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them both.” The Father spared not the Son, but delivered him up for us all: the Son obediently and willingly submitted to die for us. By dying to redeem a lost world, Jesus the Mediator became glorious. His obedience to the Father, his zeal for the law of God, his self-denying humiliation, and his unbounded love to Man, were all displayed in this work of redeeming sinners. The Father was glorified in and by so dutiful and well-beloved a Son. It was a display of the manifold wisdom of God, moreover, that he should thus be both just, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Therefore the Father designed more signally than ever to exalt his only and dear Son: giving him “ a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
If Jesus so triumphed in the prospect of his own crucifixion, shall we ever be ashamed of him and of his word ? God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ !
2. Then, as to the Duties of the chosen eleven, our Lord (as he had often before done) expresses all in a single word-Love. How tenderly does he accost them: “Little children:" always dear to me; now dearer than ever! It is but a little time that I have to remain with you; (a few hours now, and forty days after my resurrection). How will you long to enjoy my presence: how earnestly will you desire to follow me! But, (as I once said to the unbelieving Jews, meaning that they could not, for their unbelief, come to me), so now in another sense I say to you-It is not agreeable to the grand dispensation of my Gospel, that you should accompany me hence to heaven, immediately on my ascension thither. You have duties here below, for a while. Nor duties alone; but sufferings also lie before you. Your happiness and usefulness, then, no less than my honour, will depend on your obeying this simple command; which (though not indeed a new one) yet I enjoin with new motives, and enforce with an unheard-of example:-Love one another: love, as I have loved you: love so devotedly, so visibly, so unfeignedly, that all men may know that ye are my disciples.
How little has this mark of discipleship appeared, in thousands who bear the name of Christ; and even among those, who minister in his name ! “ Hateful and hating one another,” is the unconverted character: “Lovely and loving one another,” the character of true members of Christ. Oh, that we had grace to fulfil this law of Christ, “ Love one another, even as I have loved you.”—Let us grieve at the discovery, that, we have hitherto sa little felt the power of Christ's example. Lord, our hearts are low and earthly : do thou raise them! They are cold: O inflame them! They are hard : do thou melt them! They are narrow: do thou enlarge them! And bind us, O our Saviour, so
closely to Thyself, that in Thee we may all be inseparably united to one another! So shall Thy name be glorified in the earth; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.
PETER WARNED BY CHRIST.
John xiii. 36–38.
Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou ? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice. THERE was a wide difference between the faults of the apostle Peter, and the sins of Judas Iscariot. Peter's errors gave evidence of great infirmity in him: but they were commonly excited by sudden temptation, or they sprang from an over-quick mind. They seemed, as it were, to lie near the surface of his character: his heart was right with God. The sins of Judas, on the contrary, were of the blackest die. They were deep, and long premeditated; they showed a habit of malignity. His heart was alienated from God, and in close league with Satan.
We must not, however, lightly regard Peter's great sin in thrice denying his Master. The story was written for our admonition. It is particularly
useful as a beacon, to good men of ardent temper. Let us consider Peter's character, and Christ's method of dealing with him.
1. Peter, in his disposition, was naturally eager, vehement, and prompt. He was a man of strong affections; prone to act from the impulse of the moment; and always ready to take the lead of his brethren. While they thought, he spoke. He was not so much an ambitious, as an impetuous man: this it was, that so frequently caused his appearing foremost in the company. Yet was he also one of the more highly-distinguished of the disciples. He, and James and John, were repeatedly honoured with being made the intimate associates of our Lord, in his more private hours.
But to speak of his faults more particularly; one or two of them were the following.
A Self-will, which led him to choose his own path. Observe how abruptly he breaks in upon the discourse, with, “Lord, whither goest thou?” Then, on receiving a check, he asks, “ Why”—(something too much resembling a petulant child's question)6 Why cannot I follow thee now?” And then, in an over-doing temper, he offers more than is required of him, protesting his readiness to die for Christ. Greater love could not be, than what he expressed, " I will lay down my life for thy sake.” Peter doubtless felt that his affections were sincere: but he was not now called to martyrdom. At some future year, our Lord intimates, he might be: in fact he was so called, long after.— Thus, on another
occasion, he was himself the chooser of his path to Jesus: “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus took him at his word: be said unto him, Come. We remember how he failed on that occasion: seeing the waves boisterous, he began to sink.
Then, further, Peter had a Self-confidence, which led to his neglecting the only means of security appointed by our Lord: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” Christ very signiticantly checked his rashness with a question and a warning, which (we might think) could not be lost upon him: “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” Yet Peter bears all these counsels, checks, and predictions, with an unmoved spirit. He was confident of his own strength.—Justly did Solomon say, “He that trusteth in his own heart, is a fool."
Persons of ardent temperament usually attract great admiration : when therefore, like Peter, they fall, it is to teach us to cease from man: even from good men. The humble will be constrained to cry out, “ Lord, what is man! Lord, what am I !”
2. View next, Christ's method of dealing with his rash disciple.
Satan had already snatched one out of the visible fold: now his aim was to seize upon Peter also. But Jesus watches with a shepherd's eye! He beheld the Eleven in extreme danger; Peter most of all so. Yet were they perfectly safe beneath the