by Thomas Watson
Many modern Christians view the Christian life as one of ease and worldly blessings. Building on Jesus's words that "the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matt. 11:12), the Puritans saw it, rather, as warfare, as wrestling, as "holy violence" against one's own self, against Satan, the world, and even heaven. We are called to take up the full armor of God in our daily battles.
As Watson puts it, "Our life is military. Christ is our Captain, the gospel is the banner, the graces are our spiritual artillery, and heaven is only taken in a forcible way." In his typically heart-searching style, replete with practical illustrations and gripping remarks, Watson describes how the Christian is to take the kingdom of heaven by holy violence through the reading and exposition of Scripture, prayer, meditation, self-examination, conversation, and the sanctification of the Lord's Day. Soldiers of Christ will find this a practical handbook on Christian living.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Taking Heaven by Violence
Offering Violence to Ourselves
The Christian Must offer Violence to Satan
The Christian Must Offer Violence to Heaven
Arrows of Reproof and Apostasy
Examination and Objections
27 Motives to put forth holy violence
Hinderances, Directions and Conclusions
Conclusion: What shall we do?