Rick Shrader‘s Review:
Richard Baxter (1615-1691) was an English Puritan from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, a leader among the non-conformists. My first reading of Baxter was the well-known, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, which I thought was the best thing I had read that year. This book is also very good but more difficult to wade through with his old English style. Baxter is always good when addressing life and death, “The honors of the world are but a dream, your grave will bury all its glory.” Of the 325 pages, the first section is given to The Knowledge of God, the second to Walking with God, and the third to Conversing with God. The back cover to the book reveals an interesting insight: “Although he contributed to Puritan theology, he was unique in rejecting limited atonement and believing that repentance and obedience could affect one’s salvation.” He writes, on p. 176, “He hath died for you without your own consent, and he hath made a universal conditional grant of pardon and salvation, before you consented to it: but he will not be united to you, nor actually forgive, and justify, and save you, without your own consent.” Interesting for a Puritan writer. Another interesting chapter was on what Baxter called “Heart Atheists,” in which he addresses the Psalmist’s statement, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” Baxter took that to apply to believer and unbeliever alike, seeing that when we knowingly sin, we are denying God in our heart, at least at that moment, and we are a fool. Many good things but difficult to read.