Thursday, July 29, 2004

On July 29, 1848
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Christ Weeping over Jerusalem

1. INTROD. Wonderful union of mercy and severity in God, as in our Saviour weeping over Jerusalem. Who can have hard thoughts of Him? Yet who can presume?

2. Take the case of the Jews. St. Paul says 'these things happened in figure': they are a figure of God's dealings with every soul. Consider the frequent judgments mentioned in the epistle—how often He had to punish before He gave them up. At last wrath came without remedy—He wept while He denounced—it was over and there was no hope. He dried His tears—He rose up—He executed wrath—He rejected them and burned up their city.

3. And so in every age. Consider what a wonderful patience—the same thing acted over and over again—how weary the angels must get of the history of the world—every generation beginning with sinners, and then some turning to repentance—looking at individual souls, seeing them plunge into sin fearlessly—yet they are afterwards to repent—they must feel indignation that God should be trifled with. The very same poor souls who now sin will repent as the generation before them: they even take their fill of sin before they turn to God.

4. Then they see repentance—all so promising, such a good start; yet God sees that those very persons, who are beginning so well, are again to fall from Him—to profane and ungratefully treat all His gifts.

5. But so the world goes on. Numbers never coming back to God [at] all, numbers coming back then falling again, numbers repenting only in the end of life, numbers sinning against light and warning, again and again, till they are cast off without remedy. Observe how stern the words, 'for now they are hidden from thine eyes.'

6. Yet how beautiful the temple looked. Describe—goodly stones—how unlikely that it should be destroyed, yet it was doomed.

7. Blessed they who do not sin; next blessed they who consider God's wrath and mercy—not one of them only, lest they despair or presume.


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