Wednesday, December 03, 2003

On December 3, 1876

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive.
" December 3 (First Advent)
[The Second Advent]
1. The gospel this day a portion of our Lord's prophecy [of the destruction of Jerusalem and the second coming], rising out of the apostle's admiration of the beauty of the Temple.

2. It seemed to them too beautiful to be destroyed.

3. This is the way with men; they wonder at their own great works; they look up to the great works of their fellows; and when they are able to trace out the beauty of God's creation, that too they make an idol, and bow down before their own work, loving the map [which they have made] of it, and say they have discovered it to be too beautiful to be broken.

4. It is well for man, an homuncio, thus to think, for he can do a great thing but once; but God destroys His own works, however beautiful, because He could from His infinite resources create many worlds each more beautiful [than] those that were before it.

5. And His own works He regards not, if they have not that note of sanctity which He breathed on them in the beginning.

6. Therefore when the Jews, His own people, came to nought, if He did not spare the work of His own hands, much less [was He likely to spare] Herod's work.

7. Babylon and Nabuchodonosor.

8. Now in this [the present] state of society it is pride, not open sensuality [which is conspicuous]; i.e. think of the greatness of an army, of a popular assembly, of some queen's ball. But whenever the world looks imposing and likely to last, that is the most likely time that it will be brought to an end, or at least [is the likely time] of some great judgment. "


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