how happy soever his experience, must often take up the apostle's language, and secretly confess, that we that are in this tabernacle, do groan, being burdened.” 2 Cor. v.

4. And the nearer a Christian endeavours to follow the steps of Paul, in active employment for the Lord's cause among men, the more surely will he have to join in his testimony, who spoke so touchingly of his inward triats, “ serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations.” Acts xx. 19.

In what manner Satan afflicted the affectionate Peter is fully detailed ; and no one who loves the Lord Jesus can for a moment doubt, that the agonies of his mind were far greater and more intolerable than any bodily suffering whatever could possibly have been. He was grieved to hear his adored Master predict the desertion of his disciples, and said, “ Though all men should be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” Matt. xxvi. 33. Our Lord, in reply, assured him, that before the cock next crew he should thrice have denied him; and Peter, as yet little aware of the power of his invisible adversary, and his own miserable weakness, reiterated the confident declaration, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee;" v. 35. St. Luke records that the Lord also addressed him, “ Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat;" Luke xxii. 31 ; thus plainly declaring whose was the cruel work; and when, after forsaking that gentle, loving Master, leaving him in the hands of his Cons, and cautiously, at a safe distance, stealing after,

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to watch what should become of him whom he had just declared he would follow to prison and to death, the too confident servant was led by the devil to deny that he even knew his Lord, and to confirm the lie with oaths and curses : how dreadful must have been his feelings at the moment—how agonizing the tortures of his conscience, when the look of his compassionate

Lord, suddenly turned upon him at the crowing of the - cock, brought his sin home to his bosom with all its aggravations ! He could not fall at the feet of the captive-- he could by no possibility approach him through the phalanx of weapons that hemmed him in. He could not cause the voice of his passionate supplication to reach that patient ear; nor could he hear from the beloved lip the word of pardon. Probably the countenance turned upon him with that heartbreaking look, was already bruised by the ruffian stroke of his persecutors; and, though we may fairly believe that the power of God, acting without a word spoken, at that moment drove Satan from his diabolical work in the mind of Peter, with what unmixed anguish of soul must the apostle have recalled his cruel desertion, and insulting denial of his blessed Master: while John, who had professed nothing more than others, was bold. ly exposing himself to the peril of a recognition in the midst of the judgment hall. All had forsaken Jesus and fled, " that the Scriptures might be fulfilled ;" and for this no Satanic influence was necessary. The weakness of human nature, wholly unassisted by divine strength, would suffice to hurry a handful of unarmed men from the presence of a hostile band, with

weapons and torches, who had taken captive their leader, the root of all their confidence. This panic over, John was enabled instantly to return and to tread, as near as he could approach him, the steps of his Lord: so presenting a contrast to Peter's treachery, which made the latter at once inexcusable and doubly odious in the eyes of the unhappy culprit himself. To us the story is most important: it was Satan's hour, as the Lord had declared. The prince of this world came, and had nothing in Him; but in every one of us, he has enough to furnish a broad ground for any temptation that he may choose to bring; and the ferocious cruelty of his dealing against the heart and con. science of the poor, weak fisherman, at that season of bitter sorrow and irreparable bereavement, may teach us a lesson of continual watchfulness and prayer, that we may be able to resist the wiles of the devil.

Cruelty is altogether a Satanic quality ; it could not exist but for him. God is love, and all that God made was innocent, lovely, loving, till sin entered in, to defile, and Satan got power to destroy. In testimo. ny to this, we have the predictions that point to the period when Satan shall be bound, and earth be whol. ly free from his influence. Thus cruelty in all its forms shall disappear. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah ii. 4. 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the fatling, and the young lion together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed-their young ones


shall lie down together ; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain." Isaiah xi. 6.-9. Such will be the consequence of removing the originator of all wickedness, the instigator of all cruelty from the earth, and re-establishing the reign of love.




“ The angel of the bottomless pit ” is called Abaddon, or Apollyon, a destroyer, (Rev. ix. 11,) and in the work of destruction his activity is indeed great. When we reflect on the extent of our globe, on the number of its inhabitants-an ever-changing, ever-increasing population-during almost sixty centuries, and the vast varieties of mind, temper, disposition, and circumstances that prevent the history of any one among them from being the history of any other ; when, too, we remember that of all these multitudes not one has es. caped the temptation of the devil, and that the main bulk of the whole have been doing his will, promoting his interests, and acting in harmony with his general design, in the face of all the evidences that crowd around them to the being and power of a holy, just, and beneficent God—we surely must discern the characteristic of amazing activity, in him who keeps so mighty a host true to his interests, and blind to their own.

When Noah preached righteousness to the men of

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