Written by Benjamin Keach,
Reblogged from Particular Voices, with thanks.
Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley
Consider what it means to be drunk.
To be drunk is to take in excessively anything as disorders nature in its course and operations; this we take to be a general definition of it, including the proper and the metaphorical notions thereof.
What things do necessarily contribute to drunkenness?
Such things that necessarily contribute to it are.
- Great and vehement desire or thirst after it.
- Plenty of the thing thirsted after.
- The greedy taking their fill of it.
What are the true and proper signs of drunkenness?
The signs of drunkenness are:
- When the faculties are so disordered that they will not submit to the best reason that can be given them
- When they abuse those whom they are most obliged to love and respect.
- When they have cast off all considerations of their own and others good, and forbear no mischief but what they are refrained from by force.
From Keach’s “Antichrist Stormed…”
Originally from Buckinghamshire, Keach worked as a tailor during his early years. He was baptized at the age of 15 and began preaching at 18. 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 (1668-1704). This congregation later became the New Park Street Church and then moved to the Metropolitan Tabernacle under the pastorship of Charles Spurgeon.
It was as representative of this church that Keach went to the 1689 General Assembly and subscribed the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Keach was one of the seven men who sent out the invitation to the 1689 General Assembly. 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 reflected, 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. Spurgeon later republished the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith for use in the congregation.
Keach wrote 43 works, of which his “Parables and Metaphors of Scripture” may be the best known. He wrote a work entitled “The 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.
“On the pillory at Aylesbury Mr. Keach defended himself and the truth with great boldness. The jailer frequently interrupted him, and finally the sheriff himself threatened to have him gagged. The people, contrary to custom, had no words of mockery for the good, persecuted minister, and no offensive missile was hurled at him. An Episcopal minister who ventured to assail Mr. Keach in the pillory was immediately reproached by the people with the ungodliness of his own life, and his voice was drowned in laughter. At Winslow, where he lived, he suffered the same shameful penalty, and a copy of his little book was burned.”
Keach is also known to have promoted the introduction of hymn singing in the Baptist churches. His church, Horslydown, was probably the first church in England to sing hymns, as opposed to psalms and paraphrases. Keach’s hymnbook, published in 1691, provoked heated debate in the 1692 Assembly of Particular Baptists.