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k St. Mark as well as by St. Matthew : and
St. John, Matt, xxvi. Mark xiv. John xviii. He acquaints us, that without any TorI ments or Menaces, or the least compullion at the bare question of a poor Maid, he denied denying his Master, and that he denied him thrice, and the last time even with Oaths and Imprecations. A man, that delivers these things of himself, plainly shews, that he is so far from all vanity and seeking his own praise, that he can be supposed to have no other aim or design, but to declare the Truth to the Glory of God, and the benefit of Mankind, though it prove to be never so much to his own disgrace, And'they relate, that as soon as our Saviour was apprehended, ail his Disciples forfook him and Aed, when they might have been able to have witnelied in his behalf, and
to have confronted Judas, who they might ES
well believe, would have turned his Accufer, after he had betrayed him. But St. Peter foon repented, and both he and St. John took courage and returned to see what became of their Master, and both St. Peter's denial, and their leaving their Mafter thus in his distress, might never have been known, unless they had discovered it themselves.
The Reproofs, and sometimes very fevere Reprehensions, which were given them by Christ, could never have come to
our knowledge but by their own informa, tion, as that they were blamed for having little Faith, Matt. xvi. 8. no Faith, Mark ix. 19. that our Saviour upbraided them with unbelief and hardness of heart, Mark vi. 52. viii. 17. xvi. 14. for being foolish and flow of heart, to believe all that the Prophets have spoken, Luk. xxiv. 25 They declare, that they were ambitious, and emulous, and fond of Temporal Honours ; that they had very wrong Notions of Christ and his Kingdom, and they set forth at large how timorous, and how difficult they were of belief, and how very scrupulous and diffident of Christ's Resurrection.
St. Paul, the great Apostle of the Gentiles, es St. Peter was the Apostle of the Circumcision, by his Disciple and Compa. nion St. Luke, has likewise left an account of himself, which none but a fincere honest man, regardless of his own praise, would ever have suffered to be given of him, Sa Luke says, that the witnesses a. gainst St. Stephen, laid down their cleaths at
a young man s feet, whose name was Paul, Saril Aas vii. 58. and that he was consenting to
St. Stephen's death, which he repeats twice, and once from St. Paul's own mouth in his Speech to the Jews, Ags viii. 1. xxii
. 20. He says, that St. Paul made bavock of the Church, A&ts viii. s. and breathing out
threatnings and Naughter against the Disciples of the Lord went unto the high Priest, and desired of him Letters to Damascus, Ads ix. 1. These are not the words of one, that had a design to diffemble or extenuate in favour of any one. And out of a deep sense of this offence, though it were committed ignorantly in unbelief, St. Paul declares himself to be the least of the Apofiles, and not meet. to be called an Apostle, because he had persecuted the Church of God, I Cor. xv. 9. and at another time stiles himself less than the least of a! Saints, Eph. iii. 8 and chief of sinners, 1 Tim; i. 15. ascribing all to the Power and Grace of God. St. Luke relates, that there was a harp contention between St. Paul and St. Barnabas, Acts xv. 39. and St. Paul tells the Galatians, that he had withstood St. Peter to the face, Gal. ii, 11, 14. So plain it is that they did not act by any confederacy between themselves, and that the Truth was dearer to them than any thing besides. In the mean time the Apostles have left behind them little or no account of their journeyings and labours and sufferings, only St. Paul mentions fome things of himself upon à neceffary cccasion; the rest we have from St. Luke, and he speaks chiefly of St Paul, and of him only tilhis first coming to Rome, and of St. Peter very little in comparison ; of the rest of the
bimos nd he joyns others together with
Apostles scarce any thing in particular : so little design had they of propagating themselves a name to posterity.
St. Paul used all lawful compliances, and he, who when the honour of Religion was concerned, made so stout oppofition to St. Peter himself, at other times, when he might fafely do it, became all things to all bimself in the beginning of many of his Epistles, i Cor. i I. 2. Cor. j. I. Gal. i. 1. Colof. i. 1., 1 Thef. 1. 1. 2 Thel. i. 1. Phùa leron i. which
great conde. fcension, and a kind of communicating his Authority to them, whom he took, as it were, into commission with himself. But when through the malice and insinuations of false Apostles he was forced to speak in his own defence, he does it with great unwillingness, and calls it folly
and confia dence of boasting, 2 Cor, xi. 1, 17. and if he must needs glory, he will glory in the things wbich concern his infirmities, 2 Cor. xi. 30. And at the same time he confesses th-re was given to him a thorn in the flesh, the Messenger of Satair to buffet him, left be should be exalted above measure, and declares himself to be nothing, 2 Cor. xii. 5, 7, II. his Office, and the Grace, which enabled him in the administration of it: and as upon all other cccasions he speaks with the
greatest abasement of himself : fo when the importunate malice of his Enemies constrained him to it and the Glory of God and the Salvation of Men required him to speak something less submissively of himfelf, he discovers his great humility in that he used so much cauti: 0, and put in so 'many lessening and abating Clausei, that the Glory might redound to God and not to himself: insomuch that it appears to have been one of the greatest instances of the Humiliation and self-deni il of fo traly humble and holy a man, to be forced to speak things which might seem boasting, and make him incur the censure of Pride and Folly. But he was willing to be counted vain and proud for the sake of the Gospel, and had so far morti ed all pride and vain Glory, as to be contented upon so just an account, to incur the disgrace of being supposed guilty of it. For there.can be no higher instance of a truly humble and pious mind, than to forego the esteem and reputation of being thought so, when the Glory ofGod and Charity to the Souls of men require it; he is not throughly humble, who in such a case would not be thought proud, but his very Humility is matter of prideto him, and it is the last degree of vanity, which an humble man can part with, to be desirous not to be esteemed proud. The Truth is, if it were not for the pride