Page images

taught the Emperor better measures, if he call a new Cortes, will he find at least it might have warned him it more confiding, more complying, of the danger and impolicy of the than that which he has dissolved? course he has adopted how bitterly We think not; it would be contrary did Charles the First live to repent to all reasonings from historical exhis hasty dissolution of one Parlia- perience to expect it. If he try to ment, and his interference with the reign absolutely, how will he relieve liberties and immunities of another. the embarrassments of his treasury?

We wait with anxiety for the next how will he pay his troops ? and more accounts. The Emperor is either than all, by what principle of union sincere in promoting Brazilian in- will he hope to keep together so dependence, or he is not if he is many provinces, so thinly inhabited, not, he plays indeed a desperate so widely scattered, with such im. game; all his troops are but a hand perfect means of communication ful, the majority native Brazilians, between them ? These are questions of course, not to be depended on in hard to answer ; a Cortes would à contest against Brazilians on be. have answered them all; it was a half of the mother-country; the link between Maranham and Rio de small minority Portuguese, good Janeiro, that at the latter place sale troops, but wholly incompetent to the representatives of the former, secure the subordination of so large members of a common assembly of a country; and there can be no the nation. There will now be no doubt that the great body of the nation-all will relapse into separate natives would unite to a man against captaincies as before, and become the project of re.union with Portu- the prey, perhaps, of the same desogal. If on the other hand he be lating ignominious faction and warsincere, he must either call a new fare that have so long wasted the Cortes, or try to reign without one; Spanish Provinces. :

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ON OUR LORD'S TEMPTATION. able to succour them that are tempta

ed;" passages that may justly be Matt, iv. 1.

considered as referring to that peThen was Jesus led up of the spirit culiar temptation of our Lord, which into the wilderness, to be tempted of the is the subject of the Gospel of the devil.

day, and thereby serving to shew There are several passages " in the connection that exists between the Epistles that bear a manifest the several parts of Scripture, and allusion to peculiar events of our the additional light and confirma. Lord's life, narrated more fully in tion that may be mutually thrown the Gospels.

upon them. Of this kind is that which occurs The narrative of the temptation in the Epistle to the Hebrews, in is given by the Evangelists with which the Apostle asserts the truth the usual scriptural brevity and of our blessed Lord's incarnation, simplicity : enough is revealed for We have not,” says he, “an High every practical purpose: and there Priest which cannot be touched with is neither piety nor wisdom in seekthe feelings of our infirmities, but ing to be wise beyond that which is was in all points TEMPted like as written. The ever-blessed Son of we are, yet without sin.” And in a God, the everlasting Word, becomes former chapter, having laid down man for our sakes : as man he is the merciful intention of our tempted of the devil; be baffles and Lord's coming into the world, that dismisses his adversary from his " through death he might destroy presence; and “angels come and him that had the power of death, minister unto him." To ask for any that is the devil," he tħus con- farther explanation, or to attempt cludes, Wherefore in all things it to give it, would only be involving behoved Him to be made like unto ourselves in needless difficulties, and His brethren, that he might be a indulging that same spirit which merciful and faithful High-Priest, was so justly rebuked by our blessed in things pertaining to God, to make Lord in his reply to the apostle Feconciliation for the sins of the Peter: What is that to thee? follow people : for in that he himself hath thou me. The safest and most sa. suffered beiNG TEMPTED, he is tisfactory way is, to take the narra

tive as it stands in the Scriptures,

in its plain and literal sense, without * 1 Pet, ii. 23. 1 Tim. vi. 13. having recourse to figurative mean1 Cor. xv. 3—9.

ings or visionary representations ; REMEMBRANCER, No, 63.

