Tag Archives: Thomas Watson

See the hand of God in all the barbarisms and incivilities of men!

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See the hand of God in all the barbarisms and incivilities of men!

(Thomas Watson)

“The Almighty has afflicted me!” Ruth 1:21

“The cup which My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” John 18:11

All the injuries and unkind treatments we meet with from others, do not come to us by chance, but are ordained by the all-wise God for our good. 

Many are like the foolish cur that snarls at the¬†stick, never looking to the¬†hand¬†that swung it. If we looked higher than instruments, our hearts would grow meek and calm. Instruments can no more stir until God gives them a commission–than the ax can cut by itself without a hand. David looked beyond Shimei’s rage: “Let him curse, for the Lord has bidden him!” 2 Samuel 16:11¬†

What wisdom for Christians–to¬†see the hand of God in all the barbarisms and incivilities of men!¬†Job eyed God in his affliction, and that meekened his spirit: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD¬†gave¬†and the LORD has¬†taken away;¬†may the name of the LORD be praised!” Job 1:21. He does not say, The¬†Chaldeans¬†have taken away–but “The¬†Lord¬†has taken away.”

Whoever brings an affliction, it is God who sends it.

“God has sovereign right to dispose of us as He pleases. We ought to acquiesce in all that God does with us and to us.” William Carey

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other!” Ecclesiastes 7:14¬†

“Shall we poor worms give laws to our supreme Lord and Governor, and oblige Him always to bless and favor us, and never to afflict us?” Matthew Poole

“What? Should we accept only good things from the hand of God, and never anything bad?” Job 2:10¬†

Five sharp stings!

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Five sharp stings!

(Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663)

Many love sin, more than God. “They are haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful, inventors of evil.” Romans 1:30¬†

What is there in sin–that any should love it?¬†

Sin is a¬†debt. “Forgive us our¬†debts.” Matthew 6:12¬†
Sin is a debt which binds over to the wrath of God! 
And will you love sin? Does any man love to be in debt? 

Sin is a¬†disease. “Your whole head is injured, your whole heart is sick. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness–only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.” Isaiah 1:5-6. And will you love sin? Will any man hug a disease? Will he love his plague sores?¬†

Sin is a¬†pollution. The apostle calls it “filthiness.” James 1:21. It is compared to leprosy and to poison of asps!¬†

Sin is¬†a hideous monster. Lust makes a man brutish–and malice makes him devilish! What is in sin to be loved? Shall we love deformity?¬†

God’s heart rises against sinners.¬†“My soul¬†loathed¬†them!” Zechariah 11:8¬†

Sin is an¬†enemy. It is compared to a “serpent”. Sin has¬†five sharp stings:
  shame,
  guilt,
  horror, 
  death,
  damnation! 

Will a man love that which seeks his death? Surely then it is better to love God than sin. 

God will save you–but sin will damn you!¬†Is he not a fool–who loves damnation!

But¬†love to God¬†will never let sin thrive in the heart. The love of God withers sin. The¬†flower of love¬†kills the¬†weed of sin!¬†How should we labor for that grace of¬†love to God–which is¬†the only corrosive to destroy sin!

A lamp for my feet

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A lamp for my feet

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may
¬†live¬†according to Your truth!” Psalm 86:11


Let us lead Scripture lives. Oh that the Bible might 
be seen printed in our lives! Obedience is an excellent 
way of commenting upon the Bible. Let the Word be 
the sun-dial by which you set your life. What are we 
the better for having the Scripture, if we do not direct 
all our speech and actions according to it? What is a 
carpenter the better for his rule about him, if he sticks 
it at his back, and never makes use of it for measuring 
and squaring his work? So, what are we the better for 
the rule of the Word, if we do not make use of it, and 
regulate our lives by it? How many swerve and deviate 
from the rule! 

“Your Word is¬†a lamp for my feet¬†and a light for my¬†
path.” Psalm 119:105. It is not only a light to our eyes¬†
to mend our sight‚ÄĒbut to our feet to mend our walk.¬†
Oh, let us lead Bible lives!

Desiring God!

