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of this man, leaving his face a blank, inscrutable in its mysterious beauty to the keenest speculation, making his pale countenance as void of intelligible token as are the sands he treads upon destitute of verdure?. What influence breathes round him, thus quelling ravenous instincts? What energy supplies this endurance of such superhuman toil?
Far into night he travels, and, the Jordan left behind, the sandy plains themselves disappearing, grim precipices rise on every side, inaccessible cliffs tower before him, around which he must seek a tortuous ascent. Chasms yawn behind, and at every turn caverns open, from whose rugged jaws the damp blast rushes, and through whose hollowed womb the travelers' footfall makes a doubling reverberation.
Were we, capable of knowing the precise stature and stage of development to which that mind had been permitted to attain in its earthy incarceration at the time of his coming to the Jordan; could we but occupy the dim debatable ground between the finite and the infinite, and therein locate the precise boundaries of that mind's temporary restrictions ; could we but estimate in any human computation the mysterious impulse given to his hitherto imprisoned attributes by the descent upon him of the Holy
Ghost, and by the voice of paternal recognition -voice, perhaps, not alone designed to affect the lookers on in that wonderful moment; were we, in short, adequate thus to comprehend the mystery of his incarnation who was God made flesh, we might presume to discourse of his thoughts, and to reproduce them within ourselves.
But as it is, we may esteem ourselves only too happy in being permitted to look upon the outside, to see the places where he goes, the mien he bears, the deeds he does, the words he utters, and the events that transpire.
Shall we, then, witness his slumbers in some remote recess — slumbers, alas! not always peaceful as when first we found him on the populous river's marge, but slumbers where there is struggling, and terror, and agony, and fierce writhings of soul? Ah! why is this? what unhallowed power has liberty, in these dark retreats, to breathe his gloomy insinuations through the mind of the lonely fugitive?
Shall we witness his waking hours, when he walks forth to the light of day, still wrestling in spirit, as we judge from that pallid brow, that moving lip, and face upraised in prayer? Shall we see him beneath the vertical rays of an unmitigated sun, where no fountain springs to quench his thirst, no verdure to relieve the glare,
but every peak and pinnacle of the ruddy rocks seems fiery with the intolerable splendor-shall we then note his failing step, his unnerved lan
And when night comes round again, and in the somber gathering shades a thousand beasts prowl forth, and their discordant cries echo far and near; when the very place of his retreat hears their stealthy tracks, their fierce pantings, and the gloom is lurid with their fiery eyes ; when from his damp couch creeps the cold asp, the slimy adder coils, and the red scorpion rattles from his crevice in the rock, and the slimy ooze of their trail is left upon his very pillow; while through the palpable obscure flit spectral.vampyres with unearthly noises, and the raven croaks from her sentinel perch on the threshold, and the screech-owl echoes a reply, shall we still hold vigil by the sleeper's side, and ask, What means this fearful ordeal? Why this outcast driven here?
Yea, in such scenes let us contemplate his endurance, and by all these outward horrors strive to symbolize faintly to our conception the agonies of that mind's encounter, day after day, night after night, with all the renewed and subtle assaults of an incorporeal foe.
EXT to the crucifixion, the scene we are approaching is, of all others, most profoundly mysterious. The difficulty lies not in externals. Principles of mind the most recondite, and of vastest scope, are involved. Hence it becomes indispensable to the successful representation of the conflict to unfold briefly its theory.
The nature of temptation can only be rightly understood by first having right views of holiness and right views of sin. Especially is this true if we would appreciate as we ought the wonderful fact that the Son of God was tempted in all points like as we are.
Now holiness, in every being, infinite or finite, is of the same nature. It is in conformity to the law of love. In creatures, this law respects their fellow-creatures subordinately, God principally, since God is infinitely superior to them all. In the Creator, this law can not look up to some higher being as it does in us, because He is the Most High. Hence to him the law of love respects the three persons of the Trinity
and all created beings. Between the persons of the Trinity, there is a perfect and mutual love, which is the most complete fulfillment of the law of love, either possible or conceivable; and from the Trinity to all creatures there is perfect fulfillment of law by impartial love. Hence holiness in the Creator is obedience to the law of love toward equals and inferiors, while holiness in the creature is obedience to the same law toward equals and superiors. Its essence is the same, only the direction and the objects are different.
Sin, then, would be the same in nature, whether in the Creator or in the creature. In God we are assured there is no sin. And this is the joy of the universe; for if there were even a spot or stain of sin in God, the universe would be turned into a dungeon of woe. For the very essence of sin being disobedience to the law of love, if there were a spot of it in God, what would we behold? The persons of the Trinity, not perfectly loving, but alienated, and the Creator, not perfectly benevolent to the creature, but alienated from them. This would be sin in the Creator, and would threaten universal, everlasting, and irremediable disaster. Sin, on the other hand, in the creature, is disobedience to the law of love toward God and toward one's