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on still in darkness; until "their feet stumble upon the dark mountains; and while they look for light, the Lord their God turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness."

a Jer. xiii. 16.

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LECTURE IV.

OUR LORD'S TEACHING IN SAMARIA AND GALILEE.

-AT WHAT PERIOD, AND FOR WHAT REASON, HE BEGAN TO ARGUE IN DEFENCE OF HIS MISSION.

MATTHEW IV. 23.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people.

We know that "Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good;" that he imparted health to the diseased, consolation to the distressed, and instruction to the ignorant. As in reading the history of the benevolent Howard, so also in perusing that of Jesus, our admiration is mingled with a feeling of thankful satisfaction that such an one has appeared among mortals, gifted with the disposition and the ability to alleviate "the miseries of this sinful world."-But it is not merely as a Philanthropist that we must contemplate the character of Jesus. For at the moment that we are sympathizing in the joy of those who are rejoicing because he has dried up their tears, we find a claim presented to ourselves for somewhat more than admiration. We find that he has

somewhat to declare to us, as well as to the immediate objects of his more than human beneficence. He has excited indeed a deep interest in our minds; but we perceive that his design is not accomplished, unless he can prevail upon us to recognize in himself the features of a messenger of God, and, with unabated interest, and also with implicit obedience, to listen to his heavenly doctrine. And if, after such a discovery, we manifest a disposition to stifle the feelings of admiration, to withdraw our confidence, and to retire from his presence, he suffers us not to depart, till he has changed his tone of invitation into that of solemn, but affectionate, warning, as to the ingratitude, inconsistency, and danger, of disregarding his instructions. We find that we must still follow him, not only for the gratification of our benevolent feelings; not only because we can "eat of the loaves and be filled;" nay, not only because we can see some miracle done by him," and learn thereby that "God is with him ;" but that we may "labour for, and be nourished by, the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which he, as the Son of man, shall give unto us; for him hath God the Father sealed." And if we ask, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" we hear him declaring, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." We naturally inquire in what cha

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racter he is sent; and what evidence we have to assure us that he is, for purposes so important, "sealed, sanctified, and sent into the world."— Upon this principle we proposed to conduct our inquiries; and taking occasion from the brief statement given in our text, let us now so far consider the detail of his earlier ministrations, subsequently to the discourse with Nicodemus, as to learn from his own lips what he says of himself, and also "what signs he shews that we may see and believe him."

Subsequently to the solemnities of the Passover at Jerusalem, and to the conference with Nicodemus, Jesus went from the city into Judea; and, because John had then retired into Galilee, tarried there for the space of probably six or seven months, and baptized. But knowing that the Pharisees were aware, that he had made and baptized even more disciples than John; and probably apprehending that the Pharisees, being jealous of his success, might follow the example of Herod, who had imprisoned John in Galilee; he left Judea, and journeyed towards Galilee, that he might labour in the footsteps of his forerunner. "And he must needs go through Samaria."— Thither let us accompany him, and behold him, wearied with his journey, sitting at the well of Jacob, near the city Sychar. For there shall we hear his heavenly doctrine, and an explicit avowal

of the character in which he delivered it, at the well-known and interesting interview with a Samaritan woman.

As Jesus sat by the well, the woman came to draw water; and Jesus asked for a draught of the water. The request was received with an expression of wonder which almost implied a refusal; because the mutual enmity of the Jews and Samaritans had long prevented all intercourse of a friendly nature. But our Lord, who came to remove the enmity between Jew and Gentile, and to reconcile them to each other, so as to bring them into one body by his cross, checked rather than encouraged her indulgence of this national animosity; and, borrowing, as his custom was, an illustration from the objects immediately before him, in a gradual and familiar manner he led her to the consideration and apprehension of the great truths in which he designed to instruct her.

"If, says he, thou hadst known the gift of God, and who it is that says to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." Her attention and curiosity were excited by the latter expression, which seemed to allude to present and sensible things; but the first clause which pointed out the

John iv. 5-42.

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