Heirs with Christ

Heirs with Christ:
The Puritans on Adoption

Joel R. Beeke

REFORMATION HERITAGE BOOKS Grand Rapids, Michigan

2007). request a free book list from Reformation Heritage Books at the above address.org Scriptural quotations are taken from the King James Version. Title. 1952Heirs with Christ : the Puritans on adoption / Joel R. I. Beeke. Puritans--Doctrines.Copyright © 2008 Joel R. _________________________________________ Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Beeke.” in The Faith Once Delivered: Celebrating the Legacy of Reformed Systematic Theology and the Westminster Assembly. Adoption (Theology) 2..J. : alk. both new and used. . Includes bibliographical references and index.org website: www. N.. BX9323. edited by Anthony Selvaggio (Philipsburg.heritagebooks.: P & R. p. This book is an expanded version of the chapter “Transforming Power and Comfort: The Puritans on Adoption. Beeke Published by Reformation Heritage Books 2965 Leonard St.B44 2008 234--dc22 2008012657 _________________________________________ For additional Reformed literature. MI 49525 616-977-0599 / Fax 616-285-3246 e-mail: orders@heritagebooks. Joel R. cm. NE Grand Rapids. paper) 1. pages 63–105. ISBN 978-1-60178-040-9 (pbk.

and book-packer. who has shipped out millions of dollars worth of books with a prayer in her heart for their divine benediction q . typist.q With gratitude for Lois Haley diligent and loyal friend.

Fullarton. therefore exalt free grace.” – Thomas Watson A Body of Divinity (London: A. but nothing to move him to adopt us. 1845) . begin the work of angels here.“We have enough in us to move God to correct us. bless him with your praises who hath blessed you in making you his sons and daughters.

. . . .Contents Foreword . . . . . . 110 Bibliography . . . The Marks of Adoption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . xi 1 15 Acknowledgments . . . . . . The Greatness and Comprehensiveness of Adoption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Invitation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Westminster Assembly’s Definitions of Adoption . . . . . . . . The Privileges and Benefits of Adoption . xv 3. . Warning. . . . Introduction: Correcting a Caricature . . . . . . . . . . . 67 10. . . . . . . 103 13. . . . . The Transforming Power of Adoption . What Adoption Is Not . 25 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Transformed Relationships in Adoption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Comfort . . . . . . 21 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pastoral Advice in Promoting Adoption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 8. . . 35 6. . . . 1. . . . . . 131 . 111 Scripture Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Responsibilities or Duties of Adoption . Adoption Compared in the Two Testaments . . . . . . . 63 9. . . . . . . . . . Motives for Pursuing the Consciousness of Adoption . . . . . . . . . 75 11. . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . 93 12.

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we enjoy all the rights and privileges of the relationship that God the Father enjoys with His eternal Son. natural Son. One is what God does. As adopted children. the other is what we do. why do we Christians so often think of earthly adoption before we think of heavenly adoption? Why do we think horizontally before we think vertically? I think one reason for this is the neglect of the doc- . 2:3). It is one human being establishing a relationship with another human being. Adoption is something God has done and is doing before it is something we have done and are doing. 2:2) or “children of wrath” (Eph. Jesus. God is an adoptive Father. Heavenly adoption is vertical. This is an amazing reality and eternal privilege. If adoption is first heavenly before it is earthly. creatures who are by nature “children of disobedience” (Eph. This identity is central to who we are. only-begotten. It is the eternal God graciously establishing a relationship with fallen human beings. Adoption was invented by God even before He created the world. is God the Father’s eternal. We believers are His children through adoption.Foreword Earthly adoption is horizontal. Adoption is heavenly before it is earthly. Adoption is how God brings us into His family. our Elder Brother.