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Desiring God!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”)

“Whom have I in Heaven but You?¬†And earth has nothing I¬†desire¬†besides You!”¬†Psalm 73:25¬†

We may know the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts ‚ÄĒ by having¬†true desires after God.¬†By the beating of this¬†pulse¬†‚ÄĒ we conclude there is¬†life.¬†

A true desire after God is¬†sincere. We desire God for Himself, for His intrinsic excellencies. The savor of the ointment of¬†Christ’s gracesdraws the virgins’ desires after Him. Canticles 1:3. A true saint desires Him not only for what God¬†has¬†‚ÄĒ but for what He¬†is; not only for His¬†rewards¬†‚ÄĒ but for His¬†holiness.¬†No hypocrite can thus desire God. He may desire God for His¬†jewels¬†‚ÄĒ but not for His¬†beauty!

A true desire after God is¬†insatiable. It cannot be satisfied without God; let the world heap her honors and riches ‚ÄĒ they will not satisfy. No¬†flowers¬†or¬†music¬†will content him who is¬†thirsty. Just so,¬†nothing will quench the soul’s thirst ‚ÄĒ but the blood of Christ!¬†He faints away, his heart breaks with longing for God. Psalm 84:2; Psalm 119:20

A true desire after God is¬†active. It flourishes into¬†endeavor. “With my soul have I desired you in the night ‚ÄĒ yes, with my spirit within me will I seek You early.” Isaiah 26:9. A soul that desires aright says, “I must have¬†Christ!¬†I must have¬†grace!¬†I must have¬†Heaven, though I take it by storm!”

A true desire after God is¬†supreme. We desire Christ, not only more than the¬†world¬†‚ÄĒ but more than¬†Heaven!¬†“Whom have I in Heaven but You?” Psalm 73:25. Heaven itself would not satisfy ‚ÄĒ without Christ. Christ is¬†the diamond in the ring of glory!¬†

A true desire after God is¬†increasing. A¬†little¬†of God will not satisfy ‚ÄĒ but the pious soul desires still more. A¬†drop¬†of water is not enough for the thirsty traveler. Though a Christian is¬†thankful¬†for the least degree of grace ‚ÄĒ yet he is not¬†satisfied¬†with the greatest degree of grace. He still thirsts for more of Christ, and His Spirit. A saint would have more knowledge, more sanctity, more of Christ’s presence. A¬†glimpse¬†of Christ through the lattice of an ordinance is sweet; but the soul will never stop longing ‚ÄĒ until it sees Him face to face! It desires to have¬†grace¬†perfected in¬†glory!¬†It desires to be wholly plunged into the sweetness of God. We would be swallowed up in God, and be forever bathing ourselves in those perfumed waters of pleasure which run at His right hand!

Surely this sincere desire after God is a blessed sign that the kingdom of grace has come into our hearts. The beating of this pulse shows life! Desires¬†for¬†God ‚ÄĒ are¬†from¬†God. If iron moves upwards contrary to its nature ‚ÄĒ it is a sign some magnet has been drawing it. Just so, if the soul moves towards God in sincere desires ‚ÄĒ it is a sign the¬†magnet of the Spirit¬†has been drawing it!

“He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him.”¬†Psalm 145:19


Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?

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Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I
 will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
¬†It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or
¬†effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:15-16

God has a sovereign right and authority over man. 
He can do with His creatures as He pleases. Who shall 
dispute with God? Who shall ask Him a reason of His 
doings? “Who are you, O man, to talk back to¬†
God?
 Shall what is formed say to him who formed 
it‚ÄĒWhy did you make me like this?” Romans 9:20

“Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.”
 Psalm 115:3 

“The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and
¬†on earth, in the seas and all the depths.” Psalm 135:6

God sits as judge in the highest court, and is not bound 
to give a reason for His proceedings. “He puts down one,¬†
and raises up another.” He has¬†salvation¬†and¬†damnation¬†
in His power. He has the key of justice in His hand, to 
lock up whomever he will, in the fiery prison of hell! And 
He has the¬†key of mercy¬†in His hand, to open heaven’s¬†
gate to whomever He pleases! The name engraved upon 
His vesture is, “King of kings, and Lord of lords!” He sits¬†
Lord paramount, and who can call Him to account? The 
world is¬†God’s house, and shall not He do what He
desires in His own house? 

