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IX.

"LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION."

“THEN was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil.” -St. Matt. iv, 1.

Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.”—Heb. ii. 17, 18.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be tempted with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of

grace,

that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”Heb. iv. 15, 16.

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.”—2 St. Peter ii. 9.

" Because thou hast kept the word of My

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patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly, hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out, and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the City of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of Heaven from My God : and I will write upon him My new name.” Rev. iii. 10-12.

“ Lead us not into temptation.” Every day we pray these words, but do we try to act upon them? These words mean "suffer us not to be led into temptation.” We know our Father to whom we pray would not lead us into it, but we ask that He may defend us from it.

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man, but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.”

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People often pray against temptation, and then go into the very company where they will certainly be tempted. How can they wonder then if they fall ?

We must not only pray, but watch too.

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” We must be very watchful, very humble, never trusting in our own strength, but asking for God's grace to keep us from falling. That alone can keep us in the right way. Remember the beautiful words of the Collect which so well express this.

"O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright, Grant to us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers, to carry us through all temptations, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Temptation comes to all God's children in one form or another.

We cannot escape from it, but if we put our trust in God, and not in ourselves, we need not fear it; He will give us the needful grace to resist it. There is a story told of a famous knight and warrior of former times who tried to fear God, and to serve Him, thinking always of His Presence. Every morning when he had put on his armour before a battle, he used to kneel down and pray: “My God, if at any time I forget Thee, do Thou remember me.”

And so when we go forth day by day to the battle of life, with its warfare against sin, its dangers and temptations, let us try to pray these words, and ask our loving Father to watch over us, and to take care of us, and to remember us, even if at times we forget Him.

If we do this we may feel sure that He will help us, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation."

" What is Life, Father ?”

A battle, my child,
Where the strongest lance may fail,
Where the wariest eyes may be beguiled
And the stoutest heart may quail.
Where foes are gathered on every hand,
And rest not day or night,
And the feeble little ones must stand
In the thickest of the fight.

“Let me die, Father! I tremble and fear

To yield in that terrible strife." “ The crown must be won for Heaven, dear,

In the battle field of life: [tried
My child, though thy foes are strong and

He loveth the weak and small,
The angels of Heaven are on thy side

And God is over all.”—A. Proctor.

We are not alone in this terrible struggle against temptation. Our Master went through it before us. He knows every step of the way we have to tread. He was in all points tempted like as we are. He knows the fierce battle with the evil One. He knows that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, and that often we are tempted to lay down our arms, and to strive no more. But He who has fought the good fight before us, and Who came forth a conqueror, can help us, when we cry to Him in our sore need, By Thy temptation,

Good Lord, deliver us. When we are tempted, when heart and flesh are failing in the strife, and we fear we shall fall, let us think of Him. Let us pray to

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