Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA RIV: VERSES 5 -7. 195 it is he who poureth out upon men the strength of battle, and giveth them over to the spoilers, Isa. xlii. 24, 25. A sinful nation gains nothing by any human treaties, policies, counsels, contributions, till by re- pentance they secure their interest in God, and make him on their side. God being prevailed with by Moses in behalf of Israel after the horrible provocation of the golden calf, sends a message to them, " I will send an angel before thee, and will drive out the Canaanite." And presently it follows, When the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned," Exod. xxxiii. 2 -4. What ! were these evil tidings, to have an angel to protect and lead them ! to have their enemies vanquished ! to have possession of a land flowing with milk and honey ! was there any thing lamentable in all this ? Yes, to have all this and much more, and not to have God and his presence, was heavy tidings unto God's people. And therefore Moses never gave God over till he promised them his own presence again, with which he chose rather to stay in a wilderness, than without it to go into the land of Canaan ; " If thy presence go not along, carry us not up hence," Exod. xxxiii. 13 -15. We should also from hence learn, whatever our spiritual wants are, to look up to heaven for a supply of them. Neither gardens, nor woods, nor vineyards, nor fields, nor flowers, nor trees, nor corn, nor spices will flourish or revive without the dew and concur: rence of heavenly grace, Christ alone is all in all unto his church ; though the instruments be earthly, yet the virtue which gives success unto them comes from heaven. [1.] The beauty of the lilies, or, as the prophet David calls it, the beauty of holiness, ariseth from the dew of the morning, Psa. cx. 3. He is the ornament, R2