Tag Archives: Chief-Justice Hyde

281 – Oct. 08 – This Day in Baptist History Past


First modern to begin public singing


1664 – Twenty-four year old Benjamin Keach was held in the assize (county court) at Aylesbury, England having been bound over for ₤100 and two sureities in bonds of ₤50 each. His crime? He printed a small book entitled, ‘The Child’s Instructor: or, A New and Easy Primer.” The Man of God had suffered, “suffered many occasions of imprisonment and once his life was saved by an officer, which had captured the preacher, preventing them trampling him to death. On another occasion he was charged with publishing a seditious ‘primer’, called the ‘Child’s Instructor.’ Keach was imprisoned, fined and pilloried. Chief-Justice Hyde presided. “…breaking through all law and decency, represented him to the Grand jury as a man of the most dangerous principles, attempting to poison the minds of children…; and exhorted them to do their duty when the bill came before them…and exhorted them to do their duty. The next day the judge was quite pleased as the following indictment was read by the clerk.  “Thou art here indicted Benjamin Keach of Winslow, for seditious, heretical, and schismatical, evil, etc. toward your Majesty’s Government and the Government of the Church of England. And they repeated the title to the children’s books mentioned above. One said:- Ques. “Who are the right subjects of baptism? Ans.- “Believers, or godly men and women only who can make confession of their faith and repentance.”  From the age of 28 until his death he pastored the same church. He was the first coming out of the persecution to begin public singing. {B. Evans, The early English Baptists (London: J. Heaton and Son, 1864), 2:308-9. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D.551-53]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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