Richard Baxter, Puritan Divine

14 June -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Teachers, page 473

Richard Baxter was born at Rowton in Shropshire in 1615. In 1633 he was at the court of King James I but was so disgusted with the low moral standards there that he returned home in order to study divinity. He was ordained but after the promulgation of an infamous Oath in 1640, which required obedience to a string of persons ending in the trite phrase 'et cetera', he rejected belief in episcopacy in its current English form and went as a curate to a poor area of the west Midlands. He opposed the Civil War and played a prominent part in the recall of Charles II, but his continuing dissatisfaction with the way episcopacy was practised led him to decline the See of Hereford. This refusal led him to be debarred from further office in the Church, though he continued to contribute to its life as a prolific hymn writer. He died in the year 1691.