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coming in his Kingdom. The Coming of the Son of Man admitteth of various Senses 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 faw him coming in his Kingdom. Sometimes bis Coming is to be understood of the glorious Manifestation of his Power and Justice in the signal Vengeance inflicted upon the Jewi/b 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 faw his Coming in his Kingdom. They were Witnesses to his Resurrection
and Ascension, which was as it were his solemn public Inauguration into his Kingdom; and to the marvellous .Displays of his Glory in the extraordinary Gifs and miraculous Powers of the Holy Ghost, which, being exalted at the right Hand of God, he poured forth upon his Disciples; and to the surprising Progress and vast Diffusion of the Gospel. And of this his glorious Exaltation and Kingdom he designed in a few Days to exhibit an illustrious Specimen and Pledge in his Transfiguration; to which some suppose these Expressions of our Saviour, whereby he signifieth that some of those, who were then with him, should see him coming in his Kingdom, have a special Reference. So several of the ancient Christian Writers understand it.
Thus I have given a general View of that remarkable Discourse of our Saviour, which all the Evangelists who mention his Transfiguration take Notice of. The Evangelists Matthew and Mark observe, that in six Days after this the Transfiguration happened, Luke faith it was about eight Days. This may at first View look like a Contradiction} but it admitteth of an easy Reconciliation. When St, Matthew and Mark fay it was after six Days, they intend by it six intire Dayr, besides
the the Day on which he had the Discourse that hath been considered, and the Day on which he was transfigured, neither of which Days they reckon; whereas St. Luke takes them both into the Account, and therefore faith, It was about eight Days after these Sayings. And both these Ways of Reckoning are usual, not only in Scripture, but in common Language.
Thus, in a very short Time after having had that remarkable Discourse with his Disciples, this most wonderful Event happened. He had been speaking to them of his going to Jerusalem, and suffering and dying there, at which they were greatly astonished and concerned; and now they were to hear some of the heavenly Inhabitants, Moses and Elias, conversing with him about his Decease, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem; by which they might both know the Certainty and Necessity of it, and would be the better prepared for it, when it actually came to pass. He had been speaking to them of his Kingdom, and now he would give them some present Pledge and Earnest of it, whereby they might be convinced it was not to be of a temporal worldly Nature, but Divine and Heavenly. He had been speaking to them of his Coming in Glory, and now he was resolved to give
them them some short Glimpse of that Glory with which his human Nature should be arrayed, that Nature which was soon to be subjected to such grievous Sufferings and Indignities; whereby they might be con-* vinced that it was not through Want of Power that he suffered, but because it was necessary, for wise and valuable Ends, that he should do so.
But it was not all his Disciples that our Saviour chose to be Witnesses of his Transfiguration. We are told in Ver. i. of this Chapter, that he took Peter, James, and John with him. As he designed that this should not be publicly known or divulged till after his Resurrection, for Reasons which I mail take Notice of afterwards; so he did not think fit that all his Disciples should see it. For some or other, in such a Number, would be very apt to publish it before the appointed Season. And yet it was proper to take so many of them with him as might be competent Witnesses of the Truth of the Fact, that in the Month of two or three Witnejfes it might be rjlailisJhed. As to his fixing upon these particular Persons, rather than any other of his Disciples, this depended upon his own free Choice, for which, undoubtedly, he had wife and just Reasons. Thus we find him taking these three, Peter, James, and John, with him,, when he raised Jairus's Daughter from the Dead 5 and afterwards these were the Persons he particularly chose to be Witnesses of his amazing Sorrows and Agonies in the Garden, at his Entrance upon his last Sufferings. Peter was, on many Accounts, one of the most eminent of all the Apostles; James and John were called Boanerges, Sons of Thunder, for the Fervency of their Zeal and Efficacy of their Ministry; and it is also observable that 'James was the first of the Apostles that suffered Martyrdom for the Cause of Chrifl; and that John, who was by Way of Eminency called the beloved Disciple, survived all the rest, and lived for a great Number of Years to bear Testimony to what he--had heard and seen concerning Jesus.
As these were the chosen Witnesses of his Transfiguration, so the Scene he chose for it was an high Mountain: He bringeth them up into a high Mountain apart. This is generally supposed to be Mount 'labor. Thither he went for the greater Convenience of Secrecy and Retirement, and he probably betook, himself to some Part of that Mountain that was little frequented. St. 'Luke observes that he went up into a Mountain to pray. Luke ix. 28. This it was very usual for him to do, as
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