RPM, Volume 17, Number 14, March 29 to April 4, 2015

A Practical Exposition of The Lord's Prayer

VOL. r. Part 12

By Thomas Manton

Note: some of the "words" in the original text in unintelligible. We have left the original "words" just as they are presently found in the text.

(2.) The second agent is the new nature, which inclineth us to God as our chief good and last end. This also must be taken in, for the Holy Ghost doth not blow as to a dead coal; the new nature is made up of faith, hope and love, and all these must be acted in prayer: faith, or the firm belief of God's being, and providence, and covenant; ' For how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? ' Rom. x. 14. Then love to God, or the desire of the fruition of him in heavenly glory, praying in the Holy Ghost: ' Keep yourselves in the love of God' Jude 20, 21. If I do not love God, and desire to enjoy him, and delight in as much of God as I can get here, certainly there will be no life in prayer, or no ravishment and transport of soul, no spirit of desire animating our requests, and no spiritual solace and delight in our converse with God. Hope is also necessary to fervent praying, for a man coldly asketh for what he doth not hope for. Hope respecteth both means and end supplies of grace by the way, and our final fruition of God in glory. This is called trust in scripture, and is the great ground and encouragement of prayer: Ps. Ixii. 8, ' Trust in the Lord at all times; pour out your souls before him.' Prayer is the act of a trusting soul. Now these graces quicken our natural faculties, as they elevate and raise our hearts and minds to God and heaven.

(3.) The third agent in prayer is the Holy Spirit. He is sometimes said to pray in us, Rom. viii. 26; sometimes we are said to pray in him, Jude 20. The divine Spirit exciteth those graces in us which incline us to God; he raiseth our minds in the vision and sight of God. ' In thy light shall we see light,' Ps. xxxvi. 9; and he raiseth our hearts to a desire after and delight in God, for all that spiritual solace and joy is called 'joy in the Holy Ghost; ' for both unutterable groans and un speakable joys are of his working: Rom. viii. 26, ' The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered; ' compared with 1 Pet. i. 8, ' In whom, though ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' Well, then, these work a kind of an ecstasy. If you would pray so as to be transported, transformed in prayer, something you must do as reason able creatures, something as new creatures, and the Spirit influenceth all, and causeth the soul to follow hard after God. We must put forth our utmost endeavour, stir up the gift of God in us; and though we cannot command the influences of the Spirit, yet he is never wanting to a serious soul as to necessary help. Pray thus, and you will find, as the help of the Spirit in prayer, so the comforts of the Spirit as the success of prayer.

[5.] As there is daily and constant prayer in which we must ever bewray a seriousness and sincerity for these daily supplies of grace, so there are extraordinary occasions, because of some great business, conflict, or temptation: in those the heart and mind must be more than ordinarily raised and stirred. In every prayer of Christ there was not a transfiguration; and we read of our Lord Jesus, that in his agonies he prayed, etcrevea-Tepov, more earnestly than at other times, Luke xxii. 44; and upon eminent occasions, as the necessities of the saints are greater, so their acts of prayer are more earnest. On these weighty occasions many Christians are wholly swallowed up with the thoughts of God, and carried beyond themselves by their high love to God, and earnest desires of the spiritual blessings they stand in need of, so that they seem to be rapt into heaven in their admiration of God and delight in him.


Use. To reprove our feeble, remiss, and benumbed requests. There is no life in our prayers, no working up of the heart to God and heaven, no flames of love, no transports of soul by the vision and sight of faith, no holy and ardent desires after God, or spiritual solace and delight in him.

Reasons 1. We pray cursorily, and go about prayer as a customary task for fashion's sake; we come with a few cold devotions morning and evening, and so ' God is near in our mouths, and far from our reins' Jer. xii. 2. Oh, take heed of this! Nothing breeds slightness and hardness of heart so much as perfunctory praying. The rule is, * Continue instant in prayer' Rom. xii. 12. And it is said of the saints that they ' Served God instantly night and day' eV e'creveta, Acts xxvi. 7, that they might come to the blessed hope, with the united service of all their powers and faculties.

2. Our prayers are doctrinal and instructive, rather than affectionate and warming. We get light by other duties, but we should get life by prayer. This duty is not to inform the judgment, but to raise the affections, that they may be all flame. Other duties are feeding duties, but this is a spending duty, an egression of the soul after God: Ps. Ixiii. 8, ' My soul followeth hard after thee' A man may better spend two hours in hearing than half an hour in praying, if the heart be employed in it as it ought to be, in the sight of God, and an earnest de sire after him. The prayers in scripture are ail supplications or doxologies; there is no excursion into doctrines and instructions.

3. Else we are lamenting sin, and spend the time in confessing sin, which also hath its use in the seasons thereof; but are seldom in praises or adorations of the excellences of God, and the wonderful mysteries of his love in our redemption by Jesus Christ. Yet it is said, Ps. xxii. 3, ' Lord, that inhabitest the praises of Israel.' These are the things that do most ravish the heart, and raise it in the con templation of that glorious God to whom we speak; and fill us with the ecstasies of love, that we may be more like him holy, wise, and good, as he is holy, wise, and good.

4. We think a dry narrative to be enough; that is, the fruit of a human spirit, or a mere product of memory and invention is a sufficient prayer, without acting faith, hope, or love in it, or those spiritual and heavenly desires which are the life of prayer: Ps. x. 17, ' Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble, thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.' The ardency of humble addresses is God's own gift, and he will never reject and despise those requests that, by his own Spirit and appointment, are direct and brought to him.

But what if I have not those strong and earnest desires? I answer, Yet keep not off from prayer: for,

[1.] Good desires must be asked of God, for it is said, he prepareth the heart.

[2.] Such desires as we have must be expressed, and that is the way to increase them, and to quicken us more. A sincere heart, that would serve God with his best, findeth more in a duty than he could expect, and by praying gets more of the fervency and ardours of praying: as a bell may be long a-raising, but when it is up, it jangleth not as it did at first.

[3.] Those cold affections which we have are killed by disuse and turning away from God; therefore go to him to get thy heart warmed.

2. Of the second consideration. If he prayed for this transfiguration, observe:

That God often answereth his people in the very time while they are praying: Isa. Iviii. 9, ' When they call I will answer, and when they cry he shall say, Here I am.' This hath been the course of God's dealing with the prayer-makers all along: Abel, Gen. iv. 4, God had respect to; ' it is dveTrvpia-ev, set his offering on fire. Daniel prayeth, and saith he, Dan. ix. 21, 'While I was speaking in prayer, the angel Gabriel was sent unto me; ' and he said, ' At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth.' While many of the disciples were gathered together praying, God sent Peter to them, Acts xii. 12, 13. While Cornelius was in the act of prayer, ' At the ninth hour of the day,' which was the hour of prayer, ' he saw in a vision the angel of God,' Acts x. 3-9. While Peter went up to the house-top to pray, then he had the heavenly vision. So when Paul was in prayer, Ananias was sent to him: Acts ix. 11, 'Behold he prayeth; 5 and then God taketh care of him. So Acts iv. 31, ' When they had prayed, the house was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.' Thus God delighteth to honour his own ordinance, and to reward the waiting soul, that is frequent and constant in this way of waiting upon God, which should encourage us to be more frequent and serious in this work. You shall see how, in the very act of prayer, God hath (1.) averted judgments; (2.) bestowed mercies and favours.

