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have been vouchsafed to ourselves.
or sufferings on more occasions than one. Perhaps there was something in their condition, or character, or their future employment in the church, which formed the ground of this choice; but this is not a point which we are concerned to ascertain, and it is sufficient for us to resolve the fact into the wisdom and will of the Saviour. These disciples were present, when others were excluded, at the raising of Jairus' daughter (Mark v. 37); and they were the selected witnesses of our Saviour's agony in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark xiv. 33.) Was it not one proof of the wisdom and goodness of their divine master, that they were prepared for the more humiliating and painful scene, by a peculiar exhibition of his power and glory previously displayed? And have we not abundant reason to hope, if we are the true disciples of Christ, that "as our day so shall our strength be"-that if heavy trials are before us, the Lord will mercifully prepare us for them, and support us under their pressure?-And bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.-It is the privilege of all Christ's disciples, to retire and to ascend spiritually, in the company of their Lord and Master. This event, as was likely, made a deep impression on the minds of the favoured disciples; it is mentioned by St. John in his Gospel, chap. i. 14; and by St. Peter in his second epistle, chap. i. 16, 17. Let us thankfully remember spiritual favours, and devoutly meditate upon those manifesta
And was transfigured before them. -The Lord Jesus had condescended to shroud and conceal his divine glory beneath the veil of human nature; but he was now pleased to cause the divinity to shine through that veil, and to cover it with heavenly splendour. Doubtless, the radiant form which he now assumed was, in some respects, if not entirely, the same as that glorious body which he now wears, and to which the bodies of his saints will be, in their measure, conformed after the resurrection. See 1 John iii. 2.We are not to expect, during our earthly pilgrimage, any display of the Redeemer's glory, such as that which is here recorded; but let us remember that the prayer of the gospel exhibits that glory which is of the deepest importance to us, and that we are invited, at once for our comfort and our benefit, to behold there the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And in the transfiguration of our blessed Saviour on the mount we may behold a striking image of the transformation of our own minds by the power of the Holy Spirit now, as well as a pattern of the glorification of our whole nature hereafter. "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds," says the apostle,-and the word "transformed" in the original is the same as that which is rendered "transfigured" in the verse before us. May we, by divine grace, be thus transformed more and more into the likeness of our adorable tions of a Saviour's glory which Redeemer,-"changed into the same
And behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.Moses and Elijah, two eminent servants of God,—the history of whose lives, in several passages, bears a remarkable likeness to that of our blessed Lord himself,-appear now as the companions of Christ in glory; reminding us that they who cheerfully endure labour, suffering, and reproach for his sake, will be abundantly rewarded, and made more than conquerors through him that loved them. Here is a most encouraging earnest of the honour which will hereafter be put upon even the bodies of Christ's believing people. It may be remembered that the body of Moses was not found after his death; and that Elijah was translated without dying. But the bodies, as well as the souls, of both were in the hands of God; and here we have a proof that God can give the same glory to those who die, and to those who do not die, before the coming of their Lord.-In Moses and Elias we see a representation of the Law and the Prophets waiting upon Christ, and doing him homage. The institutions of the Law, and the predictions of the Prophets, pointed to him, and received their accomplishment in his person and his work. It is in talking with Christ, and talking of him, that they are supremely entitled to our regard. They talked with him on this occasion, as St. Luke informs us, concerning his decease
image, from glory to glory, even as salem; doubtless in a very different by the Spirit of our God." strain from that which had lately been adopted by St. Peter on the same subject, and perhaps encouraging the man Christ Jesus, and strengthening him, in that holy resolution which he had expressed in reply to the apostle's offensive observation. It was thus also that, after the temptation in the wilderness, angels came and ministered unto him. This decease was indeed the great "accomplishment " or fulfilment of Jewish types and prophecies. See Luke xxiv. 44-48.— Observe, in the company present on the mount, as described in this short verse, a beautiful picture or compendium of the universal church in its head and members;- Christ himself,-his glorified saints,—and his believing disciples upon earth;— the church under the Law and the church under the Gospel ;-the church militant, and the church triumphant.
