Ministering during turbulent times for Nonconformists, Benjamin Keach endured both persecution for his faith and rich blessing on his ministry. Arriving in London in 1668, Keach soon became pastor of a church in Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames, later known as the Metropolitan Tabernacle. His extensive writings—including sermons, poetry, hymns, apologetics and treatises against theological errors—alongside his preaching ministry, made Keach one of the key Particular Baptist leaders of his day. His friends included Hercules Collins, William Kiffin, Hanserd Knollys, Henry Forty and Joseph Stennett.
The Excellent Benjamin Keach is a major study of his life and thought and provides insight into the ecclesiastical and political turmoil of seventeenth-century England. Keach’s solid character, integrity and Christian graces enabled him to defend scriptural truths while avoiding personal attacks. He is particularly known for his vigorous defence of the singing of hymns in church, the laying on of hands and the doctrine of justification by faith alone. His preaching was marked by fervency and zeal, for he said, “cold and lifeless preaching, makes cold hearing.” Keach encouraged his hearers to flee to Christ for salvation, assuring them there was sufficient mercy at the cross for the worst of sinners. For believers, Keach encouraged them to love the truth, to get it deep into their affections, so that they could “show themselves bold and courageous in the cause and interest of God, and their souls.”
This is a book to invigorate your love for God and his Word. It will challenge you to stand boldly with holy men and women of the past, as you seek to live faithfully for Christ in the present day.
Austin Walker is a pastor at Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, Sussex, UK.
“Austin Walker mines the seventeenth-century sources to let Benjamin Keach speak for himself. No student of the Calvinist Baptist movement should be without it.” – Joel R. Beeke, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
“Austin Walker’s thorough biography, which has already proved its worth, illuminates Keach’s thought as well as his life, bringing out its firm theological foundations.” – David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling
“This is an important book…Benjamin Keach was under God one of the founders of the Particular Baptist denomination – as a preacher, a voluminous writer and a stalwart contender for the truth, in belief and order… We are delighted that Keach has been rediscovered, and we wholeheartedly agree with the title of the book, The Excellent Benjamin Keach.” – B.A. Ramsbottom, Editor of The Gospel Standard and pastor of Bethel Chapel
“The English preacher Benjamin Keach was a proto-nonconformist; it is rare to find such an important figure largely untreated before the twenty-first century. An unusual man has been brought out from the gloom to speak to us, and for this we are indebted to the excellent Austin Walker.” – Geoff Thomas, Pastor, Alfred Place Baptist Church
“The impact of Benjamin Keach on a young Baptist denomination for good should not be forgotten. Austin Walker’s treatment of The Excellent Benjamin Keach embraced all these qualities and sets them forth in a manly and robust style of writing. The thoroughness of his research, the accuracy of his organizational instincts and the engaging clarity of his style make this book a pleasant, educational and edifying experience. I welcome this re-issuing and encourage anyone zealous for the church’s growth in purity, truthfulness, zeal and holiness to read it and encourage others to do the same.” – Tom J. Nettles, Baptist historian, author, professor, Louisville, Kentucky