Sermon Notes

July 1, 1849
Purity and Love—Love in the Innocent and the Penitent

{1} [Note 1]

1. INTROD.—All the saints of God, all holy persons, all the faithful have, each in his measure, purity and love—the two graces go together. What is purity but the having the heart fixed [on], the loving (al. an affection for) things unseen? What turns away the soul from God so much as impurity? What is impurity but loving (al. having affection for) what is sinful? We have such an affection for money, etc.

2. Yet, though this be so, here as in other graces, some [saints] are instances of one grace, some of another; and therefore it may be said without exaggeration that there [are] two kinds of saints, the saints of purity, the saints of love—the lily and the rose.

3. St. John the Baptist, sanctified from his mother's womb, living in the desert. St. John the Evangelist, the virgin saint—perhaps he never voluntarily yielded to venial sin, and hence so much favoured—lying in our Lord's bosom. How different {2} these two, yet agreeing in this that they lived out of the world. It is the characteristic of the virgin saints that their love [is] contemplative, tranquil, etc.—nay, can hardly be called love; so intimately one with the Supreme that it is with Him rather than it loves Him. It does not approach towards Him so much as already have Him; it is heaven rather than loves heaven; it is a partaker of the divine Nature rather than a lover of it. Therefore we talk of such for their purity.

4. Such above all the Virgin Mother. She therefore, as coming so near to God, is associated with His titles—sedes sapientiae, janua coeli, vita, dulcedo, etc.

5. But on the other hand, when a soul has given itself to sin, when it has lost its first estate or never had grace—when it is in bonds, whether to be converted or to be reclaimed, what is to counteract and antagonise to pride and pleasure? [to compete] with formed habits? What but a superior attraction? (St. Augustine in Pentecost [Note 2].)

Hence love is the great instrument of conversion: (therefore as purity is the emblem of the one [the Innocent], i.e. it shows itself more, takes a prominent place—so love of the other [the Penitent]), therefore, as the love of the pure is tranquil, so the love of the penitent is energetic, zealous, active, belligerent, [full] of emotion, of work, of passion—the one the love which is of peace, the other which is of warfare. [Examples of the love of the penitent.] (1) David in the Psalms; (2) {3} St. Mary Magdalene—her energy, thrusting herself into the room, tears in the room and in the garden; (3) St. Peter—loving more than the rest—walking on the sea—John xxi. (contrast St. John's tranquil 'It is the Lord') rushed forward—weeping for his denial—crucified head downwards; (4) St. Paul, 'the life I now live in the flesh,' [Note 3] 'the love of Christ constraineth us,' [Note 4] etc.; (5) St. Augustine represented in pictures as loving; (6) thus in the Confiteor 3, [Our Lady, St. Michael, St. John the Baptist, the Innocent] then 2, [SS. Peter and Paul—Penitents].

July 8
Power of Prayer

1. INTROD.—If there is anything which distinguishes religion at all, which is meant by the very word, it is the power of prayer. Yet wonderful at first [sight] that prayer should have an effect.

2. The order of the world seems to forbid it—sun rising and setting—everything uniform—laws (causes and effects) [Note 5]—winds, indeed, and atmosphere and sea irregular, but a regular irregularity. All things cause and effect, bound together like a steam-engine; would prayer to its Maker make it stop?

3. Hence at all times the wise in this world have laughed prayer to scorn: they have thought it was a superstition [Note 6]. {4}

July 22
Causes which Keep Men from Catholicity

[Note 7]

1. INTROD.—Catholics often surprised that every one does not become a Catholic. And they have a difficulty, how any one can see the Church without acknowledging it.

2. Now this often arises from invincible ignorance, as almost all would admit; viz. when the reasons for Catholicity have never been brought home to a man. Born in another religion—not come across the Church—never been a practical question. They are Protestant simply from Protestantism being in possession.

3. Prejudice, violent—yet some danger here that not invincible ignorance, because they cannot but hear other side in part.

4. The reason I shall here mention is a main one, viz. not liking to belong to a body. (1) Contrast of Church of England—taking a pew, etc.;—they can believe what they please, they are not bound. (2) This applies in part to dissenting bodies. You will say 'I grant it in part.' Still a great difference, for the Catholic Church [is] a body, a society such as no body of men is.

Enumerate particulars.—(1) Not able to believe what they please, not knowing what they are pledged to; strictness of confession, the Church having a hold upon them. (2) Pride—not liking to {5} condescend. (3) Human respect—not liking to be laughed at. It involves outward profession.

5. But this is the strength as well as the difficulty, for it is a body or society which has privilege from Christ. Men come for the sacraments—for pardon of sin—hence they feel peace on joining it. Communion of saints, of merits, of indulgences.

