3 Annotations

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Puritan divine and author

Baxter (1615-91) appears three times in the diary. In 1660 he turned 45.

A leader of the moderate Puritans, often used the pulpit of an independent congregation that met in Westminster Abbey from 1650 to 1660. Although he used the pulpit, Baxter was never pastor of that congregation.

In 1663, Baxter wrote "Evangelium Armatum" (rough translation, "Arming the Gospel"), subtitled, "A specimen; or short collection of several doctrines & positions destructive to our government, both civil and ecclesiastical, preached and vetted by the known leaders & abbeters of the pretended reformation, such as Mr. Calamy, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Case, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Caryll, Mr. Marshall and others etc."

The book is made up of extracts of sermons, mostly those preached before Parliament. Pepys buys the book on 25 April 1663.

-- L&M Index volume, Volume 1 (1660), Volume 4 (1663). There is no item on Baxter in the L&M Companion volume.

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

A Saint

Richard Baxter was one of several Chaplains to Charles II (we've had a recent mention of Dr. Mayne).

"... Charles made several Presbyterian ministers chaplains in ordinary to him, among whom was Baxter. Baxter addressed Parliament on numerous occasions in this capacity. Later, the Lord Chancellor offered him a bishopric which he declined, asking only to be restored to his old charge in Kidderminster."

From Lynell Friessen's life of Richard Baxter at


In May of this year (1662), the Act of Uniformity will pass, and Richard Baxter will preach his farewell sermon on May 15th, 1662, some few months before the nonconformists are obliged to keep silence, on St. Bartholomew's Day, 1662. He will retire to Acton in Middlesex, and will attend as a member of the congregation his parish church there.

Bill  •  Link

Richard Baxter was a man famous for weakness of body and strength of mind; for having the strongest sense of religion himself, and exciting a sense of it in the thoughtless and the profligate; for preaching more sermons, engaging in more controversies, and writing more books, than any other nonconformist of his age. He spoke, disputed, and wrote with ease; and discovered the same intrepidity when he reproved Cromwell, and expostulated with Charles II. as when he preached to a congregation of mechanics. His zeal for religion was extraordinary, but it seems never to have prompted him to faction, or carried him to enthusiasm. This champion of the Presbyterians was the common butt of men of every other religion, and of those who were of no religion at all. But this had very little effect upon him: his presence and his firmness of mind on no occasion forsook him. He was just the same man before he went into a prison, while he was in it, and when he came out of it; and he maintained an uniformity of character to the last gasp of his life. His enemies have placed him in hell; but every man who has not ten times the bigotry that Mr. Baxter himself had, must conclude that he is in a better place. This is a very faint and imperfect: sketch of Mr. Baxter's character: men of his size are not to be drawn in miniature. His portrait, in full proportion, is in his "Narrative of his own Life and Times;" which, though a rhapsody composed in the manner of a diary, contains a great variety of memorable things, and is itself, as far as it goes, a history of nonconformity. His "Catholic Theology," and his "Saints Everlasting Rest," are the most considerable of his writings, which consist of an hundred and forty-five different treatises. His "Call to the Unconverted" has been oftener printed than any of his works.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.