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particular, till the night after our Saviour's discourse concerning himself and the true miraculously feeding the multitude in the manna, and the “ bread which came down wilderness. Jesus had ordered his disciples from heaven;" opening to them the more to take ship, and pass over to the other sublime and spiritual mysteries of the gospel, side, while he sent the multitude away. on which great part of the audience, who But a violent storm arising, they were in expected he was going to erect a temporal great danger of their lives, when iheir great kingdom, and re-establish the throne of Master came unto them, walking on the David in Jerusalem, offended at his represurface of the boisterous billows, with the senting his dominion as entirely spiritual, same ease as if it had been dry ground. departed from him, and came no more to
hear his discourses. Jesus, on beholding At his approach the disciples were great this defection, turned himself towards his ly terrified, supposing they had seen a disciples, and asked them, Whether they spirit. But their compassionate Master soon also would go away? To which Peter dispelled their fears, by telling them it was replied, “Lord, whither shall we go? he himself, and therefore they had no reason Thou hast the words of eternal life :" to to be terrified.
whom should we apply for life and salva
tion? “ Thou art the way, the truth, Peter, who was always remarkable for and the light." bold resolutions, desired bis master to give him leave to come to him on the water; and The inhabitants of Judea, who beheld on obtaining permission, he left the ship, with astonishment the miracles wrought by and walked on the sea, to meet his Saviour. the blessed Jesus, kad formed many conjecBut when he heard the deep roar around tures concerning him. Our great Redeemer him, and the waves increase, he began to was not ignorant of this : but being willing be afraid : and as his faith declined, bis to hear what account his disciples would body sunk in the water; so that in the give of the various opinions of the people, greatest agony he called for assistance to him asked them what the world said concerning who was able to save. Nor was his
him: To which they replied, that some vain; tbe compassionate Redeemer of man took him for John the Baptist, risen from kind stretched out his hand, and again placed the dead; some thought him to be Elias, him on the surface of the water, with this and others Jeremiah, or one of the old progentle reproof, “O thou of little faith, phets. He asked them what they themwherefore didst thou doubt?” And no selves thought of him: To which Peter in sooner was the blessed Jesus and his disci the name of the rest, answered, “ Thou art ples entered into the ship, than the winds Christ, the Son of the living God," anointed ceased, the waves subsided, and the ship and set apart by the Most High, to be the was at the land whither they were going. great King, Priest and Prophet of Israel.
A miracle of this kind could not fail of astonishing the disciples, and convincing them of the divinity of his mission : accordingly they drew near and worshipped him, with this confession, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
This full and comprehensive declaration of Peter satisfied the inquiry of our blessed Saviour, who answered, “ Blessed art thou Simon Bar-Jonah; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." That is, this faith which thou hast now confessed is not human, or built upon the testimony of man, but upon that knowledge which I was sent from God to reveal unto the world: therefore, I
The next day our blessed Saviour entered the synagogue of Capernaum; and from the miracle of the loayes, took occasion to
also unto thee, “that thou art Peter, and men of his future glorification, took with upon this rock I will build my church, and him three of his most intimate apostles, the gates of hell shall not prevail against Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and it.” As thy name signifies a rock, so went up into a very high mountain, and shalt thou prove firm, solid and immove while they were employed in earnest adable in building my church, which shall be dresses to the Almighty, he was transfigured so firmly established by thy care and dili before them, darting such lustre from his gence upon that faith thou hast now pro- | face, as exceeded the meridian rays of the fessed, that all the assaults of men and sun in brightoess: and such beams of light devils shall not be able to destroy it.
