Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

job SINS AND SORROWS SPREAD BEFORE GOD. [SERB. own rod, can he be unacquainted with any thing that e- lates toour sorrows ? Nor can we use arguments with God to awaken his ear, or move his compassion, as though he had neglect- ed us, or forgotten our distress ; for all things are for ever naked and open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do, Heb. iv. 1. The Shepherd of Israel cannot slumber ; nor does his mercy want out awaken- ings. But in this sort of expressions, the great God conde- scends to talk, and to transact affairs with us, and per- mits us to treat him in a way suited to our weakness : He would have us plead and argue with him, that we may shew how deep a sense we have of our own wants, and how entirely we depend on his mercy. Since we cannot cònverse with him in a way equal to his own majesty and Godhead, he stoops to talk with us in such a way as is most agreeable to our state, and most easy to our apprehension : He speaks such language as we can understand, and invites us to humble conference with him in the same way. Come, says God to his peo- ple, by Isaiah his prophet, Come stow, and let us reason together; Is. i. 18. And he often, in holy scripture, represents himself as moved and influenced by the pray- ers and pleadings of his afflicted saints ; and he has or- dained, before-hand, that the day when he prepares their hearts to pray, _shall be the day when his ear shall hear the desire of the humble, and shall be the season of their deliverance, Ps. x. 17. Ifyou enquire, how a christian pleads with his God, and whence does he borrow his arguments ? I answer, that according to the various sorrows and difficulties which attend him, so various may his pleadings be for the removal of them. There is not a circumstance which belongs to his affliction, but he may draw some argument from it to plead for mercy ; there is not one attribute of the divine nature, but he may use it with holy skill, and thereby plead for grace; there is not one relation in which God stands to his people, nor one promise of his covenant, but may at some time or,other, afford an argument in prayer. But the strongest and sweetest argument that a christian knows, is the name and mediation of Jesus Christ his Lord. It is for the