Discourse 12. Prospects of the Catholic Missioner

{238} A STRANGE time this may seem to some of you, my brethren, and a strange place, to commence an enterprise such as that, which relying on God's mercy, we are undertaking this day [Note]. In this huge city, amid a population of human beings, so vast that each is solitary, so various that each is independent, which, like the ocean, yields before and closes over every attempt made to influence and impress it,—in this mere aggregate of individuals, which admits of neither change nor reform, because it has no internal order, or disposition of parts, or mutual dependence, because it has nothing to change from and nothing to change to, where no one knows his next-door neighbour, where in every place are found a thousand worlds, each pursuing its own functions unimpeded by the rest—how can we, how can a handful of men, do any service worthy of the Lord who has called us, and the objects to which our lives are dedicated? "Cry aloud, spare not!" says the prophet; well may he say it! no room for sparing; what cry is loud enough, except the last trumpet of God, to pierce the omnipresent {239} din of turmoil and of effort, which rises, like an exhalation from the very earth, along the public thoroughfares, and to reach the dense multitudes on each side of them in the maze of lanes and alleys known only to those who live in them? It is but a fool's work to essay the impossible; keep to your own place, and you are respectable; tend your sheep in the wilderness, and you are intelligible; build upon the old foundations, and you are safe; but begin nothing new, make no experiments, quicken not the action, nor strain the powers, nor complicate the responsibilities of your Mother, lest in her old age you bring her to shame, and the idlers laugh at her who once bare many children, but now is waxed feeble.

And here is another thing, the time; the time of your coming hither! Now, when you rest on no immovable centre, as of old, when you are not what you were lately, when your life is in jeopardy, your future in suspense, your Master in exile; look at home, you have enough to do at home. Look to the rock whence ye were hewn, and to the quarry whence ye were dug out! Where is Peter now? Magni nominis umbra, as the heathen author says: an antiquated cause, noble in its time, but of a past day; nay, true and Divine in its time, as far as anything can be such, but false now, and of the earth now, because it is feeble now, bent with the weight of eighteen hundred years, tottering to its fall; for with Englishmen, you should know, success is the measure of principle, and power is the exponent of right. Do you not understand our rule of action? we take up men and lay them down, we praise {240} or we blame, we feel respect or contempt, according as they succeed or are defeated. You are wrong, because you are in misfortune; power is truth. Wealth is power, intellect is power, good name is power, knowledge is power; we venerate wealth, intellect, name, knowledge. Intellect we know, and wealth we know, but who are ye? what have we to do with the ghosts of an old world, and the types of a former organisation?

It is true, my brethren, this is a strange time, a strange place, for beginning our work. A strange place for Saints and Angels to pitch their tabernacles in, this metropolis; strange—I will not say for thee, my Mother Mary, to be found in; for no part of the Catholic inheritance is foreign to thee, and thou art everywhere, where the Church is found, Porta manes et Stella maris, the constant object of her devotion, and the universal advocate of her children,—not strange to thee, but strange enough to him, my own Saint and Master, Philip Neri. Yes, dear Father, it is strange for thee, to pass from the bright, calm cities of the South to this scene of godless toil and self-trusting adventure; strange for thee to be seen hurrying to and fro across our crowded streets, in thy grave, black cassock, and thy white collar, instead of moving at thy own pace amid the open ways or vacant spaces of the great City, in which, according to God's guidance of thee in thy youth, thou didst for life and death fix thy habitation. Yes, it is all very strange to the world; but no new thing to her, the Bride of the Lamb, whose very being and primary gifts are stranger in the eyes of unbelief, than any details, as to {241} place of abode and method of proceeding, in which they are manifested. It is no new thing in her, who came in the beginning as a wanderer upon earth, whose condition is a perpetual warfare, and whose empire is an incessant conquest.

