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faith. He framed his reply to them in terms which might seem to amount to a refusal of the petition which before he had only seemed not to regard: He said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."- Oh miserable woman! offspring of an accursed race! cease thy unavailing prayers; he hath pronounced thy sentence! Betake thee to thy home, sad outcast from thy Maker's love! Impatience of thy absence but aggravates thy child's distraction: Nor long shall her debilitated frame support the tormentor's cruelty Give her while she lives the consolation of a parent's tenderness; it shall somewhat cheer the melancholy of the intervals of her phrensy; it is the only

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service thou canst render her. For thyself, alas! no consolation remains but in the indulgence of despair. The Redeemer is not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and to that house, ill-fated Canaanite! thou wast born and thou hast lived a stranger!

The faith of the Syrophoenician idolatress gave way to no such suggestions of despair.

It required indeed the sagacity of a lively faith to discern that an absolute refusal of her prayer was not contained in our Lord's discouraging declaration. In that godly sagacity she was not deficient. "He is not sent!" Is he then a servant, sent upon an errand, with precise instructions for the execution of his business, which he is not at liberty to exceed? No: He comes with the full powers of a son. Wise no

doubt and just as the decree that salvation shall be of the Jews, blessing shall take its family of Abraham,

that the general beginning in the that the law shall

go forth of Zion, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem: Be it, that by disclosing the great scheme of mercy to the chosen people, he fulfils the whole of his engagement; yet though he is sent to none but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, no restriction is laid upon him not to receive his sheep of any other fold, if any such resort to him. What though it be my misfortune to have been born an alien from the chosen stock? what though I have no claim under any covenant or any promise? - I will hope against hope; I will cast me on his

free uncovenanted mercy; I will trust to the fervour of my own prayers to obtain what seems to be denied to the intercession of his followers.

Supported by this confidence, she followed our Lord into the house where he took up his abode: There she fell prostrate at his feet, crying-" Lord help me!" O faithful daughter of an unbelieving race! great is the example which the afflicted have in thee, of an unshaken confidence in that mercy which ordereth all things for the good of them that fear God! Thy prayer is heard; help shall be given thee: But thy faith must yet endure a farther trial. By his answer to the disciples, our Lord seemed studious only to disown any obligation that the nature of his undertaking might be supposed to lay upon him to attend to any but the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Stifling the emotions of his pity, and dissembling his merciful intentions, he answers the wretched suppliant at his feet as if he were upon principle disinclined to grant her request, lest a miracle wrought in her favour should be inconsistent with the dis

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tinction due to the chosen family. "It is not meet," he said, " to take the children's bread and cast it to dogs." Children's bread; and cast to dogs! Terrible distinction! the Israelites children, the Gentiles dogs! The words perhaps, in the sense which they bore in the mind of the speaker, were rather descriptive of the different situation of the Jews and the Gentiles at that time with respect to the degree of religious knowledge they had for many ages severally enjoyed, than of the different rank they held in God's favour. It is certain that God hath made of one blood all nations of men; and his tender mercy is over all his works. The benefit of the whole world was ultimately intended in the selection of the Jewish people. At the time of the call of Abraham, the degeneracy of mankind was come to that degree that the true religion could nowhere be preserved otherwise than by miracle. Miracle, perpetual miracle, was not the proper expedient for its general preservation; because it must strike the human mind with too much force to be consistent with the freedom of a moral agent. A single family

therefore was selected, in which the truth might be preserved in a way that generally was ineligible. By this contrivance, an ineligible way was taken of doing a necessary thing (a thing necessary in the schemes of mercy); but it was used, as wisdom required it should be used, in the least possible extent. The family which for the general good was chosen to be the immediate object of this miraculous discipline enjoyed no small privilege: They enjoyed the advantages of the light of revelation; while among the Gentiles, the light of nature itself, in what regards morals and religion, bright as it may shine in the writings of their philosophers, was to the general mass of mankind almost extinguished. It was for this advantage which the one enjoyed, and the others were allowed to want that they might feel at length the dismal consequences of their defection from the worship of their Maker, that they are called collectively the Jews" children," and the Gentiles" dogs." The Jew, indeed, who duly improved under the light which he enjoyed, and (not relying on his descent from Abraham, or

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