Thomas Boston was a gifted preacher, a master of the biblical languages, an astute theologian, and an enormously influential Presbyterian minister. Jonathan Edwards called him “a truly great divine,” and Joel Beeke writes that “Boston’s sermons are models of sound exegesis combined with experiential piety and admonition.” Boston’s theologically rich and deeply pastoral writings make him essential for thinking Christians today.
The massive Whole Works of Thomas Boston contains 12 volumes of Boston’s writings—theological treatises, book-length works, discourses and sermons, memoirs and autobiographical material, and more. You’ll find the 1,300-page Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion, hundreds of sermons, a lengthy explication of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and the works for which Boston is best known, including The Crook in the Lot, Human Nature in Its Fourfold State, and much more. It also contains a volume on the theology of prayer. The final volume contains Boston’s biographical material. One biographer, writing of Boston’s memoirs, said that with the possible exception of Augustine’s Confessions, “it would be difficult to name any autobiography, in any language, which bears so unmistakably throughout the marks of simplicity and truth.”
May God raise up servants in this third millennium of the Christian era motivated by that which made Boston such an effective ambassador of Christ: a humble spirituality, a high view of the Christian ministry, a compassionate zeal for souls, and unwearied preaching of Christ.
—Joel Beeke, president and professor of systematic theology, Church history, and homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Thomas Boston (1676–1732) was born in Duns, Berwickshire to a devout Presbyterian family. Boston attended the University of Edinburgh and graduated in 1697. He was ordained in 1699 and became a minister in the Presbyterian Church at Simprin. In 1707, he moved from Simprin to Ettrick, Scotland, where he grew in popularity and became well-known for his preaching. Boston served for many years in Ettrick, and became enormously influential in Scottish Presbyterianism. Boston was a prolific author throughout this life, and by the end of the eighteenth century, his works had becoming standard reading for Presbyterian ministers. He is best-known for The Crook in the Lot and Human Nature in Its Fourfold State, based on a series of sermons preached at Simprin.