FILLED with the Holy Ghost; conscious through meekness and obedience of his nearness to the Father; hearing with joy his great kinsman's humble acknowledgment of his unspoken claim; and crowned during the initial step of his career by a heavenly voice which characterized him as indeed the Son of God,—there came to Jesus after his baptism that human sense of reaction which shadows the footsteps of the reformer and which has hurled many from the heights of assurance to the depths of doubt. Driven by mortal strain into the wilderness, Jesus tasted in full measure its "loneliness; doubt; and darkness" (Science and Health, p. 597); yet, like the knight in Briton Riviere's fine picture, he could say, "Into thy hands, O God!" even as the pitchy darkness of the unknown path closed around him.

Was he the Son of God? Why, then, was he here in the wilderness, alone and hungry? Even the rebellious children of Israel had their manna, but before him lay nothing but stones. What then! If he were indeed the child of omnipotence, he could surely command that those stones be turned into bread! So argued the tempter, ready as he always is to suggest the mingling of evil with good, to cause disheartenment by suggesting the material, or by demanding a higher demonstration than one is ready for.

November 13, 1909

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