Grace Gems for AUGUST 2007

If our hearts are not rocks

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

"And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled
, and became obedient unto death, even the
 death of the cross." Philippians 2:8

See here the astonishing humility of Christ. That Christ
should clothe Himself with our flesh—a piece of that earth
which we tread upon—oh infinite humility! For Christ to be
made flesh, was more humility than for the angels to be
made worms! He stripped Himself of the robes of His glory,
and covered Himself with the rags of our humanity!

Christ's humiliation consisted in His being born, and
that in a poor condition; and His undergoing . . .
  the miseries of this life,
  the cursed death of the cross,
  and the wrath of God.

The prime cause of Christ's humiliation was free grace!
Love was the intrinsic motive. Christ came to us, out
of pity and love. Not our deserts—but our misery,
caused Christ to humble Himself. This was a plot of
free grace—a design of pure love! Christ incarnate,
is nothing but 'love' covered with flesh! As Christ's
assuming our human nature was a master-piece of
wisdom, so it also was a monument of free grace!

Behold the infinite love of Christ! Had not He been
made flesh—we would have been made a curse! Had
He not been incarnate, we would have been incarcerate,
and had been forever in the prison of hell.

Consider where Jesus came from. He came from
heaven, and from the richest place in heaven—His
Father's bosom, that hive of sweetness.

Consider for whom Jesus came. Was it to His friends?
No! He came for sinful man—who had defaced His image,
and abused His love, and rebelled against Him! Yet He came
to man, resolving to conquer our obstinacy with His kindness.

If He would come to any, why not to the fallen angels?
The angels are of a more noble origin, are more intelligent
creatures, and more able for service! But behold the love of
Christ—He did not come to the fallen angels—but to sinful

Among the several wonders of the magnet is that it will not
draw gold or pearl—but despising these, it draws the iron to
itself—one of the most inferior metals. Just so, Christ leaves
angels, those noble spirits, the gold and the pearl—and
comes to poor sinful man, and draws him into His embraces!

Consider in what manner Jesus came. He came not in
the majesty of a king, attended with His royal retinue
—but He came poor.

Consider the place Jesus was born in—
  a feeding trough was His cradle,
  the cobwebs were His curtains,
  the beasts were His companions!

Christ was so poor, that when He needed money,
He had to work a miracle to obtain it. When He
died, He made no will.

Consider why Jesus came. That He might take
our sins upon Him—and so appease God's wrath
for us, and bring us into His kingdom!
He was poor—that we might become rich!

He was born of a virgin—that we might be born of God!

He took our flesh—that we might have His Spirit!

He lay in the feeding trough—that we might lie in paradise!

He came down from heaven—that we might go up to heaven!

And what was all this, but love? If our hearts are not
, this love of Christ should affect us. "May you
experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you
will never fully understand it!" Ephesians 3:19

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Do not be proud of your fine feathers!

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

Behold here a sacred riddle or paradox—"God was manifest
in the flesh."
That man should be made in God's image, was
a wonder—but that God should be made in man's image, is
a greater wonder!

That the Ancient of Days—should be born;
that He who thunders in the heavens—should cry in the cradle;
that He who rules the stars—should suck the breast;
that Christ should be made of a woman—and of that
    woman which He Himself made;
that the mother should be younger than the child she bore;
this is the most astonishing miracle!
"God was manifest in
the flesh"
is a mystery we shall never fully understand until
we come to heaven, when our light shall be clear, as well as
our love perfect.

"He humbled Himself and became obedient to
 death—even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:8

"God made Him who had no sin—to be sin for us!"
 2 Corinthians 5:21

This was the lowest degree of Christ's humiliation.
That Christ, who would not endure sin in the angels,
should endure to have sin imputed to Himself—is the
most amazing humility that ever was!

Christian! Learn to be humble! Do you see Christ humbling
Himself—and are you proud? It is the humble saint, who is
Christ's picture! Christians, do not be proud of your fine
Have you an estate? Do not be proud. The earth
you tread on, is richer than you! It has mines of gold and
silver in its depths. Have you beauty? Do not be proud. It
is but water mingled with dirt! Have you skill and abilities?
Be humble. Lucifer has more knowledge than you! Have you
? Be humble. It is not of your own making—it was
given to you by God. You have more sin than grace; more
than beauty.
Oh look on Christ—this rare pattern of
humility—and be humbled! It is a sad sight, to see God
humbling Himself—and man exalting himself; to see a
humble Savior
—and a proud sinner! God hates the very
semblance of pride!

"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13

"If God," says Augustine, "did not spare the angels
when they grew proud; will He spare you—who are
but dust and sin?"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Walking pictures of Christ!

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

"Leaving you an example—so that you
 should follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21

"The one who says he remains in Him should
 walk just as He walked." 1 John 2:6

"I have set you an example that you should
 do as I have done for you." John 13:15

True true religion is to imitate Christ.
There are four things in which we should
labor to be like Christ.

1. Be like Christ in DISPOSITION.
He was of a most sweet disposition.
He has a heart to pity us.
He has breasts to feed us.
He has wings to cover us.

He would not break our heart—but with mercy. Let us
be like Him in sweetness of disposition. Do not be of a
morose spirit. It was said of Nabal, "He's so ill-tempered
that no one can even talk to him!" Some are so sour, and
breathe forth nothing but revenge! Or they are like those
two men in the gospel, "possessed with devils, coming
out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could
pass that way." Let us be like Christ in mildness and
sweetness. Let us pray for our enemies—and conquer
them by love. David's kindness melted Saul's heart.
A frozen heart will be thawed, with the fire of love.

2 Be like Christ in HUMILITY.
"He humbled himself." He left the bright robes of His
glory—to be clothed with the rags of our humanity—a
wonder of humility! Let us be like Christ in this grace.
Humility is the glory of a Christian. We are never so
lovely in God's eyes—as when we are black in our own
eyes. In this let us be like Christ. Indeed, what cause
have we to be humble—if we look within us, about us,
below us, and above us!

If we look within us—here we see our sins represented
to us in the looking-glass of conscience—lust, envy, passion.
Our sins are like vermin crawling in our souls. "How many
are my iniquities!" Job 13:23. Our sins are as the sands
of the sea for number; as the rocks of the sea for weight!
Augustine cries out, "My heart, which is God's temple—is
polluted with sin!"

If we look about us—there is that which may humble us.
We may see other Christians outshining us in graces, as
the sun outshines the lesser planets. Others are laden with
fruit—and perhaps we have but here and there, a berry!

If we look below us—there is that which may humble us.
We may see the mother earth, out of which we came.
The earth is the most ignoble element. "They were viler
than the earth." Job 30:8.

"Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from
the ground." Genesis 2:7. "You will return to the ground
from which you came. For you were made from dust, and
to the dust you will return." Genesis 3:19. You who are
so proud, behold your pedigree—you are but walking dirt!
And will you be proud? What is man? The son of dust!
And what is dust? The son of nothing!

If we look above us; there is that which may humble us.
If we look up to heaven, there we may see God resisting
the proud. God pursues the proud in vengeance.
He threw
proud Lucifer out of heaven!
The proud man is the mark
which God shoots at—and He never misses the mark!
Oh then—be like Christ in humility!

