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Certainly she had been a little jealous of mean is that in these cases it is really all plain Beatrice Huntley once upon a time, and had sailing. She didn't care for me, and she did confessed that peccadillo, half penitently, care for Segrave. That seems to me to be half laughingly, to Gilbert long ago. In final. I couldn't make her care for me." those days she had not been sure of his love "Oh, excuse me; that doesn't follow at -she was sure of it now, and it would have all. And how do you know that she cares required something a great deal more serious for Mr. Segrave? How do you know that than his visits to the Manor House to make the person with whom she is in love isn't an her distrust him. As reasonably might he imaginary being whom she will never find have distrusted her for making much of inside Mr. Segrave's skin ?” Mitchell, who at this time was far more con- But this was too subtle for the straightstantly with her than Gilbert was with Miss forward Mitchell, who shook his head and Huntley. For Mitchell's goods and chattels answered: were being packed up. Somewhat suddenly “It would be no kindness to encourage he had announced his appointment to another me, Miss Huntley, even if you could. But coastguard station in the north of England, you can't. I must grin and bear it. The and Kitty, who divined that the transfer had only thing is that I find I can't bear to stay not been unsolicited, felt that the least she here, and that is why I'm off to Berwick-oncould do was to make his last days at Kings- Tweed." cliff as pleasant for him as might be. On “Leaving the enemy in possession." the eve of his departure a few friends were “Oh, I don't want to call him the enemy. invited to a farewell dinner in his honour at He and I have never hit it off together parMorden Court; and then it was that Miss ticularly well; but most people like him, Huntley and he had a little talk together for and after all, he is the man whom she has the first time since her return; for although chosen to be her husband." they had met before, neither of them had “And suppose the man whom she has displayed much anxiety to compare notes chosen to be her husband should break her with the other. Now, however, she beck- heart some fine day?” oned him aside to say:
“In that case, I shouldn't think twice “So you are retiring from the field of about breaking his head.” battle."
“A very useful and practical measure, “That is the usual thing to do after one though hardly to be described as either prehas been beaten, is it not ?” he returned. vention or
cure. Perhaps you wouldn't “One should not allow oneself to be so carry it out, though ; perhaps by that time easily beaten.”
you may have found consolation on one side “Well
, I don't know about that ; under or other of the Border." certain circumstances defeat is inevitable, I Mitchell reddened. suppose.”
“Look here, Miss Huntley,” said he a little "And a bungling ally is not quite the roughly; "I have known Kitty Greenwood right person to make criticisms, perhaps ?” since she was a child in the schoolroom, and
“Oh, you mustn't put words into my I have never in all my life loved another mouth that I never used, Miss Huntley. I woman. I don't know that it matters very know you did your best for me—and very much what you may think of me; but if kind it was of you, I'm sure.”
you think that I shall 'find consolation,' as “Nevertheless, I miscalculated my you call it, at this time of day, you make a strength ; and you didn't think much of my mistake.” tactics, did you ?”
“Don't be angry,” she returned, laughing; Mitchell hesitated.
“I give you full credit for constancy, though "You never told me what your tactics I can't say as much for your perseverance. were," he replied at length; "but as far Apparently, your notion of fighting a battle as I could understand them, they weren't isn't the same as mine. If I were in your exactly-well, I don't think I should have place, I should say to myself that all was not employed them myself. The fact is, I believe lost so long as the girl whom I loved rehonesty to be the best policy.'
mained unmarried, that engagements have Miss Huntley did not appear to relish the been broken off before now, and that when a condemnation which she had invited ; for woman looks at a rejected lover with tears she frowned and shut up her fan with a snap. in her eyes, it is because she is beginning to
“ That sounds a very rude thing to say,” find out what he is worth.” Mitchell went on apologetically ; " but what I “She didn't look at me with tears in her eyes !” exclaimed Mitchell. “What do you course. What else should I mean ? and what mean ?"
part could suit you better? You have chosen “Did she not? I suppose I must have to surrender to him without striking a blow; been deceived, then, when I caught a glimpse it is only fit that you should walk in his triof her across the dinner-table. Perhaps she umph.” had swallowed an over-dose of mustard, or Mitchell drove home that night with a she
may have been dazzled by the brilliancy young man who was loud in his commenof her prospects. To be sure she might have dation of Miss Huntley, her beauty, her wept all the tears of Niobe before you would talents, and her amiability. The elder man have seen them; for your own eyes don't listened for a long time with that silence seem to be as sharp as a sailor's ought to be. which is said to imply assent; but at length Since you won't use them at Kingscliff, per- he responded : haps you may as well be at Berwick-on- “Miss Huntley may be all that you say, Tweed as here. It wouldn't be a bad plan and I should think she is; but between you to take a return-ticket though.”
and me, I doubt whether she is quite right “What do you mean ?” asked Mitchell, in the upper story.” for the second time.