July 22
On Human Respect

1. On Magdalene's entrance to our Lord at the feast—circumstances of it; the way the guests sat—custom of lying at table. The Pharisee would start from a bad woman coming in [Note 8]. Not strange a woman should come in, but that she should anoint feet, not head, and weep. She chose a banquet, the very place where she might have been seen in splendour, not weeping—Maldonatus on Matt. xxv., p. 286 [Note 9]. How she was able to get in—ib., in loc. [Luke vii. 38], p. 167; neglectful of self—she did not think what others would say, because she saw Christ. Just allude to people not going to church with bad clothes.

2. Now I suppose no more urgent motive than 'what people will think of us'—fear of the world and human respect—extends from high to low. The feeling is tyrannical.—fashion. {6}

3. I am far from meaning that it is bad or useless; it is not in itself bad because it is natural. Nothing natural bad, for from God, except under circumstances—in excess, not so as God wills it, or to the exclusion of God [Note 10].

4. Nor useless—the contrary. A number of good things are done which would not else be [done], and bad avoided which would not else be [avoided]. We cannot go right without a feeling of responsibility. Now the mass of mankind do not realise God, and therefore human opinion makes them responsible, and makes them act rightly—a present visible judgment useful as far as true. E.g. (1) No public office would go on well without responsibility—abuses coming in. (2) When upper classes have been shielded from responsibility, we know what excesses. (3) In colonies and abroad society sinks down to an immoral level—even ministers of religion.

5. But while we acknowledge it good on a large scale, we should be very jealous of it in our own case. Insist on this contrast—it usurps the place of God—'Loving the praise of men rather than God' [John xii. 42]. (1) Instances with what I began with—Magdalene; not going to church with bad clothes—a little thing, but most expressive; it extends to all communions and religions, and to all but the higher classes who wear the same clothes on Sundays and other days. (2) A greater matter by contrast making propriety of appearance taking [take] place of virtue {7} —unchastity nothing so that you are not found out; infanticide; Spartan boy stealing fox; being ridiculed for religion; not daring to obey God; obliged to take part in bad discourse; ashamed of being known to pray—I do not wish to be hard upon them—St. Augustine before his conversion, pudebat me, etc.; St. Alfonso's Sermons, p. 172.

6. Hence saints have been so set against human respect. St. Francis Borgia carrying a vessel of broth to some prisoners met his son on horseback, etc., vide St. Alfonso's Sermons, pp. 175-6—hence strange penances of S. Filippo Neri.

7. We should not go out of our way, without direction, to do strange things, but one thing we should aim at—to substitute the presence of God for dependence on the world. Act in thought of God. How many things we do in private which it would be the greatest punishment possible we can conceive to do in public. Well, act as if God's eye were on you—fear Him more than man, etc.

CONCLUSION.—And, O my friends, if any Protestants are here, are you sure that you would not become Catholics but for the fear of men? Are you prepared to say, 'I will follow wherever God leads me. I do not, indeed, see my way to be a Catholic, but I will become one, in spite of the world, if I find it is my duty to be one, and if I suspect it is my duty, I will inquire and not give over.' The world passes; in a little time those only are blessed who, putting aside (al. thinking nothing of) the world's opinion (He that is ashamed of Me and of My words, etc.) like Magdalene, see Christ alone and gain His favour. {8}

Note appended by the preacher to this sermon

QUERY.—This sermon would be more complete, if not so short, if confined to the following:

1. As above (1) circumstances of St. Mary M. coming to our Lord.
2. On appearing before the Lord in the particular judgment—longing to see Him though He punishes.
3. Looking on our Lord in benediction which follows the sermon.

July 29
On the Gospel for Pentecost IX. [Christ Weeping over Jerusalem]

1. INTROD. Wonderful union of mercy and severity in God, as in our Saviour weeping over Jerusalem. Who can have hard thoughts of Him? Yet who can presume?

2. Take the case of the Jews. St. Paul says 'these things happened in figure' [Note 11]: they are a figure of God's dealings with every soul. Consider the frequent judgments mentioned in the epistle—how often He had to punish before He gave them up. At last wrath came without remedy—He wept while He denounced—it was over and there was no hope. He dried His tears—He rose up—He executed wrath—He rejected them and burned up their city.

3. And so in every age. Consider what a wonderful patience—the same thing acted over and over {9} again—how weary the angels must get of the history of the world—every generation beginning with sinners, and then some turning to repentance—looking at individual souls, seeing them plunge into sin fearlessly—yet they are afterwards to repent—they must feel indignation that God should be trifled with. The very same poor souls who now sin will repent as the generation before them: they even take their fill of sin before they turn to God.

4. Then they see repentance—all so promising, such a good start; yet God sees that those very persons, who are beginning so well, are again to fall from Him—to profane and ungratefully treat all His gifts.

5. But so the world goes on. Numbers never coming back to God [at] all, numbers coming back then falling again, numbers repenting only in the end of life, numbers sinning against light and warning, again and again, till they are cast off without remedy. Observe how stern the words, 'for now they are hidden from thine eyes.'

6. Yet how beautiful the temple looked. Describe—goodly stones—how unlikely that it should be destroyed, yet it was doomed.

7. Blessed they who do not sin; next blessed they who consider God's wrath and mercy—not one of them only, lest they despair or presume.

