John 4:27
Just then, His disciples returned and were astonished that He was speaking with a woman. But no one asked Him, "What do You want from her?" or, "Why are You talking with her?"
The Astonishment of IgnoranceD. Young John 4:27
Chance in the Divine EconomyJ. Fawcett, M. A.John 4:1-42
Characteristics of Christ Displayed in This ConversationBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Christ Abolishing PrejudicesLange.John 4:1-42
Christ and the SamaritansH. Burton, M. A.John 4:1-42
Christ and the WomanT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ and the Woman of SamariaBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Christ and the Woman of SamariaCaleb Morris.John 4:1-42
Christ At Jacob's WellCarl Keogh, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ Driven AwayJeremiah Dyke.John 4:1-42
Christ in His Human Weakness and Divine ExaltationLange.John 4:1-42
Christ's Gentleness with the FallenJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ's RequestBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Commendable EnthusiasmDr. Guthrie.John 4:1-42
Connection Between the Conversations with the Woman of Samaria and with NicodemusBp. Westcott.John 4:1-42
He Left JudaeaW. H. Dixon., Canon Westcott.John 4:1-42
In the Path of ChristJ. Trapp.John 4:1-42
Influence After DeathH. W. Beecher.John 4:1-42
Its HistoryBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Jacob's Well a TypeL. R. Bosanquet.John 4:1-42
Jacob's Welt an Emblem of the SanctuaryR. H. Lovell.John 4:1-42
Jesus At the WellS. S. TimesJohn 4:1-42
Jesus At the WellSermons by the Monday ClubJohn 4:1-42
Jesus At the Well of SycharJames G. Vose.John 4:1-42
Jesus Found At the WellJohn 4:1-42
Jesus Sitting on the WellC. H. SpurgeonJohn 4:1-42
No Sympathy Without SufferingBoswell.John 4:1-42
Our Attitude Towards SamariaW. Hawkins.John 4:1-42
Providence Shown in ConversionsJ. Flavel.John 4:1-42
Sat Thus on the WellF. Godet, D. D.John 4:1-42
Soul-Winning TactBible Society ReportJohn 4:1-42
Subsidiary PointsH. J. Van Dyke, D. D.John 4:1-42
Suffering Begets SympathyJ. Trapp.John 4:1-42
Tact and Kindness Will Win SoulsJohn 4:1-42
The Appropriateness of the Place for the PurposeJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The ConferenceJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Drawer of WaterJ. R. Macduff; D. D.John 4:1-42
The First Visit to SamariaG. D. Boardman, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Interior of the WellLieut. S. Anderson, R. E.John 4:1-42
The Jewish Treatment of WomenS. S. TimesJohn 4:1-42
The Journey to SamariaA. Beith, D. D.John 4:1-42
The LocalityF. I. Dunwell, B. A.John 4:1-42
The Lost One Met and SavedJ. Gill.John 4:1-42
The Model TeacherC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Needs BeJ. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Occasion of the JourneyW. Arnot, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Ordinances NecessaryDean Goulburn.John 4:1-42
The Parcel of Ground that Jacob Gave to His Son JosephA. Beith, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Pedagogy or Rudimentary Teaching of JesusC. E. Luthardt, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Real Significance of the Woman's Coming to ChristJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Realness of the SceneDean Stanley.John 4:1-42
The Retreat of JesusJohn 4:1-42
The Revolution Christ Effected in the Treatment of WomenJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Rite of BaptismT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Self-Abnegation of ChristC. E. Luthardt, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Sixth HourBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
The Thirsting SaviourA. Warrack, M. A.John 4:1-42
The Three BaptismsF. Godet, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Weary PilgrimJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Woman of SamariaJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Woman of SamariaW. Jay.John 4:1-42
Topography of Jacob's Well and NeighbourhoodC. Geikie, D. D.John 4:1-42
Unquenchable EnthusiasmD. L. Moody.John 4:1-42
Utilizing Disagreeable NecessitiesA. F. Muir, M. A.John 4:1-42
Value of a Well in the EastH. W. Beecher.John 4:1-42
Weariness and WorkW. Poole Balfern.John 4:1-42
Why Christ Did not Personally BaptizeJohn 4:1-42
Why Religious Ordinances are Sometimes UnprofitableD. Guthrie, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christian WorshipR. Brodie, M. A.John 4:20-29
Christianity Non-CentralizedDr. Whichcote., J. Boyd.John 4:20-29
How to Worship GodDean Close.John 4:20-29
Human Curiosity and Divine MysteryW. M. H. Aitken, M. A.John 4:20-29
Mount GerizimF. I. Dunwell, B. A.John 4:20-29
Not Where, But How is the Main ThingClerical LibraryJohn 4:20-29
Spiritual WorshipF. W. Robertson, M. A.John 4:20-29
The Advent of Christ in Relation to the HeathenCanon Vernon Hutton.John 4:20-29
The Breadth of Spiritual ReligionPhillips Brooks, D. D.John 4:20-29
The Church of the FutureH. W. Beecher.John 4:20-29
The Old Worship and the NewR. W. Dale, LL. D.John 4:20-29
The True Worship of GodT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:20-29
The Vanity of Religious ControversyJ. Fawcett, M. A.John 4:20-29
This MountainArchbishop Trench.John 4:20-29
Traditional ReligionJ. Lightfoot, D. D.John 4:20-29
Veneration for Places of Ancient WorshipR. W. Dale, D. D.John 4:20-29
A Fourfold ThemeD. Thomas, D. D.John 4:27-42
Christ's Treatment of the Waifs and StraysJ. Cynddylan Jones.John 4:27-42
Gospel Work in SycharC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 4:27-42
Jewish Prejudice Against WomenF. Godet, D. D.John 4:27-42
Moments of SilenceJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:27-42
Sowing and ReapingSunday School TimesJohn 4:27-42
Sowing and ReapingH. C. McCook, D. D.John 4:27-42
Sowing and ReapingSermons by the Monday ClubJohn 4:27-42
The Mission of the WomanBp. Ryle.John 4:27-42
The Reticence of the DisciplesS. S. TimesJohn 4:27-42
The Samaritan Woman and Her MissionC. H. Spurgeon.John 4:27-42
The Seclusion of Oriental WomenS. S. TimesJohn 4:27-42
The Test of FriendshipH. C. Trumbull, D. D.John 4:27-42

