« PreviousContinue »
gether unexpected; and excited all their Powers to attend to fo extraordinary an Appearance, and to give a diligent Heed to the wonderful Things they then heard and faw. They could not doubt of the Reality of what they were all equally affured of by the concurring Teftimony of their Senfes. And as this was a Matter in which they could not be deceived themfelves, and as they could not but know whether it was really fo or not; fo we have the_highest Reason to think that they had no Intention to deceive others. They gave the highest Proofs of their Probity and Integrity in the Whole of their Conduct and Behaviour, and appeared to be animated by the nobleft and most excellent Principles, a pure and holy Zeal for the Glory of God, and the Good of Mankind. They were Perfons of great Simplicity and godly Sincerity, not of fleshly Wisdom, or that governed themfelves by the Maxims of human Policy. In the Teftimony they gave to our Lord Jefus Chrift they had no Regard to their worldly Intereft, but expofed themselves to Perfecution, Difgrace, and all Manner of Evils, Reproaches, and Sufferings. And, finally, they perfevered in their Testimony with an unfainting Conftancy in Oppofition to all the Terrors of this World, and even
rejoiced in their Sufferings for the Sake of Chrift, and triumphed over Death itself. But that which yielded the most illustrious Confirmation to this Teftimony was, that God bore them Witness with Signs and Wonders, and divers Miracles, and Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, and by inabling them to perform the most amazing Works that ever the World saw, in the Name of Jefus whom they preached: So that, all Things confidered, there never was any Testimony more worthy of Credit than that which the Apostles gave to our bleffed Lord.
And now, having confidered this remarkable Portion of Holy Writ, relating to our Saviour's Transfiguration, let what hath been offered on this Subject confirm our Faith in the Lord Jefus Christ, and fill us with admiring Thoughts of his Dignity and Glory. Let us with the deepest Veneration receive the Record which God bath given of his Son, and pay a dutiful Regard to him as the great heavenly Teacher, the King and Head of his Church, whom the Father hath commanded us to hear and to obey. And, finally, let us look forward with a lively Faith and joyful Expectation for his fecond Coming, when Chrift, who is our Life, fhall appear, and we shall also appear with him in Glory. Then fhall be change our vile Bodies, and
fashion them like unto his own glorious Body, according to the Working whereby he is able even to fubdue all Things unto himself. And then shall the whole general Assembly and Church of the First-born be completed, and we may hope to join with Mofes and Elias, and with the Saints of all Ages, and with an innumerable Company of Angels in their blissful Exercises and Enjoyments to all Eternity.
On the Excellency of our Saviour's Teaching.
JOHN vii. 46.
Never Man pake like this Man.
SI defign to lay together fome Observations on the Excellency of our Saviour's Teaching, I have chofen to infift upon these remarkable Words, which will very properly introduce what I have to offer on this Subject.
They were spoken by the Officers who were fent by the Pharifees and chief Priests to apprehend Jefus. We are told, Ver. 31, 32, that many of the People believed
on him, and faid, When Chrift cometh, will be do more Miracles than thofe which this Man hath done? The Pharifees heard that the People murmured fuch Things concerning him, and the Pharifees and chief Rulers fent Officers to take him. Thefe Officers went no Doubt with a full Purpose to execute the Orders given them. They might perhaps (as Grotius fuppofes) attend him fome Days, waiting for a favourable Opportunity. But, whilft they hearkened to his Difcourse, probably with an Intention to catch at fomething from him that might give them a plaufible Pretence of feizing him before the People, they were themselves captivated, and difarmed of the mischievous Intention they brought with them. They were fo wonderfully ftruck with what they heard, that, though Perfons fent on fuch Errands are feldom very fcrupulous, yet they could not prevail upon themselves to execute their Commiffion, or to offer Violence to fo excellent a Perfon as they were convinced he was.
In Ver. 45. we have an Account of their coming back to the chief Priests and Pharifees, who immediately inquired, why they had not brought him? The Anfwer they returned was this, Never Man pake like this Man. Surely there must have been fomething uncommonly excellent in our Savi