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younger in our homes. Let us all look out for opportunities of working good, not evil to one another.
Think how so doing we shall be consulting for our own true peace and happiness. Think what it will be to have but helped one soul to persevere in the right course ! Think what it will be to have hindered but one, who, till we crossed his path, was running well !
Yes, think of this—think how at God's judgment seat it will make a difference, whether we shall be recognized there by some happy face whom we first taught the true wisdom--the fear and the love of God-or whether in that awful hour, we shall see beside us some lost ruined soul crying out against us; laying his sin to our charge; declaring before God and His holy angels, that but for us—but for our teaching—our neglect--our example, he had not come into that condemnation !
Think of these things brethren—and let the thought stir you up to consider every man his neighbour's welfare. Remember always that God has joined us together in links of social union, in families, in parishes, in the bond of fellowship and friendship, on purpose that we might be of use to one another—might comfort one another, and instruct one another, and lift up one another, and do all that in us lies to defeat the malice of our great enemy, and preserve souls alive that should not die, and add, of our brethren, true disciples to the Lord-multitudes both of men and women !
FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT.
ST. PETER'S REPENTANCE.
St. Mark XIV. 72.
And when he thought thereon he wept.
It is not long since I brought before you from this place, the character of the false Apostle Judas; and one chief lesson that I observed we ought to gain from his sad history, was a lesson of repentance. By what befell him, we had most powerfully proved to us that all repentance is not genuine repentance—does not avail to save the soul alive.
To-day, brethren, I would again call your thoughts to the subject of repentance; a subject which ought, at this season, to be much in our mind—to repentance, however, of a different kind, of a more hopeful kind, such as we may wish and pray to be realized in ourselves—repentance unto life not to be repented of again.
And this the true repentance I would connect with a person, even with the Apostle St. Peter, -while from Judas (as I have pointed out) we learn that there is a sorrow for sin which will not profit—which worketh only
death, so from this other we may learn that there is a godly sorrow that lifteth us up when we are down, gives us back again our peace of mind, restores us to God's love-maketh us every whit whole. It will be my endeavour to shew how this true, saving repentance is exhibited in St. Peter, for our example and our imitation.
But, first, I must speak of his sin—and with reverence, -remembering the man he was, the height of holiness he afterwards reached-remembering, too, that such as we have no right to be his judges; that to his own Master he stood and fell and that by Him he has been long since forgiven.
How fully forgiven, how entirely reinstated in his old place, let that touching interview bear witness, which is recorded in the last chapter of St. John's Gospel. Three times, as if purposely to connect it with his triple denial, did the risen Saviour appeal to Peter, if he loved Him, and three times did He commit to his care the oversight and guidance of His infant Church, Feed my lambs, feed my sheep!
But while I would, in speaking of this Apostle's sin, forbear to pass judgment on it, I must not for a moment seem to make light of it-it brought out passions and bad words, and betrayed a cowardice of heart in Peter which it is painful to witness in any one-most painful in one of the Twelve.
He had followed his Master (you will all remember) on the night He was betrayed, to the palace of the High Priest; he had been admitted into the outer court at the request of a disciple (it is supposed Nicodemus) who was known to the High Priest, and he now sat there to witness the end. His fellow Apostles had fled; he was alone, and the court was full of faces hostile to his Master : one of these—the damsel who kept the doorchallenged Peter, Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazarethhis courage failed him, and though he had boasted but a few hours before that he would go to prison, aye, and to death for Jesus, he now denied Him-I know not what thou sayest. It would seem as if he felt immediate shame for such baseness, for he moved away from the porch as if to go out; and there in the porch he is again questioned; not by one, but by two or three together—This is one of them, this man was also with Jesus of Nazareth. He might now have redeemed himself, and, by a bold avowal, shaken off his shame: but no—he is still a coward—still afraid of the consequences of confessing himself one of Jesus' disciples—and so again he denies Him: and this time with an oath-1 do not know the man. An hour passes-an hour of deep misery, we must believe to St. Peter. He had been trying to keep up the disguise ; trying to conceal his connection with our Lord, and now he is for the third time taxed with being of His company, and this time in a more positive and marked mannerOne of the servants, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did I not see thee in the garden with Him? and for the third time he repeats his denial, only with increased vehemence, with loud and blustering imprecations
-He began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man of whom ye speak !
Such was St. Peter's sin, the more aggravated by his former boldness; but still it was not the sin of a de
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praved bad heart—while guilty of it the Apostle must have felt his cheeks redden with shame, he must have felt that he was doing a mean thing in denying his Lord. Nor did the sin lie on his soul unrepented of long; at his third and last denial the cock crew, and the Lord at that moment turned, and looked upon Peter—and Peter remembered the words of the Lord, how that he had said unto him, Before the cock crow thou shalt deny me thrice, and Peter went out and wept bitterly, or, as St. Mark tells us, when he thought thereon he wept. :
Tradition tells us that this bitter weeping was often renewed, that the Apostle never afterwards heard the cock crow without shedding tears. Be this true or not, and I see not why it may not be somit is quite in keeping with the quick, impulsive, warm nature of the Apostle-be it true or not, we have abundant evidence that St. Peter's repentance was deep, and lasting, and effectual. We find him with St. John three days hence, hastening before all the Apostles to the tomb, in which the body of the Lord had lain. We find him united with his brother Apostles when the Lord came, the doors being shut, and spake peace to them. We know that before this, the Lord was seen of Peter—that to him was vouchsafed an early appearance, before as yet He was seen of the Twelve. We have other proofs of St. Peter's devotion to his Master --witness his plunging into the sea to meet Jesus, not waiting till the boat was brought to land but rushing forward, in his old fervent way, to do obeisance to his Master. And then if we go on to the Acts of the Apostles (chapter ii.), we find St. Peter again, the leader of that little company, the first to stand up boldly in the streets of Jeru