In such a time as this did the prince of the Apostles, the first Pope, advance towards the heathen city, where, under a Divine guidance, he was to fix his seat. He toiled along the stately road which led him straight onwards to the capital of the world. He met throngs of the idle and the busy, of strangers and natives, who peopled the interminable suburb. He passed under the high gate, and wandered on amid marble palaces and columned temples; he met processions of heathen priests and ministers in honour of their idols; he met the wealthy lady, borne on her litter by her slaves; he met the stern legionaries who had been the "massive iron hammers" of the whole earth; he met the anxious politician with his ready man of business at his side to prompt him on his canvass for popularity; he met the orator returning home from a successful pleading, with his young admirers and his grateful and hopeful clients. He saw about him nothing but tokens of a vigorous power, grown up into a definite establishment, formed and matured in its religion, its laws, its civil traditions, its imperial extension, through the history of many centuries; and what was he but a poor, feeble, aged stranger, in nothing different from the multitude of men—an Egyptian or a Chaldean, or perhaps a Jew, some Eastern or other—as passers-by would {242} guess according to their knowledge of human kind, carelessly looking at him (as we might turn our eyes upon Hindoo or gipsy, as they met us), without the shadow of a thought that such a one was destined then to commence an age of religious sovereignty, in which they might spend their own heathen times twice over, and not see its end!

In such a time as this, did the great Doctor, St. Gregory Nazianzen, he too an old man, a timid man, a retiring man, fond of solitude and books, and unpractised in the struggles of the world, suddenly appear in the Arian city of Constantinople; and, in despite of a fanatical populace, and an heretical clergy, preach the truth, and prevail—to his own wonder, and to the glory of that grace which is strong in weakness, and is ever nearest to its triumph when it is most despised.

In such a time did another St. Gregory, the first Pope of the name, when all things were now failing, when barbarians had occupied the earth, and fresh and more savage multitudes were pouring down, when pestilence, famine, and heresy ravaged far and near—oppressed, as he was, with continual sickness, his bed his Pontifical Throne—in such a time did he rule, direct, and consolidate the Church, in what he augured were the last moments of the world; subduing Arians in Spain, Donatists in Africa, a third heresy in Egypt, a fourth in Gaul, humbling the pride of the East, reconciling the Goths to the Church, bringing our own pagan ancestors within her pale, and completing her order and beautifying her {243} ritual, while he strengthened the foundations of her power.

And in such a time did the six Jesuit Fathers, Ignatius and his companions, while the world was exulting in the Church's fall, and men "made merry, and sent their gifts one to another," because the prophets were dead who "tormented them that dwelt upon earth," make their vow in the small Church of Montmartre; and, attracting others to them by the sympathetic force of zeal, and the eloquence of sanctity, went forward calmly and silently into India in the East, and into America in the West, and, while they added whole nations to the Church abroad, restored and reanimated the Catholic populations at home.

It is no new thing then with the Church, in a time of confusion or of anxiety, when offences abound, and the enemy is at her gates, that her children, far from being dismayed, or rather glorying in the danger, as vigorous men exult in trials of their strength—it is no new thing, I say, that they should go forth to do her work, as though she were in the most palmy days of her prosperity. Old Rome, in her greatest distress, sent her legions to foreign destinations by one gate, while the Carthaginian conqueror was at the other. In truth, as has been said of our own countrymen, we, Catholics, do not know when we are beaten; we advance, when by all the rules of war we ought to fall back; we dream but of triumphs, and mistake (as the world judges) defeat for victory. For we have upon us the omens of success in the recollections of the {244} past; we read upon our banners the names of many an old field of battle and of glory; we are strong in the strength of our fathers, and we mean to do, in our humble measure, what Saints have done before us. It is nothing great or wonderful in us to be thus minded; only Saints indeed do exploits, and carry contests through, but ordinary men, the serving men and privates of the Church, are equal to attempting them.

