Berridge, John, born at Kingston, Notis, March 1, 1716, and educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge. In 1749 he was ordained as curate to the parish of Stapleford, near Cambridge, and in 1755 he was preferred to the Vicarage of Everton, where he died Jan. 22, 1793. His epitaph, written by himself for his own tombstone (with date of death filled in), is an epitome of his life. It reads:—
" Here lies the remains of John Berridge, late Vicar of Everton, and an itinerate servant of Jesus Christ, who loved his Master and His work; and after running on His errands for many years, was caught up to wait on Him above. Reader! art thou born again? (No salvation without a new birth.) I was born in sin, February, 1716; remained ignorant of my fallen sta… Go to person page >
Since Jesus freely did appear. J. Berridge. [ Holy Matrimony.] Appeared in the Gospel Magazine for Aug. 1775, p. 380, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, headed with the text St. John ii. 1, 2, followed by the words "A Wedding Hymn," and signed "Old Everton." It was afterwards included in his Zion's Songs, 1785, as "Our Jesus freely did appear." It is given in modern hymnbooks generally in an altered form, with varying number of stanzas.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)