A Body of Divinity

by Thomas Watson

Banner of Truth (2015)

Thomas Watson’s book, A Body of Divinity is one of the first books published by the Banner of Truth Trust. This book has been one of the best sellers and consistently the most useful and influential of our publications. There are several reasons for this:

    1. The subject of the book. It deals with the foremost doctrinal and experimental truths of the Christian Faith.
    2. The means of instruction used. It is based on the Westminster Assembly’s Shorter Catechism, in which the main principles of Christianity that lie scattered in the Scriptures are brought together and set forth in the form of question and answer. This Catechism is unsurpassed for its ‘terse exactitude of definition’ and ‘logical elaboration’ of the fundamentals.
    3. The style of the author. Watson conveys his thorough doctrinal and experimental knowledge of the truth in such an original, concise, pithy, pungent, racy, rich and illustrative style that he is rightly regarded as the most readable of the Puritans.

To purchase, click here: A Body of Divinity

Outline

  • Q1: What is the chief end of man? A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
    • 1. The glorifying of God
      • What are we to understand by God’s glory?
        • 1) The glory that God has in himself, his intrinsic glory
        • 2) The glory which is ascribed to God, or which his creatures labour to bring to him.
      • What is it to glorify God?
        • 1) Appreciation
        • 2) Adoration
        • 3) Affection
        • 4) Subjection
      • Why must we glorify God?
        • 1) Because he gives us our being
        • 2) Because God has made all things for his own glory
        • 3) Because the glory of God has intrinsic value and excellence
        • 4) Creatures below us, and above us, bring glory to God
        • 5) We must bring glory to God, because all our hopes hang upon him
      • In how many ways may we glorify God?
        • 1) It is glorifying God when we aim purely at his glory
          • 1. When we prefer God’s glory above all other things
          • 2. We aim at God’s glory, when we are content that God’s will should take place, though it may cross ours
          • 3. We aim at God’s glory when we are content to be outshined by others in gifts and esteem, so that his glory may be increased
        • 2) We glorify God by an ingenuous confession of sin
        • 3) We glorify God by believing
        • 4) We glorify God, by being tender of his glory
        • 5) We glorify God by fruitfulness
        • 6) We glorify God, by being contented in that state in which Providence has placed us
        • 7) We glorify God by working out our own salvation
        • 8) We glorify God by living to God
        • 9) We glorify God by walking cheerfully
        • 10) We glorify God, by standing up for his truths
        • 11) We glorify God, by praising him.
        • 12) We glorify God, by being zealous for his name
        • 13) We glorify God, when we have an eye to God in our natural and in our civil actions
        • 14) We glorify God by labouring to draw others to God
        • 15) We glorify God in a high degree when we suffer for God, and seal the gospel with our blood
        • 16) We glorify God, when we give God the glory of all that we do
        • 17) We glorify God by a holy life
      • Use one: This subject shows us that our chief end should not be to get great estates, not to lay up treasures upon earth
      • Use two: It reproves such,
        • 1) As bring no glory to God
        • 2) As are so far from bringing glory to God, that they rob God of his glory
        • 3) Those who fight against God’s glory
      • Use three: Exhortation
        • 1) Let me speak to magistrates
        • 2) Ministers should study to promote God’s glory
        • 3) Masters of families must glorify God, must season their children and servants with the knowledge of the Lord
    • 2. The enjoying of God
      • 1) The enjoyment of God in this life
        • Use one: Is the enjoyment of God in this life so sweet?
        • Use two: Let it be our great care to enjoy God’s sweet presence in his ordinances
      • 2) The enjoyment of God in the life to come
        • Use one: Let it be the chief end of our living to enjoy this chief good hereafter
        • Use two: Let this be a spur to duty
        • Use three: Let this comfort the godly in all the present miseries they feel
  • Q2: What rule hath God given to direct us how we nay 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.
    • How does it appear that the Scriptures have a Jus Divinum, a divine authority stamped upon them?
