12 July 2007

Thomas Boston

Thomas Boston has long been a favorite of mine. Reading his memoirs is inspiring, encouraging and convicting. The picture above is of the Ettrick Valley where Thomas Boston served a good many years. From the ccel.org website we read of Boston, In 1707, Boston was transferred to the parish of Ettrick, where he found the people sadly divided by separatism. The Cameronians, who repudiated the Revolution Settlement of 1688, stood aloof from his ministry, and, while among the parishioners generally there was much zeal for the church, there was but little vital godliness. Not until 1710, three years after his induction to Ettrick, did Boston dispense the sacrament of the Lord's Supper there; and, indeed, even after laboring for a further five years there, he concluded that all had been in vain. But when, in 1716, he received a call to Closeburn, his people at Ettrick showed the utmost anxiety at the prospect of losing their minister. But the transferral never took place. Boston stayed at Ettrick and witnessed a great work of grace in what had been a spiritual wilderness. It is noteworthy that whereas at his first dispensation of the Lord's Supper there, only some 60 persons communicated, at his last communion, in 1731, the number of participants was 777.

It was during his Ettrick ministry that his Fourfold State was first published, and by it his ministry was extended far and wide. But the doctrinal content of those discourses had been greatly influenced by his discovery, in a humble home in Simprin, of Edward Fisher's treatise The Marrow of Modern Divinity. This little book had the effect of giving Boston a fuller insight into the grace of God as the sole cause of salvation; and it immediately "gave a tincture," as he put it, to his preaching.

You can read more about Boston's life here.

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