Thomas Watson: Words to Sweeten Death

Posted: August 31, 2009 by limabean03 in Christian Theology, Christianity, Puritan Faith, Reformed Theology, The Christian Life

As I draw near to the end of Watson’s “The Great Gain of Godliness” I am finding more and more worth posting, and I’m only posting maybe 1/4 of what I find! Just so we’re all clear, by “jewels” Watson means “Christians” which we learn are not by made by creation but by regeneration. Enjoy.

Firstly, God makes up his jewels at the day of DEATH. Then he makes the saints’ graces, perfect. For this reason the departed saints are called “just men made perfect” (Heb. 12:23). Sin so mixes with, and dwells within a Christian—that he cannot write a copy of holiness without blotting it. Grace, though it abates sin—yet it does not abolish corruption. But at death God makes up his jewels—he perfects the graces of his people. Will not that be a blessed time, never to have a vain thought again, never to be within the sight of a temptation, or the fear of a relapse?

This, I think, may make death desirable to the godly; then the Lord will complete the graces of His children! They shall be as holy as they desire to be, and as holy as God would have them to be! How will God’s jewels sparkle–when they shall be without flaws! In that day of death when God makes up his jewels, the saints light will be clear, and their love will be perfect!

Their light will be clear. They shall be so divinely irradiated, that they shall know the “deep things of God”. They shall in this sense be “as the angels” (Matt. 22:30). Their faculty of thought shall be raised higher and made more capacious! Through the crystal glass of Christ’s human nature, the saints shall have glorious transparent sights of God! They shall know as they are known (1 Cor. 13:12); a riddle too mysterious for us mortals, if not for angels, to expound!

In that day the saints love will be perfect. Love is the queen of the graces—it outlives all the other graces. In this life, our love to God is lukewarm and sometimes frozen. A believer weeps that he can love God no more. But at the day of death, when God makes up his jewels—then the saints’ love shall be seraphic! The spark of love shall be blown up into a pure flame! The saints shall love God—as much as they desire! They shall love him superlatively and without defect—they shall be made up wholly of love. Oh, blessed day of death! When God shall make up his jewels, the saints graces shall shine forth in their meridian splendor!

Secondly, God makes up his jewels at the day of the RESURRECTION. Then he makes the saints bodies perfect. These, like sparkling diamonds, shall shine in glory! At the resurrection God is said to change the bodies of the saint, “He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own!” (Phil. 3:21). How will he change them? Not that they shall be other bodies than they were before. The substance of their bodies shall not be changed—but the qualities. As wool, when it is dyed into a purple color, is not altered in the substance—but in the quality, and is made more illustrious. Just so, God in making up his jewels, will cause a greater resplendency in the saints bodies than before.

When God makes up the jewels of the saints bodies at the resurrection, they shall be perfect in four ways:

1. In amiability or sweetness of beauty. Here the bodies of the righteous are often deformed. Leah has her weak eves, and Barzillai has his lameness; but at the resurrection the bodies of the saints shall be of unspotted loveliness. And no wonder, for they shall be made like Christ’s glorious body (Phil. 3:21).

2. When God at the resurrection makes up the jewels of the saints bodies, they shall have perfection of parts. Their bodies in this world may be maimed and disfigured; but in the day of the resurrection they shall have all the parts of their bodies restored (Acts 3:21). Such as have lost an eye, shall have their eye again; such as lack a leg or an arm, shall have their arm again.

3. When God makes up the jewels of the saints bodies at the resurrection, they shall be swift and lively in their motion. Here on earth, the bodies of the saints move heavily—but then they shall be sprightly, and move rapidly from one place to another. Here the body is a weight; in heaven it shall be a wing!

4. When God makes up the jewels of the saints bodies, they shall be immortal. The body once glorified, shall never be subject to death! “For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die!” (1 Cor. 15:53). Heaven is a healthy climate; no death-bell goes there. This mortal body shall put on immortality.

Let us labor to he in the number of God’s jewels, that when the Lord shall make up his jewels, he may perfect our souls and bodies in glory

Question: How shall we know that we are in the number of God’s jewels?

Answer: Have we holiness? “But we are washed—but we are sanctified” (1 Cor. 6:11). We are not God’s jewels by creation—but regeneration. If holiness sparkles in us—it is a sign we are God’s jewels; and then when God comes to make up his jewels, he will put glory upon our souls and bodies forever!

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