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human spirit, as the informing principle of the body, is in strictest accord both with many teachings of the Bible and many facts of experience, touching our relations to the spirit-world and subjection to its subtle and mysterious influences. The doctrine of inspiration, in all its modes, whether b"y direct revelation, by spiritual influence, or by dreams and visions of the night, receives thus its best and fullest illustration. So, too, the operations and possessions of evil spirits, and all the Satanic agencies by which the god of this world is constantly seeking to retain his usurped dominion. Transgression has sundered the primary root of our nature—that whereby it was designed to hold fast to and draw sustenance from its Divine source; but it still extends a thousand secondary fibres into the unseen, and is thus ever exposed to spiritual contacts and influences, baneful or blessed. That is not philosophy, but a gross and shallow skepticism, which affords no scope for recognizing the possibility of our minds being affected immediately from the inner side, as well as mediately, through the sense-nerves. We pity the man who has no name but superstition, no policy but a blind, indiscriminate infidelity, for every fact, or phenomenon, which rises but an ell above the plane of physical law and manifestation, who believes in nothing which he cannot see, or hear, or feel, whose only test and guage of truth is the balance, the lens, or the crucible. There are ten thousand more strange things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in such a man's philosophy. The Scripture reveals, as has been said, man as surrounded on all sides of his inner nature by the spirit-world, as the earth by the atmosphere, or, as the Talmud has it, "as the vine by the heap of mould." Possessed of all the wondrous powers and capacities which manifest themselves as soul on the one side, the human spirit has none the less on the other side, relations to the unseen and the infinite, which, in its present dormant state, it has no means of definitely estimating. It is, we think, a German writer, who throws out the suggestive thought that the soul is deeper than consciousness, so that we know not what dormant powers and capacities it may possess, lying almost or altogether beyond the reach of this agent of self-knowledge. Conceive a man born blind, and hermetically secluded from all intercourse with his fellows. His blindness may be wholly artificial, something which a simple surgical operation would remove, yet the man would live and die in utter ignorance of the possession of the most delightful of all the perceptive faculties. The doctrine and facts of the new-birth reveal the existence in the spirit of dormant capacities, which never rise to the plane of consciousness until the Holy Spirit has recalled them to life and activity. And may we not appeal to the experience of at least many in proof of the existence of a class of mental phenomena which seem to hover occasionally upon the borders of conscious recognition, though seldom or never coming within the bounds of the known and the definite? Whence those so frequent unaccountable presentiments of impending ill, those dark shadows of coming events, flitting past the windows of the soul? Whence those mysterious throbs of sympathy with far distant friends, in the moment of unknown joy, or disaster, or death? Whence this dim and shadowy half-consciousness, which every one must have frequently felt in the presence of events which, as objective realities, are entirely new and unlooked for, that we have viewed this scene, or encountered this incident, or known this stranger-friend before? Whence the strange, undefinable feeling so often given us by some internal sense, that some change has occurred in objects around us, or that we are being subjected to some scrutiny, or affected by some presence, of which we felt sure that neither eye nor ear gave intimation, until we set ourselves to verify the foreshadowed fact. That such experiences as those hinted at are more common and vivid to the finer, more sensitive organisms, is but another indication of their origin. Truly those cast from them the key to many a bewildering mystery in the region of every day life, as well as in the realms of higher thought and feeling, who refuse to listen to the teaching of revelation upon the structure of their inner selves. Were we more careful to sharpen our spiritual perceptions by closer and more believing study of Revealed Truth, surely, "the eyes of our understanding being enlightened," we should not fail to get, at least occasionally, clearer glimpses of those emissaries of Satan who are ever at our elbows in the crises of our daily lives, as well as of the angels who, with drawn swords, bar our pathway to destruction, or of the horses and chariots of fire that encompass the habitations and shield the lives of God's elect. Thus might we rejoice in a firmer assurance of a personal interest in the offices of those attendant angels who are "all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation."
THE authorities from which we must derive our knowledge of the temptation, are the first three Gospels and the Epistle to the Hebrews. Matthew and Luke describe it at some length; Mark dismisses it with but few words; John has no hint of such an event. Ewald and Meyer think Mark has recorded the earlier and simpler form of the tradition, while the fuller accounts in Matthew and Luke are the subsequent embellishments 6f popular fancy; but, as one poison is sometimes the antidote of another, they themselves supply the antidote of this pernicious suggestion when they assign to the Gospel of Mark a date later than that of the others named, and describe it as a mere compendium of its predecessors, possessing no independent value. Meyer1 accounts for the silence of John by the supposition that the narrative had already fallen into discredit when the last gospel was published. Origen explains it on the theory that John wrote of Jesus in his divine nature, which cannot be tempted, while the other evangelists, who contemplate his humanity chiefly, very properly embrace in their labors a history of its temptation. Trench, rightly, representing the general voice of recent orthodox exposition, refers the silence of John to his plan as the author of a
1 Meyer regards the narrative as a myth, and yet as true in the sense that Christ gained, in his whole life, the victory over the empire of Satan. The myth, he thinks, arose out of the anti-diabolical idea entertained of the Messiah among the early Christians.
supplementary gospel, embracing only such reminiscences of our Lord as preceding writers had omitted or touched but briefly. Matthew and Luke describe the same temptations, but apparently differ as to the order in which they occurred. Matthew describes first the temptation of the wilderness, then that of the Temple, then that of the mountain-top. Luke places the temptation of the mountain-top second, and that of the Temple third. Ellicott favors the order of Luke; but Alford, representing the general consent of conservative criticism from Ambrose till the present time, adopts the order of Matthew. 1. Luke makes no direct assertion as to succession; he introduces each temptation with And1; but the Then2 and Again3 of Matthew seem to mark succession. 2. If the solicitation to devilworship4 had been the second temptation, there would have been no place for a third; for at its close Jesus bids the tempter begone.
