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May 31
Whitsunday

1. INTROD.—If we get to heaven, the wonderful peace will be our great blessedness, the blessedness of the end having come. And not only the end, but the consummation, for not only will labour be over, but our reward will have come.

2. Today is the nearest approach we have to such a consummation. Describe 'in one place,' etc. [Note 1] Today we celebrate the day when Almighty God exhausted His gifts upon us. They were long {146} promised, but on this day they were all poured out. He emptied the fulness of His mercy on us this day.

3. Long have we been following the course, from Christmas to Easter, etc.; but now the end has come. We are called upon to be thankful for, and enjoy what we have been anticipating.

4. So was it at the first Pentecost, and more strikingly still. For ages had the Church been expecting this day, etc.

5. And again so different from their expectations. This happens to us. We pray, and we do not get our answer. Yet we do in a higher way. So the apostles. (1) They did not know their Lord was to suffer; (2) that He was to go. Yet He said, 'If I go not away,' etc. [Note 2] Yet the fulness, when it came, did not disappoint them.

6. All our infirmities, sins, etc., are reversed in the coming of the Holy Ghost. Sin is gone, fear is gone, etc.

7. All that we have of good comes from this day. All the sacraments from this day. If baptism gives, etc., it is from the day of Pentecost. If confirmation, if penance, etc. If [the Holy] Eucharist. If faith, if hope, etc. If chastity.

8. It is life for death. If we are dry, if cold, if deified, if sickly, if wounded, etc. It is the sweet refreshing breath. If we are to overcome the foe, etc. If we have a refrigerium in purgatory. If at last we mount to heaven.

9. This day especially St. Philip's feast. He preached for fallen Christendom. We too. {147}

October 11
During Exposition for Troubles in India

1. When our Lord was on the Cross, He said, 'Father, forgive them.'

2. Now we know well what the obvious lesson of that prayer is. It shows the love of the Creator in compassionating His children when they were sinning; nay, sinning with the most awful intensity of outrage, for they were wounding, torturing, putting to death that nature which He had assumed.

3. But there is a further reflection perhaps, not so obvious, to be deduced from it, and which is very much to our purpose to consider, in reference to the great calamities which have on this day been so solemnly brought before our consideration by our bishop, and in consequence by us before the throne of grace.

4. He Himself, though ineffably holy in His human nature, still had that very same nature which in them who assailed Him was capable of such sin. If they were of His nature, on the other hand, He was of theirs. If they had the guilt of being His brethren, He had the shame of being theirs. We know how ashamed men commonly are when any one connected with them does anything wrong. The bad deed of any one of our blood is in a certain sense our own bad deed, and is an humiliation. Now our Lord, in His own proper nature as God, is infinitely separate from all beings whatever, but He {148} took on Him a created, a human, a frail nature, when He came on earth. He became a child of Adam. He took on Him that fallen nature which He had made perfect at the time that He created [it], but which had lost its perfection, and which anyhow was always [in] its own essence and by itself frail. If angelic natures have, separate from the grace of God, imperfection, much more has man's nature. Our Lord took on Him a nature which in any other (except His mother) but Him would be sure to sin. He took on Himself a nature which nothing but the grace of God could save from running into sin, from that inherent imperfection which attaches to the creature. He [His human nature] could not sin, but the reason why it could not was not because it was intrinsically higher or better than the nature of any other son of fallen Adam, but because the presence of Himself in it, of Himself who was God, rendered it utterly removed from sin and incompatible with it. Still, His human nature was such that, had it not been His, it might have sinned. But it never was by itself, it never had been without Him. From the first moment of its existence He had taken it up into Himself; He had created it for Himself, and thus it was absolutely and eternally secured from all sin.

5. But still He would know and understand, infinitely more than we can, the shame of having a nature which was in itself peccable. And therefore the sins of all His brethren weighed on Him, and were in one sense His, because He partook their nature, had a share in a common possession which was a very shameful possession. In this sense, {149} though most pure, He bore Him a body of death and the sins of the whole world.

6. At various times He shows this feeling: when He sighed and said 'Ephpheta'; when He wept at Lazarus's grave. These were the signs of the burden He was bearing, who, in partaking our nature, had in solidum the sins of that nature on Him. And so in the Garden, when He sweated drops of blood, it was the weight of that fallen nature which He had assumed which made Him weary even unto death.

7. And when He was on the cross, He had this additional woe, that the evil of human nature now showed itself in a new way, as rising up against Him who bore it. It was the climax of its depravity, that it turned against Him who for its sake had voluntarily put it on. And, while He felt its ingratitude, He felt perhaps equally its shame, as the father of a family is ashamed of his Sons' acts against him, and though he feel them, dare not mention them, because they fall back upon himself.

8. And therefore, when He was lifted up upon the cross, He would not be angry with His torturers, lest it would seem as if it were His own act, for it was the act of that very nature in others which He bore Himself, and, as when we have a hand or a foot in pain, we are not angry with it, but feel a tenderness towards it, so He felt a tenderness to that fallen nature which was showing itself so awfully devilish in His persecutors, for it was His own.

