Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some Comments on Boston regarding Schism

A couple of months ago, Garnet Milne of the Covenanted Reformation website (New Zealand) had some interesting comments on Thomas Boston's well known sermon "The Evil and Dangers of Schism" based upon 1 Cor. 1:10. Boston preached this sermon in 1712 aiming it at the Cameronian covenanters of his day and vicinity, who would not attend worship services of the Church of Scotland as settled in 1690 at the Revolution, of which church Boston was a minister. 

Yet some what later in 1743, the Associate Presbytery actually saw fit to renew the National and Solemn League and Covenant "in a way and manner agreeable to our present day and circumstances". We mention this because the Associate Presbytery was formed by the Erskine brothers and other ministers, whom Boston in his lifetime agreed with regarding the Marrow Controversy. They were finally deposed over the issue of patronage from the Church of Scotland in 1733, a year after Boston's death. If he had lived though, he likely would would have been found with them in a church which however imperfectly had renewed the covenants. This meant that the AP saw the covenants as necessary to the well being of the church, however much the covenanting Societies were criticized earlier.
Though Dr. Milne's comments were originally posted on a private discussion list, he has graciously given permission to post them publicly. For a reasonably formatted copy of the original, go here.