Sunday, June 20, 2004

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable Joh Henry Newman, C.O.
"He says, 'If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.' [Luke ix. 23.] Here He shows us from His own example what Christian self-denial is. It is taking on us a cross after His pattern, not a mere refraining from sin, for He had no sin, but a giving up what we might lawfully use. This was the peculiar character in which Christ came on earth. It was this spontaneous and exuberant self-denial which brought Him down. He who was one with God, took upon Him our nature, and suffered death—and why? to save us whom He needed not save. Thus He denied Himself, and took up His cross. This is the very aspect, in which God, as revealed in Scripture, is distinguished from that exhibition of His glory, which nature gives us: power, wisdom, love, mercy, long-suffering—these attributes, though far more fully and clearly displayed in Scripture than in nature, still are in their degree seen on the face of the visible creation; but self-denial, if it may be said, this incomprehensible attribute of Divine Providence, is disclosed to us only in Scripture. 'God so loved the world that He gave His Son.' [John iii. 16.] Here is self-denial. And the Son of God so loved us, that "though He was rich yet for our sakes He became poor." [2 Cor. viii. 9.] Here is our Saviour's self-denial. 'He pleased not Himself.'

And what Christ did when He came on earth, that have all His saints done both before and since His coming."


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