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subject, by a spontaneous and glorious transition, to ascend to heaven as a son of God. While preparing for his public toils, our Lord moved about gently among the race he came to redeem, like “stillest streams watering fairest meadows;" but he every where made hearts feel his presence, and from first to last ruled only by the power of love.
We have considered the experience which in his early manhood Christ had of social oppression, and the trials he endured of personal self-reliance. Let us now glance at the discipline he was made to feel under the seductions of power. From the account which the evangelists give of the fast, and the scene at the pinnacle of the temple, it is clear that the Saviour did not wish ro free himself from the sense of human weakness and dependence; that he would work no miracle for that purpose. Speaking of the still more remakable temptation of universal dominion, Neander remarks:
“ We do not take the third temptation as implying literally that Satan proposed to Christ to fall down and do him homage, as the price of a transfer of dominion over all the kingdoms of the world : no extraordinary degree of piety would have been necessary to rebuke such a proposal as this. We consider it as involving the two following points, which must be taken together, viz., 1. the establishment of Messiah's dominion as an outward gdom, with worldly splendors ; and 2. the worship of Satan in connection with it, which, though not fully expressed, is implied in the act which he demands, and which Christ treats as equivalent to worshipping him. Herein was the temptation, that the Messiah should not develop his kingdom gradually, and in its pure spirituality from within, but should establish it at once, as an outward dominion ; and that although this could not be accomplished without the use of an evil agency, the end would sanctify the means.
" We find here the principle, that to try to establish Messiah's kingdom as an outward, worldly dominion, is to wish to turn the kingdom of God into the kingdom of the devil; and to employ that fallen intelligence which pervades all human sovereignties, only in a different form, to found the reign of Christ. And in rejecting the temptation, Christ condemned every mode of secularizing his kingdom, as well as all the devil-worship which must result from attempting that kingdom in a worldly form. We here find the principle, that God's work is to be accomplished purely as his work and by his power, without foreign aid ; so that it shall all be only a share of the worship rendered to him alone.
“ We find, then, in the facts of the temptation the expression of that period that intervened between Christ's private life and his public ministry. These inward spiritual exercises bring out the self-determi
nation which stamps itself upon all his subsequent outward actions. Yet we dare not suppose in him a choice, which, presupposing within him a point of tangency for evil, would involve the necessity of his comparing the evil with the good, and deciding between them. In the steadfast tendency of his inner life, rooted in submission to God, lay a decision which admitted of no such struggle. He had in common with humanity that natural weakness which may exist without selfishness, and the created will, mutable in its own nature ; and only on this side was the struggle possible—such a struggle as man may have been liable to, before he gave seduction the power of temptation by his own actual sin. In all other respects, the outward seductions remained outward ; they found no selfishness in him, as in other men, on which to seize, and thus become internal temptations, but, on the contrary, only aided in revealing the complete unity of the divine and human, which formed the essence of his inner life.
“Nor is it possible for us to imagine that these templations originated within ; to imagine that Christ, in contemplating the course of his future ministry, had an internal struggle to decide whether he should act according to his own will, or in self-denial and submission to the will of God. We have seen from the third temptation that, from the very beginning, he regarded the establishment of a worldly kingdom as inseparable from the worship of the devil; he could, therefore, have had no struggle to choose between such a kingdom, outward and worldly, and the true Messiah-kingdom, spiritual, and developed from withio.
“ Even the purest man, who has a great work to do for any age, must be affected more or less by the prevailing ideas and tendencies of
Unless he struggle against it, the spirit of the age will penetrate his own ; his spiritual life and its products will be corrupted by the base admixture. Now the whole spirit of the age of Christ held that Messiah's kingdom was to be of this world, and even John Baptist could not free himself from this conception. There was nothing within Christ on which the sinful spirit of the age could seize; the divine life within him had brought every thing temporal into harmony with itself; and, therefore, this tendency of the times to secularize the theocratic idea could take no hold of him. But it was to press upon him from without ; from the beginning, this tendency threatened to corrupt the idea and the development of the kingdom of God, and Christ's work had to be kept free from it ; moreover, the nature of his own Messianic ministry could only be fully illustrated by contrast with this possible objective mode of action ; to which, foreign as it was to his own spiritual tendencies, he was so frequently to be urged afterward by the prevailing spirit of the times.”
