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CALL OF PETER, AND OTHERS.
Matt, iv. 18.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship, and their father, and followed bim. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria ; and they brought unto him all sick people, that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.
It appears from John i. 42 (Sect. ix.), that our Saviour had already conversed with Simon and Andrew, and conferred upon the former the name of Cephas, or Peter, signifying a rock.” He now summons them to quit their employments and follow him. The instruments of God in diffusing Christianity were humble men, and among them the distinguished apostle whose call is here recorded pursued an unpretending occupation for his support. Yet was he chosen, while the proud, the wealthy, and the educated, were passed by; and for what? For his sincerity, his boldness, the warmth of his affections, the faithfulness of his heart. These were trea. sures which the brightest acquirements of his nation's sages could not equal. Let the humble Christian strive after these treasures. Let him not envy the pageantry of kings, the fame of conquerors; for men, whose glory is more lasting than that of princes, were clothed in no costly robes, but those of justice and piety. And let not the child of fortune and cultivation look down with scorn on those whose station is inferior to his own; for they who taught the gospel to mankind rose from obscurity; and never, in the exercise of their holy functions, wasted a thought of envy on the splendours of earth. Those splendours were too low and transient to be compared
with the inheritance they looked for, incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away.
The wind was hush'd on Galilee,
As near its waveless flood,
An humble fisher stood.
A voice was heard; as on the lake
Is heard the whispering breeze;
The grandeur of the seas.
Years passed away; the humble man,
Who stood unheeding there,
The fisher's tranquil care.
Him, palaces of Eastern pride
Now hail'd, an honoured guest ;
He spoke of heavenly rest.
He bore, through perils far and near
His Saviour's holy name:
To indolence or shame.
That Saviour's presence cheer'd his breast
Through every varied scene:
In martyrdom serene.
In various scenes we view,
Which bore him steadfast through.
SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain; and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed • are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called the
children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick ; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“ Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful.” It is not thus, we may suppose, that the world in general judge, for it is not on the principles thus, expressed that they act. Yet are the words of our Saviour confirmed by daily experience. Who, even in this life, are happy, if not the peaceful? Is violence of passion a blessing to him who indulges it? Far otherwise. We cannot conceive of a state