Wright - BT300 W8 1788

34 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED thanhis very eyes- could reach the bottom. At this giddy height, the crafty tempter fet the bleffed Jesus, and thus addreffed him : If thou be the Son of God, calf th if down : for it is written, He(hall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands(hall they bear thee up, lef at any time thou da'h thy foot againft a ftóne. Thus, by a partial and mutilated quotation from the Pfalms, the great ad- . verfary of mankind attempted to draw afide and overcome the bleffed Saviour ; the words, to keep thee in all thy ways, were not to the artful tempter's purpofe, and therefore were craftily omitted. The tendency of this temptation feems to be the exciting of our Lord to prefume too much upon the divine proteétion, in his prefent Elate of humility and fubmiflion ; and as he depended on the word of God, when he was in danger of being famifhed in the wildernefs, the tempter quoted the fame word to affure him, that God would fend his angels to preferve him, though he fhould leap from that fiupenduous height. And, perhaps, the malicious fiend might fecretly hope, that, if the Lord could be prevailed upon to make the experiment, he would be Bathed to pieces with the fall, and all the appre- henfrons of the infernal powers, on his account, would then have been at an end. But the bleffed Jesus was not thus to be overcome : he flood fixed on the immove- able bafis of his humility and meeknefs, and replied to the infinuating tempter, in the words of Mofes, It iswritten again, faid he, thou(halt not tempt the Lord thy God. By which we are to learn, that it is not lawful to try the goodnefs of God, or the reality of -his paternal care in our prefervation, by putting ourfelves into unneceffary danger, or making wild and extravagant experiments of his proteffion. The grand adverfaryof mankind, though twice repulfed with fhame, yet (corned to give up the contefl; but rallying all his powers of deception, flood prepared to make one more bold effort. The cvan- gelifl informs us, that from the pinnacle of the temple, the devil took our Lord to the top of an exceeding high mountain, and 'hewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. The crafty deceiver here thought to work upon our Saviour's ambition; and, doubtlefs, by the powers of bold inchantment, he filled the wide-firetched landfcape with vafl palaces, cities, temples, towers, fleets, and armies, chariots, warriors, foamiñgReeds, and all the mighty powers of fovereign greatnefs ; which pointing in order to our Redeemer's view, All thefe things, faid he, will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down andwojhip -me. To this boldnefs and blalphemy, the holy JESUS gave a 'harper rebuke than he had done to the other temptations, and plainly manifefling his divinity, while he affumed a commanding authority, worthy the Son of God, Get thee hence Satan, he cried,for it is written, thou 'halt worfhip the Lord thy God, andhim only 'halt thouferve. The frighted fiend now could Rand no longer; he had received fuch a defeat, as convinced him that all further attempts were vain: his eyes were dazzled with the divine glory which (hone around the Son of God ; and it may be fuppofed, that he fled murmuring to his fubje& fiends, com- plaining of his fad defeat, and giving them infiruftions to ufe all their infernal arts, to influence the minds of men, fill them with rage againfi their only Saviour, and prevent their believing in him, and receiving his glorious gofpel. The grand deceiver, thus defeated and fled, a fquadron of bright cherubs de- fcended from the heavenly world, congra- tulating the exalted Saviour of mankind on his viñtory, and adminiflering to his neceffitìes fuch fupplies from the cceleflial regions, as enabled him to purfue the great work which he was now to enter upon. C II A P T E R