by Thomas Watson
(This prayer given by Watson, on the eve of his ejection
from his church, because of his non-conformity to the state church.)
O Lord God, all our springs are in You. It is good for us
to draw near to You through Jesus Christ. You are all fullness, the
quintessence of all sweetness, the center of all blessedness. You are the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in Him—our Father. You are our light.
You give us these blessed opportunities of enjoying communion with Yourself,
God blessed forever.
These mercies are forfeited mercies. We have
abused the blessings of Your house; we have grieved Your blessed Spirit;
therefore, it is just with You to deprive us of these comforts, and to make
us know the worth of these mercies—by the lack of them.
Lord, we desire to judge ourselves, that we may not be
condemned with the world. Righteous are You, O Lord, and just in all Your
judgments. We confess, we are unworthy to have any converse with so holy a
God. We are polluted with dust and ashes, not worthy to tread Your
courts—and it is of Your mercy that we are not consumed. How often have we
plucked fruit from the forbidden tree! We have sinned presumptuously against
the clearest light—and always against the dearest love. Your
footsteps have dropped fatness. You have shown mercy to us—but the better
You have been to us, the worse we have been to You! You have loaded us with
mercies—and we have wearied You with our sins! When we look
into ourselves, O the poison of our natures! Whatever the leper touched, was
unclean; thus do we, by our spiritual leprosy, infect our holy things.
Our prayers need a pardon, and our tears
need to have the blood of Christ to wash them. How vain are our vows!
How sensual are our affections! We confess, we are untuned and
unstrung for every holy action. We are never out of tune to sin—but
always out of tune to pray. We give the world our superior
affections and our strongest desires. We should use this world as
if we used it not; but, alas, we pray as if we prayed not, and serve You as
if we served You not. There is not the reverence, nor that
devotion, nor that activeness of faith that there should be.
Lord, if You should say that You would pardon all our sins to this time and
only judge us for this prayer—woe unto us! What breathing of unbelief
and hypocrisy is there now, when we approach unto You!
We beg You, pardon us for Christ's sake. Who can tell how
often he offends? We can as well reckon the drops of the ocean—as number our
sins! We are filled up with sins—but have not filled Your bottle with
our tears. This is that which exceedingly aggravates our sins—that we
cannot mourn for sin. We can grieve for our losses—but we
cannot mourn for our unkindnesses to You. Sin has not only defiled
us—but hardened us. Nothing can melt us—but the love of
Christ! Nothing can soften us—but the blood of Christ! O, do not
withhold Your mercies from us! O help us to eat the Passover Lamb with
bitter herbs. Let us look on Christ—and weep over Him. Let us look on a
broken Christ—with broken hearts; and on a bleeding Christ—with bleeding
hearts. Let us mourn for our insincerity, and that we should grieve You, who
is always doing us good. O humble us for our unkindness and, for Christ's
sake, blot out our transgressions! They are more than we can number—but
not more than You can pardon!
Though we have lost the obedience of Your children—You
have not lost the goodness of a Father. Let us be held forth as patterns
of mercy, so shall we trumpet forth Your praise to all eternity!
Whatever afflictions You lay upon our bodies—let not our sins
be unpardoned; let there be peace in heaven—and peace in the court of
conscience. We have found this part of Your Word true—in the world we shall
have trouble. Let us find the other part true—in Jesus Christ we shall have
peace. O let peace and holiness go together. Make us new
creatures, that we may be glorious creatures! Without faith,
Christ will not profit us. When we can call nothing in the world ours—let us
call Christ ours.
Lord, draw Your image every day more lively upon us! Give
us a more lively hope, and a more inflamed love to Christ. Let
us have a spirit of courage and resolution; keep us from the fallacies of
our own hearts; keep us from the defilements of the times; make us pure in
heart that we may see You, that we may have gospel spirits, humble
spirits, and meek spirits.
As Christ took our flesh, let us partake of His Spirit.
You embitter the breast of the creature to us—that we should find the
sweetness of the promise. There is as much in the promises as ever. Let us
live upon You; let us cast anchor in heaven, and we shall never sink.
Bless all Your ordinances to us. Make them to be
fullness of life to every one before You. We are come this day to partake of
them. O pour in wine and oil into our souls. Let us be as a watered garden;
let this blessed Sacrament be a poison to our lust—and nourishment
for our grace! Hear us—be our God—follow us with mercy—crown us with
acceptance. Do all this for Christ's sake, whom not seeing we love, in whom
believing we rejoice.
To the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit—be glory, honor,
and praise, now and forever, amen!