and without presuming, in the ab- stones” of this wild and desolate sonce of any notice from the Evan- placebe made bread.gelist, to regard one part of his How resigned, how faithful, how narrative as less historical, or less dignified our Lord's reply! “ It is a plain matter of fact, than another. written"-out of Scripture, that spi. We are not reading the figurative ritual armoury of the Christian, our effusion of a prophet, but the plain Lord takes his weapou to repel the relation of an historian. The Gos- tempter's assault ;-" It is written. pel opens, whether we take for man shall not live by bread alone" — our guide the apostle St. Matthew, though this be the natural and ordior the evangelist St. Luke, with nary means of his support" but certain plain matters of fact, re- by every word that proceedeth out garding the life of our blessed of the mouth of God-by every Lord; his genealogy; his miracu- means (for though God may be lous birth; the arrival of the wise pleased to appoint one mean above men at Bethlehem; the niassacre another, he is tied down to none) of the innocents; the preaching of by every means that He may deem the son of Zacharias ; the baptism fit. Did not he nourish the Israelof our Lord; and the public tes. ites in the wilderness with manna, timony given to his mission by which their fathers knew not? Did the voice from heaven ; and then, not the ravens feed the Prophet in without any change in the style, or the desert? or did the barrel of any intimation that the words are meal or the cruise of oil fail ? or to be taken in a figurative or visionary even if there were bread to eat, sense, the Evangelist proceeds to could that become nutritious withinform us, that immediately after out the immediate blessing of God ? these events, Jesus was led up of “ Shall I then (we may thus in all hu, the spirit into the wilderness, to be mility and reverence paraphrase qur tempted of the devil.

Lord's reply,) mistrust the Divine The temptation itself was three goodness, or seek to relieve, by an fold.

uncalled for exertion of miraculous It was directed—I do not stop power, that necessity, which, that I to consider how vaiuly, for bad spi.. have not felt it before, during a fast rits, like bad men, may be equally of forty days' continuance, might in infatuated and absurd in their mea. itself be a sufficient assurance that suresit was directed, in the first it will be relieved in my Father's instance, to shake our Lord's reli- own time.” ance in the Divine goodness; when Foiled in this first attempt, the this was found to be too firmly fixed, devil took our Lord, saith the Evanthen to encourage a vain and pre. gelist, into the Holy City, and set sumptuous confidence in it; and him on a pinnacle of the temple, lastly, to draw from our Lord a and said, “If thou be the Son of practical disavowal of God's uni- God, cast thyself down," in the preversal sovereignty over the king- sence of these countless worshipdoms of the earth.

pers, that are below; commence thy If thou be the Son of God,” .as mission with this public manifesta. the voice so lately heard at thy tion of thy glory: give to thy expect. baptism has proclaimed thee, thus ing countrymen the looked-for sign the tempter commenced his assault of the Son of man, that they may see - if thou art so great a personage, and believe, and hail thee for their and so highly favoured of God, wilt Messiah and king: no personal danthou tamely submit to the pains of ger cau await thee; for “it is hunger, with the means of relief written, he shall give his angels within thy reach ? Prove the extent charge concerning thee, and in their of thy power; " command that the hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot conclusion of the temptation adds, against a stone."

that “the Devil deparied for a seaTo Scripture misapplied our Lord son," as if intimating that after a opposes Scripture in its true and while he returned. And in truth undisguised meaning : “ Jesus said what was the whole of our Lord's unto him, It is written again, subsequent life but one continued Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy scene of renewed temptation inGod." However watchful God may creasing in its intensity and viobe, and ready to interfere for the lence as the hour of his death appreservation of his servants, in all proached; " your hour,'' saith he natural and necessary and involun. to the unbelieving Jews, " and the tary dangers, yet are they never to power of darkness." The great adpresume on his gracious interference versary of man's salvation still conin such as are needless, and vain- tinued to pursue with an inveterate glorious, and wholly of their own malice, and the terrors of earthly procuring. And for this public dis. persécution and bodily pains and play, that you would propose to me, mental agonies Him, who was to be how would it consist with that hum. its gracious Author and Finisher," ble, and unostentatious, and more insomuch that this first attack of rational method of proclaiming my the tempter may be considered but mission, which, as it has been my the prelude to those that in a striking Father's wish to appoint, so is it similarity followed after mine to follow.

Though our Lord was able by Convinced by these replies of the his almighty power to turn the great dignity of ourblessed Lord, and stones of the desert into bread, yet maliciously bent to effect, if pos- yet did He prefer, as we have sible, the fall of the second Adam, seen, to rely ratber on the proas he had that of the first, and there. vidential care of his heavenly Faby prevent whatever blessing our ther, than inpatiently to relieve his Lord's coming into the world inight own necessities by the performance be intended to convey, the tempter of a miracle. And was not this a disgathers up all his strength for his tinguishing feature of his conduct last temptation, and taking our throughout the whole of his painful Lord « into an exceeding high sojourning upon earth? “ We know mountain, shewed him all the king the grace" and therein the forbeardoms of the world, and the glory of ance and resignation" of our Lord them." And when he had filled, as Jesus Christ, that, though he was he fancied, our Lord's mind with a rich, yet for our sakes he became desire of their possession, he boldly poor,” and often altogether subaccosts him with the offer, All sisted on the bounty of his folthese things will I give thee, if lowers. " The foxes have holes, and thou wilt fall down and worhip the birds of the air have nests, but

