1 Thess. 4:14

Robert Hawker

"Them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him."–1 Thess. iv. 14.

My soul, thy last night's thoughts, with which thou fell asleep, were upon a subject so truly connected with Jesus, that I hope thou couldest and didst say, "My meditation of him was sweet!" There is another blessed thought, connected both with Jesus and it, that may be, proper to take along with it. Seek of God the Spirit to unfold its beauties in Jesus to thy view, this evening, and lead thee with it to fall asleep, this night, as on the former, in the Lord. The apostle opens it to thy meditation in these words; "They which sleep in Jesus, God will bring with him." The bodies, as well as the souls of the redeemed, are alike the purchase of Christ's blood, and Jesus will have them all with him. They are his jewels, his treasure, his segullah. He suffers them to lie among the dust, it is true; but he saith himself, though they have so lain, yet shall they be "as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold," Ps. lxviii. 13. How will Jesus accomplish this at the last day? He explains it himself; "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all unto me;" John xii. 32. And if the magnetic powers of the loadstone be such that it will separate the smallest particles of steel from every thing of earth or dust around, so that they shall fly to the touch of the loadstone in every direction; can his powers be doubted, who Hath constituted such principles in nature so to act and so to be governed? Oh, my soul, how sure is it, that Jesus will at the last day open the graves of his people, and cause them to come up out of them! Heaven would not be complete without this; neither the Lord Jesus fully rewarded, to see "the travail of his soul." This final consummation of all things, is the blessedness Paul speaks of, when, "in the dispensation of the fulness of time, Jehovah might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him," Eph. i. 10. Sweet thought; my soul, take it with thee to thy bed. This glory, this triumph of thy Jesus, as Mediator, the head of his body the church, remains to be accomplished; neither will it be accomplished until "the last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed!" The patriarchs, the prophets, and holy saints of God, who died in Christ, before his incarnation, felt, no doubt, an accession to their glory and happiness, and joy in their souls, when the Son of God, after he had finished redemption-work, returned to heaven. The sight they had of Christ in his human nature opened a new source of joy unspeakable. Oh, the unknown rapture of feasting their eyes upon him. And "the spirits of just men made perfect (some of whom, my soul, thou hast seen, and known, and enjoyed sweet communion with in the church below) who are now before the throne, and serve him in his temple night and day: "they are at the fountainhead of bliss, in "seeing Jesus as he is, and knowing, even as they are known." Nevertheless, their present enjoyments are the enjoyments of the soul only; their felicity is not complete, until, at the restitution of all things, their bodies shall be raised to the triumphs of eternity. Take, my soul, these thoughts with thee to bed; and be as ready to give thy body to thy Jesus for the grave, that he, in his own time, which is the best time, may undress thee for it, as thou takest off thy garments for nightly rest; for most certain it is, that as "Jesus died and rose again, even them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him."


Robert Hawker

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