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operations of nature feemed to ftand ftill, and all things were at reft, when there was no expectation of any event, then was the cry heard, then was the alarm given-Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him! And indeed, my brethren, it often hap pens, that our laft hour comes unexpected. When we are bufied in fome favourite scheme, when we are laying a scene of happiness which we expect will last for years, the awful voice comes, " This night thy
foul fhall be required of thee." I mention not this as if I thought it one of the evils of life. If we are prepared to die, a fudden death must be the most agreeable of all. The fervant who is doing his duty, will be agreeably surprised at an unexpected vifit from his master. The foldier whofe arms are crown, ed with conqueft, would be happy if his prince should fuddenly come to be the witnefs of his victory.
VERSE 7. Then all thofe virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps, Their lamps were not gone out, though they were not burning bright. They foon arofe and trimmed them, to meet the bridegroom. A good man is always habitually prepared for death. He has an intereft in the righteousness of his Redeemer, which purchased life and immortality to men; and he is poffeffed of thofe good and holy difpofitions which fit us for the inheritance of the faints in light, Such a perfon is ever in a state of preparation to meet with his Lord,
VERSE 8. And the foolish virgins faid unto the wife, Give us of your oil. Mark here, my brethren, the triumph of religion. Wicked men at the last envy the state and the happiness of the good, and defire to partake in it. There is a time coming when those
who fcoff at religion, and laugh at every thing that is ferious, will gladly fay to thofe humble and contrite ones whom they now despise, " Give us of your oil." "Let us die the death of the righteous; let our last "end be like his." "Would to God our fouls "were in your fouls place." Feeble and ineffectual wishes! which discover their misery, but which cannot fave them from it.
VERSE 9. Left there be not enough for us and you. There are no works of fupererogation. After we have done all, we are unprofitable fervants; and though we were perfect, we can affign no part of our righteousness to you: "go to thofe that fell." Go to the ordinances of Divine appointment; improve thofe means of grace which you formerly despised; break off your fins by repentance; who knows if it be yet too late?-Catera defunt.
LUKE ix. 28-36.
28 And it came to pass, about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter, and John, and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and gliftering.
30 And behold, there talked with him two men, which were Mofes and Elias ;
31 Who appeared in glory, and spoke of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerufalem.
32 But Peter, and they that were with him, were heavy with fleep: and when they were awake, they faw his glory, and the two men that flood with him.
33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter faid unto Fefus, Mafter, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Mofes, and one for Elias : not knowing what he faid.
34 While he thus fpake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, faying, This is my belov ed Son, hear him.
36 And when the voice was past, Jefus was found alone: and they kept it clofe, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had feen.
IN these verses, we have an account of a very remarkable event. Our Saviour having foretold his fufferings and death, in order to keep alive the faith and hopes of his difciples, who would be apt to despair under that mournful event, alfo foretold them, that fome of their own number, before their departure,should behold him coming in his kingdom. "But I tell you of a truth, there be fome standing "here, which shall not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God."
As an accomplishment of this prediction, he takes his three favourite difciples, Peter, James, and John, and having carried them to an high mountain, was transfigured before their eyes, that he might give them fome idea of the glory of that kingdom to which he was afterwards to afcend. The mountain here mentioned, by tradition, is Tabor, a hill of great beauty, and, according to Josephus, very high.
Many magnificent events in the Divine difpenfations, have been tranfacted on hills. It was on mount Sinai that God defcended to give the law : it was on the hill of Moriah that he commanded Ifaac to be facrificed: it was on the hill of Zion `that he ordered the temple to be built: from the mount of Olives, Chrift was wont to fend up his prayers to Heaven; and on the mount Tabor he was transfigured, and appeared in glory to his difciples. This is founded upon nature. There is an air of grandeur in a lofty mountain, that loses itself in the heavens, and cafteth its fhadow into diftant lands, which accords with the natural greatness of the foul, and awakens a feeling that is highly favourable to devotion. The grandeur, the awfulness, the filence, and the folitude of the scene, affift fentiments of religious adoration. Remote from man, and exalted above the turbulence of the inferior world, we breathe celestial air, we feel divinity more prefent, and bow down and worship in the temple not made with hands. Hence men, actuated by their natural feelings, and under the impreffions of religious awe, have fo often been guided to erect their temples upon hills, and to confecrate to the Deity fuch places as thofe, on which he had appeared, and where his footsteps were seen.
We are told, that our Saviour went up to this mountain to pray. Chrift began all his great works with prayer to Heaven. Before he entered on his public ministry, he retired into the wilderness, and devoted forty days to contemplation and prayer. When he was about to fuffer his last agony, he went and prayed in the garden. And here, when he enters upon his transfiguration, he went up to a mountain to pray. Illuftrious example of piety and devotion! worthy the ftudy and imitation of the world. If the eternal Son of God, the Mediator between God and man, who had no errors to be corrected, who had no fins to be forgiven, and who had few wants to be relieved, if he entered upon no important work without prayer to Heaven, if he spent whole nights in the fervour of devotion, fhall men, fhall feeble, indigent, and finful men, dare to attempt works of importance, or rush into fcenes of danger, without lifting up their eyes and hearts to Heaven, and imploring the protection and affiftance of Providence? And yet it is to be dreaded that there are many perfons who go under the name of Chriftians, who live in the constant and habitual neglect of this duty; who go out and come in, who rife up and lie down, without once bending the knee to the God of Heaven, and who, unless on this returning day, when they join in the public devotions of the Church, never acknowledge their dependence upon God. Far be fuch conduct from you, my brethren.
Peter, James, and John, were also chofen as the witneffes of our Saviour's agony. If they rejoiced with him on mount Tabor, they also fuffered with him in the garden of Gethsemane. And indeed it