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Quotes of Author: Richard-baxter

1.
It is a most lamentable thing to see how most people spend their time and their energy for trifles, while God is cast aside. He who is all seems to them as nothing, and that which is nothing seems to them as good as all. It is lamentable indeed, knowing that God has set mankind in such a race where heaven or hell is their certain end, that they should sit down and loiter, or run after the childish toys of the world, forgetting the prize they should run for. Were it but possible for one of us to see this business as the all-seeing God does, and see what most men and women in the world are interested in and what they are doing every day, it would be the saddest sight imaginable. Oh, how we should marvel at their madness and lament their self-delusion! If God had never told them what they were sent into the world to do, or what was before them in another world, then there would have been some excuse. But it is His sealed word, and they profess to believe it.

It is a most lamentable thing to see how most people spend their time and their energy for trifles, while God is cast aside. He who is all seems to them as nothing, and that which is nothing seems to them as good as all. It is lamentable indeed, knowing that God has set mankind in such a race where heaven or hell is their certain end, that they should sit down and loiter, or run after the childish toys of the world, forgetting the prize they should run for. Were it but possible for one of us to see this business as the all-seeing God does, and see what most men and women in the world are interested in and what they are doing every day, it would be the saddest sight imaginable. Oh, how we should marvel at their madness and lament their self-delusion! If God had never told them what they were sent into the world to do, or what was before them in another world, then there would have been some excuse. But it is His sealed word, and they profess to believe it.


2.
The signs of a flesh-pleaser or sensualist are these:  1. When a man in his desire to please his appetite, does not do it with a view to a higher end, that is to say to the preparing himself for the service of God; but does it only for the delight itself.  2. When he looks more eagerly and industriously after the prosperity of his body than of his soul.  3. When he will not refrain from his pleasures, when God forbids them, or when they hurt his soul, or when the necessities of his soul call him away from them.  4. When the pleasures of his flesh exceed his delights in God, and His holy word and ways, and the expectations of endless pleasure. When he had rather be at a play, or feast, or other entertainment, or getting good bargains or profits in the world, than to live in the life of faith and love, which would be a holy and heavenly way of living.  5. When men set their minds to scheme and study to make provision for the pleasures of the flesh; and this is first and sweetest in their thoughts.  6. When they had rather talk, or hear, or read of fleshly pleasures, than of spiritual and heavenly delights.  7. When they love the company of merry sensualists, better than the communion of saints, in which they may be exercised in the praises of their Maker.  8. When they consider that the best place to live and work is where they have the pleasure of the flesh. They would rather be where they have things easy, and lack nothing for the body, rather than where they have far better help and provision for the soul, though the flesh be pinched for it.  9. When he will be more eager to spend money to please his flesh than to please God.  10. When he will believe or like no doctrine but “easy-believism,” and hate mortification as too strict “legalism.” By these, and similar signs, sensuality may easily be known; indeed, by the main bent of the life.

The signs of a flesh-pleaser or sensualist are these: 1. When a man in his desire to please his appetite, does not do it with a view to a higher end, that is to say to the preparing himself for the service of God; but does it only for the delight itself. 2. When he looks more eagerly and industriously after the prosperity of his body than of his soul. 3. When he will not refrain from his pleasures, when God forbids them, or when they hurt his soul, or when the necessities of his soul call him away from them. 4. When the pleasures of his flesh exceed his delights in God, and His holy word and ways, and the expectations of endless pleasure. When he had rather be at a play, or feast, or other entertainment, or getting good bargains or profits in the world, than to live in the life of faith and love, which would be a holy and heavenly way of living. 5. When men set their minds to scheme and study to make provision for the pleasures of the flesh; and this is first and sweetest in their thoughts. 6. When they had rather talk, or hear, or read of fleshly pleasures, than of spiritual and heavenly delights. 7. When they love the company of merry sensualists, better than the communion of saints, in which they may be exercised in the praises of their Maker. 8. When they consider that the best place to live and work is where they have the pleasure of the flesh. They would rather be where they have things easy, and lack nothing for the body, rather than where they have far better help and provision for the soul, though the flesh be pinched for it. 9. When he will be more eager to spend money to please his flesh than to please God. 10. When he will believe or like no doctrine but “easy-believism,” and hate mortification as too strict “legalism.” By these, and similar signs, sensuality may easily be known; indeed, by the main bent of the life.  


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Sin-Indwelling
3.
Nowhere is God so near to man as in Jesus Christ; and nowhere is Christ so familiarly represented to us, as in this holy sacrament.

Nowhere is God so near to man as in Jesus Christ; and nowhere is Christ so familiarly represented to us, as in this holy sacrament.    

Reference:   Quoted by Packer, Puritan Idea of Communion with God, p. 116.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Communion
4.
Prudence must be exercised in the proceeding, lest we do more hurt than good…we should deal humbly even when we deal sharply.

Prudence must be exercised in the proceeding, lest we do more hurt than good…we should deal humbly even when we deal sharply.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 79.


5.
The principal use of this public discipline is not for the offender himself, but for the Church. It exceedingly tends to deter others from the like crimes, and so to keep the congregation and their worship pure. Seneca could say, “He who excuses present evils transmits them to posterity.” And elsewhere, “He who spares the guilty harms the good.”

The principal use of this public discipline is not for the offender himself, but for the Church. It exceedingly tends to deter others from the like crimes, and so to keep the congregation and their worship pure. Seneca could say, “He who excuses present evils transmits them to posterity.” And elsewhere, “He who spares the guilty harms the good.”

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 2, Section 1.


6.
I confess, if I had my will, that man should be ejected as a negligent pastor, that will not rule his people by discipline, as well as he is ejected as a negligent preacher that will not preach; for ruling I am sure is as essential a part of the pastor’s office as preaching.

I confess, if I had my will, that man should be ejected as a negligent pastor, that will not rule his people by discipline, as well as he is ejected as a negligent preacher that will not preach; for ruling I am sure is as essential a part of the pastor’s office as preaching.

Reference:   Richard Baxter The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


7.
Objection: I can profit as much by staying at home and reading the Scripture or some good book; it is the word of God which they preach, and it is that which I read at home.  The books that are written by learned men are better than the sermons that are preached by our ministers.

Answer: What foolish pretences are these against the plain command of God and our own necessary duty!  When God hath appointed you your duty, will He allow you to forsake it upon your own reason, as if you were wiser than God, and knew what will profit you better than He?

Objection: I can profit as much by staying at home and reading the Scripture or some good book; it is the word of God which they preach, and it is that which I read at home. The books that are written by learned men are better than the sermons that are preached by our ministers. Answer: What foolish pretences are these against the plain command of God and our own necessary duty! When God hath appointed you your duty, will He allow you to forsake it upon your own reason, as if you were wiser than God, and knew what will profit you better than He?

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 57


8.
It is not the work of the Spirit to tell you the meaning of Scripture, and give you the knowledge of divinity, without your own study and labour, but to bless that study, and give you knowledge thereby… To reject study on pretence of the sufficiency of the Spirit, is to reject the Scripture itself.

It is not the work of the Spirit to tell you the meaning of Scripture, and give you the knowledge of divinity, without your own study and labour, but to bless that study, and give you knowledge thereby… To reject study on pretence of the sufficiency of the Spirit, is to reject the Scripture itself.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 143.


9.
Before and after you read the Scripture, pray earnestly that the Spirit who wrote it may interpret it for you, keep you from unbelief and error, and lead you into the truth.

Before and after you read the Scripture, pray earnestly that the Spirit who wrote it may interpret it for you, keep you from unbelief and error, and lead you into the truth.

