THE history of the human appetite is indeed a sad one. The Creator designed that the appetite should be man's servant, not his master. It was to be subordinate to the moral and intellectual faculties. This truth is seen in God's first prohibitory declaration to man: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." 1 

God made man upright, and endowed him with powers of mind far above those of any other creature living upon the earth. He placed him upon probation, that he might form a character for the glory of the Creator, and for his own happiness. The first great moral lesson which the innocent pair of Eden were to learn, was self-control. God appeals to man's nobler powers. He graciously gives him all he needs for the delights of taste, and for the support of life. And it was for man's moral good, to say the least, that his eating from the tree of knowledge was prohibited. Of all the trees of the garden he might freely eat, save one. In this prohibition, the Creator places the appetite under the watchcare and guardianship of the moral and intellectual powers. 

When man came from the hand of his Creator, he was declared to be "very good." He was put upon probation, that he might develop a perfect character. But he failed to do this. He basely yielded to the tempter, and lost his innocence; and the entire race, for six thousand years, have felt, in soul, body, and spirit, the taint of sin. The weight of accumulated guilt and ruin, resulting from continual transgression of moral and physical law, has rested upon it. Sickness, pain, sorrow, and death are the legitimate fruits of transgression.      

Man alone is responsible for the moral and physical wretchedness under which the race suffers. There was no necessity for Eve to yield to the tempter; and Adam is quite as inexcusable. The surroundings of our parents in Eden were delightful. The Infinite Hand had spread out before them a feast of pleasure in the stately trees, the climbing vines, and the beautiful shrubs and flowers. Eden also abounded with that which was "good for food." God had caused every good fruit-tree to grow, affording variety, and an inexhaustible supply. He welcomed man to eat freely of them all, excepting one only; but of the fruit of that one tree he warned him not to partake, on pain of death. Thus surrounded with beauty and plenty, and thus warned by the beneficent Author of his happy existence, man basely yielded, and plunged the race in consequent ruin.  

Eve was flattered with the idea that eating the forbidden fruit would raise her to a higher and happier life. Appetite, curiosity, and ambition triumphed over reason. But Infinite Wisdom immediately devised the scheme of redemption, which placed man on a second probation, by giving him another trial, with the great Redeemer to help him in the work of forming a perfect character. And, to say the very least, it is reasonable to suppose that, in the second probation, men would be tested just where God tested our first parents in Eden, and that the indulgence of the appetites and passions would be the greatest moral evil in this world during the period of human probation.   

We are not left to mere supposition in forming an opinion upon this subject. The sacred record shows, in the clearest manner possible, that God has tested his people since the fall just where he tested man before the fall, and that among the most flagrant sins of the fallen race, resulting in the greatest amount of human woe, has been the indulgence of appetite.   

Gluttony and drunkenness were the prevailing sins of Sodom. It is said of the people of Lot's time, "They did eat, they drank." Appetite ruled them, or their eating and drinking would not have been mentioned. For their sins they were visited with destruction by fire and brimstone. It is also said of the people in the time of Noah, "They did eat, they drank." 1     

For the first twenty-five hundred years after the fall, sacred history is exceedingly brief. For example, the life and wonderful translation of holy Enoch are told in a few lines. While, doubtless, the almost numberless good deeds and careful acts of obedience in the long life of this wonderful man would furnish to some modern writers material for volumes, the whole matter is summed up in these few words: "All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him." 2   

We could not reasonably suppose that very much could be said upon any one subject when the annals of twenty-five hundred years, embracing many of the greatest events in the world's history, are crowded into fifty short chapters of the Bible. But when God was about to establish the tribes of Israel in the good land of promise, that they should be to him "a peculiar treasure" above all people, "a holy nation," the sacred historian speaks more fully, and again the fact appears that God tests his people since the fall just where he tested man before the transgression in Eden.   

In the providence of God the sons of Jacob went down into Egypt, where they sojourned in a strange land for hundreds of years. There they were humbled by slavery, but were delivered from it by the special hand of Providence, and in the most triumphant manner. The entire providential experience of the Israelites, both in their servitude and in their miraculous deliverance, was designed to lead them to revere, and trustingly obey, the God of their fathers. 

The history of their departure from Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea before them, and the destruction of their pursuers, is one of thrilling interest to all Bible Christians. These manifestations were designed to remove their infidelity, to draw them very near to God, and deeply to impress them with the fact that the Divine Hand was leading them. 

