(Calvin on Hosea, part 17)

Lecture Seventeenth. 
Hosea 6:5 
Therefore have I hewed [them] by the prophets; I have slain them by 
the words of my mouth: and thy judgments [are as] the light [that] 
goeth forth. 
    God shows here, by his Prophet, that he was constrained by 
urgent necessity to deal sharply and roughly with the people. 
Nothing, we know, is more pleasing to God than to treat us kindly; 
for there is not found a father in the world who cherishes his 
children as tenderly: but we, being perverse, suffer him not to 
follow the inclination of his nature. He is therefore constrained to 
put on, as it were, a new characters and to chide us severely, 
according to the way in which he here says, he had treated the 
Israelites; "I have cut them, he says, by my prophets, and killed 
them by the words of my mouth". 
    Some render the words otherwise, as though God had killed the 
Prophets, meaning thereby the impostors, who corrupted the pure 
worship of God by their errors. But this view seems not to me in any 
way suitable; and we know that it was a common mode of speaking 
among the Hebrews, to express the same thing in two ways. So the 
Prophet speaks here, I have cut or hewed them by my Prophets, I have 
killed them by the cords of my mouth. In the second clause he 
repeats, I doubt note what we have already briefly explained, 
namely, that God had cut or hewed them by his Prophets. 
    But we must see for what purpose God declares here that he had 
commanded his Prophets to treat the people roughly. Hypocrites we 
indeed know, however much in various ways they mock God, are yet 
tender, and cannot bear any rebuke. Their sine are gross, except 
when they disguise themselves; but at the same time, when God begins 
to reprove, they expostulate and say, "What does this mean? God 
everywhere declares that he is kind and merciful; but he fulminates 
now against us: this seems not consistent with his nature." Thus 
then hypocrites would have God to be their batterer. He now answers, 
that he had been constrained, not only for a just cause, but also 
necessarily, to kill them, and to make his word by the Prophets like 
a hammer or an ax. This is the reason, he says, why my Prophets have 
not endeavored mildly and gently to allure the people. For God 
kindly and sweetly draws or invites to himself those whom he sees to 
be teachable; but when he sees so great a perverseness in men, that 
he cannot bend them by his goodness, he then begins, as we have 
said, to put on a new character. We now then under stand God's 
design: that hypocrites might not complain that they had been 
otherwise treated than what is consistent with God's nature, the 
Prophet here answers in God's name, "Ye have forced me to this 
severity; for there was need of a hard wedge, as they say, for a 
hard knot: "I have therefore hewed you by my Prophets, I have hewed 
you by the words of my mouth"; that is, I have used my word as an 
ax: for ye were like knotty and tough wood; it was therefore 
necessary that my word should be to you like an ax: and I have 
killed you by the words of my mouth; that is my word has not been 
sweet food to you, as it is wont to be to meek men; but it has been 
like a two-edged sword; it was therefore necessary to slay you, as 
ye would not bear me to be a Father to you." 
    It then follows "Thy judgments are light that goes forth". Some 
understand by "judgments" prosperity as if God were here reproaching 
the Israelites, that it was not his fault that he did not win them: 
"I have not neglected to treat you kindly, and under my protection 
to defend you; but ye are ungrateful." But this is a strained 
exposition. The greater part of interpreters explain the passage 
thus, "That thy judgments might be a light going forth." But I do 
not see why we should change any thing in the Prophet's words. God 
then simply intimates here, that he had made known to the Israelites 
the rule of a religious and holy life, so that they could not 
pretend ignorance; for the Hebrews often understand "judgments" in 
the sense of rectitude. I refer this to the instruction given them: 
Thy judgments then, that is, the way of living religiously, was like 
light; which means this, "I have so warned you, that you have sinned 
knowingly and willfully. Hence, that you have been so disobedient to 
me, must be imputed to your perverseness; for when ye were pliant, I 
certainly did not conceal from you what was right: for as the sun 
daily shines on the earth, so my teaching, has been to you as the 
light, to show to you the way of salvation; but it has been with no 
profit." We now then understand what the Prophet meant by these 
words. It follows - 
Hosea 6:6,7 
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God 
more than burnt offerings. 
But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they 
dealt treacherously against me. 
