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Benjamin Keach

Keach joined a Baptist church early in life, and began to preach at age 18. For the next 10 years, he worked as an evangelist in towns and villages, often being persecuted for his principles as a Baptist and Nonconformist. Upon publication of The Child’s Instructor, he was fined, pilloried, and imprisoned.

He was the minister of the congregation at Winslow before moving in 1668 to the church at Horse-lie-down, Southwark where he remained for 36 years as pastor. It was as representative of this church that Keach went to the 1689 General Assembly and subscribed the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. The signing of the confession was no mute doctrinal assent on the part of the church, for in the same year they entered into a Solemn Covenant which reflects, at the practical and congregational level, some of the doctrines of the confession. There was a secession from Horse-lie-down in 1673 and the Old Kent Road congregation was formed. From this congregation eventually came the New Park Street Church where C. H. Spurgeon became the Pastor, later moving to the new location at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Spurgeon republished the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith for use in the congregation

In 1668, Keach moved to London and became pastor of a Baptist church which met first in private houses, and later in Horselydown, Southwark. There a large congregation gathered around him, to which he ministered with great acceptance until his death. He was the first to introduce singing to Baptist congregations.

Keach wrote 43 works, of which his "Parables and Metaphors of Scripture" may be the best known. He wrote a work entitled "A Child's Instructor" which immediately brought him under persecution and he was fined and pilloried in 1664. He is attributed with the writing of a Catechism commonly known as "Keach's Catechism", although it is most likely that the original was compiled by William Collins. Keach is also know to have promoted the introduction of hymn singing in the churches.


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Keach wrote a work entitled A Child's Instructor which immediately got him in trouble and he was fined and pilloried in 1664. His sentence was carried out with the following announcement:

That you shall go to gaol [ jail ] for a fortnight without bail or mainprise; and the next Saturday to stand upon the pillory at Ailsbury for the space of two hours, from eleven o'clock to one, with a paper on your head with this inscription: For writing, printing and publishing a schismatical book, entitled 'The Child's Instructor; or, a New and Easy Primmer.' And the next Thursday so stand, and in the same manner and for the same time, in the market of Winslow; and there your book shall be openly burnt before your face by the common hangman, in disgrace to you and your doctrine. And you shall forfeit to the King's Majesty the sum of ?20, and shall remain in gaol till you find securities for your good behaviour and appearance at the next assizes, there to renounce your doctrine and to make such public submission as may be enjoined you.

Benjamin Keach's Catechism
This Catechism was originally published to clarify the theology of the Second London Baptist Confession that was written in 1677 and published after the Glorious Revolution in 1689. This particular edition of Keach's Catechism appears to have been edited at some point without changing its essential message.
Benjamin Keach Testified Before a Harsh Magistrate
A Call to Self-Examination
The Glory of a True Church, And its Discipline display?d
An Election of Particular Persons
The Church of Jesus Christ As Seen in Biblical Types, Metaphors

Other works by Benjamin Keach:
The Child’s Instructor; or, a New and Easy Primer, 1664
Expositions of the Parables in the Bible, 1671
War with the Powers of Darkness, 1676
Distressed Sion Relieved, or the Garment of Praise for the Spirit of Heaviness (London: 1689)
The Breach Repaired in God’s Worship; or Singing of Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs Proved to be a Holy Ordinance of Jesus Christ (London: J. Hancock, 1691)
Spiritual Melody, 1691
A Feast of Fat Things: Containing Several Scripture Songs and Hymns, 1696
Spiritual Songs: Being the Marrow of the Scripture (London: John Marshal, 1700)

 

 
 
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