SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D. REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
There is nothing better, in my opinion, to disabuse us of this dangerous mistake, than these words of our Saviour, interrupted with his tears, when considering the deplorable state of Jerusalem; he wept over it, saying, "If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are for thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes;" Luke xix. 42. Our Saviour considered, on one side, what advantages this people had received by his coming; for all the treasures and all the graces of heaven were brought down from thence, with the Lord of heaven. On the other side, he saw that this same people, despising the poor and mean appearance which he made in his dress and in his person, would neither receive nor own him for what he was. He knew how great a loss this nation which he loved so tenderly would suffer by their ignorance. For they were to lose not only all those graces which he brought with him for them, but their temporal government and liberty. The Lord, pushed on by the force of grief, shed these tears and spoke these few words, which he broke off abruptly, though they were as significant as they were short. The same words may be well applied to our present purpose; because if, on the one hand, we consider the beauty of virtue, with the extraordinary graces which go along with it, and how these graces, on the other hand, are hid from the sight of carnal men, it is manifest we have reason to weep, and to say with our Saviour, "If thou also hadst known!" O unhappy sinner, how great a value would you set on virtue! how would you long after it, and what would you not do for obtaining it, should God but open your eyes to let you see what riches, what pleasures, what peace, what liberty, what tranquillity, what light, what sweetness, and what other benefits are its continual attendants? But these are all hid from the eyes of worldlings, who, minding nothing but its hard and bitter outside, imagine all within to be troublesome and unpleasant, and that it may pass current in the next life, but not in this. So that, reasoning according to the flesh, they say they will not be at the charge of certain dangers for the purchase of uncertain hopes, nor hazard their present happiness for a slippery dependence on what is to come. This is the common discourse of those who are daunted by the outward appearance of virtue. They do not know that Christian philosophy is like Christ himself, who, under the form of a poor and humble man, continued still to be God and sovereign Lord of all things. And for this reason it is said of the faithful that they " are dead " to the world: but their "life is hid with Christ in God;" Col. iii. 3. For as our Saviour's glory was concealed under this veil, so should the glory of all such as imitate him. We read of certain images that were called Silenes, coarse and rough on the outside, but very curious and artificial within, so that all the beauty and art lay hid, whilst that Which was but mean and ordinary was turned outward.