Saturday, August 21, 2004

On August 21, 1864
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

The Life of Grace

1. Nothing is more common than to think that natural virtue, what we do by nature, is sufficient for our salvation.

The state of most men is sin, but as to those who go the highest [it is] natural virtue. Put it in the way of an objection. Why is not this enough? Two things confused with each other—the improvement of things in this world, which natural virtue can do, and the salvation of the soul by grace.

2. What most men consider enough is this—if they follow what they think right, if they do the duties of their station, if they do what their conscience tells them, and so live and die. As to prayer, the best prayer is to do their duty here; they think the next world may take its chance.

3. Now most men do not get so far as this. They live in sin; but the utmost they think of is to be saved mainly by their own strength, and by doing the common duties of life without thinking of religion, though they may acknowledge that on great occasions God helps them, within or without, but is it when dignus vindice nodus . They do not see the necessity of thinking of God, but they say that the best service is to do those duties which come before them.

4. Particularly at this day. When men think that religion is unnecessary, that the world will advance merely by its own powers.

5. On the other hand, the life of grace—virtues through grace.

6. Natural virtues bring on the world—doubt1ess social science, political economy, science of government, etc., etc.—but I want to be saved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see number 3 is wrong, but don't see anything wrong with number 2.

9:28 PM  

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