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Cana, to be first carried to the ruler Sabbath, yet we find their Phari. of the feast to prove the reality and saical malice catching at an occasion goodness of it; and sent the leper he which offered the very next Sab. healed, to present his oblation to the bath, to impeach him and his discipriest in token of his cure ; so to de. ples, before the people, of impiety monstrate and make more public the by proplanation of that day. greatness and reality of his miracle S. What fresh cause did Jesus also, he seems purposely to have bide give the Jews, to impeach him? den the paralytic take up his bed, and T. His disciples indeed gave the go home on the Sabbath-day, when offence, by pulling of ears of corn, so unusual a sight he knew would be and eating them to satisfy their huntaken notice of by the people, and ger as they passed through the fields, could not fail of putting them upon on the Sabbath-day; and the Phari. the enquiry after the person and the sees complaining of this, as a prooccasion of this breach of the Sab- phanation of the Sabbath, and upbath, in the midst of Jeruslem, the braiding his disciples there with, Jecapital of their nation, and center of sus vindicated the action by instancthe Jewish church.

ing several cases where ritual injuncS. What defence did our Lord tions bad given, and should always make on this occasion, against the give place to those of a moral and accusation of his enemies?

perpetual obligation, such as works T. He pleaded the example of of necessity; and she wed that it could God his heavenly Father; and that be interpreted no criminal violation of he only followed this in doing works the Sabbath, to do acts necessary to of mercy and goodness, which preserve life ; for he being, as he told were not omitted on the Sabbath-day them before, the Son of God, and conany more than any other.

sequently the Lord of the Sabbath, S. Were the rulers of the sanhe- bad power to dispense with the ceredrim appeased by his defence ? monial laws concerning it, especially

T. No: they were much more whenever they interfered with works provoked against him ; because he of necessity and intrinsic worth. not only defended the legality of S. How did the Pharisees receive the paralytic's bearing his burthen ; this declaration ? but in his discourse before them on. 7. Their resentment rising in this occasion, assumed to himself 'proportion to their prejudices, we the title of the son of god ; and may reasonably suppose they were thus claimed a coequality of power beyond measure offended, and rewith him,

solved his destruction. But Jesus S. What was the result of our who knew the secret purposes of Saviour's defence before the sanhe. their hearts, withdrew with his disdrim ?

ciples into Galilee ; whereby, though T. Though they dismissed him be frustrated the present evil intenfor the present, not being able to tions of his enemies at Jeruslem, question or withstand the force of he nevertheless found his doctrines his miracles, and the inference of and his conduct narrowly watched bis power from thence, over the and scrutinised by the Scribes and

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Pharisees, whererer he went. For pass by another way, and with a good while he preached in the synagogue, conscience escape it. and healed there a man on the Sab- S. Has not God promised to suc. bath-day, who had a withered hand, cour those that are tempted, or aro the Pharisees questioned him about in danger? the lawfulness of healing on the Sab. T. Yes : but they are only such as bath ; and though they could not are purely passive in the thing. God gainsay the reality and goodness of will certainly protect those, that his miracles, neither object to the obey bis commands, and in cases of force of his arguments, in defence of real and unavoidable difficulty, exert the lawfulness of working them on a vigorous faith, and well-grounded the Sabbath ; yet blinded with ma- trust; but he never regards a blind Ilce, they conspire against him, with zeal, and hot-heated presumption, the Herodians, or the officers of Ga. They that are their own tempters, lilee, then under Herod's jurisdic. must not expect God's deliverance or tion, how they might destroy him. assistance. Upon this Jesus withdrew with his S. What did Jesus at the sea-side! disciples into another government by 7. His fame spreading abroad the 'sea-side ; putting that rule in wherever he came, it was impossi. practice which he had given his dis- ble for him to be long concealed; ciples, When they persecute you in therefore multitudes followed him, one city, fee ye to another. From and brought from all parts of the hence I would desire you to observe, nation, even from the coasts of Tyre that when Jesus by bis doctrine and and Sidon, those who were posses. miracles, could neither work that sed and diseased, and he cured then belief, nor reformation they were all; the demoniacs bearing testiintended to effect, but that men by mony to his divinity, and publickly reason of the hardness of their hearts, confessing him to be the Son of. were more offended in him, he God. usually departed, that he might give S. Did Jesus continue long in this place to their wrath, and secure place ? himself from the effects of their ma. T. Being pressed much with the fice ? teaving us thereby this instruc- multitudes that followed after him, tion, for our use and example, that if and preparing now for the future we wait for troubles, when we can establishment and propagation of honestly and prudentially avoid them, the faith, he withdrew to a solitary we cannot expect that God will delic mountain, where having continued ver us : for God hath no wbere pro. all night in prayer, he selected mised to work miracles for our deli- twelve persons out of the number of verance, nor engaged to save those, those, that constantly attended on who are not careful to save them. him, and professed to believe in selves. He hath commanded us to his name, to be bis apostles, and tüke up our cross, when be lays it in witnesses of his doctrine and mirrour way; but he hath not commanded cles. These answered mysteriously that we should go out and seek it; or to the number of the patriarchs in that we słould meet it, when pe can the ancieut-cburcb, or twelve tribes of Israel, whom he told them should we read no more of him from this, judge at the general resurrection sit- till the calling of the apostles' at ting on twelve thrones ; and were mount Tabour ; from which timo called apostles, from being appointed Peter continued with Jesus in alt bis his messengers to preach his gospel ministry : and though upon several to the gentiles.

