(Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669)
Meditation is a holy exercise of the mind; whereby we
bring the truths of God to remembrance—and seriously
ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves. It is a
work which cannot be done in a crowd. A Christian must
retire from the world, to have serious thinking upon God.
It is not a few transient thoughts that are quickly gone;
but a fixing and staying of the mind upon heavenly
As the bee sucks the honey from the flower—so by
meditation we suck out the sweetness of a truth.
It is not the receiving of food into the mouth, but the
digesting of it, which makes it nutritious. Just so, it is
not the receiving of the most excellent truths in the
ear, which nourishes our souls—but the digesting of
them by meditation.
Satan does what he can to hinder this duty. He is an
enemy of meditation. The devil does not care not how
much we read—so long as we do not meditate on what
we read. Reading begets knowledge—but meditation
begets devotion. “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate
on it all day long.” Psalm 119:97
Holy meditation quickens the affections. The reason
why our affections are so cold to heavenly things—is
because we do not warm them at the fire of holy
meditation. As the musing on worldly objects makes
the fire of lust burn; and as the musing on injuries
makes the fire of revenge burn; just so, meditating
on the transcendent beauties of Christ, would make
our love to Christ flame forth.
Meditation has a transforming power in it. The reading
of the Word may affect us—but the meditating upon it
transforms us. Meditation stamps the impression of divine
truths upon our hearts. By meditating on God’s holiness,
we grow holy. While by meditation we look upon God’s
purity—we are changed into His likeness.
Meditation produces reformation. “I have considered
my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.”
Psalm 119:59. If we would spend but one quarter of
an hour every day in contemplating heavenly objects,
it would leave a mighty impression upon us!
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