These disciples marvelled that Jesus talked with a woman at all. Thus we have proof positive that this conversation occurred at an early stage of the ministry of Jesus. The disciples would soon cease to marvel at Jesus talking with women. What. a difference the ministry of Jesus has made in the position of women! What an illumination and example are given by his treatment of them!

I. THE DEGRADED CONDITION OF THIS WOMAN. A condition, not because of something peculiar to her as an individual, but simply because she was a woman. Think of the work to which she was put, travelling away out of the city at the noontide hour to get water at the well. Hard as her lot was, it was not peculiarly hard; she would not be worse off than most women of her acquaintance. Think, too, of the light thrown upon the life of woman in that place by the startling announcement of Jesus, "Thou hast had five husbands." Some of these, perhaps, had died, but some, possibly all even, had got tired of the wife, and made an excuse to send her away. Considering the need of the woman, the real marvel would have been if Jesus ha& remained silent with such a golden opportunity.

II. THE HELP JESUS GAVE HER. Take this woman as representative of the toiling, burdened woman everywhere. She has her own share in this world's work and, weariness, and more than her own share in the world's monotony. Many women there must be who want refreshment and brightness, something to make life less mechanical, something to bring at least a bit of blue into the sky, a bit of sunshine into the room. Jesus, speaking to the woman of Samaria, speaks to such. It was irksome work for her coming "hither" daily to draw. So Jesus hints mysteriously at a new fountain of waters, gushing out with a fulness and force which indicated the exhaustless stores within; and so the poor woman, thinking but of her daily toil, begs for this water that she may thirst not, neither come to draw. Yet this was the request Jesus did not comply with. She still would have to take her daily journey to Jacob's well. Jesus helped her otherwise; even spiritually, one hopes that, after getting so much instruction and so many explanations, this wearied woman did have opened up in her heart the well of water springing up to everlasting life. If so, then forever she would have to bless the journey to the well. Her load of daily duties was not diminished in itself, but practically it was diminished, because her strength was increased. Thus Jesus would help all women. He is far above the limitations of sex. The marvel now is that women will not come and talk with Jesus, seeing he is a Helper still wherever the faith and obedience are found that make his help available.-Y.

