MAKING LIGHT OF CHRIST
Edited and Introduced by Alan C. Clifford
64 pages pbk £3.00 (p&p extra)
Richard Baxter (1615-91)
More widely read than Shakespeare in his day, Richard Baxter is one of England’s greatest Christian preachers. His extraordinary seventeenth-century ministry at Kidderminster, Worcestershire is celebrated by an appropriate local statue. A more significant monument, Baxter’s nationwide influence was diffused by such still-gripping ‘page turners’ as The Saints’ Everlasting Rest and Call to the Unconverted. His lovely hymn ‘Ye holy angels bright’ is still enjoyed by modern worshippers. Neither must we ignore his colourful and dramatic life as recorded in his autobiography with its exotic Latin title Reliquiae Baxterianae. Baxter also made a mark on English history by his courageous stand before the infamous Judge Jeffreys in 1685.
Richard Baxter is arguably the greatest of all the Puritans—a giant among giants! As a saintly, energetic, dedicated, brilliant and large-hearted servant of Christ, he is probably the most effective pastor-evangelist this country has ever known. Certainly, what C. H. Spurgeon was to the 19th, and George Whitefield (together with the Wesley brothers) was to the 18th, Baxter was to 17th century England. A. B. Grosart wrote that Baxter is said ‘to have drawn more hearts to the great bleeding heart than any other Englishman of his age’.
Furthermore, his pen productions proved just as famous as his pulpit ministry at Kidderminster. Indeed, Baxter’s writings are still being published 300 years on. His style remains surprisingly lucid and lively when most of his contemporaries are obviously dated. Baxter’s books still retain their power to inform, arouse and edify the modern reader. His sermon Making Light of Christ is zealous Baxter at his evangelistic best. First preached in Kidderminster, then in London, may Baxter’s passionate pleading again make an impact on all who read it.
Dr Alan C. Clifford