Though it would certainly be unkind to give false assurance of salvation to someone who has not been truly converted, it would be equally cruel to withhold comfort and assurance to a weak lamb who suffers with despair over his spiritual state. In his spiritual classic Human Nature in Its Fourfold State, Thomas Boston lists eight "cases" where a true Christian might have spiritual doubts about the authenticity of his faith. Such doubts, Boston notes, "may hinder some persons from the comfortable view of their happy state." Thus, he writes to encourage, comfort, and assure those saints who are burdened with such doubts.
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