“My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please!”
     Isaiah 46:10

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!”
     Revelation 19:6

A sleeping lion

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A sleeping lion

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why¬†
do the treacherous live at ease?” Jeremiah 12:1

Such as are highest in sin‚ÄĒare often highest in¬†
prosperity. This has led many to question God’s¬†
justice. Diogenes, seeing a thief live on affluently, 
said, “Surely God has cast off the government of¬†
the world, and does not care how things go on 
here below.”

How can it be consistent with¬†God’s justice,¬†
that the wicked should prosper in the world?

If God lets men prosper a while in their sin‚ÄĒHis¬†
vial of wrath is all this while filling; His sword is 
all this time sharpening. Though God may forbear 
with men a while‚ÄĒyet long forbearance is not
forgiveness. The longer God is in taking His blow, 
the heavier it will be at last! As long as there is 
eternity, God has time enough to reckon with 
His enemies!

God’s justice may be as¬†a sleeping lion‚ÄĒbut the¬†
lion will awake at last, and roar upon the sinner!

“Yes, Lord God Almighty, Your punishments are
¬†true and just.” Revelation 16:7

Adultery Pollutes

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She is a common sewer!

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments.¬†

This selection is longer, but it is needful in¬†our immoral society. Though it particularly addresses¬†adultery, it easily applies to any kind of¬†immorality. This is the best article I have ever read, on how to deal with¬†lust. Every man struggles with lust‚ÄĒso please forward this on.)

“You shall not commit adultery.”¬†
Exodus 20:14

This commandment is set up as a hedge to keep out impurity; and those who break this hedge‚ÄĒa serpent shall bite them! The¬†fountain¬†of this sin is lust. God is a pure, holy being, and has an infinite antipathy against all impurity. We must take heed of running on the¬†rock of impurity, and so¬†making shipwreck of our chastity. The meaning of the commandment is not only that we should not stain our¬†bodies¬†with immorality‚ÄĒbut that we should keep our¬†souls¬†pure. To have a chaste body‚ÄĒbut an unclean soul, is like a beautiful face with a cancerous heart. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16.

There is a¬†mental¬†adultery. “Whoever¬†looks¬†on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his¬†heart.” Matthew 5:28. As a man may die of an inward bleeding‚ÄĒso he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it is not mortified. That I may deter you from the sin of adultery, let me show you¬†the great evil¬†of it.

(1) Adultery is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbor, that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him!

(2) Adultery debases a person.¬†It makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse¬†neighing. “Everyone¬†neighed¬†after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. It is worse than brutish; for some creatures which are void of reason‚ÄĒyet by the instinct of nature, observe some decorum and chastity. The¬†turtle-dove¬†is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate. And the¬†stork, wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists write that if a stork, leaving his own mate, joins with any other, all the rest of the storks fall upon it, and pull its feathers from it. Adultery is¬†worse than brutish, it degrades a person of his honor.

(3) Adultery pollutes.¬†The devil is called an¬†unclean¬†spirit. Luke 11:24. The¬†adulterer¬†is the devil’s first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. He is all over ulcerated with sin; his¬†eyes¬†sparkle with lust; his¬†mouth¬†foams out filth; his¬†heart¬†burns like mount Etna, in unclean desires.¬†He is so filthy,¬†that if he dies in this sin, all the flames of hell will never purge away his immorality! And, as for the¬†adulteress,¬†who can paint her black enough? The Scripture calls her a¬†deep ditch.¬†Proverbs 23:27.¬†She is a common sewer!¬†The¬†body¬†of a harlot is a walking dung-hill, and her¬†soul¬†a lesser hell!

(4) Adultery is destructive to the body.
¬†“Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” Proverbs 5:11. Immorality turns the body into a hospital, it brings foul diseases, and eats the beauty of the face. As the flame wastes the candle, so the¬†fire of lust¬†consumes the body. The adulterer hastens his own death. “So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life!” Proverbs 7:21-23.¬†

(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only‚ÄĒbut the estate.
¬†“Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute¬†reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!” Proverbs 6:24-26. Whores are the devil’s horse-leeches, sponges that suck in money. The prodigal son spent his inheritance, when he fell among harlots. Luke 15:30. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers.

