Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

things, without any distrust, to thy good provi. dence, and not doubting but that out of this mixed scene thou wilt in the end bring forth good; and that it shall surely be well with the righteous, and those that seek to do thy will.

Finally, heavenly Father! enable us to bear about us such a constant lively sense of thy presence with us, and readiness to bestow all needful assistance on us, as may give us the victory over all the dangers of this our probationary state, and carry us forward in the knowledge and practice of every thing holy, virtuous, and good ; that we may look forwards with joy to that future state thy goodness hath reserved for thy faithful servants; where, freed from the danger of ever more sinning and offending thee, we shall go on increasing in virtue and thy favour for ever, according to thy gracious promises to us by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through whom, &C.

March, 1778.

SERMON

[ocr errors]

SERMON VII.

MATTHEW Xv. 28.

And Jesus said unto ber; O woman, great is

tby faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And ber daughter was made whole from that

very hour.

To understand the grounds of that singular high commendation which is bestowed upon this

person, it will be necessary to review the little history to which it relates, which is thus introduced by our evangelist: (v. 21.)“ Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.” St. Mark intimates that he retired into these parts for a few days to enjoy a little quiet, and probably to avoid the resentments of the Pharisees, his enemies, whom he had lately offended by his free speaking and rebukes.

Tyre and Sidon were two ancient cities of the tribe of Asher, in the northern part of

Canaan,

Canaan, otherwise called Syrophenicia, bordering on the Mediterranean sea. Being strong naval powers, they had remained unsubdued by the Israelites. And the Canaanites, the ancient heathen inhabitants, who were driven out in the days of Joshua, had never been entirely expelled ; (Judges i. 31, 32.) but some of their descendants remained to our Saviour's time. And one of these, having heard of his arrival in their country, now applies to him. (v.22.) “And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying; Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David: my daughter is grievously vexed with a demon.” And it would seem, that he that was so benevolent and good to all, would not withhold his kindness from so wretched an object. (v. 24.) “ But (strange!) he answered her not a word."

The woman's misery seemed so great, and their divine Master's reserve and behaviour to her so unusual, that his disciples could not help interceding for her.

“ And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us."

But here, instead of keeping silence as before to the woman herself, and leaving it in

some

[ocr errors]

some doubt whether he might not relieve her, his reply to his disciples would appear to exclude her from all hope from him. (v. 24.) “ But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Notwithstanding this harsh answer, and his unkind silence before, yet such is her distress for her child, that she will not give up her suit, but still persuades herself that he that had such power from God, and did so much good with it, would find some way or other to give her assistance. (v. 25.) “ Then came she, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

“ Here it has been supposed,” says the late excellent Dr. Jortin on this text, “ that she worshipped him as a divine

person: but this," as he goes on to say,

“ is not to be collected from the term worship, which so often means civil and not religious worship, that sort of reverence which was given to princes and prophets.

Bowing down to him, she accosted hira also, as title of honour, of David," which showed that she did not

him as any thing more than a human being. Therefore, as a man highly fayoured of God, she entreats him to have pity

a

“ Thou son

look upon

on

« PoprzedniaDalej »