Boston on Bible Reading

Thomas Boston (1676-1732) is one of the great post-Reformation Scottish theologians, well-known for his role in the Marrow controversy, in which he championed the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the all sufficient Savior, offered to everyone. Less known are some of his other writings. Here is an excellent (updated and edited) excerpt on Bible reading:

“To commend the Bible to you, I say these things of it…

1. It is the best of books. You might think people that have many books know a lot; but you have the Bible, and you have the best book in the world. It is the book of the Lord, dictated by unerring, infinite wisdom. There is no dross here with the gold, no chaff with the corn. Every word of God is pure. There is nothing for our salvation to be found in any other books, except what is learned here. They are only rivulets that run from this fountain, and all other books only shine with a borrowed light. The Bible has a blessing annexed to it, a glory and majesty in it, an efficacy with it, that no other book has. This is why Luther said he would rather burn the books he wrote, than have them divert people from reading the scriptures.
2. It is the greatest and most excellent of the works of God to be seen in the world. Psalm 138:2, “I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” If the world is beautified with the surrounding sun, moon, and stars, like a precious ring, the Bible is the diamond in the ring. The sparkling stars, and the glorious globe of light that the sun is, leave a dark world without the Bible.
3. It is the speech of God, Romans 3:2… We have God’s speech… we must say, The voice of God, and not of a man.
4. It is the laws of heaven, Psalm 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” The Lord and King of heaven is the great Lawgiver, and the laws are written in this book… here is the rule we must follow… drawn from this book will come the sentence of our justification or condemnation in the great day.
5. It is Christ’s testament and will, I Corinthians 11:25. Our Lord has died and has left us this Bible as his will; his final letter. And this makes his children love it. Here he leaves them his legacy, and an eternal inheritance. In him this last will is confirmed and will stand forever without alteration. So all the believer’s hopes are in this Bible… this is the security he has for all the privileges he can lay claim to. This is his deed for heaven.
6. This is Christ’s scepter of his kingdom, Psalm 110:2, and it is a scepter of righteousness. By this word he rules his church, and guides all his children along their way to the eternal land… It is a golden scepter of peace, stretched out to rebels to win them over, offering them peace… whoever will not subject themselves to it will be broken by his rod of iron.
7. It is the instrument of the gracious, saving work of the Holy Spirit. By it the waters of the sanctuary flow into the soul, Isaiah 59. Where a soul is regenerated, the Word is the incorruptible seed which has brought new life. Where there is faith it is by the Word, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17…
8. It is written at the price of blood, the blood of Christ, 1 Cor. 11:25. If the Word had not become flesh, and died to purchase redemption for us, there would never have been a written Word from God. It is the book of the covenant which is founded on the blood of the Mediator. It is the grant and giving of the right to the favor of God, and every saving benefit to believers. It could not be had not Christ died. Those who slight it will be found to have tread under foot the blood of the covenant.”

Thomas Boston, The Beauties of the Rev. Thomas Boston: A Selection of His Writings. Samuel M’Millan, ed. (Fearn: Christian Focus, 1979), 22-25.