3. Be like Christ, in the contempt of the WORLD.
Christ was not ambitious for titles or honor. He declined
worldly dignity and greatness—as much as others seek it.
When they would have made Him a king—He refused it.
He chose rather to ride upon the foal of an donkey, than
be drawn in a chariot.
He chose rather to hang upon a
wooden cross—than to wear a golden crown! He scorned
the pomp and glory of the world. He ignored secular
affairs. "Who made Me a judge?" He did not come into
the world to be a judge—but a Redeemer. He minded
nothing but heaven.

Let us be made like Him—in heavenliness and contempt
of the world. Let us not be ambitious for the empty honors
and glories of the world. Let us not purchase the world—
with the loss our soul. What wise man would damn himself
—to grow rich? or throw his soul
down to hell—to build up
an earthly estate?

Be like Christ in a holy contempt of the world.

4. Be like Christ in HOLINESS of life.
No temptation could fasten upon Him. Temptation to Christ,
was like a spark of fire upon a marble pillar, which glides off.
"As the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in
all your conduct." 1 Peter 1:15.

A Christian should be both a magnet and a diamond!
A magnet—in drawing others to Christ; a diamond
—in casting a sparkling luster of holiness, in his life.
Oh let us be . . .
  so just in our dealings,
  so true in our promises,
  so devout in our worship,
  so unblamable in our lives;
that we may be the walking pictures of Christ!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

How shall we know if we have saving faith?

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

How shall we know if we have saving faith?

By the noble fruits and effects of saving faith.

True faith is a Christ-prizing grace—it puts a high
valuation upon Christ. "To you who believe—He is
precious." See how Paul styles all things in comparison
with Christ, "I count all things but rubbish, that I may
win Christ." Do we set a high estimate upon Christ?
Could we be willing to part with the wedge of gold
—for the Pearl of great price?

True faith is a refining grace. Faith is in the soul as
fire among metals—it refines and purifies. Morality
may wash the outside—but faith washes the inside.
"Having purified their hearts by faith." Faith makes
the heart a holy of holies. Faith is a virgin-grace;
though it does not take away the life of sin—yet it
takes away the love of sin. Examine if your hearts
are an unclean fountain, sending out the mud and
mire of pride and envy. If there are legions of lusts
in your soul, there is no faith. Faith is a heavenly
, which will not grow in an impure soil.

True faith is an obediential grace. "The obedience
of faith." Faith melts our will into God's. It runs at God's
call. If God commands duty (though cross to flesh and
blood) faith obeys. "By faith Abraham obeyed." Faith is
not an idle grace. As it has an eye to see Christ—so it
has a hand to work for Him. It not only believes God's
promises—but obeys His commands. It is not having
knowledge that will evidence you to be believers; the
devil has knowledge, but lacks obedience—and that
makes him a devil. The true obedience of faith, is a
cheerful obedience. God's commands do not seem
grievous. Have you obedience, and obey cheerfully?
Do you look upon God's command as your burden
or privilege; as an iron fetter about your leg—or as
a gold chain about your neck?

True faith is an assimilating grace. It changes the
soul into the image of the object; it makes it like Christ.
Never did any look upon Christ with a believing eye—but
he was made like Christ. A deformed person may look on
a beautiful object, and not be made beautiful; but faith
looking on Christ—transforms a man, and turns him into
His similitude.

Looking on a bleeding Christ—causes a soft bleeding heart.

Looking on a holy Christ—causes sanctity of heart.

Looking on a humble Christ—makes the heart humble.

As the chameleon is changed into the color of that
which it looks upon—so faith, looking on Christ,
changes the Christian into the similitude of Christ.

True faith grows. All living things grow. Growth of faith
is seen by doing duties in a more spiritual manner, with
more fervency. When an apple has done growing in
, it grows in sweetness. Just so, duties performed
in love and are sweeter, and come off with a better relish.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Lord has two heavens

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

"Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in
 all you do; for it is written—Be holy, because I
 am holy." 1 Peter 1:15-16

God is not drawn to any person's outward beauty,
great abilities, noble blood or worldly grandeur. But
He is drawn to a heart embellished with holiness.
Christ never admired anything but the beauty of
. He slighted the glorious buildings of the
temple—but admired the woman's faith, and said,
"O woman, great is your faith!" As a king delights
to see his image upon a piece of coin; so where
God sees His likeness—He gives His love! The Lord
has two heavens
to dwell in—and the holy heart
is one of them!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Spiritual joys

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

What are the differences between worldly joys
and spiritual joys? The gleanings of spiritual joys,
are better than the vintage of the worldly joys.

Spiritual joys help to make us BETTER; worldly
joys often make us worse. "I spoke unto you in
your prosperity; but you said—I will not hear."
Pride and luxury are the two worms which
are bred from worldly pleasures.

But spiritual joy is cordial medicine, which
not only comforts, but purifies
 it makes a Christian more holy;
 it causes an antipathy against sin;
 it infuses strength to live and suffer for Christ.
Some colors not only delight the eye—but
strengthen the sight. Just so, the joys of God
not only refresh the soul—but strengthen it.
"The joy of the Lord is your strength."

Spiritual joys are INWARD, they are heart joys.
"Your heart shall rejoice." True joy is hidden within;
worldly joy lies on the outside, like the dew which
wets the leaf. "Laughter can conceal a heavy heart;
when the laughter ends, the grief remains." Like a
house which has a gilded frontispiece—but all the
rooms within are in shambles. But spiritual joy lies
most within. "Your heart shall rejoice." Divine joy
is like a spring of water, which runs underground.
Others can see the sufferings of a Christian—but
they cannot see his joy. His joy is hidden manna
—hidden from the eye of the world; he has joyful
music which others cannot hear. The marrow lies
within—the best joy is within the heart.

Spiritual joys are SWEETER than worldly joys.
"Your love is sweeter than wine!" Spiritual joys are
a Christian's festival; they are the golden pot, and
the sweet manna. They are so sweet, that they make
everything else sweet! Spiritual joys sweeten health
and estate, as sweet water poured on flowers makes
them more fragrant and aromatic. Divine joys are so
delicious and ravishing, that they put our mouth out
of taste for earthly delights; just as he who has been
drinking cordials, tastes little sweetness in water.
Paul had so tasted these divine joys, that his mouth
was out of taste for worldly things. The world was
crucified to him—it was like a dead thing, he could
find no sweetness in it.

Spiritual joys are more PURE; they are not tempered
with any bitter ingredients. A sinner's joy is mixed with
dregs—it is embittered with fear and guilt—he drinks
wormwood wine. But spiritual joy is not muddied with
guilt—but like a crystal stream, it runs pure. Spiritual
joy is a rose without prickles; it is honey without wax.

Spiritual joys are SATISFYING joys. "Ask, that your
joy may be full." Worldly joys can no more fill the heart,
than a drop can fill an ocean! They may please the palate
or imagination—but cannot satisfy the soul. "No matter
how much we see—we are never satisfied. No matter
how much we hear—we are not content." Eccles. 1:8.
But the joys of God satisfy. "Your comforts delight my
soul." Psalm 94:19. There is as much difference between
spiritual joys and earthly joys—as between a banquet
which is eaten—and one which is painted on the wall!

