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I rejoice [Mr. Gladstone wrote] on your account personally:
but more for the sake of the Church. All my brothers-in-law
are here and scarcely less delighted than I am. With great glee
am I about to write your new address; but the occasion really
calls for higher sentiments; and sure am I that you are one of
the men to whom it is specially given to develop the solution of
that great problem — how all our minor distractions are to be



28 EMINENT VICTORIANS

either abandoned, absorbed, or harmonised, through the might

of the great principle of communion in the body of Christ.

Manning was an Archdeacon; but he was not yet out of
the wood. His relations with the Tractarians had leaked
out, and the Record was beginning to be suspicious. If
Mrs. Shuttleworth's opinion of him were to become gen-
eral, it would certainly be a grave matter. Nobody could
wish to live and die a mere Archdeacon. And then, at that
very moment, an event occurred which made it imperative
to take a definite step, one way or the other. That event
was the publication of Tract No. 90.

For some time it had been obvious to every impartial
onlooker that Newman was slipping down an inclined
plane at the bottom of which lay one thing, and one thing
only — the Roman Catholic Church. What was surprising
was the length of time which he was taking to reach the
inevitable destination. Years passed before he came to real-
ise that his grandiose edifice of a Church Universal would
crumble to pieces if one of its foundation stones was to
be an amatory intrigue of Henry VIII. But at last he began
to see that terrible monarch glowering at him wherever
he turned his eyes. First he tried to exorcise the spectre
with the rolling periods of the Caroline divines; but it only
strutted the more truculently. Then in despair he plunged
into the writings of the early Fathers, and sought to dis-
cover some way out of his difficulties in the complicated
labyrinth of ecclesiastical history. After months spent in
the study of the Monophysite heresy, the alarming con-
clusion began to force itself upon him that the Church
of England was perhaps in schism. Eventually he read an
article by a Roman Catholic on St. Augustine and the Do-
natists, which seemed to put the matter beyond doubt. St.
Augustine, in the fifth century, had pointed out that the



CARDINAL MANNING 29

Donatlsts were heretics because the Bishop of Rome had
said so. The argument was crushing; it rang in Newman's
ears for days and nights; and, though he continued to
linger on in agony for six years more, he never could
discover any reply to it. All he could hope to do was to
persuade himself and anyone else who liked to listen to
him that the holding of Anglican orders was not incon-
sistent with a belief in the whole cycle of Roman doctrine,
as laid down at the Council of Trent. In this way he sup-
posed that he could at once avoid the deadly sin of heresy
and conscientiously remain a clergyman in the Church of
England; and with this end in view he composed Tract
No. 90.

The object of the Tract was to prove that there was
nothing in the Thirty-nine Articles incompatible with
the creed of the Roman Church. Newman pointed out,
for instance, that it was generally supposed that the
Articles condemned the doctrine of Purgatory; but they
did not; they merely condemned the Romish doctrine of
Purgatory; and Romish, clearly, was not the same thing
as Roman. Hence it followed that believers in the Roman
doctrine of Purgatory might subscribe the Articles with a
good conscience. Similarly, the Articles condemned "the
sacrifice of the masses," but they did not condemn "the
sacrifice of the Mass." Thus the Mass might be lawfully
celebrated in English Churches. Newman took the trouble
to examine the Articles in detail from this point of view,
and the conclusion he came to in every case supported his
contention in a singular manner.

The Tract produced an immense sensation, for it
seemed to be a deadly and treacherous blow aimed at the
very heart of the Church of England. Deadly it certainly



30 EMINENT VICTORIANS

was, but it was not so treacherous as at first sight ap-
peared. The members of the EngHsh Church had ingenu-
ously imagined up to that moment that it was possible to
contain in a frame of words the subtle essence of their
complicated doctrinal system, involving the mysteries of
the Eternal and the Infinite on the one hand, and the
elaborate adjustments of temporal government on the
other. They did not understand that verbal definitions In
such a case will only perform their functions so long as
there is no dispute about the matters which they are In-
tended to define: that is to say, so long as there is no need
for them. For generations this had been the case with the
Thirty-nine Articles. Their drift was clear enough; and
nobody bothered over their exact meaning. But directly
someone found it important to give them a new and un-
traditional Interpretation, it appeared that they were a
mass of ambiguity, and might be twisted into meaning
very nearly anything that anybody liked. Steady-going
churchmen were appalled and outraged when they saw
Newman, in Tract No. 90, performing this operation.
But, after all, he was only taking the Church of England
at its word. And indeed, since Newman showed the way,
the operation has become so exceedingly common that
the most steady-going churchman hardly raises an eye-
brow at it now.

