Preface To Third Edition.
The rapid sale of two large editions, rendering a third so quickly necessary, is happy evidence of the wide-spread interest in the glorious truths connected with the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In no respect does this edition differ from the first, but I take this opportunity of endeavouring to clear up a point briefly touched on in Lecture 6, p. 133, concerning which inquiry has been made, viz., Who are the guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb? Of them it is written, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” These clearly are not the Bride, but are “the friends of the Bridegroom.” I judge them to be all the heavenly saints—all the risen and glorified saints—other than the Church, which, as being the body—the Bride of Christ—is composed only of believers from the day of Pentecost to the rapture of the saints. Old Testament saints—who are specifically alluded to in Heb. 12:23 as “the spirits of just men made perfect,” will, I apprehend, greatly rejoice in the day of the Lamb’s joy, though they be not in the peculiar place of intimacy, which, as the Bride, grace now gives to those who know the Lord, and are, by the Holy Ghost, united to Him in this, the day of His rejection. John the Baptist already anticipated this unselfish joy when he said, “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice; this my joy therefore is fulfilled” (John 3:29). So, again, will it be when the heavenly guests sit at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Well may we sing—
“O day of wondrous promise,
The Bridegroom and the Bride
Are seen in glory ever:
O God! how satisfied.”
May the gracious Lord yet further deign to use this little volume to awaken interest in His own near return.
W. T. P. W.
Edinburgh, Feb. 15, 1895
Preface To First Edition.
The origin of the following little volume is this. A year ago a short course of Lectures, on the Lord’s Second Coming, was given. Great interest in the subject was evinced, and, by many, a desire expressed, that the truths ministered, might appear in a permanent form, for quiet perusal. As, however, no notes either preexisted, or were taken, this was then impossible. This spring the Author again felt led of the Lord, to take up the subject of His return, going more into detail, and the shorthand notes, then taken, are now in the reader’s hands. They have been revised, and emended, as well as the leisure of a Physician’s busy life afforded—subject as it is to constant calls, and interruptions, which do not lend themselves to literary work. To erudition, or scholarship, the book has no claim, and makes no pretensions. That the truth is in it, the Author has no doubt, and the only thought before his mind, in publication, is the profit of souls, if unsaved, and the helping of some of the Lord’s dear children, to a better understanding of His prophetic Word, and, a more simple daily waiting, for Him, who says, “Behold, I come quickly.”
Delivered, as these Lectures were, to large, and mixed audiences, of believers, and unbelievers, the felt, and often, expressed need of the latter, made the introduction of the simple Gospel, a necessity, as well as a joy to the speaker. These statements, and appeals, have not been eliminated, for the book may fall into similar hands, and the Lord may be graciously pleased to use the printer’s mark, as He did the living voice, to thereby awaken the careless, and bring rest to the troubled. May He do so for His name’s sake!
None can be more conscious than the Author, of the many imperfections that exist in his treatment of his subject, so immense is it. But he trusts his attempt, to give a somewhat connected view, of yet future events, will lead the reader to imitate the Bereans, who, when they heard the same testimony as the Thessalonians—the near coming of the Lord—“searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
The Lord grant to reader, and writer, to be “like unto men that wait for their Lord” (Luke 12:36).
W. T. P. W.
46 Charlotte Square,
Edinburgh, June 4, 1891.