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is indicated by the three-fold repetition of the word spirit, or faculty, which is remarkably applied to the gifts or qualities of the HOLY SPIRIT, not singly, but in pairs; not the spirit of wisdom, and the spirit of understanding, &c. but the "spirit of wisdom and understanding," &c. to denote the union of the speculative and practical virtues *. The speculative are comprehended under "wisdom, counsel, and knowledge of THE LORD;" the practical under "understanding, fortitude, and fear of THE LORD." He was perfect in the theory and practice of" all righteousness," Matt. iii. 15.

"For righteousness was the girdle of his loins,

And faithfulness the girdle of his reins." Verse 5.

Unlike his apostles, to whom the gifts of THE SPIRIT were "divided," or distributed severally, "to one the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge," &c. 1 Cor. xii. 8-11, but "in CHRIST are deposited all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," Col. ii. 3, for He was "the wisdom of GOD," Luke xi. 49," the counsel of GOD," Luke vii. 30, " the knowledge of GOD," 2 Cor. x. 5, Rom. xi. 33.

Such is the admirable combination of miracles and prophecy, attending and illustrating the mysterious circumstances of OUR LORD's baptism.


Then, immediately after his baptism, JESUS, full of THE HOLY SPIRIT, returned from Jordan, and was impelled, and led by THE SPIRIT into the wilderness of Judea, to undergo a probation or preparation for his important ministry, like Moses and Elijah, and for the same term of forty days, by prayer and fasting; during which, he was exposed to the temptation of the devil, and was with "the wild beasts," in a frightful solitude, excluded from all human society, and did not eat any thing.

This is the ingenious remark of Darid Levi, Dissert. Vol. I. p. 68-80. But he has egregiously failed in his arguments for rejecting their application to Jesus of Nazareth. 1. Because (says he) his lineal descent from David is not proved, the genealogies of Matthew and Luke both belonging to Joseph, not to Mary. 2. Because he never was endowed with the spirit of prophecy. 3. Because in his agony he betrayed pusillanimity, or want of fortitude, when he sweated drops of blood, and was inferior to Socrates, who met death like a hero, with calmness and resignation. Such was Levi's partial blindness!

After this long and total fast*, supported miraculously by THE SPIRIT, he was hungry, Matt. iv. 1, 2; Mark i. 12, 13; Luke iv. 1, 2.


Taking advantage of this symptom of human infirmity, the devil, who probably assailed him under the disguise of an "angel of light," 2 Cor. xi. 14, and in a human form, as appears from his conversation, hoped to overcome the second Adam," as he had done "the first," by similar temptations, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," (see p. 13,) not knowing that "CHRIST was to be tempted in all points, like as we are, yet without sin, that he might be able to sympathize (ovμmanoa) with our infirmities, Heb. iv. 15, that wherein he had suffered himself, when tempted, he might be able to succour them that are tempted, Heb. ii. 17, and point out, by his own example, the dangers to which we are exposed from our spiritual adversary, and also the most effectual mode of resisting him, by vigilance, prayer, and the word of GOD, rightly understood and interpreted," Luke xxii. 31-34; Matt. xxvi. 41; James iv. 7; Eph. vi. 11—17; 1 Cor. x. 13.


After a previous conversation on the divine suffrage to JESUS, at his baptism, evidently implied by the sequel, the devil, like the angel who came to feed Elijah in the wilderness of Beersheba, might have urged him to relieve his hunger by the miraculous exertion of his own power: If thou art THE SON OF GOD, command that these stones be made bread." But JESUS replied, in the authoritative language of Scripture, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD," Deut. viii. 3. For so Moses exhorted the Israelites in the wilderness, to rely patiently on the DIVINE support, encouraged by the miraculous supply of manna, to cast all our care upon Him who careth for us," 1 Pet. v. 7, " and will sustain us," Ps. lv. 22. And so OUR


• The Socinian commentators, Rosenmuller, Thaddæus, Schulz, &c. among the Germans, labour to do away the miraculous fast of Moses, Elijah, and CHRIST, by arbitrarily supposing that they only fasted from bread, but were sustained by herbs, roots, and wild honey, perverting Deut. ix. 9—18.

+ The original term ε, si, is frequently used for Eε, siquidem, or quoniam, “since,” " because," intimating not doubtfulness of supposition, but certainly of fact. As in Matt. vi. 30, xxii. 45; John viii. 46, xiii. 14-32, xv. 20; Acts iv. 9; 1 John iv. 11, &c. Thus Horace prays, that Faunus would be propitious to his flocks, Si tener cadit agnus, "Since a tender lamb is sacrificed" to him regularly at the end of the year, Od. III.

LORD afterwards declared to his disciples, "My food is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to accomplish his work," John iv. 34. And the Jews, in like manner, afterwards tempted CHRIST, "What sign doest thou, that we may see, and believe thee? our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, as it is written, HE gave them bread from heaven," Ps. lxxviii. 24; John vi. 30, 31; evidently requiring a repetition of this miracle.