9. My brethren, I do not know whether you see whither I am leading you by this train of thought. {150} We are on this day engaged, in obedience to the call of our bishop, etc.

10. Now I suppose most of us have heard something or other of those indescribable horrors which have been perpetrated by the revolted Hindoos and Mahomedans in the instance of our dear countrymen and countrywomen in India.

11. (Go through them.)

12. We are not only horrified, but angry. Dost thou well to be angry? It is very horrible, but let us not 'think it strange,' 1 Peter iv.

13. Now I don't doubt the right of the Ruler. 'Vengeance is mine,' 'not the sword in vain.' But Catholics, of all people, have nothing to do with rule or responsibility in India.

14. What I am impressing on you is that these enormities belong to our nature, and that we ought to consider that we are of one blood with [those who did them], have one nature, and that that nature is such as might cover it. There is not any one of us but might in other circumstances have committed the same. (Hazael [Note 3], 'Thou art the man,' 2 Kings xii [Note 4]. I assure you, my brethren, I speak in earnest when I say that, much as you pity the persecuted, yet should [you] pity the persecutors more.)

15. Instances to show it in every age and country. {151}

16. Therefore I say to any person who indulges in any bitter feeling about these dreadful transactions, that the question is whether that feeling is not the same in kind, though different in degree, with that which at this minute is making our soldiers in India, according to the confession of their officers, demons. How do we make matters better by sharing and propagating the savageness of human nature? 'Thou art the man.' Hazael.

17. I turn to a truer view. These sufferings, certainly of children, are martyrdoms [vide sermon, December 28, 1856]. And how many brought to repentance. The long suspense described by a lady in a letter from Cawnpore. Her little child restless and nervous, etc., etc. Priests and nuns have suffered.

18. May Our Blessed Lady, whose Maternity this day is, protect them.

19. Let us pray that it may all be overruled to our country's good.

Instances.

1. The savage conquerors in the East—Zingis, Timour, etc. 'Zingis depopulated the whole country from the Danube to the Baltic in a season, and the ruins of the cities and churches were strewed with the bones of the inhabitants. He allured the fugitives from the wood under a promise of pardon, got them to gather in the corn and grapes, and then put them all to death. At one place he put to death 300 noble ladies in his presence. He divided cities into three parts. He left the infirm and old, {152} enlisted all the young men into his army, made the women, the rich, and the artisans his slaves. Almost fabulous his slaughters: at Maru 1,300,000, at Herat 1,600,000, at Neisabour 4,647,000.' 'Timour at Delhi massacred 100,000 prisoners, because some of them showed exultation when the army of their countrymen came into sight. At Ispahan 70,000 human skulls, at Baghdad 90,000.'

2. The Persian shah about fifty years ago, in Morier's Zohrab: three bushels of eyes at Asturabad.

3. Herod with the innocents. Persians and Rome savage persecutors of Christians. Tortures.

4. Middle Ages. (From the newspapers of the last week.) When the Norman barons conquered England, they persecuted the poor English in the most savage ways to gain money or their submission. The Saxon Chronicle says: 'The men were hung by the feet and by the thumbs, and thus smoked over a smouldering fire. Knotted strings about their heads and pulled tight till they pierced the brain. They were put into dungeons with adders and toads; they were put into chests too short and narrow to hold them, and thus were crushed. They were attached by sharp iron collars to a beam, so that they could in no ways sit, nor lie, nor sleep, but they must bear the iron. Thus many thousands were exhausted by hunger.'

5. Guicciardini and Muratore.

6. The German and Spanish soldiers of Charles V. in Rome, just before St. Philip's time, on getting possession of Rome, put to death 4000 soldiers and inhabitants. I will not stop to speak of their plunder of the great riches which it contained, but {153} I am speaking of their savage cruelties. They got all the cardinals, bishops, prelates and nobles they could, and put them to the torture to extract money from them. (St. Caietan.) They carried off the noble Roman ladies, and the nuns from all the convents, and treated them to the most horrible outrages. Their shrieks resounded on all sides. And this went on for days. Many died in their torments, and soon afterwards. It was worse than the Goths. Only a few years ago, as many as sixty priests are said to have been shot by the triumvirs at Rome [Note 5].

7. Not much more than a hundred years ago, there was an attempt in Scotland to place the old royal family upon the throne, and a rising of the people. After the English had got a victory, they put the wounded Highlanders to death in cold blood. They dragged them out of the huts or thickets and shot them, or dispatched them with the stocks of their guns. One farm-house with twenty wounded men in it, they burned to the ground; and all this though the Highlanders had been behaving in the most noble and generous and merciful way to the wounded English. Moreover, they brought together into heaps all the wounded from the field of battle, ran them through with their swords, and cut the throats of those who were found sick in bed.

