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man's moral complexion. It does not impart spiritual life; but rather develops and ennobles it, just as the healthy flower grows and expands under the genial warmth of the summer sun. Expose a diamond to the light, and it will emit brilliant rays: expose a lump of clay, and it remains dark and opaque. Even so “shall the just shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” but the light of God's countenance will not penetrate and illumine a soul that has no principle of spiritual life, but is “of the earth, earthy;"2 and hence the Apostle adds: “Now this I say, that flesh and blood cannot possess the Kingdom of God, neither shall corruption possess incorruption."
Lastly, you will say: If the door of repentance is open to us even to the last breath of life, if one act of genuine sorrow is sufficient to blot out sin, and to reconcile us to God, may we not hope that few are lost and that the great bulk of mankind will be saved ?
Happily, neither the Scripture nor the Church has ever authoritatively spoken of the relative number of the elect and the reprobate, though many writers draw conclusions on one side or the other. Far be it from me to interpret unfavorably to the side of mercy. God grant that the great majority of Christians and even of mankind may be ultimately saved !
Meanwhile, prudence imperatively demands that
in a matter affecting our eternal interests, we should pursue the safer course, by "living soberly and justly and piously in this world, waiting for the blessed hope and glorious coming of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ who gave Himself for all that He might redeem us from all iniquity."1 Let us blend pious solicitude with filial trust, on the one hand "working out our salvation with fear and trembling," and on the other, "going with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain. mercy and find grace for seasonable aid."
THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST, ATTESTED BY HIMSELF
AND HIS DISCIPLES.
The Divinity of Jesus Christ is asserted or at least implied by Himself, as well as by His disciples, in almost every page of the New Testament.
Certain attributes are ascribed in the Gospels and Epistles to our Saviour, which cannot be predicated of human or angelic nature.
1o. His eternity is again and again proclaimed. St. Jalin in the opening words of his Gospel, says: - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It has never been questioned that the Word here refers to Jesus Christ. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” “I
2 am the first and the last, ... and I was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of hell." 3 By these words not only His own eternal life, but His Sovereignty
1 John I. · Rev. I.
over death is declared. “Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.”ı He does not say: Before Abraham was made, I was, but I am,
, thus not only claiming pre-existence, but asserting the consciousness of eterral Being by assuming the incommunicable name given to Jehovah in the book of Exodus.
St. Paul says of Christ: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. Thou, O Lord, in the beginning, didst found the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thy hands. They shall perish, but Thou shalt remain, and they all shall grow
old as a garment. And as a vesture, Thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed; but Thou art the self-same, and Thy years shall not fail.” 2
Our Saviour says of Himself: “Father, I will that where I am, they also whom Thou hast given Me, may be with Me, that they may see My glory which Thou hast given Me, because Thou lovedst Me before the creation of the world.” And to His disciples He says: “Behold I am with you all days,
, even to the consummation of the world." It is impossible to express in stronger language, the existence of our Lord before the creation of the world, His survival after its destruction, and His co-eternity with His Father.
2o. The creation of the universe is ascribed to Him. "All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. ... He
“ He was
was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” 1
“In Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, or principalities or powers; all things were created by Him and in Him; and He is before all, and by Him all things subsist.” 2
3o. He is acknowledged to be the Source of all intellectual and supernatural life: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” 3 the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world." 4 "I am," He says, “the way, the truth and the life.” 5 “I am the resurrection and the life.” “I am the light of the world.
6 ' He that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”? “My sheep hear My voice; . . . and I give them life everlasting; and they shall not perish for ever."8 St. Peter reproaches the Jews for having killed the Author of life.
4o. He legislates with the conscious power and the absolute independence of Divinity. The people remarked that “He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their Scribes and Pharisees.” 10
He modestly, yet firmly declares Himself superior
1 John I.
6 John XI.