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this Account of our Saviour's Transfiguration, or what the Things were that immediately preceded it.
Secondly, I shall consider the Description that is given of the Transfiguration itself, and the most remarkable Circumstances that attended it.
Thirdly, The last Thing I shall observe is the Conclusion of it, and the Injunction laid by our Saviour upon his Disciples, not to discover it to any Man till after his Resurrection.
First, Let us consider the Manner in which the Evangelists introduce this Account of our Saviour's Transfiguration, or what those Things were that immediately preceded it. And this the rather deserves to be considered, because all the Evangelists observe the same Order in their Narration of what preceded this wonderful Transaction. They all give us an Account of a remarkable Discourse he had with his Disciples, and then observe that within a few Days after this his Transfiguration happened.
As to the Discourfe here referred to, we are informed that after Peter had made that open and excellent Confession that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the living God; and after our Saviour had declared his Approbation of it, and given an ho
nourable Testimony to Peter himself, con. cerning which see the 15th and following Verses of the preceding Chapter; from that Time forth began Jesus to Mew unto bis Disciples, how that be must go unto Je. rusalem, and suffer many Things of the Elders, and chief Priests, and Scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third Day.
When Peter had so openly declared, in the Name of all the Disciples, their Belief that he was the Chrift, he thought it neceffary plainly to let them know the grievous Sufferings he was to endure, both that they might not be surprised when it actually happened, and to correct the wrong Notions he knew they entertained of the Nature of his Kingdom. They, as well as the other Jews, expected a Mefiah that should appear in all the Glory and Grandeur of a mighty temporal Prince, and should advance the People of Israel to a Dominion over all Nations; and very probably they flattered themselves that, as they were his immediate Ministers and Attendants, they should have no small Share in his Favour, and perhaps be raised to great Dignities in his Kingdom. Accordingly Peter, upon hearing our Saviour speak of his Sufferings and Death, which was so contrary to all the Notions and Expectations they had formed, began to rebuke bim, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord; this fball not be unto thee. But he received the most severe Reproof for it that our Lord ever gave to any of his Disciples: He said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan, thout art an Offence unto me : For thou favoureth not tbe Things that be of God, but those that be of Men. Ver. 22, 23. And then we are told, Ver. 24, that upon this Occafion he said unto his Disciples, and, as the Evangelist Mark observes, Mark viii. 34, he called the People unto him and said it to them all : If any Man will come after me, let bim deny himself, and take up bis Crofs and follow me. Whereby he acquainted them, that, if they would approve themfelves to be his faithful Disciples, who Lould share in the Benefits of his Kingdom, they must not expect mighty temporal Advantages, but rather prepare for the greatest Sufferings, in Conformity to the Example of him their great Lord and Maf
They must be ready not only to mortify their most beloved Lufts, but to renounce their dearest worldly Interests, and even to lay down their Lives, if called to it, for his Sake. But then, that this might not discourage them, he adds, For whosoever will save his Life Mall lose it : And whosoever will lose his Life, for my Sake, shall find it. Ver. 25. (i. e. whosoever will think by denying me to preserve this present
temporal Life, shall lose that which alone deserves the Name of Life; and whosoever shall, out of Love to me, and a faithful Adherence to my, Gospel, lose this temporal Life, Mall obtain that which is the noblest and happiest Kind of Life, viz. Life everlasting.) For, as he adds, Ver. 26, What is a Man profited, if he shall gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? Or what shall a Man give in Exchange for his Soul? And then to Thew the Certainty of all this, of the Happiness that shall be conferred upon all his faithful Disciples and Followers, and of the Punishment that shall be inflicted on those that deny and forsake him, he assures thern that, though his Kingdoin was not of this World, attended with the Glory and Magnificence of earthi; Monarchs, yet he should be a King in a far nobler Sense, and have a Dominion of an higher Nature. The Son of Man (faith he, Ver. 27.) Mall come in the Glory of his Father with his Angels; and then be Mall reward every Man according to bis Works, i. e. not merely with temporal Rewards and Punishments in this Life, but with those of an everlasting Duration in a future State.
He adds, Ver. 28, Verily I say unto you, there be fome standing here, which mall not taste of Death, till they see the Son of Man
coming in his Kingdom. The Coming of the Son of Man admitteth of various Senfes in the New Testament. In the most eminent Sense it is to be understood of his Coming in Glory to judge the World at the last Day; and this Coming he had spoken of just before. But this is not the Coming here intended, when he faith, that some of those that were then present with him should not die till they saw him coming in his Kingdom. Sometimes his Coming is to be understood of the glorious Manifestation of his Power and Justice in the sige nal Vengeance inflicted upon the Jewish Nation, for their obstinate Unbelief and Disobedience ; and, as this happened about forty Years after our Saviour spoke these Words, some then present with him might live to see it; which was particularly the Case of the Apostle John. Or his Coming in his Kingdom may be understood of his Resurrection from the Dead, and Ascension into Heaven, and consequent Exaltation, by which, and by the extraordinary Gifts and Powers of the Holy Ghost, and the wonderful Progress of the Gospel, his Kingdom and Glory was illustriously manifested. And in this Sense it is evident, that several of those that were then with him saw his Coming in his Kingdom. They were Witnesses to his Resurrection