In the midst of Palestine is the well where the Lord spoke so kindly to the woman of Samaria. In the midst of a beautiful valley there is a heap of rough stones: underneath is the well. But it is not easy to drink water out of this well. For the stone on the top is so heavy, that it requires many people to remove it: and then the well is deep, and a very long rope is necessary to reach the water. The clergyman (of whom I have spoken so often) had nothing to draw with; therefore, even if he could have removed the stone, he could not have drunk of the water. The water must be very cool and refreshing, because it lies so far away from the heat. That was the reason the Samaritan woman came so far to draw it: for there were other streams nearer the city, but there was no water like the water of Jacob’s well.
The city where that woman lived was called Sychar. It is still to be seen, and it is still full of people. You remember that the men of that city listened to the words of Jesus, and perhaps that is the reason it has not been destroyed. The country around is the most fruitful in all Canaan; there are such gardens of melons and cucumbers, and such groves of mulberry-trees.
How different from Sychar is Capernaum! That was the city where Jesus lived for a long while, where he preached and did miracles. It was on the borders of the lake of Genesareth. The traveller inquired of the people near the lake, where Capernaum once stood; but no one knew of such a place: it is utterly destroyed. Jesus once said, “Woe unto Capernaum.” Why? Because it repented not.
The lake of Genesareth looked smooth as glass when the traveller saw it; but he heard that dreadful storms sometimes ruffled those smooth waters. It was a sweet and lovely spot; not gloomy and horrible like the Dead Sea. The shepherds were there leading their flocks among the green hills where once the multitude sat down while Jesus fed them.
Not very far off is the city where Jesus lived when he was a boy.
NAZARETH.—All around are rugged rocky hills. In old times it was considered a wicked city; perhaps it got this bad name from wicked people coming here to hide themselves: and it seems just fit for a hiding-place. From the top of one of the high crags the Nazarenes once attempted to hurl the blessed Saviour.
There is a Roman Catholic convent there, where the minister lodged. He was much disturbed all day by the noise in the town; not the noise of carts and wagons, for there are none in Canaan, but of screaming children, braying asses, and grunting camels. One of his servants came to him complaining that he had lost his purse with all his wages. He had left it in his cell, and when he came back it was gone. Who could have taken it? It was clear one of the servants of the convent must have stolen it, for