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"He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria." — John 4:3-4

For two reasons: because Samaria lay in his passage, and because he had in design the conversion of this poor woman. We cannot imagine an event of such magnitude in itself — for there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth; and attended with such consequences as this was, for it involved the salvation also of many of the Samaritans — we cannot imagine that such an event was accidental. Nothing takes place by chance in our most common affairs; and is the conversion of a soul for everlasting blessedness a casualty?

In the recovery of sinners the grace of God is equally necessary and illustrious. By grace are we saved through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast; for we are his workmanship, created in Jesus Christ. And in the conversion Jesus here accomplished, we have an example of this grace. An example of its freeness, of its gentleness, of its power and of its effects.

Of its freeness, in selecting this wicked wretch, in spite of her unworthiness, and without her desire, and making her not only the partaker, but the instrument of his goodness.

Of its gentleness, in having recourse to no means of alarm, no violence. No angel appears with a drawn sword; no lightnings flash; no thunder rolls; no threatening terrifies. All is mercy, all is mildness; and he employs circumstances the most natural and suitable to bring her to conviction, and to induce her to pray.

Of its power, in the victory it gained over the corruptions of her heart. If there be a moral disorder that seems incurable, or an evil capable of resisting all reasoning and motive, it is the spirit of impurity. But behold here a new creature! She is not only pardoned, but renewed, and the change wrought at once!

Of its effects, she not only believes with the heart, but confesses with the mouth. She is not only enlightened, but inflamed. No sooner has she gained good, than she is concerned to do good. Personal religion becomes social. She cannot for a moment keep from others what she has seen and heard herself. What benevolence; what zeal, what urgency, what fortitude! "The woman then left her water-pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men. Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" And what success too! For they who speak from experience seldom speak in vain. "Then they went out of the city, and came unto him." Some of these might have accompanied her from curiosity, and some from the mere contagion of example, but not a few were deeply and savingly impressed. "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him, for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So, when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them and he abode there two days."

The sight of this had so affected our Saviour as, it would seem, to take away his appetite. He had been hungry, as well as thirsty, and the disciples had gone away into the city to buy meat. But when they returned, and prayed him, saying. Master, eat; he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. And when they said one to another, Hath any man brought him aught to eat? he said, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish his work." What a repast have I had since you left me! A poor, sinful Samaritaness has been here, and I have manifested myself to her; and under the impression, she has hastened to inform and invite her neighbours to come and hear me, and has prevailed! "Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?" But see the encouragement you have to scatter the seeds of divine truth. "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields" — see the woman and her company coming over yonder plain — "for they are already white unto harvest." Here the success is so immediate, that "the sower and the reaper rejoice together." And so it is written: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seeds; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt." 

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

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