[1.] He hath put a stop to judgments: Ps. xcix. 6-8, ' Moses and Aaron among the priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name: they called upon the Lord, and he answered them; he spake unto them in the cloudy pillar; they kept his testimonies and the ordinance that he gave them. Thou answeredst them, Lord our God; thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.' The drift of the Psalmist in this place is to show, by eminent instances of holy men that were most notable for prayer, how they have stopped judgments when they began to be executed. Moses, at his prayer God was propitiated, after the provocation of the golden calf; for it is said, Exod. xxxii. 11, ' Moses besought the Lord his God; ' ver. 14, ' The Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do' The second, Aaron's making an atonement for the people, whereby the plague was staid: Num. xvi. 46, ' Take a censer quickly, for wrath is begun;' and ver. 48, presently the plague was stayed. Upon Samuel's prayer the Philistines were discomfited when they were overrunning Israel, 1 Sam. vii. 5, with ver. 9, 10. With every one of these God was pleased to talk and commune as a friend. Such honour was God pleased to put on these his faithful servants; and when the people had provoked God, and God's wrath was already gone out against them for their crying sins, their prayers were so effectual as to divert the plagues and obtain re mission.

[2.] So powerful, also, are they for obtaining blessings: Elijah (James v. 17, 18), though ' a man of like passions with us' yet he could lock heaven and open it at his pleasure; 1 Kings xviii. 42, 45, the rain came as soon as Elijah put himself into a zealous posture to obtain it. Often success hath overtaken the prayer, and the blessing has been gotten before the supplication hath been ended. Isaac went out to meet with G-od, to meditate or pray, and he espied Rebecca afar off. Isa. Ixv. 24, ' Before they call I will answer, and whilst they are yet speaking I will hear.' Oh, therefore, let us not entertain hard thoughts of God, as if he did not regard our suits and requests, and prayer were a lost labour.

II. I come now to the transfiguration itself, as it is here propounded and explained.

Doct. That one necessary and solemn act of Christ's mediation and manifestation to the world was his transfiguration before competent witnesses.

This was one solemn act, and part of Christ's manifestation to the world, for we have the record of it here; and it was necessary, for Christ doth nothing in vain. And here are competent witnesses, three persons of eminent holiness, before whom all this was done, and they were eye-witnesses of his majesty, and ear- witnesses of the oracle which they heard from heaven, or the voice from the excellent glory.

I shall open:

First, The nature of this transfiguration.

Secondly, The ends of it.

First, The nature of this transfiguration. It was a glorious alteration in the appearance and qualities of his body, not a substantial alteration in the substance of it. It was not a change wrought in the essential form and substance of Christ's body, but only the outward form was changed, being more full of glory and majesty than it used to be or appeared to be.

Two things are to be handled:

1. How it differed from his body at another time, whilst he con versed here on earth.

2. How this change differed from the state of his body as it is now in glory.

1. How his body, now transfigured, differed from his body at other times during his conversing with men. Though the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him always, yet the state of his body was disposed so as might best serve for the decency of human conversation; as the sun in a rainy, cloudy day is not seen, but now, as it might, discover his divine nature, it would break out in vigour and strength.

[1.] It was not a change or alteration of the substance of the body, as if it were turned into a spiritual substance. No; it remained still a true human, mortal body, with the same nature and properties it had before, only it became bright and glorious.

[2.] As the substance of the body was not changed, so the natural shape and features were not changed, otherwise how could it be known to be Christ? The shape and features were the same, only a new and wonderful splendour put upon them.

[3.] This new and wonderful splendour was not in imagination and appearance only, but real and sensible. If it had been in imagination, show, and appearance, it would make Christ like those deceivers who would dazzle the eyes of beholders with a false appearance, as magical impostors, or those apish imitators of divine glory; as Herod Agrippa, of whom we read, Acts xii. 21-23, how he appeared in royal state and made an oration, and they said, ' The voice of a God, and not of a man.' Josephus telleth us the manner, how he sat in the sun with glistering garments of cloth of silver, and when the sun beams did beat upon it, the people cried him up as KpeiTTova T?}? BvijTt)^ (f>vae(os, as something higher and more excellent than a mortal creature. No; this was not a phantastical representation, but a real impression of divine glory on the body of Christ.

[4.] Although this appeared in the face chiefly, as the most conspicuous part of the body, the text saith his face did shine as the sun, yet more or less the other parts of his body were clothed with majesty and glory, and thence was the splendour derived to his garments.

2. How his body transfigured differed from his glorified body. This must be stated also, for Christ, by his transfiguration, was not admitted into the fulness of the state of glory, but only giveth some glimpse and resemblance of it. These two estates agree in the general nature, but some clarity, glory, and majesty is put upon Christ's glorified body that was not now. But the difference is:

[1.] Partly in the degree and measure; the clarity and majesty of Christ's glorified body is greater and more perfect. Here is a representation, some delineation, but not a full exhibition of His heavenly glory.

[2.] Partly in continuance and permanency. This change was not perpetual, but to endure for a short time only, for it ceased before they came down from the mount.

[3.] The subject or seat of this glory differed, the body of Christ being then corruptible and mortal, but now incorruptible and immortal. If Christ's body had been immortal and impassible, then Christ could not die.

[4.] Here are garments, and a glorified body shall have no other garments than the robes of immortality and glory in heaven. Christ shall be clothed with light as with a garment.

Secondly, The ends of it. By this transfiguration God would show:

1. What Christ was.

2. What he should be; and also,

3. What we shall be.

1. What Christ was. The dignity of his person and office. That he was the eternal Son of God, and the mediator of the new covenant; the great prophet whom God would raise up to his people.

[1.] The dignity of His person was seen, for the transfiguration was a ray of the divine glory. It was not the addition of any glory to Christ which he had not before, but a manifestation of the glory which he had, though obscured under the veil of our flesh; for the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily, Col. ii. 9, ' And we beheld his glory, as the glory of the only-begotten Son of God' John i. 14. But it is said, 2 Pet. i. 17, that he received from God the same honour and glory. This is spoken of him as mediator; the glory of the Son of God incarnate was so obscured, for our sakes, that he needed this solemn act to represent him to the world.

[2.] His office: the great prophet of the church, ' Hear ye him.' A greater prophet than Moses. Moses saw the face of God, but he was in the bosom of God. Moses, his face shone, but not as Christ's, for it could be hidden by a veil; Christ darts his glory through his garments. Moses, his shining was terrible; Christ's was comfortable the apostles were loath to lose the sight of it.

2. To show what Christ should be; for this was a pledge with what glory he should come in his kingdom, Mat. xvi. 27: it prefigured the glory of his second coming. Thus, for the confirmation of their faith, Christ would give his disciples a glimpse of his glory; he knew they would be sorely assaulted and shaken by the ignominy of his cross. But what is all this to us? We see not his glory.

[1.] What was once done and sufficiently attested needs not to be repeated; but it is a great satisfaction to us that we have a glorious head and chief; when we suffer for him we need not be ashamed of our sufferings. The apostles urge this concerning us as well as them.

[2.] The immediate manifestations of him who dwelleth in light inaccessible would undo us while we are in our mortal bodies. Blessed be God that he hath chosen fit means to reveal himself to us, that we may behold the glory of the Lord in a glass, 2 Cor. iii. 18, by the ministry of the word and other ordinances. The Israelites were sensible how little they could endure him who is, as it were, all sun, and all light, and all fire: Exod. xx. 18, 19, ' Let not God speak to us, lest we die.' Elijah wrapt his face in a mantle when God appeared unto him, 1 Kings xix. 13; when Christ appeared to Paul from heaven he trembled and was astonished, and was three days without sight, as you may see, Acts ix. 9. There was a special reason why an apostle should see him in person.

[3.] We shall see this glory when fit for it: John xvii. 24, 'Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me.' The queen of Sheba took a long journey to behold the glory of Solomon, that was but a temporal, fading, and earthly glory. Now much more transcendent is the glory of Christ's body in heaven; this we shall see to all eternity.

3. To show what we shall be; for Christ is the pattern, primum in wioquoque genere, &c.

[1.] It showeth the possibility of our having a glorified body. When the Lord is pleased to let forth and communicate his glory, he is able to adorn and beautify our earthly and obscure bodies. The body of man in its composition hath a great mixture of earth, which is dark and obscure. Now God can make this clod of earth to shine as the star or sun for brightness: Phil. iii. 21, ' Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.' We are apt to say, How can it be? If we consider the infinite and absolute power of God, and this instance of Christ, it will make it more reconcilable to your thoughts, and this hard point will be of easier digestion to your faith.

