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Also it should be known, remembered, and acknowledged, that anger is not inconsistent with love. No, not with the everlasting love of God, to the persons of his elect in Christ Jesus. Should we say at any time, God hated his people for sin, we should tell a lie. God hates sin, all sin, and every sin in his people, yet he never hated the persons of his people for any, or for all the sinfulness which ever was, or will be in them; neither does God connive at any sin in them, whilst they are freely and fully saved in the Lord, with an everlasting salvation; yet, it is all to the satisfaction and honor of law and justice, which have received at the hands of our divine Lord, strict satisfaction to all the demands of the law and the requirements of justice, a most complete and full atonement for all the sins of the elect. The anger of God as spoken of in the sacred page, expresses his holy aversion to, and just displeasure against sin and sinners. And this is expressed in his terrible judgments and righteous threatenings against the workers of iniquity. This the Lord was pleased in his dispensations toward the people of Israel to express. Sometimes by giving them over into the hand of their enemies; as was the case in the Jews captivity by Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon; and, is the case with the same people to the present day. When these people shall be visited by the Lord, and the grace contained in our text, be most fully exemplified

in them, the propriety of these expressions will most evidently appear, as the reason for the grace shewn unto them. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. You have a proof of what I have been expressing in Psalm lxxxv, which celebrates the Lord's praise for the redemption of his people from Babylon. Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. verses, 1-4. As their restoration from Babylon was an outward removal of his wrath and anger toward them for national sin; so the restoration of the Jews in the latter day, will be unto them the same. They looking unto the Lord, praying over his own words, and he being gracious unto them at the voice of their cries, he says, I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. This is most truly comfortable to any of us who are the Lord's. Whilst the whole, and all throughout this chapter, may be found upon the closest inspection, to belong to the people of Israel, and the promises concerning the glory, beauty, and excellency of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, in her open

and outward visibility of the same, to be a promise which will be fully displayed in the latter day; yet, we may most assuredly make use of the grace part of the whole, for our own profit and edification: no Scripture being of any private interpretation, so that it may not be said of it, this does not belong to the saints. Let us therefore, as the beloved of God, look up to the Holy Spirit, and invocate his blessing, unction, and presence, in our reading and meditating on the truths contained in it: some of which have been unfolded; and, by receiving the same into our minds, and mixing faith with them, must warm our hearts, and encourage us to look unto the Lord our God, who is gracious and merciful: let our cases, yea, our inward and backsliding cases, be as they may, or what they may, he says, I will come and heal you. Yea, if our cases, as a whole church, be all at this very time, what backsliding Israel's was, he saith to us, Iwill heal your backslidings. To have our wounds healed by the blood of Christ, and our consciences perfected in the peace of God, in the true apprehension that Christ is our peace, and that he hath made peace by the blood of his cross, this will save us from the guilt of sin, from the love of sin, from the power and dominion of sin. If we hear the voice of Christ saying to us, I will love you freely, this will warm our hearts through and through, we shall be fixed on him to our everlasting content,

to our perpetual joy and satisfaction. This, with the reason given, For mine anger is turned away from him, must yield unspeakable consolation to a believing mind. I am not insensible of the very many imperfections, which have accompanied me in the composing these papers; yet, being fully persuaded, that there are truths of great importance in them, I shall not object to the publication of the same. This verse ends that which I style, the second part of this chapter. May the Lord bless, if he pleases, what I have written: so that many whom I know not of, after I am in my body laid in the grave, and my soul being absent from it, and present with the Lord, may reap advantage and spiritual benefit from the same. To this I say, Lord Jesus. Amen.


HOSEA XIV. v. 5.

I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.

One of the most important things, which concern the being and the well-being of our souls, is

the true knowledge of the person, and salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ. From right apprehensions of the same, we are led from the word, and by the Spirit, into right conceptions of his love, mercy, and compassion, towards his church and people. By this, as the means, we are enabled to make some proper estimate of the dealings of our most beloved and gracious Lord towards his beloved, let their cases of body and mind be what they may. In the former verses of this chapter, we have had the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to his people, directing them how to act, and drawing up a form of prayer, on their behalf, and for their use. He sends them to his throne with it, which he is pleased to attend; it being the cry of his Holy Spirit in their hearts. It pleases him well to attend to the voice of their cry, and to which he returns a most complete answer, saying, I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. Immediately the Lord utters a most comprehensive promise, and as connected with it, are many of the blessed fruits and effects of the same expressed. Sin being taken away, the fruit of this is the free pardon thereof, in the most beneficial and salutary effects of the same, brought home to the mind, and made known to the heart of the very sinners who had backslidden from God. The heart and eye of the Lord are towards them. His mouth is opened to speak good and

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