The last issue of CT explored the life of England’s great Puritan preacher Richard Baxter (“Go Fetch Baxter,” Dec. 13, 1991). Baxter’s writings, respected by ministers the world over, contain many gems of wisdom. This issue’s Reflections page is devoted to some of those riches.

Living As We Preach

Take heed, therefore, to yourselves first, that you be that which you persuade your hearers to be, and believe that which you persuade them to believe.… It is a palpable error of some ministers, who make such a disproportion between their teaching and their living; who study hard to preach exactly, and study little or not at all to live exactly.… We must study as hard how to live well, as how to preach well.

The Reformed Pastor (1656);

abridged edition (1829)

Know What You’Re Saying

They that cannot speak clearly, seldom clearly understand what to speak.

Catholick Theologie, II, 254

A Bad Job If The Gospel Isn’T True

I profess to you, I should take it but for a paltry profession, to ride up and down to preach the gospel, and trouble the minds of men in vain, and get the ill will of most of our neighbours, and tire and spend ourselves in this work, if it were not certainly true, which we must tell them; and if the gospel were a fable or human device. If the word of God were not true, ministers have the most unworthy employment upon earth.

A Treatise of Conversion (1657);

The Practical Works of Richard

Baxter, ed. George Virtue, 1838

Mere Possessions

Naked came I into the world, and naked must I go out. But I never wanted less what man can give, than when men had taken all.

The Autobiography of Richard

Baxter, abridged by J. M. Lloyd

Thomas, ed. N. H. Keeble

Pride Is A Contradiction

Oh what a constant companion, what a tyrannical commander, what a ...

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