Many times over the years, I have invited readers of this blog to join me in a reading project as part of an ongoing effort I’ve called Reading Classics Together. We’ve read some incredible books together—Holiness by J.C. Ryle, Christianity & Liberalism by Gresham Machen, The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards, The Cross of Christ by John Stott, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks, and a whole lot more. It has been far too long since we’ve read one, and I think it’s high time to remedy that.
Beginning in just a couple of weeks, I plan to begin reading The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson, and I’d love to have you join me. The first thing to say about the book is that it’s not just for men! It is, in reality, The Godly Person’s Picture and simply looks to Scripture to describe the marks of a Christian. Here is how Joel Beeke and Randall J. Pederson describe it in their book Meet the Puritans:
This work is subtitled Drawn with a Scripture Pencil, or, Some Characteristics of a Man who is Going to Heaven. After explaining the nature of godliness, Watson describes twenty-four marks of a godly man, including “moved by faith,” “fired with love,” “prizes Christ,” “loves the Word,” “is humble,” “is patient,” and “loves the saints.” The concluding chapters offer helps to godliness, advice on how to persevere in godliness, counsel and comfort for the godly, and teaching on the mystical union between Christ and His people.
The format of Reading Classics Together is simple: You read a chapter or two of the book each week, then visit my site to read an article I’ve written about it. You can then discuss it through Facebook or other social media channels. Over the course of a couple of months, we’ll read the entire book.
What do you need to do to participate? Just acquire a copy of the book and, once you have it, read parts I, II, and III (“Introduction,” “Opening the Nature of Godliness” and “A Reproof to Such as Are But Pretenders to Godliness.”) by May 25. Don’t be intimidated by reading 3 parts, since they are actually very short. Have that reading complete by May 25, then visit my site on that day and I’ll have an article about them. And we’ll then carry on just like that until the book is done.
Here are some options for purchasing The Godly Man’s Picture:
- It is available in paperback as part of Banner of Truth’s Puritan Paperback series (Amazon, Westminster Books)
- It is available for Kindle in many editions, but I recommend the Vintage Puritan edition since so many of the others are badly formatted.
- It is available for free in HTML format.
Buy it, read the first three chapters, then drop in on May 25. See you then!