Friday, July 23, 2004

On July 23, 1854
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Nature and Grace

1. INTROD.—Text: 'Jesus loved him.'

2. Explain the circumstances. And then we come to this anomaly—that God loves for something in them those who will not obey His call.

3. Now this is a difficulty surely which we feel ourselves. People are (1) amiable, (2) conscientious, (3) benevolent; they do many good actions, but are not Catholics; or not in God's grace.

4. Explanation. Nature not simply evil. We do not say that Nature cannot do good actions without God's grace. Far from it. Instances of great heathens.

5. What we say is that no one can get to heaven without God's grace.

6. Contrast of two states as on two levels: (1) moral virtues with 'their reward,' industry, etc., has a reward in this life.

7. (2) Spiritual state of grace. It has all these virtues and a good deal more, and especially faith.

8. This is why faith is so necessary. Explain what faith is, as a door. It is a sight, [power of vision]. It is looking up to God. When we pray, we have faith, etc., etc.

9. Now what an awful thought this is when you look at the world—if something more than Nature is necessary for salvation.

10. People say, 'If I do my duty'—'He was such a good father'; 'He was upright,' etc., etc. All this is good, but by itself will not bring a man to heaven.

11. When you think what heaven is, is it wonderful? Think of our sins. Is it wonderful God does not give forgiveness to Nature?

12. Is it wonderful that grace alone can get repentance?

13. Let us turn this [over] in our hearts.


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