2446. Carte-Blanche

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No. 2446-42:1. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, March 20, 1890, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, January 5, 1896.

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “Oh woman, great is your faith: be it to you even as you wish.” {Mt 15:28}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2173, “Little Faith and Great Faith” 2174}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2253, “Perseverance of Faith, The” 2254}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2446, “Carte Blanche” 2447}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2481, “Faith Victorious” 2482}
   Exposition on Mt 13:1-23 15:13-28 1Co 3:17-23 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3393, “Wheat in the Barn” 3395 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Mt 15 Ps 42 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3268, “Saviour’s Silence, The” 3270 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Mt 15:10-31 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2597, “Prayer for Everyone, A” 2598 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Mt 15:18-31 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2481, “Faith Victorious” 2482 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Mt 15:21-28 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2446, “Carte Blanche” 2447 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Mt 15:21-39 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2253, “Perseverance of Faith, The” 2254 @@ "Exposition"}

1. I mean to dwell specifically on those words at the end of the verse, “Be it to you even as you wish”; but before we consider them, I should like to remind you again, as I did in the reading, that our Lord admired this woman’s faith. He said to her, “Oh woman, great is your faith.” She was humble, she was patient, she was persevering, she was affectionate towards her child; but our Saviour did not mention any of these things, for he was most of all struck by her faith. What other good things she had, sprang out of her faith; so the Lord Jesus went at once to the root of the matter, and, as it were, held up his hands in astonishment, and exclaimed, “Oh woman, great is your faith.”

2. Her faith really was great, extremely great, when you consider that she was a Gentile, and one of a nation that had ages before been doomed, the Canaanite nations, in whose nature idolatry seemed to be ingrained; yet this woman showed that she had greater faith than many a Jew. There are two cases of extraordinary faith recorded in the early part of Matthew’s Gospel; and in both of these cases where our Saviour expressed his astonishment at the greatness of the faith, the believers were Gentiles. Of the centurion at Capernaum he said, “Truly I say to you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” It is a wonderful thing when people who have lived in ignorance and vice exhibit great faith. We are glad when those who have been brought up religiously and morally are led to believe in Christ; but we are often more astonished when the immoral, those who have previously known nothing of true godliness, are enabled by grace to exercise great faith in Christ.

3. “Oh woman, great is your faith,” said our Lord, for it was great even apart from her being a Gentile, for it had been severely tried. Trials of faith from disciples are often very severe, and the disciples had put her aside, and even besought their Lord to “Send her away.” But trials of faith from the Master himself are even more severe. To have Christ’s deaf ear and dumb lips, — this was a trial indeed; and, worse than that, to have rough words from such a loving and tender Teacher as he was, and even to be called a dog by the great Shepherd of Israel, and to be told that it was not fitting to give her the children’s bread, — these were heavy tests of her confidence; but she had such faith that she bore up under all, and still pressed her suit with the Son of David, the Lord of mercy. We can only feel that Christ did her justice when he said, “Oh woman, great is your faith.”

4. Our Saviour seems to have been especially struck with the ingenuity of her faith. Little faith always lacks ingenuity, it must have everything very plain or else it cannot move at all; but great faith makes crooked things straight, sees light in the midst of darkness, and gathers comfort out of discouragement. For this woman to turn Christ’s word inside out, as it were, and when he said, “It is not fitting to take the children’s bread, and to thrown it to dogs,” for her to say, in effect, “I do not ask to have it thrown to me; only let me have the crumbs which fall by accident from the children themselves when they have brought the dogs under the table,” — this was indeed extraordinary faith and wonderful pleading. “If you will heal my daughter, there will be none the less of your marvellous power for the children of Israel, for you can heal them, too. If you do give me what I ask for, — great as it is to me, it is only like a crumb to you, your table is so lavishly provided for by your omnipotence of grace. Even this great blessing that I ask of you will be nothing more to you than a chance crumb that falls from the children’s table.” This was splendid pleading, and the Saviour saw the force of it at once. He loves ingenuity on the part of those who come to him. He is so ingenious himself in devising means of bringing back his banished ones, that he is glad to see ingenuity in the banished ones themselves when they desire to come back to him. He therefore cries in holy astonishment, “Oh woman, great is your faith.”