And upon this.
Sunday School Times.

1. Face-to-face work (ver. 27, John 1:42, 43, 47; John 21:16; Acts 3:4; Acts 9:5).

2. The convert's message (ver. 29; Matthew 9:31; Mark 5:20; Mark 7:36; John 1:41, 45; John 9:25).

3. The dawning conviction (ver. 29; Matthew 14:33; Matthew 27:54; Mark 9:24; John 6:69; John 20:28; Acts 9:20).


1. Correcting misapprehensions (ver. 34; Matthew 5:17, 22, 29; Mark 12:27; Luke 13:2, 3; John 9:3; Galatians 6:7).

2. Indicating labour (ver. 35; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Matthew 10:6; Matthew 20:4; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; 1 Corinthians 1:17).

3. Extending inducements (ver. 36; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:46; Mark 9:41; Revelation 2:7, 10).


1. Commended in the city (ver. 39; Acts 8:5, 40; Acts 9:27; Acts 11:19; Acts 14:6, 7; Romans 1:15).

2. Honoured by the city (ver. 40; Jonah 3:5; Matthew 8:34; Matthew 21:10; Mark 1:33; Mark 6:56; Acts 14:13).

3. Accepted by a city (ver. 42; Matthew 9:35; Acts 2:43; Acts 8:8; Acts 13:44; Acts 18:10; Revelation 21:23).

(Sunday School Times.)

I. CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST (vers. 27-30).

1. On the part of the apostles, who kept silence at the strange communion. They witnessed the power of Christ to awaken new life within the soul. Further on they knew better, but as yet they were caste-bound Jews. In view of their ancient prejudices, their silence is much to their credit. The Master may be always trusted to do right. Let us not question.

2. On the part of the woman. Not simply that she felt that her water-pot would be safe, but in her Saviour. The ground of this trust was Christ's knowledge of the secret life (Daniel 2:28-30, 47). History is full of such proofs of Christ's Divinity. He who looks within the Gospel sees his own heart mirrored. Truly this is the book of God.

II. THE SOUL'S TRUE NATURE (vers. 31-34).

1. "Man shall not live by bread alone " (Matthew 3:4).

2. Noble souls are fed by the simple consciousness of doing good. The patriot, mother, wife, student, missionary have forgotten hunger.

3. The best way to lift a soul above temptation is to fill it with a worthy aspiration. An empty soul is a standing invitation to the roving spirits of evil. The music of Orpheus is a surer guard than the wax of Ulysses in the ears.

4. The noblest purpose that can occupy a soul is to do God's will and finish His work.


1. There is always an interval between seed-time and harvest.(1) In nature. With some plants the time is less, with some more. Life, events, great thoughts, deeds, characters, are growths. A great man is the product of centuries. The present is born of the past. Impatience to reap ere the seed has matured has wrought many a barren harvest. No amount of fretting or driving will force a harvest.(2) In the spiritual world. Here the harvest is always ripe. The foregoing ages have prepared for their successors.

2. There is a fellowship in toil and fruitage between the dead and the living. The influence of the dead is continuous. "Their works do follow them."

3. "No man liveth to himself." One supplements another's toil. Joseph needed a Moses; Moses a Joshua; Joshua a Samuel; Samuel on the one hand a David, and on the other Elijah and the prophets. All these were perfected in Christ. How this should sweep away bigotry and encourage charity!