Topic - Private Judgment August 5
On Private Judgment

SUBJECT.—Why such opposition to Catholicity?

1. Many reasons may be given, but this is one of {10} the chief: viz. (1) popularly and rhetorically (for they cannot speak calmly) Catholicity a system which conspires against the peace and liberty of man; a tyrannical system which imposes a load of things upon the conscience, which terrifies the weak; anathemas; a grasping secret system; and so they go on—and worse, till they rise to priestcraft, Babylon, Antichrist, man of sin, etc., etc.

(2) Really this (for almost all exaggeration is founded on truth: now the question is what truth there is in this): viz. that it [Catholicity] is intrusive—interferes between a man and God. Religion [they say] a private matter; every one has a right to judge for himself—I am quite able to teach myself; I will never allow dictation; I am a freeborn Briton; Britons never were slaves, and such like vulgar swaggering, etc., etc. [Note 12]

2. How much truth? We must sift it still further: viz. there is interference, but not by an individual, as if the clergy might bind the laity by their private judgment, but by a system, a system of laws, etc. This must be cleared up. (1) Mistake to suppose the Pope can order what he will to be believed. You say, Suppose the Pope were to say [this or that preposterous thing] we must believe it. Well, but suppose there were no God, etc.? or again, what would you do with two and two making five? (2) The confessor cannot do what he will: (i) a penitent chooses his confessor; (ii) he need not be {11} known to him, e.g. extraordinary missions on purpose; (iii) the confessor goes by rule as a judge does; (iv) the penitent may appeal to another confessor; (v) the confessor may not speak out of confession even to the penitent; (vi) a penitent may not introduce the name of others—detraction; (vii) the confessor knows his penitent too little, not too much; (viii) two confessors may not talk over a penitent. Account of Protestant who said the confessor looked like a God—how absurd! a father and child [is nearer the mark]. How the penitent may tell, [while] the confessor can't defend himself, can't employ his knowledge in any way, not even to defend himself against poisoning; therefore in this individual arbitrary sense, the reproach against Catholicity, as stated above, not true. Yet it is true that Catholicity, the Church, interposes between man and his God, teaching him, warning him, and judging for him. Now I have brought it down to what is true, and here I join issue with it.

3. Now the Protestant view [of no interference] is unnatural, irrational, unscriptural, etc. Now to show this—why Protestants cannot carry it out themselves! If they were consistent they would not educate their children; yet so eager for education, and against Catholics educating! If every one should form an opinion for himself, children should be let alone. Some people have done so. But you take, not a common time, but the first time, and the most impressionable; it is half, three-fourths of the battle to educate children [as Protestants virtually admit].

4. But you will say it can't be helped. If we {12} don't educate, others will—the devil will. Well, [that shows that] the nature, the state of things, is against you. This is just what I said, that your way [view of non-interference] was unnatural.

If then children, why not grown men?

5. But you will say this is absurd, because they can judge for themselves. No. No proof that they can judge for themselves, only that they will. They can't in worldly matters: wouldn't it be better if they didn't in worldly matters? Why then in spiritual? Men are all their lives children as regards religion; they can't in spiritual [things] judge. You know they can't in business and cares of life—this is what I meant by irrational—and in matter of fact they don't. You know they are influenced first by their education, next by the persons they meet; to say they go by [their own judgment is] simply absurd—they go by counsels. Why not right of private judgment in children? Simply because they are weak and depend on you.

6. Well then, you make every one a prey of every confident talker, as you do. God has provided the Church to prevent this very evil.

7. Now think how else you would get out of the difficulty, viz. the fact that human nature requires guidance, and will take the first that comes. Does not God's goodness point to a church?

8. O my brethren, which is the more scriptural? One church in heaven and earth—the saints—souls in purgatory—communication of merits—each depends on each—hand and foot—(explain). This why Englishmen so unamiable—coldness. {13}

August 19
On the Fitness of Our Lady's Assumption

1. Recollect Luke xxiv. 26, 'Ought not Christ,' etc.; Hebrews ii. 10, 'It became him,' etc.; Rom. xii., 'Analogy of Faith.' [Note 13]

2. In like manner it became our Lord to raise His mother, and her so sinless. Let us think of this.

3. Doctrine from the first—that God was her Son, lay in her womb, was suckled by her, etc. She enjoyed His voice, smile, etc.

4. Esther vi. 6, 'What should be done to the man whom the king is desirous to honour?' 'He ought to be clothed in royal robes,' etc. And so of our Lady—she should be the Mirror of Justice, the Mystical Rose, etc. Thus has King Solomon risen up to meet his mother.

