“Take heed to yourself”: Abraham Booth (1734-1806)

October 19, 2007

As part of a “heads up” to all you Baptist Historians out there, I wanted to cite a passage from an ordination sermon preached by Booth at the ordination of Thomas Hopkins in 1784. It is found in Michael A. G. Haykin with Alison E. Haykin, eds.The Works of Abraham Booth (Springfield, MO: Particular Baptist Press, 2006), p. 69.

First the quote:

“Take heed to yourself, respecting the motives by which you are influenced in all your endeavours to obtain useful knowledge. For if you read and study, chiefly that you may cut a respectable figure in the pulpit; or to obtain and increase popular applause; the motive is carnal, base, and unworthy a man of God. Yet, detestable in the sight of Him who searches the heart as that motive is, there will be the greatest necessity for you to guard against it as a besetting evil. It is, perhaps, as hard for a minister habitually to read and study with becoming diligence, without being under this corrupt influence; as it is for a tradesman prudently to manage a lucrative business, without seeking the gratification of a covetous disposition: yet both the minister and the tradesman must either guard against these pernicious evils, or be in danger of sinking in final ruin.”

They don’t preach ordination sermons like that anymore! A strong reminder to those of us engaged in the work of the ministry!

Now the announcement:

Be on the lookout for a new volume on Booth to come out from Particular Baptist Press in the near future. Over at SBC Witness they had noted there was only one full-length treatment of Booth. Now, a multi-author work, with an introduction from John Briggs and papers by Sharon James, Kenneth Dix, Michael Haykin, Robert Oliver, and Aaron Menikoff, will be released shortly honouring the recent bicentennial of Booth’s death in 2006. These were papers presented at a recent conference last year dedicated to Booth.

So, be on the lookout for this major new work treating the life and thought of a key Baptist figure:

“The First Counsellor of our Denomination”: The Life & Ministry of Abraham Booth (1734-1806) edited by Michael A. G. Haykin with Allen R. Mickle from Particular Baptist Press.

“The Evil of Sin”

March 22, 2007

“What a dreadful evil is sin! It has introduced disorder into our world, and destruction upon God, and the most awful ruin upon man. God is dishonoured in his character and government, and man is ruined both in body and soul. It distresses the soul with the keenest anguish, and disgraces the body to the last degree. It exposes, that, to endless torment; this, to everlasting infamy: the one to worms and rottenness, and both to fire and brimstone. How miserable, then, is man! Miserable indeed, miserable beyond conception, if left in the hands of his enemies. Sin and the law, death and the grave, united their various powers to make us completely wretched: and wretched w must have been, had not grace provided, and the gospel revealed, relief. Yes, my fellow-sinners, if sovereign mercy had not interposed on our behalf, despair had been rational, and damnation certain. But, blessed be God, grace, divine grace has appeared: it shines in the gospel and reigns through Jesus Christ. It has made provision for the guilty and destitute; for all, whoever they be, that are willing to owe their salvation to its power and agency. The admirable and animating words, which are now under consideration, inform us; that there is a deliverance, to be expected by the miserable sinner; to be enjoyed, by the real saint; a glorious deliverance, from sin and the law, from death and the grave. Victory over these enemies; deliverance from these evils, a delightful truth, transporting thought!”

Abraham Booth (1734-1806)

(“Christian Triumph,” in Michael A. G. Haykin, ed., The Works of Abraham Booth [Springfield, MO: Particular Baptist Press, 2006], I:217)