(6) Adultery destroys reputation.
¬†“But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant¬†disgrace¬†are his lot. His¬†shame¬†will never be erased!” Proverbs 6:32, 33.¬†Wounds of reputation‚ÄĒno physician can heal. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground. His¬†bastard children¬†are living monuments of his shame.

(7) Adultery impairs the mind. 
It steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. “Whoredom and wine take away the heart.” Hosea 4:11. It eats all purity out of the heart. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.

(8) Adultery incurs temporal judgments.
¬†The Mosaic law made the penalty for adultery, to be¬†death. “The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;” and the usual death was¬†stoning. Lev 20:10; Deut. 22:24. The¬†Salons¬†commanded people guilty of this sin, to be burnt. The¬†Romans¬†caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion‚ÄĒthis sin carries a sting in its tail. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge!” Proverbs 6:34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. “Lust’s practice is to make a joyful¬†entrance‚ÄĒbut she¬†leaves¬†in misery.” I have read of two in London, who, having defiled themselves with adultery, were immediately struck dead with lightening from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would¬†rain fire¬†again, as on Sodom.

(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. 
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.¬†The fire of lust, brings to the fire of hell.¬†“God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral!” Hebrews 13:4. Though¬†men¬†may neglect to judge them‚ÄĒyet¬†God¬†will judge them! He will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and He will punish them severely. The¬†harlot’s breasts¬†keeps from¬†Abraham’s bosom!¬†“The¬†delight¬†lasts a moment‚ÄĒthe¬†torment¬†an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasure‚ÄĒwould drink a sea of wrath! “Her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18. The harlot is perfumed with powders, and lovely to look on‚ÄĒbut poisonous and damnable to the soul! “She has cast down many wounded, yes, many strong men have been slain by her.” Proverbs 7:26.

(10) The adulterer does all he can, to destroy the soul of another‚ÄĒand so kills two at once!
¬†He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yes, and also takes away his life‚ÄĒ the man’s¬†soul¬†may be happy; he may go to heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and does all he can, to deprive her of salvation. What a fearful thing it is‚ÄĒto be an instrument to draw another to hell!

(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God.
¬†“The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is¬†abhorred¬†by the Lord, will fall into it.” Proverbs 22:14. What can be worse than to be¬†abhorred¬†by God? God may be¬†angry¬†with His own children; but for God to¬†abhor¬†a man‚ÄĒis the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of hell; and when¬†death¬†gives him a push‚ÄĒhe tumbles in!

All this should sound a¬†warning¬†in our ears, and call us off from the pursuit of so damnable a sin as immorality. Hear what the Scriptures say: “Her house is the way to hell.” Proverbs 7:27.

I shall give some directions, by way of antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.

(1) Do not come into the¬†company¬†of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. “Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” Proverbs 5:8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to avoid the¬†occasion¬†of sin, and yet pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt!

(2) Look to your¬†eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. “Having eyes full of adultery.” 2 Pet 2:14. The¬†eye¬†tempts the¬†imagination, and the imagination works upon the¬†heart. A lustful amorous eye, may usher in sin. Eve first¬†saw¬†the tree of knowledge‚ÄĒand then she¬†took. Gen 3:6. First she¬†looked‚ÄĒand then she¬†loved. The¬†eye¬†often sets the¬†heart¬†on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. “I made a covenant with my eyes‚ÄĒnot to look with lust upon a young woman.” Job 31:1.

(3) Look to your¬†lips. Take heed of any unclean word which may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Impure discourse, is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to the¬†heart¬†by the¬†tongue. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth!” Psalm 141:3.

(4) Look in a special manner to your¬†heart. “Guard your¬†heart¬†with all diligence.” Proverbs 4:23. Every person has a tempter in his own bosom! “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adultery, all other sexual immorality.” Matthew 15:19.¬†Thinking¬†of sin, makes way for the¬†act¬†of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the serpent, when danger is near‚ÄĒguards his¬†head, so keep your¬†heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.