It needs no heroism in us, my brethren, to face such a time as this, and to make light of it; for we are Catholics. We have the experience of eighteen hundred years. The great philosopher of antiquity tells us, that mere experience is courage, not indeed of the highest kind, but sufficient to succeed upon. It is not one or two or a dozen defeats, if we had them, which will reverse the majesty of the Catholic Name. We are willing to take this generation on its own standard of truth, and to make our intenseness of purpose the very voucher for our divinity. We are confident, zealous, and unyielding, because we are the heirs of St. Peter, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gregory Pope, and all other holy and faithful men, who, in their day, by word, deed, or prayer, have furthered the Catholic cause. We share in their merits and intercessions, and we speak with their voice. Hence we do that without heroism, which others, who are not Catholics, do only with it. It would be heroism in others, certainly, to set about our work. Did Jews aim at bringing over this vast population to the rites of the Law, or did Unitarians address themselves to the conversion of the Holy Roman Church, or did the {245} Society of Friends attempt the great French nation, this might rightly be called heroism; not a true religious heroism, but it would be a something extraordinary and startling. It would be a peculiar, special, original, audacious idea; it would be making a great venture on a great uncertainty. But there is nothing of special courage, nothing of personal magnanimity, in a Catholic's making light of the world, and beginning to preach to it, though it turn its face from him. He knows the nature and habits of the world; and it is his immemorial way of dealing with it; he does but act according to his vocation; he would not be a Catholic, did he act otherwise. He knows whose vessel he has entered; it is the bark of Peter. When the greatest of the Romans was in an open boat on the Adriatic, and the sea rose, he said to the terrified boatman, Cęsarem vehis et fortunam Cęsaris—"Caesar is your freight and Caesar's fortune." What he said in presumption, we, my dear brethren, can repeat in faith, of that boat, in which Christ once sat and preached. We have not chosen it to have fear about it; we have not entered it to escape out of it; no, but to go forth in it upon the flood of sin and unbelief, which would sink any other craft. We began our work at the first with Peter for our guide, on the very Feast of his Chair, and at the very Shrine of his relics; so, when any of you marvel that we should choose this place and this time for our missionary labours, let him know that we are of those who measure the present by the past, and poise the world upon a distant centre. We act according to our {246} name; Catholics are at home in every time and place, in every state of society, in every class of the community, in every stage of cultivation. No state of things comes amiss to a Catholic priest; he has always a work to do, and a harvest to reap.

Were it otherwise, had he not confidence in the darkest day, and the most hostile district, he would be relinquishing a principal note, as it is called, of the Church. She is Catholic, because she brings a universal remedy for a universal disease. The disease is sin; all men have sinned; all men need a recovery in Christ; to all must that recovery be preached and dispensed. If then there be a preacher and dispenser of recovery, sent from God, that messenger must speak, not to one, but to all; he must be suited to all, he must have a mission to the whole race of Adam, and be cognisable by every individual of it. I do not mean that he must persuade all, and prevail with all—for that depends upon the will of each; but he must show his capabilities for converting all by actually converting some of every time, and every place, and every rank, and every age of life, and every character of mind. If sin is a partial evil, let its remedy be partial; but, if it be not local, not occasional, but universal, such must be the remedy. A local religion is not from God. The true religion must indeed begin, and may linger, in one place; nay, for centuries remain there, provided it is expanding and maturing in its internal character, and professes the while that it is not yet perfect. There may be deep reasons in God's counsels, why the proper revelation of His will to man {247} should have been slowly elaborated and gradually completed in the elementary form of Judaism; but that Revelation was ever in progress in the Jewish period, and pointed by its prophets to a day when it should be spread over the whole earth. Judaism then was local because it was imperfect; when it reached perfection within, it became universal without, and took the name of Catholic.

Look around, my brethren, at the forms of religion now in the world, and you will find that one, and one only, has this note of a Divine origin. The Catholic Church has accompanied human society through one revolution of its great year; and is now beginning a second. She has passed through the full cycle of changes, in order to show us that she is independent of them all. She has had trial of East and West, of monarchy and democracy, of peace and war, of imperial and of feudal tyranny, of times of darkness and times of philosophy, of barbarousness and luxury, of slaves and freemen, of cities and nations, of marts of commerce and seats of manufacture, of old countries and young, of metropolis and colonies. She arose in the most happy age which perhaps the world has ever known; for two or three hundred years she had to fight against the authority of law, established forms of religion, military power, an ably cemented empire, and prosperous, contented population. And in the course of that period, this poor, feeble, despised Association was able to defeat its imperial oppressor, in spite of his violent efforts, again and again exerted, to rid himself of so despicable an {248} assailant. In spite of calumny, in spite of popular outbreaks, in spite of cruel torments, the lords of the world were forced, as their sole chance of maintaining their empire, to come to terms with that body, of which the present Church is in name, in line, in doctrine, in principles, in manner of being, in moral characteristics, the descendant and representative. They were forced to humble themselves to her, and to enter her pale, and to exalt her, and to depress her enemies. She triumphed as never any other triumphed before or since. But this was not all; scarcely had she secured her triumph, or rather set about securing it, when it was all reversed; for the Roman Power, her captive, which with so much blood and patience she had subjugated, suddenly came to nought. It broke and perished; and against her rushed millions of wild savages from the North and East, who had neither God nor conscience, nor even natural compassion. She had to begin again; for centuries they came down, one horde after another, like roaring waves, and dashed against her base. They came again and again, like the armed bands sent by the King of Israel against the prophet; and, as he brought fire down from heaven which devoured them as they came, so in her more gracious way did Holy Church, burning with zeal and love, devour her enemies, multitude after multitude, with the flame which her Lord had kindled, "heaping coals of fire upon their heads," and "overcoming evil with good". Thus out of those fierce strangers were made her truest and most loyal children;—and, then, when from among them {249} there arose a strong military power, more artificially constructed than the old Roman, with traditions and precedents which lasted on for centuries, at first the Church's champion and then her rival, here too she had to undergo a new conflict, and to gain a new triumph. And so I might proceed, going to and fro, and telling of her political successes since, and of her intellectual victories from the beginning, and of her social improvements, and of her encounters with those other circumstances of human nature or combinations of human kind, which I just now enumerated; all which prove to us, with a cogency as great as that of a physical demonstration, that she comes not of earth, that she holds not of earth, that she is no servant of man, else he who made could have destroyed her.

