7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near (James 5).
There seems to be no doubt that first century Christians believed in the imminent return of Christ. Some were so convinced of it that they saw no reason even to work, instead spending all their time in spiritual preparation for that great day. This was particularly compelling, due to the persecution they were having to endure as followers of Christ.
Nothing comforts those who suffer as the thought of the end of that suffering. Surely all those beautiful Negro Spirituals echoing from Southern cotton fields was a testimony to this. In June of 1867 a list of them by Thomas Wentworth Higginson was published in the Atlantic Monthly: Bound to Go, Room in There; My Army Cross Over; Ride in, Kind Savior; This World Almost Done; I Want to Go Home; The Coming Day; One More River; O’er the Crossing; Walk ‘Em Easy; I Know Moon-Rise; Lord, Remember Me; Early in the Morning; Blow Your Trumpet, Gabriel; In the Morning; Fare Ye Well; The Ship of Zion; Sweet Music; The Heavenly Road; and We’ll Soon Be Free.
Lord, help us This Day to join in the refrain. Amen.