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Scottish Preachers
..Horatius Bonar
..Thomas Boston
..Thomas Chalmers
..James Durham
..Sinclair Ferguson
..George Gillespie
..John Kennedy
..John Knox

Calvinistic Methodists
New England Puritans
J Gresham Machen
John Bunyan


Born into relative obscurity in 1676 in Duns, Berwickshire, Thomas Boston died in 1732 in the small parish of Ettrick in the Scottish Borders. But his 56 years of life, 45 of them spent in conscious Christian discipleship, lend credibility to the spiritual principle that it is not where a Christian serves, but what quality of service he renders,that really counts.

Graduating in Arts from Edinburgh University, Boston spent only one session in theological college before completing his studies extramurally. With arduous discipline, his private studies, sustained by a meagre library, earned him a widespread reputation. As a Hebrew scholar he was, writes George Morrison, 'welcomed as an equal by the finest Hebrew scholars in the world'; as a theologian, Jonathan Edwards wrote that he was 'a truly great divine'.

But it is as a loving, faithful, rigorously self-disciplined Christian pastor, and one deeply committed to the grace of God, that Boston is best remembered. Leaving his first charge at Simprin (where he served 1699-1707), he settled in Ettrick for a 25-year ministry that saw the numbers of communicants rise from 60 (in 1710) to 777 (in 1731). Constantly burdened for his congregation, Boston taught them in season and out of season, in pulpit and in home; burdened for the truth of the gospel, he overcame all natural timidity to engage in controversy over the teaching of Professor Simson (who was charged with heretical doctrine), and in the famous 'Marrow Controversy'.

It is, however, as a preacher that Boston's influence was most widely felt; 'There was a grip in it that no preacher wins who is a stranger to his own heart'. Out of this ministry came Human Nature In Its Fourfold State and other works on enduring value.

- Taken from the dust cover of Memoirs of Thomas Boston, published by The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1988.

Make sure to visit the Thomas Boston Homepage.


Memoirs of Thomas Boston - Internet Christian Library


The Crook in the Lot - Internet Christian Library
The Nature of Regeneration - The Fundamentals
The Evil and Danger of Schism - Napthali Press
The Art of Manfishing - Max's Christian Resources
The Beauties of Thomas Boston - Fire & Ice

The Marrow Controversy - by Sinclair Ferguson
in Real Audio

The Marrow Controversy: Historical Details - Mt. Zion Online
The Marrow Controversy: Dangers of Legalism - Mt. Zion Online
The Marrow Controversy: Dangers of Antinomianism - Mt. Zion Online

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E-mail: Sean Richardson

Updated July 13, 2002