The Beatitudes By: Thomas Watson
An exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
I here present you with a subject full of sweet variety. This Sermon of Christ on the Mount is a piece of spiritual needlework, wrought with divers colors. Here is both usefulness and sweetness. In this portion of Holy Scripture, you have a summary of true religion—the Bible epitomized. Here is a garden of delight, where you may pluck those flowers which will deck the hidden man of your heart. Here is the golden key which will open the gate of Paradise! Here is the conduit of the Gospel, running wine to nourish such as are poor in spirit and pure in heart. Here is the rich cabinet wherein the Pearl of Blessedness is locked up. Here is the golden pot in which is that manna which will feed and revive the soul unto everlasting life. Here is a way chalked out to the Holy of Holies.
The opening verses of the best-known of all Christ’s sermons were handled by many Puritans, for the Beatitudes gave full scope to the combination of sound doctrine, practical wisdom and heart-searching application which characterized their preaching. To these general Puritan characteristics Thomas Watson added certain of his own: a master of a terse, vigorous style and of a beauty of expression, he could speak not only to win men’s understanding but also to secure a place for the truth in their memories. More than most of his generation he sought to follow the example of Christ’s teaching by employing all manner of illustrative material from common life, and with simplicity and charm he spoke words not easy to forget.