God brought another test upon them in the gift of the manna. The Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no." 1 The habits of the Hebrews in Egypt had become such that a change to the simple manna was a very great one. But this change, God being judge of what was best for them, was necessary to their physical, mental, and moral well-being. God designed to bring a whole nation near to himself, and give opportunity for the development of perfect character. He tested the Hebrews on appetite, as he did man in Eden, and murmuring and rebellion resulted. Had they proved faithful to God, he would have taken them through the wilderness in the brief period of eleven days, and would have triumphantly planted in the land of promise the mighty host of Israel, whom he had borne "on eagles' wings" from Egypt. But they did not sustain the trial of their faith, and, in consequence of yielding to the clamors of appetite, they fell all along the way in the wilderness, so that only two of the adults who left Egypt were permitted to reach Canaan. I repeat it: the history of the human appetite is a sad one. 

We here leave the Old Testament record upon this subject, after noting that in the Jewish age there were men of God who controlled appetite, as did the holy Daniel, who refused to defile himself with the king's meat and wine. Please read the first chapter of the history of this bold representative of pure hygiene. 

The mission of John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the first advent of Christ. In the address of the angel to Zacharias relative to John, there is a brief chapter on hygiene: "Thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink." 1 It is said of this plain, temperate, yet mighty man of God: "The same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey." 2 

"The locust was a fruit, a bean-like pod, with a seed in it similar to the Carob, or husk, on which the prodigal son fed." - Butterworth. 

"Locust, akris, Gr., may either signify the insect called the locust, which still makes a part of the food in the land of Judea, or the top of a plant. Many eminent commentators are of the latter opinion." - Clarke. 

At the very opening of the Christian age, the mission of Jesus is heralded by John, who sets an example of self-denial and temperance. The teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and his holy apostles are in perfect accordance with the proposition that God, in all dispensations of probationary time, tests man just where he tested the innocent pair in Eden. "Take heed to yourselves," said the Son of God, "lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." 3 And the words of Paul, addressed to the Christian church, make proper eating and drinking a matter of grave importance: "Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 4 The apostle argues in another place, that if there were no resurrection of the dead, there would be no future existence, and his laborious and abstemious life would bring him no future reward. He says, "What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die." 5 However much the apostle regarded it important to live temperately in order to a life of usefulness and happiness here, it is evident that he looked forward to the resurrection of the dead for the great reward of self-control. He says, in another place, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 

But many of the professing Christian churches of this day treat this matter as though God had become discouraged in trying to lead men and women to a life of self-denial and self-control, and had changed his plan, no longer testing them upon the point of appetite, as formerly.  

It is a humiliating fact that the moral powers of the majority of those who profess to be true followers of Christ, have become so far weakened by the indulgence of appetite and passion, that the most successful way to move them to acts of benevolence is through appeals to the appetite. Hence the almost universal custom of holding church festivals. These gluttonous feasts strengthen morbid appetite and inflame passion, and in the same degree weaken the moral powers, and benumb the finer sensibilities of the soul. The slave of appetite is moved less by such worthy and stirring considerations as the glories of the eternal world, the reward of philanthropic deeds in this life, and the final righteous retributions of a just God, than he is if treated with roast turkey, oysters, ice-cream, and the like. These charm his soul, and apparently open the closed avenues to his feelings of benevolence and to his purse, - a result which the worthy consideration of heaven, earth, and hell failed to produce. 

If God is now testing professed Christians upon appetite, as he tested Adam and Eve and the Hebrews, then the case, with the exception of a decided minority, is a lost one. With the majority, the moral and intellectual powers are the servants, while the appetite is master. This was the condition of our first parents as they stood in Paradise lost, - the condition of the Hebrews who perished in the wilderness under the wrath of God. And in the light of the Scriptures these modern epicures are not walking in the favor of God any more than were the perishing Hebrews, or Adam and Eve when they coveted the fruit which God had forbidden. 