5. Now go into details—sanctity and spiritual office or work go commonly together: (1) the angels; (2) seraphim. Exceptions: (i) Balaam, Caiaphas, overruled; (ii) many shall say in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name,' and He shall answer, 'I never knew you'; (3) They may have fallen away; (4) gifts are [imparted] separately from sanctity, but gifts are not offices. On the contrary (5) Enoch, Noe, Moses, Samuel, David, etc.—except Judas. [These are instances where, according to the general rule, 'sanctity and spiritual office go together.'] {14}

6. If such to whom the word was made, much more [does sanctity go with spiritual office] in [her, in] whom He was born. Was it not fitting? Do human parents otherwise? Do they give their children to suckle to common persons? Nature says that the fount of truth should be holy. Here is the difference [as between] miracles and sacraments [Note 14]. Prophets receive, beget, and bear the Divine Word. Scripture-writers different from each other, and so the Fathers [Note 15]. As the tree, so the fruit. 'Beware of false prophets' [says our Lord, and then He adds, 'from their fruits ye shall know them']. Mary not a mere instrument—as the first-fruit, so the mass. The Word did not pass through [her]. He took a body from her, therefore she was worthy of the Creator—full of grace.

7. Hence doctrine of Immaculate Conception—grace before Gabriel [i.e. before the Annunciation], before vow of virginity, before Temple, before birth, before St. John the Baptist [i.e. at an earlier period in her existence than that in which it was bestowed upon the Baptist]. She must surpass all saints.

8. Again with her co-operation—this her merit. She was peccable; she grew in grace, etc. Enoch merited, Noe merited, Abraham merited, Levites merited, David, Daniel [merited]; how much more Mary since her reward was such! {15}

9. Her glories were not simply from her being Mother of God: it implies something before it. The feast of Annunciation implies feast of Conception and of Assumption.

10. Come then (I would not weary you) to Assumption—more difficult not to believe Assumption than to believe it after the Incarnation. Human Sons sustain their mothers. She died; she saw no corruption, for she had no original sin. 'Dust thou art,' etc.

11. Therefore she died in private. Give history of Assumption.

12. What is it fitting that we should be with such a mother?

August 28
On Want of Faith

[Note 16]

1. INTROD.—Many, as I said lately, wonder the beauty of Catholicity does not attract multitudes of people 'to see that great sight' [Note 17] 'come and see' [Note 18]—and join the Church.

2. They do not become Catholics because they have not faith. This no truism; faith is a certain faculty, like justice, etc.

3. Describe faith—assent on the word of another—as coming from God, not by sight or reason, not as word of man, which is a kind of faith, but not firm. We take man's word for what it is worth, but [divine] faith is most certain.

4. This was faith in the apostles' time—certainty. {16} The converts entered the Church in order to learn. Could they have disputed with an apostle? or separated from them? or believed them not inwardly? or wait for further proof? No, there was no private judgment then; they either believed or did not believe. They could not say, I will choose, I will believe a little, as I please, etc., etc.

5. And this is plain from Scripture texts—1 Thess. ii. 13, ib. iv. 8, Luke x. 16—'know most certainly' [Note 19] or 'believe and be saved,' the 'word of hearing.' [Note 20]

6. What a contrast between this or deducing from a book to master it! The one is submitting, the other is judging. Faith, then, in the apostles' age consisted in submitting.

7. Plainly not a temper of the world now; they have not what the apostles meant by faith. Men change to and fro now: this is opinion, not faith.

8. Again they laugh at faith as servile, the work of priestcraft. Would they not have rejected the apostles? Would they not have died pagans?

9. Object—the pagan did so laugh—quote 1 Cor. i. 23 [Note 21]; Matt. xi. 25 [Note 22].

10. They have not faith. How then do they believe the Scriptures? They don't; it is a nursery habit. When they think of their contents they begin to doubt.

11. What faith [was] in the apostles' days [it is] now. I have proved, then, the world has not faith. Though many men may admire, may encourage, yet {17} they will say, 'O that we were Catholics!' and get no further.

12. Deplorable state! for faith so necessary; e.g. Heb. xi. 6 [Note 23]; Mark xvi. 16 [Note 24]; John iii. 18 [Note 25]. Christ might have saved by sight, but He saves by faith.

13. Let them try to put faith elsewhere if they can. Faith through grace.

14. Exhortation to Protestants to use existing grace.

September 2
Prejudice as a Cause why Men are not Catholics

1. INTROD.—It may surprise those Catholics who live to themselves why so many Protestants are not Catholics, but it will not surprise those who go into the world. They will there find what will account for it, viz. a prejudice about Catholicism such that the wonder is not why men do not become Catholics, but why any do at all.

2. Such is the power of prejudice. What is prejudice? It is forming a judgment without sufficient grounds. We cannot help being prejudiced, because there are ten thousand things about which we can but have an opinion; but the fault is—and this is what we truly mean by prejudice—when we stick to it in spite of better information, or will not listen to other information.

3. Now as regards Catholicism. Men in childhood {18} have always heard Catholics abused. They are considered to be cruel; stories of torments inflicted by them are circulated: (1) exaggerated stories of individuals; (2) a horror of some particular practice; (3) viewing things separately, not as a whole. One thing fixes in their mind, and seems to justify all anticipations, for persons take fright at some one particular doctrine or fact, e.g. about the confessional, and at one bad priest, etc., etc. This especially inconsistent in those who profess to go by private judgment. Why do they go by what they hear, and that casually perhaps?

