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LECTURE II, HOSEA XIV, 4, 5, 6. I will heal their backsliding, I
will lave th'env freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. 1
will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast
forth his roots as Lebanon- His branches shall spread, and his
beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.. THIS
prophecy was delivered in the " reigns of Uzziali, Jotham, Ahaz and
He- zekiah," a period truly alarming to the nation of Israel.?The
cup of their iniquity- was nearly filled up, and that cloud which
had long been collecting and blackening o- Ter their heads was
ready to burst forth in their destruction. The prophet therefore
addresses them in the following melancholy, heart-melting strains,
" rejoice not, O Israel, for joy as other people, for thou hast
gone a whoring from thy God: The days of visitation are come; the
days of recompence are come: My God shall cast them away, because
they did not hearken unto him; and they shall be wanderers among
the nations." But thft.Lorcl God is long suffering and plenteous in
rnercy; hisjuctgments move slowly along that this infatuated people
may enjoy another opportunity for repenting and escaping. Amidst
the general gloom, therefore, a ray of hope beams forth in the
chapter which we have read to cheer and encourage them. " O Israel,
return unto the Lord thy God." Jehovah, in the riches of his
condescension, still acknowledges himself to be ' their God." To
each believing Israelite he stood in a covenant relation which
could never be broken; which no change of time or circumstances
could possibly dissolve; and to the Jews in general he stood in an
external, covenant relation: He had not altogether rejected them as
a people, but was yet known as " the God of Abraham, and of Isaac,
and of Jacob. O Israe...
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