Title: A Divine Cordial
A Divine Cordial, Thomas Watson
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It is a new year and as our practice each year, we have selected several favorite devotional books to read and share. Many of us have read this “cordial” many times but it’s message is always new and refreshing. It is a blessing again and again to the hearts and souls of God’s children to be reminded of His gracious goodness, love and gifts to us and why feasting upon His Word, the works of the saints in their exposition of Scripture and devotional truth is paramount to blessedness in the Christian life. God’s love is beyond description and His goodness to us so gracious and lovely that we relish the reminders set forth in Mr. Watson’s devotional work for our good and God’s glory. Be encouraged as you read along with us … tolle lege
THE BEST THINGS WORK FOR GOOD TO THE GODLY:
WE shall consider, first, what things work for good to the godly; and here we shall show that both the best things and the worst things work for their good. We begin with the best things.
1. God’s attributes work for good to the godly.
(1). God’s power works for good. It is a glorious power (Col. i. 11), and it is engaged for the good of the elect.
God’s power works for good, in supporting us in trouble. “Underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. xxxiii. 27). What upheld Daniel in the lion’s den? Jonah in the whale’s belly? The three Hebrews in the furnace? Only the power of God. Is it not strange to see a bruised reed grow and flourish? How is a weak Christian able, not only to endure affliction, but to rejoice in it? He is upheld by the arms of the Almighty. “My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. xii. 9).
The power of God works for us by supplying our wants. God creates comforts when means fail. He that brought food to the prophet Elijah by ravens, will bring sustenance to His people. God can preserve the “oil in the cruse” (I Kings xvii. 14). The Lord made the sun on Ahaz’s dial go ten degrees backward: so when our outward comforts are declining, and the sun is almost setting, God often causes a revival, and brings the sun many degrees backward.
The power of God subdues our corruptions. “He will subdue our iniquities” (Micah vii. 19). Is your sin strong? God is powerful, He will break the head of this leviathan. Is your heart hard? God will dissolve that stone in Christ’s blood. “The Almighty maketh my heart soft” (Job xxiii. 16). When we say as Jehoshaphat, “We have no might against this great army”; the Lord goes up with us, and helps us to fight our battles. He strikes off the heads of those goliath lusts which are too strong for us.
The power of God conquers our enemies. He stains the pride, and breaks the confidence of adversaries. “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron” (Psalm ii. 9). There is rage in the enemy, malice in the devil, but power in God. How easily can He rout all the forces of the wicked! “It is nothing for thee, Lord, to help” (2 Chr. xiv. 11). God’s power is on the side of His church. “Happy art thou, O Israel, O people saved by the Lord, who is the shield of thy help, and the sword of thy excellency” (Deut. xxxiii. 29).
(2). The wisdom of God works for good. God’s wisdom is our oracle to instruct us. As He is the mighty God, so also the Counsellor (Isa. ix. 6). We are oftentimes in the dark, and, in matters intricate and doubtful know not which way to take; here God comes in with light. “I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psa. xxxii. 8). “Eye,” there, is put for God’s wisdom. Why is it the saints can see further than the most quick-sighted politicians? They foresee the evil, and hide themselves; they see Satan’s sophisms. God’s wisdom is the pillar of fire to go before, and guide them.
(3). The goodness of God works for good to the godly. God’s goodness is a means to make us good. “The goodness of God leadeth to repentance” (Rom. ii. 4). The goodness of God is a spiritual sunbeam to melt the heart into tears. Oh, says the soul, has God been so good to me? Has He reprieved me so long from hell, and shall I grieve His Spirit any more? Shall I sin against goodness?
The goodness of God works for good, as it ushers in all blessings. The favours we receive, are the silver streams which flow from the fountain of God’s goodness. This divine attribute of goodness brings in two sorts of blessings. Common blessings: all partake of these, the bad as well as the good; this sweet dew falls upon the thistle as well as the rose. Crowning blessings: these only the godly partake of. “Who crowneth us with loving-kindness” (Psalm ciii. 4). Thus the blessed attributes of God work for good to the saints.