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God's Desire for the Salvation of Sinners

God's Desire for the Salvation of Sinners

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLARD PRESTON, D,D.



LEAVES HIM WITHOUT PLEA OR EXCUSE FOR ITS LOSS.

"How shall I give tliee up, Epliraim? How shall I deliver thee, Israel?
How shall I make thee as Admah ? How shall I set thee^ as Zeljoim ?
Mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together." —
HosEA 11:8.
BY WILLARD PRESTON, D,D.



LEAVES HIM WITHOUT PLEA OR EXCUSE FOR ITS LOSS.

"How shall I give tliee up, Epliraim? How shall I deliver thee, Israel?
How shall I make thee as Admah ? How shall I set thee^ as Zeljoim ?
Mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together." —
HosEA 11:8.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 12, 2013
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GOD'S DESIRE FOR THE SALVATIO OF SIERSBY WILLARD PRESTO, D,D.LEAVES HIM WITHOUT PLEA OR EXCUSE FOR ITS LOSS."How shall I give tliee up, Epliraim? How shall I deliver thee, Israel?How shall I make thee as Admah ? How shall I set thee^ as Zeljoim ?Mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindledtogether." — HosEA 11:8.This is strange language for the Infinite Majesty of heaven and earth to use towards guilty, rebelliousmen. or were they sumers of an ordinary characteronly. They had been selected out from the rest of mankind, and distinguished by many and very greatprivileges. They had been the objects of specialDivine regard, from the very origin of their nation."When Israel was a child, then I loved him, andcalled my son out of Egypt. I taught Ephraim also togo, taking them by their arms. I drew them withcords of a man, with bands of love; and I was to themas they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and Ilaid meat unto them." Such were God's kind deal-ings towards them. But intermingled with this state-ment, the same prophet has written of them, " They156 SERMO IX.sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to gravenimages; they knew not that I healed them." "Heshall not return into the land of Egypt, but the As-syrian shall be his king, and the sword shall abide inhis cities, and shall consume his branches, and devourthem because of their counsels. My people are bent
 
to backsliding from me."Such, briefly, had been God's dealings towards thathighly favored and distinguished people. Such, too,had been their more than ungrateful returns ; thegoodness of God they consumed upon their lusts, whilehis forbearance but the more emboldened them in theirrebellion. And yet, in view of all this abuse, Godaddresses them in the language of the most earnestexpostulation. "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?How shall I deliver thee, Israel. How shall I makethee as Admah ? How shall I set thee as Zeboim ?Mine heart is turned within me, my repentings arekindled together." We repeat, what strange languagefor Jehovah to utter towards that ungratefid, rebel-lious nation !Let us consider a moment the strong expressionswhich the prophet, or, rather, God himself, employs inthe text, by which we shall be more deeply convincedof God's judgment of the wickedness of the Israelites,and more deeply impressed, not only with his com-passion and benevolence, but of the deep yearningsand tenderest workings of his heart. " How shall Igive thee up, Ephraim?" Ephraim was the name of SEKAIOX IX. 157a single tribe, but often, and in this place, stands forthe ten tribes of the Hebrew nation. "How shall Ideliver thee, Israel ?" This was not only a name of equally extensive meaning, but as expressive of pecu-liar favor and honor. It literally signifies "A princeof God," and was given of the Almighty to Jacob,when he wrestled with the angel of his presence,that is, undoubtedly, the Messiah, in an assumedhuman form, and prevailed. This language of thetext was used, probably, to remind the nation of the
 
Israelites to what special honor and privileges theyhad been exalted ; but how proportionally low theyhad fallen by their sins, and consequently, how daringwere their provocations. And yet, notwithstanding allthis, how tenderly the Almighty addresses them : " Howshall I give thee up? How shall I deliver thee?" ordid even this fully express God's displeasure, and theirinexpressible deserts. For he still adds, "How shall Imake thee as Admah ? How shall I set thee asZeboim ?" These were two of the four cities of theplain which, for the extreme wickedness of their in-habitants, were consumed by fire from heaven. Theforce of the Divine expostulation is, " How shall Iabandon you to utter destruction, as those cities were?"or does all this reach the climax of God's commise-ration and pity, or, perhaps more properly, the pro-found depths of his compassion. He still adds, " Myheart is turned within me, my repentings are kindledtogether." What language of greater intensity, ex-158 SERMO IX.pressive of deeper feeling, could be employed ? Suchlanguage, when applied to a human being, is under-stood only by the one who utters it. I need not sayto some of you, at least, that so intense, so over-whelming are the feelings of the heart, that no wordscan express them, and utterance can only be given insighs and groans. But here is the Infinite God, w^hois immutable to all outward circumstances which canoccur in his entire universe, infinitely self-possessed, in.the possession of every possible perfection, yet pouringforth the intensest feelings of liis infinite heart, in thestrange language of even kindling repentance, over themisery and wretchedness of his sinful creatures. " Mineheart is turned within me, my repentings are kindledtogether. Plow shall I give thee up ? How shall Ideliver thee ? How can I abandon thee to utter de-

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