Friday, 6 January 2017

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 197.

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. 


So that we have as much reason to fear him infinitely, on the account of the miseries he can reduce us to, as we have to praise him for the favors he has bestowed on us. It was this that made the same prophet, though innocent and sanctified in his mother's womb, to tremble, when he said, " Who will not fear thee, O King of nations, for glory appertains to thee?" Jer. x. 7. And in another place, " I sate alone, because of thy hand; for thou hast filled me with commination ;" ch. xv. 17. The holy prophet knew very well, that these threats did not touch him; yet, for all this, they were so dreadful as to make him tremble. Therefore, it is with reason we say, the pillars of heaven shake before the majesty of God, and the powers and principalities all tremble in his presence; not that they are in doubt of their own happiness, but because they are in continual admiration of his infinite majesty. If these pure spirits are not free from fear, what apprehension should sinners, and such as despise God's commandments, be in, as being the persons on whom he will thunder out the dreadful effects of his vengeance ! This is, without doubt, one of the chief reasons, which ought to stir up in our souls a fear of this punishment, as St. John plainly shows us in the Apocalypse (ch. xviii 8), where, speaking of the punishments which God will inflict, he says, " Babylon's plagues shall come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be burnt with the fire because God is strong who shall judge her." And. St. Paul, who very well knew his great strength,* says, " It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands; of the living God;" Heb. x. 31. It is no dreadful thing to fall into the hands of men, because they are not so strong but that a man may break from them, nor have they power enough to thrust a soul headlong into hell. Our Saviour, for this reason, said to his disciples, " Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. Fear him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say unto you, fear him." Luke xii. 4, 5. These are the hands the Apostle says it is terrible to fall into. Those persons were surely very sensible of the force of these hands, who cried out, in the book of Ecclesiasticus (ch. ii. 22), "Unless we do penance we shall fall into the hands of the Lord, and not into the hands of men." All this plainly makes it appear, that as God is great in his power, in his authority, and in all his works, so will he be in his anger, in his justice and in punishing the wicked.