Doctrine of Repentance (Puritan Paperbacks) Paperback – January 1, 1988
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From the Publisher
The Doctrine of Repentance
A good case could be made out for believing that ‘repentance’ is one of the least used words in the Christian church today. In a world that will not tolerate the mention of sin, and in churches where it has been defined only in sociological terms, the biblical teaching on repentance has inevitably been ignored.
Knowing what repentance is, and actually repenting are essential to true Christianity. Jesus Christ himself said that if we do not repent, we will perish! It is vital, therefore, to read and study what Scripture has to say about this theme.
Few better guides have existed in this or any other area of spiritual experience than Thomas Watson. He was a master of both Scripture and the human heart, and wrote with a simplicity and directness that keeps his work fresh and powerful for the twenty-first century.
|The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes||Communion With God by John Owen||The Glory of Christ by John Owen|
|Topic||Spiritual Growth, Encouragement, Salvation, Assurance||Spiritual Growth, God, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit||Spiritual Growth, Encouragement, Jesus Christ|
|Series||Puritan Paperbacks||Puritan Paperbacks||Puritan Paperbacks|
|Original Pub Date||1630||1657||1684|
Thomas Watson (c. 1620-1686), the Puritan preacher and author, 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.
About the Author
- Publisher : Banner of Truth (January 1, 1988)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0851515215
- ISBN-13 : 978-0851515212
- Item Weight : 4.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.82 x 0.39 x 7.28 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #44,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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The author will often say something like: "the weight of sin must be balanced with the pulley of Hope". He has a way of cutting at you, in a good way, so that the infectious sin leaves you. And it can be painful at times. But his design is always out of love. And He always takes you back to the Gospel.
Such a great book. And it's a short read too.
I have not heard such a wonderful sermon before. It is more than the Puritan culture, where escaping the bondage of Rome created martyrs. It is not a social thing, not historical, either. Yes, things were different. Families were much larger; and all knew death, by illness, starvation, war, injury. None were immune, and one poor harvest would see a nobleman's children hungry. That alone makes for mature thoughts and action (a 10-year old selling wool, a twelve year old working a 16 hour day as a hardly paid servant). It is far more. Serious thought, integrity, and intense adherence to principles were moral attributes required to survive, before one could succeed.
I am a spoiled American. Repeated admonition from Pastor Watson remind me that ingratitude is a sin. There are 10 impediments to repentance, and, I confess, I had never given even one a thought. We are COMMANDED to repentance- Acts 17:30.
It is a good Pastor who preaches the truth- truth we should know, needing only to be reminded of it. I think my biggest problem is, I have a glut of "intelligence" available, but I think something is right, I am lazy, and I fail to take the time to search the Scriptures daily, to prove wether these things be true (Acts 17:11).
Books like these are more than historical documents; they should break up the ground of the Christian heart. If not, something is seriously wrong. Yes, it's wonderful to look into the past and get an understanding of the times, of society, and stuff, but this book is a treasure. I really enjoyed it. Thank you, Kindle, for the free book!
The meat of this book is the nature of repentance that consists of sight, sorrow, confession, shame, hatred and turning from sin. Something that I thought interesting is when it is pointed out that though confession is directed primarily to God, there are occasions where it should be done to "some prudent, pious friends, who may advise him and speak a word in due season (James 5:16)." Then Watson adds, "It is a sinful modesty in Christians that they are not more free with their ministers and other spiritual friends in unburdening themselves and opening the sores and troubles of their souls to them. If there is a thorn sticking in the conscience, it is good to make use of those who may help to pluck it out" (p.37).
Sight, Sorrow, Shame, Hatred and Turning from sin are certainly some things we always need in an increasing degree everyday. Not only when discussing these, but also throughout the text, Watson uses some graphic and vulgar words that are both necessary and true. Something that should strike our conscience is when he points out that the sin committed by Christians is worse that that by unbelievers because Christians sin against clearer conviction. Not only are we worse than the unbelievers when we sin, but we are also worse than the devils, where Watson points out, "The lapsed angels never sinned against Christ's blood. But we have affronted and disparaged His blood by unbelief" (p.42).
While hammering relentlessly on the danger of sin, the assumption that there is no need of repentance, or that repentance is easy or it can be put-off to a later time, and hypocritical repentance, the hardening of heart which is the most dreadful state one can ever fall into, as well as an all-out commitment and action (Watson calls it endeavor) against sin, he balances it out with the hope of the gospel. What is done here is to prevent one to fall into either extreme of presumptuous cavalier antinomianism or despair. The former is cured and guarded against with the warnings of the hardening of heart and the threats of apostasy, while the latter is conquered by the hope and grace of the Gospel. Just as there is a grave danger in antinominanism, so there is also a mortal danger in despair in the sense that it "rejects mercy. It throws the cordial of Christ's blood on the ground. Judas was not damned only for his treason and murder, but it was his distrust of God's mercy [through Christ] that destroyed him." Therefore, it is critical to remember that God "has bowels of love to repenting sinners (Joel 2:13). Mercy rejoices over justice. God counts his mercy his glory (Ex 33:18-19). He is the God of tenderness and compassion No sooner do we mourn than God's heart melts. No sooner do our tears fall than God's repentings kindle (Hos 11:8). Do not say then that there is no hope" (p.103).
What I suggest is this. Get the book and after reading it, write a summary similar to what Prof. JI Packer suggested after or when reading John Owen's texts. Why? First, it is because there are indeed similarities between Watson and Owen. Both understand both theology and human heart and the corruption thereof at a depth only few ministers and theologians have. Second, though Watson is much more organized than Owen, throughout their texts, they teach so many incredibly striking truths that it is necessary to write them down on a separate note that we may be able recollect later without having to re-read the text and start all over again. Though Watson sometimes uses Scriptural references that are out of context and plenty of Latin words which the Banner of Truth thankfully translates to English, his study on repentance is a beautiful tasty bitter sweet cordial that I pray for myself and every reader, that by the grace of God, He may use to drive us into a genuine sense of bitterness and sincere forsaking of sin and the sweetness of Christ.
Top reviews from other countries
I echo Spurgeon’s warning often in reading popular contemporary Christian books. I find the Puritans are solid anchor of the doctrines to guide my way through the contemporary jungle of Christian books. How come past saints wrote so much better, and more eloquently, precisely, articulately, beautifully, effectively than we can nowadays? I think one answer is that we never ever spend as much time as they in gazing upon God; we are too quick to draw relevance and application to ourselves that we miss the plot completely. I read the Puritans to nourish my soul while I often battle through contemporary easy reads with the sinking feeling that Spurgeon describes not everything is quite right. This book you can read with confidence with no dross to trap us.
The book landed on my desk when I was coaching a friend on Christian things. She asked me what repentance was. A very good question. We thought we knew but actually there is much more than meet the eye when we sit down and think it through. In this book, we find out that repentance has six components, reflecting the richness in the notion. We realise that repentance is not just about us saying sorry for our wrongdoings. God has to the groundwork laid out before even repentance is an option for us! “Repentance is a pure gospel grace. The covenant of works admitted no repentance; there is was, sin and die! Repentance came in by the gospel. Christ has purchased in his death – that repenting sinners shall be saved. The Law required personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience. It cursed all who could not come up to this … Thus repentance is a doctrine that has been brought to light, only by the gospel.” (p.4) Wherever in the Bible you see God commands repentance the gospel is implied. Amen. Truly there is no benefit to send one down the guilt trip if not to meet with Christ because one would be destroyed by worldly sorrow.
Recognising what sin is a key component. The list of twenty evils in sin is truly impressive. After reading that, how could one ever not to repent? Sin is insanity! Hardness of heart is scary and very wicked. Even when God rains down plagues, “People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.” (Rev 16:10-11) Sometimes you may think that these Puritans were painstaking in their labour. Is it necessary? Absolutely! We are so corrupt that we do not know what is what, especially in an age that we so wish to redefine everything, even the fundamentals of humanity. Only the very purest of mind can see God (Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) You can be sure that you hear God’s voice in this book.
Finally this is a very nice copy of the book – well bounded, lightweight, portable size and nicely printed as well. It is a neat version to read. I thank Amazon for reprinting this.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2018
But it is clearly a Biblical requirement