Friday, December 15

The Works of Thomas Boston (12 Volume Set) Part 1 of 2

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Welcome to the Still Waters Revival Books video book summary for “The Works of Thomas Boston” – 12 Volume Set by Thomas Boston Part 1 of 2 “One of the most valuable sets of all time, Boston’s Works have been read and re-read ever since their first publication in the 18th century” (Joel Beeke’s Reformation Heritage Books email of Aug. 27, 2002). “By common consent Boston takes rank in the highest class of our practical religious writers; and in respect of spiritual usefulness his works have largely followed him. Except the Shorter Catechism and the Pilgrim’s Progress, no book, perhaps, has contributed so much to mould the religious character of Scotland as his Fourfold State” (F.C. Magazine, VI, p. 256 as cited in Johnston, “Treasury of the Scottish Covenant,” p. 479).

Ian Tallach, in the Foreword to “The Beauties of Thomas Boston” (p. xii) states, “Of the many great divines who have adorned the ecclesiastical and theological scene in Scotland, Thomas Boston must be reckoned as among the greatest. Dr. Andrew Thomson who wrote Thomas Boston: His Life and Times, asserts that ‘if Scotland had been searched during the earlier part of the eighteenth century there was not a minister of Christ within its bounds who, alike in personal character and in the discharge of his pastoral functions, approached nearer the apostolic model than did this man of God.'”

Dr. James Hamilton writes, “Thomas Boston whose peaceful walk with God is not yet forgotten in Ettrick Forest, and whose writings, originally designed for his own shepherds, are now praised in all the churches, and most prized by those Christians who have farthest grown in grace” (cited in Johnston, “Treasury of the Scottish Covenant,” p. 477). McGowan, in the “Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith” (p. 38), also notes, “Boston was an orthodox federal Calvinist committed to the theology of the Westminster Confession.

His federal theology was neither legalistic nor conditional in its understanding of grace.” On Boston’s notes in the “Marrow of Modern Divinity,” James Henry (author of “Theron and Aspasio”) comments, “I never read the Marrow, with Mr. Boston’s Notes, until this present time (1755) and I find, by not having read it, I have sustained considerable loss. It is a most valuable book; the doctrines it contains are the life of my soul, and the joy of my heart. Might my tongue or my pen be made instrumental to recommend and illustrate, to support and propagate such precious truths, I should bless the day wherein I was born. Mr. Boston’s Notes on the Marrow are, in my opinion, some of the most judicious and valuable that ever were penned” (cited in Brown’s “Gospel Truth Accurately Stated and Illustrated, by…

James Hog, Thomas Boston, Ebenezer and Ralph Erskine, and Others; Occasioned by the Republication of the Marrow of Modern Divinity,” p. 7). Furthermore, in Brown’s “Gospel Truth” (pages 107-110) we find a very useful sketch of the character and capabilities of Thomas Boston, as drawn by some of his closest friends (the three ministers, Colden, Wilson and Davidson). These pages are an edifying read in themselves; and we will supply you with a few short comments from this section, “Mr. Boston was… of a strong and faithful genius, of a lively imagination, such as affords what is called a ready wit, (which, instead of cultivating, he laid under a severe restraint,) of tender affections, a clear and solid judgment… There were few pieces of learning that he had not some good taste for… He had an admirable talent at drawing a paper, which made a statesman, a very able judge, say, (when Mr. Boston was clerk of the Synod of Merse and Teviotdale,) that he was the best clerk he had ever know in any court, civil or ecclesiatic… as a minister, he had on his spirit a deep and high sense of divine things, was mighty in the Scripture…

His knowledge and insight in the mystery of Christ was great, though a humbling sense of the want of it was like to have quite sunk and laid him by, after he began to preach. He had a peculiar talent for going deep into the mysteries of the gospel, and at the same time making them plain, particularly in making intelligible their connection with, and influence upon, gospel-holiness; notable instances of which may be seen in his most valuable treatise, “Of the Covenant of Grace,” and in his sermons on Christ in the form of a servant… No wonder his ministrations in holy things were all of them dear and precious to the saints. He was fixed and established upon solid and rational grounds in the Reformation principle, in opposition to Popery, Prelacy, superstition, and persecution…

Far from serving the Lord with that which cost him nothing, it was his delight to spend and be spent in the service of the gospel… zeal and knowledge were in him united to a degree rarely to be met with… He was exceedingly cautious and scrupulous of any thing new or unprecedented, until he was thoroughly satisfied of its necessity and grounds…

He was a scribe singularly instructed into the kingdom of God, happy in finding out acceptable words — a burning and shining light.” Davidson further states, “The acquaintance I had with him, and the frequent opportunities I had of hearing him preach, I look upon as one of the greatest privileges I was favoured with in my early days, and which I still reflect on with great pleasure. He was one of the most powerful preachers I ever heard open a mouth…

There were few men (if any) in his day, who courted popularity less than he did; nay, he rather shunned it, but, like his shadow, it followed him wherever he went, for his ministrations were savoury and acceptable to all who had a relish for the truth as it is in Jesus, and a love to that holiness of heart and life which the belief of it never fails to influence in the minds of all the children of God” (“Gospel Truth,” p. 110). For information about the Puritans, including free and discounted Puritan books, Puritan MP3s, Puritan digital downloads, and Puritan videos, as well as the Puritan Hard Drive, please visit Still Waters Revival Books at http://www.puritandownloads.com.

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