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ward experience of Jesus, in which the different forms of temptation mentioned came to his mind unsuggested by any one, and that it was related by him to his disciples in the dramatic form in which we have it in the First and Third Gospels. (6) That it is such experience account, expanded by the accretions of oral tradition into the proportions of the "Matthew" and "Luke" records thereof. In the last case, the account has been compared to the Buddhist account of Gautama's conflict under the bow-tree. Neander and Ewald treat the temptation of Jesus as threefold: (1) to work miracles for his own comfort or advantage; (2) to work them to prove himself the Christ; (3) to establish his Messianic kingdom by_human means and devices of human expediency.*
Before more directly considering temptation and what has been termed "the Method and Means of Jesus "-introspection and self-renunciation, it will be well here to note certain generally accepted aphorisms of eminent and more or less inspired thinkers concerning the wisdom of choosing a life of discipline, hardship, discomfort, beneficence, and possible obscurity, as against one of license, ease, luxury, selfishness, and possible renown.† As to the effect of desire and defeat on fortitude, expertness, and courage, abundant will be found the confirmation of Paul's declaration that tribulation works patience, experience, hope. The dubiousness, deviousness, demoralization of yesterday may bring determination, directness, and discipline to to-day; the paradox may hold that a step backward is a step forward.
What I aspired to be,
And was not, comforts me,
sings Robert Browning, in "Rabbi Ben Ezra." Life's promise is in life's failure. The soul's wealth is in its want. The very saddest thing the eye can see on earth,—a high and noble spirit swept back from the harbor of ease by the tumult of life's sea, driven from the chosen course by tides and storms that heed no supplication and stay for no prayers, and wrecked at last with all its vast freightage of hopes far from the peaceful port,- this turns to grandest eloquence of prophecy in the large musing of the same philosophic poet :
For thence a paradox
Which comforts while it mocks
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail?
It was a wise resolution of the Hebrew singer, "I will lift up mine
Life of Jesus Christ (Glover's translation), p. 358.
†The trite lesson of indulgence in alcoholic or narcotic stimulants impairing the will is said to have recently had conspicuous illustration in the death of an esteemed Southern statesman from "smoker's cancer."
eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." Man's help must be sought from a contemplation of the unattained. He must refuse to believe himself beaten when he is cast down. He must refuse to despair in any abyss of evil or folly. He must cultivate a noble shame and a noble discontent..
The Faust of the great drama, given into the hands of the mocking fiend, seemed lost beyond hope in the entanglements and illusions of sense. Guilty and heart-broken, he wandered through a world of weariness and shams. But he was too clear-sighted to be deceived into thinking the sham a reality, and too noble in aspiration to be satisfied with what was base. His soul, that never ceased to desire the good, outlived its trial; and when he stumbled, old and blind, through the gate of death, there was heard the chanting of angels, who said in their song:
The noble spirit now is free,
W. H. Savage (Christian Register).
Only he that overcometh can truly gain and advance. The impulses to a higher life come with renewed force as they are cherished and acted on. As we advance, the cords of a divine love draw us more steadily and firmly upward, and the ties which bind us to earthly objects and desires become weaker. As Dr. Holland truly says:
Heaven is not reached at a single bound;
Joseph H. Mansfield.
The old theology regards man as being sent into this world as a place of probation: the new theology looks on life as a place of education. According to one, it is a court-house; according to the other, a school.- Dr.J. F. Clarke (Sermon on the Installation Council's Examination of Dr. N. Smyth, Saturday Evening Gazette, Oct. 28, 1882).
Nature fashions no creature without implanting in it the strength needful for its action and duration; least of all does she so neglect her masterpiece and darling, the poetic soul. Neither can we believe that it is in the power of any external circumstances utterly to ruin the mind of a man; nay, if proper wisdom be given, even so much as to affect its essential health and beauty. The sternest sum total of all worldly misfortunes is Death: nothing more can lie in the cup of human woe; yet many men, in all ages, have triumphed over Death, and led it captive; converting its physical victory for themselves into a seal and immortal consecration for all that their past
life had achieved. What has been done may be done again: nay, it is but the degree and not the kind of such heroism that differs in different seasons; for without some portion of this spi it, not of boisterous daring, but of silent fearlessness, of self-denial in all its forms, no good man, in any scene or time, has ever attained to be good.-Thomas Carlyle (Essay on Burns).
Possession pampers the mind, privation trains and strengthens it.-William Hazlitt.
Calamity is man's true touchstone.- Richard Fletcher.
Afflictions clarify the soul.— Francis Quarles.
