BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
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BEMROSE & SONS, LIMITED, 23, OLD BAILEY
THE FOUNDER OF THE OXFORD MOVEMENT.
A BOOK FOR THE TIMES.
G. H. F. NYE,
AUTHOR OF " A POPULAR STORY OK THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND," AND EDITOR
OF "NYE'S ILLUSTRATED CHURCH ANNUAL," ETC.
With an Introduction by the Very Rev. THE DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S.
" Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget."
BEMROSE & SONS, LTD., 23, OLD BAILEY
" One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism."
Eph, iv. 5.
" The Communion of the Church of England as it
stands distinguished from all Papal and Puritan
innovations, and as it adheres to the Doctrine
of the Cross."
Bishop Ken, A.D. 1710.
"I believe in one Catholic and Apostolic Church."
Book of Common Prayer Order
of Administration of the Lord's
Supper, or Holy Communion.
"In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength."
Motto chosen by John Keble for
" The Christian Year."
T HAVE been asked by Mr. Nye to write
a few words of introduction to his excel-
lent little work on the Authors of the Oxford
Movement. This I can do with great satisfac-
tion, as I have had nearly a life-long knowledge
of some of them, and have read over the whole
of what Mr. Nye has written in proof. I can
truly say that a more fair and equitable treat-
ment of the subject I could not wish for.
It was my happiness to receive my title for
Holy Orders more than half a century since
from the Rev. Thomas Keble, Vicar of Hursley,
one of the writers of "Tracts for the Times,"
and I could use no words too strong to express
my deep admiration for his ability, piety, and
earnestness in discharging the duties of Vicar
of a large and straggling parish, and of my
personal obligations to him. The Rev. Isaac
Williams, another of the writers, was my brother
curate, and was a learned and self-sacrificing
clergyman. A large amount of ignorant and
senseless clamour was raised against the authors
of these Tracts. From the first their aims were
misunderstood or misrepresented ; their charac-
ters were vilified ; whilst their hearty loyalty to
the Church of England was called in question
in a manner that can only reflect discredit on
their traducers. For the most part this was
done by people who had little or no personal
knowledge of them, and who wrote recklessly
about excellent men who did not utter their
shibboleths. It is to be feared that this old
spirit is not dead ; and whilst it has become
Jess personal, it freely applies epithets to the
intentions and actions of the holy men who
started the Movement, and their successors,
which will not bear examination.
If people who thus act and speak would
only remember that the excitement over a few
choir boys wearing surplices was as great as
any that has been aroused by the most ex-
treme display of Ritualism, and that for weeks,
it not for months, The Times and other news-
papers were filled with letters and articles
against the frightful dangers that threatened
the Church in consequence of clergymen
preaching in a surplice instead of a black
gown, and by their collecting the alms of the
congregation in bags instead of on plates
after the Sunday services, they would surely
moderate many of the foolish and uncharitable
utterances which are now frequently heard.
A first step towards their obtaining the
equanimity of mind required for seeing things
as they are, would be their learning some-
thing accurately concerning the men who
originated the Movement against which they
protest so loudly. They would then see how
different were these men, their objects, and
the means they took to secure them, from
what they are represented by the noisy
agitators, who thrive upon trying to rouse the
people to frenzy by speeches and assertions,
for many of which they have little or no
authority beyond their own imaginations, and
floating gossip for which no trustworthy evi-
dence can be adduced.
Mr. Nye has very wisely made no attacks
upon those who differ from him, neither has
he said anything of the class of persons for
whom his book would be especially profitable.
He has contented himself with a plain and
simple statement of facts. That there have
been exaggerations and excesses in matters
of ritual, of which the Tract writers would
disapprove, there can be no doubt. Their
object was to draw people's minds to the
doctrinal teaching of the Prayer-book, and
the patience with which many of them bore
for years with Hymn-books which they disliked,
and with a slovenly ritual which they felt to be
unworthy of the Church, would seem remark-
able to many who applaud the work they
accomplished ; but such thoughtful considera-
tion for the feelings of others is not really
valued in these hurried and impetuous days.
