Human Nature in its Fourfold State
by Thomas Boston
Sovereign Grace Publishers
This is THE classic on human nature. It was immediately acclaimed as such, and went through several printings during the author’s lifetime. The book deals with the four states of human existence: The State of Innocence; the State of Nature; the State of Grace; and, the Eternal State.
The State of Innocence is, of course, only in the case of Adam, in whom all mankind enjoyed a state of innocence. [”God made man upright, – Eccl. 7:29) in His own image, and glorious were those two in the garden of Eden.
The State of Nature came after the man [”sought out many inventions,” – Eccles. 7:29] the first being the venture into what it would be like when one had disobeyed God. Then immediately that pure soul and body became corrupt. Sin entered the world, and death by sin. Adam, and all fathers since, were to pass on his own image to his posterity, with sin and corruption infecting them all. Thereafter all would be [”shapen in iniquity,”] (Ps. 51:5), conceived in sin. Man became totally depraved, dead in sins and trespasses, short of grace, not one of all Adam’s posterity seeking to God (Rom. 3:10-18).
But praise be to Almighty God, there is for many a State of Grace. All who are to attain to this State must be born again, must be regenerated and made spiritually alive, for only then can all things be made new in such a new creature (1 Cor. 5:17). This supernatural change restores the image of God (Eph. 4:24; 2 Cor. 3:18). A mystical union between Christ and the believer is forged, for such a one is grafted into and united with the Lord Jesus Christ. Being thus anointed, the believer is adopted into God’s family and becomes a child of God.
The Eternal State is the next state after death. ‘The life of man is a stream, running into death’s devouring deeps.’ And that life is vain, and short, and swift. Then it is that some enter into everlasting condemnation, and some into everlasting life. For the former there is no hope or joy ever. For the latter there is everlasting joy and peace.
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