THE THREE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES EXPOUNDED.
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.
A. It is a gift of God or divine virtue, whereby we certainly and confidently expect life everlasting, through Christ's merits, applied by our endeavors, as the means. Romans viii. 24, 25.
Q. On what is our confidence or hope grounded?
A. Upon the promises of God, who affirmed, that he would give eternal happiness to such as fulfill his law or commandments. Hebrews vi. 18, 19. 1 John iii. 21. Secondly, on the superabundant merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ, whereby God gives us his grace in this world, and promises us his kingdom and everlasting bliss in the world to come. St. John x. 10. Rom. v. 10.
Q. What are the properties of hope ?
A. It supposes faith. It is founded on a moral certainty, excluding unreasonable solicitude; not in an infallible certainty, as the Calvinists pretend. It excludes not fear, but this fear must not be a worldly fear, which is an apprehension of worldly pain only, but a servile fear of eternal punishment; which is good, as excluding the will of offending: but most especially the fear attending hope, is a filial fear, which is a fear of offending God.
Q. What is the object of hope?
A. The primary object of hope is life everlasting. The secondary object are the means of obtaining it, as grace, perseverance, and good works, proceeding from grace. Hence the Quietists are condemned, who pretend that perfection consists in hoping for nothing, not even life everlasting.
Q. When are we obliged to make acts of hope?
A. When we come to the use of reason and begin to know that God is our last end, for which he created us; being then obliged to hope for eternal salvation, and means to arrive thereto; also when we are obliged to pray, to do acts of penance, or beg any thing necessary for our salvation, we must hope God will not be wanting on his side, if we do as we ought: blessed is the man whose hope is in the name of our Lord, and hath not regard to vanities. Psalm xxxix. 5.
Q. What sins are opposite to hope?
A. First, despair by defect, when a person has a diffidence, that God will not save him, or provide him -with the means, which he therefore neglects. St. Matt, xxvii. v. Eph. iv. 19. Gen. iv. 13. Secondly, presumption, by relying wholly on God's mercy, without the means of good works. Rom. ii. 4, 5. These sins are sometimes joined with heresy, when a person believes that God can not or will not pardon his sins.
Q. Can there be true hope without true charity ?
A. Yes ; as there is true faith without charity, but then it is a weak and imperfect hope.