How different, again I say, how different are all religions that ever were, from this lofty and unchangeable Catholic Church! They depend on time and place for their existence, they live in periods or in regions. They are children of the soil, indigenous plants, which readily flourish under a certain temperature, in a certain aspect, in moist or in dry, and die if they are transplanted. Their habitat is one article of their scientific description. Thus the Greek schism, Nestorianism, the heresy of Calvin, and Methodism, each has its geographical limits. Protestantism has gained nothing in Europe since its first outbreak. Some accident gives rise to these religious manifestations; some sickly season, the burning sun, the vapour-laden marsh, breeds a pestilence, and there it remains, hanging in the air over its birthplace perhaps {250} for centuries; then some change takes place in the earth or in the heavens, and it suddenly is no more. Sometimes, however, it is true, such scourges of God have a course upon earth, and affect a Catholic range. They issue as from some poisonous lake or pit in Ethiopia or in India, and march forth with resistless power to fulfil their mission of evil, and walk to and fro over the face of the world. Such was the Arabian imposture of which Mahomet was the framer; and you will ask, perhaps, whether it has not done that, which I have said the Catholic Church alone can do, and proved thereby that it had in it an internal principle, which, depending not on man, could subdue him in any time or place? No, my brethren; look narrowly, and you will see the marked distinction which exists between the religion of Mahomet and the Church of Christ. For Mahometanism has done little more than the Anglican communion is doing at present. That communion is found in many parts of the world; its primate has a jurisdiction even greater than the Nestorian patriarch of old; it has establishments in Malta, in Jerusalem, in India, in China, in Australia, in South Africa, and in Canada, whereas Mahometanism is only an indigenous religion, and that in certain portions of two continents, with little power or wish to propagate its faith.

However, at least in Anglicanism, you will say, there is that note of Catholicity which in Mahometanism is not. Oh, my brethren, be not beguiled by words; will any thinking man say for a moment, whatever this objection be worth, that the Established Religion {251}  is superior to time and place? well, if not, why set about proving that it is? rather, does not its essence lie in its recognition by the State? is not its establishment its very form? what would it be, would it last ten years, if abandoned to itself? It is its establishment which erects it into a unity and individuality; can you contemplate it, though you stimulate your imagination to the task, as abstracted from its churches, palaces, colleges, parsonages, revenues, civil precedence, and national position? Strip it of this world, and you have performed a mortal operation upon it, for it has ceased to be. Take its bishops out of the legislature, tear its formularies from the Statute Book, open its universities to Dissenters, allow its clergy to become laymen again, legalise its private prayer-meetings, and what would be its definition? You know that, did not the State compel it to be one, it would split at once into three several bodies, each bearing within it the elements of further divisions. Even the small party of Non-jurors, a century and a half since, when released from the civil power, split into two. It has then no internal consistency, or individuality, or soul, to give it the capacity of propagation. Methodism represents some sort of an idea, Congregationalism an idea; the Established Religion has in it no idea beyond establishment. Its extension has been, for the most part, passive not active; it is carried forward into other places by State policy, and it moves because the State moves; it is an appendage, whether weapon or decoration, of the sovereign power; it is the religion, not even of a race, but of the ruling {252} portion of a race. The Anglo-Saxon has done in this day what the Saracen did in a former. He does grudgingly for expedience, what the other did heartily from fanaticism. This is the chief difference between the two; the Saracen, in his commencement, converted the heretical East with the sword; but at least in India the extension of his faith was by immigration, as the Anglo-Saxon's may be now; he grew into other nations by commerce and colonisation; but, when he encountered the Catholic of the West, he made as little impression upon Spain, as the Protestant Anglo-Saxon makes on Ireland.

There is but one form of Christianity, my brethren, possessed of that real internal unity which is the primary condition of independence. Whether you look to Russia, England, or Germany, this note of divinity is wanting. In this country, especially, there is nothing broader than class religions; the established form itself is but the religion of a class. There is one persuasion for the rich, and another for the poor; men are born in this or that sect; the enthusiastic go here, and the sober-minded and rational go there. They make money, and rise in the world, and then they profess to belong to the Establishment. This body lives in the world's smile, that in its frown; the one would perish of cold in the world's winter, and the other would melt away in the summer. Not one of them undertakes human nature: none compasses the whole man; none places all men on a level; none addresses the intellect and the heart, fear and love, the active and the contemplative. It is considered, {253} and justly, as an evidence for Christianity, that the ablest men have been Christians; not that all sagacious or profound minds have taken up its profession, but that it has gained victories among them, such and so many, as to show that it is not the mere fact of ability or learning which is the reason why all are not converted. Such, too, is the characteristic of Catholicity; not the highest in rank, not the meanest, not the most refined, not the rudest, is beyond the influence of the Church; she includes specimens of every class among her children. She is the solace of the forlorn, the chastener of the prosperous, and the guide of the wayward. She keeps a mother's eye for the innocent, bears with a heavy hand upon the wanton, and has a voice of majesty for the proud. She opens the mind of the ignorant, and she prostrates the intellect of even the most gifted. These are not words; she has done it, she does it still, she undertakes to do it. All she asks is an open field, and freedom to act. She asks no patronage from the civil power: in former times and places she indeed has asked it; and, as Protestantism also, has availed herself of the civil sword. It is true she did so, because in certain ages it has been the acknowledged mode of acting, the most expeditious, and open at the time to no objection, and because, where she has done so, the people clamoured for it and did it in advance of her; but her history shows that she needed it not, for she has extended and flourished without it. She is ready for any service which occurs; she will take the world as it comes; nothing but force can repress her. See, {254} my brethren, what she is doing in this country now; for three centuries the civil power has trodden down the goodly plant of grace, and kept its foot upon it; at length circumstances have removed that tyranny, and lo the fair form of the Ancient Church rises up at once, as fresh and as vigorous as if she had never intermitted her growth. She is the same as she was three centuries ago, ere the present religions of the country existed; you know her to be the same; it is the charge brought against her that she does not change; time and place affect her not, because she has her source where there is neither place nor time, because she comes from the throne of the Illimitable, Eternal God.

With these feelings, my brethren, can we fear that we shall not have work enough in a vast city like this, which has such need of us? He on whom we repose is "yesterday, and today, and the same for ever". If He did His wonders in the days of old, He does His wonders now; if in former days the feeble and unworthy were made His instruments of good, so are they now. While we trust in Him, while we are true to His Church, we know that He intends to use us; how, we know not; who are to be the objects of His mercy, we know not; we know not to whom we are sent; but we know that tens of thousands cry out for us, and that of a surety we shall be sent to His chosen. "The word which shall issue from His mouth shall not return unto Him void, but shall do His pleasure, and shall prosper in the things whereto He hath sent it." None so innocent, none so sinful, none so dull, none so wise, but are objects for the grace of the Catholic Church. {255} If we do not prevail with the educated, we shall prevail with the rude; if we fail with the old, we shall gain the young; if we persuade not the serious and respectable, we shall succeed with the thoughtless; if we come short of those who are near the Church, we shall reach even to those who are far distant from it. God's arm is not shortened; He has not sent us here for nothing; unless (which He Himself forbid!) we come to nothing by reason of our own disobedience.