5. Taking the case of the woman as a whole, I think that it must have been her pertinacity, her firmness, that surprised the Lord. Others are so easily put off, but she would not be put off. Others need encouragement, but she encouraged herself. When the door is shut in her face, she only knocks at it; and when Christ calls her “Dog,” she only picks up what Christ has said, as a good dog will pick up his master’s stick, and bring it right to his feet. There was no baffling her. If all the demons in hell had been about the business, not merely that terrible one that possessed her daughter, she would have beaten them all, for she had such faith — shall I not say? — such dogged faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that she could even get comfort out of being called a dog. She had such resolute faith that she must have what she sought, and she would not go away without it. If she does not succeed at first, she will battle on until she does win the victory; she will continue pleading until she carries her suit.

6. Our Lord was not only, to speak after the manner of men, astonished at her faith; but, with reverence we may say that he was conquered by it. He yielded to her faith, and he yielded unconditionally. He gave her much more than she asked, for she had not asked that her daughter might be healed the very same hour. She had hardly gotten as far as the asking at all; and as for mentioning the details, she had only pleaded with him in general; but Christ gave her definitely what he knew she wished for, and gave it to her at once. And what is more, he did, as it were, hand her over the keys of his house. “There,” he said, “my good woman, I so admire your faith that I say to you, ‘Go and help yourself. You may have whatever you like. Whatever treasure of grace I have, is yours if you want it; be it to you even as you wish.’ ” He gave her the keys of the heavenly cash-box. Some time ago, a lady wishing to help the Orphanage, sent me a cheque, and she did a very unwise thing indeed, for she signed the cheque, but she did not fill in the amount. Never do that; you see, I might have put all her fortune down, and fill out the cheque for any amount that the lady had in the bank. She evidently trusted me very much, but I sent her cheque back to her, saying that I did not know what amount to put down. Of course, she intended to give a guinea, or £5, or something of the kind, but she forgot to say how much; and that is a very dangerous plan indeed with most people. So, our Saviour gave this woman a blank cheque. “Fill it out for what you like,” he said. “Great is your faith; be it to you even as you wish. Whatever it is that you wish for, you shall have. Your faith has won from me this blessing, that I now put at your disposal all my power to bless. Be it to you even as you wish.”

7. I am going to talk especially about that point, and first, I will try to answer the question, How far did this carte-blanche extend? Then, secondly, when is it safe for the Lord to give such a carte-blanche as that? And, thirdly, if he did give us such power, how would we use it?

8. I. First, then, dear friends, HOW FAR DID THIS CARTE-BLANCHE EXTEND when the Saviour said to the woman “Be it to you even as you wish?”

9. In answer to which I would say, first, that it went so far as to baffle all the powers of hell. This woman’s child was grievously vexed with a demon, and we read, “her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” “For this saying, go your way”; said Christ, according to Mark’s account, “the demon is gone out of your daughter.” Now, Satan is very mighty; there is not one of us, nor all of us put together, who can be equally matched with him. He takes little notice of ten thousand men; he is more crafty and cunning than all the wise men, and more powerful than all the mighty men who ever came together, and yet the Saviour seems to say, “I have heard you, good woman, I have seen your faith; I will rebuke the demon, I will send the evil spirit back to his own place, and your child shall be snatched out of his cruel grasp.” Beloved, if you have faith enough, Christ will give you power even to cast out demons. If you can only trust him, trust him without measure or stint, and believe in him as this woman did, he will give you power to make Satan fall like lightning from heaven, and flee before you. “Jesus I know,” said the evil spirit at Corinth, “and Paul I know,” and the devil still knows those who make him know them. Through faith in Jesus, they speak to him with authority, and he must flee from them. So, if you have faith, you shall resist the devil, and even he, powerful as he is, shall turn his back, and flee from you; and, as Luther said, though there were as many demons as the tiles on the house-tops, yet faith in God would give you grace to vanquish them all. Remember that glorious promise, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” So this carte-blanche, when he said to the woman, “Be it to you even as you wish,” meant, “The demons themselves are now subject to your will.”

