September 24 (Seventeenth Pentecost)
[The Old and New Testaments]

1. INTROD.—On the gospel.

2. 'The Lord said to my Lord.' [Note 1]

3. Great truths put obscurely in the law. Both as regards prophecy and religion and morals.

4. The law of Moses and the Old Testament like a bud, and the new law the open flower, e.g.—

5. The first commandment.

6. The thoughts of the heart—'with all thy heart,' Matt. v.; 'If thy eye is single.'

7. Impurity, Matt. v.—divorce and polygamy.

8. The second great commandment—parable of the good Samaritan.

9. But something the same—faith, the Church, the order of ministers, and rites.

10. But all these might be dead without love of God, etc.

11. Let us beware lest we are outside Christians. {221}

March 31, 1872 (Easter Day)
[Victory of Good over Evil]

1. This day commemorates the victory of truth over falsehood, of good over evil, of Almighty God over Satan—quote Matt. xxviii. 1.

2. Not a recent event, the existence of evil—millions of ages ago, a revolt in heaven—rebel angels; thus Satan the god of this world. And the conflict began first in heaven—'Michael and his angels.' Then the devil was cast out, and came down to the earth. Then it went on to the greater conflict with the Son of God.

3. Wonderful there should have been such a conflict and such a victory.

4. (1) No evil without His permission. This is one wonder.

5. (2) Then when permitted, He might have destroyed it by a word; but He suffered it.

6. (3) He might have let it run its course, and die as a conflagration dies out.

7. (4) But He determined on a conflict and a victory.

8. (5) And a victory of apparent weakness over force.

9. This was His will, and since He chose this way, we believe it to be the best way.

10. This has been the character of the conflict ever since. There has been a conflict, and a victory of weakness over might. Martyrs.

11. Holy See.

12. Comfort of this time. {222}

13. We do not know what is coming, but we do know that we shall conquer.

April 7 (Low Sunday)
[Faith Conquering the World]

1. Faith is inculcated on us both by the epistle and gospel of this day.

2. What is faith? Why it is that secret inward sense in our conscience and our heart that God speaks to us, accompanied by a sense of the duty to obey Him [Note 2]—a sort of voice or command bidding us to believe, telling us to yield ourselves to Him.

3. Thus, if we hear any one scoff at religion, speak against God, or against our Lord, or the Blessed Virgin, the saints or truths of the Gospel, or at the Church, we are spontaneously shocked and turn away. And if unhappily we listen or read, a feeling of remorse and distress and sorrow comes upon us.

4. Faith not opposed to reason, but anticipates it. It is a short cut.

5. It is (1) evidently the beginning of religion. And (2) it was a new thing when our Lord came (except among the Jews). (3) It 'overcame the world.'

6. It overcame the world. St. John prophesied when he said it should 'overcome.' How would Christianity have progressed without it?

7. It overcame the world—by contrast, 'When the Son of man cometh,' etc. [Note 3] {223}

8. We need not take this to mean there will be no faith, but observe a contrast.

9. We do not know when this time will be, but we understand from what we see that a time will come. The unbelief now is dreadful, and should remind us of that time.

10. Let us pray that when He comes we may be found watching.

11. The trial came on the apostles suddenly, their faith failed.

April 14 (Second Easter)
[Faith Failing]

1. INTROD.—The good Pastor hardly made Himself known to His disciples than He went to heaven. He went away before men believed in Him.

2. This was His will—'Not to all the people.' Enumerate how few—the most five hundred brethren at once—but then, as it seems, 'some doubted.'

3. For it was His will that 'the just should live by faith,' Hab. ii. 4—and then thrice in St. Paul [Note 4].

4. Accordingly elsewhere He says, 'We live by faith, not by sight' [Note 5]—Abraham's faith. So our Lord's miracles. And He said, Mark xi. 22-23, 'Have faith in God. Amen I say to you, That whosoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and cast into the sea; and shall not stagger in his heart, but believe that whatsoever he saith shall be done unto him; it shall be done.' {224}

5. Thus the FOUNDATION of the Church is faith, Matt. xvi. 13-18, and when faith goes the Church goes. The angels: 'Ye men of Galilee ... so also will he come again.' [Note 6]

6. The Church cannot go till faith goes; and as the Church will last as long as the world, therefore when faith dies out the world will come to an end.

7. I repeat few had faith when our Lord went, and few will have faith when He comes again. The foundation of the Church.

8. Hence the words, Luke—'Shall He find faith on earth?'

9. All this makes us look to the future, especially when there is a failure of faith.

10. The prophecies distinctly declare a failing of faith.

11. On listening to prophecies in circulation [Note 7]—not to be trusted.

12. Of course I am not denying that holy people, nuns, etc., sometimes prophesy, but Scripture is surer, 2 Peter [Note 8]. Of course it requires an interpreter, but still there is something to guide us in the literal text.

13. The awful future—'of that day and hour knoweth no one'—but it is profitable to read the words of Scripture, though we but partially understand them. {225}

April 21 (Third Easter)
[The Second Coming]

1. INTROD.—'Modicum,' etc. 'A little while' [Note 9]—the disciples were perplexed.

2. Our Lord spoke as if He were to come again soon. And certainly many of His disciples thought He would. They thought not exactly that He would end the world, but that He would come to end the present state of it, to judge the wicked and introduce a holier world. Nay, at one time even the apostles.

