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means of happiness fitly proportioned to his capacities of enjoyment.

We have yet another circumstance to remark in our Syrophoenician's faith; which is less indeed a part of its merit than of the blessing which attended it; but it is extraordinary, and deserves notice. I speak of the quick discernment and penetration which she discovers in religious subjects, and that too upon certain points upon which even now, in the full sunshine of the gospel, it is easy for the unwary to go wrong, and at that time it was hardly to be expected that the wisest should form a right judgment. Surely with truth the prophet said, "The secret of the Lord is among them that fear him," Whence, but from that secret illumination which is the blessing of the pure in heart in every clime and every age, could this daughter of the Canaanites have drawn her information, that among the various benefits which the Redeemer came to bestow upon the children of God's love, the mercy which she solicited was but of a secondary value? She ventures to ask for it as no part of the

children's food, but a portion only of the crumbs which fell from their richly furnished table. We are apt to imagine that the Christians of the first age, among whom our Lord and the apostles lived and worked their miracles, were objects of a partial favour not equally extended to believers in these later ages: And it must be confessed their privilege was great, to receive counsel and instruction from the First Source of life and knowledge, and from the lips of his inspired messengers; but it was a privilege, in the nature of the thing, confined to a certain time, and, like all temporary privileges, conferred on a few for the general good: The clear knowledge of our duty the promise of immortal life to the obedient-the expiation of our sins by a sufficient meritorious sacrifice- the pardon secured to the penitent by that atonement - the assistance promised to the well-disposed-in a word, the full remission of our sins, and the other benefits of our Saviour's life and death, of his doctrine and example, these things are the bread which Christ brought down from heaven for the nourishment of the faithful;-in

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these benefits believers in all ages are equal sharers with the first converts, our Lord's own contemporaries, provided they be equally good Christians. The particular benefits which the first Christians received from the miraculous powers, in the cure of their diseases and the occasional relief of their worldly afflictions, and even in the power of performing those cures and of giving that relief,-these things in themselves, without respect to their use in promoting the salvation of men by the propagation of the gospel, were, as we are taught by our Syrophoenician sister, but the fragments and the refuse of the bridegrom's supper.

We have now traced the motives of our Lord's unusual but merciful austerity in the first reception of his suppliant. What wonder that so bright an example of an active faith was put to a trial which might render it conspicuous? It had been injustice to the merit of the character to suffer it to lie concealed. What wonder, when this faith was tried to the uttermost, that our merciful Lord should condescend


to pronounce its encomium, and crown it with a peculiar blessing?- "O woman! great is thy faith! Be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed." The mercy shown to this deserving woman, by the edification which is conveyed in the manner in which the favour was conferred, was rendered a blessing to the whole church; inasmuch as it was the seal of the merit of the righteousness of faith,—not of "faith separable from good works," consisting in a mere assent to facts; but of that faith which is the root of every good work of that faith which consists in a trust in God, and a reliance on his mercy, founded on a just sense of his perfections. It was a seal of the acceptance of the penitent, and of the efficacy of their prayers; and a seal of this important truth, that the afflictions of the righteous are certain signs of God's favour, the more certain in proportion as they are more severe. Whenever, therefore, the memory of this fact occurs, let let every heart and every tongue join in praise and thanksgiving to the

merciful Lord, for the cure of the young dæmoniac on the Tyrian border; and never be the circumstance forgotten, which gives life and spirit to the great moral of the story, that the mother, whose prayers and faith obtained the blessing," was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by nation."

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