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sweat blood, under the sense of God's wrath for man: and all these either had the angels for witnesses, or the immediate voice of God. The first had angels singing, the second angels ministering ; the third the voice of God thundering; the fourth the angels comforting: that it may be no wonder, the earth: marvels at those things, whereat the angels of heaven stand amazed. Bernard makes three kinds of wonderful changes ; sublimitas in humilitatem," height to lowliness," when the Word took flesh; contemptibilitas in majestatem, when Christ transformed himself before his disciples ; mutabilitas in æternitatem, when he arose again, and ascended to heaven to reign for ever: ye see this is one of them; and as Tabor did rise out of the valley of Galilee, so this exaltation did rise out of the midst of Christ's humiliation. Other marvels do increase his dejection, this only makes for his glory; and the glory of this is matchable with the humiliation of all the rest. That face, wherein before (saith Isaiah) there was no form nor beauty, now shines as the sun : that face, which men hid their faces from, in contempt, now shines so, that mortal eyes could not choose but hide themselves from the lustre of it, and immortal receive their beams from it: He had ever in vultu siderum quiddam, as Jerom speaks, a certain heavenly majesty and port in his countenance, which made his disciples follow him at first sight, but now here was the perfection of super-celestial brightness. It was a miracle in the three children, that they were so delivered from the flames, that their very garments smelt not of the fire: it is no less miracle in Christ, that his very garments were dyed celestial, and did savour of his glory. Like as Aaron was so anointed on his head and beard, that his skirts were all perfumed : bis clothes therefore shined as snow, yea, (that were but a waterish white,) as the light itself
, saith St. Mark and Matthew, in the most Greek copies: that seamless coat, as it had no welt, so it had no spot. The king's son is all fair, even without. O excellent glory of his humanity! the best diamond or carbuncle is hid with a case: but this brightness pierceth through all his garments, and makes them lightsome in him, which use to conceal light in others : Herod put him on in mockage conta lajipàv, (Luke xxiii.) not a white, but a bright robe (the ignorance whereof makes a shew of disparity in the evangelists); but God the Father, to glorify him, clothes his very garments with heavenly splendor. Behold, thou art
fair, my beloved; behold, thou art fair; and there is no spot in thee. Thine head is as fine gold, thy mouth is as sweet things, and thou art wholly delectable. Come forth, ye daughters of Sion, and behold king Solomon, with the crown wherewith his father crowned him, in the day of the gladness of his heart.” O Saviour, if thou wert such in Tabor, what art thou in heaven ? if this were the glory of thy humanity, what is the presence of thy Godhead? Let no man yet wrong himself so much, as to magnify this happiness as another's; and to put himself out of the participation of this glory. Christ is our head, we are his members; as we all were in the first Adam, both innocent and sinning; so are we in the second Adam, both shining in Tabor, and bleeding sweat in the garden : and as we are already happy in him, so shall we be once in ourselves, by and through him. He shall change our vile bodies, that they may be like his glorious body: behold our pattern, and rejoice ! like his glorious body. These very bodies, that are now cloddy like the earth, shall once be bright as the sun; and we, that now see clay in one another's faces, shall then see nothing but heaven in our countenances ; and we, that now set forth our bodies with clothes, shall then be clothed upon with immortality, out of the wardrobe of heaven : and if ever any painted face should be admitted to the sight of this glory, (as I much fear it, yea, I am sure God will have none but true faces in heaven), they would be ashamed to think, that ever they had faces to daub with these beastly pigments, in comparison of this heavenly complexion. Let us therefore look upon this flesh, not so much with contempt of what it was, and is, as with a joyful hope of what it shall be : and when our courage is assaulted with the change of these bodies from healthful to weak, from living to dead, let us comfort ourselves with the assurance of this change, from dust to incorruption. We are not so sure of death, as of transfiguration ; all the days of our appointed time, we will therefore wait, till our changing shall come.
