Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Books #12: The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson

People do not write today like the puritans used to write. And not many puritans even wrote like Thomas Watson wrote. His books are unique, deep, and soul-refreshing. And they are convicting. The Doctrine of Repentance is one of those sort of books.

The first time I read this book, I felt as if I had never repented before. If what he is saying is true in regards to repentance, I have a long ways to go. And I still feel that way every time I look at this book. I still feel like I have a long ways to go in regards to dealing with my sin.

One thing I love about this book and Watson in general, is that he is very quotable. For instance, let me give you a few of the great quotes from this book:

  • "Either sin must drown or the soul burn" (8).
  • "Tomorrow may be our dying day; let this be our repenting day" (8).
  • "It is one thing to be a terrified sinner and another to be a repenting sinner. Sense of guilt is enough to breed terror" (15).
  • "Where there is no sight of sin, there can be no repentance" (19).
  • "Sorrow for sin must surpass worldly sorrow. We must grieve more for offending God than for the loss of dear relations" (23-4).
  • "He who hates one sin hates all" (46).
  • "Loving of sin is worse than committing it. A good man may run into a sinful action unawares, but to love sin is desperate" (47-8).
  • "Sin is a sugared draught, mixed with poison. The sinner thinks there is danger in sin, but there is also delight, and the danger does not terrify him as much as the delight bewitches him" (101).
The list can keep going. Even as I write those statements, my heart is reflecting on how easy it is to be lured into a casual view of sin and repentance. I don't really think I'm that bad. I don't really think how I act or what I think or say is really that offensive to God. And in so doing, my repentance of those things tend to be very shallow. I think I need to read this book once again. I think we all need to read this book yearly. If for no other reason, we should read it yearly to keep the issue of repentance before us all the time.

May we love Jesus more than our sin!

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