At the time, however, Newman's treatment of the
Articles seemed to display not only a perverted super-
subtlety of intellect, but a temper of mind that was
fundamentally dishonest. It was then that he first be-
gan to be assailed by those charges of untruthfulness
which reached their culmination more than twenty years
later in the celebrated controversy with Charles Kingsley,
which led to the writing of the Apologia. The controversy



CARDINAL MANNING 3I

was not a very fruitful one, chiefly because Kingsley could
no more understand the nature of Newman's intelligence
than a subaltern in a line regiment can understand a
Brahmin of Benares. Kingsley was a stout Protestant,
whose hatred of Popery was, at bottom, simply ethical —
an honest, instinctive horror of the practices of priestcraft
and the habits of superstition; and it was only natural
that he should see in those innumerable delicate distinc-
tions which Newman was perpetually drawing, and
which he himself had not only never thought of, but
could not even grasp, simply another manifestation of
the inherent falsehood of Rome. But, in reality, no one, in
one sense of the word, was more truthful than Newman.
The idea of deceit would have been abhorrent to him;
and indeed it was owing to his very desire to explain what
he had in his mind exactly and completely, with all the
refinements of which his subtle brain was capable, that
persons such as Kingsley were puzzled into thinking him
dishonest. Unfortunately, however, the possibilities of
truth and falsehood depend upon other things besides
sincerity. A man may be of a scrupulous and impeccable
honesty, and yet his respect for the truth — it cannot be
denied — may be insuflficient. He may be, like the lunatic,
the lover, and the poet, "of imagination all compact"; he
may be blessed, or cursed, with one of those "seething
brains," one of those "shaping fantasies" that "apprehend
more than cool reason ever comprehends"; he may be by
nature incapable of sifting evidence, or by predilection
simply indisposed to do so. "When we were there," wrote
Newman in a letter to a friend after his conversion,
describing a visit to Naples, and the miraculous circum-
stances connected with the liquefaction of St. Januarius's
blood,



32 EMINENT VICTORIANS

the feast of St. Gennaro was coming on, and the Jesuits were
eager for us to stop — they have the utmost confidence in the
miracle — and were the more eager because many CathoHcs, till
they have seen it, doubt it. Our father director here tells us
that before he went to Naples he did not believe it. That is,
they have vague ideas of natural means, exaggeration, etc., not
of course imputing fraud. They say conversions often take
place in consequence. It is exposed for the Octave, and the
miracle continues — it is not simple liquefaction, but sometimes
it swells, sometimes boils, sometimes melts — no one can tell
what is going to take place. They say it is quite overcoming —
and people cannot help crying to see it. I understand that Sir
H. Davy attended every day, and it was this extreme variety
of the phenomenon which convinced him that nothing physical
would account for it. Yet there is this remarkable fact, that
liquefactions of blood are common at Naples — and unless it is
irreverent to the Great Author of Miracles to be obstinate in
the inquiry, the question certainly rises whether there is some-
thing in the air. (Mind, I don't believe there is — and, speaking
humbly, and without having seen it, think it a true miracle —
but I am arguing.) We satv the blood of St. Patrizia, half liquid;
i.e. liquefying, on her feast day. St. John Baptist's blood some-
times liquefies on the 29th of August, and did when we were
at Naples, but we had not time to go to the church. We saw the
liquid blood of an Oratorian Father, a good man, but not a
saint, who died two centuries ago, I think; and we saw the
liquid blood of Da Ponte, the great and Holy Jesuit, v/ho, I
suppose, was almost a saint. But these instances do not account
for liquefaction on certain days, if this is the case. But the most
strange phenomenon is what happens at Ravello, a village or
town above Amalfi. There is the blood of St. Pantaloon. It is in
a vessel amid the stonework of the Altar — it is not touched — <
but on his feast in June it liquefies. And more, there is an ex-
communication against those who bring portions of the True
Cross into the Church. Why? Because the blood liquefies,
whenever it is brought. A person I know, not knowing the pro-



CARDINAL MANNING 33

hibition, brought in a portion — and the Priest suddenly said,
who showed the blood, "Who has got the Holy Cross about
him?" I tell you what was told me by a grave and religious
man. It is a curious coincidence that in telling this to our Father
Director here, he said, "Why, we have a portion of St. Panta-
loon's blood at the Chiesa Nuova, and it is always liquid."

