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A Voice from Heaven declares him to be the Son of GOD. Sect. 90. them mayest lodge here in a more convenient
M anner. This was indeed a wild Kind of Mark IX. 6. For he Mark IX. 6. 5. 6. Proposal, ill suiting the State of these glorified wil
wift not (LUK. what he said,
or] what to say, for they Spirits, or the Subject of their late Discourse : But were sore afraid. [LUKÁ it is the less to be wondered at, considering the IX.-33.] great Surprize in which Peter was; for he knew not what be faid, [or] jould say; for such was the Effect it had on him, and the Two other Disciples then present with him, that they were vastly terrified at the Majesty of this unparallelled Sight, which broke out upon them at once in so
unexpected a Manner. Luke IX. And as he was speaking thus, behold, there came . Luke IX. 34. While he 34. a bright Cloud, which in a most surprizing Man- came a bright Cloud, and
thus spake, [behold,] there ner spread itself over the Top of the Mountain, overshadowed them and and overshadowed them all. And they feared, and they feared, as they entred were seized with a Kind of religious Horror, when i
into the Cloud. [M A T.
XVII. 5. — MARK IX. they entered into the Cloud, and saw it diffused on 7.21 35 every Side of them. And behold, an ever-me- 35 And [behold,] there morable Circumstance then happened ; for there came a Voice cut of the
Cloud, [which faid,] This is came a most awful Voice out of the Cloud, as the my beloved Son, sin whom sacred Symbol of God's immediate Presence, which I am well pleased, hear [ye} said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well him. (Ma T. XVII. ---5. pleased (b); bear ye him therefore with the hum
of your Prophets. Mat. XVII. And when the Disciples beard [this Voice, 1 they MAT. XVII. 6. And fell prostrate on their Faces to the Ground with
when the Disciples heard it,
they fell on their face, and the humblest Reverence, and were exceedingly were fure afraid. terrified by this tremendous Manifestation of the present Deity. And Yesus, knowing their Con- 7. And Jesus came and fusion, came and touched them, and said, Rise up, time
touched them, and said, A
rise, and be not afraid. and be not afraid ; infusing into them, at the fame Moment, a secret Strength and Fortitude of Mind. (Compare Dan. X. 10, 19.)
(b) In whom I am well pleased.] Tho' neither Mark nor Luke have given us these Words, we may be sure that they were really spoken, as we have the concurrent Testimony both of Matthew, and Peter, who has thus quoted them, 2 Pet. i. 17. Some have thought their being omitted by Mark, an Intimation, that Peter did not review that Gospel with any great Accuracy, supposing it was (as Clemens Alexandrinus reports,) put into his Hands.
Perhaps the Command that is added to hear him, may refer to that solemn Charge to bear the great Prophet, Deut. xviii. 15.
He charges bis Disciples to conceal it till he was risen. : 5 Mark IX. 8. And sud- And on a sudden, while the Heavenly Voice was Sect.go. denly (Luk. when the
u Voice was paft, Telus was uttered, Jesus was found alone, Moses and Elijah
ark IX. 8. found alone:and] when they disappearing in a Moment ; [and] the Disciples had (lift up their Eyes, and] lifting up their Eyes, upon the kind Encouragelooked round about, they ment that he had given them. [and] looking round saw no Man any more, save Jesus only with themselves. about them for the Persons they had seen but just (MAT. XVII. 8. LUKE before, faw no Man any more, but Jesus only with IX. 36.-)
themselves, who now again appearing in his usual
used to do.
Man was risen from the Dead; lest till that glofrom the Dead. [MAT. XVII. 9.) i
rious Evidence was given of his Divine Million,
this Story should appear as an idle Dream, or an
gave them, they were filent as to what had passed,
bad now feen and heard. MAT. XVII. 10. And And bis Disciples, as they could not doubt but Mat. XV.II.. his Disciples asked him, saying. Why then say the he was the Melliah, took that Opportunity of in- ** Scribes, that Elias must first forming themselves, as to a Scruple which had come ? (MARX IX. 15.] long lain on their Minds, and asked him; saying,
Why then do the Scribes, the Teachers of our Nai
ing of that Prophet, which was to be expected ?
I first © They laid hold on that Word.] So I think tov dogov expolnoay may moft literally be rendered ; the Verb often fignifying to lay hold on, and in Consequence of that; refolutely to reo. tain ; but never, that I can recollect, to keep a Secret. Compare Mat. ix. 25. xiv. 3. Mark xii. 12. and Rev. xx. 2. I think the Words apos saulos, should be joined with ou nxylesz as they are with the same Word, Mark i, 27. ix. 16. Luke xxii, 23. and Aets ix, 29.
think Ton din contrare Matbe joined us ix. 29. Shell
He discourses with them of the Coming of Elijah.
6 Sect. 9o. first come to make Way for the Messiah, and re- truly thall first come, and u gulate all Things (k), by preaching Repentance restore all Things, [and how
it is written of the Son of and Reformation : And yet how little is the In- Man, that he must suffer II.
fluence that this will have upon a wicked and un- many Things, and be set at
runner also shall be disregarded, and his Preaching
answerable to it: Do not therefore expect another that Elias is (indeed] come to appear, but observe what I now say to you, not, but have done unto him
already, and they knew him while I assure you that Elijah is indeed come already, whatsoever they lifted, (as it as it is written of him (m) in various Passages of is written of him:] likewise Scripture; (see Isa. xl. j. and Mal. ill. 1.) and
shall also the Son of Man
fuffer of them. SMARK they who pretended so eagerly to expect him, did iX. 13.1 not know and acknowledge him, but have treated bim in the most arbitrary and cruel Manner, even just as they pleased, without any Regard to Piety, Justice, or Humanity: And thus likewise shall the Son of Man quickly suffer by them, and with the utmost Enmity and Malice shall be persecuted by a hardened People, who will shew no more Regard to him, than to Elijah his Herald.
