The Mercy of God


The increase of the enemies’ temptation accumulates with Peter’s sin. When Peter is pressed a second time and with stronger opposition, he comes up with a naked and empty denial, which is in effect an implied confession. In this second denial, to make it more credible, he must make himself more impious and to save face with men, he not only denies but renounces faith in God with oaths and curses. In all of this Christ is witness, not only to his lie, but his open revolt.

How deep the dye of sin and the degree of corruption that faith exists alongside of. Yet that faith, although smothered, was preserved by the prayers of Christ. Had the same action of malice against Christ that Peter displayed come from an unregenerate heart, it would have been the irremediable sin against the Holy Ghost. But this sin in Peter was preceded by fear and weakness, it was the sin of a believing and faithful heart.

In this the Christian learns both to despair of his own strength and not to despair of the mercy of God, which can keep faith in that heart. The mercy of God can raise a man up to martyrdom who had so deeply plunged himself into apostasy. He that suffered Judas to be the subject of His judgement raised Peter from a sin which was in itself as great as Judas’, to be a preacher and witness of His mercy.

Dr. Edward Reynolds was born in 1599 in Southampton, England. He received his BA degree at Oxford in 1618. In 1622, before studying for his masters, Reynolds became a chaplain to the king and preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, London. The puritanical inclinations of Dr. Reynolds were well known; his character of piety and decorum were evident even in his college years. Edward Reynolds is known as the Bishop of Norfolk, but he was bishop for only the final fifteen years of his life and ministry. Prior to that he was the rector of Braunston, Northamptonshire, for almost thirty years. Although Reynolds was a Presbyterian by conviction, he had a reputation of moderation in his church polity. This was evidenced in his role in the Westminster Assembly. He was the only member to sit on all three of the major committees on the Confession of Faith, and with his moderate spirit provided balance in the discussions.

These devotions are taken from the works of Edward Reynolds. They have been edited for © 2013 thinkgospel.