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men." It was no doubt Satan, the great enemy of our souls, that put this thought into the heart of Peter; for Satan would have been very glad if Christ could have been persuaded to shrink from those bitter sufferings, which were to finish the work of our salvation. Jesus knew this, for He read Peter's thoughts, and saw how mistaken his notions were at this time, how worldly, how much more pleasing to the earthly and corrupt inclinations of men, than to the holy and heavenly will of God. The severity of our Saviour's language on this occasion to His own disciple, should lead every one of us to watch carefully over our deceitful hearts. It should teach us to suspect our motives and affections, and to guard carefully against the love of this wicked world with its pomps and vanities, which at our baptism we have all promised to give up.
So greatly did our Saviour feel the danger we are in from these things, that He did not rest at the solemn rebuke which He had just given to Peter; but called all the people to Him, and told them plainly that, if any would be a follower of Him, he must be ready to give up, not only the world, but even his own life. He must consider the life of his immortal soul, more than that of his perishing body; he must set his affections on another and a better world, and look constantly forward to that great and solemn day, when the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father.
For glorious He is, and a King He is! Yet His kingdom is not of this world: nor His glory that of an earthly monarch, confined and short lived; but the glory of an everlasting kingdom in heaven; the divine glory of the Father and of the Son. The Son
of God came into the world, not to establish an earthly empire; He became incarnate, but it was to suffer and to die.
See Matt. xv. 29-xvi. 27. Mark vii. 31—viii. 38. Luke ix. 18-26.
THIRTY-SIXTH SUNDAY EVENING.
M. Do you remember, Edward, under what circumstances we left the disciples of Christ last Sunday evening?
E. Yes, Mamma; and I was, I know, very sorry for them: I think our Saviour's last words must have made them very unhappy.
M. I have no doubt that their hearts were full of sadness. By nature we all shrink from sorrow and suffering; and the picture our Lord had drawn of His future path was dark and gloomy indeed: we do not wonder that they did not like to contemplate it. But do not suppose for a moment that we feel more for the poor downcast disciples than Jesus their Master did. Do not imagine that we are more given to pity than He was; nor think, because He spoke a few words of solemn rebuke to a disciple who allowed his love to his Master to lead him to offend and grieve Him by foolish words, that therefore He made no allowance for their feelings. Never suffer yourself to entertain hard thoughts of Christ. Rest assured that the more you know of this Divine Saviour, the more you will
find that He is a God of all pity and consolation; that He knows our infirmities, and remembers that we are but dust, and that even in His wrath He thinks of mercy. We shall have a striking proof of this in the narrative now before us.
He had spoken to His disciples of the bitter sufferings and death that lay before Him; but immediately afterwards He lifted their thoughts far above this scene of sorrow, and led them on to the time when the Son of man should come again in the glory of His Father with all His holy angels with Him. And then, as this glorious prospect was far distant and He knew that the hearts of His disciples were much discouraged, He was pleased to have compassion upon them. Lest their hearts should utterly faint and grow sick through hope deferred, He vouchsafed not merely to assure them, in words, of His greatness, but to promise that He would make it known to their very
E. I am so glad that the Lord Jesus seems to have forgiven them, and that He is going to make them happy again. Go on, dear Mamma, and tell me how it was.
M. Here is the Bible; read for yourself these cheering words: "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." Though He was to be persecuted, to be rejected, to be slain, yet there were those in that very company, who should before their deaths behold the success of His religion, the triumph of the Gospel kingdom, and the destruction of its enemies. St. John for instance lived not only to see the
religion of Christ established; but to behold Jerusalem for her unbelief destroyed.
E. Did he really, Mamma? And was this what our Lord meant by saying, that they should not taste death till they had seen the Son of man coming in His kingdom?
M. This was not all. A few days after this our Lord gave to three of those disciples, that were now standing round Him, such a display of His glory, as was sufficient to drive away every doubt from their minds;-sufficient to make them sure that His kingdom should triumph at last, yea though it did pass first through every kind of opposition and suffering.
E. I think I know now what you are going to tell me about. Is it not what is called the Transfiguration of our Lord? You know we had that beautiful chapter, a little while ago, in our morning readings with you in the Bible.
M. It is that glorious event, which we are going to consider to-night. Turn to the 9th chapter of St.
Luke, and read from the 27th to the 35th verse.
"But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were
awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved
E. What a wonderful account, I should like you to explain it all to me. But, dear Mamma, should you have any objection to tell me first a little about the mountain, where this happened? I think I should understand it better, if I could fancy it a little, and see the spot upon the map.
M. I should be glad to do this; for I like you as much as possible to form a picture in your own mind of every scene that I relate. It is generally thought that the mountain here spoken of was Mount Tabor in the tribe of Zebulon-" A very high hill," Josephus tells us, "thirty furlongs high, that is nearly four miles, and so steep that some of our English travellers, that wished to climb it, have been glad to stop half way up, content to look at the remainder of it with their eyes." It is very distinctly pointed out in the maps of the Holy Land, which we have so often examined together. A celebrated traveller has told us that it is a high mount, round and beautiful, standing by itself in the plain of Esdraelon, at a short distance from Nazareth towards the east. It seems from his account that the summit was quite flat; even so as to form a large plain, fertile and delicious, and shut in with trees on