The Charge of Antinomianism Misapplied

Written by Robert Traill
This article is taken from Justification Vindicated, 1692
This adaptations is from the Protestant Pulpit, by Timothy Williams

But if our brethren will not forbear their charge of Antinomianism, we intreat them that they will give it in justly.

As,

  1. On them that say, that the sanction of the holy law of God is repealed; so that no man is now under it, either to be condemned for breaking it, or to be saved by keeping it; which to us is rank Antinomianism and Arminianism both: yea, that it doth not now require perfect holiness. But indeed what can it require? for it is no law, if its sanction be repealed.
  2. On them let the charge lie, that are ungodly under the name of Christianity. And both they and we know where to find such true Antinomians in great abundance, who yet are never called by that name. And is it not somewhat strange, that men who have so much zeal against an Antinomian principle, have so much kindness for true Antinomians in practice?
  3. Let him be called by this ugly name, that judgeth not the holy law and word of God written in the Old and New Testament to be a perfect rule of life to all believers, and saith not that all such should study conformity thereunto, Rom. 12:2.
  4. That encourageth himself in sin, and hardeneth himself in impenitence, by the doctrine of the gospel. No man that knows and believes the gospel, can do so. What some hypocrites may do, is nothing to us, who disown all such persons and practices: and own no principle that can really encourage the one, or influence the other.
  5. That thinketh holiness is not necessary to all that would be saved. We maintain, not only that it is necessary to, but that it is a great part of salvation.
  6. Whoever thinks, that when a believer comes short in obeying God’s law, he sins not; and that he ought not to mourn because of it as provoking to God, and hurtful to the new creation in him; and that he needs not renew the exercise of faith and repentance for repeated washing and pardoning.

Lastly, That say, that a sinner is actually justified before he be united to Christ by faith. It is strange, that such that are charged with this, of all men do most press on sinners to believe on Jesus Christ, and urge the damnation threatened in the gospel upon all unbelievers. That there is a decreed justification from eternity, particular and fixed as to all the elect, and a virtual perfect justification of all the redeemed, in and by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Isaiah 53:11, Rom. 4:25, Heb. 9:26 28 and 10:14 is not yet called in question by any amongst us; and more is not craved, but that a sinner, for his actual justification, must lay hold on and plead this redemption in Christ’s blood by faith.

Unjustly Charged with Antinomianism

But, on the other hand, we glory in any name of reproach (as the honourable reproach of Christ) that is cast upon us for asserting the absolute boundless freedom of the grace of God, which excludes all merit, and every thing like it; the absoluteness of the covenant of grace, (for the covenant of redemption was plainly and strictly a conditional one, and the noblest of all conditions was in it. The Son of God’s taking on him man’s nature, and offering it in sacrifice, was the strict condition of all the glory and reward promised to Christ and his seed Isaiah 53:10, 11.), wherein all things are freely promised, and that faith that is required for sealing a man’s interest in the covenant is promised in it, and wrought by the grace of it, Eph. 2:8.

That faith at first is wrought by, and acts upon a full and absolute offer of Christ, and of all his fulness; an offer that hath no condition in it, but that native one to all offers, acceptance; and in the very act of this acceptance, the accepter doth expressly disclaim all things in himself, but sinfulness and misery.

That faith in Jesus Christ doth justify (although by the way it is to be noted, that it is never written in the word, that faith justifieth actively, but always passively: that a man is justified by faith, and that God justifieth men by, and through faith; yet admitting the phrase) only as a mere instrument receiving that imputed righteousness of Christ, for which we are justified; and that this faith, in the office of justification, is neither condition nor qualification, nor our gospel-righteousness, but in its very act a renouncing of all such pretences.

We proclaim the market of grace to be free, Isa. 55:1, 2, 3. It is Christ’s last offer and lowest, Rev. 22:17. If there be any price or money spoke of, it is no price, no money. And where such are the terms and conditions, if we be forced to call them so, we must say, that they look liker a renouncing, than a boasting of any qualifications or conditions. Surely the terms of the gospel-bargain are, God’s free giving and our free taking and receiving.

