He himfelf, as he tells us, towards the clofe, apprehended this to be one of the greateft and bell: works, that'he ever put his hand to, and he'had the'pleafure to find it eminently ufeful. In the account given of his publications, in his Life, he fays, I have great canfo to be thankful to God, for the fuccefs of that book, as hoping many thoufand fouls are the better for it, in that it prevailed Upon many minifiers to fet upon that work, which, I there exhorted them to. Even from beyond the feas, Ihave had letters of requeil, to direél: them how they might con dua: that work, according as that book had con vinced them, it was their duty.
Dr. Bates, in his funeral lermon for Mr. Baxter, after a high encomium on his other works.
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Richard Baxter was a bright and shining light in the golden age of theology, the seventeenth century. Not only was he the most voluminous author of his day (72 volumes), but also his shepherding of his flock at Kidderminster was so phenomenal that it stands as a marker for all other pastors and evangelists. He practiced what he teaches in this book. The host of conversions under his preaching testifies to the power of the message in A Call.
Baxter was always plain spoken to sinners: "Whoever loves earth above Heaven, and fleshly prosperity more than God, is a wicked, unconverted man "
"We are commanded to beseech and entreat you to accept the offer and turn; to tell you what preparation is made by Christ; what mercy stays for you; what patience waits on you . . .how certainly and unspeakable happy you may be if you will. We have indeed a message of wrath and death; yea, of a twofold wrath and death; but neither of them is our principal message. We must tell you of the wrath that is on you already, and the death that you are born under for the breach of the law of works. But this is only to show you the need of mercy, and to provoke you to esteem the grace of the Redeemer. . . . Our telling you of your misery is not to make you miserable, but to drive you out to seek for mercy. It is you who have brought this death on yourselves. We tell you also of another death, one even remediless, and much greater torment that will fall on those who will not be converted. . . This is the last and saddest part of our message. We arefirst to offer you mercy, if you will turn." (Pp. 21, 22).
More than three centuries ago, Puritan church leader Baxter compiled a 1,143-page tome entitled Christian Directory, which included a section on family life. The Godly Home is the only stand-alone version of that section of Christian Directory. Editor Randall Pederson has updated the language and syntax to make this seventeenth-century collection of words one that will continue on for generations to come.
Puritan writer Richard Baxter provides an answer for us that is just as powerful and enlightening in our modern era as it was in the 17th century when he penned his words.
Baxter, who himself was persecuted and spent time in prison for his beliefs, was intimately familiar with the great challenge of walking with God in a tumultuous world and in the midst of a generation that railed against God.
Inscribed at the base of Baxter’s statue in Kidderminster, England are these words: “In a stormy and divided age he advocated unity and comprehension, pointing the way to ‘the eternal.’”
Come learn from this great man of faith who walked with God.