      • 1. Its antiquity
      • 2. We may know the Scripture to be the Word of God by its miraculous preservation in all ages
      • 3. The Scripture appears to be the Word of God, by the matter contained in it
      • 4. That the Scripture is the Word of God is evident by its predictions
      • 5. The impartiality of those men of God who wrote the Scriptures, who do not spare to set down their own failings
      • 6. The mighty power and efficacy that the Word has had upon the souls and consciences of men
      • 7. The miracles by which Scripture is confirmed
    • The Papists cannot deny that the Scripture is divine and sacred
    • Are all the books in the Bible of the same divine authority?
    • Why are the Scriptures called canonical?
    • Are the Scriptures a complete rule?
    • What is the main scope and end of Scripture?
    • Who should have the power of interpreting Scripture?
    • But this is to pin our faith upon men
    • Use one: See the wonderful goodness of God, who, besides the light of nature, has committed to us the sacred Scriptures
    • Use two: Is all Scripture of divine inspiration? Then it reproves:
      • 1. The Papists, who take away part of Scripture, and so clip the King of heaven’s coin
      • 2. It condemns the Antinomians, who lay aside the Old Testament as useless, and out of date
      • 3. It condemns the Enthusiasts, who, pretending to have the Spirit, lay aside the whole Bible, and say the Scripture is a dead letter, and they live above it
      • 4. It condemns the slighters of Scripture
      • 5. It condemns the abusers of Scripture
    • Use three: If the Scripture be of divine inspiration, then be exhorted,
      • 1. To study the Scripture
      • 2. Be exhorted to prize the written Word
      • 3. If the Scripture is of divine inspiration, believe it
      • 4. Love the Word written
      • 5. Conform to Scripture
      • 6. Contend for Scripture
      • 7. Be thankful to God for Scriptures
      • 8. Adore God’s distinguishing grace, if you have felt the power and authority of the Word upon your conscience

Brief Memoir of Thomas Watson – by C.H. Spurgeon

  • viii – “Such a fact as this should attract the prayers of all believers to our seminaries for the sons of the prophets, since upon the manner in which these institutions are conducted will depend under God the future wellbeing of our churches.”
  • x – “I desire to be guided by the silver thread of God’s word and providence.” {Watson}
  • x – “Bread eaten in secret is proverbially sweet, and the word of God in persecution is peculiarly delightful.”
  • xi – “O sinner, did I suffer this for thee, and are these thy returns?” {account of Col. James Gardiner}
  • xii – “The whole, in fact, has been rendered more readable, and consequently more attractive and intelligible, which in our estimation far outweighs all the supposed advantages that could arise from perpetuating the crudities and vulgarities, as they now appear to us, of former times. By popularizing ancient works, their readers are multiplied and their meaning may often be more readily apprehended.”

A Preliminary Discourse to Catechising

  • p1 – “I. It is the duty of Christians to be settled in the doctrine of faith.
    • II. The best way for Christians to be settled is to be well grounded.”
  • p1 – “Now, such as are not settled in religion, will, at one time or other, prove wandering stars; they will lose their former steadfastness, and wander from one opinion to another.”
  • p1 – “Children are fickle, sometimes of one mind, sometimes of another, nothing pleases them long; so unsettled Christians are childish; the truths they embrace at one time, they reject at another…”
  • p2 – “Every blow of the hammer is to fasten the nails of the building; so the preacher’s words are to fasten you the more to Christ; they weaken themselves to strengthen and settle you.”
  • p2 – “It is one of the best sights to see an old disciple; to see silver hairs adorned with golden virtues.”
  • p2 – “They that are not settled hang in suspense; when they think of the joys of heaven they will espouse the gospel, but when they think of persecution they desert it.”
  • p2 – “He can no more grow in godliness, who is unsettled, than a bone can grow in the body that is out of joint.”
  • p3 – “They have fine elegant phrases, flattering language, whereby they work on the weaker sort. Another sleight is a pretence of extraordinary piety, that so people may admire them, and such in their doctrine. They seem to be men of zeal and sanctity, and to be divinely inspired, and pretend to new revelation.”
  • p3 – “…Christ has done all for them, and they need to do nothing. Thus they make the doctrine of free grace a key to open the door to all licentiousness.”
