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where there will be no eye that slumbers, no heart that rests throughout a dark and cheerless eternity; where their “ worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
3 Mark ix. 44.
LUKE xxii. 61.
“ AND THE LORD TURNED AND LOOKED UPON PETER.
AND PETER REMEMBERED THE WORD OF THE LORD, HOW HE HAD SAID UNTO HIM, BEFORE THE COCK CROW THOU SHALT DENY ME THRICE."
The incident to which we are to request your attention, is perhaps the most painful, and the most improving, in the biography we are reviewingPeter's denial of his Divine Master ! So entirely is this distressing event identified with Peter's memory, that although we may find many persons who are ignorant of the striking, and beautiful instances of zeal, and of courage, of fidelity, and of love, with which his history is replete, we shall scarcely find an individual, however unversed in sacred lore, who does not well remember Peter's denial, and all its attendant circumstances of cowardice and ingratitude, of duplicity and profaneness. Here, then, is one valuable lesson imparted at the very outset—the imperishable nature of
every act, and thought, and word of sin. Eighteen hundred years have passed away since this admirable apostle fought the good fight, kept the faith, witnessed a good confession, and received the crown of martyrdom; yet does this single act of apostacy and sin keep its place upon the Christian records, and hang as a dark cloud over the brightness of his memory. Would that it might please the Spirit of God to fix this humiliating fact in your recollection, that you may never enter upon the smallest act of transgression, without bearing in mind, that all you are doing, you are doing for eternity! The memory of every
of every guilty indulgence is immortal; no power on earth can teach you to forget it; long after your course of sin shall be concluded, and your head laid in the dust, and your virtues, the virtues of the natural man, passed into oblivion; the act of dishonesty, of duplicity, of unchastity, or of unkindness, of which, perhaps, you thought but little in the committal, shall be spoken of among men, shall be remembered before God. Every deed of sin is engraven, as with the point of a diamond, upon the everlasting tablets, and although the ceaseless flood of time. is for ever passing over them, it cannot obliterate a single syllable of recorded evil. O! were it not for the cleansing efficacy of the blood of the Lamb, shed for every penitent believer, how could the holiest among us bear to contemplate this awful truth? 66 Simon Peter,” says
the evangelist, “ followed Jesus afar off unto the high
priest's palace, and so did another disciple; that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest; but Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Here was the commencement of Peter's sin. Had not our Lord most solemnly warned him, that this night he should deny his Master ?—was it therefore wise, was it even justifiable, that he should thus cast himself into the very furnace of temptation? It is in vain, my brethren, that you commence every morning of your life with that most necessary petition,
" Lead us not into temptation,”? if, before the sun has set, you willingly throw yourselves into it; nay, if at the very moment you utter it, your heart acknowledges that
do not in sincerity desire to be kept from its allurements that in fact you love the
1 Matt. vi. 13.