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Thomas Watson

      1620-1686

      Thomas Watson was an English, non-conformist, Puritan preacher and author.

      He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was noted for remarkably intense study. In 1646 he commenced a sixteen year pastorate at St. Stephen's, Walbrook. He showed strong Presbyterian views during the civil war, with, however, an attachment to the king, and in 1651 he was imprisoned briefly with some other ministers for his share in Christopher Love's plot to recall Charles II of England.

      He was released on 30 June 1652, and was formally reinstated as vicar of St. Stephen's Walbrook. He obtained great fame and popularity as a preacher until the Restoration, when he was ejected for nonconformity. Not withstanding the rigor of the acts against dissenters, Watson continued to exercise his ministry privately as he found opportunity. Upon the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 he obtained a license to preach at the great hall in Crosby House. After preaching there for several years, his health gave way, and he retired to Barnston, Essex, where he died suddenly while praying in secret. He was buried on 28 July 1686.

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A Body of Divinity 1. Brief Memoir Of Thomas Watson
      Compiled by C. H. Spurgeon Thomas Watson's Body of Practical Divinity is one of the most precious of the peerless works of the Puritans; and those best acquainted with it prize it most. Watson was one of the most concise, racy, illustrative, and suggestive of those eminent divines who made the Puritan age the Augustan period of evangelical liter ...read

A Body of Divinity 2. A Preliminary Discourse To Catechising
      'If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' - Col 1:23. Intending next Lord's day to enter upon the work of catechising, it will not be amiss to give you a preliminary discourse, to show you how needful it is for Christians to be well instructed in the grounds of religion. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' I. It is th ...read

A Body of Divinity 3. Introduction: Man's Chief End
      Q-I: WHAT IS THE CHIEF END OF MAN? A: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. Here are two ends of life specified. 1: The glorifying of God. 2: The enjoying of God. I. The glorifying of God, I Pet 4:4: That God in all things may be glorified.' The glory of God is a silver thread which must run through all our actions. ...read

A Body of Divinity 4. Introduction: The Scriptures
      Q-II: WHAT RULE HAS GOD GIVEN TO DIRECT US HOW WE MAY GLORIFY AND ENJOY HIM? A: The Word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. 2 Tim 3:16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,' By Scripture is understood the sacred Book of God. It is ...read

A Body of Divinity 5. God and His Creation: The Being Of God
      Q-III: WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES PRINCIPALLY TEACH? A: The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. Q-IV: WHAT IS GOD? A: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. Here is, 1: Something implied. Tha ...read

A Body of Divinity 6. God and His Creation: The Knowledge Of God
      'The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.' I Sam 2:2. Glorious things are spoken of God; he transcends our thoughts, and the praises of angels. God's glory lies chiefly in his attributes, which are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth. Among other of his orient excellencies, this is not the least, The Lor ...read

A Body of Divinity 7. God and His Creation: The Eternity Of God
      The next attribute is, God is eternal.' Psa 90:0. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.' The schoolmen distinguish between aevun et aeternum, to explain the notion of eternity. There is a threefold being. I. Such as had a beginning; and shall have an end; as all sensitive creatures, the beasts, fowls, fishes, which at death are destroyed ...read

A Body of Divinity 8. God and His Creation: The Unchangeableness Of God
      The next attribute is God's unchangeableness. I am Jehovah, I change not.' Mal 3:3. I. God is unchangeable in his nature. II. In his decree. I. Unchangeable in his nature. 1. There is no eclipse of his brightness. 2. No period put to his being. [1] No eclipse of his brightness. His essence shines with a fixed lustre. With whom is no variabl ...read

A Body of Divinity 9. God and His Creation: The Wisdom Of God
      The next attribute is God's wisdom, which is one of the brightest beams of the Godhead. He is wise in heart.' Job 9:9. The heart is the seat of wisdom. Cor in Hebraeo sumitur pro judicio. Pineda. Among the Hebrews, the heart is put for wisdom.' Let men of understanding tell me:' Job 34:44: in the Hebrew, Let men of heart tell me.' God is wise in he ...read

