You may recollect, my brethren, our Lord’s words when on the day of His resurrection He had joined the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, and found them sad and perplexed in consequence of His death. He said, “Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and so enter into His glory?” He appealed to the fitness and congruity which existed between this otherwise surprising event and the other truths which had been revealed concerning the Divine purpose of saving the world. And so, too, St. Paul, in speaking of the same wonderful appointment of God; “It became Him,” he says, “for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, who had brought many sons unto glory
I am going to ask you a question, my dear brethren, so trite, and therefore so uninteresting at first sight, that you may wonder why I put it, and may object that it will be difficult to fix the mind on it, and may anticipate that nothing profitable can be made of it. It is this:-“Why were you sent into the world?” Yet, after all, it is perhaps a thought more obvious than it is common, more easy than it is familiar; I mean it ought to come into your minds,
He has sent forth for the ministry of reconciliation, not Angels, but men; He has sent forth your brethren to you, not beings of some unknown nature and some strange blood, but of your own bone and your own flesh, to preach to you. “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” Here is the royal style and tone in which Angels speak to men, even though these men be Apostles;
PPS IV, 3; preached, March 20th, 1836
“Be sure your sin will find you out.” Numb. 32, 23.
This is one of those passages in the inspired writings, which, though introduced on a particular occasion and with a limited meaning, express a general truth, such as we seem at once to feel as being far greater than the context requires, and which we use apart from it. Moses warned the Reubenites and Gadites, that, if they, who had already been allotted their inheritance, did not assist their brethren in gaining theirs, their sin would find them out, or be visited on them. And, while he so spoke, He who spoke through him, God,
“Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For the winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land.” Cant., ii. 10-12.
WE have familiar experience of the order, the constancy, the perpetual renovation of the material world which surrounds us. Frail and transitory as is every part of it, restless and migratory as are its elements, never-ceasing as are its changes, still it abides. It is bound together by a law of permanence, it is set up in unity; and, though it is ever dying, it is ever coming to life again. Dissolution does but give birth to fresh modes of organization, and one death is the parent of a thousand lives.
You know very well, my brethren, and there are few persons anywhere who deny it, that in the breast of every one there dwells a feeling or perception, which tells him the difference between right and wrong, and is the standard by which to measure thoughts and actions. It is called conscience; and even though it be not at all times powerful enough to rule us, still it is distinct and decisive enough to influence our views and form our judgments in the various matters which come before us.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Math, 5:14.
Our Saviour gives us a command, in this passage of His Sermon on the Mount, to manifest our religious profession before all men. “Ye are the light of the world,” He says to His disciples; “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men
Those who are drawn by curiosity or a better motive to inquire into the Catholic Religion, sometimes put to us a strange question,—whether, if they took up the profession of it, they would be at liberty, when they felt inclined, to reconsider the question of its Divine authority; meaning, by “reconsideration,” an inquiry springing from doubt of it, and possibly ending in a denial. The same question, in the form of an objection, is often asked by those who have no thoughts at all of becoming Catholics, and who enlarge upon it, as something terrible, that whoever once enters the pale of the Church, on him the door of egress is shut for ever; that, once a Catholic, he never, never can doubt again;…
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4: 18.
There are two worlds, “the visible, and the invisible,” as the Creed speaks,-the world we see, and the world we do not see; and the world we do not see as really exists as the world we do see. It really exists, though we see it not. The world we see we know to exist, because we see it. We have but to lift up our eyes and look around us,
“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse Thou me from secret faults.” Psalm 19: 12.
Strange as it may seem, multitudes called Christians go through life with no effort to obtain a correct knowledge of themselves. They are contented with general and vague impressions concerning their real state; and, if they have more than this, it is merely such accidental information about themselves as the events of life force upon them. But exact systematic knowledge they have none, and do not aim at it.