For these persons, as well as for others, it would
be well to have a correct knowledge of facts
as they really were, and it is desirable that
the comparatively few survivors of the early
days of the Movement, who were personally
acquainted with some of the able men who
are now comparatively little known, should
bear their testimony before their tongues are
silenced for ever on earth.
No good cause can really suffer by having
the truth told of it. This should apply to both
supporters and opponents of the Oxford
Movement, as no doubt both consider the
cause they advocate to be good. I should be
thankful if this feeling was so far manifested,
as to lead those who are only imperfectly
acquainted with the facts to study what Mr.
Nye has written, and so to become more
competent to take an intelligent part in the
controversy which had its origin in what was
written more than half a century since, and
which still exists.
Deanery, St. PauVs,
/ T~"*HE following pages have been written
with the simple object of bringing
before plain and simple folk who have little
opportunity, or leisure, to study the question
as it deserves something of what the writer
believes to be the truth concerning what is
known as the " Oxford Movement," the causes
that led to that Movement, and something also
of the character of the men with whom it
This little work neither is, nor is it desired
that it should be so considered, an apology
for, or a defence, or condemnation of, that
great "Forward" movement, as some might
call it, in the Church, which, however it may
be regarded to-day, was, it is believed by the
xiv AUTHOR'S NOTE.
writer, intended by its early promoters to
elevate the character of the Apostolic Church
of Christ to deepen men's love and affection,
and to revive fresh interest and enthusiasm
for the old Church of England.
Moreover, it is not desired that this should
be supposed to be put forth as a controversial
work. It has nothing to do with Doctrine as
such. It deals neither with Ecclesiastical cere-
monies, customs, nor practices, nor their
meanings. The revival of many customs, cere-
monies, and practices of the Primitive Church
then long in abeyance, or neglected by those
responsible for their due observance may
doubtless be traced to what is known as the
" Oxford Movement," but all these things have
been dealt with by other writers, and authori-
ties upon such may be easily found by those
who wish to enquire into such matters. The
intention of the writer is simply to give an
outline sketch of the Movement; to present
rather the practical side of the question to
AUTHOR'S NOTE. xv
those who have never studied it at all, or who
having done so, have formed their opinions
it may be, possibly, upon works put forth by
writers who have a purpose of their own to
serve the desire being to show what Church
and Nation owe to the Movement started by
John Keble more than sixty years ago.
G. H. F. NYE.
[The writer desires it to be understood that
he, and he alone, is responsible for any inci-
dental remarks that may appear in the
THE GEORGIAN PERIOD - i
What the Church of England is, State of " Par-
ties " in the Church : " High," " Low," " Broad."
The Church has neither added to the Faith nor taken
away from it. "Catholic" not "Roman" Catholic.
State of the Church in the early Georgian Period.
The Architectural Taste of the Age. The utter
neglect of the Fabrics. An "Age of Whitewash."
Horace Walpole's sarcastic writings.
THE WESLEYAN MOVEMENT - 17
"In Darkest England." Blight, Apathy, and In-
difference both in Church and amongst Dissenters.
John Wesley : his work at Oxford. The Holy Club.
Wesley's Mission to Georgia. His Return to
England. John Wesley a High Churchman, and a
staunch upholder of the Church of England. The
Early Methodists promise to " uphold and defend "
the Church, both by their preaching and living.
Wesley's Counsel to his Followers : "Be Church of
England men still. "Noble testimony of the Wes-
leyans as touching a National recognition of Chris-
xviii BRIEF CONTENTS.
THE EVANGELICAL REVIVAL
The Evangelical School. Long Sermons. Pious,
hard-working Parish Priests. The Church Awaking
out of Sleep. Jones of Nayland. Fletcher of
Madeley. Venn and Toplady^ Sunday Schools
Established. Formation of Religious Societies. The
Incomes of the Bishops. Episcopal Duties Neglected.
The Clerical Status altered. The Condition of the
Parsonage Houses. Fifteen Churches served by Three
Brothers. Parishes without resident Vicar or Curate.
Mr. Gladstone's Summary of the Condition of the
Church. The Value of the Evangelical Revival.
Reasons for the coming Movement.
