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A Divine Cordial

or The Transcendent Privilege of those that Love God, and are Savingly Called.

A Puritan Sermon on Divine Encouragement


Rev. Thomas Watson, D.D.

(1620 - 1686, English Puritan Divine)

Originally Published 1657
1838 Edition, The Religious Tract Society


Title Page of A Divine Cordial by Thomas Watson (Puritan Sermon on Romans 8:28)


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The Divine Cordial or The Transcendent Privilege of those that Love God, and are Savingly Called, by Thomas Watson (Puritan Sermon, 1838 Editions, The Religious Tract Society)


Christian Reader,

There are two things, which I have always looked upon as difficult: the one is, to make the wicked sad; the other is, to make the godly joyful. - Dejection in the godly, arises from a double spring; either because their inward com­forts are darkened, or their outward comforts are disturbed - to cure both which troubles,



CHAPTER I: Showing that the Best Things Work for Good to the Godly ... 9.

1. The attributes of God.
2. The promises of God.
3. The mercies of God.
4. The graces.
5. The creatures of God, in particular the good angels.
6. The communion of saints.
7. Christ's intercession.
8. The saint's prayers.

CHAPTER II: Showing that the Worst Things Work for Good to the Godly ... 23.

1. The evil of affliction.
2. Of temptation.
3. Of desertion.
4. God brings good out of evil to the godly.

CHAPTER III: Showing the Reason of the Proposition, and the Inferences to be Drawn from it ... 55.

Several inferences drawn from the propostion.

CHAPTER IV: The Persons Interested Love God ... 71.

The nature of love.
The kinds of love.
The properties of love.
The degree of love.
A sharp reproof to those who do not love God.

CHAPTER V: Discovering the Fruits or Signs of Love to God ... 80.

CHAPTER VI: Exhortation to Love God ... 96.

Motives to excite to love.
Means directing to it.
Exhortation to preserve love.
Exhortation to increase love to God.

CHAPTER VII: Concerning Effectual Calling ... 115.

1. A distinction about calling.
2. Our deplorable condition before we are called.
3. The means of our blessed call.
4. God's method in calling sinners.
5. The properties of the Divine call.
6. The end of effectual calling.
Inference from the premises.
Exhortation to labour after the heavenly calling.

CHAPTER VIII: Exhortation to those Who are Called ... 133.

Admire free grace.
Pity those who are uncalled.
Walk worthy of your high calling.

CHAPTER IX: Concerning God's Purpose ... 139.

Our whole salvation must be resolved into God's purpose.
The saint's comforts are built upon this impregnable rock.

I have put forth this ensuing piece, hoping, by the blessing of God, it will buoy up their desponding hearts, and make them look with a more pleasant aspect; I would prescribe them to take, now and then, a little of this Cordial: All THESE THINGS SHALL WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD (Romans 8:28). To know that nothing hurts the godly, is a matter of comfort; but to be assured that ALL things which fall out, shall co­operate for their good, that their crosses shall be turned into blessings, that showers of affliction water the withering root of their grace, and make it flourish more; this may fill their hearts with joy till they run over.


We know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. - ROMANS 8:28.


If the whole scripture be the feast of the soul, as Ambrose saith, then this chapter may be a dish at that feast, and with its sweet variety may very much refresh and animate the hearts of God's people. In the preceding verses, the apos­tle had been wading through the great doctrines of justification and adoption: mysteries so ardu­ous and profound, that without the help and conduct of the Spirit, he might soon have waded beyond his depth. In this verse the apostle touches upon that pleasant string of consolation; "WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD, TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD." Not a word but is weighty; therefore I shall gather up every filing of this gold, that nothing be lost.

In the text there are three general branches. First, a glorious privilege, All things work for good. Second, The persons interested in this pri­vilege and they are doubly specified. They are lovers of God - They are called. Third, The original and spring of this effec­tual calling; set down in these words, "according to his purpose."

First. The glorious privilege. Here are two things to be considered. I. The certainty of the privilege - We know. II. The excellency of the privilege - All things work together for good.

I. The certainty of the privilege: We know. It is not a matter wavering or doubtful; the apostle does not say, We hope, or conjecture, but it is like an article in our creed, WE KNOW that all things work for good: Whence observe - That the truths of the Gospel are evident and infallible.

A Christian may come not merely to a vague opinion, but to a certainty of what he holds. As axioms, and aphorisms are evident to reason; so the truths of religion are evident to faith: "We know," saith the apostle. Though a Christian hath not a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Gospel, yet he hath a certain knowledge. "We see through a glass darkly," 1 Corinthians 13:12. therefore we have not perfection of knowledge; but, "we behold with open face," 2 Corinthians 3:18. therefore we have certainty. The Spirit of God imprints heavenly truths upon the heart, as with the point of a diamond. A Christian may know infallibly that there is an evil in sin, and a beauty in holiness: he may know that he is in the state grace, "We know that we have passed from death to life," 1 John 3:14. He may know that he shall go to heaven. "We know that if our earthly tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," 2 Corinthians 5:1. The Lord doth not leave his people at uncertainties in matters of salvation. The apostle says, We know; we have arrived at a holy confidence; we have both the Spirit of God, and our own experience, setting seal to it.

Let us then not rest in scepticism or doubts, but labour to come to a certainty in the things of religion. As that martyr-woman said, I cannot dispute for Christ, but I can burn for Christ. God knows whether we may be called forth to be witnesses to his truth; therefore it concerns us to be well grounded, and confirmed in it. If we are doubtful Christians, we shall be wavering Christians: whence is apostacy, but from incredulity? Men first question the truth, and then fall from the truth. O beg the Spirit of God, not only to anoint you, but to seal you. 2 Corinthians 1:22.

II. The excellency of the privilege, All things work together for good.

This is as Jacob's staff in the hand of faith, with which we may walk cheerfully to the mount of God: what will satisfy or give content, if this will not? All things work together for good. This expression "work together," refers to medicine. Several poisonous ingredients put together, being tempered by the skill of the apothecary, make a sovereign medicine, and work together for the good of the patient. So all God's providences, being divinely tempered and sanctified, do work together for the best, to the saints. ...

READ THE BOOK: A Divine Cordial or The Transcendent Privilege of those that Love God, and are Savingly Called, by Thomas Watson (Originally Published 1657, 1838 Edition, The Religious Tract Society) [Puritan Sermon on Divine Encouragement]

"All things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 KJV
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