2.600-page work The Creeds of Christendom. These battles were all essential for the church to fight in the defense of Christian truth.xii Heirs with Christ trine of adoption in the history of the church. but unintentionally they resulted in the church’s failure thoroughly to develop Scripture’s teaching on adoption. their writings demonstrate that they esteemed nothing higher than the incomparable privilege of being God’s children through adoption. with the doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ because those doctrines were being attacked within the church. Even though adoption has been relatively neglected in the history of the church. The Reformation and post-Reformation church necessarily focused on defending the doctrine of justification. as of late. Dr. Joel Beeke offers a great service to the contemporary church by examining the Puritans’ substantial and worship-filled treatment of the believer’s adoption by God. Beeke does a masterful job of setting . Though the Puritans. The early church was primarily concerned. In his massive.900 years of church history. To my knowledge. and rightly so. no tradition in the history of the church has rejoiced in and proclaimed the truth of adoption as have the Puritans. the church historian Philip Schaff only includes six creeds that contain a section on adoption because they are the only ones he could find while scouring almost 1. have received bad press in their treatment of this great doctrine. the Puritans have not contributed to that neglect.

I highly recommend Dr. Beeke’s book Heirs with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption. The church today should richly benefit from this exposure to Puritan teaching on the biblical doctrine of adoption. Therefore. we will be spiritually richer for it. If we as Christians even begin to approach the Puritans’ love of heavenly adoption.Foreword xiii the record straight on behalf of the Puritans. —Dan Cruver Co-Founder of Together for Adoption . He has extensively studied the Puritans and is uniquely qualified to write on this most important subject.

• consciously. through a pastoral visit by Rev. • meritoriously. through regenerating me in Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1967. This study of Puritans on adoption has blessed me more than any other. I am deeply grateful to the Puritans who showed me the theological riches and beauties of adoption as no other writers have done.Acknowledgments I owe thanks most of all to the glorious God and Father for adopting me: • decretally. • objectively. Sometimes I pester my children further. and • daily. That love moves me to contemplate my spiritual adoption with tears. from eternity. “You love me. asking. despite my sinfulness. I offer heartfelt thanks for my wonderful family and the love that we share. loading me.” I ask God for grace once again to approach Him likewise as my heavenly Father. Arie Elshout to our family in 1969 that the Spirit used to assure me of spiritual freedom. except perhaps my study of the assurance of faith. I often ask my children. based on the justifying power of Christ’s death and resurrection. with the unspeakably powerful comforts of His adopting benefits and grace. “But . “Do you know what your dad thinks of you?” When they respond with cheerful confidence.

and Amy Zevenbergen for her work on the cover. stir up Thy people to understand. “Thou dost tell me in Thy Word. Phyllis TenElshof. If this little book. Mary. Dan Cruver. I believe that if God’s people were conscious every day that they are adopted by the Father. helps God-fearing believers more fully lay hold of the Father’s love to them in Christ Jesus. I am unworthy of my God and my family. Linda den Hollander for her typesetting. and dost show me in a thousand ways Thy paternal love toward me. my reward will be multiplied.xvi Heirs with Christ how do you know?” I want to hear them say something like this: “You tell me and you show me. but that indebtedness makes me appreciate the doctrine of loving adoption more than ever. —Joel R. and taste with delight Thy amazing Fatherhood. Beeke . believe. or such special children as Calvin. dost witness to my heart. I thank Jay Collier for his detailed work with the manuscript that turned into this book. so I know it and I feel it. with the blessing of the Spirit. Esther. for his foreword. Kate DeVries. and Lydia. receive. Spirit-worked revival would break out and the exquisite delight believers would have in their Father in heaven would move the world profoundly. and Martha Fisher for their editing. how much less do I deserve such a God as my heavenly Father is to me in Christ Jesus. Soli Deo Gloria!” Just as I don’t deserve my special wife. Heavenly Father.” I then cry out.” “Lord.