10. Next, it meant that it was the will of the Lord to heal her daughter completely. She had come all the way from Syrophenicia to the borders of the land of Israel so that she might plead with Christ about her daughter, her dear child, perhaps her only child. This sorrow pressed very heavily on her heart, so she cried to the Lord, “Have mercy on me.” She so identified herself with her child that she did not know any difference between herself and her child. They had seemed to grow into one in the great trouble that they had at home. I have known many a mother who certainly would far rather have suffered herself than that her child should suffer, so completely had she identified herself with her child. Now, beloved, if you can plead with Christ with this woman’s heroic faith, if you can fully believe in him, and not dare to doubt him, you shall have your children put at your disposal. He will deal graciously with them, — with the girl for whom you are pleading, with the boy over whom your heart is aching. He will say to you, dear mother, “Oh woman, great is your faith; be it to you even as you wish.” The boy shall repent, the girl shall believe, the children shall come to Jesus’ feet, and become your comfort and joy through their early conversion to Christ. Is this not a great blessing?

11. Indeed, and the woman had such faith in Christ that this blank cheque further meant her to have this blessing at once. “Be it to you even as you wish, now, at once.” So she willed at once, of course, that the demon should go out of her daughter, and out the demon had to go, for her will had become God’s will, and Christ had infused into her will a mighty power which even Satan could not resist. Oh, if you have enough faith, you may get the blessing you desire even now! It may be that, while sitting in this Tabernacle, breathing a prayer for your child, God may bless your child before you get home. If you can only have faith enough, he has power enough; and if he condescends to say, “Be it to you even as you wish,” I know that it will be your will, not that your girl may be converted when she becomes a woman, not that your boy may be saved when he becomes a man, but that the blessed miracle may be performed at once, even now. What parents want to let the devil have their children even for an hour? Oh Jesus, turn him out at once! Let us see our children, our children’s children, our brothers and sisters and friends, converted now, for while now is the accepted time with God, now is the time which every earnest Christian will prefer for the conversion of those for whom he prays. This is a splendid promise concerning great blessings to be had, and to be had at once: “Be it to you even as you wish.”

12. I must go a little further, and say that I think our Lord, when he said to the woman, “Be it to you even as you wish,” permitted her to eat the children’s bread. She had before said, “The little dogs eat from the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table,” and “then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Oh woman, great is your faith: be it to you even as you wish.’ ” I think this means that, instead of having the privilege to go and roam like a dog under the table, and eat what she could pick up, she was made into a child, and was permitted to sit at the table, and eat from everything that the Lord had provided. Oh poor sinner, you came in here tonight feeling like a whipped dog, did you not? You said to yourself, “There will not be anything for me in the sermon”; but, eventually, as you heard about the great grace of Christ to this poor woman, you thought that there might be hope even for you, and now you begin to think that there is a possibility that even you may be blessed. Well, well, I venture to say to you that, if you wish to eat the children’s bread, you may. “Be it to you even as you wish.” Lord, we do not ask you that we may be treated better than the rest of your family! If any of you pray to God to make a distinction, and to give you more than he gives his other children, I do not think you are likely to get it. If you come to Christ, as Mrs. Zebedee did, and begin asking that James and John may sit, the one on his right hand, and the other on his left, you will not get what you ask for; but if you say, “Oh Lord, you are my God; I love your people, let me fare as they do. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. I do not ask to be exempt from tribulation, for all the heirs of salvation have to endure it. I only ask that I may eat what your children eat. If they have bread, Lord, I will be happy to have bread; I ask for no dainties. If they drink water from the rock Lord, let me have a draught of the same; I ask for nothing more.” Jesus says, “Be it to you even as you wish. If you are content to sit at the table with my children, come along with you. If you sigh after their bread, which came down from heaven, if you will take ‘lock, stock and barrel’ with them, there is nothing to hinder you. Be it to you even as you wish.”