3. But no one knows when, not even the angels.

4. It seems to have been our Lord's wish that His coming should always appear near.

5. He gave indeed signs of His coming, but every age of the world has those signs in a measure.

6. The signs were the falling away and the coming of some great enemy of the Truth called Antichrist, who should bind together all the powers of the world; that as there was war between the good and bad angels in heaven, so between the servants of Christ and Antichrist on earth.

7. This then is our state. In every age things are so like the last day as to remind us that perhaps it is coming; but still not so like that we know.

8. Every age is a semblance, a type in part of what then at last will be in fulness. {226}

(Same as last; another scheme.)

1. 'Modicum.'

2. So they would explain the angels' words, 'Viri Galilaei.' [Note 10]

3. And the mass of the disciples did think our Lord would come back soon.

4. Our Lord said 'no,' 'but of that day,' etc.—'like a thief in the night,' etc.—2 Peter iii. [10] [Note 11], 2 Thess. ii. 3 [Note 12].

5. Here, then, signs mentioned—viz. discessio [a revolt] and Antichrist.

6. Before the end a great spiritual war between Antichrist and the remnant of believers in the world.

7. You may say, 'Then the time of Christ's coming is known.'

8. No, for this reason—every time is such as to be like, and to remind us of the last day.

9. True, always [cause for] fear—the world always seems ending.

10. It is the great mercy of God, and the power [of prayer that delays the end].

11. However, at length the time will come. [Some alterations or additions were made in secs. 7-9, which it has been found impossible to embody in the text given above. Their placing must be left to the ingenuity of the reader.]

Sec. 7. (a) 'In spite of this, in every age almost, Christians have thought the end coming.' (b) {227} 'Moreover, though its fulness at the end, always in the world; many Antichrists.' (c) 'But still it is our duty ever to look out for Him.'

This last, viz. (c), is followed by—'8. Hence He has made the end always seem near.'

Another addition to or substitution for sec. 8 is, 'At this time things very [?] like the end.'

Added in pencil as a substitution or addition to sec. 9: 'It will also keep us from being over frightened now about present signs.'

April 28 (Fourth Easter)

1. INTROD.—I have said that as our Lord went away suddenly, so will He come again. Next, that there will be a great token of His coming, viz. a falling away. Thirdly, that it will still be sudden, because that falling away is in almost every age, or, at least, again and again.

2. Now some passages in Scripture about the falling away: 1 Tim. iv. [1] [Note 13], 2 Tim. iii. [1-5], ib. iv. [Note 14] [3] [Note 15], 2 Peter iii. [3-4] [Note 16].

3. About the suddenness, Matt. xxiv. 27, 'For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth {228} even unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.'

4. Infallible word, commented on by theologians through ages: 'Blessed are those who hear,' etc.

5. Of course at all times there is a spirit of prophecy in the Church, and there are holy men and women, though there is no proof of this [in the stories now abroad].

6. It seems to me a great pity that Catholics leave Scripture prophecy, which is the infallible word, for rumours and stories about prophecies without foundation, e.g. at this very time.

7. Orval coming up again [Note 17] (vide Rambler, vol. iv. p. 73).

8. Shifting according to circumstances—instance of 1748.

9. But still the word of God stands sure and cannot be superseded. If they are true, they co-operate with Scripture and do not oppose it.

10. Now this great contrast between these so-called prophecies and Scripture, the one prophecy good, the other evil.

11. Those who are always looking for good, are always disappointed; but it is our comfort and glory to know that the Church always triumphs, though it seems always failing.

12. Hence two lessons: (1) The bad state of things is to remind us of His coming and its suddenness. (2) We are encouraged under it by the feeling it is our special portion to be in trouble, 2 Cor. iv. 8-9 [Note 18]. {229}

13. Three lessons: (1) To remind and warn. (2) To calm us, because in every age. (3) To give us faith and hope, from the sight of the Church's continual victory.

May 5 (Fifth Easter)
[Holy Scripture]

1. We are so ignorant, and the world so confused, that there is a natural desire to know the future (trust in superstitions, fortune-tellers, etc., etc.). A future must come, and we know nothing about it, and desire to know it.

2. Fortune-tellers about ourselves and public affairs—almanacs; and so Catholics have their prophets.

3. All those reports such as Catholics are apt to be beguiled with, have two tokens of error. They do not appeal to or carry on Scripture prophecy; next, they are different from Scripture prophecy, as I said last week.

4. Now, though there was no direct comfort and instruction to be gained from Scripture prophecy, it would be a duty to keep it in view, because it is in Scripture—because it is the inspired word of God.

5. And this great evil arises from neglecting it, because Protestants take it up and interpret it wrongly; they interpret it against usour Scripture becomes a weapon in their hands because we have relinquished it to them.

6. But great edification does come from reading Scripture prophecy; and a blessing is promised on those who read. Very little is told us about the {230} future; nothing to gratify our curiosity, but with it real edification.

7. The Apocalypse brings before us the conflict between Christ and the world.

8. And so of other Scriptures—the Gospel the best spiritual book—St. Paul's epistles, the Psalms.

9. Pius VI.'s declaration [Note 19]. This why so many French and Italians have become infidels.

10. To know Christ is to know Scripture—an anchor.

May 12 (After Ascension)
[The Wonderful Spread of Christianity]

1. INTROD.—On the wonderful beginning and spread of Christianity.

2. (Describe it.) Twelve men, etc., etc.

3. So they went on gaining ground for centuries, till at length, etc.

4. Then how great their greatness! Think of the Pope, etc., etc.

5. Yet which was the more wonderful of the two? Why it is not wonderful that a temporal power should have temporal strength.