Webb. J. A. J. I. now scarcely known (R.”1 As recently 1. Knowing God (Downers Grove.: InterVarsity. Candlish. the biblical doctrine that every true Christian is God’s adopted child. Knowing God. In his otherwise excellent chapter titled “Sons of God” in the classic.CHAPTER ONE Introduction: Correcting a Caricature  Reformed theologians in general. any more than there was before…. Ill. The Reformed Doctrine of Adoption). there is no evangelical writing on it. have gotten a bad press for their supposed lack of teaching on adoption. 207. The Fatherhood of God. that is. Packer. was notably deficient [on adoption]. Packer writes. S. The Puritan teaching on the Christian life. I. . “Adoption has been little regarded in Christian history. so strong in other ways. 1973). and the Puritans in particular. R. Apart from two last-century books. which is one reason why legalistic misunderstandings of it so easily arise. nor has there been at any time since the Reformation.

: P & R . 2002). 393–97. devote only one or two paragraphs to adoption at best. Francis Turretin. 1968). John D. trans. Francis Turretin. and ed.d. W. The Marrow of Theology. and Robert Reymond provide a more ample treatment of adoption (4–6 pages). ed. Eusden (Boston: Pilgrim Press. Packer noted several years ago in Knowing God. A. Robert L. John Brown of Haddington. Edinburgh: . and G. Jr. Outlines of Theology (reprint.). James P. Reformed Christians have failed to work through the doctrine of Adoption. George Musgrave Giger. 164–67. (Phillipsburg. N. 404–409. Hanford. n. Douglas Kelly concurs: “As James I.2 Heirs with Christ as 1993. Abstract of Systematic Theology (reprint. For example. James T. John Brown.” Reformation Today 105 [1988]:10). 3. Dennison.” Reformed Theological Review 52 (1993): 111. Boyce. 1994). 2.3 William Ames. Thomas Watson. G. trans. A. James Boyce.4 Better yet.: den Dulk Christian Foundation. George Hill. “Adoption: An Underdeveloped Heritage of the Westminster Standards. Hodge. Louis Berkhof.”2 Statements such as these promote the familiar comment that adoption is the neglected aspect in the Reformed ordo salutis. Douglas Kelly. Institutes of Elenctic Theology. William Ames. Shedd. The Systematic Theology of John Brown of Haddington (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books. Charles Hodge.J. Erroll Hulse exaggerates when he asserts that most systematic theologians have ignored adoption (“Recovering the Doctrine of Adoption. Dabney. Henry Kersten. But this is by no means universally the case. Calif. Such generalizations have found a degree of confirmation in the minimal attention that many Reformed systematic theologies give to adoption. A. Hodge. 2:666–69. 4. T. A.

482–91. 155–60. A Compleat Body of Divinity (reprint. whose repeated references to adoption permeate his entire theology and “the whole Banner of Truth Trust. let us not forget John Calvin. The Economy of the Covenants Between God & Man (28 pages). Kingsburg. 1986). 1845). 1986). Robert L. John Dick. Ill. Conn. James M. 1859). 518–25.: InterVarsity Press. John Gill. and Wayne Grudem provide rather full treatments ranging from 6–20 pages. Subjectively Considered (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. . The Economy of the Covenants (reprint. Wayne Grudem. Timothy Dwight. Fullarton. are Herman Witsius. Herman Witsius. 5. 6.: Baptist Standard Bearer. John Dick. 759–62. Breckinridge. 3:181–93. 736–45. The Knowledge of God. Samuel Willard. however.5 Most thorough. 1994). Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan. in a Series of Sermons (Middletown. The Knowledge of God. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation. 1987). A Body of Divinity in a Series of Sermons on the Shorter Catechism (London: A. 1:441–68. Boice. Theology: Explained and Defended. 1990).: Clark & Lyman. 178–202. Breckinridge devotes more pages to adoption than to any other aspect of the ordo salutis!6 And. and Robert Breckinridge. 441–48. Thomas Watson. John Gill. A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity (reprint. of course. Reymond. 1969). 1998). Whetham & Son. 2:224–33. A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Nashville: Thomas Nelson. Paris.: den Dulk Christian Foundation. Calif. Subjectively Considered (25 pages)—in fact. 201–203. 1841). Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive & Readable Theology (Downers Grove. 515–19. Lectures on Theology (Philadelphia: J. 1818). Timothy Dwight. Robert J. James Boice. Ark.Introduction: Correcting a Caricature 3 Samuel Willard.