13. Surely, also, when the Saviour spoke like this to the Syrophenician woman, he meant to make reference to her first prayer. She cried to him, saying, “Have mercy on me, oh Lord, you Son of David.” “Yes,” he said, “now be it to you even as you wish. I have mercy on you. If you have sinned, I forgive you. If you are hard of heart, I will soften your heart. If you have been an ignorant heathen, I will enlighten you, and bring you to my feet. I will be to you the Son of David, and you shall be one of my own chosen people, and I will care for you, and protect you, and deliver you, as David did for the many for whom he fought.” Oh souls, if any one of you is crying, “Lord have mercy on me,” if you have faith in Christ, — and he deserves to be trusted; there is no one like him; he deserves to be trusted without a single doubt, for he never failed anyone, and he never lied to anyone, therefore let no wicked doubt come in to weaken your faith, — if you can trust him, he says to you, “Be it to you even as you wish.” Take mercy; take mercy, and more mercy, and yet more mercy. Come to the table of love, and sit among the children of the Lord, and feed on heavenly bread. Raise your prayer for your child, pleading the promise to the jailor, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.” Come to Christ with all the torment you have felt from the devil’s possession of you; the horrible thoughts, the blasphemous insinuations, the desperate doubts, and hear the Saviour say to you, “Be it to you even as you wish.” The devil shall be made to depart from you. Your poor head shall lose the fever from the burning brow; your heart shall beat at its even pace, and you shall be at peace again. The Lord shall rebuke your adversary. In this confidence, say to the demon even now, “Do not rejoice against me, oh my enemy: when I fall, I shall arise.”

14. Oh, this is a grand, grand word from our Lord’s lips! It is a wonderful cheque, signed by our Saviour’s own hand, and left in blank for faith to fill out. We might have half thought that he would have said, “Oh woman, your faith is too big for me to trust you with unlimited prayer. If you had only a little faith, I would go as far as your little faith would go, and keep pace with you.” But no, no; that is not Christ’s method of acting. He says, “Oh woman, great is your faith and since you can trust me, I can trust you. Cry as you wish, for so be it to you. You have firmly resolved to have no doubt about my power and willingness, and to trust me without reserve; so I trust you without reserve, be it to you even as you wish.”

15. II. So now I pass to our second question, which is this. WHEN IS IT SAFE FOR THE LORD TO TRUST ANYONE WITH SUCH A PROMISE AS THIS, “Be it to you even as you wish?”

16. It would be very unsafe to trust some of you like this. Why, there is one man here who, if it was said to him, “Be it to you even as you wish,” would at once pray for — well, I do not know how many thousand pounds; and when he got home, he would be discontented, and say, “What a fool I was not to ask two or three times as much!” Ah! yes, yes, yes; but the Lord does not trust greedy people in that way. Not while there is any idea of your own merit left, will Christ trust you at all. Not while there is a fraction of self-will left, will Christ trust you at all, and not while doubt remains. That must go, for the whole verse says, “Oh woman, great is your faith: be it to you even as you wish.” He trusts faith; he will not trust unbelief, he will not trust self-confidence, he will not trust human merit; but where there is faith, there he gives over the keys of his treasury, and says, “Be it to you even as you wish.”

17. When will the Lord trust us like this? Well, I think, first, when we agree with Christ, when we are like this woman who had no quarrel with the Saviour. Whatever he said was right in her eyes. If he called her a dog, she said, “True, Lord.” When you and Christ agree, and there is no quarrel between you, then he says, “Be it to you even as you wish.” If you do not yield to him, he will not yield to you; but when you just end all disputing, and say, “Lord, I am finished with all quibbling and quarrelling; I will never raise another question, and never harbour another doubt. I believe you. I believe you. As a child believes his mother, I believe you. When I cannot understand you, when you distress me, still I believe you.” Ah! when you come to that point, then the Lord will say, “Be it to you even as you wish.”

18. Next, when our soul is taken up with proper desires. This woman had no idea of asking for a hundred thousand shekels of silver, or a wedge of gold, or a goodly Babylonian garment. Only one thought possessed her, — “My child! My child! Oh, that the demon might be cast out of my child!” “Now,” says Christ, “be it to you even as you wish.” And when you have great desires for heavenly things, when your desires are such as God approves of, when you wish what God wishes, then you may wish for what you like. When it comes to this, that you have dropped your own desires of an inferior and grovelling kind, and you are taken up with desires for necessary things, desires that come to you from Christ himself, when you desire the bread, not from the devil’s oven, but from Christ’s table, when that is what you crave, then it shall be to you even as you wish.

19. Next, it shall be to us even as we wish when we see our Lord in his true office. This woman saw that Christ was a Healer, and she appealed to him as a Healer. If you see Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King, you may go and ask of him as a Prophet what a prophet is ordained to give, or as a Priest what a priest is intended to bestow, or as a King what a king is set on the throne to do. You may go to Christ as he really is, and if you see that he is ordained for this purpose and for that, then keep in tune with what he is ordained to be, and you may ask what you wish, and it shall be done for you. You must not try to take Christ away from his offices. Christ is not sent by God to make you a rich man; he is sent by God to make you a saved man, so you may go to him as a Saviour, for that is his office. You may go to him as a Priest, for it is his office to cleanse, to offer sacrifice, to make intercession. Take Christ as God presents him, and then be it to you even as you wish.

