluded in Prayer,
The same Evening, the Circular Letter was read, approved by the Assembly, and signed by the Moderator: And Brother John Butterworth [1727-1803 Coventry] concluded the whole in Prayer.
Baptised in several churches 28
Dead 15
Excluded 1
Total Increase 16
The next Association to be at Leominster: Brother [James] Turner and Brother [Thomas] Skinner to preach; in Case of Failure; Brown then [Thomas] Hillier. Put up at the Three Horse-Shoes.

The Bromsgrove Association 1768

It is the desire of the Church of Bewdley, that the seven Churches in Association would consider their present destitute case and afford them what assistance they can, which we think their duty.
On Tuesday evening the Messengers being met, the letters from the Churches were read, and the opportunity was both begun and concluded with prayer. Wednesday morning was spent in prayer, reading letters, and settling the service of the day. At ten o'clock Brother Beddome opened the meeting by prayer; Brother [Benjamin] Whitmore preached from Eph. ii. 8. By grace are ye saved; and Brother Lawrence Butterworth concluded the morning service. In the afternoon Brother [James] Turner introduced the meeting by singing and prayer; Brother [John] Pointing preached from Psalm cxxxii, 16. I will also clothe her priests with falvation, and her faints shall fhout aloud for joy. Brother [John] Ash concluded the solemnity with prayer.
It is the unanimous request of the ministers that Brother [John] Pointing's sermon be published, and we doubt not but you will give it the encouragement it merits. In the evening the Circular Letter was read and approv'd, and Brother [John] Butterworth of Coventry concluded with Prayer.
In the last Year were

Added to all churches 16
Dead 16
Dismiss'd 1
Excluded 1

The next Association to be at Upton-upon-Severn, to meet on Tuesday Evening in the Whitsun Week. Brother [James] Turner and Brother [Thomas] Skinner, to preach; and in case of failure, Brother 
Lawrence Butterworth. Put up at the Talbot.