Ferguson. Webb. 8. Thomas Crawford. “An Historical Study of the Doctrine of Adoption in the Calvinistic Tradition” (Ph.” in Pulpit and People: Essays in Honour of William Still on his 75th Birthday. ed. R. (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons. (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black. dissertation. 1921). Robert S. de S.7 In addition to systematic theologies. 1865) — see also his Discourses bearing upon the Sonship and Brotherhood of Believers and other kindred subjects (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black. Nigel M. Cameron and Sinclair B.: Presbyterian Committee of Publication. and “The Fatherhood of God. Ford Lewis Battles. Girardeau devotes nearly one hundred pages to the doctrine of adoption—first 7. see Tim J. 3rd ed. the subject of adoption has been addressed from a Reformed perspective at length in several nineteenth-century treatises in addition to Candlish and Webb. For a thorough study of Calvin on adoption. Candlish. . Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Sinclair B. The Reformed Doctrine of Adoption (reprint. 1986). Trumper.” despite his lack of apportioning it a specific section in the Institutes. 1872). 1960). 1947) — see also his Christian Salvation: Its Doctrine and Experience (Richmond. Thomas Crawford’s The Fatherhood of God responds to Candlish’s denial of the universal paternity of God. University of Edinburgh. ed. 2nd ed. John L. Institutes of the Christian Religion.8 In his Discussion of Theological Questions. Ferguson (Edinburgh: Rutherford House Books. Va. trans. McNeill (Philadelphia: Westminster Press. “The Reformed Doctrine of Sonship.D. 391–405. 1868). 84. 2001). The Fatherhood of God Considered in Its General and Special Aspects and Particularly in Relation to the Atonement with a Review of Recent Speculations on the Subject. Robert S. John T. 38–214.” Presbyterian Quarterly 5 (1891):56– 70. mentioned by Packer above. John Calvin. The Fatherhood of God.4 Heirs with Christ ethos of the Christian life.

For an able exposition of Girardeau’s views. Mark Johnston. Privileges. Blackburn (reprint. Trevor J. Sinclair B.12 and at least seven Ph.M. ed. John L.g. Spirit. The Adoption of Sons. 1994). Crawford. including several popular books by solidly Reformed men such as Sinclair Ferguson.]. “Abba Isn’t Daddy. Mark Johnston.Introduction: Correcting a Caricature 5 responding to the Candlish-Crawford debate. Discussion of Theological Questions. Burke. Girardeau.11 Scores of articles in academic journals were published on adoption. and Robert Peterson. 1872). Gardner. James Barr. George A. N. 1986). Thomas Houston. and Effects: A Practical and Experimental Treatise (Edinburgh: Alex. Thomas Houston’s The Adoption of Sons is superior to all of these volumes and has been unduly ignored in secondary literature on the subject. Miss. 10. Rosshire: Christian Focus. Adopted by God: From Wayward Sinners to Cherished Children (Phillipsburg. Child of a King: The Biblical Doctrine of Sonship (Fearn. Paisley. “Adoption and the Spirit in Romans 8. Va.” Journal of Theological Studies 39 (1988): 28–47. E. Berry. then setting forth his own understanding. 2 (Fall 2001): 120–31.” Evangelical Quarterly 70 (1998): 311–24. no. 1997).: P & R Publishing. and Th. Children of the Living God (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust. Berry also addresses the views of Candlish. “‘Sons of God’: An Examination of the Doctrine of Adoption in the Thought of John Lafayette Girardeau” (unpublished paper submitted to systematic theology department. 12. Reformed Theological Seminary [Jackson.: Sprinkle Publications. 1989).J. 2001) — see also his “Toward a Systematic Theology of Adoption. Harrisonburg. see Stephen R.10 The twentieth century saw a burst of evangelical writings on adoption. dis9. and Thornwell. and “The Characteristics of Paul’s Adoptive-Sonship (Huiothesia) . 428–521. 11.D. Ferguson.9 In my opinion. Its Nature. Robert Peterson..” Presbyterion 27.

