By J.G. Bellet
I have just been reading again that lovely fourth chapter of John. What a little heaven it is to sit in spirit there, and be in company with Him that is the eternal life, in full grace dispensing Himself to one of the degraded captives of pollution and death!
The satisfying water springs from that grace in the Son of God which reaches and quiets the conscience; and it was such that Jesus here dispenses to her. Till our need as sinners is met and answered, we must be thirsting again, let us get what we may, because the soul is not at rest with God. But Jesus came to repair the breach in the conscience-to give rest before God, and in God, and thus to impart the satisfying water of life through the Holy Ghost.
And when this is done, in a great divine sense, the end is reached--God is glorified--the sinner made happy, and entrance into the places of glory becomes a necessary result.
This end is beautifully shown in this same exquisite and marvellous chapter; for the woman goes away with a spirit in deep refreshment because of conscious acceptance and life, and the Son of God Himself is so satisfied in the fruit of His own way, that He has had that which sets Him above the thirst He had been feeling and the food He had wanted. 'I have meat to eat that ye know not of.' It was as manna to Him. What a thought! the Son of God comes down to our degraded earth to find His manna, His strange mysterious food and satisfaction of heart--bread which He could never have known in heaven--a joy that He could never have tasted amid the glories of His unfallen creatures. But here, on earth, among sinners, He finds, in the dispensing of the Father's grace, the deepest and fullest answer of all the longings of His divine love.
When a sinner is happy in Him, His end is reached, and so is ours, and all that remains is to spend eternity in the glory that becomes such an end as this-His joy in us, and ours in Him."
"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thess. 5: 18.
"In everything give thanks."
My God, is this Thy will?
Give thanks for disappointments given,
For prayers unanswer'd still?
Give thanks! In vain I've pray'd
That I might useful be,
And by Thy Spirit's helpful aid,
Bring many souls to Thee.
Give thanks! when in the place
Of health and usefulness,
Through sickness, Thou hast paled my face
With pain and weariness.
Give thanks! If 'twere Thy will
Submission to demand,
I then might bid myself be still,
And bow to Thy command.
But hush, beneath my eye
I see, in words of blood,
"Will He who gave His Son to die,
Refuse thee any good?"
Give thanks! Yea, Lord, I do,
And by Thy help I will,
Give thanks for blessings not received,
Although expected still.
Give thanks for mercies given,
Unnoticed oft by me;
Give thanks for sins forgiven,
Known only, Lord, to Thee.
Give thanks in word and deed,
For Thy surpassing love,
That sent Thy Son on earth to save,
And now to plead above.
Give thanks for tender love,
That our Redeemer show'd,
Who, in the absence of Himself,
A Comforter bestow'd.
Oh grant me by Thy grace
To walk by faith alone,
Until before my Father's face,
I know as I am known!
J. G. B.
Christian Friend Vol. 3. p. 186.