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own Vulgar (as hotly as he takes it) reads it, Phil. ii. 7, uoppìv doúlov, “ 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 become tempted, and transported by Satan; the third, that man should be glorified upon earth; the last, that he which was man and God should sweat blood, under the sense of God's wrath for man: and all these either had the angels for witnesses, or the immediate voice of God. The first had angels singing ; the second angels ministering ; the third the voice of God thundering; the fourth the angels comforting : that it may be no wonder, the earth marvels at those things, whereat the angels of heaven stand amazed. Bernard makes three kinds of wonderful changes ; sublimitas in humilitatem, “ height to lowliness, when the Word took flesh; contemptibilitas in majestatem, when Christ transformed himself before his disciples ; mutabilitas in æternitatem, when he arose again, and ascended to heaven to reign for ever :" ye see this is one of them : and as Tabor did rise out of the valley of Galilee, so this exaltation did rise out of the midst of Christ's humiliation. Other marvels do increase his dejection, this only makes for his glory; and the glory of this is matchable with the humiliation of all the rest. That face, wherein before (saith Isaiah) there was no form nor beauty, now shines as the sun : that face, which men hid their faces from, in contempt, now shines so, that mortal eyes could not choose but hide themselves from the lustre of it, and immortal receive their beams from it: He had ever in vultu sidereum quiddam, as Jerome speaks, a certain heavenly majesty and port in his countenance, which made his disciples follow him at first sight, but now here was the perfection of supercelestial brightness. It was a miracle in the three children, that they were so delivered from the flames, that their very garments smelt not of the fire: it is no less miracle in Christ, that his very garments were dyed celestial, and did savour of his glory. Like as Aaron was so anointed on his head and beard, that his skirts were all perfumed: his clothes therefore shined as snow, yea, (that were but a waterish white,) as the light itself, saith St. Mark and Matthew, in the most Greek copies: that seamless coat, as it had no welt, so it had no spot. The king's son is all fair, even without. Oh excellent glory of his humanity! the best diamond or carbuncle is hid with a case; but this brightness pierceth through all his garments, and makes them lightsome in him, which use to conceal light in others. Herod put him on in mockage éolnra Xaumpàv, Luke xxiii., not a white, but a bright robe, (the ignorance whereof makes a show of disparity in the evangelists,) but God the Father, to glorify him, clothes his very garments with heavenly splendour. “Behold thou art fair, my beloved, behold thou art fair; and there is no spot in thee. Thine head is as fine gold, thy mouth is as sweet things, and thou art wholly delectable. Come forth, ye daughters of Sion, and behold king Solomon, with the crown wherewith his father crowned him, in the day of the gladness of his heart.” O Saviour, if thou wert such at Tabor, what art thou in heaven? if this were the glory of thy humanity, what is the presence of thy Godhead? Let no man yet wrong himself so much, as to magnify this happiness as another's; and to put himself out of the participation of this glory. Christ is our head, we are his members; as we all were in the first Adam, both innocent and sinning ; so are we in the second Adam, both shining in Tabor, and bleeding sweat in the garden: and as we are already happy in him, so shall we be once in ourselves by and through him. He shall change our vile bodies, that they may be like his glorious body: behold our pattern, and rejoice ! like his glorious body. These very bodies, that are now cloddy like the earth, shall once be bright as the sun; and we, that now see clay in one another's faces, shall then see nothing but heaven in our countenances ; and we that now set forth our bodies with clothes, shall then be clothed upon with immortality, out of the wardrobe of heaven: and if ever any painted face should be admitted to the sight of this glory, (as I much fear it, yea, I am sure God will have none but true faces in heaven,) they would be ashamed to think, that ever they had faces to daub with these beastly pigments, in comparison of this heavenly complexion. Let us therefore look upon this flesh, not so much with contempt of what it was and is, as with a joyful hope of what it shall be: and when our courage is assaulted with the change of these bodies from healthful to weak, from living to dead, let us comfort ourselves with the assurance of this change, from dust to incorruption. We are not so sure of death as of transfiguration: all the days of our appointed time we will therefore wait, till our changing shall come.
