Sample Thomas Watson Quotes From: Expository Preaching With Word Pictures

Below is a sampling of picturesque quotes by Thomas Watson taken from Expository Preaching With Word Pictures: With Illustrations from the Sermons of Thomas Watson, by Jack Hughes (Christian Focus Publications: 2001. Expository Preaching with Word Pictures contains nearly 100 pages of Watson quotes, categorized according to subject. The quotes are taken from the six Thomas Watson titles listed below.

ATFG = All things for Good; BD = Body of Divinity; DR = Doctrine of Repentance; GMP = Godly Man’s Picture; HD = Harmless as Doves; MS = Mischief of Sin

Adultery – Adultery is the shipwreck of chastity, the murder of conscience.  MS 33

Affliction – A sick-bed often teaches more than a sermon. ATFG pg. 27

Affliction – The test of a pilot is seen in a storm; so the test of a Christian is seen in affliction.  That man has the right art of navigation who, when the boisterous winds blow from heaven, steers the ship of his soul wisely, and does not dash upon the rock of impatience.  GMP pg. 124

Affliction – As the hard frosts in winter bring on the flowers in the spring, and as the night ushers in the morning-star, so the evils of affliction produce much good to those that love God.  ATFG pg. 27

Affliction – Christ never wounds but to heal; the rod of affliction is to recover the sick patient.  David’s bones were broken that his soul might be healed.  God uses affliction as the surgeon does his lance, to let out the venom and corruption of the soul, and make way for a cure.  HD 139

Anger – When lust or rash anger burns in the soul, Satan warms himself at this fire.  Men’s sins feast the devil.  BD 134

Anxiety – An impatient man is like a troubled sea that cannot rest (Isa. 57:20).  He tortures himself upon the rack of his own griefs and passions, whereas patience calms the heart, as Christ did the sea, when it was rough. GMP pg. 123

Apostasy – The apostate drops as a windfall into the devil’s mouth.  BD 2

Apostasy – No one is so fit to make an apostate as a lukewarm professing Christian.  GMP pg. 214

Assurance – A believer can sail to heaven, though the tide of reason and the wind of temptation are against him.  MS 152

Assurance – The plow goes before the seed be sown; the heart must be plowed up by humiliation and repentance, before God sows the seed of assurance.  BD 252

Bad company – The breath of sinners is infectious.  They are like the dragon which ‘cast a flood out of his mouth’ (Rev. 12:15).  They cast a flood of oaths out of their mouths.  Wicked tongues are set on fire by hell (Jas. 3:6). The sinner finds match and gunpowder, and the devil finds fire.  GMP pg. 186

Blood of Christ – As the merit of Christ’s blood pacifies God, so the virtue of it purifies us. It is the King of heaven’s bath.  It is a laver to wash in.  It washes a crimson sinner milk white.  “The blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all our sin,” I Jn. 1:7.  The Word of God is a looking glass to show us our spots, and the blood of Christ is a fountain to wash them away, Zech. 13:1.  MS 125

Boasting – Christian, though you do not break forth into a flame of scandal, yet you have no cause to boast, for there is much sin raked up in the embers of your nature.  You have the root of bitterness in you, and would bear as hellish fruit as any, if God did not either curb you by His power, or change you by His grace.  ATFG pg. 47

Call of God – As chastity distinguishes a virtuous woman from a harlot, so holiness distinguishes the godly from the wicked.  It is a holy calling; ‘For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness’ (I Thess. 4:7). Let not any man say he is called of God, that lives in sin.  Has God called you to be a swearer, to be a drunkard? Nay, let not the merely moral person say he is effectually called.  What is civility without sanctity?  It is but a dead carcass strewed with flowers.  The king’s picture stamped upon brass will not go current for gold. The merely moral man looks as if he had the King of heaven’s image stamped upon him; but he is not better than counterfeit metal, which will not pass for current with God.  ATFG pg. 108

Confession – Our hearts must go along with our confessions.  The hypocrite confesses sin but loves it, like a thief who confesses to stolen goods, yet loves stealing.  How many confess pride and covetousness with their lips but roll them as honey under their tongue.  DR 29

Conscience – The dog has a mind to the bone, but is afraid of the club; so men have a mind to lust, but conscience stands as the angel, with flaming sword, and affrights: they have a mind to revenge, but the fear of hell is a curb-bit to check them.  There is no change of heart; sin is curbed, but not cured.  A lion may be in chains, but is a lion still.  BD 244

