Sunday, February 27, 2005

On February 27, 1876...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Communion with God
1. God the Creator of all—all things depend on Him.

2. But the happiness of intellectual beings is not only [in] dependence [upon], but in union with Him.

3. This union shows itself in communion—that is, a fellowship—intercourse of thought, or a spiritual conversation.

4. The fall of Adam has placed a huge obstacle, as a wall or a mountain, between us and God, and Christ has broken it down. He has opened the kingdom of heaven to all who believe. This is why He took flesh and came on earth.

5. Now this communion requires love and grace on the part of God, and faith and prayer on the part of man.

6. In His part God is not wanting. His love is as expansive, as diffusing, as powerfully and constantly overflowing as the sea, or as the wind, or as the flame, and whereas their expansion is for evil, that of the Divine Attributes is for good.

7. Now we have instances of this communion between God and man in Scripture clearly defined.

8. Enoch 'walked with God'—and Noe. What is meant by 'walking with God' is plain; men who are companions on a journey talk while they walk. The two journeying to Emmaus; our Lord joined them—this was communion.

9. Another image is that of friend. Abraham is friend of God, 2 Paralip. xx. 7, Isa. xli. 8 , James ii. 23 . Friends are in possession of each other's confidence; and Gen. xviii., 'Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?'—and [Abraham's] intercession for the cities.

10. And so Moses—Num. xvi. 18 and Ex. xxxiii. 11.

11. What was, then, the privilege of the few, for the Jews were 'servants' in Judaism, is the right of all Christians. Vide Luke xxii. , 'friends,' and John xv. 15, when our Lord speaks of 'omnia quaecunque,' etc.

12. CONCLUSION.—(1) Those who make friends of the world cannot have this Divine friendship; (2) Those who have that Divine friendship have a disgust of worldly friends. 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.'


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