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JESUS was now a man; and the time was come for Him to make Himself known as the Saviour of men. He was now to begin the work which He came down from heaven to do. John was to prepare the hearts of the people of Israel for the coming of the Saviour.

John lived in the desert to prepare himself for his wonderful work, until God commanded him to begin preaching. He then went towards the river Jordan. His coat was made of camel's hair, and he had a leathern girdle round his loins. He lived upon locusts and wild honey, which he found in the desert. The clear stream, which reflected the face of heaven, quenched his thirst. John began to preach to the people, saying, "Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at

hand." When the people heard him, many of them confessed their sins. They were sorry for their wicked lives, and promised to be better. John then baptised them in the river Jordan.

This preaching of John was talked about all over the country; so that the people came flocking from all parts of Judea to hear him; a great many confessed their wickedness, and were baptised.

Among these crowds of people the Baptist saw some who did not repent. John knew that they were hypocrites, and he said to them, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones


preaching of St. John Baptist, that they thought he was the Messiah; but he confessed before all, "I am not the Christ. I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance; but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."


WHILST the people were going in crowds to John, Jesus came from Galilee to the river Jordan, to be baptised by him. John knew who He was, and he felt that he was not worthy to baptise his Saviour,


and he said, "I have need to be baptised of Thee, and comest Thou to me?" But Jesus replied, "Suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." John then baptised Jesus in the river Jordan.

When Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened, and the voice of God the Eternal Father was heard saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And that all the people might know that it was Jesus who was meant, the Holy Spirit came down upon Him in the form of a dove.

Thus did God declare that Jesus Christ was His Son; and that He had sent Him on His mission.


After this, the Holy Ghost led our Saviour into the lonely wilderness. In this solitary place He spent forty days, fasting and praying. All this time He

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