Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.- VERSES 3, 4 151 their heart was not right towards him, nor they stedfast in his covenant, yet the text saith, " He being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity," (not as to the justi- fication of their persons, for that is never without faith unfeigned, butso far as to the mitigation of theirpunish- ment, that he destroyed them not, nor stirred up all his wrath against them, Psa. lxxviii. 34. 39.) for so that place is to be expounded, as appeareth by the like parallel place. Ezek. xx. 17. " Nevertheless, mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness." Now the metaphorical word both here and so often elsewhere, used in this argument, leatleth us to look upon sinners as patients, and upon God as a physician. By which two considerations we shall find the exceed- ing mercy of God in the pardon and purging away of sin set forth unto us. Healing, then, is a relative word, and leads us first to the consideration of a patient who is to be healed, and that is here a grievous sinner fallen into a relapse. Healing is of two sorts : the healing of a sickness by a physician, the healing of a wound by a surgeon : and sin is both a sickness and a wound. The whole head is sick, the whole heart faint, from the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises, and putrefying s9res, Isa. i. 3. 6. a sickness that wants healing, a wo...nd that wants binding, Ezek. xxxiv. 4. a sick sinner that wants a physician to call to repentance, Matt. ix. 12,13. a wounded sinner that wants a Samaritan (so the Jews called Christ, John viii. 48:) to bind up and pour in wine and oil, Luke x. 34. Diseases are of several sorts, but those of all others most dangerous that are in the vital parts, as all the diseases of sin are, and from thence spread themselves