20. Next, it will be to us even as we wish when we can believe about the distinct object that is before us. This woman pleaded for her child. All her faith went out towards her child. I love the prayer that has in it faith concerning the thing for which it pleads. There are many Christian people who say they have faith about twenty things; but then the thing that they cannot believe about is the twenty-first. You must have a faith that cannot only cover twenty-one things, but that can cover everything. We say, “Oh! I could believe if my trouble were like So-and-so’s.” You could not believe at all unless you can believe about your present trouble; and you must believe about the object for which you are praying, that it can be given to you, that it will be given to you in answer to your prayer; and then Jesus will say to you, “Be it to you even as you wish.”

21. Again, we can have whatever we like when our heart seeks only God’s glory; when what we pray for is not for wealth, nor with a desire for our own honour, but when even what we want for ourselves is asked with the higher motive that God may be glorified in us by our obtaining such and such a gift, or being delivered from such and such a trial. When God’s glory is your one aim, you may ask what you wish, and it shall be given to you.

22. And above all, when we always keep to what I have already mentioned, when we only ask for the children’s bread, then the Lord will give us what we crave. If you ask for what God gives his elect, for what Christ has bought for his redeemed, if you ask for what the Holy Spirit works in the minds of men converted by his power, if you ask for what God has promised, if you ask for what it is customary for God to bestow on his waiting people, then “be it to you even as you wish.” No wild fantasy, no rhapsody, no whim that makes you wish for this or that, is worthy to come within the compass of my text; but what the Lord waits to give you, what he knows would be good for you, what will be an honour to him, and what will help you to honour him, you may ask without any stammering or fear; and you shall have it, for he says to you, “Be it to you even as you wish.”

23. I do not know; but I think that I am speaking personally to someone here in trouble, who has been long pleading and praying, and has never gotten an answer yet. “Be it to you even as you wish.” Hannah, the woman of a sorrowful spirit, sits in this house, bowed down in soul, and pouring out before the Lord her silent prayer. Let her take this message from the Lord’s servant, or, better still, from the Lord himself, “Be it to you even as you wish.” But then I only dare to say it to one to whom I could also say, “Oh woman, great is your faith.” If you do not have any faith, how are you to have it? Here is a soup-kitchen opened for the poor, and they are told to bring their jugs, their mugs, their basins, — anything they like. A woman comes, and says, “I do not have a mug.” “Do you have a basin?” “No.” Well, you say to her, “You can have the soup”; but then, you see, she cannot carry it home without a basin, or a jug. So, here is the mercy of God, and many want it; here is a blessing rich and rare, and many cannot carry it home because they have no faith; but Christ could say to the Syrophenician, “Oh woman, great is your faith: be it to you even as you wish.”

24. III. Now I finish by asking another question. Suppose this blank cheque is to be given to us, HOW WILL IT BE USED?

25. Well, first, I should use it on that thing about which I have been praying most. I will not say what it is. This woman had been praying most about her daughter, so, when the Saviour said, “Be it to you even as you wish,” she did not say a single word, but she just willed in her mind that the demon should be driven out of her daughter. Oh, that you might have faith enough to be able to wish the right thing! If Christ leaves his own will in your hands, and feels safe in doing so, oh, wish strongly! It is for God, you know, to give a fiat; but Christ here gives a fiat to the woman. As I read the text, he says to her, “Be it to you,” — “So let it be.” “So be it,” he says, “as you wish.” Behold, the fiat of God goes out to you, believer, to let it be even as you do wish it to be. Now, can you not wish for the child for whom you have been praying? Do you not wish for the congregation that lies on your heart? Do you not wish for that friend with whom you have been speaking in order to try to bring him to Christ? Wish for the distinct object for which you have been praying; and then, may the wish of the Lord be done, and may your wish also be done because it is an echo of the wish of the Lord!

