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But the testimony borne on this occasion to the great Author of our salvation ended not here. When Peter, yielding to sudden emotions of transport, cried out, “ It is good “ for us to be here;”—desirous of fixing his abode in the holy mount with these heavenly associates ;—“ a cloud overshadowed them, “ and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “ This is my beloved Son: hear Hım.” And
suddenly, when they had looked round “ about, they saw no man any more, save “ Jesus only with themselves,”—Moses and Elias having, as St. Luke relates, already departed:
“ No man hath seen God at any time!.” The divine glory was on this occasion concealed from mortal eyes by the cloud that intercepted it. But the voice was distinctly heard ; and the words which it uttered, though few, were expressive of all that could be desired to assure the disciples of their Lord's divine character, and to strengthen their faith in Him, under whatever discouragements or sufferings. It bore testimony to the relation between the Father and Him, and to the Divine acceptance of the great work of redemption He had undertaken. It taught in substance, what the Apostle to the Hebrews more explicitly sets forth, that “God,
k Luke ix. 35.
1 John i. 18.
who, at sundry times and in divers manners, “ in time past spake unto the fathers by the “ Prophets, hath in these last days spoken “ unto us by his Son ".
No such testimony was ever given to any other messenger from God. “ Moses verily was faithful in all God's “ house as a servant; but Christ as a Son, “ over his own house "." Here, then, was the person predicted by Isaiah as “ Emmanuel, “ God with us °;" by Micah, as “the Ruler “ whose goings forth had been from everlast
ing P;" by Zechariah, as “the Shepherd, the “ man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of “ hosts 9.” In these characters he as far transcended Moses and Elias, as the Creator and Redeemer of men is above them whom He hath made or redeemed. Accordingly, Moses and Elias at the close of this interview vanished from the scene, and Jesus was left alone, as the Person thenceforth exclusively to be obeyed. The cessation of the Law and the fulfilment of prophecy in His person were thus significantly implied. Moses and the Prophets had done all that was requisite in their respective missions; and by the authority of Christ, now distinctly recognised, those missions were superseded and annulled. They had predicted and prefigured Him who was to come. 6 When that “ which is perfect had come, then that which was in part was to be done away".
• Matth. i. 23.
m Hebr. i. 1, 2. p Micah v. 2.
n Hebr. iii. 5. 9 Zech. xiii. 7.
There is yet another main article of our faith, which this wonderful transaction tended especially to illustrate and confirm, the resurrection from the dead.
The full proof of this doctrine was to depend upon our Lord's resurrection; an event, on which, until it actually took place, the disciples appear to have been in continual doubt and perplexity ; since, even shortly after this scene of the transfiguration, it is said they were “ questioning one with another, “ what his rising from the dead should “ means." The probability however, or rather the certainty, that our Lord's promise in this respect would be made good, was sufficiently evinced by the appearance of Moses and Elias, and also by the glorified body which our Lord assumed. St. Luke adds, that
they also," that is, Moses and Elias, “ peared in glory'." Ocular testimony was thus vouchsafed to the three disciples, of what St. Paul afterwards taught, that at the general resurrection Christ will“ change our
s Mark ix. 10. t Luke ix. 31.
11 Cor. xii. 10.
“ vile body, that it may be fashioned like “ unto his glorious body ";" that “this cor“ ruptible must put on incorruption, and this “ mortal must put on immortality ";" that, that which is “ sown in dishonour will be “ raised in glory,” and that which is “ sown a “ natural body” will be “ raised a spiritual • body *.”
That the Apostles at first apprehended these things as clearly as we are now enabled to do by a comparison of them with subsequent events, is hardly to be supposed. They
charged,” indeed, to “tell no man “ what things they had seen, till the Son of “ Man were risen from the deady;" and they accordingly, says St. Luke, “ kept it close, and “ told no man in those days any of those
things which they had seen”.” It could have answered little purpose to relate to othiers so marvellous a scene as this, until the great mystery of man's redemption was so fully illustrated by the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Redeemer, as to render its purpose and effect more distinctly discernible. But in the pages of the evangelical history it now stands recorded, as one of the strongest testimonies to our Lord's divine
v Phil. iii. 21. w 1 Cor. xv. 53.
x 1 Cor. xv. 43, 44. y Mark ix. 9. 2 Luke ix. 36.
character ; shedding also a peculiar kind of lustre upon the great object of his coming into the world, and connecting that object with the preceding dispensations by which it had been introduced. As an evidence of the truth of Christianity itself St. Peter regards it, when he says, “We have not followed
cunningly-devised fables, when we made “ known unto you the power and coming of “ our Lord Jesus Christ, but were cye-wit
nesses of his majesty. For 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 mounta."
The impression made upon the Apostles by this extraordinary incident was, indeed, neither weak nor transient. It was treasured up in their remembrance as a transaction of high and awful importance, to be in due time more perfectly understood and more generally made known. In the mean while, it seems greatly to have sustained their own hope and confidence. If it did not reconcile them to the thought of those bitter sufferings which their blessed Master was to undergo,
a 2 Peter i. 16, 17, 18.