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the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He 30 must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above 31 is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what 32 he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony, hath set to 33 his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent, speaketh 34 the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto
festal occasion, where the chief joy John the Baptist terminate with ver. necessarily belonged to but one, but 30, and that the remainder of the in which, nevertheless, his friend, or chapter is the testimony of the evanparanymph, might gladly participate. gelist. He then declares his joy to be that 32. What he hath seen, &c. A of the friend, the paranymph. He similar sentiment to that in ver. 11. rejoiced to hear of the success of Je- His testimony is as certain as that
Instead of jealous feelings be- of an eye-witness. — No man ing awakened lest his own glory ceiveth his testimony, i. e. comparashould be obscured, his joy was full, tively few. This declaration could his satisfaction complete.
hardly have been made by John the 30. He must increase, &c. A more apostle at a period when many generous, disinterested sentiment flourishing churches of Christian bewas never breathed from the heart lievers had been established; yet of man.
For although John was that, perhaps, seems as probable as not aware of the spiritual nature of that the Baptist should have said it, Christ's kingdom, and could not fore- immediately after the representasee how much he himself had to tions made to him in ver. 26. suffer, he yet manifested that superi 33. The thought of this verse may ority to envy,
and that spirit of self- be found expressed in a different forgetfulness, which constitute the form, in 1 John v. 10. He who rehighest elements of a godlike soul. ceives the testimony of Christ, de
clares thereby that God is true, sets “ Where is the love the Baptist taught, his seal to the profession, that God
The soul unswerving,and the fearless tongue, The much-enduring wisdom, sought
is true; whereas, in the converse By lonely prayer, the haunted rocks among? proposition, “he that believeth not
Who counts it gain
God hath made him a liar, because So the whole world to Jesus throng?"
he believeth not the record that God
gave of his Son." 31. The comparative excellence 34. He whom God hath sent. The of Jesus' dispensation to his own, is superiority of the Father to the Son, farther set forth under the figures of is a truth, recognized on every page the earthly and the heavenly; and of the New Testament; one is reprehe repeats, with reiterated emphasis, sented as the Sender, the other as that he who came with the divine au- the Sent; one the Sovereign, the thority, which Jesus possessed, stood other the Ambassador; one the Perunrivalled, was above all, and there- son, the other the Image of that perfore to him all should bow. Chap. son; one the Original Glory, the i. 18. It is the conjecture of some other the Brightness of that Glory. eminent critics, that the words of - Speaketh the words of God. So
35 him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into 36 his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:
and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Under the ribs of death!"
CHAPTER IV. Conversation with the Woman of Samaria, and Cure of the Nobleman's Son at
Capernaum. WHEN therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard 2 that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (though 3 Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) he left Judea, and 4 departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through 5 Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called intimate is his union with the pur
“ That might create a soul poses of God. — Giveth not the Spirit by measure, i. e. gives it most abun
CHAPTER IV. dantly. Here the gift of the Spirit 1. The Lord, i. e. Jesus. - How is described, as an endowment of the Pharisees had heard, &c. The Christ, not as an original function of question arises, why the knowledge his nature. God imparts to him spir- of this fact should have affected the itual communications without limit. plans of Jesus. The answer is, that
35. We are here taught, that love he wished to avoid the hostility of is the mighty bond, uniting the Fa- the Pharisees, who were most powther and the Son, and that Jesus is erful in Judea, and to preach his fully empowered by God in all things gospel in the more retired district relating to his gospel, and to our sal- of Galilee. vation.
