The Saint’s Spiritual Delight

Written by Thomas Watson

BurningButNotConsumedHe that delights in God, does not  delight much in anything else.

The world appears in an eclipse. Paul delighted in the law of God, in the inner man, and how was he crucified to the world! Gal. 6:14. It is not absolutely unlawful to delight in the things of the world, ” Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given thee,” Deut. 26:11. None may better take the comfort of these things than believers, for they have the best right to them, they hold all in capite (A tenure held immediately from the king.); and they have the dew of a blessing distilled. “Take two talents, said Naaman to Gehazi,” 2 Kings 5:23. so saith God to a believer, take two talents, take thy outward comforts, and take my love with them ; but the children of God, though they are thankful for outward mercies, which is the yearly rent they sit at, yet they are not much taken with these things; they use them only as a convenience for their passage; they know they need them as a staff to walk with, but when they shall sit down in the kingdom of heaven, and rest themselves, they shall have no use of this Jacob’s staff.

Believers do not much care for these things which are still passing, 1 John 2:17.

Their delight is chiefly in God and his law; and is it thus with you? Have we this low opinion of all under the moon comforts? The astronomer saith, if it were possible for a man to be lifted up as high as the moon, the earth would seem to him but as a little point. If we could be lifted to heaven in our affections, all earthly delights would seem as nothing. When the woman of Samaria had met with Christ, down goes the pitcher, John 4:28. She leaves that behind. He who delights in God, as having tasted the sweetness in him, doth not much mind the pitcher, he leaves the world behind. True delight is constant. Hypocrites have their pangs of desire, and flashes of joy, which are soon over. The Jews rejoiced in John’s light for a season, John 5:35. Unsound hearts may delight in the law of the Lord for a season; but they will quickly change their note, “What a weariness is it to serve the Lord!” True delight, like the fire of the altar, never goes out; affliction cannot extirpate it. “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me, yet thy commandments are my delights.” Psalm, 119:143.

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Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage: Thomas Watson (1620 – 1686) was an English, Nonconformist, Puritan preacher and author. 

He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was noted for remarkably intense study. In 1646 he commenced a sixteen-year pastorate at St. Stephen’s, Walbrook. He showed strong Presbyterian views during the civil war, with, however, an attachment to the king, and in 1651 he was imprisoned briefly with some other ministers for his share in Christopher Love’s plot to recall Charles II of England. He was released on 30 June 1652, and was formally reinstated as vicar of St. Stephen’s Walbrook. He obtained great fame and popularity as a preacher until the Restoration, when he was ejected for Nonconformity. Notwithstanding the rigor of the acts against dissenters, Watson continued to exercise his ministry privately as he found opportunity. Upon the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 he obtained a license to preach at the great hall in Crosby House. After preaching there for several years, his health gave way, and he retired to Barnston, Essex, where he died suddenly while praying in secret. He was buried on 28 July 1686