Reference:   A Christian Directory, 1673.


10.
As the case of backsliders is very sad, so our diligence must be very great for their recovery. It is sad to them to lose so much of their life, and peace, and serviceableness to God; and to become so serviceable to Satan and his cause. It is sad to us to see that all our labor is come to this; and that, when we have taken so much pains with them, and have had so much hopes of them, all should be so far frustrated. It is saddest of all, to think that God should be so dishonored by those whom He has so loved, and for whom he has done so much; and that Christ should be so wounded in the house of His friends. Besides, partial backsliding has a natural tendency to total apostasy, and would effect it, if special grace did not prevent it.

As the case of backsliders is very sad, so our diligence must be very great for their recovery. It is sad to them to lose so much of their life, and peace, and serviceableness to God; and to become so serviceable to Satan and his cause. It is sad to us to see that all our labor is come to this; and that, when we have taken so much pains with them, and have had so much hopes of them, all should be so far frustrated. It is saddest of all, to think that God should be so dishonored by those whom He has so loved, and for whom he has done so much; and that Christ should be so wounded in the house of His friends. Besides, partial backsliding has a natural tendency to total apostasy, and would effect it, if special grace did not prevent it.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 2, Section 1.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Backsliding
11.
You may know God, but not comprehend Him.

You may know God, but not comprehend Him.


12.
I was but a pen in God’s hands, and what praise is due to a pen?

I was but a pen in God’s hands, and what praise is due to a pen?


13.
Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them.

Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them.


14.
Heaven will pay for any loss we may suffer to gain it; but nothing can pay for the loss of heaven.

Heaven will pay for any loss we may suffer to gain it; but nothing can pay for the loss of heaven.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Heaven-General
15.
Be careful how you spend your time: Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of.

Be careful how you spend your time: Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Time
16.
A sermon full of mere words, how neatly so ever it is composed, while it wants the light of evidence, and the life of zeal, is but an image or a well-dressed carcass.

A sermon full of mere words, how neatly so ever it is composed, while it wants the light of evidence, and the life of zeal, is but an image or a well-dressed carcass.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


17.
Benefits of delighting ourselves in God:

1.  Delight in God will prove that you know Him and love Him and that you are prepared for His kingdom, for all who truly delight in Him shall enjoy Him.

2.  Prosperity, which is merely the small addition of earthly things, will not easily corrupt you or transport you.

3.  Adversity, that is, the withholding of earthly delights, will not much grieve you or easily deject you.

4.  You will receive more profit from a sermon or good book or conversation you delight in, than other people, who don’t delight in them, will receive from many such opportunities.

5.  All your service will be sweet to yourself and acceptable to God; if you delight in Him, He certainly delights in you (Psalm 149:4; 147:11; 1 Chronicles 29:17).

6.  He will have a continual feast with you, to sweeten all the crosses of your life and provide you with joy greater than your sorrow in your saddest condition.

7.  When you delight in God, your created pleasures will be sanctified to you and warranted in their proper place, which in other people are idolatrous or corrupt.

Benefits of delighting ourselves in God: 1. Delight in God will prove that you know Him and love Him and that you are prepared for His kingdom, for all who truly delight in Him shall enjoy Him. 2. Prosperity, which is merely the small addition of earthly things, will not easily corrupt you or transport you. 3. Adversity, that is, the withholding of earthly delights, will not much grieve you or easily deject you. 4. You will receive more profit from a sermon or good book or conversation you delight in, than other people, who don’t delight in them, will receive from many such opportunities. 5. All your service will be sweet to yourself and acceptable to God; if you delight in Him, He certainly delights in you (Psalm 149:4; 147:11; 1 Chronicles 29:17). 6. He will have a continual feast with you, to sweeten all the crosses of your life and provide you with joy greater than your sorrow in your saddest condition. 7. When you delight in God, your created pleasures will be sanctified to you and warranted in their proper place, which in other people are idolatrous or corrupt.

Reference:   A Christian Directory.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: God-Delight_in
18.
There is a great deal of difference between the desires of heaven in a sanctified man and an unsanctified. The believer prizes it above earth, and had rather be with God than here… but to the ungodly there [seems] nothing more desirable than this world; and therefore he only chooses heaven before hell, but not before earth.

There is a great deal of difference between the desires of heaven in a sanctified man and an unsanctified. The believer prizes it above earth, and had rather be with God than here… but to the ungodly there [seems] nothing more desirable than this world; and therefore he only chooses heaven before hell, but not before earth.


19.
I tell you again, God hath not ordinarily decreed the end without the means; and if you will neglect the means of salvation, it is a certain mark that God hath not decreed you to salvation.  But you shall find that He hath left you no excuse, because He hath not thus predestinated you.

I tell you again, God hath not ordinarily decreed the end without the means; and if you will neglect the means of salvation, it is a certain mark that God hath not decreed you to salvation.  But you shall find that He hath left you no excuse, because He hath not thus predestinated you.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 86-87.


20.
Take every opportunity which your nearness provides to be speaking seriously to each other about the matters of God, and your salvation. Discussing those things of this world no more than required. And then talk together of the state and duty of your souls towards God, and of your hopes of heaven, as those that take these for their greatest business. And don’t speak lightly, or unreverently, or in a rude and disputing manner; but with gravity and sobriety, as those that are discussing the most important things in the whole world.

Take every opportunity which your nearness provides to be speaking seriously to each other about the matters of God, and your salvation. Discussing those things of this world no more than required. And then talk together of the state and duty of your souls towards God, and of your hopes of heaven, as those that take these for their greatest business. And don't speak lightly, or unreverently, or in a rude and disputing manner; but with gravity and sobriety, as those that are discussing the most important things in the whole world.

Reference:   The Mutual Duties of Husbands and Wives Towards Each Other, n. 30, Baxter’s Practical Works.


21.
Join together in frequent and fervent prayer. Prayer forces the mind into sobriety, and moves the heart with the presence and majesty of God. Pray also for each other when you are in secret, that God may do that work which you most desire, upon each other’s hearts.

Join together in frequent and fervent prayer. Prayer forces the mind into sobriety, and moves the heart with the presence and majesty of God. Pray also for each other when you are in secret, that God may do that work which you most desire, upon each other's hearts.

Reference:   The Mutual Duties of Husbands and Wives Towards Each Other, n. 37b, Baxter’s Practical Works.


22.
See that your chief study be about your heart, that there God’s image may be planted, and His interest advanced, and the interest of the world and flesh subdued, and the love of every sin cast out, and the love of holiness succeed.

See that your chief study be about your heart, that there God’s image may be planted, and His interest advanced, and the interest of the world and flesh subdued, and the love of every sin cast out, and the love of holiness succeed.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Heart
23.
My religion is merely Christian… The rule of my faith and doctrine is ye law of God in Nature and Scripture. The Church which I am a member of is the Universality of Christians, in conjunction with all particular Churches of Christians in England or elsewhere in the world, whose Communion according to my capacity I desire.

My religion is merely Christian... The rule of my faith and doctrine is ye law of God in Nature and Scripture. The Church which I am a member of is the Universality of Christians, in conjunction with all particular Churches of Christians in England or elsewhere in the world, whose Communion according to my capacity I desire.


24.
Heaven excludes nothing more directly than sin; whether original and of nature, or actual and of behavior. For there enters nothing that defiles, nor that works abomination, nor that makes a lie. When they are there, the saints are saints indeed. He that will wash them with His heart-blood, rather than suffer them to enter unclean, will now perfectly see to that; He who has undertaken to present them to His Father, “not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but perfectly holy, and without blemish,” will now most certainly perform His undertaking.

