In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.…
Plutarch mentions it as a memorable proof of the extraordinary eloquence of Mark Antony, that, when soldiers were sent to kill him, he pleaded for his life in such affecting language that he totally disarmed them of their resolution, and melted them into tears. But these officers are vanquished, not by the forcible arguments of a man pleading for his life, but by hearing one of the ordinary discourses of our Lord, not particularly directed to them, but to the people at large.
(G. Burder.)In the troublous times that closed the great Republic, amongst the men that arose and made themselves masters of the world there was hardly a greater than Caius Marius. The conqueror of Jugurtha, the conqueror of the Cimbri, he was looked upon as the shield and sword of Rome. Six times he sought and six times he obtained the consulship, and bid fair to die as he had lived, the ruthless lord of the eternal city. But God decreed otherwise. A rival appeared upon the scene, and after chequered fortunes Marius had to fly. In the romance of his wanderings we read that he was once put on shore unattended and unarmed. He was seized and flung into prison, and an edict came from Rome that he must die. A Gaulish slave was sent to the dungeon to do the deed. Marius, sitting in a gloomy corner of the prison, with his bloodshot eyes glared on the man, and with his terrible voice demanded, "Canst thou kill Caius Marius?" And the slave, fearing the prisoner more than the gaoler or the judge, flung down his sword and fled away, crying, "I cannot kill Caius Marius." Put side by side with this story of a sanguinary life the incident of the life the most submissive and self-denying the world has ever seen, and the very likeness of the latter will make the unlikeness of the spirit greater. In both murder was meant. In both the presence and words of the intended victim postponed the murder. In both the assailants turned craven. But the shield that turned the edge of their sword in the one case was terrific rage, in the other placid mercy.
(J. B. Figgis, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.