Contention – Beware of the devil’s couriers – I mean such as run on his errand, and make it their work to blow the coals of contention among Christians, and render one party odious to another.  GMP pg. 145

Contentment – When Christians complain at their condition, they forget that they are servants, and must live on the allowance of their heavenly Master.  You who have the least bit from God will die in His debt.  GMP pg. 39

Creation – If a man should go into a far country, and see stately edifices there, he would never imagine that these built themselves, but that some greater power had built them. To imagine that the work of creation was not framed by God, is as if we should conceive a curious landscape to be drawn by a pencil without the hand of an artist.  BD 40

Crucifixion – The cross of Christ is the ladder by which we ascend to heaven.  His crucifixion is our coronation.  BD 174

Crucifixion – The balm-tree weeps out its precious balm, to heal those that cut and mangle it; so Christ shed His blood, to heal those that crucified Him.  BD 175

Death – Death shall stop the bottle of tears, and open the gate of Paradise.  A believer’s dying day is his ascension day to glory.  ATFG pg. 57

Depravity – The sin of our nature is like a sleeping lion, the least thing that awakens it makes it rage.  Though the sin of our nature seems quiet, and lies as fire hid under the embers, yet if it be a little stirred and blown up by temptation, how quickly may it flame forth into scandalous evils!  Therefore we need always to walk watchfully.  “I say to you all, Watch” (Mk. 8:37).  A wandering heart heeds a watchful eye.  BD 148

Depravity – Original sin may be compared to that fish Pliny speaks of, a sea-lamprey, which cleaves to the keel of the ship and hinders it when it is under sail.  Sin hangs weights upon us so that we move but slowly to heaven. O this adherence of sin!  Paul shook the viper which was on his hand into the fire (Acts 28:5), but we cannot shake off original corruption in this life.  Sin does not come as a lodger for a night, but as an indweller: ‘sin that dwelleth in me’ (Rom. 7:17).  It is with us as with one who has a hectic fever upon him; though he changes the air, yet still he carries his disease with him.  Original sin is inexhaustible.  This ocean cannot be emptied.  Though the stock of sin spends, yet it is not at all diminished.  The more we sin, the fuller we are of sin.  Original corruption is like the widow’s oil which increased by pouring out.  DR 73

Despair – Despair is a God-affronting sin.  It is sacrilege; it robs God of His crown-jewels, His power, goodness, and truth.  How Satan triumphs to see the honor of God’s attributes laid in the dust by despair!  Despair casts away the anchor of hope, then the soul must sink. What will a ship do in a storm without an anchor? MS 10

Discontent – Discontent is a sin which puts us upon sin.  ‘Fret not thyself to do evil’ (Psalm 37:8).  He that frets will be ready to do evil: fretting Jonah was a sinning Jonah (Jonah 4:9). The devil blows the coals of passion and discontent, and then warms himself by the fire.  Oh, let us not nourish this angry viper in our breast. Let this text produce patience, ‘All things work together for good to them that love God’ (Rom. 8:28).  ATFG pg. 61

Faith – Faith is the oil which feeds the lamp of hope.  Faith and hope are two turtle-dove graces; take away one, and the other languishes.  If the sinews are cut, the body is lame; if this sinew of faith is cut, hope is lame.  GMP pg. 28

Faith – Faith and fear go hand in hand.  Faith keeps the heart cheerful, fear keeps the heart serious.  Faith keeps the heart from sinking in despair, fear keeps it from floating in presumption. ATFG pg. 20

Faith – A great faith is like an oak that spreads its roots deep and is not easily blown down, Col. 2:7.  A great faith is like the anchor or cable of a ship that holds it steady in the midst of storms.  A Christian who is steeled with this heroic faith is settled in the mysteries of religion.  MS 151

Fall of man – Sin dug Adam’s grave.  BD 152

False profession – How many are painted only with the vermilion of a profession, whose seeming luster dazzles the eyes of the beholders, but within there is nothing but petrification!  Hypocrites are like the swan, which has white feathers, but black skin; or like the lily, which has a fair color, but a bad scent.  ‘Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead’ (Rev. 3:1).  GMP pg. 15

Fellowship – Walk with them that are holy.  “He walketh with the wise shall be wise” (Prov. 13:20).  Be among the spices and you will smell of them.  Association begets assimilation.  Nothing has a greater power and energy to effect holiness than the communion of saints.  BD 87

Forgiveness – When a creditor forgives a debtor, he does it freely.  Pardon of sin is a fine thread, spun out of the heart of free grace.  GMP pg. 9