Heaven excludes nothing more directly than sin; whether original and of nature, or actual and of behavior. For there enters nothing that defiles, nor that works abomination, nor that makes a lie. When they are there, the saints are saints indeed. He that will wash them with His heart-blood, rather than suffer them to enter unclean, will now perfectly see to that; He who has undertaken to present them to His Father, “not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but perfectly holy, and without blemish,” will now most certainly perform His undertaking.

Reference:   Excerpts from The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, a classic work first published in 1650.


25.
Self is the most treacherous enemy, and the most insinuating deceiver in the world. Of all other vices, it is both the hardest to find out, and the hardest to cure.

Self is the most treacherous enemy, and the most insinuating deceiver in the world. Of all other vices, it is both the hardest to find out, and the hardest to cure.


26.
Though I have a body that had languished under great weaknesses for many years, and my diseases have been such as require as much exercise as almost any in the world, and I have found exercise the principal means of my preservation till now, and, therefore, have as great reason to plead for it as any man that I know, yet I have found that the foresaid proportion hath been blessed to my preservation, though I know that much more had been like to have tended to my greater health. Indeed, I do not know one minister in a hundred that needs so much exercise as myself. Yea, I know abundance of ministers, that scarce ever use any exercise at all, though I commend them not in this. I doubt not but it is our duty to use so much exercise as is necessary for the preservation of our health, so far as our work requires; otherwise, we should, for one day’s work, lose the opportunity of many. But this may be done, and yet the work that we are engaged in, be done too.

Though I have a body that had languished under great weaknesses for many years, and my diseases have been such as require as much exercise as almost any in the world, and I have found exercise the principal means of my preservation till now, and, therefore, have as great reason to plead for it as any man that I know, yet I have found that the foresaid proportion hath been blessed to my preservation, though I know that much more had been like to have tended to my greater health. Indeed, I do not know one minister in a hundred that needs so much exercise as myself. Yea, I know abundance of ministers, that scarce ever use any exercise at all, though I commend them not in this. I doubt not but it is our duty to use so much exercise as is necessary for the preservation of our health, so far as our work requires; otherwise, we should, for one day’s work, lose the opportunity of many. But this may be done, and yet the work that we are engaged in, be done too.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Part 2.


27.
I know that Christ is all in all; and that it is the presence of God that makes Heaven to be heaven. But yet it much sweetens the thoughts of that place to me that there are there such a multitude of my most dear and precious friends in Christ.

I know that Christ is all in all; and that it is the presence of God that makes Heaven to be heaven. But yet it much sweetens the thoughts of that place to me that there are there such a multitude of my most dear and precious friends in Christ.


28.
Doubtless, we shall no more be oppressed with the power of our corruptions, nor vexed with their presence; no pride, passion, slothfulness, senselessness, shall enter with us; no strangeness to God, and the things of God; no coldness of affections, nor imperfection in our love; no uneven walking, nor grieving of the Spirit; no scandalous action, or unholy living. We shall rest from all these forever.

Doubtless, we shall no more be oppressed with the power of our corruptions, nor vexed with their presence; no pride, passion, slothfulness, senselessness, shall enter with us; no strangeness to God, and the things of God; no coldness of affections, nor imperfection in our love; no uneven walking, nor grieving of the Spirit; no scandalous action, or unholy living. We shall rest from all these forever.

Reference:   Excerpts from The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, a classic work first published in 1650.


29.
God is the same God in heaven as on earth, but I shall not be the same man.

God is the same God in heaven as on earth, but I shall not be the same man.


30.
Even the stoutest sinners will hear us on their death-bed, though they scorned us before. They will then let fall their fury, and be as gentle as lambs, who were before as untractable as lions. I find not one in ten, of the most obstinate scornful wretches in my parish, but when they come to die, will humble themselves, confess their faults, and seem penitent, and promise, if they should recover, to reform their lives.

Even the stoutest sinners will hear us on their death-bed, though they scorned us before. They will then let fall their fury, and be as gentle as lambs, who were before as untractable as lions. I find not one in ten, of the most obstinate scornful wretches in my parish, but when they come to die, will humble themselves, confess their faults, and seem penitent, and promise, if they should recover, to reform their lives.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 2, Section 1.


31.
A good husband will either make a good wife, or easily and profitably endure a bad one.

A good husband will either make a good wife, or easily and profitably endure a bad one.

Reference:   The Special Duties of Husbands to Their Wives, A Christian Directory, 1637.


32.
Screw the truth into men’s minds.

Screw the truth into men’s minds.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 222.


33.
I preached as never sure to preach again and as a dying man to dying men.

I preached as never sure to preach again and as a dying man to dying men.

Reference:   Quoted in: Jones, Preachers and Preaching, Zondervan, 1971, p. 86.


34.
This is a life of desire and prayer; but that [heaven] is a life of satisfaction and enjoyment.

This is a life of desire and prayer; but that [heaven] is a life of satisfaction and enjoyment.

Reference:   Richard Baxter Excerpts from The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, a classic work first published in 1650.


35.
Nothing else but the habitual and predominant devotion and dedication of soul, and body, and life, and all that we have to God; and esteeming and loving, and serving, and seeking Him, before all the pleasures and prosperity of the flesh.

Nothing else but the habitual and predominant devotion and dedication of soul, and body, and life, and all that we have to God; and esteeming and loving, and serving, and seeking Him, before all the pleasures and prosperity of the flesh.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 139.


36.
You cannot break men’s hearts by jesting with them, or telling them a smooth tale, or pronouncing a gaudy oration. Men will not cast away their dearest pleasures at the drowsy request of one that seems not to mean as he speaks, or to care much whether his request be granted or not. If you say that the work is God’s, and He may do it by the weakest means, I answer, It is true, He may do so; but yet His ordinary way is to work by means, and to make not only the matter that is preached, but also the manner of preaching instrumental to the work.

You cannot break men’s hearts by jesting with them, or telling them a smooth tale, or pronouncing a gaudy oration. Men will not cast away their dearest pleasures at the drowsy request of one that seems not to mean as he speaks, or to care much whether his request be granted or not. If you say that the work is God’s, and He may do it by the weakest means, I answer, It is true, He may do so; but yet His ordinary way is to work by means, and to make not only the matter that is preached, but also the manner of preaching instrumental to the work.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


37.
Experience has 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. And when they see that you seek not the things of the world, they will the less suspect your intentions, and the more easily be drawn by you to seek that which you seek.

Experience has 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. And when they see that you seek not the things of the world, they will the less suspect your intentions, and the more easily be drawn by you to seek that which you seek.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


38.
How can you speak of life and death with such a heart? How can you preach of heaven and hell in such a careless, sleepy manner? Do you believe what you say? Are you in earnest or in jest? How can you tell people that sin is such a thing, and that so much misery is upon them and before them, and be no more affected with it? Should you not weep over such a people, and should not your tears interrupt your words? Should not you cry aloud, and show them their transgressions, and entreat and beseech them as for life and death?

How can you speak of life and death with such a heart? How can you preach of heaven and hell in such a careless, sleepy manner? Do you believe what you say? Are you in earnest or in jest? How can you tell people that sin is such a thing, and that so much misery is upon them and before them, and be no more affected with it? Should you not weep over such a people, and should not your tears interrupt your words? Should not you cry aloud, and show them their transgressions, and entreat and beseech them as for life and death?

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 2.


