Hosea 14:1-2. O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God O Israel, return now at length, after thou hast suffered so many evils, to the Lord by true repentance and reformation of conduct. The whole family of Israel, in both its branches, seems to be here addressed. For thou hast fallen From God’s love and favour into his displeasure, and consequently into misery, by thine iniquity Which has involved thee in endless troubles, and will be the cause of thy destruction. Take with you words Make your confessions, present your petitions, and signify your promises and resolutions unto God, not only in your thoughts, but also by words well chosen and digested; sanctioned by the Holy Scriptures, and agreeable to the will of God. The prophet here prescribes a form of confession, petition, and supplication very proper to be used upon their repentance and conversion. It implies in substance, Confess your sins, entreat for pardon, and promise amendment. And turn to the Lord In heart and life, in faith, love, and new obedience, otherwise your confessions and prayers will be to little purpose. Say, Take away all iniquity, &c. Deliver us from the guilt and power of our sins, internal and external; take entirely away the sinful principle within us, the carnal heart of the old Adam. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me; and receive us graciously Accept our persons and performances of thy mere grace and favour, thy unmerited mercy and love. But this clause may be rendered, Give us what is good; that is, bestow thy grace and blessing upon us: or, accept the good; that is, when we are begotten again unto holiness by thy Spirit, accept, as good, what we, thus regenerated, shall be enabled to perform. So will we render the calves of our lips That is, the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving uttered by our lips. By calling vocal devotions calves, (or bullocks, as Bishop Horsley renders the word פרים ,) “is shown, that this form of supplication is prepared for those times, when animal sacrifices will be abolished, and prayer and thanksgiving will be the only offering.”
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