Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Heaven Taken by Storm by Thomas Watson - Part 10, 11 and 12

Part 10 - Examination and Objections

I. What violence do we use for Heaven?

a. Do we strive with our hearts to get them into an holy frame?

b. Do we set time apart to call ourselves to account, and to try our evidences for Heaven?

c. Do we use violence in prayer?

d. Do we thirst for the living God?

e. Are we skilled in self-denial?

f. Are we lovers of God?

g. Do we keep our spiritual watch?

h. Do we press after further degrees of sanctity?

i. Is there an holy emulation in us?

j. Are we got above the world?

k. Do we set ourselves always under God's eye?

II. Some objections that may be made against this blessed violence.

a. We have no power of ourselves to save ourselves? In conversion we are passive, but after we should do what we are able

i. We have power to avoid gross sins

ii. We have power to cast ourselves upon the use of means, praying, reading, holy conference

iii. We can pursue our salvation

b. But this offering violence is hard, and I shall never be able to go through it. Admit it to be hard, yet it is a duty, and there is no disputing duty. What if salvation-work be hard?

i. Is it not harder to lay in Hell?

ii. We do not argue so in other things

iii. Though the business of religion at first seems hard, yet when once we are entered into it, it is pleasant

c. But if I put myself upon this violent exercise in religion, then I shall lose that pleasure I have in my sin, my mirth and melody. How does Scripture describe sin?

i. Scripture calls it a debt

ii. Scripture calls sin a disease

iii. The Scripture compares sin to 'gall and wormwood

iv. These sugared pleasures in sin the Scripture saith are but 'for a season

v. The present sweetness which is in sin will turn to bitterness at last

III. I would use this violence for Heaven, but I shall expose myself to the censure and scorn of others.

a. Consider who will reproach thee: they are the wicked

b. They reproach you for offering violence

c. Jesus Christ was reproached for thy sake

IV. If I use this holy violence, and turn religious, then I shall lose such yearly profits which my sin

a. By the incomes that sin brings in, you treasure

b. That cannot be for your profit, which makes you come off a loser at last

Part 11 - Resumed Exhortations

I. Consider the deplorable condition we are in by nature

II. It is possible that in the use of means we may arrive at happiness

III. This violence for Heaven is the grand business of our lives

IV. How violent are the wicked in ways of sin

V. This holy violence hath much delight mingled with it

VI. This violence and activity of spirit in religion, puts a luster upon a Christian

VII. How violent Christ was about our salvation

VIII. This holy violence brings rest

IX. If we use what violence we are able, God will help us

X. This blessed violence in religion, would be preventive of much sin

XI. Consider the folly of such as are violent for the world, but not for the kingdom above

a. These earthly things that we so toil for, are uncertain

b. They are unsatisfactory

c. They are transient; death feeds at the root

XII. The next motive is in the text; this violence is for a kingdom

a. The immunities of the heavenly kingdom are great

i. There shall be freedom from sin

ii. In that blessed kingdom there shall be freedom from the assaults of the red dragon

iii. In that blessed kingdom there shall be freedom from divi­sions

iv. In that heavenly kingdom there shall be freedom from all molestations

b. The royalties and excellencies of that kingdom are great

i. The heavenly kingdom abounds with riches

ii. The delights of the heavenly kingdom are unmixed

iii. This kingdom above is durable

XIII. The more violence we have used for Heaven, the sweeter Heaven will be when we come there

Part 12 – Exhortations Continued

I. The more violence we put forth in religion, the greater measure of glory we shall have

a. There are degrees of torment in Hell; therefore, by the rule of contraries, there are degrees of glory in Heaven

b. The Scripture speaks of a prophet's reward which is a degree above others

c. The saints are said to shine as the stars; one star differeth from another in glory

II. Upon our violence for the kingdom God hath promised mercy

a. 1. Ask. Ask with importunity

b. Seek, and ye shall find, but not wrongly as in:

i. They did seek ignorantly

ii. They did seek proudly

iii. They did seek lazily

iv. They did seek hypocritically

c. 'Knock, and it shall be opened

III. This holy violence will not hinder men in their secular employments, but there are two things that make a trade unlawful:

a. When persons deal in such commodities as they know cannot be used without sin

b. When their trade doth so involve them in worldly business, that they cannot mind eternity

IV. There is but a short space of time granted us, therefore, work the harder for Heaven before it be too late

V. A man's personal day of grace may be short

VI. If you neglect the offering of violence, now, there will be no help for you after death

VII. How without all defense will you be left, if you neglect this violence for Heaven

VIII. What a vexation it will be at the last to lose the kingdom of glory for lack of a little violence

IX. The examples of the saints of old, who have taken heaven by force

X. If the saints with all their violence have much ado to get to heaven, how shall they come there who use no violence?

XI. This sweating for Heaven is not to endure long

XII. If you are not violent for Heaven, you walk antipodes to your own prayers

XIII. This holy and blessed violence would make Christians willing to die

XIV. If for all that hath been said you will either sit still, or keep your sweat for something else than Heaven, know, that there is a time coming shortly when you will wish you had used this violence

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