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that it was his will that they should be regarded, but that an affectionate care of them was the most acceptable instance which Peter could give, (and it equally applies to all his ministers) of their love to him? "Lovest thou me? if thou dost, feed my lambs, and feed my sheep." Can we then imagine, that he himself will fail in his care of them? especially when we consider the instances of his tenderness to some who were not of his fold, as well as to many who were :-to one in whom, though he saw only some feeble traces and images of goodness, yet it is said, that Jesus beholding him, loved him, and to multitudes over whom he wept, because they obstinately refused to be gathered in, and knew not the things belonging to their peace.

He shall gently lead those that are with young; that is, he shall accommodate his conduct to the weakness and infirmities of his people. And did not our Lord express his tenderness when he taught his followers as they were able to bear it; and was careful not to discourage them at first by unnecessary severities, lest it should be like putting new wine into old bottles, which might be easily broken by the fermentation of itand did not this compassionate Shepherd appear ready to bind up the broken, and to heal the sick, when he so graciously excused the

weakness of his disciples when they fell asleep, at a time when one would have thought the agonies of their Lord would have turned them all into wakeful attention and affectionate sympathy? Yet, instead of severe reproaches, we find this kind apology in the mouth of their neglected, injured Master, "the spirit, indeed, is willing, but the flesh is weak;" when Peter had so shamefully denied him, and all the rest of the apostles had forsaken him, even when he might most reasonably have expected their kindest assistance, he does not, after his resurrection, express any keen and passionate resentments, but, on the contrary, all is mildness and sweetness. At his first appearance to Mary Magdalen, he says to her, "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God;" and a few moments after, when appearing to the other women in their return from the sepulchre, "Go tell my brethren," says he, "that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. ." He does not say, Go and tell those cowardly, perfidious creatures, that God has not abandoned me, though they so meanly did it. He does not say, Go tell that perjured traitor, who, even in my very sight and hearing, disowned me, and abjured me; but "go tell my brethren;" and lest Peter should

think himself excluded from the message, as peculiarly unworthy of so kind a name, the angel, no doubt by our Lord's particular direction, names that poor penitent expressly, and says, "Go tell my brethren, and Peter, that he is risen;" as if it had been said, "Let that humble mourner know that his dear Master is risen, and, in the midst of his triumphs, graciously remembers him, and sends him these glad tidings thus early, as a token that all is forgiven.' Gracious Shepherd! who would not love thee?-who would not immediately cease his wanderings, to seek a retreat in thy compassionate bosom.


My Shepherd is the living Lord;
Now shall my wants be well supply'd,
His providence and holy word

Become my safety and my guide.

In pastures where salvation grows,
He makes me feed, he makes me rest;
There living water gently flows,
And all the food's divinely blest.

My wand'ring feet his ways mistake,
But he restores my soul to peace,
And leads me, for his mercy's sake,
In the fair paths of righteousness.

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Tho' I walk through the gloomy vale,
Where death and all its terrors are,
My heart and hope shall never fail,
For God my Shepherd's with me there.


For Wednesday Morning.

O blessed Jesus! whatever we now are, if we are thine, we were once helpless lambs in thy flock, how much are we indebted to thy pastoral care! Hadst thou not pursued us in our wanderings, we had been utterly lost: hadst thou not guarded us in thy arms, we had long since been devoured: hadst thou not cherished us in thy bosom, our very hearts had been broken; and to this very day, what were we without thy care and favour? Are we at any time afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted? Let our conflicts and dangers drive us to Jesus; may we submit to the golden sceptre of his grace, to the pastoral rod by which he guides his sheep, and when we find our doubts arising, let us flee to the representations and assurances of his word, and pray that the influences of his Spirit may strengthen our faith in them and obedience to them.

Blessed Jesus! our consciences witness it was never better with us than when we kept

nearest to thee; when at a distance from thee, we were exposed to want, and danger, and bitter regret. O that we were once more lodged in thy gracious arms, in thy compassionate bosom; and dost thou not assure us that thou art willing to receive us; if then we have wandered, in the strength of divine grace, let us return to the duties we have neglected, to the ordinances we have forsaken, and may our souls find refreshment in them, that, with firmer purpose of heart, we may cleave to the Lord: if it be so delightful, at this humble distance, to believe ourselves the objects of thy care and favour; and to taste of the little streams which thou art causing to flow in upon us here in the wilderness, what will the river of life be? if it be now the joy of our hearts, awhile to forget our cares and our fears, when, perhaps, we are at thy table, what will it be for ever to dwell with thee? and to say, once for all, "Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee;"-bountifully indeed! when they that were brought out with weeping, and led on with supplication, shall, as the redeemed of the Lord, come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away!

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