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Chapter Verse cle of feeding the multitude. After dismiffing

the people Jesus took ship and went into the coasts xvi. I of Magdala. Here he was again folicited by the

Pharisees and Sadducees to thew them a sign from

Heaven. And here he again tells them that the 4 sign of the prophet Jona only should be given,

and departed abruptly. When he arrived at the other side, he said to his disciples (who in their

haste had forgotten to take bread with them) 6 Beware of the laven of the Pharisees, and of

the Sadducees. Perceiving that they understood 8 this as a reproof for their neglect, he said--Oye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves,

ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the 5000, and how

ye 10 Neither the seven loaves of the 4000, and how 11 many baskets

up

and asked, how it was that they understood not his meaning. They at 12 length perceived that the laven he cautioned them

against, was the doctrine of the Pharisees and 13 Sadducees. After this Jesus, being in the coasts

of Cefarea and Philippi, said to his disciples14 Whom do men say, that I, the Son of Man, am?

They reply-Some say that thou art John the

Baptift ; some Elias ; and others Jeremias or one 15

of the prophets. He asked again-But whom say ye that I am? This appears an extraordinary question after the ample testimony Peter had given, John, ch. vi. v. 69. Peter now answers

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Chapter Verse • Thou art Christ the son of the living God.' xvi. 16 Upon this Jesus calls himself blessed, and says the Father had given him this knowledge, calls him a rock upon which he would build a church

18 against which the gates of hell should not prevail ; adding that he would give to him the keys

19 of Heaven, with power to bind or loose on earth, and every such should be bound or loosed in Hea

He adds a charge to his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. (And yet, by John's account, he had told it to the woman of Samaria*, &c.) From that time forth Jesus began to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying—Far be it from the Lord : this shall not be unto thee. Peter, whose expectations had been raised by the distinction and promises above mentioned, was alarmed at this prediction which threatened destruction to a master upon whom he depended for the accomplishment. But what were his feelings when Jesus said to him-- Get

23 thee behind me, Satan, thou art an offence to

to me: for thou favoureft not of the things 'which be of God, but those which be of man?' Divested at once of all his hopes, power and pre

22

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xvi.

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Chapter Verse eminence : labouring under the immediate displea

sure of his Lord ; and in expectation of being
abandoned for ever to his fate, his loaded mind
must have funk under the pressure, and despair
must have ensued. But Jesus, commiserating the
infirmities of human nature, and perhaps unwil-
ling to lose a disciple, faithful though sanguine,

kindly relieved him, and again raised the hopes of
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all; saying-—' The Son of Man fhall come in
• the glory of his Father, with his angels, and
• then he shall reward every man according to

his works. And left they might be discou-
raged by the too distant expectation, he adds
23." Verily I say unto you, there be some standing

here, which shall not taste of death, till they
• fee the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.'
There are in the scriplures many intimations that

the day of judgment was approaching*, but its xvii. i extreme nearness, is here plainly declared. Six

days after this, Jesus takes three of his disciples

(Peter, James, and John) up into a high moun2 tain, where he was transfigured, as it is called,

in their presence. They beheld his face shine as 3 the sun ; his raiment white as the light, and

Moses and Elias, talking with him. Upon this,

Peter (always fanguine) thinking it good for 4 them to be in this place, proposed to make three

tabernacles for Jesus, Moses, and Elias, one

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each :

Chapter Verso each : but in the midst of this proposal, they xvii.

5 were alarmed by a bright cloud which covered them, and a voice from thence saying—' This is

my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; * hear ye hiin.' Mark gives nearly the same account, but omits the words in whom I am well pleased. Luke omits them likewise, but has this addition Moses and Elias spoke to Jesus of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. John, the only evangelist present, says not a word of this extraordinary transfiguration* &c. but in lieu of it he gives us likewise a supernatural voice from Heaven, omitted by the other three, vide ch. 12, v. 28. Matthew proceeds with the story, telling us, that the three disciples, being fore afraid, fell on their faces, and when raised by Jesus, they saw him only, who

7 charged them, saying tell the vision to no man, 9 until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead. (Mark, ch. 9, v. 10, adds in this place, that they understood not what he meant by rising again from the dead, and again in the 32d v. of faid ch.) To this, his disciples replied why then fay the Scribes, that Elias must first coine? and were answered-Elias truly shall 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 lifted :

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Chapter Verse

13 likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them.

Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. From this it is plain, that though they could not comprehend the rising again from the dead ; they well understood the doctrine of pre-existence; that a modern body might be animated by the soul of an ancient : and in this case, the soul of Elias, came again, in the body of John the Baptist. But here twa difficulties obtrude themselves-If an ancient soul placed in a new body, was unconscious- of its pre-existence, and in course ignorant of past events; of what greater use could it be in the world than any new soul? It is plain that John, with the soul of Elias (if he had it, which he himself denied, St. John ch. 1, v. 21,) was not only ignorant with respect to the past, but of the present likewise. Vide Matthew ch. 11, 2d and 3d verses. John ch. 1, v. 21. The second dif, ficulty is*_Why the soul of a good man departed, should again suffer in another body? John was poor, lived hard, was imprisoned, and at last beheaded, to fulfill a foolish promise given to a girl for a dance. Add to these--how are we to, understand (v. 11,) that the soul of Elias, in the body of John the Baptist-had restored all things? The angel Gabriel, previous to the birth of John, says of him to his father Zacharias : He shall

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