Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Reflecting on a life that is to be of godliness with help from Thomas Watson:


The soul being so precious and salvation so glorious, it is the highest point of prudence to make preparations for another world. It is beyond all dispute that there is an inheritance in light, and it is most strenuously asserted in Holy Scripture that there must be a fitness and suitability for it (Col 1:12). If anyone asks, ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?’ (Psa 24:4). To describe such a person is the work of this ensuing treatise. Here you have the godly man’s portrait, and see him portrayed in his full lineaments. What a rare thing godliness is! It is not airy and puffed up, but solid, and such as will take up the heart and spirits. Godliness consists in an exact harmony between holy principles and practices.

So sublime is godliness that it cannot be delineated in its perfect radiance and luster, though an angel should take the pencil. Godliness is our wisdom. ‘The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom’ (Job 28:28). Policy without piety is profound madness.

Godliness is a spiritual queen, and whoever marries her is sure of a large dowry with her. Godliness has the promise of the present life and of that which is to come (1 Tim 4:8). Godliness gives assurance, yes, holy triumph in God, and how sweet that is (Isa 32:17). It was old Latimer who said, ‘When sometimes I sit alone, and have a settled assurance of the state of my soul, and know that God is my God, I can laugh at all troubles, and nothing can daunt me.’

Godliness puts a man in heaven before his time. Christian, aspire after piety; it is a lawful ambition. Look at the saints’ characteristics here, and never leave off till you have got them stamped your own soul. This is the grand business that should swallow up your time and thoughts. Other speculations and quaint notions are nothing to the soul. They are like wafers which have fine works printed upon them, and are curiously damasked to the eye, but are thin, and yield little nourishment.

That the God of grace will effectually accomplish this shall be the prayer of him who is.

Yours in all Christian affection,

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