39.
Content not yourselves with being in a state of grace, but be also careful that your graces are kept in vigorous and lively exercise, and that you preach to yourselves the sermons which you study, before you preach them to others.

Content not yourselves with being in a state of grace, but be also careful that your graces are kept in vigorous and lively exercise, and that you preach to yourselves the sermons which you study, before you preach them to others.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 1.


40.
When your minds are in a holy, heavenly frame, your people are likely to partake of the fruits of it. Your prayers, and praises, and doctrine will be sweet and heavenly to them. They will likely feel when you have been much with God: that which is most on your hearts, is like to be most in their ears.

When your minds are in a holy, heavenly frame, your people are likely to partake of the fruits of it. Your prayers, and praises, and doctrine will be sweet and heavenly to them. They will likely feel when you have been much with God: that which is most on your hearts, is like to be most in their ears.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 1.


41.
What skill doth every part of our work require! – and of how much moment is every part! To preach a sermon, I think, is not the hardest part; and yet what skill is necessary to make the truth plain; to convince the hearers, to let irresistible light in to their consciences, and to keep it there, and drive all home; to screw the truth into their minds, and work Christ into their affections; to meet every objection, and clearly to resolve it; to drive sinners to a stand, and make them see that there is no hope, but that they must unavoidably either be converted or condemned – and to do all this, as regards language and manner, as beseems our work, and yet as is most suitable to the capacities of our hearers. This, and a great deal more that should be done in every sermon, must surely require a great deal of holy skill.

What skill doth every part of our work require! – and of how much moment is every part! To preach a sermon, I think, is not the hardest part; and yet what skill is necessary to make the truth plain; to convince the hearers, to let irresistible light in to their consciences, and to keep it there, and drive all home; to screw the truth into their minds, and work Christ into their affections; to meet every objection, and clearly to resolve it; to drive sinners to a stand, and make them see that there is no hope, but that they must unavoidably either be converted or condemned – and to do all this, as regards language and manner, as beseems our work, and yet as is most suitable to the capacities of our hearers. This, and a great deal more that should be done in every sermon, must surely require a great deal of holy skill.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 1.


42.
So great a God, whose message we deliver, should be honored by our delivery of it. It is a lamentable case, that in a message from the God of heaven, of everlasting moment to the souls of men, we should behave ourselves so weakly, so unhandsomely, so imprudently, or so slightly, that the whole business should miscarry in our hands, and God should be dishonored, and His work disgraced, and sinners rather hardened than converted; and all this through our weakness or neglect!

So great a God, whose message we deliver, should be honored by our delivery of it. It is a lamentable case, that in a message from the God of heaven, of everlasting moment to the souls of men, we should behave ourselves so weakly, so unhandsomely, so imprudently, or so slightly, that the whole business should miscarry in our hands, and God should be dishonored, and His work disgraced, and sinners rather hardened than converted; and all this through our weakness or neglect!

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 1.


43.
And thus doth pride make many a man’s sermons; and what pride makes, the devil makes; and what sermons the devil will make and to what end, we may easily conjecture. Though the matter be of God, yet if the dress, and manner, and end be from Satan, we have no great reason to expect success.

And thus doth pride make many a man’s sermons; and what pride makes, the devil makes; and what sermons the devil will make and to what end, we may easily conjecture. Though the matter be of God, yet if the dress, and manner, and end be from Satan, we have no great reason to expect success.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


44.
What! speak coldly for God, and for men’s salvation Can we believe that our people must be converted or condemned, and yet speak in a drowsy tone? In the name of God, brethren, labor to awaken your own hearts, before you go to the pulpit, that you may be fit to awaken the hearts of sinners. Remember they must be awakened or damned, and that a sleepy preacher will hardly awaken drowsy sinners. Though you give the holy things of God the highest praises in words, yet, if you do it coldly, you will seem by your manner to unsay what you said in the matter… It is only here and there, even among good ministers, that we find one who has an earnest, persuasive, powerful way of speaking, that the people can feel him preach when they hear him.

What! speak coldly for God, and for men’s salvation Can we believe that our people must be converted or condemned, and yet speak in a drowsy tone? In the name of God, brethren, labor to awaken your own hearts, before you go to the pulpit, that you may be fit to awaken the hearts of sinners. Remember they must be awakened or damned, and that a sleepy preacher will hardly awaken drowsy sinners. Though you give the holy things of God the highest praises in words, yet, if you do it coldly, you will seem by your manner to unsay what you said in the matter... It is only here and there, even among good ministers, that we find one who has an earnest, persuasive, powerful way of speaking, that the people can feel him preach when they hear him.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


45.
Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine…lest you unsay with your lives what you say with your tongues, and be the greatest hinderers of the success of your own labors.

Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine...lest you unsay with your lives what you say with your tongues, and be the greatest hinderers of the success of your own labors.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 1.


46.
One proud, surly, lordly word, one needless contention, one covetous action may cut the throat of many a sermon, and blast the fruit of all that you have been doing.

One proud, surly, lordly word, one needless contention, one covetous action may cut the throat of many a sermon, and blast the fruit of all that you have been doing.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor.


47.
Measure the time of your sleep appropriately so that you do not waste your precious morning hours sluggishly in your bed. Let the time of your sleep be matched to your health and labor, and not to slothful pleasure.

Measure the time of your sleep appropriately so that you do not waste your precious morning hours sluggishly in your bed. Let the time of your sleep be matched to your health and labor, and not to slothful pleasure.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Rest
48.
You are not likely to see any general reformation, till you procure family reformation. Some little religion there may be, here and there; but while it is confined to single persons, and is not promoted in families, it will not prosper, nor promise much future increase.

You are not likely to see any general reformation, till you procure family reformation. Some little religion there may be, here and there; but while it is confined to single persons, and is not promoted in families, it will not prosper, nor promise much future increase.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 2, Section 1.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Worship-Family
49.
Not only Scripture, but reason and experience point to the necessity for family worship.

Not only Scripture, but reason and experience point to the necessity for family worship.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Worship-Family
50.
All the longer your delay, the more your sin gets strength and rooting. If you cannot bend a twig, how will you be able to bend it when it is a tree?

All the longer your delay, the more your sin gets strength and rooting. If you cannot bend a twig, how will you be able to bend it when it is a tree?

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 65.


51.
If you seek first to please God and are satisfied therein, you have but one to please instead of multitudes; and a multitude of masters are harder to please than one.

If you seek first to please God and are satisfied therein, you have but one to please instead of multitudes; and a multitude of masters are harder to please than one.


52.
We must feel toward our people as a father toward his children; yea, the most tender love of a mother must not surpass ours. We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. They should see that we care for no outward thing, neither liberty, nor honor, nor life, in comparison to their salvation… When the people see that you truly love them, they will hear anything from you… Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes.

We must feel toward our people as a father toward his children; yea, the most tender love of a mother must not surpass ours. We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. They should see that we care for no outward thing, neither liberty, nor honor, nor life, in comparison to their salvation... When the people see that you truly love them, they will hear anything from you... Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes.


53.
Love Christ, and you will hate that which caused His death.  Love Him, and you will love to be made like Him – and hate that which is so contrary to Him.

Love Christ, and you will hate that which caused His death.  Love Him, and you will love to be made like Him - and hate that which is so contrary to Him.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor.


54.
I do verily believe that if parents did their duty as they ought, the Word publicly preached would not be the ordinary means of regeneration in the church, but only without the church, among practical heathens and infidels.

I do verily believe that if parents did their duty as they ought, the Word publicly preached would not be the ordinary means of regeneration in the church, but only without the church, among practical heathens and infidels.


