Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Free Grace AND a Free Gospel. VIII

Picture: A scene in Boston's Ettrick parish.

The Marrowmen had presented their answers to the Assembly. But the Assembly refused to listen, instead the Marrowmen were cited to appear at the bar of the Assembly to be rebuked and admonished! But they were not to be intimidated. Stepping forward boldly, Mr. Kid of Queensferry, the bravest of the Marrowmen, laid on the table of the Assembly a protest against the acts of Assembly that had condemned the Marrow. The acts were, "Contrary to the Word of God and to the standards of the Church and our covenants." The Marrowmen declared that "it shall be lawful to us to profess, preach, and bear testimony unto the truths condemned by the said acts of Assembly, notwithstanding of the said acts of Assembly, notwithstanding of the said acts or whatsoever may follow thereupon."

It was a declaration of war. A breach in the Church of Scotland was threatened, but while the Assembly was willing to condemn a book and admonish a few ministers, they did not want to split the Church, and the Marrowmen were left to themselves in their parishes.
Boston went ahead and published, a few years later, his own edition of the Marrow, with notes (this is available from the Free Presbyterian Bookroom, just search for 'Marrow'). The book sold very well. The English Puritan book was adopted by Scottish Evangelicalism as their standard text.

Thomas Boston died in 1732, on 20th May, one of the latter-day Scots Worthies. But the doctrine of the Marrow lived on, and it was destined to disturb the Church of Scotland once and again. Boston's Memoirs are still in print, and the Marrow, in Boston's edition, has been republished in South Korea recently.

Next time (God willing) we shall see what happened to the Marrowmen after Boston's death.



Blogger Russell Smith said...

Thanks for the comment over at the Eagle and Child -- I'm enjoying this review of Presbyterian history that is often overlooked (especially in my circles).


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