« ZurückWeiter »
earth á specimen of the glory which he had with the Father before the world
This splendid exhibition was, no doubt, granted to his disciples for this end, among others, to fortify their minds against the ignominy of his cross, to confirm their faith in him as the promised . Messiah, and to keep them from being offended at the course of deep humiliation and suffering upon which he was about to enter, and of which he had lately forewarned them.
At this time there appeared, talking with him, Moses, the great lawgiver of God's people, and Elias, the zealous retorer of the law; these illustrious saints being sent from heaven as ambassadors to wait upon Christ and his apostles, and to be the witnesses of this memorable event :-a glorious interview indeed! the law and the gospel, the church militant and the church triumphant, met together, Jesus Christ being the glorious head and bond of union between both. Peter upon
this occasion seems to have imagined that Jesus had now assumed that dignity and glory in which the Jews expected that the Messiah was to
appear ; that Elias was come according to the sense in which they understood that prediction of Malachi, and that his flourishing temporal kingdom was now begun, and would continue for ever. Wherefore, in the first hurry of his thoughts, he proposed erecting three tabernacles for Jesus and his celestial visitants,-intending perhaps to bring the multitude from the plain below to participate in the glorious scene.
But, lo! while he yet spake, a cloud or pillar of light overshadowed Moses and Elias, as they ascended again to the heavenly regions : a voice is heard, not the awful voice which from Mount Sinai's top shook the earth and the heavens, and filled the congregation with terror, but the peaceful voice of approbation and love: it is the voice of the Most High which issues from the cloud, and it announces of Jesus, “ This is my beloved “ Son, in whom I am well pleased ; hear “ye him!”
These, Christians, were the most comfortable words that ever reached the ears of fallen man,—the most acceptable news that ever came from heaven to
earth, since our first apostacy from God. They are of the same import with this gracious declaration, that “ God is in “ Christ reconciling the world unto him“ self, not imputing unto men their tres
passes. The disciples were now assured, by an audible voice from heaven, that the same Jesus, who had hitherto
appeared in a low and mean condition, and whom they now beheld in the glorious majesty of his transfigured state, was God's own Son,--his Son, not by creation, as the angels are his sons ;—not by adoption, as men become his sons ;—but his Son by generation,--his only begotten, his well-beloved son. “ He is the Word, 66 who was in the beginning with God and “ was God ;” equal to and one with the Father ; “ the witness of his glory, and “ the express image of his person.
In discoursing from the words of the text, it is not my intention to explain any farther the testimony that God the Father here gives concerning Jesus Christ, when
« This is my beloved Son, in “ whom I am well pleased; hear ye him!” but understanding it to express,
general terms, the Divinity of our Saviour,
and his appointment to the office of Mediator between heaven and earth, I shall rather, in this discourse, illustrate the duty which God here requires of us with respect to Christ, contained in these words, 66 Hear
him !" and then draw some practical improvement from 'what
may be said.
First, These words, “ hear ye him !" evidently refer to the prediction concerning that great prophet, whom God by his servant Moses promised, many ages before our Lord's manifestation in the flesh, should arise among the Israelites. The Lord God, says he, “ will raise up unto “ them a prophet from the midst of their “ brethren, like unto me; unto him shall “ ye hearken.” This, my friends, is
friends, is a very important and comprehensive duty, tho' expressed in few words. To treat of it at full length, would lead us into a field too wide for us at present to enter.
I shall therefore specify only a few particulars that may be supposed to comprehend the substance of what seems here to be required. I observe, then, that this precept or duty includes in it, in the first place, that
you are to hear Christ as your Prophet and Teacher sent from God.
The disciples plainly saw Moses and Elias talking with Jesus, and they were no doubt desirous to hear the interesting conversation. They would naturally expect to receive some very important information from these great prophets who were immediately come from heaven, With itching ears would they listen to the news of that glorious unknown country, which no mortal eye was able to explore. But, lo! a voice from the cloud, a word from the great God himself, checks their curiosity. It proclaims the arrival of a new prophet, infinitely superior to Moses or Elias ; yea, to all the prophets that had gone before or that may come after him; and it commands obedience to him : 66 Hear
him!” Are we not then bound to receive his doctrine and laws as the truths and precepts of the living God, and to make them the rule of our faith and manners. We must with deep attention, with much solicitude and care study the knowledge of his gospel, assured that it contains the most important information which the