True, there is one class of persons to whom we might seem to be sent more than to others, to whom we could naturally address ourselves, and on whose attention we have a sort of claim. How can I fitly bring these remarks to an end without referring to them? There are those, I say, who, like ourselves, were in times past gradually led on step by step, till with us they stood on the threshold of the Church. They felt with us that the Catholic religion was different from anything else in the world; and though it is difficult to say what more they felt in common (for no two persons exactly felt alike), yet they felt they had something to learn, their course was not clear to them, and they wished to find out God's will. Now, what might have been expected of such persons, what was natural in them, when they heard that their own friends, with whom they had sympathised so fully, had gone forward, under a sense of duty, to join the Catholic Church? Surely it was natural—I will not say that they should at once follow them (for they had authority also on the side of remaining)—but, at least, it was natural that they should weigh the matter well, {256} and listen with interest to what their friends might have to tell them. Did they do this in fact? alas, some of them did just the contrary: they said: "Since our common doctrines and principles have led you forward, for that very reason we will go backward; the more we have hitherto agreed with you, the less can we now be influenced by you. Because you have gone, therefore we make up our minds once for all to remain. You are a temptation to us, because your arguments are strong. You are a warning to us, because you must not be our example. We do not wish to hear more, lest we hear too much. You were straight-forward when on our side, therefore you must be sophistical now that you have left it. You were right in making converts then, therefore you are wrong in making converts now. You have spoiled a promising cause, and you deserve from us no mercy."

Thus they speak; let them say it before the judgment-seat of Christ! Take it at the best advantage, my brethren, and what is the argument based upon but this—that all investigation must be wrong which results in a change of religion? The process is condemned by its issue; it is a mere absurdity to give up the religion of our birth, the home of our affections, the seat of our influence, the well-spring of our maintenance. It was an absurdity in St. Paul to become a Christian; it was an absurdity in him to weep over his brethren who could not listen to him. I understand now, as I have not understood before, why it was that the Jews hugged themselves in their Judaism, and were proof against persuasion. {257} In vain the Apostles insisted, "Your religion leads to ours, and ours is a fact before your eyes; why wait for what is already present, as if it were still to come? do you consider your Church perfect? do you profess to have attained? why not turn at least your thoughts towards Christianity?" "No," said they; "we will live, we will die, where we were born; the religion of our ancestors, the religion of our nation, is the only truth; it must be safe not to move. We will not unchurch ourselves, we will not descend from our pretensions; we will shut our hearts to conviction, and will stake eternity on our position." Oh, great argument, not for Jews only, but for Mahometans, for Hindoos! great argument for heathen of all lands, for all who prefer this world to another, who prefer a temporary peace to truth, present ease to forgiveness of sins, the smile of friends to the favour of Christ! but weak argument, strong delusion, in the clear ray of heaven, and in the eye of Him who comes to judge the world with fire.

O my dear brethren, if any be here present to whom these remarks may more or less apply, do us not the injustice to think that we aim at your conversion for any party purpose of our own. What should we gain from your joining us but an additional charge and responsibility? But who can bear to think that pious, religious hearts, on which the grace of God has been so singularly shed, who so befit conversion, who are intended for heaven, should be falling back into the world out of which they have been called, and losing a prize which was once within their reach. {258} Who that knows you, can get himself to believe that you will always disappoint the yearning hopes of those whom once you loved so much, and helped forward so effectually! Dies venit, Dies Tua, the day shall come, though it may tarry, and we will in patience wait for it. Still the truth must be spoken—we do not need you, but you need us; it is not we who shall be baffled if we cannot gain you, but you who will come short, if you be not gained. Remain, then, in the barrenness of your affections, and the decay of your zeal, and the perplexity of your reason, if you will not be converted. Alas! there is work enough to do, less troublesome, less anxious, than the care of your souls. There are thousands of sinners to be reconciled, of the young to be watched over, of the devout to be consoled. God needs not worshippers; He needs not objects for His mercy; He can do without you; He offers His benefits, and passes on; He delays not; He offers once, not twice and thrice; He goes on to others; He turns to the Gentiles; He turns to open sinners; He refuses the well-conducted for the outcast; "He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away".

For me, my brethren, it is not likely that you will hear me again; these may be my first and last words to you, for this is not my home. Si justificare me voluero, os meum condemnabit me, "If I wish to justify myself, my mouth shall condemn me; if I shall show forth my innocence, it shall prove me perverse"; yet, though full of imperfections, full of miseries, I trust that I may say in my measure after {259} the Apostle, "I have lived in all good conscience before God unto this day. Our glory is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity of heart and sincerity of God, and not in carnal wisdom, but in the grace of God, we have lived in this world, and more abundantly towards you." I have followed His guidance, and He has not disappointed me; I have put myself into His hands, and He has given me what I sought; and as He has been with me hitherto, so may He, and His Blessed Mother, and all good Angels and Saints, be with me unto the end.

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This discourse was delivered, in substance, at the first opening of the London Oratory, in 1849 [May 31].
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