Now from the glory of the Master, give me leave to turn your eyes to the error of the servant, who, having slept with the rest, and now suddenly awaking, knoweth not whether he slept still. To see such a light about him, three so glittering persons before him, made him doubt now, as he did after, when he was carried by the angel through the iron gate, whether it were a pleasing dream, or a real act. All slept, and now all waked; only Peter slept waking, and I know not whether more erred in his speech or in his sleep. It was a shame for a man to sleep in Tabor, but it is more a shame for a man to dream with his eyes open. Thus did Peter, “ Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make us three tabernacles." I could well say with Optatus in this or any other occasion, Ipsius sancti Petri beatitudo veniam tribuat, dubito dicere peccasse tantam sanctitatem, “Let blessed Peter pardon me, I fear to say so great holiness offended. Yet since our adversaries are so overpartial to this worthy saint, in whom they have as little as they boast much, that they can be content his praise should blemish the dignity of all the rest, yea, that God himself is in danger to be a loser by the advancement of so dear a servant ; give me leave to lay my finger a little upon this blot. God would never have recorded that which it should be uncharitable for us to observe. It was the injurious kindness of Marcion, in honour of Peter, to leave out the story of Malchus, as Epiphanius notes. It shall be our blame, if we do not so note, that we benefit ourselves even by his imperfections. St. Mark's Gospel is said to be Peter's; o blessed apostle, can it be any wrong to say of thee that which thou hast written of thyself, not for insultation, not for exprobration : God forbid but that men may be ashamed to give that to him which he hath denied to himself. Let me therefore not doubt to say (with reverence to so great a saint) that as he spake most, so he is noted to have erred most. Not to meddle with his sinking, striking, judaizing, one while we find him carnally insinuating, another while carnally presuming ; one while weakly denying, another while rashly misconstruing ; carnally insinuating, “Master, favour thyself." Which though some parasites of Rome would fain smooth up, that he in this showed his love to Christ, as before his faith out of St. Jerome and St. Austin; yet it must needs be granted, which Bernard saith,“ diligebat spiritum carnaliter, he loved the spirit in a carnal fashion.” Let them choose whether they will admit Christ to have chid unjustly, or Peter worthy of chiding ; except perhaps, with Hilary, they will stop where they should not; vade post me, spoken to Peter in approbation, Satana, non sapis quæ Dei sunt, spoken to Satan in objurgation ; carnally presuming, though all men, yet not I.” If he had not presumed of his strength to stand, he had not fallen. And as one yawning makes many open mouths, so did his vain resolution draw on company; “Likewise said the other disciples.” For his weak denial, ye all know his simple negation, lined with an oath, faced with an imprecation. And here, that no man may need to doubt of an error, the Spirit of God saith, " he knew not what he said ;” not only ti ladhon as Mark, “what he should say,” but à Méyet saith Luke, “what he did speak,” whereof St. Mark gives the reason, noav škpoßoi, “they were amazedly affrighted.”
Amazedness may abate an error of speech, it cannot take it away. Besides astonishment, here was a fervour of spirit, a love to Christ's glory, and a delight in it; a fire, but misplaced on the top of the chimney, not on the hearth; promatura devotio, as Ambrose speaks," a devotion, but rash and heady.” And if it had not been so, yet it is not in the power of a good intention to make a speech good. In this the matter failed; for, what should such saints do in earthly tabernacles, in tabernacles of his making? And if he could be content to live there without a tent, (for he would have but three made,) why did he not much more conceive so of those heavenly guests? And if he spoke this to retain them, how weak was it to think their absence would be for want of house-room! Or how could that at once be which Moses and Elias had told him, and that which he wished ? For, how should Christ both depart at Jerusalem, and stay in the mount? Or if he would have their abode there, to avoid the sufferings at Jerusalem, how did he yet again sing over that song for which he had heard before, “Come behind me, Satan!" Or if it had been fit for Christ to have stayed there, how weakly doth