    God in this place declares that he desires mercy, and not 
sacrifices; and he does so to prevent an objections and to 
anticipate all frivolous pretenses. There is never wanting to 
hypocrites, we well know, a cover for themselves; and so great is 
their assurance, that they hesitate not sometimes to contend with 
God. It is indeed their common practice to maintain that they 
worship God, provided they offer sacrifices to him, provided they 
toil in ceremonies, and accumulate many rites. They think then that 
God is made bound to them, and that they have fully performed their 
duty. This evil has been common in all ages. The Prophet therefore 
anticipates this evasion, and says, "Mercy I desire, and not 
sacrifice"; as though he said, "I know what you are ready to allege, 
and that you will say, that you offer sacrifices to me, that you 
perform all the ceremonies; but this excuse is deemed by me 
frivolous and of no moment." Why? "Because I desire not sacrifices, 
but mercy and faith." We now understand the main object of this 
    It is a remarkable passage; the Son of God has twice quoted it. 
The Pharisees reproached him for his intercourse with men of bad and 
abandoned life, and he said to them in Matth. chap. 9, 'Mercy I 
desire, and not sacrifice:' he shows, by this defense, that God is 
not worshipped by external ceremonies, but when men forgive and bear 
with one another, and are not above measure rigid. Again, in the 
twelfth chapter of Matthew, when the Pharisees blamed the disciples 
for gathering ears of corn, he said 'But rather go and learn what 
this is, Mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.' Inasmuch as they were 
so severe against his disciples, Christ shows that those who make 
holiness to consist in ceremonies are foolish worshipers of God; and 
that they also blamed their brethren without a cause, and made a 
crime of what was not in itself sinful, and what could be easily 
defended by any wise and calm expounder. 
    But that we may more fully understand this sentence of the 
Prophet, it must be observed, firsts that the outward worship of 
God, and all legal ceremonies, are included under the name of 
sacrifice and burnt-offerings. These words then comprise a part for 
the whole. The same may be said of the word "chesed", which means, 
mercy or kindness; for the Prophet here, no doubt, sets faith or 
piety towards God, and love towards neighbors, in opposition to all 
external ceremonies. "I desire," he says, "mercy;" or, "mercy 
pleases me more than sacrifice, and the knowledge of God pleases me 
more than burnt-offerings." The knowledge of God here is doubtless 
to be taken for faith or piety, because hypocrites suppose that God 
is rightly worshipped when they use many ceremonies. The Prophet 
derides all such pomp and empty show, and says, that the worshipping 
of God is far different; it being only done when he is known. The 
chief point is, that God desires to be worshipped otherwise than 
sensual men dream; for they only display their rites, and neglect 
the spiritual worship of God, which stands in faith and love. 
    These two clauses ought then to be read conjointly - that 
kindness pleases God - and that faith pleases God. Faith by itself 
cannot please God, since it cannot even exist without love to our 
neighbor; and then, human kindness is not sufficient; for were any 
one to abstain from doing any injury, and from hurting his brethren 
in any thing, he might be still a profane man, and a despiser of 
God; and certainly his kindness would be then of no avail to him. We 
hence see that these two sentences cannot be separated, and that 
what the Prophet says is equally the same as if he had connected 
piety with love. The meaning is, that God values faith and kindness 
much more than sacrifices and all ceremonies. But when the Prophet 
says that sacrifice does not please God, he speaks, no doubt, 
comparatively; for God does not positively repudiate sacrifices 
enjoined in his own law; but he prefers faith and love to them; as 
we more clearly learn from the particle "mem", when he says, 
"me'olot", than burnt-offerings." It then appears that God is not 
inconsistent with himself, as though he rejected sacrifices which he 
himself had appointed; but that he condemns the preposterous abuse 
of them, in which hypocrites gloried. 
    And here two things are to be noticed: God requires not 
external ceremonies, as if they availed any thing of themselves, but 
for a different end. Faith of itself pleases God, as also does love; 
for they are, as they say, of the class of good works: but 
sacrifices are to be regarded differently; for to kill an ox, or a 
calf, or a lamb, what is it but to do what the butcher does in his 
shambles? God then cannot be delighted with the slaughter of beasts; 
hence sacrifices, as we have said, are of themselves of no account. 
