Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.-- VERSES 2, 3. 95 Our Saviour bids his disciples cast their net into the sea, and when they had drawn their net, he bids them bring of the fish which they had then caught; and yet we find that there was a fire of coals, and fish laid thereon, and bread provided on the land before, John xxi. 6. 9, 10 : thereby teaching us that he did not use their industry for any need that he had of it, but because he would honour them so far as to let them honour him with their obedience. And therefore even then when God tells his people that he needed not their services, yet he calls upon them for thanks- giving, Psa. 1. 9. 14. This then is a strong argument to be used in prayer for pardon, for grace, for any spiritual mercy : Lord, if I perish, I shall not praise thee, I shall not be meet for my Master's uses. Thy glory will only be forced out of me with blows, like fire out of a flint, or water out of a rock. But thou delighteet to see thy poor servants operate towards thy glory, to see them not forced by power, but by love to show forth thy praises. And this we shall never do till sin be pardoned. God can bring light out of light, as the light of the stars out of the light of the sun, and he can bring light out of darkness, as he did at first : but in the one case there is a meetness for such a use, in the other not. Now we are not meet subjects for God to reap honour from, till sin be pardoned, till grace be conferred. Then we shall give him the praise of his mercy in pitying such grievous sinners, and the praise of his power and wisdom in healing such mortal diseases, and the praise of his glorious and free grace, in send- ing salvation to those that did not inquire after it, and the praise of his patience in forbearing us so long, and waiting that he might be gracious, and the praise of his wonderful providence in causing all things to work