« PreviousContinue »
and his face did shine as the son, and his raiment was white as the light.
And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
But Peter, and they that were with him, were Heavy with sleep; and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
Then spake Peter, and said unto Jesus, LORD, it is good for us to be here : if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles ; one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say, for they were sore afraid.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud over. shadowed them: and behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were sore afraid.
And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, anal be not afraid. And when they had lift up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead.
And they kept that saying with themselves, ques. tioni:g one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.
And his disciples asked him saying, Why then say the Scribes, that Elias must first come?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things: But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and
they they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they lifted : likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them.
Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. • Our Lord having told his disciples that the Son of Man should shortly come in his kingdom, his transfiguration seems to have been intended as an earnest of that glory with which he was finally to appear.
Peter, James, and John, were the three disciples whom our Lorp honoured with his particular intimacy; these he made witnesses of the most extraordinary circumstances that happened to him during his abode on earth, that they might produce them afterwards as testimonies of the truth of the Gospel; and, in the mean time, might not be discouraged by his deep debasement.
Peter, James, and John, were either wearied with the labours of the preceding day and intense devotion on the mountain, or their senses were miraculously overpowered, that they might not hear the whole of the discourse, which perhaps related to things not proper to be revealed to them at that carly period; but the splendour which shone from our LORD soon awakened them, and they beheld with astonishment the wonderful altera. tion in his appearance, and the two men who were con., versing with him, whom by their.conversation, they found. to be Moses and Elijah. Moses certainly was a very pro. per judge of this transfiguration, having so frequently brheld the GLORY of the Lord, that it was a familiar, object to him: and the Jews had great respect for the memory of Elijah also, therefore they would not suppose
he would come to hold conference with an impostor, The proposal which Peter made to erect three tabernacles, seems to have been the effect of his great surprise, and was such a scheme as would have answered no purpose.
The cloud which overshadowed them is supposed to have been like that.which was always considered as a symbol of the DivINE Presence, designed, as we may conclude, to moderate the resplendent brightness of our SAVIOURS who dazzled their eyes like lightning. The terror which seized the disciples at the descent of this cloud was very natural; for it must have been extremely solemn to behold it, and still more so to hear the awful voice of God speaking from the midst of it. They now could have no doubts that Jesus was actually the Prophet whom Moses had foretold, since they had received the command of God himself to hearken to him, and must be fully convinced, that what our LORD had asserted concerning his being the Son of God, was true, since God had expressly confirmed it by this de. claration.
When our Lord beheld his Apostles prostrate on the ground, overcome with fear and reverence, he kindly touched them, and with his gracious words inspired strength and fortitude into their minds. When they lifted up their eyes, they found that Moses and Elijah were gone : it is likely that these two glorified person. agés retired when the divine voice spake from the cloud, that the Apostles might make no mistake concerning the person who was acknowledged to be the Son of God. Our Lord commanded his Apostles to keep this matter secret till after he should be risen from the dead, lest it should be received as an idle dream, or incredible ta e, invented by them to delude others. Though their divine Master had repeatedly told them he shouid rise from the dead, they could scarcely persuade
themselves to take his words in a literal sense ; however they resolved to be silent in respect to what they had seen and heard, and wait the event.
As the three Apostles had now no doubt of Christ's being the Messiah, they took this opportunity of making enquiry concerning a scruple which lay on their minds respecting Elijah; wishing to know, whether the appearance of that Prophet, on the present occasion, fulfilled the prediction concerning his coming? Our SAVIOUR informed them, that the Prophet who was to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, to prepare the hearts of the people for the coming of the Messiah, had already performed his office; and the Jews, who pretended so eagerly to expect him, had treated him in the most arbitrary and cruel manner, without any regard to piety, justice, and humanity, and that in this manner would they act towards the Son of Man. The Apostles, from this explanation, clearly understood, that he spake to them of John the Baptist as the Elias who was to come.
From the appearance of Moses and Elijah on this solemn occasion, we may be certain that there is an intermediate state betwixt death and the day of judgment,
Let the history of this astonishing transaction make a lasting impression on our minds ; let us receive it as a testimony of our Saviour's divinity, and as an earnest of his coming in glory at the end of the world. In the mean time, let us obey his laws, and pray for his grace, that we may be received amongst his faithful servants into the kingdom of heaven!
THE CURE OF THE DEMONIAC.
From Mark, Chap.ix.-Mattberv, xvii.
) multitude about them, and the Scribes questioning with them.
And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him, saluted him. And he asked the Scribes, What question ye with them?
And one of the multitude, kneeling down, answered and said, I have brought unto thee my son who hath a dumb spirit.
And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him; and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away; and I spake to thy disciples, that they should .cast him out, and they could not,
But if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
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 to me.
And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming.
And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
Jesus said anto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that beliereth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out and said with tears, LORD, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him; and he was as one dead ; insomuch that
i many said, he is dead.