Tuesday, June 21, 2005

From Faith and Prejudice and Other Unpublished Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Such are those who feel a disdain and hatred of the truth. It is an awful thing to say, but we see it before our eyes how many people there are who hate the doctrine which Christ revealed and the Church teaches. Of course many do so in mere ignorance, and would feel and act otherwise, if they had the opportunity. But there are those, and not a few, who scorn and are irritated at the preaching of the word of life, and spurn it from them. It has been so from the beginning. Cain slew Abel; Joseph was stripped and sold by his brethren; David was hated by Saul; and above all our Lord was spat upon and put to death by the Jews. "He came unto His own and His own received Him not." And as He was abominated and cast out by a sinful generation, so, since He has departed, His word is abominated by the world still. Sometimes it is for want of love. You hear people revile the Church, ridicule the most sacred things, get angry directly they are mentioned, frown and change countenance, nay shake all over when they see a priest, suspect everything that is shocking and detestable as the characteristic of monk or nun, and spread from a deep prejudice the most untrue stories. Sometimes from want of faith; they think it quite wonderful, beyond expression strange and marvellous, that men can be found to believe this or that doctrine; they won't believe they can; they think they pretend to believe what they don't; they look upon all educated Catholics as hypocrites—and sometimes it arises from a bad conscience and impatience at being told their duty. Our Lord bids us not cast our pearls before swine, but they trample them under their feet. This is what carnal, sensual people do. They wish to live their own way; they do not like to be warned of hell and judgement, and when the warning voice comes to them, they rise up against it, and think it a personal offence to themselves that it declares the truth of God. They put their foot upon it, and tread out the heavenly flame.


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