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Jesus Tempted of the Devil

Jesus Tempted of the Devil

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. THOMAS RENNELL, B.D.




MATTHEW iv. 1 .

was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness
to be tempted of the devil.
BY REV. THOMAS RENNELL, B.D.




MATTHEW iv. 1 .

was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness
to be tempted of the devil.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 27, 2013
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JESUS TEMPTED OF THE DEVILBY REV. THOMAS REELL, B.D.MATTHEW iv. 1 .was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wildernessto be tempted of the devil.OE of the leading defects observable in the various systems of ethics, taught by the philosophers of the Gentile world, was the absence of that authority which sanctions the doctrine bythe example of the teacher. I speak not of theinfamy which stands recorded in the lives of many of the first masters of ancient morals, whichwould have been a scandal and a disgrace evento the lowest of their followers, and was sufficient of itself to disannul the power, and discredit the influence of any moral code ; but I wouldcall your attention rather to the total disability,even among the purest and most innocent of them, of acting up to the principles which theyprofessed, and of raising the practice of theirlife and conduct, to their own exalted standardof moral virtue.210 SERMO XVII.ow this deficiency may arise either from thewant of opportunity, or the want of power. TheStoic might enforce upon his hearers the contempt of pain, yet such a precept would proceedwith but little authority from one, who hadeither in his own person never felt its anguish,
 
or had sunk most unphilosophically under hissufferings. Thus then, in order to enforce theauthority of any practical system of duties, it isnecessary, not only that its teacher should beguiltless of offence against his own laws, but thatthe force of their severest enactments or prohibitions should be experimentally visible in his ownperson. The truth of this observation cannotbe more powerfully illustrated, than in the Saviour of mankind, who in every stage of hisexistence upon earth, was in his own personboth the bright exemplar and the practical proof,of the purity of that doctrine which he descended from heaven to inculcate and enforce. It isnot only in the purity of his life, in the ardour of his love, and the activity of his benevolence towards man, that the truth of this assertion isfounded: it rests more strongly on the resistance to those temptations, and the subjugationof those passions, the assaults of which, fromthe tenure of mortality, he was doomed to undergo. For "he took not on him the nature of angels," who were above the pains and passionsSERMO KVII. 211of this lower world, " but he took OH him theseed of Abraham/ who were the slaves of theirdominion. In taking this our nature upon him,he took not merely the form and the materialityof man, but the wants, the pains, and the infirmities of human nature ; for in the words of theApostle, "we have not an High Priest, whichcannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who was in all points tempted likeas we are, yet without sin."By his condescension to the weakness, and his
 
assimilation to the infirmities, of our frail existence, we view in the incarnate God,, hot only thperfection of abstract purity, but the brightnessof that innocence, which was assailed by everytemptation, to the attacks of which we are everSubject ; which was victorious over every foe, towhose malice man has ever stood exposed ; whichthough above the power of the highest to reach>is not beyond the capacity of the lowest to imitate. Amidst the history of the life of our Lord,there is not an event more singular in its nature,nor more important in its consequences, thanthe transaction recorded in the chapter froniWhich my text is taken ; an event, which the recurrence of this solemn season, has front theearliest ages of the Christian church, been ordained to commemorate. Th sche now expanded before us is fraught with the most sub-p2212 SERMO XVII.lime and awful interest ; it presents to our viewthe first grand conflict between the Redeemerand the destroyer of man. A conflict, to whichby his descent from the right hand of the MostHigh, the Son of God had exposed himself, as onthe terms of equal war. When clothed in thepanoply of heaven, and encompassed in thebrightness of the Godhead, the powers of dark ness environed not the throne of the living God ;but when divested of his glory, he took uponhim the nature of man, " through death to destroy him that had the power of death," he stoodforward the willing combatant of the prince of darkness.It was not without the painful discipline of a

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