[2.] The certainty of it, as well as the possibility; for Christ assumed our body, not for passion only, but for glorification, that therein he might be an instance and pattern to us. For if the head be glorious, so will the members also. How base soever the people of God seem to be in this world, yet in the life to come they shall be wonderfully glorious: Mark xiii. 43, ' The righteous shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their father' So Col. iii. 3, 4, ' Now our life is hidden with Christ, but when he who is our life shall appear, we shall appear with him in glory;' 1 John iii. 2, ' When he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is;' 2 Thes. i. 10, ' Christ shall be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe.' All these places show we shall be partakers of this glory.

[3.] The manner. Glorification taketh not away the substance and natural properties of the body, for there is a glorious transfiguration, but no abolition of the substance of Christ's body; it was the same body of Christ before and after transfiguration. Glory freeth us from natural infirmities, but it doth not strip us of natural properties. Christ hath showed in his own body what he can or will perform in ours these same bodies, but otherwise adorned, TOVTO TO aw pa TTJ? raTTen'too-eco?: and ' with these eyes shall I see God' Job xix. 26, 27: TOVTO TO (frdapTov, ' This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality,' 1 Cor. xv. 53.

Use 1. Be transformed that you may be transfigured: ' Be ye trans formed by the renewing of your minds,' Horn. xii. 2. The change must begin in the soul (2 Cor. iii. 18), and thence it is conveyed to the body. The lustre of grace maketh way for the splendour of glory: Prov. iv. 18, ' The patli of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more to the perfect day.' The way of the wicked is an increasing darkness ignorance, sin, outer darkness.

2. Be contented to be like Christ in reproaches, disgraces, and neglect in the world, that you may be like him in glory. Bear the reproach of Christ: Heb. xiii. 13, ' Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach;' Heb. xi. 26, 'Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. ' Prefer it before all earthly honour: Acts v. 41, ' And they departed from the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name;' and 2 Sam. vi. 22, ' I will yet be more vile and base in my own sight.' Your Lord is a glorious Lord, and he can put glory upon you.

3. To wean our hearts from all human and earthly glory. What is a glorious house to the palace of heaven, glorious garments to the robes of immortality? The glory of Christ should put out the glory of these petty stars that shine in the world, as the sun puts out the fire. We have higher things to mind; it is not for eagles to catch flies, or princes to embrace the dunghill.

4. Since this glory is for the body, do not debase the body, to make it an instrument of sin: 1 Thes. iv. 4, ' Possess your vessels in sanctification and honour.' Do not offend God to gratify the body, as they do, Rom. xiv. 13, ' who make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof.' Do not spare the body to do God service: Acts xxvi. 7, ' Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope for to come; for which hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews:' 2 Cor. vii. 1, 'Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God'


And behold there talked with him two men, Moses and Elias, who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. LUKE IX. 30, 31.

HAVING spoken of Christ's transfiguration, we come now to speak of those special accidents and adjuncts which happened at the time of his transfiguration. Here are two mentioned:

1. The extraordinary apparition of Moses and Elias.

2. Their conference with our Saviour. In the first:

1. The persons who appeared: Moses and Elias.

2. The manner of their appearing. Luke saith, ' They appeared in glory.' Since the scripture affixeth a behold, or note of attention, wherever this history is mentioned, it will not be unprofitable for us to consider it a little.

First, Who appeared: Moses and Elias. These were there in person, as well as Christ was there in person; for it is not a vision, but a thing really done and transacted. Christ would have but two, being to give us a glimpse only, not the full lustre and splendour of his glory and majesty, as he will at the last day, when he shall come in the glory of the Father, and all his holy angels with him.

But why these two?

1. With respect to the gospel or new law which he was to set up, it is for the confirmation thereof that Moses and Elias appear talking with him, showing the harmony and agreement between them, and the subordination of their dispensation to Christ and salvation by him. Moses was the person by whom the law was given, and Elias was a principal prophet. The law is represented by Moses, and the prophets by Elias. Both did frequently foretell and prefigure the death and resurrection of Christ, and all the scripture which was then writ ten was usually called by this term, law and prophets: Acts xxiv. 14, ' Believing all things that are written in the law and the prophets;' and Mat. xi. 13, ' For all the law and the prophets prophesied until John;' Luke xvi. 24, ' They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them;' so Acts xxvi. 22, ' I witness no other things than those which Moses and the prophets say should come to pass; ' so Mark vii. 11, ' Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you the same to them, for this is the law and the prophets.' Well, then, the books of the Old Testament are frequently and solemnly thus called law and prophets; the Messiah was spoken of and foretold in both, and the godly before his coming waited for him as such. One place I had almost forgotten: Rom. iii. 21, ' The righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.' Which showeth that not only the person of Christ was set forth, but also his institution and gospel dispensation. Well, to manifest this consent, here is law and prophets, Moses and Elias friendly conferring with Christ, or rather attending upon him, as servants upon their Lord. Christ and Moses, Christ and the prophets, are not at variance, as the Jews suppose, but here is a fair agreement betwixt them.

2. With respect to the persons themselves, there are many special reasons. These had been the most faithful and laborious servants of the Lord, and public eminent instruments of his glory: Moses a giver of the law. and Elias a restorer of the law; Moses faithful in all the house of God, and Elias zealous for the glory of God. Both had ventured their lives: Moses by encountering Pharaoh, and Elias Ahab. Both had seen the glory of God in Mount Horeb, and spake with God also: Moses, Exod. xxxiii. 11, ' He saw the Lord face to face, and spake with him as a man doth with his friend;' and Elias, 1 Kings xix. Both had fasted forty days, as Christ also did; therefore conveniently were these chosen.

3. With respect to our profit and instruction, Christ would not choose two angels for this service, but two men. Here the business was not to see glorified spirits, but glorified bodies; therefore the angels, having no bodies of their own, and must appear in assumed bodies, if in any, are not fit; therefore two men that had bodies wherein they might appear.

But you will say, If two men must appear in glorified bodies, why not Enoch rather than Moses, who was translated into heaven, and remaineth there with a glorified body as well as Elias?

Ans. Enoch had no public charge; Enoch lived before the legal dispensation. These both belonged to it, and were chief in it, of great authority among the Jews. Enoch hath an honourable testimony in the word of God, but had no public office and charge in the church, which the other two had, and managed with great fidelity. By the appearance of Moses the whole legal economy is supposed to appear in his person, and by the appearance of Elias the prophetical ministry, which was a kind of chancery to the law, is supposed to appear also. Both do, as it were, deliver over to Christ their whole dispensation, and lay it down at his feet, as the magistrates that are to go out of office solemnly resign the ensigns of their authority to him that succeedeth; and also they come both to reverence the majesty of their supreme Lord. In short, it is for our comfort that one that died, and one alive in glory, should come to show that Christ is Lord of quick and dead, Rom. xiv. 9. Moses was dead, Elias translated: these two come, the one to give a pledge of the glory of the world to come, the other of the resurrection of the dead, which is the way and introduction to it; and both these persons come to attend and adore our Saviour and do homage to him.