55.
Parents! It is in your hands to do your children the greatest kindness, or cruelty, in all the world! Help them to know God and to be saved, and you do more for them than if you helped them to be lords or princes. If you neglect their souls, and breed them in ignorance, worldliness, ungodliness, and sin; you betray them to the devil, the enemy of souls, even as truly as if you sold them to him! You sell them to be slaves to Satan! You betray them to him that will deceive them and abuse them in this life, and torment them in the next!

Parents! It is in your hands to do your children the greatest kindness, or cruelty, in all the world! Help them to know God and to be saved, and you do more for them than if you helped them to be lords or princes. If you neglect their souls, and breed them in ignorance, worldliness, ungodliness, and sin; you betray them to the devil, the enemy of souls, even as truly as if you sold them to him! You sell them to be slaves to Satan! You betray them to him that will deceive them and abuse them in this life, and torment them in the next!


56.
Can you truly say, that you have so far taken the everlasting enjoyment of God for your happiness, that it has the most of your heart, of your love, desire, and care; and that you are resolved, by the strength of Divine grace, to let go all that you have in the world, rather than hazard it; and that it is your daily, and your principal business to seek it? Can you truly say, that though you have your failings and sins, yet your main care, and the bent of your whole life, is to please God, and to enjoy him forever; and that you give the world God’s leavings, as it were, and not God the world’s leavings; and that your worldly business is but as a traveler’s seeking for provision in his journey, and heaven is the place that you take for your home?

Can you truly say, that you have so far taken the everlasting enjoyment of God for your happiness, that it has the most of your heart, of your love, desire, and care; and that you are resolved, by the strength of Divine grace, to let go all that you have in the world, rather than hazard it; and that it is your daily, and your principal business to seek it? Can you truly say, that though you have your failings and sins, yet your main care, and the bent of your whole life, is to please God, and to enjoy him forever; and that you give the world God’s leavings, as it were, and not God the world’s leavings; and that your worldly business is but as a traveler’s seeking for provision in his journey, and heaven is the place that you take for your home?

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Part 3.


57.
Is it a small thing in your eyes to be loved by God – to be the son, the spouse, the love, the delight of the King of glory? Christian, believe this, and think about it: you will be eternally embraced in the arms of the love which was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting – of the love which brought the Son of God’s love from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to glory – that love which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spat upon, crucified, pierced – which fasted, prayed, taught, healed, wept, sweated, bled, died. That love will eternally embrace you.

Is it a small thing in your eyes to be loved by God – to be the son, the spouse, the love, the delight of the King of glory? Christian, believe this, and think about it: you will be eternally embraced in the arms of the love which was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting – of the love which brought the Son of God's love from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to glory – that love which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spat upon, crucified, pierced – which fasted, prayed, taught, healed, wept, sweated, bled, died. That love will eternally embrace you.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: God-Love
58.
Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator.

Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator.


59.
Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator: single letters, and syllables uncomposed, are no better than nonsense. He who overlooks Him who is the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,” and sees not Him in all who is the All of all, doth see nothing at all.

Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator: single letters, and syllables uncomposed, are no better than nonsense. He who overlooks Him who is the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,” and sees not Him in all who is the All of all, doth see nothing at all.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 1.


60.
No man that has not the vitals of theology is capable of going beyond a fool in philosophy.

No man that has not the vitals of theology is capable of going beyond a fool in philosophy.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 1.


61.
Place a high value upon your time; be more careful of not losing it than you would of losing your money. Do not let worthless recreations, idle take, unprofitable company, or sleep rob you of your precious time. Be more careful to escape that person, action or course of life that would rob you of your time than you would be to escape thieves and robbers.

Place a high value upon your time; be more careful of not losing it than you would of losing your money. Do not let worthless recreations, idle take, unprofitable company, or sleep rob you of your precious time. Be more careful to escape that person, action or course of life that would rob you of your time than you would be to escape thieves and robbers.

Reference:   The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations, ed. Mark Water, 2000, Baker, p. 1061.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Time
62.
O spend your time as you would hear of it in the Judgment!

O spend your time as you would hear of it in the Judgment!

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 155.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Time
63.
I am contented to consume my body, to sacrifice to God’s service, and to spend all that I have, and to be spent myself, for the souls of men.

I am contented to consume my body, to sacrifice to God’s service, and to spend all that I have, and to be spent myself, for the souls of men.

Reference:   Quoted in: True Shepherding by Joel R. Beeke, Tabletalk, April 2007, p. 55, Used by Permission.


64.
Scripture tells us that the state of an unconverted man is this: he sees no great felicity in the love and communion of God in the life to come, which may draw his heart thither from this present world; but he lives to his carnal self, or to the flesh; and the main bent of his life is, that it may go well with him on earth; and that religion which he has is but a little by the by, lest he should be damned when he can keep the world no longer; so that the world and the flesh are highest in his esteem, and nearest to his heart, and God and glory stand below them, and all their service of God is but a giving him that which the world and flesh can spare. This is the case of every unconverted man; and all who are in this case are in a state of misery.

Scripture tells us that the state of an unconverted man is this: he sees no great felicity in the love and communion of God in the life to come, which may draw his heart thither from this present world; but he lives to his carnal self, or to the flesh; and the main bent of his life is, that it may go well with him on earth; and that religion which he has is but a little by the by, lest he should be damned when he can keep the world no longer; so that the world and the flesh are highest in his esteem, and nearest to his heart, and God and glory stand below them, and all their service of God is but a giving him that which the world and flesh can spare. This is the case of every unconverted man; and all who are in this case are in a state of misery.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Part 3.


65.
Do not only take occasions of doing good when they are thrust upon you; but study how to do all the good you can, as those "that are zealous of good works." Zeal of good works will make you plot and contrive for them; consult and ask advice for them; it will make you glad when you meet with a hopeful opportunity; it will make you do it largely, and not sparingly, and by the halves; it will make you do it speedily, without unwilling backwardness and delay; it will make you do it constantly to your lives’ end. It will make you labor in it as your trade, and not consent that others do good at your charge. It will make you glad, when good is done, and not to grudge at what it cost you. In a word, it will make your neighbours to be to you as yourselves, and the pleasing of God to be above yourselves, and therefore to be as glad to do good as to receive it.

Do not only take occasions of doing good when they are thrust upon you; but study how to do all the good you can, as those "that are zealous of good works." Zeal of good works will make you plot and contrive for them; consult and ask advice for them; it will make you glad when you meet with a hopeful opportunity; it will make you do it largely, and not sparingly, and by the halves; it will make you do it speedily, without unwilling backwardness and delay; it will make you do it constantly to your lives' end. It will make you labor in it as your trade, and not consent that others do good at your charge. It will make you glad, when good is done, and not to grudge at what it cost you. In a word, it will make your neighbours to be to you as yourselves, and the pleasing of God to be above yourselves, and therefore to be as glad to do good as to receive it.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Goodness
66.
Remember still that you are both diseased persons, full of infirmities; and therefore expect the fruit of those infirmities in each other; and make not a strange matter of it, as if you had never known of it before. If you had married one that is lame, would you be angry at her for [limping]? Or if you had married one that had a putrid ulcer, would you fall out with her because it stinketh? Did you not know beforehand, that you married a person of such weakness, as would yield you some manner of daily trial and offense? If you could not bear this, you should not have married her; if you resolved that you could bear it then, you are obliged to bear it now. Resolve therefore to bear with one another; as remembering that you took one another as sinful, frail, imperfect, persons, not as angels, or as blameless and perfect .