From an early period in his sublunary course, our Redeemer "suffered, being tempted;" but with strong hope and patient endurance, he resisted the most crafty onsets of the foe. The divinity of his nature was firm as the eternal throne, while the sensibilities he bore, swayed by all the innocent infirmities of humanity, were as lovely
and flexile as a rose-bough waving in the breeze. It was only so far as he was intrinsically divine that he was competent to redeem; it was by resisting in his own person the evils we incur that he could best open a way of deliverance and teach us how to overcome. He thus "fought to protect, and conquered but to bless;" each battle being directed against our common adversary, whose temptations under the guise of wealth and dominion are hardest to resist. Thankful indeed should we be that we have a high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet sinless. It is from his own experience that Christ speaks, when he directs us to resist the devil, and he will flee from us. Every hero, destined to struggle against the powers of darkness with energy and success, will first be most sorely tried in view of emoluments and power, proffered by the great enemy of good. The church too much neglects its most gisted sons. But when human friendship is dumb, and earthly resources are all sealed, how sweet, in the sadness of young hopes oppressed, to hear Jesus whisper, “Be of good cheer, I have conquered the world!”
How did Christ resist the temptations of power? He made himself his own fountain of honor, and guarded that fountain with strength derived from on high. He was the root of Jesse, the offspring of mightiest kings, the herald and pledge of the greatest renown; but so far from boasting of royalty, he ever scorned to assume the airs of superiority. It seemed to be his purpose to demonstrate before all the world that it is only in personal merit that genuine distinction lies,—that one can no more invest himself with ancestral fame, than he can clothe himself in the beams of yesterday's sun, which departed with the sun itself. 6. He who works God-like works for his brethren and his age; purifies his own blood beyond all the factitious quackery of heralds, and the lies of fashion ; he makes it a foundation of honor to himself and his children, if they follow in his steps ;-of shame to them if they depart from them. He, and he alone, is the Noble. He alone carries God's patent in his hand, the star of unflecked honor in his heart; and all besides, though they number ancestors by thousands, are but wretched impostors, and presumers on a lie.
VOL. XIII. NO. LII.
Jesus Christ, in the discipline of his early manhood, the type of all redemption, from the most sombre depths of obscurity rose before men and angels, developing the attractiveness of infinite worth, nurtured amid trials of every sort, like a sea-flower, whose roots interlace and penetrate the profoundest caverns, but whose stem mounts through unfathomed billows to the surface, and unfolds its petals to wanderers in storm and calm. His royalty began in the nakedness and gloom of the manger, was educated through a career of incessant toil, fatigues and watchings, in which the rising Champion gathered a few palms and acclamations from the masses, between whom and himself there was cordial love, until bigoted power interposed. But these were soon followed by the maledictions which kingcraft and priestcraft had inspired, the anguish of the garden and the tortures of the pretorium. Finally, bowed beneath the cross he bore, his brow being wreathed with a diadem of thorns, and his lips redolent of blessings on his murderers, he goes forth to expire on the mount which overlooked Tophet, that type of hell, whose powers he came to conquer and destroy.
In the above description, we have limited our views mainly to the discipline which our Lord experienced anterior to his public life, in which, we think, his most manly energies were educed, and a divine example of consecrated genius was displayed.
BY THE EDITOR.
The Quarterly List of the Deaths of Baptist Ministers
in the Christian Review, Volumes I–XIII.
During the thirteen years since the publication of the Christian Review was commenced, a catalogue has been given every quarter of the deaths of Baptist ministers which have come to the knowledge of the Editor within the preceding three months. These tables have been very imperfect, from a variety of causes : probably many such instances of mortality occur in remote parts of the country, and are never chronicled in the public prints; some, doubtless, are never announced except in local publications, in the neighborhoods where they take place; several of the religious newspapers in different states do not fall under the eye of the editor; and, though they may contain this kind of information, yet if it is not copied into the other newspapers, it does not find its place in the table of the Review. When these items are printed in the various organs of public intelligence, they are often printed very defectively. Sometimes the age is omitted, at other times the state, at others the town, and at others every particular, except the name, and perhaps the state. These deficiences are of very serious importance to a person who wishes to form a statistical table ernbracing valuable information. We have ventured, however, from such items as we have thus collected, to draw forth a few points of interest concerning the Baptist ministers who have deceased within the period specified. Though the number of facts is comparatively small, the results furvished by them contain without doubt an approximation to the truth.