” Journal of Biblical Literature 88 (1969): 458–66. Bernard Woudenberg. 475–77.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 31 (1988): 181–89.” Westminster Theological Journal 49 (1987): 35–64— also “The Family of God: One Model for the Church of the 90s. “Baptism. Ebel.” Presbyterion 19. thesis. “Huiothesia in the Pauline Epistles: Its Background. Allen Mawhinney. 1990). Jarrel. no. King.” Irish Biblical Studies 17 (1995): 62–74. “The Fatherhood of God in Calvin’s Thought. W. dissertation. “Adoption. “On Romans 8:23 and the ‘Expectation of Sonship.6 Heirs with Christ sertations contributed substantially to the subject.” Oriens Antiquus 8 (1969): 87–119. “Adoption in the Thought of John Calvin. Ind. “Martin Luther on God as Father.” Journal of Biblical Literature 50 (1931): 186–200. Allen Mawhinney. Wilterdink.” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 14 (1996): 129–45. Daniel J. “‘Adoption’ in the Pauline Corpus. A.13 Motif. “Adoption Not in the Bible Salvation. 1957).’” Biblica 48 (1967): 102 – 108. Scott Franchino. 15 (1997): 98–115. . Dallas Theological Seminary. “Eternal Adoption. Nigel Westhead. “The Christian’s Filial Relationship to God” (Th. Frank J.M.” Lutheran Quarterly 8 (1994): 385–95. Birgit Stolt. thesis. 2 (Fall 1993): 77–96. Samuel Feigin. Thornton Whaling. R. and “God as Father: Two Popular Theories Reconsidered. and Implications” (Ph. “Adoption oder Legitimation? Erwägungen zur Adoption im Alten Testament auf dem Hintergrund der altorientalischen Rechte. S.” The Review and Expositor 15 (1918): 459–69. 13.” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 13 (1995): 102–115. “Yios and Teknon in the Doctrine of Adoption: Romans 8” (Th. “Roman Law in the Writings of Paul—Adoption. “The Grace of Adoption.” The Standard Bearer (September 1. Grace Theological Seminary. “Some Cases of Adoption in Israel.” Reformed Review 30 (Autumn 1976): 9–22. Jr. T. Francis Lyall. Theron. G.. 1984).D. Herbert Donner. James Swetnam. A. A. Servanthood and Sonship. “The Metaphorical Import of Adoption: A Plea for Realisation I and II: The Adoption Metaphor in Biblical Usage.. Tim J. Use. Winona Lake.” Evangelical Quarterly 28 (1956): 6–14.” Union Seminary Magazine 22 (1910): 30–35.M. Trumper.” Princeton Theological Review 21 (1923): 223–35..

Louis. R. often denominated the father of Puritanism.D. Samuel Willard. “A Study of the Figure of Adoption in the Pauline Epistles” (Th. thesis. and Herman Witsius has already been noted. Dallas Theological Seminary. University of Durham. “An Historical Study of the Doctrine of Adoption in the Calvinistic Tradition” (University of Edinburgh.D. 15. “Recovering the Doctrine of Adoption. dissertation. Thomas Watson. “Adoption in Christ” (Westminster Theological Seminary. 1981). St.M. William Perkins. addresses various aspects of adoption at some length in at least nine different Baylor University.” Reformation Today 105 (1988): 10. was certainly not a neglected topic among the Puritans. 2001). Tim J. David B. Charles A. 1983). Treatment of the topic in the systematic theologies of William Ames.M. Garner.M. Robert Lee Riffe. and assurance. though not developed as thoroughly as several closely knit doctrines such as justification. “The Son and the Sons of God: A Study in Elements of Paul’s Christologial and Soteriological Thought” (Ph.Introduction: Correcting a Caricature 7 Already in the present century two major Ph. 2002). Trumper. Erroll Hulse. dissertations on adoption have been completed. Robert E. Keith Alan Mosebrook. Wanamaker. “The Pauline Doctrine of the Adoption of Believers” (Th. thesis. . Dallas Theological Seminary. 1985). Wermuth. 14. Covenant Theological Seminary. sanctification. 1980).14 But what about the Puritans? Is it correct to assert that “the Puritans did little in exploring this truth apart from a few paragraphs here and there”?15 The evidence suggests that adoption. 1981). thesis. “The Doctrine of Adoption in Paul’s Ephesian Letter” (Th.

