Richard Baxter (1615-1691) was an English Puritan church leader, poet, hymn-writer, theologian, and controversialist. Dean Stanley called him "the chief of English Protestant Schoolmen". After some false starts, he made his reputation by his ministry at Kidderminster, and at around the same time began a long and prolific career as theological writer. After the Restoration he refused preferment, while retaining a non-separatist Presbyterian approach, and became one of the most influential leaders of the nonconformists, spending time in prison.
A Word about Pride (a Puritan Classic)by Richard Baxter
Richard Baxter was a 17th-century Puritan preacher who, according to "Knowing God" author J. I. Packer, was "the most outstanding pastor, evangelist and writer on practical and devotional themes that Puritanism produced." Packer, who did his doctoral work on Richard Baxter, called Baxter's Christian Directory "the most important Christian book ever written besides the Bible itself." Other well-known Christian authors (such as Timothy Keller and Jay Adams) have also praised Baxter's writings. Like other Puritan authors, Baxter sounded a call to Christians to become Word-centered in faith and practice. Like other Puritans of his day, he understood well that the Scriptures provide the only rule of faith and life. Baxter's books, which were exceeded in popularity only by John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, were household reading in many Puritan homes. While noted for the directness with which he addressed his readers, Baxter did not rant. Rather, he addresses readers as if he were by their side, challenging their consciences, arguing, reasoning, persuading, and ultimately-convincing. Baxter utilized the universal Puritan method in his writings-beginning with the Word of God, then announcing the doctrine or doctrines to be derived from his text. After proving the doctrine in question from Scripture, he went on to expound and explain. Baxter dealt with primary truths in his writings-the great themes of heaven and hell, God and Christ, faith and repentance, the cross of Christ-and the need to come to that cross at once. Throughout his writings are woven a deep sense of pastoral care and concern, a burning heart of love for Christless sinners and a motive to move men to God. Ultimately, sin is unmasked, the heart is laid bare, and man is shown to be exceedingly sinful. At the same time, known God through Christ is shown to be supremely delightful and desirable-something to be attained to no matter the cost, difficulty, or sacrifice in this life. This little book is Baxter's treatise on pride. An extract from his much larger book written for ministers, it is nonetheless powerful and extremely helpful for all who desire to be Christians.
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