Though Richard Baxter (1615-1691) had some notable theological flaws, or at least inconsistencies, concerning justification and the atonement, much of his work is still beneficial in a number of places. In the text that follows, you will see Baxter’s evangelistic zeal and his passion for the unconverted to trust Christ. Reading the Puritans is always both a joy and a conviction. O, God, kindle my desire for your glory and the joy of all peoples in such a way that I imitate such Puritan zeal.
If thou die unconverted, there is no doubt to be made of thy damnation; and thou are not sure to live an hour, and yet art thou not ready to turn and to come in? Oh miserable wretch! Hast thou not served the flesh and the devil long enough yet? Hast thou not enough of sin? Is it so good to thee? or so profitable for thee? Dost thou know what it is, that thou wouldst yet have more of it? Hast thou had so many calls and so many mercies, and so many blows, and so many examples? Hast thou seen so many laid in the grave, and yet art thou not ready to let go thy sins and come to Christ? What? After so many convictions and gripes of conscience, after so many purposes and promises, art thou not ready yet to turn and live? Oh that thy eyes, thy heart were opened to know how fair an offer is now made to thee! and what joyful message it is that we are sent on, to bid thee come, for all things are ready (Richard Baxter, A Call to the Unconverted, pp. 70-71)
- The Puritans: Richard Baxter (challies.com)