תמונות בעמוד

entered into the cloud. And, behold, there came 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 when the voice was past, Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And suddenly when they had lift up their eyes, and had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves. 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, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen, yet, questioning 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 he answered and told them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is indeed already come, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him : likewise shall also the Son of man suffer many things of them, and be set at nought, as it is written of him. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

How glorious and delightful was this view of our blessed Redeemer, which the apostles had, when he was transfigured before them, clothed, as were, with the Divine Shekinah and shining with a lustre like that of the sun! How pleasing and how edifying must it be to them, to see with him Moses and Elijah, those two eminent saints, who had so many ages ago quitted our world, but whose names they had often read in the sacred records with wonder and reverence !

Well might Peter say, It is good for us to be here. Well might he be contented to resign his entertainments and his hopes elsewhere, that they might prolong these delightful moments, feasting their eyes with these Divine visions, and their minds with these more than human discourses. Nor can we wonder that the scene, transitory as it was, left so abiding a savour on his spirits, that in an epistle which he wrote many years after, and but a little before his death, he should single this story from a thousand others to attest it as he does, and to argue from it. (Compare 2 Peter i. 16– 18.) But oh! how much more desirable is it to stand upon mount Zion, and to behold those brighter glories, which our Jesus wears in the heavenly regions ! To behold, not merely Moses and Elijah, but all the prophets, the apostles, and martyrs, and, in a word, all the saints of God in every age, whether to us personally known or unknown, surrounding him in a radiant circle ; and not only to behold them, but to converse with them. Lord, it is good for us to be there, in our desires at least, and in our meditations, till thou pleasest to call us to that happy world, and to take us thither, where no drowsiness will cloud our eyes, where no hurry will discompose our thoughts; but where the perfection of holiness and of love, shall cast out every degree of terror, as well as of sorrow.

In the mean time let us reverently attend to that Saviour who appeared in this majestic form, and who comes recommended to us with so many testimonials of his Divine authority. He was again declared by a voice from heaven to be the beloved Son of God: as such let us hear him, receiving all his revelations with the assurance of faith, and all his commands with the obedience of love. If these sentiments govern our hearts and our lives, the thoughts of that departure from this world, which we are shortly to accomplish, will be no grief or terror to our souls. Like our blessed Muster, we may connect the views of it, and intermix discourse upon it, with the most delightful enjoyments and converse; nay, it will serve to render them yet more pleasing. For who would not long to be made conformable to Christ, even in his sufferings and death, if it may be a means of transforming us into the resemblance of his glories !

SECTION IX. Matt. XVII. 14—21. MARK IX. 14-29. Luke 1x.

37–43. And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him. And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great 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, behold, one of the multitude came to him, kneeling down to him, and cried out, saying, Master, I have brought thee my son. Lord, I beseech thee, have mercy on my son: for he is mine only child. He is lunatic, and sore vexed, and hath a dumb spirit. And, lg, a spirit taketh him, and wheresoever the spirit taketh him he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him, that he foameth again, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away; and bruising him hardly departeth from him. And I brought him to thy disciples, and besought them to cast him out, and they could not. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you ? how long shall I suffer you? Bring thy son hither unto me. And they brought him unto him. And as he was yet a coming, when he saw him, straightway the devil threw him down, and 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. And often times it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 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 unclean 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 many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and be arose. And the child was cured from that very hour; and he delivered him again to his father. And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God.

And when he was come into the house, then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustardseed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out, but by prayer and fasting.

The invidious opposition, which these Scribes and Pharisees made to our Lord, and the ill-natured joy they expressed, in what they imagined would disgrace his disciples, appears exceedingly odious; and it shews us the fatal effects of ambition, pride, and avarice, when they possess the hearts of those who should be (as these by their office were) teachers of others. Such qualities render those in the number of the most dangerous enemies of mankind, who ought to be its most affectionate friends and most useful benefactors. May the light of the gospel break in on their souls, and form them to a better temper!

The solicitous concern of this parent when he saw his child under such sad symptoms of disorder, may surely remind persons in that relation, of the sentiments, with which they should view those of their children who are, in a spiritual sense, under the power of Satan ; and of the importunity, with which they should entreat that the hand of Christ may be stretched out for their rescue.

A lively exercise of faith is greatly to be desired in this and all other applications of this nature. But alas, how often do we find the remainders of a contrary principle! In how many instances does that passionate exclamation of the father in this story suit us! Lord, we believe, help thou our unbelief! How difficult is it, in the midst of so much guilt and weakness, of so much perplexity and unworthiness, to. believe the promises of forgiveness and preservation, of grace and glory? yet we may humbly hope that He, who by his grace has wrought the Divine principle in our souls, will maintain it there. Only let it be our concern to oppose those corruptions which would enervate and suppress it. Perhaps there are some of them, which will not be driven out, but by prayer and fasting, by deep humiliation, and more than ordinary solemnity and intenseness of devotion. But surely they have little regard to the peace and security of their souls, who can allot only a few hasty moments to them, when they have whole hours and days to bestow, not only on the labours, but even on the amusements of life !

SECTION X. Matt. xvII. 22-27. MARK 1X. 30–32. Luke 1x.

43-45. JOHN VII. 1. And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him: and he would not that any man should know it. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, Jesus taught his disciples and said unto them, while they abode in Galilee, Let these sayings sink down into your ears : For the Son of man shall be betrayed and delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him, and after that he is killed, he shall rise again the third day. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they were exceeding sorry; and were afraid to ask him of that saying.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your Master pay tribute ? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute ? of their own children, or of strangers ? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 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.

How slow and untractable were the minds of the apostles, who understood not these plain things when thus inculcated again and again! But, on the other hand, how much integrity does it shew in the historian, to record what seemed so little to the honour of himself and his brethren ! In this respect, and many others, surely credit rises to the gospel, even by occasion of the infirmities of those to whom it was

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