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from the dust,“ Death is swallowed up « in victory.”_ " O death, where is now “ thy fting? O grave, where is now thy “ victory ?-The sting of death was sin, and “ the strength of fin was the law; but « thanks be unto God, who hath now given “ us the victory through Jesus Christ our 66 Lord.”
Thus have I endeavoured to lead you through a very extensive, but surely a pleafant and fruitful, field, wherein a variety of objects have occurred, interesting to all, and peculiarly comfortable to the people of God: upon whom I therefore call, in the conclufion of my discourse, to praise and magnify that compassionate Saviour, and faithful High-Priest over the house of God, who ransomed them with his blood ; and amidst all the splendors of his exalted state, is not unmindful of his charge upon earth, but continually appears in the presence of God for them ; whose ear is always attentive to the voice of their fupplications ; whose mouth is ever open to plead in their behalf; and as if it had not been love enough to
die for them, still lives and reigns for them, and even glories in being, “ the head over “ all things to the church, which is his « body, the fulness of him that filleth all “ in all.”— To him, with the Father, and quickening Spirit, the one living and true God, be glory and honour, thanksgiving and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hosea siv. 8. Ephraim shall say, Wbat bave I to do any more
with idols 2 i
TF we compare the representation here I given of Ephraim, with the account we have of him. ch. iv. 17. we shall discover such a wonderful change, as must excite in us a desire to be acquainted with the cause of it. There it is said, “ Ephraim « is joined to idols :" Here we behold him throwing them away, with every symptom of contempt and abhorrence. Like a man awakened from a dream, or rather like one who had lost his reason, and was now restored to the right use of it, he faith, What have I to do any more with idols - It is my disgrace, no less than my crime, that ever I had any thing to do with such lying vanities; but now I cast them from me with fcorn and detestation, and with a determined
purpose, purpose, that I shall never henceforth return to them any more.
How is this surprising change to be accounted for? When God faid, “ Ephraim " is joined to idols," he immediately pronounced that awful decree,“ Let him a“ lone.” Hereby a restraint was laid upon every outward inftrument. All che creatures were charged by the highest authority, to give him no disturbance in the course of his idolatry, but to leave him entirely to his own conduct, and the unabated influence of the idols he had chosen. By what means then was his recovery brought about ?-Had Ephraim the honour to discover the delusion by his own fagacity, and to break the enchantment by his own strength ?-We find an anfwer to these questions, ch xiii. 9. “ O Israel, thou « haft destroyed thyself, but in me is thy “ help.” Had God said, I am determined to let Ephraim alone, there would have been an end of him at once, though the whole creation had been left at liberty to exert its utmost activity for his help: but it deferves our notice, that though God laid a restraint upon the agency of the creatures, yet he laid no restraint upon his own, but reserved to himself the full exercise of his essential and unalienable prerogative, to be the free and fovereign disposer of his grace.
In this character he is introduced at the ift verse of this chapter, where he issues forth his royal command, and clothes it with power : “ O Ifrael, return unto the “ Lord thy God, for thou hast fallen by “ thine iniquity.”-In order to encourage their hope of acceptance, he teacheth them in the following verses how to pray, and even dictates the very form of surrender they were to make : “ Take with you “ words, and turn to the Lord, say unto “ him, Take away all iniquity, and re“ ceive us graciously: so will we render “ the calves of our lips. Afhur shall not “ save us, we will not ride upon horses, “ neither will we say any more to the “ works of our hands, Ye are our Gods : " for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.” After which, to remove that distrust and jealousy which necessarily spring from a