26. Next, I think that, if we had this said to each one of us; “Be it to you even as you wish,” we should first wish for our own salvation. Pray, as we sang just now, —

    With my burden I begin,
    Lord, remove this load of sin;
    Let thy blood, for sinners spilt,
    Set my conscience free from guilt.
    Lord! I come to thee for rest,
    Take possession of my breast;
    There thy blood-bought right maintain,
    And without a rival reign.

Let each one of us pray, “Lord, save me! Lord, make certain work of it; save me from sin, save me from self, save me from everything that dishonours you.” I was talking, the other day, with a man who was saying that he attended a ministry where he heard very little about holy living. He thought that he was a believer, though he was living in sin, and continued to live in sin. He knows now that he was no believer, or else he could not have lived in sin as he did; and now he prays to God not for salvation while he is living in sin, but for salvation from sin. So, we will first ask God for our own full salvation, and we know that his answer will be, “Be it to you even as you wish.”

27. Have we not all a prayer also for our children, or our friends, or those who lie near to our hearts? Then let us pray on, with great faith, until we hear Christ say, “Be it to you even as you wish”; and then let us go home, and expect to see the work of grace begun in our children. Watch for it, oh parent; and carefully nurture it as soon as you see the first beginnings of it! About this matter also Jesus says, “Be it to you even as you wish.”

28. I think that, if I were asked to pray now for something very special, and that I might have whatever I asked for, my prayer would be, “Lord, make me grow in grace. Give me more faith. If I have great faith, give me more. If I have much love for you, give me more love for you. If I know my Lord, I pray that I may know more of him, and know him to a fuller and more intense degree.” My prayer shall be, —

    Nearer, my God, to thee,
       Nearer to thee.

Let that be the prayer of each one of you to whom it is left to fill out this blank cheque.

29. Then there is another prayer that I am sure I should remember, if no one else here did, and that would be concerning Christ’s kingdom. If it is to be to me as I wish, then I wish that God’s truth should be preached everywhere, and that false doctrines should be made to fly like chaff before the wind. If our prayer is heard, and we are permitted to have what we wish, our wish is that God may send us Luthers and Calvins, and brave men like John Knox back again, men with bones in their backs, and fire on their lips, with hearts that burn and words that glow with holy fervour; we need them so badly now. May the Lord have mercy on the Free Church of Scotland, and give her back faithful covenanting men and women! May the Lord have mercy on our own poor denomination, and give us those who love the truth of God, and dare to stand up for it come what may! Oh, for such a prayer as that! Lord, revive your Church! Lord, lift up a banner because of the truth! Lord, put your adversaries to the rout!

    Fight for thyself, oh Jesus, fight,
    The travail of thy soul regain!

Oh, to hear in our hearts this gracious word from the King himself, as we plead with him concerning his kingdom, “Be it to you even as you wish.”

30. Eventually, you and I shall lie sick and ill, and they will say, “His days are numbered.” Then, if the Lord shall visit us in answer to our prayers, and whisper to us, “Be it to you even as you wish,” oh then, the promise will read in a very different sense from what I can read it now! Then the poor tent will begin to be taken down; well, it never was worth much. Fearfully and wonderfully made is this mortal body, but it is capable of bringing us great pain and much sorrow, and also of deadening our devotion, and hampering us in our work for God. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” “Ah, well!” says the Lord, “you shall be rid of your flesh one day. It shall be to you even as you wish.” You have sung, sometimes, —

    Father, I long, I faint to see
       The place of thine abode;
    I’d leave thine earthly courts, and flee
       Up to thy seat, my God!

“Be it to you even as you wish.” A dear sister, who was buried today, said when they told her that she could not live another day, “Does it not seem wonderful? Is it not a grand thing to know that I am going to see the Lord Jesus Christ today?” And she lay on her bed saying this to all who came, “It seems too good to be true, that I should be so near for what I have longed those many years; I am going today to see the King in his beauty.”

31. Ah, thank God, we too shall come to that last day of our earthly life! Unless the Lord descends quickly, we too shall come to our death-bed, and then we shall hear our Saviour say, “Be it to you even as you wish,” and oh! we shall wish to see his face, and to be for ever with the Lord, and to praise him with infinite rapture for ever and ever. Blessed be his name, we have faith to believe that it will be even so. Then we will tell him what we cannot tell him now, how much we love him, how deeply we feel our indebtedness to him, and we will give all the glory of our salvation to his holy name for ever and ever. May God grant that this may be the happy lot of every one of us, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, In Heaven — ‘Touched With The Feeling Of Our Infirmities’ ” 327}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Public Worship, Prayer Meetings — The Throne Of Grace” 978}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Public Worship, Prayer Meetings — ‘Ask What I Shall Give Thee’ ” 980}

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Mt 15:21-28}

21. Then Jesus went there,

He was glad to get away from the scribes and Pharisees, who had been disputing about such trifles as the washing of his disciples’ hands; he was tired of the murmuring of these cantankerous, frivolous triflers.

