And there went out to him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan…
Notice, the man of the crowd goes to the man of the desert. The publican, the soldier, even the Pharisee. Strange attraction this, yet recurrent. He who knows most of himself, he who has learned himself in solitude, will know most of others. It has ever been thus. The world has gone to the cloister, not the cloister to the world; the city finds solace in the desert, never the desert in the city. A few years ago, all Paris flocked to the Cure d' Ars an obscure provincial priest, without much learning or preaching power either, but they found in him the fresh springs of comfort, the word of prophecy, the call to repentance, which in every soul's solitude is the cry most certain to pierce.
(H. R. Haweis, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.