John Owen. 23:255–76.M. 1992). The Works of Thomas Goodwin (reprint. Stephen Charnock. ed. 369–70. Ezekiel Hopkins. 430. Charles W. 1636). 253–55. The Works of the Rev.A. 1652). A Treatise of Divinity (London. Thomas Goodwin.D. Va. (London: G. 10–21. Thomas Goodwin. Edward Leigh. Pa. 3:198–99. Hugh Binning. William Bates. and 382 of 2nd pagination. 1646). Bates. Thomas Hooker. such as Jeremiah Burroughs. 4:299–301). Harrisonburg. 1:82– 83. William Perkins. George Downame. William H. 1612–13).17 Other Puritans.. 2:120–21. 237– 43. ed. Thomas Brooks. 1990. Edward Leigh. Goold (reprint. 3:154–55. 569–76. 3:90. W. Roger Drake. The Works of John Flavel (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust. ed.: Sprinkle. The Complete Works of Stephen Charnock (Edinburgh: James Nichol. 1997). M. 17. Spiritual Refining: or A Treatise of Grace and Assurance (London: A Miller for Thomas Underhill. Leishman (reprint. 205. 239–42. 510–11. Hugh Binning.. 3 vols. 138. Anthony Burgess. 1:83–102. Thomas Cole. Hugh Binning. 2:207–22. ed. 16. An explanation of the perfect Patterne of Prayer. William Gouge. 4:419–20. Quick (reprint. W. Ligonier.16 William Bates. The Works of Ezekiel Hopkins. London: Banner of Truth Trust. 1997). Pa. D. . The Workes of that Famovs and VVorthy Minister of Christ in the Vniuersitie of Cambridge. 1633). 1966). Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books. The Works of Thomas Brooks (reprint. 104–105. Mr. 2001). Ezekiel Hopkins. Stephen Charnock. 6:197–99. Farmer (reprint. John Flavel. (London: Iohn Legatt and Cantrell Ligge. 2:277–80. The Whole Works of the Rev. 4:265–70.: Soli Deo Gloria. A Treatise of Ivstification (London: Felix Kyngston for Nicolas Bourne. William Gouge. 1865). Morgan. M. and John Owen all provide some treatment of the subject. John Flavel. 2nd ed. The Works of John Owen. Anthony Burgess. Thomas Brooks. for Edward Brewster. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust.: Soli Deo Gloria. 2006). George Downame. The Lords Prayer.8 Heirs with Christ places in his works. A Gvide to Goe to God: or.