We are not ashamed of teaching…

  1. The ineffectualness of the law, and all the works of it, to give life; either that of justification, or of regeneration and sanctification, or of eternal life.                                                                                                                                          
  2. That the law of God can only damn all sinners; that it only rebukes, and thereby irritates and increases sin; and that it can never subdue sin, till gospel grace comes with power upon the heart; and then when the law is written in the heart it is copied out in the life;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  3. That we call men to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, in that condition the first Adam brought them to and left them in; in that condition that the law finds and leaves them in, guilty filthy, condemned; out of which condition they can only be delivered by Christ, and by believing on him;
  4. That we tell sinners that Jesus Christ will surely welcome all that come to him; and, as he will not cast them out for their sinfulness, in their nature and past life, so neither will he do so for their misery, in the want of such qualifications and graces as he alone can give;
  5. That we hold forth the propitiation in Christ’s blood, as the only thing to be in the eye of a man that would believe on Christ unto justification of life; and that by this faith alone a sinner is justified, and God is justified in doing so;
  6. That God justifies the ungodly (Rom. 4:5), neither by making him godly before he justifies him, nor by leaving him ungodly after he has justified him; but that the same grace that justifies him does immediately sanctify him;

If for such doctrine we are called Antinomians we are bold to say that there is some ignorance of, or prejudice against, the known Protestant doctrine in the hearts of the reproachers.

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Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage: Robert Traill (1642-1716): Friend of William Guthrie of Fenwick, attendant of James Guthrie of Stirling on the scaffold, son of the Greyfriars Church manse where the 1638 Covenant was signed, Scot ordained in England, exile in Holland, prisoner on the Bass Rock, scholar, preacher and saint — Robert Traill lived to span the ripest period of the Puritan age. Distinguished in the classes at Edinburgh University, Traill early felt the inner constraint to preach Christ. Too intimate an association with the younger John Welsh drew the swift displeasure of the civil arm upon him. Denounced as a ‘Pentland Rebel’ he fled to join the bright galaxy of British divines weathering the storm of Stuart Absolutism in the Low Countries (1667).

Traill’s literary output began there. As assistant to Nethenus, professor at Utrecht, he prepared Samuel Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism for the press. Back in London in 1692 he took up his pen, as Isaac Chancy (Owen’s successor) and the younger Thomas Goodwin were having to do, to defend the doctrine of Justification against the new Legalism. After serving Presbyterian charges in Kent and London he died at the age of 74.

DIGGING DEEPER: Thoughts on the Operation and Nature of Divine Grace

Taken and adapted from, The Protestant Pulpit,
Written by Timothy Williams

amazing-graceThe active favor of God, by which a sinful man is made a participant in the redemption of Christ, is called grace.

By its very nature as free favor and gratuitous blessing of God, grace excludes all merit of man in salvation. The natural will and powers of man are in no sense or degree a cause of salvation. The Greek word for grace is one of that class of words which, as Trench says, “taken up into Christian use are glorified and transformed.” Its general meaning is favor. Specifically it is used of God’s favor with respect to sin. Herman Bavinck said, “Ascribed to God, grace is His voluntary, unrestrained, unmerited favor toward guilty sinners, granting them justification and life instead of the penalty of death, which they deserved.” “[Grace is] free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving” (B. B. Warfield). Contrasting it with mercy, Bengel tersely and instructively says: “Grace removes guilt, mercy misery.” Writing at the PreceptAustin.Org blog, an unknown author wrote,

Distinguish grace from mercy: Grace-God’s solution to man’s sin. Mercy-God’s solution to man’s misery. Grace-Covers the sin. Mercy-Removes the pain. Grace-Gives us what we do not deserve. Mercy-Does not give us what we do deserve Grace-Unearned favor which saves us. Mercy-Undeserved favor which forgives us. Grace-Deals with the cause of sin. Mercy-Deals with the symptoms of sin. Grace-Offers pardon for the crime. Mercy-Offers relief from the punishment. Grace-Cures or heals the “disease.” Mercy-Eliminates the pain of the “disease.” Grace-Regarding salvation it says, “Heaven.” Mercy-Regarding salvation it says, “No Hell.” Grace-Says, “I pardon you.” Mercy-Says, “I pity you”

The grace of God is an active principle. “It is used of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.” Cf. Thayer’s Lexicon of the N. T.

In the New Testament the word belongs especially to the Pauline vocabulary. From meaning God’s disposition of favor the word passes over to the idea of His effective working in Christ, and then to the blessings received by the individual from this working. Therefore saving grace is the active favor of God in Christ, by which the blessings of salvation are appropriated to sinful man.

