Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV. -- VERSES 3, 4. 149 free love, that hath no foundation or inducements from without itself. And because we read it before, Hos. viii. 5. that God's anger was kindled against them, therefore he here adds that this also should be turned away from them. Anger will consist with love ; we find God angry with Moses, and Aaron, and Miriam, and Asa, and he doth sometimes visit with rods and scourges, where he doth not utterly take away his loving-kind- ness from a people, Psa. lxxxix. 32, 33. A man may be angry with his wife, or child, or friend, whom yet he dearly loved'. And God is said to be thus angry with his people, when the effects of displeasure are discovered towards them. Now, upon their repent- ance and conversion, God promiseth not only to love them freely, but to clear up his countenance towards them, to make them by the removal of judgments to see and know the fruits of his free love and bounty unto them. When David called Absalom home from banishment, this was an effect of love ; but when he said, " Let him not see my face," this was the continu- ation of anger ; but at last when he admitted him into his presence and kissed him, here that anger was turned away from him too, 2 Sam. xiv. 21. 24. 33. These words then contain God's merciful answer to the first part of Israel's prayer for the taking away of all iniquity, which had been the fountain of those sad judgments under which they languished and pined away. Wherein there are two parts, 1. The ground of God's love. 2. A double fruit of that lovein healing their backsliding, in removing his anger and heavy judgments from them. We will briefly handle them in the order of the text. " ° I will heal their backsliding." When God's peo- ple do return unto him, and pray against sin, then N3