Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

118 Presumption


As it relates to the mind, is a supposition formed before examination. As it relates to the conduct or moral action, it implies arrogance and irreverence. As it relates to religion in general, it is a bold and daring confidence in the goodness of God, without obedience to his will. Presumptious sins must be distinguished from sins of infirmity, or those failings peculiar to human nature, Ecc. 6:20. 1 John 1:8,9; from sins done through ignorance, Luke 12:48; and from sins into which men are hurried by sudden and violent temptation, Gal. 6:1. The ingredients which render sin presumptuous are, knowledge, John, 15:22; deliberation and contrivance, Prov. 6:14. Psal. 36:4; obstinacy, Jer. 44:16. Deut. 1:13; inattention to the remonstrances of conscience, Acts 7:51; opposition to the dispensations of Providence, 2 Chron. 28:22; and repeated commission of the same sin, Psal. 78:17. Presumptuous sins are numerous; such as profane swearing, perjury, theft, adultery, drunkeness, sabbath- breaking, &c. These may be more particularly considered as presumptuous sins, because they are generally committed against a known law, and so often repeated. Such sins are most heinous in their nature, and most pernicious in their effects. They are said to be a reproach to the Lord, Numb. 15:3; they harden the heart, 1 Tim. 4:2; draw down judgments from heaven, Numb. 15:31; even when repented of, are seldom pardoned without some visible testimony of God’s displeasure, 2 Sam. 12:10. As it respects professors of religion, as one observes, they sin presumptuously, 1. when they take up a profession of religion without principle; 2. when they profess to ask the blessing of God, and yet go on in forbidden courses; 3. when they do not take religion as they find it in the Scriptures; 4. when they make their feelings the test of their religion, without considering the difference between animal passions and the operations of the Spirit of God; 5. when they run into temptation; 6. when they indulge in self- confidence and self-complacency; 7. when they bring the spirit of the world into the church; 8. when they form apologies for that in some which they condemn in others; 9. when professing to believe in the doctrines of the Gospel, they live licentiously; 10. when they create, magnify, and pervert their troubles; 11. when they arraign the conduct of God as unkind and unjust.

Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.

Charles Buck on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary