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founded upon the nature of its Divine Author: God is a Spirit,' saith He in the words of our text, God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth.'

VOL. IV.-October, 1833. 31

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A DISCOURSE Delivered at the dedication of a Church in Danby, N. Y., by the Rev.

Elias Bowen, Presiding Elder of the Berkshire District, Oneida

Conference. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in

truth,' John iv, 24. THESE words grew out of a conversation which took place between our blessed Savior, in the days of his flesh, and a Samaritan female, on the subject of religion. The woman, it is true, from her ignorance of Divine things, and from the figurative language which our Savior employed, did not at first conceive His design, either as it respected the subject introduced, or the use He intended to make of it: For a while she viewed Him in the light of a common traveller; and perceiving Him to be a Jew, she was greatly surprised that He should treat with so much courtesy a woman of Samaria. But "He who

knew what was in man,' and how to address both the understanding and the heart, was soon able to make Himself understood: the great principles of the Christian institution which He kept constantly in view, as · He went about doing good, were clearly developed ; and the woman, in becoming acquainted with His true character, as God's Messiah, became, of course, acquainted with herself, and was made wise unto salvation. The long and virulent controversy which was carried on between the Samaritans and superstitious Jews, need not be recapitulated. It is well known that several points of difference, concerning the worship of God, entered into their discussions; among which that mentioned by the woman appears to have been the chief :: • Our fathers worshipped in this mountain ; but ye say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.' From this remark, our Savior, instead of espousing either side of the controversy, took occasion to introduce the true worship, as it was about to be established under the Gospel dispensation, by showing that it did not consist in outward forms, or local considerations, like the worship observed among the Jews and Samaritans; but that it was a spiritual institution, founded upon the nature of its Divine Author : «God is a Spirit,' saith He in the words of our text, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth.'

Vol. IV. - October, 1833. 31

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