Faith and love are different. Hence the Lord says, in Jer. chap. 7, 
'Have I commanded your fathers, when I brought them out of Egypt, to 
offer sacrifices to me?' no such thing; 'I never commanded them,' he 
says, 'but only to hear my voice.' But what does the law in great 
measure contain except commands about ceremonies? The answer to this 
is easy, and that is, that sacrifices never pleased God through 
their own or intrinsic value, as if they had any worth in them. What 
then? Even this, that faith and piety are approved, and have ever 
been the legitimate spiritual worship of God. This is one thing. 
    It is further to be noticed, that when the Prophets reprove 
hypocrites, they regard what is suitable to them, and do not 
specifically explain the matters which they handle. Isaiah says in 
one place, 'He who kills an ox does the same as if he had killed a 
dog,' and a dog was the highest abomination; 'nay, they who offer 
sacrifices do the same as if they had killed men,' (Isa. 66: 3.) 
What! to compare sacrifices with murders! This seems very strange; 
but the Prophet directed his discourse to the ungodly, who then 
abused the whole outward worship prescribed by the law: no wonder 
then that he thus spake of sacrifices. In the same manner also ought 
many other passages to be explained, which frequently occur in the 
Prophets. We now then see that God does not simply reject 
sacrifices, as far as he has enjoined them, but only condemns the 
abuse of them. And hence what I have already said ought to be 
remembered, that the Prophet here sets external rites in opposition 
to piety and faith, because hypocrites tear asunder things which 
are, as it were, inseparable: it is an impious divorce, when any one 
only obtrudes ceremonies on God, while he himself is void of piety. 
But as this disease commonly prevails among men, the Prophet adds a 
contrast between this fictitious worship and true religion. 
    It is also worthy of being observed, that he calls faith the 
knowledge of God. We then see that faith is not some cold and empty 
imagination, but that it extends much farther; for it is then that 
we have faith, when the will of God is made known to us, and we 
embrace it, so that we worship him as our Father. Hence the 
knowledge of God is required as necessary to faith. The Papists then 
talk very childishly about implicit faith: when a man understands 
nothing, and has not even the least acquaintance with God, they yet 
say that he is endued with implicit faith. This is a romance more 
than foolish; for where there is no knowledge of God, there is no 
religion, piety is extinct and faith is destroyed, as it appears 
evident from this passage. 
    God then subjoins a complaint, - "But they like men have 
transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt treacherously 
against me". Here God shows that the Israelites boasted in vain of 
their sacrifices and of all the pomps of their external worship, for 
God did not regard these external things, but only wished to 
exercise the faithful in spiritual worship. Then the import of the 
whole is this, "My design was, when I appointed the sacrifices and 
the whole legal worship, to lead you so to myself, that there might 
be nothing carnal or earthly in your sacrificing; but ye have 
corrupted the whole law; you have been perverse interpreters; for 
sacrifices have been nothing else among you but mockery as if it 
were a satisfaction to me to have an ox or a ram killed. You have 
then transgressed my covenant; and it is nothing that the people say 
to me, that they have diligently performed the outward ceremonies, 
for such a worship is not in the least valued by me." 
    And he proceeds still farther and says, "There have they dealt 
treacherously against me". He had said before, 'They have 
transgressed the covenant;' as though he said, "If they wished to 
keep my covenant, this was the first thing, - to worship me 
spiritually, even in faith and love; but they, having despised true 
worship, laid hold only on what was frivolous: they have therefore 
violated my covenant." But now he adds, that "there" appeared their 
perfidy; yea, that they were convicted of violating their faith, and 
shown to be covenant-breakers, by this, - that they abused the 
sacred marks by which God had sanctioned his covenant, to cover 
their own perfidy. There is then great importance in the adverb 
"sham", as if he had said, "In _that_ particular you have acted 
perfidiously:" for the Prophet means, that when hypocrites 
especially raise their crests, they are convicted of falsehood and 
perjury. But how? Because they set forth their own ceremonies, as we 
see them introduced as speaking thus in the fifty-eighth chapter of 
Isaiah, 'Wherefore have we fasted, and thou hast not regarded?' In 
this passage they accuse God of too much rigor, because they lost 
all their toil when they worshipped so laboriously, "We have then in 
vain spent labour and so diligently worshipped him." God answers: 
'Who has required this at your hands?' So also in this place the 
Prophet says, and more sharply, There have they dealt treacherously 
against me: that is, "They think that my mouth would be stopped by 
this defense only, when they brought forward their sacrifices, and, 
after their manner, made a great display, as if they were the best 
observers of religion; but I will show that in this very thing they 
are covenant-breakers." How? "Because there is no falsehood worse 
than to turn the truth of God into a lie, and to adulterate his pure 
doctrine." And this is what all hypocrites do, when they thus turn 
sacraments into gross abuses and false worship, when they build 
temples, when they imagine that God is rightly worshipped whenever 
an ox or a ram is offered. Since then hypocrites so grossly mock God 
and turn away sacrifices from Christ, they turn away from the 
doctrine of repentance and faith; in a word, they regard God only as 
a dead idol. When then they thus deprave the whole worship of God 
and adulterate it, when they so impiously corrupt the word of God 
and pervert his institutions, are they not covenant-breakers? There 
then they perfidiously acted against me. This ought to be carefully 
observed, because it has not been noticed by interpreters. 
