Thursday, September 23, 2004

On September 23, 1855
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Love of God

1. INTROD.—The gospel is the second which we have lately had on the precept of the love of God.

2. Nature tells us we should love God. Nay, a natural inclination and leaning to the love of God.

3. Still, it never will lead us to love. It fails for want of strength, and the feeling comes to nothing and dwindles, as a tree of the south planted in the north. Grace essential.

4. On pure love of God—illustrate—single, real, for Himself, e.g. we are to love men propter Deum, thus not propter [seipsos], etc., which is Nature. If, then, we love God by association [sic], or merely for His benefits, etc., it is not enough.

Love delights in the name of God, likes to hear of Him, likes to think of Him, likes to act for Him, [is] zealous for His honour and a champion for His cause.

5. But this is not all. It is not merely looking at what does not notice us, as the Pantheists say. It is a friendship. Three things are necessary for friendship: (1) mutual love; (2) mutual consciousness and sympathy; (3) mutual intimacy—intercourse. Companions, walking with God, Luke xxiv ? Apply to confidence in God's loving us.

6. But this is not all—dilectio: choice. And no common choice, but above all things.

7. Thus it is pure, amicable, mutual and sovereign.

8. Now to see what it is, we may see what it is not; and parallel it to worldly principles. Take the course of men.

9. (1) They begin with self-indulgence and self-gratification. Here is something which is not love, yet acts as love does.

10. (2) Perhaps ambition, martial spirit. This possesses them—this not love.

11. (3) Love of home: [a man is] a good father, a good son, [devotes himself to such duty with] concentration of mind —this not love.

12. (4) He gets wealthy, and is tempted to make wealth his enough—this not love.

13. (5) Love of consistency, character; self his centre—this not love.

14. (6) Ease and comfort in old age—this not love.

15. How are we to gain love? By reading of our Lord in the Gospels.


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