« AnteriorContinuar »
your watchfulness, you are safe ; it is the separating these things, which the unerring word of God has for ever united, which will be your ruin.
" If to stand in the faith of the sons of God," says the judicious Hooker, 8 " hourly, continually be providing and setting yourselves to strive. It was not the meaning of our Lord and Saviour in saying, “Father, keep them in thy name,' that you should be careless to keep yourselves. To your own safety, your own sedulity is required. And then, blessed for ever and ever be that mother's child, whose faith had made him the child of God. The earth may shake, the pillars of the world may tremble under us, the countenance of the heavens may be appalled, the sun may lose his light, the moon her beauty, the stars their glory ; but concerning the man that trusteth in God what is there
8 See the whole of this beautiful and well-known passage, Hooker's Works, fol. edit. 1622, p. 550.
in the world that shall change his heart, overthrow his faith, alter his affections towards God, or the affection of God to him? If I be of this note, who shall make a separation between me and my God?
I know in whom I have believed; I am not ignorant whose precious blood has been shed for me: I have a Shepherd full of kindness, full of care, and full of power: unto him I commit myself: his own finger has engraven this sentence on the tables of
my heart-Satan hath desired to winnow thee like wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.' Therefore the assurance of my hope I will labour to keep as a jewel unto the end; and by labour, through the gracious mediation of His prayer, I shall keep it."
MARK xiv. 37.
" HE COMETH AND FINDETH THEM SLEEPING, AND
SAITH UNTO PETER, SIMON, SLEEPEST THOU? COULDEST NOT THOU WATCH ONE HOUR?”
"I is one of those divine injunctions, which, although presented to us in the word of God, and daily and hourly impressed upon us by the providences of God, is most difficult of reception and arduous in practice. Our lot is cast for the present among weak, imperfect sinning mortals like ourselves, and we feel it to be one of the happiest circumstances of that lot, that as we are all blest with the same smypathies, and partakers of the same sorrows and the same joys, these sorrows are divided, and these joys are multiplied, when in the union of Christian fellowship, we suffer, or rejoice, together. But as every virtue has some nearly related vice, so every happiness in our present state of imperfection has some kindred sorrow for ever at its side; the very sweetnesses of human friendship, are too often preparing us for the bitterness of disappointment; and the staff upon which we delight to lean, only supports us for a time, that it may gradually crumble into dust beneath our weight, or suddenly break and pierce us while it fails us.
1 Isaiah ii. 22.
We are now entering upon a scene in which the weakness of human friendship, the utter helplessness of human friends, the necessity in our hour of need of ceasing from man, and resting our souls upon the Rock of ages, will be loudly taught us by the frailty, and infirmity, even of the warm-hearted Peter himself.
Immediately after those events which were brought before you in the last discourse, Jesus “ went forth with his disciples into a place called Gethsemane, over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into which he entered, and his disciples : and Jesus saith unto them, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder; and he taketh with him Peter, James, and John.”
The same disciples who had been witnesses of his transfiguration and his glory, were now to be the witnesses of his humiliation and his suffering. James and John had but a short time before boldly asserted, that they were able to be baptized with Christ's baptism of suffering, and to drink of his cup of sorrow. Peter had just declared that he was ready to go with him, even to prison, and to death. Of all his disciples, none had so confidently courted the conflict, none, therefore, had less reason to complain that they were now placed in the