Jan 16, 2009

Booth on Begotten by Faith

Spurgeon said of Abraham Booth:

"I have read with some degree of attention a book to which I owe much for this present discourse—a book, by Abraham Booth, called "Glad Tidings to Perishing Sinners." I have never heard any one cast a suspicion upon Abraham Booth's soundness; on the contrary, he has been generally considered as one of the most orthodox of the divines of the last generation. If you want my views in full, read his book." ("The Warrant of Faith")

See here

Wrote Bob Ross:

"One of the Baptist champions of the past was ABRAHAM BOOTH ((1734-1806), well-known for his great book, The Reign of Grace. He also wrote a great work entitled, Glad Tidings to Perishing Sinners, in which he refutes the view of "pre-faith regeneration." It is one of the works which helped Baptists of that age avoid the pitfalls of hyper-Calvinism."

"Here are excerpts from Booth's book, which is now out of print:

"It is objected, 'Though it be not necessary for a sinner to know that he is born again, before he believe in Jesus Christ, yet regeneration must precede faith. For the heart of a sinner being naturally in a state of enmity to the Divine Character, he will never turn to God, while in that situation, for pardon and acceptance.' In answer to which, the following particulars are proposed for consideration.

Before this objection can be justly considered as valid, it must be evinced, not only, that regeneration precedes faith; but also, that it is necessary to authorise a sinner's reliance on Jesus Christ: than which, few sentiments are more foreign from the genuine gospel.

[Theory:] Regeneration must precede faith. This, though assumed as a certain fact, may be justly doubted: for the page of inspiration does not warrant our supposing, that any one is born of God, before he believe in Jesus Christ; or, that regeneration is effected by the Holy Spirit, without the word of grace. For we are taught, by the sacred writers, to consider the word of truth, with regard to adults, as the means of regeneration, and of many other happy effects. They teach, for instance,

That it is the instrument of enlightening the mind, of awakening the conscience, and of softening the heart.

That it is the mean, in the hand of the Spirit, of conversion, of sanctification, and of salvation."

Booth continues on page 122:

"Such is the language of inspiration, relative to the high importance of revealed truth, in the great plan of salvation by Jesus Christ! Hence, it appears, that few things are more evidently contained, or more strongly asserted, in sacred scripture, than the instrumentality of divine truth in renewing the hearts of sinners.

For it is there described as the honoured mean, as the seed of God (1 Peter 1:23-25), by which the Holy Spirit effects regeneration, the sanctification, and the consolation, of those that are saved.

But it is impossible for us to conceive of the mind being enlightened, of the conscience being relieved, of the will being regulated, and of the affections being purified by the word of truth, ANY FURTHER THAN IT IS BELIEVED. It may therefore be concluded, that regeneration is not, in order of time, prior to faith in Christ, and justification by him. To contend, indeed, that regeneration must be prior to faith, and to justification, is like maintaining that the eldest son of a nobleman must partake of human nature, before he can have the filial relation to his father which constitutes him an heir to the paternal estate, and entitles him to those honours which are hereitary in the family. For the human nature, derived from his parents, and the relation of a son, being completely of the same date; there is no such thing as priority, or posteriority, respecting them, either as to the order of time, or the order of nature. They are inseparable, nor can one exist without the other."

"Thus it is, I conceive, with regard to regeneration, faith in Christ, and justification before God. For, to consider any man as born of God, but not as a child of God; as a child of God, but not as believing in Jesus Christ; as believing in Jesus Christ, but not as justified; or as justified, but not as an heir of immortal felicity; is, either to the last degree absurd, or manifestly contrary to the apostolic doctrine.

Consequently, as they are the ungodly whom the Spirit regenerates by the truth, so persons of that character are warranted to believe in Jesus."

Wrote Brother Ross:

"Abraham Booth goes on his book to consider some of the objections and arguments of the hyper-Calvinists of his day who taught "pre-faith regeneration." It is noteworthy that some of the same thought is expressed today by hypers, Hardshells, and hybrid Calvinists."



(Some highlighting and emphasis are mine - Stephen)

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