4. Our responsibility to the past and the future.(1) The past has claims upon us. If we would reap the good seed our fathers sowed we must nurture the crop that has sprung therefrom. Creeds, etc., are not to be dealt with ruthlessly.(2) The future has claims upon us. "Posterity never did anything for me," says the sneerer. But it can do much by giving you a noble purpose? Supposing your predecessors had thus argued! In sowing, let us think that we are sowing for ever, and not for present use alone.

5. The community of sower and reaper in wages.(1) The dark side. If the sowing be evil, so will be the wages. What a harvest of woe Israel reaped, and Babylon, Egypt, and Rome, and France.(2) The bright side — in both worlds.


1. How readily the woman became a missionary!(1) Home, in that she carried the gospel to her own people.(2) Foreign, because those people were outside the pale of the true Israel.

2. The genuineness of the faith and grace of the Samaritan believers is seen in that their belief on good testimony led them to believe on good experience.

(H. C. McCook, D. D.)

Sermons by the Monday Club.
I. THE GREAT TEACHER, AS HE AVAILS HIMSELF OF AN INSIGNIFICANT AND UNPROMISING OPPORTUNITY. The disciples marvelled at His doing what was beneath a Rabbi's dignity. The same spirit interposed between Christ and little children. The woman, moreover, was a despised, hated, and ignorant Samaritan.

1. This was unpromising ground, but Jesus did not consider it beneath His notice.

2. In this unpromising soil He sows the best seed. An audience of one was not too small to call forth His richest treasures of truth.

3. Here is an example for every teacher. Wesley remembered his father saying to his mother, "How could you have the patience to tell that blockhead the same thing twenty times over?" "Because if I had only told him nineteen times I should have lost all my labour."

4. Never mind if your seed falls by the wayside: a bird may carry it elsewhere.

II. THE DELIGHT OF THE TEACHER IN HIS WORK. He has sources of refreshment unknown to the disciples. He would rather work than eat.

1. No one can do his work well until he has learned to enjoy it.

2. The delight of labour is not only in that part of it which is interesting and agreeable. A teacher of imbecile children had one boy of five who had never spoken or given an intelligent look. He lay beside the child for half an hour every day, reading aloud, and watching eagerly for any volition. At length, being utterly weary, he did not read. The child began to be uneasy, and then, alter repeated efforts, the child placed his fingers on the teacher's lips, as much as to say: "Make that sound again." After a time the boy was taught to walk, and speak, and think.

III. THE GREAT SOWER EXPECTING A SPEEDY HARVEST. Men are too prone not to look for an early reaping, and so sometimes miss the harvest. We sow with too little hope. Four months, said the disciples. "Now," said the Master. Expectancy is needful for courage and patience. Always look for near results. Do not pull up the stalk to see if it has taken root, but watch, and wait, and believe.

IV. THE DISPROPORTOINATENESS OF THE HARVEST. The audience and time were seemingly .unfavourable — the result was that many believed.

1. The woman heard and heeded. Then she ran, as did the woman from the empty tomb, to tell those nearest.

2. All barriers were broken down. They believed not only because He spoke as never man spoke, but because He spoke the truth they needed.

3. God alone gives the increase, but He does so to the feeblest efforts.

(Sermons by the Monday Club.)

I. PREJUDICE CREATING WONDER. The disciples had never examined the question as to the inferiority of women for themselves.

II. REVERENCE LIMITING INQUIRY. Though not understanding or deeming it improper, they did not dare to question. Genuine reverence will not allow the intellect to interrogate the Almighty, but recognizes the infinite dis. parity between the thoughts and ways of God and those of men. It becomes us to be humble listeners rather than busy critics.

III. CHRISTIANITY WORKING IN LIFE. Mark how faith worked in the woman.

1. Emotionally. The more Divine our feeling the less our care for worldly things.

2. Proselytingly. Her strong desire made her a blessed missionary.

3. Religiously. She knew that Christ had sounded the depths of her history.

4. Influentially. Real earnestness wields a magic wand.


1. A common natural fact — the influence of the emotions on the physical appetite.

2. The rare moral fact — the consciousness of acting in harmony with the Divine will, creating forgetfulness to bodily need.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

1. Christ, with divinely skilful art, seeks after a single soul. We must have large congregations or we are disinclined for soul winning.

