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Great Faith

Great Faith

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Published by glennpease
BY THE REV. E. THOMAS, NEWPORT.

'' Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy
faith : be it nnto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made
whole from that very hour." — ^Matt. xv. 28.
BY THE REV. E. THOMAS, NEWPORT.

'' Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy
faith : be it nnto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made
whole from that very hour." — ^Matt. xv. 28.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 28, 2013
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GREAT FAITHBY THE REV. E. THOMAS, EWPORT.'' Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thyfaith : be it nnto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was madewhole from that very hour." — ^Matt. xv. 28.Theke were among the numerous iollowers of the LordJesus many that were incapable of sympathising withHim, and of comprehending the nature, bearing, andrange of His teaching, as well as the great object of Hiswork and life. They witnessed His miracles, listened toHis utterances, and shared the gracious blessings whiohHe so richly bestowed, and which so signally markedall the steps of His public ministry ; but after all, " theyhad not His Spirit, and were none of His." Being Hisenemies at heart, they advanced against Him frommisunderstanding to misrepresentation, from displeasureand disappointment to hatred and persecution, and thatnotwithstanding the unparalleled goodness He showedthem and the world, in word and deed, as " full of graceand truth."But He was opposed and persecuted not only not-withstanding His goodness, but also on account andbecause of that goodness, as His enemies often by mis-representation endeavoured to turn His good works intoevil deeds. It was for His good works He was stonedDigitized by VjOOQIC140 '' GREAT FAITH,''more than once, and it was in consequence of some wordsof wisdom and truth which He had spoken, or some
 
merciful deed which He had performed. He found itnecessary to " hide Himself " in order to " escape out of their hand." It was " by the Spirit of God " He castout devils; but He was accused of doing so "byBeelzubub, the prince of the devils." Had He not castout devils at all, this charge would never have beenbrought against Him; and so this "contradiction of sinners against Himself " He had to endure because " Hewent about doing good."Many instances of this are recorded by the Evangelists,and we find one of them in the context. " Then cameHis disciples, and said unto Him, Knowest thou that thePharisees were ofifended after they heard this saying ? "The saying in question which gave ofifence was thesignificant and important statement that it is whatcometh out of a man's mouth, and not that which goethinto it, that defileth him. This statement involved atruth of such importance to all, that the men who heardHim utter it might be expected warmly to thank Himfor revealing it to them. But more fully explained bywhat He added, it condemned the Pharisees who hadattempted to condemn the disciples. The latter, by notwashing their hands before eating bread, "transgressedthe tradition of the elders : " this was true, plain to all, andeasily proved. But it was equally true and evident thatthe accusers, by teaching children by false pretences,hypocritical excuses, and pious fraud, to evade the claimof their parents upon their sympathy and practical helpin the feebleness of their old age, " transgressed the corn-Digitized by VjOOQIC''GREAT FAITH J' 141mandments of God." Thus the self-constituted judges
 
and censurers of others are themselves condemned as thegreater transgressors, by words which tried their prin-ciples and weighed their actions. The truth which Christmade prominent, that men should always and aboveall things obey God, was of inestimable value to men of ail nations and ages, but the teaching of it endangeredHis life where He was at the time. He must thereforeseek shelter and safety elsewhere. The " coasts of Tyreand Sidon " would be as likely as any place to aflford asafe retreat, where the party, all-powerful on the spotwhere the offence was given, would not be likely to giveHim further trouble. To these coasts therefore Jesuswent ; but prudence dictated that His withdrawal shouldbe kept as profound a secret as possible. His going tothe spot must be kept as unknown as the spot itself issecluded. There would be no safety for Him if thepublic knew where He was sheltering, nor would He besafer there from the revengeful wrath of the Phariseesthan where He was before; and for this reason He" would have no man know it." Possibly no man inthe place He left did know it ; but though safe in Hisselected retreat from enemies, He could not be entirelyconcealed ; " for a certain woman," who needed His help,made known to others what she had discovered herself,that He had visited their locality. On her applicationto Him for relief, and the result, we shall now proceedto make the following remarks : — I. In the first place we notice her earnest prayer forthe blessing she sought.Digitized by VjOOQIC142 ''GREAT FAITHSor was it marked by earnestness only, but also and

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