Captives Bound in Chains Made Free by Christ, by Thomas Doolittle (1632–1707)
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Thomas Doolittle (1632–1707),was a nonconformist tutor and preacher, who was converted by God through Richard Baxter’s work “The Saint’s Everlasting Rest.” He was a popular Presbyterian preacher and teacher in his day.
Doolittle’s book explores the regenerating power of Jesus Christ to liberate souls from the oppressive chains of death and hell. Drawing from Holy Scriptures, Doolittle centers his teachings on Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” From this text, his work evolves into a compelling evangelical study. Doolittle teaches how sin ensnares us, leaving us at the mercy of the devil and under the sway of darkness, highlighting our desperate need for deliverance from the clutches of a corrupt mind and will.
In this work, Doolittle explains various traps that ensnare sinners, keeping them away from Christ—traps like ignorance, prejudice, worldly allure, presumption, despair, and more. He reveals the stark truth about why many fail to sincerely seek Christ, preferring the bondage of sin over the service of God, due to the corruption in their hearts.
What follows is his vivid depiction of the true freedom found in Christ and the path to attain it. He marvels at the incredible transformation Christ effects through His Spirit, liberating individuals from wickedness, redeeming them from Satan’s grasp and the slavery of sin.
He urges readers to ponder deeply on the immortality of their souls, to reflect on the captivity of mankind to Satan and sin, the imminent eternity ahead, and the critical need for liberation from spiritual bondage. Acknowledging the fleeting and uncertain nature of life, he stresses the importance of seeking freedom in Christ while time permits. He warns that once we face the judgment seat of the great King after death, the opportunity for salvation is lost, leading only to eternal damnation.
His work aims to heighten awareness of the tragedy of a soul shackled by sin and Satan. It guides readers towards breaking free, stepping into the glorious liberty of God’s children, through Christ, the Son of God.
This is not a scan or facsimile, and has been updated in modern English for easy reading. It also has an active table of contents for electronic versions.