He wants not friends that hath thy love

He wants not friends that hath thy love. Richard Baxter* (1615-1691). The hymn as it stands in most books, with the first line as above, is a selection of verses from Baxter’s poem ‘The Resolution’, dated 3 December 1663, with a note, ‘Psal. 119. 96. Written when I was Silenced and cast out, &c.’. The ‘Silenced and cast out’ refers to the exclusion under the Act of Uniformity on St Bartholomew’s Day 1662 of those incumbents who were not prepared to adhere strictly to the Book of Common Prayer in their services; and to the further restrictions of the Conventicle Act of 1663, which were probably the spur to Baxter for the composition of his poem. ‘The Resolution’ as a title suggests...

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