Page images



this world, and their appearance glory,may we perceive something of the divine form which the just will be permitted to put on when “they shall meet the Lord in the air l.” And from this transaction we may gather some intimation of the reality of the re-union of the soul and of the body, as a circumstance connected with the resurrection. For, of the two holy persons who are here described as coming to meet their Lord, the one, Elias, never died, but was taken up alive, with his body, into heaven; and for the other, the mysterious accounts given of his death and burial, in the book of Deuteronomy, where we are told “ that the Lord buried him, but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day?;" as well as a farther intimation from St. Jude, who speaks“ of the Archangel Michael's contending with the Devil about the body of Moses 3 ;" which words would seem to imply, that angels assisted at his


Deut. xxxiv, 6.

1 Thess. iv. 17. 3 Jude 9.

burial; from all this we gather the

probability of Moses' appearance also in that body, which the Lord was pleased to take so especially under his own protection. And if so, may not this give us some apprehension of the doctrine of the resurrection, and of the re-union of the soul and of the body, and encourage us in the discharge of our duty, looking forward to that glorious time, when the great Captain of our salvation shall raise us up also, “and shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself 1.”

Let us, then, animated by this hope, learn " to set our affections on things above, and not on things on the earth ? ;" let us learn “to die unto sin, and to rise again unto righteousness, continually mortifying all our evil and corrupt affections, and daily proceeding in all virtue and godliness of living 3." 1 Phil. iii. 21.

2 Col. iii. 2. 3 Ministration of Public Baptism.

And why should we shrink from this as from a task too hard ? We are ordered “to pass the time of our sojourning here in fear!.” It is “the strait gate and narrow way, we are told, which leads to life?” And if we enter upon it, we may surely learn to “ go on in our way rejoicing," with the hope “ of the recompence of the reward 3," through Jesus Christ our Lord.


1 Pet. i. 17.

2 Matt. vii. 14. 3 Heb. xi. 26.




ST. LUKE XX. 20.

And they watched him, and sent forth spies which

should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.

An argument of considerable weight, as a human argument, in favour of the claim of Jesus Christ to be “the Son of God,” may be drawn from the peculiar tact and judgment which he displayed in all controversies with his opponents, and from the answers which he gave, not once only, but many times, to such questions as were put to him, with the evident intention of leading him into difficulty and dilemma. From the very commencement of his

ministry, he had to suffer the opposition
of almost all the already established
teachers of the country. Such an op-
position, if we look to the frailty of
human nature, however to be deplored,
is not, perhaps, much to be wondered at.
They, conscious of their own deficiencies,
and willing to conciliate the vanity of
their hearers, had been accustomed to
flatter their prejudices, and to conform
to their opinions. They dared not be
independent,--they were afraid of speak-
ing boldly and openly. They could not
reprove vice, for they themselves were
vicious. They contented themselves,
therefore, “ with speaking smooth things,
and with prophesying deceits !.” But
when our blessed Saviour appeared, he
disdained such servile conduct, and, as
fully satisfied of his divine commission,
spake the truth plainly and openly.
“ The people,” we are told,“ were asto-
nished at his doctrine, for he taught as
one having authority, and not as the

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »