Boston, Thomas

Boston, Thomas a Scotch Presbyterian divine and voluminous writer, was born in Dunse, Berwickshire, 7th March, 1676. He received his school training at his native place, and afterward attended the University of Edinburgh. He was ordained in 1699 minister of the parish of Simprin, near his native place, and in 1707 he removed to Ettrick. He was a member of the General Assembly of 1703. He was opposed to the oath of abjuration, and in general to all measures which created restrictions on the Church. He joined those who supported the doctrines of The Marrow of Modern Divinity in the controversy in the Scottish Church on that work. He died on the 20th of May, 1732. Boston's writings are eminently popular in Scotland and among the Presbyterians in England. His well-known Fourfold State, which was first printed in 1720, had a curious literary fate. It had been so far reconstructed by a person whom he had engaged to correct the press, that the author, scarcely recognising his own work, repudiated the book till he issued a genuine edition. The title of this book in full is "Human Nature in its Fourfold State: of primitive integrity subsisting in the parents of mankind in Paradise; entire depravation subsisting in the unregenerate; begun recovery subsisting in the regenerate; and consummate happiness or misery subsisting in all mankind in the future state." In 1776 appeared Memoirs of the Life, Time, and Writings of Thomas Boston, divided into twelve periods, written by himself, and addressed to his children. The Fourfold State, which is a strongly Calvinistic book, has passed through many editions, and is constantly reprinted. Boston wrote also other practical and controversial pieces, which are gathered in M'Millan's edition of the Complete Works of the Rev. T. Boston (Lond. 1852, 12 vols. 8vo).- Allibone, Dict. of Authors, i, 221.

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