  • p3 – “The gospel is a rose that cannot be plucked without prickles.”
  • p4 – “We can never worship God acceptably, unless we worship him regularly; and how can we do that, if we are ignorant of the rules and elements of religion?”
  • p4 – “Knowledge of fundamentals is the golden key that opens the chief mysteries of religion…it helps to untie many Scripture knots.”
  • p4 – “So, that we may stand in shaking times, there must be a principle of knowledge within; first grounded; and then settled. That the shipmay be kept from overturning, it must have its anchor fastened.”
  • p5 – “Catechising is the best expedient for the grounding and settling of people.”

I. Introduction

Man’s Chief End

  • p6 – “Glorifying God has respect to all the persons in the Trinity; it respects God the Father who gave us life; God the Son, who lost his life for us; and God the Holy Ghost, who produces a new life in us; we must bring glory to the whole Trinity.”
  • p6 – “The creatures honour is not essential to his being. A king is a man without his regal ornaments, when his crown and royal robes are taken away; but God’s glory is such an essential part of his being, that he cannot be God without it. God’s very life lies in his glory.”
  • p7 – “The glory we give God is nothing else but our lifting up his name in the world, and magnifying him in the eyes of others.”
  • p7 – “There is in God all that may draw forth both wonder and delight; there is a constellation of all beauties; he is prima causa, the original and springhead of being, who sheds a glory upon the creature.”
  • p8 – “Divine worship must be such as God himself has appointed, else it is offering strange fire.”
  • p8 – “He who is the chief of our happiness has the chief of our affections.”
  • p8 – “We glorify God when we are devoted to his service; our head studies for him, our tongue pleads for him, and our hands relieve his members.”
  • p9 – “A good Christian is like the sun, which not only sends forth hear, but goes its circuit round the world. Thus, he who glorifies God, has not only his affections heated with love to God, but he goes his circuit too; he moves vigorously in the sphere of obedience.”
  • p9 – “We think it a great kindness in a man to spare our life, but what kindness is it in God to give us our life! We draw our breath from him; and as life, so all the comforts of life are from him. He gives us health, which is the sauce to sweeten our life; and food, which is the oil that nourishes the lamp of life. If all we receive is from his bounty, is it not reasonable we should glorify him? Should we not live to him, seeing we live by him?”
  • p9 – “God is not our benefactor only, but our founder, as rivers that come from the sea empty their silver streams into the sea again.”
  • p9 – “As a king has excise out of commodities, so God will have glory out of everything. He will have glory our of the wicked. If they will not give him glory, he will et glory upon them.”
  • p9 – “It is true, they cannot add to his glory, but they may exalt it; they cannot raise him in heaven, but they may raise him in the esteem of others here.”
  • p9 – “Better kingdoms be thrown down, better men and angels be annihilated, than God should lose one jewel of his crown, one beam of his glory.”
  • p9 – “Creatures below us, and above us, bring glory to God; and do we think to sit rent free? Shall everything glorify God but man? It is a pity then that man was ever made.”
  • p10 – “If then the angels bring glory to God, much more should we, being dignified with honour above angelic spirits.”
  • p10 – “It is glorifying God when we aim purely at his glory. It is one thing to advance God’s glory, another thing to aim at it. God must be the Terminus ad quem, the ultimate end of all actions.”
  • p10 – “And so they did not give alms, but sell them for honor and applause, that they might have glory of men; the breath of men was the wind that blew the sails of their charity; ‘verily they have their
    reward.'”
  • p11 – “And Cyprian says, ‘Whom Satan cannot prevail against by intemperance, those he prevails against by pride and vainglory.'”
  • p11 – “If relations lie in our way to Heaven, we must either leap over them, or tread upon them.”
  • p11 – “Lord, I am content to be a loser, if thou be a gainer; to have less health, if I have more grace, and thou more glory.”
  • p11 – “A man that has God in his heart, and God’s glory in his eye, desires that God should be exalted; and if this be effected, let who will be the instrument, he rejoices.”
