And it came to pass on the second Sabbath after the feast, that he went through the cornfields ; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day? And Jesus answering them, said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him ; how he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shew-bread, and gave also to them which were with him, which is not lawful to eat, but for the priests alone ? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. And it came to pass also on another Sabbath, that he entered into the Synagogue, and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the Scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up and stand forth in the midst. And he arose, and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you, What is lawful on the Sabbath day? To do good, or to do evil, to save life, or to kill ? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto him, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

And they were filled with madness; and they communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.


To pluck ears of corn, in passing through a field, was in itself a lawful action, sanctioned by Deut. xxiii. 25. It was objected to by the Pharisees only as a breach of the Sabbath. But our Saviour would guard his followers against superstition, even in their veneration for the day of God's appointment. We must not neglect the means of religion, the Sabbath and its ordinances, prayer, public and private, and the reading of the Scriptures. But we must not mistake all. these for Religion itself. Religion is of the heart, and of the life; and its forms are only useful, as they produce it, or manifest its existence in the heart and life. Most wisely and graciously has God provided the Sabbath for our use; and that man knows or thinks but little of his own spiritual wants, who perverts it from its true purposes, to make it a day of business, or of pleasure. But it “was made for

In itself, apart from considerations of our improvement, it is like other days. On every day, as on that, is God near us; on every day let him be worshipped; worshipped in secret prayer, in the family circle, in honesty in our dealings, in all holiness of word, and deed, and thought. Thus shall the worship of the days of toil prepare us for the worship of the day of rest.



Hail to the Sabbath day!

The day divinely given,
When men to God their homage pay,

And earth draws near to heaven.

Lord, in thy sacred hour,

Within thy courts we bend,
And bless thy love, and own thy power,

Our Father, and our Friend.

But thou art not, alone,

In courts by mortals trod,
Nor only is the day thine own,

When men draw near their God.

Thy Temple is the arch

Of yon unmeasured sky;
Thy Sabbath, the stupendous march

Of grand eternity.

Lord ! may

that holier day
Dawn on thy servants' sight,
And grant us in those courts to pray,

Of pure, unclouded light.



JOHN IV. When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) he left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey sat thus on the well : and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, ask

est drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria ? (For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans). Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with and the well is deep : from whence then hast thou that living water ? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again : but whosoever drinketh of the water, that I shall give him, shall never thirst ; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.—The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain ; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, 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 saith unto him, I know that Mesias cometh ; (which is called Christ ;) when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I, that speak unto thee, am he.



How constantly was our Saviour's life devoted to the good of his race! It was indeed, to use his own expression, “ his meat to do the will of him that sent him, and to finish his work.” In the present instance we see him wearied with a long journey on foot, seeking a few moments rest by the side of a well while his disciples leave him, to buy food that his exhausted strength and their own may be restored. This too is in a land with whose inhabitants his nation “have no dealings,” even in the common civilities of life. Yet even here, in his exhaustion, and among strangers, he finds occasion to speak the words of God, to declare the spiritual nature of the divine kingdom, and his own commission from above. Let us, his disciples, learn from our Lord the value of time; and let it be our meat and drink, as it was his, to do the will of God, and promote the good of those around


How sublime too, how worthy of deep reflection, are the lessons he now taught; the value of his own instructions, that well of living water, springing up into everlasting life; and the spiritual character of God, and of that worship which He accepts. Let us worship Him in spirit; by prayer, not formal, but coming from our hearts; by constant endeavours to be holy, as He is holy; by the remembrance that the omnipresent Spirit is always near us ; by the service of every action, and word, and thought.



Oh Thou, to whom, in ancient time
The lyre of Hebrew bards was strung,
Whom kings adored in song sublime,
And Prophets praised with glowing tongue!

Not now on Zion's height alone
Thy favoured worshippers may dwell,

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