Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV. -VERSE 1, 2. 55 were preposterous to begin the building of a house at the roof, and not at the foundation : piety is the foundation of prosperity ; if you would have your children like plants and like polished stones, your garners full, your cattle plenteous, no complaining in your streets ; if you would have the king happy, and the church happy, and the state happy, and peace and prosperity flourish again ; let our chief prayer be, " Lord make us a happy people, by being our God." Give us thyself, thy grace, thy favour, give us renewed hearts and reformed lives ; let not our sins confute, and outcry, and belie our prayers, and pray them back again without an answer. And when we seek thee and thy Christ above all, we know that with him thou wilt freely give- us all other things. The spiritual good things which we beg, will either remove, or shelter and defend us from the outward evil things which we suffer. Again : this serves for an instruction unto us, touching a sanctified use of God's judgments or threat - enings. When we learn obedience, as Christ did, by the things which we suffer, Heb. v. 8. when we are chastened and taught together, Psal. xciv. 12. when sufferings quicken spiritual desires, and the more troubles we find in our way, the more love we have to our country ; when we can say, " all this is come upon us, and yet we have not forgotten thee," Psal. xliv. 17, 18. when we can serve God as well in plough- ing and breaking the clods, as in treading out the corn, Hosea x. 11. when, with Jonah, we can delight in him, even in the whale's belly, and suffer not our love of him to be quenched with all the waters of the sea ; when we can truly say to him, Lord, love me, and then do what thou wilt unto me,let me feel thy rod, rather than forfeit thine affection ; when we can