Spiritual joys are STRONGER joys than worldly joys.
"Strong consolation." Heb 6:18. They are strong joys
indeed, which can bear up a Christian's heart in trials
and afflictions. "Having received the word in much
affliction—with joy." These joys are roses which grow
in winter!
These joys can sweeten the bitter waters of
Marah! He who has these joys—can gather grapes from
thorns, and fetch honey out of the carcass of a lion!
At the end of the rod—a Christian tastes honey! "As
sorrowing—yet always rejoicing."

Spiritual joys are UNWEARIED joys. Other joys, when
in excess, often cause loathing; too much honey nauseates.
One may be tired of pleasure—as well as labor. King Xerxes
offered a reward to him who could find out a new pleasure.
But the joys of God, though they satisfy—yet they never glut.
A drop of joy is sweet—but the more of this wine the better!
Such as drink of the joys of heaven—are never glutted. Their
satiety is without loathing, because they still desire more of
the joy with which they are satiated.

Spiritual joys are ABIDING joys. Worldly joys are soon
gone. Such as bathe in the perfumed waters of pleasure
may have joys which seem to be sweet—but they are swift.
They are like meteors—which give a bright and sudden flash,
and then disappear. But the joys which believers have are
abiding; they are a blossom of eternity—a pledge of those
rivers of pleasure which run at God's right hand! "In Your
presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal
pleasures!" Psalm 16:11

If God gives His people such joy in this life, oh! then, what
glorious joy will He give them in heaven! "Enter into the joy
of your Lord!" God keeps His best wine until last. What joy
will that be—when the soul shall forever bathe itself in the
pure and pleasant fountain of God's love! What joy will that
be—to see the orient brightness of Christ's face, and have
the kisses of those lips which drop sweet-smelling myrrh!
How may this set us all longing for that place where sorrow
cannot live—and where joy cannot die!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You have but a little way to go!

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

"Our salvation is nearer now than when we
 first believed." Romans 13:11

You are within a few days march of heaven!
Salvation is near to you. Christians, it is but a
little while, and you will be done weeping and
—and be triumphing! You shall put off
your mourning garments—and put on white
robes! You shall put off your battle armor—and
put on a victorious crown! You are almost ready
to commence eternal glory!

When a man is almost at the end of a race—will
he tire, or faint away? You have but a little
way to go
—and you will set your foot in heaven!
Though the way is up-hill and full of thorns; yet
you have gone the greatest part of your way,
and shortly shall rest from your labors!

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father
 has been pleased to give you the kingdom!"
     Luke 12:32

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

For to me, to live is Christ

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

Paul was a great admirer of Christ. He desired to know
nothing but Christ, and Him crucified. "For to me, to
live is Christ
and to die is gain!" Philippians 1:21

"For to me, to live is Christ." That is, "Christ is my life!"
Or thus, "My life is made up of Christ." As a wicked man's
life is made up of sin, so Paul's life was made up of Christ
—he was full of Christ. That I may give you the sense of
the text more fully, take it in these three particulars:

[1] "For to me, to live is Christ," that is—Christ is the
PRINCIPLE of my life.
I fetch my spiritual life from Christ,
as the branch fetches its sap from the root. "Christ lives in me."
Gal 2:20. Jesus Christ sends forth life into me, to quicken me
to every holy action. Thus, Christ is the principle of my life;
from His fullness I live—as the branch lives from the root.

[2] "For to me, to live is Christ," that is—Christ is the
END of my life.
I live not for myself—but for Christ. All
my living, is to do service to Christ. "Whether we live, we
live unto the Lord." Rom 14:8. We lay out ourselves wholly
for Christ. The design of our life is to exalt Christ, and to
make the crown upon His head flourish. In this sense, Christ
is the end of my life—when my whole life is a living for Christ.

[3] "For to me, to live is Christ," that is—Christ is the
JOY of my life.
Psalm 43:4, "God my exceeding joy,"
or the cream of my joy. A Christian can rejoice in Christ,
when worldly joys are gone. When the tulip in a garden
withers—a man still rejoices in his jewels which are locked
up in the house. Just so—when worldly joys are gone—a
saint can rejoice in Christ, the pearl of great price. In this
sense, Christ is the joy of my life—if Christ were gone, my
life would be a death to me.

"For to me, to live is Christ!" Christ is the principle of
my life, the end of my life, the joy of my life. If we can
say, "For to me, to live is Christ," we may comfortably
conclude, "and to die is gain!"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A divine chemistry

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

"For our momentary light affliction is producing
 for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight
 of glory!" 2 Corinthians 4:17

The wisdom of God is seen in making the most
desperate evils, work to the good of His children.
As several poisonous ingredients, wisely tempered
by the skill of the apothecary, make a sovereign
medicine—so God makes the most deadly afflictions
work together for the good of His children. He uses
severe afflictions to purify them, and prepare them
for heaven.

These hard frosts hasten the spring flowers of glory!
The wise God, by a divine chemistry, turns our
afflictions into cordials. He makes His people gainers
by losses; and turns their crosses into blessings!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


(Thomas Watson, "Body of Practical Divinity")

"The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but
 the expectations of the wicked are all in vain."
    Proverbs 10:28

See the great difference between the death of
the godly—and the wicked. The godly are great
gainers at death—but the wicked are great
losers at death. They lose four things:

(1.) They lose the world—and that is a great
loss to the wicked. They laid up their treasure
upon earth, and to be turned out of it all at
once, is a great loss.

(2.) They lose their souls. Matthew 16:26-27.
The soul is more precious than the whole world!
But the sinner's soul is lost; not that the souls
of the wicked are annihilated at death—but

(3.) They lose heaven. Heaven is the region
of happiness and bliss.

(4.) They lose all hope. Though they lived wickedly,
they hoped God would be merciful; and they hoped
they would go to heaven. Their hope was not an
anchor—but a spider's web! At death they lose their
hopes, and see they did but flatter themselves into
"Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so
perishes the hope of the godless. What he trusts in
is fragile; what he relies on is a spider's web."
Job 8:13-14. It is dreadful to have life and hope
cut off together!

"When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes."
    Proverbs 11:7

"The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
 but the hope of the wicked only in wrath."
     Proverbs 11:23

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Christian and the Theater

(Published by the American Tract Society, 1820's)

If attending on the theater is a sinful waste of time; if it
tends to dissipate the mind, and to render it indisposed
for all sober, useful, or spiritual employments; if hardly
any man living would dare to retire, and, upon his knees,
ask the blessing of God upon it before he went, or implore
the sanctified use of it after he returned; if theatrical
exhibitions are often—very often—indecent and profane,
and always demoralizing in their tendency; and if their
patrons, by every attendance upon them, encourage and
support sin as a trade; then, I ask, can a disciple of Jesus
Christ, who professes to be governed by the Spirit, and to
imitate the example of his Divine Master; who is commanded
to "live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil
world;" who is warned to have "no fellowship with the
unfruitful works of darkness, but rather to reprove them;"
who is required to "crucify the flesh, with the affections and
lusts;" and "whether he eats or drinks, or whatever he does,
to do all to the glory of God;" can a disciple of Christ, I say,
who is commanded to "shun the company of the profane,"
to "avoid the very appearance of evil," and to pray, "Lead
us not into temptation"—can HE be found in such a place
without sin; without polluting his conscience, tarnishing
his profession, and offending his God?

