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How to Do Good to Many: The Public Good Is the Christian's Life (Baxter)

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Christian's Library Press
Jordan Ballor


In this work the famed seventeenth-century pastor Richard Baxter provides worthy instruction in the proper valuation of earthly and heavenly goods, including practical and perennial lessons on how to pursue the common good in society.

Baxter’s practical wisdom and doctrinal acumen, including his great theological achievements, were always rooted in his pastoral ministry among the English people, first in the town of Kidderminster and then in London. His pastoral heart is reflected in How to Do Good to Many, which was addressed to the people of London. Although he was a controversialist and nonconformist, Baxter always engaged in dispute and polemic in pursuit of unity, love, and truth.

This treatise, newly updated for modern readers by Jordan Ballor, captures many of the significant themes that characterize Baxter’s brilliant theological career: charity, fidelity, bravery, and wisdom.


Table of Contents: 

To the Truly Christian Merchants and Other Citizens of London

1. Who This All Means, and in What Order

2. What Is Good, and What Is That Good Which We Must Do

3. What Rules He Must Observe in Doing It

4. What Qualifications He Must Have That Will Do Good to Many

5. What Works Must Be Done by Him Who Would Do Good to Many

6. What Motives Should Quicken Us to the Practice

7. Some Useful Corollaries of the Point



Richard Baxter (1615–1691) was one of the preeminent Puritan leaders of his day, the most successful Puritan pastor, and the most productive Puritan writer. Ordained at 23, he spent 17 fruitful years as curate at Kidderminster, England. He was ejected from the Church of England by the Act of Uniformity in 1662 and was imprisoned at least three times for his preaching. The author of more than 150 published treatises.



Jordan Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project.