6. Another most remarkable thing is that while it was gaining ground, it all along thought that it was failing, and the end was coming.

7. They did not think so in the time of its great prosperity, when it really was failing.

8. (Now this presentiment of failure is to show {231} the strength of the Almighty. We have this grace in earthly vessels.)

9. It arises from the prophecies. We know evil in this world, not good, is promised us.

10. Again, it is a type to bring before us the last age when it will fail (God so contrives the events of this world that, etc.), and when Christ will come from heaven at the last moment to save.

11. (Horsley's letter [Note 20].)

12. Passages from Malvenda about Rome.

13. The wisdom of God is stronger, etc.

June 9 (Third Pentecost)
[The Fall of Man]

1. INTROD.—The ninety-nine are the angels, the one is man.

2. Man is one because perhaps there are indefinitely more angels than men; and next, because Adam was one head, the head of our race. We all sinned in Adam, but each angel who fell sinned in himself.

3. The account of Adam's fall.

4. Now, to understand how great it was, we must consider Adam's high gifts. It was a miracle almost, a violation of his nature and state, that he fell, for he had so many gifts.

5. Had he been like us we could understand it; but he was not like us. But on his falling he lost those gifts, and became what men are now, and that we can understand. {232}

6. He came under God's anger—he was prone to sin; he was under captivity of the devil. The whole face of the world external was changed, as winter instead of summer—that world, I may say, deprived of angels, of God's countenance, and full of the devil; even innocent things became infected and means of temptation.

7. He lost those gifts, and therefore, when he had offspring, he transmitted to them that nature which he had; but he could not transmit those gifts which he had forfeited.

8. Such, then, is our state as children of Adam. We are what he was after sinning—in precisely the same state—and that state is called 'original sin.' We have not the advantage which Adam had.

9. Now, if a man says this is mysterious, hardly consistent with justice, I answer: (1) The whole of revelation must be mysterious, we do not know enough to defend it, because it is part of a whole system.

10. (2) God is not bound to give us high gifts such as He gave Adam. It is sufficient that He gives us such grace that it is our fault if we do not go right.

11. (3) But, again, Christ came to set all right.

June 16 (Fourth Pentecost)
[The World, the Flesh, and the Devil]

1. INTROD.—The whole creation travaileth.

2. All creatures must be imperfect and tend to corruption if left to themselves. All creation which we see—the visible world. {233}

3. The visible world requires a support to its laws; they cannot support themselves.

4. And still clearer as regards separate beings. All things in fluxu et transitu.

5. Brute animal passion—but without sin—but no brute passion but exists in man.

6. Such excesses the gift of reason is to hinder and subdue; and therefore sin in not doing so.

7. But the conflict so strong that it requires the grace of God.

8. Now we see the state to which original sin, the sin of Adam, has reduced us. It has rendered us like the brutes, because it has deprived us of grace, yet left us in sin.

9. This stripped human nature is called in Scripture the flesh—(Cain's fratricide, the flood, destruction of Sodom, state of things when our Lord came)—

10. And is our second giant enemy. Our first enemy is the devil.

11. Now trace the effects of the flesh—the growth of evil in individuals, in bodies; the power of example—encouraging each other, appealing to each other; false maxims—affecting to teach.

12. This the world, a creation of the flesh—our third great enemy.

13. Thus fallen man has to fight against three great enemies.

14. Let us never forget we are servants and soldiers of Christ, Eph. vi. 11-17 [Note 21]. {234}

June 23 (Fifth Pentecost)
[The World Rejecting God]

1. All men like to be independent and have their own way, and in many things they can profitably be so and get on more to their advantage than when they are under rule, but—

2. In one thing they cannot—in religion and duty.

3. And for this reason: because we are made up of two principles which war against each other. One or other must be the master.

4. Satan knew this, both man's desire to be independent and the impossibility of it. He knew that man must either be God's servant or his own, and that he, man, did not know this. So he tempted him with, 'Ye shall be as gods,' and waited securely for his consequent falling under his own power.

5. Therefore man, rejecting his true Lord, admitted a usurper. This brings in atheism, i.e. idolatry with immorality. And therefore he always tends to get worse and worse, and unless God interfered he would become unbearable.

6. But God has always pleaded with man ('My spirit shall not always,' etc., and 'The Spirit intercedes'), and thus reserved a remnant. This remnant has pleaded for the world and saved it. It is the salt of the earth. {235}

7. The deluge—till only eight persons. Earth filled with violence. 'They ate and drank,' etc.

8. Sodom. 'If ten persons.'

9. When our Lord came. Rom. i.

10. Ever since, it has been the elect few who have saved the world and the Church.

11. When at length 'He shall not find faith on the earth,' He 'cometh.'

12. On what in this age takes the place of professed idolatry, and is really atheism.

August 4 (Eleventh Pentecost)

1. INTROD.—The gospel miracle; other miracles.

2. People say, Why are not miracles now? (1) in complaint; (2) in unbelief. We know there are not such nor so many as once.

3. But let us consider why miracles were necessary in the beginning—the then state of the world. Even if the great powers of the world had been inspired to enforce Christianity, how would that prove it true?

4. Mere men as the preachers, so weak, they would need something to give them authority and weight.

5. (1) The world had to be startled and awed, which weak preachers could not do;

6. (2) Secondly, to be convinced, which worldly, powerful preachers could not do.

7. A miracle when real is what man cannot do.

8. It was just suited to the case. Common sense tells us it is just what would convince us.

9. Why not now then? It was necessary, especially in the beginning. {236}

10. And hence it is still accorded by God in converting the heathen—St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, St. Martin, St. Augustine, St. Patrick, St. Boniface, St. Francis Xavier.

