We know, my brethren, that in the natural world nothing is superfluous, nothing incomplete, nothing independent; but part answers to part, and all details combine to form one mighty whole. Order and harmony are among the first perfections which we discern in this visible creation; and the more we examine into it, the more widely and minutely they are found to belong to it.
Sermon 4 (Subjects of the Day)
30th October 1842
“O tarry thou the Lord’s leisure; be strong, and He shall comfort thine heart; and put thou thy trust in the Lord.” – Ps. 27:16.
No state is more dreary than that of the repentant sinner, when first he understands where he is, and begins to turn his thoughts towards his Great Master whom he has offended. Of course it is tempered with comfort and hope, as are all acts of duty; and on the retrospect, far from being distressing to dwell upon, it will be even pleasant. But at the time it is a most dreary state. A man finds that he has a great work to do, and does not know how to do it, or even what it is, and his impatience and restlessness are as great as his conscious ignorance; indeed, he is restless because he is ignorant. There is great danger of his taking wrong steps,
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” – 1 Cor. 9:24.
Nothing is more clearly brought out in Scripture, or more remarkable in itself than this, that in every age, out of the whole number of persons blessed with the means of grace, few only have duly availed them of this great benefit. So certain, so uniform is the fact, that it is almost stated as a doctrine. “Many are called, few are chosen.” Again, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” And again, “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat … Strait is the gate,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we also may be able to comfort those who are in any distress, by the exhortation wherewith we also are exhorted by God.” 2 Cor. i. 3, 4.
There is no one who has loved the world so well, as He who made it. None has so understood the human heart, and human nature, and human society in its diversified forms, none has so tenderly entered into and measured the greatness and littleness of man, his doings and sufferings, his circumstances and his fortunes, none has felt such profound compassion for his ignorance and guilt, his present rebellion and his prospects hereafter, as the Omniscient. What He has actually done for us is the proof of this. “God so loved the world, as to give His Only-begotten Son.” He loved mankind in their pollution, in spite of the abhorrence with which that pollution filled Him.
Today we celebrate the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary; when the Angel Gabriel was sent to tell her that she was to be the Mother of our Lord, and when the Holy Ghost came upon her, and overshadowed her with the power of the Highest. In that great event was fulfilled her anticipation as expressed in the text. All generations have called her blessed.
The Cardinal said: I am not going to make a long address to you, my dear boys, or say anything that you have not often heard before from your superiors, for I know well in what good hands you are, and I know that their instructions come to you with greater force than any you can have from a stranger. If I speak to you at all, it is because I have lately come from the Holy Father, and am, in some sort, his representative, and so in the years to come you may remember that you saw me today and heard me speak in his name, and remember it to your profit.
Such is St. Paul’s confession concerning his temporal condition, even in the midst of his trials. Those trials brought with them spiritual benefits; but, even as regarded this world, he felt he had cause for joy and thankfulness, in spite of sorrows, pains, labours, and self-denials. He did not look on this life with bitterness,
24th April 1831
“Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.” Acts 10: 40, 41.
It might have been expected, that, on our Saviour’s rising again from the dead, He would have shown Himself to very great numbers of people, and especially to those who crucified Him;
Sermon 10, 12th April 1835
“Jesus said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him.” John 11. 34-36.
On first reading these words the question naturally arises in the mind—why did our Lord weep at the grave of Lazarus? He knew He had power to raise him, why should He act the part of those who sorrow for the dead? In attempting any answer to this inquiry, we should ever remember that the thoughts of our Saviour’s mind are far beyond our comprehension.
“Now it is high time to awake out of sleep.” Rom. 13:11.
By “sleep,” in this passage, St. Paul means a state of insensibility to things as they really are in God’s sight. When we are asleep, we are absent from this world’s action, as if we were no longer concerned in it. It goes on without us, or, if our rest be broken, and we have some slight notion of people and occurrences about us, if we hear a voice or a sentence, and see a face, yet we are unable to catch these external objects justly and truly; we make them part of our dreams, and pervert them till they have scarcely a resemblance to what they really are; and such is the state of men as regards religious truth. God is ever Almighty and All-knowing. He is on His throne in heaven, trying the reins and the hearts; and Jesus Christ, our