Secondly, They appeared in glory, that is, in a corporeal shape, shining with brightness and glory as Christ's body did, bating only for the degree and proportion, that there might be a difference between the Lord and his servants. Now, whether they appeared in bodies formed and assumed for the present purpose, and to be laid down again, as we do our garments, or in their own proper bodies, is often disputed by interpreters, upon this occasion. That they appeared in bodies is certain, for bodily acts and properties are ascribed to them as their talking with Christ, their being seen by the apostles; for a spirit cannot be seen. If in bodies, why not their own? It is as easy to the Lord to cause them to appear in their own bodies as in a body assumed for this special purpose and service; and they were known by the disciples to be Moses and Elias. not by the external lineaments, for they never saw them in person before, but either were made known to them by some internal revelation, or by Christ's words, or by some words of Moses and Elias themselves; but which way soever they knew them, certain it is they knew them, and took them to be Moses and Elias, there fore Moses and Elias they were, both as to soul and body. The apostles that were admitted to this transfiguration were not to be deceived by a false appearance, for they were admitted to be confirmed in the truth of Christ's person and office, that by what they saw they might con firm others. How would it weaken the testimony if what they saw appearing before them in glory were not the bodies of Moses and Elias, but only other bodies assumed! Concerning Elias the matter is with out difficulty, for since he saw not death, but was translated both body and soul into heaven, why should he lay down his own body and take another to come and serve Christ upon this occasion? Cause sufficient there was why he should come from the blessedness of heaven to Mount Tabor; no cause why he should lay aside his own proper body. It is no loss nor trouble, but advantage, to blessed and heavenly creatures to be serviceable to their Redeemer's glory, though it be to come out of the other into this world. But concerning Moses the matter is more doubtful. We read that he died in Mount Nebo, and his body was buried by God in the plains of Moab, so that his grave was known to no man unto this day, Deut. xxxiv. 5, 6. Some think it was pre served from putrefaction by the extraordinary power of God, that he might resume it at this time. The Jews say that God sucked out Moses's soul from his body with a kiss, and afterwards restored it again, and so he liveth in immortality; but he that looketh for divinity among the Jewish rabbins will much sooner find a ridiculous fable than any sound doctrine. Suffice it to us that he was really dead and buried, and his body mouldered into dust as our bodies are, and now, on this special occasion, raised out of the dust; but after this, whether it were laid down in dust again or carried into heaven, it is not for us to deter mine: it may be either, according to the analogy of the Christian faith. If his body returned to corruption again, surely it is a great honour that it was raised up for this special use: I say it was a great joy to these prophets to see all their predictions fulfilled in Christ. If we say it entered into glory, what inconvenience was there if God would indulge him this peculiar prerogative, to be raised from the dead and enjoy blessedness both in soul and body before the last day? He granted it to Enoch and Elias, and those who came out of their graves after Christ's death, Mat. xxvii. 53: the great harvest is at the last day, but some first-fruits before.

Secondly, Their conference with our Saviour: they ' talked with him' saith Matthew; they ' spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem,' saith Luke. They talked with Christ, not with the apostles. Here is an apparition to them, but no parley and intercourse between them and the glorified saints. The saints that are glorified are out of the sphere of commerce of the living; nay, it is a question whether they heard at all what was said to Christ; but of that in the next verse.

Here observe three things:

1. What they spake of Christ's death.

2. The notion by which his death is set forth: it is 0809.

3. The necessity of undergoing it, in the word Trkypelv, ' which he should accomplish at Jerusalem'

1. What they spake of none could divine, unless it had been told us, and the evangelist Luke telleth us that it was of his death. This argument was chosen:

[1.] Because it was at hand. The next solemn mediatory action after this was his death and bloody sufferings. After he was transfigured in the mount he went down to suffer at Jerusalem.

[2.] This was an offence to the apostles, that their master should die: Mat. xvi. 22, 23, ' Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee'

[3.] This was the Jews' stumbling-block: 1 Cor. i. 23, 'We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block'

[4.] This was prefigured in the rites of the law, foretold in the writings of the prophets. In the figures of the law it was represented: Heb. ix. 22, ' And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission;' especially the apostle urgeth the entering of the high priest with blood to the mercy-seat, ver. 23, 24. All the legal sacrifices were slain, and their blood brought before the Lord. So the predictions of the prophets: Isa. liii. 10, ' Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief, when thou shalt make thy soul an offering for sin' &c.; and Dan. ix. 26, ' The Messias shall be cut off, but not for himself' In short, that Christ should die for the sins of the world, was the great thing represented in the law and prophets. Rabbi Simeon and Rabbi Hadersim out of Daniel, that after Messias had preached half seven years he shall be slain.

[5.] It was necessary that by death he should come to his glory, of which now some glimpse and foretaste was given to him: Luke xxiv. 46, ' Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and rise from the dead the third day' that is, with respect to the predictions; ver. 44, ' All those things which were written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the book of Psalms, concerning me may be fulfilled;' and again, Luke xxiv. 25, 26, ' Oh fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to have entered into his glory? '

[6.] The redemption of the church by Christ is the talk and dis course we shall have in heaven; the angels and glorified spirits are blessing and praising him for this: Rev. v. 9, ' Thou art worthy, for thou wert slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.' The angels, ver. 12, ' Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and glory, and honour, and blessing.' The redeemed church, and glorified saints and angels, have all one song, and one praise the honour of the Lamb that was slain.

[7.] It is an instructive pattern to us, that Christ, in the midst of his transfiguration, and the glory which was then put upon him, forgot not his death. In the greatest advancements we should think of our dissolution. If Christ in all his glory discoursed of his death, surely it more becometh us, as necessary for us to prevent the surfeit of worldly pleasures, we should think of the change that is coming; for ' Surely every man at his best estate is vanity' Ps. xxxix. 5. In some places they were wont to present a death's head at their solemn feasts. Merry days will not always last, death will soon put an end to the vain pleasures we enjoy here, and the most shining glory will be burnt out to a snuff.

2. The notion by which his death is expressed: his decease, egoSov, which signifies the going out of this life into another, which is to be noted:

[1.] In respect unto Christ his death was 0809, for he went out of this mortal life into glory, and so it implieth both his suffering death and also his resurrection: Acts ii. 24, ' God hath raised him up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was impossible he should be holden of it.' The grave was like a woman ready to be delivered; it suffered throes till this blessed burden was egested.

[2.] With respect to us. Peter calls his death egoBov: 2 Pet. i. 15, ' I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease.' The death of the godly is a going out but from sin and sorrow to glory and immortality, as Israel's going out of Egypt (whence the second Book of Moses is called Exodus) was no destruction and cessation of their being, but a going out of the house of bondage into liberty. Paul saith, ' I desire to be dissolved,' dva\vaat, Phil. i. 23 a setting sail for the other world. In scripture language the body is the house, the soul is the inhabitant: 2 Cor. v. 1, ' We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.' The soul dwelleth in the body as a man in a house, and death is but a departure out of one house into another not an extinction, but a going from house to house.

3. The necessity of undergoing it, in the word ir\i]pelv. This word accomplish noteth three things:

[1.] His mediatorial duty, with a respect to God's ordination and decree declared in the prophecies of the Old Testament, which when they are fulfilled are said to be accomplished. Whatsoever Christ did in the work of redemption was with respect to God's will and eternal decree: Acts iv. 28, 'To do whatsoever thy hand and counsel determined before to be done.' Now this was the more binding, being it was a declared counsel in the prophecies and figures of the Old Testament, therefore Christ cried out at his death, John xix. 30, ' It is finished,' or accomplished meaning principally that the prophecies, and figures, and types which prefigured his death were all now accomplished.

[2.] His voluntary submission, ' which he should accomplish,' noteth his active and voluntary concurrence. It is an active word, not passive, not to be fulfilled upon him, but by him; for though his death in regard of his enemies was violent and enforced, yet he voluntarily underwent it for our sakes; no man could have taken his life from him unless he had laid it down, John x. 18; it was not forced upon him, but he yielded to it by a voluntary dispensation. As to men, it was an act of violence; but as to his Father, it was an act of obedience; as to us, an act of love. On Christ's part his enemies could not have touched him against his will, as indeed they cannot also one hair of our heads but as God permitteth.

[3.] That it was the eminent act of his humiliation, for this cause he assumed human nature. His humiliation began at his birth, continued in his life, and was accomplished in dying: all was nothing without this, for less could not serve the turn than the death of the Son of God. Then all sufferings were undergone which were necessary to take away sin; therefore there is a consummation or perfection attributed to the death of Christ: Heb. x. 14, ' By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.' There is done enough to expiate sin, to open a way to heaven and happiness. This accomplisheth all that is necessary by way of merit and satisfaction.