11. But though we have not miracles as in the beginning, (1) dealings of God with the human soul are like miracles.

12. And (2) so are providences and answers to prayer. (Not miracles now, because want of faith. Vide the gospel).

August 11 (Twelfth Pentecost)

1. INTROD.—Why we do not see miracles.

2. We believe that miracles are wrought now, though they are few.

3. I have spoken of miracles wrought by apostles of countries.

4. And so of saints. If I am asked why miracles scarce, I answer, Saints are scarce. We cannot conceive common men doing miracles.

5. You will ask, Why are saints scarce now? It has ever been that times vary. There are sometimes bursts of supernatural power and greatness.

6. So the Psalms, xliii. [Note 22], lxxiii. [Note 23], lxxxviii. (finis) [Note 24], and Isaias li [Note 25]. {237}

7. But when there are saints there are great miracles. St. Philip.

8. But you will say, If there are few saints on earth, yet there are many in heaven; why do they not do miracles from heaven, as St. Philip used to do, as we read in the accounts appended to his life?

9. Because we have not faith—not individuals merely, but the population. (Enlarge on this.)

10. Vide Luke xix. 26, Matt. xxi. 27, Mark ix. 23, Mark vi. 5.

11. Because men say, 'Unless we see signs and wonders,' etc., in a haughty way.

12. Miracles now come as a reward to faith, in those who do not look out for them. Not denied then.

August 18 (Thirteenth Pentecost)
[Christ's Presence in the World]

1. INTROD.—We have read, Sunday after Sunday, as today, of our Lord's miracles; but did we see Him, I do not think that [the miracles] would most strike and subdue us.

2. Not His works, but Himself.

3. But here I explain something. Strange to say, it was His will that, seen by casual spectators, He should seem like another man, Isa. liii. 3 [Note 26]; and hence John i. 5, 10 [Note 27], and Mark vi. 3 [Note 28]. And the Samaritan {238} woman, John iv. And this specially so in the case of bad men, Luke xxiii. 11 [Note 29], John xix. 9 [Note 30].

4. When we had seen Him two or three times, if we were not utterly dead to truth we should find that He had made a deep impression on us, on looking back, though we did not perceive it at the time, Luke xxiv. (Emmaus).

5. Next, supposing we could stay and gaze on Him, then what would first strike us would be His awful infinite repose, the absence of all excitement, etc., etc. All that is told us of Him, all His words and works, brings out this—and doubtless His aspect.

6. Next, if we could still look on, if we could see His eyes, two things would strike us; first, His seeing us through and through. Hence He is often said to 'look.' Mark iii. 5, 'And looking round about on them with anger'; ib. viii. 33, 'Who, turning about and seeing his disciples, threatened Peter,' etc.; ib. xi. 11, 'And he entered into Jerusalem, and having viewed all things round about.'

7. Secondly, compassion. Mark x. 21, 'And Jesus looking on him loved him'; Luke xxii. 61, 'And the Lord turning, looked on Peter: and Peter remembered the word of the Lord.'

8. And then when He began to speak! the tones of His voice! John vii. 46, 'The ministers answered, Never did man speak like this man'; Matt. vii. 28, 'And it came to pass, when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine: For he was teaching them as one having power.' {239}

9. Hence He draws men. Matt. ix. 9, 'And He saw a man sitting in the custom house, named Matthew: and he said to him, Follow me. And he rose up, and followed him.' Virtue going out of Him. Mark v. 30, 'And immediately, Jesus knowing in himself the virtue that had proceeded from him, turning to the multitude, said, Who hath touched me ?' ib. vi. 56, 'And whithersoever he entered, into towns, or into villages, or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.'

10. All this, even though He did no miracle.

11. This is what we must look for in heaven.

12. And yearn for it [Note 31] in the Blessed Sacrament.

August 25 (Fourteenth Pentecost)
[The 'Two Masters']

1. INTROD.—Two masters. Why cannot we serve two masters? Most men wish to serve God and the world.

2. What is it to have a master? what is meant by it?

3. Not merely an employer; this not enough.

4. A master is one who has some hold over us. In old times slaves, but now it is by compact. If I promise, if I take wages, I willingly take a master. As children are naturally subject to parents, so, by free will, servants to masters. They may change, but while they have a master they are bound. {240}

5. Now on serving a master. Consider St. Paul, Eph. vi. 5-6 [Note 32].

6. And if so of all masters, so especially of the good—idea of a household.

7. Now we see what in religion is meant by God being our master. (1) He has created and bought us. (2) We have made an everlasting contract with Him. (3) It is not a contract in this or that— as employers—but we are of His household and family. (4) We are one of His, and must study His interests. (5) He is a good master.

8. Hence, if our Lord is our master, we can have no other master, and we must be full of zeal and love.

9. He has given Himself wholly to us.

10. The other—Mammon! So not only we can't have two; we must have one.

11. Now let us ask ourselves: Is in fact God our master? Do not we follow our own will, taking one day one master, another another.

12. There would not be all this variety of religions, and this infidelity in the world, if men really made God their master. They would soon agree together.

On men of no party. Apoc. iii.—Laodiceans [Note 33].

September 1 (Fifteenth Pentecost)

1. INTROD.—Miracle on the widow's son at Naim.

2. Open, public—so on Lazarus, John xii. Matt. {241} ix. [6], 'that you may know.' [Note 34] So Acts iii. [Note 35]; so Elias, 3 Kings xviii [Note 36].