8. And a century before that, Cromwell and his English soldiers had committed as great, or greater, atrocities in Ireland. When he took Drogheda, he offered quarter to all who would lay down their {154} arms. And when they did so, he broke his word, and began an indiscriminate slaughter. The massacre lasted for five days, so that the streets literally ran with blood. They killed not only the soldiers who were in arms against him, but the inhabitants of the town. A thousand fled for safety to the church, and he killed them all in it. He then marched to Wexford, and did the same. He killed here, too, the inhabitants as well as the soldiers. Three hundred women gathered round the great cross of the place; they were all put to the sword. Some writers say that the slaughter at Wexford amounted to 5000, and Cromwell himself confessed that it was as much as 2000.

9. Nay, what is the state of feeling of our own soldiers at this minute in India? You will say they have reason; but who has not a reason? The Hindoos have thought they had. Now what do we read? One of the officers before Delhi writes: 'We must have blood. The streets of Delhi will be a fearful sight. Our men are mad for revenge.' Another says: 'I only trust all the women and children will have been removed (by the time we take the place), for when we are once inside few will be spared.' Another says: 'Our men cannot be restrained, and they are like demons let loose.' Another says: 'I believe the city will be given up to three days' plunder. I fear it will make our Europeans very undisciplined. Heaven knows, they are hard enough to control here; but when they have once gone in like bloodhounds, and been allowed to plunder, they will be downright demons.' These things are perhaps going on now. {155}

April 11, 1858 (Low Sunday)
[The Church]

1. INTROD.—Last week I spoke of one of those great and august works with which our Lord followed up the great Act of Sacrifice, viz. the foundation of His Church. Nor can there be a more suitable time than this season to speak of it, considering it was the chief concern, as far as we know, of the forty days; vide the gospel of this day.

2. Now in this we differ from all other religions about us. They all profess to have the truth as well as we profess it, but there is one thing they do not profess, viz. that their religious society is founded by Almighty God. We do of ours.

3. And since they do not profess it, they will not let us have what they have not themselves.

4. State the doctrine. We profess, not only our religion, but our society to come from Almighty God; we profess it to be divine. We profess it to have a multitude of privileges, etc.

5. Now you may be asked sometimes by a serious objector, sometimes by an inquirer, how it is that we know that the Church comes from God? I answer that it bears the proof of it to all serious men on its very face, if they will but be patient to examine; and I will say how.

6. I said on Good Friday concerning the world that its strength is in the look of things. Men associate together, say the same thing, and seem strong. They keep up appearances. But there is an inside to things as well as an outside. And here {156} is the weakness of the world as a prophet, that it does not touch the inside.

7. Men cannot live for ever on externals. They have heart, affections and aspirations, and the world cannot satisfy these. They have a conscience; they sin, and need direction.

8. Now this is what our Saviour, when on earth, did for His disciples; and thus He attached them to Him. He was a living object of worship—(1) He gave pardon; (2) He gave direction.

9. When He went, He said He would not leave them orphans.

10. This was fulfilled in the Church: (1) pardon, (2) direction, (3) presence—(enlarge).

11. Hence suited to our need—(enlarge).

12. Faith only requisite.

April 25 (Third Easter)
[The Holy Eucharist]

1. INTROD.—Passage in today's gospel: 'Yet a little while.' [Note 6] Vide also John xiv.

2. This brings before us the thought of the Holy Eucharist, in which it is so wonderfully fulfilled.

3. (This great marvel or miracle, describe generally. Some remarks on it.)

4. Now first, the doctrine of the Resurrection. How wonderful this is. Describe it. It is as stupendous a miracle as any, though luckily Protestants retain it. {157}

5. Another marvel. The risen Body shall ascend to heaven and live there for ever and ever.

6. Now see what this implies. We cannot suppose that our present gross bodies shall be in God's presence for eternity. Accordingly St. Paul says that 'we shall all be changed' [Note 7]—'animal body and spiritual body.' [Note 8]

7. Now our Lord as the first-fruits is already gone to heaven, therefore His Body would be altered.

8. Now we know in a way what great changes matter goes through—ice, melting iron, gas. On the butterfly as an emblem.

9. Four great properties [of a glorified body]—impassibility, activity, brightness, subtlety. Again (1) doors being shut (subtlety), (2) appearing and disappearing (activity): another form [of activity], ascending up on high, (3) brightness, Apoc. i. [14-15].

10. Two others: (1) in many places at once, (2) at a point. As to the second, how did He get through doors? Child increasing, growing, etc. As to the first, God a spirit. His appearing to St. Paul.

11. These two in the Holy Eucharist.

12. Let us adore.

13. How wonderful, by making it a miracle, He has kept it secret, for the world will not believe, John xiv., xvii. And so when He was on earth, John i. [5]. {158}

May 30 (Trinity Sunday)
[The Blessed Trinity]

1. INTROD.—This is the everlasting mystery. All other mysteries arise in time, this in eternity.

2. No words of man can explain it. Three are one. Now soul and body are one, all the faithful are one. The soul, when enveloped in the Divine Essence, hereafter is one with it. But no illustration of earth can give the faintest shadow of the truth.

3. Yet though so difficult for the reason, it is not difficult for devotion, and thus is fulfilled the saying, 'Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to Thy little ones.'

