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lead Jesus to use his high powers to satisfy his own wants, we should rather look for it at Nazareth, in his earlier days, than now, at the great crisis in his earthly life.

2. Such a temptation would be a severe one, and would touch a vital point in the work of redemption. Notwithstanding the ingenious efforts of commentators, it is hard to see why our Saviour should be driven into the wilderness, to enter into a mighty conflict with the devil, on the point whether he should ever work a miracle to satisfy his personal wants. But if Satan designed to dispute and deny his power to work a miracle, and to fling this reproach in his face, till he should either believe it, or be maddened to attempt a miracle to pander to the devil's curiosity, then we can see that, to one who had not yet performed his first miracle, the taunt was bitter, and the temptation severe.

3. It was unlikely that Jesus would perform any miracle at the devil's bidding. Satan could not have expected it; but the grounds for demanding one were plausible enough to form a basis for discrediting Jesus' powers, and insisting that he was no Saviour.

4. The view we advocate harmonizes with the notion that this temptation is a specimen. The attempt to discredit Jesus' power as a divine Saviour, on the ground of his human nature and lowly condition, admits of a great variety of modes, and when pursued with the malice and ingenuity of an arch-fiend, would not fail to move the Saviour's soul in intense conflict.

If it be objected to this view, that Satan could not have undertaken so hopeless a task as is here supposed, it may be sufficient answer, to say that his votaries undertook the very same task during our Lord's public life. They tried to put down Jesus' claim, by demanding miracles which they never expected him to perform, and did not believe he could perform. In this they were of their father the devil.

This view of the temptation throws light upon the significance of our Saviour's reply: "Man shall not live by bread

alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." He might have declined the miracle without giving a reason. If he afterwards peremptorily refused a sign to an "evil and adulterous generation" which sought it from improper motives, much more might he have refused one to the evil one himself. Yet he condescended to show that the miracle was needless, and that such a test as Satan proposed was therefore unreasonable: "I will not perform the miracle, because, being unnecessary and no part of my duty, I will not stake the evidence of my Sonship on it. 'The meat that perisheth' is little worth. I will not doubt that I am the Son of God at such a test as thine. I decline the devil's miracle, and shall only work the works of him that sent me."

Satan undoubtedly was not satisfied with the reason. Changing the words afterwards uttered at the cross, but not their spirit, we can hear him say: "Ah! thou that wast just called the Son of God, thou that aspirest to be the world's Redeemer, save thyself from hunger, and I will be thy first follower."

The first temptation leaves Jesus undaunted, and therefore victorious; and Satan foiled, but not disheartened.

Much that we have said on the first temptation is appli cable also to the second, which, like the first, is directed to undermining Jesus' faith in himself. The method pursued, however, is different. Our Saviour had quoted the scriptures. He had also expressed great faith in the care of God. These two circumstances are artfully chosen as the basis of a new trial. Satan, too, knows something of the scriptures, and with their help, he will now challenge our Lord's divinity on the score of his want of faith in God. "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time. thou dash thy foot against a stone." In other words, "Show me now your trust in the Father. Show me your reliance on a promise like one which you yourself just now

quoted. Leap from this temple-roof; fear not the dizzy height, and trust the promise I have quoted. If thou dost not, thou art not the Son of God. Thou must go back to thy Nazareth, and think no more of being the world's Redeemer."

Thus it appears that, while the first temptation was a blow at Jesus' power, this was a blow at his faith, his union with the Father. The first said: Thou art not a miracle-worker; this: Thou art not a man of God even, much less the Son of God. Taking this, then, as a specimen temptation, we must conceive of every possible device that Satan could invent, by means of false tests, to break down Jesus' confidence in his own filial piety. Here was the struggle with the horrors of despondency.

But Jesus again refuses to do the devil's bidding: "I reject thy test. I am the Son of God, but I will not do an act of presumption to please thy curiosity, or avert thy shaft of malice. Say, if thou wilt, 'Thou art not the Son of God.' I will not tempt the Lord God in order to save myself the pangs of thy temptations."

Thus calmly and sublimely does our Lord rise above the second temptation, holding firmly his inward faith, while, with the self-control of true greatness, he refuses the vain outward exhibition of that faith.

Satan was already vanquished, but he seems not to have known it. He was vanquished because he had not shaken the soul of Jesus from its confidence in himself and his mission. Yet he may have fancied that because he had plied the Redeemer with outward tests which had not been fulfilled, therefore he had planted in his breast some doubt and distrust. This, then, was the time for his great proposal, his offer of a last resort to dispirited enthusiasm. He brings before Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. He offers them as the reward of fealty to himself. "Abandon thy purpose. Behold my influence over the world. Thou art not able to destroy my power. Art thou bent on such a mad career? Take the world as

it is. I will give thee a high place in its honors. I only claim the highest for myself; for I am the prince of this world.'"

Here is found the goal of all the temptations. The tempter has striven to fill the Saviour's soul with doubt and despondency, that he may be won over from the task of rescuing the slaves of Satan, and may become himself the vassal of the wicked one. This is the decisive moment. The history of the ages of eternity hangs on the answer of Jesus "Get thee behind me Satan; for it is written Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.'" This is all. Jesus declares his loyalty to the Lord God, and his determination to bring back a lost world to his service. The devil quails before a divine firmness and an unchangeable purpose.

If it be asked wherein this temptation can be regarded as a specimen, we answer that it presents the outward diffi culties in the way of Jesus, as the other two had insisted on his inward unfitness for his work. The offer of those glorious worldly kingdoms which Satan made as a tempting prize, was suggestive of every species of worldly opposition if Jesus rejected the offer. It was as if a general should offer to his antagonist the second place in his own army. He need not add: "If you decline the offer, you must fight those whom you would otherwise command"; for this would be taken for granted. We, therefore, who know the subsequent history of our Lord, can see in this temptation the shadow of those dark days when the "prince of this world" came again with his array of both spiritual and temporal power, and brought Jesus to the cross. Refusing homage to Satan was welcoming the cross.

The third temptation also belongs in substance to every temptation like the first and second, as the application of them all, and of each one. Hence we need not accuse Luke of carelessness in placing this trial immediately after the first. It belongs with the first, with both, with all of their kind. The two were preparatory; this, conclusive. Jesus

VOL. XXII. No. 85.


overcame them all; and his victory consisted, not simply in retaining his personal integrity, but in retaining and strengthening his confidence in himself as the Messiah, and in repelling with utter loathing and immutable firmness, in full view of his sufferings and death, the proposal to resign his work and serve the world and the devil.

We remark, in conclusion, that although the temptation lies in the sphere of our Lord's Messiahship, it is by no means beyond the reach of human sympathies. True, we are not tempted to doubt our divinity, but how often have the servants of Christ, overwhelmed with the responsibility of following him and carrying on his work, been tempted to doubt the reality of their sacred mission, and their ability, through grace, to perform it. In these hours of darkness and despondency they have been in the wilderness with their Master, and the devil has been beside them to lead them to despair of the success of redemption, and to submit to the world and its prince. Happy are such when they have come off victorious by the help of him who "was tempted in all points like as we are."




(Concluded from Vol. XIX. p. 225.)

As remarked in the former Article, the object here is not to revise the common translation, in course or minutely; but only to point out some of the more obvious changes, which are regarded by interpreters as due to the sense, or to a clearer representation of the sense, of the original text. It will be noticed that the current version of the passage is

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