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or the awfulness or solitary silence of places, which (as one saith) strikes a kind of adoration into us; or by our local removal from this attractive body of the earth; howsoever, when the body sees itself above the earth, the eye of the mind is more easily raised to her heaven. It is good to take all advantage of place, setting aside superstition, to further our devotion : Aaron and Hur were in the mountain with Moses, and held up his hands : Aaron, say some allegorists, is mountainous; Hur, fiery: heavenly meditation and the fire of charity, must lift up our prayers to God. As Satan carried up Christ to an high hill, to tempt him, so he carries up himself, to be freed from temptation and distraction: if ever we would be transfigured in our dispositions, we must leave the earth below, and abandon all worldly thoughts, venite, ascendamus, &c. “O come, let us climb up to the hill, where God sees," or is seen, (saith devout Bernard); “O all ye cares, distractions, thoughtfulness, labours, pains, servitudes, stay me here with this ass, my body, till I with the boy, that is, my reason and understanding, shall worship and return," saith the same father, wittily alluding to the journey of Abrabam for his sacrifice.
Wherefore then did Christ climb up this high hill ? not to look about him, but, saith St. Luke, apogeuzaodai, “ to pray;" not for prospect, but for devotion, that his thoughts might climb up yet nearer to heaven. Behold how Christ entered upon all his great works with prayers in his mouth. When he was to enter into that great work of his humiliation in his passion, he went into the garden to pray; when he is to enter into this great work of his exaltation in his transfiguring, he went up into the mountain to pray; he was taken up froin his knees to both. O noble exainple of piety and devotion to us! He was God that prayed : the God that he prayed to, he might have commanded; yet he prayed, that we men might learn of him to pray to him. What should we men dare to do without prayers, when he that was God would do nothing without them? The very heathen poet could say, A Jove principium : and which of those verse-mongers ever durst write a ballad, without imploring of some deity? which of the heathens durst attempt any great enterprise, insalutato numine ; “ without invocation and sacrifice?" Saul himself would play the priest, and offer a burnt-offering to the Lord, rather than the Philistines should fight with him unsupplicated;
as thinking any devotion better than none; and thinking it more safe to sacrifice without a priest, than to fight without prayers. Ungirt, unblest,” was the old word; as not ready till they were girded, so not till they had prayed. And how dare we rush into the affairs of God or the state? how dare we thrust ourselves into actions, either perilous or important, without ever lifting up our eyes and hearts unto the God of heaven? except we would say, as the devilish malice of Surius slanders that zealous Luther, Nec propter Deum hæc res cæpta est, nec propter Deum finietur, &c. “This business was neither begun for God, nor shall be ended for him.” How can God bless us, if we implore him not? how can we prosper if he bless us not? How can we hope ever to be transfigured from a lump of corrupt flesh, if we do not ascend and pray? As the Samaritan woman said weakly, we may seriously. The well of mercies is deep: if thou hast nothing to draw with, never look to taste of the waters of life. I fear the worst of men, Turks, and the worst Turks, the Moors, shall rise up in judgment against many Christians, with whom it is a just exception against any witness by their law, that he hath not prayed six times in each natural day. Before the day-break they pray for day; when it is day, they give God thanks for day; at noon they thank God for half the day past; after that they pray for a good sun-set; after that they thank God for the day past; and, lastly, pray for a good night after their day. And we Christians suffer so many suns and moons to rise and set upon our heads, and never lift up our hearts to their Creator and ours, either to ask his blessing or to acknowledge it. Of all 'men under heaven, none had so much need to pray as courtiers. That which was done but once to Christ, is always done to them. They are set upon the hill, and see the glory of the kingdoms of the earth. But I fear it is seen of them as it is with some of the mariners, the more need, the less devotion.
