Call for Conversion

At the time of his death, Puritan Richard Baxter (1615–1691) had published approximately 150 treatises, not including countless other letters and papers.[1] The following passage comes from A Call to the Unconvered to Turn and Live, which begins with a quote from Ezekiel:

Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? —Ezekiel 33:11 (KJV)

Yea, heaven itself is ready: the Lord will receive thee into the glory of his saints; vile as thou hast been, if thou wilt but be cleansed, thou mayest have a place before his throne: his angels will be ready to guard thy soul to the place of joy, if thou do but unfeignedly come in. And is God ready, the sacrifice of Christ ready, the promise ready, and pardon ready? Are ministers ready, and the people of God ready, and heaven itself ready, and angels ready, and all these but waiting for thy conversion; and yet art thou not ready?

What! Not ready to live, when thou hast been dead so long? not ready to come to thy right understanding, as the prodigal is said to come to himself, when thou hast been beside thyself so long? Not ready to be saved, when thou art even ready to be condemned? Art thou not ready to lay hold on Christ who would deliver thee, when thou art even ready to drown and sink into damnation? Art thou not ready to be saved from hell, when thou art even ready to be cast remedilessly into it? Alas, man! dost thou know what thou dost? If thou die unconverted, there is no doubt to be made of thy damnation; and thou art not sure to live an hour ? And yet art thou not ready to turn and to come in?

Oh miserable wretch! Hast thou not served the flesh and the devil long enough yet? Hast thou not enough of sin? Is it so good to thee? Or so profitable for thee? Dost thou know what it is, that thou wouldst yet have more of it? Hast thou had so many calls, and so many mercies, and so many blows, and so many examples? Hast thou seen so many laid in the grave, and yet art thou not ready to let go thy sins and come to Christ? What? after so many convictions and gripes of conscience, after so many purposes and promises, art thou not ready yet to turn and live?

Oh that thy eyes, thy heart were opened to know how fair an offer is now made to thee! And what a joyful message it is that we are sent on, to bid thee come, for all things are ready.[2]

To read more from and about the Puritans, check out Meet the Puritans by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson (available at 

[1] Joel R. Beeke and Randall J. Pederson, Meet the Puritans (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2006), 66.

[2] Richard Baxter, A Call to the Unconvered to Turn and Live (Glasgow: Porteous and Hislop, 1863), 70, 71.