The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Posts Tagged ‘Abraham Booth

Beauty from Booth

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Early in Abraham Booth’s Glad Tidings to Perishing Sinners he has one of those delightful summaries of Scripture phrasing that some authors do so well. In this case, he’s trying to demonstrate the way in which the word “gospel” is used and understood in the Word of God. Here is a beautiful blizzard of phrases emphasising that this is joyful news indeed:

The Gospel, then, is glad tidings, as will more fully appear, by the following induction of particulars. For it is that most interesting part of sacred Scripture which is denominated, by Evangelists and Apostles, the truth—the truth of Christ—the truth as it is in Jesus—the truth which is according to godliness—the faithful word—the word of the kingdom, or of the reign—the word (ο λογος) of the cross—the word of the Lord’s grace—the word of God’s grace—the word of reconciliation—the word of righteousness—the word of life—the word of salvation—The doctrine of Christ—the doctrine of God our Saviour—The gospel of the kingdom, or the glad tidings of the reign—the glad tidings of Christ—the glad tidings of the Son of God—the glad tidings of God—The glorious glad tidings of Christ—the glorious glad tidings of the blessed God—The glad tidings of the grace of God—the glad tidings of peace—the glad tidings of salvation—The grace of God—the grace that bringeth salvation—and, the salvation of God. The gospel is also denominated, The word of faith—the faith—the common faith—the faith in Christ—the faith once delivered to the saints—the mystery of the faith—and, the most holy faith.

The publication of the gospel is called, The ministry of reconciliation—the ministry of righteousness—and, the ministry of the Spirit—Preaching the Son of God—teaching and preaching Jesus Christ—preaching the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ—preaching peace by Jesus Christ—preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ—and preaching the faith—Proclaiming (κηρυσσειν) the kingdom, or the reign, of heaven—proclaiming the glad tidings of the reign—proclaiming deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, and the acceptable year of the Lord—proclaiming Christ—proclaiming Christ crucified—Bringing glad tidings of good things—and, sending the salvation of God to the Gentiles.—Such is the gospel, and such the nature of evangelical preaching, as represented by the inspired writers: all which unite in the general notion of joyful news.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Friday 9 December 2016 at 13:02

Posted in Good news

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Baptist gold: Logos community pricing offers

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I have recently been looking into and using Logos a little more (review on its way, I hope) and I thought I might draw attention to a few bits and pieces. For those who don’t know, the Logos reader is free and you then just tack on the substance you want. In addition, when looking for new material, Logos do something called “community pricing” which is basically a way of pre-ordering stuff at a great price, with higher number of bidders driving down the price.

Of interest to Reformed Baptists might be some of the following:

  • Baptist Covenant Theology Collection: yes, you can easily define and defend yourself as a Reformed, Particular and covenantal Baptist with this cracking collection of 17 volumes of primary source material. As a bonus, you can cause apoplexy in certain circles simply by using the words “covenant” and “Baptist” in the same sentence – throw in Reformed for some real fireworks! The bidding finishes on Friday 14 March, and the more bids we get, the lower we will drive the already happily-ridiculous price of about $30. Join the fun and reap the benefits.
  • The Works of John Gill: whatever you say about John Gill, he cannot be ignored in the history of Baptist theological thought and development. This puppy has been languishing for too long in the ‘gathering interest’ section and could do with a little momentum being added to it. Besides, who would sniff at 19 volumes for about $40?
  • The Works of John Brown of Haddington: not a Baptist, I know, but what a doozy of a collection – 14 volumes currently running at about $30. His self-interpreting Bible would be worth this alone, but add in his material on the Shorter Catechism, his work on the Psalms, and other gems, and you’re on to a real winner.
  • The Works of Abraham Booth: back with the Baptists, and the outstanding Abraham Booth. Again, this looks more like it is gathering dust than interest. “My brothers, these things ought not to be so!” When I remind you that – for what might at the moment be only $15 – you would get not only the magnificent Reign of Grace but also his Glad Tidings to Perishing Sinners and his Apology for the Baptists – no snickering at the back! – then you really have no cause to be sitting on your hands.

