Page images
PDF
EPUB

iessed Lord's es ace, hypocritically 2 1 reason which he I to comply with his

for it is written - concerning the :- real trutb, his per shom he now coself-the blessed stency of malin

sterly disregard Bagain replied source of wisdom

Whilst sera

altar br The glorious

nant ey Addressing

skiesMy much-b

fulfil, That I woul

his will In glory's bl

throne One sits the Ere I receive By pure an

espouse The righteo

obey ? Vowing unt Ecstatically Triumphant

panyThe Father a A portion of As the blest Perfect in oi By me, thei

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

said unto him,

nourish Heav'n's mi

arch wi But gratulat No string v

church In sweetests

song ; § Sings joys no

belong

azt muty and sad tizmat mranios DETRITES

, tie e side

• Revelati § “And t1

JA

wind, and

܂

hem, for that is delivered ever I will I give it; if down and worship me, t. iv. 8 ; Luke iv. 5—7.) roached here which we -ction will instantly reHow could the devil in !l the kingdoms of the m? Why, had the seFirst, been merely man, uld have done so; but

incarnate Deity was to pierce through the ition.* Not only the the kingdoms of all view, and the vast ully empowered him • It is indeed said, he devil into an exhould the foregoing le selection of this een made for the ew; a bleak and wilderness (where ferocious beasts,) on calculated to s human nature, to its own selectes of a gentle, e place to which is disciples ;t a

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

I a wilderness, a beau

immediate view.

to that he now, following our blessed Lord's example, with pretended deference, hypocritically refers, extracting from thence a reason which he hoped might induce our Lord to comply with his request; “ Cast thyself down, for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee;" though he hereby betrayed the real truth, his perfect knowledge that He with whom he now conversed was what He avowed himself—the blessed Son of God (such is the inconsistency of malign wickedness.) But Jesus, still utterly disregarding his pretended disbelief, mildly again replied from out the same inexhaustible source of wisdom which He before had done; “ Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Thou shalt not madly and rashly rush into unnecessary dangers, and tempt the Lord thy God, for He will not miraculously deliver those from perils who have themselves presumptuously and wickedly plunged into them. Baffled and foiled in both these attempts, the evil spirit now no longer has recourse to subtle artifice, but throwing off the mask, he, in his own audacious character, impiously makes one final, daring, presumptuous attack, and boldly exhibits a proffer to be by him bestowed on the same conditions his other attempts had more slyly aimed to obtain, namely, disobedience to God, and obedience to him. " Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, (St. Luke adds, in a moment of time,) and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, and the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it; if thou therefore wilt fall down and worship me, all shall be thine.” (Matt. iv. 8 ; Luke iv. 5—7.) A difficulty has been broached here which we conceive a moment's reflection will instantly remove: it has been asked, How could the devil in a moment of time show all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them? Why, had the second Adam, like unto the first, been merely man, it was impossible that he could have done so; but the omnipresent eye of the incarnate Deity was proved, by many instances, to pierce through the thin veil of mortal organization.* Not only the kingdoms of our world, but the kingdoms of all worlds were present to his view, and the vast faculties of the arch fiend fully empowered him to point out the great display. It is indeed said, that Christ was taken up by the devil into an exceeding high mountain ; but should the foregoing observation be deemed just, the selection of this elevated spot could not have been made for the purpose of accelerating his view; a bleak and barren mountain was like as the wilderness (where Christ was driven amongst wild, ferocious beasts,) in the first instance, a situation calculated to augment the timid infirmity of his human nature, which it is observable, when left to its own selection, followed the natural dictates of a gentle, tranquil mind. A garden was the place to which Jesus ofttimes resorted with his disciples ;t a gratifying to the evil one to be given up; for it was also said, that in the conflict with the second Adam, that he should bruise his heel; God thereby took the evil one in his own craftiness, (1 Cor. iii. 19,) and snared him in the work of his own hands. (Psalms ix. 16.) The contest did, indeed, essentially involve the high contestor in suffering and death; and had it not done so, no triumph had been gained.

* Lazarus; Nathaniel.

+ Although our sight can behold, beyond a wilderness, a beautiful perspective, we prefer a garden for our immediate view.

Under the very propitious circumstances we have just surveyed, the wily foe advanced, and instantly assailed the blessed Redeemer by the following most artful, malicious, and insidious speech; “ If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread ;” and by this sly temptation assaulted at once the twofold nature of the great Messiah, both his divine and human. “ If thou be the Son of God," -pretending to doubt or disbelieve the truth of Christ's pretensions, an insinuation the most irritating he could suggest unto the God of truth; impiously and artfully demanding at the same time a proof of Christ's divinity,* which applied in the most powerful manner to the distresses which, from hunger and exhaustion, the Lamb of God was suffering, as these would thereby have been instantly relieved ;-if thou be the Son of God, prove it by an exercise of thy Almighty

* We here find the same mode of attack which was afterwards employed, during the dismal scene of the Redeemer's crucifixion, by those who at that awful crisis acted under the controul of the infernal chieftain unto whose power that tremendous hour was wholly given up. “If thou be the Son of God, come now down from the cross, and we will believe thee.”

« PreviousContinue »