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WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE, IN SWEET ASSURANCE OF ETERNAL
HAPPINESS, MAY 10TH, 1843 ;
INTRODUCED, WITH PERMISSION, BY A BRIEF OUTLINE OF A
SERMON PREACHED ON THE OCCASION, AT
TAKEN DOWN AT THE TIME OF DELIVERY, AND CORRECTED
AFTERWARDS BY HIMSELF.
BINNS AND GOODWIN.
LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, AND CO.
S E R M O N.
SALVATION IN ITS APPOINTMENT, SECURITY
1 THESSALONIANS V. 9, 10.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain
Salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."
What a blessed conclusion was this the Apostle came to, after what he had said in the eight previous verses, concerning the uncertainty of life, the vanity and passing nature of all things here, and our ignorance of the times and seasons which God hath reserved in His own hands. • But,” saith he, to the Thessalonians," of the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you, for yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a Thief in the Night.” And how and when does a Thief come? When unprepared for him. “For when they shall say, peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape.”
Thus death comes as a Thief in the night, and sweeps away multitudes in an unprepared state. “ Our Fathers where are they?” Where are the millions upon
millions who spent their some threescore years and ten-perhaps few comparatively lived that period—Where are they? And how many fools amongst them! befooled of the Devil, gone into their eternal state to reap the fruits of their folly for ever!
But in what respect had the Apostle no need to write of the times and seasons to the Thessalonians ? Saith he to the generality, the Day of the Lord comes as a Thief in the Night: but not so to you Thessalonians. What does this infer? Why, that which, perhaps, does not belong
that the Thessalonians were prepared. What is it to be prepared, say you? The Apostle speaks of this preparedness to the Colossians : “who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light.” Yes, say some, but here the Apostle spoke only of himself and those of his day. Not so ; what he there says applies to every Believer in every Age.
But what is the preparedness, the meetness ? A participation, a fellowship in the work of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the ever blessed Trinity ; the Father in election, the Son in Redemption, and the Holy Ghost in calling, regeneration, and illumination. All such participators bave meetness. And observe, it is a past work; it is done. It is not “ who shall make us meet," but, “ hath made us meet." They are such, then, to
whom Christ hath been revealed; who know the plague. of their own hearts; who fly to Christ for refuge; who are at the. foot of the cross, looking to Jesus. In this sense the wise virgins, though they fell asleep with the unprepared, were yet prepared. In the same sense, the Saints had not need to wait to be Fathers. As Babes they have meetness ; for “ if Children, then Heirs, Heirs of God, and joint Heirs with Christ.”
Thus, then, the Apostle says to the Thessalonians, " But ve, Brethren, are not in darkness,” &c. « Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day.” When I came to this passage, in reading this Chapter to you this Evening, I felt disposed to have said, but this, I fear, cannot be said of all here.' Observe, the Apostle is writing to Believers at Thessalonica, whose hearts had been moulded afresh, who had been made new creatures in Christ Jesus, and made to see and feel their need of Christ.
But all such of you, Brethren, beloved of the Lord, who are new creatures in Christ, though you might die before you leave this Chapel to-night, death would not overtake you as a Thief. It would find you in a prepared state, ready to go in amongst the Family, ready to go to Jesus, to see " the King in His beauty,” and to "behold the land which is afar off.” You were once in and of the night, and the darkness. And if the Lord had left you then to die, you would have perished. Some of you may be there still. Spiritual darkness here, must end in eternal darkness hereafter. But if you can truly say, " the Lord is my light and my salvation," when you pass out of time into eternity it will be to behold Christ, the Lord of Life