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man, but the Spirit of God ;” and “no man can say that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost.” It is by his aid that we must arrive at the

very first principles of the truth. It is by his power that the hopes and the promises of the gospel are impressed upon the heart, and take hold of the affections ; it is the out-pouring of his mighty influence, that can alone render our hearts susceptible of that image of the love of God and of Christ, which holds the highest rank in this sublime union of Christian graces.

Pray, then, that he who can illumine the understanding, would grant you to believe rightly on the Son of God; pray that he who can guide the affections would enable you to fix them in holy hope upon the things of an unchangeable eternity; pray that he, who can alone warm your hearts with that love which is the fulfilling of the law, would grant “ that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fulness of God.” But there is nothing which can more effectually establish these Christian graces, than a frequent and humble attendance on the Lord's table. Where can we find a more abundant supply for our spiritual wants, than in the ordinances which Christ has himself appointed for our comfort and our support ? Faith can there

rest with full confidence on the death of Christ; can contemplate the love of God in the gift of his Son. Hope can cast forward her affections to the future, when she beholds the promise of God confirmed to the faithful, by the solemn renewal of their covenant with the Father of mercy. And Christian love must knit more closely every heart in one bond of unity, when we meet around the table of our common benefactor, as members of one family, and as partakers of one and the same privilege. Come, then, to this sacred ordinance with these views. Come, to strengthen your faith, to animate your hope, to invigorate and expand your charity. Thus shall you, at length, attain, by the blessing of your heavenly Father, and by the satisfaction of his eternal Son, to the perfect happiness of his everlasting kingdom. Thus shall the sacred fruits of the Spirit daily grow within you, till the time shall at last be fulfilled, when you shall be permitted the full exercise of perfect and unfading love, and the full enjoyment of perfect and eternal peace.

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SERMON VIII.

THE WOMAN OF CANAAN.

MATT, Xv. 28.

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt.

The display of the character of Christ in the events and transactions of his ministry upon earth, is such, as to afford us the most abundant encouragement, and the most powerful motives to the acceptance of his salvation. As we find that he was accustomed to draw lessons of divine wisdom from the events passing around him, and that he embraced every opportunity of impressing upon his attendants the truths of everlasting life : so also we may reasonably conjecture that he intended to impart instruction by many of his works; and that his miraculous assistance afforded to the diseases of the body, was calculated to exhibit, in some degree, the extent of his compassion for the soul.

The transaction recorded in the passage, of which the text forms a part, appears aptly to illustrate this remark. Having given great offence to the scribes and Pharisees by his open and severe rebukes, Jesus departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon : 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 devil. But he answered her not a word.” To the request of his disciples, in whom the woman's importunity had awakened an interest, he replied by the discouraging remark, “ I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The petitioner, however, throwing herself at the Saviour's feet, in the humblest posture of reverence, and in the most touching accents of supplication, again asks for assistance,-“ Lord, help me.” The result of this renewed application appears still more unfavourable : “ It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.” It is almost impossible to conceive a more abrupt or decisive refusal. But the humility of this poor woman was equal to the urgency of her demand, and the confidence of her faith : “ Truth, Lord,” she replied : “ yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.” This appeal was rewarded by the gracious answer of the text : “ O woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee

even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

The various points of the instruction to be derived from this portion of Scripture, will appear, as we examine the several circumstances re. corded.

We cannot but be struck most forcibly with the apparent severity and unkindness of our Lord's conduct towards this poor woman. The case was one of peculiar distress. The daughter of the petitioner was afflicted with a most awful disorder, which baffled all human skill, and which, seizing both upon the body and the mind of the sufferer, destroyed the health of the one, and the faculties of the other. The symptoms of demoniacal possession were always of a most terrific and dangerous character. Christ had already exhibited his ability to cure this terrible malady; he had shown his compassion for human suffering, in the exercise of his miraculous power; and now an afflicted mother is a suppliant to him for an afflicted daughter. Surely a mother's tears, and a mother's supplications, cannot be poured out in vain before the compassionate Redeemer. Her country and her religion, indeed, are not calculated to plead in her favour. A Gentile by birth, and an idolatress by profession, she might find a refusal from those self-righteous Jews, who, boasting of their privileges, without making a due use of them, thought

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