Placeholder ImageAbout the Author

Richard Baxter (1615-91) was one of the greatest of the English Puritan pastors and authors, most associated with the church at Kidderminster which he pastored for twenty years until he and other “nonconformists” were forced from their official ministry by an act of Parliament.  Of his ministry there, it is said that “He found the place a desert and left it a garden,” and when George Whitefield came to Kidderminster 100 years later, he said to a friend, “I was greatly refreshed to find what a sweet savor of good Mr. Baxter's doctrine works and discipline remain to this day.”  Baxter was a passionate preacher, who “preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”  A man of extraordinary diligence despite his lifelong ill health, he was a prolific author, even more so than his contemporary John Owen, often writing while imprisoned for the faith.  He was especially concerned not with theory but with practical divinity.  In addition to his A Call to the Unconverted, which had a profound effect on both Spurgeon and Whitefield, he is most noted for his devotional work, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, and for his passionate call for the spiritual and moral reformation of ministers, The Reformed Pastor, which has remained a classic for over 300 years.

A Call to the Unconverted to Turn and Live,

And accept of MERCY, while MERCY may be had;
as ever they will find MERCY, in the Day of their EXTREMITY
from the Living God.

Part 2

by Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

"Say to them, 'As I live,' says the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live.  Turn, Turn from your evil ways!  For why should you die, O house of Israel ."  Ezekiel 33:11


Table of Contents

Preface by the Author

Sermon 3:  God’s Condescension in His Offer of Forgiveness

Sermon 4:  Man’s Willfulness in His Own Damnation

Sermon 1
The Certainty of Judgment
Apart from Repentance

Doctrine 1.  It is the unchangeable law of God that wicked men must turn or die.

Doctrine 2.  It is the promise of God that the wicked shall live, if they will only turn from their wickedness.

Doctrine 3.  God takes pleasure in man’s conversion and salvation; but not in his death or damnation: He would rather that they return and live, than go on and die.

Doctrine 4.  This is a so certain of a truth that, because God would not leave any question, He has confirmed it to them solemnly by His oath.

Doctrine 5.  The Lord has repeated and emphasized His commands and persuasions to the wicked to turn.

Doctrine 6.  The Lord condescends to reason His case with them, and asks the wicked, "Why will you die?"

Doctrine 7.  If after all this the wicked will not turn, it is not God's desire that they perish, but because their own willfulness is the cause of their damnation, they therefore will die.

Doctrine 1. It is the unchangeable law of God, that wicked men must turn or die.

Answers to a Common Objection

Two Objections Answered

Characteristics of
the Unconverted and the Converted

Second, a wicked person is one who makes it his principal business to prosper in the world, and attain his fleshly goals. Though he may read and hear and do much in the outward duties of religion, and avoid disgraceful sins, he never makes it the principal business of his life to please God, and attain everlasting glory, and he puts off God with the attractions of the world, and gives God no more service than his own flesh can spare; for he will not part with the earth for heaven. 

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