issued from his garments, as exceeded the
light of the clearest day: an event and senThe disciples had no idea that their Master was to suffer death for the sins of the world; just shall walk in white robes, and shine
sible representation of that state, when the immortal, having imbibed the opinion of the
as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." Scribes and Pharisees, that Christ abideth
During this heavenly scene, the great proso that when the blessed Jesas for ever :
phets, Moses and Elias, appeared in all the told them of the sufferings he must undergo
brightness and majesty of a glorified state, at Jerusalem, what affronts and indignities
familiarly conversing with him, and dis. he must suffer, and be at last put to death
coursing of the death and sufferings he was with all the acts of torture and disgrace, by shortly to undergo, and his ascension to the a sentence of the Jewish Sanhedrim, Peter
heavenly regions of bliss and happiness. who could not endure the thought of his
In the mean time Peter and the two apoMaster's suffering even the least punish
stles were fallen asleep. But on their awakment, much less those cruelties he had mentioned, and last death itself, interrupted
ing were strangely surprised to see the Lord him very unseasonably, and said,
• Be it
surrounded with so much glory, and those far from thee, Lord, this shall not be unto
two great persons conversing with him.
They, however, remained silent till those thee.” He considered these sufferings as in
visitants from the courts of heaven were consistent with the character of the great Messiah, whom he expected would restore
going to depart, when Peter, in rapture
and extacy of mind, addressed himself to the splendour of the throne of David his
bis Master, declaring their infinite pleasure father, and reduce all the kingdoms of the earth to his obedience. But our bles
and delight in being favoured with this glo
rious spectacle; and desired his leave to sed Saviour, who came down from hea
erect three tabernacles, one for him, one ven, to give his life a ransom for the sins
for Moses, and one for Elias. But while of the world, and who valued the redemp
he was speaking, a bright cloud oversbation of mankind infinitely more than bis
dowed these two great prophets, and a own ease and safety, highly resented this
voice came from it, uttering these remark. speech of St. Peter, and accordingly re
able words, “ This is my beloved Son, in turned this sharp reproof: “ Get thou be
whom I am well pleased : hear ye him." hind me, Satan, thou art an offence to me."
On which the apostles were seized with the Thy pernicious counsel, in seeking to oppose
utmost consternation, and fell upon their the design for which I purposely left the
faces to the ground; but Jesus touching courts of heaven are offensive; and thou
them, bid them dismiss their tears, and “savourest not the things of God, but those
look up with confidence; they immediate that be of men."
ly obeyed, but saw their Master only. Some time after, the great Redeemer of the souls of men, being to receive a speci. After this heavenly scene, our blessed
Lord travelled through Galilee, and at his | ed, " Thou shalt never wash my feet.” But return to Capernaum, the tax-gatherers the blessed Jesus told him, that if he washcame to Peter, and asked him whether hised him not, he could' have no part with him ; Master was not obliged to pay tribute ? | intimating, that this action was mystical, and When our blessed Saviour was informed of signified the remission of sins, and the purithis demand, rather than give offence, he fying virtue of the spirit of the Most High, wrought a miracle to pay it.. Our great to be poured upon all true christians. This Redeemer was now going, for the last time, answer sufficiently removed the scruples of to Jerusalem ; and he ordered two of his Peter, who cried out, “ Lord, not my feet disciples, probably Peter and John, to fetch only, but also my hands and my head.” him an ass, that he might enter into the Wash me in every part rather than let me city on it, as had been foretold. The dis
lose my portion in thee. ciples obeyed their Master, and brought
The blessed Jesus having set this pattern the ass to Jesus, who being mounted there
of humility, began to reflect on his approachon, entered the city amidst the hosannas of
ing sufferings, and on the person who should a numerous multitude, with palm-branches in their hands, proclaiming at once both
betray him into the hands of wicked and
cruel men, telling them, that not a stranger, the majesty of a Prince, and the triumph of a Saviour.
or an enemy, but one of his friends, one of bis apostles, and even one of them who then sat at the table with him, would betray
him, CHAP. IV...
