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

óÚ THE SOUL DRAWING NEAR TO GOD. rSERM. V. image stamped on me, that I knew I was the Lord's: whence I rejoice in the full persuasion of his love. I know he loves me, for his sanctifying Spirit hath wit- nessed with my spirit, that I am one of his children ; and I know that I love him, for my spirit witnesseth also as an echo to his Spirit, that I have chosen him for my Father, my ruler, and my God, and have surren- dered myself to him on his own terms ; and I address him as my Father, with words of the choicest affection, and of most endeared sentiments of soul." When a person, in whom grace is wrought, gets so near to God, and sees this God in his own loveliness, and in his kindest perfections; there are some new di- vine passions kindled in the soul towards this God, to- wards this first beauty, towards this original of all per- fection and goodness ; and God will seldom let one come so near him, without shewing him the love of his heart; and the name of the devout worshipper graven, as it were, on the palms of his hands, or in the book of his mercy. He speaks to the soul in his own divine lan- guage, " Soh, or daughter, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee. O man, thou art greatly beloved. I 'am your God and you are my people. I have bought thee dear, and thou art mine. I have created thee, O Jacob ; I have formed thee, O Israel ; I have redeemed thee, O believer, and thou art for ever mine." And suchdiscoveries of the love of God to the soul, draw out still more love from the soul towards God, and raise more sacred exercises of divine love in one hour, than a wholeyear of common devotions can do ; and the saint learns more of this sacred sensation of the love of God, than years of cold and common devotions would teach him. III. When the soul gets near to God in prayer, there will bea hatred of sin at the very thoughts of it, and holy meltings and mournings under the remembrance of its own sins. " How hateful does sin appear, will the soul say, now I am come so near to the seat of a Holy God ! Never did I see sin in so dark and so odious colours, as this hour reveals and discovers to me ; never did I so sensibly behold the. abomination that is in all sin, as now I do; I never saw it so contrary to all that is in God, to his holiness, to his glory, to his justice and to his grace,,