John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
I. HIS QUALIFICATIONS for his ministry. "He was in the deserts," etc. He was a meditative man. This love of retirement into nature's places of impressive solitude is good for the soul. The fountains of thought and religious feeling are best filled thus. The best poems, speeches, sermons, are born under such condition, s. John possessed another good qualification for his ministry in the simplicity of his tastes and habits. "A man who has no wants," says Burke, "has obtained great freedom and firmness, and even dignity."
II. The DOCTRINE of his ministry. He proclaimed the need of repentance. Where one man objects to the preaching of searching truth, ten will approve it. Confession of sins is humbling but salutary. He told them of Christ who was about to come and complete his imperfect work. Without Christ repentance is superficial.
III. The CHARACTERISTICS of his ministry. From its extraordinary effect, that mysterious influence of the Spirit, which gives the unction characteristic of all mighty preachers, must have distinguished John's ministry. The tones of the Holy Christ, with which he was filled from his mother's womb, were heard in his preaching. Joined to this supreme quality of the preacher, John had other qualities of a remarkable kind. He was a direct preacher. He was a plain and faithful preacher. He magnified Christ to the forgetfulness of himself.
(A. H. Currier.)
Parallel VersesKJV: John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.