Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.-- VERSES 2, 3. 65 all, yet he is pleased to bind himself unto acts of grace. Men love to have all their works of favour free, and to reserve to themselves a power of altera- tion or revocation, as themselves shall please. But God is pleased that his gifts should take upon them in some sense the condition of debts, and although he can owe nothing to the creature, Rom. xi. 35. Job xxii; 3. xxxv. 7, 8. yet he is contented to be a debtor to his own promise ; and having at first in mercy made it, his truth is after engaged to the performance of it, Mic. vii. 20. Again, his word is established in heaven, with him there is no variableness, nor shadow of change, his promises are not yea and nay, but in Christ, Amen, 2 Cor. i. 20. If he speak a thing, "it shall not fail," Josh. xxi. 45. He spake, and the world was made ; his word alone is a foundation and bottom to the being of all his creatures ; and yet, notwithstanding the immutable certainty of his promises when they are first uttered, for our sakes he is pleased to bind himself by further ties. Free mercy secured by a covenant, and a firm covenant secured by an oath, Deut. vii. 12. Luke i. 72, 73. Heb. vi. 17, 18. that we, who, like Gideon, are apt to call for sign upon sign, and to stagger and be disheartened, if we have not double security from God ; we whose doubting calls for promise upon promise, as our ignorance doth for precept upon precept, may by two immutable things, wherein it is impossible for God to lie, have strong consolation. Now if God, whose gifts are free, bind himself to bestow them by his promise ; if God, whose promises are sure, bind himself to perform them by his oath ; how much more are we bound to tie ourselves by covenant unto God, to do those things which are our duty to do, unto the doing F3