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echoes of thought in love with God through Christ crucified

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I can truly say, that Christ, his love, his works, his grace, his word, are the main objects of my contemplation and meditation. Oh I am always best, when I am most a-meditating and contemplating Christ, his love, his grace, etc. “How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God; how great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17).

—Thomas Brooks,
Works, 3:79.

It is a sign they have none of this spiritual hunger, who desire rather sleep than food. They are more drowsy than hungry. Some there are who come to the Word that they may get a nap, to whom I may say as Christ did to Peter, ‘Couldest thou not watch one hour?’ (Mark 14:37). It is strange to see a man asleep at his meat. Others there are who have a ‘deep sleep’ fallen upon them. They are asleep in security and they hate a soul-awakening ministry. While they sleep, ‘their damnation slumbereth not’ (2 Peter 2:3).

—Thomas Watson
Adapted from The Beatitudes, 125.

That some hunger and thirst after God reproves such as have no spiritual hunger. Such as have no spiritual hunger have no winged desires. The edge of their affections is blunted. Honey is not sweet to them that are sick of a fever and have their tongues embittered with choler [bile]. So those who are soul-sick and “in the gall of bitterness,” find no sweetness in God or religion. Sin tastes sweeter to them; they have no spiritual hunger. That men do not have this “hunger after righteousness” appears by several demonstrations.

First, they never felt any emptiness. They are full of their own righteousness (Romans 10:3). Now “the full stomach loathes the honeycomb.” This was Laodicea’s disease. She was full and had no stomach either to Christ’s gold or eye-salve (Revelation 3:17). When men are filled with pride, this flatulent distemper hinders holy longings. As when the stomach is full of wind it spoils the appetite. None so empty of grace as he that thinks he is full. He has most need of righteousness that least wants it.

—Thomas Watson
Adapted from The Beatitudes, 124.

[Meditation] is a duty wherein the very heart and life-blood of piety lies. Meditation may be thus described: it is a holy exercise of the mind; whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance, and do seriously ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves. In meditation there are two things:

  1. A Christian’s retiring of himself, a locking himself up from the world. Meditation is a work which cannot be done in a crowd.
  2. It is a serious thinking upon God. It is not a few transient thoughts that are quickly gone—but a fixing and staying of the mind upon heavenly objects: this cannot be done without exciting all the powers of our souls, and offering violence to ourselves.

—Thomas Watson
The Christian Soldier, or Heaven Taken by Storm (Robert Moore, 1816).

This occasional meditation [on Christ], will be a means to cure the most vicious part of our lives; for what is the wickedest part of a man’s life? It is his vain thoughts. As in nature there is no vacuity or emptiness, but a vessel is either filled with liquor or the air; now the more water you pour in, the more air goes out. So if you would but store your souls with these occasional meditations, it would thrust out vain and vile thoughts.

Oh it is a rare temper when a christian is always upon the wing. When he is like the beams of the sun, they touch the earth, but the body of the sun is fixed in heaven. So it is with a christian when he converseth with the world, but enjoys God.

—William Bates
The Whole Works of the Rev. William Bates, 3:119.

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