In Augustine the word grace took on the idea of infused or communicated power, which is a deflection of its biblical meaning. Among the scholastics of the Middle Ages this conception of communicated power was construed as a quality infused into the soul, a notion which opened the door for the doctrine of human merit in salvation. Grace is not something infused, a transforming quality put into the nature of man. Grace does not act upon man as a substance receives impressions. It acts upon him as a personality. It is an active principle, the manifestation of divine energy exerted by the Holy Spirit; but its action is not physical, but spiritual and moral. Its primary effect is not moral transformation, but forgiveness of sins, that is, a new relation to God, out of which arises a new moral life.

To define the relation of divine grace to the human will has always been a difficult problem in the Church.  From having to face dualism on the one side and  moralism on the other, the church has had to stress free will and yet underscore its bondage and necessity of grace. Yet, regardless, the church is hinged to this central theme of God’s Word. Her health is determined by her attachment and adherence to it. Speaking on this, J. Gresham Machen said,

The very center and core of the whole Bible is the doctrine of the grace of God — the grace of God which depends not one whit upon anything that is in man, but is absolutely undeserved, resistless and sovereign. The theologians of the Church can be placed in an ascending scale according as they have grasped that one great central doctrine, that doctrine that gives consistency to all the rest; and Christian experience also depends for its depth and for its power upon the way in which that blessed doctrine is cherished in the depths of the heart. The center of the Bible, and the center of Christianity, is found in the grace of God; and the necessary corollary of the grace of God is salvation through faith alone.

The early Church, especially the Greek writers, emphasized the freedom of the will notwithstanding the effects of sin. Hence they conceived conversion as a cooperation of grace and the human will. In the great controversy between Augustine and Pelagius the extremes came into a decisive conflict. Pelagius, a stern moralist, magnified human freedom to the utmost. For him grace was hardly more than instruction. Augustine, with an overwhelming sense of the bondage of the will in sin and with a realistic conception of grace, pressed the doctrine of the monergism of the divine will to the extreme of determinism and the irresistibility of grace. A middle view, which was really the more ancient view, was advocated by John Cassian, the cooperation of grace and the human will in salvation. This is called Semi-Pelagianism. Augustine’s doctrine, somewhat tempered, became the official teaching of the Church; but Semi-Pelagianism crept in more and more, especially in the centuries before the Reformation.

The Reformers both in Germany and Switzerland returned to Augustinianism, but in the Lutheran Church the inference of irresistible grace was rejected. By a change of view on the part of Melanchthon, who taught a faculty of applying or adapting oneself to grace, a slight element of cooperation of man with grace was introduced into the doctrine of conversion, which the bitter synergistic controversies in the Lutheran Church raged over and which the Formula of Concord finally rejected.

The solution of the problem human will to God’s grace must be found within certain fixed limits. On the one hand, both the corruption of man’s nature by sin, with the consequent bondage of the will, and salvation by grace alone exclude any cooperation of man’s will in conversion.

On the other hand, grace is not compulsion. A. A. Hodge is very right when he says, “It is to be lamented that the term irresistible grace has ever been used, since it suggests the idea of a mechanical and coercive influence upon an unwilling subject, while, in truth, it is the transcendent act of the infinite Creator, making the creature spontaneously willing.” It acts upon man as an intelligent moral personality. The connecting link must be found in the creative operation of grace. The Holy Spirit creates faith in the heart. This implies that He restores in some degree the freedom of the will in the act of conversion. Even as Jonathan Edwards noted, “In efficacious grace we are not merely passive, nor yet does God do some and we do the rest. But God does all, and we do all. God produces all, we act all. For that is what produces, viz. our own acts. God is the only proper author and fountain; we only are the proper actors. We are in different respects, wholly passive and wholly active.” The will contributes nothing to the salvation of man. It must first be renewed before the first motions to regenerate life can arise. And this is what makes man not wishing to resist God. “The drawing is not like that of the executioner, who draws the thief up the ladder to the gallows; but is a gracious allurement, such as that of the man whom everybody loves, and to whom everybody willing goes” (Luther), Spurgeon concurs:

A man is not saved against his will, but he is made willing by the operation of the Holy Ghost. A mighty grace which he does not wish to resist enters into the man, disarms him, makes a new creature of him, and he is saved.

Under the operation of divine grace man passes through successive spiritual experiences. Accordingly theologians make a formal distinction between grace prevenient to conversion, operating in conversion, cooperating after conversion, and persevering to the end. As Dale Ralph Davis put it, “It is not only by grace alone that we become God’s people but by grace alone we remain His people.”

