Thomas Boston (1676-1732) on the Love of God

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4. As God is love, the devil is a mass of hatred and malice against God and man, so the two parties partake of their nature respectively. God bears a common love to his creatures, so as to do them good, and a special love to the saints; and those that are of God, accordingly have implanted in them a principle of love, of good will and beneficence to mankind, Luke vi. 36. but a special love of delight in the saints, Psal. xvi. 3. Gal. vi. 10. Satan bears a hatred against men, especially holy men; but most of all he hates God; so his seed hate one another, Tit. iii. 3. and more keenly hate the heavenly seed, and that became of their hatred wherewith moat of a11 they are irreconcilable to God, John xv. 18.

Thomas Boston, “The Art of Man-Fishing,” in Works, 5:317.

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2 comments so far


David…how is it?


How does the Reformed Community see Boston? As I was once pointed out by someone when I was quoting Baxter…many reformed don’t look highly on his works of God’s love and death of His Son.

Is Boston different?

February 26th, 2008 at 9:38 am

Hey Seth,

It depends. Hypers hate him. Free Offer Calvinists of the Banner of Truth variety love him. He sought to combine high calvinist categories with the free offer. He did this in response to the killing effects of emerging Scottish hypercalvinism which was evolving from Protestant Scholasticism, specifically folk like James Hadow.

A good work on this is David C. Lachman, The Marrow Controversy, 1718-1723: An Historical and Theological Analysis (Edinburgh, Rutherford House Books, 1988). We now know tho that lachman was wrong, along with Boston, on Preston’s “Christ is dead for you” phrase, that it actually meant “Christ died for you.” See on this the new book on Preston by Jonathan Moore, and an earlier article: Moore, J.D. “Calvin Versus The Calvinists? The Case of John Preston (1587-1628),” Reformation & Renaissance Review 6 (2004) 327-348.

February 26th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

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