WHAT THE OXFORD MOVEMENT WAS 53
The Oxford Movement not a Romanizing Move-
ment. How the Movement began. Influence of Sir
Walter Scott and S. T. Coleridge. The Irish
Church Temporalities Bill. Some of the Causes
for the Movement. Opinions of Leading men of the
time. Redeeming Features of the Church. Anglicans
and Evangelicals. Neither could satisfy the Religious
wants of the Nation.
BRIEF CONTENTS. xix
THE PIONEERS OF THE OXFORD
MOVEMENT - - 67
The National Church not instituted by the State.
Meeting at Common Room at Oriel College. John
Keble. "The Christian Year." Keble's Work and
Influence as a Parish Priest. His Death. Leaders of
the Movement : Mr. Newman, Dr. Pusey, William
Palmer, and others. The intense " Ignorance " of
Church people to-day. Suggestions and Reasons
for Action. Clerical Address to the Heads of the
Church. Lay Address signed by 230,000 Heads of
Families. The "Tracts for the Times" determined
upon. Meetings at Oriel College, and elsewhere.
Richard Hurrell Froude, "an Englishman to the
backbone." Charles Marriott Isaac Williams.
John William Copeland. W. G. Ward. Mr. New-
man. Dr. Pusey. Summary of Characters of the
THE "TRACTS FOR THE TIMES" - - 113
The Scope of the "Tracts." The First Issue.
The Tracts intended to set forth Church Principles.
Not a New Doctrine, but the Old Primitive Teach-
ing of the Church of England. The Laity begin to
be interested. Dr. Pusey's Labours. The Work and
its Faults. The Energies and Labours of the
Workers. The Attitude of the Bishops. Mr. New-
man's Explanation. Mr. Palmer's Position. Tract
"No. 90." The Action of the University. Dr.
Newman's secession. Dean Church's Opinion. The
number of secessions to Rome smaller than many
xx BRIEF CONTENTS.
SOME RESULTS OF THE OXFORD MOVE-
MENT - 144
New Churches and Restorations. Great Revival of
Church Life and Work for Souls. Work at Leeds,
Birmingham, and Manchester. The Oxford Move-
ment not a Romanesque Movement. Mr. Gladstone's
Testimony. The Effects of the Work." Catholic "
not " Roman " Catholic. Testimony to the Renewed
energy, vitality, and to the enormous progress of
the Church of England.
"Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget ! "
THE INCREASE OF THE EPISCOPATE AT
HOME AND ABROAD - 161
Vast and unexampled development of the Episco-
pal Organisation. Colonial Bishoprics' Fund. Her
Majesty's Record Reign. New and Marvellous In-
ventions and Discoveries. Number of Clergy in 1836
and 1897. Nine New Episcopal Sees in England
since 1836. Enormous Increase of Episcopal Sees
BRIEF CONTENTS. xri
CONCLUSION - 176
The so-called " Secret " History of the Oxford
Movement. John Keble's dislike to Advertising his
Work. " What is at Stake ? "Bishop of Derry's
Testimony. Edmund Burke's Idea of a National
Church. Clergy and Laity Trustees for the Church
of England. Not their own to do as they like
with. The Difference between "Ritualism" and
"Romanism." An Appeal to Churchmen.
APPENDIX _ - 189
PARLIAMENTARY GRANTS TO THE
THE GEORGIAN PERIOD.
T N order to understand in any degree the
reasons which animated the founders of
the Oxford Movement, we must consider not
only the times in which they lived, but we
must go further still, back to the days which
preceded those times, and recall here but
briefly, of course the condition of things then
existing in the Church, and in the country,
during the period known in history as the
2 THE STORY OF
Georgian Period, i.e., from the accession of
George I., 1714, to the death of George IV.,
In those days there were, as now, what are
commonly known as three " sections," or parties,
in the Church of England. They are com-
monly described as " High," " Low," and
" Broad." Many there are who consider that
it is in the best interests both of Church and
people that there should be more than one
" party," or one " section," in the National
Church, and some are thankful that the one
platform of the great Church of England is so
wide that it yet includes all three parties
named, all engaged in the work of winning
souls to Christ. A little reflection will pro-
bably suggest that nothing is likely to make
Church teaching more acceptable to the enor-
mous numbers of her adherents (shall we say
seventy per cent, of the whole population of
England and Wales ?)* than the maintenance
* See Appendix as to the numbers of Church people in
England and Wales.