Of Shepherds, and their Glorious Qualifications

Taken from, True and False Shepherds
Written by Thomas Scott
Adapted from The Protestant Pulpit
Hosted by, Timothy Williams
Edited for thought and sense.

shepherd1All true pastors enter into the church through Christ…

…to exercise their function.

  1. They believe in him for their own salvation, and
  2. receive from him those peculiar dispositions and endowments, which fit them for their work. and
  3. aim to glorify him and to do good to souls;
  4. preferring this service to more creditable and lucrative employments,
  5. and prepared to suffer hardship of every kind in performing it. 

Thus they ” enter by the Door into the sheepfold”.

But all, who intrude into the pastoral office without these views, dispositions, and purposes…

…which are so many credentials from Christ, to show that he has sent the man who possesses them;

  1. ”climb up by some other way;”
  2. perverting human appointments, though good in themselves, and
  3. even divine institutions, in
  4. rendering them subservient to their love of ease, wealth, authority, or reputation;
  5. and employing the influence of rich and powerful connexions, or
  6. that acquired by natural abilities and human learning,

…as a passport into stations in the church, for which they have not one correspondent disposition or holy qualification.

Such men, like the priests, scribes, and Pharisees, in our Lord’s time, are thieves and robbers…

…who enter the fold in an unauthorized manner,

  1. to fleece or butcher,
  2. not to feed, the flock;
  3. who rob Christ of his honour,
  4. and starve the souls of his people, in order
  5. to enrich themselves and
  6. aggrandize their families,

…by that which was entrusted to them, to be employed in acts of piety, hospitality, and charity; and for the use of which they are responsible to God.

But to them, who enter with a due regard to Christ…

…and with proper endowments, desires, and intentions, “the Porter openeth;” that is,

  1. God, in his providence and by his Spirit, makes way for them successfully to exercise their ministry: and
  2. ”the sheep of ” Christ,” his chosen flock, ( Luke 12:32,) “hear their voice” and receive the truth from them.
  3. And, as in those eastern regions, the sheep, when led forth from the fold to the pasture, follow the shepherd, when they hear his well-known voice, and see him going before them;
  4. so these pastors get acquainted with the people committed to their care, and
  5. lead them by their instructions into the knowledge of the truth, and into the ways of peace and holiness:
  6. they walk before them by their example; and
  7. the people follow them with confidence, as they know and experience their doctrine to be good, and their exhortations salutary.

But the sheep will not follow those who are strangers to them, to Christ, and to his truth; but will flee from them, fearing lest they should be deceived, and not finding their doctrine suited to their wants and experience, or level to their capacities; and they will seek food for their souls elsewhere. . . .

Mankind indeed generally show some regard to them…

…but, the remnant of God’s chosen people, “the sheep of ” Christ,” have always turned from them as deceivers. Indeed, as every sinner must enter by ” Christ the Door “into the sheep-fold” for safety and sustenance; how can those be qualified to teach the way of salvation, who are themselves strangers to him, and have never “entered by” the Door into” the ministry, but have “climbed up some other way?”

All men, whatever be their rank, employment, or character, who have not, by faith in Christ, as the divine Saviour of sinners, passed “from” death unto life,” from condemnation and alienation from God, into a state of acceptance, and a life of communion with him, and devoted obedience to him, are still in the ”broad road to destruction.”

But that repentance and conversion, by which men pass, as through ”a strait gate,” from the broad to the narrow way, have a special respect to Christ, in all his characters and offices; and every motive and encouragement of those who enter is derived from him.

Sufficient is Our Present Refuge, to the Evil Thereof…

Kittiwake_colonyTaken from, The Sure Refuge.
Written by  Joseph Hall.
Adapted from The Protestant Pulpit
Published by Timothy Williams

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 But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. –1 Sam. 30: 6

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Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof…

..says our Saviour. Every day has its evil, and that evil is load enough for the present, without the further charge of anticipated cares. The life of man is beset with such a world of crosses succeeding each other, that if he have not a sure refuge to flee to, he must be quite overwhelmed with miseries. One while his estate suffers, either through casualty or oppression; another while his children become a source of uneasiness, by sickness or death, or some disorder. One while his good name is impeached; another while his body languishes. Now his mind is perplexed with anxious cares, and then he is wounded with the sting of some secret sin. At one time he is fretted with domestic discords; at another disturbed with public broils. One while the sense of evil torments him; another while the expectation and the dread of it.