3. But many others our Lord forbids the proclaiming. Thus He takes the blind men into a house, or charges them, etc., Matt. ix. 27 ff. [Note 37] And again, still more remarkably Jairus's daughter, Mark v. 43 [Note 38], Luke viii. 56 [Note 39].

4. Now this will tell us how to answer the question about miracles now. There are miracles now, but not such miracles as in the beginning—not public ones. They were in order to establish the religion—but now the religion established.

5. Then they might be wrought by bad men—by Judas—Matt. vii. 22. But now they are marks of sanctity of the persons or the things by which they are wrought.

6. Hence (1) the workers do not proclaim them.

7. (2) Not so marked, by running into [i.e. not easy to be distinguished from] providences.

8. (3) Not so discernible—to one, and not to another. {242}

9. (4) No necessity to believe them, for the Church does not propose them.

10. (5) Not to be urged on unbelievers.

11. As I have said before, the miracles of the Catholic Church are those which are personal to ourselves. (1) Goodness of God to us in the course of life. (2) His grace given to our souls.

September 8 (Sixteenth Pentecost)
['The Riches of His Glory']

1. INTROD.—The epistle [Ephesians iii. 13-21].

2. Do you understand St. Paul's words, 'The riches of his glory,' etc.?

3. We have here a glimpse of what heaven is. 'Eye hath not seen,' etc.

4. It was the support of St. Paul against the world.

5. The world has its 'depth' and 'height,' etc. Illustrate deep science, high power, glory, etc.

6. It is this which makes the world the false prophet; it preaches and seduces us with false maxims.

7. It is grievous to say, but it must be said, that almost all we read, the periodical press, is in this respect a false prophet.

8. The devil said he had 'all the kingdoms of the earth.' Things good under bondage of evil.

9. Therefore God gave us the Church—as the true Prophet to bring the glories of heaven before us.

10. All sacraments, etc., with this object.

11. So Scripture a revelation of the next world—especially our Lord's person. {243}

12. And so the saints and their history—a whole family round our Lord.

13. This is the reason why we are allowed to think so much of our Lady; why she is given us to employ our thoughts. Protestants say we make too much of her. Now which is best, to think too much of her, or of the world?

September 22 (Eighteenth Pentecost)
[Disease a Type of Sin]

1. INTROD.—The paralytic in the gospel.

2. The cures to typify the spiritual disorders and diseases of mankind. This one reason of the special character of our Lord's miracles.

3. And it is well to consider the variety of bodily diseases with this view. They are horrible, but we may be sure that the various spiritual maladies are far more horrible.

4. And the least sin, for its quality is so bad—in this it goes beyond bodily diseases, for bodily infirmities admit of degrees much more. And it goes beyond the analogy of disease in these respects: (1) because universal to the race; (2) because so intense.

5. But the case of sin may be likened to the analogy of offences against the senses, as to which the least imperfection is destructive; e.g. the sweetest nosegay spoiled by one bad scent of one dead leaf. One drop of bitter in the most pleasant drink. And so of hearing, one discordant note. And so in the sciences—in astronomy the slightest motion {244} [vibration in an observatory]—or in the mirror or glass the slightest dimness; and in chemistry, poisons; and in medicine, etc.

6. The whole creation marred. Then why did God allow it? I answer—

7. That is a question not for the present time. You don't inquire how a fire arose before you have extinguished it.

8. Next, our Lord came to destroy sin. This the characteristic over all other religions ('not the righteous,' [Note 40] 'repent ye,' [Note 41] the lost sheep); they [other religions] acknowledge sin, but they cannot cure it.

9. He takes away the guilt, and the power [of sin].

10. This by His death and passion.

11. This the fundamental doctrine—texts.

October 13 (Twenty-first Pentecost)
[Forgiveness of Injuries]

1. INTROD.—Today's gospel [the king taking an account of his servants].

2. Parallel passages; Luke xvii. 3-4 [Note 42].

3. So far easy, for it is scarcely supposable that {245} one should have so little generosity as to refuse forgiveness to one who confessed himself wrong and asked to be forgiven.

4. But when he does not ask to be forgiven; if he persists in opposition and injury, and goes on doing harm, and takes a wrong course. Yet this commanded too. The Lord's Prayer—Matt. vi. 14-15 [Note 43], Mark xi. 25-26 [Note 44], Rom. xii. [18-20] [Note 45].

5. Or again, supposing he does not do so, asks to make it up, still there may be, you may say, such difficulties as these: I may wish to keep at a distance, for:

6. (1) E.g. I cannot trust him; he is a dangerous man.

7. (2) He is likely to do me spiritual harm.

8. (3) The sight of him is a temptation, an irritation to me; we shall be best friends at a distance.

9. (4) I shall be a hypocrite if I make it up, for I don't like his doings.

10. (5) I ought to protest against him.

11. ANSWER.—'If you in your hearts forgive not {246} every one his brother' [Matt. xviii. 35]. You must love him. Col. iii. 12-13 [Note 46]; Matt. v. 44-47 [Note 47].

12. OBJECTION.—'But I do not like him.' How can I love him? This is a fundamental difficulty.

13. ANSWER.—Can you pray that you may meet him and love him in heaven? You and he are both far from what you should be; and each has to change. Look on the best part of his character—learn sympathy with him. Think how he suffers. Purgatory useful for this—to bring you and him nearer to each other.

