This introduction of Thomas Watson to a sermon entitled God’s Anatomy Upon Man’s Heart was given it seems during or just after the English Civil War. He asks the question, why has there been such strife, such violence?
This lead to ask the same question of my own nation. Yes we are not at self-war; but we are not well. Everyone feels justified in inflicting worse upon his countryman; all think themselves most hurt most righteous in responding. Sinning more powerfully (because what political speech would meet the exactly demands of the Bible for speech?) seems wisest.
And so Watson says
We are met this day to humble our souls, and to bring our censer, as once Aaron did, and step in, that the wrath of the great God may be appeased. And was there ever more need to lie in sackcloth, than when the kingdom almost lies in ashes? or to shed tears, than when this nation hath shed so much blood? These days are called in scripture, Soul-afflicting days, Lev. 23:9. ‘For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.’ And certainly that may be one reason why there is so much state-affliction, because there is so little soul-affliction. Our condition is low, but our hearts are high. God sees with what hearts we now come, what is our spring, what our centre; his eye is upon us. So saith my text, ‘All things are naked and open.’