Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.- VERSES 2, 3. 103 accompanied with thankfulness, so that thankfulness is but empty and hypocritical, which Both not spring out of sound repentance. We use to say that the words of fools are born in their lips, but the words of wise men are drawn up out of an inward judgment. The calves of the lips are no better than the calves of the stall in God's account, if they have not a heart in them. Without this, the promise here made to God would be no other than that with which nurses deceive their little children, when they promise them a gay golden new nothing. Praise in the mouth without repentance in the heart, is like a sea -weed that grows without a root. Like the pouring of balm and spices upon a dead body, which an never thoroughly secure it from putrefaction. Like a per- fume about one sick of the plague, whose sweet smell carries infection along with it. It is not the men- tioning of mercies, but the improving of them unto piety, which expresseth our thankfulness unto God. God sets every blessing upon our score, and expects an answer and return suitable. He compares Chorazin and Bethsaida with Tyre and Sidon ; and if their lives be as bad as these, their punishment shall be much heavier, because the mercies they enjoyed were much greater. The not using of mercies is the being unthankful for them. And it is a heavy account which men must give for abused mercies, Deut. xxxii. 6. Amos ii. 9 -13. Luke iii. 7. Heb. vi. 7. Sins against mercy, and under mercy, are the first ripe fruit ; when the sun shines hottest, the fruits ripen fastest, Amos viii. 1, 2. Jer. i. 11, 12. God doth not bear so long with the provocations of a church, as of those that are not a people ; the sins of the Amorites were longer in ripening than the sins of Israel. When judgment is abroad, it will begin at the house of God.