Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV. -VERSE 1, 2. 45 love, and the grace of Christ, from humble, penitent, filial, heavenly dispositions ; nothing will carry the soul unto God, but that which cometh from him. Our communion with the Father and the Son is the trial of all our goodness. Further : this should exceedingly abase us in our own eyes, and stain all the pride, and cast down all the plumes of flesh and blood, when we seriously consider that in us, as now degenerated from our original, there is no good to be found : our wine is become water, and our silver dross. As our Saviour saith of the devil, when he lies he speaks of his own, so when we do evil, we work of our own, and, as the apostle speaks, " according unto man," 1 Cor. iii. 3. Lusts are our own, our very members to that body of sin which the apostle calleth " the old man," with which it is as im- possible to do any good, as for a toad to spit cordials. Men are apt to glory of their good hearts and in- tentions, only because they cannot search them, Jer. xvii. 9. and being carnal themselves, to en- tertain none but carnal notions of God's service. But if they knew the purity and jealousy of God, and their own impotence to answer so holy a will, they would lay their hands upon their mouths, and with Job, abhor themselves ; and with Isaiah, bewail the unclean- ness of their lips; and with Moses, fear and quake, as not being able to endure the things that are commanded ; and with Joshua acknowledge, that they cannot serve God because he is holy. They would then remember that the law of God is a law of fire, Dent. xxxiii. 2. and the tribunal of God, a tribunal of fire, Ezek. i. 27. that the pleadings of God with sinners, are in flames of fire, Isa. lxvi. 15,16. that the trial of all our works shall be by fire, 1 Cor. iii. 13. that the God before whom we must appear, is a consuming fire, Heb. xii. 29