    Some thus render the word "adam", - "As the covenant of man 
have they transgressed it," transferring it to the genitive case, 
"And they have transgressed the covenants as if it was that of man;" 
that is, as if they had to do with a mortal man, so have they 
despised and violated my holy covenant; and this exposition is not 
very unsuitable, except that it somewhat changes the construction; 
for in this case the Prophet ought to have said, "They have 
transgressed the covenant as that of a man;" but he says, 'They as a 
mere,' &c. But this rendering is far from being that of the words as 
they are, 'They as men have transgressed the covenant.' I therefore 
interpret the words more simply, as meaning, that they showed 
themselves to be men in violating the covenant. 
    And there is here an implied contrast or comparison between God 
and the Israelites; as though he said, "I have in good faith made a 
covenant with them, when I instituted a fixed worship; but they have 
been men towards me; there has been in them nothing but levity and 
inconstancy." God then shows that there had not been a mutual 
concord between him and the Israelites, as men never respond to God; 
for he sincerely calls them to himself, but they act unfaithfully, 
or when they have given some proof of obedience, they soon turn back 
again, or despise and openly reject the offered instruction. We then 
see in what sense the Prophet says that they had transgressed the 
covenant of God as men. 
    Others explain the words thus, "They have transgressed as Adam 
the covenant." But the word, Adam, we know, is taken indefinitely 
for men. This exposition is frigid and diluted, "They have 
transgressed as Adam the covenant;" that is, they have followed or 
imitated the example of their father Adam, who had immediately at 
the beginning transgressed God's commandment. I do not stop to 
refute this comment; for we see that it is in itself vapid. Let us 
now proceed - 
Hosea 6:8 
Gilead [is] a city of them that work iniquity, [and is] polluted 
with blood. 
    I shall first speak of the subject, and then something shall be 
added in its place of the words. The Prophet here notices, no doubt, 
something special against Gilead, which through the imperfection of 
history is now to us obscure. But in the first place, we must 
remember, that Gilead was one of the cities of refuge; and the 
Levites possessed these cities, which were destined for fugitives. 
If any one killed a man by chance, that the relatives might not take 
revenge, the Lord provided that he should flee to one of these 
cities appointed for his safety. He was there safe among the 
Levites: and the Levites received him under their protection, the 
matter being previously tried; for a legal hearing of the cause must 
have preceded as to whether he who had killed a man was innocent. We 
must then first remember that this city was occupied by the Levites 
and the priests; and they ought to have been examples to all others; 
for as Christ calls his disciples the light of the world, so the 
Lord had chosen the priests for this purpose, that they might carry 
a torch before all the people. Since then the highest sanctity ought 
to have shone forth in the priests, it was quite monstrous that they 
were like robbers, and that the holy city, which was as it were the 
sanctuary of God, became a den of thieves. 
    It was then for this reason that the Prophet especially 
inveighs against the city Gilead, and says "Gilead is a city of the 
workers of iniquity, and is covered with blood". But if Gilead was 
so corrupt, what must have been the case with the other cities? It 
is then the same as if the Prophet had said, "Where shall I begin? 
If I reprove the people indiscriminately, the priests will then 
think that they are spared, because they are innocent; yea, that 
they are wholly without blame: nay," he says, "the priests are the 
most abandoned, they are even the ringleaders of robbers. Since then 
so great corruptions prevail among the order of priests, in whom the 
highest sanctity ought to have shone forth, how great must be the 
licentiousness of the people in all kinds of wickedness? And then 
what must be said of other cities, since Gilead is so bad, which God 
has consecrated for a peculiar purpose, that it might be a sort of 
sanctuary? Since then Gilead is a den of robbers, what must be the 
other cities?" We now comprehend the meaning of the Prophet. 
