Monday, October 20, 2003

Notes from a sermon preached October 20th, 1872
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"[Final Perseverance]
1. INTROD.—Epistle for the day, perseverance in grace.

2. Two things plain: (1) perseverance necessary, Matt. xxiv. 13, Ezech. xxxiii. 18 .

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 .

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.

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. "


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