”And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their Masters’ table.“ Matt. 15:27.
Though the woman be a dog in her own eyes, and so a sinner, see, O sinner, rich mercy, that Christ should admit of dogs to his kingdom. Oh, grace! that Christ should black his fair hands (to speak so) in washing foul and defiled dogs. How unworthy sinners, and so foul sinners, that they should be under Christ’s table, and eat his bread within the King’s house! What a motion of free mercy, that Christ should lay his fair, spotless, and chaste love, upon so black, defiled, and whorish souls! Oh, what a favour, that Christ makes the leopard and Ethiopian white for heaven! These two go together, “Who has loved us, and washed us.” (Rev. 1:5.) Humble sinners have high thoughts of free grace; stand not afar off, come near, be washed, for free grace is not proud, when grace refuses not dogs. Salvation must be a flower planted without hands, that grows only out of the heart of Christ. Take humble thoughts of yourselves, and noble and high thoughts of excellent Jesus to heaven with you. A curse upon the creature’s proud merits! If you make price with Christ, and compound with everlasting grace, you shame the glory of the ransom-payer. It is no shame to die in Christ’s debt; all the angels, the cedars of heaven, are below Christ; angels and saints shall be Christ’s debtors, for eternity of ages; and, so long as God is God, sinners shall be in grace’s account-book.
The truly humble, is the most thankful soul that is; unthankfulness is one of the sins of the age we live in. It flows from, (1.) Contemning and despising God’s instruments: The valour of Jephthah is no mercy to Israel, because the elders hate and despise a bastard, (Judges 11:1, 2, 6). The curing of Naaman’s leprosy is not looked on as a mercy: why? washing in Jordan must do it, and there be better rivers in his own land, in Damascus.Not only God, but all his instruments that he works by, must be eye-sweet to us, and carry God and omnipotency on their foreheads, else the mercy is no mercy to us. (2.) Mercies cease to be mercies, when they are smoked and blackened with our apprehensions. David, (2 Sam. 18-19) receives a great victory, and is established on his throne, which had been reeling and staggering of late; but there is one sad circumstance in that victory; his dear son Absalom was killed, and the mercy no mercy in David’s apprehension: “Would God I had died for Absalom!” So a little cross can wash away the sense of a great mercy: the want of a draught of cold water, strangles the thankful memory of God’s wonders done for his people’s deliverance out of Egypt, and his dividing the Red sea.