4. For each truth concerning the Holy Trinity is easy. It is their combination is the mystery. Exemplify. That there should be one God—that God should be called or be the Father—that He should be the Son—that He should be the Holy Ghost—but that all three propositions [four] should be true [Note 9].

5. Explain more fully. The Father is absolutely the One God, as if no Son and Spirit, etc. All the attributes, etc. belong to the Father, and to the Son, etc. Whatever the Father does or is, that the Son does or is—not as two, but One.

6. But they divide offices in mercy to our infirmity.

7. Now for devotion. The Father, the Creator, the Preserver, Governor, Judge. Source of all good; the harbour of our rest; heaven, etc.

8. The Son has taken on Him our nature, etc.

9. Holy Ghost Sanctifier, etc.

10. Now while we address each in devotion as the {159} One God, we may leave it to the next world how Each of Three can be the One God.

11. The joy of heaven, when all mysteries will be removed.

January 30, 1859 (Fourth Epiphany)
Blessed Sebastian Valfre

1. INTROD.—The day. Blessed Sebastian born about thirty years after St. Philip's death.

2. General resemblance between the two: (1) St. Philip's early devotion to God; no mortal sin; hard life, long life, and hidden life. (2) Blessed Sebastian the same. More is known of his boyhood—(give instances). Like St. Philip, he labours till the day of his death. Circumstances of his death.

3. Differences from St. Philip: (1) St. Philip without object [in life at first]. Others go to Rome for preferment. He did not aim at being priest; he did not aim at founding a Congregation—like Benedictines, no great work [Note 10], but [like] St. Vincent of Paul, e.g. works. (2) Blessed Sebastian had the definite object of being a priest.

4. Hence Blessed Sebastian's particular character—of priestly, pastoral work of every kind—(go into details). He differed from other priests [of his time] in his incessant work.

5. Well is it that his feast is this year on a Sunday, for we have just set up an altar to him. {160}

6. And well is his feast at this time of the year, for it is the time we came to Birmingham.

7. We have been now ten years in Birmingham, and when I thank God for what He has allowed us to do, I can suitably do it, for I have had less to do with it than others. You know how many of us have devoted ourselves to missionary work.

8. Pray then for us—(details).

9. And pray for The Oratory at Turin—(details). Subscribing to the Achilli fund; our going there—[their] simplicity of life, etc. Their present troubles. Little to choose between one country and another. All good men persecuted.

August 19, 1860 (Twelfth Pentecost)
God the Stay of Eternity

1. INTROD.—The gospel says, 'What shall I do to inherit?' etc. Here this man, whatever his own character, asks an all-important question.

2. He implies the soul will live for ever.

3. What is eternity? Why, it is awful. I cannot call it good in itself. Some good and wise people have said so, but for me it is the most awful thought in the world.

Consider it. Time breaks to pieces everything; much more does eternity. Our soul can never die, but it can get older and older. Fancy this—older and older, colder and colder, so that the longer we lived the more miserable [we should become]. Therefore, when I look at eternity itself, it is a sort of living death to creatures such as man, and no good. Who can bear the weight of eternal years? {161}

4. The scribe, then, does not ask for 'living for ever,' but for 'eternal life.' Life is something more than living; it is to live vigorously, to be always young, etc., etc. Many have no youth, as some years have no spring. It is therefore to be happy, and happier and happier as time goes on.

5. This being the case, it is plain also that nothing but what is infinite can sustain eternity. We read in romances of two persons determining to die, and die together, and care for nothing else, not even God—vain thought! We want something more than ourselves, something more than the creature. We must be associated then, and one with the Creator.

6. God then, the Almighty and the Infinite, is the only stay of eternity.

7. Now then we see the meaning of our Lord's answer to the scribe, of loving God, for He alone is eternal, and unless we are conformed to Him, we shall be miserable in eternity.

8. Let us learn to love. We know what it is on earth to love a person. Signs of love—liking the presence, speech, etc., of the loved person; taking up his opinions, etc., etc.

September 2 (Fourteenth Pentecost)
[The Holy Angels—I]

1. INTROD.—This month leads us to think of the holy angels. It is a far larger subject than I can get through this evening. There are two points of view in which they are to be considered—in nature, and in grace. And this evening I will speak of what they are in their nature. {162}

2. God created them in the beginning of all things, with all other things which He created. When He created the heavens He created them, and He created them in the heavens. Here is the vast difference from earth; for man was created on earth, in order that in time he might attain to the heavens.

3. Simple spirits—hence no form—angels with wings. Mere appearances—as in the Holy Eucharist.

4. No shackle of body. We too are spirits, but in bodies (bodies part of us, disembodied saints desire their bodies). Hence we are sluggish, passionate, etc. Hence we sleep, not they. We cannot move about quickly; they in the twinkling of an eye from heaven to earth.

5. Most perfect of creatures—the image of God's attributes.

6. Their knowledge most comprehensive. They do not learn, they do not discover, but at once from their nature they know intuitively all things of the world; whereas the greatest philosophers with pains only knew a little.

7. They know God and His attributes by nature, even without grace. They understand His attributes, etc. They see God in all things, never being seduced by the creature, as separate from Him.

