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icience, as nothing, but an Eye, to which the most secret Recesses of the Heart lie naked and exposed, could have extorted. For we are to remember, that this was the first Interview that Christ ever had with this Woman ; that his Conference with her was purely accidental, in his Journey put of Judea into Galilee j and that he was Ib far from having any previous Intelligence of her private Circumstances, that he was not ib much as known to any of her Neighbours, and her Neighbours perhaps were as great Strangers, as any, to some Bosom-Secrets, that he had unfolded.
Chats and Impostors do seldom make His DJsit their Business to reform the World •co^l
but our Saviour j in his Conversation with inconsisthis Woman, endeavours to instruct her tent with in the most sublime Truths; P in thespi-Jj£" titual Nature of God ; the spiritual Worship, that is acceptable to him; the Imperfection, and speedy Abolishment both of the Jewish and Samaritan Worstiip ••the Gift of the Spirit, as communicable by him, and the Consequence of imparting it, namely, everlasting Life. AU these great and instructive Points (which but badly comport with the Character of an Impojlor) were, in one occasional Discourse, taught this Woman j
'Bp. SmaUbrokei Vind. p. 374.
man ; besides her Instruction, in order to Reformation, from the Discovery of the Secrets of her shameful Life. So that, what with the Excellence of his Doctrine, and a Conseiouiheis of his Omniscience, not only she, but i many Samaritans in the City likewise were induced to believe on him, and to acknowledge him to be indeed the Chrijl, the Saviour of the World. His de- Our Saviour, 'tis true, was so far who be fr°m making any unnecessary Declarations upouons of himself, that, on some Occasions, all proper we fincj him labouring to conceal hisDi* 'vine Character, and, both r upon St. Peter's confessing him to be the Chriji, and safter his Transfiguration, wherein he was declared to be the Son of Gody • charging his Disciples to fay nothing of this, until his Resurrection: and the Reason hereof is plain, because ' their Testimony in these Points might not only look like a Matter concerted between him and them, but because indeed they were not qualified to be his Witnesses of these Things, until they had received 'Power from on high, by the coming down of the Holy Ghojt. 'Tis to be observed however, that, when ever our Lord is himself fairly called upon,
11 John iv. 39, &C. 'Mark viii. 30. [ Matt. vii- 9. \ fyhitty up Matt. ix. 30.
and especially by Persons invested with Authority, he never once conceals his Divine Nature and Commission. When the jsews v came round him in Solomon'.; Porch, and said unto him, how long dost thou make us doubt? If thou be the Chrijf, tell us slain ; his Answer is express, I told you, and ye believed not, the Works that I do in my father s Name, they bear Witness of me, for land my Father are one. When he stood before the JudgmentSeat, and the High Priest demanded of him; w I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us, whether thou be the Chris, the Son of God; his answer is, thou hajl said, or as St. Mark expresses it, % I am\ and ye Jhall see the Son of Man fitting on the Right-hand os Power, and coming in the Clouds of Heaven. Nay, there are some Instances, wherein, of his own accord, and without any demand of this kind, he freely discovers who he was : For, having cured the Man, that was born Blind, and afterwards meeting him accidentally, dojl thou believe on the Son of God? fays he; whereupon the Man asking, Who is the Son of God, that I may believe on him? Our Saviour replies, Thou haft both seen hirrty and it is he, thattalketh with thee.
"John x. 24, &c. • Matt. xxvi. 63, 64. * M.nk xir. 61.
why he And therefore we need less wondef j
edh°m-r' '^j wnen tn's Samaritan Woman had self to first of all confessed him to be a Prophet, this Wo- and (as her Words seem to imply) was a little dubious, whether he was not the Messiah, our Saviour stiould prevent heir Enquiry, and tell her voluntarily, that he was: especially considering, y that such a Declaration might be a Means to prepare her, and the rest of the Samaritans, whenever his Apostles should come and preach the Gospel unto them* to receive their Testimony. And so we proceed to his Miracle upon the barren Fig-Tree.
Of his cursing the Fig-tree.
The ob- « DU T, of all the Miracles of Jesus, jeaion. « J-* commend me, lays the Unbeliever, "to his curjing the Fig - 'Tree for not "hearing Fruit out of Sea/on', which, at ic the first naming it, appears to be such "an absurd and ridiculous, if not "malicious and ill-natur'd Act, as-can "hardly be equalled in any Instance
J JYbittyin Locum.
"of the Life of a reputed wise Man. "The Evangelists have represented the "Matter in these Words. x Jejiis be"ing hungry, and Jeeing a Fig-Tree a"fas <$"•> having Leaves, he came, if 11 haply he might find any thing thereon; "jmd when he came to it, he found noil thing but Leaves, for the time of Figs "was not yet. And he said unto it, let 11 no Fruit grow on thee henceforward for "ever, and presently the Fig-Tree wi11 ther'd away. Now how inconsistent "is it with the Character ofje/us, a fi worker of Miracles, and who had "Angels to minister to him when he "pleased, that he should be driven to "such an Extremity of Hunger, as to "make him Passionate, and out of Hu"mour? How inconsistent with his "Omniscience, that when he saw this "Fig-Tree at a Distance, he should "not know, that it had no Fruit on it, "and so lave himself the Trouble of "going to it? But above all, how in"consistent with common Prudence, to ", expect Fruit at an unseasonable Time, "and then resent an unavoidable Difap*' pointment at so violent and outragi"ous a Rate? But, put the Case, that, "coming up to the Fig-Tree he had "haply found Fruit thereon; yet, still S . "we
* 'Matt. xxi. 19, &c Markxl> 13