Remember still that you are both diseased persons, full of infirmities; and therefore expect the fruit of those infirmities in each other; and make not a strange matter of it, as if you had never known of it before. If you had married one that is lame, would you be angry at her for [limping]? Or if you had married one that had a putrid ulcer, would you fall out with her because it stinketh? Did you not know beforehand, that you married a person of such weakness, as would yield you some manner of daily trial and offense? If you could not bear this, you should not have married her; if you resolved that you could bear it then, you are obliged to bear it now. Resolve therefore to bear with one another; as remembering that you took one another as sinful, frail, imperfect, persons, not as angels, or as blameless and perfect .

Reference:   A Christian Directory from Baxter’s Practical Works: v. 1, p. 125.


67.
Will it not awaken us to compassion, to look on a languishing man, and to think that within a few days his soul will be in heaven or in hell? Surely it will try the faith and seriousness of ministers, to be much about dying men! They will thus have opportunity to discern whether they themselves are in good earnest about the matters of the life to come.

Will it not awaken us to compassion, to look on a languishing man, and to think that within a few days his soul will be in heaven or in hell? Surely it will try the faith and seriousness of ministers, to be much about dying men! They will thus have opportunity to discern whether they themselves are in good earnest about the matters of the life to come.


68.
I remember no one sin that my conscience doth so much accuse and judge me for as for doing so little for the saving of souls, and not for dealing with the lost soul ones more fervently and earnestly for their conversion.

I remember no one sin that my conscience doth so much accuse and judge me for as for doing so little for the saving of souls, and not for dealing with the lost soul ones more fervently and earnestly for their conversion.


69.
A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them.

A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 242.


70.
It is one of the most dangerous diseases of professors, and one of the greatest scandals of this age, that persons taken for eminently religious are more impatient of plain, though just, reproof than many a drunkard, swearer, or fornicator; and when they have spent hours or days in the seeming earnest confession of their sin, and lament before God and man that they cannot do it with more grief and tears, yet they take it for a heinous injury in another that will say half so much against them, and take him for a malignant enemy of the godly who will call them as they call themselves.

It is one of the most dangerous diseases of professors, and one of the greatest scandals of this age, that persons taken for eminently religious are more impatient of plain, though just, reproof than many a drunkard, swearer, or fornicator; and when they have spent hours or days in the seeming earnest confession of their sin, and lament before God and man that they cannot do it with more grief and tears, yet they take it for a heinous injury in another that will say half so much against them, and take him for a malignant enemy of the godly who will call them as they call themselves.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 243.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Reproof
71.
Eight reasons that ministers should examine themselves:1. You have heaven to win or lose yourselves…  A holy calling will not save an unholy man.2. You have sinful inclinations as well as others.3. (You) have greater temptations than most men.4. The tempter will make his first and sharpest onset upon you.  If you will be leaders against him, he will spare you no further than God restrains him.5. Many eyes are upon you, and therefore there will be many to observe your falls.6. Your sins are more aggravated than those of other men.  They have more of hypocrisy in them, and are more detrimental to the cause of religion.7. The honor of your Lord and Master, and of His holy truth, doth lie more on you than other men.8. The souls of your hearers and the success of your labors do very much depend upon your self-examination.

Eight reasons that ministers should examine themselves: 1. You have heaven to win or lose yourselves… A holy calling will not save an unholy man. 2. You have sinful inclinations as well as others. 3. (You) have greater temptations than most men. 4. The tempter will make his first and sharpest onset upon you. If you will be leaders against him, he will spare you no further than God restrains him. 5. Many eyes are upon you, and therefore there will be many to observe your falls. 6. Your sins are more aggravated than those of other men. They have more of hypocrisy in them, and are more detrimental to the cause of religion. 7. The honor of your Lord and Master, and of His holy truth, doth lie more on you than other men. 8. The souls of your hearers and the success of your labors do very much depend upon your self-examination.

Reference:   Quoted in: Derek Prime and Alistair Begg. On Being a Pastor, Moody Press, 2004, p. 307-308.


72.
In our first paradise in Eden there was a way to go out but no way to go in again. But as for the heavenly paradise, there is a way to go in, but not way to go out.

In our first paradise in Eden there was a way to go out but no way to go in again. But as for the heavenly paradise, there is a way to go in, but not way to go out.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 91.


73.
Despair of ever being saved, “except thou be born again,” or of seeing God “without holiness,” or of having part in Christ except thou “love Him above father, mother, or thy own life.” This kind of despair is one of the first steps to heaven.

Despair of ever being saved, “except thou be born again,” or of seeing God “without holiness,” or of having part in Christ except thou “love Him above father, mother, or thy own life.” This kind of despair is one of the first steps to heaven.


74.
The differences among Christians are nothing in comparison of the differences among heathens.

The differences among Christians are nothing in comparison of the differences among heathens.

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 63.


75.
He that is not a son of Peace is not a son of God. All other sins destroy the Church consequentially; but Division and Separation demolish it directly.

He that is not a son of Peace is not a son of God. All other sins destroy the Church consequentially; but Division and Separation demolish it directly.


76.
Too many of us [preachers] are earthly that seem to be heavenly, and mind the things below, while they preach the things above, and idolize the world while they call men to condemn it.

Too many of us [preachers] are earthly that seem to be heavenly, and mind the things below, while they preach the things above, and idolize the world while they call men to condemn it.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


77.
It is an obvious error for all to see in those ministers of the Church who make such a wide gulf between their preaching and their living. They will study hard, to preach exactly, and yet study little or not at all to live exactly. All the week long is little enough to study how to speak for two hours; and yet one hour seems too much time to study how to live all the week. They are loath to misplace a word in their sermons; yet they think nothing of misplacing affections, words, and actions in the course of their lives. Oh, how curiously I have heard some men preach, and how carelessly have I seen them live!

It is an obvious error for all to see in those ministers of the Church who make such a wide gulf between their preaching and their living. They will study hard, to preach exactly, and yet study little or not at all to live exactly. All the week long is little enough to study how to speak for two hours; and yet one hour seems too much time to study how to live all the week. They are loath to misplace a word in their sermons; yet they think nothing of misplacing affections, words, and actions in the course of their lives. Oh, how curiously I have heard some men preach, and how carelessly have I seen them live!


78.
[The pastor] is acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, he is exercised in holy duties, he lives not in open disgraceful sin, he serves at God’s altar, he reproves other men’s faults, and preaches up holiness both of heart and life; and how can this man choose but be holy?

[The pastor] is acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, he is exercised in holy duties, he lives not in open disgraceful sin, he serves at God’s altar, he reproves other men’s faults, and preaches up holiness both of heart and life; and how can this man choose but be holy?

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 1.


79.
A man that preaches an immortal crown, should not seek much after transitory vanity. And he that preaches the contempt of riches should himself contemn them and show it by his life. And he that preaches self-denial and mortification should practice these virtues in the eyes of them to whom he preaches, if he would have his doctrine believed. All Christians are sanctified; and, therefore, themselves, and all that they have, are consecrated “to the Master’s use.” But ministers are doubly sanctified: they are devoted to God, both as Christians and as ministers; and, therefore, they are doubly obligated to honor Him with all they have.