8. They have a natural love of God, from the perfection of their reason. They love Him above all things.

9. They love each other—and each order of angels, in its own degree, fittingly.

10. Three points which they have not by nature: (1) knowledge of the future; (2) of the heart; (3) of the mysteries of grace. {163}

CONCLUSION.—Many wonderful things in this world, but an angel more wonderful than all. If a creature so wonderful, what the Creator?

September 9 (Fifteenth Pentecost)
The Holy Angels—II

1. INTROD.—Recapitulate. The Creator might make ten thousand worlds, each more perfect than the preceding, all more perfect than this. We know of but one besides this—the universe of angels. This may be otherwise. The angelic world differs from this, in that each part is perfect and independent of any other part.

2. Differences, but they all excel in two things naturally—(1) strength, (2) purity.

3. Purity—'As the angels' [Note 11]—no bodies. Strength—Exod. xii. [Note 12]; 2 Kings xxiv. [Note 13]; 4 Kings xix. [Note 14]. Their voice—Apoc. x. [3] [Note 15]; 1 Thess. iv. [16] [Note 16]. Number—count the lowest—everywhere guardian angels—one to every man, though at one time a thousand millions of men.

4. Their differences. Some think no two [are] {164} alike, but differ specifically, as eagle, dove and nightingale. Indeed, it is difficult, as I have ever thought, to consider pure spirits other than specifically distinct, because since no parts or whole in the angelic world, there are no logical laws in it (except virtue). But, leaving this question, [there are] nine orders in three hierarchies—(enumerate) [Note 17].

5. Such by nature, now by grace. From the first instant of creation endowed with grace—habitual—faith, hope, charity. Knowledge of Holy Trinity, etc.

6. All of them holy, but in proportion to their nature. All have all virtues, but each order rises, having not only all virtues in greater perfection, but a characteristic virtue.

7. (1) Angels—contentment; (2) archangels—imitation of the perfection of all the other orders—absence of all pride and rivalry; (3) principalities—simplicity of intention.

8. (4) Powers—tenderness and sweetness; (5) virtues—courage; (6) dominations—zeal.

9. (7) Thrones—submission and resignation; (8) cherubim—knowledge; (9) seraphim—love.

10. Honour due to the angels, Exod. xxiii., Josh. v., Judges vi., xiii., Daniel x. Explain Apoc. xix. 10, that St. John was so great that he was not to adore.

11. Let us honour them in the best way, but imitating, like the archangels, the virtues of each order. {165}

September 16 (Sixteenth Pentecost)
The [Holy] Angels—III

1. INTROD.—Recapitulate.

2. The angels were all created perfect and gifted with supernatural holiness. Even Lucifer, etc.

3. They were first of all put on their trial. They did not see the face of God.

4. The time of this trial—no natural term like death—shorter than men['s] because of their spiritual nature, as it was so penetrating, etc., might stand or fall for good in a short time. (Why not in an instant?)

5. Who fell? [Some] out of all the orders. Lucifer a seraph.

6. The numbers. Some think a third—Apoc. xii. [4].

7. The sin of the angels, one and the same in all, from imitation. Lucifer led them.

8. What [was] the sin? All [sins] in one doubtless, but especially pride. What kind of pride? Obstinacy, ambition, disobedience, arrogance?—all doubtless, but especially and initially reliance [on] and contentment in natural gifts, with despising supernatural.

9. Additions to this pride (1) a sort of sensual love of self; (2) presumption, ambition, hatred of God; (3) jealousy of man who was to be created.

10. Battle in heaven. (Michael—'Who as God?') Each party trying to convert the other to its own side.

11. Cast into hell—fire in their spirit—though they are now out of it [till the day of judgment]. {166}

12. Allusion to matters going on in Italy. Good and bad not so keenly divided as in angels, but still it is the devil against Michael.

September 30 (Eighteenth Pentecost)
The Holy Angels—[IV]

1. INTROD.—About guardian angel.

2. The different works of angels. The word [angelos] denotes work and service.

3. What orders of angels have to do with this universe? The lowest, i.e. the angels, are the ministers. Mundane or exterior, and heavenly or domestic works. Extraordinary missions—the cherubim of Eden [Gen. iii. 24]—the seraph [in] Isaias [vi. 6, purifying the prophet's lips with living coal from the altar]—Gabriel and Mary [the Annunciation]. One [angel] making charge over to another to execute.

4. First work—'rolling the heavens' [Note 18] [i.e. directing the movements of the heavenly bodies]—science need not [be supposed to have] superseded this—see my sermon, Parochial, etc., vol. ii. [The Powers of Nature. Feast of St. Michael, etc.]—John v. [Pool of Bethsaida].

5. Second work—guardians of nations, provinces, cities, bishopricks, churches. 'Let us depart hence.'

6. Of individuals. Every one from the time of the soul's creation to death. And every one. Judas, Antichrist. {167}

7. St. Frances of Rome.

8. (1) Odiousness of the charge, e.g. St. Paul linked to a soldier; (2) condescension, etc.; (3) encouragement to us, and comfort.