After leaving Naples, Newman visited Loreto, and
inspected the house of the Holy Family, which, as is
known to the faithful, was transported thither, in three
hops, from Palestine.

I went to Loreto [he wrote] with a simple faith, believing
what I still more believed when I saw it. I have no doubt /low.
If you ask me why I believe, it is because every one believes it
at Rome; cautious as they are and sceptical about some other
things. 7 have no antecedent dijficulty in the matter. He who
floated the Ark on the surges of a world-wide sea, and enclosed
in it all living things, who has hidden the terrestrial paradise,
who said that faith might move mountains, who sustained
thousands for forty years in a sterile wilderness, who trans-
ported Elias and keeps him hidden till the end, could do this
wonder also.

Here, whatever else there may be, there is certainly
no trace of a desire to deceive. Could a state of mind,
In fact, be revealed with more absolute transparency?

"When Newman was a child he "wished that he could
believe the Arabian Nights were true." When he came to
be a man, his wish seems to have been granted.

Tract No. 90 was officially condemned by the au-
thorities at Oxford, and in the hubbub that followed
the contending parties closed their ranks; henceforward
any compromise between the friends and the enemies of
the Movement was impossible. Archdeacon Manning was
in too conspicuous a position to be able to remain silent;



34 EMINENT VICTORIANS

he was obliged to declare himself, and he did not hesitate.
In an archidiaconal charge, delivered within a few months
of his appointment, he firmly repudiated the Tractarians.
But the repudiation was not deemed sufficient, and a year
later he repeated it with greater emphasis. Still, however,
the horrid rumours were afloat. The Record began to
investigate matters, and its vigilance was soon rewarded
by an alarming discovery: the sacrament had been ad-
ministered in Chichester Cathedral on a week-day, and
"Archdeacon Manning, one of the most noted and de-
termined of the Tractarians, had acted a conspicuous part
on the occasion." It was clear that the only way of
silencing these malevolent whispers was by some public
demonstration whose import nobody could doubt. The
annual sermon preached on Guy Fawkes Day before the
University of Oxford seemed to offer the very opportu-
nity that Manning required. He seized it; got himself
appointed preacher; and delivered from the pulpit of
St. Mary's a virulently Protestant harangue. This time
there could Indeed be no doubt about the matter:
Manning had shouted "No Popery!" in the very citadel
of the Movement, and everyone, including Newman,
recognised that he had finally cut himself off from his
old friends. Everyone, that is to say, except the Arch-
deacon himself. On the day after the sermon. Manning
walked out to the neighbouring village of Littlemore,
where Newman was now living in retirement with a few
chosen disciples, in the hope of being able to give a satis-
factory explanation of what he had done. But he was
disappointed; for when, after an awkward Interval, one
of the disciples appeared at the door, he was informed
that Mr. Newman was not at home.

With his retirement to Littlemore, Newman had en-



CARDINAL MANNING }5

tered upon the final period of his AngHcan career. Even
he could no longer help perceiving that the end was now-
only a matter of time. His progress was hastened in an
agitating manner by the indiscreet activity of one of his
proselytes, W. G. Ward, a young man who combined an
extraordinary aptitude for a priori reasoning with a
passionate devotion to Opera Bouffe. It was difficult, in
fact, to decide whether the inner nature of Ward was
more truly expressing itself when he was firing off some
train of scholastic paradoxes on the Eucharist or when
he was trilling the airs of Figaro and plunging through
the hilarious roulades of the Largo al Factotum. Even Dr.
Pusey could not be quite sure, though he was Ward's
spiritual director. On one occasion his young penitent
came to him, and confessed that a vow which he had
taken to abstain from music during Lent was beginning
to affect his health. Could Dr. Pusey see his way to re-
leasing him from the vow? The Doctor decided that a
little sacred music would not be amiss. Ward was all
gratitude, and that night a party was arranged in a
friend's rooms. The concert began with the solemn
harmonies of Handel, which were followed by the holy
strains of the "O Salutaris" of Cherubini. Then came the
elevation and the pomp of "Possenti Numi" from the
Magic Flute. But, alas! there lies much danger in Mozart.
The page was turned, and there was the delicious duet
between Papageno and Papagena. Flesh and blood could
not resist that; then song followed song, the music waxed
faster and lighter, until at last Ward burst into the
intoxicating merriment of the Largo al Factotum. When
it was over a faint but persistent knocking made Itself
heard upon the wall; and It was only then that the com-



