Entry in Julian's Dictionary
Preface dated "Leicester, Nov. 10, 1817." Some of the early copies bear the same date on the title page. Copies bearing both the 1817 and 1818 dates are in the British Museum. The date usually given is 1818. Some hymns are also appended to his Sermons, seven volumes of which were published l805-1819; and over twenty are given in the Baptist Register of various dates.
Beddome's hymns were commended by Montgomery as embodying one central idea, "always important, often striking, and sometimes ingeniously brought out." Robert Hall's opinion is just, when in his "Recommendatory Preface" to the Hymns, etc, he says, p. vii.:—
"The man of taste will be gratified with the beauty and original turns of thought which many of them ex¬hibit, while the experimental Christian will often perceive the most secret movements of his soul strikingly delineated, and sentiments pourtrayed which will find their echo in every heart."
With the exception of a few composed for Baptisms and other special occasions, their present use in Great Britain is limited, but in America somewhat extensive. One of the best is the Ordination Hymn, "Father of Mercies, bow Thine ear." Another favourite is "My times of sorrow and of joy," composed, by a singular coincidence, to be sung on Sunday, Jan 14, 1778, the day on which his son died, most unexpectedly, in Edinburgh. "Let party names no more," is very popular both in Great Brit, and America. "Faith, His a precious gift," "Witness, ye men and angels, now," and the hymn for Holy Baptism, "Buried beneath the yielding wave," are also found in many collections. Beddome's popularity is, however, now mainly in America.
[Rev. W. R. Stevenson, M.A.]
In addition to about 40 of Beddome's hymns in common use which are annotated in this dictionary under their respective first lines, there are also the following 69, all of which are in use either in Great Britain or America, in the former to a limited extent and in the latter somewhat extensively. ...
Beddome is thus seen to be in common use to the extent of about 100 hymns. In this respect he exceeds every other Baptist hymnwriter; Miss Steele ranking second.
The authorities for Beddome's hymns are: (1) A Collection of Hymns adapted to Public Worship, Bristol, W. Pine, 1769, the Collection of Ash & Evans; (2) Dr Rippon's Selections 1787, and later editions; (3) Sermons printed from the Manuscripts of the late Rev Benjamin Beddome, MA, ... with brief Memoir of the Author, Dunstable & Lond, 1805-1819; (4) Dr. Rippon's Baptist Register, 1795, etc; (5) The Beddome Manuscripts, in the Baptist College, Bristol; (6) and Hymns adapted to Public Worship, or Family Devotion now first published, from Manuscripts of the late Rev B Beddome, AM With a Recommendatory Preface by the Rev R Hall, AM Lond, 1817. In his Preface, Mr Hall gives this account of the Beddome Manuscript:— "The present Editor was entrusted several years ago with the MSS, both in prose and verse, with permission from the late Messrs S & B Beddome, sons of the Author, to publish such parts of them as he might deem proper. He is also indebted to a descendant of the Rev W Christian, formerly pastor of the Baptist Church at Sheepshead, Leicestershire, for some of the Author's valuable hymns, which had been carefully preserved in the family. From both these sources, as well as others of less consequence, the present interesting volume has been derived."