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The Prayer of the Heathen Mother.

The Prayer of the Heathen Mother.

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Published by glennpease
BY LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON


— Mark vii. 23. [Cf. Matth. XV. 21-28.]

I TRUST thr.t you understand and approve the reasons which
bring me back, again and again, to the study of one and
another of the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth. I am looking
to find in them, plainly set forth, by word and act, the way
of saU'ation. Nothing less than this, I have before argued
with you, could have been the object of this ministry of
miraculous healing, than to exhibit the Saviour in the act of
saving — to exhibit the lost in the act of being saved ; to illus-
trate God's power and mercy and how he applies it — to illus-
trate man's need and sinfulness, and how man's faith lays,
hold of and receives God's help.
BY LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON


— Mark vii. 23. [Cf. Matth. XV. 21-28.]

I TRUST thr.t you understand and approve the reasons which
bring me back, again and again, to the study of one and
another of the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth. I am looking
to find in them, plainly set forth, by word and act, the way
of saU'ation. Nothing less than this, I have before argued
with you, could have been the object of this ministry of
miraculous healing, than to exhibit the Saviour in the act of
saving — to exhibit the lost in the act of being saved ; to illus-
trate God's power and mercy and how he applies it — to illus-
trate man's need and sinfulness, and how man's faith lays,
hold of and receives God's help.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 12, 2013
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THE PRAYER OF THE HEATHE MOTHER.BY LEOARD WOOLSEY BACO — Mark vii. 23. [Cf. Matth. XV. 21-28.]I TRUST thr.t you understand and approve the reasons whichbring me back, again and again, to the study of one andanother of the miracles of Jesus of azareth. I am lookingto find in them, plainly set forth, by word and act, the wayof saU'ation. othing less than this, I have before arguedwith you, could have been the object of this ministry of miraculous healing, than to exhibit the Saviour in the act of saving — to exhibit the lost in the act of being saved ; to illus-trate God's power and mercy and how he applies it — to illus-trate man's need and sinfulness, and how man's faith lays,hold of and receives God's help. The gospels are so madeas if men, slow of understanding, had said, " If only we couldsee God save a man, if we could see a man coming to. God infaith and receiving salvation from sin, then we should be ableto understand these things better than by many definitionsand explanations ; " and as if God had made reply : " Ye cannot see my face ; no man hath seen God at any time ; Godis a Spirit. But this is my beloved Son, in whom I am wellpleased. In him I am manifest in the flesh. Know him,and you will know the Father also. either can any mansee sin, but only the manifestations and results of sin. For sinis a spiritual malady, whose end is death. But here are thesebodily maladies that are in the Avorld because of sin, andwhich are, in some sense, sin manifest in the flesh. And if 8 113114 THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS I CHRIST.you would know how men with the invisible burden of guilton the conscience, and of indwelling corruption in the soul,may come to the unseen God, and be forgiven and renewed
 
and saved, — look here upon God manifested visibly in theperson of Jesus Christ, and upon these representatives of humanity, with what simplicity they bring their various woesto him, and are made perfectly well." Thus we do see theLord, as it is written, " bearing our sicknesses, and carryingour diseases ; " and with infinite variety of circumstance andcharacter, like the Protean shapes of ugliness which sin as-sumes when it is working death, we see coming up before him,sometimes singly, sometimes in throngs, now with their ownfaith, and again borne or led by the pitiful and believingprayers of friends or parents, the palsies, the blindnesses, theleprosies, the deformities, the lunacies, the sorrows and be-reavements of men. And in each variation of character andact ahd circumstance that is set before us we find some newillustration of God's forgiving love and holiness, and of hu-man ignorance and impotency and need, or human faith andprayer.Let us look at this touching story of the Canaanitishwoman and see whether it has not something to teach us. Itis the simplest of dramas — with only two persons in the scene,and a group of disciples, like a sort of chorus, interposing asingle exclamation that helps bring out the meaning of thestory. But it is very dramatic, and all the more so for beingso obviously and simply true.But to take the full force of the story we must try andbring before our minds the scene in which it is set.Our Lord had just come out from one of those sharp colli-sions with the narrowness, formalism, jealousy and sectarian-ism of the religious people of his time, that were so painful tohim, and so disheartening. I cannot but think that, beingsuch as he was, one such harsh encounter, compelling him tosolemn, stern words of rebuke and denunciation, must haveTHE Pr.AYER OF THE HEATHE MOTHER. 115
 
been more exhausting to him than weeks of healing and teach-ing ; so tliat it seems intelligible enough that when it was overhe should say to his twelve followers, "Come, let us get awayfrom this and rest awhile ; — let us seek out some place wherewe are unknown, and hide ourselves from the scourge of tongues." Whither can they go ? He cannot walk in Judea,for there the Jews are seeking to kill him. If he stays inthese Galilean towns, he is beset by delegations of scribes andPharisees that have come on from Judea on purpose to ensnarehim in his talk, and his Galilean neighbors are ready enoughto take up a reproach against him. He can find no rest inthe wilderness, for they come to him thither from every quarter,so that the desert places become populous with sick and hun-gry crowds that are as sheep without a shepherd. There isone refuge for the wearied-out, exhausted Man of Sorrows.Toward the orth, where the cliffs of Lebanon rise bolder andloftier and crowd closer down upon the sea, is the narrowstrip of sea-coast memorable in history as the earliest home of maritime commerce, and of the splendid wealth that resultedfrom it, as well as of the luxury and corruption, the disastersand overthrows, that followed in their turn — the land of Tyreand Sidon, otherwise called Phcenicia. In those lands of theEast, men speak of centuries as we speak of decades. Fifteenhundred years before Christ, Tyre was a great and famoustown — mentioned in the book of Joshua — and Sidon, a day'swalk to the north of it, was older yet. Six hundred yearsbefore Christ, following hard after the prophecies of Ezekiel tofulfill them, ebuchadnezzar the Great came marching downthe coast with his Chaldeans, and destroyed it after a siege of thirteen years' duration. It would not stay destroyed. Thatlittle rocky island lying off the cliffs of the inhospitable coasthas been one of the points of earth predestinated for the abodeof man. Three hundred years before Christ, Alexander theGreat, marching his Macedonian phalanxes down this narrowcoast line, found Tyre lying across his path to India. On its116 THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS I CHRIST.

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