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profeffion is false, and that they are disciple, in particular, " I have yet in the gall of bitterness.
“He prayed for thee, that thy faith that hath an ear, het him hear." fail not." And while he rold Pe
ter of the petition which he had
presented to his father, in his bePeter's Improvement of his fall. half, he commanded him on his
you, that he
en his brethren. " And when trial, when he was about to be
converted strengthen thy betrayed into the hands of his en
brethren :" i. e. “When thouhaft emies. He declared to them that returned from thy backsliding by they all would be offended be repentance, Jabor to engage all thy cause of him, and would defert brethren in the faith, to adhere him when he should be apprehend- steadily and firmly to my cause aed. Peter was very confident that
midst all their temptations and he should not forsake Christ, tho'
Peter continued a backslider but all others might ; and affirmed,
a short time. with great warmth, that he was
When Christ turned ready to go with his Lord and and looked upon him after his malter into prison, and to death. third denial, consideration return“ The Lord faid, Simon, Simon, ed, his heart was tenderly touched “ The Lord said, Simon, Simon, and he went out and wept bitterly, bebold Satan hath desired to have
His subsequent life evidenced,
you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that that he remembered the charge thy faith fail noi : and when thou which he had received to strength. art converted Itrengthen thy breth
en his brethren. He never afterChrist expressly told Pe.
wards discovered such confidence ter that he would deny him thrice,
in himself as he did a little before before the common time of cock his master was betrayed; he becrowing which was next to come.
came more humble and watchful, The melancholy event verified the and by his exemplary life promoted prediction. Peter denied his
the edification and comfort of his Lord and master, and added
pro. phanity to his denial.
In the history of the Ads of the Peter was among the first of Apostles, we find Peter very active Christ's disciples, and had that and zealous in his endeavors to win knowledge of him which felh and foulstoChrift. Though he was very blood cannot reveal.
successful in his preaching on the like all other true believers, “ kept day of Pentecost and afterwards, he by the power of God through never appeared to be puffed up with faith unto falvation."
pride. He was courageous in ennot secured against a temporary countering difficulties and dangers, lapsz ; but his faith did not finally and was patient under fufferings. fail. He was included in the
in chele ways he confirmed the prayer which Christ offered
faith of his brethren, and animafor
up his whole elect church, recorded ted them in their labors and perils. in 17th of John. Not one in.
But I conceive that Peter was cluded in that prayer will perish.
instrumental in “ strengthening Chrilt said to this warm and rath his brethren,” more especially by
the Epistles which he wrote. The • Luke xiii. 31, 32.
seader will find in them mady pal
fages, which are highly adapted low their pernicious ways.” As to encourage and strengthen the an incitement to watch and pro people of God, in times of tempt- ' against the snares laid by Apol ation and trial. Let him read the tates, he faith in ver. 9th, Epilles of Peter with a particular Lord kzoweth how to deliver the view to his improvement of his fall godly out of temptations, and by his strengthening his brethren. referve the unjust unto the day My limits will permit me to select judgment to be punished.” He only a few paffages. 1 Epistle begins the third and last Chapte Chap. i. 6, 7. * Wherein ye of his second Epistle with the folgreatly rejoice, though now for a lowing words, " This second Eseason (if need be) ye are in heav- pistle, beloved, I now write upce iness through manifold tempta- you ; in both which I stir up yos tions; that the trial of your faith, pure minds by way of renchbeing much more precious than of brance.” The word both, iz gold that perisheth, thongh it be this verse, is added by the tranlla. tried with fire, might be found tors, and it appears to be added unto praise and honor, and glory with propriety ; because the Greek at the appearing of Jesus Chrift,' relative rendered which, is in the Chap. ii. 11. “ Dearly beloved, plural number, and must therefore I beseech you, as ftrangers and refer to both of the Epistles which pilgrims, abftain from ficihly lufts, Peter wrote. He goes on to tell which war against the soul.” for what purpose he defired to stir Chap. iv. 7.