21. And departed into the region of Tyre and Sidon.

He felt that he would rather be with “sinners of the Gentiles” than with these Ritualistic and hypocritical Hebrews. He will get as far away from them as he well can, he will go even to the heathen, for among them he will be able to do his real business, and not be trifled with.

22. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same region,

When sinners come to Christ, it is because Christ comes to them. Notice the two statements, how they coincide. Jesus “departed into the region of Tyre and Sidon,” and this “woman of Canaan came out of the same region,” and so they met. Oh, that there might be such a meeting here tonight, between someone who has come from a long distance to meet Christ, and Christ who has come on purpose to meet that person!

22. And cried to him, saying, “Have mercy on me, oh Lord, you son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a demon.”

The devil had extraordinary power at that time, so that he possessed the bodies and minds of men. I am not certain that there are not cases of Satan’s possession even now among us; there are cases that look very much like it, but in the Saviour’s day there were evidently exceptional and remarkable possessions of men and women by Satan. This poor mother says, “My daughter is grievously vexed with a demon.”

23. But he answered her not a word.

Has the Saviour become deaf and dumb? Will he not hear a supplicant cry? He heard her, but he said nothing.

23. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.”

“She is a stranger, and, as far as we can judge, she intends to hang on until she gets what she wants. If you will not give it to her, tell her to begone, for she cries after us.” One thing I notice that they said, which was not true, “She cries after us.” Not her! She never cried after them, she was crying after Christ, she would have pleaded in vain if she had cried after them, for all they had to say was, “Send her away.” A very different result came from her crying to the Lord.

24. But he answered and said, “I am not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

As a Preacher and a Teacher, Christ came to administer to the circumcision, the Jews, the seed of Israel. He did not go around among the nations, it was his work to be a witness to the Jews. As a Preacher, he must begin somewhere, and he chose to begin with them. “I am not sent,” he said; therefore, how could he go if he was not sent? Our Saviour had a greater regard for the sending of the Father than some preachers have, for they run before they are sent, sometimes they run when they are never sent at all; but, as Paul asked, “How shall they preach, unless they are sent?”

25. Then she came and worshipped him, saying, “Lord, help me.”

She takes a humbler attitude than she had at first assumed. She comes closer, and she is more earnest and personal in her pleading than she had been: “Lord help me.” Her prayer is shorter than it was at first; and I think that, when prayers grow shorter, they grow stronger. There is often more proof of earnestness in a short prayer than there is in a long one; glibness of speech is not prevalence in intercession.

26, 27. But he answered and said, “It is not fitting to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.” And she said, “True, Lord.

You remember the sermon that we had on this text not long ago. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2129, “Pleading, Not Contradiction.” 2130} The woman did not contradict the Saviour, she did not enter into any controversy with him, but she said, “True, Lord.” Whatever he says however black the words may look to her, she accepts them as true, and says, “True, Lord.”

27. Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

When the children drop the crumbs then the little dogs which have been fondled by the children feed on the crumbs which fall, not from “the” master’s table, but from “their masters’ table” — that is, from the table of the children.

28. Then Jesus answered and said to her, “Oh woman, great is your faith:

He seems quite amazed at the woman’s faith, but he admires it, and exclaimed, “Oh woman, great is your faith.”

28. Be it to you even as you wish.” And her was daughter made whole from that very hour.

It was as she wished, and she went home to glorify Christ, and to tell everyone how her prayer to him had succeeded.

