« AnteriorContinuar »
he understood th.it by doing so he vrt<ia!d be trtstrftmen. tai to the Messiah's fulfilling all righteousness.
Ova Lord had \y en circumcised, in order to fu'fit in his own divine person the Jewish law; and he submitted to bebaptiz.d in order to sanctify the Sacrament «f Baptism, whici. was tot>e to Christians instead of the Jewish rite of c'rcamcision, hut probably there was still a higher reason—when our Lord had been b.iptizxd in .Brder to julfil nil righteou.ittes-, the Koly Ghost visibly descended upon him, and he was declared by a voice from heaven to be the beloved Son Qj God, in whom he Wo:'s we/l pleased. These circumstances were perhaps intended to enco irage those who should afterwards be baptized with a view to righteousness, to hope that th°y should be acknowledged as the adopted child .avf GwOf and receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost; lor if was »ipon the human nature of the second Adam, the great representative of all mankind, that the Holt Spirit descended.
Jesus, knowing that it was the will of The Eter. Kal Father that he should enter on his ministry, left his private retirement at Nazareth, and came '.o fohn to be baptized, that he might authorise the Bapiist'.'. proceedings by his public approbation of them, and also receive the testimony of the Holy Spirit, that He was trie Messiah.
We cannot form an exact conception of the descent of the Holy SpiRit,.which on this occasion assumed a •visible appearance; but from John's prediction concerning the nature of the Mesiah's office *, we may sup. pose, that it reserrtbled Fire descending gently on his .head, like the hovering of a dove. Thus was Jesus, in
• -He vhail baptize with the Holy Ghott and with fire.
P 2 ardejs order to distinguish him as the Son Of God, .visibly anointed with the spirit of understanding, &c*; and wie
'shall find that this Spirit actually rested upon him.
It appears from the testimony of John, that he was
.not only assured by the Holy Spirit, that Jesus was the Christ, but was also made acquainted with the divine nature of the Messiah; for, in respeet to his birth and ministry, Jesus was after J o H N, but the Word •was before him, having existed with The Father from all eternity. . •
THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS.
From Luke. Chap. iv.—Matthew, Chap. iv. .
And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man, shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that pro. ceedeth out of the mouth of God +.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, 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.
* .See Sect. xviii. Deut. Tiii.'3.c
.• * .'' Jesus
•jesus saith unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt* net tempt' the Lord thy God.
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:
iAnd saith unto him. All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
•Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship tha Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
i Then tha devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
* ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
In order to understand what is here related of our Lord's being tempted by the Devil, we must still consider him, with reference to his human nature, as the second Adam.
When our first parents, through the temptation of Satan, disobeyed the Divine command, human nature (which at that time was comprised in them) fell under the condemnation of death, and they could not themselves restore life to it; but it pleased God, ever merciful and kind to Mis creatures, to give comfort to the offending pair, and to their posterity through them, by promising that the seed of the woman should, by bruising the serpent's head (or vanquishing the enemy that seduced mankind to sin), repair the mischief which they had done to their species; and, in order to heighten their comfort, the Lord God immediately gave them a visible security for the performance of this promise, by degrading the serpent, which had been the visible agent in their seduction.
It has already been proved, from the miraculous con-
•eption of Jests, that He was the promisedseed\ ai5€ God acknowledged Him as His Beloved Sow, at bi* baptism.
The Apostle St. Paul, in his epistles, speaks of Chr Isir as a second Ado.7. *, in whom all who were dead, or Qird -tthe condemnation of death, through the first Adam, shou.d be made alive.
It has been shewn in a former secion, that our Lor* had in reality a human nature;—when this nature arrived at full maturity, and He was, according to the Jewish law. of age to become a teacher, it was the will of the Father that He should begin His work as the re. ttorer of righteousness; the first part of which work was, to resist temptation as the second Adam, and to teach mankind, by "his example, hew to overcome the Pevil^
The first Adam, when tempted to eat the fprbiddjs.. fruit. was in possession of the human faculties in full perfection, the natural man was perfect in him; but' he' yielded to temptation, and brought death upon himself1 and all mankind. The seco.td Adam, immediately after his b ptism, was filled wich the Hoi.y Ghost, the Sp'ri• of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of conn. scl and strength, the spirit of he knowledge and the fear of Jehovah +; by The Spirit He was instructed, ihat it w_s necessary for Him to submit to temptation, and Ho suffered himself to be led by the Spirit into the wilder, ness, instead of following the inclinations of human tia, tun, which (as we. may judge from ourselves) would *h:ive led him ntxiny from the arduous trial that was prepared for Him.
In the 'w'iderness Jesus continued many days se. eluded from human society. During this seclusion (as we may conjecture from his subsequent conduct) the
whole of wtiat He wns required to da and tg^?r, in order to redeem mankind (who wore in the sight of Goo created anewt in Him) was laid before Him; audi the glory of the eternal kingdom (possessed by Hi* J)ivLne nature from all eternity) promised to His human nature as a reward ior His perilet obedience to the wiU K>i God This stupendous work was too great for a. irtrely hu ran being to perform; but us oux Lord un. <Jer?tood the hippy elT ets His obedierce would. produce to mankind, and was acquainted. w.iik. the presence of the Divine nature in Him, He willingly- and deliberately ULTidersook it) resolving to follow the dictates of tht Wo»Dt and, by this means* to subdue in His mind all kumaii inclinations that should be coetiiary to the©; to perform the conditions, and pay down the price of our seacmption.
For forty days our Loud was miraculously sustained without food; but when He had received full informa. tion concerning what was required of Hiref md formed His resolution, miraculous support was withdrawn, and the Eternal Father, for our sakes, subm'-tted tlfe Beloved Son to be tempted, that Hi might m all things he like unto His brethren of the human race; and be able, after having overcome temptation, to succour them. that are tempted *. .
Behold then the seed of the woman, the second Adam^ not in a terrestrial paradise surrounded with delights, but in a dreary wilderness, with no visible means of sa* tisfying the demands of hunger, which began to be very urgent! Satan, now at liberty to assail Him, immediately made his approach, full of the indignant desigs of completing the ruin of mankind, by seducing the second Adam as he had done the first. Under what form
• Heb. ii.. 17, 181
D + he