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whose light, like their Lord's, is a hidden light, misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misapprehended, will then be manifested. The apostle says, “All creation groans and travails in pain, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God ;” that is, those who are true Christians will be seen to be so beyond the reach of misapprehension or mistake.
When Christ comes, they that sleep in Christ will be raised, they that are living in Christ will be changed; “for the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we be for ever with the Lord.” We wait, therefore, for his advent, because all the dead in Christ-our fathers, our children, our near and dear relatives—shall return to this very world that they left; and happy families shall mingle again in the universal family, the many folds constituting one flock; and so shall we be for ever with the Lord.
"We may learn hence divers doctrinal truths concerning Christ, wherein the apostle had doubtless instructed the Thessalonians at greater length, but doth now propound them in most wonderful brevity, as, 1. That Jesus Christ is true God; for he calls him the Son of the Father, and therefore of the same substance with him, even God himself: "To wait for the Son of God.' 2. He is also man; for it is implied he was once dead, and therefore he behoved to be also man; 'whom he raised from the dead.' 3. Though he have two natures, yet he is but one person ; for he speaks of the Son of God and him who was dead, not as of two, but as of
themes, Christ, the ver us from viour (Matt"
one and the same : "For his Son, whom he raised from the dead.' 4. Jesus Christ, at bis Father's appointment (Psa. xl.), bath undertaken to be a Saviour, Redeemer, and Deliverer of the elect from that wrath which is due to them for sin ; for therefore is he called "Jesus, which signifies a saviour (Matt. i. 21), and is said to deliver us from the wrath to come.' 5. Jesus Christ, the Lord of life, did give himself to death, thereby to satisfy justice for sin ; for it is implied he was dead, while it is said, “Whom he raised from the dead.' 6. Jesus Christ having satisfied the Father's justice by his death, was loosed out of prison, raised up from death, and absolved by the Father, as having performed all he undertook : for, 'He raised him from the dead.' 7. Jesus Christ, after his resurrection, did ascend to heaven, to take possession of it in the name of the elect (Eph. ii.), and to make application unto the elect of all those good things which he had purchased by his death (Acts v. 31); for that they looked for him
from heaven,' saith he is there, and consequently that he ascended thither. 8. Jesus Christ in his bodily presence doth now reside in heaven, and not upon earth; for there he resides, whence he is expected to come :
And to wait for his Son from heaven. 9. As Jesus Christ did deliver the elect from the wrath to come, by paying of a sufficient ransom to provoked justice in his death ; so he is carrying on, while he is now in heaven, the work of their delivery towards perfection by making application of the redemption purchased, both to pardon sin in its guilt, and to subdue sin in its strength (Acts v. 31); for the word delivered,' in the original, may be read in the present time, as well as the preterit, Who delivereth us. 10. Jesus Christ shall again
return from heaven, and come to earth at the last day, to judge the quick and the dead (2 Tim. iv. 1), for his coming is waited for by believers, and therefore it must be : "To wait' for his coming. 11. Then, at that time, shall Jesus Christ complete the work of the elect's delivery from that wrath to come, by acquitting them openly, and pronouncing, as their Judge, that blessed sentence, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father' (Matt. xxv.); for so much is implied, while his delivering of us from the wrath to come is annexed to his second coming : . Look for his Son—who delivered, or delivereth us from the wrath to come. 12. Jesus Christ the Judge shall not then acquit or deliver all from that wrath, but only such who here have lived by faith, and fled to him for a refuge, and laid hold upon the ransom paid by him.”
PAUL'S VINDICATION OF HIS MOTIVES--- CHARACTER OF HIS
PREACHING PLEASING MEN—WORLDLY CENSURE-LOVE, THE SECRET OF POWER—THE TENT-MAKER AND PREACHER-WEEKDAY PREACHERS- PRAISE AND BLAME.
I do not know a more affectionate address in the whole New Testament than this pastoral reininiscence of the extraordinary labours of Paul. It is sent in love and sympathy to a people to whom he had long, faithfully, and fully preached the unsearchable riches of Christ. Throughout the chapter there is no dictation, no violent invective, nor any appeal, except to the affections of the heart. The disinterested motives which inspired the great apostle they could not fail to see or to appreciate. His language is not that of self-praise, or egotism, or uncalled-for eulogy upon his pastoral work; it is an appeal to them who knew him, for the sake of those who did not know him, as to the purity of his motives, the faithfulness of his preaching, the fulness of his labours, and the effects which both had produced upon the hearts of them that had prayerfully and constantly listened to him. He says, “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain.” He says, “We had suffered much,” for of all the apostles he was the greatest sufferer, "and were shamefully entreated, as you well know at Philippi ; but the shamefulness of our treatment at Philippi did not shut my mouth, nor in the least degree fetter my freedom, nor impair my love for you ; on the contrary, we were bold to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention,” or, as it is in the margin, “ agony, or conflict for you.”
“As a suffering lot doth usually attend sincere and faithful ministers, so it often falls out that they meet with most of trouble and suffering at the close of some notable piece of service done to their master Christ. Satan's malice is hereby more provoked (Acts xvi. 18, 19); and God giveth way to his malice then, to teach his servants that their reward is not to be expected here (Acts xiv. 19, with 22), and to divert them, by this humbling exercise, from being transported with lofty thoughts of themselves, arising from their great success (2 Cor. xii. 7); for Paul did suffer much, and was "shamefully entreated at Philippi,' immediately after he had erected a throne and Church for Christ in that place (Acts xvi. 12, with xix. 4).
“Where grace is lively and vigorous, or where habitual grace is quickened by present influence from God, and when duty is sweetened by the faith of an interest in God who doth enjoin it, afflictions, crosses, and sufferings for well-doing, will be so far from quenching zeal, that they will rather inflame it : for though Paul had suffered much before in Philippi, yet he was bold to preach at Thessalonica ; being assisted by God, and having his interest in God as his own God.”
He also adds, “Whilst we did so, what was the character of my preaching? It was not of deceit," there was nothing deceitful in it; “nor of uncleanness," it was not the consecration of sin ; “nor in guile,” it