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always with us, and we can always show our love for him by our attention to them. This matter shall be made the subject of inquiry again when it shall be said to many, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to the least of these, ye did it not to me." Hence if we would know whether we love the Saviour, let us feed his lambs, let us go and seek out the poor, the sick, and the sorrowing; and as we toil for them, because they are Christ's feeble ones, we shall find our own love grow stronger and be able to say with deep sincerity, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee." A pastor in Germany, who had been somewhat neglectful of his duty, was asked to dine one day with a friend, and after dinner chanced to see a picture that riveted his attention. It was a representation of the crucified Redeemer, with the words coming from his lips, “ All this I did for thee, what doest thou for me ?" It was a voice from heaven to his conscience, and he went home with the words ringing in his ears, • What doest thou for me?" and from that day he began to labour for Christ, with a zeal that knew no pause until he was able to say, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Should these words come to you, O reader, from the Lamb slain in the midst of the throne, and if the thought of all his weari. ness and agony, his tears and toils, his life and death, came up to you, to tell what he did for you, what could you then adduce—what toils, what
sacrifices, what work, would come up in memorial of what you were doing for him ? If you love him, keep his commandments : if you love him, go forth and feed his flock, both sheep and lambs.
3. Love for Christ is made perfect by suffering. “ 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 tbee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” In early life the soul is wilful in its unsubdued strength, and the will unbending. Youth is proud of its stirring powers, and walks with an unbowed neck. But if we continue to follow Christ, we shall learn the lesson of denying self, and giving up our own wills to the will of God. Others shall gird us and carry us whither we would not. We shall be carried to a sick bed, to a post of toilsome labour, to a house of mourning, or to a place of suffering; but the blessed fact is that Christ is there, and our love for him is never perfected until it has been purified by suffering. So was it with the fervid writer of this gospel. He loved Christ when he was willing to call fire from heaven on the Samaritans, to rebuke the miracle worker who followed not him, and wished to take a place at the right hand of the Messiah in his triumph. But that love never reached its sublimest fervour until half a century of suffering enabled him to pour forth those lines of seraphic love, that sparkle and glow in the loving epistles in which he has recorded the emotions of his heart. So was it also with Peter. It was in his old age, on the very verge of martyrdom, that he wrote those epistles, which hang rich and glowing with the ripe clusters of a love made perfect through sufferings. It may not be for us to witness for Christ as Peter did, at the stake of mar. tyrdom; but we may just as truly witness for him in the chamber of sickness, the house of mourning, the hovel of poverty, and the dreariness of disappointment and bereavement;and in this manly witnessing, our love shall become as gold seven times refined, or as the rich and blushing clusters of fruit that are reddest and ripest because they have been subjected to the hottest sun. Then if suffering in any form be our lot, let us remember that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings; that Peter and John, and the great cloud of' witnesses, trod the same pathway; and that there are unfoldings of our Christian character that never take place until suffering comes, just as there are fruits that never ripen until touched by the frost. :
But we cannot conclude this chapter, without adverting to the fact that it may have some reader, who in answer to the query, “Lovest thou me ?" must say, “Lord, thou knowest that I do not
love thee.” And the fearful words that are written about such an one are, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha." Yes,“maranatha," the Lord cometh! There comes a time when you, poor, drifting voyager, shall end this lonely voyage, on a lonelier shore. A blacker night shall hang over the waters than that which rested on deep Galilee, and a sterner shore shall meet your startled gaze than the rocky strand of Gennesaret. It will be the blackness of darkness for ever, the awful reality of an unblest and unforgiven eternity. We know not the forms and the sights that shall meet you on that wild and mysterious shore. We know not the words that shall break first on your astonished ear. But we do know that, unless you die at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, you shall awake in that unknown land to shame and everlasting contempt, and find that you are shipwrecked in your hopes for eternity.
THE SEVENTH APPEARANCE-WHAT IS THAT TO
The walk on the shore-Silent love-uncertainty of tradition-The
breathing grave. I. The question. Peter's possible motives. (1) A momentary pang of repining-The feelings of the afflicted-A target for the Almighty. (2) Mere curiosity-Intimacy of Peter and John-Anxiety to pry into the future-Wisdom of the veil that bides it. II. The answer. (1) The events of life ordered by the will of God-Predestination a doctrine full of comfort. (2) The Christian's life on earth a tarrying for the summons home-The aged and invalid—The dairyman's daughter. (3) The cure of all anxiety for the future is the discharge of present duty-Follow Jesus.
“ 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 come, what is that to thee? follow thou me." -John xxi. 20—22.
THIS is the third scene in this remarkable interview on the shore of Tiberias. It would seem that our Lord, after restoring Peter to his apostleship by the threefold question and answer, began