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quel of the Story, h we read, that the Womanglorified God for her happy Recovery; that the Ruler of the Synagogue exprefs'd his Malice and Indignar tion at it; that our Saviour wisely justified the Action he had done; and that all the People rejoic'd and were exceedingly glad for what they had seen :'but, if the Woman's Disease was only Vapoursy and a little lowness of Spirit, her Gratitude was too prodigals because her Distemper was but a trifle, and all the Favour ,fhe had receiv'd from Jesus, was only that of a few fair Words ; the Ruler was outragious for nothing, for no Cure had been done in breach of the Sabbath-day; and the People's Joy was only Noise and Nonsense, because they had seen no glorious Thing perform'd. But enough has been said in Confutation of this idle Dream , and therefore proceed we next to our Lord's Prophetical Conversation, •with the Samaritan Woman.
* huh xiii. 13, &c. I Ray's Vind. Part 2. p. 5$.
SECT. SECT. XV.
Of his Prophetical Conversation with the Samaritan Woman. • UT instead of any thing Prophe- The Gbtical'm it, it is all mere Fortune-, jection. Wng. So far indeed as one can ga-r"ther from the Woman's Discourse, the "Expectation of the Samaritans was, "that the Messiah should be neither a "(Prince nor a Prophet, but Conjurer "only; and for what appears in the "Story (instead of any Tokens of . "Omniscience in it)the whole thing might "be a Cheat and Artifice. By some "private Intimations or other, (as the "Practice of Fortune-tellers is,) Jesus "might get Intelligence of some Ciric cumstances of this Woman's Life; and, "by the help of these, first raise her "Admiration, and then possels her with "the Notion of his being the promis'd "Messiah, which we find him more "ready to declare to her, than ever he l. was to wiser People.
The o- The k Samaritans originally were the tilwCutheans, and such other of the Eastern mans. Nations, as Efurhaddud, upon the Deportation of the Israelites., planted in Samaria; but after the Temple upon Mount Gerezim was built by Sanballat, and Samaria became a common Refuge and Asylum to all refractory Jews, this mixture of Inhabitants, in ft short time, produe'd a Change in Religion. For, whereas these Samaritans had hitherto, worshipped the God of Israel, in conjunction with the Gods of the East, from whence they came, when once the Jewish Worship came to be settled, and the Book of the Law of Moses to be read piiblickly, they conformed themselves wholly to the Worship of the true God, and, in the Performance of it, were as exact, as the yews, themselves: But herein they differ'd from the Jews, that they rejected all traditions, and received no other Scriptures, but the five Books of Moses. ThcirE*- In these Books however they had the feaathn express Promise of Moses himself, that • ^Tjk l God would raise up to them a Prophet, to whom they were to hearken ; and from the Prediction of Jacob might perceive,
f fr'u'eaux's. Connection, Part 1.1*6, Dcxf.xviii. 15.
that, now m the Sceftre was departing from Judah, the Time of Shiloh's coming was drawing near. From these Prophesies they might gather, that the MeJJiah was' to come in the Character of a King and a cProphet both: and 'tis .not to be doubted, but that.the general Expectation of the Jews at this Juncture, their near Neighbourhood, and the Fame of many wonderful Works of ye/us done elsewhere, might awaken in the Samaritans some Attention.
It is no great Matter of Wit to» give Prophets a burlesque Name to the most serious ouSht Thing in Nature; and because the Bu- caned siness of a Prophet extends to the Dis- Fortunecovery of Things past, as well as the ullers' Prediction of what is to come, therefore to repute him a Fortune-Teller: n But, by the fame kind of Treatment, may most of the great Prophets of old be Nkk-namd. Daniel, for Instance, must be a Fortune-Teller, because he not only foretold future Things, but likewise made Discoveries of past Secrets, and, particularly, that of the Dream of Nebuchadnezzar; nay, Moses himself must not eseape without being called a Conjurer, who (besides his many Prophe
"* Gen, xlix. TO.
0 Bp. Smalliroke's Vine?, /. 371.
sies of future Events) revealed past Transactions, relating to the Creation it self, the first fall of Man, the Deluge, the Dispersion of Mankind, together with the Reasons and Ends of these, and-many other Matters, that happen'd before his own Time. And must these great Prophets be rank'd among so vile a sot of People, as Conjurers and Soothsayers? Or rather must Prophejy it self, which, in its greatest Latitude, comprehends the Discovery both of past and futurft Things, and, in both Respects, is derived from the lame Divine Original, be exposed to Contempt under such a Character of Ridicule? oar Savi- The Samaritan Woman, 'tis certain, our had j^ a different Opinion, both of our ous Saviour and his Office, when (he found Know- him breaking in upon her Secrets, and this Wo- making a Discovery of Things, that man. were carefully concealed from the Eye of the World : for 'tis highly probable, that the infamous Course of her Life had not, as yet, been detected, since, upon our Saviour's reminding her of it, she seems so very much astonished. ° Come fee a Man, that told me all things, that ever I didy is an Expression so full of Wonder and Amazement, of Confusion of Mind, and Conviction of Conscience. i i
° John iv. 29.