The Saints Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter –Book Review

This review was actually written by my husband, who is a retired pastor. He has a strong interest in Puritanism and Richard Baxter is an important figure in that theological movement.

Among those who appreciate the writings of the old Puritan divines, Richard Baxter is considered unusual. He held views on some topics that were not those of other Reformed theologians and engaged in long standing disputes with other nonconformists in 17th century England, especially with John Owen. On the other hand, some of his writings have continued to this day to have a strong hold on the imaginations of many orthodox Reformation theologians. His book, The Reformed Pastor, is certainly one of the best books on pastoral theology written in English and should probably sit on every pastor’s shelf.

The Saints Everlasting Rest, is a devotional book written by Baxter as he contemplated his own death during a severe illness (although he lived many years afterward). Baxter argues that Christians spend far too little time pondering the glory which awaits the believer and that if we would do so our lives in this world would overflow with patience, joy, and a lively Christian lifestyle. As a pastor, Baxter was not content to simply encourage people to think about the glory that awaits a follower of Christ, but he gives instructions on how that can be done by the believer.

Dr. Tim Cooper, who edited the book, is a professor of Church History at Otego University in New Zealand and a well-known student of Puritanism, and especially of Richard Baxter. Because the 17th century style of writing was excessively verbose, he has shaped a new abridgement of this work. Also, in order to make the work more accessible to the modern reader, Cooper has modernized some of the archaic usages without losing or lessening the flavor and message of one of the most prolific Puritan writers.

If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:

https://www.crossway.org/books/the-saints-everlasting-rest-hcj/

For more about the Puritans see these posts:

Who were (are?) the Puritans?

Heaven is a World of Love by Jonathan Edwards — Book Review

Beyond Stateliest Marble by Douglas Wilson — Book Review

The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.

Study to Do Good

I already mentioned that our Sunday School class has been studying the fruit of the Spirit.  Recently, after a lesson on self-control in financial matters, I gave the class a homework assignment — find a way to be generous this week, something beyond what you would normally do.  Then  I came across this quote by Richard Baxter (1615-1691) who was an English Puritan church leader, poet and theologian.

“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 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 neighbors to be as yourselves, and the pleasing of God to be above yourselves, and therefore to be as glad to do good as to receive it.”

In other words, we should not only study to know God’s Word, we should study to apply it.  Have you been studying this way?

For more on generosity see this post:

the thank-you project by Nancy Davis Kho–Book Review