These wonderful Puritan Paperback Series should be in every Christian’s library. They represent some of the most learned, godly and practical of preachers and theologians of the Reformation Period, including Thomas Watson. They are simply gold. Read them and pass them along!
Among C.H. Spurgeons 12,000 Puritan books, one prize was said to be missing: Thomas Watsons Notes on Malachi 3:16-18. Wrote Spurgeon, “This would be a great find, for Watson is one of the clearest and liveliest of Puritan authors.” The book that Spurgeon longed for, reset and lightly edited, offers rich spirituality, nourishing doctrine, practical wisdom.
In this reset and lightly edited edition you can now read the book that was on Spurgeon’s ‘wish-list’! “The Great Gain of Godliness” is Watson’s exposition of Mal. 3:16-18. In it he aims “to encourage solid piety and confute the atheists of the world, who imagine there is no gain in godliness.” This book has all the hallmarks of Thomas Watson’s other writings: a combination of rich spirituality, nourishing doctrine, and sane practical wisdom coupled with fascinating illustrations and a very pleasant style.
A good case could be made out for believing that ‘repentance’ is one of the least used words in the Christian church today. In a world that will not tolerate the mention of sin, and in churches where it has been defined only in sociological terms, the biblical teaching on repentance has inevitably been ignored
Knowing what repentance is, and actually repenting are essential to true Christianity. Jesus Christ himself said that if we do not repent, we will perish! It is vital, therefore, to read and study what Scripture has to say about this theme.
Few better guides have existed in this or any other area of spiritual experience than Thomas Watson. He was a master of both Scripture and the human heart, and wrote with a simplicity and directness that keeps his work fresh and powerful for the twenty-first century.
Thomas Watson, the 17th-century minister of St. Stephen’s Walbrook, believed he faced two great difficulties in his pastoral ministry. The first was making the unbeliever sad, in the recognition of his need of God’s grace. The second was making the believer joyful in response to God’s grace. He believed the answer to the second difficulty could be found in Paul’s teaching in Romans 8:28 – God works all things together for good for his people.
First published in 1663 (under the title A Divine Cordial), the year after Watson and some two thousand other ministers were ejected from the Church of England and exposed to hardship and suffering, All Things For Good contains the rich exposition of a man who lived when only faith in God’s Word could lead him to such confidence.
Thomas Watson’s exposition is always simple, illuminating and rich in practical application. He explains that both the best and the worst experiences work for the good of God’s people. He carefully analyses what it means to be someone who ‘loves God’ and is ‘called according to his purpose’. All Things For Good provides the biblical answer to the contemporary question; Why do bad things happen to good people?
Few preachers in the Puritan era (or any other period of church history) match Thomas Watson for his ability to combine rich spirituality, nourishing doctrine and sane wisdom with fascinating illustrations and a pleasant style. Watson is remembered chiefly for his posthumously published Body of Practical Divinity (reprinted by the Trust in three volumes). But his extant sermons also include this marvelous series on the character of the Christian. It is, as C. H. Spurgeon said of his other work, ‘a happy union of sound doctrine, heart-searching experience and practical wisdom.’
Watson is always the essence of sanity and reliability. But in addition, this work shows how attractive the grace of God is. Christians of all stages, reading it for the first time, will feel as if they have entered the gallery of a great portrait painter. As his sub-title suggests, Watson works with ‘a Scripture pencil’ in this priceless sketch of the true believer.
To Thomas Watson, the Lord’s Supper was a visible sermon, a mirror in which to gaze on the sufferings and death of Christ. ‘God, to help our faith, does not only give us an audible Word, but a visible sign.’ But more than this, the Supper was a time in which to partake of the benefits of Christ’s death by faith, to be fed and cherished by the Lord in his own banqueting house, and to obtain a foretaste of the glory which will be fully realized only in heaven. Watson’s aim was to stimulate greater love to Christ in His people, and to enhance their appreciation of the Supper as a spiritual feast for all believers. His fine exposition shows the rich provision made in the Supper for all who love the Lord, while it also lays bare the emptiness of all mere sacramentalism.
This book does not belong to the ordinary run of anthologies but is a masterful selection by an author who has given many years to his work. The 1500 quotations from a wide range of Puritans have been chosen with great care, and arranged under topical headings. They form an ideal introduction to the writings of the great and godly men of the 17th-century, and will prove to be devotional reading of the highest quality. Those who are already familiar with the Puritan writings will find the Treasury to be a perfect stimulus to further reading.