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Paul says, “ be changeul"_caught up.” Many suppose that when the Lord comes the saints themselves will be overtaken by war, and blood, and tribulation, when the rocks shall be rent, and the vials poured out. But what says Paul ? - We shall be caught up,away from the scene here. We wait for Him who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.” Being delivered from it, we shall not be in it, but be taken out of it, before its drops of vengeance come, as Enoch before the flood. But that day,” the day of wrath, says Paul, (2 Thess. ii. 2,)“ is not at hand.Several things were to happen before it could come. First, the Lord was to come for them. Second, they were to be gathered together" (in the air) “ with him.” Next, a vast " falling away.. And, lastly, a revelation of a man, or the “man of sin.” But as none of these had taken place, so tie wrath could not yet come. that wrath, for the same reasons, yet come. But He can come—and will come. This is our hope. This is the event next to be expected. “ Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” He is first coming to fetch us ; we meet Him in the air, and thence are ever with Him; and when the vials are ready, and Antichrist revealed, and the earth ripe for tribulation, then He shall appear from heaven-appear to and on the earth— for judgment and glory; and we “shall appear with him." Do not entangle the two truths. They are as distinct the one from the other, as justification is distinct from sanctification. The Thessalonians turned from idols to serve the living God, and to wait" - for the first of these—for his Son from heaven.

It is the first of these that made it so consistent for Paul and all the early Christians, at any time, to be

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looking for the Lord. But if He come not till the end of the world, how look for Him ? and what mean the words, “ Behold, I come quickly;" and, “If he wait till I come” ? If the end of the world be meant, how utterly unlikely! Admit this specific promise to take the saints away, as Enoch was taken away before the flood, and all is plain—that just as all over the one Jewish age all Jews, and consistently so, looked for the Messiah to come-it was their hope; so we, in our age, have this, our own promise, our one hope, the giving of which, in John xiv., along with the descent to the air. (1 Thess. iv.,) form its true termini.

And now, beloved, many other truths crowd upon us here, which we cannot consider; but must rather ask what are the practical uses of this one truth, that the Lord, who has gone to His Father's house, will come again to receive you unto Himself? Are you ready to meet Him ? ready to reign with Him ? What if you were to see Him now, and look upon Him nou, and receive from Him, now, the sweet assurances He has to give of His long delight in you, and dying love for you. Are you solidly grounded in the hope of all this ? and is your life according to your hope ? or are you looking simply to see as to how you are to die, or attain rest or happiness merely in heaven?

And how are your hearts affected as to the Lord's absence? He took it for granted that the hearts of His disciples would be troubled ; troubled because of what He had said--that word ! " I go away;" troubled at being left here, in a world that hated and rejected Him; troubled because He whom they loved and

; who loved them, would be no more with them. Are you thus troubled ? or are you content that you are so separated ? Ah, beloved ! is this the manner of love towards a child, a wife, or a friend ? Can there be a long separation, and no trouble, or no sorrow, no deep longing of heart? Alas for such love!

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The Lord, moreover, counted on the fact that His promise to prepare a place for them would prove a deep solace to His disciples.

Is it a deep solace to you? Are you living in the thought of that home in His Father's house, which He is gone to prepare ? or are your affections engaged with things down here—earthly, passing, perishable things ? What if a loved one had gone to a far country, and had said, “I go and prepare a place for you; and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and take you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also”—what, I say, if you never thought of it? or thought of it with coldness and indifference of mind ? Again I say, poor requital for such promise, and such love. That word prepare," I like it. peasant prepare, the preparation is according to his means; if a prince, the same. But if God prepare, ah, then! 66 eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” And although God hath revealed them, by His Spirit, unto us, as to their character, yet their greatness and glory remain unknown: for example, this home! these mansions !—who can tell what they are ?—their glory, their number, their beauty; and the joys which, in association with Jesus, and with one another, await us in them.

Brethren! we have not the person of Jesus now; nor have we the home of Jesus, the many mansions, now ; but we have Him whom He calls that " other Comforter;" and we have the promise of soon again having Himself.

Says Jesus, “I will not leave you comfortless ;" and again, “I will pray the Father," ("the Father" yours and mine,) " and he will give you another Comforter,” who will not leave you as I now do, but who will abide with you for ever, and whose presence in

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you during my absence, will be instead of my being in bodily presence with you. He, the blessed Lord, implies, shall, take my place ; He is another Comforter to you; I have indeed been to you a Comforter:" and now He, the promise of my Father, even the Spirit of Truth, shall abide with you for ever.'” Another Comforter. Blessed substitute! The Lord has

gone into heaven, and is with His Father. The Spirit, who was with His Father, is now down here with us, nay, in us, telling us of Jesus, “ bringing all things to our remembrance, whatsoever he hath said unto us.”

But as to the promise, brethren: are you looking for Him? With such a promise, the disciples felt they might expect Him at any moment. Hence Paul prayed for the Thessalonians, " The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ;” and enjoined them, “Let your moderation be known unto all men: the Lord is at hand.The Corinthians, we are told, came behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jrsus Christ;" and the Galatians waited for the hope of righteousness.Is it so with you? Alas ! what disclosures, when He does come, will be made of neglected love, of affections estranged from Him, and of cold ignorance of His promise! How many—alas! that it should be so—will be ashamed at His coming!

And we who are working for the Lord, we want but two things. We want the conversion of sinners, and we want the Lord to come. The one has a special connection with the other. For the Lord cannot come until the Church, which is His body, is complete. When the last sinner, in this dispensation, is converted, then we believe the body will be complete. And then, doubtless, the Lord will come. He now delays His coming, in long-suffering goodness, not willing that any should perish. The doctrine not practical! Who says it ? Not those who believe it. Is it not charac



teristic of those who are looking for the Lord's coming, that they are constantly working ? No — the doctrine is practical. Time grows short. The sands of

. the night are fast running out. Our salvation is nearer now than when we believed. Therefore we watch, and are sober. We wait, and watch, and work-looking for day dawn. We are like watchmen, each out upon his beat mid dead-of-night, to meet at—sunrise !

"Some watch in crowded place,

And some in lonely way;
Some weary are to see His face,

And longing are they, say-
We all are of the light,

And children of the day;
And many are the sons of night

Who join us on the way.' And now, beloved, if any of you are in trouble, this is the panacea. The promise is good—“ He will come;'

;" “ Let not your heart be troubled.” There will be no widows' weeds, nor orphans' tears, nor sinning, nor dying in the Father's house. Are you in sorrow or suffering ? “ Comfort one another with these words.” How sweet are they to the mourner ! How they seem to tell him, “Thy brother shall rise again”! Hast thou a husband, a child, the wife of thy youth, beneath the sod? Do they sleep in Jesus? When God comes, He will bring them with Him. What reunions and recognitions then! What restored friends and renewed joys then! Each loved one conformed to the image of His Son-bearing the image of the heavenly.

And He, who Himself was a pilgrim and a mourner here—

" Who found on earth no resting-place,

Save only in the grave"what a hope for Him! Well does He speak of the word of his patience," for the Head is waiting for His


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