Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.-- VERSES 3, 4. 169 to save us. It is necessary as the means to the end, not as the cause to the effect. That which looks least free of any other act of God, his rewarding of obedience, is all and only mercy. When we sow in righteousness, we must reap in mercy, Hos. x. 12. When he ren- ders according to our works, it is because of his mercy, Psa. lxii. 12. This is the solid foundation of all christian comfort, that God loves freely. Were his love to us to be measured by our fruitfulness or carriages towards him, each hour and moment might stagger our hope ; but he is therefore pleased to have it all of grace, that the promise might be made sure, Rom. iv. 16. This com- forts us against the guilt of the greatest sins ; for love and free grace can pardon what it will. This comforts us against the accusations of Satan drawn from our own unworthiness. It is true, I am unworthy, and Satan cannot show me unto myself more vile, than without his accusations I will acknowledge myself to be : but that love which gave Christ freely, Both give in him more worthiness than there is or can be unworthiness in me. This comforts us in the assured hope of glory, because when he loves, he loves to the end, and nothing can separate from his love. This comforts us in all afflictions, that the free love of God, who bath predestinated us thereunto, will wisely order it all unto the good of his servants, Rom. viii. 29. Heb. xii. 6. Our duty therefore it is, 1. To labour for assurance of this free love. It will assist us in all duties : it will arm us against all tempta- tions : it will answer all objections that can be made against the soul's peace : it will sustain us in all con- ditions which the saddest of times can bring us unto. If God he for us, who can be against us T' Though P