No. 6

Luke 9:32,33
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.
1. They were heavy with sleep
If this had not been recorded we should have little expected, that on such an affecting and extraordinary occasion, the disciples should be overpowered with sleep.  These same persons were afterwards chosen to be witnesses of his agony, and then they slept again.  Though they loved their Lord, yet they could not watch with him when he took them to be spectators of his glory, and of his sufferings.  We may consider this:
  1.1 As a proof of their infirmity
The flesh is weak.  Perhaps they were weary with their journey, and in want of rest.  The natural imperfections of our frame, and which are not sinful, as we usually understand the word, greatly indispose and hinder us from the due improvement of our spiritual opportunities.  It is the case with many, their love to the ordinances and a desire to obtain some glimpse of the Lord, makes them glad to appear in his courts, and perhaps they come from a considerable distance.  But when there they are heavy to sleep.  If this is mourned over, and striven against, people should not be so distressed for it, as if they had committed a sin.  Yet it is a cause of humiliation.  It is the fruit and effect of that sin which has defiled and enfeebled us in every part.  We did not come thus – heavy, languid and stupid – out of the hands of our Maker at first.  But now the believer finds the body a clog, and an impediment, in his best opportunities of waiting upon the Lord.
  1.2 Perhaps Satan had some influence here
 He is desirous to spoil our worship and to rob us of our comfort as much as he can.  And many attentive observers of themselves, think they know something of his practising upon their bodily indispositions in order to distract their minds.  It is our wisdom in all our approaches to God and particularly when we wait upon him in public, to pray against his wiles, and that the Lord may keep us wakeful and attentive to what we are engaged in.
  1.3 This bodily weakness will have influence when we have the greatest seeming advantage to help us against it.  I believe sometimes when people are drowsy they are ready to charge it upon the preacher – and indeed we have not much to say for ourselves.  We wish we could speak with an earnestness and power suitable to the great subjects of our ministry, then surely we should command more attention.  However, the disciples could not charge their drowsiness upon any defect in means, for Jesus was transfigured before them, and Moses and Elijah were visible in glory, yet they slept.  It is therefore a deep rooted evil, which lies in our very nature, and [of] which every spiritual worshipper must be more or less sensible.
  1.4 Though this example of the disciples, and our Lord's gracious condescension to their weakness, affords sincere souls some encouragement under the infirmities which burden them, it gives no excuse to an allowed slothfulness.  I observe at times some who sit so much at their ease and sleep with so much composure – as if they came to church for nothing else.  This is shameful – I wish there was no occasion to speak of it.  People should strive against it, and they who love the Lord will do so, because:
  1.5 They are losers – as the disciples were – they only awaked just [in] time enough to see the glory departing.
We have Peter's declaration and proposal:
2. His declaration
 It is good to be here.  He was struck with what he saw, and wished for its continuance. 
We have from this verse more offers than we can well speak to at present.  As:
  2.1 When he spoke – as they were departing
Till they were going he slept, and then he said, O it is good to be here.  Thus we usually prize our mercies most when we are just about to lose.
  2.2 His judgment – it is good to be here
Such is the effect of a sight of the glory of Christ or a taste of his love – O that this frame, this ordinance, might continue long.  O that I could bid the world adieu and come down from the mount no more.  Such are the desires of the heaven-born soul.  Though imperfect they are sincere, their hearts are to the Lord, to his presence.  Never do they find this sweet satisfaction in worldly goods, or in creature comforts – still there is something wanting, something amiss.  But spiritual joys give full and sweet content.
But it must not be yet – you must come down – you must attend to the calling the Lord has placed you in, that your light may shine before men.  You must have more trials, more conflicts and these will open the way to more victories.  Be thankful for tastes by the way – ere long you shall arrive at the Fountainhead.

Cowper & Newton Museum, 714(16), N40

Marylynn Rouse, 06/08/2020