There are multitudes who are slaves to the expensive, health-destroying, filthy habit of tobacco-using. Ninety-nine out of one hundred of these will acknowledge the evils of the practice. Then why not abandon the use of tobacco? - Simply because the nobler powers are enslaved by appetite. We have not a word of censure for men who call in question the piety of those professed followers of Christ who are controlled by appetite and passion. Such do not truly represent the religion of the Bible. The religion of our Lord Jesus Christ is entirely another thing. The Redeemer of the world was tempted on all points as we are, yet without sin. When tested in the wilderness, he conquered, not on his own account, but for us. And Christians are to overcome as he overcame. That our adorable Redeemer might be able to succor his tempted followers, and help them to overcome, he, in the forty days' fast in the wilderness, endured the keenest pangs of appetite. In him it is possible for the glutton, the drunkard, and the poor inebriate of every stamp, to overcome. With those who are ruled by appetite, and who have not the help of Christ, the work of reform is exceedingly doubtful. And we can hardly conceive of anything more insulting to Heaven, than the profession of the pure religion of the divine Son of God by men whose reason and conscience are ruled by appetite and passion. 


GOD designed that the appetite should be man's servant. When controlled by the moral and intellectual powers, it is one of God's blessed gifts; but when it becomes master, it is a debasing tyrant, crushing out of man that which is noble and God-like. 

We go back in imagination over long ages, until we stand amid the glories of Eden before sin entered, and there we meet the painful fact that one of the weakest points in the character of Adam and Eve, while in all the perfection of manhood and womanhood, was the appetite. Their failure to exercise self-control upon this point - together with their curiosity and ambition - led to their fall. As the consequent moral darkness and downward tendency increased with each successive generation, the reign of appetite became more debasing and supreme. If appetite could move our first parents to an act of base disobedience, what must be its power over men and women of the nineteenth century, in whose physical, mental, and moral nature the taint of the fall still exists, with all the aggravations which have been acquired since Adam and Eve passed out of the gate of Paradise? 

It is true that among the patriarchs and prophets were men who walked with God, and were the masters, not the slaves, of appetite, - like Daniel and his friends, who refused to defile themselves with the king's meat and wine. The apostles treat of Christian temperance in a most pointed manner. The apostle Paul says that "every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things," and then adds, by way of application to the Christian life, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection,

lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 

We live in an age remarkable for Bibles, the Sacred Scriptures now being read in two hundred and fifty-two languages and dialects; and yet there has probably never been a time when the people of Christian lands have been more completely under the rule of appetite. The gospel is preached everywhere. The present is said to be an age of wonderful light and gospel liberty; but unfortunately, the gospel as too often preached in our time hardly touches the appetites and passions of men. And why should it, when so many of the teachers of religion do not feel called upon to renounce wine and tobacco or to restrain appetite? 

Many temperance men, with the waning cause of temperance as it relates to intoxicating drinks on their hands, are feeling that but little can be done in reforming drunkards, or in restraining young men from becoming such, while they indulge in the use of tobacco. The only way to cure men of the love of whisky is to restore the appetite to its natural state. And this can never be done while the common and free use of tobacco, tea, and coffee is continued. The only way to make real temperance men, is to teach the people to abandon all unnatural habits, and to use only those things which God designed for the use of man, and these in their natural state, as far as possible. 

One has only to reflect a moment in order to be overwhelmed with astonishment at the unnatural, expensive, debasing habit of tobacco-using. We need not say that it is a filthy habit. If tobacco-chewers would only swallow that which is so sweet in their mouths, instead of spitting it out to the annoyance of cleaner people, their path would be less offensive; but instead they eject on the street, in public places, and on the cars, that which is extremely odious to all who are not initiated in the disgusting habit. 

The habit is unnatural. Not one lad in a thousand liked tobacco when he first tasted it. And more than this, most boys suffer a terrible sickness, and pass a severe struggle, in taking their first lesson in tobacco-using. Then why do they form a habit so unnatural and disgusting? But one answer can be given: The habit is made respectable by judges, lawyers, ministers, doctors, and men of all ranks, and their influence is pressing our dear boys, with few exceptions, into this terrible vice. And these men, especially those who profess to be Christ's ambassadors, will have to answer for the result of their influence in the final settlement of the Judgment. 

Nine hundred and ninety-nine of every one thousand tobacco inebriates would be glad to rid themselves of the habit; but they have become slaves to appetite, and have not the moral courage to persevere in that self-denial, and pass through that suffering, necessary to master the vice. We are not writing the condition of the few only. It is a painful fact that a majority of the men of our time have surrendered to the debasing rule of the appetite for tobacco. 