--" Be ye fober, and up the pure minds of his brethren watch unto prayer." Read allo ' by way of remembrance, serses from the 12th ves fe of the fame Chap. 2. 3. 4. “ That ye may be ter to the end. As this page is mindful of the words which were so long I shall not transcribe it. (poken before be the holy prophets, Chap. v. 8, 9, 10. “ Be sober, and of the commandment of us be vigilant ; because your adverfa the apostles of the Lord and Satry the devil, as a roaring lion, iour : Knowing this first, that walketh about feeking whom he there shall come in the last days may devour : whom relilt stedfast scoffers, walking after their own in the faith, knowing that the fame lufts, and saying, Where is the afflictions are accomplished in your promise of his coming for since brethren that are in the world. But the fathers fell asleep all things the God ofallgrace, who hath called continue as they were from the beus unto his eternal glory by Chrilt Je ginning of the creation.” fus,after that ye have suffered a while, Peter proceeds to give a lively make you perfect, stablish, strength and awful description of the conen, settle you." In the firft flagration of the earth, and the fu. Chapter of the second epistle of ture judgment. To adopt the lanPeter, he exhorteth his brethren, guage of Mr. Brown, in his Dicwith a presling warmth, to“ give tionary of the Holy Bible, “ The diligence to make their calling and conflagration of the earth, and the election sure.” In the beginning future judgmeni, are so described, of the second Chapter he predicts that we almost see the flames althe rise of false teachers within the cending into the midst of heaven, pale of the visible church, " who feel the elements melting with serprivily shall bring in damnable her- vent heat, and hear the groans of efies ;-and that many fhall fol. an expiring world, and the crufs
es of nature tumbling into uni. , and made more holy and watchful
From the short view which has fall.” The subjects of faving grace been taken of Peter's life and e. know that their perseverance in hopistles, we may see that he improv- liness is secured only by the promed his fall in the wiselt and best ises of God. On these they rely, manner. He was brought foon and give diligence to make their after his lapse, to remember the calling and election sure. They command of nis Lord to Strengthen cannot enjoy any assurance, or the brethren. The warnings and peace, in a backsliding state. counsels which he gave by the im- the renewal of their repentance, mediate direction of the Holy they will find encouragement by Ghost, have been highly inltru. reflecting on the case of Peter, mental of encouraging and anima- who returned with an aching heart ting the people of God down to and with flowing tears from his this day, especially when they have backsliding, and strengthened bis been exercised with trials, and brethren by his holy example and harrassed by temptations.
his wise counsels. If we love God, we shall adore
BENEVOLUS. the riches of his wisdom anik grace, in bringing good out of evil. We
FOR THE CONNECTICUT Evaya see one who was a real friend of
GELICAL MAGAZINE. Christ, and a member of his immediate family while he taberna On men's loving darkness rather cled in fieh, falling in a shameful than light. John ii. 19. manncr ; and we behold the backflider foon in tears, and lying low be
-“ Light is come into the world, fore his offended Lord. We fee him
and men loved darkness rather than humbled by the occasion of his fall
, light, because their deeds were evil." Vol. I. No. 12.
fed, we are to underfland the do&rinal knowledge, is called the light of divine truth--the spiritual, light of the world, the expreffioa holy and heavenly doctrines of the is evidently figurative. The meas- fcriptures-especially of the gofing is that he is the medium of pel, or New-Testament Revela- light ; or, that he communicates tion.
