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intended for the instruction and benefit of all who call themselves His disciples now.

What now was the situation of the disciples of our Lord at the time of which we are speaking ? Their blessed Master had sent them across the sea to a place which He had mentioned unto them: as soon as they had received His directions they obeyed and went. They were now in the midst of the mighty waters-in a little ship, tossed about by waves and winds, which were against them. You will say, how is our situation in the least like theirs ? My brethren, it is very like indeed. Our heavenly Master has pointed out to us a place of happiness which He bids us seek for, and which, if we once obtain it, we shall find to be a place of rest and peace for ever. Many of us, I trust (would that it might be said all) are striving to reach it. Is not the life which we are leading here on earth, like to the great and stormy sea on which the chosen disciples of our Saviour were sailing? Do not the winds and waves of trials and afflictions, of sorrows, temptations, and disappointments, beat' right against

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us, as if they would swallow us up and utterly destroy us? Yes, dark is the night and rough is the voyage which many a Christian has to pass, before he can reach the kingdom of heaven. But, thanks be to God, there is One who is able and willing to deliver us! And who is He? proceed with the history.

In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them walking on the sea, and when the disciples saw Him they were afraid, thinking that He was a ghost, and they cried out with fear: but Jesus kindly said to them, Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid. Jesus came to them walking upon the water, in the midst of all the storm and tempest which was raging: He came to be their comfort and deliverance at a time when they most wanted it, and could least have expected it. We may learn from this, that He will never desert those who endeavour to obey Him; that, in the midst of the greatest afflictions and trials, He sees them, and can in a moment help them, and set them free, if he thinks it best for them. But it was not till the fourth watch, till the night was

far spent that He came: this may encourage us - never to despair, but to put our whole trust and confidence in His mercy: and though He may seem to leave us for a while whilst we are troubled and tempted; and though He may seem to deny us the assistance for which we pray, either against our trials or our sins - yet to be assured that our earnest endeavours to amend our lives shall not be thrown away, and the patience with which we bear our trials and disappointments shall not pass unnoticed by Him who has laid them on us.

When the disciples saw our Saviour thus unexpectedly coming near them, they were troubled, and cried out with fear. Alas! many a sinner when, in the midst of all his wickedness, he is by the grace of God at length brought to his senses, is afraid when he thinks of Jesus Christ, refuses to take to himself the comfort which He offers, and, remembering what Christ has done for his soul, and in what manner he has repaid His love, is tempted to cry out, as Peter did upon another occasion, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord : yet to all who

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truly repent of their wickedness, who hate their sins, forsake them, and pray against them, and seek the Lord with contrite hearts, to all such He speaks these gracious words, Be of good cheer, it is I, your Saviour and Redeemer, be not afraid.

Then Peter, having greater faith and courage than the rest, answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. And Jesus said, Come. And when he was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. Yes, my brethren, and whatever troubles and unhappinesses may fall upon you or me, our Saviour makes the same invitation to us all, Come : come unto Me, I will refresh you: look unto Me, and be ye saved, 0 ye people of the earth. Blessed are they who accept the gracious invitation, who give themselves up to Him, and place in Him their trust! for He will give them grace to pass without harm through every trial and temptation, as He enabled Peter to walk without harm through the roaring waves and winds. But let them persevere: let them beware of pride, and confidence in themselves : let them not

lose sight of their only Saviour for a moment, or they will too surely put themselves in danger. It was so, there is every reason to think, with Peter. Perhaps he began to think himself a much greater and better being than he really was: perhaps he began to think that he could do what he was doing without the help of Christ: or else, though he saw the power that Jesus had, he yet wanted courage to trust entirely to Him: whatever was the reason, he soon became afraid and began to sink. It will be the same with every Christian who has begun heartily to seek the kingdom of heaven, if, when he feels himself, as he soon will, a better man than he was, he trust to his own righteousness and forget that the praise is due to God alone; or if he have not faith enough in Christ to feel assured that He is not only able and willing, but most desirous, to bring him through every danger to His salvation; when temptations come upon him, through too much trust in himself and too little in his Saviour, he will most surely begin, as Peter did, to sink and fall away: and unless

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