Monday, October 13, 2003

Notes from a sermon preached on October 13, 1872..
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

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

2. Parallel passages; Luke xvii. 3-4 .

3. So far easy, for it is scarcely supposable that 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 , Mark xi. 25-26 [, Rom. xii. [18-20] .

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 every one his brother' [Matt. xviii. 35]. You must love him. Col. iii. 12-13 ; Matt. v. 44-47 .

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. "


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