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Though we cannot conceive, much less describe, in what manner angels and saints in bliss converse one with another, yet from the text we know, what is the one, great, darling theme of their conversation. Moses and Elias descend from their heavenly thrones, from before the fountain of light and life, appear in glory, revisit the earth, associate with men, to do bomage at the feet of Jesus, and to“ speak of his decoase which he should accomplish at Jerusalem." This leads to a
IVth, and the most important remark on this passage of our Saviour's history, in connexion with ibat of Moses, namely, That under every dispensation, before the giving of the law, and under its reign, when it was restored, and after it is abolished; to righteous men on earth, to just men made perfect, to the angels of God; in the eye of God himself....there is one object of peculiar magnitude and importance, which is before all, above all, runs through all, and in u bich all shall finally terminate. It is surely not without a meaning, that the promises, the predictions, from first to last, point out a Saviour that should suffer and die; that all the types, services, sacrifices of the law should represent a salvation that was to be wrought out, to be purchased with blood; that the whole doctrine of the gospel should be compressed into one point, the doctrine of the Cross; that the throne of God eternal in the beavens should exhibit at its right hand, and in the midst of it, “a Limb as it had been slain ;" that the song of the redeemed should celebrate Him who lov, ed the sons of men, and “ washed them from their sins in his blood!" O the infatuation of a careless, unbelieving world! That subject which the ransomed of the Lord dwell upon with ever new and increasing delight; that great “ mystery of godliness," which“ angels desire to look into;" that object which the great God has marked with special precision as his own; the wonder of heaven, the joy of the earth, the theme of eternity, was “ to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;" is. to a faithless and perverse generation a thing of noughi, the song of the drunk. ard, the jest of fools! If tnat blood has fallen and lies with such oppressive weight, both as a temporal and a spiritual curse on those who rashly imprecated it on themselves and their children, and then inpiously and remorselessly shed it ; " of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall be be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and bath counted the blood of the covenant an unholy ihug, and hath dope despite unto the Spirit of grace ?” Heb. x. 29. May that blood be upon us and upou our children, to cleanse, not to condemn, to exalt, not to overwhelm us, and be it our determinate resolution, through the grace that is in Christ, to kuow nothing in comparison of Christ Jesus and him crucified, “and to glory in nothing but bis cross."
V. Observe, Tue superiority ascribed, by a voice from the most excellent glory, to Christ the Lord, swallow. ing up and eclipsiog all created excellency and perfection. “ This is my beloved Son, bear him," Luke ix. 35. proclaims the voice, and instantly Moses and Elias disappear, that Jesus may be all in all. They have brought their glory and honor and laid it at bis teet; they have pointed out to mankind in whose light they shine, in what consists ibeir chief eminence and distinction. They in effect say the same thing with John Baptist ; He that cometh after me is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose,” John i. 27. “ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” John i. 29. They fo bid us to look toward them, or to trust in them for salvation. Having given this testimony to their Lord and ours, they retire to that world of bliss into wbich they found admission through that blood wbich cleanseth from all sin, through that decease which Christ was ready“ to accomplish at Jerusalem."
Let us joyfully bend the knee to Him, who," for the suffering of death, is crowned with glory and bonor, and bay obtained a name that is above every pame;' whoin Moses and Elias acknowledge as their greater ; wbom all the angels of God are commanded to worship, a,“ the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature," " by whom were created all things that are in heaven, and that are in earih, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or duminions, or prio. cipalities, or powers, all things were created by him and for him,” Col.i. 16.
