"Every scribe who is instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings forth from his treasure things new and old."

Matthew 13:52

"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

Acts 17:11

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SERMONS APPOINTED TO BE READ IN THE REIGN OF QUEEN ELIZABETH I

QUOTE: "How necessary it is, that the Word of God, which is the only food of the soul, and that most excellent light that we must walk by, in this our most dangerous pilgrimage, should at all convenient times be preached unto the people"

1562 Preface

Words of Wisdom: JOHN NEWTON QUOTES

JOHN NEWTON QUOTES

ON SOFTENING AND WATERING DOWN THE GOSPEL:

"The Bible is the grand repository ... It is the complete system of divine truth, to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be taken, with impunity. Every attempt to disguise or soften any branch of this truth, in order to accommodate it to the prevailing taste around us, either to avoid the displeasure, or to court the favour, of our fellow mortals, must be an affront to the majesty of God, and an act of treachery to men."

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"Whoever, then, has Christ in his heart, so that no earthly or temporal things ... are preferred to Him, has Christ as a foundation. But if these things be preferred, then even though a man seem to have faith in Christ, yet Christ is not the foundation to that man."

St. Augustine of Hippo
(Biblical Gleanings)

"To pretend to preach the truth without offending carnal men, is to pretend to be able to do what Jesus Christ could not do."

Thomas Wilson

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Charles H. Spurgeon

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John 7:16-17

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WILLIAM TYNDALE: AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE

"God careth for his elect; and therefore hath provided them of scripture, to try all things, and to defend them from all false prophets."

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"If you be not acquainted with [Scripture], you must follow the opinions or examples of other men, and what if they lead you unto destruction?"

Hugh Binning

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QUOTATIONS: WORDS OF WISDOM

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Thomas Boston Quotes (1676-1732)

A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men

For a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel

by
Thomas Boston

Originally Published in 1699
1900 Edition
2009 Hail & Fire REPRINT

"Beware of preaching smoothly upon the account of getting a call from any parish. ... Do not put thee upon men-pleasing. No, no; that must not be thy business. Remember, God provides for thee even now liberally, as he sees fit. Thou dost not want even so much of the world as is very necessary; and he that has provided for thee hitherto, yea, took thee, and kept thee from the womb, will not forsake thee as long as thou dost not forsake him, but remaineth faithful. Remember, God hath set the bounds of they habitation, and determined the time. Though men and devils should oppose it, they shall not be able to hinder it. It is God himself that sets the solitary in families; and why shouldst thou go out of God's way to procure such as thing to thyself, or to antedate the time which is appointed of God; Go on in faithfulness, fear not. ...

And what though thou shouldst never be settled in any charge at all? Christ and his apostles were itinerants. If the Lord see it fit, why shouldst thou be against it? If the Lord have something to do with thee in diverse corners of his vineyard, calling thee sometimes to one place, sometimes to another, thou art not to quarrel that. Perhaps thou mayest do more good that way than otherwise." - Thomas Boston

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Thomas Boston was born the son of Covenanter parents in Scotland. He was first a schoolmaster and afterwards a minister. Boston occassioned the Marrow Controversy within the Church of Scotland after reading The Marrow of Modern Divinity by Edward Fisher. He recommended the books reprinting in 1718 and was again involved in its reprinting in 1726, this time with his own preface and annotations in defence of the book's doctrines. The following quotations are selected from the writings of Thomas Boston.

On the Honor of Preaching the Gospel

Thomas Boston quote on the Unmerited Honour of Being Made a Fisher of Souls and a Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

"What an honourable thing is it to be fishers of men! How great an honour shouldst thou esteem it, to be a catcher of souls! We are workers together with God, says the apostle. If God has ever so honoured thee, O that thou knewest it, that thou mightst bless his holy name, that ever made such a poor fool as thee to be a co-worker with him. God has owned thee to do good to those who were before caught. O my soul, bless thou the Lord. Lord, what am I, or what is my father's house, that thou hast brought me to this?" – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On God Will Provide

Thomas Boston quote on God Will Provide; Be Not Anxious; 'Set your mind on things above':

"Be not anxious about thy provision for old age, for by all appearance thou wilt never see it. It is more than probable thou wilt be sooner at thy journey's end. The body is weak; it is even stepping down to salute corruption as its mother, ere it has well entered the hall of the world: thy tabernacle pins seem to be drawing out by little and little already. Courage then, O my soul; ere long the devil, and the world, and the flesh shall be bruised under thy feet; and thou shalt be received into eternal mansions. But though the Lord should lengthen out thy days to old age, he that brought thee into life will not forsake thee then either. If he give thee life, he will give thee meat. Keep a loose hold of the world then; contemn it if thou wouldst be a fisher of men." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On Being Edifying in Converse

