368 THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
In the pursuit of his mission he had the prospect before him of being often thrown among strangers hostile to his faith; and his immediate necessities, after his forty days' fast, gave intensity to the temptation and suggested its concrete form. It came in the words: " If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Jesus understood the vision, not only as pertaining to his present necessities, but, in its broader sense, as a temptation to the exercise of his power for selfish personal ends, for the promotion of his individual ease and comfort.
It was then that his objective power of reason asserted itself, and he refused to allow his subjective mind to usurp control. He knew that his mission on earth could not be promoted by the employment of his subjective powers for the purpose of ministering to his own selfish wants. Therefore he spurned a temptation which, if yielded to, would weaken the altruistic sentiment which was regnant in him.
His next temptation followed the first in deductive logical sequence. It came in the form of a symbolical vision, in which he saw himself placed upon a pinnacle of the temple, and a voice said : "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down : for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee : and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." This suggestion was a sequence to the other, for it was as much as to say : " If you wish to heal the sick, exhibit your power in public, where all men can see and know that you have the power to preserve your own life. Then will you receive the plaudits of the multitude, and their faith in you will be made strong."
His answer to this, " Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God," conveys, in one brief sentence, a valuable and important lesson pertaining to the exercise of subjective power, a lesson the importance of which, in its application to the science of mental therapeutics, cannot be overestimated. In its general sense it means that subjective power should never be exercised for purposes of mere display. The tempter appealed to his love of approbation, his pride of