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aid they sought, and in whose name they performed it.
Shortly after, our Lord went up to Jerusalem, to the feast of the passover, where he beheld the profanation of the temple: for the rulers had introduced money-changing, and the sale of oxen, sheep, and doves for sacrifices, into the outward court of the Gentiles, which was the place where the proselytes used to worship.
Lucy. They could hardly attend on their devotions amidst the lowing of the oxen, and the bleating of the sheep.
Aunt. True; but these rulers had more concern for their worldly interest than for the souls of men. Our Saviour considered their practice as scandalous and profane, and, though appearing only as a poor man, he spake as one having authority, when he said, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise. And he overthrew the tables of the money-changers; and made a scourge of small cords, and drove out the sheep and oxen. George. Did the Jews say nothing to our Lord? Aunt. They required a sign, why he did all this; and he said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Maria. I don't understand our Lord's meaning. Aunt. Neither did the Jews; for they said, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake, not of the temple which was of man's building, but of his body, of which the temple was a type. Though our Saviour refused to work a miracle at the instigation of the Jews, he wrought many in sight of the multi
tude, who were come to the feast; for it is said that many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did; among whom was Nicodemus, a considerable man in the great Sanhedrim, and of the sect of the Pharisees, who came to Jesus privately by night.
Maria. For what purpose?
Aunt. Being convinced of our Lord's divine mission, from the miracles which he wrought, he seems to have been desirous of learning what the peculiar doctrines were, which he meant to inculcate, as a teacher sent from God. Jesus began by informing him, that except he was 'born again, or, in other words, had a change of heart, he could not enter into the kingdom of God. But I would have you read the whole account, in the 3d chapter of John. Nicodemus became a faithful, though secret, disciple, as appears from other passages of St. John's gospel. Our Lord left Jerusalem, and went about the provinces of Judea, for the space of seven or eight months, during which tim we have no account of his actions; except, in general, we are informed, that he continued to enforce the object of his mission, and succeeded so as to procure more disciples than John his forerunner. Lucy. Did John continue to preach and baptize? Aunt. He did; having crossed the river Jordan, and removed to Enon, near Salim, a place remarkable for springs of water, where he had great conveniency for baptizing. A dispute which arose between John's disciples and the Jews, concerning purifying, occasioned them to inform John of the success of Jesus, and that he was followed by all men: upon which, he openly declared Jesus to be the Son of God, and
that he himself was only like the morning star, whose glory must decrease as that of the sun increased; that he was of the earth, but Jesus came from heaven and was above all, and that the Father loved the Son, and had given all things into his hand.
The fame of John could not long be concealed from Herod, in whose dominions he was; and it appears from the account given us in the gospels, that Herod attended on his ministry; for, we are told, that he heard John gladly, and did many things. John took this occasion to reprove him for the scandalous vices in which he lived, particularly his having taken Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.
George. Would the king bear to hear it?
Aunt. Herod had a veneration for him, knowing him to be a just and upright man, but, by the instigation of his wife Herodias, who, with the fury of a Jezebel, sought all occasions to destroy this holy man, he became daily more averse to him, and, to satisfy her importunities, sent John to prison, where he continued above a year. I shall not detain you any longer at this time.
Aunt. ABOUT the time of John's imprisonment, our Lord left the provinces of Judea to go into Galilee. In this journey it was necessary for him to pass through Samaria; that province lying between Judea and Galilee. Having advanced to its interior parts, he came to a city called Sychar, or Sichem,
where was a well, called Jacob's well, Jesus, wearied with his journey and the heat of the weather, it being about noon, sat down on the well, and sent his disciples into the city to buy some provision.
George. But if our Lord had gone into the city, he might have been accommodated.
Aunt. Our Lord knew the Samaritans were not disposed to receive the Jews into their houses; for the enmity between the two nations was so great, that they generally confined all their intercourse to matters of mere necessity, and mutually refused any actions of friendship or kindness. A woman of Samaria, at this juncture, came to draw water. Jesus asked her to give him some.
~ Maria. Did she refuse him?
Aunt. No; but she expressed her surprise, that he, being a Jew, should ask water of her, a Samaritan. To which Jesus made answer, that if she had known the gift of God, and who it was that spake to her, she would have asked of him living water. The woman replied, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Jesus said, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. This language the woman did not understand; and she aswered as one in amazement, and half disposed to ridicule: Sir, give me this water, that I thirst no more, neither come hither to draw.
Lucy. Did not our Lord speak figuratively?
God; and the water that he gives is the Holy Ghost (John vii. 37-39), which springeth up in the hearts of all believers in holy affections, and will terminate in everlasting felicity. But the woman was still more surprised, when our Lord told her the transactions of her life; and she answered, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet: or fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. (The Samaritans had built a temple in opposition to the temple at Jerusalem, which I shall give you a more full account of at a future period.) Jesus said unto her,.. Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews: but the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Here, my dear children, our Lord explains what true worship is: it consists not in modes and forms, or being of this or that party; whatever mode you use, if your hearts are not engaged, you have only the form of godliness, but are entirely destitute of the power: for our Lord has expressly said, Ye must worship God in spirit and in truth. The woman replied, I know that Messias cometh, who is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus said unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And she left her water-pot, and went into the city.
Maria. I wonder she should run away immediately.
Aunt. Her heart was so full of admiration and surprise, that she ran to communicate the joyful tidings to the people of the city, saying, Come, see a man