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you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.” “ A little while and ye shall not see me, and again a little while and ye shall see me, because I go unto the Father.” “I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”* If we understand the passage presented more immediately to our attention in the light of these explicit and animating assurances, it must be surely granted, that it held out to the disciples the certain prospect of conscious reunion with our Lord and one another in a future exist
In like manner must it apply, we conceive, to every case of a similar nature. It assures those who are united by the tie of the christian faith, who have approached the same sacramental board, and have participated in the same cup of spiritual pleasure, that they shall realize these enjoyments together, in a higher degree, when they meet and recognise one another in the kingdom of God. And thus, as in the case of the disciples, it administers an effectual antidote to them, in the prospect of the separation effected by the stroke of death.
* John xiv. 1-3; xvi. 16, 22.
LUKE IX. 28–33.
“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. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias : not knowing what he said.”
The extraordinary scene recorded in these words, was, no doubt, intended to encourage the faith, and support the minds of the disciples in the prospect of the Saviour's final sufferings and death. With this view, it was designed to be an emblematical representation of the happiness and glory of the heavenly world ; and, if this be admitted, the evidence which it brings to the subject of these pages, , is at once of a most convincing and appropriate character. It is also, in the same connection, worthy of remark, that the three apostles, who were permitted to behold this transporting vision, were persons who lived on terms of special intimacy with our Saviour.
The scene on which they gazed with a degree of rapturous surprise, which appears to have overpowered the mind of Peter, evidently intimated that heaven would be a state of social communication and enjoyment—that the Saviour would be seen in all his native and transcendant glory—that his work would form a prominent theme of discourse amongst glorified saints—and that they would not only be united together by the bond of exalted friendship, but would remember the relation in which they might have stood to each other in the present life, or the part which they might have taken in the service of Christ. The transfiguration forces the last particular more especially upon our belief. Here we behold two celestial visitants, who lived in different periods of the world, and who, nevertheless, must have had a distinct knowledge of each other, and of the work which had been respectively assigned to them under a dispensation, which was designed to make way for the coming of the Messiah, and the establishment of his kingdom in the world. Whether the apostles obtained their acquaintance with these distinguished personages by means of what
they saw or incidentally heard, or by direct information conveyed to them on the occasion, it would be useless to inquire, and impossible to decide. But that Peter, James, and John, knew them, is a recorded, and therefore an unquestionable fact. The appearance of Elijah with Moses was likewise an intimation of other truths, which blend themselves with the subject of the present treatise. The intrepid zeal of the great reformer of the Jews, procured for him the privilege which was awarded to the elevated piety of Enoch. But the Hebrew legislator had no such passport to the unseen world. He suffered the common doom of humanity, and his body was interred in an unknown sepulchre. What the glorified frame was in which he appeared, is a point on which it would be useless and irrelevant for us to speculate. But his appearance affords a proof, founded upon indubitable fact, that the consciousness of the righteous, and their friendly intercourse with one another, is not even suspended by the stroke of mortality.
LUKE XVI. 9.
“ And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness: that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."
These words fell from the lips of one who came from the world of glory, and who could not be ignorant, in any particular, of the destined condition of his followers; and yet they bear so forcibly upon the direct subject of inquiry, that it seems scarcely necessary to offer any remark in the shape of a comment upon
them. Taken in connection with the parable, of which they form an appropriate and impressive moral, they appear to establish, beyond all controversy, the certainty of a future recognition amongst the disciples of Christ, and might be considered as sufficient to decide the question, were there no other passage upon which to rest an argument on the affirmative side. The unjust steward, having incurred the displeasure of his lord, is commanded to balance his accounts, and to retire from an office of which he had proved himself unworthy by his prodigality and dishonest practices. To provide against the distress which threatened him, he is represented to make large deductions from the debts of his master's tenants, in the hope that if poverty overtook him, they would become his friends, and receive him into their habitations. Although this proceeding was an instance of flagrant dishonesty, and was perfectly in keeping with his previous character and conduct, it was still an artful expedient, which was precisely suited to his purpose. As a specimen, therefore, of sagacity and secular prudence, and, of course, in this view alone, it is commended by