Benjamin Beddome was born at Henley-in Arden, Warwickshire, January 23, 1717. His father was a Baptist minister. He studied at various places, and began preaching in 1740. He was pastor of a Baptist society at Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, until his death in 1795. In 1770, he received the degree of M.A. from the Baptist College in Providence, Rhode Island. He published several discourses and hymns. "His hymns, to the number of 830, were published in 1818, with a recommendation from Robert Hall." Montgomery speaks of him as a "writer worthy of honour both for the quantity and the quality of his hymns."
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >
Faith, 'tis a precious gift. B. Beddome. [Faith described.] Of this popular hymn various forms are in common use both in Great Britain and America as follows:—
1. The original, which was given in the Bristol Baptist Collection of Ash & Evans, 1769, No. 232, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. This was repeated in Rippon's Selection, 1787, and later editions, and several modern hymn-books.
2. The text as in R. Hall's posthumous edition of Beddome's Hymns, 1817, No. 165, where after stanza ii. alterations are introduced, and another stanza (iv.) is added. This text is given in the Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858.
3. "Faith is a precious gift." This is an altered form of the hymn, in Dr. Alexander's Augustine Hymn Book, 1849-65, partly from the 1769, and partly from the 1817 texts; and in the American Baptist Praise Book, 1871, from the 1769 text.
4. "Faith is the gift of God," in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, is an alteration of the 1817 text in 5 stanzas.
Taken in its various forms this hymn is very extensively used.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)