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spirit-warming sermon or religious exercise, we feel often a thrill of devotional feeling, which persuades us that no trial could prove us false or weak. Alas! we little know ourselves, if we conclude that the enthusiasm shall continue without the continued application of the spiritual influence which first produced it. Had the gentle sermon of Jesus, recorded by the beloved disciple, dwelt fresh in the memory of Peter, would he have found it so easy to have denied his Lord ? or, had he preserved his good impressions by watchfulness and prayer, would the Spirit have failed to have brought to his remembrance those things which he heard, or would the fire which was kindled have so quickly died away? But he left off to watch and pray," and that notwithstanding the timely admonitions of his Master; and no wonder that when the hour of temptation, of which he was forewarned, came round, his soul staggered and fell for want of food. The streams of spiritual as well of natural life require a constant supply; and if the soul be cheated of its regular meals, the symptoms of decline will soon appear. “Now ye are clean (said Christ) by the word which I have spoken unto you;" and when the repetition of the cockcrow brought the word to his recollection," he thought thereon, and wept." Should we have the unhappiness to fall into trespasses, and, like Peter, to feel insensible to their amount and importance, may the word of Christ find us out as it found out him, show us to ourselves, and bring us with bitter tears to the throne of grace, before we become
ed by the deceitfulness of sin !
How watchful need we to become,
And how devoutly pray,
Upon our trial day!
For if Thy great Apostle said
He would not Thee deny,
On what shall we rely ?
0! let those prayers for us avail,
Thou didst for Peter deign;
His labour may be vain.
Yea, cast on us those powerful eyes
That moved him to lament;
Our follies, and repent.
And grant that such as him succeed
For pastors of Thy fold,
As Thou appoint'st they should :
By his example speaking what
They ought in truth to say ;
They teach them to obey.
Tuesday before Easter.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of Thy tender love towards mankind, has sent Thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon Him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of His great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of His patience, and also be made partakers of His resurrection ; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“ The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.”—Isa. 1. 5. YHRIST is an example to His people, as in every
thing else ; so particularly in the patient endurance of suffering in accordance with the will of God. How admirable this determination to pursue the right in preference to the agreeable! His way was plain, for it was always one—“ to do the will of Him that sent him.” “The habit of the right”* is the best defini
έξις του δέοντος.
tion, as well of Christian holiness as of Heathen virtue ; and a habitual determination to submit our will to God's will is the surest evidence of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. But this surrender should be, like that of our Master, entire, irrespective of consequences. The close of the passage is cheering, as it declares the ultimate triumph of Christian principle. This was only to be expected, because God, being a God of truth, can never afford a permanent patronage to evil. The Christian, accordingly, being conscious of this obvious truism, feeds on it in his heart by faith with thanksgiving
“ And they clothed Him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about His head, and began to salute Him, Hail, King of the Jews !”—MARK XV. 17, 18.
work which He had undertaken to fulfil ; He was decided, and nothing could divert Him from his purpose. . It is hard to bear ridicule. Men often sink beneath the sneer and the flout of the world who would scorn its rage. Jesus had to bear both—the wagging heads of the Jewish mob, and the rough insults of the Roman soldier; the more ignominious for Him after his late popularity—the more distressing for Him who was admired as a prophet, and called Rabbi and Master, to become the butt and contempt of the people who followed Him. But He meditated on the law of the Lord ; He studied it, and it was his delight. He followed it wherever it led, not through the smooth and gentle ways only, but through crags and thorny precipices. He hid it within His heart; He had counted the cost, His mind was made up to do the will of Him that sent Him, come what might; so ridicule and persecution were spent in vain. O! when I have resolved on executing some decisive step which appears my evident duty, should I hesitate on account of the reflections of the world, what men would say of it, and whether it would not expose me to general derisionlet me enter this bitter hall, and consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest I be weary, and faint in my mind. Let the firmness of the accused Jesus work in me decision, and the despicable weakness of the time-serving judge warn me against succumbing to circumstances.