This declaration exceedingly affected them Life of St. Peter, from the Time of the
all in general, and Peter in particular, who .
made signs to St. John, to ask him parCelebration of the last Passover to the
ticularly who it was ? Jesus complied with Crucifixion of the great Redeemer.
this request, and gave them to understand NAE blessed Jesus proceeded from Jeru that it was Judas Iscariot.
salem to Bethany, from whence he sent two of his disciples, Peter and John, Our great Redeemer now began the instito make preparations for his celebrating the tution of his supper, that great and solemn passover.
institution, which he resolved to leave be
hind him, to be constantly celebrated in bis Everything being ready, our blessed church, as a standing monument of his love Saviour and his apostles entered the house, in dying for mankind ; telling them at the and sat down to table. But their great same time that he bimself was now going Master, who often taught them by example to leave them, and that " whither he went, as well as precept, arose from bis seat, laid. they dould not come.” Peter, not well aside bis upper garment, took the towel, | understanding what he meant, asked him and pouring water into a bason, began to whither he was going ? To which our great wash his disciples? seet, to teach them humi Redeemer replied, that he was going to lity, and charity, by his own example that place whither he could not now, but But on his coming to Peter, he would by should hereafter, follow him : intimating no means, adinit his Master to perform so the martyrdom he was to suffer for his Masa... mean and so condescending an office. ter's religion. Peter answered, that he was Wbat! the Son of God stoop to wash the ready now to follow him, even if it required feet of a sinful mortal! A thought which him to lay down his life. This contiúent shocked the apostle, who strenuously declar- presunsption was not at all agreeable to the
blessed Jesus, who told him he had promis What incomparable sweetness! what geed great things, but would be so far from nerous candour did the Redeemer of manperforming them, that before the cock creu kind display on this occasion ! He passed he would deny him thrice.
the most charitable censure upon an action,
which malice and ill-nature would have Supper being now ended, they sung an painted in colours, as black .as the sbades kymn, and departed to the Mount of of darkness. Olives; where Jesus again put them in mind how greatly the things he was going to suf The disciples were drowned in a profound fer would offend them. To wbich Peter re security, and were buried in a deep sleep, plied, that “ though all men should be of and though often awaked and informed of fended because of him, yet he himself would the approaching tragedy they little regarded never be offended.” How far will an indis. the admonitions, as if nothing but ease and creet zeal and affection transport even a softness engaged their thoughts : an action good man into vanity and presumption ! which seemed to imply the most amazing Peter questions the fidelity of others, but ingratitude, and the highest disregard for never doubts his owu : though his Lord had their Lord and Master. just before reproved him for his self-sufficiency. This confidence of Peter inspired the But he, who was compassion itself, would rest of the apostles with courage : so that
not impute it to their want of affection, or they declared their constant and unshaken disregard for his safety : he considered it adherence to their Master.
merely as the effect of their infirmities, and
wade an excuse for them, when they could They now repaired to the garden of Geth make none for themselves ; teaching us the semane ; and leaving the rest of the apostles useful lesson of putting the most favourable near the entrance, our blessed Saviour, construction on the actions of others : and to taking with him Peter, James, and John, imitate the bee and not the spider, by suckretired into the most solitary part of the ing honey, instead of poison, from the varigarden, to enter on the preparatory scene ous transactions of human life. of the great tragedy that was now approach ing.
While he was discoursing with thein, a
band of soldiers, from the chief priests and Here the blessed Jesus laboured under elders, preceded by the traitor Judas to the bitterest agony that ever buman nature conduct and direct them, rushed into the suffered, during which he prayed with the garden, and seized the great high priest of utmost fervency to his father, “ offering up our profession. Peter, whose ungovernable prayers and supplications with strong crying zeal would admit of no restraint, drew his and tears; and his sweat was as it were great sword, and, without the least order from his drops of blood falling down to the ground. Master, struck at one of the persons who
seemed to be remarkably busy in binding While our blessed Redeemer was thus in Jesus, and cut off his right ear. This wild terceding with the Almighty, his three dis and unwarrantable zeal was very offensive ciples were fallen asleep, though he had to his Master, who rebuked Peter, and nade three several visits to them, and call intreated the patience of the soldiers, while ing to Peter, asked him, If he could not he miraculously healed the wound. watch one hour with him ? Advising them all to watch and pray, that they might not But now the lidelity of the apostles, which enter into temptation, adding," the spirit they had urged with so much confidence, indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.»; was put to the trial. They saw their Master