The Art of Divine Contentment
Watson’s volume on contentment is one of the greatest of the Puritan classics. Yet he is easily readable, and writes with skill in the art of illustration, in a way few men in history have been able to do. Few lessons are more difficult or necessary for the Christian than learning contentment of heart. All the more in the many up and down changes of life. And few are more qualified to provide sound biblical counsel in this area than Thomas Watson. The Art of Divine Contentment is one of the foremost works on this topic.
One of Watson’s most popular writings of all time, this explains what real contentment is and how to obtain it. While laying the axe to the root of such sins as envy, covetousness, murmuring and discontent, he provides helpful instructions for cultivating a disposition of humility and trust in our God’s providence in our lives.
The treatment is based on Philippians 4:11, “I have learned, in whatever state I am therewith to be content.” Watson considers the great dishonor done to almighty God by the sin of discontent. He skillfully applies and illustrates the biblical teaching about contentment. The special cases where, through changes in providences, discontentment most commonly arises are examined and preservatives are applied to the soul.
Contents – Key themes covered include:
- The Nature of Contentment
- Reasons Pressing to Holy Contentment
- Resolving Questions
- How a Christian May Find Comfort in Life
- A Check to the Discontented Christian
- Divine Motives to Contentment
- Necessary Cautions
- How a Christian May Know Whether He Has Learned this Divine Art
About Puritan author and minister Thomas Watson
Thomas Watson (1620-1686) was ejected as pastor of his church when the Act of Uniformity became law in 1662. He continued to preach in private whenever he had the opportunity. In 1666, after the Great Fire of London, Watson prepared a large room for public worship. There, he welcomed all who wished to attend. After the Declaration of Indulgence took effect in 1672, Watson obtained a license for Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate, which belonged to Sir John Langham, a patron of nonconformists. Watson preached there for three years before Stephen Charnock joined him. They ministered together until Charnock’s death in 1680.
Watson kept working until his health failed. He then retired to Barnston, in Essex, where he died suddenly in 1686 while praying. Watson’s works are a legacy that remain a blessing to those who love sound, heart-searching exposition of Scripture.