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yet, that the might of the Saviour was still greater; that Satan could only act as he was permitted to act; and that, therefore, men were to seek for assistance against his attacks and temptations, by embracing the gospel sincerely,' and pra&tising faithfully the duties it commands. When the christ. ian religion was once established in the world, there was no further occasion for those miraculous proofs of its truth. Its progress and growth were then left to common means; to the preaching of its ministers; to the circulation of the scriptures ; and to men's own consciences, and that knowledge of right and wrong, which they might obtain by what they heard in the church, and what they found in the Bible, in reading it at home. So that all accounts of the appearance of the Devil, or of his possessing people, since the time when miracles ceased, or in modern days, are only vain and idle tales; invented by ignorance, superstition, or childish fear. The possession, however, recorded in the gospel of the day, was a real one; and removed by the omnipotent power of Jesus CHRIST, even upon an absent person"; a miracle, which proved that the powers of darkness were completely under his authority, and could not continue to have any influence upon


those who had placed themselves under his protection. The words of the text, however, give us the reason why this act of mercy was granted to the girl afflicted with the possession, and to her mother who cried to Jesus for her relief,“ Oh! woman, great “is thy faith, be it unto thee even as thou « wilt;"--and will lead me to consider the nature of that" faith, which she manifested on this occasion, and to shew you what our faith must be, in order to procure for us the approbation and blessing of God. You will find, that there is some difference between the two; and that faith alone will not have the same acceptance with God now, that it met with on the first preaching of the gospel

The people whom Jesus Christ and his Apostles had to convert, when they were upon the earth, were either Jews or Gen. tiles; persons who had before never heard any thing of christianity. The Jews had been brought up under the law of Moses, and though they had learned from the prophets that a Saviour, or Messiah, would appear in the world ; yet, being a selfish, stiff-necked, and cạrnal people, they had misunderstood the prophecies, and expected that Christ would be a great worldly prince ; and, instead of saving all mankind in a

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spiritual way, would confine the blessings of his coming to the Jews alone; free them from the yoke of the Romans, to whom they were subject; make their land the glory of •« all lands;" and exalt the Jewish people over all the people of the earth. The Gentiles, on the other hand, had been brought up in the worship of false gods; knew nothing of the true God, or of the scriptures of the Old Testament ; and, consequently, were not aware that man was a sinner, and. wanted a Saviour; or that such a holy Being would appear in the world. Jews and Gentiles being in this situation, you will easily see that faith in Jesus CHRIST was a matter of more difficulty with them; and therefore of more value than it can be in those who are born and brought up in the christian religion, as we of the present day are. Thus, for instance, with respect to the Jew. He had been trained, from his youth' up, in the full belief that God was the God of the Jews only; that the Messiah was to confer his benefits on the Jewish nation alone and that the ceremonial law of Moses was absolutely necessary to salvation. You may well imagine, then, how much the Jews must have been surprised to learn that the Messiah or Saviour, who was come into the world, was to be the Redeemer of the Gen,

tile as well as the Jew ; that the privileges and blessings of his religion were to be extended to all mankind ; that, instead of being a great worldly conqueror, he was meek and lowly of heart, of humble birth, and

poor appearance ; that 'he promised nothing of worldly greatness or riches to his followers, but taught them, that thro' much tribulation they must become subjects of his spiritual kingdom, and inherit everlasting happiness : that he was to be ill-treated and persecuted; buffeted ; spit upon; and at last die, like a common criminal, a painful and ignominious death. All this was so contrary to what the Jews expected, and had been taught from early youth; so contrary to their prejudices and wishes; that for them to believe in Jesus CHRIST, under these circumstances, was the strongest proof of a good disposition, of a sincere desire to know the truth, and of a fixed resolution to practise the gospel which they embraced. In them, therefore, faith was a sure earnest of obedience ; and, consequently, the very act of believing was accepted by our blessed Lord as an act deserving the divine favour. Hence, he says to the penitent Magdalen,

thy faith hath saved thee;' makes the same speech to the blind son of Timæus ; and to the leper, who turned again to give him thanks for his healing him, addresses these comfortable words,-“ Arise, go thy

way; thy faith hath made thee whole. It was upon the same principle that the faith of the Gentiles was so much approved by Jesus CHRIST; and promises of acceptance and salvation made to it. Their belief in our blessed Lord and his religion .could only arise from their being convinced in their hearts, by his miracles, his discourses, and his holiness, that he was indeed and in truth the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world ;-a belief, that had nothing interested in it, and could be attended with no worldly advantage, but rather followed by trouble and persecution ;-—a belief, that was contrary to all their former notions, early prejudices, and old habits of life; and which, consequently, proved that their hearts were so much affected by their conversion, that their faith would naturally and certainly be followed by "good works,” or keeping the commandments of Christ. And hence it was, that our blessed LORD said to the poor woman' mentioned in the text, who was a Gentile; "Oh! woman, great is

thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou “ wilt." And hence it is, 'that' so much praise is bestowed upon the quality of faith, and so many blessings promised to it, in the epistles written by the Apostles to

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