Miserable is the case of that man, who when pursued with whole troops of mischiefs has not a fort wherein to find succour; and safe and happy is he that has a sure and impregnable hold to which he may resort. How noble was the example of David. Never man could be more perplexed than he was at Ziklag ; his city burnt, his whole stock plundered, his wives carried away, his people cursing, his soldiers in a state of mutiny, pursued by Saul, cast off by the Philistines ; helpless, hopeless, and forlorn. Yet David fortified himself in the Lord his God. 

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Joseph Hall (1574 – 1656) was an English bishop, satirist and moralist. His contemporaries knew him as a devotional writer, and a high-profile controversialist of the early 1640s. In church politics, he tended in fact to a middle way. Thomas Fuller wrote: “He was commonly called our English Seneca, for the purenesse, plainnesse, and fulnesse of his style. Not unhappy at Controversies, more happy at Comments, very good in his Characters, better in his Sermons, best of all in his Meditations.”

Grace and Evil: The Signs of Their Unfolding Maturescence

Written by John Flavel
Taken and adapted from ilyston.wordpress.com
Published by Timothy Williams

WHEAT-fm-singerman-frank.blogspot.com_THREE SIGNS OF THE MATURITY OF GRACE.

1. When wheat is near ripe, it bows the head, and stoops lower than when it was green. When the people of God are near ripe for heaven, they grow more humble and self-denying than in the days of their first profession. The longer a saint grows in this world, the better he is still acquainted with his own heart, and his obligations to God; both which are very humbling things. Paul had one foot in heaven, when he called himself the chiefest of sinners, and least of saints (1 Tim. 1: 15; Eph. 3: 8). A Christian, in the progress of his knowledge and grace, is like a vessel cast into the sea; the more it fills, the deeper it sinks. Those that went to study at Athens (saith Plutarch), at first coming seemed to themselves to be wise men ; afterwards, only lovers of wisdom ; and after that only rhetoricians, such as could speak of wisdom, but knew little of it; and last of all, idiots in their own apprehensions; still with the increase of learning laying aside their pride and arrogance.

2. When harvest is nigh, the grain is more solid and pithy than ever it was before ; green wheat is soft and spongy, but ripe wheat is substantial and weighty : so it is with Christians; the affections of a young Christian, perhaps, are more fervent and sprightly, but those of a grown Christian are more judicious and solid ; their love to Christ abounds more and more in all judgment (Phil. 1: 9). The limbs of a child are more active and pliable ; but as he grows up to a perfect state, the parts are more consolidated and firmly knit. The fingers of an old musician are not so nimble, but he hath a more judicious ear in music than in his youth.

3. When wheat is dead ripe, it’s apt to fall of its own accord to the ground, and there shed; whereby it doth, as it were, anticipate the harvest-man, and calls upon him to put in the sickle. Not unlike to which are the lookings and longings, the groanings and hastenings of ready Christians to their expected glory; they hasten to the coming of the Lord; or, as Montanus more fitly renders it, they hasten the coming of the Lord; i. e., they are urgent and instant in their desires and cries, to hasten His coming; their desires sally forth to meet the Lord, they willingly take death by the hand; as the corn bends to the earth, so do these souls to heaven. This shews harvest to be near.

SIX SIGNS OF THE MATURITY OF SIN.

When summers are even dead ripe for hell, these signs appear upon them, or by these at least you may conclude those souls not to be far from wrath, upon whom they appear.

1. When conscience is wasted and grown past feeling, having no remorse for sin; when it ceases to check, reprove, and smite for sin any more, the day of that sinner is at hand, his harvest is even come. The greatest violation of conscience is the greatest of sins; this was the case of the forlorn Gentiles, among whom Satan had such a plentiful harvest; the patience of God suffered them to grow till their consciences were grown seared and past feeling (Eph. 4:19). When a member is so mortified, that if you lance and cut it never so much, no fresh blood or quick flesh appears, nor doth the man feel any pain in all this, then it is time to cut it off.

2. When men give themselves over to the satisfaction of their lust, to commit sin with greediness, then they are grown to a maturity of sin; when men have slipped the reins of conscience, and rush headlong into all impiety, then the last sands of God’s patience are running down. Thus Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like manner, gave themselves over to wickedness and strange sins; and then justice quickly trusses them up for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

3. That man is even ripe for hell, that is become a contriver of sin, a designer, a student in wickedness; one would think it strange, that any man should set his invention on work upon such a subject as sin is; that any should study to become a dexterous artist this way: and yet the Scripture frequently speaks of such, “whose bellies prepare deceit” (Job 15: 35), “who travail in pain to bring forth ” this deformed birth (ver. 20), ” who wink with their eyes ” whilst plotting wickedness, as men use to do when they are most intent upon the study of any knotty problem (Prov.6:13). These have so much of hell already in them, that they are more than half in hell already.

