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LECTURE XXXVII.

St. MATTHEW xvii. 1, 2. After six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James

and John, his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

We come now to a very wonderful and astonishing thing in the life of our blessed Saviour-I mean, his transfiguration, or the change of his bodily appearance for a short time in the presence of three of his disciples. I beseech you to pay the greatest attention to the account, and to all that I shall say about it. And may God give you grace so to listen to this and all other parts of Scripture, that you may learn so to live, as to inherit, through the merits of Jesus Christ, the glorious kingdom of Heaven.

A certain time had passed after our Lord's conversation with his disciples, of which I told you in my last Lecture, six days we are informed when the blessed Jesus took three of his disciples, Peter, James, and John to the top of a very high mountain, in order that they may be witnesses of his glory. And suddenly, while he was with them, his body began to put on a different appearance. It became very glorious. His face had the heavenly brightness of the sun. His raiment became splendid, and exceedingly wbite, so white as to surpass every whiteness, which his disciples had seen before. How glorious, how exceedingly bright and splendid must the Lord of life and light now have looked. To add to the wonders of the scene, Moses and Elias were also seen by the disciples talking with Jesus. Moses was the great captain and law-giver of the Jews—the man, through whom, God delivered the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt. He was a very great, and a very good man. God talked with him out of a bright cloud, as a man would talk with his friend. He led the Israelites on through the Red sea, and through the wilderness, he gave them laws from Heaven, which laws are contained in the ten commandments. He led them as far as the promised land, but was not permitted to enter it with them. It pleased God to take him to himself, in a good old age, in which he had been so blessed, that, as we are told, his eye was not dim, nor was his natural force abated. The Lord took him up and shewed him all the good land, which he was about to give to the children of Israel, and said to him: this is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it to thy seed: I have caused thee to see it witb thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses, the servant of the Lord, as the Bible tells us, died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. This happened about fourteen hundred years before our Saviour came upon earth.

Elias or Elijah was a great prophet, who lived about six hundred years after the death of Moses. He had a great zeal for the Lord, and was a great enemy to wickedness and sin, whether in king or people. It pleased God 'to take this holy man to himself in Heaven in a way different from that by which others go up to Heaven. He did not pass through the grave. We read in the Bible, that this holy man was talking one day with his favourite disciple, Elisha, and that it came to pass, that, while they were talking, talking we are told about holy things, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into Heaven. This

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happened about nine hundred years before our Saviour came on earth.

These two holy men, Elias and Moses, left their seats in Heaven, and came and talked with the blessed Jesus. They talked with him, we are told, about his death, which was to be the salvation of the world--that death which he died, that man might live, that you and I, and all sinners may be saved from our sins, and not be punished everlastingly for them. No wonder, Peter should be so delighted with the glories of this scene, as to cry out to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. He felt so happy, that he could have lived there for ever. But it was not ordered so.. For while he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them all; and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.

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