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and I believe no one at his first reading of our Lord's temptation ever entertained the slightest idea of its being a visionary representation. 3. There is an observation which has been made, and which has great weight in this question. It is this: All the prophets of the Old Testament, except Moses, saw visions, and dreamed dreams; and the prophets of the New did the same. St. Peter had a vision, St. John saw visions, St. Paul had visions and dreams: but Christ himself neither saw visions nor dreamed dreams. He had an intimate and immediate communication with the Father; and he, and no one else in his days, had seen the Father. The case was the same with Moses; he saw God face to face. “If there be a prophet among you, says God to Aaron and Miriam, I the Lord will make myself known to him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who: is faithful in all my house : with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, Vo L. I. H and

and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold *.” Now Moses we all know was a type of Christ; and the resemblance holds between them in this instance, as well as in many others. They neither of them had visions or dreams, but had both an immediate communication with God. They both “ saw God face to face +.” This was a distinction and a mark of dignity peculiar to those two only, to the great legislator of the Jews, and the great legis

lator of the Christians. It is therefore

inconsistent with this high privilege, this mark of superior eminence, to suppose that our Lord was tempted in a vision, when we see no other instance of a vision

in the whole course of his ministry. 4. There is still another consideration which militates strongly against the supposition of a visionary temptation. It was in itself extremely probable that there should be a real aud personal conflict between

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between Christ and Satan, when the former was entering on his public ministry. It is well known that the great chief of the fallen angels, who is described in Scripture under the various names of Satan, Beelzebub, the Devil, and the Prince of the devils, has ever been an irreconcilable enemy to the human race, and has been constantly giving the most decided and most fatal proofs of this enmity from the beginning of the world to this hour. His hostility began with the very first creation of man upon earth, when he no sooner discovered our first parents in that state of innocence and happiness in which the gracious hand of the Almighty had just placed them, than with a malignity truly diabolical, he resolved, if possible, to destroy all this fair scene of virtuous bliss, and to plunge them into the gulf of sin and misery. For this purpose he exerted all his art and subtilty and powers of persuasion ; and how well he succeeded, we all know and feel. From

that hour he established and exercised an H 2 astonishing

astonishing dominion over the minds of men, leading them into such acts of folly, stupidity, and wickedness, as can on no other principle be accounted for. At the time of our Saviour's appearance his tyranny seems to have arrived at its utmost height, and to have extended to the bo- . dies as well as to the souls of men, of both which he sometimes took absolute possession: as we see in the history of those unhappy persons mentioned in Scripture, whom we call demoniacs, and who were truly said to be possessed by the devil. It was therefore extremely natural to Suppose, that when he found there was a great and extraordinary personage who had just made his appearance in the world, who was said to be the Son of God, the promised Saviour of mankind, that seed of the woman who was to bruise the serpent's head; it was natural that he should be exceedingly alarmed at these tidings, that he should tremble for his dominion; that he should first endeavour to ascertain the fact, whether this was really the Christ

Christ or not; and if it turned out to be so, that he should exert his utmost efforts to subdue this formidable enemy, or at least to seduce him from his allegiance to God, and divert him from his benevolent purpose towards man. He had ruined the first Adam, and he might therefore flatter himself with the hope of being equally successful with the second Adam. He had entailed a mortal disease on the human race; and to prevent their recovery from that disease, and their restoration to virtue and to happiness, would be a triumph indeed, a conquest worthy of

the Prince of the devils. On the other hand it was equally probable, that our blessed Lord would think it a measure highly proper to begin his ministry with showing a decided superiority over the great adversary of man, whose empire he was going to abolish; with manifesting to mankind that the great Captain of their salvation was able to accomplish the important work he had undertaken, and with setting an example of virtuous H 3 firmness

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