3^ EMINENT VICTORIANS

pany remembered that the rooms next door were Dr.
Pusey's.

The same entrainevient which carried Ward away
when he sat down to a piano possessed him whenever he
embarked on a reHgior.s discussion. "The thing that was
utterly abhorrent to him," said one of his friends, "was
to stop short." Given the premises, he would follow out
their implications v/ith the mercilessness of a medieval
monk, and when he had reached the last limits of argu-
ment be ready to maintain whatever propositions he
might find there with his dying breath. He had the ex-
treme Innocence of a child and a mathematician. Cap-
tivated by the glittering eye of Newman, he swallowed
whole the supernatural conception of the universe which
Newman had evolved, accepted it as a fundamental
premise, and began at once to deduce from it whatsoever
there might be to be deduced. His very first deductions
included Irrefutable proofs of (i) God's particular
providence for individuals; (2) the real efficacy of inter-
cessory prayer; (3) the reality of our communion with
the saints departed; (4) the constant presence and assist-
ance of the angels of God. Later on he explained mathe-
matically the importance of the Ember Days. "Who can
tell," he added, "the degree of blessing lost to us In this
land by neglecting, as we alone of Christian Churches
do neglect, these holy days?" He then proceeded to con-
vict the Reformers, not only of rebellion, but " — for my
own part I see not how we can avoid adding — of perjury."
Every day his arguments became more extreme, more
rigorously exact, and more distressing to his master.
Newman was in the position of a cautious commander-
in-chief being hurried into an engagement against his
will by a dashing cavalry officer. Ward forced him for-



CARDINAL MANNING 37

ward step by step towards — no! he could not bear it; he
shuddered and drew back. But it was of no avail. In vain
did Keble and Pusey wring their hands and stretch forth
their pleading arms to their now vanishing brother. The
fatal moment was fast approaching. Ward at last pub-
lished a devastating book in which he proved conclusively
by a series of syllogisms that the only proper course for
the Church of England was to repent in sack-cloth and
ashes her separation from the Communion of Rome.
The reckless author was deprived of his degree by an
outraged University, and a few weeks later was received
into the Catholic Church.

Newman, in a kind of despair, had flung himself into
the labours of historical compilation. His views of history
had changed since the days when as an undergraduate he
had feasted on the worldly pages of Gibbon.

Revealed religion [he now thought] furnishes facts to other
sciences, which those sciences, left to themselves, would never
reach. Thus, in the science of history, the preservation of our
race in Noah's ark is an historical fact, which history never
would arrive at without revelation.

"With these principles to guide him, he plunged with his
disciples into a prolonged study of the English Saints.
Biographies soon appeared of St. Bega, St. Adamnan, St.
Gundleus, St. Guthlake, Brother Drithelm, St. Amphi-
balus, St. Wulstan, St. Ebba, St. Neot, St. Ninian, and
Cunibert the Hermit. Their austerities, their virginity,
and their miraculous powers were described in detail.
The public learnt with astonishment that St. Ninian had
turned a staff into a tree, that St. German had stopped a
cock from crowing, and that a child had been raised from
the dead to convert St. Helier. The series has subsequently



38 EMINENT VICTORIANS

been continued by a more modern writer whose relation
of the history of the blessed St. Mael contains, perhaps,
even more matter for edification than Newman's
biographies. At the time, indeed, those works caused con-
siderable scandal. Clergymen denounced them in pam-
phlets. St. Cuthbert was described by his biographer as
having "carried the jealousy of women, characteristic of
all the saints, to an extraordinary pitch." An example was
given: whenever he held a spiritual conversation with St.
Ebba, he was careful to spend the ensuing hours of dark-
ness "in prayer, up to his neck in water."

