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and devoureth his enemies?” alluding to 2 Kings. i. Who but Elias, of whom is said, “He hath power to shut the heaven, that it rain not in the days of his prophesying?” alluding to 1 Kings xviii. Who but Moses, of whom it is said, “ He hath power to turn the waters into blood, and smite the earth with all manner of plagues ?” alluding to Exodus vii. 8. But take me aright, let me not seem a friend to the publicans of Rome, an abettor of those Alcoran-like fables of our Popish doctors, who, not seeing the wood for trees, do hærere in cortice ; "stick in the bark;” taking all concerning that Antichrist according to the letter, Odi et arceo.
So shall Moses and Elias come again in those witnesses, as Elias is already come in John Baptist : their spirits shall be in these witnesses, whose bodies and spirits were witnesses both of the present glory and future passion of Christ. Doubtless many thousand angels saw this sight, and were not seen; these two both saw and were seen. O how great an happiness was it for these two great prophets, in their glorified flesh to see their glorified Saviour, who before his incarnation, had spoken to them! To speak to that Man-God, of whom they were glorified, and to become prophets, not to men, but to God! And if Moses' face so shone before, when he spoke to him without a body in mount Sinai, in the midst of the faines and clouds, how did it shine now, when himself glorified speaks to him a man, in Tabor, in light and majesty! Elias hid his face before with a mantle when he passed by him in the rock; now with open face he beholds him present, and in his own glory adores his. Let that impudent Marcion, who ascribes the law and prophets to another god, and devises an hostility betwixt Christ and them, be ashamed to see Moses and Elias not only in colloquio, but in consortio claritatis ; "not only in conference, but in a partnership of brightness," as Tertullian speaks, with Christ; whom, if he had misliked, he had his choice of all the quire of heaven ; and now choosing them, why were they not in sordibus et tenebris, rags
and darkness ?” sic in alienos demonstrat illos dum secum habet ; sic relinquendos docet quos sibi jungit ; sibi
de radiis suis exstruit. “So doth he shew them far from strangeness to hiin, whom he hath with him; so doth he teach them to be forsaken, whom he joins with himself; so doth be destroy those whom he graces with his beams of
glory,” saith that father. His act verifies his word, “Think not that I come to destroy the law or the prophets ; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil them.” Matth. v. 17. O what consolation, what confirmation was this to the disciples, to see such examples of their future glory! such witnesses and adorers of the eternal Deity of their Master! They saw, in Moses and Elias, what they themselves should be. · How could they ever fear to be miserable, that saw such precedents of their ensuing glory? how could they fear to die, that saw in others the happiness of their own change? The rich glutton pleads with Abraham, that “if one came to them from the dead, they will amend:” Abraham answers, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.” Behold, here is both Moses and the prophets, and these too come from the dead : how can we now but be persuaded of the happy state of another world, unless we will make ourselves worse than the damned? See and consider that the saints of God are not lost, but departed; gone into a far. country with their Master, to return again richer and better than they went. Lest we should think this the condition of Elias only, that was rapt into heaven, see here Moses matched with him, that died and was buried. And is this the state of these two saints alone? shall none be seen with him in the Tabor of heaven, but those which have seen him in Horeb and Carmel? O thou weak Christian, was only one or two limbs of Christ's body glorious in the transfiguration, or the whole? he is the head, we are the members. If Moses and Elias were more excellent parts, tongue or hand, let us be but heels or toes, his body is not perfect in glory without ours. “When Christ, which is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory;" Colos. iii. 4. How truly may we say to death,
Rejoice not, mine enemy; though I fall, yet shall I rise; yea, I shall rise in falling. We shall not all sleep, we shall be
changed,” saith St. Paul to his Thessalonians. Elias was changed, Moses slept, both appeared; to teach us, that neither our sleep nor change can keep us from appearing with him. When therefore thou shalt receive the sentence of death on mount Nebo, or when the fiery chariot shall come and sweep thee from this vale of mortality, remember thy glorious reapparition with thy Saviour, and thou canst not but be comforted, and cheerfully triumph over that last enemy, outfacing those terrors with the assurance of a blessed resurrection to glory. To the which, &c.
CONTEMPLATION XIII. The Second Part of the Meditations upon the Transfigu
ration of Christ.
A SERMON PREACHED AT WHITEHALL BEFORE KING JAMES.
It falls out with this discourse as with mount Tabor itself, that it is more easily climbed with the eye, than with the foot. If we may not rather say of it, as Josephus did of Sinai, that it doth not only ascensus hominum, but aspectus fatigare; “weary not only the steps, but the very sight of men.” We had thought not to spend many breaths in the skirts of the hill, the circumstances : and it hath cost us one hour's journey already; and we were glad to rest us ere we can have left them below us.