THE OXFORD MOVEMENT. 3
of such parties as now exist within the Church
itself. They may be called, in fact, the Church's
" safety valves."
For instance, there are some most devoted
and devout Church people who cannot for a
moment tolerate what they call " Ritualistic "
practices. To such, anything beyond the main-
tenance of God's house in what they regard as
a proper and decent condition is more or less
offensive. Aids to public worship such as we
see in many churches to-day, church ornaments
and decorations, are to such people considered
to be unnecessary and even improper the word
" Catholic " even has for some Church-goers
a " Romish " sound, though of course it is no
more " Roman " than English. It is a Greek
word, and simply means " universal." And yet
amongst this vast body of worshippers there
are many who would fight for the Church and
defend it, if necessary, with their very lives.
There are yet others few, perhaps, compara-
tively speaking who would go still further, who
4 THE STORY OF
not only disagree with, but who would do their
utmost to sweep away by force, or otherwise,
those external adjuncts used in many churches
in the celebration of divine worship, symbols
which to others again add dignity, glory, addi-
tional reverence, and beauty to the services,
and many of which symbols those who wish to
remove them, are frequently quite ignorant of
the fact that they were commonly used in the
Christian Church long before Reformation times.
To others, again, ritual is not only more or less
acceptable, but in their opinion absolutely neces-
sary to the due performance of divine worship,
and many would perhaps abstain from joining
in public worship altogether, unless those aids
to devotion, which they find in the Church they
are accustomed to attend, were always present,
and in daily use. Amongst such there are
many thousands who would yield to none in
their zeal, devotion, and attachment to Mother
Church. We must remember that God did not
form all men in one mould, nor of one mind,
THE OXFORD MOVEMENT. 5
nor is it ordained that all men should see the
same thing with the same eyes, or even from
the same standpoint, so the Church, claiming
to be, and being, in fact, " National," must of
necessity embrace men of various ideas, of
different schools of thought, often of conflicting
opinions even ; but still, above all things, loyal
Churchmen, prepared at all hazards to maintain
unimpaired their magnificent heritage the
Church, in which their forefathers worshipped,
in which they worship, and in which they hope
and believe their own children and the genera-
tions yet unborn will still worship and praise
the God of their being.
" I am told," once said the late Earl of
Beaconsfield, " that the chief reason for believing
" in the danger of the Church is the existence
" of parties in it. But there have always been
" parties in the Church. There were parties in
" the Church of Jerusalem ; and as long as the
" various nature of man subsists, those parties
" will subsist also. There are some minds that
6 THE STORY OF
" find no adequate spiritual exposition except
" in ceremony. There are some spirits, on the
" other hand, which require for their solace
" exaltation and enthusiasm ; and even within
" the hallowed enclosure of the ecclesiastical
" precinct free thought will become resistless
" and press its inquiries. Yet all these moods
" of mind are consistent with fealty to the
" National Church. I believe that the three
" great parties in the Church may have fair
" play with a due respect to the principles and
" practice of the Reformation. Where there is
" eccentricity, which is as often the result of
" personal vanity as of religious conviction, it
" should be checked and discouraged ; but to
" check and discourage without persecution is
" a wise course in spiritual as well as temporal
" affairs. I look forward, as I have ever
" looked forward, to the Anglican Church as
" one of the chief agencies in the elevation of
" the people of this country." *
* Speech in Merchant Taylors* Hall, June 24th, 1874.
THE OXFORD MOVEMENT. 7
Lord Beaconsfield is here, of course, only
giving expression to his own opinions, in
view of the hostile faction which was then
clamouring for disestablishment and disendow-
ment of the Church of England. Knowing and
believing that the great Church is the pillar,
and ground of THE TRUTH, thoughtful Church-
men will regard the statement as only presenting
a one-sided view, and that by no means an
exalted one, of the Church of their Fathers.
