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Let us consider, in conclusion, what place the temptation holds in the plan of Christ's mission among men.
1. The temptation was a crisis in the life of our Lord, a crisis which decided the success of his subsequent work. If he had fallen, we should have perished; but succeeding there, his subsequent success was assured. We say, "if he had fallen," with as strict propriety as that with which we speculate on the destiny of Europe, had Napoleon lost the battle of Austerlitz. To God, who is the Absolute, all things are absolute; there are no conditions or contingencies; and the victory of Jesus was assured, even as all other issues are assured, in his foreknowledge or his decrees. But, to all the universe besides, there are conditions and contingencies. Christ, considered as the God-man, was a new and untried being. Outside the mind of God there was no more certainty that he would endure and conquer than before the battle of Arbela that Alexander would conquer Darius. But his victory here was an assurance of his subsequent steadfastness in the path he had chosen. Satan tried his utmost. Hence, Luke says he departed when he had ended, not "all the temptation," as our version has it, but "every1 temptation," all forms of seduction possible at the time. If, with all his resources, he could not move Jesus from his integrity, it was as little possible that his subsequent assaults should succeed, as that after Caesar had scattered the organized forces of Pompey at Pharsalia, the lighter efforts of partisan bands should turn him from his purpose. In this sense the temptation of Jesus was a real and decisive crisis in his career.
2. The temptation of Jesus was vicarious. It did not, however, as Bushnell teaches, constitute merely a part of the suffering by which we are redeemed; his resistance belonged to his obedience in which he kept the law we have broken, and kept it for us. In his death Christ endured the penalty of the law for us; in his life he obeyed its requirements for us.' By his death he delivered us from condemnation; but by the obedience of his life he acquired for us the title to eternal happiness. This distinction is recognized by both the Old and the New Schools of Protestant theology. It is clearly defined in the early confessions of Protestant faith.3 Edwards, representing the
1 wara wopwpor. So Brown, Bengel, American Bible Union. No article is used; so it is every, not all. See Robinson, in verb. Win. xvii. 10.
1 Or, if, with most New School theologians, we regard the obedience of Christ as only his fitness to die for us, the basis of merit, rather than merit itsell, the temptation, as its crisis, is of the same importance still.
» The Formulae Concordite, 1576; Heidelberg Catechism, 1562; Formula Consensus, 1675. Jesus was bound to obey the moral law, but not in such a state of humiliation and temptation as he came into; not as a Servant.
New School, while he denies that the obedience of Christ constitutes, properly speaking, a part of the atonement, yet maintains that he rendered it "in order that the salvation of his disciples might be a reward of his obedience." Prof. Park says: "Edwards taught that, wbile we are delivered from ruin on the ground, not of our Lord's merits, but of his agonies, we are admitted to heaven not on the ground of his agonies, but of his merits."1 Edwards says broadly: "It is only the obedience of Christ that is properly his righteousness." Fuller is in full accord with this sentiment.2 Thus the temptation, as forming the crisis of Christ's history, as securing his obedience against all solicitations, may be regarded as that which opens heaven to us. It is, then, the reverse of the temptation by which we lost paradise; it is paradise regained. And Milton wrote not with the mere intuition of a poet, but with the sagacity of a theologian, when he gave it this prominent position.3
3. The temptations of Jesus were a school in which he learned to sympathize more deeply with humanity in its trials. "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." If any one shall say that Jesus, from all eternity, possessed a perfect comprehension of our infirmities, and hence could not learn more of them by such a trial, we reply that the same difficulty arises in reference to the statement that Jesus "emptied himself," that he "increased in wisdom," and that near the close of his life he knew not the date of the judgment day. The education of Jesus in sympathy is not more mysterious than his education in knowledge and wisdom.
4. The experience gained in temptation enables Jesus to rightly assist those who are in similar circumstances of trial. "In that he
1 It is one thing for a governor to pardon a criminal and set him free, and quite another to receive him, after pardon, into the household. It is one thing to deliver us from penalty, and another to bestow heaven upon us.
5 So is Hopkins. Later New School theologians dissent.
» 1. "The fixed meaning of righteousness, Sutawavrri, in the New Testament, is perfect conformity to the whole law. Romans vi. 13, 16; viii. 4; x. 4; Philippians iii. 6; Titus iii. 5; 1 John ii. 29; yet Christ is said to be for us 'the end of the law for righteousness,' Romans x. 4; and we are said to be made 'the righteousness of God in him.'"