4. Not believing [that] (1) priests believe what they say; (2) are continent; (3) [that] converts are satisfied—looking out for some change in them. The consequence of this deep prejudice is that from the nature of the case there are no ways of overcoming it. If Catholics are particular, devout, or charitable, etc., they are said to be hypocrites; if all things apparently simple, they think there is something in the background; they call them plausible; if nothing can be found against them, how well they conceal things; if they argue well, what clever sophists; if charitable, they have vast wealth; if they succeed, not of God's blessing, but of craft. I wish we had half the cleverness they impute to us.

5. Hence they circulate lies about us, not inquiring the authority, and when they are disproved, instead of giving over, circulate others which can't be. When any particular lie is put out, they embrace it at once as being so likely, i.e. like their prejudice. They take not this age and place, but {19} a thousand miles away and two hundred years ago. Catholics alone can suffer this, because they are in all times and places; they could not, e.g., treat Quakers so. Explain how far honest. They say to themselves, if this is not true, yet something else is true quite as bad.

6. But this cannot last, i.e. prejudice (whether they become Catholics or not); as the ice goes in Canadian sea in a week, so when prejudice once begins to thaw it will go quickly. Now the remedy for all this is to see us—(enlarge on this). They cannot keep up their theories against us, but they are afraid to be puzzled with something on our side. They have a sort of feeling that if they were to see us we should contradict their prejudices, so they do all they can to keep us out of sight.

7. Hence no person hardly who has been much abroad and lived with the people can keep up their prejudices; no one who has read much history: the strength of prejudice is with those who are not informed.

September 30
Faith and Doubt

[Note 26]

1. INTROD.—Those who are curious ask, 'May I doubt when I am a Catholic?' Those who object say it is a tyranny, violence on the mind, immoral, etc.; i.e. they ought to hold that it is wrong to make up the mind on any religious subject whatever, however sacred. A liberty to doubt [is what they ask]. {20}

2. First, doubt is incompatible with faith. Who would say a man believed the apostles' mission who added that perhaps he should one day doubt about it? A real but latent doubt. 'I perhaps am excited,' or 'in a delusion,' or 'everything may turn out.' What men object to is faith. If the thing is true—that God became man—why must it be doubted? Either they have faith now, and then, etc., or not, and then, etc. I may love and obey by halves, not believe.

3. And so when a Catholic [doubts] he has already lost it (i.e. faith). Persons converted to Protestantism by reading the Bible. Protestants only show by their objections that they do not know what faith is.

4. Secondly, love [rejects doubt] as well as faith. What would you think of a friend who bargained not to trust you? who said he should be trifling with truth if he did not [so bargain]? May I never have such a friend—jealous minds, etc.—[Give me] cordial, openhearted ones, etc. And so of God. If a man thought God might be unjust, or bargained to believe in, worship Him, only while his reason told him, he would be worshipping himself. And so of the Church. Fetters! [Yes,] cords of Adam.

5. The world thinks faith a burden—cannot understand joy of believing. [It imagines] confession [to be] chiefly of doubts. On the contrary, popule meus, quid feci tibi, etc.

6. Third view. (Doubt does not destroy intellectual conviction, but) faith a gift of God. I may see I ought to believe, yet cannot. Conviction and acting, conviction and faith—faith not of necessity, {21} [i.e. the will not coerced] but of will—merit in faith.

7. Conviction may remain without faith. If we listen to objections without cause—case of those who fall away—they cannot answer arguments. Thus they either linger about the Church or go into atheism.

8. Fourth reason [why doubt is not permissible]. Inconsistent in the Church to do otherwise. St. Paul, St. John, Eliseus [Note 27].

9. No other body can demand faith—not Dissenters, not Church of England.

10. Be sure, before you join us. You must come to learn. Do not distress yourselves whether your faith will last.

11. Get conviction. Act when it comes; it comes differently to different persons. We are anxious about persons, not as wishing them to act without conviction, but because perhaps the time is past.

12. Oh the misery if you have not become Catholics! Oh the misery if we had not!

October 14
Maternity of Mary

[Note 28]

1. INTROD.—When we look upon earth and sky we find everything connected together in a wonderful way—everything answering to each. Nothing could be altered—if there were one star less or more—and so of animal power—atmosphere and sea. The {22} like happens in the Catholic religion, and the more a person examines the more he will find it, though people have no time for examination. But concerning the doctrines of our Lady, apropos of the Maternity. (It seems fair to say, that if God would restore the world, she must be without sin. Yet [again] one truth follows from another.)

2. When God intended to take flesh, He might have taken a body like Adam or Eve (or from the sky), but either men would not have believed He was man, or not so readily. The notion of God becoming man is so hard that the human mind will evade it if it can. Hence, in order to seal the doctrine, He took a human mother.