Then the Disciples understood, that he spake to , 13 Then the Disciples unthem concerning John the Baptist, who was fore- them of John the Baprift.
derstood, that he spake unto told under the Name of Elijah, as the Messiah was under that of David. (Compare Mal. iv. 5. and Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24.)
(k) Shall first come, and regulate all Things.] It is plain, that aroxalasure here, (as ator xalasaoss, Aets iii. 21.) cannot, as it generally does, signify restoring Things to their former State, but only in the general, reducing them to Order. It is strange, Tertullian (de Resur. cap. 35.) should infer from hence, that Elijah the Prophet is to come before Christ's second Appearance. Grotius has well confuted that wild Notion, in his Annotations, in loc.
(1) And yet how is it written of the Son of Man himself ?] The Construction of this Verse in the Original, is as perplexed, as almost any in the New Testament. The Prusian Teftament, which is followed by the late Englis Version, renders it roundly, and elegantly enough : “ It is true, said he, that Elias must first come to restore all Things, and that it is foretold “ of him, as well as of the Son of Man, that he should have much to suffer, and be rejected “ with Contempt.” But this is not strictly agreeable to the Original, nor can I find the Martyrdom of John the Baptist any where foretold in the Old Testament : I chuse therefore to render this Clause, as a Question. That xal sometimes signifies (and yet,) evidently appears from John v. 40. Luke ix. 45. Mat. xxiii. 37. and other Places.
(m) Elijah is indeed come already, as it is written of him.] For the Reason afligned in the preceding Note, I chuse to connect these two Clauses, and conclude that the Words which lie between, both in the Original, and in our. Translation, are to be included in a Parenthesis.
, as well as of at Elias multimeter lion, renders iftament. The Pron of this Verte
Refleétions on the Transfiguration of Christ.
IMPROV EM E N T. T JOW glorious and delightful was this View of our Blessed Redeemer, Sect. 9o. 11 which the Apostles had, when he was transfigured before them, w
"Mat, xvii. 2. clothed, as it were, with the Divine Shekinah, and mining 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 Ver. 3. 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 Ver. 4. contented to resign his Entertainments and his Hopes elsewhere, that they might prolong these delightfnl 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 thoufand others, to attest it as he does, and to argue from it. (Compare 2 Pet.i. 16,-18.) But oh how much more desirable is it, to land upon Mount Zion, and to behold those brighter Glories, which our Yefus 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 converfe 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, Luke ix. 32. where no Hurry will discompose our Thoughts ; but where the Perfection Mark ix. 6. 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 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 accomplis, will be no Grief, or Terror to our Luke ix. 31.. Souls. Like our blessed Master, 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 bis Sufferings, and Death, if it may be a Means of transforming us into the Resemblance of his Glories !
On the next Day, the People, when they saw him, were amazed.
transfigured, drives out an Evil Spirit, which had obsti-
Luke IX. 37.
LUKE IX. 37. Sect. 9 T HUS did our Lord discourse with hi
did our Lord difcourse with his AND it came to pass, that i n 1 Three Disciples concerning John the Bap- they were come down from
A on the next Day, when Luke IX.
tist, as the promised Elijah, after he had been the Hill, much People met 37.
transfigured in so glorious a Manner in their Pre- him.
the Night had been so delightfully spent, a great Mark IX. Croud of People met him. And being come to MARK IX. 14._And 34
the Disciples, and particularly to the rest of the when he came to his DisciApostles, who, knowing their Master was on the ples, he saw a great Multi
tude about them, and the Hill, waited for him in the adjacent Valley, be Scribes questioning with faw a great Multitude around them, and among them. the rest, some of the Scribes and Pharisees, who were disputing with them, and endeavoured to take the Opportunity of their Master's Absence, to
expose and distress them. 15 And immediately, as soon as he came near them, 15 And Atraightway all
all the Multitude seeing him was Aruck into Alto the People, when they benisament, at those unusual Rays of Majesty and
held him, were greatly ama
zed, Glory, which yet remained on his Countenance (a);
(a) Was Pruck into Astonishment, &c.] It is strange, that so few Criticks should have said any Thing, concerning the Reason of the Multitude's being thus astonished. It could not be, as Dr. Clarke supposes, his coming down from the Mountain so quickly after he went up ; for they were gathered round it, in Expectation of his Descent ; and I do not remember, that he ever continued more than one Night in such a Retirement. Nor is it easy to imagine, the Multitude were under any Apprehension, after he had been no longer absent, that they never should be able to find him again. I therefore follow Dr. Whitby's natural Conjecture in his Paraphrafe, which is agreeable to what we read of Moses, that the skin of his Face hone, when he came down from the Mount. (Compare Exod. xxxiv, 29, 30. and 2 Cor. iii. 7.) One would indeed have expected that Luke, who has mentioned the Lufire on Stephen's Countenance, when pleading his Cause before the Sanhedrim, (Asts vi. 15.) should have taken some Notice of the fact here suppołed : But it is observable, Mark tells the Story before us, far more circumstantially than either of the other Evangelists; which, by the Way, is another most convincing Proof, that his Gospel was not as Mr. Whifton fipposes,) an Abridgment of Matthew.