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mony in his favour by a voice from order us into circumstances of tempheaven ! Neither our religious privi- tation for our trial, we must not think leges, nor any tokens of divine fa- it strange, but double our guard." vour, will secure us from being Our Lord was thus led by the Spitempted. The exercise of such pri- rit as into a field of battle. This vileges, and the possession of such conflict was a part of the great consingular blessings, may be speedily test between Christ and Satan, befollowed by some heavy assaults of forehand determined and foretold. our spiritual enemy.
Gen. iii. 17. “Thanks be to God, fit to send something to try us, or to
which giveth us the victory through keep us humble, after we have re- our Lord Jesus Christ !" ceived great honours or comforts ; Into the wilderness.-Even in soli. just as a “thorn in the flesh ” tude temptation may approach us. sent as
a messenger of Satan” to To be tempted of the devil.-In the buffet the Apostle Paul, after he temptations to which our Lord was had been caught up into the third exposed on this occasion, the allureheaven.
ments of pleasure, or of present and Then ;-soon after a solemn at- apparent good, were brought to bear testation had been given to the Son- upon his soul, with concentrated ship and Messiahship of Jesus. What force. He afterwards engaged in better preparation for temptation, or conflict with temptations incident defence against it, can we have, than upon a dread of pain, or of present an assurance, on scriptural grounds, and apparent evil, which combined, that we are indeed the sons of God, with all their power, towards the living under his protection, and in close of his ministry, and more espepossession of his favour!
cially when he was taken with wicked Then ;—just before his entrance hands to be crucified and slain. But upon the work of his public ministry. neither the love of pleasure nor the Are we about to engage any dread of pain availed to seduce him portant work, especially in any un- from his innocence and holy integdertaking on behalf of God and reli- rity. He overcame temptation in all gion ? Let us remember, that we its essential varieties of form. are exposed to peculiar temptations, It has been reinarked that, of the according to our circumstances. “My three temptations in the wilderness, son," says the son of Sirach, "if thou the first was addressed to the purely come to serve the Lord, prepare thy- sensual principle of human nature, self for temptation." Eccles. ii. 1. the second to the purely intellectual
Jesus was led up by the Spirit ; i.e. principle, and the third to the two under the influence, or by an im- combined. Perhaps this observation pulse, of the Holy Spirit. Hence it is more ingenious than solid. But it has been truly remarked that "our is right for us to remember that care must be not to enter into temp- temptation presents itself sometimes tation; but, if God, by his providence, to one faculty, and sometimes to an
other. And we should be on our privileges as believers ;-to distrust guard accordingly.
Divine Providence or grace, and He was afterward an hungred.— hence to entertain hard thoughts of Satan watches for his advantage, or God. If is a favourite word with for a good opportunity of presenting Satan. It is part of his "grand dehis temptations.
sign to tempt the children of God, Extreme want or distress exposes first, to doubt of their adoption ; men to the power of some tempta- next, to distrust God's fatherly care tions. When good men are suffering over them; and, last of all, to use temporal privations, they ought to unwarrantable means to help themstand upon their guard, and to pray
selves." for grace, against the peculiar dan- Command that these stones be made gers of their situation. “In all time bread.—The Tempter adapts his sugof our tribulation, good Lord, deliver gestions to the circumstances of those
whom he assaults.—He sought to inObserve, when our Lord was duce our Lord to work a miracle, for tempted, he was an hungred. Our his own support and comfort, and in first parents, when they were as- compliance with his own will. Our saulted, were in a well-stored gar- Lord exercised his miraculous powden, where they had means of enjoy- ers only for the good of others, in ing a plentiful supply of food, if proof of his mission, and in obedithey had religiously abstained from ence to his Father's will. taking the forbidden fruit. But Je. But he answered and said, It is sus was in a wilderness, and destitute written.- We must confront temptaof any apparent means of subsist- tion to sin with plain and pertinent ence, to be obtained in a lawful declarations of Holy Scripture. The How much more has he done than word of God is the sword of the Spimerely to restore what we lost by rit (Eph. vi. 17); and, if we would Adam's fall!