A man that preaches an immortal crown, should not seek much after transitory vanity. And he that preaches the contempt of riches should himself contemn them and show it by his life. And he that preaches self-denial and mortification should practice these virtues in the eyes of them to whom he preaches, if he would have his doctrine believed. All Christians are sanctified; and, therefore, themselves, and all that they have, are consecrated “to the Master’s use.” But ministers are doubly sanctified: they are devoted to God, both as Christians and as ministers; and, therefore, they are doubly obligated to honor Him with all they have.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


80.
If a skillful workman can turn a little earth and ashes into such curious transparent glasses as we daily see, and if a little seed that bears no show of such a thing can produce the more beautiful flowers of the earth; and if a little acorn can bring forth the greatest oak; why should we once doubt whether the seed of everlasting life and glory, which is now in the blessed souls with Christ, can by Him communicate a perfection to the flesh that is dissolved into its elements?

If a skillful workman can turn a little earth and ashes into such curious transparent glasses as we daily see, and if a little seed that bears no show of such a thing can produce the more beautiful flowers of the earth; and if a little acorn can bring forth the greatest oak; why should we once doubt whether the seed of everlasting life and glory, which is now in the blessed souls with Christ, can by Him communicate a perfection to the flesh that is dissolved into its elements?

Reference:   A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 247.


81.
Make careful choice of the books which you read: let the Holy Scriptures ever have the preeminence. Let Scripture be first and most in your hearts and hands and other books be used as subservient to it. While reading ask yourself:

1. Could I spend this time no better?

2. Are there better books that would edify me more?

3. Are the lovers of such a book as this the greatest lovers of the Book of God and of a holy life?

4. Does this book increase my love to the Word of God, kill my sin, and prepare me for the life to come?

Make careful choice of the books which you read: let the Holy Scriptures ever have the preeminence. Let Scripture be first and most in your hearts and hands and other books be used as subservient to it. While reading ask yourself: 1. Could I spend this time no better? 2. Are there better books that would edify me more? 3. Are the lovers of such a book as this the greatest lovers of the Book of God and of a holy life? 4. Does this book increase my love to the Word of God, kill my sin, and prepare me for the life to come?


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Books-Reading
82.
Seven benefits of books over preached sermons:

1. You may read an able preacher when you have but a mean one to hear.

2. Every congregation cannot hear the most judicious or powerful preachers, but every single person may read the books of the most powerful and judicious.

3. Preachers may be silenced or banished, when books may be at hand.

4. Books may be kept at a smaller charge than preachers.

5. We may choose books which treat that very subject which we desire to hear, but we cannot choose what subject the preacher shall treat.

6. Books may be at hand every day and hour, when we cannot have sermons but seldom, and at set times.

7. If sermons are forgotten, they are gone, but a book we may read over and over till we remember it; and if we forget it, may again peruse it at our leisure, or at our pleasure.

Seven benefits of books over preached sermons: 1. You may read an able preacher when you have but a mean one to hear. 2. Every congregation cannot hear the most judicious or powerful preachers, but every single person may read the books of the most powerful and judicious. 3. Preachers may be silenced or banished, when books may be at hand. 4. Books may be kept at a smaller charge than preachers. 5. We may choose books which treat that very subject which we desire to hear, but we cannot choose what subject the preacher shall treat. 6. Books may be at hand every day and hour, when we cannot have sermons but seldom, and at set times. 7. If sermons are forgotten, they are gone, but a book we may read over and over till we remember it; and if we forget it, may again peruse it at our leisure, or at our pleasure.

Reference:   Quoted in: Why Read a Good Book? Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Books-Reading
83.
In my library I have profitably dwelt among the shining lights, with which the learned, wise, and holy men of all ages have illuminated the world.

In my library I have profitably dwelt among the shining lights, with which the learned, wise, and holy men of all ages have illuminated the world.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Books-Reading
84.
Let all writers have their due esteem, but compare none of them with the Word of God. We will not refuse their service, but we must abhor them as rivals or competitors. It is the sign of a distempered heart that loses the relish of Scripture excellency.

Let all writers have their due esteem, but compare none of them with the Word of God. We will not refuse their service, but we must abhor them as rivals or competitors. It is the sign of a distempered heart that loses the relish of Scripture excellency.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 2, Section 2.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Books-Reading
85.
Why are not our hearts continually set on heaven? Why dwell we not there in constant contemplation?… Bend thy soul to study eternity, busy thyself about the life to come, habituate thyself to such contemplations, and let not those thoughts be seldom and cursory, but bathe thyself in heaven’s delights.

Why are not our hearts continually set on heaven? Why dwell we not there in constant contemplation?… Bend thy soul to study eternity, busy thyself about the life to come, habituate thyself to such contemplations, and let not those thoughts be seldom and cursory, but bathe thyself in heaven’s delights.


86.
A heavenly mind is a joyful mind; this is the nearest and truest way to live a life of comfort, and without this you must need be uncomfortable. Can a man be at a fire and not be warm; or in the sunshine and not have light? Can your heart be in heaven, and not have comfort? [On the other hand,] what could make such frozen, uncomfortable Christians but living so far as they do from heaven?… O Christian, get above. Believe it, that region is warmer than this below.

A heavenly mind is a joyful mind; this is the nearest and truest way to live a life of comfort, and without this you must need be uncomfortable. Can a man be at a fire and not be warm; or in the sunshine and not have light? Can your heart be in heaven, and not have comfort? [On the other hand,] what could make such frozen, uncomfortable Christians but living so far as they do from heaven?... O Christian, get above. Believe it, that region is warmer than this below.

Reference:   The Saints Everlasting.


87.
He that has not so much sense of his faults as unfeignedly to lament them, will hardly have so much more as to move him to reform them. The sorrow of repentance may exist without a change of heart and life; because a passion may be more easily wrought, than a true conversion. But the change cannot take place without some good measure of the sorrow.

He that has not so much sense of his faults as unfeignedly to lament them, will hardly have so much more as to move him to reform them. The sorrow of repentance may exist without a change of heart and life; because a passion may be more easily wrought, than a true conversion. But the change cannot take place without some good measure of the sorrow.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


88.
Take heed to yourselves, because the tempter will more ply you with his temptations than other men. If you will be the leaders against the prince of darkness, he will spare you no further than God restraints him. He bears the greatest malice to those that are engaged to do him the greatest mischief. As he hates Christ more than any of us, because He is the General of the field, the Captain of our salvation, and does more than all the world besides against his kingdom; so does he hate the leaders under Him, more than the common soldiers: he knows what a rout he may make among them, if the leaders fall before their eyes.

Take heed to yourselves, because the tempter will more ply you with his temptations than other men. If you will be the leaders against the prince of darkness, he will spare you no further than God restraints him. He bears the greatest malice to those that are engaged to do him the greatest mischief. As he hates Christ more than any of us, because He is the General of the field, the Captain of our salvation, and does more than all the world besides against his kingdom; so does he hate the leaders under Him, more than the common soldiers: he knows what a rout he may make among them, if the leaders fall before their eyes.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 1, Section 2.


89.
And now, brethren, what have we to do for the time to come, but to deny our lazy flesh, and rouse up ourselves to the work before us. The harvest is great, the laborers are few; the loiterers and hinderers are many, the souls of men are precious, the misery of sinners is great, and the everlasting misery to which they are near is greater, the joys of heaven are inconceivable, the comfort of a faithful minister is not small, the joy of extensive success will be a full reward. To be fellow-workers with God and his Spirit is no little honor; to subserve the blood-shedding of Christ for men’s salvation is not a light thing. To lead on the armies of Christ through the thickest of the enemy; to guide them safely through a dangerous wilderness; to steer the vessels through such storms and rocks and sands and shelves, and bring it safe to the harbor of rest, requires no small skill and diligence.

