Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from The Godly Man’s Picture.
How far from being godly are those who scarcely ever shed a tear for sin! If they lose a near relation, they weep; but though they are in danger of losing God and their souls, they do not weep. How few know what it is to be in an agony for sin or what a broken heart means! Their eyes are not like the “fishpools in Heshbon”, full of water (Song 7:4), but rather like the mountains of Gilboa, which had no dew upon them (2 Sam. 1:21). It was a greater plague for Pharaoh to have his heart turned into stone than to have his rivers turned into blood.
Others, if they sometimes shed a tear, are still never the better. They go on in wickedness, and do not drown their sins in their tears.
Let us strive for this divine characteristic: be weepers. This is “a repentance not to be repented of” (2 Cor. 7:10). It is reported of Mr. Bradford, the martyr, that he was of a melting spirit; he seldom sat down to his meal but some tears trickled down his cheeks. There are two lavers to wash away sin: blood and tears. The blood of Christ washes away the guilt of sin; tears wash away the filth. Repenting tears are precious. God puts them in his bottle (Psa. 56:8). They are beautifying. A tear in the eye adorns more than a ring on the finger. Oil makes the face shine (Psa. 104:15). Tears make the heart shine; tears are comforting. A sinner’s mirth turns to melancholy. A saint’s mourning turns to music. Repentance may be compared to myrrh, which though it is better to the taste, is comforting to the spirits. Repentance may be bitter to the fleshy part but it is most refreshing to the spiritual. Wax that melts is lit for the seal. A melting soul is lit to take the stamp of all heavenly blessing. Let us give Christ the water of our tears and he will give us the wine of his blood.