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cut of his own mouth. We know Peter gave a clear testimony,“ Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God;" the Father gave a great teftimony to him, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well.pleased:” but that Christ gave as clear a testimony of himself, is rarely to be found in all the New Testament: yea, this discovery of him. self is more remarkable, because he forbade his difciples, at that time, to tell exprefly who he was; and when Pilate and Hered, and others, alked him, Wbo art thou? He either gave them a very dark answer, or nene at all. Christ is not lavish of his commendations in this manner; therefore, there is fome fpeciality here : and yet there is something in the manner of Christ manifeiting him self to her, that is common to all the children of God, to whom he savingly manifests himself.
1. It was in a word, a home-word spoken to her heart, that he discovered himself; I tbar Speck unto thee, am be. It was by freaking to her, that he manifested himself; fo it is in the word that he discovers himfelf to his own; thai word that comes into the ear of others, comes into their heart. The joyful found goes through the very foul of the man, in a fecret indiscernible manner: this is plain in the case of this woman, both with respect to the word that he fpake for her conviction, to discover her fin; and in the word thať he fpake for her confolation, discovering himself as the Saviour. In the former he had faid, “ I know this is not thy husband that thou haft;" the word went to her heart;' that is a true word fays she, spoken by a true prophet, for I am living in whoredom. Thus God, in dealing with finners by his word externally, makes it have an internal found in the heart; he whispers in the ear of a finrer, and makes him think, Alas! that is very true ; I am just guilty of that fin; I cannot reclaim againft what the minister says; all is true; I must take with the charge of God's word. So with respect to the latter, when he discovers himself sav. ingly, it is in the word of grace; it comes into the ear, but the finger of God fets it down to the heart; the God that commanded light to shine out of darkness, shines into the heart: and it is in the glass of the word that this light Mines; “ Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.”
2. It was a particular discovery; I that speak unto thee, am be: to THEE : fo when God, in Christ, discovers himself, it is a particular discovery; he calls his own theep by name, John x. 3. As the word of conviction is particular, fo the word of grace is particular, as if God were dealing with none other but that person. . 0! has he spoken to thee, man; to thee, woman; in particular, by his word, and set it home upon thy heart ?
3. It was an immediate discovery he himself made of himself. This indeed is not to be expected in the manner that the woman here was privileged with: but tho' it is not now in an immediate, but in a mediate way; yet where he savingly manifests himself, he takes the means in his own hand, and makes the foul find that it is none other but himself that is dealing with it; it is not the voice of men or ministers, but the voice of God that it hears, 1 Theff. ii. 13. The word comes with such light, life, and majesty, that the foul finds it is indeed, the word of God; it has a heavenly echo with it. And hence,
4. It was a clear and demonstrative discovery ; I am HE, fays Christ to the woman. Saving discoveries are by way of demonstration, as the word imports, Johnxvi.9. Thus he manifests himself to his people, as he does not manifest himself to the world, who remain incompassed and inveloped with the clouds and mists of gross darkness and ignorance, amidst all the literal knowledge they enjoyed.
5. It was a gradual discovery, by little and little, from one step to another, till he made all his glory pass before this wonân: even so, where he manifests himself savingly, he does it gradually; - His goings forth are prepared as the morning.” The work that is very sudden, feldom proves very found. It is observed of the bad ground, ihat the feed fown did suddenly spring up; God's ordinary way of manifesting himself is gradual;
66 The path of the just shines more and more unto the perfect day.” Then,
6. It was a fensible discovery that he gave of himself to this woman; her time was a time of love. After he had let her fee that she was lying in her blood, and in
the puddle of pollution, and after he had filled her heart with precious thoughts of the Messias, the Deliverer, he would no longer hide himself from her. O how sweetly and fenfibly does he manifest himself to his people, when they are apt to think he is far from them! As this woman was speaking of the Meflias, as the glorious perfon whom she knew not if ever fire would have the happiness to fee, Bebold, says Christ, I that speak unto thee, am be. O! fays the foul, will I ever get a fight of Chrift? I know not if ever I will be so happy; why, then usually he lets them know he is not far off.
