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of atonement demanded, and studious to prevent every obstacle that might be thrown in the way of the event, either by the zeal of his friends or the malice of his enemies. He works a miracle, at one time, to avoid being made a king, - at another, to secure himself from the fury of a rabble. The acceptance of an earthly kingdom had been inconsistent with the establishment of his everlasting monarchy; and he declined the danger of popular tumult and private assassination, that he might die in the character of a criminal by a judiciary process and a public execution. When by this management things were brought to the intended crisis, and his imagination shrunk from the near prospect of ignominy and pain, the wish that he might be saved from the approaching hour was overpowered by the reflection that "for this hour he came into the world." Before the Jewish Sanhedrim and the Roman governor he maintained a conduct which seemed to invite his doom: Before the Sanhedrim, he employed a language by which he knew he should incur the charge of blasphemy; and at Pilate's
tribunal he refused to plead "not guilty" to the false accusation of treason.
As the more deliberate actions of our Saviour's life were thus uniformly directed to the accomplishment of man's redemption, at the time and in the manner which the prophets had foretold, so, in what may be called the ordinary occurrences of life, we find his whole conduct shaped and determined by a constant attention to the second branch of the great business upon which he came, the reformation of mankind. In every incidental situation, something peculiarly characteristic is discernible in his actions, by which they were marked as it were for his own, and distinguished from the actions of ordinary men in similar circumstances; and all these characteristic peculiarities of his conduct will be found, if I mistake not, when narrowly examined, to convey some important lesson in morals or religion, first to his immediate followers, and ultimately to all mankind. Hence it is, that his actions, upon every occasion, as they are recorded by his evangelists, are no less instructive than his solemn discourses.
I speak not now of the instruction conveyed, by the general good example of his holy life, or in particular actions done upon certain occasions for the express purpose of enforcing particular precepts by the authority of his example; but of particular lessons to be drawn from the peculiar manner of his conduct, upon those common occasions of action which occur in every man's daily life, when the manner of the thing done or spoken seems less to proceed from a deliberate purpose of the will than from the habitual predominance of the ruling principle. It is true, in our Saviour's life nothing was common; his actions, at least, were in some measure always extraordinary: But yet his extraordinary life was so far analogous to the common life of men, that he had frequent occasions of action arising from the incidents of life and from external circumstances. The study of his conduct upon these occasions is the most useful speculation, for practical improvement, in which a Christian can engage.
The words of my text stand in the beginning of the narrative of a very extraordinary
transaction; which, for the useful lessons it contains, is related in detail by two of the evangelists. It is my intention to review the particulars of the story; and point out to you, as I proceed, the instruction which the mention of each circumstance seems intended to convey.
It was in the commencement, as I think, of the last year of his ministry, that our Lord, either for security from the malice of his enemies the Pharisees, (whose resentment he had excited by a recent provocation a discovery to the people of the disguised avarice of the sect, and a public assertion of the insignificance of their religious forms,) or perhaps that he found his popularity in Galilee rising to a height inconsistent with his own views and with the public tranquillity, thought proper to retire for a season to a country where his person was little known, although his fame, as appears by the event, had reached it-the border of the Sidonian territory. The inhabitants of this region were a mixed people, partly Jews, partly the progeny of those Canaanites who were suffered
to remain în these extreme parts when the children of Israel took possssion of the promised land. On his journey to the destined place of his retirement, he was met by a woman, who with loud cries and earnest entreaties implored his aid in behalf of her young daughter, possessed by an evil spirit.
The first circumstance in this story which engages our attention, is the description of the woman which is given in my text. This requires a particular explication, because it is the key to much of the mystery of our Lord's conduct upon the occasion. "The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by nation:" She was by nation therefore not a Jewess; she was not of the family of the Israelites, and had no claim to the privileges of the chosen people. But that is not all; she was by nation" a Syrophoenician." The Phoenicians were a race scattered over the whole world in numerous colonies. The different settlements were distinguished by names taken from the countries upon which they bordered. The Canaanites were one of these