Sunday, April 04, 2004

On Palm Sunday, 1857...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
Falling Away

"1. INTROD.—Too awful a subject commonly, as leading [men] to despond; yet useful sometimes, and natural at this season.

2. Now first let us lay down about nature and grace—[that] nature can do many things, but cannot bring to heaven. Grace is like a new nature, and joins us to the heavenly family; and they are saved who die with this grace; those lost who are without it.

3. This answers the question: Will good departed from avail? As some Protestants say, 'Look how a man lives, not how he dies'—(explain).

4. Proof, Ezech. xviii. [24]. And rightly, for the sovereign Lord of heaven can prescribe His terms.

5. Now this chapter leads to a further thought, viz. that much as is said to encourage repentance, as much perhaps is said to warn against falling, as if the prospect, or chance, or issue on the whole were equal.

6. E.g. our Lord, 'I came not to call.' But on the other hand, recollect the number of passages such as 'Two shall be in the field'; 'Ten virgins'; 'He that persevereth,' etc.; 'Many that are first,' etc.

7. So St. Paul, preacher of repentance: but Heb. vi. [4-6] .

8. So holy Simeon, 'This child [for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel,' Luke ii. 34].

9. This text of holy Simeon especially fulfilled at Passion, when two special examples.

10. Multitude on Palm Sunday, vide their being in grace [implied] in the prayers [second and last] in the Blessing of Palms. Cp. our Lord's weeping-disappointment of the foolish virgins.

11. Judas. Our Lord chose him when he was in grace-trace about him-'the ten indignant,' Mark x. 32, etc.

12. Some fall away at one age, some at another. Go through this.

13. On natural habits produced by supernatural acts deceiving the old.

14. Our Lady. Prayer—pray lest we fall, if we fall, and for others. "


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