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Thomas Boston


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Thomas Boston (17 March 1676 – 20 May 1732) was a Scottish church leader.

He was born at Duns. His father, John Boston, and his mother, Alison Trotter, were both Covenanters. He was educated at Edinburgh, and licensed in 1697 by the presbytery of Chirnside. In 1699 he became minister of the small parish ofSimprin, where there were only 90 examinable persons; previously, he was a schoolmaster in Glencairn. In 1704 he found, while visiting a member of his flock, a book brought into Scotland by a commonwealth soldier, the Marrow of Modern Divinity, by Edward Fisher, a compendium of the opinions of leading Reformation divines on the doctrine of grace and the offer of the Gospel, which set off the Marrow Controversy.

Its object was to demonstrate the unconditional freeness of the Gospel. It cleared away such conditions as repentance, or some degree of outward or inward reformation, and argued that where Christ is heartily received, full repentance and a new life follow. On Boston’s recommendation, James Hog of Carnock reprinted The Marrow in 1718; and Boston also published an edition with notes of his own. The book, attacked from the standpoint of high Calvinism, became the standard of a far-reaching movement in Scottish Presbyterianism.

The Marrow men were marked by the zeal of their service and the effect of their preaching. As they remained Calvinists they could not preach a universal atonement; rather they were particular redemptionists.

In 1707 Boston was translated to Ettrick, Scotland. He was the only member of the assembly who entered a protest against the lightness of the sentence passed on John SimsonProfessor of Divinity at Glasgow, who was accused of heterodox teaching on the Incarnation.

Taken from Wikipedia: Thomas Boston

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