The time appointed for the temptation was immediately after the baptism, when Jesus received the full endowment of the Holy Spirit. Trench accounts for the selection of this particular season by a hint at what, as an Episcopalian, he considers the usual spiritual effect of baptism, and by the poetic suggestion that having now received his armor, Jesus goes at once to prove it. But we are rather to find the explanation in the parallelism between the first Adam and the second. As the first met the adversary at the outset of his career, it was necessary that the second should gain for humanity, under the same disadvantage of inexperience, the victory the first had lost.8
The Spirit by which Jesus was impelled6 was not, as Jonathan Edwards supposes, the evil spirit by which he was afterward tempted, nor yet, as is maintained by Paulus and Bushnell, and all interpreters tinctured with rationalistic views, his own spirit wrought up to a condition of prophetic fervor, but the Holy Spirit which he had received after his baptism. He was led into temptation by the Holy Spirit; but he was tempted by the spirit of evil. God tempts no one;
1 jt«. * Tore. * ,raAti'.
4 Alford: "There does not appear to be sufficient ground for the distinction sometimes set up between the meanings of vpotjtvrftr with the dative, and the same verb with the accusative."
6 Robinson places the temptation in the autumn. It was certainly before the inclement season, as crowds still attended the ministry of John the Baptist. The opinion, favored by the American translators of Bengel, that it was a month of storms, a season when no wild fruits were found, and when wild beasts were peculiarly ravenous, has but little justification.
* Jesus was Led by the Spirit to his trial. Mark is generally supposed to employ an unusually sharp and strong word to express the intensity of the spiritual force, by which our Lord was influenced. The common version says: '' The Spirit driveth him;" and the revision of the American Bible Union, often too conservative, has retained this rendering. The classical use of f«0aAA«r undoubtedly favors it. But Trench has sufficiently shown that in Eelenistic literature the word is used in a greatly softer sense.
but he may lead us into temptation; even as the general, though he does not slay his soldiers, nevertheless leads them into the peril of battle.
The evangelists tell us that "the wilderness " was the scene of the first temptation. Alford favors the view, suggested by the parallelism between Moses, Elijah and Christ, that this wilderness was the desert of Sinai. Stanley would find it on the east of the Jordan, among the mountains of Moab. Bengel, De Wette, Meyer, and the great majority of those who have studied the question, understand by "the wilderness," the desert of Judea, and justify the tradition which assigns the forty days of fasting and the first temptation to the vast limestone rock, pierced with caverns and gashed with ravines, which rises near Jericho. Tradition, with less probability,1 assigns the third temptation to the same dreary eminence. It is called the Quarantania, in memory of the forty days of fasting. Oosterzees refers to Sepp and numerous other travellers who discover in the stones of this region a marked resemblance, both in form and color, to the eastern loaves of bread.
The Temple shared with the wilderness of the fast the honor of this warfare between heaven and hell. The portion of the Temple selected by Satan for the scene of the second temptation, would naturally be one of the most lofty peaks of the splendid pile. This was probably the royal portico of Herod,3 which overhung the Kedron at a dizzy height. Josephus uses the most sweeping terms in describing the sublimity of its proportions; indeed his language was, until recently, regarded as a characteristic exaggeration; but the latest explorations of Jerusalem, under the direction of Willson and Warren,4 justify his strongest statements. Lange, however, with his amusing facility of evasion, makes the pinnacle5 of the temple the spiritual attitude Jesus was asked to assume towards the Jewish hierarchy as its supporter and chief, perhaps symbolized by an exalted station within the holy building, overlooking its priestly services. Others find the pinnacle of the Temple, or, as they are careful to say, the Wing, on the side next Jerusalem. Their argument assumes that an exhibition of miraculous
1 It is not an " exceeding high mountain." 'Luke, in loco.
* The word irrcpvyiov, which is employed by the evangelists to designate it, means literally a wing. But the LXX use irrcpvf and wrtpvyw as synonymous with impov; and wrtpor was certainly often applied to a pointed roof or gable. Alford, therefore, finds no reason why wnpvyw may not have the same latitude of meaning in the New Testament.
Robinson makes trr«pvy«»' a wing of a building, not in our sense, of something added to the side, but in the sense of something pointed like a wing as a pinnacle. Thus the word also means a fin or feather, from the shape of the wing. 4 The Recovery of Jerusalem. Introduction.
• The word i«por, here used, is applied to all the buildings of the temple; the word va&% was applied to the principal building alone.