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were some standing by him, who should not taste of death, until they had seen the Son of man coming in his kingdom, (Luke ix. 27,) concerning which he had just been speaking; and after eight days* he took Peter, James, and John, and went up into a mountain alone, and whilst in prayer suddenly that countenance that was so “marred more than any man's, and his form more than the sons of men,” became transfigured, and sHONE AS THE SUN, and his raiment became white as the light; there were also two others with him in glory, whom Peter recognised at once as Moses and Elijah ; the former had died, and God had buried him, and concerning his body, Satan had been rebuked by the archangel Michael when contending with him; and the other-Elijah, without tasting of death had been caught up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Now, dear children, what did this vision of glory, for such doubtless it was, signify ? evidently the kingdom of God,—the foreshowing of the Son of man coming in his kingdom; for so St. Peter explains it, when he says he was an eye-witness of HIS MAJESTY. (2 Peter i. 16.) There was the King in the dazzling brightness of his glorified body; Moses as the earnest of the raised saints; and Elijah of the living; and Peter, James, and John, in the body; and yet, unlike Daniel by the waters of Ulai, and John in Patmos, capable of sustaining this superhuman glory; they had not,


• In the seventeenth of Matthew it says six days, but Luke included the day on which the Lord spake, and the day of which he spake; this reconciles the apparent difficulty.

as the Lord had promised them, tasted of death, and they had seen the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

But one of the most blessed allusions to the sun, is in the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. He was on his way to Damascus, bent on the destruction of the church, when suddenly there shone round about him A GLORY above the brightness of the sun -ABOVE it; and what a change was this from that scene of Calvary, then the sun was darkened, while the righteous judgment of death visited that holy surety; now the sun is eclipsed by the greater glory of that blessed One, in his risen splendour, and he that ere now lay a dead man in the sepulchre of Joseph, can say in all his power as King of kings and Lord of lords, “I AM JESUS whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts xxvi. 15—18; see also chap. ix. 3.)

In the Revelation also the symbol of the sun is frequently used; an angel descended from heaven whose countenance was as the sun.” (Rev. x. 1.) “ There was a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun.” (Rev. xii. 1.) I refer you to the passages; I do not

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attempt to explain them; but there is a blessing on him that reads, and hears, and keeps the words of this prophecy, for the time is at hand. (Rev. i. 3.) The book of the Revelation is deeply mysterious, * but the soul that waits upon God gets light on the word; patient waiting in the Spirit, and the shoes from off the feet, is the way we should approach God's Scriptures. It was a great word of St. Peter, “if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” (1 Pet. iv. 11.)

The figure of the morning star is very striking; often have I at sea watched this planet, the harbinger of day, than which nothing could be more beautiful. When the moon was not up, its brightness was such that its rays might be seen sparkling on the water. At first a faint streak of light is seen in the eastern sky-in a few minutes it rapidly increases, till “ the morning spreads upon the mountains," and the east glows with light;-and in a little time the sun arises, and from beneath its wings sheds health, and verdure, and glory. Both these figures are applied to our blessed Lord : he is the Root and Offspring of David, the bright and the morning star, (Rev. xxii. 16 ;) he is the Sun of Righteousness, that rises with healing in his wings. (Mal. iv. 2.) Thus, my beloved children, the sun by day, and the moon and stars by night, not only bring to us temporal blessing, but also beautifully set forth divine truth.

Sometimes the stars alone are used in illustration. The Lord had promised Abram, when he called him out of Ur of the Chaldeans,

• See Appendix.

that he would make of him a great nation, and that all the families of the earth should be blessed in him, (Gen. xii. 1, 3 ;) but years elapsed; and therefore, when the Lord the second time appeared to him, with the promise of blessing, the answer of the patriarch was, I go childless,(Gen. xv. 2;) and then it was that the Lord brought him abroad, and said, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars if thou be able to number them : and he said unto him, so shall thy seed be; and Abram believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness ;” after this those sacrifices took place, which were commanded of God, and these must have occupied the whole day, for it was when the sun went down, that the horror of great darkness fell upon Abram; when he saw the smoking furnace, and burning lamp pass between the divided animals; thus God ratified his covenant with Abram, and gave unto his seed the land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates. (Gen. xv. 18.)

Sometimes, however, the sun is used as the instrument and emblem of judgment; thus, its scorching rays beat upon the defenceless head of the disobedient prophet, (Jonah iv. 8;) so also in the parable of the sower, it detected the shallowness of the stony ground hearer, (Matt. xiii. 6—21;) but he whose eyes are lifted up to God for strength and protection, shall not be hurt by it. How sweet is the word of the Psalmist, “ The Lord is thy keeper : the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil : he shall

preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from henceforth, and even for evermore.” (Ps. cxxi. 5—8.) Once in the Old Testament, the stars in their courses are said to have fought against the enemies of God: it was at the defeat of Sisera ; and mention of it occurs in the triumphant hymn of Deborah, (Judges v. 20.) At another time also, the sun and moon stood still a whole day, until Joshua had fully effected his victory. (Joshua x. 12.) And for the strengthening of Hezekiah's faith, the sun-dial of Ahaz went back ten degrees. (Isa. xxxviii. 8.) THESE WERE MIRACLES. And he that made the sun, and moon, and stars of light, stayed them in their course: they were miracles, and happy is it for man not to attempt to explain them; God spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast; and this is enough for the humble child of God to know.

In the Prophecy of Joel, (ii. 31,) also in that of our blessed Lord himself, (Matt. xxiv. 29,) the heavenly bodies are represented as being shaken, in the terrors of the approaching judgment; and so also in the opening of the sixth seal, for then, “the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind,” (Rev. vi. 13;) and terrible indeed will be that day to the wicked and impenitent, to the thoughtless and the gay; but not to the righteous; to them the future is THE DAY, the


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