by Thomas Boston
THE Discourses and Sermons contained in this volume are all printed from the manuscripts of the worthy author, my father; whom I must love and honour in the grave. The "Miscellaneous Questions," and "Paraphrase on the Epistle to the Galatians," were written in his younger years, while he was minister of Simprin, for his own improvement, and not with any design of printing them; though, it is hoped, the publication of them now may be for the edification of the church of Christ. The Sermons are also taken in his own notes, prepared for the pulpit only; and therefore they are not so full as, doubtless, they would have been, had he prepared them for the press. But though these volumes labour under the disadvantages which commonly attend posthumous works, there is ground to hope they may, through the divine blessing, be of singular use to the people of God.
They who had the happiness to be acquainted with the author, and have heard him preach—especially those who lived under his ministry—will easily observe in these Discourses that clear and distinct method of opening up texts, and deducing points of doctrine from them, wherein he excelled; as also the occasional opening up the Scriptures in the course of his sermons; with the close and warm application of the several subjects to the cases both of saints and sinners; in all which he "shewed himself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." He used to observe, that when he had continued for some time preaching on a subject, he still got the clearer insight into it, when he came to bring it home upon the consciences of his hearers.
So great was his delight in his Master's work, and so earnest his desire to be found occupied therein, when he should be called hence, that he preached two or three Sabbaths from a window in the manse to the people sitting without, after that he was no longer able to go to the kirk. And as the two Sabbaths, or three at most, in which he was, by his growing indisposition, laid aside from his public work, were very heavy upon him; so his Master was pleased to call him home on the Saturday, May 20, 1732, to celebrate the eternal Sabbath in that place where "the inhabitant shall not say any more, I am sick."
The subjects here handled are of the last importance, both to saints and sinners; and therefore justly claim their most attentive consideration. The character of the author is long since established; and any further commendation of him, as there is no need for it, so neither would it be so decent from the pen of such a near friend as his Son,
OXNAM MANSE, July 2, 1753.
Table of Contents
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QUESTION I: Whether or not the sins of believers, while unrepented of, make them liable to eternal punishment?
QUESTION II: Whether or not all sins, past, present, and to come, are pardoned together and at once?
QUESTION III: Whether or not repentance be necessary in order to the obtaining of the pardon of sin?
QUESTION IV: Where hath sin its lodging-place in the regenerate?
QUESTION V: Why the Lord suffereth sin to remain in the regenerate?
QUESTION VI: Who have right to baptism, and are to be baptised?