Despite the title, this book is equally informative to those in the pulpit and those in the pew. It was penned when Baxter was unable to attend a meeting of ministers, so he wrote this to them. It covers what it means to take heed to ourselves, to the flock, to spiritual things, to church discipline. He prays for unity and peace in the churches, for greater vigor on the part of everyone in expressing our life in Christ. He proves the importance of family worship and catechism, hope in and expectation of success in all our Christian endeavors, due to the mediatorship of Christ and the indwelling guidance of the Spirit.
In this book one discovers the heart of the man. For Baxter was both earnest and insistent upon discovering to a person their spiritual state. He would ask, ''Can you truly say that all the known sins of your past life are the grief of your heart, . . . that you have cast your soul upon Christ alone for the pardon of your sins by His blood? Can you truly say that your heart has turned away from your former sins [so that] you now hate the sins you formerly loved. Can you truly say that you have taken the everlasting enjoyment of God for all your happiness [so that] it has all of your heart, of your love, of your desire and care? . . . Do you daily and principally seek to please God?'' If these questions did not convince him that the person was converted, then he must be made to know how far he fails to measure up to being a Christian. Make him to know how he has despised God. For His view was, ''you must get to his heart, or else you have done nothing.'' He applied this method of catechizing families in his Kidderminster parish, insisting on heads of families learn, then teach their children. There resulted multitudes of conversions during his 14 years there.
Richard Baxter (1615-1691) Richard Baxter was born in 1615, in Rowton, near Shrewsbury, in Shropshire. He was the only son of Beatrice Adeney and Richard Baxter, Sr. Because of his father’s gambling habit and inherited debts, and his mother’s poor health, Richard lived with his maternal grandparents for the first ten years of his life. When his father was converted through “the bare reading of the Scriptures in private,” Richard returned to his parental home, and later acknowledged that God used his father’s serious talks about God and eternity as “the Instrument of my first Convictions, and Approbation of a Holy Life” (Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1:2-4). Baxter’s education was largely informal; he later wrote that he had four teachers in six years, all of whom were ignorant and two led immoral lives. Nevertheless, he had a fertile mind, and enjoyed reading and studying. Excerpt from Meet the Puritans by Dr. Joel Beeke and Randall J. Pederson
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Category: Reformers & Puritans
Format: Book (Paperback) (256)
Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
Date Published: Jul 01, 1974
Dimensions: 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.75 (in)
Weight: 9.30 oz