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deceiver had nought to reply. Our first parents might have done the same; since they too had an express command from the Almighty, with an express penalty annexed to the violation of it. Yet they hearkened to the tempter. They were willing to hear reasons for slighting God's own declarations, and became an easy prey to him who lay in wait to deceive.
Let this be a warning to every one who is willing to “ hold fast his integrity.” Various are the sins that beset us; various the seducers who would ensnare us into evil. But our blessed Master hath shewn us how to
them. By prayer, by meditation, by a diligent use of the means of grace vouchsafed to us, we are to arm ourselves for the conflict. Nor need we doubt the issue. “Greater is he that is in us, than he that is in “ the world.” We can “ do all things through “Christ which strengtheneth usd.” He hath trod the path of temptation in his way to glory; and He it is who hath assured us by his beloved Apostle, that “this is the vic
tory which overcometh the world, even our FAITH.”
c1 John iv. 4.
d Phil. iv. 13.
el John v. 4.
Mark ix. 2.
And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter,
and James, and John, and leadeth them into an high mountain apart by themselves, and he was transfigured before them.
EVERY one conversant with our Lord's history must have observed in it the remarkable intermixture of occurrences which indicate the preeminent dignity of his character, with those of lowliness and humiliation which marked the general tenor of his condition here on earth. Although that history continually verifies the prediction that he was to be “despised and rejected of men, a man of “ sorrows and acquainted with grief,” yet are there incidents in it which break through these clouds of darkness with a lustre that almost overwhelms us by its more than earthly splendour. Around some of these, however, there is cast a veil of mystery, which, though
it detracts not from the credibility of the narrative, compels us to approach it with awful reverence; exhibiting the Person who is the subject of the narrative as of a character and condition far above other human beings, and invested with an office and mission which no human being but himself could ever have executed or conceived.
Among incidents of this description are those especially, in which the union of the divine with the human nature in his person, and his manifestation as the promised Redeemer of mankind, were most distinctly evidenced. The song of the heavenly host at his nativity, the voice from heaven at his baptism, the ministry of angels after his temptation in the wilderness, the voice which again glorified him towards the close of his ministry, the heavenly messenger that strengthened him during the awful scene in the garden of Gethsemane, and the fearful signs and wonders at his crucifixion ;-all bore testimony to the great mystery of his incarnation. They shewed the Son of God enduring and suffering as man, yet ministered unto by the highest inhabitants of heaven, and proclaimed even by the eternal Father to be One with Himself in majesty and honour. Into this inscrutable mystery it is in vain for us to inquire further than is necessary for the confirmation of our faith. In the execution of the great work he had undertaken, means were to be employed, and purposes to be accomplished, the expediency or necessity of which may never, perhaps, be fully known or appreciated, by any but that infinite wisdom which ordained them from the beginning of the world.
Yet, notwithstanding the degree of obscurity which may involve some of these portions of our Lord's history, there are none, of which we cannot in some measure trace the design, and the improvement also to be derived from them. There are none which may not be made instrumental to the increase of our faith, and the strengthening of our hope. However sublime and awful in their circumstances, they were “ written for “ our learning;"—written, “ that we might “ believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God, and that believing we might have life through his name a."
Our Lord's transfiguration is one of those memorable occurrences to which these observations are applicable. It was an occurrence singular in its kind, mysterious in its charac
a John xx. 31.