This was one of those that I never wanted to come to the end of. Didn’t want it to end because each page dripped with soul shaking truth and conviction. But also because I knew I if I completed the book, now I have to put it into practice.
This is one of those classic books that haunts you. In a good way, but still haunts.
In it, Puritan Thomas Watson lays out what repentance is not, what true repentance is, and varying levels of motivations and exhortations to pursue true repentance. My (and yours I venture) view of true repentance is so low, so manageable. Watson helped me see just how complacent my heart had become towards sin. This book should go hand in hand with Owen’s The Mortification of Sin as important weapons in the fight for Holiness.
I’ll drop a few of the many jewels here for you to get a taste for the riches in this book:
“Either sin must drown in the tears of repentance— or the soul must burn in hell.”
“It is one thing to be a terrified sinner— and another to be a repenting sinner. Sense of guilt is enough to breed terror in the conscience. Only infusion of divine grace, breeds true repentance. If pain and trouble were sufficient to repentance, then the damned in hell should be most penitent, for they are most in anguish.”
“O how desirable is a Savior to a troubled soul! Now Christ is Christ indeed— and mercy is mercy indeed. Until the heart is full of sorrow for sin— it is not fit for Christ. How welcome is a surgeon— to a man who is bleeding from his wounds!”
“Some bless themselves that they have a stock of knowledge— but what is knowledge good for, without repentance? It is better to mortify one sin, than to understand all mysteries. Impure notionalists do but resemble Satan transformed into an angel of light. Learning and a bad heart— is like a fair face with a cancer in the breast. Knowledge without repentance, will be but a torch to light men to hell.
“Before the receiving of the Lord’s Supper. This spiritual Passover is to be eaten with bitter herbs. Now our eyes should be fresh broached with tears, and the stream of sorrow overflow. A repenting frame is a sacramental frame. A broken heart and a broken Christ do well agree. The more bitterness we taste in sin— the more sweetness we shall taste in Christ!”