(5) Look to your¬†attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. A painted face, and half-naked breasts, are allurements to immorality. Where the¬†sign¬†is hung out‚ÄĒpeople will go in and¬†taste¬†the liquor. Jerome says, “those who by their lascivious attire endeavor to draw others to lust, though no evil follows‚ÄĒare tempters‚ÄĒand shall be punished, because they offered the¬†poison¬†to others, even though they would not drink.”

(6) Take heed of evil company. Sin is a very contagious disease; one person tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords which draw men to immorality: 
the inclination of the heart, 
the persuasion of evil company, and 
the embraces of the harlot. This¬†threefold cord¬†is not easily broken. “A fire was kindled in their company.” Psalm 106:18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.

(7) Beware of going to¬†theaters¬†and¬†plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. “Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness.” We are bid to avoid all¬†appearance¬†of evil; and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there, which are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. A learned divine observes, that many have on their death-beds confessed, with tears, that the pollution of their bodies has been occasioned by going to plays.

(8) Take heed of lascivious books and pictures, which provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading vile books stirs up the mind to wickedness. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and are incendiaries to lust! They secretly convey poison to the heart. 

(9) Take heed of¬†excess¬†in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, immorality and wantonness bring up the rear. “Wine inflames lust.” “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and¬†gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. The¬†foulest¬†weeds grow out of the¬†fattest¬†soil. Immorality proceeds from excess. “When I had¬†fed¬†them to the full, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jer. 5:8. Get the “golden bridle of temperance.” God allows the¬†refreshment of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in temporal things‚ÄĒclouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Cor. 9:27. The¬†flesh pampered‚ÄĒis liable to immorality.

(10) Take heed of¬†idleness. When a man is idle, he is ready to receive any temptation. The devil sows most of his¬†seeds of temptation¬†in¬†fallow¬†ground. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and immorality. “Sodom’s sins were pride,¬†laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. 2 Samuel 11:4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God’s vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.

(11) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire¬†love to his own wife. Ezekiel’s wife was the desire of his eyes. Ezekiel 24:16. When Solomon had dissuaded from immoral women, he prescribed a remedy against it. “Rejoice¬†with the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. It is not¬†having¬†a wife‚ÄĒbut¬†loving¬†a wife‚ÄĒ which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls his¬†fountain, will not go abroad to drink of¬†muddy, poisoned waters. Pure marital love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be nourished, so that it does not go out. He who does not love his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a harlot.

(12) Labor to get the¬†fear of God¬†into your hearts. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out immorality. Such as lack the fear of God, lack the¬†bridle¬†which should check them from sin! How did Joseph keep from his mistress’ temptation? The fear of God pulled him back! “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against¬†God!”¬†Genesis 39:9. Bernard calls¬†holy fear, “the door-keeper of the soul.” As a nobleman’s porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.

(13) Take delight in the¬†Word of God. “How sweet are your words unto my taste.” Psalm 119:103. Chrysostom compares God’s Word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from the¬†flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the “forbidden fruit.” “Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure,” says Augustine. The reason why people seek after unchaste, sinful pleasures‚ÄĒis because they have nothing better. Caesar riding through a city, and seeing the women play with¬†dogs¬†and¬†parrots, said, “Surely, they have no¬†children.” So those who sport with harlots, have no better pleasures. He who has once tasted¬†Christ in a promise, is ravished with delight; and he would¬† scorn a¬†temptation¬†to sin! Job said, that the Word was his “appointed food.” Job 23:12. No wonder then, that he made a “covenant with his eyes.”

(14) If you would abstain from adultery, use serious consideration.