The Church of England differs from other
so-called religious bodies in that it is a branch
of the " Catholic " Church of Christ. We declare
it to be " Catholic " every time we recite the
creeds. For instance, in the Apostles' Creed,
" I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic
Church " ; or, again, in the Creed recited in the
order of administration of the Lord's Supper,
or Holy Communion,* " I believe one ' Catholic '
* Vide "Book of Common Prayer." "Order for Morning
Prayer daily throughout the year," and "The Service for Holy
8 THE STORY OF
and Apostolic Church," such referring of course
to the " Church of England," the Holy Catholic
Church of Christ "Catholic" in very truth
" universal," that is, not local ; " Catholic," not
" Roman " Catholic, and herein lies a great
One of the great differences between the
Church of England and the Church of Rome
has been well pointed out by a writer who has
carefully studied the question in all its various
aspects. He says, and history bears out the
statement " The Church of England has neither
added to the faith of ancient Christendom, nor
taken away from it, and accordingly while she
is Catholic, which the sects are not, she is not
Roman Catholic, with mere local and modern
variations for the worse, from the old teaching
of the Church Universal." *
There is no necessity for undue alarm when
the Church of England is attacked, either be-
cause she is a great national institution, or
* The late Dr. Littledale CD. I., Tract No. 88.
THE OXFORD MOVEMENT. g
because of other reasons. Whenever such
attempts to overthrow or discredit the Church
occur, we remember that it is neither for the
first time, nor certainly will it be for the last
time. The Church of England has passed
through many attacks, many so-called "crises,"
which, but for the fact, never to be forgotten
or put out of sight for an instant, that she
rests on no earthly foundation, but is " of God,"
would have rended and torn and annihilated her,
as it most assuredly would have crushed out of
existence any " sect," or " society," or " Church "
so-called which was of man's creation, and
founded, not on truth, but on error. The
inner life of the Church would be unaffected
even if it should happen one day to be " dis-
established" and "disendowed," though its pro-
gress and usefulness might be impeded, to the
great loss of the Nation, as well as the Church
It has been truly said that " History is a
splendid cordial for drooping courage." We
io , THE STORY OF
have only to turn to the pages of history to
find that, however bad the condition of things
in the Church of England may be supposed
by some to be to-day and it is the writer's
belief, based on some experience, that it is
nothing like so bad as many would lead us to
imagine in the days preceding the movement
known as the Oxford Movement, the con-
dition of things in the Church was infinitely
Take, for instance, the condition of the very
fabrics themselves, buildings which with very
few exceptions presented none of the ornate
features known to English Churchmen to-day.
"Our forefathers," writes Mr. Abbey,* "in the
eighteenth century were almost always content
to maintain in tolerable, or scarcely tolerable,
repair, at the lowest modicum of expense, the
existing fabrics of their churches. It has been
truly remarked that to this apathy we are
"The English Church in the Eighteenth Century," p. 404.
(New and revised edition.)
THE OXFORD MOVEMENT. n
indeed much indebted, for, after all, they took
care that the buildings should not fall to the
ground. If they had done more, they would
probably have done worse, for ecclesiastical
architecture was then, as is well known, at its
"Public taste," wrote Warburton, in 1749, "is
the most wretched imaginable. . . . There
were, however, special reasons for the decline
in church architecture. It had become, for
very want of exercise, an almost forgotten art.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the
work of building churches had been prosecuted
with lavish munificence, so much so that the
Reformed Church succeeded to an inheritance
more than doubly sufficient for its immediate
wants.* A period, therefore, of great activity
in this respect was followed by one of nearly
total cessation. Internally, anything in the
* James Fergusson, " History of Modern Styles of Archi-
tecture," p. 246.
12 THE STORY OF
shape of adornment in God's house would have
been misunderstood by the attendants. Private
houses might, and did, contain any amount of
valuable adornment and art treasures, but the
house of God nothing. Externally things were
little, if any, better. In England no church
was erected of the smallest pretensions to
architectural design between the Reformation
and the Great Fire of London, in 1666, with
the solitary exception of the small church in
Covent Garden erected by Inigo Jones in 1631.
During the eighty years which elapsed from
the death of Henry VIII. to the accession of
Charles I., the Transition style left its mark in
every corner of England, in the mansions of
the nobility and the gentry, and in the colleges