    "Polluted with blood," "'akubah midam": "akav" in Hebrew, means 
"to deceive," and also, "to hold" or "retain." "'Akev" is the sole 
of the foot; hence "'akav" signifies "to supplant." And there is no 
doubt but that "to deceive" is its meaning metaphorically. I will 
now come to the meaning of the Prophet; he says that the city was 
"'akubah midam"; some say, "deceptive in blood," because they did 
not openly kill men, but by lying in wait for them; and hence they 
elicit this sense. But I approve more of what they hold who say, 
that the city was "full of blood;" not that such is the strict sense 
of the Hebrew word; but we may properly render it, "occupied by 
blood." Why so? Because "'akav", as I have said, means sometimes to 
hold, to stay, and to hinder. We may then properly and fitly say, 
that Gilead was "occupied" or "possessed by blood." But here follows 
a clearer and a fuller explanation of this sentence - 
Hosea 6:9 
And as troops of robbers wait for a man, [so] the company of priests 
murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. 
    The Prophet pursues more at large what he had briefly touched; 
for he does, not now confine himself to the common people, but 
directs his accusation against the sacerdotal order. "See," he says, 
"the priests conspire among themselves like robbers, that they may 
slay wretched men, who may meet them in the way." It is indeed 
certain that the Prophet speaks not here of open murders; for it is 
not credible that the priests had proceeded into so great a 
licentiousness, that Gilead had become a slaughter-house. But the 
Prophets, we know, are thus wont to speak, whenever they upbraid men 
with being sanguinary and cruel; they compare them to robbers, and 
that justly. Hence he says, "The faction of the priests kill men in 
the way", as if they were robbers conspiring together. And then he 
shows that the priests were so void of every thing like the fear of 
God, that they perpetrated every kind of cruelty as if they were 
wholly given to robberies. This is the meaning. 
    The word "shechmah" is no doubt taken by the Prophet for 
"consent." What is meant by "shechem" is properly the "shoulder;" 
but it is metaphorically changed into the sense which I have 
mentioned; as it is in the third chapter of Zephaniah, 'They shall 
serve the Lord "shechem echad", with one shoulder;' that is, "with 
one consent." So also in this place, the priests conspire together 
"shechmah" ,with consent." For they who think that the name of a 
place is intended are much mistaken. 
    Now in the last clause of the verse it is made evident why the 
Prophet had said that the priests were like robbers, 'because,' he 
says, 'they do the thought,' or 'wickedness.' The verb to "zamam" 
signifies "to think," as it has been already said: hence "zimah" is 
"thought" in general; but is often taken by the Hebrews in a bad 
sense, for a "bad design," or "wicked trick:" They do then their 
conceived wickedness. We hence learn that they were not open 
robbers, and publicly infamous in the sight of men, but that they 
were robbers before God, because the city was full of wicked 
devices, which were there concocted; and since they executed their 
schemes, it is justly said of them by the Prophet, that they 
imitated the licentiousness of robbers. Let us now go on - 
Hosea 6:10,11 
I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there [is] the 
whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled. 
Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the 
captivity of my people. 
    Here God declares that he is the fit judge to take cognizance 
of the vices of Israel; and this he does, that he might cut off the 
handle of vain excuses, which hypocrites often adduce when they are 
reproved. Who indeed can at this day persuade the Papists that all 
their worship is a filthy abomination, a mere profanation? We see 
how furiously they rise up as soon as any one by a whisper dares to 
touch their superstitions. Whence this? Because they wish their own 
will to stand for reason. Why? Good intention, they say, is the 
judge; as if this good intention were, forsooth, the queen, who 
ought to rule in heaven and earth, and God were now excluded from 
all his rights. This fury and this madness, even at this day, 
possess the Papists; and no wonder, for Satan dementates men, when 
he leads them to corrupt and degenerated forms of worship, and all 
hypocrites have been thus inebriated from the beginning. This then 
is the reason why the Prophet now says in the person of God, "I have 
seen", or do see, "infamy in the kingdom of Israel". God does here 
by one word lay prostrate whatever men may set up for themselves, 
and shows that there remains no more defense for what he declares he 
does not approve, however much men may value and applaud it. "What! 
you think this to be my worship; and in your imagination, this is 
most holy religion, this is the way of salvation, this is 
extraordinary sanctity; but I on the contrary declare, that it is 
profanation, that it is turpitude, that it is infamy. Go now," he 
says, "pass elsewhere your fopperies, with me they are of no value." 
