It was old Latimer who said, "When sometimes I sit alone, and have a settled assurance of the state of my soul, and know that God is my God-I can laugh at all troubles, and nothing can daunt me." Godliness puts a man in heaven before his time. Christian, aspire after piety; it is a lawful ambition. Look at the saints' characteristics here, and never leave off until you have got them stamped upon your own soul. This is the grand business which should swallow up your time and thoughts. Other speculations and quaint notions are nothing, compared to the priceless soul. They are like wafers which have fine words printed upon them, and are curious to the eye-but are thin, and yield little nourishment. But I will not keep you longer in the porch. Should I have enlarged upon any one characteristic of the godly man, it would have required a volume-but designing to go over many, I have contracted my sails, and given you only a brief summary of things. If this piece conduces to the good of souls, I shall have my desire. That the God of grace will effectually accomplish this shall be my prayer.
Thomas Watson was an English preacher and author who obtained great fame preaching until the Restoration when he was ejected as the vicar of St. Stephen's Walbrook for noncomformity. Watson continued to exercise his ministry privately and upon the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 he obtained a license to preach at the great hall in Crosby House.