Monday, 6 March 2017

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 222.

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. 


This is one of the chief effects of grace, and a particular privilege of virtuous men in this life. But, because carnal and sensual men, perhaps, can neither understand, nor will so readily believe this truth, I will make it plainly appear to them, by several passages both of the Old and New Testament. In the New, our Saviour says: "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you;" John xiv. 26. He tells us in another place (ch. vi. 45), "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught by God. Every man, therefore, that hath heard and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me;" Isa. liv. 13. He has told us, in like manner, by his prophet Jeremy, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord ; for they shall all know me ; " Isa. xxxi. 33, 34. In the prophet Isaias (ch. liv. 11, 12, 13), the Lord, speaking of the prosperity of his Church, uses these words: " Oh, thou afflicted, tossed with tempests, and not comforted ! Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord." He repeats the same again, elsewhere, by the same prophet: "I am the Lord thy God, which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldst go; " ch. xlviii. 16. By these words are understood two sorts of knowledge, that of saints, and that of wise men. It is that of the saints which Solomon speaks of, when he says, " The knowledge of the holy is understanding; " Prov. ix. 10. For bare knowledge does but teach us how to know, but prudence instructs us how to act by what we know; and this is the knowledge of holy men.

Besides, how often shall we find this very same wisdom promised to the just, in David's Psalms. In one of them, lie says, " The month of the righteous shall be exercised in wisdom, and his tongue will be talking of judgment;" Ps. xxxvi. 30. God, in another, makes the good man this promise : "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go;" Ps. xxxi. 8. In another, as if it were a business of the greatest consequence, the prophet puts the question, saying, "What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way he shall choose;" Ps. xxiv. 12. And in the same psalm we have these words: "The salvation of the just is of the Lord;" which St. Jerome renders thus: " The Lord discovers his secrets to those that fear him, and he will show them his covenant;" that is, his holy laws are made known to them. This knowledge is a great light to the understanding, a delicious food to the will, and the greatest pleasure man can enjoy. The same prophet calls it a pasture in which God fed him; a water with which he refreshed his soul; and a table upon which were placed such meats as might strengthen him against all the power of his enemies ; Ps. xxii. 2, 5. For which reason, the same prophet so frequently begs for this inward light, and for their inward instructions, in that divine psalm, which begins, "Blessed are the undefiled; " Ps. cxviii. To this end, he says, in one place, " O Lord, I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies;" ver. 12. In another place, "Open thou my eyes, O Lord, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law;" ver. 18. And again, "Give me understanding, and I shall search into thy law, and I shall observe it with my whole heart;" ver. 34. This is, in fine, the petition he so often makes in this psalm. Nor would he have done it with such earnestness, had he not been very well acquainted with its efficacy, and with the manner of God's communicating the same.