The admirable effects of meditation on death

1. It would pull down the plumes of pride. You are but animated dust; shall
dust and ashes be proud? You have a grassy body, and will shortly be mowed
down, Isa. 37.2. “I have said you are gods,” Psa. 82.6; but lest they grow
proud, he adds a corrective: “you shall die like men,” ver. 7. You are dying
gods.

2. It would be a means to give a death’s wound to sin. There is no stronger
antidote against sin, says Austin, than frequent meditation upon death. I am
now sinning, and to-morrow I may be dying; what if death should take me doing
the devil’s work? Would it not send me to him to receive double pay? Carry
thoughts of death about with you always, like a table-book; and when sin
tempts you, pull out this table-book and read in it, and you will see sin
vanish. We should look at sin in two mirrors: the mirror of Christ’s blood,
and the mirror of death.

3. It would be a bridle for intemperance. Shall I pamper the body which must
lie down in the house of rottenness? Our Saviour at a feast breaks
into the mention of his burial, Mat. 26.12. Feeding on thoughts of death would
be an excellent preservative against a surfeit.

Thomas Watson, The Christian on the Mount