“But his delight is only in the Law of Jehovah, and he meditates in His Law day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
The popular Puritan heretic Thomas Watson writes concerning a particular portion of Psalm 1:
“As the book of Canticles is called the Song of Songs by an Hebraism, it being the most excellent; so this psalm may not unfitly be entitled, the Psalm of Psalms, for it contains in it the very pith and quintessence of Christianity” (The Saint’s Spiritual Delight).
And within God’s law which we meditate upon, is found the very heart, the very life-blood of the gospel of Jesus Christ:
Without the efficacious Atonement of Jesus Christ there is no gospel of Christ. And without the gospel of Christ there is no Christianity.
EDIT: I received a good and thoughtful response to this post from Chris Adams who blogs at The Gospel & Its Enemies:
“I totally agree with you about the Gospel, and the efficacious atonement of Christ, being found in the law of God. But, contrary to what Watson wrote it is the Gospel itself that is the ‘pith and quintessence of Christianity’, not the meditating on, and delighting in, God’s Law. Based on that standard alone, Watson could not condemn the Pharisees, who meditated on God’s Law almost continuously, and claimed to find all their delight there.
If Watson is looking for a ‘Psalm of Psalms’, that contains ‘the very pith and quintessence of Christianity’, I would suggest Psalm 32:
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Clearly, Paul considered this Psalm to be ‘the very pith and quintessence of Christianity’ when he wrote Romans ch. 4″ (Chris Adams).