12.Art thou greater than our father Jacob? She proceeds to charge him with arrogance in exalting himself above the holy patriarch Jacob. “Jacob, ” she says, “ satisfied with this well for his own use and that of his whole family: and hast thou a more excellent water?” How faulty this comparison is, appears plainly enough from this consideration, that she compares the servant to the master, and a dead man to the living God; and yet how many in the present day fall into this very error? The more cautious ought we to be not to extol the persons of men so as to obscure the glory of God. We ought, indeed, to acknowledge with reverence the gifts of God, wherever they appear. It is, therefore, proper that we should honor men who are eminent in piety, or endued with other uncommon gifts; but it ought to be in such a manner that God may always remain eminent above all — that Christ, with his Gospel, may shine illustriously, for to him all the splendor of the world must yield.
It ought also to be observed that the Samaritans falsely boasted of being descended from the holy Fathers. In like manner do the Papists, though they are a bastard seed, arrogantly boast of the Fathers, and despise the true children of God. Although the Samaritans had been descended from Jacob according to the flesh, yet, as they were altogether degenerated and estranged from true godliness, this boasting would have been ridiculous. But now that they are Cutheans by descent, (2Kg_17:24,) or at least collected out of the profane Gentiles, they still do not fail to make false pretensions to the name of the holy Patriarch. But this is of no avail to them; and such must be the case with all who wickedly exult in the light of men, so as to deprive themselves of the light of God, and who have nothing in common with the holy Fathers, whose name they have abused.