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The Healing of the Heathen Girl.

The Healing of the Heathen Girl.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON

Mark vii. 29.

And now, having studied this example of human faith ac-
cepting and laying hold of salvation, we turn our attention to
the other figure in this touching scene, — the Lord and Giver of
salvation, and look to find in his acts and words a visible and
practical revelation of God in his dealmg with suffering and
ruined men.
BY LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON

Mark vii. 29.

And now, having studied this example of human faith ac-
cepting and laying hold of salvation, we turn our attention to
the other figure in this touching scene, — the Lord and Giver of
salvation, and look to find in his acts and words a visible and
practical revelation of God in his dealmg with suffering and
ruined men.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 12, 2013
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THE HEALIG OF THE HEATHE GIRL.BY LEOARD WOOLSEY BACOMark vii. 29.It is a twofold, rather, I ought to say, a manifold revela-tion, this that comes to us in studying the successive pictures,crowded into the scanty canvas of the four gospels, of JesusClirist the Healer, surrounded with the objects of his compas-sion and power. We fix our attention on the chief and centralfigure, and find the continually changing expression, in theterms of human nature and human language, of the eternaland unchangeable power and love of God. We look aboutupon the multitude of the sick folk, and of those who bringthem, and find not only, in this vast diversity of bodily mala-dies the types of spiritual disease ; but in the various actionsand words with which men come or are brought to the mani-fest and visible Christ, the exemplifications of that faith andprayer with which we may bring our various needs to theFather '* whom not having seen we love."Looking thus steadfastly (in the last Sunday evening's ser-mon) on the face of that sorrowful woman of an alien race, of a foreign home, of a heathen religion, who besought the Son of David so instantly in behalf of her daughter " sore vexed withan evil spirit," we found personal, practical instruction, I ambold to say, for each one of us : 1. In her example of intercessoryprayer, which seems to be represented, as indeed it well may be,as peculiarly acceptable and dear to God forasmuch as it is notthe bringing of our own immediate griefs and troubles andwqjits to ,him, but the bringing of another's griefs and wants,123124 THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS I CHRIST.
 
"wliich we thus make our own. In nothing do we come nearerto the fellowship of Clirist, than when, like him, we thus "takethe iniirmities and bear the sicknesses" of others, rather than ourown. 2. We note the character of her faith in Je|us, not uuni-telligent nor irrational, but founded on some knowledge, howeverit had come to her, of who and what he was ; — an unreservedand entire and exclusive faith ; — therefore a tenacious and per-severing faith which having nowhere else to go will stay besidethe Lord until there comes some sign from him that he har«heard. 3. We are instructed by the manner of her prayer, whichis not only importunate and persevering, but argumentative, asif she would exhibit reasons that should move the mind of theLord, and contest with him the objections to her petition. And,4, Ave find the note of the divine apj)roval placed upon this faithand j)rayer, in the Lord's mighty work of healing, and in thattender word of his, uttered after his long silence and discour-agement of her — that word " O woman, great is thy faith, beit unto thee even as thou wilt ! "And now, having studied this example of human faith ac-cepting and laying hold of salvation, we turn our attention tothe other figure in this touching scene, — the Lord and Giver of salvation, and look to find in his acts and words a visible andpractical revelation of God in his dealmg with suffering andruined men.For we look always to the life and words of Christ for adouble teaching : — first, as the model of perfect human excel-lence ; and then, as the expression of the divine character — touse an apostle's words, as the visible " image of the invisibleGod." (Col. i. 15.) And how in the same person we can hndthis twofold teaching — how we are to distinguish when he is themodel and exemplar of perfect human excellence, and when heis setting forth the attributes of the infinite Father, may some-times be a perplexing question to us ; at least it has often been aperplexity to me, until I came to understand that Jesus Christ isnever more the revelation and manifestation of God, than when
 
THE HEALIXG OF THE HEATHE GIRL. 125he is most the example of perfect and holy manhood, which isthe very image and portraiture of the divine nature in which itis partaker. So that we have not to go through the gospels, assome have been wont to do, sifting, sorting and separating,saying, " Here it is the divine nature that speaks, and thereagain it is the human nature," but shall find, wherever we seethe Lord, and hear him, that we have before us at once theperfect model for our imitation, and the exj^ression of the mindof our heavenly Father, who is also his Father.ow looking thus on Jesus Christ, first, as the niodel of ourduty, and secondly as the expression of the divine nature, wefind, as soon as w^e come to study his part in the story of theSyrophoenician w^oman, things which amaze us, at least, if they do not even painfully trouble and perplex us. And if they are perplexing to us as believers and disciples of his, Ido not know that they are any less perplexing — perhaps theyare even more so — to unbelievers. For on the very lowestview that intelligent unbelief takes, now-a-days, of the char-acter of Jesus, allowing the utmost latitude for supposing faultand inconsistency and failure, instead of being thereby nearerto an explanation of his strange dealing on this occasion, w«should be further away from it than ever.Here is a man of whom the very least that can be said, hisenemies themselves being judges, is that he is pre-eminentlykind, sympathetic and merciful. His ruling trait, as it isexpressed by the author of Ecce Homo (who is as far as needbe from being an implicit and uncritical believer) is an " enthu-siasm of humanity." It is an inadequate characterization,but it is certainly a just one, as far as it goes. He is a lovernot only of mankind, but of men and women and children,each of them, as he meets them individually ; and that is agreater thing than to be a friend of the race. His sympathystops at no boundary line of race or creed or condition. Heis made a martyr to the universal largeness of his humanity.The one tenet which most provokes the spirit of national and

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