Monday, August 16, 2004

Just because

Yes! if there be on earth a visible image of heaven, it is in the Church collected together in one place; and we come here to drink, from that present source of grace, the strength, and health, and vigour needful for us on our journey thither. When even a fallen servant of God and his satellites entered the company of prophets under the Old Law, and saw them prophesying, and Samuel standing over them, the Spirit of God came upon the intruders, and they too began to prophesy. Again, under the New law, when even an unbeliever came into the assemblies of the infant Church (an Apostle is our warrant for saying it), he was overcome and transformed by the harmony of her worship. Her very presence and action was the sufficient note of her divinity. What, then, my Reverend Brethren, will not be the influence of her ceremonial on us, who, erring though we be as mortal men, still, as we trust, have the grace of God within us, are aiming after meekness, purity, charity, and detachment from the world, and are faithfully though imperfectly fulfilling the high commission severally given to us? May we not believe, through the mercy of Him who has chosen us, that we shall carry back with us a something which hitherto we had not?—a fuller and deeper view of the great dispensation of which we are the ministers, a clearer understanding of the beauty of God's House, a firmer faith in the solidity of that rock on which it stands, a closer devotion to Him who inhabits it, a more subdued, more peaceful, and more happy temper, to encounter the trials which meet us on our course, and which are appointed to lead us forward to heaven.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Sermons Preached on Various Occasions


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