by James Petigru Boyce
Mueller described Boyce's Abstract of Systematic Theology; "… It is no mere logic chopping treatise but is vibrant with an experimental faith centered in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour … [having] some of the intellectual defenses of historic Puritanism …" The Standard of Chicago gave this lengthy recommendation at its publication:
"We find the book as respects its specific purpose, deserving of high praise. It does not attempt too much, yet aims at and accomplishes enough. Its analysis, in the case of each topic, is remarkably helpful, alike for the student and for the general reader. In statement, in argument, in the expanding of the thought, where this is called for, there is great clearness. We judge that it may be taken in hand by the student, by the pastor, or the general reader and made available for theological instruction in a way to be a most effective guide in all the great matters included."
"As a theologian Dr. Boyce is not afraid to be found 'in the old paths'. He is conservative, and eminently Scriptural. He treats with great fairness those whose views upon various points discussed he declines to accept, yet in his own teaching is decidedly Calvinistic, after the model of 'the old divines'. Difficulties as connected with such doctrines as the federal headship of Adam, election and the atonement he aims to meet, not so as to silence the controversialist, but so as to help the honest inquirer."
Boyce commented on this book in this way: “This volume is published rather as a practical text book, for the study of the system of doctrine taught in the Word of God, than as a contribution to theological science.”
THE word Theology means literally a discourse concerning God, but in analogy with other words, as geology, chronology and biology, it means the science which treats of God.
It naturally concerns itself with such questions as these: Is there a God; can he be known; what is his nature, and character; what are the relations he sustains to the universe, particularly to intelligent beings possessed of spiritual natures, and above all, as most important to us, to men; in what ways has he made himself known; and especially in what aspect does he reveal himself to them as sinners. This is Theology proper.
In connection with this last relation it treats, particularly, of man as a creature of God placed under the government of his moral law. It inquires into his original condition of innocence, and happiness; the manner in which he fell therefrom; and his present state of sinfulness, and condemnation and inability for self-rescue. This is Anthropology.
It is thus led, also, to discuss the nature of the salvation which God has provided as seen in the person and character of Jesus Christ, through whom it has come, and in the works of active and passive obedience, by which he has wrought out reconciliation to God. This is Soteriology.
In like manner, also, does it consider the nature and work of the Holy Spirit, through whom man is led to accept the provisions of God's grace, and to attain through penitence and faith unto a salvation in Christ, which consists in freedom, not from condemnation only, but also from the dominion and defilement of sin, and in attainment of the holiness and happiness of children of the Heavenly Father. This is Pneumatology.
It follows man also beyond the death of the body, and makes known the future state of both the righteous and the wicked, as well before as after the resurrection of the body, together with the final judgement of both these classes, and the heaven and hell which shall be their respective abodes forever. This is Eschatology.
Finally it teaches the great end which God is accomplishing through all his works, in the manifestation to all his creatures of his own glory, as seen in its twofold aspect of mercy and justice in his dealings with this fallen race of man. This is Teleology.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I: THE SCIENCE OF THEOLOGY
CHAPTER II: THE BEING OF GOD
CHAPTER III: REASON AND REVELATION
CHAPTER IV: THE UNITY OF GOD
CHAPTER V: THE SPIRITUALITY OF GOD
CHAPTER VI: DIVINE ATTRIBUTES
CHAPTER VII: THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD
CHAPTER VIII: THE POWER OF GOD
CHAPTER IX: THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
CHAPTER X: HOLINESS, GOODNESS, LOVE AND TRUTH
CHAPTER XI: THE JUSTICE OF GOD
CHAPTER XII: THE WILL OF GOD
CHAPTER XIII: THE DECREES OF GOD
CHAPTER XIV: THE TRINITY
CHAPTER XV: THE PERSONAL RELATIONS IN TRINITY
CHAPTER XVI: THE OUTWARD RELATIONS OF THE TRINITY
CHAPTER XVII: CREATION
CHAPTER XVIII: CREATION OF ANGELS
CHAPTER XIX: FALLEN ANGELS
CHAPTER XX: CREATION OF MAN
CHAPTER XXI: PROVIDENCE
CHAPTER XXII: THE FALL OF MAN
CHAPTER XXIII: EFFECTS OF THE SIN OF ADAM
CHAPTER XXIV: THE HEADSHIP OF ADAM
CHAPTER XXV: CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
CHAPTER XXVI: THE PERSON OF CHRIST
CHAPTER XXVII: THE OFFICES OF CHRIST
CHAPTER XXVIII: THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST
CHAPTER XXIX: ELECTION
CHAPTER XXX: REPROBATION
CHAPTER XXXI: OUTWARD AND EFFECTUAL CALLING
CHAPTER XXXII: REGENERATION AND CONVERSION
CHAPTER XXXIII: REPENTANCE
CHAPTER XXXIV: FAITH
CHAPTER XXXV: JUSTIFICATION
CHAPTER XXXVI: ADOPTION
CHAPTER XXXVII: SANCTIFICATION
CHAPTER XXXVIII: FINAL PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
CHAPTER XXXIX: DEATH AND THE SOUL'S IMMORTALITY
CHAPTER XL: CHRIST'S SECOND COMING, AND THE RESURRECTION
CHAPTER XLI: THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
CHAPTER XLII: THE FINAL STATES OF THE RIGHTEOUS, AND THE WICKED
CATECHISM OF BIBLE DOCTRINE
ABSTRACT OF PRINCIPLES