Baxter’s Struggles - 1672
Richard Baxter was an English Puritan author, pastor, theologian, and controversialist. He gained a national reputation when revival broke out under his ministry at Kidderminster. England was fractured into many religious and political factions and he advocated peace, saying “In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.” Because he turned down a position as Anglican Bishop of Hereford, clinging to his non-conformist views, the government barred him from Kidderminster and forbade him to preach. It even sent him to prison. Today’s excerpt is from a letter written by him on January 24, 1672 in which he protests that he has been obedient to certain restrictions imposed on him.
“I began a Friday lecture at Mr. Turner’s church In New-street, near Fetter-lane, with great convenience and God’s encouraging blessing; but I never took a penny of money for it of any one. And on the Lord’s days I had no congregation to preach to, but occasionally to any that desire me, being unwilling to set up a church and become the pastor of any, or take maintenance, in this distracted and unsettled way, unless further changes shall manifest it to be my duty. Nor did I ever yet administer the Lord’s supper to any one person, but to my old flock at Kidderminster.”
The Life of Rev. Richard Baxter, chiefly compiled from his own writings. New York: American Tract Society. n.d.