So, ladies and gentlemen, please crack on, get your orders in, and make sure you help us all share in a feast of good things.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 12 March 2014 at 13:42

Booth is booked

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Michael Haykin tells us that he is working on a new book on Abraham Booth by Dr Ray Coppenger, to be published by Joshua Press.  The title of the new book — to be shortly released — is “A messenger of grace”: A study of the life and thought of Abraham Booth (1734–1806).  Inspiration for the title — so apt for Booth — comes from these lines of William Cowper’s The Task, Book II, lines 395–407:

“Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste
And natural in gesture; much impressed
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
May feel it too; affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men.”

For more on Booth, check out these posts.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 18 August 2009 at 21:12

Posted in Book notices

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An ordination sermon by Abraham Booth

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Abraham BoothOver the last couple of days, Michael Haykin has blogged his discovery of a new sermon by Abraham Booth, which may be included in Booth’s works, currently being published.  (Aside: does it render me ineffably weird that discovering a new sermon from someone like Booth sounds like a very exciting thing to do?  I think I know my wife’s answer to that already.)  It was an ordination sermon, and we now have some quotes to give us a flavour:

When I contemplate the Apostle Paul, as the most honoured and useful servant of the Lord Jesus, in spreading the glories of divine grace, I can hardly forbear wishing, like Augustin, to have beheld him in the pulpit; if, thereby, I might form a more correct idea of his doctrine and manner of preaching. Yet such a wish is quite unavailing; and indeed, the gratification of it quite unnecessary. For that incomparable man, in his several epistles, has drawn his own character both as a Christian and as a minister of Christ. In the words of our text, we have the representation of Paul in the pulpit. His grand business is, to manifest the truth.

Take care, that under pretence of being open and explicit, you do not degenerate into dogmatism, or become personal in your, addresses. In the pulpit, you have to do rather with characters than with persons. You are bound, in faithfulness and in duty, to declare, that drunkards, covetous, self-righteous men, shall not inherit the kingdom of God: but you must not single out any particular person before you; for you will then become ungenerous, and the consequences will be injurious.

The more you keep the approbation of conscience, and the favour of God, in your eye, the more careful will you be to study your text and to manifest the truth which it contains; that the understanding and the conscience of your hearers may be duly enlightened, feel its authority, and God himself approve your labours. My brother, you have first of all to do with the understanding of your hearers, and as there is a glorious harmony and influence in divine truth, it must certainly operate on the will.

If you preach the whole counsel of God faithfully, you must expect to be treated by some as an Arminian—if you assert the unchangeableness of salvation for those who, though undeserving, yet believe in Christ, you must expect to be reproached by others as an Antinomian.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Friday 8 May 2009 at 12:33

The pardon of sin: a meditation for the Lord’s day

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From Abraham Booth, taken from The Reign of Grace:

How glorious, then, is that forgiveness which is with God, that pardon I have been describing! It has every requisite to make it complete in itself, and suitable to the indigent, miserable sinner. It has not one discouraging circumstance to forbid the most guilty, or the most unworthy, applying to the ever-merciful Jehovah for it. It is full, free, and everlasting, every way complete and worthy of God. It was absolutely necessary to the peace of our consciences, and to the salvation of our souls, that it should be of such unlimited extent, of such unmerited freeness, and of such everlasting efficacy. Less than this would not have supplied our wants, or have served our purpose. If it had not been full, taking in every kind and every degree of sin, we must have suffered the punishment due to some part of it ourselves, and then we had been lost forever. If it had not been entirely free, we could never have enjoyed the inestimable blessing, for we have nothing, nor can we do any thing to purchase it, or to qualify for it. And if it had not been everlasting, never to be reversed, we should have been under continual anxiety and painful apprehensions, lest God should, on account of our present unworthiness or future failings, recall the blessing when once bestowed. But, being possessed of these properties, the vilest sinner has no reason despondingly to say, “My sins, alas! are too many and great for me to expect pardon.” None have any cause to complain, “I long for the blessing; it is dearer to me than all worlds; but my strong corruptions, and utter unworthiness, render me incapable of ever enjoying it.” Nor have any occasion to fear lest, after the comfortable enjoyment of the superlative privilege, they should forfeit it, and again come under condemnation and wrath.