2. See " Romans v. 19, where Adam's disobedience, which subjected us to guilt, is contrasted with the obedience of Christ, by which we are made righteous."
3. "The necessity of the case. The position of Christ was that of second Adam. 1 Cor. xv. 22, 45. He came to fulfil the law in our behalf. But the law demands obedience as the condition of life. Romans x. 5. Here the first Adam had failed." Hodge, Outlines of Theology.
Was Christ bound to obey for himself? If so, yet he might act for us. Adam acted for himself, and for us also. If Christ was bound to obey for himself, yet he voluntarily came under the bond, so that the obedience is meritorious.
himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted." It would seem, from this, that his temptations not only enlarged his sympathies, but also his intelligence of the human heart; and thus, by a twofold operation, contributed to his ability in succoring the tempted. A man who has never passed through much experience of temptation, or whose temptations have been peculiar and remote, is unable to aid the tempted; for, first, he is unsympathetic and intolerant; and, second, if he attempt to minister help, he is so ignorant of the want to which he would minister, as to be little able to render aid. A keen sympathy with the tempted, and an intimate knowledge of the struggle in which they are engaged, are necessary to his success. This twofold qualification of a Saviour, Jesus learned in the actual fires of temptation.
5. The temptation is for our encouragement. a. If the tempter spared not Jesus, the Christian should not think it "strange when he falls into divers temptations;" "the servant is not above his Lord." b. The temptation of Jesus followed immediately after the delightful experiences connected with his baptism, when he saw heaven opened, when the dove descended, and when the Divine voice attested his mission; and we should therefore not be surprised or disheartened if, in our moments of sweetest communion with God, our most ecstatic experiences, Satan obtrude on the sacred occupations of our souls.
c. In the temptation of Jesus it is demonstrated that even sore temptation is not necessarily sin; and much needless self-accusation on the part of fearful disciples should be allayed by this consideration.
d. The temptation of Jesus demonstrates our ability, through divine grace, to endure and overcome in our conflicts; for, if he was full of the Holy Spirit during the struggle, we also are made "partakers of the divine nature," and have the promise that the Holy Spirit shall be sent to those who ask.
6. Augustine considers the temptation of Christ as our example. We may find it instructive in several particulars, a. There is not a word of wavering in his replies; his answer is always clear, prompt, strong, decisive, b. Chrysostom observes the mildness and humility of Jesus; like Michael, he would not bring a railing accusation. His demeanor was in this respect very different from that of Luther in the castle Wartburg. Milton, in his Paradise Regained, has too little regarded this characteristic of the Saviour's defence, c. All writers observe that Jesus uses the Scriptures in his replies. This he does not merely .to certify his obedience to the Divine will, which he knew without the aid of books, by intimate communion with the Divine Spirit; but as the guide of men who cannot know it except as it is written. The Scriptures are the proper arms of the tempted soul. But let us not fancy that there is any magic in the mere citation of Scripture to put Satan to flight It is the intelligence and the spirit of obedience with which we use them, that secures us the victory. Taking them as our guide in questions of right and wrong, he cannot confuse and deceive us into sins of ignorance; and quoting them with the determination to obey, we certify him that his effort is vain, and he leaves us. But if they are used as mere incantations against his spells, he may say, in the spirit of his angels at Ephesus: "God I know, and his Word I know; but who are ye?"
DARWIN'S "Descent of Man " of 1871, is a prodigious advance on "Origin of Species " of 1860, but yet simply its logical outgrowth. Man is one of the many new and suddenly appearing types of life on the great life path, cut off trenchantly from all preceding known organisms. If new difficulties and improbabilities arise, and new helping hypotheses have to be introduced, in connecting man with the concatenated life-chain developed by natural selection from "one primordial form," then by just so much is the whole chain, the primary hypothesis, weakened, rendered less probable. Let us examine the case.
The forms among brutes which most resemble the human, are those of apes; and of these that of the gorilla. That there are resemblances anatomically between the gorilla and man is doubtless true; but no less true is it, that the differences are so marked that no anatomist claims the gorilla to be the connecting link between the man and the brute. Huxley, in " Man's Place in Nature," after tracing minutely the anatomical resemblances between the gorilla and man, usually concludes each particular thus: "There is no doubt whatsoever as to the marked difference in this particular between man and the gorilla;" so of vertebral column, dentition, foot (prehensile), pelvis; so also of