¬†¬†¬† [1] Consider that God sees you in the act of sin! He sees all your¬†curtain¬†wickedness. He is¬†totus oculus‚ÄĒ“all eye.” The¬†clouds¬†are no canopy, the¬†night¬†is no curtain‚ÄĒto hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sin‚ÄĒyour Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable acts‚ÄĒyour adulteries and your neighings.” Jer. 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jer. 29:23.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [2] Consider that few who are entangled in the sin of adultery, ever recover from the snare. “None that go to her return again.” Proverbs 2:19. This made some of the ancients conclude that adultery was an unpardonable sin; but it is not so. David repented. Mary Magdalene was a weeping penitent; upon her amorous eyes which sparkled with lust, she sought to be revenged, by washing Christ’s feet with her tears!¬†Some, therefore have recovered from this snare. “None¬†that go to her return,” that is, “very few.” It is rare to hear of any who are enchanted and bewitched with the sin of immorality, who recover from it. “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a¬†snare, whose heart is a¬†trap¬†and whose hands are¬†chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.” Eccl. 7:26. Her “heart is a trap,” that is, she is subtle to deceive those who come to her; and “her hands are chains,” that is her embraces are powerful to hold and entangle her lovers. This consideration should make all fearful of this sin.¬†Soft pleasures, harden the heart.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [3] Consider what Scripture says, which may lay a barricade in the way to this sin. “I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.” Malachi 3:5. It is good when God is a witness “for¬†us”, when He witnesses to our sincerity, as He did to Job’s; but it is sad to have God as a “witness¬†against¬†us.” “I,” says God, “will be a swift witness against the adulterer.” And who shall disprove God’s witness? He is both¬†witness¬†and¬†judge!¬†“God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [4] Consider the sad farewell, which the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a hell in the conscience. “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5. The¬†goddess Diana¬†was so artfully drawn, that she seemed to smile upon those who¬†came¬†into¬†her temple‚ÄĒbut frown on those who¬†went out. So the harlot¬†smiles¬†on her lovers as they¬†come¬†to her‚ÄĒbut at last, they come to the¬†frown¬†and the sting! “Until an arrow pierces his liver.” Proverbs 7:23. “Her end is bitter.”¬†

When a man has been virtuous, the¬†labor¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†comfort¬†remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, the¬†pleasure¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†sting¬†remains. “He gains momentary pleasure‚ÄĒbut after that, eternal torment,” says Jerome. When the¬†senses¬†have been feasted with unchaste pleasures, the¬†soul¬†is left to pay the reckoning. Stolen waters are sweet; but, as poison, though sweet in the mouth, it torments the conscience.¬†Sin always ends in tragedy!¬†Sad is that which Fincelius reports of a priest in Flanders, who enticed a young girl to immorality. When she objected how vile a sin it was, he told her that by authority from the Pope, he could commit any sin; so at last he drew her to his wicked purpose. But when they had been together a while, in came the devil, and took away the harlot from the priest’s side, and, notwithstanding all her crying out, carried her away! If the devil should come and carry away all who are guilty of immorality in this nation‚ÄĒI fear more would be carried away, than would be left behind!

(16)¬†Pray¬†against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armor against sin; it quenches the¬†wild fire of lust.¬†If prayer will “cast out the devil,” it will certainly cast out those lusts which come from the devil.

O let us labor for soul purity!¬†To keep the soul pure‚ÄĒhave recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zech. 13:1. A soul¬†steeped¬†in the briny tears of repentance, and¬†bathed¬†in the blood of Christ‚ÄĒis made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssop‚ÄĒlet Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to heaven‚ÄĒwhere I shall be as¬†holy¬†as You would have me to be‚ÄĒand ashappy¬†as I can desire to be!”

The Delilah in the bosom!

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The Delilah in the bosom!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

If you would not come short of the kingdom of heaven, 
take heed of indulging any sin. One millstone will drown, 
as well as more. One sin lived in will damn, as well as more. 
If any one sin reigns‚ÄĒit will keep you from reigning in the¬†
kingdom of heaven. 

Especially keep from sins of your natural constitution; 
your darling sin. “I kept myself from¬†my¬†iniquity”‚ÄĒthat¬†
sin which my heart would soonest decoy and flatter me 
into. As in the hive there is one master bee‚ÄĒso in the¬†
heart there is one master-sin. Oh, take heed of this!

How may this darling-sin be known?

