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

$E &M. v.] THE SOUL DRAWING NEAR TO GOD. '85 and he was set forth as an example how full God is of mercy ?" I Tim. i. 16. I obtained mercy, that in me first Christ Jesus might spew all long-suffering, for a pattern to believers. This is the temper, this is the voice, And this is the language of a soul that gets near to God, even to his seat, considered' as a seat of majesty, ofjudgment, and of grace. I proceed now to the second sign or attendant of holy nearness to God in prayer. II. When a soul comes near to God in prayer, there will generally be some sweet taste of the special love of God, and warm returns of love again to God from the soul. The soul that comes near to God is not satisfied merely with low degrees of faith and hope, with some feeble dependance, and some faint expectations of mer- cy; it can hardly leave God till it has an assurance. Faith and hope in the mercy of God, are different from that joy that arises from the immediate sensations of di- vine love. The Psalmist in the lxiii. Psalm, ver. 1, 2, &c. seems to have a reference to both these to- gether, which I have already mentioned. My soul thirsteth for thee, myflesh longethfor thee to see thy power and thy glory, so as I hare seen thee in the sanc- tuary. " I have seen thee in the sanctuary as sitting upon a throne of majesty, on a seat ofjudgment and of grace; I have seen thy power and thy glory there, and I have seen something more than this, I have tasted some special loving- kindness, and that loving-kindness is bet- ter than life, therefore my lips shall praise thee. I have had a sense of the special love of God shed abroad in my soul, I have known his love is exercised toward me; therefore my soul is full of praise." God will seldom let a soul that is got so near him by holy labour and fer- vencyof spirit, go away merely with hope and depend - ance, Without some sacred delight and joy. A saint that has drawn near to God in warship, will tell you his own rich experiences, and say, When I found him whom my soul loveth, I was constrained to break forth into these sweet expressions, I am my be- loved's, and my beloved is mine; for I love him above all things, and my love is but the effect of his. In that blessed hour I felt, and I was assured of that mutual relation between God and me: I found so much of Luis G3