Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.- VERSES 2, 3. 125 show that we hate every false way, by throwing the first stone at our first sin, that which lay nearest and closest in our bosoms, which the scripture calls cutting off the right hand, and plucking out the right eye. As Cranmer put that hand first into the fire which had before subscribed to save his life. The story of the Turkish emperor is commonly known, who being reported so to dote on one of his concu- bines, as for love of her to neglect the affairs of his kingdom, caused her to be brought forth in great pomp, and cut off her head before his bashaws, to assure them that nothing was so dear unto him but that he could willingly part from it to attend the public welfare. This was an act of cruelty in him ; but the like is an act of penitency in us when we can sacrifice the dearest affections wherewith we served sin. Let Christ kill our Agag, though delicately ap- parelled, and divide the richest of all our spoils. If we be learned, we shall direct all our studies unto the fear of God, Ecc. xii. 12, 13. if rich, we shall lay up a foundation of good works against the time to come, and consecrate our merchandise as holy to the Lord, 1 Tim. vi. 18. Isa. xxiii. 18. If wise, if honourable, if powerful, if adorned with any endowment, our business will be with Bezaleel and Alohiab, to adorn the gospel with them all, from our gold to our goat's hair, to lay out all upon the sanctuary ; to make those members and abilities which had been Satan's armour and weapons of unholiness to be now weapons of holiness, and dedicated unto Christ, Rom. vi. 19. This is the holy revenge which godly sorrow taketh upon sin, 2 Cor. vii. 11. If any men who profess repentance, and think they are already long ago converted unto God, would ex- amine the truth of their conversion by this touchstone, L3