7. It was a wonderful discovery he made of himself to this woman; there were many wonders in it : and, indeed, whenever Christ manifests himself to any foul, it will fee fome such like wonders as she saw. O wonderful, might she say! is he speaking to me, such a poor wor man as I am, and such a base woman as I have been! Why, as there was no sibness, or relation, betwixt him and her, but on the contrary a stated enmity and alienation; for, The Jews bad no dealing with the Samaritans; yea, but he must deal with her, though she was no good woman; nay, a common whore, lying in whoredom. O wonderful! Tho' ye were never such a great finner, yet Christ is.content to speak with you, for your everlasting good ; and it is an ill tale that may not be heard. Will ye allow Christ to speak to you? Was it not wonderful that Christ should speak to this woman, in such a manner as he did ? How kindly does he speak to her that he might gain her heart with his love, and kill her with kindness? One might have thought he would call her a base filthy devil, as it was said to himself most blasphemously ; Say we not well, thou crt a Samaritan, and bast a devil? It was true of this woman of Samaria, she was a Samaritan that had a filthy devil ; yea, the Jews took all the Samaritans for incarnate devils. But does Christ call her fo? Nay: and it adds to the wonder of his discovering himself to her, that she was a slighter of Christ, he was undervalued by her; Art thou greater than our father Jacob? says she, ver. 12.; yea, the refused him a drink of cold water; yet he bears with all these affronts, and manifests himself to her, even to her: O wonderful! Do not several such wonders take place, when the Lord comes to speak and manifeft himself to you, O believers, O finners ? Are there not wonders enough to te observed concerning this glorious person hewing himfelf? He might dwell in heaven to all eternity, as he dwelt in heaven from all eternity, and be for ever happy: the Father was good company to him, and he needed none of your company; he had infinite delight in himself more than in all his creatures : yet for all this, that he should speak and thew himself to you, how wonderful is it! His discoveries are wonderful, in that he feeks nothing of us : it is true, he made the fathion of seeking a drink of water from this woman, but that was only by the bye ; he got meat and drink enough when he got the woman to himself; the great thing he was seeking was to get the woman divorced from all her bale husbands, and married to himself; yea, betrothed to him for ever : yea, Christ's visits to some may be wonderful, not only to the finner, that gets them ; but to the faints and disciples, that fee or hear tell of them. We are told here, ver. 27. that the disciples, when they came, marvelled that he talked with the woman: though they durft not challenge him, yet it was inatter of offence to them that he so freely conversed with her. Christ can demean himself, and stoop so low to a poor finner as is marvellous to flesh and blood: there is more kindness and humility in him alone, than in all his friends ; they being advanced, by grace, are apt to forget themselves, and to become so proud as to despise others, though they themselves were once lifted out of the dungeon, and chosen out of the dust. But then,
8. It was a powerful discovery that he made of himself to this woman, as appears by the gracious effects thereof. Now her heart goes off all things else, she forgets her water-pot; her mind is set upon some greater things; fhe ran away to the city, that she might invite others to follow him, who had so wonderfully manifested himself to her; and, indeed, all saving manifestations have a power attending them. The gospel comes not in word only, but in power: Christ's word has a drawing
power. He draws with loving-kindness, while grace and love is poured from his lips. This word, wherein he visits the soul, has a gaining power, that wins the heart from all things, and makes Christ all in all. And his manifestations have a fanctifying, transforming power; beholding his glory, we are changed into the lame image; and especially they lead to a self-debafing and Chrift-exalting exercise. Which brings me to
II. The second general head proposed, namely, What are these fin-discovering and foal-debafing effects of Christ's manifesting himself? or, when may one be in cafe to say, He told me all things that ever I did? It is true, this is a part of what the woman fpaké to Christ's commendation, as an all-knowing God: as well as to her own condemnation, as a vile finner, brought under a kindly self-abasement, by the discovery she had of Christ, buth as a kindly reprover, and a merciful Redeemer, a Christ, a Saviour.-To give light to this particular, I shall only touch at this, how all things are told, when only some things seem to be told ? How can this woman fay, He told me ALL THINGS that ever I did, when yet it was only her whoredom and adultery that he discovered? Or, when may the discovery that Christ makes of himself be so humbling and abaling, that when but a small part is mentioned, yet all that ever we did is discovered?
I answer, 1. It may be said consequentially ; He told me all tbings that ever I did; that is, by plain confequence. As we may fee what the conclusion is, when the premises are related; what the root is, when the fruit is discovered : and what the fountain is, when the Atreams are discovered : even so, when Christ tells a person what evil fruit he hath brought forth, that person may easily infer, that he hath told him that he is an evil tree; and by the streams of wickedness in the life, he leads people thus to the fountain of wickedness in the heart and nature. When he tells one of the black smoke that comes cut of the chimney of his heart, he teils also, by plain consequence, that there is a fire of corruption within; and then is one abafed to self-abhor.