conquer, we must use it. If thou be the Son of God. -None The quotation made by our Lord so holy as to escape temptation ;- is remarkably appropriate, as you even incarnate Deity was assailed by may find by a reference to the text it.
and context, Deut. viii. 3–5. The A voice from heaven had declared, words cited contain an answer di“This is my beloved Son."-Satan rectly in point; and the rest of the would have led Jesus to doubt the passage (" He suffered thee to huntruth of God's word,—to doubt con- ger ;-as a man chasteneth his son”) cerning his own character,—to fall is full of arguments against Satan's into distrust and impatience.—He insidious temptation. would induce us to commit the same Man shall not live by bread alone, sins ;-to dispute God's word (Hath but by every word that proceedeth out God said so or so ? Is it true?);—to of the mouth of God ; i. e. man's life doubt concerning our condition and may be supported, not only by the
use of ordinary food, but by any be interpreted by Scripture; one pasmeans which God
may be pleased to sage to be weighed against another, appoint-by the word or command and to be expounded by it. And of God. Let us exercise faith in we must confute the abuse or misapthis promise, if ever we are reduced plication of Scripture, by the word to the extremity of temporal want. of God rightly applied. “Although the fig-tree shall not Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy blossom,"-you know the rest. Hab. God.- Having proofs sufficient of iii. 17, 18.
the divine presence and protection, Cast thyself down.—Here the De- in accordance with that promise, we vil sought to induce our Lord to em- must not seek for more, -as the ploy his miraculous energies for the Israelites did at Massah. purpose of display or vain glory; Let us imitate our Saviour's beauand attempted to draw him into the tiful example, by renouncing our sin of presumptuous and unwarranted own will in dutiful subjection to the confidence in a divine promise. will of God.
Observe the craft of the tempter. All these things will I give thee.He had failed in endeavouring to A false promise, which he was unable lead Jesus into distrust; he now to fulfil !—Perhaps this last temptaseeks to make him fall by means of tion was the strongest of all. How the opposite temper.
dangerous are worldly honours when Cast thyself down. — The Devil employed as means of temptation !persuades and entices men to evil; The temptations of Satan are often but he cannot compel them to per- plausible. But “the more ingenious form it. He cannot hurt us without he is to take advantage against us, our own consent. James i. 13-15. the more industrious we must be to
For it is written; in Ps. xci. 11, give him none." “From the crafts 12.—Here is Satan quoting Scrip- and assaults of the Deyil, good Lord, ture! He can do so now; and we deliver us.” must be on our guard against the We'must not consent to take even abuse of the sacred volume in sup- that which has been promised to us, port of sin and error. The words in a sinful way. Our Lord would “in all thy ways" are here omitted; not receive the Messiah's kingdom and the promise is misapplied, inas- at the Devil's hand. much as it belongs properly to those Him only shalt thou serve.--The who are in the way of faith and one, true, and eternal God, the duty, trusting in God to deliver Maker of heaven and earth, is the them, not from dangers into which only proper object of worship and they run, but from those into which adoration. Let us worship him, in they have been brought. Let us spirit and in truth, as he has merciwalk in God's ways, and then cast fully revealed himself to us in the ourselves
Gospel of his Son. It is written again.—Scripture is to
The Devil leaveth him.“ Resist
the devil, and he will flee from
CHAP. IV. 12-25. Angels came.-Yes; God did give his angels charge concerning him. Christ dwelleth in Capernaum : beginTheir aid was patiently waited for,
neth to preach ; calleth Peter and and then faithfully supplied.
Andrew, James and John, and healeth Adam fell in Paradise and turned all the diseased. it into a wilderness ; Christ conquered in a wilderness, and turned 12 Now when Jesus had it into paradise.
heard that John was || cast into And ministered unto him,-brought prison, he departed into Galilee; him a supply of food, and gave him 13 And leaving Nazareth, he their services. Ps. xxxvii. 3. Thus
came and dwelt in Capernaum, also a timely and suitable supply of
which is upon the sea coast, in divine strength and consolation may
the borders of Zabulon and be to ourselves the consequence of a persevering and successful struggle
cessful struggle Nephthalim : against temptation.
