« הקודםהמשך »
hope, that after Jesus was baptized, a voice was heard from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. I am now to tell you this evening, what our Lord suffered immediately after he was baptized, what a dreadful trial he went through, how he got the better of the devil's temptation, and has set us all an example, in what manner we can conquer, when we are tempted by the devil to sin and wickedness. I must first tell you who the devil is.
We are told in the Bible, that there are beings, called angels, who have greater power than we, and are superior to us both in soul and body. Just as we are higher than beasts, so are they higher than we. Before this world was made, some of these angels or spirits disobeyed God—they kept not, as we read, their first estatethey lost their goodness and their honour, and were driven from Heaven, and will be punished when tbis world comes to an end. The chief of these angels is called in the Bible, Satan, the Devil: our Lord calls him a murderer from the beginning, a liar, and the father of lies. He is also called the Prince of darkness, who worketh in the children of disobedience: he tempts men to be wicked, and when men give way to him, and prove wicked, they become his children, and will be punished together with him at the last day..
This earth, my brethren, was made by God Almighty. At first there were only one man and one woman in it, whom God made, and from whom all of us have sprung. This man, and this woman, God placed in a garden, full of every tree pleasant to the sight and good for food. There was one tree in it, however, which God ordered them not to eat of, telling them that in the day in which they ate of it, they should die. The Devil, wishing to make as many like him as he could, tempted them to eat of it, and they gave way to him. They disobeyed God, and did eat. It was on that account death came into the world: if Adam, (the name of the first man) bad not eaten of it, we should all have passed into Heaven without dying. From that time wickedness and sin came into the world, and, as we all know, have been always in it. The devil and our own bad hearts are the cause of it. Our Saviour, my friends, came into the world to destroy the works of the devil; he came into the world, that through him the world might live; that though we die, we should live again, and that whosoever liveth and believeth in him should never die. The devil will have no power over them, who are Christians indeed; who taking Jesus for their Lord and Master, obey his orders, trust in him for protection, commit their souls unto him in well-doing, and follow him through the gate of death unto a joyful resurrection.
devil saw, that this great enemy of his had come down from Heaven, and was about to attack him in his strong hold, the hearts of men, he should set about to tempt him as he did our first parént, Adam. Accordingly, our Saviour was carried into the wilderness by the Spirit of God: and there, in the midst of darkness and of hunger, without any one near to help him, and in the midst of wild beasts, he was attacked by this great enemy of all good men. Our Saviour had fasted for a long time, forty days and forty nights, as we read in the Bible, when the devil first came to him, and said, If thou be the Son of God, if thou be the great person that thou sayest thou art, command these stones to be made bread. Thou art now hungry and faint, shew thy power by turning these stones into food : thou canst trust God no longer. Our Saviour answered him, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. I shall wait till God sends me from this
barren wilderness, and I know that he can support me under hunger and
every trial, as long as he pleases. Finding that hunger could not make him quit his trust in God, he then sets him on an exceedingly high part of the temple, or the church of the Jews, much larger and higher than any you have ever seen, and tells him, beginning with the same words : If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: no evil can happen to so great a person: angels will come and bear thee up. Our Saviour says to him, No! we are not to tempt the Lord our God: we are not to put ourselves without cause into danger, and then think that God will take us out of it. I trust in God, that be will protect me in every danger, but I will not throw myself into danger without occasion. I do the will of God: I do not the will of the devil. The devil then taketh him into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and says unto him, All these