2. See the skill which compassion taught Him. Souls yield not to force, but to gentleness and wisdom.

3. The disciples marvel because Christ talked with a woman, a Samaritan, a sinner.

4. How could they do so after Christ had chosen them? It is sad when saved ones affect super. fine spirituality and turn away from such as Jesus would have welcomed.

5. In consequence of their interruption one of the sweetest conferences ever held was broken up. No breakers of communion are more blameable or frequent than Christ's disciples when out of sympathy with their Master.

6. Although the conference was broken up it was over-ruled for good. Since the woman cannot contemplate Christ nor hear Him, she will give herself to holy activity. Driven away from sitting like Mary at the Master's feet, let us rise to play the worker. When you are taken out of your usual course by a jerk, the Lord has special work for you to do.

7. The woman now becomes a messenger for Christ. From conference to testimony.

8. She leaves her waterpot —(1) For speed.(2) Perhaps her errand has made her forgetful; just as our Lord forgot His hunger in seeking her soul.(3) Without thought she hit upon as good an action as thought would have suggested. The waterpot may have been useful to Christ.(4) It was a pledge of her return.

9. Observe particularly her mode of address.(1) Her one aim was to bring the people to Christ. She said nothing about their sins, nor did she try to reform them. She called them to one who could set them right.(2) She was very earnest.(3) She was self-forgetful. If you have been a great sinner be ashamed of it, hut do not be ashamed of the love which saved you. Never mind what people think — testify, and only look to what they will think of Jesus for having forgiven you.(4) She was brief. If women preached just as long as she did no one could find fault with them.(5) She was vivacious — almost as laconic as Caesar. "I came, I saw," etc.(6) She was sensible. She did not say that Jesus was the Christ, but suggested it with great modesty for the men to examine.(7) Her argument was exceedingly strong — drawn from herself and adapted to the men. Let us look at the woman's whole message.


1. It was a clever, as well as a genuine and hearty invitation. "Come, see," was putting it most fairly, and men like a fair proposal. This is Christ's own word to His first disciples, and they used it when pleading with others.

2. It threw the responsibility on them. I may preach the gospel to you, but I cannot go to Christ in your stead.

3. It was pleasantly put, so as to prove the sympathy of the speaker — not "go," but "come." A sister's heart spoke in that word.

4. What a blessed vanishing of the speaker there is! Preaching is spoiled by self-consciousness. The fish knows little about the angler, but he knows when he has swallowed the hook.


1. The argument lies concealed. The woman does not argue the point. "If Jesus be the Christ, then you should come with me and see Him," because she is persuaded that the people have agreed to it. You are not so practical as these people. You believe that Jesus is the Christ; why then don't you believe in Him as your Saviour?

2. What she did argue was this — this man, is He not the Christ? because —(1) He has revealed me unto myself. Were you ever out in a black night when a single lightning flash has come? It has only smitten one oak, but it has revealed the landscape. So when the Lord showed one point in the woman's history He showed all. No one proves himself truly anointed unless he begins by showing you your sins.(2) He has revealed Himself to me.(3) She seemed to say — "This is more to me than it can be to you, for He has dealt personally with me; therefore I abide in my assurance that He is the Christ; but go and learn for yourselves.(4) "You may come, I know, for He received me. I was at home with Him in a moment." Conclusion: If you do not come to Christ for salvation, you will have to come to Him for judgment.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)


1. The feeling of the disciples does not stand alone in the Bible (Luke 15:2; Acts 9:26; Acts 12:16).

2. This feeling is common now.

3. If there was more real faith there would be less surprise at conversions (Matthew 11:25; Mark 6:6).


1. We see the expulsive power of the grace of the Holy Ghost, driving out old tastes and interests (Matthew 9:9; Mark 1:19; Acts 9:20).

2. This conduct is uncommon in the present day. Why? Because so few really feel their sins and flee to Christ.


1. She employed no abstruse argument in favour of our Lord's claims.

2. Out of the abundance of her heart her mouth spoke —




(Bp. Ryle.)

