Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Temptation.

535 state of preparation for heaven. “Without holiness, po man shall see the Lord.” Holiness is an anxious watchfulness in the solemn duties which we owe to God; it is a devoted love and reverence for his sacred name and service. And.“ he that loveth God must love his brother also :” he must love his fellow-creatures, and try, by every means in his power, to do them good. Now, as " Jesus Christ suffered for us,” that he might procure the pardon of our sins, that we might be justified” through him, so, in all the duties which we owe to God and our fellow-creatures, he hath “left us an example, that we should follow his steps.”

[ocr errors]

TEMPTATION. THE word temptation means trial : to be tempted then means to be tried. There are some sort of trials which seem so strongly to attack our corrupt nature that we are in great danger of falling under their power, and being led into sin. Against such temptations we are taught to pray. And, whilst we pray that we may not be led into them, we should also keep out of those scenes, where such temptations are found. It is of little use to pray against temptation, if we, at the same time, put ourselves under its power. Let no man, who thus acts, say, when he falls, that he was tempted beyond his strength. Let no man say" he was tempted of the Lord.' He was tempted by his spiritual enemy; he was “ drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.”

But there are trials to which we are all exposed ; and these are needful in a world like this, where we are placed, as a state of preparation for a better. Such trials are sent for our good, to exercise our faith, and to prove our obedience. The eternal

world, in which God's faithful people will live for ever, is filled with those whose delight is to do the will of God. We are, therefore, to practise doing the will of God on earth, or we shall not be prepared, we shall not be qualified to live with him in heaven.

Jesus Christ has left us an example that we should follow his steps. He was tempted. Let us see how he was able to resist the temptation with which he was assailed.

Our Lord was hungry :-Satan chose that moment to tempt him :-he said, " If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread, that thus thou mayest satisfy thy hunger, and then will I believe that thou art the Son of God." Christ had been supported for forty days by the power of God. If he had now worked a miracle to sapply his bodily wants, this would have shewn a distrust in God; it would have shewn that he was more anxious to satisfy his own desires than to do his Father's will. This, instead of shewing that he was the Son of God, would have proved the contrary, by shewing that he was unwilling to submit

to the will of God. Christ answers Satan out of Scripture, (Deut. viii. 3,)“ Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeh out of the mouth of God.” . The life of a man is not only that bodily life which is supported by bread, by natural food, but it is the spiritual life, which is nourished and supported by the word of God. Let us learn from this, that for the sake of supplying our bodily wants, we must never do that which is contrary to ihe word of God.

Satan then tries a second method of temptation. He takes our Lord up to Jerusalem, and places him on a pinnacle (that is, on the roof of one of the wings) of the temple, and he again shews our Lord that he doubted whether he was the Son of God. But if thou be," he says, it is written;" it is prophesied of thee (in the Olst Psalm) that

Temptation.

537 God shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall keep thee up,

lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." Satan, therefore, desired our Lord to throw himself down, and that, if he was the Son of God, God would keep him from danger. This 91st Psalm shews how God protects his people, and it also particularly refers to Christ. Christ never doubted that he should be supported in bis temptations, and his faithful followers trast in the protecting care of their heavenly Father': but we are not to run into needless danger, in expectation of extraordinary belp. God protects us, as the Psalmist says, “ja all our ways," in all the trials to which our duty calls 'us, Satan, leaves out the words “in all thy ways," he takes only a part of the meaning of Seripture, as men do who would turn God's word to a bad purpose. We may here learn from our Lord, that we are to “trust in God," and to be as. sured, that, if we look to him for help, he will support us in the midst of all the trials to which the duties of our different callings may lead us; he will keep us os in all our ways.

But we must not go “out of the way;" we must not throw ourselves into needless hazard ; we must not put ourselves, without necessity, where there may be danger either to our bodies or our souls. If we do, we have no promise of support. There is a great difference between trusting God and tempting him.

When Satan found that both these temptations failed, he sought to tempt our Lord by the splendour and riches of this world. He promised that if Christ would fall down and worship him, he would give him all these riches.-So Satan deceives us ; they were not his to give; but if they were, who would leave the service of God for such things as these? No man who is truly wise : but yet, alas, how many are there who are not truly wise; and who, therefore, act in direct opposition to the will

of God for the sake of worldly profit! They forsake the true God, and worship the god of this world : we cannot do both; “ we cannot serve God and-mammon.”. When we are thus tempted, let us look at Christ, our great example. Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, (Deut. vi. 13. and x. 20.) “ Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." · Let us observe, that in all these temptations, our Lord appealed directly to Scripture-IT IS WRITTEN: Whatever, ther, we find written in the word of God, we know is written for our learning. When we are assured that we see its true meaning, We are not to hesitate, but to obey.

When Satan found that he could not prevail, be gave up the attempt; and the wants of our Lord were supplied by the hands of the Almighty. gels came and ministered unto him." And thus will our heavenly Father ever be the support of his people, who trust in his help, and resolve to walk diligently in his ways.

V.

INSTRUCTION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB.

(The following letter of our correspondent D. D.

may be read with great advantage, even by those who are not engaged in the instruction of the Deaf and Dumb.)

[merged small][ocr errors]

IN my last letter*, I told you bow to try to make your dumb child understand, by signs, that there Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb. 539 is a great and good God, the Creator and Giver of all things, who is every where present, knows all the thoughts, and sees all the actions of men ; loves and approves the good, and disapproves of the wicked.

* This refers to the letter in the Number for September.

In this letter I will try to put you in the way of talking to your child, by signs, about anothe world ; in which the good will be happy, and the wicked miserable after death.

In the first place, I must tell you how I think you may make him sensible that he has a soul which is distinct from and different from his body.

Begin at first by making him take notice of the difference between things which have life, which can move, breathe, and feel; and things which have no life, such as wood and stone. Shew him that

you

breathe, and can move; that you can eat and drink, and sleep; and that he does the same. Then point at a dog, or cat, or any living animal, and let him observe that the dog breathes and moves, eats and drinks, and feels as you do, Make him observe that warm blood flow's in your veins, in his, and those of other animals.

Then show him a stone, a table, or a chair, and say, by signs, “ Breathe ?"_"No." "Move by itself?"_"No," Beat the chair, and say, “ Feel pain;"_"No."

You will probably find him amused and interested by these comparisons between living or animated beings, and lifeless or inanimate things.

Afterwards make him compare himself and yourself with other living beings which have not reason and understanding, and lead him to observe the difference between mankind and the brute beasts wbieb perish. In order to do this, touch your forehead with a look of thought, put your hand on your heart with a look of joy or hope, and then join your hands, as if expressing gratitude to God. Again, put your hand on your heart with

« ElőzőTovább »