Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from The Christian on the Mount.
Meditate upon Sin —
1. Meditate on the guilt of sin. We are in Adam as in a common head or root, and he sinning, we become guilty. Romans 5:12: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” By his treason our blood is tainted. This guilt brings shame with it as its twin (Romans 6:21).
2. Meditate upon the filth of sin. Not only is the guilt of Adam’s sin imputed, but the poison of his nature is disseminated to us! Our virgin nature is defiled! If the heart is spotted, how then can the actions be pure? If the water in the well is foul, it cannot be clean in the bucket! Isaiah 64:6: “We are all as an unclean thing.” We are like a patient under the physician’s care who has no sound part in him: his head is bruised, his liver is swelled, his lungs are gasping, his blood is infected, and his feet are gangrened. Thus is it with us before saving grace comes! In the mind there is darkness! In the memory there is slipperiness! In the heart there is hardness! In the will there is stubbornness! “You are sick from head to foot, covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds, without any ointments or bandages” (Isaiah 1:6). A sinner made filthy with sin is no better than a devil in man’s shape!
And sadly to be laid to heart is the adherence of this sin. Sin is natural to us. The apostle calls it, “the sin that so easily ensnares us” (Hebrews 12:1). Sin is not easily cast off A man may as well shake off the skin of his body as the sin of his soul! There is no shaking off this viper until death!
Oh, often meditate on this contagion of sin. How strong is that poison, a drop whereof is able to poison a whole sea? How venomous and malignant was that apple, a taste of which poisoned all mankind! Meditate sadly on this. Meditation on sin would make the plumes of pride fall off! If our knowledge makes us proud, that is sin enough to make us humble. The best saint alive who is taken out of the grave of sin yet has the smell of the grave clothes still upon him!
3. Meditate upon the curse of sin. Galatians 3:10: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” This curse is like a deadly canker upon fruit, that keeps it from thriving. Sin is not only a defiling thing, but a damning thing! It is not only a spot in the face, but a stab at the heart! Sin betrays us into the devil’s hands, who writes all his laws in blood. Sin binds us over to the wrath of God! What, then, are all our earthly enjoyments with the sword of divine vengeance hanging over our head! Sin brings forth the “scroll written with curses” against a sinner (Zechariah 5:1-3), and it is a “flying scroll.” It comes swiftly if mercy does not stop it. “You are cursed with a curse” (Malachi 3:9). Thus it is, until the head of this curse is cut off by Christ. Oh, meditate upon this curse due to sin!
Meditation on this curse would make us afraid of retaining sin. When Micah had stolen his mother’s money, and heard her curse him, he dared not keep it any longer, but restored it (Judges 17:2). He was afraid of his mother’s curse. What then is God’s curse!
Meditation on this curse would make us afraid of entertaining sin. We would not willingly entertain one in our house who had a deadly plague! Sin brings along with it the plague of God’s curse, which cleaves to a sinner. Meditation on this would make us fly from sin! While we sit under the shadow of this bramble of sin, fire will come out of the bramble eternally to devour us (Judges 9:15)!