Go, perish! ungrateful apostate!

(John MacDuff, "The Faithful Promiser")

"I will heal your backslidings." Hosea 14:4

Wandering again?

And has He not left me to perish?

Stumbling and straying on the dark mountains,
away from the Shepherd's eye and the Shepherd's
fold, shall He not leave the erring wanderer to
the fruit of his own ways and his truant heart,
to go hopelessly onward in its career of guilty

Man would say, "Go, perish! ungrateful apostate!"

God says, "Return, O backsliding children!"

The Shepherd will not, cannot allow those sheep to
perish, which He has purchased with His own blood!

How wondrous His forbearance towards it! Tracking
its guilty steps, and ceasing not the pursuit until
He lays the wanderer on His shoulders, and returns
with it to His fold, rejoicing!

My soul! Why increase your distance from the
fold by farther departures? Why lengthen the
dreary road your gracious Shepherd has to
traverse in bringing you back?

Do not delay your return!

Do not provoke His patience any longer!

Do not venture farther on forbidden ground!

He waits with outstretched arms to welcome
you once more to His bosom. Be humble for
the past; think of your former backslidings,
and tremble. Think of His patience, and be
filled with holy gratitude; and take courage.

"I will heal your backslidings." Hosea 14:4