There is another feature of the life of the earliest Christians which also deserves notice in this connexion. They lived in the expectation of Christ’s near return. This hope supplied them with an extraordinarily strong motive for disregarding earthly things, and the joys and sufferings of this world. That they were mistaken in their expectations we must freely grant; but nevertheless it was a highly efficacious lever for raising them above the world, and teaching them to make little of small things and much of great things, and to distinguish between what is of time and what is of eternity. “For a new and powerful religious impulse, which effects its own influence, to be associated with a co-efficient which enhances and strengthens that influence, is what we see constantly happening in the history of religion. With every renewal of the religious experience of sin and grace since Augustine’s day, what a lever has been supplied by the idea of predestination, and yet it is an idea which is in no way derived from that experience itself. How much enthusiasm was inspired in Cromwell’s troops, and how greatly were the Puritans on both sides of the ocean strengthened by the consciousness of-adoption, although this consciousness, too, was only a co-efficient. When the religious experiences of St. Francis developed in the Middle Ages into a new form of devotion, how much assistance it received from the doctrine of poverty, and yet this doctrine was an independent force. The conviction which obtained in the apostolic age that the Lord had really appeared after his death on the cross may also be regarded as a co-efficient. These coefficients teach us that the most inward of all possessions, namely, religion, does not struggle up into life free and isolated, but grows, so to speak, in coverings of bark and cannot grow without them. In studying the apostolic age, however, it is important to observe that, not only in spite of the religious enthusiasm but even in spite of the intense eschatological hopes which prevailed, the task of making earthly life holy was not neglected.