Glorifying God – Glorifying God consists in four things: 1.  Appreciation, 2. Adoration, 3. Affection, 4. Subjection.  This is the yearly rent we pay to the crown of heaven.  BD 7

Glory – The streams of glory are not like the water of a conduit, often stopped, so that we cannot have one drop of water; but those heavenly streams of joy are continually running.  Oh how should we despise this valley of tears where we now are, for the mount of transfiguration!  how should we long for the full enjoyment of God in Paradise!  Had we a sight of that land of promise, we should need patience to be content to live here any longer.  BD 25

Godliness – To be learned and ungodly is like a devil transformed into an angel of light; to be beautiful and ungodly is like a lovely picture hung in an infected room; to be honorable in the world and ungodly is like an ape in purple, or like that image which had a head of gold on feet of clay (Dan. 2:32-33).  It is godliness that ennobles and consecrates the heart, making God and angels fall in love with it.  GMP pg. 191

Godliness – The dew lies on the leaf, the sap is hidden in the root.  The moralist’s religion is all in the leaf; it consists only in externals, but godliness is a holy sap which is rooted in the soul: ‘in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom’ (Psa. 51:6). GMP pgs. 12-13

Grace – Every man is by is bound in fetters.  A man that is in fetters, if you use arguments, and persuade him to go, is that sufficient?  There must be a breaking of his fetters, and setting him free, before he can walk.  So it is with every natural man; he is fettered with corruption; now the Lord by converting grace must file off his fetters, nay, give him legs to run too, or he can never obtain salvation.  ATFG pg. 113

Guilt – Guilt clips the wings of prayer so that it cannot fly to the throne of grace, but forgiveness breeds confidence.  GMP pg. 11

Heart – The heart and sin are like two lovers who cannot endure to be parted.  MS 55

Heart – A hard heart is the anvil on which the hammer of God’s justice will be striking to all eternity.  DR 84

Heaven – Heaven is not like Noah’s ark, where the clean beasts and the unclean entered.  No unclean beasts come into the heavenly ark; for though God suffer the wicked to live awhile on earth, He will never suffer heaven to be pestered by such vermin.  Are they fit to see God who wallow in wickedness?  Will God ever lay such vipers in His bosom?  “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).  It must be a clear eye that sees a bright object: only a holy heart can see God in His glory.  Sinners may see God as an enemy, but not as a friend; Many have an affrighting vision of Him, but not a beatific vision; they may see the flaming sword, but not the mercy seat.  BD 245

Heaven – An ignorant man looks at a star and it appears to him like a little silver spot, but the astronomer, who has his instrument to judge the dimension of a star, knows it to be many degrees bigger than the earth.  So a natural man hears of the heavenly country that it is very glorious, but it is at a great distance.  And because he has not a spirit of discernment, the world looks bigger in his eye.  But such as are spiritual artists, who have the instrument of faith to judge heaven, will say it is by far the better country and they will hasten there with the sails of desire.  GMP pg. 112

Hell – The coolest part of hell is hot enough, but there are some who shall have a hotter place in hell than others.  All shall go into that fiery prison, but some sinners God will thrust into the dungeon.  MS 92

Hell – Eternity is a sea without bottom and banks.  After millions of years, there is not one minute in eternity wasted; and the damned must be ever burning, but never consuming, always dying, but never dead.  “They shall seek death, but shall not find it” (Rev. 9:6).  The fire of hell is such, as multitudes of tears will not quench it, length of time will not finish it; the vial of God’s wrath will be always dropping upon a sinner.  As long as God is eternal, He lives to be avenged upon the wicked.  Oh eternity!  eternity! who can fathom it?  Mariners have their plummets to measure the depths of the sea; but what line or plummet shall we use to fathom the depth of eternity?  The breath of the Lord kindles the infernal lake, (Isa. 30:33), and where shall we have engines or buckets to quench that fire?  Oh eternity!  If all the body of earth and sea were turned to sand, and all the air up to the starry heaven were nothing but sand, and a little bird should come every thousand years, and fetch away in her bill but the tenth part of a grain of all that heap of sand, what numberless years would be spent before that vast heap of sand would be fetched away!  Yet, if at the end of all that time, the sinner might come out of hell, there would be some hope; but that word ‘Ever’ breaks the heart.  “The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.”  What a terror is this to the wicked, enough to put them into a cold sweat, to think, as long as God is eternal, He lives for ever to be avenged upon them!  BD 62-63