3. Hence the great doctrine that Mary is His mother: the Mother of God has ever been the bulwark of our Lord's divinity. And it is that which heretics have ever opposed, for it is the great witness that the doctrine of God being man is true. The making much of, the prominence of the doctrine is the bulwark, hence she had her gifts—(1) to erect her as a Turris Davidica, lest she should be forgotten; (2) to prepare her fitly, as a temple (no unclean thing can enter heaven); (3) lest she should be puffed up as Satan. She said, 'Ecce ancilla Domini'; thus she ministers as a creature, and does glory to God.

4. The first mode heretics took was saying that our Lord's body came down from heaven, or that He was an apparent man, etc. They affected to be reverent, and said the idea was shocking that a born man should be God. Now you see how the doctrine excludes this idea; hence, in the creed, 'born of the Virgin Mary.' {23}

The second mode was to say that Mary bore a man, and not God—mother of our Lord's manhood, etc.—but that God was in a particular way in Him, as He was in the prophets and good men.

The Council of Ephesus, about four hundred years after Christ, [decreed] the title of Mother of God.

The third ground was at the Reformation—bolder—that it [i.e. Catholic teaching about our Lady] was idolatry, etc., Satan hoping so to destroy the belief in our Lord's divinity. Here again false reverence, so they abolished the honour of our Lady out of tenderness to Christ's divinity! Look at the issue. The truth is, the doctrine of our Lady keeps us from a dreaming, unreal way. If no mother, no history, how did He come here, etc? He is from heaven. It startles us and makes us think what we say when we say Christ is God; not merely like God, inhabited by, sent by God, but really God; so really, that she is the mother of God because His mother.

Fourth, the tendency of this age to depress man, fancying the stars inhabited, etc. Why, then, should God think of us? why should His son be incarnate? Not so much meant. Now this doctrine fixes that so much is meant, coelum animatum.

November 11

1. INTROD.—Not wonderful if God, who might have saved us without, yet saved us with Christ's passion—though He might have saved us without pain, [yet] saves us with pain. {24}

2. Hence 'through many tribulations we must enter,' etc., either in this life or next. As Christ [suffered] without sin, so we for our own sins. Suffering in next life is in purgatory.

3. Now I shall best describe purgatory by first, 'He descended into hell.' What is meant by hell? Plainly the place to which souls go—as His body to the grave, so His soul to hell. So 'thou shalt not leave My soul in hell,' etc., Ps. xv. 10. Yet hell cannot mean the home of the devil, therefore it means something short of hell, though called hell.

4. Remarkable it should be so called. It cannot be called so without reason. A joyful place would not be called hell. Yet so also in the Mass, etc., 'de porta inferi,' 'de ore leonis et de profundo lacu,' 'ne absorbeat eum'; and so again Phil. ii. 10 [Note 29] and Rom. x. 6-7 [Note 30], and Samuel, 'from the earth.'

5. Evidently then near hell, or in some respects like hell—absorbeat, like a whirlpool. Such is purgatory, and it is not wonderful that it should be a place of great punishment. Hence it is that, being near hell, the holy fathers say the flames are hell flames, like being scorched by a house on fire.

6. Still at least it cannot be a happy place, for it is not heaven. Pain of loss—(describe). God our good. We manage in this life to lean on creatures—our friends, etc.; our comforts, etc. The soul downcast, miserable, dreary, as being hungry, like {25} the feeling of sinking—fainting to the body. Such is purgatory, at worst flame, at best and always, desolation.

7. Different mansions in purgatory (as in heaven). This shown in the vision of St. Felicitas, and of St. Malachi.

8. Hence a received, or at least a pious, opinion that there is a region where there is no pain of sense at all. St. Bede speaks, as St. Felicitas suggests, of a meadow. St. Gertrude; St. Mechtilda. Such the place of the old patriarchs such as Samuel. Hence Abraham's bosom, though in sight of hell—and, 'with me in paradise'—a garden.

9. But since it is the place which, with all our penances and satisfactions here, we cannot escape from, I will add some consolations. First, they do not sin—no ruffling or impatience; they are the holy souls in purgatory. (1) They hate their sin so much that they have greater pleasure in suffering than in not suffering with the feeling of sin. (2) No impatience; they will to suffer, for it is God's will. Thus every consolation—full resignation. A holy soul plunging into the place where it sent itself—rather feeling the pains of hell than the least sin.

10. Secondly, they know they have done with sin; it was a phantom haunting them all through life, night and morning. Weariness—all at an end. Resignation in the storm; ecstatic feeling; nay, he rejoices to combat with the antagonist trial.

11. Assurance of salvation, as they know that each hour brings them nearer to the end.

12. Consoled by angels, etc. St. Francis de Sales. Transcendental state; not single bliss and single {26} pain; nor mixed as in this life, but both together, pure and antagonistic [Note 31].