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The scars of the saints!

(Thomas Watson, "A Treatise Concerning Meditation")

"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.
 Not many of you were wise by human standards; not
 many were influential; not many were of noble birth."
     1 Corinthians 1:26

Meditate on the sovereignty of Christ's love! In the old
law, God passed by the noble lion and the eagle—and
took the dove for sacrifice. That God should pass by so
many of noble birth and abilities, and that the lot of free
should fall upon me—O the depth of divine grace!

How invincible is the love of Christ! "It is strong as death!"
Song 8:6. Death might take away Christ's life—but not His
Neither can our sin wholly quench that divine flame
of love; the church had her infirmities, her sleepy fits, Song
5:2, but though blacked and sullied, yet she is still Christ's
; Christ could see the faith, and wink at the failing.

He who painted Alexander, drew him with his finger over
the scar on his face. Just so, Christ puts the finger of mercy
over the scars of the saints! He will not throw away His
pearls for every speck of dirt! That which makes this love of
Christ the more stupendous—is that there was nothing in us
to excite or draw forth His love! He did not love us because
we were worthy—but by loving us He made us worthy!

Serious meditation on the love of Christ, would make us love
Him in return. Who can tread by meditation upon these hot
coals of Christ's love
—and his heart not burn in love to Him?

Meditation on Christ's love, would set our eyes abroach with
tears! O that we should sin against so sweet a Savior! Had
we none to abuse—but our best Friend? Must we give Him
more gall and vinegar to drink? O, if anything can dissolve
the heart into mourning—it is the unkindnesses we give to
Christ! When Peter thought of Christ's love to him—this
made his eyes to water!
"Peter went out and wept bitterly."

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

There is no shaking off this viper!

(Thomas Watson, "A Treatise Concerning Meditation")

Meditate upon SIN.

1. Meditate on the GUILT of sin. We are in Adam as in a
common head, or root—and he sinning—we become guilty,
Romans 5:12, "Therefore, just as sin entered the world
through one man, and death through sin, and in this way
death came to all men, because all sinned." By his treason
our blood is tainted! This guilt brings shame with it, as
its twin! Romans 6:21.

2. Meditate upon the FILTH of sin. Not only is the guilt of Adam's
sin imputed, but the poison of his nature is disseminated to us!
Our virgin nature is defiled! If the heart is polluted—how then
can the actions be pure? If the water in the well is foul—it cannot
be clean in the bucket! Isaiah 64:6, "We are all as an unclean
thing." We are like a patient who has no sound part in him—his
is bruised, his liver is swelled, his lungs are gasping, his
is infected, his feet are gangrened! Thus is it with us
before saving grace comes!

In the mind there is darkness!

In the memory there is slipperiness!

In the heart there is hardness!

In the will there is stubborness!

"You are sick from head to foot—covered with bruises,
welts, and infected wounds—without any ointments or
bandages!" Isaiah 1:6. A sinner befilthied with sin—is
no better than a devil in man's shape!

And which is sadly to be laid to heart—is the adherency
of this sin. Sin is natural to us. The apostle calls it, "the
sin that so easily ensnares us!" Heb. 12:1. Sin is not easily
cast off! A man may as well shake off the skin of his body
as the sin of his soul! There is no shaking off this
until death!

Oh, often meditate on this contagion of sin. How strong
is that poison—a drop whereof is able to poison a whole sea!
How venomous and malignant was that apple—a taste of
which poisoned all mankind!

Meditation on sin would make the plumes of pride fall off!
If our knowledge makes us proud—that is sin enough to make
us humble. The best saint alive who is taken out of the grave
of sin
—yet has the smell of the grave-clothes still upon him!

3. Meditate upon the CURSE of sin. Gal. 3:10. "Cursed is
everyone who does not continue to do everything written in
the Book of the Law." Sin is not only a defiling thing—but a
thing! It is not only a spot in the face—but a stab
at the heart!
Sin betrays us into the devil's hands! Sin binds
us over to the wrath of God! What then, are all our earthly
with the sword of divine vengeance hanging
over our head! Sin brings forth the "scroll written with curses"
against a sinner, Zech. 5:5, and it is a "flying scroll"—it comes
—if mercy does not stop it. "You are cursed with a curse!"
Thus it is, until the head of this curse is cut off by Christ. Oh
meditate upon this curse due to sin.

Meditation on this curse would make us afraid of retaining
sin. When Micah had stolen his mother's money, and heard
her curse him, he dared not keep it any longer, but restored
it, Judges 17:2. He was afraid of his mother's curse; what
then is God's curse!

Meditation on this curse would make us afraid of entertaining
sin. We would not willingly entertain one in our house who had
a deadly plague! Sin brings along with it, the plague of God's
curse, which cleaves to a sinner. The meditation on this, would
make us fly from sin! While we sit under the shadow of this
bramble of sin—fire will come out of the bramble eternally to
devour us! Judges 9:15.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Something either to dissatisfy or nauseate

(Thomas Watson, "A Treatise Concerning Meditation")

Meditate upon the vanity of the creature.

When you have sifted out the finest flour that the creature
can give, you will find something either to dissatisfy or
. The best wine has its froth, the sweetest rose
has its prickles, and the purest comforts have their dregs.
The creature cannot be said to be full—unless we say that
it is full of vanity. The world is like a broken mirror—which
shows a false beauty.

Meditation on worldly vanity would be like the digging
about the roots of a tree, to loosen it from the earth.
Let a Christian think thus with himself, "Why am I so
serious about such a worthless vanity? If the whole
earth were changed into a globe of gold—it could not
fill my heart!" This would much loosen our hearts from
the world, and be an excellent preservative against
the love of earthly things.

Meditation on the creature's vanity would make us look
after more solid comforts—the favor of God, the blood
of Christ, the influences of the Spirit. When I see that
the life which I fetch from the cistern is vain—I will go
the more to the ocean! In Christ there is an inexhaustible
treasury! When a man finds the bough begin to break,
he lets go of the bough, and catches hold on the tree.
Just so, when we find the creature to be but a rotten
bough, then by faith we shall catch hold on Christ, the
tree of life! Rev. 2:7. The creature is but a shaking
God is the immovable rock of ages!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

One hour in heaven

(Thomas Watson, "A Treatise Concerning Meditation")

Meditate upon HEAVEN. Heaven is the quintessence of
all blessedness. There the saints shall have all their holy
hearts can desire!
We shall behold the King in His beauty!

What a glorious place will this be! In heaven "God will be
all in all"—beauty to the eye, music to the ears, joy to
the heart; and this He will be to the poorest saint, as well
as the richest. O Christian, who is now at your hard labor,
perhaps following the plough—you shall sit on the throne
of glory! The poorest believer shall be taken from his
laboring work, and set at the right hand of God, having
the crown of righteousness upon his head!