October 7 (Nineteenth Pentecost)
Cardinal Virtues—Prudence

1. INTROD.—Apparently the greatest. It is called prudence, wisdom, judgment or discretion. 'Be ye prudent as serpents.'

2. For to resist self (or temperance), the world (or fortitude), and to be in grace (justice), is obviously necessary for all, but why prudence?

3. Again, a man on looking back will often say, 'By the grace of God I overcame myself—the world—and I generally served God and my neighbour, but alas! all my troubles have come from want of prudence.'

4. St. Anthony (in Cassian), when all the monks assigned different virtues as the greatest, said prudence—because it hinders virtues from becoming vices. This partly lets us in to what prudence is. Let us take different instances of imprudence.

5. (1) Virtue being in a man, prudence is the directing principle; what is virtue in one man is not in another.

6. (2) On turning-points in life—as men mistake their way in the mountains and come to precipices.

7. (3) On avoiding occasions of sin—temptation nearly always comes before sin, as bad food, air, lodging, etc., before illness. If we avoided temptation, {168} how little sin we should do; but prudence is the directing principle.

8. (4) Command of tongue—sudden words, what harm they do! Our Lord when they attempted to entrap Him—Joseph—David.

9. (5) On avoiding scandals. We ought ever to have our eyes about us lest we do others harm.

10. But how are uneducated men to do what seems a virtue of the perfect? At least they may take advice.

11. And they may pray. Two passages in Scripture: Proverbs ii. 3-5 [Note 19], Ecclus. li. 11 [Note 20].

October 14 (Twentieth Pentecost)
Cardinal Virtues—Justice

1. INTROD.—Justice a name for all virtue. The robe of justice—justification. How great then must be the virtue proper so-called.

2. And so the beatitude: 'Who hunger and thirst after justice.' {169}

3. The attribute of God enhances this, for the first attribute we know Him by is justice; viz. in conscience—before experience, before the knowledge of providence, before we look out into the visible framework of the world. Justice and all-knowledge the two; and in Christianity it is the two, love and justice. And where should we be without Christ's justice? Merits of saints founded on the covenant.

4. What is justice? Giving to all their due; text in the Romans, 'Honour to whom honour,' etc. Hence it is synonymous with the habit of 'doing one's duty,' whether to God or our neighbour. To God adoration, devotion, etc., and to the holy angels, etc., but I shall not insist on this part of the subject.

5. To man it is summed up in the maxim, 'Do as you would be done by.' This is placing conduct on the basis of justice. This basis of justice, for not 'as others would like you to do,' but 'ought to wish you to do.' And so 'forgive us our trespasses, as,' etc.; Matt. xviii. 23, parable [Note 21]; 'If I have washed your feet,' John xiii. 14.

6. Parts of justice: (1) truth, (2) honesty—restitution; the terrible onus of restitution shows how important a virtue justice is.

7. (3) Faithfulness, and (4) gratitude, e.g. to parents.

8. (5) Liberality—detachment from money as being the opposite to rapacity and avarice.

9. (6) Courtesy in manner and act.

10. (7) Equity, consideration, kindness in judging, {170} putting oneself into other person's situation. Not 'swift to wrath,' James i. 19; Ephes. iv., last verses [Note 22].

11. Application on the contrary—our only notion commonly of justice, is justice to ourselves, hence anger [dia ten phainomenen hubrin], etc., etc.

12. CONCLUSION.—At the judgment this is the attribute God will exercise. Our justice will then have a peculiar claim, while we are invoking God's promises.

October 21 (Twenty-first Pentecost)
Cardinal Virtues—Fortitude

1. INTROD.—Fortitude and temperance (unlike prudence and justice), and fortitude especially, virtues of warfare in a fallen world. Cowardice the opposite. We know about bravery and cowardice in human matters. How our warfare spiritual, Eph. vi. 12 [Note 23].

2. 'Overcometh the world,' 1 John v. 4 [Note 24]; overcometh the devil, Apoc. xii. 10-11 [Note 25].

3. Hence the Old Testament puts it forth as the characteristic virtue. The spies of the Lord, Deut. {171} xxxi. 7 [Note 26]; Josh. i. 6, 7, 9 [Note 27]—Gideon, David; Aggeus ii. 4 [Note 28].

4. In the new covenant, martyrs, active courage as well as passive—St. Ignatius. St. Barlaam—his hand burnt off. All the children of the city coming to the governor saying, 'Kill us,' and he saying: 'O cacodaemons, have you not precipices and halters?'

5. This is how Christianity was set up—a whole epistle, the Hebrews, not to say 1st of St. Peter, on the duty and virtue.

6. But you will say this is beyond us. How is it a cardinal natural virtue? Well, I can give instances, e.g. 'because iniquity shall abound,' etc. [Note 29]; cowardice—'lest they be discouraged' (ut non pusillo animo fiant) [Note 30].

7. Cowardice in telling the truth.

8. Cowardice in resisting evil, in not going after the way of sinners in act and deed.

9. Impatience of ill-usage from others.

10. Impatience at continued evils; disgust—giving up. {172}

11. This brings me to perseverance. It is difficult to persevere in any course, though no positive obstacles or opposition. How great this cardinal virtue then, as connected with the end of life.

12. If the merits of the martyrs are to assist us, let us merit that assistance by some portion of their bravery.

October 28 (Twenty-second Pentecost)
Cardinal Virtues—Temperance

1. INTROD.—Temperance contrasted with fortitude, as within with without, and the pleasant with the painful.

2. Now to explain it. Our soul may be said to have in it two natures, and at variance, and so opposed that peace and unity implies the subjection of one to the other—as two combatants will fight till one or other is thrown.

3. Reason and passions—grief, joy, anger, desire of having, fear—all going into extreme manifestations, and needing a controller. We see it in brute animals. When they cease [?] it is not that reason governs them, but the object [that excites them] is removed.

4. Comparison of a child on horseback. On the other hand, a rider who has perfect command—the Tartars, who live on horseback.

5. Now in the case of the warfare of the soul the struggle more serious and the dangers greater, because (1) the passions have instruments, as being united to the body; (2) objects sensible; whereas {173} the object of the reason and conscience, Almighty God, is unseen.

6. Therefore a certainty of the subjection of the soul, unless for a remarkable virtue, viz. temperance, or self-government, or control. It is the very critical, or cardinal, or most essential and directing virtue.

7. This self-rule is what makes a man; without it a man is a slave, etc.—laments and curses himself, etc.

8. Hence not heroic, but we see what it is in the saints. It is the characteristic of the saints, and thus is inflicted [sic] on us, that in its degree it is the characteristic of a man. You may have wondered why a saint is characteristically mortified.

9. In saints we specially see how it subserves the soul; their fastings, etc., etc., are to make them pray better, etc., etc.

10. I need not give instances as in the former virtues, but I will mention specially—

11. The necessity of temperance in thoughts and in words.

12. If we would have the saints assist us, let us cultivate that virtue which was their distinction.

February 24, 1861 (Second Lent)
State of Innocence

1. INTROD.—State of our first parents. Image and likeness [Note 31].

2. Image in nature. All things are in a way in {174} the image of God, as being His creatures. Man in a special way.

Soul (1) a spirit; (2) immortality; (3) knowledge illimitable [Note 32]; (4) free will; (5) Godlikeness, as Satan said [Note 33].

Body—beautifulness, perfection of form, etc., etc. but still defects.

Soul—passions against reason; body—mortality.

Thirdly, war of soul with body, as having different ends. Strange the body cannot be without the soul, nor the soul well without the body; yet they cannot agree together.

3. Almighty God knows what He has created, and therefore He did not leave man thus, but gave him a supernatural gift.

4. Likeness—(explain)—sanctity. In fact [also] health and strength, viz. three subjections: (1) Soul to God, (2) passions to reason, and (3) body to soul [Note 34].

5. Hence a knowledge of mysteries. An absence of passions, only good affections.

6. Yet we need not lament paradise—on account of the future glory promised to us.

7. 'Lest he take of the tree of life.'

March 3 (Third Lent)
State of Original Sin

1. INTROD.—State of original sin. Deprivation of grace; consequences, the 'wounds.'

2. Stripped of God's supernatural gifts or grace. {175} He might never have given it, and then no punishment. But since we were intended for heaven, it was a great punishment. Take the case of a person born to wealth, etc., of cultivated mind, etc., banished to a desert island.

3. And as a spendthrift involves all his descendants, so here.

4. But worse. I described last week the triple subjection. Well, when man cast off God, his passions and affections rebelled against his reason, and his body against his soul. Case of a strong man or child on horseback. Daniel in the lions' den.

5. This great calamity constitutes the wounds of human nature—parable of the Good Samaritan—first stripped, then wounded.

6. Now here I shall view them as three—the absence of three subjections—sloth, selfishness, sensuality.

7. Describe sloth—that deadness, blindness of soul, dislike of prayer, disgust at religion, liking to ridicule it. Dislike of ruling our mind and heart, etc., etc.

8. Therefore selfishness—making self the centre, etc.

9. And therefore sensuality—idolising the creature.

10. And then these may be considered sins against God, our neighbour and ourselves. Contrasts—love of God, love of our neighbour, and self-command.

11. They branch into the seven deadly sins: (1) sloth; (2) pride, avarice, anger, envy; (3) gluttony and luxury.

12. They tend to utter death. Are you to live after this life? What is your state then, and is God {176} in heaven? Again I say, what is your state then, with the world swept away?

13. What is your duty? As a ruined man might try to repair his fortunes. Children of this world labouring to regain an ancestral estate.

14. Two great graces: illumination and excitation.

15. 'Now is the acceptable time.'

March 10 (Fourth Lent)
[Restoration]

1. INTROD.—All rational creatures find a need in their nature, and are insufficient for themselves.

2. But man especially. We see this contrasting him with the inferior animals.

3. He has a body as they have, but observe the difference. They are suited to their habitat by nature, he not.

4. Brutes need no dwellings, no clothes, no prepared food, no cooking. Bread and wine both manufactures, etc., etc. Caves, skins and furs, teeth and claws, stomachs. Armour too and arms; flight.

