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words of abhorrence and loathing-Get thee hence Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve !
And now the trial was over. Satan had shot his last arrow_“Perplexed and troubled at his bad success," he took refuge in flight. Jesus was left alone the conqueror. And yet not alone-heavenly spirits had been vatching the combat, and waited but the issue to do serice to their Lord.—Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold ngels came and ministered unto Him!
And what should this third temptation teach us? Surely it should teach us this—to hold firm by our early promise; to keep the vow and covenant of our baptism -to renounce the devil and all his works, and to worship and serve the Lord our God, and Him only.
That is the lesson of this last temptation—a temptation that assails us far more powerfully than it could ever have assailed our Lord.
There are many ways in which the bribe is offeredmany baits put forth by Satan to entice us to worship him. He will give us money, pleasure, fame, ease, a long life, so that we will have him, and not conscience, for a ruler. But let us not be deceived. Let us turn away from every offer, however alluring to the flesh : let us say, to every solicitation of the Evil One, Get thee hence, Satan ; I am not my own: I will not forsake my God; I will not serve sin !
Such resistance, such standing out against temptation, will cost an effort, and will require courage. But there is this thought to cheer us, that the Lord is on on our side, striving with us in all our struggles ; able to succour us when tempted, seeing that He Himself suffered being tempted.
Be firm then, brethren, and hold your own against the enemy. Keep him off by prayer, by watchfulness, by often recalling of your Lord's example. It is a sure promise--Resist the devil and he will flee from you. After a while-after you have borne yourselves bravely in the fight; after you have mastered first one, and then another of his stratagems, you shall have respite you shall know by experience what this meaneth-Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold angels came and ministered unto Him! FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
THE FATHER'S HOUSE.
ST. JOHN XIV. 2.
In my Father's House are many mansions ; if it were not so, I would
have told you ; I go to prepare a place for you.
WE are approaching that day in the Christian year which we keep in honour of our Lord's Ascension and the passages selected from the Gospel for the last three Sundays, have been preparing us for that event.
They are all taken out of that memorable discourse of our Lord's, related by St. John in the fourteenth and three following chapters of his Gospel. In many parts, of that discourse allusion is made by Christ to His going away ; and the benefits that would follow to His disciples.
Thus, in the Gospel for the third Sunday after EasterJesus said, Yet a little while and ye shall not see me; and again a little while and ye shall see me; because I go to my Father.
And again, in last Sunday's Gospel-Now I go my way to Him that sent me, and none of you asketh me, whither
goest Thou? But because I have said these things unto you sorrow hath filled your heart—nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
Further on, in that part of the same discourse which has been read to-day, we have these words from our Lord—I came forth from the Father and am come into the world : again, I leave the world and go unto the Father.
Once more, in the seventeenth chapter of St. John's Gospel, we have the same announcement. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee.
I come to Thee—that, you will observe, is the key note that runs throughout the whole of this great discourse. Christ leaves the world, and goes to His Father-goes for His own glory, and for our good-goes to complete His work of mercy, by sending the Holy Ghost the Comforter; goes Himself to sit as our Mediator in God's holy presence, ever living to make intercession for us.
But this is not all—Christ ascending to God's right hand opens, as it never could have else been opened, the kingdom of heaven to our view.
We have now clearer and and more definite notions of what heaven is. We know it is a place distinct and separate from every other place--where the supreme Godhead dwells—where He also dwells who has a form and a shape like our own, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. We know it is a large place—that there is room in it for many-room prepared, got ready beforehand-into which, at the appointed hour, all the elect of God, all the redeemed of Christ, shall be gathered.
This we may learn from the Lord's Ascension into heaven, and from His own words about heaven in the text-In my Father's house are many mansions—if it were not so I would have told you—I go to prepare a place for you—and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself ; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Let us dwell upon the thoughts which these words suggest. We shall surely find in them something to comfort us—something to quicken us—to stir us up, it may be, to live more as God's people should live; more worthy of our heavenly inheritance; more as men whose hope it is to survive the grave; who believe, as we all do here, in the resurrection of the body, and everlasting life after death.
In my Father's house are many mansions—I go to prepare a place for you. God's house, then, or heaven, is not here. It is distant from here, Christ tells us—He goes there as though to some far off place.
Where it is, He does not tell us. We look up to the sky on a clear night and see it filled with stars—each star a world. The astronomer, with his instruments, looks still further, and sees stars which are beyond the reach of our unassisted eye. Our minds are awed by the very immensity which his discoveries reveal. There seems no limit to that vast distance over our heads. But Christ, the Scripture declares, went up far above all heavens !