And now, brethren, what have we to do for the time to come, but to deny our lazy flesh, and rouse up ourselves to the work before us. The harvest is great, the laborers are few; the loiterers and hinderers are many, the souls of men are precious, the misery of sinners is great, and the everlasting misery to which they are near is greater, the joys of heaven are inconceivable, the comfort of a faithful minister is not small, the joy of extensive success will be a full reward. To be fellow-workers with God and his Spirit is no little honor; to subserve the blood-shedding of Christ for men’s salvation is not a light thing. To lead on the armies of Christ through the thickest of the enemy; to guide them safely through a dangerous wilderness; to steer the vessels through such storms and rocks and sands and shelves, and bring it safe to the harbor of rest, requires no small skill and diligence.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 2.


90.
Burned and wasted we must be; and is it not fitter it should be in lighting men to heaven, and in working for God, than in living to the flesh? How little difference is there between the pleasure of a long and of a short life, when they are both at an end! What comfort will it be to you at death, that you lengthened your life by shortening your work? He that worketh much, liveth much. Our life is to be esteemed according to the ends and works of it, and not according to the mere duration… Will it not comfort us more at death, to review a short time faithfully spent, than a long life spent unfaithfully?

Burned and wasted we must be; and is it not fitter it should be in lighting men to heaven, and in working for God, than in living to the flesh? How little difference is there between the pleasure of a long and of a short life, when they are both at an end! What comfort will it be to you at death, that you lengthened your life by shortening your work? He that worketh much, liveth much. Our life is to be esteemed according to the ends and works of it, and not according to the mere duration... Will it not comfort us more at death, to review a short time faithfully spent, than a long life spent unfaithfully?

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Part 2.


91.
Men think God’s laws too many and too strict, and yet make more of their own, and are precise for keeping them.

Men think God’s laws too many and too strict, and yet make more of their own, and are precise for keeping them.


92.
The very design of the gospel is to abase us; and the work of grace is begun and carried on in humiliation. Humility is not a mere ornament of a Christian, but an essential part of the new creature. It is a contradiction in terms, to be a Christian, and not humble.

The very design of the gospel is to abase us; and the work of grace is begun and carried on in humiliation. Humility is not a mere ornament of a Christian, but an essential part of the new creature. It is a contradiction in terms, to be a Christian, and not humble.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 1.


93.
Reverence is that affection of the soul which proceeds from deep apprehensions of God and indicates a mind that is much conversant with Him. To manifest irreverence in the things of God is to manifest hypocrisy, and that the heart agrees not with the tongue.

Reverence is that affection of the soul which proceeds from deep apprehensions of God and indicates a mind that is much conversant with Him. To manifest irreverence in the things of God is to manifest hypocrisy, and that the heart agrees not with the tongue.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 2, Section 2.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Hypocrisy
94.
Convince them what a contradiction it is to be a Christian, and yet to refuse to learn; for what is a Christian but a disciple of Christ? And how can he be a disciple of Christ, that refuses to be taught by Him. And he that refuses to be taught by his ministers, refuses to be taught by Him; for Christ will not come down from heaven again to teach them by His own mouth, but has appointed His ministers to keep school and teach them under Him. To say, therefore, that they will not be taught by His ministers, is to say, they will not be taught by Christ; and that is to say, they will not be His disciples, or no Christians.

Convince them what a contradiction it is to be a Christian, and yet to refuse to learn; for what is a Christian but a disciple of Christ? And how can he be a disciple of Christ, that refuses to be taught by Him. And he that refuses to be taught by his ministers, refuses to be taught by Him; for Christ will not come down from heaven again to teach them by His own mouth, but has appointed His ministers to keep school and teach them under Him. To say, therefore, that they will not be taught by His ministers, is to say, they will not be taught by Christ; and that is to say, they will not be His disciples, or no Christians.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Part 3.


95.
The most godly people, therefore, in your congregations, will find it worth their labor to learn the very words of a catechism. If, then, you would safely edify them, and firmly establish them, be diligent in this work.

The most godly people, therefore, in your congregations, will find it worth their labor to learn the very words of a catechism. If, then, you would safely edify them, and firmly establish them, be diligent in this work.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 2.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Catechism
96.
Be sure that you live not idly, but in some constant business of a lawful calling, so far as you have bodily strength. Idleness is a constant sin, and labour is a duty. Idleness is but the devil’s home for temptation, and for unprofitable, distracting musings. Labour profiteth others and ourselves; both soul and body need it. Six days must thou labour, and must not eat “The bread of idleness.” (Prov. 31:13-27.) God hath made it our duty, and will bless us in His appointed way. I have known grievous, despairing melancholy cured and turned into a life of godly cheerfulness, principally by setting upon constancy and diligence in the business of families and callings.

Be sure that you live not idly, but in some constant business of a lawful calling, so far as you have bodily strength. Idleness is a constant sin, and labour is a duty. Idleness is but the devil’s home for temptation, and for unprofitable, distracting musings. Labour profiteth others and ourselves; both soul and body need it. Six days must thou labour, and must not eat “The bread of idleness.” (Prov. 31:13-27.) God hath made it our duty, and will bless us in His appointed way. I have known grievous, despairing melancholy cured and turned into a life of godly cheerfulness, principally by setting upon constancy and diligence in the business of families and callings.

Reference:   Richard Baxter The Cure of Melancholy.


Author: Richard Baxter
Topics: Laziness
97.
This life was not intended to be the place of our perfection, but the preparation for it.

This life was not intended to be the place of our perfection, but the preparation for it.


98.
How few know how to deal with an ignorant, worldly man, for his conversion! To get within him and win upon him; to suit our speech to his condition and temper; to choose the meetest subjects, and follow them with a holy mixture of seriousness, and terror, and love, and meekness, and evangelical allurements – oh! who is fit for such a thing?

How few know how to deal with an ignorant, worldly man, for his conversion! To get within him and win upon him; to suit our speech to his condition and temper; to choose the meetest subjects, and follow them with a holy mixture of seriousness, and terror, and love, and meekness, and evangelical allurements – oh! who is fit for such a thing?

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 3, Section 2.


99.
Oh, then, let us hear these arguments of Christ, whenever we feel ourselves grow dull and careless: “Did I die for these souls, and will not you look after them? Were they worth My blood, and are they not worth your labor? Did I come down from heaven to earth, ‘to seek and to save that which was lost;’ and will you not go to the next door, or street, or village, to seek them? How small is you condescension and labor compared to Mine! I debased Myself to this, but it is your honor to be so employed. Have I done and suffered so much for their salvation, and was I willing to make you a fellow-worker with Me, and will you refuse to do that little which lies upon your hands?”

Oh, then, let us hear these arguments of Christ, whenever we feel ourselves grow dull and careless: “Did I die for these souls, and will not you look after them? Were they worth My blood, and are they not worth your labor? Did I come down from heaven to earth, ‘to seek and to save that which was lost;’ and will you not go to the next door, or street, or village, to seek them? How small is you condescension and labor compared to Mine! I debased Myself to this, but it is your honor to be so employed. Have I done and suffered so much for their salvation, and was I willing to make you a fellow-worker with Me, and will you refuse to do that little which lies upon your hands?”

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 2, Section 3.


100.
Every time we look upon our congregations, let us believingly remember that they are the purchase of Christ’s blood, and therefore should be regarded by us with the deepest interest and the most tender affection.

Every time we look upon our congregations, let us believingly remember that they are the purchase of Christ’s blood, and therefore should be regarded by us with the deepest interest and the most tender affection.

Reference:   The Reformed Pastor, Chapter 2, Section 3.