Baxter, Richard

Baxter, Richard
   Poet and Devotional Writer.
   Baxter was a native of Shropshire. In 1638 he was ordained to the Church of England ministry and he served congregations in Bridgnorth and Kidderminster. He fought on the Parliamentary side in the English Civil War, although he remained a moderate in his views. In 1660 he supported the Restoration of the monarchy, but his views on episcopacy led him to refuse the Bishopric of Hereford. At the Savoy Conference of 1661, he produced an alternative liturgy to the Book of Common Prayer, but he gained almost no concessions from the Bishops. Because of his Presbyterian leanings, he held no further benefices and he endured a certain amount of harassment until the accession of William and Mary in 1688. Baxter is remembered for his devotional writings. His classic, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, reveals his sincere piety and he was the author of hymns such as ‘Ye holy angels bright’ and ‘He wants not friends who know thy love’, which are still sung today.
   Richard Baxter, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, edited by M. Monckton (1928);
   W.M. Lamont, Richard Baxter and the Millennium (1979);
   G.F. Nuttall, Richard Baxter (1965).

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