  • p11 – “…let my candle go out, if the Sun of Righteousness may but shine.”
  • p11 – “A humble confession exalts God. How is God’s free grace magnified in crowning those who deserve to be condemned!”
  • p12 – “Confession glorifies God, because it clears him; it acknowledges that he is holy and righteous, whatever he does.”
  • p12 – “Unbelief affronts God, it gives him the lie…But faith brings glory to God; it sets to its seal that God is true…He that believes flies to God’s mercy and truth, as to an altar of refuge; he engarrisons himself in the promises, and trusts all he has with God.”
  • p12 – “Faith knows there are no impossibilities with God, and will trust him where it cannot trace him.”
  • p12 – “When we hear God reproached, it is as if we were reproached; when God’s glory suffers, it is as if we suffered. This is to be tender of God’s glory.”
  • p12 – “It is not profession, but fruit that glorifies God. God expects to have his glory from us in this way.”
  • p13 – “Faith sanctifies our works, and works testify our faith; to be doing good to others, to be eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, much glorifies God.”
  • p13 – “Though the lowest degree of grace may bring salvation to you, yet it will not bring much glory to God. It was not a spark of love Christ commended in Mary, but much love; ‘she loved much.'”
  • p13 – “We glorify God, by being contented in that state in which Providence has placed us. We give God the glory of his wisdom, when we rest satisfied with what he carves out to us.”
  • p13 – “A good Christian argues thus: It is God that has put me in this condition; he could have raised me higher, if he pleased, but that might have been a snare to me: he has done it in wisdom and love; therefore I will sit down satisfied with my condition.”
  • p13 – “For one to be content when he is in heaven is no wonder; but to be content under the cross is like a Christian.”
  • p13 – “God has twisted together his glory and our good. We glorify him by promoting our own salvation.”
  • p14 – “Would it not be an encouragement to a subject, to hear his prince say to him, You will honor and please me very much, if you will go to yonder mine of gold, and dig as much gold for yourself as you can carry away? So, for God to say, Go to the ordinances, get as much grace as you can, dig out as much salvation as you can; and the more happiness you have, the more I shall count myself glorified.”
  • p14 – “The Lord has sent us into the world, as a merchant sends his factor beyond the seas to trade for him. We live to God when we trade for his interest, and his gospel.”
  • p14 – “When a master in a family, by counsel and good example, labours to bring his servants to Christ; when a minister spends himself, and is spent, that he may win souls to Christ, and make the crown flourish upon Christ’s head; when the magistrate does not wear the sword in vain, but labours to cut down sin, and to suppress vice; this is to live to God, and this is glorifying God.”
  • p14 – “It brings glory to God, when the world sees a Christian has that within him that can make him cheerful in the worst times; that can enable him, with the nightingale, to sing with a thorn at his breast.”
  • p15 – “…religion does not take away our joy, but refines it; it does not break our viol, but tunes it, and makes the music sweeter.”
  • p15 – “We have not a richer jewel to trust God with than our souls, nor has God a richer jewel to trust us with than his truth.”
  • p15 – “The Hebrew word Bara, to create, and Barak, to praise, are little different, because the end of creation is to praise God.”
  • p15 – “Praising God is one of the highest and purest acts of religion. In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels.”
  • p15 – “Many have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouth, but few have harps in their hand, blessing and glorifying God. Let us honour God this way. Praise is the quit-rent we pay to God: while God
    renews our lease, we must renew our rent.”
  • p16 – “Zeal is a mixed affection, a compound of love and anger; it carries forth our love to God, and our anger against sin in an intense degree. Zeal is impatient of God’s dishonour; a Christian fired with zeal, takes a dishonour done to God worse than an injury done to himself.”
  • p16 – “A gracious person holds the golden bridle of temperance; he takes his meat as a medicine to heal the decays of nature, that he may be the fitter, by the strength he receives, for the service of God; he makes his food, not fuel for lust, but help to duty.”
  • p16 – “We buy and sell to the glory of God, when we observe that golden maxim, ‘To do to others as we would have them do to us;’ so that when we sell our commodities, we do not sell our consciences also.”
