Thursday, April 14, 2005

On April 14, 1872...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Faith Failing

1. INTROD.—The good Pastor hardly made Himself known to His disciples than He went to heaven. He went away before men believed in Him.

2. This was His will—'Not to all the people.' Enumerate how few—the most five hundred brethren at once—but then, as it seems, 'some doubted.'

3. For it was His will that 'the just should live by faith,' Hab. ii. 4—and then thrice in St. Paul.

4. Accordingly elsewhere He says, 'We live by faith, not by sight'—Abraham's faith. So our Lord's miracles. And He said, Mark xi. 22-23, 'Have faith in God. Amen I say to you, That whosoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and cast into the sea; and shall not stagger in his heart, but believe that whatsoever he saith shall be done unto him; it shall be done.'

5. Thus the FOUNDATION of the Church is faith, Matt. xvi. 13-18, and when faith goes the Church goes. The angels: 'Ye men of Galilee ... so also will he come again.'

6. The Church cannot go till faith goes; and as the Church will last as long as the world, therefore when faith dies out the world will come to an end.

7. I repeat few had faith when our Lord went, and few will have faith when He comes again. The foundation of the Church.

8. Hence the words, Luke—'Shall He find faith on earth?'

9. All this makes us look to the future, especially when there is a failure of faith.

10. The prophecies distinctly declare a failing of faith.

11. On listening to prophecies in circulation —not to be trusted.

12. Of course I am not denying that holy people, nuns, etc., sometimes prophesy, but Scripture is surer, 2 Peter. Of course it requires an interpreter, but still there is something to guide us in the literal text.

13. The awful future—'of that day and hour knoweth no one'—but it is profitable to read the words of Scripture, though we but partially understand them.


Post a Comment

<< Home