The first task in painting (unless of course you are Bob Ross) is to set the parameters for what you are painting. Watson does this in the beginning by answering "What is godliness"? If we are going to paint a picture of godliness, then it makes sense to define what we mean by godliness. Watson defines it as, "the sacred impression and workmanship of God in a man, whereby from being carnal he is made spiritual". He then lays down for us 7 maxims:
- Godliness is a real thing ("It is not a fancy but a fact")
- Godliness is an intrinsic thing ("It lies chiefly in the heart")
- Godliness is a supernatural thing (It comes from God)
- Godliness is an extensive thing ("It...spreads itself into the whole soul")
- Godliness is an intense thing ("It is vigorous and flaming")
- Godliness is a glorious thing (It is beautiful)
- Godliness is a permanent thing (It is a "fixed thing")
This has no life-altering quality, but the coolest word is in this chapter--bespangling. It basically means glittering. What a fun word to say. I think I should go tell my wife that her eyes are bespangling.
Did you find this statement strange: "though he is regenerate only in part, yet it is in every part"? What do you think Watson means by being "regenerate" only in part? Is that biblical? For those that are not reading the book, let me put it in context. This comes in Watson's fourth maxim. He is discussing that godliness spreads to the whole soul. It appears to me that he is saying that we are not totally regenerate (perhaps sanctified would have been a better word), yet our new nature spreads to every area of our life. What do you think?
Strokes of Genius:
"A man has no more power to change himself than to create himself." (p13)
"He who is good only in some part is not godly." (p13)
"He whose devotion is inflamed is godly and his heart boils over in holy affections." (p13)
"There is a great deal of difference between a stake in the hedge and a tree in the garden." (p14)