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

88 THE SOUL DRAWING NEAR TO GOD. {BERM. V. I applied myselfto the mercy-seat, and I got near to the throne of grace ; there I pleadedwith my God, and I received this answer from him. My grace is sufficient for thee ; then, says he, Icould glory in infirmities, and in per- secutions for Christ's sake;. for when I am weak, then I am strong; when I feel my own weakness, and .see Al- mighty strength near me, and engaged on my side, then I grow strong in courage, and with success encounter my most powerful adversaries. I will not fear, says David, though thousands have set themselves together against me, if thou art with me, my strength and my rock: I will walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and fear no evil, Ps. xxiii. 4. for thou art with me." Divine courage and fortitude are increased abundantly by coming so near to the throne of God.- There is a zeal for God enters into the soul at such a season, and the soul is more desirous to lay out itself for the glory of God at such a time. Moses had drawn near to God in the mount, and had been with hirn forty days ; when . he came down from the mount, he beheld the people filled with idolatry, and he brake the tables of stone in an impatience of zeal ; his zeal for God was so great, he hardly knew what he did ; his zeal for God was kindled high, because he had been so near to God, and just conversing with him. So, Isaiah vi. 8. when that great saint had been near to God, and had seen him in the glories of his holiness, and had some courage and confidence in his love, " Now I will go, says he, upon any difficult message : Here am I, send me, though it be to fulfil the hardest service." There will be generally all these attendants of great nearness to God, viz. power against temptation, strength against sin, zeal for the glory of God in the world, and ability to perform difficult duties. V. There will be a spiritual frame introduced into the heart, and a distance from all carnal things. " Stand by, saith the soul, to all this world, whilst I go to seek my God ; but when I have found him, then the world of itself, as to all the temporal concerns of it, vanishes and goes out of sight. When I get so near to heaven, this earth is so small a point, that it cannot be seen, and those comforts among the creatures, that were fair as the maon, or bright as the larger stars, are vanished and 1