  • p16 – “We glorify God, when we have an eye to God in all our civil and natural actions, and do nothing that may reflect any blemish on religion.”
  • p16 – “It is a great way of glorifying God, when we break open the devil’s prison, and turn men from the power of Satan to God.”
  • p16 – “God’s glory shines in the ashes of his martyrs.”
  • p17 – “The glory of Christ’s kingdom does not stand in worldly pomp and grandeur, as other kings’; but it is seen in the cheerful sufferings of his people.”
  • p17 – “God grant we may thus glorify him, if he calls us to it. Many pray, ‘Let this cup pass away,’ but few, ‘Thy will be done.'”
  • p17 – “‘I laboured more abundantly than they all,’ a speech, one would think, savoured of pride; but the apostle pulls the crown from his own head, and sets it upon the head of free grace: ‘yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.'”
  • p17 – “As the silkworm, when she weaves her curious work, hides herself under the silk, and is not seen; so when we have done anything praiseworthy, we must hide ourselves under the veil of Humility, and transfer the glory of all we have done to God.”
  • p17 – “Epiphanius says, ‘That the looseness of some Christians in his time made many of the heathens shun their company, and would not be drawn to hear their sermons.'”
  • p17 – “Though the main work of religion lies in the heart, yet our light must so shine that others may behold it.”
  • p18 – “When the saints, who are called jewels, cast a sparkling lustre of holiness in the eyes of the world, then they ‘walk as Christ walked.'”
  • p18 – “There is no one here present but God has put in some capacity of glorifying him; the health he has given you, the parts, estate, seasons of grace, all are opportunities put into your hand to glorify him; and, be assured, he will call you to account, to know what you have done with the mercies he has entrusted you with, what glory you have brought to him.”
  • p19 – “If they have gotten an estate, they ascribe all to their own wit and industry, they set the crown upon their own head…”
  • p19 – “How many by the wind of popular breath have been blown to hell! Whom the devil cannot destroy by intemperance, he does by vainglory.”
  • p19 – “Such as hinder preaching…stop the well of the water of life. They take away the physicians that should heal sin-sick souls… They directly strike at God’s glory; and what an account will they have to give to God, when he shall charge the blood of men’s souls upon them!”
  • p19 – “Ministers should study to promote God’s glory. God has entrusted them with two of the most precious things, his truth, and the souls of his people. Ministers, by virtue of their office, are to glorify God. They must glorify God, by labouring in the word and doctrine.”
  • p19 – “It was Augustine’s wish, ‘that Christ, at his coming, might find him either praying or preaching.'”
  • p20 – “It is matter of grief and shame to think how many, who call themselves ministers, instead of bringing glory to God, dishonour him. Their lives, as well as their doctrines, are heterodox; they are not free from the sins which they reprove in others.”
  • p20 – “Masters of families must glorify God, must season their children and servants with the knowledge of the Lord; their houses should be little churches.”
  • p20 – “It will be a great comfort in a dying hour, to think we have glorified God in our lives. It was Christ’s comfort before his death: John xvii 4. I have glorified thee on the earth.’ At the hour of death, all your earthly comforts will vanish: if you think how rich you have been, what pleasures you have had on earth; this will be so far from comforting you, that it will torment you the more. What is one the better for an estate that is spent? But to have conscience telling you, that you have glorified God on the earth, what sweet comfort and peace will this let into your soul! how will it make you long for death! The servant that has been all day working in the vineyard longs till evening comes, when he shall receive his pay. How can they who have lived, and brought no glory to God, think of dying with comfort? They cannot expect a harvest where they sowed no seed. How can they expect glory from God, who never brought any glory to him? Oh in what horror will they be at death! The worm of conscience will gnaw their souls, before the worms can gnaw their bodies.”
  • p20 – “If we glorify God, he will glorify our souls for ever. By raising God’s glory, we increase our own: by glorifying God, we come at last to the blessed enjoyment of him.”
  • p21 – “It is a great matter to enjoy God’s ordinances, but to enjoy God’s presence is that which a gracious heart aspires after.”
