Am I a Christian? – A Review by Ben Ramsbottom
This is a little gem – by which we mean that though small, its value is great.
James Fraser (1639-1698), usually known as ‘Fraser of Brea,’ was a well-known Covenanter preacher. In the recently published Scottish Puritans, volume 2, there is a long, interesting account of his life, written by himself. This reaches almost 300 pages. [See Bem Ramsbottom’s review of Scottish Puritans here.] He was one of those who suffered in the notorious Bass Rock prison.
This precious little book deals with twenty of the problems and questions God’s people may have concerning whether their religion is real or not. James Fraser does not deal with these questions in an abstract way, but rather as they concern himself personally.
We recommend this little book, and because of its excellence subjoin the answer to the first deep concern – how he himself personally found the answer:
Because there was not such a distinct, long, orderly and deep work of preparation and humiliation at first conversion as I found described in practical books writing of the new birth.
There was a work of the almighty power of Christ discovering sin and a natural condition as the greatest evils, which put me out to restless endeavours to come out of this; and I found the inability of myself and all duties to bring me out of this condition. And the Lord did by a marvellous light discover the Lord Jesus to me as the Saviour of sinners and their full happiness; and my heart immediately closed with him wholly and fully, which in its fruits has continued to this day.
Secondly, that though the substantials of conversion be observed generally amongst all, yet do not all persons’ cases agree as to the circumstantials of conversion, that is, as to the length, measure and manner of the spirit of bondage, as is likewise clear from Scripture.
Thirdly, the question is not so much how Christ came in, as if he be in. If you find the fruits of holiness, it is well, though you know not how they were sown or grown. ‘The kingdom of heaven cometh not with observation’ (Luke 17:20). [pages 7-8]
Am I a Christian?
Taken with permission from The Gospel Standard, December 2009.
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