Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.- -VERSE 1, 2. 23 3. Sin being removed, though the afflictions should not be removed, yet they are sanctified and turned into good. Repentance, like the philosopher's stone, can turn iron into gold, can make golden afflictions : so the trial of our faith, that is, our affliction, is said to be " more precious than gold," 1 Pet. i. 7. Whereas sin remaining is like copperas which will turn wine or milk into ink. It converts the blessing of God into the provisions of lusts. It cankers learning with pride, and wit with profaneness, and wealth with luxury ; like leaven which turns a very passover into pollution, 1 Cor. v. 8. As the pearl, which is an ornament to the woman who wears it, is a disease to the fish which breeds it ; as the same perfume which refreshes a dove, is mortal to a vulture ; as the same pillar and cloud was light to Israel, but dark to Egypt ; the same deep was a path to Israel, but a grave to Egypt : so the same blessings which by grace are converted into comforts, by sin are abused into dishonourable services. Sweet powders can make leather an ornament, when the sanies (corrupt matter) of a plague -sore will render a robe infectious. As it was said of Naaman, he was a great man, an honourable man, a mighty man of war, but he was a leper : so whatever other ornaments a man hath, sin stains them with the foulest " but" that can be brought to deprave the fairest endowments ; a learned man, a wealthy man, a wise man, an honourable man, but a wicked man. This makes all those other good things tributary unto Satan. And therefore, as the gold and silver of the Canaan - ites was to pass through the fire before it could be used by Israel, so all other blessings bestowed on men must pass through the spirit of judgment and burning, through the purifying waters of repentance,