Beddome's hymns criticised

In The Hymn Lover William Garret Horder says
I cannot agree with the praise bestowed by James Montgomery and Robert Hall on the hymns of Benjamin Beddome, MA  (1717-1795), pastor of the Baptist Church at Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire. The former praises him for preserving the unity of each hymn. This he does, but there is a didactic tone, and an absence of the lyric element, which are fatal faults in a hymn. This is partly due to the fact that they were written to be sung after his sermons, to which they are a kind of application. This is not the true office of hymns. The mind of their writers should not be occupied with the thought of the edification of the people, but of praise to God. This is the defect of most of his hymns, as will be seen even in his most popular, "Did Christ o'er sinners weep?" "Faith, 'tis a precious grace," and "Let party names no more." The fault is least evident in his Ordination hymn, "Father of mercies, bow Thine ear." He was the author of the large number of eight hundred and thirty hymns.

No comments: