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The Doctrine of Repentance (1668)

by Thomas Watson

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930417,679 (4.4)None
Knowing what repentance is, and actually repenting, are essential to true Christianity. Few better guides have existed in any area of spiritual experience than Thomas Watson.
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Watson’s short work is a systematic theology on the doctrine of repentance. He covers the topic from all angles and every corner of Scripture. He brings a great deal of understanding to how the human heart works and the calculated lies concocted by our sinful hearts in order to quiet the conscience in venturing upon sin. His biblical correctives are spot on. Many regard Watson as the most readable of all the puritans and this work, though relatively short at only 122 pages, is full of wisdom, force, and insight.

In one chapter, Watson highlights how it is natural for us to put off and procrastinate repentance. His counsel is to be speedy in this area as we remember God is quick in granting his mercies. Repentance is the healing day for our souls and it is best to repent quickly to bring glory to God. The candle of our life may soon be blown out, as man’s life is like a flower of the field which withers sooner than the grass (Psa. 103:15). Today, hear God’s voice (Heb. 3:7).

Later, Watson gives a helpful qualification: Repentance is not meritorious, nor does it win God’s pardon. Repentance is a qualification, not a cause, he says. Tears are not satisfactory for sin; they please God but do not satisfy. Christ’s blood only merits pardon. To trust our repentance is to make it a false savior. Christ’s blood alone washes away the guilt of sin. Do not idolize repentance or rest upon anything other than Christ for pardon (96-97).

Chapter 11 is worth the price of admission alone. Watson titles it, “prescribing some means for repentance: serious consideration.” And it is certainly that. He says every sin is a recession from God, is walking contrary to God, is an injury to God, is rooted in ignorance, a hazard to the soul, smears the soul with filth, and is an expression of odious ingratitude. He goes on: sin debases, burdens, and damages. It is a debt, it is deceitful, and a spiritual sickness. It is a bondage and a spreading malignity and vexing sort of thing always bringing trouble. Watson devotes a paragraph or two to illustrate and convey each of these things.

Just as Watson paints sin’s dangers, he cuts straight to the heart in his conclusion, asking after all this, “What private mercies have we had? We have been enemies, yet God has fed us. He has made the honeycomb of mercy drop on us” (114). The goodness, kindness, and patience of God ought to lead us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). ( )
  joshcrouse3 | Sep 17, 2021 |
Slowly, page by page as you read, your sins in the deepest level will come to the surface. As I kept reading, I could sense how deceitful it is to think that I am a passionate follower of Christ –– There is still a long way to go. All I could say is, I am like the Beggar who says to Jesus, "Son of David, have mercy on Me."

I think, this book is the best book on Repentance, it takes a lot of time to reflect and read this. Repentance comes from the Holy Spirit. Also, you can check out John Owen's book on this topic.

There is cruelty in your sin, with every sin you commit, you stab at your own soul.
A dead man has no sense, He who is dead has no taste.
Sin is spiritual sickness, one man is sick of pride, another of lust, another of malice.
Repentance is necessary.

"The Very day a Christian turns from sin, he must enjoy himself a perpetual fast, the eye must fast from impure glance, the ear must fast from hearing slanders, the tongue must fast from oaths, the hands must fast from bribes, the feet must fast from the path of harlot. And the soul must fast from the love of wickedness" -- Thomas Watson ( )
  gottfried_leibniz | Apr 5, 2018 |
Slowly, page by page as you read, your sins in the deepest level will come to the surface. As I kept reading, I could sense how deceitful it is to think that I am a passionate follower of Christ –– There is still a long way to go. All I could say is, I am like the Beggar who says to Jesus, "Son of David, have mercy on Me."

I think, this book is the best book on Repentance, it takes a lot of time to reflect and read this. Repentance comes from the Holy Spirit. Also, you can check out John Owen's book on this topic.

There is cruelty in your sin, with every sin you commit, you stab at your own soul.
A dead man has no sense, He who is dead has no taste.
Sin is spiritual sickness, one man is sick of pride, another of lust, another of malice.
Repentance is necessary.

"The Very day a Christian turns from sin, he must enjoy himself a perpetual fast, the eye must fast from impure glance, the ear must fast from hearing slanders, the tongue must fast from oaths, the hands must fast from bribes, the feet must fast from the path of harlot. And the soul must fast from the love of wickedness" -- Thomas Watson ( )
  gottfried_leibniz | Apr 5, 2018 |
Watson, Thomas, The Doctrine of Repentance (Puritan Paperback Series. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust), EEBO.
"Knowing what repentance is, and actually repenting are essentials 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 language. . . . 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 twentieth century." -- Publisher's Annotation
The Doctrine of Repentance, excerpts
Online etext.

http://www.fivesolas.com/watson/drepenti.htm ( )
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  lettermen | Nov 26, 2007 |
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Knowing what repentance is, and actually repenting, are essential to true Christianity. Few better guides have existed in any area of spiritual experience than Thomas Watson.

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