Thursday, September 16, 2004

On September 16, 1855
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Septem Dolorum—Election

1. INTROD.—Nothing is, of course, so awful as the question of election, about which so much is said in Scripture. It is not to be supposed that I am going into any depths here.

2. The doctrine, as I shall take it, is this, and most practical; and I will first illustrate it.

3. Take the case of some large and new institution in a nation, which requires a great many new hands, e.g. a new department of revenue, a new commission, some speculation abroad, the post office, railroads, the war.

4. Such an institution, especially if a speculation or expedition (1) promises great rewards to those who take part in it; (2) it is not for every one to get, but he must make interest; (3) no one will get part in, or receive the rewards of, if he does not join it.

5. Enlarge. As a question of justice. Suppose a man who went on with his own trade, etc., complaining that he had no part of the receipts of a speculation in which he took no part, etc.

6. Apply. Draw out the state of this world—its trades, occupations, aims; its science, literature, politics, etc. People may acquit themselves well, and get the reward of their occupation, which is the reward of this world, e.g. such as wealth, fame, etc., etc.

7. But a new system comes in. Almighty God proclaims a different reward, viz. eternal life to those who take part in His objects, etc. You see it is quite distinct from Nature.

8. Enlarge on the interest made to get a place—no claim because [a] good father, a good subject, etc., etc.

9. Here, then, we have the election. If we want to take part in it, we must join it.

10. The cross of Christ puts a different complexion on the whole of life. If a man takes up any new course, his old ways are flat in comparison.

11. Septem dolorum in connection—we must take part with her.


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