Now what shall we learn from hence, for surely such solemn actions of Christ were not in vain?

I. A notable argument to confirm the Christian faith, namely, the consent between the law and the prophets and Christ; for Moses and Elias are all Christ's ministers and servants, agreeing in one with him, and therefore appear at his transfiguration, where he is proclaimed to be the beloved Son of God, and the great doctor of the church, whom all are bound to hear under pain of damnation.

I will prove two things:

First, The necessity of this appearance, both to the Jews and us Gentiles.

1. To the Jews in that age; for there were three opinions concerning Christ. Some had a blasphemous opinion of him, as if he were an imposter, and called him Samaritan and devil. So the chief priests and Pharisees, Mat. xxvii. 63, ' We remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again;' and Mat. xii. 24, ' This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.' Generally they looked upon him as an enemy to Moses: John ix. 29, ' We know that God spake to Moses; as for this fellow, we know not whence he is.' Others had a more moderate opinion, who were alarmed by his miracles, and convinced by his holiness: Mark vi. 14-16, ' Some said it is Elias, others said it is a prophet, Jeremias, or one of the prophets; but Herod said it is John whom I beheaded, who is risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him.' Herod's con science could not digest John's murder, therefore he twice saith it is John, it must needs be John. The third opinion was that of the disciples, ' Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' John vi. 69. Now, to set all at rights, to confute the blasphemous Jews, to rectify the moderate Jews, to confirm the disciples, here come Moses and Elias to justify him. They would not have owned him if a blasphemer and imposter, nor have come from heaven to honour him and do him homage if he had been an ordinary prophet; therefore they appear in glory, and talk with him of his death.

2. With respect to the modern Jews, and us Gentiles, this apparition was necessary to confirm us in the faith both of Christ's person and office; that he was the great teacher sent from heaven to make known the way of salvation to lapsed mankind; and Moses and Elias must be hereafter silent. Now the great prophet and doctor of the church is brought forth; and no other revelation or dispensation is to be expected or regarded, now he is brought forth. There is need that this should be sufficiently evidenced, partly because Christ had the law of Moses to repeal, which was well known to the Jews to be God's own law, else they and every true subject of God might refuse to obey him: partly because he had a new law to promulgate, even the law of faith and gospel ordinances, and so must manifest his authority before they can be received and submitted unto with that firm assent and consent which is necessary: partly because he himself was to be received and entertained as the Redeemer of the world, who had expiated our sins by his decease at Jerusalem, which was a new work, yet man's salvation lay upon it. And his death there was clouded with many prejudices; for they put him to death as a false prophet, guilty of blasphemy and sedition. Therefore it needed to be made manifest that such a man of sorrows, reckoned among transgressors, was the Saviour and Redeemer of the world.

Secondly, The sufficiency of this evidence. For if Moses and Elias appear in glory to countenance this dispensation, -and declare their hearty concurrence and consent, there is no reason Jew or Gentile should scruple it. If Moses the lawgiver, and Elias, so zealous for the law, consent, why should the Jews refuse the gospel so agreeable to their dispensation, or the Gentiles question a doctrine so long ago manifested to the church by God, long before Christ and his apostles were in being? Those that lived in so many different ages could not lay their heads together to cheat the world with an untruth. There is a double argument maybe drawn hence:

1. The matter of fact. Moses and Elias did appear to witness their consent. Now this dependeth upon the testimony of the apostles pre sent, whose testimony was by other means ratified and made valuable: 2 Pet. i. 16-18, ' For we have not followed cunningly-devised fables, when we made known unto you the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses 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 mount.'

2. Their consent in doctrine, which is obvious in all their writings. The apostles related nothing concerning Christ but what Moses and the prophets had foretold, and what was history in the New Testament was prophecy in the Old, either as to the person of Christ, or as to his kingdom the duties and privileges thereof: John v. 39, ' Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they that testify of me.' So ver. 45-47, ' Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how will ye believe my words? ' The Old Testament beareth witness of Christ's person, natures, offices, birth, life, sufferings, and the glory that should ensue: 2 Pet. i. 19-21, ' We have also a more sure word of prophecy, where- unto ye do well that ye take heed, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, till the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.' The apostles taught the same things the prophets had written, only applied them to Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, that they might know that he was Lord and Christ. The heathens take notice that at that time when Christ appeared, there was Vetus et constans fama (Sueton.); Ex antiquis sacerdotum libris (Tacitus) that their King, Messiah, should come.

Use 1. For confutation of the Jews, and to show their obstinacy in not receiving Christ as the Messiah. God had told Moses, Deut. xviii. 18, 'I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto thee; and will put my words into his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him; and whosoever will not hearken unto him, I will require it of him; ' which cannot be under stood of any other prophet but Christ the Messiah; for it is said, Deut. xxxiv. 10, 11, ' There arose not a prophet in Israel like unto Moses, who knew the Lord face to face, in all the miracles and wonders which the Lord sent him to do' But the Messias doth match and overmatch him. He was a man as Moses was; for the promise was made on that occasion, ' Let me hear the voice of the Lord God no more, nor see this great fire, that we die not.' Saith God, ' They have well spoken: I will raise up a prophet like unto thee from among their brethren.' He must be a lawgiver as Moses, but of a more perfect law; he must be such an one as should see God face to face; he is of a divine nature, approved to the world by miracles, signs, and wonders. As Moses was, so Christ. Moses divided the sea as dry land, Christ walked upon it; Moses healed the bitter waters that were sick, Christ raised the dead. All the prejudice is, that he changed the law of Moses into the rites and institutes of the Christian religion. Ans. That was necessary, the substance being once come, that the shadows and ceremonies should be abolished; and besides, these were proper and peculiar to one nation in the world, namely, Judea; the exercise permitted but in one only place of that country, namely, Jerusalem, whither they were all to repair three times each year. But the Messiah's law was to be common to all men serves for all countries, times, places, persons, for he was to be the light of the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Israel. How should nations so far distant from Jerusalem repair thrice every year? or a woman dwelling in England or America repair thither for purification after every childbirth? Lev. xii. When Moses delivered the law to them: Deut. xviii. 15, ' The Lord thy God will raise thee up a prophet like unto me, unto him shalt thou hearken.' And the prophets, when they prophesy of his law: Isa. ii. 3, ' The law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of God from Jerusalem.' Moses's law was published from Sinai, not from Sion; but the preaching of the gospel began at Jerusalem, and from thence was spread over all the world. Again it is said, Isa. xlii. 4, ' The isles shall wait for his law;' that is, the maritime countries. I pursue it no farther now.

2. To us Christians. Our religion is true: oh, let us be true in the profession of it; otherwise it will little help us in the day of our ac counts: 2 Thes. i. 8, ' Taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.' You stand upon the vantage-ground, but are not taller in stature than heathens and Jews. Disciples in name, not in deed: John viii. 31, ' If ye continue in my words, then are ye my disciples indeed:' Christians of letter, not of the spirit. Oh, reverence Christ, if Moses and Elias did him homage. When we have found truth, let us look after life; and having owned the true religion, express the power of it.

II. The next thing we learn is the necessity and value of Christ's death. For Moses and Elias insist upon ' his decease at Jerusalem; which quite contradicteth the Jewish deceit, and establisheth the Christian hope. The death of Christ for our redemption is the great article of the Christian faith, the thing foretold and prefigured by law and prophets, Luke xxiv. 44; and the ground of our comfort and peace: Isa. liii. 4, 5, ' Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.'

Let us consider:

1. The notions by which Christ's death is set forth.

2. The necessity of it.

First, The notions by which Christ's death is set forth. Two solemn ones: a ransom, and a mediatorial sacrifice.

