THOMAS WATSON &
Excerpt from The Bible and the Closet: Or How We May Read the Scriptures With the Most Spiritual Profit
It is a proper ground for regret, that a people who owe their origin, social habits, religious privileges and national character, to the Puritans and Non-conformists of England, should manifest so little interest and curiosity, in regard to the names, persons, manners, sufferings, and writings, of their ancestry, as appears to be the case at present in the United States. The members of the churches properly attached to the doctrines of the Non-conformists, have not that lively impression of gratitude and obligation to the struggles of the Puritans, which should characterize men who enjoy inestimable blessings, purchased by cruel bonds, far exilements, and bloody death. The young are almost ignorant of the church history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and when they do hear of the Puritans, it is probably from some infidel novelist or historian, who describes them as uncouth, sour, ignorant fanatics, or from the bigoted representations of half-popish ecclesiastics, who seem to regard amputation from Rome as a severe affliction.
The ordinations of the ministers in Congregational, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches usually take place without any reference to the distinctive principles for which our fathers contended, and which are now gainsayed and ridiculed by men who call Hampden anil Pym traitors, Archbishop Laud a saint, and Charles I. a blessed martyr.
“… aids of the Spirit; all which I pass by, and come to Directions, Special And Peculiar, To Secret Prayer.
1. Be sure of intimate acquaintance with God. Can we presume, that are but dust and ashes, to go up into heaven and boldly to enter the presence chamber, and have no fellowship with the Father or with the Son 7 ” Acquaint thyself with him and be at peace; then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee. The decrees of thy heart shall be established to thee, and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” Job xxii. 21, 26, 27, 28. First shining acquaintance, and then shining answers. Canst thou set thy face unto the Lord God? Then thou mayst seek him by prayer; first Daniel sets and shows his face to God, and then seeks him by prayer and supplication. Daniel ix. 3. Does God know your face in prayer? Do you often converse in your closets with him ? Believe it, it must be the fruit of intimate acquaintance with God to meet him in secret with delight. Can ye come familiarly as a child to a father, considering its own vileness, meanness or unworthiness in comparison with his divine love, the love and bowels of a heavenly father. Such a father, the father of fathers, I and the father of mercies. How sweetly does the apostle join it! God is our father ! because the father of our Lord; and because I his father, so our father, therefore the father of mercies. 2 Cor. i. 2, 3. O what generations of mercies flow from this paternity! But we must plead to this access to the Father through Christ by the Spirit. Eph. ii. 18. We must be gradually acquainted with all three; first with the Spirit, then with Christ, and last with the Father.”