Saturday, August 13, 2005

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman

Supposing some superior promised you any gift in a particular way, and you did not follow his directions, would he have broken his promise, or you have voluntarily excluded yourselves from the advantage? Evidently you would have brought about your own loss; you might, indeed, think his offer not worth accepting, burdened (as it was) with a condition annexed to it, still you could not in any propriety say that he failed in his engagement. Now when Scripture promises us that its commandments shall be easy, it couples the promise with the injunction that we should seek God early. "I love them that love Me, and those that seek Me early shall find Me." [Prov. viii. 17] Again: "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." [Eccles. xii. 1.] These are Solomon's words; and if you require our Lord's own authority, attend to His direction about the children: "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God." [Mark x. 14.] Youth is the time of His covenant with us, when He first gives us His Spirit; first giving then, that we may then forthwith begin our return of obedience to Him; not then giving it that we may delay our thank-offering for twenty, thirty, or fifty years! Now it is obvious that obedience to God's commandments is ever easy, and almost without effort to those who begin to serve Him from the beginning of their days; whereas those who wait a while, find it grievous in proportion to their delay.


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