"I know it is a filthy, expensive, and hurtful practice," said a minister, "and I would give three hundred dollars to be rid of tobacco; but the habit is formed, and I cannot overcome it." Officers were not wanting in our armies, during the late American war, who could lead their men into the hottest fight without the quiver of a muscle, and yet had not courage enough to break off the habit of tobacco-using. It is the mind that makes the man. Just in proportion as appetite and passion grow strong by excessive indulgence, the intellectual and moral powers are enfeebled. And in the same proportion as the moral and intellectual are strengthened by self-denial, healthy conditions are restored, morbid appetite is dethroned, and the chains fall off from the enslaved victim. 

The restraints of the Sacred Scriptures, and the self-denial especially taught therein, are wanted to save men from the controlling power of appetite. The sentiments

uttered by Christ and his apostles upon this subject are the purest of the pure:- "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself." - Jesus. 

"Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." - Paul.  

"Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." - Peter. 


THE power of perverted appetite has been dwelt upon quite fully in the preceding chapter. Now it remains to be shown how the tyrant may be conquered. For it is possible for the appetite to be brought fully under the control of reason and conscience. The reclaimed drunkard, and those who have been emancipated from the slavery of tobacco, tea, and coffee, may shout greater victories than can the general who leads his troops through the most successful battles. An inspired proverb reads, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city." 1 It may be said with equal truth and force, He that conquers perverted appetite is truly greater than he that conquers armies. 

Difficult as the task may be, a morbid appetite can be restored to a normal condition. As it is by indulgence that appetite gains the mastery, so it is only by rigid abstinence that it can be conquered and made man's servant. As in the one case indulgence is the cause, and the debasing rule of appetite the result; so in the other case abstinence is the redeeming cause, and natural appetite (controlled by reason and conscience), health, and happiness are the glorious result. But the man of strong habits, who undertakes to grapple with and conquer his appetite for fashionable indulgence, may as well understand at the very start that he has a hard battle to fight; and he should count the cost, lay well his plans, and nerve himself for the contest. 

And there is a very important fact which we wish here to state for the encouragement of those who feel the need of reforming in habits of life, and who at the same time dread the difficulties in the way, and the suffering they may have to endure. It is this: Proper

abstinence will soon give them complete victory; and when this is gained, when simple and natural habits have been established, the delights of taste and the pleasures of existence will far exceed the so-called enjoyments found in a gross and unnatural life of hurtful indulgence.   

When the drunkard leaves his cup, he suffers inexpressible physical and mental agony until by continued abstinence and proper habits the fire dies out of his blood and brain, and nature restores order. This accomplished, the reformed inebriate has lost his love for liquor, and feels that he is a man again. It is not to be questioned that the man who satisfies his depraved cravings for whisky, feels a momentary pleasure in indulgence; but the enjoyments of existence, with him whose habits are natural and healthful, are almost infinitely greater than with him who is ruled by morbid appetite, and who surrenders to the momentary pleasure found in its gratification.   

Here are facts of the greatest importance; and they are not only in harmony with natural law, but are sustained by the happy experience of many a reclaimed drunkard. It is difficult to make the drunkard, even in his soberest hours, see and feel the force of these facts. His friends may wish to help him; but he alone must fight the battle with appetite, or he can never enjoy the victory. The higher powers of his mind are benumbed and enfeebled, having been surrendered to the rule of appetite. He, however, decides to make the effort to reform, and abstains from liquor for a few days. He is in agony; and feeling no assurance that, if he perseveres, the period of his suffering will be brief, he is in danger of yielding to the erroneous idea that abstinence dooms him to a life-long period of mental and physical agony. Oh to get across this, to him, impassable gulf! The fields of delight which lie beyond, he cannot now see; but when fairly across, he may shout victory in the midst of the natural and healthful pleasures of an almost new existence. This is one of the greatest triumphs that mortal man can achieve, and one long step toward heaven. Yet such a victory can be won. What has been said in the case of drunkenness is equally true of tobacco inebriety. The appetite for tobacco will continue so long as the tobacco poison remains in the system. When the system has been freed from tobacco by abstinence and hygienic treatment, the appetite will cease. Boys have a natural dislike for tobacco, but this they overcome by its use. When their blood becomes thoroughly poisoned, the collision between nature and tobacco ceases. Completely eradicate tobacco from the human system, restore the taste to a natural and healthful condition, and tobacco will be as offensive to its emancipated slave as to the youth before he took the poison into his blood. 