It was this impression of her, and no “ That you will be wanted to act as best other, that he took away with him to Berman to Mr. Segrave on his wedding-day, of wick-on-Tweed.
THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA.
SUNDAY READINGS FOR SEPTEMBER.
Read John iv. 1-15.
BY JAMES BROWN, D.D.
pelled by a superstitious motive. She made FIRST SUNDAY.
the pilgrimage to the distant well because
she esteemed its water sacred. It was the HE traveller from Judæa to Galilee, who, gift of the holy patriarch who had drunk
as of old, goes through Samaria, rest- thereof himself, and his children, and his ing at Jacob's well, and passing on to Na- cattle. It must be endowed with saving blous, on the site of the ancient Sychar, finds virtue. The woman sought peace to her the distance between the city and the well troubled conscience in a toilsome act of religreater than the casual reader of St. John's gious devotion. narrative would suppose. As he traverses When we recognise that this was her mothat distance, which is at least two miles, tive, light is shed on the whole narrative. the question is forced upon him, What was We understand better than before her amazethis woman's motive in going so far to draw ment that a Jew should ask drink of a woman water? There is a perennial fountain at the of Samaria. She heard the request not city gate from which she could have obtained merely as that of a wayworn thirsty traveller the supply needed for her household. If it for a cup of cold water, for such a request be true that, being of worse than doubtful might have been made without impropriety reputation, she was not permitted to associ- to one of the alien race. But she greatly ate with the women who frequented the well wondered that a Jew with his proud excluat the gate, there were other and nearer siveness should ask leave to participate with fountains in the Vale of Shechem from which her in what she reckoned a religious rite. she could have drawn. There is no valley in Then, too, we see new point and meaning Palestine where the traveller is so cheered by in the Saviour's reply, " If thou knewest the the tinkle of brooks and by those sounds of gift of God and who it is who saith to thee, the green-leaved earth which betoken the give Me to drink, thou wouldest have asked presence of abundant water. Why then did of Him, and He would have given thee living this woman habitually leave the city gate water." These words touch the error which and, passing the many fountains in the val. lay at the root of her religion. She thought ley, find her weary way to Jacob's well that the favour of God could be purchased by she might fill her water-pot from its depths ? outward observances. She was going about It hardly admits of doubt that she was im- to establish a righteousness of her own, seek
Read John iv. 16–26.
ing peace and life by habitual pilgrimages to
SECOND SUNDAY. a sacred spot, and by drinking the water of a holy well. The Lord would have her learn He to whom all hearts are open and all dethat eternal life is the gift of God, bestowed sires known recognised the woman's words, without money and without price on those “Sir, give me this water," as an earnest who humbly ask it.
prayer for spiritual blessing, and proceeded Nor did the woman so grievously misun- at once to answer that prayer. He would derstand Him as she seemed when she an- not withhold the request of her lips. She swered, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with had asked life of Him, and He would give it. and the well is deep; from whence then hast That she might realise the blessing she thou that living water? Art thou greater sought, two things were essential. She must than our father Jacob which gave us the be convinced of her sin, and her mind must well ?” She was not thinking of the material, be enlightened in the knowledge of the while He was speaking of the spiritual. What Saviour. These two essential parts of her she asked was whether this Jew, who had effectual calling to life and peace were both not even the means of bringing water from the secured when Jesus said, “Go, call thy husdepths of her holy well, laid claim to greater band and come hither.” His words brought sanctity than the father of his race, and could a twofold revelation to her heart—a revelagive her such water as would avail her more tion of the evil of her life, and a revelation than that which was sacred through the of the glory of Him whom she perceived to patriarch's memory.
be a prophet, because He was telling her all When the Saviour said in reply, “Whoso- that ever she did. ever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; They revealed the evil of her life, bringbut whosoever drinketh of the water that I ing her face to face with the reality of her shall give him shall never thirst : but the sin. She had had five husbands, and he whom water that I shall give him shall be in him a she now had was not her husband. Such well of water springing up into everlasting conviction of sin is the first step towards relife," He contrasted the temporary and generation. When, in the deceitfulness of evanescent peace which is obtained by our hearts, we are glossing over our sin, we outward rites, such as the drinking of the may be able for a time to still our unrest by water of a holy well, with the enduring and formal acts of religious devotion: by setting boundless blessedness which flows from the the number of our sacrifices over against our indwelling of His grace in the heart. Out- disobedience. But when the sharp two-edged ward rites can give no lasting relief. They sword of God's word pierces even to the are like the anodyne, that stills for a season dividing asunder of soul and spirit and lays the gnawing of the deadly pain, but can do our sin bare, we feel how vain are our oblanothing to eradicate the disease. The gift tions. They cannot wipe out the stain of of God's grace reaches the root of the malady. our guilt. If we are to be pardoned it must It takes our guilt away, and thus it gives be through the free gift of God's love ; if we deliverance from the fears which guilt begets. are to be regenerated it must be by a power It is in the heart a fountain of life, sending mightier than our own taking hold of our streams into every region of our nature and hearts and renewing our lives. making it beautiful and fruitful to God's The same word of Christ which brought praise.