The Larger Cate- 18. 233–50.D. 4. John Tennent. A Discourse of Christian Religion. Works of Richard Sibbes (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust. 193–202. [section 2:] The High Priviledge of Beleevers.: International Awakening Press. Ill. . in Sundry Points… Christ the Foundation of our Adoption. and the Honourable Employment to which he is Called. “The Nature of Adoption. 2002). (London: James Nisbet. D.” in Salvation in Full Color: Twenty Sermons by Great Awakening Preachers. 12:111–39. Richard Sibbes. 10:116–21. Ames.: Richard Owen Roberts. 1:33–57. Delivered in Divers Lectures on the Beatitudes (reprint. in the High Birth wherewith he is Privileged. 5 (London: for Will. Roger Drake.: Soli Deo Gloria. Jeremiah Burroughs. 1994). Pa. The Works of Mr Stephen Marshall. and John Waite. 159–73. Of the Creatures Liberation from the Bondage of Corruption. 2001). “The Believer’s Dignity and Duty Laid Open. Iowa: International Outreach. Ill. 1698). Thomas Manton. and in Southwark by Seventy-five Ministers of the Gospel in or near London (reprint. St. Stephen Marshall. 1870). from Gal. Richard Sibbes. ed. Wherein is Discussed… [section V]: And lastly is discussed that glorious libertie of the sonnes of God into which the creature is to be reduced (York: Tho: Broad. Beaver Falls. John Tennent. Thomas Hooker. 1988). 1981). Wheaton. 1650). The Complete Works of Thomas Manton. Giles in the Fields.Introduction: Correcting a Caricature 9 Thomas Manton. The Saints’ Happiness.” in Puritan Sermons 1659– 1689: Being the Morning Exercises at Cripplegate. John Waite. wrote one or more sermons on adoption. The Christian’s Tvvo Chief Lessons (reprint. 1661). The First Part. Stephen Marshall. Thomas Cole. 5:328–44.18 So significant was the Puritan emphasis on adoption that the Westminster Divines were the first to include a separate chapter on the subject of adoption in a confessional statement: the Westminster Confession of Faith (chapter XII). Richard Owen Roberts (Wheaton. Marshall. They are the Sons of God (London: Peter and Edward Cole. 4:129–49.

Watson. plain. Beattie. David Dickson. 74) and the Shorter Catechism (Q. for the Westminster Confession. Inverness: Christian Focus. Edmonton: Still Waters Revival Books. Joseph A. Commentary on the Larger Catechism (reprint. A. 1849). Body of Divinity. 1997). An Essay towards an easy. John Flavel.: Presbyterian Committee of Publication. 34) also addressed it. Thomas Vincent. 155–60. 212–16. Vos. 1:612–53. see Francis R. “An Exposition of the Assembly’s Catechism. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust. 2007). “An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion. 191–93. Thomas Boston. For example. James Fisher. see Thomas Boston. The Presbyterian Standards: An Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms (Richmond. practical. by way of Question and Answer (reprint. in the Method of the Assembly’s. Johannes G. 2005). The Reformed Faith: An Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith (reprint. The Westminster Confession of Faith Study Book (Ross-shire. 1896). Grand Rapids: Baker. Hodge. 2:131–37. Ettrick (reprint. 137–41. 1980). for the Larger Catechism. and extensive Explication of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. 19. as have numerous commentators of the Westminster standards ever since. 2:209–10. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust. The Westminster Confession: A Commentary (reprint. 6:197–99. Matthew Henry. East Sussex: Berith Publications. 164– 66.” in The Works of John Flavel (reprint. Truth’s Victory over Error (reprint. The Westminster Larger Catechism: A Commentary (Phillipsburg: P & R Publishing.19 Most important.K. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth. Matthew Henry (reprint. and for the Shorter Catechism. Lewes. 2002). Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust. 96–97. A. For . “A Scripture Catechism. John Brown (of Haddington). 184–87. 162–65. see Thomas Ridgley. UK: Tentmaker Publications. 1974). 2002 ).” in The Complete Works of the Rev.10 Heirs with Christ chism (Q. Va. 1979).” in The Complete Works of the Late Rev.: Christian Focus Publications. 76–77. 2002). U. The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly Explained and Proved from Scripture (reprint. Robert Shaw. 1998). 1993). Pipa. The Assembly’s Shorter Catechism Explained. Stoke-on-Trent.