1. A ransom, \vrpov avrl 7roXXwz>, Mat. xx. 28; avrL\vrpov, 1 Tim. ii. 6, 'Who gave himself a ransom for all.' A ransom is a price given to a judge, or one that hath power of life and death, for to save the life of one capitally guilty, or by law bound to suffer death, or some other evil and punishment. This was our case: God was the supreme judge, before whose tribunal man standeth guilty, and liable to death; but Christ interposed that we might be spared, Job xxxiii. 24, ' Deliver him from going down to the pit, for I have found a ransom.' There is a price or recompense given in our stead.

2. A mediatorial sacrifice: Isa. liii. 3, ' When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin;' Eph. v. 2, Christ ' hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet- smelling savour.' He hath undertook the expiation of our sins, and the propitiating of God. God's provoked justice would not acquit the controversy it had against us till it were appeased by a proper sacrifice: 1 John ii. 2, ' He is the propitiation for our sins.' Secondly, The necessity of it.

1. The sins and guilty fears of mankind needeth such a remedy. We are naturally sensible that the punishment of death is deserved and due to us by the law of God: Rom. i. 32, ' They which commit such things are worthy of death' Now these fears are not easily appeased: Micah vi. 6, 7, ' Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?' Christ came and died to free us from them, that we might serve God cheerfully: Heb. ii. 14, 15, ' Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil;' Heb. ix. 14, ' How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works, to serve the living God?'

2. The glory of God requires it:

[1.] To declare his justice: Rom. iii. 25, 26, ' Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the for bearance of God: to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.' If God will pardon sin, there must be a fit means to keep up the honour of his justice, and the authority of his law; for sin is not a wrong done to a private party offended, but a disobedience to authority, and disturbeth the order of government.

[2.] To declare his holiness, that he is a pure and holy God, hating sin. This was demonstrated in the sufferings of Christ, and the dear rate at which it was expiated; for if this was done in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

Use 1. Oh, then, be affected with this great mystery, the death which the Son of God accomplished at Jerusalem; look upon it under a double notion. With respect to his Father's command, it was an act of obedience, carried on with such humility, patience, self-denial, resignation of himself to God, charity, pity, as the like cannot be done by man or angel: Rom. v. 19, 'By the obedience of one many were made righteous;' Phil. ii. 8, 'He humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.' This commendeth obedience to us. It was an act of love: Gal. ii. 20, ' Who loved me, and gave himself forme;' Rev. i. 5, ' To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood.' He thought no price too dear for our salvation. Let us love him, again, who loved us first: 1 John iv. 19, ' We love him, because he first loved us; ' and be contented to suffer with him and for him, that we may enter into his glory: Rom. viii. 17, 'If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together' if he call us thereunto.

2. Feel the virtue of it in heart and conscience. In heart: by our dying to sin, then we are planted into the likeness of his death, Rom. vi. 5. ' They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof,' Gal. v. 24; ' Who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness.' Then glory in it: Gal vi. 14, ' God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world' In conscience: 1 John v. 10, ' He that believeth in the Son of God hath the witness in himself,' &c.; Heb. xii. 24, ' And to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than the blood of Abel' doth it appease our guilty fears, and purge our consciences from the stain and guilt of sin.

III. The state of future glory and felicity.

1. The dead in the Lord are not perished, but live for ever with God in heaven; for here they appear long after their departure hence: Luke xx. 38, ' He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him' They all live to God. Though they are gone out of the sphere of our commerce, they have another life with God. Now fix this in your hearts, for many carry it so as if there were no immortality or life to come: we do not vanish into the air when we die. Moses is somewhere, and Elias somewhere, in the hand of God, and can appear when God will have them.

2. The saints appeared in a true, and in their own bodies, to establish the faith of the resurrection; their bodies were reserved for this use. One of them was already in glory in soul and body, the other now raised out of the dust after many years' burial. And why cannot God gather up our dust again and enliven it, that we may accompany Christ at his coming?

3. This instance showeth also the degrees of glory. All the saints have their portion in bliss, but not a just equality. Moses and Elias appeared in glory, not Enoch; nor were any of the rest admitted to this solemnity. Here were three choice disciples, when the rest stood at a remote distance; so two glorified saints, but the rest not admitted to this honour, but stood waiting for his glorious ascension. There is difference on earth in the worldly state some have greater riches, honours, and dignity than others; difference in the church, both in gifts and graces; yea, a difference in hell some have a hotter, others a cooler punishment. So in heaven, according to eminency in holiness and faithfulness with God; otherwise there would not be a suitableness in God's dispensations.

4. The perfect subjection of the glorified spirits to the will of God, either to remain in the vision of God, or to be employed in the service of their Redeemer. We should think that a self-denial which they count an happiness, to come from heaven to Mount Tabor; they take up or lay down a body as God pleaseth. Heaven is a state not only of perfect happiness, but of exact conformity to God.

5. We shall have the company of the blessed saints in heaven. The disciples here did not only enjoy the company and sight of Christ, but the company and sight of Moses and Elias, being glorified saints. So in the heavenly life: Mat. viii. 11, it is made a part of our blessedness in the kingdom of God to ' sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; ' and Heb. xii. 23, ' Ye are come to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.' Here we are joined to them by faith and hope; there by sight and fellowship. The company of wicked men is now grievous and tedious to us, Ezek. ii. 6; but we shall have better company hereafter. Here we often part with our choicest friends and acquaintance, but there we shall meet and never part more. It is not to be imagined but that we shall have the comfort of our glorified fellow-creatures. The body hath its objects and felicity fit for a body.

6. The saints shall know one another, as the disciples knew Moses and Elias, though not by countenance, having never seen them before, but by revelation. Christ told them who they were, and we who have known before our old acquaintance shall know them again. Memory is not abolished, but perfected; we shall make one body, one society. Now we shall not converse as strangers; Abraham knew Lazarus, Luke xvi. 25. Ministers, 1 Thes. ii. 19, ' What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?' Christ's argument, Luke xvi. 9, 'Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail they may receive you into everlasting habitations.' Angels know not only themselves, but all the elect now; how else do they minister about them? They know the least believer: Mat. xviii. 10, ' Take heed that ye offend not one of these little ones, for I say unto you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.' And they are at length to gather them from the four winds: Mat. xiii. 41, ' The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that do offend.'

7. The conference of the blessed saints. We shall be with them,, speak to them, hear them speak to us, though not after an earthly manner. We have now bodies, and so tongues and lips, which are the instruments of speech; ears, which are the instruments of hearing. Now these would seem vain and to no purpose if there were no use of speech and hearing. It was a blessed thing for Peter, James, and John to stand by and hear the conference between Christ, Moses, and Elias: 1 Kings x. 8, ' Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom' Much more may it be said here.

Use. Well, then, Christian religion is true, Christ's death necessary, eternal life certain. Oh let our time, and hearts, and care be taken up about these great and glorious things; meditate on them, seek after them. First begin with the sureness of Christian doctrine, that you may lay a good foundation; that Christ is the teacher of the church, who hath ' brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,' 2 Tim. i. 10; then penitently sue out your pardon, in the name of Christ, depending on the merit of his death; and make this eternal life and happiness your choice, and the scope of your life and conversation: 2 Cor. iv. 18, ' While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal'


Then answered Peter, and said unto 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. MAT. XVII. 4; with,
But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saic his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias; not knowing what he said. LUKE IX. 32, 33.

WE are upon the adjuncts of Christ's transfiguration.

The first was the appearance of Moses and Elias talking with him.

The second is the entertainment which the apostles gave to this glorious dispensation, or their behaviour under it. Three things are observable:

1. Their posture for some while: and Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep.

2. Peter's motion when they were awake: let us build here three tabernacles.

3. The censure of it: not knowing what he said.

First, Their posture after the transfiguration was begun: 'And Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep.' This sleep might arise either from a common natural cause, or from a special cause peculiar to this dispensation.

1. A common natural cause, being tired with labour in ascending the mountain, for it was (n'^Xo? \lav, ' exceeding high.' Or it was with watching, for they tarried there all night, and Christ continued long in prayer, and possibly being a little withdrawn from them, as in his agonies, he was transfigured before them.

