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The Voice From the Holy Mount.

The Voice From the Holy Mount.

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Published by glennpease

" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased : hear ye Him." —
Matthew xvii. 5.

" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased : hear ye Him." —
Matthew xvii. 5.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased : hear ye Him." — Matthew xvii. 5. The passage in our Lord's earthly life with which these words connect themselves, is regarded alike by believers in the Gospel and by unbelievers as a chief stone in the historic foundation of Christianity. And in this both parties are right. If the Transfiguration of Christ was a fiction, if it was even a dream, the ground is wholly cut away from under the miracles of the Bible, and we may dismiss them in mass as unworthy of credit. On the other hand, if the Transfiguration was a reality, as much a reality as the most unquestioned phenomenon belonging to the world of matter or of mind, if any conceivable absurdity is less absurd than that three such men as Peter, James, and John could either have invented or imagined the occurrence, then great consequences follow. The Old Testament is inspired ; Judaism was a Divine institution ; Christ was the Messiah ; and the Gospel, with its glorious spiritual privileges and solemn obligations, is all and more than all that the Church of God accounts it to be. or is this view of the evidential value of Christ's Trans- figuration a modern one. The ew Testament itself pre- sents it. St. Peter, in his second Epistle, tells the Churches, that the apostles had not followed cunningly devised fables in preaching the future advent of the Lord, for that he 71 THE VOICE FROM THE HOLY MOUT. and some others of their number, "on the holy mount," had seen Him arrayed in the very glory in which He would appear at the last day. The fact of his Transfiguration, in other words, was a historic certificate of the truth of the whole Christian system. And what is ' scarcely less significant — while we have four inspired records of the per- sonal history of Christ among men, no fewer than three of the Evangelists narrate the Transfiguration in detail ; the Holy Ghost thus challenging attention to the event as one
of the most important of the things which He has caused to be written for our learning and salvation. The circumstances of the Transfiguration are soon recited. Jesus and his disciples were on a missionary  journey in the district of Caasarea Philippi, among the spurs of Hermon. He spent his clays there, as He was wont, in teaching and healing. At the close of one of them, He took his three favourite attendants, the elect of his elect, and went up into a mountain to pray. He did pray : and the disciples, exhausted by their labours, or else overcome by a supernatural influence which they could not resist, slept. They did not continue to sleep- Suddenly, as it would seem, but at least completely awaked  — for so St. Luke writes, evidently with the design of pre- cluding the thought, that what followed was a vision in sleep—they beheld their Master as before, and yet not as before, for the form of his countenance was altered and did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white and glister- ing as the light. or was He alone as before. Two glorious beings from the invisible world were present with Him, human beings from that world, men who had left the earth for centuries, but yet had never died ; one of them, the illustrious leader and lawgiver of Israel, the other that vehement prophet, who had gone up to heaven with a THE VOICE FROM THE HOLY MOUT. 73 chariot and horses of fire. They were talking with Jesus, and the disciples heard the conversation. They heard, but did not speak. Awe and interest held them mute, till Moses and Elijah were seen to be withdrawing again into heaven. Then Peter's feeling found way in words — " Lord, it is good for us to be here : if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles ; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." He knew not what he said. He spoke in a rapture. And now a new object fixed his gaze, and that
of his fellow-disciples. "A bright cloud overshadowed them : and behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ; hear ye him." Can we wonder that the apostles fell upon their faces sore afraid ? until recovering themselves, they looked around, and lo, they were alone with Jesus. Such is the simple, graphic story of the Transfiguration, as the writers of the Gospels tell it. The meaning of the event, so far as it relates directly to Christ himself, must remain a secret. Let us not tres- pass upon that mysterious border ground, which lies between earth and heaven ; still less let us venture to pry into the ineffable fellowship, which, at this unique period of the bygone eternity, obtained between the incarnate Son of God and the Divine and for ever invisible Father, who delighted in Him. But the meaning for the apostles, for the Church of Christ throughout the ages, and for man- kind at large — this is in a good degree ascertainable ; and it behoves us to determine and to mark it. An important clue to the meaning is to be found in the circumstance, that every one of the Evangelists, who describe the Transfiguration, is particular to date its occurrence at exactly a week after certain great doctrinal conversations, which Jesus had held with his disciples on 74 THE VOICE FROM THE HOLY MOUT. their way through the Csesarea region, conversations end- ing with a prophetic declaration on his part, that some of his hearers should not die till they had seen his royal glory. Remembering how St. Peter identifies the splen- dours of Christ's transfigured person with those of his second coming, we cannot doubt that the prediction had its fulfilment on Mount Hermon : and when we remark how closely the promise of this glorious manifestation is bound

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