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believe, though one rose from the dead.” If the present instruments do not accomplish the desired work, there is no reason to believe that more would be effected by a change. Your taste might be gratified, but your heart would remain unimproved. Think of this : neither give place to the devil.
Our Lord's reply to the first temptation teaches us,—That the Divine ways are the BEST. Israel was led circuitously and in the desert ; yet He led them by the right way.
That the Divine RESOURCES are infinite. Deut. vii. 3. Man lives by all the agents which God commands. He could divide the sea: he could smite the rock and rain down manna and quails; he could cure disease with a piece of brass, defend the helpless in the midst of their enemies, and preserve their dress and their shoes. He never failed his people ; and he never will leave or forsake those who believe that man liveth by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. All the springs of nature and the perennial fountain of grace pour forth their streams to serve those who do not depart from bim, through an evil heart of unbelief. That the Divine PROMISES are faithful. Men live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. “God is not a man that he should lie.” He is faithful who hath promised, and what has he promised? To supply all our need. Phil. iv. 19. All temporal, all spiritual and eternal necessities. Shall I not believe him? Shall I not repel every temptation to distrust and despondency by saying, “ It is written ?” What time I am afraid I will trust in the Lord.
II. The second class of temptations to which our Lord was exposed, may be denominated PRESUMPTION, v. 5—7.
We leave it to the speculative to conjecture how he was taken from the desert into the holy city and set upon the pinnacle of the temple. All we insist on is, that our Saviour really ascended some eminence of the sacred building, probably the porch of Solomon, the battlements of which, Josephus tells us, rose more than 700 feet above the opposite valley ; and that down from this dizzy height he was urged to precipitate himself. He, however, who could not be starved and tempted into despair, was incapable of being flattered into presumption on the angelic guardianship which his Father had promised. He knew how to harmonise the precept with the promise ; and, that the keeper of Israel was a jealous God, and would not be tempted with impunity.
Here, then, we have a type or model of those temptations which are termed PRESUMPTUOUS, and of the manner in which they should be repelled.
The Christian is tempted to presumption when led to expect an imagined good which is not promised. Faith is a belief of testimony, and expectation follows a cunningly-devised fable, when it travels beyond the sure word of prophecy. The Scriptures, indeed, are full of promise : blessings for the present and the future life abound; and all are yea and amen, in Christ Jesus. Faith may, therefore, without hesitation, believe and possess all things,—believe and be saved. If, however, I imagine it to be necessary for my good, that I should enjoy uninterrupted health, form some particular connexion, or possess wealth or distinction; and if I expect these things because I desire them, and work up my wishes into confidence-I am presuming because I am not trusting God's word, but prescribing for his administration. I must not tempt the Lord my God by disturbing his order of government with my sickly fancies. I am to expect what is written, and no more and no less.
Nor may we expect any spiritual advantage which is not promised. It is presumption in me to look for any “light within,” that will give me a new revelation of the Divine will ;—to pray for the miraculous gift of tongues and powers—to see visions and hear voices to assure me of my interest in Christ, or the pleasure of the Lord with respect to my path of duty. I am not to conclude, that I shall be exempt from trials, and temptations, and clouds and darkness; for I have no promise to authorise such a conclusion, and I must not tempt the Lord my God., I may pray with the strongest hopes, with a resolute importunity for all on which it is written—“This is the will of God concerning us ;” and for nothing besides.
We may equally presume by expecting a real, a promised good, without the use of appointed means.
All analogy shows that we are connected with a system of means, and that He who provides the end prescribes the way in which it shall be secured. If I expect therefore health, without employing those means which experience and science commend to my judgment, I presume: nor have I a right to hope for success in secular business without discretion, and industry, and character; or for social enjoyment and reputation, without qualifying for these advantages. Dr. Doddridge's little daughter spoke as a Christian and a philosopher, when she said, -She supposed all loved her, because she loved everyone.
Am I to expect all spiritual blessings without seeking them? Knowledge without thinking, pardon without prayer, hope without believing, and joy without an interest in the atonement ? Am I to look for the gift without the asking, the lost treasure without the search, the open door without the knock? Divine blessings are to be obtained in God's way, and in no other; and antinomianism is presumption, a tempting of the Lord our God. If, too, I would be a blessing to my family, to the church, and to the world, I must seek their good. We must be as careful in the employment of means as in the selection of ends. They must be rational, houourable, scriptural; and they must be used as means, and as means only. We presume when we pervert them into ends. The golden pipes would have conveyed no light without the
sacred oil: neither is my spiritual welfare to be promoted by willworship, or by self-sufficiency, any more than by indolence. I must not, therefore, tempt God in seeking the good of the soul by torturing the body, by superstitious rites, and self-righteous principles; but by penitence, and prayer, and attendance on the ordinances of grace; by study and stirring up my heart to devout affections; and by a practical reliance on the influences of the Holy Spirit.
· Let the Christian, then, guard against presumptuous sins, that they gain not the dominion over him. Let him remember, that the mind is prone to vibrate from one extreme to the other. Before conviction it is all presumption, and he that has no religion thinks he has it in abundance ; after sin revives, and the mind dies to false hopes, there is a strong tendency to despair ; "while he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down and tare him ;” and when hope has overcome dejection and raised up the soul, the temptation will be to presumption. Thus the pendulum swings with many till the time-piece stops, and all is the silence of eternity. Ever then, connect the promise with the precept ; security with watchfulness; faith with obedience. You will thus preserve a balance and travel safely; and prove you believe that God is so gracious that he will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, and so jealous, that it is a fearful thing, tempting him, to fall into his hands.
