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"The woman then left her water-pot." — John 4:28.

Three reasons may be assigned for this.

Perhaps she left it from kindness to our Saviour and his disciples. His disciples had gone into the city to buy meat, and had just returned; and they were now going to partake of their homely fare. But for beverage, they had nothing to draw with, and the well was deep. She therefore leaves them her vessel, to enable them to draw and drink. Female kindness, and contrivance, and accommodation, are as quick as thought, and need no prompter. I admire the simplicity of early hospitality. See Rebekah with Abraham's steward: "And she said, Drink, my lord; and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink." Ah, ye generous hearts, who wish to do good, and feel your want of power, do what you can. And remember the Saviour's words: " Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."

Perhaps she left it from indifference. She was now so impressed and occupied with infinitely greater and better things, that she forgets the very errand that brought her to the well. The feelings of new converts are peculiarly strong and lively. The eternal realities and glories that open to their view, dazzle their minds, and render them incapable of distinctly observing other objects. Considering the infirmity of our nature, it is not to be wondered at, if the powers of the world to come, and the "one thing needful," the care of the soul, should, for the time, engross all their attention, and make them too heedless of other claims.

Hence what we should censure in others, we excuse in young beginners, especially if they are suddenly awakened. I say excuse, for we never wish to justify ignorance, imprudence, and rashness. God is not the God of confusion: "Let every thing," says the Apostle, "be done decently, and in order." Religion is not to draw us off from our business and callings. Neither are we to leave our places and stations in life, even in pursuit of things good in themselves. When the demoniac had been dispossessed, he besought the Saviour that he might be with him. Yet "Jesus suffered him not;" but said, Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done for thee. And, says Paul to the Thessalonians, "Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands;" to provide things honest in the sight of all men; to maintain your families without dependence, and have, to give to him that needeth; and to preserve your religion from censure. We are not, therefore, to abandon our water-pots. We are not to be careless of our worldly substance, but to preserve and use it. Witness the cautions in Scripture against suretyship, and backing bills, and the admonition, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." Yet those who are born from above, and bound for glory, are only strangers and pilgrims upon earth; and they who have found the pearl of great price, will not, and cannot, feel towards worldly things as they once did. They cannot be so anxious to gain them; so overjoyed in possessing them; so depressed in losing them. And they will be willing to forsake whatever the service of God requires them to part with, however dear or valuable. Thus Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom, upon hearing the call, "Follow me," "arose, and followed him."

Perhaps she left it, as it would have proved a hinderance to her speed. The king's business requires haste. In this she was now engaged, and burning with zeal, she could not bear the thought of losing a moment in communicating the knowledge she possessed; and of saying to her neighbours, Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ? She knew the importance of the case. And she knew the brevity and uncertainty of the opportunity. It was not the gratification of their curiosity — it was their life. And if he withdrew from the well before they arrived, the day of their visitation might never return.

Upon the same principles, let us get rid of every impediment, and avoid every delay, not only in gaining good for ourselves, but in doing good to others. All is pending the moment. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

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

 
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