One pause more, I hope, will overcome them, and set us on the top. No circumstance remains undiscussed, but this one, what Moses and Elias did with Christ in their
apparition? For they were not, as some sleepy attendants, (like the three disciples in the beginning,) to be there and see nothing; nor, as some silent spectators, mute witnesses, to see and say nothing: but, as if their glory had no whit changed their profession, they are prophets still, “and foretold his departure, as St. Luke tells us. Foretold, not to him which knew it before, yea, which told it them; they could not have known it but from him; he was nóryos, “the word" of his Father : they told but that which he before had told his disciples, and now these heavenly witnesses tell it over again, for confirmation. Like as John Baptist knew Christ before; he was vox clamantis.; "the voice of a cryer: “the other, Verbum Patris; "the word” of his Father: there is great affinity betwixt vox and verbum : yea, this voice had uttered itself clearly, Ecce agnus Dei; “Behold the Lamb of God;" yet he sends his disciples with an “ Art thou he?” that he might confirm to them by him, that which he both knew and had said of him. So our Saviour follows his forerunner in this, that what he knew and had told his disciples, the other Elias, the typical John Baptist, and Moses, must make good to their belief.
This έξοδος, “departure of Christ,” was σκληρος λόγος, a word both hard and barsh; hard to believe, and harsh in believing. The disciples thought of nothing but a kingdom; a
kingdom restored magnificently, interminably; and two of these three witnesses had so swallowed this hope, that they had put in for places in the state, to be his chief peers. How could they think of a parting? The throne of David did so fill their eyes, that they could not see his cross; and if they must let down this pill, how bitter must it needs be? His presence was their joy and life; it was their death to think of his loss. Now, therefore, that they might see that his sufferings and death were not of any sudden impotence, but predetermined in heaven, and revealed to the saints, two of the most noted saints in heaven shall second the news of his departure, and that in the midst of his transfiguration : that they could not choose but think, He that can be thus happy, needs not be miserable; that passion which he will undergo, is not out of weakness, but out of love. It is wittily noted by that sweet Chrysostom, that Christ never lightly spake of his passion, but immediately before and after he did some great miracle. And here, answerably, in the midst of his miraculous transfiguration, the two saints speak of his passion. A strange opportunity! in his highest exaltation to speak of his sufferings; to talk of Calvary in Tabor; when bis head shone with glory, to tell him how it must bleed with thorns; when his face shone like the sun, to tell him it must be blubbered and spit upon; when his garments glistered with that celestial brightness, to tell hiin they must be stripped and divided; when he was adored by the saints of heaven, to tell him how he must be scorned by the basest of men; when he was seen between two saints, to tell him how he must be seen between two malefactors: in a word, in the midst of his divine Majesty, to tell him of his shaine; and, while he was transfigured in the mount, to tell him how he must be disfigured upon the cross. Yet these two heavenly prophets found this the fittest time for this discourse: rather choosing to speak of his sufferings in
the height of his glory, than of his glory after his sufferings. * It is most seasonable in our best, to think of our worst estate;
for both that thought will be best digested when we are well, and that change will be best prepared for when we are the farthest from it. You would perhaps think it unseasonable for ine, in the midst of all your court jollity, to tell you of the days of mourning, and, with that great king, to serve in a death's head amongst your royal dishes, to shew your coffins in the midst of your triumphs ; yet these precedents, above exception, shew me, that no time is so fit as this. Let me therefore say to you, with the Psalmist; “I have said, ye are gods:” if ye were transfigured in Tabor, could ye be more?
but ye shall die like men:” there is your étodos. It was a worthy and witty note of Jerom, that amongst all trees the cedars are bidden to praise God, which are the tallest: and yet dies Domini super omnes cedros Libani, Isaiah ïi. Ye gallants, whom a little yellow earth, and the webs of that curious worm, have made gorgeous without, and perhaps proud within, remember that, ere long, as one worm decks you without, so another worm shall consume you within, and that both the earth that you prank up, and that earth wherewith you prank it, is running back into dust. Let not your high estate hide from you your fatal humiliation: let not your purples hide from you your winding sheet, but even on the top of Tabor think of the depth of the grave; think of your departure from men, while ye are advanced above men.
We are now ascended the top of the hill, let us therefore stand, and see, and wonder at this great sight: as Moses, to see the “. bush flaming and not consumed;" so we, to see the humanity continuing itself in the midst of these beams of glory. Christ was év uopfn doúlov, saith St. Paul, “in the form of a servant;” now for the time he was truly metquoppódels, “transformed :” that there is no cause why Maldonat should enveigh against some of ours, yea of his own, as Jensenius, who translates it transformation: for what is the external form but the figure? and their own vulgar (as hotly as he takes it) reads it, Philip. ii. 7. uoppniu doúrov, “ formam servi accipiens.” There is no danger in this ambiguity; not the substantial form, but the external fashion of Christ was changed : he having three forms (as Bernard distinguishes) Contemptam, splendidam, divinam, changeth here the first into the second : this is one of the rarest occurrences that ever befel the Saviour of the world. I am wont to reckon up these four principal wonders of his life; incarnation, temptation, transfiguration and agony: the first, in the womb of the virgin; the second, in the wilderness; the third, in the mount; the fourth, in the garden : The first, that God should become man; the second, that God and man should be tempted, and transported by Satan ; the third, that man should be glorified upon earth; the last, that he which was man and God should