  • p21 – “In the Word we hear God’s voice, in the sacrament we have his kiss. The heart being warmed and inflamed in a duty is God’s answering by fire. The sweet communications of God’s Spirit are the first-fruits of glory.”
  • p21 – “Oh how sweet is it thus to enjoy God! The godly have, in ordinances, had such divine raptures of joy, and soul transfigurations, that they have been carried above the world, and have despised all things here below.”
  • p21 – “‘The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life,’ is the Trinity [the wicked] worship.”
  • p21 – “Lust first bewitches with pleasure, and then comes the fatal dart…This should be as a flaming sword to stop men in the way of their carnal delights. Who for a drop of pleasure would drink a sea of wrath?”
  • p22 – “Alas! what are all our worldly enjoyments without the enjoyment of God!”
  • p22 – “It should be our great design, not only to have the ordinances of God, but the God of the ordinances. The enjoyment of God’s sweet presence here is the most contented life: he is a hive of sweetness, a magazine of riches, a fountain of delight.”
  • p22 – “He that enjoys much of God in this life carries heaven about him.”
  • p22 – “We must have conformity to him in grace, before we can have communion with him in glory.”
  • p23 – “As the body cannot have life but by having communion with the soul, so the soul cannot have blessedness but by having immediate communion with God. God is the summum bonum, the chief good; therefore the enjoyment of him is the highest felicity.”
  • p23 – “God is an unmixed good. There is no condition in this life but has its mixture; for every drop of honey there is a drop of gall.”
  • p23 – “There is a fulness in God that satisfies, and yet so much sweetness, that the soul still desires.”
  • p23 – “If there be so much delight in God, when we see him only by faith what will the joy of vision be, when we shall see him face to face! If the saints have found so much delight in God while they were suffering, oh what joy and delight will they have when they are being crowned!”
  • p23 – “He is the Ancient of days, yet never decays, nor waxes old.”
  • p24 – “The highest elevation of a reasonable soul is to enjoy God for ever. It is the enjoyment of God that makes heaven.”
  • p24 – “Our enjoyment will be in the perfection of holiness, in seeing the pure face of Christ, in feeling the love of God, in conversing with heavenly spirits; which will be proper for the soul, and infinitely exceed all carnal voluptuous delights.”
  • p24 – “We could not now bear that glory, it would overwhelm us, as a weak eye cannot behold the sun; but God will capacitate us for glory; our souls shall be so heavenly, and perfected with holiness, that they may be able to enjoy the blessed vision of God.”
  • p25 – “To behold God’s glory, there is glory revealed to us; but, to partake of his glory, there is glory revealed in us. As the sponge sucks in the wine, so shall we suck in glory.”
  • p25 – “Oh how should we despise this valley of tears where we now are, for the mount of transfiguration! how should we long for the full enjoyment of God in Paradise! Had we a sight of that land of promise, we should need patience to be content to live here any longer.”
  • p25 – “If anything can make us rise off our bed of sloth, and serve God with all our might, it should be this, the hope of our near enjoyment of God for ever.”
  • p25 – “Thou complainest, Christian, thou dost not enjoy thyself, fears disquiet thee, wants perplex thee; in the day thou canst not enjoy ease, in the night thou canst not enjoy sleep; thou dost not enjoy the comforts of thy life. Let this revive thee, that shortly thou shalt enjoy God, and then shalt have more than thou canst ask or think; thou shalt have angels’ joy, glory without intermission or expiration. We shall never enjoy ourselves fully till we enjoy God eternally.”
  • p26 – “It is given by divine inspiration; that is, the Scripture is not the contrivance of man’s brain, but is divine in its origin.”
  • p26 – “The two Testaments are the two lips by which God has spoken to us.”
  • p26 – “…the Old and New Testament are the foundation of all religion. If their divinity cannot be proved, the foundation on which we build our faith is gone.”
  • p27 – “That is a sure rule of Tertullian, ‘That which is of the greatest antiquity, id verum quod primum, is to be received as most sacred and authentic.”