III. The last class of temptations to which this history directs us, is worldLINESS, v. 8–10. Tradition assigns for this third assault, a mountain some fifteen miles from Jerusalem on the road to Jericho ; but the precise locality is very uncertain. From the top of this eminence several cities of Judea, no doubt, might be seen; and some critics would confine the vision to that country : others suppose, that a sort of phantasmagoria* was exhibited by the mysterious power of the prince of the air ; while Beza and his class believe, that Satan pointed to some of the most renowned cities of the world, and describing them said, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
In whatever way this splendour was displayed, there was a subtle appropriateness in the temptation. Our Lord was to inherit all nations, and to exert a universal sway. Empire was his right. He must reign till he has either annihilated or sanctified all other power.
There was, therefore, great plausibility in the persuasion, to attempt a nearer way to a throne which he should ultimately occupy, and to do homage to the power by which the glory should be anticipated. This would give a spiritual semblance to that which was carnal and worldly; make the promise of the Father appear to harmonise with the temptation of the devil; and throw the sanctity of a jus divinum, as often has
* See Paradise Regained, 3rd and 4th Books—a gorgeous description.
been done, on dominion obtained by infernal artifices, and the most unprincipled usurpation.
Satan often effects by worldliness that which he may have failed to do in another form ; so the fable describes intoxication as leading to adultery and murder, sins abhorred in a state of sobriety. The worldly mind is prepared for either despair or presumption, or for both, with any of their consequences : it is a soil in which neither the seeds of hope nor of penitence grow-nothing congenial with hallowed affections ;
for if any man love the world, the love of Father is not in him. Under this class we may place all those temptations to covetousness, to ambition, to impatience for some advantage,-like Jacob when he deceived his dying father,—to inordinate affection, and to lower the tone of piety, which so often, and with such effect, ply Christian professors.
Worldliness is an undue and an idolatrous affection for things which in themselves may not be sinful. Our great danger lies, as it has often been observed, in the abuse of what is lawful.
There was nothing wrong in persons buying a farm, or in purchasing stock, or in entering into the marriage relation ; the evil was in so overrating the importance of these transactions, as to excuse themselves from the feast of mercy. Oh meet the temptation, “I pray thee have me excused,” with “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve !"
A spirit of anxiety and calculation, of deep interest in the goods already laid up, and an earnest desire after more,-enterprise and largeness of mind in commercial speculations, and timidity and contractedness in the service of God,—an estimate of character rather by respectability of circumstances, than by spirituality and heavenlymindedness,—the heart least at home in acts of devotion, and communion with the Father of mercies,—where these things prevail, there the mind is essentially worldly. Undue attachment to a party, political zeal, desire for popularity in the church, and an ostentation of charity; regulating denominational profession, and even the statements of doctrine, more by interest, and fashion, and taste, than by the New Testament,—whatever, indeed, tends to gratify the carnal appetite, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, are all attributes of worldliness. Not only the first glowing passion of virtuous love, but inordinate subsequent attention also to the duties of domestic life, form strong temptations ; though Mary merges into the Martha, and mothers and even fathers, as they fondly behold their children, may not altogether keep themselves from idols.
Every attempt of the world either to allure or to terrify, to entrench on our affection, or time, or liberality, must be met and opposed, as all other temptations, by faith in the word of God. Believe the promise, seek communion with spiritual realities, and abhor whatever would
dishonour him whom you are bound to worship and serve. Whatever is erroneous in doctrine and in form of worship,-whatever unfits the mind for devotion, must be overcome by faith : “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Believe then what is written. Temptation to worldly-mindedness is idolatrous, and shows Satanic presence; and instead of receiving homage, must be commanded to get behind. Love not the world, neither the things of the world.
It must ever remain one of the chief sources of consolation and encouragement, that the Mediator qualified himself to sympathise with his people, and to administer succour to them under all their temptations. We ought to look to him, then, in all our mental conflicts and trials—in temptations to distrust-to presumption--and to worldliness; and hold fast our profession. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Such contemplation and prayer will furnish us with strength and skill, as well as with a pattern of soldiership'; the weapons we already possess in—"It is written.”
J. K. F.
LUTHERANISM AND CALVINISM—THEIR DIVERSITY
ESSENTIAL TO THEIR UNITY.
The principle of Lutheranism was, to retain in the church all that which is not condemned by the word of God; whilst that of Calvinism was to abolish in the church all that is not prescribed by the word of God. Lutheranism is a reformation of the church_Calvinism is a renovation : or it may be said, that the whole difference is in an accent, Lutheranism is a reformation Calvinism is a re-formation. Lutheranism took the church such as she was, and contented itself with effacing her blots—Calvinism took the church from its origin, and built its structure upon the living Rock of the apostles. Whilst Luther, upon hearing what Carlstadt was doing, wrote, “We must rest in the middle path," and opposed those who destroyed the images, Carlstadt the first reformer, as early as the year 1521, boldly reformed the church at Wittemberg, of which he was provost, and abolished the mass, images, confessions, fast days, and all the abuses of Popery. Zwingle, nearly at the same time, did the same at Zurich ; and as to
N. S. VOL. IX.