Don The Armour

August 7, 2023

The design of study is the finding out of a truth, the design of meditation is the spiritual improvement of a truth. The one searches for the vein of gold, the other digs out the gold.

Thomas Watson, Meditation: A Christian on the Mount


I’ve been studying the Puritan view of meditation lately, so I may be posting some about that in the coming weeks. We don’t seem to think much about meditation today. We might consider it synonymous with prayer or something akin to lightly pondering when time allows for it. The Puritans saw it much differently. They viewed meditation as one of the ordinances of God, something to be done deliberately and regularly, and as with most things, they were very methodical about it. They believed that studying scripture was only the first part of understanding God’s Word. You need to meditate on what you read in scripture to allow it to truly sink into your heart and “warm your affections,” as they would say.

This topic is too big to cover in a single post, but I wanted to begin by listing some subjects they would commonly meditate on. Here are a few mentioned in the book from the quote above:

- God’s attributes, including his: omniscience, holiness, wisdom, power, mercy, truth, and promises
- The love of Christ
- Your spiritual state
- The small number of those who will be saved
- Death, including its certainty, proximity, and the uncertainty of its time
- The day of judgment
- Hell
- Heaven
- Eternal punishment
- Eternal life
- Your own experiences

As you can see, not all of these are happy – many are things that people actively try to avoid thinking about. These are some of the most important things to ponder because doing so will send you running back to the cross. Try picking one of these topics, finding a relevant verse, and then setting aside a few minutes to think about only that verse/topic, either during your quiet time, when you’re out on a walk, or some other calm, peaceful time. You might see the verse in a whole new light.