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In proportion as the mind is animated by a persuasion of success, will be its preparedness for vigorous, patient, and untiring exertion. This is felt to be a principle of such efficacy, as to have been called in to sustain effort and quicken zeal in all great undertakings. Even the religion of the Son of God, instinct as it is with almighty energy, has not thought this principle unworthy of its regard, in promoting a spirit of magnanimity and endurance in its friends. If we turn to the birthplace of the Christian faith, we may hear the Divine teacher cheering the hearts of the disciples in their hard conflicts with the world, the flesh and the devil by the promise of being, at last, more than conquerors. His first act, as he led them forth, was an act of triumph over the Prince of Darkness* -thus settling their confidence in his power to accomplish the deliverance of his people: while such acts, to the same end, were constantly repeated before their eyes during his earthly ministry.t And when he opened to

* See temptation of Christ, Matt. iv. † Matt. viii, 28; ix, 32, et passim.

them thc scenes of bitter trial through which, for his sake, they must pass-scenes so contrary to their hopes, so overwhelming to their fearshe sought to quiet their alarm, and confirm their wavering trust by revealing to them the scenes of glory that would follow:-“ Look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh;"* “Let not your hearts be troubled-I will come again, and receive you unto myself.”+ True you shall see me “led as a lamb to the slaughter." Though “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows,”S and a victim of the most cruel sufferings—bleeding at every pore and writhing in every limb, yet unappalled at the fearful expiation, I shall proceed “to give my back to the smiters,”'ll “my flesh for the life of the world.” Yes, you must witness “the hour and the power of darkness;” but “let not your heart be troubled,” the day of my exaltation and of your rejoicing hastens. Soon you shall see me lay aside the priestly garments, the badges of my bloody sacrifice, my deep humiliation; and gird on the sword of my might. “Death shall be swallowed up in my victory;"* and in the face of a gazing world I will ascend, “leading captivity captive,”t to “the place of my glory.Nor is this all: I will come again; and this very earth which is to witness the scene of my agony, and hear the cry of my distress, shall yet behold the brightness of my coming,I and bend beneath the sceptre of my kingdom. True,"you shall be called before governors and kings for my sake;" "yea, the time cometh, when he that killeth you, will think that he doeth God service.”|| But “let not your heart be troubled;" I will come again: will come unto you: will endue you with “the spirit of my glory:" “will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay

* Luke xxi, 28.
# Is. liii, 7.
| Ibid. 1, 6.

John xiv, 1–3.
Ibid. liii, 3.
John vi, 51.

* 1 Cor. xv, 54.

| Eph. iv, 8. # 2 Thess. ii, 8. s Is. ix, 7; lxiii, passim. Phil. ii, 10. Rev. i, 7. | John xvi, 2.

1 1 Pet. iv, 14.

nor resist."*

“ No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”+ Yes, “I will come again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”I “Ye have followed me, and in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”'S Such is the enrapturing view unfolded by our Lord to his sorrowing disciples; such the bright vision of final victory, under power of which, he left them “to contend earnestly for the faith." The effect was such as might have been looked for. No sooner had he ascended, than the voice of these very disciples, just now sunk in despondency, is raised, as if in echo of his own exulting strain, to the highest note of encouragement.

The timid are nerved, the sluggish aroused, the recreant filled with terror, by constant and thrilling appeals to the fact, that “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh:” that He who once "came to visit us in great humility,” would soon return

+ Is. liv, 17.

* Luke xxi, 15. † John xvi, 22.

Matt. xix, 28.

in all the majesty of his Godhead, “to call the world from the rising up of the sun to the going down thereof: first, to gather together his saints unto Him in his everlasting kingdom; and then to adjudge the wicked and impenitent to the horrors of an endless punishment.*

And when death had stifled this voice of the apostles, the call upon the suffering Christians still is, “ Look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh;” “look up” in confident assurance, that “the triumph of the wicked shall be short;" in patient reliance upon the promise, that He who is known to be “the Son of God with power, by his resurrection from the dead,” will ere long visibly descend, “to reign in righteousness on the earth.” This consideration, so full of triumph in itself and of power over the pious mind, seems in fact to have operated with marvellous efficacy upon the primitive saints. “When the holy Father," says Jerome, “began to discourse to them, after

* 1 Thess. V, 2, 3, 4. Acts xx, 32. 2 Tim. iv, 8. 2 Pet. iii, 11 to end. Rev. last two chapters.

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