conviction of sin to the woman's heart reThe woman understood Him well. Her vealed to her One whose power to help her experience attested the truth of what He was attested by the fact that He was searchsaid about thirsting again. The unrest of ing out the secrets of her life.
Here was a her weary heart could be soothed only for a Physician who, by one skilful touch, had season by her pilgrimages to Jacob's well. probed her heart and revealed the root of She had ever to be coming again to draw. her unrest. To whom but to Him could she There was something inexpressibly attractive go for healing? She said, “Sir, I perceive to her in the thought of any fountain of en- that Thou art a Prophet;" and propounded during peace, of any water that would be in for His solution the vexed question between her as a well springing up into everlasting Jews and Samaritans as to whether Mount life. It was in no jest, but in deepest ear- Gerizim or Mount Zion was the scene of acnest that she cried, “Sir, give me this water ceptable worship. She was not seeking to that I thirst not, neither come hither to escape from an inconvenient personal quesdraw." Her words were a sincere and ear- tion by taking refuge in a commonplace of nest prayer.
ecclesiastical controversy. She earnestly de
sired to learn through what channel salva- Books of Moses; they shut out the evertion was to flow to her. It was not wonder- broadening light of divine revelation that ful that the zealous pilgrim to Jacob's Well came to Israel by the later prophets. should think only of a channel of formal ob- They had not the same clearness of hope as servance; and she was willing to accept the had Israel, to whom the sure word of proguidance of the Prophet she had found as to phecy was as a light shining in a dark place which channel was the true. She asked, in till the day dawned, and the day-star arose effect, Are the well-springs on Zion sources in men's hearts. There is a difference beof more enduring peace than I can find on tween truth and error, between more enthis mountain ? In even hinting at such a lightened and less enlightened forms. The question she was already showing a willing worship of those who refuse to recognise the and obedient heart. All her sacred associa- presence of the ever-living God, revealing tions clustered round the hill where her Himself continually and in many ways, be fathers worshipped. But what things were they Samaritan or Jew, Catholic or Progain to her she was willing to count loss for testant, can neither be as acceptable nor as the life she craved. She was ready to forget profitable as the homage rendered by the her own people and her father's house-nay, men whose ears are open to the words of even to cast in her lot with the hated Jews prophecy that are spoken as the ages roll on. if that sacrifice would avail.
But no worship of the one Father, sincerely There is a stage in spiritual history in rendered in the spirit of devotion by filial which questions similar to this seem of para- hearts, is rejected. “The hour cometh and mount importance. The soul is perplexed now is when the true worshipper shall worwith inquiries as to what form of doctrine is ship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the most accordant with truth and most likely Father seeketh such to worship Him." He to give rest to the troubled heart; as to inhabiteth the praises of Israel, by whatever what Church is the true sanctuary of refuge. name Israel is called. Christ always recog. Such perplexities are very real, and are by nised that they are not all Israel who are of no means to be despised ; they are an evi- Israel. Samaritans are sometimes nearer the dence of spiritual quickening. But in view kingdom than Jews. It was a Samaritan of them the Saviour's reply to the woman of who showed the neighbourly spirit of true Samaria is for ever memorable : “Woman, religion when priest and Levite passed by on believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall the other side. It was a Samaritan who, neither in this mountain nor yet in Jerusalem alone of ten that were healed, returned to worship the Father.” There are deeper give God thanks. The Samaritans were in questions than of creeds and forms of wor- error, but God is no respecter of persons ; ship. It is the spirit of our worship that is and in every nation and under every creed all-important. If men worship the Father, they that fear God and work righteousness if there underlies their worship the child-like are accepted of Him. The Father seeketh spirit of faith and obedience, it is a secondary such to worship Him. matter whether that worship is rendered on This was involved in that fundamental Gerizim or Zion. The language of true wor- truth acknowledged by Jew and Samaritan ship is one, though the dialects in which it is alike, that God is a spirit
. His nature is uttered are many.
spiritual, and it is therefore in the spiritual But forms of doctrine or of worship are region alone that there can be true fellownot therefore indifferent. The difference be ship with Him. They forget this truth who tween Mount Gerizim and Jerusalem is think that outward forms, bodily exercises, secondary, yet there is a difference. “Ye can be in themselves acceptable to God. If worship," the Saviour adds, “ye know not we once realise the spirituality of God we what: we know what we worship: for sal- shall feel that He must be worshipped in vation is of the Jews." The Jewish worship spirit and in truth. He desireth truth in the was founded on a clearer apprehension of inward parts, and they only can have fellowthe nature and relations of Him who was its ship with Him in whom His own spirit dwells. object than was the worship of Samaria. The We know not whether something in the Samaritans had begun to worship through Saviour's bearing or words suggested to the blind fear of the God of the land into which woman that this was no common Jewish they had been brought as aliens, and because Rabbi, but perchance the promised Messiah, the wild beasts of the depopulated country or whether the lofty regions of thought into were destroying them. They never learned which He led her made her feel her need to know God fully. They accepted only the of someone to guide her on the giddy heights. Be this as it may, in leading her something which does not square with the to the declaration, “I know that Messias system we have adopted. Calvin well says, cometh which is called Christ, when He is " that we, when something in the works of come He will tell us all things," He prepared God and of Christ does not please us, should her for the revelation of Himself, which was not indulge in complaint and opposition, but the second necessary part of her effectual should rather be modestly silent until what calling to life and peace : "I that speak is hidden from us be revealed from heaven." unto thee am He.” Now, indeed, she had If the conversation had not been interfound the living water, for which as with rupted by the arrival of the disciples, the fevered thirst she had been longing. She woman might probably, in reply to our was face to face with One who could deliver Lord's avowal of His Messiahship, have conher from the guilt which burdened her con- fessed her faith. As it was she did so in science and from the confusions of her another way. She showed her faith by her wasted life. She could rest from her weary works. She gave the best possible evidence search after peace at His most blessed feet. of the presence of the new life which had She could with implicit confidence accept begun to stir within her. She left her His guidance who could tell her all things. water-pot—the symbol of her servile toil.
It was no longer needed. Jesus had an
swered her prayer, and had given her the THIRD SUNDAY.
living water, that she might thirst no more, Read John iv, 27-30.
neither come thither to draw. Already At the point to which we have come in there was springing up within her a well of our readings, when Jesus—having led the life, overflowing in compassion for her kinswoman to confess her expectation of the folk and her neighbours, whom she would advent of the Christ-revealed Himself as make partakers of the gift of God she had the fulfiller of that expectation, the conver- received. As long as she trusted in her acts sation was interrupted by the return of the of painful devotion, she was self-seeking in disciples who had gone into the city to buy her religious zeal. She went solitarily the meat. They were amazed that their Master weary way to Jacob's well. Why should should be holding converse with one who she ask others to join her pilgrimage? She belonged to the alien race, with one more had no gospel to tell them, no joy to share over whose appearance indicated that she was with them. She was gloomily intent on the of evil life. They had not yet reached the solution of the problem, how to obtain the wider views of the kingdom of God into favour of God and find peace to her own which they were by-and-by to be led. They troubled conscience. But now everything is had not yet learned that the Son of Man had changed. The joy of God's salvation has come to seek that which was lost. The enlarged her heart. She has drunk at a parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Silver, fountain of boundless grace, which must be and the Prodigal Son, had not yet been spoken. free to all. This is the secret of the missionThe disciples had not heard the words He ary spirit, characteristic of those who trust had just uttered which disallowed any claim for salvation to God's free grace. They who to peculiar sacredness, put forth in behalf of believe the good tidings cannot hold their this or the other mountain. They would peace, but must make them known. So probably not have understood them if they this new convert goes "her way into the city, had. They were true and loyal disciples, and saith to the men, Come, see a man which but they were disciples and had still much to told me all that ever I did; is not this the learn. It is a necessary condition of disciple-Christ ?” ship, that we should be ever and again per- She is not hindered by the remembrance plexed by glimpses into new regions of truth. of her degradation. She was of unclean lips;
The conduct of the wondering disciples is but if there is no other to tell that the Christ an example of the spirit we should manifest has come she will not be silent. Her iniquity under such perplexity. They marvelled, but is taken away, her sin is purged, and the first they did not presume to question. No one fruits of her cleansed lips shall be words of said to the woman, What seekest thou ? or good tidings to those who have known her to the Master, Why talkest thou with her ? shame. It has been remarked that she spoke They could trust their Master even while to the men. Perhaps the women would not they wondered; they could quietly wait for have hearkened to her ; but where there was further light.
It is foolish to cry out when- hope of audience she could not choose but ever in our pursuit of truth we discover ) speak. Her words are distinguished by be