Finally, The passage exhibits to our wonderingeyes a glimpse of that glory which all the faithful shall finally attain ; in the person of one who had never tasted death; whose body, by a miracle of almighty power, was fitted for heaven and immortality without see. ing corruption in the grave; and of one, who as we must, died and was buried, and by a similar miracle was either ransomed from the power of the grave, or whose glorified spirit was fitted with a temporary vehicle of transparent use for the present grand occasion: but above all, in the person of the greatest of the three, wbo was pleased to clothe humanity, which had not yet, hut soon was to suffer death, with a transitory glory, the forerunner of that which should quickly follow, and do away all the ignominy of the tomb, and become the sure pledge of that g:ory with which he shall invest all them that believe, after“ the fashion of his own glorious body." While we contemplate
Mount Tabor, the immortal spirit looks through the - frail tottering fabric of flesh and blood, in which it is · inclosed; and while, from its present connexion, it Burveys with concern the inroads of disease, the wastes of time, the approaches of dissolution ; from the visions of God, from the power of free sovereign grace, from the present attainments of the faithful, beholds with rapture the splendor of that vehicle in which it shall ascend “ 10 meet the Lord in the air,” when * mortality shall be swallowed up of life;" when it shall be united to a body insuscepuble of pain, undepressed by its own gravity, uptettered by the laws of dull matter, uncondemned to mortality. Glorious and blessed day, when the meanest of the saints shall reseinble Moses, not in that green and lively old age which experienced not dimness of eyes; nor abatement of natural vigor, but in that renovated youth, that unfadıng beauty, that impassive strength, that immortal lustre, wherein on the mount of the Lord he was seen ; and shall resemble Elias, not by mounting with the help of a chariot of fire and borses of fire into heaven, but with native force, im nediately derived from the great Source of lite and motion, shall spontaneously ascend up to his native seat; shall resemble Christ, his divine head, not in that sinless infirmity to which he voluntarily submitted in the days of his flesh, but in that glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and wbich for a moment burst forth on the mount of transfiguration, when“ his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Glorious and blessed gospel ! wbich first tanght the resurrection from the dead, which has “ abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light;" whose “ exceeding great and precious promises” make men“ partakers of a divine nature;" whose hallowed page represents saints and angels quitting their heavenly abode to minister to the necessities of wretched moitals; and wretched mortals ri ing to the everlasting possession of heavenly thrones. “() death where is thy sting? O grave, where istby victory?”“ Thanks beto God, which greth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, i Cor. xv. 57.
But now the curtain is dropt, Moses and Elias have resumed their places in heaven, and the glory of Tabor is no mre. Yot, though unseen, they ease not to instruct us. Tough withdrawn, they aie in the midst of us still; the distinction of past and fu. ture they feel no longer, and separation by space cannot keep celestial beings asunder
Providence brought together into one place ibe giver and restorer of the law; and the first harbirigers of the gospel blending earth and hearen together in homage to the Son of God. And all distance between them too is now forever done away. Remote as we are, we behold them together in a stare of glorious perfection, but permitted to converse with us no more. But be is with us still, their Lord and vurs; bis voice we can still hear, after they are silenced, and Him we are commanded to hear." Jesus Chrisi, the same yes: erday, and to day, and forever :" " T Hiin all the propbets give witness," and he is “the en tot the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
And thus bave we finished our proposed delineation of the lives of the patriarchs, from Allam, the faber of the human race, down 10 Moses, the great legisla. tor and prophet of the Hebrew nation; with the intermediate illustrious personages, wbom the spirit of God has preserved from oblivion, for our information and use; wbum Providence raised ap in the earlier ages of the world, to occupy distinguished stations, and to accomplish important designs; who, by their respective characters, offices and declaration , predici ed or prefig. ured the Messiah; vho edified the world, while they lived, by their doc:rine and example ; and who, being dead, continue living monitors and instruciors of man. kivd.
While we contemplate the progress of these venerable figures along the plain of existence, we feel vurselves in motion, we are hurrying down the stream, we begin to mingle with the assembly of the departed, we leave our place among men emiwy. Of those who entered with us on this career of meditation, “ some are not;" their course is finished, thy bave fulfilled their day, they are gone in join the men who lived beyond the flood. The cold Land of dealb has trozeu p sume