Now, from the glory of the Master, give me leave to turn your eyes to the error of the servant, who having slept with the rest, and now suddenly awaking, knoweth not whether he slept still. To see such a light about him, three so glittering persons before him, made him doubt now, as he did after, when he was carried by the angel through the iron gate, whether it were a pleasing dream, or a real act. All slept, and now all waked; only Peter slept waking, and I know not whether more erred in his speech, or in his sleep. It was a shame for a man to sleep in Tabor, but it is more a shame for a man to dream with his eyes open. Thus did Peter, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make us three tabernacles." I could well say with Optatus, on this, or any other occasion, Ipsius sancti Petri beatitudo veniam tribuat, dubito dicere peccasse tantam sanctitatem ; " Let blessed Peter pardon me, I fear to say, so great holiness offended." Yet, since our adversaries are so over-partial to this worthy saint, in whom they have as little as they boast much, that they can be content his praise should blemish the dignity of all the rest, yea, that God himself is in danger to be a loser by the advancement of so dear a servant; give me leave to lay my finger a little upon this blot. God would never have recorded that which it should be uncharitable for us to observe. It was the injurious kindness of Marcion, in honour of Peter, to leave out the story of Malchus, as Epiphanius notes. It shall be our blame, if we do not so note, that we benefit ourselves even by his imperfections. St. Mark's gospel is said to be Peter's; O blessed apostle, can it be any wrong to say of thee, that which thou hast written of thyself
, not for insultation, not for exprobration : God forbid but that men inay be ashamed to give that to him which he hath denied to himself. Let me therefore not doubt to say (with reverence to so great a saint), that as he spake most, so he is noted to have erred most. Not to meddle with his sinking, striking, judaizing, one while we find him carnally insinuating, another while carnally presuming; one while weakly denying, another while rashly misconstruing ; carnally insinuating, “Master, favour thyself.” Which, though some parasites of Rome would fain smooth up, that he, in this, shewed his love to Christ, as before his faith, out of St. Jerom and St. Austin; yet it must needs be granted, which Bernard saith, diligebat spiritum carnaliter; loved the spirit in a carnal fashion.” Let them choose whether they will admit Christ to have chid unjustly, or Peter worthy of chiding: except, perhaps, with Hilary, they will stop where they should not; vad post me, spoken to Peter in approbation; Satana, non sapis quæ Dei sunt, spoken to Satan in objurgation; carnally presuming, “though all men, yet not I.” If he had not presumed of his strength to stand, he had not fallen. And as one yawning makes many open mouths, so did his
vain resolution draw on company;
" Likewise said the other disciples.” For bis weak denial, ye all know his simple negation, lined with an oath, faced with an imprecation. And here, that no man may need to doubt of an error, the spirit of God saith, “he knew not what he said;" not only té nadnon, as Mark," what he should say,” but, ó Néyel, saith Luke, “ what he did speak :” whereof St. Mark gives the reason, ñoav čxpoßor, " they were amazedly affrighted." Amazedness may abate an error of speech, it cannot take it away. Besides astonishment, here was a fervour of spirit, a love to Christ's glory, and a delight in it; a fire, but misplaced on the top of the chimney, not on the hearth; præmatura devotio, as Ambrose speaks, “a devotion, but rash and heedy.” And, if it had not been so, yet it is not in the power of a good intention to make a speech good. In this the matter failed; for, what should such saints do in earthly tabernacles, in tabernacles of his making ? And, if he could be content to live there without a tent (for he would have but three made), why did he not much more conceive so of those heavenly guests? And if he spoke this to retain them, how weak was it to think their absence would be for want of house-room! or how could that at once be which Moses and Elias had told him, and that which he wished ? for, how should Christ both depart at Jerusalem, and stay in the mount? or if he would have their abode there, to avoid the sufferings at Jerusalem, how did he yet again sing over that song for which he had heard before, “Come behind me, Satan?” Or if it had been fit for Christ to have staid there, how weakly doth he, which Chrysostom observes, equalize the seryant with the Master; the saints with God? In a word, the best and the worst that can be said here of Peter is, that which the Psalmist saith of Moses, effutiit labiis ; "he spake unadvisedly with his lips.” Psal. cvi. 33.
Yet if any earthly place or condition might have given warrant to Peter's motion, this was it. Here was a hill, the emblem of heaven; here were two saints, the epitome of heaven; here was Christ, the God of heaven: and if Peter might not say so of this, how shall we say of
other place, bonum est esse hic; “It is good to be here?” Will ye say of the country, bonum est esse hic ? there is melancholy, dulness, privacy, toil. Will ye say of the court, bonum est esse hic there dwells ambition, secret undermining, atten
dance, serving of humours and times. Will ye say of the city, bonum est esse hic ? there you find continual tumult, usury, cozenage in bargains, excess and disorder. Get you to the wilderness, and say, it is good to be here; even there evils will find us out. In nemore habitat lupus, saith Bernard,“ in the wood dwells the wolf;" weariness and sorrow dwell every where. The rich man wallows amongst his heaps, and when he is in his counting-house, beset with piles of bags, he can say, bonum est esse híc: he worships these molten images; his gold is his god, his heaven is his chest; not thinking of that which Tertullian notes, aurum ipsum quibusdam gentibus ad vincula servire ; "that some countries make their very fetters of gold :” yea, so doth he, whilst he admires it, making himself the slave to his servant, damnatus ad metalla, as the old Roman punishment was. Coacta servitus miserabilior, affectata miserior; "forced bondage is more worthy of pity, affected bondage is more miserable.” And if God's hand touch him never so little, can his gold bribe a disease, can his bags keep his head from aching, or the gout from his joints ? or doth his loathing stomach make a difference betwixt an earthen and silver dish? O vain desires, and impotent contentments of men, who place happiness in that which doth not only not save them from evils, but help to make them miserable! Behold, their wealth feeds them with famine, recreates them with toil, cheers them with cares, blesseth them with torments, and yet they say, bonum est esse hic. How are their sleeps broken with cares! how are their hearts broken with losses ! Either riches have wings, which, in the clipping or pulling, fly away, and take them to heaven; or else their souls have wings, stulte, hac nocte; "thou fool, this night,” and fly froin their riches to hell. Non dominus, sed colonus, saith Seneca; "not the lord, but the farmer:" so that here are both perishing riches and a perishing soul. Uncertainty of riches (as St.
Paul to his Timothy) and certainty of misery: and yet these vain men say, bonum est esse hic.
The man of honour, that I may use Bernard's phrase, that hath Ahasuerus' proclamation made before him, which knows he is not only τις μέγας, a certain great man,” as Simon affected, but o avròs, “the man, which Demosthenes was proud of, that sees all heads bare, and all knees bent to him, that finds himself out of the reach of envy, on the pitch of admiration, says, bonum est esse hic. Alas! how little