Keach, Benjamin

Keach, Benjamin, an eminent English Baptist divine, was born at Stokehaman, Buckinghamshire, Feb. 29,1640. He does not appear to have followed any regular course of study; his parents were poor, and could not aid him in a collegiate education. He paid particular attention to the Scriptures. In 1658 he became a preacher, and in 1668 was chosen pastor of a: congregation in Southwark, of which he had for three years previously been a member. After the Restoration he suffered in common with all nonconformists, and fled from the country, where the persecutions were unbearable, to the metropolis. Here he became pastor of a small society, which met in a private house in Tooley Street. Successful as a minister, he soon moved his fast increasing flock (which numbered at one time over 1000) to a large new church in Horsley Down, Southwark. He died July 18, 1704. Keach belonged to the Particular or Calvinistic Baptists, and was considered a man of great piety and learning. His principal works are, Tropologia, or Key to open Scripture Metaphors (Lond. 1682; best edition 1779, fol. very scarce; and reprinted in 1856, 8vo): — The Marrow of true Justification, or Justification without Works (Lond. 1692, 4to) :The Axe laid to the Root, or one more Blow at the Foundation of Infant Baptism and Church- membership (London, 1693, 4to):-Light broke forth in Wales (Lond. 1696, 8vo; an answer to Mr. James Owen's book, entitled Children's' Baptism from Heaven):-The Display of glorious Grace, in 14 Sermons [on Isa 54:10] (Lond. 1698, 8vo): — Gospel Mysteries Unveiled, or an Exposition of all the Parables, etc. (Lond. 1701, fol.; 1856, royal 8vo. "Mingled with unquestioned reverence for the divine Word, and. much good material, of which the judicious student may avail himself with advantage, there is a large amount of fanciful exposition and of unwise spiritualizing" [Kitto]): — A Golden Mine opened, or the glory. of God's rich Grace displayed in the Mediator, etc. (Lond. 1694, 4to): — The French Impostor detected, or Zach. Housel tryed by the Word of God, etc. (Lond. 1703, 12mo): — Believer's Baptism, wherein the chief arguments for infant baptism are collected and coinbated (London, 1705, 8vo):Travels of True Godliness, and Travels of Ungodliness, after the manner of Bunyan's (often reprinted); also with Notes and Memoirs of the author, by the Rev. Howard Malcolm (N. Y. 1831, 18mo): — Exposition of the Parables (Lond. 1704, fol.). Keach also figured in his day as a hymnologist, but his sacred songs were rather mediocre. See Stoughton, Eccles. History of Engl. ii, 465 sq.; Crosby, Hist. of the Baptists; Wilson, Hist. of Dissenting Churches; Allibone, Dict. Engl. and American Authors, s.v.; Kitto, Cyclop. Bibl. Lit. s.v. (J. i. W.)

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