Richard Baxter was vicar of Kidderminster from 1647 to 1661. In an introduction to this reprint, Dr. J.I. Packer describes him as ‘the most outstanding pastor, evangelist and writer on practical and devotional themes that Puritanism produced’. His ministry transformed the people of Kidderminster from ‘an ignorant, rude and revelling people’ to a godly, worshipping community.
These pages, first prepared for a Worcestershire association of ministers in 1656, deal with the means by which such changes are ever to be accomplished. In his fervent plea for the discharge of the spiritual obligations of the ministry, Baxter, in the words of his contemporary, Thomas Manton, ‘came nearer the apostolic writings than any man in the age’. A century later Philip Doddridge wrote, ‘The Reformed Pastor is a most extraordinary book…many good men are but shadows of what (by the blessing of God) they might be, if the maxims and measures laid down in that incomparable Treatise were strenuously pursued’.
Today, Baxter’s principles, drawn from Scripture, and reapplied in terms of modern circumstances, will provide both ministers and other Christians with challenge, direction and help.
About the Author
Richard Baxter (1615-1691) is chiefly remembered for the transformation his pastoral ministry effected on the town of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, during two periods of pastoral ministry there (interrupted by the English Civil War, in which he served as chaplain to the Parliamentary forces) between 1641 and 1661.
Born in Rowton, Shropshire, Baxter attended Wroxeter Grammar School but most of his study was done through his own private reading. He was ordained by John Thornborough, Bishop of Worcester, in 1638, and after a short time as a school-master in Dudley, became an assistant minister in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, before moving to Kidderminster in 1641. After leaving there in 1661, he preached in London, but was ejected from the Church of England the following year.
When almost fifty, Baxter married Margaret Charlton, one of his converts, who was in her early twenties. In spite of the difference in ages, they had an excellent marriage, and Margaret shared her husband’s passion for Christ and the salvation of souls. Baxter suffered much ill-health, and the last twenty-nine years of his life were further ‘embittered by repeated prosecutions, fines, imprisonment, and harassing controversies’ (Ryle), but there was some respite with the accession of William and Mary in 1689, just two years before his death.
About This Series
Incredibly popular, Banner's Puritan Paperback series brings to life some of the most challenging, spiritual works that you will ever read, by men who breathed Christlikeness in ways that each one of us should be powerfully drawn to. Each book is conveniently sized to fit easily into a briefcase or purse.
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Publisher: Banner of Truth
Publication Date: July 1974
ISBN 10: 0851511910
ISBN 13: 9780851511917
Recommended by Timothy Witmer of Westminster Theological Seminary. See all of Dr. Witmer's recommendations.
"Puritan pastor Richard Baxter of Kidderminster writes on the necessity of spiritual renewal or revival (thus the use of the word 'reformed' in the title) in the life and ministry of the pastor. A Christian literature classic."
- Jeff Waddington, Westminster Bookstore Staff 2000
"Every pastor ought to have this book, and every church member ought to see that his pastor has it; as well as reading it himself so as to understand the work of the pastor, and understandingly pray for him in that task."
- Grace Magazine
"A classic which has stood the test of time and still comes to us fresh and pertinent more than three hundred years since it was written ... Richard Baxter's Reformed Pastor has probably done more to transform the lives and ministries of God's servants than any other book this side of the Reformation ... Would that we all knew the same urgency in the face of missionary opportunities today."