Monday, 6 February 2017

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 210.

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. 


CHAPTER XII.

OF THE TWELFTH MOTIVE THAT OBLIGES US TO THE PURSUIT OF VIRTUE, WHICH IS, THE PARTICULAR CARE THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE TAKES OF THE GOOD, IN ORDER TO MAKE THEM HAPPY, AND THE SEVERITY WITH WHICH THE SAME PROVIDENCE PUNISHES THE WICKED.—THE FIRST PRIVILEGE.

OF all these favours, the greatest certainly is the care God takes of those who serve him. From this, as from their fountain, flow all the other privileges of virtue. For, though providence extends itself to all creatures, yet we see how particularly careful it is of those whom God has chosen for himself; because they, being his children, and receiving as his gift, an affection truly filial for him, he, on his part, loves them with a truly fatherly love, and his love is the measure of the care he takes for them. Yet no man can conceive how great his providence is, unless he has either had experience of it, or read the Holy Bible with much attention, and observed those passages there that treat of this matter; for there is scarce any part of Scripture but treats on this subject. It turns on these two points, to ask, and to promise, as the world turns on its poles. So that, whenever God on one part requires our observance of his commandments, he promises a generous reward to those who comply, and severely threatens such as neglect to obey. This doctrine is so distributed, that almost all the moral books in it require and promise, whilst the historical verify the fulfilling of both; giving us to understand how differently God deals with the just man and the sinner. But, considering how liberal he is, and how poor man, how ready he is to promise, and how backward man is to perform—we must needs find a great difference between what he requires and what he gives. All he requires of us is, that love and obedience which he himself has given us; and yet, in return of that little which we hold purely of his liberality, he offers us inestimable riches for this life as well as for the next. Of all which the chiefest is, the fatherly love and providence wherewith he assists those he looks on as his children, and this is infinitely beyond whatever affection the most tender father in the world can show; for never was there any one yet who laid up such riches for his children as God does, which is no less than the participation of his eternal glory. Never did any man undergo so much for his children as God has done, having for their sakes shed the very last drop of his blood; nor will ever any father take so much care of them as God does, since he always has them in his sight, and assists them in all their necessities. This holy David acknowledges, when he says, "Thou hast upheld me by reason of my innocence ; and has established me in thy sight forever" (Ps. xi. 13), which is to say, you have always watched so carefully over all my actions as to keep your eyes continually fixed on me. And in another psalm he says, "The eyes of the Lord are upon the just: and his ears unto their prayers. But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil things: to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.'' Ps. xxxiii. 16, 17.