Wednesday, April 28, 2004

On April 28, 1872
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
" 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], 2 Tim. iii. [1-5], ib. iv. [3] , 2 Peter iii. [3-4] .

3. About the suddenness, Matt. xxiv. 27, 'For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth 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 (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 But still the word of God stands sure and cannot be superseded.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 .

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. "


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