I. THE GLORY OF ALL TRUE USEFULNESS BELONGS TO CHRIST (ver. 27). The woman is nameless, and nothing else is known of her.

II. COMMONPLACE SELF-DENIAL AN EVIDENCE OF GRACE (ver. 28). To leave a waterpot for a thirsty disciple better sometimes than the bequest of a fortune. Simon made a feast for Jesus, but the woman with the alabaster box showed more generosity.

III. THE NEAREST FIELD OF USEFULNESS IS OFTEN THE BEST (ver. 28). She knew the prejudices of the city and the great shock they would receive. But this was the field closest to hand. Many people spend half a lifetime in looking for their vocation, whereas God is always saying, "Begin at home" (Mark 5:19).

IV. WOMEN ARE SOMETIMES MORE USEFUL THAN MEN. They have more tact, fervency, fortitude.

V. THE PRIVILEGE OF "HIM THAT HEARETH" IS THAT HE MAY SAY "COME" (ver. 29). The Greek is an adverb of beckoning, a gesture of language, "Hither." Let no one hesitate for addresses or acts. He who temporizes will be like Demas; he who calculates like Ananias; he who covets like Achan; but he who gives himself wholly to Christ's service will say, "Come and see."


VII. NO GREAT TALENT NEEDED IN ORDER TO DO GOOD (ver. 30). It is piety, not education, spirituality and experience, .not culture or learning which God uses in the conversion of souls.


IX. DIVISION OF LABOUR ESSENTIAL FOR THE WORK OF THE GOSPEL (ver. 37). Some cannot preach like Whitefield; who can write letters like Harlan Page. Ingatherings are the result, often, not of preaching but prayers.

X. THE TRUTHS OF THE GOSPEL COME TO US BETTER BY EXPERIENCE THAN TESTIMONY. (vers. 39-41). "If any man will do His will," etc.

XI. THE BEST MEMORIAL OF ANY ONE IS FOUND IN THE SOULS HE HAS WON (ver. 42). The Empress Helena's church has perished, the memory of the woman and her work has made the well immortal.

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

Upon this came His disciples and marvelled... yet no man said, What seekest Thou?
I. Sacred story records many CRISIS-HOURS OF THRILLING INTEREST. Eli trembling for the ark; David trembling for the fate of Absalom.


1. When the telegraph has flashed the message of a distant bereavement; when we have watched an approaching dissolution.

2. Or to take the converse of these, a birth; a return; the first success in business; the triumph of an honourable ambition. These are like the illi dies of the old Roman, days marked with white or black chalk, symbols of joy or sorrow.

3. But what season can be compared to the crisis-hour of a soul's conversion; what day so worthy to be marked with the white chalk of gladness?


1. Is it a time of overpowering sorrow? The word expresses our meaning; the lips refuse to tell out the secrets of the dumb-stricken heart.

2. Is it some joyful occasion? Joy has its stunning moment, and holds fast the flood-gates of speech.

3. Such is the picture before us. The disciples have just come up. They hear the last most momentous words. And now not a word is uttered. All three parties are spell bound; the woman a moment before so garrulous; the disciples with all their curiosity; the Master more than all.


1. Often, like the disciples, we hays reason to marvel at the Lord's doings. Providence often seems a dark enigma. God's name is "Secret," and blind unbelief is prone to ask, "What seekest Thou?" in the sudden ruin el business prospects; the pillaging of dearer household treasure; the breaking of the strong staff.

2. But the duty, the prerogative, the triumph of faith is to be silent, owning the faithfulness of God as David, "I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because Thou didst it"; as Aaron who, under a deeper trial, "held his peace"; as our Lord who, "was oppressed, afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth."

3. This duty is often inculcated (Psalm 37:7 (marg.), 62:1; Zechariah 2:13; Habakkuk 2:1-3).

4. Blessed it will be for us if, amid "frowning providences" instead of questioning, we are ready to hear the voice of the invisible saying, "Hold thee still and know that I am God." The dutiful servant asks no reason of his master; nor the loyal soldier of his commander; the faithful workman asks no reason for those rude gashes in the quarry; he is content to wait till its sculptor fashions the unshapely block into symmetry.