briefly and plainly Described. Or. with reference to the way and manner of working both those Effects. “An Historical Study of the Doctrine of Adoption in the Calvinistic Tradition. .. the Witness of the Holy Spirit. A Looking-Glasse for Christians. A Testimony concerning the VVorks of the Living God.G. Or. to produce a Well-Established Assurance of their being the Children of the Lord Almighty or. Or. The Child’s Portion: Or the additional confessional statements that address adoption. to his Adoption of God. The Glorious Excellencie of the Spirit of Adoption. see Trumper. and the proper Cases of Conscience belonging to them both. including: • John Crabb. The Spirit of Bondage and Adoption: Largely and Practically handled. Shewing how the mysteries of his workings hath worked many wayes in and amongst mankind. The Sealed Servants of our God. • Samuel Petto. with the Spirit of the Beleever. which shews the way from the bondage of darkness into the liberty of the Sons of God.  M. The knowledge of God revealed. Appearing with Two Witnesses. The Voice of the Spirit.Introduction: Correcting a Caricature 11 some Puritans wrote entire treatises on adoption.  Simon Ford.  Thomas Granger. • Samuel Willard.  Cotton Mather. An essay towards a discoverie of the witnessings of the Spirit.” 5–10. The Comfortable Doctrine of Adoption.

1727). 1654). Willard (Boston: Samuel Green. Wilhelmus à Brakel. from the testimonie of his owne spirit. Ill. 1616. for example. wrote. David’s. in part. Then. M. trans. twenty-five pages. Bartel Elshout. 1684). 3:486–87. ed. Scottish and Dutch divines of Puritan persuasion also wrote at length on adoption. and proved: Together with several other Sermons Occasionally Preached. The Complete Works of the Late Rev. 1645). Maxey. Samuel M‘Millan (reprint. a Church of Scotland minister who spent most of his pastoral years in the Netherlands. Mather (Boston: Daniel Henchman. 1980.12 Heirs with Christ unseen Glory of the Children of God. Granger (London: William Iones.21 Thomas Boston devoted forty pages to the subject of adoption. though Arminian in 20. bishop of St. Joel R. who. 1682). serves to promote the misrepresentation that the Puritans rarely addressed this subject. for Sa. Crabb (London: John Gain. 22. 1:612–53. 2:415–38.22 Even Anglican bishops wrote on the subject. for Henry Overton. 1999). Gellibrand. Ettrick. 20 Sadly. Ford (London: T. in witnessing his Adoption. Beeke (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books.: Richard Owen Roberts. to be sold by Samuel Phillips. Middelburg: Richard Schilders. George Bull (1634– 1710). ed. 2:15–27). . Thomas Boston. John Forbes. 1655). 21. which. Wheaton. The Christian’s Reasonable Service. (London: Jane Coe. A Letter for resolving this Question: How a Christian man may discerne the testimonie of Gods spirit. 1620). too. Wilhelmus à Brakel. Asserted. Petto (London: Livewell Chapman. none of these books have been reprinted. for example.G.

and in what Manner it doth bear Witness with their Spirits. except for a lack of emphasis on the wonder of adoption and a downplaying of the Spirit’s direct witness to the soul. 24. This number does not include material that could be included from Puritan commentaries and additional sermons that treat the main texts on adoption.Introduction: Correcting a Caricature 13 soteriology had some Puritan sympathies.23 It is surprising that the book is not very different in content from the Puritan treatises on adoption. nor additional commentaries on the Westminster standards. how. 1740. Boston: sold by Thomas Fleet.200 pages of writing on the doctrine of spiritual adoption. and what Degree of Hope or Persuasion concerning their Adoption. When one considers that the Puritans regarded adoption to be the climax of the ordo salutis. A Discourse Concerning the Spirit of God in the Faithful. perhaps the foot23. Reprint. that they are the Children of God. . This little book only begins to redress this neglect by letting the Puritans speak for themselves. for the most part. and when one considers how extensively Puritan theology has been studied. wrote. nor has anyone ever done a study on it.24 As far as I know. no one to date has recognized the significant amount of work done by the Puritans on this subject. The Puritan bibliographical materials recorded in this introduction amount to more than 1. it is astonishing that this subject has never been examined before. this Witness of the Spirit doth ordinarily produce in the Faithful.

I show how Puritanism recognized adoption’s far-reaching. .14 Heirs with Christ notes will stimulate others to pick up where I have left off. Throughout. transforming power and comfort for the sons and daughters of God.

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