Call to the Unconverted to Turn and Live
by Richard Baxter
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This 17th century Puritan devotional became wildly popular even after only a year
following its publication. In some ways, the book’s popularity was somewhat of an
anomaly. A myriad of new Puritan devotional books became available in bookshops
every year, and Baxter’s book contained a standard exposition of the New Testament
narrative. Baxter’s style, however, gripped people and urged them to share his book with
others. In contrast to other contemporaneous Puritan devotionals, Baxter’s approach of
communicating to his readers was a personal one. He addressed them as “you” rather
than with such generic terms as “people” or “Christians;” he used a pastoral tone rather
than a preachy one. A century later, George Whitefield, the great Methodist evangelist,
would cite Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted as one of the most refreshing pieces of
Christian discourse from the recent past.
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