occasions he shewed abundance of S. What were their names ; resolution and forwardness, he some.

T. Peter, Andrew, James, John, times betrayed a great deal of hu. Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, man frailty and weakness in the | Thomas, James the less, Simon, cause of his suffering master. Thus Jude, and Judas Iscariot.

we hear Jesus rebuking him for want S. What account have we of Peter? of faith. At another time our Lord

T. Peter was born at Bethsaida, said unto him, Thou art an offence a village in upper Galilee, situated unto me: get behind me Satan. And on the banks of the sea of Tiberias, last of all we come to a passage in and was the son of a fisherman, of his life, which will teach us, by his the tribe of Naphthali, and brother example, how subject the best men of Andrew. His name originally are to failings, and how vain a thing was Simon ; but when called to the it is for any to put confidence in his apostleship, our Saviour gave him own strength. For he who had made the name of Cephas, a Syriac word, so many assererations of bis conwhich signifies a stone or a rock; stancy, and never to forsake him, and in Latin, petra ; from whence nor deny bim, whoever did ; not on. is formed the present name of Peter. ly slipped away with the rest of the He was a married man, and lived disciples, when he was apprehended with his wife and mother-in-law at by his enemies ; but in the high. Capernaum. Andrew, his brother, priest's hall, when taxed by several brought him first to Jesus : and af. persons for being one of his disciples, ter they had an interview with our with oaths and imprecations, denied Lord, they returned for some time that he so much as knew the man. to their occupation ; till about the And this though he had before con. end of the same year Jesus passing fessed that Jesus had the words of on the shore of the lake Genne. eternal life, and was the Christ, the sareth, ordered them to follow him ; son of the living God; though Ire and confirming the doctrine fire was first mentioned in the nomina. preached by a miraculous draught tion of the apostles ; and with James of fishes, which they had taken by and John was permitted to behold bis command, and so strengthening our Lord's transfiguration. Howev. their staggering faith, they quitted er he soon most bitterly be wailed their nets and boats and followed our and repented of his denial of Christ, Saviour.

and ever after exerted great zeal and At this time, Jesus had his chief industry in preaching his gospel, and residence about Capernaum, whither suffering for his name. Peter had removed; and here his Peter and John were the first of

noatles that hasted to the senul. men.

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Chrisi's resurrection. Peter stepped to the people, impeached the whole
into the sepulchre ; believed that Je- nation of the Jews of the murder of
sus was risen from the dead ; and was the Messiah ; and declared that what
that very af ernoon comforted by was done, was not by any skill of his,
Christ himself, who appeared to him, but by the power, and in the name
' and, as some have thought, assured of that Christ, whom they had cru-
him that his repentance was accept. cified ; and exhorted them witbal
ed. From the resurrection to the as. to expiate so horrid a crime by a
cension, Peter was frequently dis- timely repentance. This so enraged
tinguished by Jesus from the rest of the priests and Sadducees, that they
his apostles. And in particular he convened him and his companion John
commanded him to feed his lambs before the chief magistrate, as dis.
an I sheep, and gave him some gene. turbers af the public peace. But
ral information of the manner of the Peter was far from being intimidated
death he should die.