"For our momentary light affliction is producing for us
 an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory!"
     2 Corinthians 4:17

Meditation on heaven would excite and quicken
OBEDIENCE. It would put spurs to our sluggish hearts,
and make us "abound in the work of God, knowing that
our labor is not in vain in the Lord!" The weight of glory
would not hinder us in our race—but cause us to run
the faster! This weight would add wings to duty!

Meditation on heaven would make us strive after heart
PURITY, because only the "pure in heart shall see God."

Meditation on heaven would be a pillar of SUPPORT under
our sufferings. Heaven will make amends for all. One
hour in heaven
will make us forget all our sorrows! The
sun dries up the water; just so—one beam of God's
glorious face will dry up all our tears!

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no
 more death or mourning or crying or pain!" Rev. 21:4

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


(Thomas Watson, "A Christian on Earth, Still in Heaven")

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your
 hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the
 right hand of God. Set your minds on things above,
 not on earthly things." Colossians 3:1-2

You shall never go to heaven when you die—unless you
begin heaven here. Grace puts high thoughts, divine
affections, a kind of heavenly ambition into the soul.

Oh, how sordid is it for him who has his hope in heaven
—to have his heart upon the earth! The 'lapwing' insect
has a crown on her head—and yet feeds on dung. A fit
emblem of those who have a crown of profession on
their head—yet feed with eagerness on earthly vanities.

Let all the golden streams of worldly delights run into
the heart of a man—yet the heart is not full. Strain out
the quintessence of the creature—it turns to froth,
"Vanity of vanities!" But in God is sweet satisfaction
and contentment. He is a hive of sweetness, a mirror
of beauty, a storehouse of riches! He is the river of
pleasure, where the soul bathes with infinite delight!

The bird, the higher it takes its flight, the sweeter it
sings. Just so, the higher the soul is raised above the
world—the sweeter joy it has. How is the heart inflamed
in prayer! How is it ravished in holy meditation! These
joys are those honey-streams which flow out of the
rock, Christ! He has those tastes of God's love—which
are the beginnings of heaven. So sweet is this kind of
life, that it can drop sweetness into our troubles and
afflictions—that we shall be scarcely sensible of them.
It can turn the prison into a paradise; the furnace into
a festival; it can sweeten death. A soul elevated by
grace, can rejoice to think of dying. Death will but cut
the string, and the soul, that bird of paradise, shall fly
away and be at rest. Happiness is but the cream of

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If he sees this serpent creeping into his bosom

(Thomas Watson, "The Upright Man's Character")

"How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin
 against God?" Genesis 39:9

A godly man will not allow himself in any known sin.
He dares not touch the forbidden fruit.

Every man but has a propensity and inclination to
a certain sin. This one master-sin is as dear to him
as his right eye! This sin is Satan's citadel, all his
strength lies here. The devil can hold a man as fast
by this one link, as by a whole chain of vices. The
fowler has the bird held fast enough by one wing.
Herod did many things, but there was one sin so
dear to him, that he would sooner behead the
prophet, than behead that sin!

A godly man will not indulge himself in this darling sin.
He takes the sacrificing knife of mortification—and runs
it through his dearest sin! "I was also upright before
Him, and kept myself from my iniquity." Psalm 18:23

An upright heart is not only angry with sin, but hates sin!
If he sees this serpent creeping into his bosom, the
nearer it is, the more he hates it!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Playing with monkeys and parrots

(Thomas Watson, "The Christian's Charter")

"You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with
eternal pleasures at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11

Eternity is the highest link of the saint's happiness!
The believer shall be forever bathing in the pure
and pleasant fountain of bliss!
There is neither
intermission nor expiration—in the joys of heaven!
When once God has set His plants in the celestial
paradise, He will never more pluck them up! You
may sooner separate light from the sun, than a
glorified saint from Jesus Christ. O eternity, eternity!
what a never-failing spring of delight will that be!

The glory of heaven is infinitely satisfying! There is
neither lack, nor excess. This cannot be properly said
of anything but heaven. You who look to the world for
satisfaction, remember what the creature says, "It
is not in me!" Heaven alone, is commensurate to the
vast desires of the soul. Here the Christian cries out in
a divine ecstasy, "I have enough, my Savior, I have
enough!" O eternity, eternity! what a never-failing
spring of delight
will that be!

"You feed them from the abundance of Your own house,
letting them drink from Your rivers of delight!" Psalm 36:8.
Not drops—but rivers! These alone can quench the thirst.
Every day in heaven, shall be a feast! There is no lack at
this feast!
Here is soul-satisfaction! O the glory of this
paradise! It is more than we can ever imagine! There is:
  unspotted purity,
  unstained honor,
  unparalleled beauty!

There will God give us "infinitely more than we would ever
dare to ask or hope!" Is not this enough? What more could
we ask for!
A man could ask for million of worlds—but in
heaven God will give us more than we can ask; nay,
more than we can ever imagine! We could imagine—
  what if all the dust of the earth were turned to silver;
  what if every stone were a wedge of gold;
  what if every flower were a ruby;
  what if every blade of grass were a pearl;
  what if every sand in the sea were a diamond!
Yet all this is nothing—compared to the glory of heaven!
It is as impossible for any man in his deepest thoughts,
to comprehend glory—as it would be for him to measure
the heavens with a ruler; or drain the great ocean with
a thimble. O incomparable place!

But why do I expatiate? These things are unspeakable
and full of glory! Had I as many tongues as hairs on my
head, I could never sufficiently set forth the beauty and
resplendency of this blissful inheritance! Such is the
excellency of this celestial paradise, that if the angels
should take up their pencil to delineate it in its colors,
they would but stain and eclipse the glory of it! I have
given you only the dark shadow the picture, and that
but crudely and imperfectly!

How should we be inflamed with desire to taste of those
rare and sweet delicacies, which are above at God's right
hand! O what madness is it for men to spin out their time,
and tire out their strength—in pursuing the vanities of this
world! Who would, for the indulging of a lust, forfeit so
glorious an inheritance! Lay the whole world in scales
with heaven—it is lighter than vanity! 

It is reported of Caesar, that traveling through a certain
city, as he passed along, he saw some of the women
playing with monkeys and parrots; at which sight
he said, "What! have they no children to play with!"
So I say, when I see men toying with these earthly
and beggarly vanities,
"What! are there not more
glorious and sublime things to mind!"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

No sweat!

(Thomas Watson, "The Christian's Charter")

"Man is born to trouble!" He is the natural heir to it. We
run the race of life on the track of misery! We go from
one suffering—to another. We never finish our troubles;
but merely change them. Where the body is, there will
afflictions like vultures be gathered together. Afflictions,
like hard frosts, nip the tender buds of our comfort. But
in heaven, God "will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying
or pain!" Revelation 21:4

In this life, the body is infirm; physicians have much work
to repair it and keep it going! How does a holy soul often
lodge in a sickly or deformed body! But this body shall be
made glorious at the resurrection! It shall have neither
diseases nor defects! Leah shall no more complain of her
bleary eyes; nor Barzillai of his lameness.

