Thursday, March 30, 2006

On March 30, 1851...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
On Bearing Mockery

1. INTROD.—Laetare Sunday. Joy, like a flower springing out of desolation and mortification, as Christ goes along the desert.

2. What flower shall be our offering? We cannot do much in the way of fasting, or other bodily mortifications. Why, the time supplies one, and which the epistle suggests, viz. our bearing reviling, etc. On the epistle of the day—Hagar and Sarah. It was a strong boy bullying a small child—cowardly and ungenerous. This animal nature. (Describe Ishmael.) Sarah childless till Isaac. Laetare—the mocking. 'Even so it is now,' says St. Paul. It is the mark of the true Church, and the form of its warfare—mockery. And so it is at this minute.

3. The scoffings, etc., which surround us not exactly violence or suffering, but slander, etc. The huge Protestantism of this land cannot keep from grinning, scoffing, etc.

4. Now this has ever been the case with the Church, as I have said, e.g. Isaac.

5. Joseph, Job, David, Jeremias, Daniel.—Heb. xi. 36.

6. Our Lord—(particulars)—bowing the knee, etc. Christ's sensitiveness.

7. Something very irritating in mockery, irony, etc. Indignation and anger natural, and not sinful, yet to be restrained lest they become sinful. Slander, misrepresentation, abuse of the good, blasphemy of things sacred, ludicrous views, pictures, etc. Nay, the people who throng the doors of a chapel like this, with persons going to and fro, and insult them.

8. All painful, yet laetare. Rejoice in your desolation; let it be your Lent. Rejoice and leap for joy, for great is your reward in heaven.

9. Rejoice if you are made like Christ and His saints.

10. Rejoice, for it is a proof of your real strength. Quare fremuerunt gentes. Our Lord's whisper terrifies this great country. His vicar, a feeble old man, by a bit of paper frightens it—vox Domini super aquas. Can Wesleyans, etc., do so? When did Protestantism ever raise a whole state as a small act of the vicar of Christ has done? You see how the devils fear. Tall Ishmael is mocking in our streets; a strong boy beating a small one.

11. Rejoice, for it is an augury for the future. The desolate has many more children than she that has a husband. So Protestantism is married to the state. Rejoice not against me, O my enemy, etc.

(When this sermon was preached, there was a large outburst of anti-Catholic activity going on in England. Pope Pius IX had given England a hierarchy of bishops, which act many Protestants saw as 'papal agression'. )


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