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Thomas Watson (1620-1686)

One of the most popular Westminster puritans published today and a wonderful, yet simple Christian preacher and theologian, easy to understand.
Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

“Meditation and prayer are like two turtles-doves—

if you separate one, the other dies.”

Biography of Thomas Watson (1620-1686):

Thomas Watson (1620-1686), ejected divine, was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was remarkable for hard study. After residing for some time with the family of Mary, the widow of Sir Horace Vere, baron Tilbury, he was appointed in 1646 to preach at St. Stephen’s, Walbrook. During the civil war he showed himself strongly presbyterian in his views, while discovering attachment to the king. He joined the presbyterian ministers in a remonstrance to Cromwell and the council of war against the death of Charles. In 1651 he was imprisoned, with some other ministers, for his share in Love’s plot to recall Charles II [see Christopher Love]. After some months’ imprisonment Watson and his companions were released on petitioning for mercy, and on 30 June 1652 he was formally reinstated vicar of St. Stephen’s, Walbrook. He obtained great fame and popularity as preacher until the Restoration, when he was ejected for nonconformity. Notwithstanding the rigour of the acts against dissenters, Watson continued to exercise his ministry privately as he found opportunity. In 1666, after the fire of London, like several other nonconformists, he fitted up a large room for public worship for any who wished to attend. Upon the declaration of indulgence in 1672 he obtained a license for the great hall in Crosby House, then belonging to Sir John Langham, a patron of evangelical nonconformity. After preaching there for several years his health gave way, and he retired to Barnston in Essex, where he was buried on 28 July 1686 in the grave of John Beadle, formerly rector there. A portrait, engraved by James Hopwood, is in Calamy’s ‘Nonconformist’s Memorial,’ ed. Palmer; another, engraved by John Sturt, is prefixed to his ‘Body of Divinity,’ 1692; and a third, engraved by Frederick Henry van Hove, is prefixed to his ‘Art of Contentment,’ 1662.

Watson was a man of considerable learning, and his works preserved his fame long after his death. According to Doddridge, his ‘Christian Soldier, or Heaven taken by Storm,’ was the means of converting Colonel James Gardiner (1688–1745).  His most famous work, the ‘Body of Practical Divinity,’ appeared after his death, in 1692 (London, fol.) It consists of 176 sermons on the catechism of the Westminster assembly of divines. Numerous subsequent editions have been printed, the last being issued in 1838 (London, 8vo) and in 1855 (New York, 8vo). His other writings were numerous. Among the most important are: 1. ‘The Christians Charter; shewing the Priviledges of a Believer both in this Life and that which is to Come,’ London, 1652, 8vo; 6th edit. London, 1665, 8vo. 2. ‘Autaskeia, or the Art of Divine Contentment,’ London, 1653, 8vo; 15th edit. London, 1793, 12mo; new ed. Diss, 1838, 16mo. 3. ‘The Saints Delight. To which is annexed a Treatise of Meditation,’ London, 1657, 8vo; new edition by the Religious Tract Society, London, 1830, 12mo. 4. ‘The Beatitudes: or a Discourse upon part of Christ’s famous Sermon on the Mount’ (with other discourses), London, 1660, 4to. 5. ‘Jerusalems Glory; or the Saints Safeties in Eying the Churches Security,’ London, 1661, 8vo. 6. ‘Paramythion, or a Word of Comfort for the Church of God,’ London, 1662, 8vo. 7. ‘A Divine Cordial: or the Transcendent Priviledge of those that love God,’ London, 1663, 8vo; new edit. London, 1831, 12mo. 8. ‘The Godly Mans Picture, drawn with a Scripture Pensil,’ London, 1666, 8vo. 9. ‘The Holy Eucharist,’ 2nd impression, London, 1668, 8vo. 10. ‘Heaven taken by Storm: or the Holy Violence a Christian is to put forth in the pursuit after Glory,’ London, 1669, 8vo; 2nd edit., entitled ‘The Christian Soldier, or Heaven taken by Storm;’ new edit. London, 1835, 8vo; first American edit. New York, 1810, 12mo; Nos. 1 and 2 were published, together with ‘A Discourse of Meditation,’ under the title of ‘Three Treatises,’ 6th edit. London, 1660, 4to. A collection of his ‘Sermons and select Discourses’ appeared in two volumes, Glasgow, 1798–9, 8vo; Glasgow, 1807, 8vo. In 1850 appeared ‘Puritan Gems, or Wise and Holy Sayings of Thomas Watson,’ edited by John Adey, London, 16mo. Two manuscript sermons by him are preserved in the British Museum (Harl. MS. 7517).


[Watson’s Works; Wilson’s Dissenting Churches, 1808, i. 331–4; Calamy’s Nonconformist’s Memorial, ed. Palmer, i. 188–91; Wood’s Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 982, 1001, 1235; Granger’s Biogr. Hist. iii. 320; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1651, pp. 247, 457, 465; Hennessy’s Novum Repert. Eccles. 1898, p. 386; Bromley’s Cat. of Engr. Portraits, p. 184.]

