The Three ponder

The Three ponder

The Transfiguration. Elijah.

(The Gospel History, Section 72)

And as they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, save when the Son of man should have risen again from the dead. And they held their peace, and told no man in those days any of the things which they had seen. And they kept the saying, questioning among themselves what the rising again from the dead should mean. And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come? And he answered and said unto them, Elijah indeed cometh first, and restoreth all things: and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought? But I say unto you that Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done to him whatsoever they listed, even as it is written of him. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. Then understood the disciples that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

The Three ponder

(The Saviour of the World, Vol IV, Book III, Poem LII)

Now, James took up the tale:—

James. As we came down the mountain, spake the Lord—

Was there a new authority in His tones,
Or was’t that we had seen our glorious King,
And knew Him as He was?

“See that ye tell

To none those things that ye have seen to-day,
(But take ye courage from them—ye, and I;
For heavy hours are at hand),—until that day
When the Son of man shall have risen from the dead.”
We asked each other then, but asked not Him,—
How may a man make question with his King?—
“What meaneth He by this rising from the dead?
When they shall kill Him, will He take up life
As that young man, that maiden, and go on?
And should He die, and die, an hundred times,
Yet will He take up life and walk the earth?”
A marvel, sure; but all men know the truth
When they find it; this, not the truth we sought.
Pondering in silence went we: many things
Perplexed our minds, made wondrous clear to think:
One said, “If Thou, the King, be come, why say
The scribes, our teachers, Elias must come first?”
He answered us:—

“Elias cometh first, restoring all,

Turning to wisdom disobedient hearts,
Making the mountains low, the valleys high,
Restoring highway where a man shall walk
And praise the coming King. But what of this,—
The King that should come—He is the Son of man;
’Tis writ that He should be set at nought and sold,
And suffer many things. Have ye read thus?
Elias—he hath come, and none perceived;
And on him they have wrought their evil will,
E’en as ’tis writ. Prepare your hearts, My friends;
The Son of man shall suffer at their hands,
E’en as did he.”

Then all at once we knew,

He spake of John the Baptist who had died,
Slain for the truth.

St. Matthew xvii. 9-12.
St. Mark ix. 9-13.
St. Luke ix. 36.