November 7, 2008

Thomas Watson (c.1620–1686) on God's Will to Bring Men to Repentance

1. Now is the season of repentance—and everything is best done in its season. "Now is the accepted time" (2 Cor. 6:2); now God has a mind to show mercy to the penitent. He is on the giving hand. Kings set apart days for healing. Now is the healing day for our souls. Now God hangs forth the white flag and is willing to parley with sinners. A prince at his coronation, as an act of royalty—gives money, proclaims pardons, fills the conduits with wine. Now God promises pardons to penitent sinners. Now the conduit of the gospel runs wine. Now is the accepted time. Therefore come in now and make your peace with God. Break off your iniquities now by repentance. It is wisdom to take the season. The farmer takes the season for sowing his seed. Now is the seedtime for our souls.
Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1987), 87.
The Lord proceeds gradually in his judgments. First he sends a lesser trial—and if that will not do, then a greater one. He sends upon one a gentle illness to begin with—and afterwards a burning fever. He sends upon another a loss at sea—then the loss of a child—then a loss of a husband. Thus by degrees he tries to bring men to repentance.
Ibid., 116.


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