1. That sin for which a man cannot endure the arrow of 
a reproof, is the bosom-sin. Men can be content to have 
other sins declaimed against; but if a minister puts his 
finger upon the sore, and touches upon that one special 
sin‚ÄĒthen their eyes flash with fire, they are enraged,¬†
and spit the venom of malice!

2. That sin which a man’s heart runs out most to, and he¬†
is most easily captivated by‚ÄĒis¬†the Delilah in the bosom!¬†
One man is overcome with wantonness, another by worldliness. 
It is a sad thing for a man to be so bewitched by a beloved sin
that he will part with the whole kingdom of heaven‚ÄĒto gratify¬†
that lust!

3. That sin which a man is least inclined to part with, is the 
endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob could most hardly part with 
Benjamin. “Will you take¬†Benjamin¬†away!” Gen 42:35. So says¬†
the sinner, “This and that sin I have left‚ÄĒbut must¬†Benjamin¬†go¬†
too? Must I part with this delightful sin? That goes to my heart!”

Take heed especially of this master-sin. The strength of sin 
lies in the beloved sin, which, like a cancer striking at the 
heart, brings death. 

I have read of a monarch, who being pursued by the enemy, 
threw away the crown of gold on his head‚ÄĒthat he might run¬†
the faster. Just so, the sin which you wore as a crown of gold 
must be thrown away‚ÄĒthat you may run the faster to the¬†
kingdom of heaven. 

Oh, if you would not lose glory, mortify the beloved sin! Set it, 
as Uriah‚ÄĒin the forefront of the battle to be slain. By plucking¬†
out this¬†right eye‚ÄĒyou will see the better to go to heaven!


The Trojan horse

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The Trojan horse

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

“Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13

In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the 
evil of our heart, that it may not entice us to sin. 

The heart is the poisoned fountain, from whence 
all actual sins flow. “For¬†from within, out of the heart¬†
of man
, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, 
murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, 
sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”¬†
Mark 7:21-22. 

The cause of all evil lies in a man’s own bosom‚ÄĒall¬†
sin begins at the heart. Lust is first conceived in the 
heart‚ÄĒand then it is midwifed into the world. Whence¬†
comes rash anger? The heart sets the tongue on fire. 
The heart is the shop where all sin is contrived and 
hammered out. 


The heart is¬†the greatest seducer¬†“Each one is¬†
tempted when he is carried away and enticed by 
his own lust.” James 1:14.¬†The devil could not hurt¬†
us‚ÄĒif our own hearts did not give consent.
 All that 
he can do is to lay the bait‚ÄĒbut it is our fault to¬†
swallow it! How needful, therefore, is this prayer,
“Deliver us from the evil of our hearts!”

It was Augustine’s prayer, “Lord, deliver me from¬†
that evil man‚ÄĒmyself!”

Beware of the¬†bosom traitor‚ÄĒthe flesh. The heart¬†
of a man is¬†the Trojan horse‚ÄĒout of which comes¬†
a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered 
from the lusts and deceits of our own heart! 

Let me tell you, the Devil has his ministers!

Let me tell you, the Devil has his ministers!

(Thomas Watson, “Dearly Beloved” 1662)

Take heed whom you listen to! It is our dear Savior’s counsel, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing ‚ÄĒ but inwardly are ravening wolves!” Matthew 7:15.

Let me tell you, the Devil has his ministers ‚ÄĒ as well as Christ! There are some, who by the subtlety of their wit, have learned the art of mixing error with truth, and to give poison in a golden cup!

Take heed WHO you hear, and HOW you hear. Be like those noble Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily, to see whether the things that they taught, were true or not. Acts 17:11.

Your ears must not be like sponges which suck in puddle-water, as well as wine. But your ears must be like a winnowing fan, which fans out the chaff ‚ÄĒ but retains the pure wheat. You must be like those in the parable, who gathered the good fish ‚ÄĒ but cast the bad away. Matthew 13:48.

The saints are called virgins for their wisdom ‚ÄĒ they will not let everyone defile their souls with error! They have both a judicious ear, and a critical palate ‚ÄĒ which can distinguish between truth and error; and discern a difference between God’s pure food, and the devil’s cooking!


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