    We now understand the meaning of the Prophet, when he says, "In 
the house of Israel have I seen infamy": and by the house of Israel 
the Prophet means the whole kingdom of the ten tribes. How so? 
"Because there is the fornication of Ephraim"; that is, there 
idolatry reigns, which Jeroboam introduced, and which the other 
kings of Israel followed. 
    Thus we see that the Prophet spared neither the king, nor his 
counselors, nor the princes of the kingdom; and he did not spare 
before the priests. And this magnanimity becomes all God's servants, 
so that they cast down every height that rises up against the word 
of the Lord; as it was said to Ezekiel, 'Chide mountains and reprove 
hills,' (Ezek. 6: 2; 36: 1.) An example of this the Prophet sets 
before us, when he compares priests to robbers, and then compares 
royal temples to a brothel. Jeroboam had built a temple in which he 
thought that God would be in the best manner worshipped; but this, 
says the Prophet, is a brothel, this is filthy fornication. 
    Then he adds, "Judah also has set a plantation for thee". That 
I may finish the chapter, I will briefly notice this verse. 
Interpreters render it thus, "Also Judah, thou hast set for thyself 
an harvest:" but the verb, as it is evident, is in the third person; 
it cannot then be rendered otherwise than, 'Also Judah has set.' 
They who render it in the second person, "Thou hast set for thyself 
an harvest," elicit this sense, "Thou also Judah, whom I have chosen 
for myself, hast set for thyself an harvest, that is, thou hast 
prepared a miserable harvest for thyself; for thou sowest 
ungodliness, whose fruit thou shalt hereafter gather:" but this is 
strained. Now since the word "katsir" signifies in Hebrew not only 
"harvest," but also "a plant," it may properly be so taken in this 
place, "Also Judah, while I was returning the captivity of my 
people, did set for himself a plant"; that is, he propagated his own 
impieties. God indeed addresses here the Israelites, and complains 
of Judah; for the Jews, we know, were retained by the Lord, when the 
ten tribes separated. This defection of the ten tribes did not cause 
religion to fail wholly among the whole people. There remained the 
pure worship of God, at least as to the outward form, at Jerusalem. 
The Lord then complains not here of Judah without a cause. He had 
said before, 'Judah shall be saved by his God;' but now he says, 
'Judah also has set for himself a plant;' that is, "superstitions 
have been long and widely enough springing up among all Israel, they 
have spread through all the corners of the land: and now Judah 
also," he says, "is planting his own shoots, for he draws the 
Israelites to himself;" there is therefore a new propagation, and 
this is done, "While I am returning the captivity of my people"; 
that is, "while I am seeking to restore the scattering of my 
    In a word, God shows here that there was no part any longer 
whole. When one undertakes the cure of a diseased body, and when he 
sees at least some parts whole, he has some hope of applying a 
remedy; but when not even a finger remains sound, what can the 
physician do? So also the Lord says in this place, "There was at 
least some hope of Judah, for some form of my worship remained 
there, and the purer teaching of the law continued; out now Judah 
propagates superstitions for Israel; observing that the whole land 
of Israel is full of superstitions, he takes from thence shoots and 
slips, and corrupts the remaining portion of the land, which has 
hitherto remained sacred to me." We now perceive, as I think, the 
genuine meaning of the Prophet. 
Grant, Almighty God, that as we are prone to every kind of 
wickedness, and are so easily led away to imitate it, when there is 
any excuse for going astray and any opportunity is offered, - O 
grant, that being strengthened by the help of thy Spirit, we may 
continue in purity of faith, and that what we have learnt concerning 
thee, that thou art a Spirit, may so profit us, that we may worship 
thee in spirit and with a sincere heart, and never turn aside after 
the corruptions of the world, nor think that we can deceive thee; 
but may we so devote our souls and bodies to thee, that our life may 
in every part of it testify, that we are a pure and holy sacrifice 
to thee in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. 

Calvin on Hosea
(continued in part 18...)

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