Newton and Beddome, Beddome Cleared

The memoir already quoted cryptically suggests that Beddome had occasioned Newton's conformity. Further explanation can be found (according to D Bruce Hindmarsh in his 1996 John Newton and the Evangelical Tradition) in a sermon by Samuel Palmer (1741-1813). He provides more detail,
"explaining that while at Warwick Newton had desired that he and his congregation would shut up their meeting-house temporarily to go and hear Beddome, who was the visiting preacher at the Baptist Chapel. Some of the congregation were so offended at this that they made bitter comments about Newton and those who wished to go."
"The background," Hindmarsh adds "which Palmer did not explain, was that the Independent meeting had only recently been formed through a paedobaptist secession from the open communion Baptist church. Palmer claimed that, because of this whole episode, Newton had developed an opinion of Dissenters as a 'litigious people' and had turned his thoughts toward the Established Church where he might enjoy more peace and quietness."
So Beddome, as we might have guessed, was not to blame for Newton becoming an Anglican!

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