Friday, February 11, 2011
Watson describes an imagined conversation between the self-denying saint and Satan
Here is yet another nugget from Watson's discussion of The Beatitudes in which he calls for self-denial and imagines a conversation between the blessed, self-denying man and Satan:
Self-denial is the highest sign of a thoroughpaced Christian. Hypocrites may have great knowledge and make large profession, but it is only the true-hearted saint that can deny himself for Christ. I have read of an holy man who was once tempted by Satan, to whom Satan said, Why do you take all these pains? You watch and fast and abstain from sin. O man, what do you more than I? Are you no drunkard, no adulterer? No more am I. Do you watch? Let me tell you, I never slept. Do you fast? I never eat. What do you more than I? Why, says the good man, I will tell thee, Satan; I pray; I serve the Lord; nay, more than all, I deny myself. Nay, then, says Satan, you go beyond me for I exalt myself. And so he vanished. Self-denial is the best touchstone of sincerity. By this you go beyond hypocrites.