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THE VINDICATION OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND FROM THE ERRORS AND CORRUP-
TIONS OF THE CHURCH OF ROME. WHEREIN, AS IS LARGELY PROVED, THE
THE NECESSITY OF WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IN ORDER TO SALVATION;
THOUGH THE REWARD OF THEM IS ONLY TO BE EXPECTED FROM THE FREE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD: ASSERTED AGAINST THE ANTINOMIANS AND PAPISTS.
Hosea X. 12.
In the preceding verses of the chapter, God sharply reproves and severely threatens Israel for their wickedness, especially their idolatry. But the good God, always in judgment remembering mercy, to those reprehensions and menaces subjoins here in my text an exhortation to repentance and amendment of life, enforced with a gracious promise of mercy upon such repentance.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy.” Which words (not to spend time needlessly in any farther preface) I shall first briefly explain, and then raise such plain, practical, and useful observations from them, as they naturally and without straining afford.
First, for the explanation of the text. It is obvious, to observe in general, that the verse, out of which my text is taken, contains an exhortation to repentance and a good life, expressed under the metaphors of ploughing and sowing; and also a promise of mercy, under answerable metaphors of rain upon the seed sown, and of reaping a joyful harvest. “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy: break up the fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain