The Samaritans believe

The Samaritans believe

The Samaritans.

(The Gospel History, Sections 25)

And upon this came his disciples; and they marvelled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why speakest thou with her? So the woman left her waterpot, and went away into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: can this be the Christ? They went out of the city, and were coming to him. In the mean while the disciples prayed him, saying, Rabbi, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not. The disciples therefore said one to another, Hath any man brought him aught to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to accomplish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white already unto harvest. He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. For herein is the saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye have not laboured: others have laboured, and ye are entered into their labour.

And from that city many of the Samaritans believed on him because of the word of the woman, who testified, He told me all things that ever I did. So when the Samaritans came unto him, they besought him to abide with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his word; and they said to the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy speaking: for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.

The Samaritans believe

(The Saviour of the World, Vol I Book III Poem XV)

The disciples, come from Sychar, now draw near
With food they had been to purchase for their needs,
But chiefly for the Master’s; an-hungered He:
Amazed, they see bold woman of the land
In speech with Him; no Jewish woman, she;
None such would freely talk with man unknown;
Nor would a Jew talk thus with woman strange.
Puzzled, their tongues were held, nor could they say,
“Why speakest Thou with her? What seekest Thou?”
And the woman of their scorn? She was too full
Of the new wine of truth to heed their looks,
Or the pitcher she’d come weary way to fill:
Away to the city went she, empty hand,
Said to the men, (would women turn from her?)
“Come, see a man which told me every thing
That ever I did: can this one be the Christ?”
Full well she knew, for had He not avowed?
Wanted she yet the courage of her faith?
Or dealt she still in wily, flattering ways,
And left the men full credit of discovery?
Whoso’s convinced, convinceth: straight, the men
Went out of the city, in the sultry hour
When Orientals sleep, to come to Him.

Meanwhile, the disciples prayed Him, “Rabbi, eat”;
Athirst, an-hungered, out-wearied with the way,
Knew they their Master. Who so quick as they
To see His needs of flesh, and minister?
But what is this He saith, “I have meat to eat
Ye know not of.” Jealous, they ask each other,
“Hath any man, then, brought Him aught to eat?”
(Now would they glance at the woman, unworthy, she!)
Coming and going, eating and taking rest,—
In these they knew their Master—who but they?
Jesus saith unto them,—“My meat, to do
The will of Him that sent Me; to accomplish
His work appointed.” What strange thing is this?
He speaketh with idle woman of the country,
And, lo, that look, they know, of God within
O’erflowing limits of His mortal frame!
This woman of Samaria, what had she
To do with will of God—Messiah’s work?
And what hath will of God to do with meat?
They thought it not, but had they let themselves
Give shape to thought, “He is beside Himself,”—
Was ready for their thinking!

Christ, fulfilled

With joy of him who bringeth offering
To the temple, joy of first-fruits of harvest,
Saith, “Say not, four months yet, and then the harvest:”
(Say not, the season of Messiah’s sojourn,
And then the gathering-in). “Lift up your eyes:
Already white for harvest are the fields;
Look ye upon them, see how they be ready!
(All this, for He had gathered one poor soul,
Gain we should scorn, in our lordlier wise!
Our Master, teach us Thy humility,
And how a single soul is all to Thee!)
“You have I called to reap the ripened fields;
Good wages get my labourers day by day,
The while they gather fruit to life eternal!
(This woman have I gathered in the hour).
But I go sowing; ye shall the harvest reap,
That I that sow, and ye that reap, together
May rejoice. That saying of weak hearts is true;
One soweth, another reapeth fruit: what then?
The joy of harvest is for both alike;
For both, the fruit they garner: you I send
To reap the fields whereon ye’ve laboured not,
(My prophets, holy men of old, have laboured).
Therefore the fields are whitened for your reaping.”
And as the disciples heard, they were aware
As of a cracking of the husk of the world:
Things grew uncertain, mighty, full of import.

And as He spake, behold, upon the way,
A crowd come with the woman out of Sychar:
They came believing, for the woman’s word—
(Would we but knew what name to call her by!),
“He told me all things that ever I did.”
And on that word she came, a reaper, forth,
Bearing her sheaf in her hand—Samaritans,
Who were her neighbours. Boon they came to beg,
That He, a Jew, would come within their city,
Abide with them, and teach them as He taught
The woman by the well. Never did Christ
Deny His presence to who craved for it;
He went with them, and two whole days He taught.
And not a word have we of all that store
Of wisdom given to those Samaritans!

But they were worthy; said they to the woman:—
“Now we believe, for we have heard ourselves,
And know that this,—the Saviour of the world.”
That these, scorned of the Jews, should have bestowed
That dearest title of the Son of Man—
Salvator MundiSaviour of the World!

St. John iv. 27–42.

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