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The answer of Jesus to the woman of Canaan was probably designed to exhibit more fully the humility and faith of his petitioner; and great indeed must these have been, to frame so modest yet so touching an answer to his words. The dealings of Providence may seem harsh to us, as the reply of the Lord might have appeared to his humble applicant; but it is not for us to murmur. Our duty will be best fulfilled by submitting meekly to the decrees of our heavenly Father, while we continue, undiscouraged by past denials, to direct our prayers to him for what we need. Let all our petitions be presented with that humble, and untiring faith, which marked the answer of the Syrophenician woman, and thoșe petitions will be answered. True, the blessings we ask may be withheld; but we shall find, in the peace of our own hearts, in our increased submissiveness to the will of God, the answer of his spirit within us.
Happy the meek, whose gentle breast,
His heart no broken friendships sting,
Spirit of grace, all meek and mild !
SECTION XXX V.
PETER'S CONFESSION OF CHRIST.
MATT. xvi. 13. WHEN Jesus came into the coasts of Cesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am ? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist ; some, Elias ; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom
that I am ? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona ; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man, that he was the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord ; this shall not be unto thee. But he turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan ; thou
art an offence unto me ; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul > For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels ; and then shall he reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
“Whom say ye that I am ?" inquired the Saviour. The ardent Peter unhesitatingly replied by acknowledging the Messiahship of his master. But his ideas of the Messiah's character and kingdom were far from being correct. He expected, under that title, an earthly king; and when he heard Jesus speak of his approaching death, he listened with incredulous surprise. He checks what he imagines to be the gloomy forebodings of his master; and would lead him to other, and more flattering prospects, of earthly power and magnificence. But the holy Son of God repels the temptations, in the same language which repressed the same suggestion in the wilderness; “Get the hence, Tempter ! thou wouldst lead me into sin.” In such words may the full meaning of his reply be conveyed. He saw the dangers, the certain death, which awaited him; he saw the visions of ease, and ambition glittering before him; but his pure mind was unmoved by fear, unseduced by hope. With the glory of God and the happiness of mankind in view, he passed onward, conqueror over every trial, to the last great victory—a cruel death.
Oh suffering friend of human kind!
Gethsemane's sad midnight scene,
Did not thy spirit shrink dismayed,
Onward, like thee, through scorn and dread,
MATT. XVII. XIX. 1 and 2. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother; and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them ; and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And behold, there appeared unto
them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. And his disciples asked him saying, Why then say
the scribes that Elias - must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things ; but I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea, beyond Jordan. And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.
- This,” said the voice from heaven, “this is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him." With what awe must those three disciples after this command,