2. The special cause of this sleep was the extraordinary apparition, as the prophets often were in a deep sleep and trance when they saw the like: Dan. viii. 18, ' As the angel Gabriel was speaking to me, I fell into a deep sleep, with my face towards the ground.' Again, Dan. x. 9, ' When I heard his voice, then was I in a deep sleep.' So the prophet Zechariah, in the midst of his visions: Zech. iv. 1, ' The angel of the Lord wakened me as one in a deep sleep.' Any eminent passion causeth sleep, and they were astonished so with these visions and representations, that nature fainted under them, and they fell into a sleep; so the apostles seeing Christ, in the midst of fervent prayers, transfigured before them.

Now, whether it came from the one cause or from the other, we must conclude this sleep was a weakness on their parts, but directed and overruled by God for just and wise reasons.

1. It was a weakness and infirmity on their part, for questionless they were to attend with all vigilancy to this manifestation of our Saviour's glory, and observe the passages of it. Why else did he take them into the mountain apart, but as witnesses of it, as they were to watch in his agonies? So in his transfiguration. It was a fault then: Mat. xxvi. 40, ' When he coraeth he findeth them asleep. What! could you not watch with me one hour?' But the best men are clogged with human infirmities, in the most glorious manifestations of God to them.

2. The providence of God is to be observed in this sleep. That which came to pass through their fault was ordered by God's providence; for if they had been awake, they had heard all the discourse that passed between Christ and the two great prophets, which neither their present condition nor the state of the time did permit. Christ had told them that he should suffer an ignominious death, which they did not thoroughly understand; nor could they reconcile it with the present thoughts which they had of the Messiah; nor was it fit for them to hear all, how the death of Christ was foretold in the prophecies, prefigured in the sacrifices, shadowed out in all the rest of the types of the law, and sung of in the book of Psalms, to satisfy the justice of God, and open a way for his mercy and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Christ would not have the great work of his dying hindered, and these things they were not to learn from Moses and Elias, but he would teach them himself after the resurrection: Luke xxiv. 44-46, ' These are the words that I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their eyes that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.' And the full knowledge of them was reserved till the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. If they had heard them now, they would have begotten scruples and troublesome thoughts in their minds, and hindered the present service.

Observe hence our weakness during the time we are environed with mortality, that we cannot bear up long under spiritual duties; either our hearts are soon overcharged with wonder and astonishment, or else we yield to natural infirmities. However, let it be a warning to us against sleepiness in the worship of God. It is true the best may be surprised with it, as here Christ's disciples. Yet it was a sin in them to be asleep when Christ was at prayers, and it is a sin God hath severely punished; witness Eutychus: Acts xx. 9, ' And there sat in the window a young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.' Mark, though the sermon continued till midnight, and it was a youth that slept, yet he fell down as dead. It was a small sin a sin of infirmity a boy's sin; yet God would leave this warning. I do not animadvert too severely upon this infirmity, only give you caution. Christ praying all night on Mount Tabor, this weakness prevailed on these choice apostles, and elsewhere during the time of Christ's agonies. Yet we are to strive against it, and be sure it may be said of us as of them: Mark xxvi. 41, ' The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak' Make con science of avoiding this sin; do not compose yourselves to sleep; do not come to these duties spent with labours and worldly cares, nor clogged with excess of meat or drink, nor having defrauded ourselves of necessary refreshing by sleep, by vain pleasures the night before.

Secondly, Their carriage when they were awake. When they awaked, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with them; they saw Christ transfigured before they fell asleep, but I think they saw not Moses and Elias before, but now saw them, that they might give testimony of it to the church, not by common fame and hearsay, but as eye-witnesses; and they knew Moses and Elias either by information from Christ, or some secret instinct and revelation of the Spirit, or as hearing some part of the discourse, they heard enough to show what they were, or what the general matter of their discourse was. But that which is most remarkable is Peter's motion and proposal, ' It came to pass, as they departed from him ' just as they were parting ' Peter said, Lord, it is good for us to be here: let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias.' He mentioned no distinct tabernacle for himself and fellow-disciples, because they would be with Christ, attending on their master in his tent.

The motion in the general is rash, sudden, and unadvised; but being made by a good man, though under a passion, there is something good and something bad in it.

1. That which was good in it is, he yet retaineth his reverence.

[1.] That he submitteth his proposal to the judgment of his Lord and Master, wherein he expresseth his reverence of Christ ' Lord, if thou wilt' He desireth a continuance of this dispensation, leaveth it to his consent, acknowledging herein his wisdom and authority.

[2.] It showeth the valuableness and felicity of conversing with Christ and the glorified saints; for when but two of them appear in glory, talking with Christ, Peter said it is good to be here, to continue and abide in this place together with thyself, Moses, and Elias. What a blessed dignity is this! The glory of heaven is so ravishing and satisfactory to the soul, that the soul can rest in the least glimpse and degree of it! If a glimpse, what is the fulness? If the splendour of his humanity not yet glorified be so great, what is the glory of his God head? If a sight of these things at a distance, what is the participation when the glory shall be revealed in us, or we shall appear with him in glory? If Moses and Elias, what is the company of all the saints and angels? If it be thus at Mount Tabor, what will it be in heaven, when all the world is renewed and refined, and the church gathered together in one great assembly?

[3.] The nature of a state of glory, and how easily it maketh us to forget all things here below. Peter had a family, and household affairs to mind; for we read in the Gospel that his wife's mother was sick and cured by Christ: Mat. viii. 14. He had friends, and a brother called Andrew, who was one of the disciples of Christ, left below in the valley: John i. 40. Nay he forgot his own present condition- of life, which could not long brook his remaining in that mountain, without the supply of food, and other necessaries. Now all this showeth that when we are translated to heaven, we shall be so ravished with that kind of life we shall have there, as that all sense and memory of things that we have left behind shall cease, as Peter being ravished with this sight and spectacle, thinketh not of kindred, friends, or household, or any kind of worldly comfort, but saith only, it is good to be here; so that it teacheth us that the delights of the other world make us forget all our concernments here below: all shall be forgotten and swallowed up in that heavenly delight we shall have there.

2. That which was evil in it.

[1.] That he mistook the nature of the present dispensation. This was to be a representation, not a fruition, to be transient and moment ary; for confirmation, not possession; rather a viaticum, a bit by the way, than a feast. It was good and commendable to be affected with joy and delight in the presence and company of Christ, and Moses, and Elias, but it was not to be rested in as their full reward.

[2.] If this request had taken place, the work of our redemption had been hindered. What had become of Christ's death and passion, which he should accomplish at Jerusalem? All our happiness dependeth on that, and if God should give way to our carnal desires, what mischief would ensue! If Christ had hearkened to him, he would not have gone up to Jerusalem to suffer, nor would any man living have dared to lay hands upon him while he continued in this glory and majesty.

[3.] This request was injurious to Moses and Elias, that they should utterly forsake their heavenly mansions for an abode on earth, and therefore to desire their continuance there was to desire their loss. They were a little time to appear on earth with Christ, and then to return to their blessedness, or to the enjoyment of the sight of God in the third heavens.

[4.] It was injurious to Christ. To hope to learn something from. Moses and Elias which Christ could not teach them, and to equal them with his Lord and Master, in building tabernacles for all three alike and without difference, was some lessening of his respect to Christ. If they were to learn anything from them, they were to consult the books, not the persons: Luke xvi. 29, ' They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And the desires of extraordinary means argueth a contempt of ordinary.

[5.] It was an error to imagine that tabernacles were necessary for Moses and Elias, who now appeared in such heavenly glory in the mount. They needed not earthly houses and tents to dwell in, to defend them from the injuries of the weather, neither had they such present conveniencies to prepare them.

