The Pastor’s Pastor: Richard Baxter

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One of the gems on Pre-Pub right now is The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter (23 Vols.), an exhaustive collection from a man that has influenced luminaries like J. I. Packer, John Piper, and Charles Spurgeon.

Richard Baxter desired a life of quiet obedience but always seemed to find himself at the center of controversy. Ordained into the Church of England in the early 17th century, Baxter—while being drawn toward the growing Puritan movement—tried to avoid the increasing disputes between the Anglican church and the voices crying out for reform. As tensions increased and schisms seemed to be erupting at every turn, Baxter could often be heard encouraging charity among disparate factions.

Baxter’s desire for unity should not be confused for a lack of strong conviction. He was a man with a strong resolve and a sensitive conscience. Although he often was the voice of reason between two extremes, Baxter’s resolve and sensitivity to God’s will often inflamed those on both sides.

He was imprisoned for running a conventicle. This small group which Baxter assembled to have intimate religious discussions was frowned upon as a possible inroad for schismatic theology and practice. His credentials allowing him to preach were withdrawn after he refused the bishopric of Hereford, having issues with the church’s episcopacy. Persecution followed Baxter everywhere. Eventually he was imprisoned for a year and a half and was forced to sell two extensive libraries to pay for fees and penalties.

Despite his legal woes, Baxter’s The Saint’s Everlasting Rest—written during a severe bout with tuberculosis—became one of the mostly widely read books of the 17th century. John Wesley often quoted Richard Baxter’s works in his sermons and writings and even produced an abridged version of The Saint’s Everlasting Rest in 1754.

The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter (23 Vols.) includes the treatises, sermons, and works of one of Puritan England’s most prolific writers and influential preachers all in one place. This means that not only do you get The Saint’s Everlasting Rest, but you get twenty-one other impressive works, including the timeless classic on pastoral ministry The Reformed Pastor.

Methodist apostle Francis Asbury wrote in his diary in 1810, “O what a prize: Baxter’s Reformed Pastor fell into my hands this morning.” And John Angell James, minister of Carr’s Lane, Birmingham wrote, “I have made, next to the Bible, Baxter’s Reformed Pastor my rule as regards the object of my ministry. It were well if that volume were often read by all our pastors.”

Don’t miss an opportunity to pick up this collection at the best price available now!