ciation of all his former sins and carnal dependencies. This is the true portrait of a real penitent, and the genuine fruit and effect of that repentance which is unto life everlasting ; only I shall enter on this head, by giving an account of them, in the first place, as spoken by the Lord of Ephraim. One annotator reads the words thus: 0 Ephraim! what have I any more to do with idols? Thou shalt join me no more with them, as thou hast done heretofore. I alone will be observed in mine ordinances, and worshipped in them, with thy whole heart. I am the Lord thy God, and will be worshipped in spirit and in truth. Now as there is nothing in this explanation contrary to the doctrine of the text, nor to the analogy of faith, I see no reason why this may not be admitted, especially as the Lord God hath been the speaker in all the former parts of the chapter; as it respected the exhortation given for Israel to return to him: as also what Israel was to say and express before him; as also what the Lord would say in answer to his prayer; and in his declaration of what he would be to Israel, out of the exceeding riches of his grace; and what the church would be in her outward state, splendour, and visible glory. And our present text which contains the blessed fruits and effects of the same, seems to be the Lord's own words. This seems also to receive some confirmation, from the Lord himself taking up the words of Ephraim, and repeating the same in the 31st chapter of the prophet Jeremiah, together with his own most gracious reflection on the same, verses 18–20. The Lord there says, I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: thou hast chastised me; and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke : turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. To which the Lord rejoins, Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord. These Scriptures of Jeremiah and Hosea coincide, so that the one serves to open the other. I will now consider the words of my text, as spoken by Ephraim, and containing an expression of his absolute renunciation of all his former sins and carnal dependencies. This was the fruit wbich could not but follow, upon the free and full forgiveness of all his transgressions. This the Lord had most absolutely spoken in these words, I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. v. 4. This was grace indeed; such as can never be fully estimated. None but backsliders can feel the same sensibly and apprehensively;

they only can express their sense and feeling of it. It made a wonderful and lasting impression on those unto whom the Lord spoke it; and what it produced in them is here in a most lively manner described; Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with idols. This is the very genuine fruit and effect produced by the revelation and manifestation of the pardoning grace and mercy of God to the mind. The true apprehension and believing sense of the same, is the producing cause of thạt repentance which is unto eternal life. It is a wrong notion entertained by some, who are po great admirers of the open displays of free sovereign grace, that the free reception of the same will prevent sorrow for sin, and that walk with God which becomes such as are the pardoned ones of God. The instance before us is a full confutation of this. That which brought Ephraim to say, what have I to do any more with idols, was God's free pardoning mercy. And this as brought home to his ear and heart, and that by the Lord himself. I will heal your backslidings. This is grace Ephraim cannot stand up under. It bears down all his guilt, his sin, and subdues the power and strength of his corruption in the whole body of it. I will love you freely. This is most divinely transporting! it is almighty and omnipotent love, which carries all before it, by the omnipotent sweetness contained in the same. None of all the saints on earth,

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in and throughout all the churches of Christ in the whole world, can conceive, much less speak out, what is contained in this very simple expression. Jesus Christ looks upon his people with all the love of his heart, with all the freeness and warmth of the same. This melts the hearts of such as he thus freely shines upon. It turns their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. He gives his reason for so doing: For mine anger is turned away from you. And this is a most effectual antidote to their guilty mind. It is this turus them most truly in heart and affection back again to the Lord, who, breaking forth in a manifestative way upon them, agreeably unto these expressions of his glorious grace, so that hereby their renewed minds are brought under the mighty power, authority, majesty, and weight of this surprising grace; Ephraim, backsliding Israel cries out, What have I to do any more with idols. If we retain the supplementary words in our text, shall say, then we shall have the glory of God's grace very clearly developed, as the reason why Ephraim cried out, and thus expressed himself before the Lord; and from the same we may fetch an argument, that the words are the Lord's, and that he is here speaking out the heart of Ephraim, for him. And this well coincides with the passage which was quoted out of Jeremiah, in which the Lord declares how he had heard Ephraim bemoaning himself. In


these expressions, Ephraim shall say, what have 1 to do any more with idols? These as applied to Ephraim contain the language of a true repenting sinner. They are most exactly suited to poor returning prodigals. In them is contained an absolute renunciation of all former sins, and all sorts of carnal dependencies. It is agreeable with the request the Lord had put into the mouth of backsliding Israel, to express before him, the Lord of all the earth. Take away, all iniquity, and receive us graciously, so will we render the calves of our lips; Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses ; neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy, v. 2, 3. And the Lord having vouchsafed a most gracious answer; Ephraim here says, What have I to do any more with idols? In true godly sorrow for sin, a confession of the same is contained. A renouncing of all self-confidence is a part of the same: also a full purpose of heart not to turn again to folly; and a thorough reliance on the person and work of salvation, by our Lord Jesus Christ. When we have true views of our Lord Jesus Christ, and receive into our minds from the gospel, right believing views of his love, and the virtue and efficacy of his blood and righteousness, this is the very foundation of our repentance and return to . the Lord; it is the real knowledge of the truth, as it is in Jesus, which fixes our faith and hope

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