Benjamin Beddome (1717-1795) is a largely forgotten 18th Century English Baptist preacher, remembered today only as a minor hymnwriter. For over half a century he served as pastor of the Baptist church meeting at Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire. He is worth more than a passing glance.
This is the letter sent (some time in the early 1740s) by Beddome still a young man to his contemporary Anne Steele, as found in Michael Haykin's book The Christian Lover
Pardon the Boldness which prompts me to lay these few lines at your feet. If continued thoughts of you and a disrelish to everything besides may be considered as arguments of love, surely I experience the passion. If the greatness of a person's love will make up for the want of wit, wealth and beauty, then may I humbly lay claim to your favour. Since I had the happiness of seeing you how often have I thought of Milton's full description of Eve, book 8, line 471:
. . . so lovely fair!
That what seemed fair in all the world, seemed now
Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained,
And in her looks, which from that time infused
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before. . .
Madam, give me leave to tell you that these words speak the very experience of my soul, nor do I find it possible to forbear loving you. Would you but suffer me to come and lay before you those dictates of a confused mind which cannot be represented by a trembling hand and pen? Would you but permit me to cast myself at your feet and tell you how much I love you, what an easement might you thereby afford to a burdened spirit and at the same time give me an opportunity of declaring more fully that l am in sincerity, Your devoted servant,
Matthew 2:11 And when they mere come into the house, they saw the young child and Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him, and w...
Some useful dates
1650s Formed: '50 Welsh Assoc '52 Abingdon or Berkshire Assoc '53 Western Assoc '55 Midlands Assoc
1677 London Confession
1689 Glorious revolution. Rev & repub: London Confession 1690 Formed: Northern Assoc Re-formed: Midland Assoc 1690s '90-'93 National assemblies '90 Pub: "Keach" Catechism; '91 Spiritual Melody, Keach; '96 Spiritual Songs, Keach '97 First hymns, Stennett 1714 Coronation George I '17 Birth: BB; Founded: Particular Baptist Fund
'19 Formed: Yorks & Lancs Assoc '24 Founded: Baptist Board '27 Moravian revival, Herrnhut '33/34 Re-formed: Western Assoc '35 Wesleys converted '36 Pub: Narrative surprising conversions, Edwards, following revival; Gospel Worthy, Fuller '38 Whitefield, Wesley begin open air preaching '40 Great Awakening, America; Pub: Short account Whitefield '41 Whitefield, Wesley split '47 Pub: Humble Attempt, Edwards '48 Pub: Life Brainerd, Edwards
'52 Franklin develops lightning rod 1750s '50 Pub: Evangelical Hymns Wallin; '51 Selection Rippon; '52 Catechism BB
'56 Seven years war begins 1760s '60 Pub: Poems, A Steele; '68 Reign of Grace, Booth; '69 1st Baptist Hymn Book Collection, Ash/Evans; Body of Divinity, Gill '64 Formed: Northampton Assoc
'69 Formed: Norfolk & Suffolk Assoc '70 Strong Arminian Calvinist controversy among Methodists; Formed: New Connexion & Bristol Education Soc
'71 Cook sails to Pacific
'73 Boston Tea Party '76 Declaration of Independence; Sutcliff meets Fuller; Catechism BB (2nd ed) '78 Wesley's Arminian Magazine begun '79 Formed: Kent & Sussex Assoc 1780s '81 Pub: Help for Zion's Travellers, Hall; '84 Humble Attempt English ed (Sutcliff)
'83 Treaty of Paris (Britain accepts American independence) '84 Northampton Assoc prayer for revival '86 Others take up idea; Pub: Gospel worthy, Fuller (w '81) '89 Bastille stormed, French Revolution '90 Rippon's Baptist Register begun '92 Formed: "BMS" (Thomas Paine Rights of man) '93 Carey sails for India (Execution Louis XVI) '95 Death: BB