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him. The word is expressive of that which tends to bring a person or thing to remembrance. The name Jehovah is his memorial throughout all generations. The shew-bread, and the frankincense put on it, are called a memorial; since they, as it were, prefigured the church in Christ, and as represented by Christ before the Father, and thus, in an ordinance-way, brought them in remembrance before God. Thus, as it respects these words, The scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon, may be considered as very expressive of the knowledge of God and his everlasting gospel, that it will be always pleasant to his people; that it will be the means whereby they will be refreshed with the wine of the kingdom, as thereby they will be satisfied with real views and foretastes of the everlasting love of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as it is reflected on the church and people of God, in the glorious person, work, and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ; in which the people of God have a perpetual memorial of his grace and good will unto them; and they, under right views, and in spiritual communion with the Lord in the same, emit a real fragrancy and perfume, so as the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. It may be concluded this was most excellent. It is somewhat of a piece with what the spouse says in the Canticles: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers; we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee. Chap. i. 2. 4. Thus I have endeavoured, according to the uttermost of my capacity, to open and explain the expressions in my text, and have suggested how they may be conceived, both as applied to God, and to the church. The scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon: perfuming, cheering, invigorating, and strengthening. As expressing on the part of God, that his people are always well-pleasing, acceptable, and a perfume to him: That he rests in his love towards them, and joys over them with singing: So that they are a memorial unto him. He loves the remembrance of them. He delights in exercising the thoughts of his mind in Christ Jesus They are his dearly
towards and upon them. beloved ones. He rejoices in them, and over them, to do them good. And thus I close the present sermon: They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and blossom, or grow as the vine: the memorial, or the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. May the Lord bless what is his own, and pardon what is mine. May he be pleased to shed his own light and truth on the reader, and bless the Scriptures I have been attempting to open and explain. And to his most holy name shall all the praise be given. Amen.
HOSEA XIV, v. 8.
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with Idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
THESE words are the conclusion of the grace part of all contained in the former verses. In the three past verses, in the good will of the Lord God towards his church, we have had the effects of God's free love exemplified in the following blessings and favours bestowed upon her, manifested unto her, and realized in her.
First. In the sending the Holy Ghost, and shedding the sacred influences of his grace on her. This is expressed in these words, I will be as the dew unto Israel.
Second. The sudden and immediate change which would hereby be produced. He shall grow as the lily.
The establishment of the church in this her flourishing condition, which is thus expressed: He shall cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
Fourth. The enlargement of the church, which is expressed thus: His branches shall spread.
Fifth. The outward visible glory of the church, which is thus set forth: His beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
Sixth. The spiritual enjoyment and consolations such would be partakers of, who should, under the influences of grace, repair to this church; They that dwell under his shadow shall
Seventh. These shall bring forth acceptable fruit unto God, which is expressed thus: They shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine, the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Then having gone through these various particulars in the last sermons, we are, through the good hand of God upon us, brought to the words of our present text, which I will recite, that it may not be lost and swallowed up in the introduction to the same. They are as follows: Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with idols? I have heard and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
In which we have
1. Ephraim's absolute renunciation of all his former sins and carnal dependencies. Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with idols? II. The Lord's hearing Ephraim's prayers: I have heard him.
III. The Lord adds, I have observed him.
IV. The next words are, I am like a green fir tree; which some conceive to be the words of Ephraim; others, the words of Christ. Those who receive them as Ephraim's, think they are uttered by way of complaint. Those who apprehend them to be the words of Christ, consider them as containing strong consolation. I will consider them in this twofold point of view. These words, From me is thy fruit found, will be considered as the words of Christ; as expressive of Christ's producing from himself the fulness of all grace to his people, by the communications of his word and spirit to their minds, so as that they may abound in every good word and work, From me is thy fruit found. Whilst the substance of this plan of my text I shall aim to pursue, yet I conceive it will be with some little variation. As on a more minute investigation of the words, they seem to me to be all spoken by the Lord himself; they concern Ephraim, the ten tribes, who are included in the term Israel; and these the Lord hath been speaking unto throughout all the past verses, so I cannot but consider these words as a continuation of his own address, and further account of them: and that he is here giving a statement of the operation of his own grace within them, and upon them. them. I will enter on my first particular, which contains these words, Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with Idols? by which he declares his absolute renun