14 That it might be fulfilled Let us trust in the Captain of our which was spoken by Esaias the salvation, and may we conquer in
prophet, saying, his strength!
15 * The land of Zabulon, and
the land of Nephthalim, by the HYMN.
way of the sea, beyond Jordan, I hate the Tempter and his charms,
Galilee of the Gentiles ;
16 "The people which sat in To cheat our souls to death.
darkness saw great light; and He feeds our hopes with airy dreams, to them which sat in the region
Or kills with slavish fear ;
and shadow of death light is Presumption or despair.
sprung up. Now he persuades “How easy 'tis
17 T From that time Jesus To walk the road to heaven."
began to preach, and to say, Anon he swells our sins, and cries, “They cannot be forgiven."
"Repent: for the kingdom of
heaven is at hand. Thus he supports his cruel throne By mischief and deceit,
18 And Jesus, walking by And drags the sons of Adam down
the sea of Galilee, saw two To darkness and the pit.
brethren, Simon called Peter, Ye sons of God! oppose his rage; Resist, and he'll be gone;
and Andrew his brother, casting Thus did our holy Lord engage
a net into the sea : for they And vanquish him alone.
Follow me, and I will make you Reader. Our Lord went into Gafishers of men.
lilee, where John had lately been 20 'And they straightway preaching, in order perhaps, to carry left their nets, and followed him.
forward the good work which had
been interrupted by the Baptist's 21 'And going on from thence, imprisonment, and also because that he saw other two brethren,
remote part of the country afforded James the son of Zebedee, and greater facility for his own ministry John his brother, in a ship with than Judea, which was the chief seat Zebedee their father, mending of the Scribes and Pharisees. We their nets; and he called them. ought to avoid persecution, whenever 22 And they immediately left
we can do so consistently with duty. the ship and their father, and
Theophilus. It is said that Caperfollowed him.
naum was upon the sea-coast; but it
is not marked as a maritime town in 23 | And Jesus went about all Galilee, 'teaching in their
Reader. “Upon the sea-coast" synagogues, and preaching “the means here “on the borders of the gospel of the kingdom, *and lake of Gennesaret," otherwise called healing all manner of sickness the sea of Galilee or of Tiberias. and all manner of disease
This lake was about fifteen miles
long, and from six to nine wide. It among the people.
is often mentioned in the New Tes24 And his fame went through
tament. out all Syria : and they brought
Upper Galilee is here called Galiunto him all sick people that lee of the Gentiles, because it borwere taken with divers diseases dered on heathen countries, and and torments, and those which because a great number of Pheniwere possessed with devils, and cians, Egyptians, and other foreignthose which were lunatic, and
ers had settled there. those that had the palsy; and sions “ by the way of the sea” and
Theophilus. How do the expreshe healed them.
beyond Jordan" agree together? 25 And there followed him
Reader.“ By the way of the sea," great multitudes of people from i.e. to the west of the lake of GenneGalilee, and from Decapolis, and saret, towards the Mediterranean; from Jerusalem, and from Judea,
“beyond Jordan," i.e. to the east of and from beyond Jordan.
that river and the lake ; so that the expressions, taken together, denote the whole neighbourhood of the lake, east and west. Others read “ along the banks of Jordan" instead of
i Mark i. 14. Luke iii. 20, & iv. 14, 31. John iv. 43. | Or, delivered up. A. D. 31.-k Is. ix. 1, 2.-1 Is. xlii. 7. Luke ii. 32.-m Mark i. 14, 15. nch. iii. 2. & x. 7. -o Mark i. 16, 17, 18. Luke v. 2. p John i. 42.q Luke v. 10, 11.- Mark x. 28. Luke xviii. 28.-3 Mark i. 19, 20. Luke v. 10.-tch. 9. 35. Mark i. 21, 39. Luke iv. 15, 44. uch. xxiv. 14. Mark i. 14. * Mark i. 34.-y Mark ii. 7.