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A Body of Divinity (Body of Practical Divinity) Paperback – October 1, 1957
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About the Author
Watson was a 17th Century non-conformist Puritan preacher and author. He was probably born in Yorkshire, although the exact place and date of his birth are unknown. He studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (BA, 1639; MA, 1642), where he was apparently a diligent student. Certainly his intellect is apparent in his writings, which show a profound grasp of the English language, as well as a solid understanding of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. He quotes from the early church fathers, and his familiarity with the breadth of the scriptural canon is stunning. Cross-references from the entire biblical corpus are sprinkled throughout his sermons, revealing a deep understanding of many texts obscure to most modern day Bible students. A solid understanding of history, botany, medicine, physics, the classics, logic, and various trades are revealed in his sermons.
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"The great truth is asserted, that the end of every man's living should be to glorify God. 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....There is a twofold glory:  The glory that God has in himself, his intrinsic glory.... The glory which is ascribed to God, or which his creatures labor to bring to him."
"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....the Scriptures are the very word of God....The Papists cannot deny that the Scripture is divine and sacred; but they affirm quoad nos, with respect to us, it receives its divine authority from the church...The Council of Trent says, that the traditions of the church of Rome are to be received pari pietatis affectu, with the same devotion that Scripture is to be received; so bringing themselves under the curse. Rev 22:18."
"God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth....The world is full of practical atheism; most people live as if they did not believe there was a God."
"Thoughts speak as loud in God's ears as words do in ours. All our actions, though never so subtly contrived, and secretly conveyed, are visible to the eye of Omniscience. Isa 66:18....Viewing ourselves as under the eye of God's omniscience, would cause reverence in the worship of God. God sees the frame and carriage of our hearts when we come before him."
"There is a two-fold will of God, Voluntas praecepti et decreti; 'the will of God's precept, and of his decree' While the wicked resist the will of God's precept, they fulfill the will of his permissive decree."
"God is but one, yet are there three distinct persons subsisting in one Godhead. This is a sacred mystery, which the light within man could never have discovered. As the two natures in Christ, yet but one person, is a wonder; so three persons, yet but one Godhead. Here is a great deep, the Father God, the Son God, the Holy Ghost God; yet not three Gods, but one God. The three persons in the blessed Trinity are distinguished, but not divided; three substances, but one essence. This is a divine riddle where one makes three, and three make one."
"There is no such thing as blind fate, but there is a providence that guides and governs the world....What this providence is. I answer, Providence is God's ordering all issues and events of things, after the counsel of his will, to his own glory."
"Justification is the very hinge and pillar of Christianity....It is verbum forense, a word borrowed from law-courts, wherein a person arraigned is pronounced righteous, and is openly absolved. God, in justifying a person, pronounces him to be righteous, and looks upon him as if he had not sinned....The causa, the inward impellant motive or ground of justification, is the free grace of God...The ground of our justification is Christ's satisfaction made to his Father. If it be asked, how can it stand with God's justice and holiness to pronounce us innocent when we are guilty? the answer is, that Christ having made satisfaction for our fault, God may, in equity and justice, pronounce us righteous. Wherein lies the method of our justification? In the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us."
There is a great chasm between "Knowing" and "Believing" a scriptural truth. Though I am no scholar, I believe Thomas Watson's exposition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is sheer poetry that truthfully and with explicit love "explores" the deep things of God.
It allows us mere mortals to transcend from the "knowing" of scripture to experiencing the intimate pleasure of "discovering in scripture", the God who first loved us.
Get this book, a Body of Divinity, in hardbound and on Kindle - it is a treasure you will read for a lifetime...