it. Strictly speaking, the light is There has ever been light in the the truth which he teaches. And world. God has revealed himself this, as observed, is the sense in ini his word, and has not left him- which we are to underland the felf without a witness in his works. word light, as used in the text. His true character was taught, It is the light of divine truth and the gospel preached from the ven all the doctrines which Chrift beginning. But when Chrift, to has taught, either personally, or whom all the shadows and types by his fpirit, in the scriptures. under the former dispensation point That it is to be so understood, ed, became incarnate--when the is evident from the following verke, fun of righteousness arofe upon the which represents the light refpe&world--then the light was more ed, as a rule, to which the hearts emphatically come. Hence Christ and lives of men are to be compare is called “the light of the world.” ed, and by which their chara&ters He is so in several respects ; but and prospects are to be decided. principally in this, that he is the “ For every one that doeth eril only medium of communication hateth the light, neither cometh between God and man. It is by, to the light, lejl bis deeds faculd be and thro' him alone that the light reproved." of divine truth is given to the The doctrines of the gospel world. For no one hath feen therefore, afford a light which God at any time, or known ang manifests the character of God thing of him, except by fome exhibits the evil cature and awful medium of revelacion. But the consequences of sin, and reproves only begotten fon, who is in the the consciences of finners, letting borom of the Father, he hath de before them their guilt and danclared him. He hath declared, ger. or revealed him, in the works of This, however, is the case with creation and providence ; for it no other scheme of doctrines but is be who hath made and governs the true one. all things. He hath revealed him When divine truths are disguifallo, in the scriptures ; for they ed, or mutilated, or some essential are his word, inspired and given ones discarded, the effe& produced by him. Whatever the Prophets is not light but darknessThe of old taught, was by the inspira character of God, and the state tion of his Spirit. When he and prospects of impenitent finners, himself came into the world, be are noc clearly seen, and men are made ftill further discoveries of led into error and fatal security. divine truth, in his own personal As the light respected in the ministry, and continued his com- text, is the light of divine truth, munications by his spirit, in the or the true syłem of gofpel docApostles whom he sent forth trines; so the darkness which natin bis name, until the cagon of ural men choose in preference to fcripture was completed. When she light, is the darkness of is
delity, or of fome false scheme of | ed in, will end in the final and toreligious sentiments, pretended to tal darkness of despair. be drawn from the scriptures. Many and various are the false
There are many who reject the schemes of religious sentiment, gospel revelation, and plunge into which mankind adopt, and endeav. the darkness of total infidelity. or to support by the Scriptures, in They choose total darkness respect. order to give ease and quiet to their ing the molt important things of the consciences. Some of these con. future world, rather than accede tain many important truths, and to the system of doctrines taught appear very plausible. The advera in the sacred scriptures. They pre fary is quite willing his emissaries fer the cold, uncomfortable doc. thould hold up much truth, protrines, or conjectures of deism and vided they can thereby introduce atheism, to the bright light and ani. and effectually inculcate fome efmating prospects of Christianity.
For whoever dir. Having rejected the light of cards any one essential do&rine revelation, they are in gross dark of the gospel, does, in effect, disness indeed. They can haven card and deny the whole system ; satisfactory knowledge with respect and is therefore full of darkness to those interefing and important and thus to be considered-agreea. fubje&s, the immortality of the soul bly to the words of the apoftic the resurrection of the body-"'Whosoever abideth not in the and the retributions of a future do&trine of Christ," i. e. in the Itate. They must be in total dark- rystem of doctrines which Christ ness and uncertainty in what way taught" hath not God.” If there forgiveness of lins may be obtain come any unto you, and bring not ed; or whether the governor of this doctrine, receive him not into the universe ever can confiftently, your house. “ To the law and to or ever will, in any way, exercise the testimony,” saith the Most mercy in the pardon of his rebel. High, “ if they speak not accordlious subjects, and consequently, ing to this word, there is no light muft at times, and especially in in them." the near view of death, be filled Chrift having asserted that men with the most distreffing anxiety hate the light and love darkness, and painful forebodings.
affiges as the reafon or ground of Again, there are others who it, that “their deeds are evil.” acknowledge the divinity of the But as deeds can be denominated scriptures, and yet reject the syl- good or evil, only from the state tem of truths they contain, and of the heart-therefore depravity attempt to draw from them a or wickedness of heart, is the cause scheme more consonant to their or ground of men's hating the own wishes and feelings. They light of divine truth, and loving set up their own depraved feelings darkness. When the light is bro't as a standard to which they bring before them the light which arithe word of God, and reject eve- ses from a jult and connected view ry doctrine which does not abide of the doctrines of the gospel, they this test. Thus they wrest the thrink from it as being destructive scriptures to their own destruction to their present ease and quiet. They adopt a scheme essentially as the light of the natural suo is erroneous, full of darkness and in- painful and destructiveto the diseafconlistency, and which, if perlifted bodily eye, so the light of di.