(J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

S. S. Times.
The privilege "of free speech with a woman is only accorded, in the East, to the most intimate friends of the family, who are privileged to see her face unveiled. Niebuhr, travelling in Arabia, and meeting a woman by the way, saluted her with the customary formula of Arabian politeness: Salamu 'alaykum, "Peace be upon you"; but, to his astonishment, he received no response, the woman turning her back at once upon him. The reason of this proceeding became clear to Niebuhr when his Arabian companions expressed displeasure, and informed him that to address a woman by the way was a grievous insult to her. When Burton retails his piquant conversations with the Abyssinian slave-girls in Egypt, it is to be borne in mind that he is speaking of the slave-market, where men and women are treated like oxen; and that slave-girls, though they have not the rights of the free woman, are also free from many of the restrictions imposed upon her. In general, it may be said that the old rule of the Rabbins is still in force in the East; speech with a woman on the street is a grievous scandal.

(S. S. Times.)

A Rabbinical prejudice prevailed to the effect that woman is not capable of profound religious instruction: "Do not prolong conversation with a woman; let no one converse with a woman in the street, not even with his own wife; rather burn the sayings of the law than teach them to women.

(F. Godet, D. D.)

Even those whom we love and honour, and with whom our relations are peculiarly intimate, are likely to do things which we cannot at the time fully understand or account for. Then it is that our friendship is tested, and that it can show itself at its truest and best. A friend can be trusted even when he cannot be understood. A real friend will trust even when he does not understand. Nor does a friend always want to ask what or why when he is in doubt as to a loved one's conduct — which does not bear on his possible duty to that loved one. Peculiarly is it true that our Saviour's course, even in His dealings with ourselves, is not always understood by us. We must trust Him because we know Him, even while we do not know just what He is doing, and why, in His loving control of our interests and of His own.

(H. C. Trumbull, D. D.)

S. S. Times.
Although the hesitancy of the disciples to ask Jesus why He spoke with the woman, was due to their reverence for His character, and their trust in Him, rather than their fear of Him as their Master, yet it is to be noted that their silence was eminently Oriental. Let a high official do anything, however foolish or however unjust, and his servants will stand by impassively, giving no sign that they notice that anything unusual is taking place. After the Indian mutiny, it was remarked by many of the English officers that their body servants, who must have been aware of what was about to happen, not only gave no sign of their knowledge, but bore supercilious, and in some instances unjust, treatment from their masters without changing their attitude of impassive docility, or giving other evidence that their day of vengeance was about to dawn. Of course, when this impassive obsequiousness gets a chance to avenge itself, it does so with an excess of Oriental vindictiveness which an Occidental can hardly understand. Let the balance of power be suddenly changed, and the slavish inferiors who before cringed in the presence of their tyrant, will tread him in the dust with savage joy.

(S. S. Times.)

A certain painter was once employed to adorn a window in one of our national cathedrals, a work which he did with credit and skill. The artist, however, had an ingenious inventive apprentice, who picked up and preserved all the bits of glass that were nipped off and thrown away as useless. But out of these rejected pieces — so runs the story — he constructed a window of such exquisite beauty as to command greater attention and win heal-tier applause than that designed by the master artist. Thus the Scribes and Pharisees of Judaism, the poets and philosophers of Gentilism, the renowned builders of social fabric, had been constructing their imposing temples out of the best men and chastest women of their respective ages and countries; the slaves, the harlots, the publicans, had been contemptuously rejected, and trampled upon as worthless refuse. At last Jesus Christ appeared; He fixed His kind, compassionate eyes on the huge heap of human rubbish; He associated with the offscouring of society; and lo! He built a grander temple and made more beautiful windows than the world had ever beheld before, out of the soiled characters rejected by the architects and builders of states and churches as vile, noxious offal. The woman of Samaria, the "woman who was a sinner," Mary Magdalene, how attractively the light of Divine grace streams down upon our world through their variegated histories.

(J. Cynddylan Jones.)

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