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

SERM. Y-j THE SOUL DRAWING NEAR TO COD. ßg lost, and disappear under the brighter light of this Sun." Created beauties, with all their little glimmerings,' tempt the soul toward them, when God is absent; as a think. ling candle entices the silly fly at midnight to hover about the rays of it; but the candle faints under the broad beams of rising day-light ; it has no power to at- tract those little buzzing animals in the morning, and it is quite invisible at noon. So the very approach of God makes creatures appear more contemptible and worthless in the esteem of a devout christian; a God near at handwill drive the creatures afar off; and a:present. God will command the world to utter absence. None of the tempting vanities of life come in sight, and sometimes not the most important concerns of it remain before the eye of the saint, when God appears and fills the view and prospect of his spirit. The soul is taken up with spiritual things, therefore carnal ones vanish; it is enter,: tamed and filled with the majesty of God, the riches of grace, redeeming grace; with the glory of Christ Jesus, the beauty of his person, the honour of his characters, his various excellencies, and the super-eminence of his offices, both in the constitution and discharge of them ; the soul is then warmed with a zealous concern for the church of Christ, and bigwith the designs of the honour ofGod, while it forgets the world. Or at such a season as this, when we get near to God in prayer, if we think of any of the creatures, it is all in order to thehonour ofGod. If I think of a brother, or father, or child. " O may they all be instruments in thine hand, for thy honour here among men, and for ever amongblessed angels !" The soul does not ask for riches and glories on earth for them : but, " May they live in thy sight, O Lord !" If it thinks of the comforts of life, or blessings of prosperity, "O let holiness to the Lord be written upon them all ; for I would not have one of them, but what may subserve thine honour in the world." If the soul thinks of its pains and sorrows, and reproaches, it longs for the sanctification of them at present, and the removal of them in due season, that it may serve its God the better. Thus the spul is, as it were, taken out of self, when it gets near to God. " Let me have the conveniences of life, says the chris- tian, not so much for my ease, as that I may better ad-