His Works:

Suffering for the Law and the Gospel by Thomas Watson – eBook
Buy the Print Book HERE

The Saint’s Spiritual Delight, and a Christian on the Mount by Thomas Watson – eBook
Buy the Print Book HERE

Light from Old Paths Vol. 2: Excerpts from Thomas Watson by Thomas Watson – eBook
Buy the Print Book HERE

The Holy Eucharist by Thomas Watson – eBook
Buy the Print Book HERE

The Works of Thomas Watson available in old English:

1. The Art of Divine Contentment. (268 pages) Philippians 4:11. PDF CCEL

2. The Beatitudes. (307 pages) Matthew 5:1-12. TEXT CCEL

3. A Body of Practical Divinity : Consisting of Above One Hundred and Seventy-Six Sermons on the Lesser Catechism, Composed by the Reverend Assembly of Divines at Westminster. With a Supplement of Some Sermons, on Several Texts of Scripture: Together with The Art of Divine Contentment. To which is added, Christ’s Various Fulness: by the Same Author, Never Before Printed in the Former Editions of This Book (1806). (568 pages) TEXT CCEL

4. The Christian Soldier (or, Heaven Taken by Storm). (225 pages) Based on Matthew 11:12. PDF Google Books

5. Discourses on Important and Interesting Subjects, Volume 1. (637 pages) Longer treatises. PDF Google books
a. The Christian’s Charter of Privileges, 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (144 pages)
b. God’s Anatomy Upon Man’s Heart, Hebrews 4:13, (24 pages)
c. The Saint’s Spiritual Delight, Psalm 1:2, (25 pages)
d. A Christian on the Mount (or, “A Treatise Concerning Meditation”), Psalm 1:2 (75 Pages)
e. A Christian on Earth Still in Heaven (an appendix to “A Christian on the Mount”), Psalm 139:18, (19 Pages)
f. Christ’s Loveliness, Song of Solomon 5:16 (33 Pages)
g. The Upright Man’s Character, Psalm 37:37 (25 Pages)
h. The One Necessary Thing, Philippians 2:12, (35 Pages)
i. The Godly Man’s Picture, Psalm 32:6, (230 Pages)

6. Dissertations on Various Interesting Subjects. (205 pages) PDF Google books

7. A Divine Cordial (or, “All Things for Good“). (128 pages) WEB CCEL
An extensive and encouraging exposition of Romans 8:28.

8. The Doctrine of Repentance. (122 pages) WEB GRACE GEMS

9. The Fight of Faith Crowned. (15 pages), Preached at the funeral of Henry Stubs (1678).EPUB GRACE GEMS

10. The Godly Man’s Picture. (230 pages) Based on Psalm 32:6 PDF Google books

11. The Bible and the Closet  How We May Read the Scriptures with the Most Spiritual Profit. (141 pages)PDF Google books

12. Intimations and Evidences of a Future State. (253 pages) PDF Google books

13. The Lord’s Prayer. (332 pages) TEXT CCEL

14. The Mischief of Sin. mobi file Bring the Books

15. Religion Our True Interest (or, “The Great Gain of Godliness“). (74 pages) TEXT Reed’s Lodge

16. The Select Works of Thomas Watson. (800 pages) PDF Internet Archive
Contains The Body of Divinity (see above), and the following individual titles:
a. On Christian Prudence and Innocency, Matthew 10:16 (13 Pages)
b. On Becoming a New Creature, 2 Corinthians 5:17, (10 Pages)
c. On the Evil Tongue, James 3:6, (8 Pages)
d. Not Being Weary in Well-Doing, Galatians 6:9 (4 Pages)
e. On Knowing Good and Not Doing It, James 4:17 (7 pages)
f. Christ is All in All, Colossians 3:11, (11 Pages)
g. Farewell Discourse on His Ejection, Philippians 4:9 (25 Pages)
h. The Art of Divine Contentment, Philippians 4:11, (52 Pages)
i. The Preciousness of the Soul, Matthew 16:26, (6 Pages)
j. The Soul’s Malady and Cure, Luke 5:31, (18 Pages)
k. The Beauty of Grace, 1 Peter 1:2, (8 Pages)
l. The Trees of Righteousness Blossoming and Bringing Forth Fruit, Philippians 1:11, (9 Pages)

17. Sermons on Various Practical Subjects. (393 pages) A biographical preface followed by 19 sermons. PDF Google books

17. The Ten Commandments. (245 pages) TEXT CCEL

18. Wise and Holy Sayings of Thomas Watson. (145 pages) A 19th century collection of favourite quotations of Thomas Watson, arranged topically. PDF Google books

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