Beddome - Baptist Annual Register 2

The article from the Baptist Register ends thus:
But it is not to be supposed that he was free from trials — sorrows were mingled with his songs in the house of his pilgrimage. Among the most pungent may be reckoned those which arose from the early deaths of his three sons, John, Benjamin and Foskett.
John was born January 7, 1750, and died enjoying a very desirable frame of mind, February 4, 1765 (should be 1769 GB). His brother Foskett, brought up in the medical line, was drowned as he was coming from on board a ship near Deptford, October 28, 1784, in the twenty-sixth year of his age. Benjamin was born October 10, 1753. Trained as a professional man, and availing himself of the wisdom which a combination of circumstances threw in his way, his prospects at length became highly flattering. He was master of the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, before he went from Bourton to London, and afterwards obtained a knowledge of the French and Italian. He was admitted a member of the medical society at Edinburgh before the usual time, and took his doctor's degree at Leyden, September 13, 1777 - his thesis has been much admired. It is entitled, "Tentamen Philosophico medicum inaugurate de hominum varietatibus et earum causis." This inaugural Philosophico-medical essay, concerning the varieties of men and their causes, fills fifty-two handsome pages, in octavo, comprehending a vast variety of matter, and forming, what perhaps competent judges will denominate, an accurate syllabus of the subject. If fine talents, and smiling connexions, could have detained him on earth he had not been removed; but in all the bloom of full life, not having completed the twenty-fifth year of his age, he died at Edinburgh of a putrid fever, January 4, 1778.
Mr. Beddome considered it as somewhat observable, that on the very day his son died, not suspecting the news he should receive the next morning, nor indeed knowing of his illness, he preached from Psalm xxxi 15 "My times are in thy hand" after which this remarkable hymn, which he had composed for the sermon, was sung
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.

Nor would I drop a murmuring word,
Though the whole world were gone,
But seek enduring happiness
In thee, and thee alone.

What is the world with all its store?
'Tis but a bitter sweet;
When I attempt to pluck the rose
A pricking thorn I meet.
Here perfect bliss can ne'er be found,
The honey's mix'd with gall;
'Midst changing scenes and dying friends,
Be Christ my all in all.
Mr Beddome had also before Lord's day, the 4th of January, made preparations for the ensuing sabbath, January 11th, which was the day before he received the melancholy account of his son's death, from Ezek x 12 'The wheels were full of eyes round about.' Both of these sermons were studied without any particular view. When Mr Beddome records these notable things, he says, 'But alas! how much easier is it to preach than practice! I will complain to God, but not of God. This is undoubtedly the most affecting loss I have ever yet sustained in my family. Father of mercies, let me see the smiles of thy face, whilst I feel the smart of thy rod. Job xiv 13 'Thou destroyest the hope of man,'
'Early, bright, transient, chaste as morning dew,
He sparkled, was exhaled, and went to heaven.'
Mr Beddome having for some time felt his infirmities increasing, the church, in 1777, began to look out for a person to assist him in the ministry, and obtained the Rev William Wilkins, of Cirencester, who had been for some time a student at Bristol, and finished his education in Scotland. In their letter to the Association, held at Warwick, 1778, the church says, 'The assistant we have procured for our pastor is every way acceptable both to him and us, and we hope the Lord has blessed his labours.' But, though fast advancing in years, Mr Beddome persevered in his pastoral duties.
The Association at Evesham, in 1789, 'was the last he ever attended, or preached at. His first sermon addressed to this body was at Leominster in 1743. He preached to them 17 times in 46 years; this, on an average, was as frequently as he could have been chosen to the service - for it has long been a rule in the Midland Assembly, that no person shall be chosen to preach at the Association oftener than once in three years. But, perhaps, on examination it will appear, in the instance of Mr Beddome, that this has not been always strictly adhered to from the year 1740, and it seems there was no such limitation at that time.
From his last visit to the Association, in 1789, to the end of his days, he set apart for charitable designs, and gave away all that he received from the people for his services. He was in London to see his children and friends in 1792 and preached with the same acceptance as ever. Though he had a multitude of sermons which had never been preached, he kept on composing, and was lively in his ministry to the very last — and it has been said, that his discourses of late years have, after all, been his best; but towards the last, he generally destroyed them on the Monday after he had preached them. For a considerable time he was carried to and from meeting, and preached sitting.
In the near prospect of death he was calm and resigned. It had been his earnest wish not to be long laid aside from his beloved work of preaching the gospel, and his prayer was remarkably answered, as he was ill but one Lord's day; yea, he was composing a hymn about six hours before he died. These are some of the unfinished lines of it
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 pleased, O Lord, to open ours;
Then will we to the world proclaim
The various honours of thy name.
He had left a desire on paper, that no funeral discourse should be preached for him; but as this was not found till after his interment, his affectionate friend, the Rev Benjamin Francis, performed the funeral solemnities. His text on this solemn occasion was Phil i 21 "To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." From which he considered, first, the excellent life, and the gainful death of Paul. And then, secondly, applied the words to the deceased; not as at any time the vaunting language of his lips, but as the humble and ardent desire of his devotional heart. At the close of the sermon, the corpse, which had been in the place of worship all the time of service, was interred in the yard, near the meeting-house door; after which, Mr Francis, who remained in the pulpit, recommended to the very numerous audience a due improvement of the labours of this great man of God, and insisted on the importance of being prepared for death. .
Mr Beddome had arrived at the good old age of 79 years, 55 of which he ministered at Bourton. He departed this life, September 3, 1797. We believe he has not printed anything beside his Catechism and the Midland Association Letter in 1765. He has, however, left behind him numerous sketches of sermons. From these manuscripts a selection might be made which would probably redound as much to his credit, as to the advantage of the religious public. But whether we are to be favoured with this desirable publication or not, must be left to his worthy sons, whose wisdom, discretion and public spirit leave us not entirely without hope.

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