« PreviousContinue »
he pray, as Peter prayed, his condition will be worse than it was before. Peter, though sinking in the waves, had too right an opinion of the mercy of Christ, to suppose that He would suffer him to perish, that He could have invited him to come to Him across the waves, and then leave him to be drowned : he knew his Blessed Master better than to suppose it possible: when he found himself in danger, he cried to Him, Lord, save me. That short, but earnest prayer was heard. Jesus immediately stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Listen to these gracious words, and learn how merciful is Christ; how mild, how gentle, how ready to receive, to strengthen, and to save each sinner that returns to Him. Are we repentant sinners, returning perhaps to our long-neglected Saviour? Let us rejoice in His mercy: and when, through the infirmities of our nature and the strength of temptation, we are in danger of sinning again, and feel ourselves beginning to sink, then let us believe only, and we shall be saved: let us, like Peter, raise our prayer to God, and cry,
in his words, Lord, save me : He who never refuses to hear one earnest prayer that is offered to Him, will give us the strength, the grace that we are in need of, and with that we shall be able to fight against every temptation and to gain the victory. But if we trust to our own strength, and neglect to ask for the assistance of our Lord, we shall then most assuredly sink, we shall fall, deeply fall; returning to our old sins as the dog returns to his vomit, and as the sow that has been washed, to her wallowing in the mud.
St. Matthew finishes this wonderful history by telling us that as soon as they were come into the ship the wind ceased. It was the presence of Jesus, it was His command, His wish, that made the wind be still. Wherever Jesus comes there is peace and rest: into whatever breast he is received, whosoever takes Him for his Lord and master, and writes His holy laws in his heart, and puts his trust in Him, and earnestly strives to obey Him and to please Him, with that man whosoever he be, there is peace: every mind is hushed: every wave is still : every storm is past: evil passions are done away: evil affections, evil lusts are conquered: wicked desires, unholy thoughts and wishes are rooted out: the life and the death of such a man is peace. May Christ so take possession of our hearts, and may we so gladly, so faithfully receive Him, that His grace may never be taken from us, but may bring us nearer day by day to that state of holiness on earth, which may fit us for the happiness of heaven!
Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God. Let us follow their example! Yea, let us spend our lives worshipping the Son of God, our most Blessed Lord and Saviour. They worshipped Him, they acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, because they saw Him walking on the waves of the sea, giving one of their companions power to do the same, and causing the stormy wind to cease. We must worship Him for these thing' also, and for far greater things than these. He has died upon the cross for our forgiveness; he has risen from the grave for our salvation: He gives His servants grace to overcome temptations, to conquer their sins, and promises that they too shall rise from their graves to be with Him in glory. For these things let us praise and worship, and acknowledge the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three persons but one God: the Father who made us, the Son who died for us, and the Holy Ghost who puts good desires into our hearts. Let us offer to this great and glorious God the praise which He deserves and most delights in, the praise of a life spent in obedience to His commands. Then will He ever watch over us and protect us: in every temptation, in every difficulty, if we faithfully cry to Him, Lord save us, He will, as it were, stretch forth His hand to catch us and deliver us: and so after we shall have passed the waves of this troublesome world, we shall come to the land of everlasting rest, through Christ Jesus,our Redeemer. Amen.
Psalm xciv. 19.
In the multitude of the sorrows that I had in my heart,
Thy comforts have refreshed my soul.
The life which we have here on earth is given us by our Heavenly and Almighty Father for the best, the wisest, and the kindest purposes.
He has prepared in that world which He inhabits in eternal glory, such good things as pass man's understanding for us His poor helpless creatures. That we may be blessed, that we may share the glories of His kingdom, is His most earnest desire: to this He invites us, to this He encourages us by the most merciful promises : for this He gave His only Son to die: for this He has bestowed upon us the life which we enjoy