Ye have seen the place, see the attendants. He would not have many, because he would not have it yet known to all: hence was bis intermination, and sealing up their mouths with a nemini dicite; "tell no man.”. Not none, because he would not have it altogether unknown : and afterwards would have it known to all. Three were a legal number; in ore duorum aut trium ; " in the mouth of two or three witnesses." He had eternally possessed the glory of his father without any
witnesses; in time the angels were blessed with that sight; and after that, two bodily, yet heavenly witnesses, were allowed, Enoch and Elias. Now, in his humanity, he was invested with glory; he takes but three witnesses, and those earthly and weak, Peter, James, John. And why these? we may be too curious; Peter, because the eldest: John, because the dearest; James, because, next Peter, the zealousest: Peter, because he loved Christ most; Jubn, because Christ most loved himn; James, because, next to both he loved, and was loved most. I had rather to have no reason, but quia complacuit ; “ because it so pleased him.” Why may we not as well ask why he chose these twelve from others, as why he chose these three out of the twelve? If any Romanists will raise from hence any privilege to Peter, (which we could be well content to yield, if that would make them ever the honester men) they must remember that they must take company with them, which these Pompeian spirits cannot abide. As good no privilege as any partners. And withal, they must see him more taxed for his error in this act, than honoured by his presence at the act; whereas the beloved disciple saw, and erred not. These same three, which were witnesses of his transfiguration in the mount, were witnesses of his agony in the garden; all three, and these three alone, were at present at both: but both times sleeping. These were arietes gregis ; “ The bell-wedders of the fock," as Austin calls them. O weak devotion of three great disciples! These were Paul's three pillars, oi otú noi dokoûvtes, Gal. ii. 9. Christ takes them up twice; once to be witnesses of his greatest glory, once of his greatest extremity; they sleep both times. The other was in the night, more tolerable; this by day, yea in a light above day. Chrysostom would fain excuse it to be an amazedness, not a sleep, not considering that they slept both at that glory, and after in the agony. To see that master praying, one would have thought should have fetched them on their knees; especially to see those heavenly affections look out at his eyes; to see his soul lifted up in his hands, in that transported fashion, to heaven. But now the hill' hath wearied their limbs, their body clogs their soul, and they fall asleep. While Christ saw divine visions, they dreamed dreams; while he was in another world, ravished with the sight of his Father's glory, yea of his own, they were in another world, a world of fancies, surprised with the cousin of death, sleep. Besides so gracious an example, their own necessity, quia incessanter pecco, “Because I continually sin,” Bernard's reason, might have moved them to pray, rather than their Master; and behold, instead of fixing their eyes upon heaven, they shut them; instead of lifting up their hearts, their heads fall down upon their shoulders; and shortly, here was snorting instead of sighs and prayers. This was not Abraham's or Elihu's ecstatical sleep, Job xxxiii.; not the sleep of the church, a waking sleep, but the plain sleep of the eyes; and that not a slumbering sleep, which David denies to himself, Psal. cxxxii.; but a sound sleep, which Solomon forbids, Prov. vi. 4.; yea rather the dead sleep of Adam or Jonas; and, as Bernard had wont to say when he heard a monk snort, they did carnaliter seu seculariter dormire. Prayer is an ordinary receipt for sleep. How prone are we to it, when we should mind divine things ! Adam slept in Paradise and lost a rib: but this sleep was of God's giving, and this rib was of God's taking. The good husband slept, and found tares. Eutychus slept, and fell. While Satan lulls us asleep, as he doth always rock the cradle when we sleep in our devotions, he ever takes some good from us, or puts some evil in us, or endangers us a deadly fall. Away with this spiritual lethargy! Bernard had wont to say, that those which sleep are dead to men, those that are dead are asleep to God. But, I say, those that sleep at church are dead to God : so we preach their funeral sermons instead of hortatory. And as he was wont to say, he lost no time so much as that wherein he slept; so let me add, there is no loss of time so desperate as of holy time. Think that Christ saith to thee at every sermon, as he did to Peter, Etiam Petre, dormis ?
Sleepest thou, Peter? couldst thou not wake with me one hour?” A slumbering and a drowsy heart does not become the business and presence of him that keepeth Israel, and slumbers not. These were the attendants; see the companions of Christ
. As our glory is not consummate without society, no more would Christ have his ; therefore his transfiguration hath two companions, Moses, Elias. As St. Paul says of himself, “Whether in the body or out of the body, I know not, God knows;" so say I of these two. Of Elias there may seem less doubt, since we know that his body was assumed heaven, and might as well come down for Christ's glory, as go up for his own; although some grave authors, as Calvin, Ecolampadius, Bale, Fulk, have held his body with Enoch's, resolved into their elements. Sed ego non credulus illis : Enoch translatus est in carne, et Elias carneus raptus est in cælum, Sc.
« Epoch was translated in the flesh, and Elias, being yet in the flesh, was taken into heaven,” saith Jerom, in his epistle ad Pammachium.
And for Moses, though it be rare and singular, and Austin makes much scruple of it, yet why might not be after death return in his body to the glory of Christ's transfiguration, as well as afterwards many of the saints did to the glory of his resurrection ? I cannot therefore with the gloss think, there is any reason why Moses should take another, a borrowed body, rather than bis own. Heaven could not give two fitter companions, more admirable to the Jews for their miracles, more gracious with God for their faith and holiness; both of them admitted to the conference with God in Horeb, both of them types of Christ ; both of them fasted forty days, both of them for the glory of God suffered many perils, both divided the waters, both the messengers of God to kings, both of them marvellous, as in their life so in their end. A chariot of angels took away Elias; he was sought by the prophets, and not found. Michael strove with the devil for the body of Moses; he was sought by the Jews and not found; and now both of them are found bere together on Tabor. This Elias shews himself to the royal prophet of his church; this Moses shews himself to the true Michael. Moses the publisher of the law, Elias the chief of the prophets, shew themselves to the God of the law and prophets. . Alter populi informator aliquando, alter reformator quandoque; "one the informer once of the people, the other the reformer sometimes,” saith Tertull. in 4. adoer. Marcionem. Alter initiator Veteris Testamenti, alter consummator Novi; “ one the first register of the Old Testament, the other the shutter up of the New." I verily think with Hilary, that these two are pointed at as the forerunners of the second coming of Christ, as now they were the foretellers of his departure: neither doubt I that these are the two witnesses which are alluded to in the Apocalypse, howsoever divers of the fathers have thrust Enoch into the place of Moses. į Look apon the place, Apoc. xi. 5. who but Elias can be he of whom it is said, “If any man will hurt him, fire proceedeth out of his mouth