October 20 (Twenty-second Pentecost)
[Final Perseverance]

1. INTROD.—Epistle for the day, perseverance in grace.

2. Two things plain: (1) perseverance necessary, Matt. xxiv. 13 [Note 48], Ezech. xxxiii. 18 [Note 49]. {247}

3. (2) Not in our power, but a special gift of God. We cannot merit it.

4. Now what is merit? (Explain.) By ourselves not only not perseverance, but nothing can we merit.

5. Because (1) by ourselves we can do nothing pleasing to God, because of our sinfulness; and (2) because how can anything we do be worthy of heaven? what proportion? Luke xvii. 7-10 [Note 50].

6. (1) Therefore the grace of God, and (2) His promise; thus we can be said, first, to please God, and secondly, to merit.

7. And these two by the merits of our Lord and Saviour.

8. But there are two things we cannot merit—the first grace and the last.

9. As to the first grace, it is plainly God's free bounty which has made us Christians.

10. As to the last, it is God's free bounty, in spite of the accumulation of merits. No extent of merit is sufficient to gain perseverance—the just may fall, however holy, etc. Think of Solomon; think of Judas. It is a special gift to die in grace.

11. Two conclusions. First let us continually pray that God would give us this special gift of dying in grace. {248}

12. This may comfort us when we lose our friends, that God may in His mercy have taken them then, when they were in grace.

January 12, 1873 (Sunday in Epiphany)
[Manifestation of the Kingdom of Christ]

1. INTROD.—The Magi.

2. They were a prophecy and anticipation of what was coming.

3. We know the kingdoms of this world became the kingdom of Christ.

4. Two things wonderful: (1) that such a conquest should be made; (2) that it should be prophesied.

5. That kingdom is passed by, three hundred years ago. We have, however, the remains—cathedrals, ruins of abbeys—the usages of society, etc.

6. So that we are known as the 'old religion.' And what is old comes from our Lord, and what is new came from men.

7. This, then, is the wonderful manifestation of past times.

8. But now it is wellnigh past—while it lasted it was comparatively easy to believe when there was only one religion.

9. But now Satan, who has his instruments in every age, says: 'There are so many religions, none is true; they are all false.'

10. Those who live will find a wave of infidelity overspread the land. What they are to do. {249}

11. There is another manifestation [Note 51]: 'Come and see'—whereas men keep you from coming and seeing. 'A witness in court'—we say, 'Let us actually see him.' But no—here it is 'so many religions, etc., Catholicism is going down,' or 'Catholics are a fallen race,' etc., etc., instead of above, 'Come and see.' Reading the Gospels. John ix., Luke xvii. By 'religious men' is meant those who have experiences.

January 27 (Third Epiphany)
[Men of Good Will]

1. INTROD.—The centurion in the gospel of the day. Account in St. Matthew, in St. Luke.

2. He was a heathen, etc. This is how our Lord began the Church, when as yet there was none, and addressed Himself to those who were well inclined, and gained them.

3. This is what is meant by men of good will in the angels' song.

4. Instances: Nicodemus, John viii.; Gamaliel in Acts v.; Luke ix. [49], 'who followeth not us' [Note 52]; Syrophoenician [woman], Matt. xv., Mark vii.

5. And so now. We must not repel them or treat them harshly, or laugh at them, etc.

6. They illustrate the secret work of grace—from grace to grace. {250}

7. Tests of being bonae voluntatis [of good will]—not justice, sense of fairness, and benevolence, though these are praiseworthy—and we must be grateful to such men.

8. But (1) humility from sense of sin. 'Lord, I am not worthy.' 'Even the dogs,' etc.

9. (2) Sense of duty. 'I am a man under authority.'

10. (3) Devotion. 'He has built us a synagogue,' Luke vii.

11. Let us beware lest those who have less advantages than we have outstrip us. 'Many shall come from the east and the west,' etc.

March 2 (First Lent)
[God Our Stay in Eternity]

1. INTROD.—We must draw near to God.

2. This means to contemplate, to recognise, to fear, to love. Now let us see the necessity of this.

3. Here we are tempted to make the world our God, because we see it, and do not see God.

4. But consider what our state is when we are dead; our senses then are all gone.

5. Consider this: we have five senses, and we know what a deprivation the loss of any one—sight or hearing or touch or feeling—any one.

6. But in death they all go together. See what we are reduced to. It is true we cannot have any bodily pain—and that is what people are apt to say, 'All his pain is over.'

7. True, but is there no pain of the mind? Do {251} we know how acute pain of the mind is?—surely we know it even in this life.

8. Let us consider our being suddenly cut off from all intercourse except with ourselves—a truly solitary confinement; worse, for that here is only loss of hearing, i.e. conversation.

9. Supposing in addition it comes on us that we should not be thus, except for our own fault!

10. Now it is clear that we should have no remedy unless God visited us and gave us light.

11. The light of glory, the light of heaven, the only thing.

12. But suppose we have no desire for it, no love of it. Suppose we look back in fond regret to this world.

13. Therefore the love of God is the only way in which we can be happy.

June 22 (Third Pentecost)
[The Lost Sheep the Type of Fallen Man]

1. INTROD.—Gospel, one sheep in wilderness, man; the ninety-nine, angels.

2. Contrast between angels and man. They so great, we so low.

3. Yet Psalm viii. 4-5, 'What is man,' etc. [Note 53]; 'out of weakness were made strong' [Note 54]; 'when I am weak, then I am strong' [Note 55]; 'these things the angels desire,' etc. [Note 56]; 'joy among the angels of God.' [Note 57] {252}

4. For, see the difference. Even angels fell; and even for angels no restitution. You would think they were more convertible—they had no powers to return.