Praise God for the full, free and everlasting forgiveness of our sins!

Written by Jeremy Walker

Sunday 2 November 2008 at 00:12

Posted in General

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Under the shadow of a baby

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A lot of last week was fairly normal.  One recurring theme was my wife’s pregnancy: on Monday the indications were that the baby was in a breech position, and we had a scan on Thursday in which it transpired that the baby was head-down (woo-hoo!) and pretty substantially engaged.

Then, on Friday, with the birth potentially imminent, we travelled to north London for my aunt’s funeral.  She died and went to be with Christ on Monday 6th October.  It was a very good funeral service.  Pastor Johnny Prime of Enfield Evangelical Free Church preached from Job 19.35 – “I know that my Redeemer lives” – and wove in the testimony of my aunt’s life to the saving grace of God in Christ to his message very warmly and wisely.  We then travelled the short distance to Lavender Hill Cemetery for the burial.  My father’s parents are buried in the same cemetery, so it was an opportunity to visit their grave also.  My father had forgotten that the same text preached at my aunt’s funeral had been inscribed on his parent’s gravestone.  He was very pleased with this.  One particularly striking and delightful insight came from a quoted but unnamed “old commentator” on the book of Job, who said, “Job had come to understand that he was not in the land of the living on his way to the land of the dying, but in the land of the dying on his way to the land of the living.”

We made it back to Crawley in one piece, albeit very weary and collected our son from the friends who had kindly been looking after him for the day.  We returned home and bolted down a bit of pizza before I went out to Maidenbower to see if any of the youngsters were hanging around.  There were about thirty or so in the usual place.  To begin with, I didn’t recognise any, but was grateful – when I introduced myself – to find that the word had spread about the preacher who came to talk with them.  In a few minutes, some of the ‘regulars’ also came over.  Two of the other men from the church were with me, and for about ten or fifteen minutes (which seems to be about the maximum initial attention span in a bigger group) we had an almost uninterrupted opportunity to explain the gospel.  The main interruption was some local security (I don’t know for whom) who turned up to see if they were carrying any eggs and were slightly bemused (perhaps disbelieving would be more accurate?) to find someone claiming to be a preacher in the middle of the group and holding forth about Jesus Christ!  As usual, after a few minutes – as if on a given signal – most of the group suddenly switched off and moved on, but a few always seem to stay behind.  This smaller group can be very profitable as we answer questions and explain who Jesus is and what he did; often, the group changes as one or two have to go, and a couple more join in.  One young woman took a gospel, and the others were most offended that I did not have more to give out.  Some are making promises to attend the church services, but none have followed up yet.  Walking away after about 45 minutes to pray and head for home, one of the other fellows commented on how little they know of the truth as it is in Jesus.  It is quite plain that their so-called “Religious Education” lessons in school are simply equipping them to know nothing of value and substance.  In fact, the nicest compliment I got on Friday was the suggestion that I come in and teach them RE, “cos that’s wot you’re really doin’, innit?”  But compliments are not what we seek, but souls, and we are praying earnestly for the maintaining of these contacts, and for our witness, that it might bear fruit in salvation.

Saturday I prepared for the Lord’s day and managed to do some reading, which was a nice change, always conscious of the impending birth.  On the Lord’s day itself, I took the adult Sunday School again on the family, finishing off what we started last week in looking at relationships across the generations – the principles that govern relationships between grandparents, their independent married or unmarried children, and the grandchildren.  We had a very good and encouraging turnout.  In the morning service I asked God’s people to Pause and wonder on the basis of 1 John 3.1: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.”  First, John calls for attention: “Behold!”  Here is a command to look with care and at length at something, to contemplate till it penetrate, and then to meditate upon it.  Then, John directs our attention.  He wants us to concentrate on the love of the Father bestowed on us, to feel the wondrous glory of an everlasting and unchangeable, abounding and unlimited, undeserved and overwhelming love.  Here is a gift of love that establishes the most intimate of relationships, abiding good directed to the undeserving.  Finally, John holds our attention by bringing us to the heart of this love.  His emphasis falls on our being children of God, a declaration not so much of name alone (adoption) as of nature (regeneration).  It is not a label but a reality, the fact of a revolution in our humanity whereby – as the divine offspring – we come to practice righteousness after the pattern of God himself.  But this reality has come to those who are not only creatures, but to men and women who by nature and practice are sinners.  And it is just such wretches that God is not ashamed to own as children – publicly to acknowledge us as those who belong to him, a high rank which brings high responsibility, the great and humbling honour that God should declare us his own children.