Thirdly, The censure of the Holy Ghost: Luke saith, ' not knowing what he said' In Mark, chap ix. 6, ' He wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.' They were words of a man in a rapture, or surprised with great astonishment. There were two affections, dazzled with the majesty of this glory, and transported with joy. There was also a great fright. Usually, ra \inrrjpa (}>o@epa,mch things as bring a hurt, occasion fear, and also things of excellent glory; such as surpass our present meanness; as here the change of Christ's person, and the glorious appearance of the great prophets, so long since separated from the commerce of mankind.

Observe, before we proceed, the inconvenience of great and excessive passions: they make us speak we know not what. Peter is an instance in scripture. Let us keep to him. You see him surprised with a great passion of fear, when at Christ's command a great draught of fish came to hand in an unlikely time: Luke v. 8, 9, ' Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of fishes that they had taken' You find him at other times transported with a passion of excessive reverence or humility: John xiii. 8, ' Lord, thou shalt never wash my feet' With a passion of love, or pity to his Master: ' Lord, let it be far from thee; this shall not be unto thee,' when his Master had fore told his death: Mat. xvi. 22, in case of contempt of Christ. Here with a passion of joy or ravishment, or transport of soul, ' Lord, it is good for us to be here' Now all these passions were religiously exercised; but it is dangerous when religion, which should bridle and govern our passions, is made the matter and fuel of them. Passionate joy, or passionate fear, passionate reverence, or passionate zeal, and anger, may easily transport us to some uncomely action or motion; for though in all these there was religion at top, yet sin at the bottom; and, therefore, you see how much it concerneth us to moderate and reduce ourselves to a due temper; for passion causeth us to do things without and against reason; yea, to speak and do we know not what; and when religious matters overheat our affections, we may err exceedingly.

Now, having opened this part of the history, let us observe some thing that conduceth to our practical instruction.

Doct. 1. That the state and condition of the glorified saints is a most delightful state and condition.

For when Peter had but a glimpse of it in the transfiguration of Christ, it seemed so ravishing and transporting, that here would he abide and stay by it; so was he affected with joy in the company and presence of Christ, and Moses and Elias appearing with him, that all his natural comforts and relations were forgotten. This would compensate all. If once we be gotten into this blessed estate, we shall never desire to come out of it, and part with it. This which the disciples had was but a little glimpse and taste of the life to come. This must needs be so; it is called joy: Mat. xxv. 21, ' Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord;' and fulness of joy: Ps. xvi. 11, 'In thy presence there is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more' No better estate can be expected. The soul is at rest, as having obtained its end. And it is also proved by the privileges and benefits the saints shall enjoy in the world to come.

1. A freedom from all evil, which here are matter of grief to us. And

2. The fruition of all good, which may any way bring joy, and delight, and contentment.

1. There is a freedom from all evil. There is a twofold evil, either of sin or punishment. In heaven there is neither sin nor misery.

[1.] To begin with sin, that is the worst evil, because it maketh us hateful to God, and grieveth the saints most: Rom. vii. 24, ' Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? ' If any man had cause to complain of afflictions, Paul much more, being often imprisoned, whipped, stoned; but his lusts troubled him more than scourges; and his captivity to the law of sin more than prisons. God's children are most weary of the world, because they are sinning here whilst others are glorifying of God, and enjoying God and the company of his blessed ones. Now in heaven there is no sin: Eph. v. 27, there is neither spot nor blemish, nor wrinkle on the face of the glorified saints. Their faces were once as black as yours, but now they are washed in the Lamb's blood and fully cleansed; now with much ado we mortify sin, but then it is nullified. But if we subdue the power of sin, we do not get rid of the being of it, but then we are rid of all at once of all sin, and temptation to sin. There was a serpent, a tempter in Paradise, but there is none in heaven; the devil is shut out, and the old man is left in the grave never to rise more.

[2.] There is not the least evil of affliction: Rev. xxi. 4, ' All tears shall be wiped away from their eyes.' Whatsoever is painful and burdensome to nature, is a fruit of sin, a brand and mark of our rebel lion against God. Therefore, when sin is done away, affliction, which is the fruit of it, is done away also. In hell there is evil, and only evil; in heaven, happiness, and only happiness. Here our wounds are healed, but the scars remain something to put us in mind that we have sin yet dwelling in us; but there all the effects of it cease there is neither death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain.

2. They shall enjoy all good things, which shall bring joy and com fort to them. In blessedness there is a confluence of all good; our joys are full and eternal.

[1.] There is the immediate sight and presence of God and Jesus Christ, who shall be all in all to them: 1 Cor. xiii. 12, ' Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; then shall I know as also I am known.' And John xvii. 24, ' Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.' We are brought into the presence of him who is blessedness itself.

[2.] The society of all the blessed angels and saints glorified: Mat. viii. 11, ' Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.'

[3.] The perfection of all heavenly gifts both in soul and body.

(1.) In soul: that is the heaven of heaven: 1 John iii. 2, ' Now are we the sons of God; but it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but this we know, that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is;' Ps. xvii. 15, ' When I awake I shall be satisfied with thy image and likeness.' By knowing we come to love, and by loving God we know him. There is vision, assimilation, satisfaction. The object is efficacious, the intimation vigorous and clear, the subject prepared for the impression. (2.) In body: Phil. iii. 21, 'Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.' The body shall be endued with all glorious qualities, as brightness, strength, agility. It is a body wholly impassible and incorruptible, fit for the operations of a glorified soul, and with it shall for ever remain, a glorious temple of the Holy Ghost; therefore it is good to be here.

Use 1. Let this draw forth our love to such a blessed estate, which is so full of delight and contentment, and wean us from these things which are most pleasing in the world.

1. The best estate in the world is but vanity, altogether vanity, Ps. xxxix. 5, mingled with some grievances. Wealth hath its incident cares, and honour its tortures, and all pleasures here are but bitter sweets; there is a worm that feedeth on our gourd, and will in time wither it. At last death cometh, and then the lust of the world is gone: 1 John ii. 17, ' The world passeth away, and the lust thereof.' The godly themselves have but a mixed estate, because of remaining infirmities, they live here in a vale of tears and snares, and sin doth not gasp its last till death removeth us from this sinful flesh, and puts us into the sight of God himself. Wherefore the saints are groaning and longing for the parting day, when putting off the flesh we shall put off sin, and come and dwell with God for ever.

2. None are translated into heaven but such whose hearts are there first: 2 Cor. v. 2, ' In this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven; ' Phil. i. 23, ' I desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ;' Horn. viii. 23, ' We that have the first-fruits of the Spirit groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies.' A Christian waiteth and longeth for a purer state of bliss and immortality. The first-fruits show what the harvest will be, and a taste what the feast will prove; though they are thankful for this refreshing by the way, yet they are longing to be at home cannot be contented without it.

3. The excellency of this estate requireth it: if it be not worth your desires and best affections, it is little worth. Christ procured it for us by a life of labours and sorrows, and the pangs of a bitter, cursed death; and when all this is done shall not we desire it and look after it? that is foul ingratitude. Oh then let your hearts be upon it; desire must go before delight.

Use 2. To move us to labour for it, and seek it in the first place, and to get it assured that we have a part in this blessed and joyful condition: Mat. vi. 33, ' Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof;' Luke xiii. 24, ' Strive to enter in at the strait gate; ' so 2 Pet. i. 10, ' Give diligence to make your calling and election sure' What profit is it to know that there is such a blessed and joyful estate, if we have no interest in it? Heaven is worth our pains, and will bear all the cost we can lay out upon it. So the children of God thought: Acts xxvi. 7, ' Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.' If we do not desire it, we do not believe it; if we do not labour for it, we do not desire it.

Use 3. Let us comfort ourselves with the hopes of this blessed and joyful condition.

1. Against all the miseries and afflictions of this present life. These are necessary; we would sleep too quietly in the world if we did not sometimes meet with thorns in our beds; we should be so pleased with our entertainment in the way as we should forget home. But God awakeneth us out of our drowsy fits by sharp afflictions, as if he said, ' Arise, depart hence, this is not your rest,' Micah ii. 10. While we wallow in sensual comforts our hearts say, it is good being here.

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