Mr. M. here,
While reading today I came accross this interesting excerpt from Rev. Thomas Watson's "Heaven taken by storm" on Sabbath conversations. I found this on the web site "A Puritan's Mind" and pasted it below. I have much to improve on in this area!
The seventh duty wherein we must offer violence to ourselves, is holy converse: and indeed we are backward enough to it, therefore had need to provoke ourselves, Mal. iii. 17. ‘They that feared the Lord spake often one to another.’ A gracious person hath not only religion only in his heart, but also in his tongue, Psalm xxxvii. 30. ‘The law of God is in his heart, and his tongue talketh of judgment:’ he drops holy words as pearls. ‘Tis the fault of Christians, that they do not in company provoke themselves to sey good discourse on foot: it is a sinful modesty; there is much visiting, but they do not give one another’s souls a visit. In worldly things their tongue is as the pen of a ready writer, but in matters of religion, it is as if their tongue did cleave to the roof of their mouth. As we must answer to God for idle words: so also for sinful silence.
Oh let us offer violence to ourselves on this, in setting abroach good discourse! — What should our words dilate and expiate upon but Heaven? The world is a great Inn; we are guests in this Inn. Travellers, when they are met in their Inn, do not spend all their time in speaking about their Inn; they are to lodge there but a few hours, and are gone; but they are speaking of their home, and the country wither they are travelling. So when we meet together, we should not be talking only about the world; we are to leave this presently; but we should talk of our heavenly country, Heb. xi. 16.
That we may provoke ourselves to good discourse (for it will not be done without some kind of violence) let these considerations be duly weighed.
The discourse demonstrates what the heart is. As the glass shows what the face is, whether it be fair or foul; so the words show what the heart is. Vain speeches discover a light, feathery heart; gracious speeches are the birth of a gracious heart. The water of the conduit shows what the spring is.
Holy conference is very edifying. The apostle bids us ‘edify one another,’ Ephes. iv. 20. And how more than in this way? — Good conference enlightens the mind when it is ignorant; settles it when it is wavering. A good life adorns religion; good discourse propagates it.
Gracious discourse makes us resemble Christ. His words were perfumed with holiness: ‘grace was poured into his lips,’ Psalm xlv. 2. He spake to the admiration of all: his hands worked miracles and his tongue spake oracles, Luke iv. 22. ‘All bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.’ Christ never came into any company, but he set good discourse on foot. Levi made him a feast, Luke v. 29. and Christ feasted him with holy discourse. When he came to Jacob’s well, he presently speaks of the
‘water of life,’ Jude 4. The more holy our speeches are, the more we are like Christ. Should not the members be like the head?
God takes special notice of every good word we speak when we meet, Mal. iii. 16. ‘They that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before him.’ Tamerlain, that Scythian captain, had always a book by him of the names and good deserts of his servants which he bountifully rewarded. As God hath a bottle for the tears of his people: — so he has a book in which he writes down all their good speeches, and will make honorable mention of them at the last day.
Holy discourse will be a means to bring Christ into our company. The two disciples were communing of the death and sufferings of Christ; and while they were speaking, Jesus Christ came among them, Luke xxiv. 15. ‘While they communed together, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.’ — When men entertain bad discourse, Satan draws near, and makes one of the company; but when they have holy and gracious conference, Jesus Christ draws near, and wherever he comes, he brings a blessing along with him. So much for the first, the offering of violence to ourselves.