Foiled in this first temptation of appetite, Satan endeavoured to work on his vanity or ostentation. He took JESUS along with him, or led him to Jerusalem," the holy city," to the temple, and placed him upon the pinnacle of the temple, or went up with him to the verge or battlement of the flat-roofed portico, which formed one of the wings of the temple, and overhung a frightful precipice beneath. See Vol. I. p. 430. And he said,

66 If thou art the SON OF GOD, cast thyself down; for it is written, that HE shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and that in their hands they shall uplift thee, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone*" Ps. xci. 11, 12. This is a prophecy indeed, foretelling the ALMIGHTY'S care and protection of the MESSIAH, in figurative speech, under all dangers and difficulties, which the devil misinterpreting literally, urged him to encounter danger, by casting himself down from the battlement, and perhaps so give all the people that sign from heaven, of appearing in the clouds of heaven, or suspended in the air over the temple, (like the angel of the Lord, we may presume, in David's time, 1 Chron. xxi. 16.) which was expressly predicted of the MESSIAH, as SON OF MAN, by the prophet Daniel, vii. 13, and expected at the temple by the Jews, from the prophecy of Malachi, " THE REGENT whom ye seek will suddenly come to his temple," iii. 1; and which, the Jews, the scribes, and Pharisees, likewise "tempting him," repeatedly required, John ii. 18; Matt. xii. 38, 39, xvi. 1-4; but OUR LORD as often refused; referring them, figuratively, to a sign from earth, his resurrection on the third day after his crucifixion. Although at his iniquitous trial, he foretold the accomplishment of the former, at his second advent in glory, and also of David's prophecy : "Nevertheless [although ye will not now believe] I say unto you, hereafter ye shall see THE SON OF MAN sitting

# "The devil can cite SCRIPTURE for his purpose:

An evil soul producing holy witness,

Is like a villain with a smiling cheek." Shakspeare.

on the right hand of power, [Psalm cx. 1.] and coming in the clouds of heaven," [Matt. xxvi. 64.] He also foretold, that the sign they expected should not take place till their final conversion, the last time that he visited the temple. "Lo, your house [of THE LORD] is about to be left desolate unto you: for I say unto you, ye shall not see ME henceforth, [its brightest glory, Haggai ii. 9.] until ye can say, [with hearty repentance and true faith] blessed is he that cometh in the name of THE LORD," Matt. xxiii. 38, 39.

That this was indeed the full drift of this second temptation, may fairly be collected from the scene of it, the temple, rather than the wilderness, the devil thus proposing a public exhibition, in preference to a private, of throwing himself from one of the precipices of the mount of temptation, which was just at hand, and to which they returned, for the last and most powerful, of ambition.

This mountain, called Quarantania by travellers, (from "forty" days,) is represented by Sandys, Maundrell, Mariti, &c. as of most difficult and dangerous ascent, but affording the most charming and extensive prospect imaginable, from its summit, which overlooks the mountains of Arabia, the country of Gilead, the country of the Ammonites, the plains of Moab, the plain of Jericho, the river Jordan, and the whole extent of the Dead Sea. These composed, according to the most natural and unstrained interpretation, "all the kingdoms of the world," or of "the land of promise *," in the midst of which they then stood," and the glory of them," their cities, villages, corn-fields, &c. " in a moment of time," and from one and the same point of view; and the devil said, “ All these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me;" adding, according to Luke, "for all this authority is committed unto me, and I give it to whomsoever I will." Thus representing himself as the guardian angel, or protector of the holy land, as the archangel Michael was represented in Daniel, x. 18-21.

This audacious and impious proposal of divine worship, which no true angel of light, except CHRIST himself, ever received, or even tolerated, Rev. xix. 10, xxii. 9, detected the false fiend to

Koopov, Matt. iv. 8 οικουμενης, Luke iv. 5. The latter was shewn to denote the land of Judea and Galilee, or Herod's dominions, Luke ii. 1; the former is also frequently used in a limited sense, John xii. 10, xviii. 20, &c. and expressly denotes the promised land, Rom. iv. 13.

be the power of darkness; and to shew that he was fully known, JESUS called him by his proper name, and banished him from his presence, as his divine superior, and rebuked him in the language of SCRIPTURE:


Begone from my sight, Satan *, for it is written, Thou shalt worship THE LORD THY GOD, and him only shalt thou serve," Exod. xx. 3, 4; Deut. vi. 13; 1 Sam. vii. 3.

"Then the devil left him," confounded and vanquished at his own weapons. "And lo, angels came and ministered unto him," and supplied him, we may presume, with food. These true angels, contrasted with Satan, lead us to think, that the latter "transformed himself into an angel of light."

In the order of the three temptations, we have followed Matthew, in preference to Luke, who transposes the second and third, consulting the order of place, and bringing together the two temptations in the wilderness. But Matthew's order of time is preferable; for, 1. It is not likely that Satan would have dared to offer another temptation, after his detection and banishment, and the appearance of good angels: and, 2. the distance of Quarantania from Jerusalem was not considerable; nor is there any time specified by the evangelists for the duration of the temptations, after the expiration of the forty days.

It is remarkable, that JESUS was afterwards twice assailed by the same temptation of ambition or worldly grandeur; first by his own disciple Peter, deprecating his approaching sufferings and crucifixion, whom our Lord rebuked as an undesigned emissary of Satan on this occasion, "Begone from my sight, Satan," Matt. xvi. 23.

Afterwards the same temptation was repeated, when the multitude, in the wilderness, were persuaded by the stupendous miracle of the five thousand, fed with a few loaves and fishes, that JESUS was "the prophet like Moses, foretold to come into the world," and contended to take him by force and make him king, or proclaim him as their expected MESSIAH, John vi. 14, 15. But he, knowing their worldly-minded ambitious views of deliverance from the Roman yoke, and universal conquest and dominion, withdrew himself privately out of their reach.

Although the devil quitted JESUS at this time, it was only "for a season;" having been foiled in the arts of seduction, he

This seems to be the import of the phrase, "Get thee behind me."

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