A Body of Divinity 10. God and His Creation: The Power Of God
      The next attribute is God's power. Job 9:19. If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong.' In this chapter is a magnificent description of God's power. Lo, he is strong.' The Hebrew word for strong signifies a conquering, prevailing strength. He is strong.' The superlative degree is intended here; viz., He is most strong. He is called El-shaddai, God ...read

A Body of Divinity 11. God and His Creation: The Holiness Of God
      The next attribute is God's holiness. Exod 15:51. Glorious in holiness.' Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of his crown; it is the name by which God is known. Psa 111:1. Holy and reverend is his name.' He is the holy One.' Job 6:60. Seraphims cry, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.' Isa 6:6. His power ma ...read

A Body of Divinity 12. God and His Creation: The Justice Of God
      The next attribute is God's justice. All God's attributes are identical, and are the same with his essence. Though he has several attributes whereby he is made known to us, yet he has but one essence. A cedar tree may have several branches, yet it is but one cedar. So there are several attributes of God whereby we conceive of him, but only one enti ...read

A Body of Divinity 13. God and His Creation: The Mercy Of God
      The next attribute is God's goodness or mercy. Mercy is the result and effect of God's goodness. Psa 33:5. So then this is the next attribute, God's goodness or mercy. The most learned of the heathens thought they gave their god Jupiter two golden characters when they styled him good and great. Both these meet in God, goodness and greatness, majest ...read

A Body of Divinity 14. God and His Creation: The Truth Of God
      The next attribute is God's truth. A God of truth and without iniquity; just and right is he.' Deut 32:4. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.' Psa 57:10. Plenteous in truth.' Psa 86:15. I. God is the truth. He is true in a physical sense; true in his being: he has a real subsistence, and gives a being to other ...read

A Body of Divinity 15. God and His Creation: The Unity Of God
      Q-5: ARE THERE MORE GODS THAN ONE? A: There is but one only, the living and true God. That there is a God has been proved; and those that will not believe the verity of his essence, shall feel the severity of his wrath. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.' Deut 6:6. He is the only God.' Deut 4:49. Know therefore this day, and consid ...read

A Body of Divinity 16. God and His Creation: The Trinity
      Q-6. HOW MANY PERSONS ARE THERE IN THE GODHEAD? A: Three persons, yet but one God. 'There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.' I John 5:5. God is but one, yet are there three distinct persons subsisting in one Godhead. This is a sacred mystery, which the light within man ...read

A Body of Divinity 17. God and His Creation: The Creation
      Q-7: WHAT ARE THE DECREES OF GOD? A: The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he has foreordained whatsoever shall come to pass. I have already spoken something concerning the decrees of God under the attribute of his immutability. God is unchangeable in his essence, and he- ...read

A Body of Divinity 18. God and His Creation: The Providence Of God
      Q-11: WHAT ARE GOD'S WORKS OF PROVIDENCE? A: God's works of providence are the acts of his most holy, wise, and powerful government of his creatures, and of their actions. Of the work of God's providence Christ says, My Father worketh hitherto and I work.' John 5:17. God has rested from the works of creation, he does not create any new specie ...read

A Body of Divinity 19. The Fall: The Covenant Of Works
      Q-12: I proceed to the next question, WHAT SPECIAL ACT OF PROVIDENCE DID GOD EXERCISE TOWARDS MAN IN THE ESTATE WHEREIN HE WAS CREATED? A: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him upon condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge upon pain of death. For this, consult with Gen 2:16 ...read

A Body of Divinity 20. The Fall: Adam's Sin
      Q-15: WHAT WAS THE SIN WHEREBY OUR FIRST PARENTS FELL FROM THE ESTATE WHEREIN THEY WERE CREATED? A: That sin was eating the forbidden fruit. 'She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband.' Gen 3:3. Here is implied, 1. That our first parents fell from their estate of innocence. 2. The sin by which they fell, was ...read

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