In heaven, our bodies shall be free from the burdens of
nature—such as labor and sweating. There will be no more
ploughing or sowing—what is the need of that—when the
saints shall receive the full crop of joy?

When the farmer works in the field, he needs his rake,
his spade, etc. But let this same farmer is advanced to
the throne—now he has no more use for the spade; he
is freed from all those labors!

So though now we must "eat our bread with the sweat
of our brows;" yet when we are in heaven, and shall be
advanced to the throne—there will be no more need of
our working tools! Labor shall cease! Our sweat, as
well as our tears—shall be dried up!

"Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the
 Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are
 blessed indeed, for they will rest from all their
 toils and trials!
" Revelation 14:13

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

This flattering enemy!

(Thomas Watson, "The Christian's Charter")

"Don't you know that friendship with the world is
 hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a
 friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."
    James 4:4

The world is a deadly enemy.

This enemy courts us.

It smiles—that it may deceive.

It kills—by embracing!

The world's music enchants us.

It has a golden apple in one hand
—and a dagger in the other hand!

Riches are but golden dust, which will sooner choke
us, than satisfy us. Riches are called thick clay, which
will sooner break our back, than lighten our heart.

Marcia gave poison in sweet wine, to the emperor
Commodus. Such an aromatic cup does the world
present us with—that we may drink and die.

The ivy, while it clasps about the oak, sucks away
the heart of it; such are the world's embraces.

Judas-like, whom the world kisses—it betrays.

The world is a silken halter.

The world is a golden fetter.

Some have been drowned in the sweet waters of
Others have been choked in silver mines!

Oh arm, arm against this flattering enemy!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They have God in their mouths!

(Thomas Watson,
"God's Anatomy Upon Man's Heart")

"These people come near to Me with their mouth and
 honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from
 Me." Isaiah 29:13

They have God in their mouths—but not in their hearts!

In one chapter, Christ pronounces seven woes against
this sin of hypocrisy!
"Woe to you hypocrites, Woe!
Woe! Woe!
Woe! Woe! Woe!" Matthew 23.

A hypocrite often makes religion a mask to cover his sin.

Herod pretended to worship Christ—but his intention
was only malice, for he really wanted to destroy Christ.
Often evil purposes lie hidden under good pretenses.

Jezebel, that she may cloak her murderous intentions,
proclaims a fast. 1 Kings 21:9

Absalom, to cover over his treason, pretends a religious
vow. 2 Samuel 15:7

Many make religion a cloak for their ambition, "Come,
and see my zeal for the Lord," says Jehu. 1 Kings 10:14.
No, Jehu! your zeal was to get the kingdom! Here was
double-dyed hypocrisy.

Judas hides his covetousness under a pretense of charity,
"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the
poor?" John 12:5. How charitable was Judas! But his
charity began at home—for he carried the money bag!

How cunning is the hypocrite to go to hell!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

White feathers—but black skin

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
 hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which
 look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are
 full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.
 In the same way, on the outside you appear to
 people as righteous but on the inside you are full
 of hypocrisy and wickedness." Matthew 23:27-28

Here is a sharp rebuke to such as are "glittering dross"
Christians, who only make a show of godliness. These
our Savior calls whitewashed tombs. Their beauty is all
paint! Many are painted over with a religious profession,
whose seeming luster dazzles the eyes of beholders; but
within there is nothing but putrefaction!

Hypocrites are like the swan, which has white feathers
—but black skin
; or like that flower, which has a lovely
appearance—but a foul scent.

The hypocrite deceives others while he lives—but deceives
himself when he dies! What good will it do a man when he
is in hell—that others think he has gone to heaven? Oh,
beware of this!

Counterfeit piety is double iniquity. What is this but to abuse
God to his face, and to serve the devil in Christ's livery?

To have only a pretense of godliness will yield no comfort
after death. Will painted gold enrich a man? Will painted
refresh him who is thirsty? He who has only a painted
shall have only a painted happiness! Let us take
heed of this pious pageantry and devout stage-play!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You blind fools!

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

"Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!"
    1 Peter 2:7

There is nothing in Christ, but what is precious. His
name is precious, His virtues are precious, His blood
is precious—more precious than the world. The Rose
of Sharon
is always sweet!

We cannot prize Christ at too high a rate. We may prize
other things above their value. That is our sin. We commonly
overrate the creature
; we think there is more in it than there
is; therefore God withers our gourd, because we over-prize it.

But we cannot raise our esteem of Christ high enough.
He is beyond all value! There is no ruby or diamond, but
the jeweler can set a fair price on it. But Christ's worth
can never be fully known. No seraphim can set a due
value on Him. His riches are unsearchable! Ephes. 3:8.
Christ is more precious than heaven!

True Christians prize Christ, as most precious. He is
their chief treasure and delight. This reason why
millions perish
, is because they do not prize Christ.

The ungodly choose things of no value, before Christ!
"You blind fools!" Matthew 23:17. If a person chooses
an apple before a priceless diamond—he is judged to
be a fool. How many such idiots are there, who choose
the gaudy, empty things of this life—before the Prince
of Glory!

Give a baby a rattleand it will not want gold.
Give a worldling his lusts—and he will be content
enough without Christ.

We value Christ above honor and riches. This Pearl
of Great Price
lies nearest our heart. He who prizes
Christ esteems the gleanings of Christ—better than
the world's vintage. He counts the worst things of
Christ—better than the best things of the world.
Moses "regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ
as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt."
Hebrews 11:26

If we are the prizers of Christ, we cannot live without
Him. A man may live without music, but not without food.
A child of God can lack health and friends—but he cannot
lack Christ. "Give me children," said Rachel, "or else I die!"
Genesis 30:1. So the soul says, "Give me Christ—or else I
shall die! Give me one drop of the water of life to quench
my thirst."

If we are prizers of Christ, then we shall not complain at
any pains to get Him. He who prizes gold, will dig for it in
the mine. "My soul follows hard after God!" Psalm 63:8
He in whose eye Christ is precious, never rests until he
has gained Him: "I sought Him whom my soul loves; I
held Him, and would not let Him go!" Canticles 3:1,4

If we are prizers of Christ, then we take great pleasure
in Christ. What joy a man takes, in that which he counts
his treasure! He who prizes Christ makes Him his greatest
joy. He can delight in Christ, when earthly delights are gone.
Though a flower in a man's garden dies, he can still delight
in his money and jewels. He who esteems Christ, can solace
himself in Christ, when there is a dearth of all other comforts.

If we are prizers of Christ, then we will part with our dearest
pleasures for Him. He who esteems Christ, will pull out that
lust which is as precious as his right eye! He who sets a high
value on Christ, will set his feet on the neck of his sins!

How can they be said to prize Christ—who will not leave
a vanity for Him; or who prefer a damning pleasure
before a saving Christ!

"Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's palace!

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

"Your boasting is not good!" 1 Corinthians 5:6

Pride is the greatest sacrilege; it robs God of His
glory. What a horrid sin is pride! Chrysostom calls
it "the mother of hell." Pride encompasses all vice.
Pride is a spiritual drunkenness; it flies up like wine
into the brain and intoxicates it. Pride is idolatry; a
proud man is a self-worshiper. How odious is this
sin to God! "Everyone who is proud in heart, is an
abomination to the Lord!" (Proverbs 16:5) "I hate
pride and arrogance!" (Proverbs 8:13)

Those who look at themselves in the magnifying
mirror of self-love
, appear better in their own eyes
than they are. There is no idol like self; the proud
man bows down to this idol.