2. Jesus himself baptized not. He 36. The consequences of belief was occupied with the more imporand unbelief are here portrayed in tant duties of preaching and working the most impressive manner, and miracles. If, too, any had been bapfitly conclude this sublime passage; tized by Jesus himself, they might which thrills us not through and have claimed a superiority over the through, when we read it, because other disciples, and thus have introfamiliarity with the language has duced discord into the infant church. blunted our perception of the divine See 1 Cor. i. 14-16. tenderness and grandeur of the 3. Left Judea. Where the scribes thoughts, which it conveys. That and Pharisees had been excited to God, full of love and compassion, jealousy by his increasing popularity, has sent his Son, breathing the same and had plotted his destruction. heavenly spirit, to speak to us the Departed again into Galilee. He words of God; to say, as in the had taught there before. This provplace of the Father himself, “My ince afforded him comparative retirechildren, turn ye, and live to God and ment from ecclesiastical persecution. heaven, enter into the holy, serene, 4. Must needs go through Samablissful, everlasting life of goodness," ria. We have the testimony of Jo
-Oh! what truths are these, sephus, that “it was the custom for
Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son. Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore being 6 wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. - - There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw 7
the Galileans, in their journeying to deserted; it was said usually to conJerusalem, to their feasts, to go tain living water, and not merely to through Samaria." There was, how- be filled by the rains. A large stone ever, a circuitous route, sometimes was laid loosely over, or rather in, taken, through Peræa, on the east its mouth; and, as the hour was now side of the Jordan.
late, and the twilight nearly gone, 5. Sychar. The ancient name was we made no attempt to remove the Sichem, or Shechem. Gen. xii. 6; stone, and examine the vaulted enJosh. xxi. 21 ; Acts vii. 16. It was trance below. We had, also, no line situated about fifteen miles south- with us, at the moment, to measure easterly from the city of Samaria, the well; but, by dropping in stones, between Mount Ebal and Mount we could perceive that it was deep." Gerizim. This city was afterwards Maundrell says, “ that it is dug in a called Neapolis, whence are derived firm rock, is about 15 feet in diamethe modern names Napolose and ter, and 105 feet in depth, 15_of Nabulus. It now contains about which we found full of water.” The 8000 people, chiefly Muhammedans. depth of water, however, varies at The term Sychar was originally different seasons of the year. — Begiven in reproach, as it means, ac- ing wearied with his journey. This cording to its derivation, a lie or statement was contrary to the opinidol, or a drunkard, in allusion, as ions of the Docetæ, a sect in John's some have thought, to Is. xxviii. 1- day, who separated the emanation, 7, because this city was in the tribe or æon, which they called Christ, of Ephraim. “The Jews were fond from the mortal Jesus, and held that of such slight, like-sounding perver our Saviour was superior to fatigue sions of proper names; so the change and pain. — Thus. This word has between Beelzebub and Beelzebul, greatly perplexed commentators. It so too Bethaven for Bethel.” But has been construed variously, as in time such words lost their offen- meaning, afterwards, therefore, just sive signification, and were used for as he was, Acts xxvii. 17, negligentmere terms of designation, as, no ly, or at his ease. Some deem it doubt, the evangelist here employs redundant; others trace the term to the name of Sychar.— The parcel the discourses of the apostles, in of ground that Jacob gave to his son which they described how Jesus sat Joseph. See Gen. xxxiii. 19, xlviii. on, or by, the well. Winer, with 22, Josh. xxiv. 32.
more reason, understands it as “in6. Jacob's well. This is not men- dicating the repetition of the partitioned except here. Wells are high- cipial idea, fatigued, he sat down so, ly esteemed in the hot and dry (in the condition of fatigue.”) — Sixth regions of the east. This one bore hour, i. e. twelve o'clock, at noon. the veritable name of the patriarch 7. A woman of Samaria. Or, a Jacob, under whose direction it was Samaritan woman, one belonging to constructed. It was visited by Rob- the country, not the city of Samaria. inson, in his late travels, who says, Her interview with Jesus presents one that the well bears evident marks of the most vivid and interesting picof antiquity, but was now dry and tures in the whole Bible. In the
8 water : Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples 9 were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the
woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew,
askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria ? for the Jews 10 have no dealings with the Samaritans. - Jesus answered and said
unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that
