Thursday, October 28, 2004

On October 28, 1860
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Cardinal Virtues—Temperance

1. INTROD.—Temperance contrasted with fortitude, as within with without, and the pleasant with the painful.

2. Now to explain it. Our soul may be said to have in it two natures, and at variance, and so opposed that peace and unity implies the subjection of one to the other—as two combatants will fight till one or other is thrown.

3. Reason and passions—grief, joy, anger, desire of having, fear—all going into extreme manifestations, and needing a controller. We see it in brute animals. When they cease [?] it is not that reason governs them, but the object [that excites them] is removed.

4. Comparison of a child on horseback. On the other hand, a rider who has perfect command—the Tartars, who live on horseback.

5. Now in the case of the warfare of the soul the struggle more serious and the dangers greater, because (1) the passions have instruments, as being united to the body; (2) objects sensible; whereas the object of the reason and conscience, Almighty God, is unseen.

6. Therefore a certainty of the subjection of the soul, unless for a remarkable virtue, viz. temperance, or self-government, or control. It is the very critical, or cardinal, or most essential and directing virtue.

7. This self-rule is what makes a man; without it a man is a slave, etc.—laments and curses himself, etc.

8. Hence not heroic, but we see what it is in the saints. It is the characteristic of the saints, and thus is inflicted [sic] on us, that in its degree it is the characteristic of a man. You may have wondered why a saint is characteristically mortified.

9. In saints we specially see how it subserves the soul; their fastings, etc., etc., are to make them pray better, etc., etc.

10. I need not give instances as in the former virtues, but I will mention specially—

11. The necessity of temperance in thoughts and in words.

12. If we would have the saints assist us, let us cultivate that virtue which was their distinction.


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