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sook Him and fled.” He, who had witnessed a good confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” the same now denied Him through fear of men. Surely we all have a solemn warning in what befell one so far above us as St. Peter. If he could fall, who shall say of himself that he shall stand sure ? Indeed, we do not know ourselves, we do not know what is in us, what weakness and cowardice, until we are tried. How should we? Therefore let us take warning by the example of others; and, when we read of the sins and failings even of God's saints, let us take heed unto ourselves.
Time would fail us, were we to go through what more we read in holy Scripture of St. Peter. How that, when our Lord looked upon him, just as he had denied Him, “ Peter went out and wept bitterly.” How that our Lord appeared to St. Peter, apart from the others, on the very day on which He rose from the dead, perhaps to assure him of His forgiveness. How three several times He inquired of him, Whether he loved Him; and three several times gave him a charge to feed His sheep and His lambs.
" Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these ? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I
love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep.”
We read again, in the Acts of the Apostles how that, by the preaching of St. Peter, God opened a door of faith unto the Jews, on the day of Pentecost ; and unto the Gentiles, in the case of Cornelius ; in both of which St. Peter was His special instrument. How by St. Peter God wrought many and great miracles, even unto the raising of the dead. How, when Herod sought his life, God sent His angel and delivered him out of prison. Time would fail me, were I to go through these and other passages. Enough, however, has been said to furnish matter for useful meditation. Only this I will add, which we learn from early writers. That when St. Peter, at Rome, came, as on this day, to his martyrdom, and was about to be nailed to the cross, he entreated of the heathen officers that he might be crucified with his head downwards ; saying, that he was not worthy to suffer death in the same manner in which his Divine Lord and Saviour had died for him. He had preached the Cross of Christ in his life; hy it he had been crucified to the world, and the world crucified unto him; and he shrunk not from it, at the last, through any fear of pain and death ; only, in his deep humiliation, he accounted that death of shame and agony, which his Lord
, had died, as too blessed and too glorious for His servant to die.
JOHN HENRY PARKER, OXFORD AND LONDON.
Sermons for the Christian Seasons.
ST. JAMES'S DAY.
THE FRUITS OF PROMPT OBEDIENCE.
St. Matt. iv. 21, 22. And going on from thence, He
saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him.
The Church hath appointed this day to be observed in memory of the holy apostle St. James; in order that, by dwelling upon
which God was pleased to make manifest in his cha· racter, we may magnify and bless God's holy name, in this memorial of His servant; and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the steps wherein he walked, and, with him, all “the glorious company of the apostles.” These are the thoughts which are suited to the festival-day of a great apostle and martyr,—these the lessons, this the spiritual improvement, which we are to seek to draw for ourselves.
And here, in order to this improvement and growth in Christian grace, I would wish to set before
you, in a very few words, the sum of what we read in holy Scripture about St. James. You will all, probably, remember that there were two of our Lord's apostles, who bore the name of St. James ;-one, whose name is joined with that of St. Philip on one festival-day, who was the first bishop of Jerusalem, and who wrote the Epistle which bears his name; and the other, the holy martyr whom we bear in mind to-day, who, to distinguish him from the other, is known by the name of St. James the Greater, whereas the other is called St. James the Less.
St. James, then, (that is, St. James the Greater, whose festival it is to-day,) was the son of Zebedee, and brother of St. John, the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ. Of the circumstances of his call we read in the text : “And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him.” A very remarkable instance of cheerful, ready, and unhesitating obedience to the call of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ He called