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issues of life, and from thence the sources of sin and death! (Prov. iv. 23.) All the secret motions and sentiments of them are open to the Divine examination and inspection. There then may we begin our cares, to purify ourselves from all filthiness both of the flesh and spirit, as ever we would perfect holiness in the fear of God. (2 Cor. vii. 1.) ·

We see, what secret abominations our Lord has here discovered and marked out. It is a matter of much lamentation, that our corrupted nature abounds with such poisonous productions: let us earnestly pray, that they may be rooted out by Divine grace, lest we ourselves be rooted out of God's vineyard, as at once incumbering and deforming it!

May the blessed Spirit of God create in us a clean heart, and implant in our souls a temper opposite to all these enormities! May candour and purity, integrity and tenderness, piety and generosity, humility and wisdom, prevail in our hearts and shine in our conduct! And, in a word, whatsoever things are true and honest, just and pure, lovely and of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, let us think on these things, and practise them! (Phil. iv. 8.)

Let those, who are employed to guide others, be especially solicitous to know and pursue the right way themselves; lest, instead of saving themselves, and those that hear them, they both of them at last perish together. We are in danger of it, if, like these Pharisees, we inculcate on our hearers a zeal for the circumstantials and appendages of religion, while its essentials are neglected; and perhaps some of the greatest enormities of the mind are consecrated under an honourable name, and profanely listed under the banner of the God of holiness and love.


MATTHEW xv. 21-28. MARK VII. 24-30.

THEN Jesus arose and went thence, and departed into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into a house, and would have no man know it; but he could not be hid. For behold, a certain woman of Canaan, (the woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation;) whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came out of the same coasts, and fell at his feet, 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. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away, for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But Jesus answered and said unto her, Let the children first be filled; for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, truth, Lord, yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs which fall from their master's table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: for this saying be it unto thee even as thou wilt: Go thy way, the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

If there be any thing in the whole history of our Lord, which might have a tendency to discourage and terrify the humble penitent, it would surely be his treatment of this poor Canaanitish woman, when she made so humble and so affectionate an application to him; first keeping silence; then intimating in words a coldness, not to say an aversion; and at last representing her but as a dog in comparison of the Jews. Surely such an answer had almost broken her heart, had it not been secretly supported by his grace, while his conduct seemed so unkind. Happy are they that, like her (who, though a Gentile, did in this instance approve herself a true daughter of Abraham,) can against hope believe in hope! (Rom. iv. 18.) Happy they, who can thus extract arguments even from discouragement! They will finally conquer and triumph, as this pious woman did; and the honours of their faith will be commemorated even by Christ himself, who soon indulges the overflowing tenderness of his heart in the applause he bestows upon her, and the ample grant he makes her of all she asked in its utmost extent.


MATT. XV. 29-39. MARK VII. 31-37. VIII. 1-10. AND Jesus again departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, came nigh unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue: And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; and were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

And he went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet, and he healed them; insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see and they glorified the God of Israel.

In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat; and I will not send them away fasting to their own houses, lest they faint in the way: for divers of them came from far. And his disciples answered, and say unto him, From whence should we have so much bread here in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? And

Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them: And they did all eat, and were filled; and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.—And he sent away the multitude. And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the coasts of Magdala and Dalmanutha.

The story of the deaf man, whose ears were opened and his tongue loosed, is one additional instance, among many more, of Christ's humility, as well as of his power. He retired from the admiring multitude; he used means when he could easily have wrought without them; he solemnly addressed his heavenly Father, virtually acknowledging, while he looked up to heaven, that, as man, he derived his miraculous power from above; and he was so far superior to the sentiments of vanity, that he commanded men to conceal the most glorious and benevolent actions. May all his followers, and especially his ministers, learn of him who was thus meek and lowly! (Matt. xi. 29,) neither acting as in their own strength, when they attempt a spiritual cure; nor proclaiming their own praises, when they have effected it. Then will they likewise do all things well; and there will be that beauty in the manner, which no wise man would entirely neglect, even in those actions, which are in themselves most excellent and great.

With what a circle is our blessed Lord surrounded! Let us pause a little, and endeavour to paint him to our imagination on this mountain, where the astonished multitudes so justly extolled all these mingled wonders of power and of grace. Let us reflect on the dumb speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, the deaf hearing, and the blind seeing, that with them we may glorify the God of Israel.

But who can describe the sentiments of these happy creatures, who, without any dangerous or painful operation, found themselves, in a moment, restored beyond all the efforts of nature, and beyond all the prospects of hope! With what pleasure did the ear, which had just been opened,



away. On the contrary, may we rather collect an argument from their ingratitude and folly, more strenuously and more affectionately to adhere to him; indeed to whom should we go, but to him? He has the words of eternal life. From him therefore, in all lowly subjection of soul, may we learn those lessons on which our everlasting happiness depends!

May we never, like Judas, conceal a treacherous and disaffected heart, under the specious appearance of piety and goodness! This would be only imposing on ourselves; for his penetrating eye can never be deceived. May we approve the integrity of our souls in his sight, and repose an unlimited confidence in him, as one whom we believe and know to be a Divine Saviour, Christ the Son of the living God!

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