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delight: but assist us, through them, to look forward to thee, the cause of causes, the ori. ginal of all our blessings; for that it is thy air we breathe, thy sun whose reviving light we feel, and thy bread which is so grateful and nourishing to us; that we may see thee in all thy gifts, whilst they continually furnish us with hymns of thanksgiving unto thee, and songs of praise.
And help us herein to follow the example of Jesus, our Lord and Master, and his holy apostles ; that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we may do all to thy glory, giving thee thanks for all things; and may
be mindful each day to thank thee for the bread which nourishes us, that we may learn to know that we live not by bread alone, but by thy blessing which accompanies and makes it salutary to us.
Finally, O Lord our God, dispose us earnestly to seek and endeavour, each of us in our several places, to influence and bring others thus to know thee, and to see and adore thy hand in all things; that, by thy blessing, we may enjoy the privilege and supreme satisfaction of being instruments of good to others that so, before thou removest us out of this
world, we may become, in the temper of our minds, fitted for the society of more perfect beings in heaven, who are employed in searching out thy wisdom and greatness, and in fulfilling thy benevolent purposes, and in grateful celebration of thy praises through endless ages.
Now unto Thee, O Fatber, who art the only living and true God, be praise, &c.
The Lord bless us. &C.
April 10, 1785.
MATTHEW xvii. 9.
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus
charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until tbe Son of Man shall be risen from the dead.
The event to which our Lord here alludes, was what is called his transfiguration, or that sudden glorious change and splendour in which he was beheld by three of his disciples, whom he made choice of to be witnesses of some of the more private and extraordinary transactions of his life, where a greater number of them could not have been properly admitted.
In this extraordinary divine interposition, Moses and Elijah were introduced as conversing with Jesus, expatiating upon the subject of his sufferings and death upon the cross, which he was soon to undergo at Jerusalem ; and particularly dwelling on the happy consequences of it in his gospel, by his dying in
attestation of it, being thereby confirmed and preached with effect through the world, and the virtue and everlasting happiness of mankind to be promoted by it: a motive the most animating and joyful to a mind like his, and able, as it was calculated and intended, by the divine assistance, to support him safe through that his most severe approaching trial and conflict.
And the whole of the heavenly vision was closed by a voice from the supreme .Father, out of the cloud that overshadowed them, declaring his high approbation of Jesus, and the duty of all men to attend to him: “. This is my beloved Son, in whom I ain well pleased : hear
him.” The words prefixed to my discourse contain the beginning of a conversation held upon that occasion. The whole of it together stands thus, (Matth. xvii. 9.) “ And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man shall be risen from the dead. And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias inust first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias shall truly first come, and restore all things: but I
say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise also shall the Son of Man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
It is proposed to consider this short dialogue, and explain some difficulties which are in it, and then endeavour to point out some of that useful instruction with which every thing recorded concerning our Lord, or delivered by him, furnishes us; for none could be at any time near him without enjoying the means of becoming wise and good. And,
I. It was very natural for the three disciples, Peter, James, and John, to imagine that such a wonderful testimony from heaven as they had just been privy to concerning their Master Jesus, in which no less persons than Moses and Elijah were present, when related to their countrymen, would be likely to make deep impressions on them, and induce them to receive him as their great promised prophet, the Messiah, Christ--the character which he had taken upon him. And it must have appeared very