5. Again, if they need anything, Nature supplies them with instinct, e.g. changing colour in the north, etc., nests, holes, care of young, etc.

6. But consider man. He is not adapted to this world in which he finds himself, and would die if left to himself. Arts are necessary, dwellings, etc., etc.

7. Hence again he has to live in a society—for each needs the aid of many others—so many trades, etc. Then again language. This not by nature, but by imitation. Education, books, etc. {177}

8. In like manner, as he is thus dependent in body and mind, so he is in soul, in religion. Insist on the analogy, but with this difference, that for body and mind he can get help from other men, as by education, but this change (al. addition) in the spirit comes from God alone. When man fell everything went, but with this difference, that he had powers within himself in course of time to remedy the evil in all matters of this world, but not of his soul.

9. In paradise he was healthy, etc., etc. He needed no habitation, etc. However, in process of time he could by his own powers find out food, medicine, dwellings, etc., hence societies, kingdoms; but not religion.

10. Nay, worse still, the very advancement in society, in civilisation, is antagonistic to religion. Society viewed on its religious side is the world, one of our three enemies.

11. (Analyse.) Each man condemns himself, but if another does the same, the example is a safeguard, defence, and excuse. How when a multitude [does the same], the world becomes a prophet antagonist to conscience.

12. Also the pomp, glory, etc., of the world becomes an idol.

13. And the more society grows, the worse the world.

14. I said last Sunday the man got worse and worse as time went on, much more society.

15. Explain 'progress.' [Note 35]

16. Yes, in worldly matters.

17. But in religious, not. {178}

18. Worse and worse—judgments, flood, etc.

19. Only true progress in the individual, in the heart.

20. Let us at this season follow it out.

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Notes

1. 'And when the days of Pentecost were accomplished, they were altogether in one place.'—Acts ii. 1.
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2. 'If I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.'—John xvi. 7.
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3. 'Their strong cities thou wilt burn with fire, and their young men thou wilt kill with the sword, and thou wilt dash their children, and rip up their pregnant women. And Hazael said, But what, am I thy servant a dog, that I should do this great thing?'—4 Kings viii. 12-13.
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4. 'And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.'—2 Kings xii. 7.
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5. In 1848.
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6. 'A little while, and now you shall not see me: and again, a little while, you shall see me.'—John xvi. 16.
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7. 1 Cor. xv. 51, 52.
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8. 'Seminatur corpus animale, surget corpus spiritale.'—1 Cor. xv. 44.
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9. See Note 12, p. 339.
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10. 'These early Religious [i.e. the first Benedictines] ... had little or nothing to do with ecclesiastical matters or secular politics; they had no large plan of action for religious ends; they let each day do its work as it came.'—'The Mission of St. Philip,' Sermons on Various Occasions, p. 225.
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11. 'In the resurrection they shall neither marry, nor be married, but shall be as the angels in heaven.'—Matt. xxii. 30.
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12. The destroying angel—death of the firstborn in Egypt.
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13. The angel of the pestilence whom David saw by the thrashing-floor of Areuna the Jebusite.
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14. The angel that slew the host of Sennacherib.
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15. 'He [the angel] cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.'
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16. 'The Lord himself shall come down from heaven ... with the voice of an archangel ... '
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17. See Note 13, p. 340.
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18. Probably a quotation from some poet.
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19. 'If thou shalt call for wisdom, and incline thy heart to prudence; If thou shalt seek her as money, and shalt dig for her as for a treasure; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and shalt find the knowledge of God.'
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20. 'I remembered thy mercy, O Lord, and thy works, which are from the beginning of the world. How thou deliverest them that wait for thee, O Lord, and savest them out of the hands of the nations. Thou hast exalted my dwelling-place upon the earth, and I have prayed for death to pass away. I called upon the Lord, the father of my Lord, that he would not leave me in the day of my trouble, and in the time of the proud without help.'
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21. 'The servant who owed ten thousand talents.'
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22. 'Let all bitterness and anger ... be put away from you,' etc.
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23. 'For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.'
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24. 'Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.'
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25. 'The accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.'
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26. 'And Moses called Josua, and said to him before all Israel, Take courage and be valiant: for thou shalt bring this people into the land which the Lord swore he would give to their fathers.'
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27. 'Take courage and be strong ... Take courage and be very valiant ... Behold I command thee, take courage and be strong. Fear not and be not dismayed, because the Lord thy God is with thee in all things whatsoever thou shalt go to.'
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28. 'Yet now take courage, O Zorobabel, saith the Lord; and take courage, O Josua, son of Josedec, the high priest; and take courage, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord of hosts, and perform: (for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts).'
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29. 'Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold.'—Matt. xxiv. 12.
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30. Coloss. iii. 21.
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31. 'Let us make man to our image and likeness.'—Gen. i. 26.
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32. Note he does not say infinite.
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33. 'You shall be as gods.'—Gen. ii. 5.
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34. These 'subjections' pertain to the gift of Integrity.
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35. See Note 14, p. 341.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.