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derstand these similar expressions as relating to the same great event ? Le * But did Christ then mean to say here that some of his disciples should live till the day of judgment ? Most assuredly not. He meant only to intimate that a few of them should, before their death, be favoured with a representation of the glorious appearance of Christ and his saints on that awful day. And this illustrious scene was actually displayed to three of them, about six days after, in the transfiguration on the mountain. Indeed St. Peter himself, who was present at the transfiguration, plainly alludes to it, in a manner which powerfully confirms this opinion. “We have not,” says he, “ followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power
and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." That · is, our Lord's coming in his kingdom with
power, and glory, and majesty, to judge the world. And how does St. Peter here prove that he will so come? Why, by declaring that he and the two other disciples, James and John, were eye-witnesses of his majesty; that is, they actually saw him on the mount, invested with majesty and glory similar to that which he
would assume in his kingdom at the last day. “ For,” continues the apostle, “ he received from God the Father, honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; and this voice, which came from heaven, we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount *.” . This is St. Peter's own comment on the transfiguration, in which he expressly compares Christ's glory and majesty on the mount to; that, which he will display in his final advent; and considers the former as an emblem, an earnest, and a proof of the latter.
It is then evident, I think, from the foregoing observations, that the scene upon the mountain was a symbolical representation of Christ's coming in glory to judge the world, and of the rewards which shall then be given to the righteous, topics which had been touched upon in Christ's discourse with his disciples six days before: and that one great object of this expressive action, as well as of that conversation, was to reconcile the minds of his çlisciples to the sufferings which both he and 16 Forside * 2 Pet. i. 16, 17, 18. E2
they were to undergo, by shewing that they were preparatory and subservient to his future glory, and their future rewards." ! J
The other great purpose of the action on the mount was, I apprehend, to signify, in a figurative manner, the cessation of the Jewish, and the commencement of the Christian dist pensation.
It appears to have been one prevailing prejudice among the disciples, that the whole Mosaical law, the ceremonial as well as the moral, was to continue in full force under the Gospel; and that the authority of Moses and the prophets was not, in any respect, to give way on the establishment of Christianity, but to be placed on an equal footing with that of Christ.
To correct this érroneous opinion, no less than to vanquish their prepossessions against the sufferings of Christ, (as already explained) was the scene of the transfiguration presented to the three chosen disciples, Peter, James, and John.
There are several remarkable circumstances attending that event, which lead us to this
Moses and Elias must certainly be allowed to be very natural and proper representatives of the law and the prophets.
When the three disciples saw these illustrious persons conversing familiarly with Jesus, it probably confirmed them in their opinion, that they were to be considered as of equal dignity and authority with him; and under this impression, Peter immediately addressed himself to Jesus, and said, “ Lord, it is good for us to be here; and if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” The full meaning of which exclamation was,“ What greater happiness, Lord, can we experience than to continue here in the presence of three such great and excellent persons! Here then let us for ever remain! Here let us erect three tents, for thee, for Moses, and Elias, that you may all make this the constant place of your abode, and that we may always continue under the protection and government, and UNITED EMPIRE of our three illustrious lords and masters, whose sovereign Jaws and, commands we are equally bound to obey!"
The answer to this extraordinary proposal was instantly given, both by action and by words. “While he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, this is my be loved Son, in whom I am wel} pleased : HEAR YE HIM.** . .
The cloud is the well-known token of the divine presence under the law: many instances of it occur in the Old Testament, but more particularly at the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. · On the mountain where our Saviour ‘was transfigured, a new law was declared to have taken place; and therefore God again appears in a cloud. But there is one remarkable difference between these two manifestations of the divine presence. On Mount Sinai the cloud was dark and thick: «and there were thunders and lightnings, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, and all the people that were in the camp trembled *.” At the transfiguration, on the contrary, the cloud was bright, the whole scene was luminous and transporting, and nothing was heard but the mild paternal voice of the Almighty expressing y Exod. xix. 16.