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It was the voice of God, that spake
Voice of our God, Oh yet be near!
CHRIST'S CHARGE TO PETER.
JOHN XXI. 1. and 15. AFTER these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. And on this wise showed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore; but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat ? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved şaith unto Peter, It is the Lord.
So when they had dined, 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. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, when thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest vot. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved, following ; (which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?) Peter seeing him, saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him ; If I will that he tarry till I corne, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.
“ Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?"
There was occasion for the question; for Peter, though at first loudest in his professions, had violated them all, by the denial of his master, But may not we apply to ourselves the interrogation
of our Lord ? It may be that we too have professed to love him; but alas, our resolutions, like those of the apostle, have failed in the day of temptation. We have denied our Saviour, not once, but often; denied him by turning away, uninterested, from the thoughts of him; denied him by our sins. Let us recall then to our memory the question of Jesus, “ Lovest thou me ?” May it recur to us in adversity; “ Lovest thou me enough to bear as my disciple, without repining, the burthens which Providence ordains for thee? Then shall thy love for me make those burthens light, and bring thee at length to happiness which shall never end.” In prosperity may that question be recalled to mind; “ Lovest thou me more than these things ? Can thy religious affections retain their strength amid so many temptations, so many enjoyments? Be watchful then, and be doubly happy, in the enjoyment of the life that now is, and the anticipated glories of the world to come.”
Thus, holy Master, in the day
THE ASCENSION OF JESUS.
Acts 1. The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he taken
after that he had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen through the Holy Ghost. To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. And being assembled together with them, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
For John truly baptized with water ; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in
his own power. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel ; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
REFLECTIONS. The Saviour has ascended to his father. The scene of his earthly labours and sufferings has been exchanged for eternal glory in the heavens. But his gospel remains. A light sprung up on the shore of the lake of Galilee, to those who sat in darkness. The nations saw it and were glad ; vice and ignorance fled away before it. Europe rejoiced in its radiance. It darted across the waves of the Atlantic, and touched a new world with hues of heaven. Its beams still shine to guide us in the way of peace, to make glad the desolate places of the earth. The Saviour moves no more among men, but the spirit which shone in him, the spirit of devotion to his he nly Father, and of love to the human race, hath since his day animated thousands of faithful hearts. His kingdom, which commenced in the humble manger at Bethlehem, has been proclaimed far and wide. May that