die with him than deny him, he now chose to deny him rather than die with him.

In the last part of the chapter we learn that he said to those who asked him if he was not one that followed Jesus, "I know not the man," and when he was asked the third time "he began to curse and swear." Immediately after this the cock crew, and then Peter remembered the words of his once beloved Master, "Before the cock crow thou shalt deny me thrice." Luke, in giving the same account, adds, that at this moment Jesus turned and looked upon Peter. The Saviour was at this time bound, and in the hands of wicked men, who were insulting and mocking him in the most cruel manner, but he did not forget his poor, tempted, sinning disciple. Perhaps he was not allowed to speak, but he was not yet fastened to the cross; he could turn and look, and as his eyes fell on Peter, he sent the spirit of repentance into his heart, for we are told that “he went out and wept bitterly." Mark says, Peter called to mind the words of Jesus, "and when he thought thereon he wept." O what an hour of bitter anguish was that when Peter fled away to weep! Those mild, compassionate eyes which had so often turned towards him with love had fallen on him once more, and that heavenly glance had sent conviction to his heart, and brought before him all his own guilt and baseness. As he thought of the pitying love of Jesus when he first saw him, and called him to leave his fishing net and follow him; of the mercy which sustained him when sinking amid the waves; and of the love, and power, and good

ness which the Saviour had always shown towards him, and all who came to him during his whole ministry, he must have felt that he was the most ungrateful of men. He thought on his sins and wept. He began to repent, and now it would have been a pleasure and relief to him, could he have run to his injured Saviour, and kneeling before him, have bathed his feet with his tears, and entreated his forgiveness; but his Saviour was bound, and led away to be crucified. He could speak to him no more, could listen to no more of his soothing words, nor even have one more look from his eye. O, what consolation was left for Peter! There was one, my young reader. Jesus knew his heart, and if he was truly penitent for his sin, he could pray to be forgiven, and Jesus would know that he was sorry, and would still love and pity him. From what is afterwards written of Peter, and from what he wrote himself in his Epistles, we learn that he did truly repent, and become a more humble and pious man than he was before; and though it is not recorded in the Bible, we learn from history, which we have no doubt is correct, that he was at last crucified on account of his religion. Though his faith and courage once failed, he was afterward so strengthened by the grace of God as to suffer a distressing death, rather than again deny his Lord.

I have not dwelt on this distressing scene just for the purpose of leading you to think of the character of Peter. I wish you to observe that true christians are not perfect. The best of men are liable to fall into sin, though few good people, we hope, have ever sinned as Peter did. The Bible

says there is "not a just man that liveth and sinneth not." None but those who saw Jesus Christ have seen a person in human form who was perfect. He had the form of a man because he took upon him our nature, but within was the spirit of God, for he was the Son of God.

If all the inhabitants of the earth are sinners, and even christians have some evil left in their hearts, which sometimes shows itself in actions, you must not expect your pious friends to be entirely free from error, though you have reason to expect them to come nearer doing just right than those do who have not professed religion. When I was twelve years of age, several of my young friends, about my own age, and some a little older, professed to become christians; and I remember that I watched them very narrowly, and if I saw the least evidence that one of them felt any wrong disposition, I was ready to conclude that such a one was not a christian. Now this was wrong, and from such an error I would save you. If I had known one of my friends to commit a very wicked act, and not appear to feel sorry for it; or if I had been sure that he continued for a long time to neglect the duties of a christian, such as praying, and attending the worship of God; I should have had reason to fear he was not a christian; but I had no right to conclude my friend. could not have a new heart because he sometimes appeared to feel wrong as I felt.

When the christian arrives at that happy place where Jesus is, he will be free from sin. The disposition to do wrong will be taken away, and he will no longer have to strive, and pray, and

watch against sin. While the christian remains here he does not sin without sorrow and repentance; and here is the difference between the true christian and the hypocrite. Judas acknowledged he had betrayed "innocent blood," but he discovered no real repentance for his sin. Peter "thought of his sin and wept," and his after life proved that his tears were tears of penitence.

Now let us think once more of the blessed Saviour. How numerous and how aggravated were the sorrows which swept over him! Not only betrayed by a false friend, but denied by one who truly loved him, but was unable to stand the hour of temptation; and abandoned by all, for it is said in the fifty-sixth verse that when the soldiers came to lay hold on Jesus, "all the disciples forsook him and fled."



MATT. xxvi. 51-54.

51. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest, and smote off his ear.

52. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

53. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

54. But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be ?

In the verses which precede those above, we

have an account of Judas' coming with a great multitude of men armed with swords and staves, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people, to take Jesus and lead him to the governor.

When Judas had given the Saviour that false, betraying kiss, of which you have read in a former chapter, Jesus said to him, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" and immediately the men laid hold on Jesus, and took him. At this time you will learn from the first of the verses above, one of Jesus' friends drew a sword, and wounded one of the servants. In John's gospel we learn that it was Peter who thus rashly used the sword. This, you will understand, took place before Peter denied his Lord, for in the last chapter I went forward a little to finish the account of Peter. "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up thy sword." Luke informs us that Jesus immediately touched the servant's ear, and cured him. How meek and forgiving, how merciful and kind was Jesus, the Saviour of sinners! Although the armed men had laid violent hands on him, and were even then leading him away to insult, suffering, and death; he would not have his disciples raise one hand against them, and when one of them did it without his permission he would not allow his enemy to suffer a short time, from a slight wound, but in the midst of the tumult and alarm, while they were hurrying him away to the high priest, he wrought a miracle by healing the wounded man in a moment. He had said to his hearers, in his sermon on the mount, "Love your enemies, do good to them that persecute you," and how fully did he show them by his example what he meant by his

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