4. He that was a forward professor of Christ is turned a bitter persecutor, is also within a few rounds of the top of the ladder, the contempt of their light, the Lord hath already punished upon them in their obduracy and madness against the light. Reader, if thou be gone thus far, thou art almost gone beyond all hope of recovery. Towards other sinners God usually exercises more patience, but with such he makes short work. When Judas turns traitor to his Lord, he is quickly sent to his own place. Such as are again entangled and overcome of those lusts they once seemed to have clean escaped, these bring upon themselves swift destruction, and their judgment lingers not (2 Pet. 2: 1, 3).

5. He that can endure no reproof or control in the way of his sin, but derides all counsel, and, like a strong current, rages at and sweeps away all obstacles in his way, will quickly fill into the dead lake. ” He that being often reproved hardens his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Prov. 29. 1). This is a death-spot, a hell-spot, wherever it appears. From this very symptom the prophet plainly predicted the approaching ruin of Amaziah, “I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened to my voice” (2 Chron. 25: 16). He that will not be timely counseled, shall quickly be destroyed.

6. Lastly, when a man comes to glory in his sin, and boast of his wickedness, then it is time to cut him down, ”whose end is destruction, whose glory is in their shame” (Phil. 3: 19). 

You see now what are signs of a full ripe sinner; and when it comes to this, either with a nation, or with a single person, then ruin is near. –(Joel 3: 13; Gen. 15: 16).

It is in the filling up of the measure of sin, as in the filling of a vessel cast into the sea, which rolls from side to side, taking in the water by little and little, till it be full, and then down it sinks to the bottom.

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Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  John Flavel (c.1627–1691) was an English Presbyterian clergyman, puritan, and author. Flavel was born at Bromsgrove in Wordesterchire. He was the elder son of Richard Flavel, described in contemporary records as “a painful and eminent minister.” After receiving his early education, partly at home and partly at the grammar-schools of Bromsgrove and Haslar, he entered University College, Oxford. Soon after taking orders in 1650 he obtained a curacy at Diptford, Devon, and on the death of the vicar he was appointed to succeed him. From Diptford he removed in 1656 to Dartmouth. He was ejected from his living by the passing of the Act of Uniformity in 1662, but continued to preach and administer the sacraments privately till the Five Mile Act of 1665, when he retired to Slapton, 5 miles away. He then lived for a time in London, but returned to Dartmouth, where he labored till his death in 1691. He was married four times. He was a vigorous and voluminous writer, and not without a play of fine fancy.

His principal works are his Navigation Spiritualized (1671); The Fountain of Life, in forty-two Sermons (1672); The Method of Grace (1680); Pneumatologia, a Treatise on the Soul of Man (1698); A Token for Mourners; Husbandry Spiritualized (1699).

 

 

 

Come out from the world… What does it mean?

Written by Thomas Boston
Taken and adapted from ilyston.wordpress.com
Published by Timothy Williams

end-of-the-worldWherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
–2 Cor. 6:17

1. Where we are all by nature, even in the world lying in wickedness, being real members of that sinful and miserable society. This is our native country, we are all natives of the world lying in wickedness, by our first birth. It is only by conversion and the new birth, that we come out from among them, and are naturalized in the heavenly country. Think on this, ye young, or aged, strangers to a work of conversion; and know where ye are.

2. Ye cannot abide among them, but in rebellion against the call of God. By this gospel ye are summoned in the Lord’s name to come out from among them; and if after that, ye take it on you to stay, ye do it upon your peril, incurring the displeasure of Heaven, not only for your being among them, but your refusing to come out from among them.

3. The sin of gospel-hearers abiding among them, is fearfully aggravated, and therefore will be fearfully punished. Every new gospel-call is a new call from the Lord to you to come out from among them. How inexcusable will they then be, that give a deaf ear to them all ? Matth. 11: 21, 22. ” Woe unto thee, Chorazin, woe unto thee, Bethsaida; for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you.”

4. Lastly, Ye will surely be welcome to Christ, coming out from among them; for he will never put away them whom he calls to him, John 6: 37. “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” His call is not only your warrant to come, but as such it is an assurance of your welcome, Mark 10:49. “And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called; and they call the blind man, saying unto him. Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.”