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For the Christian Spectator. deluded by the carnal expectation on the character of the Apostle that the Messiah would be a mighty Peter.
temporal prince, seized him by the
hand “and began to rebuke him, sayTHERE are few scriptural charac ters more strongly marked, than that ing,
Be it far from thee, Lord! this
shall not be unto thee." The eve. of the Apostle Peter. We cannot ning previous to the crucifixion after but love him for his ardent zeal, his the institution of the Supper and generous feelings, his quick sensibili
when on the way to the garden ty, his ingenuous promptness, his
where the bloody scene began, Christ teachableness, his devotedness to Christ, his reverence and affection be offended because of me this night,
said to his chosen band, “ Ye shall for him. The biography of this dis- for it is written, I will smite the ciple is no where given in connection, Shepherd and the sheep of the flock but is learnt from insulated passages shall be scattered abroad;" the zealscattered through the New Testa
ous disciple, unable to endure the ment. Astonished
thought of there being even a possithe miraculous
bility of his forsaking his Lord, exdraught of fishes and overwhelmed with the sense of his unworthiness, claims; “ Though all men shall be ofhe “ fell down at the Saviour's feet
, fended because of thee, yet will I
never be offended.” On the Savsaying, Depart from me for I am a sinful man.” When Jesus,--about thee that this night before the cock
iour's replying, “Verily I say unto to give a striking and impressive illustration of the duty of humility-of- norant of his frailty, wounded to the
crow thou shalt deny me thrice;" igfered to wash his disciples' feet; Peter, unwilling to have bis Master do quick by the supposition, with in
creased warmth he renews his proany thing which might lower his
testations : Though I should die character, from the honesty, of his with thee, yet will I not deny thee.” heart and with his wonted quickness, Having enquired of Christ whither exclaims, “ Thou shalt never wash my he was going, and being told that he feet :" And when assured that this could not then follow him; he with ceremony could not be dispensed his usual earnestness as well as affecwith, he goes directly to the oppo- tion rejoins ;“ Why cannot I folloro site extreme;“ Lord ! not my feet on; thee now ? Í will lay down my life ly, but also my hands and my
head." At the time when the Saviour reveal for thy sake.” Accordingly when ed to his little family that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem Peter, determined to stand by him to
the purpose of apprehending Christ, and there, after enduring many in the last, drew his sword upon them sults, to suffer the death of the cross; and smote the high priest's servant, Peter, we are told, with his constitu- and would probably have continued tional promptness and indiscretion, Vol. 4 No. I.
to fight his way, had not his Master predicted by Christ, he was at his commanded him to desist from vio- own request crucified with his head lence and to sheath bis sword. Af- downward, deeming himself unworter the crucifixion when Mary Mag- thy of the honour of having his body dalene informed the disciples that Je. suspended upon the cross in the mansus had risen, Peter and John ran ner in which his Master's was, whom hastily to the grave; and while John, he had once shamefully forsaken. being perhaps of a more timid cast Such are some of the outlines of of character, merely looks into the this interesting character. We must sepulchre from without-Peter, quick love him for his excellencies, while and fearless, leaps down and is the we pity his infirmities and weep over first who gains certain assurance that his guilt in denying his Lord and the crucified Redeemer has of a Master. truth arisen from the dead. When Several important reflections are Jesus from the shore hailed his disci- suggested by a contemplation of the ples fishing at a distance from laud; life of this apostle. Of these, one of as soon as Peter recognized his Mas- the most obvious is the danger of ter, he at once plunged into the water self confidence. Christ requested of and hastened to him. When the the band that apprehended Him that Lord Jesus enquired of him three they would let his disciples “ go their times in succession : “ Simon, son of way, that the saying might be fulfilled Jonas ! Lovest thou me;" Peter, still which he spake: Of them which possessed of his original generous thou gavest me have I lost none.” sensibility,—conscious of his integ. He was well acquainted with human rity of intention however weak might frailty. He knew how little, tiesh and have been his resolution, cut to the blood are to be relied upon in seasons quick because reminded of his for- of temptation. A determination nevmer apostacy, burt and grieved to er to yield to obstacles and always the heart; he each time magnani- to resist danger with firmness, is mously replies : “ Lord thou knowest highly praiseworthy in those who are that I love thee.” There is a cir- running a virtuous career, and is ofcumstance yet unnoticed which pla- ten the means of accomplishing the ces this disciple's character in a pe- greatest and most useful designs. culiarly happy light. St. Paul in This is a quality of the christian one* of his epistles declares Peter to hero ; but his strength is derived have been guilty of gross dissimula- from above. When he is in this sense tion at Antioch, of which he gives us truly strong, he feels how little his an extended account, and for which own frail resolutions are of thenihe says he openly blamed Peter and selves to be trusted. “ My strength," 6 withstood him to the face” “ be- said St. Paul, “is made perfect in fore them all.” Still, however, Peter weakness :" "for when I am weak afterwards in his own writings styles then am I strong.” When in rePaul his " beloved brother,"+ and proaches, in persecutions, in distressspeaks in the highest terms of all his es for Chrisi's sake, it was on the epistles, though recording and thus, promise of the Lord alone that he as he knew, publishing his disgrace. rested : “My grace is sufficient for This is a genuine specimen of the thee.” We are not however to seek Christian spirit. We would mention danger in order that our strength may still another fact as illustrative of Pe- be displayed. But we are to avoid ter's character. Although not rela- it so far as we can without injury to ted in Scripture, it is supported by our Master's cause, Still, when the universal tradition of the early brought into temptation, when obliages of the church. When called to ged to struggle with it; then clothed suffer the martyrdom so long before with divine strength,supplicating God * Gal. Chap. II. † II. Peter, 3. 15.
for support, we are to fight manfully