St. Francis de Sales on Purgatory [Note 32]

It is true that its torments are so great that the most extreme pains of this life cannot be compared with it; yet, on the other hand, the internal satisfactions there are such that there is no prosperity or contentment on earth which can equal them. (1) The souls there are in a continual union with God. (2) They are perfectly resigned to His will, or, to speak more exactly, their will is so transformed into His will that they cannot will otherwise than God wills; so that if paradise were opened to them, they would rather precipitate themselves into hell than appear before God with the defilements which they still recognise in themselves. (3) They are purified there voluntarily and lovingly, since such is the divine good pleasure. (4) They wish to be there in the manner which pleases God, and for so long as pleases Him. (5) They cannot sin, and cannot experience the least motion of impatience, nor commit the least imperfection. (6) They love God more than themselves, or anything, with a full love, pure and disinterested. (7) They are there consoled by angels. (8) They are there assured of their salvation, with a hope which cannot be confounded in its expectation. (9) Their bitterness, most bitter as it is, is in the midst of peace most profound. (10) Though purgatory be a sort of hell {27} as regards the pain, yet it is a paradise as regards the sweetness which charity spreads abroad in the heart; charity more strong than death, more powerful than hell, the lights of which are all fire and flame. (11) Happy state, more desirable than formidable, since the flames are flames of love and charity. (12) Formidable nevertheless, since they retard the end of all consummation, which consists in seeing God and loving Him, and by that sight and that love, in praising and glorifying Him through the whole extent of eternity.

December 9
On Man as Disobedient by Sin as Contrasted with Mary

1. INTROD.—Our Saviour came at this time of year to bring peace on earth.

2. Prince of peace—leopard and lamb [Note 33]—'on earth peace'; hence, as type, peace in Roman Empire.

3. He reconciled man to man, God to man, but especially the soul to itself. He made peace within—this the great gift.

4. Man created at unity with himself; his different powers, irascible and concupiscible—how are they to be brought together? Only by God's grace. He is not sufficient for his own happiness. Stoics have tried to subject the passions to the reason, without subjecting the reason to God. Sin is self-destructive.

5. Such the case, about eternal punishment—it is not religion brings in the doctrine; it is a fact {28} in prospect before us—for suppose no God, and man immortal, he would be his own eternal torment, and could not free himself.

6. Give a person riches, health, name, power, ability, let him live centuries here, would that be a gain, or the contrary? Would not the very time show that these things had failed?

7. Two great principles, the irascible and the concupiscible. Solomon in Eccles. ii.—indulgence of sensuality; what does mirth and grasping profit? Tired out—sated—the same dishes daily; the same faces; the same servants behind chairs—Lord Byron—the man who killed himself because he had to get up and go to bed. When such men get to the end of life they would not live longer; they want rest, as the man in 'The Siege of Corinth'—'The Giaour.'

8. Satiety would make way for gloom—ill-temper. The misery of ill-temper—gloom; eating the heart out. On kings with unrestrained power, what brutes they become! Their furious passions. Youth is gay, age is crabbed—vain regret of first youthful feelings, gone for ever. Why, such feelings would tend to madness. Oh the awful misery of a man living an eternity in this world!

9. Yet they do not live on, but die. And then, what the additional agony of a soul left to itself! with nothing corporeal; no means of communicating with others; thrown on itself; voluntarily cut off from God, who is our only stay, comfort, then—and so for eternity.

10. Pain of the body great, but pain of the mind worse, though we do not know much of it here. {29} Scaring, bad dreams, hair turning white—what when it comes in its fulness? The wicked is like the troubled sea. Here is your portion, my brethren, if you will not turn to God.

11. Oh, what dreadful thoughts for the future! This is how man, then, will appear before his Maker—covered with wounds, etc. Suppose at the judgment God, without positive infliction, merely left a man to himself.

12. What a contrast our Lady to this—our Saviour is God and cannot afford the contrast. Immaculate in her conception—so sweet, so musical, etc. She holds up to us what man is intended to be, as a type, the most perfect submission of his powers to grace.

13. Instinctive feeling in the Church that it is so.

14. Christ the source, Mary the work of grace.

December 16
On the Last Times of the World

1. INTROD.—Two Advents of Christ.

2. The difference between them: (1) the latter sudden; the former, a long course of preparation, so that He could not have come sooner than He did—the latter, hardly any preparation—Antichrist alone—else it may come any day.

3. (2) An apostasy before the second—quote 2 Thess. ii. 3-4 [Note 34]; yet this no infringement on its {30} suddenness, for the apostasy began working even in apostolic times [Note 35].

4. On the contrary, since it is always working, the contemplation of it may be useful to us.

5. Characteristic of the apostasy—not idolatry, not presumption, as 'the Temple of the Lord,' etc. [Note 36] Not despair, as 'why should I wait on the Lord,' 2 Kings vi. 33, but infidelity—quote 2 Thess. ii. 4, 'Shewing himself,' etc. [Note 37]

6. Particular sins have particular punishments, as fire for Sodom and Gomorrah. (1) Parallel of flood, first destruction of the world: (i) An apostasyfilii Dei ad filias hominum; a new state of things followed; a sort of perfection—viri famosi; (ii) St. Peter called it the world of the impious; (iii) St. Paul, by faith Enoch and Noe endured the world; (iv) St. Jude, Enoch's prophecy against the impious; (v) remarkable; Tubal-cain and Jubal—useful and fine arts [Note 38]; and so [anomos], 2 Thess. ii., with iniquitas, Gen. vi. 13 [Note 39].