My father preached in the evening and there was a brief church meeting after the service.  Late at night, the baby stirred, and there was a series of contractions that lasted a few hours, and then stillness and slumber (well, for me at least).  Today I was due to be in London at the John Owen Centre, taking my place at the theology discussion group, when we were to be discussing Abraham Booth’s The Reign of Grace (from which I have posted on several occasions in the last couple of weeks – more to come, DV).  Although I would like to be present, the path of wisdom keeps me close to home, where we eagerly await further indications that the baby is arriving.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 27 October 2008 at 13:01

The pardon of sin

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More from Abraham Booth’s The Reign of Grace, described by none other than Professor John Murray as “one of the most eloquent and moving expositions of divine grace in the English language.”

He speaks of Christ’s saving the thief on the cross at the very moment of his own greatest agonies:

Here we behold with wonder and contemplate with joy the conduct of the Lord Redeemer in making choice of one as his companion to glory, when he made his exit and left the world. Of one who had – not like Enoch, walked with God; not like Abraham, rejoiced to see the day of Christ, and longed for its commencement; nor like old Simeon, waited with ardent expectation for the consolation of Israel; but of one who, for aught appears to the contrary, had devoted all his time and all his talents to the service of Satan; of one, whom the sword of civil justice permitted not to live; and who, in the eye of the public, was less worthy of mercy than Barabbas himself, who was guilty of sedition and murder; was a vile incendiary and a bloody ruffian. Astonishing procedure of Jesus, the Judge of the world! When such a wretch is saved, who can despair? At that ever-memorable and amazing period, when the Son of the Highest was in the pangs of dissolution, Jehovah was determined to show, by an incontestable fact, that the salvation which was then finishing, originated in sovereign mercy, flowed in atoning blood, was equal to the wants of the most abominably wicked, and terminated in his own eternal glory, as its ultimate design. This, this is grace, indeed!

A few pages on, Booth hymns the manner in which grace reigns in the pardon of sin, summarising several paragraphs of his argument:

How glorious, then, is that forgiveness which is with God, that pardon I have been describing! It has every requisite to make it complete in itself, and suitable to the indigent, miserable sinner. It has not one discouraging circumstance to forbid the most guilty, or the most unworthy, applying to the ever-merciful Jehovah for it. It is full, free, and everlasting, every way complete and worthy of God. It was absolutely necessary to the peace of our consciences, and to the salvation of our souls, that it should be of such unlimited extent, of such unmerited freeness, and of such everlasting efficacy. Less than this would not have supplied our wants, or have served our purpose. If it had not been full, taking in every kind and every degree of sin, we must have suffered the punishment due to some part of it ourselves, and then we had been lost forever. If it had not been entirely free, we could never have enjoyed the inestimable blessing, for we have nothing, nor can we do any thing to purchase it, or to qualify for it. And if it had not been everlasting, never to be reversed, we should have been under continual anxiety and painful apprehensions, lest God should, on account of our present unworthiness or future failings, recall the blessing when once bestowed. But, being possessed of these properties, the vilest sinner has no reason despondingly to say, “My sins, alas! are too many and great for me to expect pardon.” None have any cause to complain, “I long for the blessing; it is dearer to me than all worlds; but my strong corruptions, and utter unworthiness, render me incapable of ever enjoying it.” Nor have any occasion to fear lest, after the comfortable enjoyment of the superlative privilege, they should forfeit it, and again come under condemnation and wrath.

Christian reader, have  you rejoiced over the grace of God in Christ this day, that has flowed freely, fully and everlastingly toward you in all your misery and sinful wretchedness?  Have you thanked God for loving freely one so vile as you are?

If you are not saved, is this free, full and everlasting pardon not precisely that which answers your most profound and pressing need?  It is to be found in Jesus alone, in whom God saves sinners like us.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 23 October 2008 at 13:21

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