5. Could, then, any being return, if not angels?

6. Man not only in the image of God, but of the beasts of the field.

7. Incarnation.

8. All things possible with God.

9. Hence a great multitude.

10. Hence saints.

11. Woe is us, if elect, yet such as we are.

January 4, 1874
[The New Year]

1. Difference of feelings of young and old towards a new year.

2. The young with hope and expectation; the mature with anxiety.

3. The young look forward first for a change—each year brings changes. And to them they are changes, as they think, for the better; they are older, stronger, more their own masters, etc.

4. And secondly, the future is unknown, and excites their curiosity and expectation.

5. It is different with them who have some experience of life. They look (1) on change as no great good; they get attached to things as they are, etc.

6. But (secondly) the ignorance of the future, so far from being good, is painful—in truth it is one {253} of our four wounds. Ignorance of all things, especially of the future—of what a day may bring forth—of suffering, bereavement, etc.

7. Thus, like railway train, bowling away into the darkness.

8. Ignorance what sufferings and bereavements are in store—of death—of the day of death. We walk over our own dying day, year by year, little thinking.

9. It may be a work-day, or holiday, or a 'many happy returns' [day].

10. All things make us serious. This we know, that death is certain; and then the time comes when there will be no change—for time is change—and no ignorance.

June 28 (Fifth Pentecost)
[The Jewish and the Christian Church]

1. 'Unless your justice [exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,' Matt. v. 20].

2. The Jews, then, God's people, and their Church God's Church. It was the Ark. The world lay in wickedness, and in the wrath of God, except that holy Church which God founded by Moses. The Pharisees its rulers.

3. It was salvation, for 'salvation of the Jews.' So now.

4. It taught God's law. 'Moses' seat.' So now.

5. Indefectible, never to end. You will say it ended. No, it changed into the Christian Church.

6. But though Jewish Church could not fall away, {254} its members could. And so now. Even its rulers could fall away, though they taught what was right—Moses' seat; and so could the body of its people, and so it did. They relied on their privileges, and were cast off. St. John the Baptist said, 'Flee from the wrath to come,' to Pharisees coming to His baptism. And so Christians may [fall away]. This is a warning to us, and St. Paul so makes it, Rom. ii.

7. Therefore whatever is said to or about the Jews is a warning to us.

8. Thus what is said about the Samaritans. (Who were the Samaritans?) Many are singled out as better than the Jews. (1) The good Samaritan; (2) the grateful Samaritan [Note 58]. They are like Protestants. So Protestants may be better than we in spite of 'salvation from the Jews.'

9. Nay, heathen were better than the Jews, e.g. centurion—'Many shall come,' etc., Matt. viii. 11-12 [Note 59]; Tyre, Sidon, Sodom [Note 60] [Matt. xi. 21-23].

10. Thus at present countries on the Continent—they may be cast off as the Jews were. Protestants in England may be better.

11. But we must look to ourselves. Many are called. Strive and seek [Luke xiii. 24].

12. All those who are in earnest, though they know their imperfections, must not fear. {255}

August 2 (Tenth Pentecost)
[Revelation—Word of God (I)]

1. INTROD.—I have been reading from Scripture, viz. an epistle and gospel. Why?

2. What is meant by Scripture, Scriptures? Writings, the Word of God, or revelation—through different ages.

3. Why has God given us a 'Word'? Because we are so ignorant.

4. Two Testaments. First with one nation (Old), then with people of all nations (New).

5. The Bible, the Book.

6. By the by, why are Catholics said to burn the Bible? They never do, or have (unless they committed an act of sin); but what they burned was not the Bible but a Protestant translation. (Also without comment.)

7. The Church comments and explains. Now as to the Old Testament, or the Word of God to the Jews,

8. Law and prophets,

9. Till our Lord came.

August 9 (Eleventh Pentecost)
Revelation—Word of God [II]

1. INTROD.—Recapitulation. Scripture—Scriptures—two Testaments—Bible—teaching, and therefore inspiration.

2. When I say 'inspired'—not in science or art, etc. {256}

3. Difference of Old and New—Old imperfect, and through so many ages; New perfect, and once for all in one age.

4. Here I shall speak of the New. The Apostles—inspired—our Lord God. Heb. i. 1-2 [Note 61].

5. OBJECTION.—Why not their words [inspired], if their writings? Why not their speeches? Why not their conversation? Of course it was. All they said about RELIGION was. They might not know about the earth going round the sun, etc.

6. But it might be objected, on the other hand, that such sayings were not recollected. But some might be.

7. This is what Catholics called 'tradition,' and in which we differ from Protestants. Meaning of the word 'tradition.' Vide epistle for this Sunday [Note 62].

8. Things we know by tradition: (1) that Scripture is the inspired Word of God; (2) what books the Bible consists of—for these Protestants need tradition; (3) the Mass, etc.