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus,-not unto the saints, even though visibly present,-not imagining that he required their mediation, although Christ was revealed in glory before him,-but, with the simple confidence of true Christian faith, addressing Jesus himself;and hereby reminding us that prayer ascends to the throne of grace as directly from the heart of a believer on earth as from that of a saint in glory-Lord, it is good for us to be here. It is indeed good for us to be wherever Christ is pleased to reveal himself in his majesty and goodness,
which he should accomplish at Jeru- in the assemblies of his people
on his own holy day,-in the appointed act of solemn commemoration at his holy table-in the study of his word,—in retirement, meditation, and prayer.-If thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, &c.But such was not the will of Christ; and Peter knew not what he said when he made this proposal. Christ himself, as man and mediator, had yet to be made perfect through sufferings; and the apostles were to be partakers of those sufferings.-Let us say, in the spirit of meek submission to the will of God "all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come."-It is not intended that we should pitch our tents even upon the mount of religious ordinances, while we are here on earth. But the day is coming in which it will be said, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men." While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them,-a cloud or body of light, the well known symbol of the divine presence, spread itself over them and around them"the excellent glory." We read of some dark clouds in which God appeared during the former dispensation;-but in this mass of pure refulgence we find an apt emblem of gospel light, and liberty, and joy. -And behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, in confirmation of that which had already been declared at our Saviour's baptism, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, -or, according to the force of the term in the original, In whom I have been and still am well pleased. This is He in whom I took pleasure while
the Law and the Prophets were in force, and in whom I delight now that their office is at an end. Hear ye him. How solemn a recognition of the authority of the Son as superior to that of the servants! May we have grace to hear him speaking to us in his word, by his providence, in our conscience, and by his Spirit through whatever medium he may be pleased to employ.-See Deut. xviii. 15, 19.
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face and were sore afraid.
-This was the case with the prophet Daniel (see Dan. x. 4-9,) and with St. John again upon a subsequent occasion, (Rev. i. 17.) How can weak and sinful man be admitted to the presence of God and live? Consider the Mediator;-Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise and be not afraid. Neither his own glory, nor the glory of the Father, is really formidable to his believing people. -"Hear ye him," said the voice from the excellent glory; and what was the first word which his disciples afterwards heard from his gracious lips? It was a word of comfort and encouragement! Be not afraid.-Christ is compassionate, not only in his humiliation, but also in his state of exaltation. How delightful to witness this exercise of tender kindness towards his disciples, in connection with so bright a manifestation of his glory! It was even on the mount of transfiguration, that he approached his trembling disciples,-and touched them-just as he had touched many of the afflicted sons of men while he was walking about the earth in his more lowly form,-and said, Arise,
and be not afraid. See Luke i. 74, Yet still our elevated eyes 75.
And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
To nobler visions long to rise;
That great assembly would we join
-But his presence was abundantly That mount how bright; those forms how
sufficient to compensate for the loss of all besides. He will "never leave nor forsake" his believing people. Heb. xiii. 5, 6.
Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. A striking instance of the neglect and abuse of the means of grace! It is indeed an awful thing to do what we list to the messages and messengers of God, instead of suffering them to work upon us that which God wills and for which
he sends them. That which God wills tends to our sanctification and happiness; when our will prevails against his, our ruin is complete. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." See also 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16.—Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them-Even the Son himself was cast out of the Jewish vineyard by the wicked husbandmen. God has now given-let out-that vineyard to other husbandmen. May we render him the fruits of the vineyard in due season!
Away ye dreams of mortal joy!
I see the king of glory shine,
And feel his love and call him mine!
Thus on the mount his servant viewed
Come death the envoy of my God,
And bear me to that blest abode!
CHAP. XVII. 14—27.
Christ healeth the lunatic; foretelleth his own passion, amd payeth tribute.
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples him, Then are the children. to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief; for verily I say unto you, 'If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto
p Mark ix. 14. Luke ix. 37.- q ch. xxi. 21. Mark xi.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth 23. Luke xvii. 6. 1 Cor. xii. 9; & xiii. 2.—r ch. xvi. 21.
& xx. 17. Mark viii. 31; & ix. 30. 31; & x. 33. Luke ix. 22. 44; & xviii. 31 ; & xxiv. 6. 7.-8 Mark ix. 33.-1 Called in the original, didrachma, being in value fifteenpence: See Ex. xxx. 13; & xxxviii. 26.-1 Or, a stuter. It is half an ounce of silver, in value 2s. 6d. after 5s. the ounce.
not out but by prayer and fasting.
27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
22 ¶ And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men :
23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were were exceeding sorry. 24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
25 He saith, Yes. And
tribute? of their own children,
Reader.-The narrative of the heal
ing of the lunatic,—a youth troubled with epileptic fits under the influence of demoniacal possession,-is recorded
by St. Mark (ix. 14-29) and St. Luke (ix. 37-43), with the addition of a few particulars not mentioned by St. Matthew. This case of disease was one of peculiar obstinacy and extent; the child had been afflicted from his birth; and he was deaf and violent attacks by which his life was dumb, besides being subject to those endangered, and which were in every respect truly distressing to his friends. During the absence of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, this child was brought to his disciples for a cure ; but it appears that they were alarmed at the grievous nature of the malady, yond the reach of remedy. They and hastily concluded that it was be
doubted, if not concerning the power of God, yet concerning the extent of their Lord's promise and commission.