Many are proud of their riches. Their hearts swell
with their estates. Pride is the rich man's cousin.
"Your heart has become proud because of your
wealth." (Ezekiel 28:5)

Many are proud of their apparel. They dress in such
fashions, as to make the devil fall in love with them!
Painted faces, gaudy attire, naked breasts—what are
these, but the banners which sinful pride displays?

Many are proud of their beauty. The body is but dust
and blood kneaded together
. Solomon says, "Beauty
is vain." (Proverbs 31:30) Yet some are so vain—as
to be proud of vanity! Shall dust exalt itself?

Many are proud of their gifts and abilities. These
trappings and ornaments do not approve them in God's
eyes. An angel is a creature of great abilities; but take
away humility from an angel—
and he is a devil! God
loves a humble soul. It is not our high birth; but our
humble hearts
, which God delights in.

Oh, let us search if there is any of this leaven of pride
in us! Man is naturally a proud piece of flesh. This sin
of pride
runs in the blood. There are the seeds of this
sin of pride
in the best of Christians—but the godly
do not allow themselves in it. They strive to kill this
, by mortification.

But certainly where this sin of pride reigns and prevails,
it cannot stand with grace. You may as well call him who
lacks wisdom, a prudent man; as him who lacks humility,
a godly man. "Clothe yourselves with humility toward one
another, because God opposes the proud, but gives grace
to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5) Put humility on, as an
embroidered robe. It is better to lack anything, rather
than humility.

The more value any man has, the more humble he is.
Feathers fly up—but gold descends! The golden
descends in humility. Look at a humble Savior
—and let the plumes of pride fall off!

A humble heart is God's palace! "For this is what
the high and lofty One says; He who lives forever,
whose name is holy—I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit."
Isaiah 57:15 A humble heart glories in this—that it is
the presence chamber of the great and glorious King!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They have many scars and spots

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

"He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob." Numbers 23:21

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart." Heb. 10:22

If the heart is sincere, God will wink at many failings. 
God's love does not make Him blind; He can see our
infirmities. But how does God look at a believer's sins?
Not with an eye of revenge—but of pity, as a physician
sees a disease in his patient—so as to heal him. God
does not see iniquity in Jacob—so as to destroy him;
but to heal him!

How much pride, vanity, passion, does the Lord pass
by in His sincere ones! He sees the integrity—and
pardons the infirmity. We esteem a picture, though
it is not drawn full length. Just so, the graces of God's
people are not drawn to their full length. They have
many scars and spots
—yet being sincere, they shall
find mercy. God loves the sincere, and it is the nature
of love to cover infirmity.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"Lord, smite this sin!"

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

"Your Word is completely pure, and Your
 servant loves it." Psalms 119:140

Do we love the holiness of the Word? The Word is
preached—to beat down sin, and advance holiness.
Do we love it for its spirituality and purity? Many
love the Preached Word only for its eloquence and
notion. They come to a sermon as to a performance
(Ezek. 33:31,32) or as to a garden to pick flowers;
but not to have their lusts subdued or their hearts
purified. These are like a foolish woman who paints
her face—but neglects her health!

Do we love the convictions of the Word? Do we
love the Word when it comes home to our conscience
and shoots its arrows of reproof at our sins? It is the
minister's duty sometimes to reprove. He who can
speak smooth words in the pulpit—but does not know
how to reprove, is like a sword with a fine handle, but
without an edge! "Rebuke them sharply!" (Titus 2:15).
Dip the nail in oil—reprove in love—but strike the nail

Now Christian, when the Word touches on your sin
and says, "You are the man!" do you love the reproof?
Can you bless God that "the sword of the Spirit" has
divided between you and your lusts? This is indeed a
sign of grace, and shows that you are a lover of the

A corrupt heart loves the comforts of the Word—but
not the reproofs: "You hate the one who reproves...
and despise him who tells the truth!" (Amos 5:10).
"Their eyes flash with fire!" Like venomous creatures
that at the least touch, spit poison! "When they heard
these things, they were enraged in their hearts and
gnashed their teeth at him!" (Acts 7:54). When
Stephen touched their sins, they were furious and
could not endure it.

How shall we know that we love the reproofs of the Word?

When we desire to sit under a heart-searching ministry.
Who cares for medicines that will not work? A godly man
does not choose to sit under a ministry that will not work
upon his conscience.

When we pray that the Word may meet with our sins. If
there is any traitorous lust in our heart—we would have
it found out, and executed. We do not want sin covered;
but cured! We can open our heart to the sword of the
Word and say, "Lord, smite this sin!"

When we are thankful for a reproof. "Let a righteous
man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it
is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it." (Psalm
141:5). David was glad for a reproof.

Suppose a man were in the mouth of a lion, and another
should shoot the lion and save the man; would he not be
thankful? So, when we are in the mouth of sin, as of a
lion, and the minister by a reproof shoots this sin to
death—shall we not be thankful?

A gracious soul rejoices, when the sharp lance of the Word
has pierced his abscess of sin! He wears a reproof like a jewel
on his ear: "Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear." (Proverbs 25:12).

To conclude, it is convincing preaching which must do the
soul good. A nipping reproof prepares for comfort—as a
nipping frost prepares for the sweet flowers of spring.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Then you will be thankful

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

If you wish to be thankful, get a heart deeply
humbled with the sense of your own vileness.
A broken heart is the best pipe to sound forth
God's praise. He who studies his sins, wonders
that he has anything, and that God should shine
on such a dunghill: "I was once a blasphemer
and a persecutor and a violent man—but I was
shown mercy!" (1 Timothy 1:13). How thankful
Paul was! How he trumpeted forth free grace!

A proud man will never be thankful. He looks on
all his mercies as either of his own procuring or
. If he has an estate, this he got by his
wits and industry; not considering that scripture,
"Always remember that it is the Lord your God
who gives you power to become rich" (Dt. 8:18).
Pride stops the current of gratitude. O Christian,
think of your unworthiness; see yourself as the
least of saints, and the chief of sinners—and
then you will be thankful

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The golden bait

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

Gain is the golden bait, with which Satan fishes
for souls! This was the last temptation he used
with Christ: "All these things will I give you!" But
Christ saw the hook under the bait! Many who have
escaped gross sins, are still caught in a golden net!

A godly man dare not travel for riches, along the
devil's highway. Those are sad gains, which make
a man lose heaven at last!

"What good will it be for a man if he gains the
 whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" Mat. 16:26

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The curtain-sinner

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

A godly man does not indulge himself in any sin.

Though sin lives in him—yet he does not live in sin.
A godly man may step into sin through infirmity—
but he does not keep on that road.

What is it to indulge sin? To indulge sin is to give the
breast to it and feed it. To indulge sin is to commit it
with delight. The ungodly "delight in wickedness."
(2 Thess. 2:12). In this sense, a godly man does not
indulge sin. Though sin is in him—he is troubled at it
and would gladly get rid of it.

