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and Birds of the Air have Nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay bis Head. Luke ix. 58.
The Yews had their Heads filled and intoxicated with flattering Notions of the outward Splendor and Magnificence in which the Mufiah was to appear, and erect a Kingdom among Men. And hence they so often demanded of our Saviour to give them a Sign from Heaven, by which probably they meant fome illustrious Appearance in the Clouds. And, if they had heard of the wonderful Glory in which he appeared to his Disciples on the Mount, they would no Doubt have desired and expected that he should shew the same Splendor of his Majesty before them: And, if they had believed the Account that had been given of it, considering the Temper they were in, and the Notions and Expectations which at that Time prevailed among them, it would have been scarce possible to have contained them within proper Bounds, or to have kept them from Insurrections and Commotions, and froin open Attempts to set up Yesus for their King, and to shake off the Roman Yoke ; which would have been intirely inconsistent with the Design of his Coming, and brought the greatest Disreputation on his Gospel, and on the spiritual Nature of
. . his
his Kingdom. Accordingly we find that, though he continually performed many Miracles among them, which really exhibited a demonstrative Evidence of his Divine Power as well as Goodness, yet they were not accompanied with such out. ward Displays of Majesty as might be apt to dazzle the Multitude. He shunned Oftentation and Shew, and, all the Time that he was performing his wonderful Works, he himself went about among the People in a mean external Form and Appearance, familiarly conversing with them, as if he were one of themselves. And, with Regard to some of his most remarkable Miracles, he forbid the Persons on whom they were wrought to spread them abroad. But, after he had gone through the appointed Course of Sufferings and Humiliations, and had been rejected of the chief Priests and Rulers, and had submitted to Death itself, the cruel, the ignominious Death of the Cross, then the proper Season came for the full Manifestation of his Divine Glory to the World. It appeared from bis Sufferings and Death, that his Kingdom was not of this world, and that the Salvation, of which he was the Author, was spiritual and divine. And then the Discoveries of his Glory were proper to take off the Prejudices that his Sufferings
had raised against him, and to thew that, though in the Days of bis Flesh he had shunned such temporal Grandeur and Magnificence as the Jews expected in their Mesah, yet he was really a Person of infinite Dignity; and that, even during his humbled State on Earth, he could have arrayed himself with a Splendor and Glory that could have astonished the World, if it had been consistent with the great Ends of his Coming, and the Work he was sent upon. And for this End the Testimony of the Disciples who had been with him in the holy Mount, and had been Eye-witnesses of his Majesty at his Transfiguration, was very proper. And for them to publish the wonderful Account of what they had heard and seen on that Occasion might then have a very good Effect. And as the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ, of which they had the most convincing Evidence, tended to prepare the. Minds of the other Disciples for receiving and believing the Account given of his Transfiguration by Peter, James, and
Fobn, who were Eye-witnesses of it; so the amazing Splendor with which he was then arrayed, tended to give them more magnificent Notions of the transcendent Glory and Felicity of his exalted State in Heaven.
These may be some of the Reasons for which our blessed Lord charged bis Dif
·ciples ciples to tell no Man of this Vihon, till be rose again from the Dead. And in this they observed his Direction: For the Evangelist Luke afsures us, that they kept it close, and told no Man in those Days any of thofe Things which they had seen. Luke ix. 36. But, after Christ's Resurrection, they took Care to publish it to the World, as well as the other wonderful Things, which yefus had done and taught, during the Course of his personal Ministry on Earth. Accordingly we find a particular Relation of this amazing Event recorded by three of the Evangelists. St. John, who writ last of all, doth not mention it, because he chiefly taketh Notice of those Things which the other Evangelists had omitted. But it appeareth from what St. Peter saith concerning it, in his second Epistle, Chap. i. Ver. 16, 17, 18, that the Transfiguration of our Lord, and the Testimony then given him, was a Thing which he and the other Apostles, who were Witnesses of it, particularly insisted upon. After having said, that he would endeavour that they might be ablé, after bis Decease, to have the Things ke bad taught them always in Remembrance, he addeth: For we have not followed cunningly devised Fables, when we made known unto you the Power and Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were Eye
witnesses of bis Majesty. For be received from God the Father Honour and Glory, when there came fuch 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 bim in the holy Mount. And indeed, all Things considered, there could not be more credible or more unexceptionable Witnesses. It was a Matter of Fact in which they could not be deceived themselves : For it was confirmed to them by the Evidence of all their Senses. There were three of them then with Yesus, and they all concurred in their Testimony. They all saw the same wonderful Glory, and all heard the same majestic heavenly Voice, and the Words that were uttered by it; which shewed it to be a real external Appearance, of which they were all equally Eye-witnesses, as St. Peter speaks ; and not a mere Extasy, or a Thing privately transacted in their Imaginations: For 'then how came they all exactly to see the same Things, and to hear the same Words? It was an Event which they seem to have had no Notion or Expectation of before-hand. Whilft Jesus was praying, they became heavy with Sleep : And, 'upon their Awaking, beheld all that Glory, which surprised them the more, as it was alto