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.…
Is this the tone of an enthusiast or of a mere sectary? What sweetness, what purity of manners! What touching grace in His instructions! What elevation in His maxims! What profound wisdom in His discourses! What presence of mind, what acuteness, what justness in His replies! What empire over His passions! Where is the man, where is the sage who knew in this way how to act, suffer, and die? What prejudice, blindness, or bad faith does it require to compare the son of Sophroniscus with the Son of Mary! What distance between the two? They say that Socrates invented ethics; but others practised morality before he taught it. Aristides was just before Socrates described justice; Leonidas died for his country before Socrates taught the duty of patriotism; Sparta was temperate before Socrates praised sobriety; Greece abounded in virtuous men before he defined virtue. But Jesus — where did He find the lofty morality of which He alone gave both the lesson and the example? Prom the midst of a furious fanaticism proceeds the purest wisdom; among the vilest of the people appears the most heroic and virtuous simplicity. If Socrates lives and dies like a philosopher, Jesus lives and dies like a God.
(J. J. Rosseau.)
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.