Why should I write?

There are workshops aplenty on learning how to write. And occasionally I have been asked about developing writing skills. But a much more important question is this: why should I write? Here is a nugget of wisdom from my early Particular Baptist forebears on why they wrote their tracts and their confessions.

In a word, they said, it was “the honor of God, the love of his Truth, zeal for his Name, and…the saving of souls from death” that motivated their writing [Heart-Bleedings for Professors Abominations (London, 1650), 15]. Worthy motives—indeed the very best.

PS Among those who took responsibility for these words were John Spilsbury, William Kiffin, Henry Forty, Thomas Patient (Heart-Bleedings, 16). Anyone writing on these men today has a lot of hard work to do: so many ephemeral pamphlets and broadsheets went abroad under their names in those halcyon days for the Baptist cause. Seventeenth-century scholarship is, I think, a lot more difficult in this regard than the study of the eighteenth.