Richard Baxter (1615–1691) on what and how ministers should preach for the world’s conversion

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“Q. What must Christ’s ministers say and do for the world’s conversion?

A. Luke xiv, and Matt. xxii, tell you: they must tell men of the marriage-feast, the blessed provision of grace and glory by Christ, and, by evidence and urgency, compel them to come in. …

Q. 5. In what manner must Christ’s ministers preach all this?

A. 1. With the greatest gravity and holy reverence; because it is the message of God.

2. With the greatest plainness; because men are dull of understanding.

3. With the greatest proof and convincing evidence, to conquer prejudice, darkness, and unbelief.

4. With powerful winning motives, and urgent importunity, because of men’s disaffection and averseness. And O what powerful motives have we at hand, from self-love, from God, from Christ, from necessity, from heaven and hell!

5. With life and fervency, because of the unspeakable importance of the matter, and the deadness and hardness of men’s hearts.”

 Richard Baxter (1615–1691), Practical Works, vol. 19, The Catechising of Families, p. 254-256

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