May 22, 2013

Thomas Watson (c.1620–1686) on the Possibility of Salvation

2. A second aggravation of the loss of this Kingdom will be, that Sinners shall be upbraided by their own Conscience: This is the worm that never dies, Mark 9:44. viz. a self-accusing Mind. When Sinners shall consider they were in a fair way to the Kingdom; they had a possibility of Salvation; though the door of Heaven were strait, yet it was open; they had the means of Grace; the jubilee of the Gospel was proclaimed in their ears; God called but they refused; Jesus Christ offered them a plaister of his own Blood to heal them, but they trampled it under foot; the Holy Spirit stood at the door of their heart knocking and crying to them to receive Christ and Heaven, but they repulsed the Spirit, and sent away this Dove, and now they have, through their own folly and willfulness, lost the Kingdom of Heaven: This self-accusing Conscience will be terrible, like a venomous Worm gnawing at the Heart.
Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity (London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside, near Mercers-Chappel, 1692), 488. Also in Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Prayer (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1989), 110–111.
17. It is Mercy that there is a possibility of Happiness, and that upon our pains taking, we may have a Kingdom; by our Fall in Adam we forfeited Heaven; why might not God have dealt with us as with the lapsed Angels? they had no sooner sinned but were expelled Heaven never to come thither more; we may say as the Apostle, Rom. 11.22. Behold the Goodness and severity of God. To the Apostate Angels behold the severity of God that he should thrown them down to Hell forever; to us behold the goodness of God, that he hath put us into a possibility of Mercy, and if we do but take pains, there is a Kingdom stands ready for us; how may this whet and sharpen our industry, that we are in a Capacity of Salvation; and if we do but what we are able, we shall receive an eternal weight of Glory.
Ibid., 507.


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