7. (2) Description of the last apostasy in the New Testament: (i) St. Paul, 'depart (apostatise) from the faith'; (ii) St. Paul, 'wax worse and worse' ; (iii) St. Jude, 'mockers,' etc. A still {31} more remarkable passage, 2 Peter ii. 4-9 [Note 40], where the state of antediluvian and last days (unbelief) are connected. They thought nature must go on as hitherto,—'Where is the promise of the coming?' etc. Nature all-sufficient, all in all, that it should come to nought—an idle tale.

8. This further illustrated by the miracles of Antichrist, in whom the apostasy will terminate, 2 Thess. ii., Apoc. xiii. 13. Now the devil cannot do real miracles, therefore they are miracles of knowledge. Knowledge is power—parallel of Tubal-cain above—and they say power is but knowledge, i.e. the revealed miracles are not real ones.

9. Hence so plausible, that even the elect might be deceived by the sophism.

10. Such the apostasy, and while it is brought before us by the season, it concerns us because St. Paul says, 'It already worketh.' It is in all ages, and surely not the least in this—open infidelity, specious objections, various kinds of argument from long ages, geology, history of civilisation, antiquities, etc.

11. You may say it doesn't concern us; it does—specious objections. But let us ask our hearts, do not they speak for religion in spite of these?

12. It is all founded on pride. Pride is dependence {32} on nature without grace, thinking the supernatural impossible. Eating the forbidden fruit was pride and unbelief; thus the world will end with the sin with which it begins.


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1. See Note 1, p. 334.
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2. The reference is to a passage of St. Augustine [Tract. In Joann. XXVI.] read in the matins of Wednesday in Whit-week. It is quoted in Sermons to Mixed Congregations, p. 70.
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3. Gal. ii. 20.
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4. 2 Cor. v.14.
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5. Over these words is written an incomplete sentence: 'and the more you inquire the more ... '
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6. This sermon was not completed. Underneath it is pasted a small scrap of paper with notes, apparently used in the pulpit.
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7. Note by the writer—'Not preached yet.'
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8. The writer corrected this statement in note written in pencil and much of which is illegible: 'No, probably they mixed with them without thinking of converting them, but despising them; only solicitous they should not touch them.'
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9. See Note 2, p. 334.
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10. Written over in pencil 'perfectly becoming we should have a regard for each other—"provide things honest in the sight of men."'—Rom. xii. 17.
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11. Alluding to the epistle of the Sunday, 1 Cor. x. 6-13.
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12. The following sentences are jotted down in pencil between (1) and (2): 'Let us sift this, for it is spoken rhetorically. For nothing like prose—all rhetoric [and] declamation. An inspiring subject and controversial, it always rises into oratory.'
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13. See Note 3, p. 334.
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14. Speaking generally, a miracle is a testimony to some truth. Its worker therefore is a fount of truth, and therefore presumably holy. A like presumption does not exist in the case of the administrator of a sacrament.
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15. The fact that the inspired writer, or the Father, preserves his individuality, shows that he is something else than 'a mere instrument.'
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16. See Note 4, p. 335.
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17. Exod. iii. 3.
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18. John i. 39.
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19. Acts ii. 36.
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20. 1 Thess. ii. 13.
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21. ' ... Christ crucified ... unto the Gentiles foolishness.'
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22. ' ... Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent.'
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23. 'Without faith it is impossible to please God.'
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24. 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.'
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25. 'He that doth not believe is already judged.'
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26. See Note 5, p. 335.
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27. Eliseus prohibiting the search for Elias, 4 Kings ii. 16.
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28. See Note 6, p. 336
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29. 'That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth and under the earth.'
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30. 'Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? that is, to bring Christ down. Or, Who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.'
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31. See Note 7, p. 336.
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32. This summary of St. Francis' teaching was written on a loose leaf, and does not belong to the sermon.
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33. 'The leopard shall lie down with the kid.'—Isaias xi. 6.
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34. 'Let no man deceive you by any means, for ... unless there come a revolt first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God,' etc.
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35. Cf. 2 Thess. ii. 7; 1 John iv. 3.
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36. 'Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, It is the temple of the Lord.'—Jer. vii. 4.
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37. 'Shewing himself as if he were God.'
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38. 'Jubal the father of them that play upon the harp and the organs ... Tubal-cain ... a hammerer and artificer in every work of brass and iron.'—Gen. iv. 21, 22.
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39. 'The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with iniquity through them; ... I will destroy them with the earth.'
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40. 'For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment. And spared not the original world, but preserved Noe, the eighth person, the preacher of justice, bringing in the flood upon the world for the ungodly ... The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented.'
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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