Sunday, March 20, 2005

On Palm Sunday, 1850...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

On Our Lord's Agony

1. INTROD.—We naturally seek to be told something of the death and the deathbeds of those we know and love. We are drawn to the deathbed of the saints and holy people; and much more if anything remarkable about it, and much more if a man be our benefactor, parent, etc. How much more the death of the great God?

2. Thus, above all, our Lord's death—how sudden it was! One day brought into the city in triumph, the next plotted against, betrayed and seized.

3. God from eternity—the Holy Trinity. Each person all God; the Son the only God, as if only Person.

4. God most happy; Son all happy—bliss, peace, calmness, glory, beauty, perfection from all eternity.

5. And now look at that one only God, as we contemplate Him at this time of year. He is still one, sole, and alone. He was one in heaven; He is one in the garden, one on the tree. He trod the winepress alone. When He went into the garden He took but a few with Him, and separated Himself from them; and afterwards the disciples 'left Him alone,' and fled. Easy for the traitor to take Him, for He was alone.

6. But though one and alone, how different! He who was glorious is become a leper; He who was so peaceful has lost His rest.

7. It is said that nothing is so fearful as the overwhelming sorrow of man as contrasted with woman, of a hero or great and firm man overcome by adversity or bereavement; for it being more difficult, it bursts more [violently]; it is like a storm rending and shattering. What, then, in the most peaceful and serene? What a conflict in the sinless!—(enlarge).

8. It is said that 'the wicked are like a boiling sea'; what means this in the innocent? Yet so it is. He began to grow weary, sad, frightened. (Explain.) On the devil, who was foiled in the wilderness, to his surprise finding our Lord in the garden agitated as a sinner. He had gained his point—his eternal enemy vanquished. On the apostles sleeping for sorrow, but Christ praying more earnestly.

9. Pain of mind greater than that of body, though we are more conversant in bodily pain—grief, fear, anxiety, terror, despair, disappointment—poena damni of the lost greater than poena sensus. On the effect of mental pain—hair turning white; Nabal . So effect on Christ—agony of blood.

10. Let us gather round and look at Him whom God has punished; but in no idle way, for His pain is from our sins. Address to sinners.


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