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And we acknowledge it as our great privilege from thee, that thou, the most high and holy God, allowest us to speak unto thee ; for that none can come into thy sacred presence as he ought, but must become better by it.

Suffer us not, therefore, we pray thee, vainly to imagine that we can recommend ourselves to thee by the frequency or importunity of our addresses, where the heart' is not in thy laws; but teach us to consider our prayers as a means appointed by thee to convey thy blessings to us, and also to strengthen our pious affections in us, and to engage us the more effectually to the obedience of thy laws, and a constant uniform pursuit of every thing virtuous and good.

And as thou hast placed us in a world full of dangers and temptations, to try and exercise our faith and loyalty to thee and thy righteous government, but where

many

suffer themselves to be drawn to violate thy laws, and fall away from thee, Be thou, O God! our ever present help to support us, that we may never cast off our confidence in thee, or forfeit thy favour by deserting the paths of truth and righteousness, but may go on in our virtuous course rejoicing; referring all

things, things, without any distrust, to thy good provic' dence, and not doubting but that out of this mixed scene thou wilt in the end bring forth good; and that it shall surely be well with the righteous, and those that seek to do thy will.

Finally, heavenly Father! enable us to bear about us such a constant lively sense of thy presence

with
us,

and readiness to bestow all needful assistance on us, as may give us the victory over all the dangers of this our probationary state, and carry us forward in the knowledge and practice of every thing holy, virtuous, and good ; that we may look forwards with joy to that future state thy goodness hath reserved for thy faithful servants ; where, freed from the danger of ever more sinning and offending thee, we shall go on increasing in virtue and thy favour for ever, according to thy gracious promises to us by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through whom, &c.

March, 1778.

SERMON

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SERMON VII.

MATTHEW xv. 28.

And Jesus said unto her; O woman, great is

tby faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And ber daughter was made whole from that

.

very bour,

To understand the grounds of that singular high commendation which is bestowed upon this person, it will be necessary to review the little history to which it relates, which is thus introduced by our evangelist : (v. 21.) “ Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.” St. Mark intimates that he retired into these parts for a few days to enjoy a little quiet, and probably to avoid the resentments of the Pharisees, his enemies, whom he had lately offended by his free speaking and rebukes.

Tyre and Sidon were two ancient cities of the tribe of Asher, in the northern part of

Canaan,

Canaan, otherwise called Syrophenicia, bordering on the Mediterranean sea. Being strong naval powers, they had remained unsubdued by the Israelites. And the Canaanites, the ancient heathen inhabitants, who were driven out in the days of Joshua, had never been entirely expelled ; (Judges i. 31, 32.) but some of their descendants remained to our Saviour's time. And one of these, having heard of his arrival in their country, now applies to him. (v.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 demon.” And it would seem, that he that was so benevolent and good to all, would not withhold his kindness from so wretched an object. (v. 24.) “But (strange!) he answered her not a word.”

The woman's misery seemed so great, and their divine Master's reserve and behaviour to her so unusual, that his disciples could not help interceding for her.

“ And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us."

But here, instead of keeping silence as before to the woman herself, and leaving it in

some

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