Did Christ o'er Sinners Weep? (The Weeping Savior)
DESCRIPTION: "Did Christ o'er sinners weep? And shall our cheeks be dry... He wept that we might weep... In heav'n alone no sin is found, and there's no weeping there"
AUTHOR: Benjamin Beddome (source: Rippon)
EARLIEST DATE: 1787 (#367 in the 1787 edition Rippon's _Selection of Hymns_, according to Julian)
KEYWORDS: Bible nonballad religious Jesus
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: John Rippon, A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors (Elizabethtown: Shepard Kollock, 1792 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")), #367 pp. 268-269, ("Did Christ o'er sinners weep") (1 text)
Testerina Primitive Baptist Church, "Did Christ o'er Sinners Weep? (The Weeping Savior)" (on USFlorida01)
NOTES: "Some Baptists objected to missions and other alternatives to worship [that emerged from the evangelical theology of the Second Great Awakening], and withdrew [around 1830] to form separate anti-mission associations. While most Baptists followed the course of American Protestant modernization, these anti-mission associations, taking the name of Primitive Baptist, held fast to the ecclesiastical principles given directly in New Testament scripture [rejecting salvation through works]" (John Bealle, "Introduction" p. 2, and Beverly Bush Patterson, "Forging Religious Identity: An Exploration of Hymn Singing in Anglo-American Primitive Baptist Churches" p. 23, both in Joyce Cauthen, editor, Benjamin Lloyd's Hymn Book: A Primitive Baptist Song Tradition (Montgomery: Alabama Folklife Association, 1999)).
The USFlorida01 recording is lined out by the precentor Deacon Wilson, one line at a time, and sung very slowly; each syllable has whole or multiple notes. Dargan, describing another Primitive Baptist recording as typical of this class of performances, writes about "melody spun-out melismatically with no rhythm derived out of measure and beat" that "beckons the ear and the consciousness to savour the very moment of each syllable" (William T Dargan, "Texts from Lloyd's Hymn Book in the Quiltwork of African American Singing Styles" in Joyce Cauthen, editor, Benjamin Lloyd's Hymn Book: A Primitive Baptist Song Tradition (Montgomery: Alabama Folklife Association, 1999), pp. 33, 32).
The reference is to Luke 19.41: "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it" (King James). - BS
Perhaps more likely, John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept" or "Jesus shed tears." This is the most famous reference to Jesus weeping, and I see no reference in the Beddome text to where or why Jesus was weeping.
John Julian, editor, A Dictionary of Hymnology, 1892; second edition 1907 (I use the 1957 Dover edition in two volumes), p. 121, says of author Bedome, "This prolific hymn-writer was b[orn] at Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, Jan. 23, 1717, where his father, the Rev. John Bedome was at that time Baptist Minister. He was apprenticed to a surgeon in Bristol, but removing to London, he joined, in 1739, the Baptist church in Prescott St. At the call of his church he devoted himself to the work of Christian ministry, and in 1740 began to preach at Bourton-on-the-Water, in Gloucestershire." He would stay there until his death on September 3, 1795. He wrote at least one theological tract in this time, and also apparently made it a habit to inflict a new hymn on his congregation every week.
Not all of these hymns were published, and Julian says that only a few are widely known in England although more are popular in America. Julian lists 69 of his hymns, not one of which is familiar to me (at least under the title given by Julian), and none of which are in the Index as of this writing (2017); several appear to be specifically linked to a particular Bible text (e.g. "Behold the Eunuch, When Baptized," also known as "The Holy Eunuch, When Baptized," which is based on chapter 8 of Acts). I have to say, based on the texts I've checked, that Beddome's works appear to be mercifully forgotten. - RBW
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