 The Sword and the Trowel
 Table of Contents, January, 1896.
 Lessons from Mount Nebo. An unpublished Sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, delivered at New Park Street Chapel in 1855.
 Our Alma Mater. Reminiscences of the Pastors’ College.
 Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon’s Work-room. — (1) The room itself. (2) Personal Notes. (3) Personal Notes on a Text. By S. S.
 “Our Own Men” and their Work. XXV. Pastor Levi Palmer, Taunton. By H. T. S. (with Portrait.)
 The One Request. Poetry written by C. H. Spurgeon in 1853.
 Begin at the Beginning. By Charles Spurgeon.
 Waiting at the Gate. A Paraphrase of Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon’s “Personal Notes on a Text” in December Sword and Trowel.
 The Women of Morocco. By N. H. Patrick. (Illustrated.)
 Good Tidings from Tunisia. By Dr. Churcher.
 Come to Jesus. A Valedictory Address by Mr. Thomas Spurgeon, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, on September 28th, 1879, just before his Second Voyage to Australia.
 A Statement and an Appeal concerning Eleanor Hall Mission, Waltham Cross.
 Dr. Barnardo’s Boys at the Tabernacle. (With three Illustrations.)
 Notices of Books.
 Notes. (Mrs. Spurgeon’s new volume, Ten Years After! Pastor Thomas Spurgeon’s Volume, Down to the Sea. Forthcoming Meetings and Services at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The Spurgeon Memorial Sermon Society. Tabernacle Auxiliary of the Zenana Mission. Death of Mr. Herbert Olney. Metropolitan Tabernacle Sunday-school Bible-classes. College. C. H. Spurgeon’s Evangelists. Colportage. Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle and Haddon Hall.)
 Lists of Contributions.

With this number of the Magazine is presented, gratis, a FINE ART PICTURE OF THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, on plate paper, 20 in. by 12½ in., suitable for framing as a companion to the portraits of Pastors C. H. and Thomas Spurgeon given with The Sword and the Trowel for January 1893, 1894, and 1895.

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 London: Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


Jesus Christ, In Heaven
327 — “Touched With The Feeling Of Our Infirmities”
1 Where high the heavenly temple stands,
   The house of God not made with hands,
   A great High Priest our nature wears,
   The Patron of mankind appears.
2 He, who for men their Surety stood,
   And pour’d on earth his precious blood,
   Pursues in heaven his mighty plan,
   The Saviour and the friend of man.
3 Though now ascended up on high,
   He bends on earth a brother’s eye;
   Partaker of the human name,
   He knows the frailty of our frame.
4 Our fellow sufferer yet retains
   A fellow feeling of our pains,
   And still remembers in the skies,
   His tears, and agonies, and cries.
5 In every pang that rends the heart,
   The Man of Sorrows had a part;
   He sympathizes in our grief,
   And to the sufferer sends relief.
6 With boldness therefore at the throne,
   Let us make all our sorrows known,
   And ask the aid of heavenly power
   To help us in the evil hour.
                     Michael Bruce, 1770, a.


Public Worship, Prayer Meetings
978 — The Throne Of Grace
1 Behold the throne of grace!
      The promise calls me near,
   There Jesus shows a smiling face,
      And waits to answer prayer.
2 That rich atoning blood,
      Which sprinkled round I see,
   Provides for those who come to God
      An all-prevailing plea.
3 My soul, ask what thou wilt,
      Thou canst not be too bold;
   Since his own blood for thee he spilt,
      What else can he withhold?
4 Beyond thy utmost wants
      His love and power can bless;
   To praying souls he always grants
      More than they can express.
5 Thine image, Lord, bestow,
      Thy presence and thy love;
   I ask to serve thee here below,
      And reign with thee above.
6 Teach me to live by faith,
      Conform my will to thine;
   Let me victorious be in death,
      And then in glory shine.
                        John Newton, 1779.


Public Worship, Prayer Meetings
980 — “Ask What I Shall Give Thee” <7s.>
1 Come, my soul, thy suit prepare,
   Jesus loves to answer prayer;
   He himself has bid thee pray,
   Therefore will not say thee nay.
2 Thou art coming to a King,
   Large petitions with thee bring;
   For his grace and power are such,
   None can ever ask too much.
3 With my burden I begin,
   Lord, remove this load of sin;
   Let thy blood, for sinners spilt,
   Set my conscience free from guilt.
4 Lord! I come to thee for rest,
   Take possession of my breast;
   There thy blood-bought right maintain,
   And without a rival reign.
5 While I am a pilgrim here,
   Let thy love my spirit cheer;
   As my Guide, my Guard, my Friend,
   Lead me to my journey’s end.
                     John Newton, 1779.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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