Wednesday, June 09, 2004

On June 9, 1872
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
The Fall of Man

"1. INTROD.—The ninety-nine are the angels, the one is man.

2. Man is one because perhaps there are indefinitely more angels than men; and next, because Adam was one head, the head of our race. We all sinned in Adam, but each angel who fell sinned in himself.

3. The account of Adam's fall.

4. Now, to understand how great it was, we must consider Adam's high gifts. It was a miracle almost, a violation of his nature and state, that he fell, for he had so many gifts.

5. Had he been like us we could understand it; but he was not like us. But on his falling he lost those gifts, and became what men are now, and that we can understand.

6. He came under God's anger—he was prone to sin; he was under captivity of the devil. The whole face of the world external was changed, as winter instead of summer—that world, I may say, deprived of angels, of God's countenance, and full of the devil; even innocent things became infected and means of temptation.

7. He lost those gifts, and therefore, when he had offspring, he transmitted to them that nature which he had; but he could not transmit those gifts which he had forfeited.

8. Such, then, is our state as children of Adam. We are what he was after sinning—in precisely the same state—and that state is called 'original sin.' We have not the advantage which Adam had.

9. Now, if a man says this is mysterious, hardly consistent with justice, I answer: (1) The whole of revelation must be mysterious, we do not know enough to defend it, because it is part of a whole system.

10. (2) God is not bound to give us high gifts such as He gave Adam. It is sufficient that He gives us such grace that it is our fault if we do not go right.

11. (3) But, again, Christ came to set all right."


Post a Comment

<< Home