  • p27 – “The holy Scriptures are the richest jewel that Christ has left us;”
  • p27 – “The letter of Scripture has been preserved, without any corruption, in the original tongue. The Scriptures were not corrupted before Christ’s time, for then Christ would not have sent the Jews to them. He said, ‘Search the Scriptures.’ He knew these sacred springs were not muddied with human fancies.”
  • p27 – “The mystery of Scripture is so abstruse and profound that no man or angel could have known it, had it not been divinely revealed.”
  • p28 – “…it is a beam of the Sun of Righteousness, a crystal stream flowing from the fountain of life. All laws and edicts of men have had their corruptions, but the Word of God has not the least tincture, it is of meridian splendour.”
  • p28 – “The Scripture is the royal law which commands not only the actions, but affections; it binds the heart to good behaviour. Where is there such holiness to be found, as is digged out of this sacred mine? Who could be the author of such a book but God himself?”
  • p28 – “Men usually rather hide their blemishes than publish them to the world; but the penmen of holy Scripture eclipse their own name; they take away all glory from themselves, and give the glory to God.”
  • p29 – “Some by reading Scripture have been turned into other men; they have been made holy and gracious. By reading other books the heart may be warmed, but by reading this book it is transformed.”
  • p29 – “If you should set a seal upon marble, and it should make an impression upon the marble, and leave a print behind, there would be a strange virtue in that seal; so when the seal of the Word leaves a heavenly print of grace upon the heart, there must needs be a power going along with that Word no less than divine.”
  • p29 – “As the spirits are conveyed through the arteries of the body, so divine comforts are conveyed through the promises of the Word.”
  • p29 – “Miracles were used by Moses, Elijah, and Christ, and were continued, many years after, by the apostles, to confirm the verity of the holy Scriptures. As props are set under weak vines, so these miracles were set under the weak faith of men, that if they would not believe the writings of the Word, they might believes miracles.”
  • p30 – “The Scripture is a full and perfect canon, containing in it all things necessary to salvation…It shows the Credenda, what we are to believe; and the Agenda, what we are to practise.”
  • p31 – “Nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture. The sun best discovers itself by its own beams; the Scripture interprets itself to the understanding.”
  • p31 – “The church of God has appointed some to expound and interpret Scripture; therefore he has given gifts to men. The several pastors of churches, like bright constellations, give light to dark Scriptures.”
  • p31 – “As God has given to his ministers gifts for interpreting obscure places, so he has given to his people so much of the spirit of discerning, that they can tell (at least in things necessary to salvation) what is consonant to Scripture, and what is not.”
  • p32 – “God having given us his written Word to be our directory takes away all excuses from men. No man can say, I went wrong for want of light; God has given thee his Word as a lamp to thy feet; therefore if thou goest wrong, thou dost it wilfully.”
  • p32 – “There is much gospel in the Old Testament. The comforts of the gospel in the New Testament have their rise from the Old. The great promise of the Messiah is in the Old Testament…”
  • p33 – “Till we are above sin, we shall not be above Scripture.”
  • p33 – “Let not men so talk of a revelation from the Spirit, but suspect it to be an imposture. The Spirit of God acts regularly, it works in and by the Word; and he that pretends to a new light, which is either above the Word, or contrary to it, abuses both himself and the Spirit: his light is borrowed from him who transforms himself into an angel of light.”
  • p33 – “They lay it aside as rusty armour; they prefer a play or romance before Scripture…Oh how many can be looking at their faces in a glass all the morning, but their eyes begin to be sore when they look upon a Bible! Heathens die for want of Scripture, and these in contempt of it. They surely must needs go wrong who slight their guide. Such as lay the reins upon the neck of their lusts, and never use the curbing bit of Scripture to check them, are carried to hell, and never stop.”
  • p33 – “It is true, God sees no sin in his people with an eye of revenge, but he sees it with an eye of observation. He sees not sin in them, so as to damn them; but he sees it, so as to be angry, and severely punish them.”
  • p33 – “In like manner the Arminians wrest the Scripture in John v 40, ‘Ye will not come to me;’ where they bring in free will. This text shows how willing God is that we should have life; and that sinners may do more than they do, they may improve the talents God has given them; but it does not prove the power of free will, for it is contrary to that Scripture, John vi 44, ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.’ These, therefore, wring the text so hard, that they make the blood come out; they do not compare Scripture with Scripture.”
