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CHRIST’S PERSONAL RETURN
BY A LUTHERAN MINISTER
To attempt to prove that the Son of Man will really and personally come again to this world, may seem quite superfluous. It is a doctrine which orthodox Christians universally admit; and yet, perhaps, there is not another article of Christian faith so coldly and indefinitely apprehended. Few men embrace it as a reality. Few men lay hold of it as an efficacious truth. People deny it not, but neither do they feel it. They have so much preoccupied their minds with imaginary, figurative comings of the Saviour, in providence, in His Spirit, in His Word, and in His Church, that His only real coming has well nigh become obsolete—a dead letter.
It no longer comes upon the heart and conscience with its awakening and commanding power. We recite it, and sing it; but we do not effectually receive it. It is in our creed, but it cannot be said to be of our faith. If we entertain it at all, it is at a great distance off. It cannot, therefore, be a matter of small importance for us to review our position and to endeavor to ascertain where we stand in regard to this great doctrine.
If we have been unconsciously saying to ourselves, “The Lord delayeth his coming,” it is time that
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we should wake up to the fact, lest that day should come upon us unawares. Christ bids us “Watch, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.” “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” “As a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” And amid the tremendous heavings of society in our day, we are most solemnly admonished to look well to our hearts, and keep close to the directions of our Lord.
— July, 1879 —