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Saviour nailed to the cross, a spectacle to men and angels, of the infinity of the love of God, and of the depravity of man. If the cries of the infuriated populace, “Crucify him, crucify him!” the imprecations of the priests and elders, the wild mockery of the licentious soldiery, were able to penetrate the place of Peter's retirement, how must every sound have added tenfold anguish, to his bitter lamentations; how often must he have felt, while hearing these dreadful sufferings of his Divine Master - I have added to the sorrows of this man of grief; I have at least implanted one sting in that heart, at which all the fiery darts of Satan now are levelled; I, who have " eaten bread with
; him, have lifted
up my heel against him.” How deep must have been the compunction, how overwhelming the sorrow, which such reflections would produce in such a heart as Peter's !
No evangelist has mentioned the name of Peter in the narrative of that day of
sorrows. The beloved disciple John,
, took his station beneath the cross of his suffering Master; the virgin mother was present at that hour, and realized the prophecy, “ A sword shall pierce through thine own heart also.” The women who came from Galilee were within sight of that sad scene ; but of Peter, the zealous, forward Peter, there is no mention. He would not again, expose himself to his spiritual enemies : he would no longer, trust himself to his own courage, or his own fidelity : doubtless, those hours were spent in sorrows, which the world could never know, and in heart-felt communings with his God, which the world could not understand. A veil, therefore, has been drawn across those sacred hours by all the evangelists. It is enough to know, that Peter's tears, and prayers, went up as
went up as a memorial before God, and that that gracious Being, who, while hanging on the ac.cursed tree, could bestow the rewards
and inheritances of Paradise, could not but plead successfully with his heavenly Father, for the returning sinner, upon whom, even in the very hour of his fall, Christ himself had looked with pardon
Very early in the morning,” says St. Mark, “ the first day of the week,” Mary Magdalene, and the other women, came unto the sepulchre, so little expecting the great and glorious event which had occurred, that they brought sweet spices to preserve that body from decay, which had already risen triumphant over death and the grave, and, according to prophecy, “ seen no corruption."!
It was at this visit to the sepulchre, that an angel from heaven appeared to them, and thus announced the fact, for which they were so utterly unprepared : “ Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified-he is risen; he is not here."
Time would fail me were I to dwell
1 Acts ii. 37.
66 It is
great and wondrous truth which was thus proclaimed; the seal of all
; which had preceded it; the entire accomplishment of the prophecies and the types; the complete demonstration to mankind that God the Father, had fully accepted the ransom, which God the Son, had so freely offered. As soon as he had exclaimed with dying lips, finished,”? the great work of redemption is complete, he went down into the
grave, not as its victim, but as its Lord, quering and to conquer,
"3 that he might set his foot upon the serpent's head, even in the very heart of his own dominions. Had Christ remained, within the noisome walls of the sepulchre, it might fairly have been declared, that he had been unable to discharge, the infinite weight of debt, which sinning man had contracted; that he had been foiled in those labours of love, and that the last great cry upon the cross, instead of being, as it truly 2 John xix. 30.
3 Rev. vi. 2.
was, the conqueror's shout of victory, was merely the death-cry of a suffering, defeated impostor. The very fact, there
. fore, that death could not hold him; that over him, Satan and the grave possessed no power; that at his own free will, he was able to shake from him those chains which mere mortality could not have escaped, established for ever these most blessed truths--that the
power of death was broken; the might
of Satan crushed; the work of redemption finished; and—blessed, thrice blessed consideration !" the garments of salvation"4 fully prepared and freely offered to every believing penitent " who names the name of Christ, and departs from iniquity.'
It is not, however, so much with these elevating subjects, with the great truth announced by the angel at the sepulchre, that we are at present engaged, as with the merciful manner in which that truth
4 Isaiah lxi. 10.
5 2 Tim. ii. 19.