Let no one try to overcome the appetite for tobacco by the long, tedious, murderous process of "leaving off by degrees." Victory is seldom, if ever, gained in this way. Total abstinence is the only sure course. Hygienic treatment is of great benefit to those who find this a difficult task. In order to obtain a speedy and certain victory, the poison should be taken from the blood as soon as possible. Water treatment will do this at a rapid rate. We have left tobacco invalids packed in the wet sheet forty minutes, and when they were taken out the scent of tobacco so pervaded the room as to be sensible to the taste, and the sheet itself was discolored. 

What has been said about the liquor and the tobacco habit is true, in the main, in the case of those addicted to the use of tea and coffee. Total abstinence is the only remedy. When these habits are overcome, and restoration, so far as possible, to natural conditions takes place, whisky, tobacco, and tea and coffee sicknesses, in their many forms, will cease. For example, there are thousands of women in our country who once drank strong tea to cure the headache, and it did give them temporary relief; but at the same time it laid the foundation for more severe headache. Now they use neither tea nor coffee, and can bear the joyful testimony that when they had by abstinence overcome their desire for tea, their headache also disappeared.   

Those on our side of the question, who have passed through the struggle against the clamors of morbid appetite, and have gained the victory, can appreciate this view of the subject. Those on the other side must pass over to us, and work out their own experience before they can fully understand the matter.   

And right here is where the subject of hygienic reform meets one of its greatest obstacles. It is difficult for those under the control of appetite to see anything in the reform but privation and starvation. They sit down to a hygienic dinner, - without flesh-meats and highly seasoned gravies, - where all the food is, so far as possible, in its natural state, and are disgusted with its tastelessness. They pity us who live upon this diet, and, judging by their own condition of taste, are grieved that we are starving ourselves. But the very dinner they despise, we enjoy with the keenest relish, and do it liberal justice.  

To us who have become accustomed to a simple, unstimulating diet, it would be painful to sit down to a fashionable dinner and partake of highly seasoned flesh-meats. The very spices, salt, vinegar, pepper, mustard, and pickles that would delight a fashionable taste, would be very unwelcome to ours. The great difficulty in this subject is, that those who differ with us cannot understand the matter fully until they have, through their own experience, come all the way over to our side of the question. 

To all hygienic reformers I would say, Live up strictly to the convictions of your own enlightened mind. Be not led into indulgence by the entreaties of friends. Live the reform at home; and when you go abroad, carry it with you. Live it, and at proper times, in proper places, and in a proper manner, talk its principles. Never let the opposition or the kind entreaties of friends, gain ground on you. Ever hold on your way, and by all proper means labor to impress those around you with the importance of the subject. 

A few words to those who are making changes: If you make them all at once, be sure to make a corresponding change in your mental or physical labor. If your circumstances are such that you cannot greatly lessen your labor for a while, or spend a few months at a sanitarium, you should, in matters of diet, make the changes gradually. But do not forget to change. As you prize health and the favor of God here, and a happy existence in his presence in the next world, turn from the violation of natural law. Let it be your study and constant effort to bring your habits of life more and still more into harmony with the laws instituted by the beneficent Author of your being. 


"TO him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." 1 This text presents two grand themes, - overcoming, and the victor's reward. The magnitude and importance of the work of overcoming are measured by the value of the reward presented. The human mind cannot conceive a reward of greater value than that here offered. It is to be exalted to the throne of the Son of God, when he shall reign King of kings and Lord of lords. Christ will then wear his kingly crown, and the overcomer will also wear a crown. Christ will reign, and the overcomer will reign with him. This reign of peace, of exaltation, of glory, in which the overcomer is to participate, will continue throughout the ceaseless rounds of eternal ages. And all this glory is presented to us as an inducement to engage earnestly in the great work of overcoming. 

Christians generally have a very indefinite idea of what it is to overcome, in the sense of the text. With few exceptions, they seem never to think that it has reference to self-control, and especially to the complete control of appetite. Hence, professing Christians eat fashionable viands, smoke, chew, and snuff tobacco, drink tea and coffee, become gluttons and drunkards, and thus defile the temple of God, 2 simply to gratify depraved appetite. And many of these Christians, doubtless, regard the work of overcoming as very nearly summed up in mastering their embarrassment in speaking and praying in public, and saying grace over their fashionable tables. God pity them! 

The text, however, gives a definite idea, in plainest terms, of what it is to overcome, - "even as I also overcame." Men and women are to overcome as Christ overcame. When we are able to comprehend the temptations and victories of the Son of God, we shall have a definite idea of what it is to overcome. The subject of Christ's overcoming may be discussed under three propositions:- 

1. The Son of God did not overcome on his own account. He was not a sinner. He "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." The divine Son of God was so far a partaker of our nature as to feel our woes and suffer for our sins, yet in him was no sin, and his overcoming was not for himself. 