  • p34 – “It is a saying of Luther, Quos Deus vult perdere, &c., ‘Whom God intends to destroy, he gives them leave to play with Scripture.'”
  • p34 – “It is a copy of God’s will. Be Scripture-men, Bible-Christians.”
  • p34 – “In the Book of God are scattered many truths as so many pearls…Search as for a vein of silver. This blessed Book will fill your head with knowledge, and your heart with grace.”
  • p34 – “There is a melody in Scripture. This is that blessed harp which drives away sadness of spirit. Hear the sounding of this harp a little…How sweetly does this harp of Scripture sound, what heavenly music does it make in the ears of a distressed sinner, especially when the finger of God’s Spirit touches this instrument!”
  • p34 – “The Scripture speaks of faith, self-denial, and all the graces which, as a chain of pearls, adorns a Christian. It excites to holiness; it treats of another world, it gives a prospect of eternity! Oh, then, search the Scripture! make the Word familiar to you.”
  • p35 – “‘The two Testaments,’ says Austin, ‘are the two breasts which every Christian must suck, that he may get spiritual nourishment.'”
  • p35 – “If we are deserted, here is spiced wine that cheers the heavy heart; if we are pursued by Satan, here is the sword of the Spirit to resist him; if we are diseased with sin’s leprosy, here are the waters of the sanctuary, both to cleanse and cure. Oh, then, search the Scriptures!”
  • p35 – “There is no danger in tasting this tree of knowledge. There was a penalty laid at first, that we might not taste of the tree of knowledge…There is no danger in plucking from this tree of holy Scripture; if we do not eat of this tree of knowledge, we shall surely die. Oh, then, read the Scriptures! Time may come when the Scriptures may be kept from us.”
  • p35 – “Read the Scripture, not only as a history, but as a love letter sent you from God, which may affect your hearts. Pray that the same Spirit that wrote the Word may assist you in reading it; that God’s Spirit would show you the wonderful things of his law.”
  • p35 – “So, when God’s Spirit joins himself with the chariot of his Word, it becomes effectual.”
  • p35 – “The Word is the field where Christ the pearl of price is hid. In this sacred mine we dig, not for a wedge of gold, but for a weight of glory.”
  • p36 – “Some think, if God should send an angel from heaven, and declare his mind, they would believe him; or, if he should send one from the damned, and preach the torments of hell all in flames, they would believe. But, ‘If they believe not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one arose from the dead.'”
  • p36 – “…and such as shall not be convinced by the Word, shall be judged by the Word.”
  • p36 – “‘Oh how love I thy law!’ ‘Lord,’ said Augustine, ‘let the holy Scripture be my chaste delight.'”
  • p37 – “Chrysostom compares the Scripture to a garden, every truth is a fragrant flower, which we should wear, not on our bosom, but in our heart.”
  • p37 – “Let us lead Scripture lives. Oh that the Bible might be seen printed in our lives!”
  • p37 – “What is a carpenter the better for his rule about him, if he sticks it at his back, and never makes use of it for measuring and squaring his work? So, what are we the better for the rule of the Word, if we do not make use of it, and regulate our lives by it? How many swerve and deviate from the rule!”
  • p37 – “The Scripture is our book of evidences for heaven; shall we part with our evidences? The saints of old were both advocated and martyrs for truth; they would hold fast Scripture, though it were with the loss of their lives.”
  • p37 – “In the old times God revealed his mind by visions, but the Word written is a surer way of knowing God’s mind.”
  • p38 – “The Scripture is our pole-star to direct us to heaven, it shows us every step we are to take; when we go wrong, it instructs us; when we go right, it comforts us; and it is matter of thankfulness, that the Scriptures are made intelligible, by being translated.”
  • p38 – “Oh free grace! that God should send out his Word, and heal thee; that he should heal thee, and not others! That the same Scripture which to them is a dead letter, should be to thee a savour of life!”