The best of saints

(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Matthew" 1856)

Then Peter began to call down curses on himself
and he swore to them, "I don't know the Man!"
    Matthew 26:74

Let us mark Peter's history, and store it up in our

1. It teaches us plainly that the best of saints
are only men
, and men encompassed with many
infirmities. A man may be converted to God, have
faith, and hope, and love towards Christ, and yet
be overtaken in a fault, and have dreadful falls.

2. It shows us the necessity of humility. So long
as we are in the body we are in danger. The flesh
is weak, and the devil is active. We must never
think, "I cannot fall."

3. It points out to us the duty of charity towards
erring saints
. We must not set down men as
graceless reprobates, because they occasionally
stumble and err. We must remember Peter, and
"restore them in the spirit of meekness." (Gal. 6:1)