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Thomas Boston’s (1676-1732) splendid Human Nature in its Fourfold State* is a classic of Scottish Puritanism. It was the most published book in Scotland during the 18C. Here he offers believers points of application for the wrath of God toward natural men:

(1.) Remember, that in the day our Lord took you by the hand, ye were in no better condition than others.

O what moved him to take you, when he passed by your neighbors! He found you ‘children of wrath, even as others;’ but he did not leave you so.

He came into the common prison, where you lay in your fetters even as others, and, from amongst the multitude of condemned malefactors, he picked you out, commanded your fetters to be taken off, put a pardon in your hand, and brought you into the glorious liberty of the children of God, while he left others in the devil’s fetters.

(2.) Remember, there was nothing in you to engage him to love you.

In the day he first appeared for your deliverance, ye were children of wrath even as others, fit for hell, and altogether unfit for heaven; yet the King brought you into the palace, the King’s Son made love to you a condemned criminal, and espoused you to himself, on the day which you might have been led forth to execution: ‘Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight.’

(3.) Remember, ye were fitter to be loathed than loved in that day.

Wonder that, when he saw you in your blood, he looked not at you with abhorence, and passed you by: wonder that ever such a time could be ‘a time of love.’

(4.) It was he that took off your prison-garments, and clothed you with robes of righteousness, garments of salvation.

(5.) Remember your faults this day; as Pharaoh’s butler who had forgotten Joseph.

Mind how you have forgotten, and how unkindly you have treated him who remembered you in your low estate. ‘Is this your kindness to your friend?’ In the day of your deliverance, did ye think ye could have thus requited him, your Lord?


*The book is also available online at googlebooks.