Saturday, July 24, 2004

On July 24, 1864
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

The Pharisee and the Publican
1. INTROD.—'God be merciful to me a sinner.'

2. In these words is contained the essence of true religion.

3. Why? Because they refer to conscience as leading the mind to God.

4. All men have a conscience of right and wrong, Rom. ii. 14.15.—the conscience accusing, etc. But it does not lead them, when they transgress it, to God. They are angry with themselves. They know they are wrong, and are distressed, but it does not lead them to religion; at the utmost it leads them to understand a sin against their neighbours—as cruelty, etc. But when it leads the soul to think of God, then that soul may be very sinful, but at least it has something of true religion in it.

5. 2 Cor. vii. 10-11 . And so 'to Thee then only have I sinned, and done evil before Thee.' Ps. 1.

6. Hence in the text the reason why the publican was more justified, because he understood that his offenses were against God.

7. But see what comes from this. Directly a man realises that what he does wrong is against God, then he feels how much more extensive it is, viz. of the thoughts.

8. And how much more intensive, viz. as against the Highest. He calls it sin.

9. Then he grows in his notions. As blows don't pain at first, so sin may pain hereafter.

10. Thus he sees it is an offence against the moral nature of God.

11. Hence all diseases are but types of sin.

12. Hence idea of guilt.

13. Hence need of a cleansing.


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