the Son of Man"-He, the Lord and There is in an open and undis- heir of all, had not, and, since such guised avowal of blasphemy, some was the appointment of his Father, thing truly appalling to ourselves would not have “ where to lay his how much more to the holy Son of head.Hungry and thirsty, yet he the most High God!“ Get thee fed not himself by any exertion of hence Satan," was our Lord's reply, his miraculous power, though he "for it is written, Thou shalt wor- was ever ready to feed the famished thip the Lord thy God, and him thousands that followed to hear his only shalt thou serve. Then the doctrines. Ever going about through devil leaveth him, and behold, angels the cities of Israel, weary and facame and ministered unto him," tigued in his journeyings, as once, St. Luke, in his account of the when he sat down at the well of

[ocr errors]

and without presuming, in the ab- stones" of this wild and and sence of any notice from the Evan- place “ be made bread.'

A of gelist, to regard one part of his How resigned, horis

pt the narrative as less historical, or less dignified our Lord a plain matter of fact, than another. written"-out of the parallel. We are not reading the figurative ritual armoury

A the hiseffusion of a prophet, but the plain Lord takes hi

id, to that relation of an historian. The Gos- tempter's as

er they had pel opens, whether we take for man shall

er, and inour guide the apostle St. Matthew, though

ne, continued or the evangelist St. Luke, with nary ;

ntain whereon certain plain matters of fact, re- by P.

disciples; hear garding the life of our blessed of

6 This is of a Lord; his genealogy; his miracu- .

het that should lous birth; the arrival of the wise ,

d;" behold them men at Bethlehem ; the massacr,

their temporal noof the innocents; the preaching

prophet as a great the son of Zacharias ; the bar

alng and deliverer, and of our Lord; and the pub

- to invest our Lord with the timony given to his mis

oyal name and prerogative. And the voice from heaven;

of how did our Lord-He, who had without any change in

before resisted from the tempter any intimation that om He- the offer of all the kingdoms of to be taken in a figur oth given the world, how did he act on this sense, the Evang Father

occasion ? " When Jesus,” saith inform us, tha' wink! acter of our the Evangelist,“ perceived that they these events, the ch Sit not cau. would come and make him a king, the spirit in 1. save, where he departed unto a mountain him. tempted of minisjentia

boldness and self alone;" thus in this and every The Prired

Lord open his other instance patiently enduring fold.

Pant to the preju- and constantly repelling whatever

sed to the vices of temptations the malice of the devil, to gold

Perusalem, the very or the hatred of the Jewish rulers,

of their power?- or the forward zeal of his followers, Galilee, the humble or the necessities of that nature nå. Nazareth, and Ca- which for our sakes He had asnd the coasts of the sea sumed, might offer; and for these were the scenes of his two gracious reasons, that as the caching. Did he aim at Captain of our salvation he might

y in his miracles, which be made perfect through sufferings, have prematurely excited, and as his disciples, we might oderately kindled the anger be led to expect temptation our.

Vy of the rulers ? When selves, and been couraged to bear up 2014 u blind men were restored under its assaults, and imitate his

eir sight, Jesus,” saith the most perfect example, and more w celist. " struilly charged them coufidently apply in the time of our

. See that no man know it.' need for his all-sufficient and everpj he court danger? When the ready assistance. e sought to kill him, he with. Trials we must expect in this our

e himself. When they profess- earthly pilgrimage, for the disd o believe in Him, he would ciple is not above his master, nor

r commit himself unto them, the servant above his Lord.” May Throughout he never needlessly ex- we then by his grace be prepared cited ihe envy, or hatred, or per- to meet them! neither disheart

cution of the Jewish rulers, but ened at the ruggedoess of a way left in his whale ministry a prac. which has been sanctified for us by


Tiberias were the earliest preachine a potoriety in ; would have pre or immoderate and envy of the

« PreviousContinue »