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THE

END OF THE WORLD;

OR, THE

Second Coming of Our Lord and Sabiour Jesus Christ.

INTRODUCTION.

Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things ; hold fast that which is good.”—(1 Ep. Thess. v. 19, 20, 21.)

It is an article of Catholic belief, that the eternal Word of God, who, to rescue us from the slavery of sin, clothed Himself with our mortality, and expired as a malefactor upon the infamous gibbet of the cross, will one day come in the clouds of heaven, with much power and majesty, to judge the living and the dead. The Apostles have solemnly declared this truth in their Creed from the very commencement of Christianity, and all the faithful have expressly professed it for more than eighteen centuries.

This was the great theme on which St. Paul dwelt, to animate the first Christians in their trials, and to console them in their afflictions. “The Lord Himself,” he writes to the Thessalonians, « shall come down from heaven with com

B

mandment, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up with them in the clouds, to meet Christ in the air, and so shall we be always with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort you one another with these words.1 And as he exhorted the faithful to take courage, and to console themselves with the expectation of the coming of Christ in glory, and of their union with Him, so did he himself derive from this blessed hope a great comfort in his own sufferings and tribulations.

not ashamed,” he writes to Timothy, “ for I know whom I have believed. I am certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him unto that day.And again : “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course; as to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day; and not only to me, but to all them also that love His

“I am

coming.";

Christ's second coming in power and glory is the principal topic of the Apocalypse of St. John; ;. and to this he especially directs the attention of the first Christians. With this he begins, saying:

Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him." 4 With this he concludes :

1 1 Thess. iv. 15, 16, 17.
3 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.

2 2 Tim. i. 12.

Apoc. i. 7.

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