Today (18 July) is a day to remember the life of the Particular Baptist theologian and pastor Benjamin Keach.
Keach was the leading theological thinker of the late 17th Century among the Particular Baptists. Author of numerous works and pastor of a congregation in Horsleydown, Southwark.
Born on the 29 Feb 1640. He became a General Baptist in his teens. He was arrested, imprisoned, tried, fined, and his works burnt in 1660 and 1664. Following which he moved to London and moved from the General Baptists to the Particular Baptists, probably through the influence of his second wife Susannah and his friendship with Hanserd Knollys.
He argued with the likes of Richard Baxter against infant baptism and authored catechisms and confessions as well as allegorical works in a similar vein to John Bunyan. He argued for the laying on hands following baptism, which at time the Particular Baptists were unconvinced by and more famously he argued for the use of hymns in worship. When his church in Horsleydown voted to sing a hymn following the sermon, some have said we are the beginnings of the great tradition of English Protestant hymnody.
For more on the life of Benjamin Keach see:
Jonathan Arnold, The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach (Centre for Baptist History & Heritage; Regent's Park College, 2013)
D. B. Riker, A Catholic Reformed Theologian: Federalism and Baptism in the Thought of Benjamin Keach (Studies in Baptist History & Thought; Paternoster, 2009)
James B. Vaughan, 'Benjamin Keach' in Timothy George & David Dockery (eds.), Baptist Theologians (Broadman, 1990)