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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jan 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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REFLECTIONS ON MATTHEW 4By PASQUIER QUESNEL.THE FAST AND TEMPTATION OF CHRIST.1. Then waa Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to betempted of the devil.Thus the Holy Ghost received at baptism, inclines theChristian to retirement and a retreat from the world. Themore a man is devoted to God, the more ought he to expecttemptation. See here an excess of charity and humility inChrist, who exposes himself to the temptation of the devil,that he may overcome for us the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. We seek retirement, that weCHAPTER IV. 61may shun temptation, and we do well, because we are weak.Jesus goes into the wilderness on purpose to be tempted there,because Ire goes to overcome for us, clothed in our weaknesswithout, full of his own divine strength within.2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was after-ward ahungered.Fasting, and all mortification of the flesh, has been under-gone, sanctified, taught, and rendered easy by Jesus Christ.The devil makes use of our body to tempt us ; we ought touse it to engage, disarm, and vanquish him. He turns thestrength and vigour of the body against us ; we must, byweakening it, turn it into arms against him. Assist me,Lord, to do this salutary violence to my rebellious flesh.Give me the strength and fidelity which thou has merited forme by thy holy fast, to follow thy example, to obey thechurch, and to fight against sin in myself.3. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.The gluttony of Adam is cured by the fasting of Christ.No necessity should induce us to relinquish the methods of God's ordinary providence, since Christ himself does not doit. It is never necessary to desire miracles for the wants of the body : it is oftenmost most expedient not to desire them ;and it is always the surest way to leave God to act of him-self. We often beg to be delivered from some evil andnecessity ; and it is by this very means that God designs toshow us his mercy and to secure our salvation.4. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by breadalone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.Providence makes use of every thing, and is confined to
nothing ; God being able to nourish with his word the bodyas well as the soul. Trust in God, in the greatest necessities,saves abundance of disquiets, temptations, and sins. He whogave us life before we could desire it, can he want eitherpower or will to conserve it, after having loaded us with bene-fits, and given us his own Son ?Vol. I.— 662 MATTHEW.5. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth himon a pinnacle of the temple,The most holy persons, as well as Christ, are often left tothe power of the devil. The devil lifts up, only in order tocast down and destroy. We could never believe how muchpower the devil still retains over us, so long as our regenera-tion and adoption continue imperfect, did we not see an in-stance of it even in the person of Christ, the Son of God bynature, over whom he never had any manner of right. It isin our stead, and for our sakes, that he suffers this outrageousattempt of the evil spirit ; and it is by this that he weakenshis power, diminishes his rights, and hinders him from en-croaching upon us.6. And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down:for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: andin their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thyfoot against a stone.The curiosity of Adam, presumptuous confidence in God'sassistance, and superstitious credulity, are cured by this secondtemptation. It is because Christ is the Son of Gfod, that hetakes so much care not to tempt his Father. His confidenceis perfect, but prudent, subject to the disposition of God, andregulated by his will. The devil lays snares for us by themeans of the Scripture, and of the most sacred things. Heoften inspires into souls a false confidence in God, in orderto make them lose the true, and thereby cast them intodespair, when they see they are deserted by God in thatdanger into which they have so rashly brought themselves.7. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt theLord thy God.To desire to know the power and mysteries of God by sensi-ble experience, is no other than to tempt him. Faith is suffi-cient to a sincere heart. We render ourselves unworthy of the protection of God, and of the supports of his ordinaryprovidence, when we create new wants to ourselves withoutnecessity, and contrary to his will. Nothing is more commonthan to tempt God ; and because it is a sin so very common,we take no notice at all of it.
CHAPTER IV. 638. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain,and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;The vanity, pride, and ambition of Adam are cured by thethird temptation of Jesus Christ, the new Adam. To love tosee the pomps and riches of the world, is to expose ourselvesto this temptation. We certainly open our heart to the loveof false riches, when we open our mouth to praise them inothers. Parents do the devil's office, when they raise in theirchildren an esteem and desire of advancement, of great wealth,and of the glory of the world, by causing them to see andadmire these things in others.9. And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wiltfall down and worship me.The devil promises that which is not his own. God seemsto give up riches and honours to the power of the devil, andof those who belong to him, as things unworthy of his elect.How can a child of God esteem and set his heart upon them?The devil discovers himself by this promise; for God hasnever promised to his servants these false riches, any other-wise than to represent to them the promise of the true andeternal riches. Would to God, the world were not so full of persons who make wealth their god, and fall down and worshipthose who bestow it !10. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written,Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.God alone is truly worthy of our service, adoration, andlove. To worship, is not to say, I worship and adore thee ;but it is to be really obedient to God, and from the bottomof the heart to prefer his will before all things, to live andact only for him, and to esteem nothing but him, or with rela-tion to him. When we see men busied and employed aboutevery thing except their God, can we believe that there aremany who worship and serve him only? Grant, Lord,that by thy grace, I may be among the small number of thosewho worship thee in truth, and serve none but thee !11. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and minis-tered unto him.God generally makes joy and consolation succeed temptationand trouble. He does not send invisible angels to comfort

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