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chapter Versceldest son, (at least of Mary) the carpenter. This must have been his second attempt at Nazareth, as it agrees not, in point of time or circumstance, with that recorded by Luke*. We x. i will now return to Matthew's history—' And
when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out. (Notwithstanding this power, they were not able to do it. Vide ch. xvii. v. 19.) And to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: the first Simon, who is called Peter,' &c. (Among these he names Lebbes whose sirname was Thaddeus. Mark mentions him under the name of Thaddeus. Luke neither in his gospel or the Acts, mentions such a name.: but instead of it, he in both mentions Judas the brother of James; who, in course, must be the son of Alpheus. That St. Matthew should not know, or remember, the names of his associates, is improbable. That St. Luke should be misinformed in so material a circumstance, reflects not only some disgrace upon himself, (Vide the introduction to his gospel) but upon his authority. Who, he fays, ' from
* the beginning, were eye-witnesses, and mini
* sters of the word.') These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying—Go not into the way of the Gentiles: and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather
* Vide page 16, 17.
to to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. These instructions—are they not in the true spirit of Judaism? Why—go not into the way of the Gentiles? Why instruct not those of whom he had (ch. viii. v. n.) predicted salvation? And why not instruct the Samaritans? They at least came under the denomination of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. They were persuaded Mount Gerizim was the spot preferred by God; and had built a temple there. They admitted the Pentateuch, or five first books of Moses, where Christ is spoken of as a Prophet; but rejected the subsequent books, where he is described as a King. This latter belief and expectation, was so strongly impressed on the minds of the Jews in general, that most of them held Jesus in contempt when he made his appearance: and even his disciples expected, to the very last, that he would assume that character*. But as he did not intend to assume that character, or the power annexed to it, why withhold instruction from the Samaritans who were most likely to receive him as a prophet? Neither Mark or Luke mention these restrictions with respect to the Gentiles, or the Samaritans. John fays nothing of the twelve being instructed, or sent out to teach; but he, and he only informs us that Jesus himself led his disciples into Samaria: he gives us a long conversation between Jesus and a woman, at the well of Jacob near the city of Sy* Vide page .
char. char. (Vide ch. iii.) Having sent his disciples to the city for bread, and being tired with his journey, he fat down at the well. A woman came to draw water, and Jesus requested her to give him some: she expresses her surprize that he, being a Jew, should ask it of her, who was a Samaritan. To which Jesus replies—' If thou 'knewest the gift of God, and who it is that 1 faith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest * have asked of him, and he would have given 'thee living water.' She, not understanding him, observed—the well was deep, and he nothing to draw from thence; whence had he the water to give? He tells her, all who drank the water from that well, would thirst again: but whoever drank of the water he could give, would never thirst again. The woman requested to have it; but he orders her to bring her husband to him: she replying that she had none; he tells her that she had answered truly; that she had had five husbands, but the man she then had, was not so. The woman, surprised at this knowledge (which by the bye any common man might easily have obtained) said to him—' Sir, 'I perceive that thou art a prophet.' Under this idea, she however very properly endeavours to obtain from him information upon a matter highly interesting to the Samaritans. 'Our fa'thers (said she) worshipped in this mountain: 'and ye fay—that in Jerusalem is the place
* where 'where men ought to worship.' Jesus tells her, the hour approached ' when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship : for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.' The woman, upon this, makes an excellent observation—' I know that Mesfias cometh which is called Christ; when he is come he will tell us all things. Jesus faith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. The woman then left her water pot, and went her way into the city, and faith to the men, Come fee a man which told me all things that ever I did: (right woman! but a little exaggeration, we shall find, had its uses) Is not this the Christ? (why ask them) Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.' Before they arived at the well, his disciples had joined him and a long conversation had passed. We are then told ' many of the Samaritans believed on him, for the saying of the woman, which testisied, He told me all that ever I did.' (These however were not hard of belief). So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them, and he
abode there two days. And many more bet lieved because of his own word: and said unto the woman, ' Now we believe, not because of 'thy saying, for we have heard him ourselves,, 'and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Sa* vio-ur of the world.' This story of John's requires particular attention: here we find a people (whom the Jews of Jerusalem called idolators) ready for conversion: they were easy of beliefs even to simplicity; a woman informs them that she had seen a man, who told her all things she had ever done, and thai he was the Christ. Many believed, upon this report only: others, upon his own assertion only: they had seen no. sick healed, no dead raised to life: no devils cast out, nor had they heard them proclaim their dispofsessor to be the Christ; and yet they believed it. And yet (according to St. Matthew) to these people, he orders his disciples (the twelve when he sent them out) not to go: and why—because their ancestors were not originally of the house of Israel. And yet (according to St. John) he now leads them there himself: he freely an$ plainly tells the Samaritan woman that he is the Christ, and leaves her at liberty to divulge it to hei acquaintance; nay it seems almost certain that he himself discovered it to them. Strange inconsistency! In other places he silences the devils when they proclaim him as such: he charges his disciples they should tell no ma,n that he w^s