and boldly asserted that he acted by
After Jesus was ascended, Peter the authority and in the name of that
proposed the election of another a. Jesus whom they had crucified, who
postle to supply the place of Judas was risen from the dead, and was
the traitor. And when for the bet- made the chief corner stone, though
ter enabling them to propagate the rejected by them. This intrepidity,
gospel among the Gentiles, they were and the reputation which they had
all inspired with the gifts of tongues, obtained among the people, by the
and other supernatural gifts, on the late miracle ; and the corversion of
feast of Pentacost, as had been pro- no less than five thousand souls, at
mised them, he stood up and defend the second sermon of Peter, the day
ed them from the calumnies of the before this suinmons, overawed the
Jews, who would insinuate that the magistrates, who let Peter and John
operation of the Holy Spirit was only depart, with only an injunction to
the effect of drunkeness; and made speak or teach no more in the name
it clear to them, that the doctrine, of Jesus Christ; which Peter and
miracles, death, resurrection, and as. - John refused to obey, saying they
cension, of our Saviour, were but the were bound to obey God, rather than
fultilling of those scriptures that had
been so plainly prophesied of them. - The next time we hear of Pete:
Upon which occasion he spake with is in the case of Annanias and Sap.
so much divine power, that 3000 phira, who having consented to sell
persons immediately embraced the an estate, and throw the money into
Christian faith. A few days after the cominon stock to be equally di.
miracles began to be wrought by the vided, resolved secretly to retain a
apostles ; and Peter was the first part thercof, and laid the rest at the
who in the name of Jesus cured one apostles feet; for this their cove.
that had been a cripple from his birth tousness, deceit and dissimulation,

ple brought out their sick into the chased with money ; and made this streets, and laid them where Peter vain hypocrite confess his offence and was to pass, that at least his shadow sue for pardon. From hence he retur. in passing by might light on some of neil to Jerusalem : and afterwards them, and cure their distempers.- visited every place, where cburches These things gave fresh uneasiness had been planted by the disciples, till to the rulers, and in order to put a he arrived at Lydda. Here he cure step to them, they caused Peter &c. ed the paralytic Æneas wlio had lain to be apprehended and committed to bed-rid for eight years ; and being prison. But no human power could sent for from hence to Joppa, ho resist the council of God, who sent there performed a most surprising an angel from heaven, to open the pri. miracle, by raising to life again, Ta. son doors, and set the apostles free. bitha who had been newly dead!. Word being brought to the sanhe- The fame of these miraclcs spread. drim that the prisoners were at liber. ing abroad, while Peter continued ty, and preaching in the temple, they at Soppa, he was sent for by Cornewere again sent for, and by the higlı lius, a devout and charitable man, priest taxed of their disobedience, but a heathen centurion at Cæsarea in acting contrary to the commands

Phillippi, to instruct him, and his fa. of the council ? to which Peter gave mily, in the faith. But lest a message answer to the same effect as before.

of this nature from a heathen might But Gamaliel, a man of great learn. be rejected, as being inconsistent ing and prudence among them, when with the Jewish principles, in which the apostles were withdrawn, pre- Peter had been educated; the Al. vailed with the council, not to pro- mighty, who had before directed Cor. ceed too violently against them or nelius, by sending an angel to him, to put them to death; so that after

this mothod of proceeding, while the they had been scourged, they were

messengers were in the way to Joppa, dismissed ; with command not to

signified his pleasure in this case to preach any more in that name. Peter and resolved all scruples that We read no more of Peter, till we

might oppose a compliance with such find him deputed by the whole body

& request, by a vision of clean and of the apostles at Jerusalem to go to unclean creatures, of which he com. Samaria, after the martyrdom of Ste. manded him indiscriminately to eat, phen. Here he conferred the gifts

as being all purified by the commance of the Holy Ghost upon new converts; of God. When he was come to Cæ. whereby they were enabled to per. sarea, and preached Jesus Christ to form miraculous curcs. This being Cornelius, &c. the Holy Ghost die observed by Simon the magician, be scended upon all that beard him ! offered the apostle a considerable

and having baptised them in the sum of money to confer on him the

name of our Lord Jesus Christ, he power of working miracles, with the returned to Jerusalem. The apostles gifts of the Holy Ghost : but Peter and brethren at Jerusalem took of. rejected with disdain the corruption fence at this conduct of his : for of bis heart, who thought the gifts these through prejudice of educaand graces of God were to be pur. tion and the force of old customs,

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