Persons who invent such tales [wrote one indignant com-
mentator] cast very grave and just suspicions on the purity
of their own minds. And young persons, who talk and think in
this way, are in extreme danger of falling into sinful habits.
As to the volumes before us, the authors have, in their fanatical
panegyrics of virginity, made use of language downright
profane.

One of the disciples at LIttlemore was James Anthony
Froude, the younger brother of Hurrell, and It fell to
his lot to be responsible for the biography of St. Neot.
While he was composing It, he began to feel some qualms.
Saints who lighted fires with icicles, changed bandits
Into wolves, and floated across the Irish Channel on
altar-stones, produced a disturbing effect on his historical
conscience. But he had promised his services to Newman,
and he determined to carry through the work in the spirit
In which he had begun it. He did so; but he thought It
proper to add the following sentence by way of conclu-
sion: "This is all, and indeed rather more than all, that
Is known to men of the blessed St. Neot; but not more
than is known to the angels In heaven."



CARDINAL MANNING 39

Meanwhile the English Roman Catholics were grow-
ing impatient; was the great conversion never coming,
for which they had prayed so fervently and so long?
Dr. Wiseman, at the head of themf was watching and
waiting with special eagerness. His hand was held out
under the ripening fruit; the delicious morsel seemed to
be trembling on its stalk; and yet it did not fall. At last,
unable to bear the suspense any longer, he dispatched to
Littlemore Father Smith, an old pupil of Newman's, who
had lately joined the Roman communion, with instruc-
tions that he should do his best, under cover of a simple
visit of friendship, to discover how the land lay. Father
Smith was received somewhat coldly, and the conversa-
tion ran entirely on topics which had nothing to do with
religion. When the company separated before dinner,
he was beginning to think that his errand had been useless;
but on their reassembling he suddenly noticed that New-
man had changed his trousers and that the colour of the
pair which he was now wearing was grey. At the earliest
moment, the emissary rushed back post-haste to Dr.
Wiseman. "All is well," he exclaimed; "Newman no
longer considers that he is in Anglican orders." "Praise
be to God!" answered Dr. Wiseman. "But how do you
know?" Father Smith described what he had seen. "Oh,
is that all? My dear father, how can you be so foolish?"
But Father Smith was not to be shaken. "I know the
man," he said, "and I know what it means. Newman will
come, and he will come soon."

And Father Smith was right. A few weeks later, New-
man suddenly slipped off to a priest, and all was over.
Perhaps he would have hesitated longer still, if he could
have foreseen how he was to pass the next thirty years
of his unfortunate existence; but the future was hidden.



40 EMINENT VICTORIANS

and all that was certain was that the past had gone for
ever, and that his eyes would rest no more upon the snap-
dragons of Trinity. The Oxford Movement was now
ended. The University breathed such a sigh of relief as
usually follows the difficult expulsion of a hard piece of
matter from a living organism, and actually began to at-
tend to education. As for the Church of England, she
had tasted blood, and it was clear that she would never
again be content with a vegetable diet. Her clergy, how-
ever, maintained their reputation for judicious com-
promise, for they followed Newman up to the very point
beyond which his conclusions were logical, and, while
they intoned, confessed, swung incense, and burnt
candles with the exhilaration of converts, they yet man-
aged to do so with a subtle nuance which showed that
they had nothing to do with Rome. Various individuals
underwent more violent changes. Several had preceded
Newman into the Roman fold; among others an unhappy
Mr. Sibthorpe, who subsequently changed his mind, and
returned to the Church of his fathers, and then — perhaps
it was only natural — changed his mind again. Many more
followed Newman, and Dr. Wiseman was particularly
pleased by the conversion of a Mr. Morris, who, as he
said, was "the author of the essay, which won the prize,
on the best method of proving Christianity to the Hin-
doos." Hurrell Froude had died before Newman had
read the fatal article on St. Augustine; but his brother,
James Anthony, together with Arthur Clough, the poet,
went through an experience which was more distressing
in those days than it has since become; they lost their
faith. With this difference, however, that while in
Froude's case the loss of his faith turned out to be rather
like the loss of a heavy portmanteau, which one after-



CARDINAL MANNING 4I

wards discovers to have been full of old rags and brick-
bats, Clough was made so uneasy by the loss of his that
he went on looking for it everywhere as long as he lived;



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