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into the fire. That he baptized them with water Chapter Verringe
to repentance; but a mightier was coming, who
would baptize them with the Holy Ghost, and
with fire. (I cannot discover that Jesus ever bap-
tized at all; and what is meant by baptizing with
fire, I know not; unless it be the inquisitorial me-
thod practised by the catholics upon the Jews at
their Auto de Fe's.) He adds Whose fan is iii. 12

in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his

floor, and gather his wheat into the garner : ? but he will burn up the chaff with unquench.

able fire. Mark's record of John, is nearly the fame, but the exceptionable part of baptizing with fire, is omitted : it says simply- And he

fhall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.' Luke's account of this matter is more copious; he tells us the time when John began to teach and baptize, ch. iii. v. 1. ' Now in the fifteenth year of *the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius Pilate be‘ing governor of Judea, and Herod being te(trarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip te,

trarch of Ituria and of the region of Trachoni. 5 tis; and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene ; "Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests ; " the word of God came unto John the son of ' Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came ' into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of

fins,' &c. Here is some additional matter which we have neither in Matthew or Mark,




Chapter Verre the people, publicans, and soldiers, ask him

questions which he answers : they being doubtful if he was the Christ or not; he sets them right in that matter-saying, I indeed baptize you • with water : but one mightier than I cometh,'

&c.—he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost,

and with fire,' &c. St. John gives us new matter ch. i. v. 19. “And this is the record of • John (the Baptist) when the Jews sent priests ' and Levites from Jerusalem, to ask him, Who

art thou? He confessed, and denied not, but

confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked ' him-What then ? Art thou Elias ? and he « faith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? and She answered, No. Then said they unto him " Who art thou ?' John, after some other interrogatories, answers—' I baptize with water : but s there ftandeth one among you, whom ye know

not; he it is who coming after me is preferred • before me,' &c. He says nothing of baptizing, with the Holy Ghost or with fire : nor doth it' appear that they discovered or even made any enquiry about Jesus at that tiine ; but the next day John pointed him out to the people. We return now to Matthew, and proceed with

his account of the baptism of Jesus by John. ji. 13 " Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan un

14' to John to be baptized of him. But John for

'bad him, saying', I have need to be baptized of thee, ' and comest thou to me? And Jesus anfwering,


« said unto him, Suffer it to be so now : for thus Chapter Verso

it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was bap.

tized, went up straightway out of the water : ' and lo, the Heavens were opened unto him,

and he saw the spirit of God descending like a

dove, and lighting upon him. And lo, a voice • from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved son, ' in whom I am well pleased.' Mark and Luke's account are, in substance, the fame: John is more explicit, ch. i. V. 29. ' The next day John

feeth Jesus coming unto him, and faith, Be' hold the lamb of God which taketh away the ' fin of the world : this is he of whom I said,

after me cometh a man which is preferred be'fore me; for he was before me : and I knew ' him not ; but that he should be made manifest

to Israel; therefore I am come baptizing with 'water. And John bare record, saying, I saw

the spirit descending from Heaven, like a dove,

and it abode upon him: and I knew him not : 'but he that sent me to baptize with water, the ' fame said unto me, upon whom thou malt see the

Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same ' is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And

I saw and bare record that this is the Son of • God.' If John was so well inforined, and so clear and explicit in his account of the matter as he here seems to be : how happened he, very soon after, to make the following enquiry of Je


Chapter Verfe fusca Art thou he that should come, or do we

' look for another?' Matt. ch. xi. v. 2, 3*. We will now revert to Matthew's account of what followed the baptism. Then was Jesus « led up of the spirit into the wilderness, to be

tempted of the devil.' After fasting there forty days and forty nights, Satan endeavours, with various temptations, to seduce him : he takes

him up into an exceeding high mountain, and 8 * fheweth him all the kingdoms of the world,

and the glory of them : and faith unto him— 2 All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt 10" fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus

unto him-Get thee hence, Satan : for it is in" written; Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, • and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil upon the ground, &c. but we never hear of his Chapter Veile taking them up into the air.–Mark fays— And • immediately (after the baptism) the spirit driv. eth him into the wilderness : and he was there

leaveth him, and behold, angels came and mi.

nistered unto him. This must have been a very ignorant devil: if there was any efficacy in baptifin, he chose an improper time; and how he attained the power of taking the Son of God up to a pinnacle of the temple, &c. I cannot conceive. From sacred history we learn, that he sometimes threw the unfortunate fons of men


* In the records of St. Matthew and St. John, we pere ceive a material difference. The former tells us that John the Baptist knew jesus to be the Christ, before he baptized him. But the latter tells us that he did not know Jesus till after he had baptized him that he saw the spirit dee * scending and remaining on him.?


in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan, ' and was with the wild beasts, and the angels * ministered unto him. Luke fays' much the fame as Matthew relative to the fasting and teniptations, but has this remarkable conclu. fion. And when the devil had ended all the ' temptation, he departed from him (Jesus) for ' a season. What Luke means by departing from him for a season, I know not. We hear of no more attacks made by the devil upon Jesus, unless that inay be construed as such, which was made in the person of St. Peter. Vide Matthew, ch. xvi. V. 22, 23. John says not a word of the wilderness, temptations, or the forty days spent in it. On the contrary, he proceeds to the election of two disciples upon the day following his baptism ; two others upon the following day ; the marriage in Cana upon the third day; and to proceeds regularly with the history of Jesus. We will now go on with St. Matthew's account.-Now when Jesus had heard that John iv. ' was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee.' (Luke, who seems moft conversant with John's history, tells us that he was cast into prison for having reproached Herod the tetrarch with several enormities, particularly that of keeping


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