A glass in which to see the resurrection: Donne on the Transfiguration of Our Lord

From Donne's Sermon XCVI:

The transfiguration of Christ, is the best glass to see this resurrection, and state of glory in. But how was that transfiguration wrought? We content ourselves with St. Hierome's expressing of it, Non pristinam amisit veritatem, vel formam corporis; Christ had still the same nature, and real body, and he had the same form, and proportion, and linaments, and dimensions of his body, in itself. Transfiguratio non faciem subtraxit, sed splendorem addidit, says he; It gave him not another face, but it superimmitted such a light, such an illustration upon him, as, by that irradiation, that coruscation, the beams of their eyes were scattered, and disgregated, dissipated so, as that they could not collect them, as at other times, nor constantly, and confidently discern him. Moses had a measure, a proportion of this; but yet when Moses came down with his shining face, though they were not able to look long upon him, they knew him to be Moses. When Christ was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James and John, yet they knew him to be Christ. Transfiguration did not so change him, nor shall glorification so change us, as that we shall not be known ...

This transfiguration then upon earth, was the same glory, which Christ had after, in heaven ... such as all eyes shall see him to be, when he comes in glory at last, those apostles saw him then, but of the particular circumstances, even of this transfiguration upon earth, there is but little said to us. Let us modestly take that which is expressed in it, and not search over-curiously farther into that which is signified, and represented by it; which is, the state of glory in the resurrection. First, his face shined as the sun, says that Gospel, he could not take a higher comparison, for our information, and for our admiration in this world, than the sun. And then, the saints of God in their glorified state are admitted to the same comparison. The righteous shall shine out as the sun in the kingdom of the Father; the sun of the firmament which should be their comparison, will be gone; but the sun of grace and of glory, the Son of God shall remain; and they shall shine as he; that is, in his righteousness.


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