Thomas Watson: Evangelicalism's Best Kept Secret
The last while I have been slowly reading The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson. The richness of clear practical biblical wisdom, penetrating insight, eye opening illustrations, and the passionate and convicting message has been blowing my mind. I left my times reading this book with greater joy and a greater sense of God's grace. I think that there is more richness on two pages of this book than in most modern Christian books. Here are some quotations, but I recommend that you make it an important goal this year to read it. You can access a shorter version online or order from Banner of Truth Trust.
"to intimate that sorrow for sin must exceed sorrow at the grave; and with good reason, for in the burial of the dead it is only a friend who departs, but in sin God departs" (24).
"We are to find as much bitterness in weeping for sin as ever we found sweetness in committing it. Surely David found more bitterness in repentance than ever he found comfort in Bathsheba" (24).
"Our hearts must go along in our confessions. The hypocrite confesses sin but loves it, like a thief who confesses to stolen goods, yet loves stealing" (29).
"The more we are ashamed of sin now, the less we shall be ashamed at Christ's coming" (44).
"Christ is never loved till sin be loathed. Heaven is never longed for till sin be loathed" (45).
"Sound repentance begins in the love of God and ends in the hatred of sin" (45).
"'madness is in their heart while they live' (Eccles. 9:3). So for men to love sin, to hug that which will be their death, to sport with damnation, 'madness is in their heart'" (48).
"...a true convert seeks the destruction of every lust. He knows how dangerous it is to entertain any one sin. He that hides one rebel in his house is a traitor to the Crown" (54).
"As God has two places he dwells in, heaven and a humble heart, so the devil has two places he dwells in, hell and a hard heart. It is not falling into water that drowns, but lying in it. It is not falling into sin that damns, but lying in it without repentance: 'having their conscience seared with a hot iron' (1 Tim. 4:2). Hardness of heart results at last in the conscience being seared. Men have silenced their consciences, and God has seared them. And now he lets them sin and does not punish - 'Why should ye be stricken any more?' (Isa. 1:5) - as a father gives over correcting a child whom he intends to disinherit" (62).
"Repentance is necessary: 'except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish' (Luke 13:5). There is no rowing to paradise except upon the stream of repenting tears. Repentance is required as a qualification. It is not so much to endear us to Christ as to endear Christ to us. Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet" (63).