My Times of Sorrow and of Joy - Benjamin Beddome
Benjamin Beddome was born at Henley, Chatwickshire, on January 23rd, 1717. In 1724 when Beddome was quite young, his father became co-pastor of Pithay Baptist Church, and here Benjamin grew up. As a young man, he became apprenticed to a surgeon and apothecary and, during his study, was brought to faith in Christ Jesus while listening to a sermon in his father’s church. He was baptized on September 27th, 1739, in London and here was called to preach. Having completed his apprenticeship, he began next to prepare for the work of the ministry. On September 23rd, 1743, he was ordained and took the church at Bourton-on-the-water, Gloucestershire, and in 1749 he married Elizabeth Boswell, the daughter of one of his deacons.
Like Doddridge, Watts, and Keach, Beddome would often compose a hymn to accompany the Sunday morning sermon each week. One Sunday in 1778, Beddome followed the Lord’s leading and preached from Psalm 31:15, “My times are in thy hand.” He was unaware that his son, who had just completed medical training in Scotland, had died that day in Edinburg. The hymn he wrote to accompany his message began thus: “My times of sorrow and joy, great God are in thy hand….”
Greatly beloved of his congregation at Burton, Beddome pastored for fifty-two years until death ended his labours on September 3rd, 1795.
My choicest comforts come from Thee,
And go at Thy command.
If Thou shouldst take them all away,
Yet would I not repine;
Before they were possessed by me,
They were entirely Thine.
Nor would I drop a murmuring word,
Though the whole world were gone,
In Thee, and Thee alone.
What is the world with all its store?
‘Tis but a bitter sweet;
A pricking thorn I meet.
Here perfect bliss can ne’er be found,
The honey’s mixed with gall;
Midst changing scenes and dying friends,