[M. Charles] Bell has not been alone in arguing that the later Calvinists ‘turned [man] back on himself to examine himself,’ replacing Calvin’s Christological basis for faith and assurance with a ‘subjective base intra nos in our own sanctification, and thus one lost the possibility of certainty.’ But this is to misunderstand both Calvin and later Reformed theologians, for whom assurance is based on divine activity – within as well as without the soul – and not simply on human initiative. The work of Christ inside us (intra nos) is capable of providing subordinate certainty just because it is the fruit of the work of Christ outside us (extra nos).
Philip Ryken, Thomas Boston as a Preacher of the Fourfold State, 176
Well said Dr Ryken! As an aside Thomas Boston as a Preacher of the Fourfold State is a pleasure to read. It is very well written for a dissertation and provides a sound guide to one of the most important theologians of the Reformed tradition in Scotland .
It is available for a very reasonable £10 at Authentic Media.