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This is Indeed Christ, Savior of the World

This is Indeed Christ, Savior of the World

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY H. HORSLEY


John iv. 42.

We have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed
the Christ, the Saviour of the World.
BY H. HORSLEY


John iv. 42.

We have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed
the Christ, the Saviour of the World.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 09, 2013
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THIS IS IDEED CHRIST, SAVIOR OF THE WORLDBY H. HORSLEYJohn iv. 42.We have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeedthe Christ, the Saviour of the World.1 WAS in an early period of our Saviour's ministry — in the beginning of the first year of it, shortly afterhis first public appearance at Jerusalem, that the goodpeople of the town of Sychar, in Samaria, where hemade a short visit of two days in his journey home toGalilee, bore that remarkable testimony to the truth of his pretensions, which is recorded in my text. " Wehave heard him ourselves," they say to the woman of their town to whom he had first revealed himself at thewell by the entrance of the city, and who had first an-nounced him to her countrymen. " We no longer relyupon your report : we ourselves have heard him. Wehave heard him propounding his pure maxims of mo-rality — inculcating his lessons of sublime and rationalreligion — proclaiming the glad tidings of his Father'speace. We ourselves have heard him ; and \ve are con-vinced that this person is indeed what he declares him-self to be : we know that this is indeed the Sa\iour of the Avorld, the Christ."This profession consists, you see, of two parts. Theterms in which it is stated imply a previous expectationof these S.amaritans of a Christ who should come ; and44( 148 jdeclare a conviction that Jesus was that person. It is
 
very remarkable in three circumstances.First, for the persons from whom it came. They werenot Je\vs : they were Samaritans, — a race of spuriousIsraelites, sprung from the forbidden marriages of Jewswith heathen families, — a nation who, although theyprofessed indeed to worship the God of Abraham afterthe rites of the Mosaic law, yet, as it should seem fromthe censure that was passed upon them by a discerningand a candid judge, " that they v.orshipped they knewnot wliiit," — as it should seem, I say, from this censure,they had but very imperfect notions of the nature of the Deity they served ; ai¥i they were but ill instructedin the true spirit of the service which they paid him.These were the persons who were so captivated withthe sublimity of our Saviour's doctrines, as to declarethat he who had so admirably discoursed them could beno other than the Christ, the Saviour of the world.The secoixl thing to be remarked, is the very just no-tion these Samaritans express of the office of the Christ,whom tl-fey expected, — ^that he should be the Saviourthe world. In the original language of the ew Testa^ment, there are more ^\ords than one which are renderecby the word " world" in the English Bible. Onethese is a word which, though it properly signifies tlwhole of the habitable globe, is often used in a moiconfined sense by those later Greek writers who wersubjects of the Roman empire, and treat of the affairs o(the Romans. By these writers, it is often used for sc)iiuch only of the world as was comprised within thfllimits of the Roman empire. It has been imagined thatthe evangelists, following in this particular the exampleof the politer writers of tUeir times, have used this sameword to denote what was peculiarly their world, the ter-ritory of Judea. Men of learning in these later ageshave been much too fond of the practice of framing
 
( 149 )expositions of Scripture upon these grammatical refine-ments. The observation may be partly just: in manyinstances, however, it hath been misapplied ; and I wouldadvise the unlearned reader of the English Bible,wherever the world is mentioned, to take the word inits most natural — that is, in its most extended meaning.This rule will seldom mislead him; and the few in-stances in which it may be incorrect, are certain pas-sages of history in which exactness of interpretation isnot of great — at least not of general importance. In thetext, however, at present before us, the original wordis not that which is supposed to be capable of a limitedinterpretation. On the contrary, it is that word whichis used by the sacred writers to denote the mass of the imconverted Gentile world, as distinguished fromGod's peculiar people. Of this world, therefore, andbj^ consequence of the whole world, the Samaritans, asit appears by the text, expected in the Christ the Sa-viour. It appears, too, from the particulars of pur Sa-viour's conference with the woman at the well, whichare related in the preceding part of this chapter, — itappears, that of the means by which the Messiah wasto eifect the sah'^ation of the world, these same peoplehad a very just, though perhaps an inadequate apprehen-sion. They expected him to save the world by teach-ing the true religion. " I know," said the woman," when the Messiah is come, he will tell us all things,"- —all things concerning the worship of God ; for thatw^as the topic in discussion. The circumstances whichthe evangelist's narrative discovers of this woman'sformer life, give us no reason to suppose that she hadbeen a persofi of a* very thoughtful religious turn of mind, which had led her to be particularly inquisitiveafter the true meaning of the prophecies. It is to besupposed, therefore, that the notions which she ex-pressed were the common notions of her countr^^ It

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