Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from The Christian’s Charter.
The hatred of the world is for your good. Wicked men are instruments in God’s hand for good—albeit they do not intend this. They are flails to thresh off our husks, files to brighten our graces, leeches to suck out the noxious blood. Out of the most poisonous drug, God distills his glory, and our salvation. A child of God is beholden even to his enemies; “The ploughers ploughed upon my back”; if they did not plough and harrow us, we should bear but a very thin crop: after a man has planted a tree, he prunes and dresses it. Persecutors are God’s pruning-scissors, to cut off the excrescences [protrusions] of sin, and evermore the bleeding vine is most fruitful; the envy and malice of the wicked shall do us good: God stirred up the people of Egypt to hate the Israelites, and that was a means to usher in their deliverance. The frowns of the wicked, make us the more ambitious of God’s smile; their incensed rage, at it shall carry on God’s decree (for while they sit backward to his command, they shall row forward to his decree) so it shall have a subserviency to our good. Every cross wind of Providence shall blow a believer nearer to the port of glory! What a blessed condition is a child of God in! kill him, or save him alive, it is all one. The opposition of the world is for his good.