space of twenty or thirty verses, or drink, or to sit at the same table, the number of customs, opinions, with one of that nation. Hence the historical facts, and religious princi- surprise of the woman at the request ples, which are touched upon, is of one, whom she recognized at once almost incredible to one who has not as a Jew. - For the Jews have no made it a special matter of reflection. dealings, &c., i. e. no friendly deal- To draw water. An office which ings with the Samaritans. This senfemales in the east often perform. tence is parenthetical, and introduced No system of religion has so much by the evangelist to explain to his ameliorated the condition of woman readers the reason of the woman's as Christianity. — Give me to drink. question. That there was some inIt was the middle of the day, and, tercourse between the two nations, at fatigued and thirsty, he, who was least in the way of business, is evi« touched with the feeling of our dent from ver. 8. The causes of the infirmities," asks for a draught of deadly enmity, alluded to in the cold water to satisfy the craving of text, were various. The Samaritans nature. It is a remark of Emerson, were not genuine Israelites, but a in his Letters from the Egean, that mixed race, partly descended from w to him, who has never panted be- heathen colonists. 2 Kings xvii. 24 neath the burning sun of Asia, or 41. They are supposed to have retrod its scorched and glowing soil, jected all the books of the Old Teswhose eye has never turned upon its ment, except the Pentateuch, or cloudless skies, or shot wistfully books of Moses. They vehemently along its parched and endless deserts, opposed the rebuilding of the temple the frequent mention of water, and at Jerusalem, after the Babylonish its important uses in the Bible, can captivity, Neh. ii. 19, iv. 1, 2, vi., come but with little weight; and he and built a temple of their own on alone who has toiled through the Mount Gerizim, which, they contendprivations of India, or writhed be- ed, was “ the place where men ought neath the withering sunbeams of the to worship.” Deut. xxvii. 12. On east, can enjoy in their full richness account of these reasons, sanguinary and luxury the sublime allusions of feuds had sprung up between the the Scriptures."
two provinces, and a more intense 8. Gone away unto the city to buy hatred prevailed, than towards the meat. The well was without the heathen themselves, Eccl. i. 25, 26, city, at some distance from it. Je- illustrating the general principle, sus, perhaps more wearied, remains that the more nearly religious parties at the well, while his followers go to approach each other in belief and the city market to procure food. worship, the more bitter often are
9. How is it that thou, being a Jew, their animosities. John viii. 48. &c. For it was unusual for a Jew to 10. If thou knewest the gift of God. ask any favor of a Samaritan, or to eat Or, better, the favor or kindness of
saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith 11 unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou 12 greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered 13 and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again : but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, 14 shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in
God, in granting such an opportunity. of Jesus would not be thus short- Living water, i. e. fresh running lived, but endure forever. In other water. Our Lord, with his usual words, the gospel contains unfailing wisdom, and power of drawing illus- nourishment for the soul of man. trations from objects around him, John vi. 51. The loftiest mind canturns the conversation into a spiritu- not rise above it, nor the wisest nor al channel, and, under this figure of the holiest outgrow it. The best of living water, describes the nature of our race have resorted to it, and his spiritual doctrines. He happily found it all-sufficient to meet the illustrated his own saying, that out deepest wants of their nature, both of the abundance of the heart the in life and in death. The purest form mouth speaketh, by the ease with of civilization on earth, has been but which he always directed conversa a distant approximation to Christ's tion to the great truths of religion. idea of human society. The noblest
11. Thou hast nothing to draw Christian, that ever lived, has been with. As the well was very deep, a but a dim and faded copy of his bucket and long line were required stainless, glorious Original. — In him. to draw up water. The woman un- These words are emphatic. Jesus derstood Jesus literally.
would open within man a never-fail12. Our father Jacob. The Samar- ing spring of improvement and hapitans, though hostile to the Jews, piness. He, above all other teachers, respected the memory of the patri- has taught us, that the outward nevarch. The fact that Jacob had made er can satisfy man; that the accumuand used this well, threw around it lated riches, honors, and pleasures precious associations, and to this day, of the whole world cannot cool the Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and fever of his heart; that passion and Muhammedans, feel the sacredness appetite might exhaust the universe, of the tradition.
and still cry, “Give, give.” But, on 13, 14. Jesus would explain his the other hand, if the spiritual founillustration, as referring to something tain of his soul be unsealed, he then within man, and not to literal water, has a source within himself, of clear, like that in the well. — Whosoever deep, everflowing, and everlasting drinketh of this water, shall thirst happiness. again. Bodily thirst, though quenched for a time, soon returns. - But
“ Within the pious heart it plays,
A living fount of joy and praise.” whosoever drinketh of the water. The spiritual satisfaction of the teachings Religion is not to be an act, a