9. And so natural. Every school, every set of workmen, go by tradition—'common law' is tradition.

10. Hence we say there are two parts of the Word of God, written and unwritten.

11. But still, surely tradition may go wrong. Yes, and Scripture may be wrongly interpreted. {257}

12. Therefore the Church decides, as being infallible.

13. Hence there may be mistaken reports of miracles, prophecies, etc., but we must see what the Church says about them.


Top | Contents | Works | Home


1. 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand … If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?'—Matt. xxii. 44-45.
Return to text

2. See Note 18, pp. 342-3.
Return to text

3. ' … shall he find, think you, faith upon earth?'—Luke xviii. 8.
Return to text

4. Rom. i. 17, Gal. iii.11, Heb. x. 38.
Return to text

5. 2 Cor. v. 7.
Return to text

6. 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? this Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven.'—Acts i. 11.
Return to text

7. On the number of these prophecies and their character, see Poulain, The Graces of Interior Prayer, p. 346 [English translation].
Return to text

8. The reference may be to 2 Peter iii. 9, 'The Lord delayeth not his promise,' etc.
Return to text

9. 'A little while, and now you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me.'—John xvi. 16 (opening words of the gospel of the Sunday).
Return to text

10. See footnote 1 [Note 6], p. 224.
Return to text

11. 'But the day of the Lord shall come like a thief … '
Return to text

12. 'Let no man deceive you: ... for unless there come a revolt (discessio) first, and the man of sin be revealed,' etc.
Return to text

13. 'Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils.'
Return to text

14. 'Know also this, that in the last days shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves ... having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof.'
Return to text

15. 'For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine,' etc.
Return to text

16. 'In the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts, saying, Where is the promise of his coming?'
Return to text

17. See Poulain, The Grace of Interior Prayer, p. 345 [English translation].
Return to text

18. 'In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straightened, but not destitute; We suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not … '
Return to text

19. Letter to Martini, Archbishop of Florence, 'on his translation of the Bible into Italian, showing the benefit which the faithful may reap from their having the Holy Scriptures in the Vulgar Tongue.'
Return to text

20. See Discussions and Arguments, pp. 107-8 where the letter is quoted.
Return to text

21. 'Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).'
Return to text

22. Deus auribus nostris. In which the Church commemorates former favours and present afflictions.
Return to text

23. Ut quid Deus. A prayer of the Church under grievous persecutions.
Return to text

24. 'Be mindful, O Lord, of the reproach of thy servants,' etc.
Return to text

25. An exhortation to trust in Christ. He shall protect the children of His Church.
Return to text

26. 'His look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not.'
Return to text

27. 'The light shined in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it.' Ib. 10, 'He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.'
Return to text

28. 'Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon? are not also his sisters here with us? And they were scandalised in regard of him.'
Return to text

29. 'And Herod and his army set him at nought, and mocked him.'
Return to text

30. 'And Pilate said to Jesus, Whence art thou?'
Return to text

31. These last words are barely, if at all, legible.
Return to text

32. 'Servants, be obedient to them that are your lords according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your hearts, as to Christ; Not serving to the eye, as it were pleasing men; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.'
Return to text

33. It is not clear where these words were intended to come.
Return to text

34. 'But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then said he to the man sick of the palsy,) Arise,' etc.
Return to text

35. The miracle upon the lame man.
Return to text

36. Elias cometh before Achab. He convinceth the false prophets by bringing fire from heaven; he obtaineth rain by his prayer.
Return to text

37. 'And as Jesus passed from thence, there followed him two blind men, crying out and saying, Have mercy on us, O Son of David. And when he was come to the house, the blind men came to him.'
Return to text

38. 'And he charged them strictly that no man should know it.'
Return to text

39. 'Whom he charged to tell no man what was done.'
Return to text

40. 'I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'—Mark ii. 17.
Return to text

41. 'Jesus preached: Repent ye, and believe the gospel.'— Mark i. 15.
Return to text

42. 'Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother sin against thee, reprove him; and if he do penance, forgive him. And if he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day be converted to thee, saying, I repent; forgive him.'
Return to text

43. 'And if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences: But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.'
Return to text

44. 'And when you shall stand to pray, forgive, if you have ought against any man: that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your sins. But if you will not forgive, neither will your Father that is in heaven forgive you your sins.'
Return to text

45. 'If it be possible, as much as is in you, having peace with all men. Not revenging yourselves, my dearly beloved, but give place unto wrath: for it is written, Revenge to me; I will repay. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink: for doing this thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.'
Return to text

46. 'Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience; Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against one another: even as the Lord has forgiven you, so do you also.'
Return to text

47. 'Love your enemies do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this?
Return to text

48. 'He that shall persevere to the end shall be saved.'
Return to text

49. 'For when the just shall depart from his justice, and commit iniquities, he shall die in them.'
Return to text

50. 'But which of you, having a servant ploughing or feeding cattle, will say to him, when he is come from the field, Immediately go sit down to meat? And will not rather say to him, Make ready my supper, and gird thyself, and serve me, whilst I eat and drink; and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant for doing the things which he commanded him? I think not. So you also, when you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which we ought to do.'
Return to text

51. The other manifestation seems to be the Church with her notes. The claims of this witness to be interrogated are put off with 'There are so many religions,' etc.
Return to text

52. 'And John, answering, said, Master, we saw a certain man casting out devils in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followeth not with us.'
Return to text

53. 'What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him little less than the angels,' etc.
Return to text

54. Heb. xi. 34.
Return to text

55. 2 Cor. xii. 10.
Return to text

56. 'Which things the angels desire to look into.'—1 Peter i. 12.
Return to text

57. ' ... upon one sinner doing penance.'—Luke xv. 10.
Return to text

58. The leper who returned to give thanks.
Return to text

59. 'Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out.'
Return to text

60. See p. 47 (footnote).
Return to text

61. 'God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, Last of all in these days has spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.'
Return to text

62. 1 Cor. xv. 1-10. 'For I delivered [tradidi] unto you first of all which I also received.'
Return to text

Top | Contents | Works | Home

Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.