2. The work of overcoming on the part of the Son of God was on account of our sins. The temptations he suffered and the victories he gained, were to enable him to succor mortal men and women suffering under the weakness of the flesh, and beset with strong temptations. The apostle speaks definitely on this point: "For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." "Wherefore in all things it behooved 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 succor them that are tempted." "For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." 1 The divine Redeemer was subjected to the fiercest temptations, passed through the most fearful struggles, and gained victories the most glorious, that he might redeem man from the ruin of the fall, the weaknesses of the flesh, and the temptations of the devil. 

3. As the Captain of our salvation, Christ has led the way in the work of overcoming. And in order that he might succor the tempted, he has been tempted in all points as we are. This was not for his own benefit, but for our good. Therefore our temptations are, in kind, just what the Son of God endured; and the victories which we must gain in overcoming, are, in kind, just what the Son of God experienced when he overcame. This proposition is most fully sustained by the clause, "as I also overcame," found in our text. Having clearly before the mind the idea that the divine Redeemer, as the Captain of our salvation, has led the way, subjecting himself to the very temptations and self-denial which his followers must experience in order to be redeemed by his blood, let us consider the temptations of the Son of God, and the circumstances under which he overcame.  

Immediately after his baptism in Jordan, "Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil." 1 The record of another evangelist reads, "Immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan, and was with the wild beasts." 2 Another evangelist gives the facts of the temptations of Christ in still another form, "Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing."   

The Holy Spirit led the Son of God into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. This was a part of the great plan necessary to the salvation of sinners. The temptation must occur as truly as the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension, or the second advent. The crucifixion of Christ and his intercession for sinners are subjects of very common and popular discussion in the pulpit and by the religious press; but the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, though holding an important place in the great plan, is passed over as having little more significance than if it were an accidental occurrence, - as if Christ chanced to be in the wilderness just then, and Satan seized upon the opportunity to annoy him. But mark well the strong expression of Luke: "Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness."  

There in the wilderness, wild, barren, and dreary, the Son of God endured the first of the three great temptations that represent the leading temptations to which the fallen race is exposed. For want of space, I can here dwell only on this first temptation, which relates to appetite. Satan urged Christ to work a miracle by changing stone to bread to satisfy the pangs of hunger after the fast of forty days. Christ resisted the temptation. The Saviour's long fast, the temptations under the peculiar circumstances, and the victory gained, were not only a part of the great plan by which Christ became the Redeemer of the lost race, but they were designed to present an example full of encouragement to those who have still to struggle against the power of appetite.   

The grandest thought in all the range of revealed theology is, that Christ in his life on earth was tempted on all points as mortal men are, in order that he might be "able to succor them that are tempted." In that long fast in the wilderness, our Saviour endured the keenest pangs of hunger, in order to save sinners lost by indulgence of appetite, - that his arm might reach to the depths of wretchedness and weakness, even of the poor glutton and the miserable drunkard. 

The Redeemer, both divine and human, as an overcomer in our behalf, stood in the very position where Adam's failure plunged the race into ruin. Christ endured the very test under which Adam failed. He took hold of redemption just where the ruin began, and succeeded in carrying out the plan. 

The subject is truly grand. At thought of these things, there kindles in the soul the most ardent love, and the deepest reverence for our all-conquering King. He overcame on our account. He leads the way in suffering, mental agony, victory, and triumph, and bids us follow in self-denial and everlasting glory. We hear from him by way of Patmos, saying, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." 

Mark well these vital points on this subject:- 

1. Christ did not overcome on his own account, but for us. 

2. His temptations and victories were to enable him to succor his tempted people. Therefore, - 

3. His temptations were in kind just what his people must meet and overcome. 

The victory of our triumphant Head over the most subtle temptations during his forty days' fast, and the glorious promise of reigning with him in his throne, on condition that we overcome as he overcame, establish the fact that one of the highest attainments in the Christian life is to control appetite, and that, without this victory, all hope of heaven is vain. 

Is there suffering and self-denial in the work of overcoming? The Christian will joyfully welcome these, in view of heir-ship to the eternal throne and the crown of glory. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1


1890 JW, BHY 186-206