Archive for the ‘Richard Baxter’ Category

divers Nonconformists pitying the dying and distressed People, that had none to call the impenitent to Repentance, nor to help them to prepare for another World, resolved that no obedience to the Laws of any mortal Men whatsoever could justify them for neglecting of Men’s Souls and Bodies in such extremities

December 8, 2009

…divers Nonconformists pitying the dying and distressed People, that had none to call the impenitent to Repentance, nor to help them to prepare for another World, resolved that no obedience to the Laws of any mortal Men whatsoever could justify them for neglecting of Men’s Souls and Bodies in such extremities.

Richard Baxter, describing how those ministers ejected from their minsitries in 1662 returned to their flocks during the plague of 1665. The ministers who had taken up the vacant posts had abandoned their flocks to seek refuge from the plague.

Quoted in Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press, 2008, p.246

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Choose not that (calling) in which you may be most rich or honourable in the world: but that in which you may do most good

November 17, 2009

Choose not that (calling) in which you may be most rich or honourable in the world: but that in which you may do most good.

Richard Baxter

The Scripture sufficiency must be maintained, and nothing beyond it imposed on others; and if papists, or others, call to us for the standard and rule of our religion, it is the Bible that we must show them, rather than any confessions of churches, or writings of men

November 14, 2009

The Scripture sufficiency must be maintained, and nothing beyond it imposed on others; and if papists, or others, call to us for the standard and rule of our religion, it is the Bible that we must show them, rather than any confessions of churches, or writings of men.

Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor, p.123

We must learn to distinguish between certainties and uncertainties, necessaries and unnecessaries, catholic verities and private opinions; and to lay the stress of the Church’s peace upon the former, not upon the latter

November 14, 2009

We must learn to distinguish between certainties and uncertainties, necessaries and unnecessaries, catholic verities and private opinions; and to lay the stress of the Church’s peace upon the former, not upon the latter. We must avoid the common confusion of speaking of those who make no difference between verbal and real errors, and hate that ‘madness formerly among theologians,’ who tear their brethren as heretics, before they understand them. And we must learn to see the true state of controversies, and reduce them to the very point where the difference lieth, and not make them seem greater than they are. Instead of quarrelling with our brethren, we must combine against the common adversaries; and all ministers must associate and hold communion, and correspondence, and constant meetings to these ends; and smaller differences of judgment are not to interrupt them.

Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor, p.123

He who knoweth that he serveth a God that will never suffer any man to be a loser by him, need not fear what hazards he runs in his cause

October 14, 2009

He who knoweth that he serveth a God that will never suffer any man to be a loser by him, need not fear what hazards he runs in his cause: and he who knows that he seeks a prize, which, if obtained, will infinitely overbalance his cost, may boldly engage his whole estate on it, and sell all to purchase so rich a pearl.

Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor, p.230

Sin dwelleth in us…and one degree prepareth the heart for another, and one sin inclineth the mind to more

October 4, 2009

Sin dwelleth in us…and one degree prepareth the heart for another, and one sin inclineth the mind to more. If one thief be in the house, he will let in the rest; because they have the same disposition and design. A spark is the beginning of a flame; and a small disease may cause a greater. A man who knows himself to be purblind*, should take heed to his feet. Alas! in our hearts, as well as in our hearers, there is an averseness to God, a strangeness to him, unreasonable and almost unruly passions! In us there are, at the best, the remnants of pride, unbelief, self-seeking, hypocrisy, and all the most hateful, deadly sins.

Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor, p.73

* partly sighted

If our words be not sharpened

September 19, 2009

it is no easy matter to speak so plainly, that the most ignorant may understand us; and so seriously that the deadest hearts may feel us; and so convincingly, that the contradicting cavillers* may be silenced. The weight of our matter condemneth coldness and sleepy dullness. We should see that we be well awakened ourselves, and our spirits in such a plight as may make us fit to awaken others. If our words be not sharpened, and pierce not as nails, they will hardly be felt by stony hearts. To speak slightly and coldly of heavenly things is nearly as bad as to say nothing of them at all.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, p. 117

* cavilla, Latin, ‘mockery’; cavil, a petty objection.

…he preacheth not heartily for his people, that prayeth not earnestly for them

ibid., p.122


Works of charity do most powerfully remove prejudice

September 16, 2009

Experience hath fully proved that works of charity do most powerfully remove prejudice, and open the heart to words of piety. If men see that you are addicted to do good, they will the more easily believe that you are good, and that it is good which you persuade them to. When they see that you love them, and seek their good, they will the more easily trust you.

Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor, p.152

The charge of a pastor requireth personal dealing

September 13, 2009

I have found by experience, that some ignorant persons, who have been so long unprofitable hearers, have got more knowledge and remorse in half an hour’s close discourse, than they did from ten years’ public preaching. I know that preaching the gospel publicly is the most excellent means, because we speak to many at once. But it is usually far more effectual to preach it privately to a particular sinner…

If physicians should only read a public lecture on physic, their patients would not be much the better of them; nor would a lawyer secure your estate by reading a lecture on law. Now, the charge of a pastor requireth personal dealing, as well as any of these.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, Banner, p.186, 179

An Unconverted Minister

August 19, 2009

A graceless, inexperienced preacher is one of the most unhappy creatures upon earth and yet he is ordinarily very insensible of his unhappiness; for he hath so many counters that seem like the gold of saving grace, and so many splendid stones that resemble Christian jewels, that he is seldom troubled with the thoughts of his poverty; but thinks he is ‘rich, and increased in goods, and stands in need of nothing, when he is poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked.’ He is acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, he is exercised in holy duties, he liveth not in open disgraceful sin, he serveth at God’s altar, he reproveth other men’s faults, and preacheth up holiness both of heart and life; and how can this man choose but be holy? Oh what aggravated misery is this, to perish in the midst of plenty! – to famish with the bread of life in our hands, while we offer it to others, and urge it on them! That those ordinances of God should be the occasion of our delusion, which are instituted to be the means of our conviction and salvation! and that while we hold the looking-glass of the gospel to others, to show them the face and aspect of their souls, we should either look on the back part of it ourselves, where we can see nothing, or turn it aside, that it may misrepresent us to ourselves! If such a wretched man would take my counsel, he would make a stand, and call his heart and life to an account, and fall a preaching a while to himself, before he preach any more to others.

Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor, pp.54-55