There is as much difference between sin in the
wicked, and sin in the godly—as between poison
being in a serpent, and poison being in a man.
Poison in a serpent is in its natural place and is
delightful—but poison in a man's body is harmful
and he uses antidotes to expel it. So sin in a
wicked man is delightful, being in its natural
place—but sin in a child of God is burdensome
and he uses all means to expel it.

A godly man will not allow himself in secret sins.
Some are more modest than to commit open gross
sin. That would be a stain on their reputation. All
will not sin on a balcony—but perhaps they will
sin behind the curtain!

But a godly man dare not sin secretly, for he knows
that God can neither be deceived by our subtlety, nor
excluded by our secrecy. He knows that secret sins are
in some sense worse than others. They reveal more
deceit and atheism. "He knows the secrets of every
heart." (Psalm 44:21)

But the curtain-sinner thinks that God does not see:
"Have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with
their idols in dark rooms? They are saying—The Lord
doesn't see us!"
(Ezek. 8:12). How it provokes God, that
men's atheism should give the lie to His omniscience! "He
who formed the eye—shall He not see?" (Psalm 94:9).

A godly man knows that secret sins shall not escape God's
justice. A judge on the bench cannot punish the treason of
the heart. But the sins of the heart are as visible to God,
as if they were written upon the forehead! As God will
reward secret duties; so He will revenge secret sins!

A godly man enters his protest against sin: "Oh,
what a miserable person I am! Who will free me
from this life that is dominated by sin?" (Romans
7:24). A child of God, while he commits sin, hates
the sin he commits!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The harlot in your bosom!

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the
 sin that so easily entangles
, and let us run with
 perseverance the race marked out for us." Heb. 12:1

There is usually one sin that is the favorite—the sin
which the heart is most fond of. A godly man will not
indulge his darling sin: "I kept myself from my iniquity."
(Psalm 18:23). "I will not indulge the sin to which the
bias of my heart more naturally inclines."

"Fight neither with small nor great—but only with the
king." (1 Kings 22:31). A godly man fights this king
sin. If we would have peace in our souls, we must
maintain a war against our favorite sin, and never
leave off until it is subdued.

Question: How shall we know what our beloved sin is?

Answer 1: The sin which a man does not love to have
reproved—is the darling sin. Herod could not endure
having his incest spoken against. If the prophet meddles
with that sin—it shall cost him his head! "Do not touch
my Herodias!" Men can be content to have other sins
reproved—but if the minister puts his finger on the
sore, and touches this sin—their hearts begin to burn
in malice against him!

Answer 2: The sin on which the thoughts run most, is
the darling sin. Whichever way the thoughts go, the
heart goes. He who is in love with a person cannot
keep his thoughts off that person. Examine what sin
runs most in your mind, what sin is first in your
thoughts and greets you in the morning—that is
your predominant sin.

Answer 3: The sin which has most power over us, and
most easily leads us captive—is the one beloved by the
soul. There are some sins which a man can better resist.
If they come for entertainment, he can more easily put
them off. But the bosom sin comes as a suitor, and he
cannot deny it—but is overcome by it. The young man in
the Gospel had repulsed many sins—but there was one
sin which soiled him, and that was covetousness.

Mark what sin you are most readily led captive by—that
is the harlot in your bosom! It is a sad thing that a
man should be so bewitched by lust, that if it asks him
to part with the kingdom of heaven—he must part with
it, to gratify that lust!

Answer 4: The sin which men most defend, is the
beloved sin. He who has a jewel in his bosom, will
defend it to his death. The sin we advocate and
dispute for, is the besetting sin. The sin which we
plead for, and perhaps wrest Scripture to justify it
—that is the sin which lies nearest the heart.

Answer 5: The sin which a man finds most difficulty in
giving up, is the endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob
found most difficulty in parting with Benjamin. So the
sinner says, "This and that sin I have parted with—but
must Benjamin go! Must I part with this delightful sin?
That pierces my heart!" A man may allow some of his
sins to be demolished—but when it comes to one sin,
that is the taking of the castle; he will never agree to
part with that! That is the master sin for sure.

The besetting sin is, of all others, most dangerous.
As Samson's strength lay in his hair—so the strength
of sin, lies in this beloved sin. This is like a poison
striking the heart, which brings death. A godly man
will lay the axe of repentance to this sin and hew it
down! He will sacrifice this Isaac; he will pluck out
this right eye—so that he may see better to go to

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

One sin lived in

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

A godly man considers the mischief which
one sin lived in
, will do.

1. One sin lived in, gives Satan as much advantage
against you as more sins. The fowler can hold a bird
by one wing. Satan held Judas fast by one sin.

2. One sin lived in, proves that the heart is not sound.
He who hides one rebel in his house is a traitor to the
crown. The person who indulges one sin is a traitorous

3. One sin lived in, will make way for more—as a little
thief can open the door to more. Sins are linked and
chained together. One sin will draw on more. David's
adultery made way for murder. One sin never goes alone!
If there is only one nest egg—the devil can brood on it!

4. One sin lived in, is as much a breach of God's law as
more sins. "Whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one
point, is guilty of breaking it all." (James 2:10) The king
may make a law against felony, treason and murder. If a
man is guilty of only one of these—he is a transgressor.

5. One sin lived in, prevents Christ from entering. One
stone in the pipe keeps out the water. One sin indulged
in, obstructs the soul and keeps the streams of Christ's
blood from running into it!

6. One sin lived in, will spoil all your good duties. One
dead fly will spoil the whole box of precious ointment.
A drop of poison will spoil a glass of wine. Abimelech,
a bastard-son, destroyed seventy of his brethren. (Judges
9:5) One bastard-sin will destroy seventy prayers.

7. One sin lived in, will be a cankerworm to eat out the
peace of conscience. "Alas! What a scorpion lies within!"
(Seneca). One sin is a pirate—to rob a Christian of his
comfort. One jarring string puts all the music out of tune.
One sin lived in—will spoil the music of conscience.

8. One sin lived in, will damn as well as more sins. One
disease is enough to kill. If a fence is made ever so strong,
and only one gap is left open; the wild beast may enter and
tread down the corn. If only one sin is allowed in the soul,
you leave open a gap for the devil to enter! A soldier may
have only one gap in his armor—and the bullet may enter
there. He may as well be shot there—as if he had no armor
on at all. So if you favor only one sin, you leave a part of
your soul unprotected—and the bullet of God's wrath may
enter there—and shoot you! One sin lived in, may shut you
out of heaven! What difference is there, between being shut
out of heaven for one sin—or for many sins? One millstone
will sink a man into the sea—as well as a hundred!

Therefore, beware of cherishing one sin! Give a certificate
of divorce to every sin. Kill the Goliath sin! "Let not sin reign
over you." (Romans 6:12) In the original it is "Let not sin king
it over you." Grace and sin may be together—but grace and the
love of sin
cannot. Therefore parley with sin no longer—but with
the spear of mortification, spill the heart-blood of every sin!

"For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through
 the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live."
    Romans 8:13.

"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you."
    Colossians 3:5