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man, having a desire to have more, is not thankful for what he hath ; if you come to borrow money of him, says he, I have need to borrow of you, I am a very beggar, I have nothing. His eye is so much upon what he would have, he forgets what he hath. So many times it falls out spiritually; let your eye therefore be as well upon what you have, as upon what you want.
Be sure of this, that you maintain the sense of your own unworthiness. No man more thankful than David, no man more sensible of his unworthiness than David; continually thankful, continually sensible of his unworthiness. There is a twofold unworthiness : creature unworthiness and sinful unworthiness. Accordingly a twofold sense of unworthiness; one that arises from the apprehension of creature unworthiness, of emptiness of that is in us as creatures; and another that arises from sense of guilt of sin. See them both in the viiith Psalm. The psalmist there praises the Lord: verse 1, “O Lord our God, how excellent is thy name in all the earth. When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visitest him?" He praises the Lord. This thankfulness was raised from the sense of unworthiness, it was creature unworthiness : “ Lord, what is man? O Lord our God, how excellent is thy name in all the earth. Lord, what is man?" Look into the cxvith Psalm, and there ye find the psalmist praising God upon the sense of unworthiness too: “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” And at the 12th verse,
" What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me?” Here is his thankfulness. It was raised upon sense of unworthiness. But what unworthiness? Sinful unworthiness : verse 11," I said in my haste, All men are liars : what shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me?” He was sensible of his own unworthiness, and it was a sinful unworthiness : “ I said in my haste, All men are liars :" yet God is gracious to me: “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits?” So now it will be with you. If ye can but keep the sense of your own unworthiness, you will say, I was a wretched and a great sinner, and though I have but little in the world, yet any thing is too much for one that was such a great sinner as I was; you will be thankful for every thing, in every thing thankful; maintain but this.
Beloved, ye see how in all these troubles of these times God hath given us our lives for a prey. As the Lord said concerning Job: “ Only spare his life," chap. ii. 6; so hath the Lord said concerning us, Spare their lives. God did not deal so by our Saviour Christ. When our Saviour Christ came into the world, he met with hard dealing from wicked men, and his life went for it. He did not say, “ Only spare his life;" his life went for it. You have more, in this respect, than our dear Saviour had; you have your lives given you for a prey in these evil times, our Saviour had not. Shall we not, then, be thankful in every thing ? having more than our Saviour had in this respect, shall we not be thankful for any thing; for any thing that God gives us shall we not now be thankful? How many are there that walk directly contrary unto this truth that I have spread before you: in every thing thankful: and they in nothing thankful, in nothing contented: husband godly, children hopeful, estate comfortable, and yet never contented; servants cannot please, children cannot please, friends cannot please; never contented. Oh, is this a duty, to be in every thing thankful; how do they lie in a sin, and the breach of this commandment, that are in nothing contented, never pleased. Beloved, I do not now come to call for contentment and patience and quietness under affliction, but for thankfulness; and not for thankfulness only, when all goes well with you, but for thankfulness in every thing. Oh, therefore, let us return unto our own souls, consider how it bath been with us. If there be ever a discontented man or woman, read this sermon, consider this scripture. The Lord says, “ Be in every thing thankful;" and thou hast been in nothing thankful, in nothing contented in thy condition. Oh, how will you answer it at the great day? Let me leave this exhortation with you, in your bosoms; the Lord knows into what condition we may come, whether into affliction, or persecution, or desertion, or of temptation; remember here lies your duty before you, lay it up in your hearts : “ It is the will of God, even our Father, that we should be thankful to him in every thing;” not in some things, not when things go well only, when we have victory; but in all things thankful; “ In every thing give thanks unto God; for this is the will of God our Father concerning you."
THE WOMAN OF CANAAN.
A SERMON, PREACHED AT Christ's Church, OCTOBER 26, 1647.
“ 21. Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
22. 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.
23. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away, for she crieth after us.
24. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
25. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to dogs,
27. And she said, Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs whii h fall from their master's table.
28. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
Ye have in this story a great storehouse of heavenly comfort and instruction. I shall labour, briefly, to open it at this time unto ye.
The words tell us of a great miracle wrought by our Saviour Christ : casting out the devil in one that was possessed. Concerning which cure two things are considerable: where this cure was wrought; and by what means it was wrought. Wrought in the coasts of Tyre and Sidon; and by means of a woman's faith, for our Saviour said, “ O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thuu wilt. And her daughter was made whole.” The greatness of this woman's faith is set out by three great temptations that she did meet withal
when she came and besought our Saviour for the cure of her child.
First, “ He answered her not a word;" but was silent to all her misery and prayer.
This was a great temptation, a
Secondly, He was not only silent, but when the disciples spake for her, he seems to give her a flat denial : “ I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” And this was a further and greater temptation.
Thirdly, When yet she pressed in upon him, he seems to give her the repulse, and to call her dog : “ It is not meet to take the children's bread and to cast it to dogs.” Here was a great temptation indeed. But her faith wrought through all these temptations. And because, as ye shall see and hear in the opening of the words, that there is none of all these temptations but one time or other may befal the best of God's children, it will be good for us to observe how this woman's faith wrought through every temptation, that we may do the like in our temptations.
But before we come unto that. The Holy Ghost here would have us take notice, first, from whence Christ came, and upon what occasion. Secondly, Whither he came, and how he was received.
First of all, it is said here, “ Then Jesus went thence:” he went from the Jews. He had been, as ye read in the former part of the chapter, disputing with them against their traditions: “ Ye have made the commandments of God void through your traditions,” verse 6. Whereupon they were much offended, verse 12. Our Saviour now then goes from
em; they were offended, and rejected his words, and he goes from them. These were the Jews that dwelt at Jerusalem, not the meanest neither, the scribes and pharisees, the learned men of that time, and those that were most in account for holiness. See what entertainment the gospel finds in Christ's own time among the learned and those that were accounted the most holy: scribes, learned men, and the pharisees, the most precise and strict men of those times, and yet here the gospel is rejected by them. Christ goes away, Christ goes from thence upon
this account. None more rigorous opposers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, than learned men, and such as go for holy and pre
cise men, being wedded to their own inventions: so were these here. Know ye, therefore, men wedded to their own inventions, though never so learned, or never so strict in their lives; little hope that the gospel or the Lord Christ, should find entertainment among them. Be not offended though this fall out.
Jesus went from thence : but whither went he? The text says, “ He departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.” How so? Our Lord and Saviour Christ, commanded his disciples, that they should not go into the way of the gentiles ; but says he, “ Go and preach to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but go not into the way of the gentiles,” Matt. x. 5,6. Will Christ forbid his disciples and apostles to go into the way of the gentiles, and will he himself go into the way of the gentiles, go into Tyre and Sidon, how can this be? Some answer it thus: That the law-giver was not bound unto the law that he made himself. Others answer it thus : That our Lord and Saviour did not go unto Tyre and Sidon for to preach, but he went thither to be hid. And in Mark vii., where ye have the same story, “ From thence he arose and went to Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it.” In this respect now, he did not forbid his disciples to go into the way of the gentiles.
But the answer is clear, both in Matthew xv., and that same of Mark, “ He departed evs tapęgn unto the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.” And in Mark vii. 34., " He arose and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon.” He went unto some place of Judea; he did not go into the way of the gentiles, but he went unto some town and place in Judea, which was upon the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
And here now he being, a woman comes unto him, who is described at verse 22., from her country; and from the action which she did. “ Behold a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him saying,” &c.
A woman, a woman of Canaan, and “ behold a woman of Canaan.” As if that the Holy Ghost would have us take special notice of it, “ Behold, a woman of Canaan came unto him." The Canaanites were of all others the most wicked : the Jews were for to cast them out of their nation, and not to converse with them : in the Jews' account they were dogs. And therefore our Saviour says afterward, “ It is not lawful