Thomas Boston quote on Being Edifying in all Your Converse, in Private as well as in Church:

"Christ was useful to souls in his private converse, taking occasion to instruct, rebuke, etc., from such things as offered. Thus he dealt with this woman of Samaria; he took occasion from the water she was drawing, to tell her of the living water, etc. Thus being at a feast, he rebuked the Pharisees that chose the uppermost seats, and instructed them in the right way of behaviour at feasts. O my soul, follow Christ in this. Be edifying in thy private converse. When thou art at any time in company, let something that smells of Heaven drop from thy lips." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On Prayer for Stengthening

Thomas Boston quote on Prayer for Stengthening:

"I have had more experience of his goodness and knowledge of his name; and therefore think I can cast my burden on the Lord better than before. But it is easy swimming when the head is held up. Lord, increase my faith. I believe, Lord, help mine unbelief." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On the Foolishness of Preaching

Thomas Boston quote on the foolishness of preaching:

"Who is sufficient for these things? No man is of himself sufficient; even the greatest of men come short of sufficiency. This may make thee then to be affected with insufficiency, who are so far below these men as shrubs are below the tall cedars; and yet they cannot teach it of themselves. Consider the weight of the work, even of preaching, which is all that thou hast to do now. It is the concern of souls. By the foolishness of preaching it pleases the Lord to save them that believe." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On Seeking Vainglory

Thomas Boston quote on Seeking Vainglory rather than the Edification of and Salvation of Souls:

"Remember, O my soul, what Christ said to the Pharisees, Luke 16:15, 'Ye are they which justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men, is an abomination in the sight of God.' Let this scare thee from seeking thyself. Consider, that seeking thy own glory is a dreadful and abominable thing. In that it is base treachery and cruelty to the souls of hearers, when a man seeks to please their fancy more than to gain their souls, to get people to approve him more than to get them to approve themselves to God. This is a soul-murdering way, and it is dear-bought applause that is won by the blood of souls. O my soul, beware of this. Let them call thee what they will; but seek thou God's glory and their good." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On Hardness of Heart in Hearers

Thomas Boston quote on Hardness of Heart in Hearers:

"O what hardness of heart mayst thou see in every corner whither thou goest, and where thou preachest, most part being as unconcerned as the very stones of the wall; and say what thou wilt, either by setting before them alluring promises or dreadful threatenings, yet people are hardened against both, none relenting for what they have done, or concerned about it." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On Sowing the Word with Tears

Thomas Boston quote on Sowing the Word with Tears:

"If a man had a servant that would go out and sow his seed very diligently and faithfully; but would come in, and sit down idle when it is sown, and forget to harrow it, and hide it with the earth; would the master be well pleased with him? yea, would he not be highly displeased, because the fowls would come and pick it up? So, O my soul, if thou shouldst be never so much concerned to get good seed, and never so faithful and diligent in sowing it; yet if after thou turn careless, and take not the way to cover it, by serious seeking to the Lord, that he may keep it in the hearts of people, and make it to prosper, the devil may pick it all up; and where is thy labour then; and how will the Lord be pleased with thee! Therefore pray more frequently, cry more fervently to God, when the public work is over, than thou hast done." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On Carnal Security

Thomas Boston quote on Carnal Security:

"As fish in the water love deep places and wells, and are most frequently found there; so wicked men have a great love to carnal security, and have no will to strive against the stream. Fish love deep places best, where there is least noise. O how careful are natural men to keep all quiet, that there may be nothing to disturb them in their rest in sin! they love to be secure, which is their destruction. O my soul, beware of carnal security, of being secure, though plunged over head and ears in sin." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.


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On Fishing for Souls; Souls are Caught Unexpectedly

Thomas Boston quote on fishing for souls; souls are caught unexpectedly:

"Because as fish are taken unexpectedly by the net, so are sinners by the Gospel. ... Paul was not thinking on a sweet meeting with Christ, whom he persecuted, when he was going post-haste on the devil's errand; but the man is caught unexpectedly." – Thomas Boston

Read more: "A Soliloquy on the Art of Fishing for Men, for a pattern to every preacher of the Gospel" by Thomas Boston.