Experience is the extract of suffering.— Arthur Helps.
Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.- Matthew Henry.
Afflictions are the medicine of the mind. If they are not toothsome, let it suffice that they are wholesome.-Bp. J. P. K. Henshaw.
All the clouds are angel faces, and their voices speak harmoniously of the everlasting chime.- Lydia M. Child.
When God makes the world too hot for his people to hold, they will let it go.-William S. Powell.
Let us learn upon earth those things which call us to heaven.— St. Jerome.
A good man fixes the root, and all else flows out of it. The root is filial piety, the fruit brotherly love.— Confucius.
Through danger safety comes; through trouble, rest.—J. Marston. Adversity is the trial of principle. Without it, a man hardly knows whether he is honest or not.- Fielding.
We may measure our road to wisdom by the sorrows we have undergone.- Earle Bulwer-Lytton.
The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect and rely upon myself.- Charlotte Bronté.
Who hath not known ill-fortune never knew himself or his own virtue.- David Mallet.
Christianity is hard, but gainful and happy. The greatest labors that have answerable requitals are less than the least that have no regard.- Bishop Joseph Hall.
The life of a mere worldly man is like an African river that wastes itself by soaking into the desert sands.-H. W. Beecher.
Character is a perfectly educated will.— Novalis.
A vigorous mind is as necessarily accompanied with violent passions as a great fire with great heat.- Edmund Burke.
Shallow seas have no whirlpools: superficial men have no absorbing passion.-Samuel Maunder.
A wide, rich heaven hangs above you, but it hangs high; a wide, rough world is around you, and it lies very low. Donald G. Mitchell.
Strength of character is not mere strength of feeling: it is the resolute restraint of strong feeling. It is unyielding resistance to whatever would disconcert us from without or unsettle us from within.- Charles Dickens.
Tie down a hero, and he feels the puncture of a pin: throw him into battle, and he is almost insensible to pain.-John C. Calhoun.
The frivolous work of polished idleness.-Sir James Mackintosh.
I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.-John Milton.
Massena was not himself until the battle began to go against him. — Napoleon Bonaparte.
The setting of a great hope is like the setting of the sun, the brightness of our life is gone: shadows of the evening fall behind us, and the world seems but a dim reflection itself, a broader shadow. We look forward into the coming lonely night, the soul withdraws itself, then the stars arise and the night is holy.- Henry W. Longfellow.
The passions act as winds to propel our vessel, our reason is the pilot that steers her. Without the winds she would not move, without the pilot she would be lost.— Anon. (from the French).
They asked Lucman, the fabulist, "From whom did you learn manners?" He answered, "From the unmannerly." - Moslih-Eddin
The only equitable manner of judging the character of a man is to examine if there are personal calculations in his conduct : if there are not, we may blame his manner of judging, but we are not the less bound to esteem him.- Baronne de Staël-Holstein.
Surely, surely, the only true knowledge of our fellow-man is that which enables us to feel with him, which gives us a fine ear for the heart pulses that are beating under the mere clothes of circumstance and opinion.-George Eliot.
Our follies and errors are the soiled steps to the Grecian temple of our perfection.-J. P. F. Richter.
When we embark in the dangerous ship called Life, we must not, like Ulysses, be tied to the mast: we must know how to listen to the sirens and to brave their blandishments.- Arsène Houssaye.
That virtue which requires to be ever guarded is scarce worth the sentinel.- Oliver Goldsmith.
Even in evil, that dark cloud which hangs over the creation, we discern rays of light and hope, and gradually come to see in suffering and temptation proofs and instruments of the sublimest purposes of wisdom and love.- Dr. W. E. Channing.
What pains and tears the slightest steps of man's progress have cost! Every hair-breadth forward has been in the agony of some soul, and humanity has reached blessing after blessing of all its vast achievement of good with bleeding feet.- Dr. C. A. Bartol.
If we rightly estimate what we call good and evil, we shall find it lies much in comparison.- John Locke.
The great desiring heart of man, surging with one strong, sympathetic swell, even though it be to break on the beach of life and fall backward, leaving the sands as barren as before, has yet a meaning and a power in its restlessness with which I must deeply sympathize. - Harriet B. Stowe.
A liberal education is that which frees a man from himself. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." No one is so much a slave as the man who is tied by his own appetites, ambitions, vanities, conceit.- Dr. J. F. Clarke.
The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Hold the hand that is hapless, and whisper, "They only the victory win
Who have held to their faith unseduced by the prize that the world holds on high; Who have dared for a high cause to suffer, resist, fight,- if need be, to die."