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The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, Vol. 5
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The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, Vol. 5

by ,

James Duncan 1830

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Volume Five of The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter contains the third part of A Christian Directory, which covers what Baxter calls “Christian Ecclesiastics.”

In this volume, Baxter writes about meaningful worship and the right end of worship. He also articulates the connection between covenant theology and corporate worship, including baptism and profession of faith and the communal affirmation entailed in both. "Worship", says Baxter, "helps us keep our obligations toward one another."

The role of pastors endured an identity crisis in the years following the Reformation, as Protestants attempted to understand the relationship between ministers and their congregants apart from the authority of Rome. Baxter writes at length about ecclesiastical authority, the history of the episcopacy, the duty of individuals toward their pastors, and the ministerial office itself. Baxter also attempts to address the central issues faced by Protestant ministers: Do individuals need to be re-baptized? How do Protestants define and relate to the communion of saints? Should ministers be re-ordained? How do Protestants define church authority? What should the future relationship between Protestants and Catholics look like? This practical guide navigates through difficult ecclesiological issues which have lingered in the centuries following Baxter’s original writing.

Key Features

  • William Orme’s biography of Baxter
  • Chronological index of Baxter’s works

Praise for the Print Edition

…The most prominent English churchman of the 1600s.

Christian History, a magazine affiliated with Christianity Today

…We must learn from the Puritan pastor Richard Baxter…to redouble our efforts to find strength from spiritual joy.

J. I. Packer

[Baxter’s] words have hands and feet. They climb all over you; they work their way into your heart and conscience, and will not be dislodged.

J. I. Packer

Look at Richard Baxter… what a flashing diamond was he! Even swearers on the ale-bench could not but know that he was a heaven-born spirit.

Charles Spurgeon

I was greatly refreshed to find what a sweet savor of good Mr. Baxter’s doctrine, works, and discipline remain to this day.

George Whitefield

Product Details

  • Title: The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, Vol. 5
  • Author: Richard Baxter
  • Publisher: Paternoster
  • Publication Date: 1830
  • Pages: 602

About Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter was born on November 12, 1615 in Shropshire, England. Although his childhood education was poor, he studied under John Owen between 1629 and 1632, and was converted at the influence of The Bruised Reed, by Richard Sibbes.

After his mother died, Baxter began to study theology, and studied with both John Owen and Francis Garbet. He was ordained in 1638 by John Thornborough and quickly established his reputation as a preacher and pastor. He became involved the Nonconformity Movement—a movement which resisted the governance of the Church of England, and he renounced his ordination.

In April, 1641, Baxter began his ministry at Kidderminster, which lasted nineteen years. In addition to his ministry as a preacher and pastor, Baxter initiated many social reforms which earned him a reputation among Presbyterians and Episcopalians as a theological uniter. He wrote The Reformed Pastor during his ministry in Kidderminster.

Baxter moved to Gloucester and Coventry in 1643 to avoid the Civil War, and became chaplain in the army. He returned to London in 1660 where he preached regularly and became politically influential. In 1685, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for his Paraphrase on the New Testament, a charge later rescinded by the government.

Baxter wrote prolifically throughout this lifetime. He is well known for his works on the Roman Catholic Church, his works on conversion, his 4-volume Christian Directory, and A Call to the Unconverted to Turn and Live. Baxter provoked theological controversy for his ecumenism—in stark contrast to the religious warfare of his time—and his rejection of limited atonement. He believed that repentance and obedience affect the outcome of salvation, and that right belief is intricately connected to Christian ethics. Baxter’s covenant theology also contributed to the rise of Puritanism.

Richard Baxter died on December 8, 1691. His last words were, “I have pain…but I have peace.”

Sample Pages from the Print Edition