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LXXIII.

"He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, Say we not well that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me."-St. John viii. 47-49.

Exposition.-Sadler says: "He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not because ye are not of God. Here we have from the lips of Incarnate Wisdom the real reason for the rejection of the Person and message of Christ. Nor is this less true of those who reject Christ in this day, than it was of those who were rejecting Him then. It is certainly put forth by our Lord as a truth of universal application and reception. It presupposes of course that His claims are known, and that they are commended by the lives, and by the earnestness, and by the unanimity of those who represent Him. And we humbly trust that many who in this age reject the Christ of the Bible, do so because of the very imperfect witness of the

Church-because of her imperfect holiness and divisions."

- Isaac Williams comments as follows: "If I speak the truth, why do ye not believe me? The question is asked, but the awful answer is immediately given. He that is of God heareth the words of God: ye hear them not because ye are not of God. This is a further explanation of that previous expression, Ye do not understand my speech because ye cannot hear my word, that is, their not being able to hear was of itself their condemnation, as it proved them not to be of God. On this is founded the whole system of man's redemption through faith in Christ; that hearing Christ's word is the proof of being of God; not being able to hear it is reprobation, the proof of being not of God."

The Bible Commentary puts the same thing thus: "The true child of God alone can hear the words, each separate message, of God. For this reason, because the power of hearing depended on inward affinity, the Jews could not hear, because they were not of God. But the whole scope of the argument proves that this state does not exclude true moral responsibility."

On the words of the Jews, Say we not well that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil, St. Augustine comments as follows: "Of these two things cast up to Him, He denied the one,

the other He denied not. For He answered and said, I have not a devil. He said not I am not a Samaritan; and yet the two things were cast up to Him. Albeit He rendered not railing for railing, albeit He rebutted not reproach by reproach; yet it concerned Him to deny the one, and leave the other not denied. Not for nothing, my brethren. For Samaritan is by interpretation 'keeper'. He knew Himself our Keeper. He then is our Keeper Who is also our Creator. For did it concern Him that we should be created, and not concern Him that we should be saved? In short, that ye may more fully know the mystery why He behoved not to deny Himself to be a Samaritan, mark that well-known parable, in which a certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who, wounding him grievously, left him on the road half-dead. A priest went that way, took no notice: a Levite went that way, and he too passed on: there came that way a certain Samaritan, the same is our Keeper; He came near to the wounded man, and showed Himself neighbour unto him whom He counted not for an alien. To this then alone He made answer, that He had not a devil, not that He was not a Samaritan."

And St. Chrysostom likewise: "A shameless and a froward thing is wickedness, and when it

some one.

ought to hide itself, then it is the fiercer. As was the case with the Jews. For when they ought to have been pricked by what was said, admiring the boldness and conclusiveness of the words, they even insult Him, calling Him a Samaritan, and saying that He had a devil. Because when He uttereth anything sublime, this is thought among the very senseless to be madness. Yet no where before did the Evangelist say that they called Him a Samaritan; but from this expression it is probable that this had been often asserted by them. Thou hast a devil, saith Who is it that hath a devil? He That honoureth God, or he that insulteth Him That honoureth Him? What then saith Christ, Who is very meekness and gentleness. I have not a devil, but I honour Him That sent me. Where there was need to instruct them, to pull down their excessive insolence, to teach them not to be proud because of Abraham, He was vehement; but when it was needful that He being insulted should bear it, He used much gentleness. When they said, We have God and Abraham for our Father; He touched them sharply; but when they called Him a demoniac, He spake submissively, thus teaching us to avenge insults offered to God, but to overlook such as are offered to ourselves."

First Thought.-We are God-fearing folk, earnestly desirous of doing His will, yet we are in danger of forgetting that since our Lord has come into the world there is set before us a type of humanity after which we are called upon to pattern our lives, and which we rarely make any hearty effort faithfully to live up to. The Master might say to us: "He that is of Christ heareth Christ's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of Christ." For it is most true that there are many of the more characteristic of our Lord's precepts which we quite ignore, as if they were impracticable; as, for example, His teachings concerning humility, and the turning of the other cheek to the smiter, of silence under ill-treatment, and of reaching out after perfection. We do not hear His words. to any purpose when He thus speaks; we read them in the Bible, and pass on unmoved by them to other subjects. Is it because we are not of Christ? We are His by our baptism, by the whole of the sacramental life in which we have share. But unless we are also His in heart, the sacramental life must be a hurt rather than a blessing to us. Are we daily setting before ourselves the thought of being altogether joined to Him, as the one supreme desire of our souls? Are we daily contemplating His example, portrayed for us in the Bible, as the only way in which we

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