John Henry Newman.

Addresses to Cardinal Newman with his replies, etc., 1879-81 online

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or without adequate instruction in those all-im-
portant truths which ought to colour all thought
and to direct all action ; whether they are or are
not to accept this visible world for their god and
their all, its teaching as their only truth, and its
prizes as their highest aims ; for, if they do not
gain, when young, that sacred knowledge which
comes to us from Revelation, when will they ac-
quire it? We here are in the same or, rather,
worse peril than you can be.

I am, my dear Lord Archbishop,

Your faithful servant in Christ,

P.S. I wrote the above on receipt of your
Grace's letter, but have kept it, till I could say
that the magnificent present had arrived. I am
very grateful also for the Address which accom-
panies it. I suppose I ought to delay my formal
acknowledgment of it till the Duke publicly
makes over the salver to me, which will be when
London fills. J. H. Card. Newman.


From the Duke of Norfolk to Cardinal

November 10, 1879.


I am sending to you a Salver of
Australian gold and an Address from the Catho-
lics of Australia.

I enclose you the papers I have received about

I have written to Mr. Archer to say that I
am sending the Salver and Address at once, but
that I would suggest to you that a present of
such beauty and public interest ought to be
publicly presented to you, and that I should hope
to do so during your expected visit to London in
the Spring.

Believe me,

Your very faithful servant,


From Cardinal Newman to Sir Wm.
Archer, Sydney, New South Wales.

June 30, 1880.


You will soon receive the account of
the ceremony, which formally placed in my hands
your most beautiful Salver. The Duke of Norfolk
presented it to me as the representative of the
donors. It was handed round and much admired.
And then I replied in some words of acknowledg-
ment, which were of course poor words in com-
parison of the great pleasure and deep gratitude
which I felt at so great an honour. It is indeed
a singular consolation in my old age to be so
affectionately attended and carried on to that end
which cannot be far distant, and I pray God to
reward my kind and sympathising friends a hun-



dred-fold. You are one of the most prominent of
them, and I wish (as you thought at one time
it was possible yourself), that there was a pro-
spect of my being able to thank you in person.

I hope you will all be pleased with what took
place in London in May. I rely on you to tell
me if I have to do anything to show my recogni-
tion of the generous interest which you feel and
have felt for me. I am not a rich man, but can
I make a donation to any Catholic charity or
institution ?

With my best and very grateful respects to all
my Australian friends,

I am, my dear Sir William,

Sincerely yours,

Mr. W. H. Archer had lately received the honour of
knighthood. This letter, addressed to Sir Wm. Archer,
was stamped Birmingham, July 2, 1880, Sydney, Sep-
tember i, 1880, and " Returned unowned," July 29, 1881.

JUNE 21, 1880.

[This sermon took the place of a formal reply to
the address from the students presented on Holy
Saturday, Ap. 12, 1879, pp. 53-55. The Seminary has
since been transferred to St. Mary's, Oscott.]

It is written in the second chapter of
St. Paul's second epistle to St. Timothy:
" Thou therefore my son, be strong in the
grace which is in Christ Jesus. And the
things which thou hast heard from me be-
fore many witnesses, the same commend to
faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others
also. Labour as a good soldier of Christ
Jesus. No man, being a soldier to God, en-
tangleth himself with worldly business, that he
may please Him to Whom he hath engaged
himself. For he also that striveth for the
mastery is not crowned, except he strive law-

My dear brethren, I wish I were quite the
person to speak upon the subject on which I

29 1

am drawn to say a few words. I say, I wish
I were the person, because I have not that
experience of seminaries, which alone could
enable one to do so properly and perfectly.
And yet I do wish to say a few words ; and
if they are in any respect not appropriate, I
must be pardoned, if I do my best; and they
will not be many words. I should like, if I
could, to bring out what I conceive to be
some of the moral advantages of a Seminary
such as this. Of course the obvious, and
what seems the first object of such seminaries,
is that those who go forth to fight the battles
of God and to be good soldiers of Jesus
Christ, may be prepared to teach ; for teaching
is that office which comes first in the idea of
a minister of God, and of the Apostles of
God, and of the successors of the Apostles ;
and without a knowledge of theology, we
cannot teach. Teaching therefore theologi-
cal teaching may be said to be the obvious,
the first, the brlma facie idea of a Seminary.
But still I conceive that the moral advantages
are not less to be estimated, and that, too,
for the sake of the object which we all have*
in teaching and knowing theology, viz., for
the sake of impressing, what we have to
impress, the faith and discipline of the Holy
Church upon our people. Of course nothing
can be said strong enough as to the advan-
tage of having it set forth by those who are
properly prepared to do so.

Now, there are a great many advantages in
a seminary such as this, and though I dare
say I may not name those which are most
obvious and which are the most important,
yet I will mention some of those which strike

And first, to take a large sense of the word,
a seminary is a place of discipline. We all
need discipline. We want discipline even for
this world. And we know that this idea is
felt so strongly even by those who are not
Catholics, that the experience and discipline of
schools are considered necessary for getting
on in the world. We know what great ad-
vantage accrues to our own country from its
peculiar scholastic system ; and how foreign
nations are looking to try, if they can, to
transplant our own rules and principles and
practices, which so succeed among us in Eng-


land. Now of course, speaking of schools, the
bringing together of a number of boys is only
in itself a misery and a deceit, if it is nothing
more than to prepare them for this world.
We are all born sons of Adam, and we know
that evil bursts forth of itself, when any num-
ber of persons come together, and we call
such a number of persons "the world". For
that is the real idea of the world. It is the
natural impulse and principle of our heart,
exemplified in the fact that persons are
brought together, and enabled to hold converse
with each other, and therefore to form a rule,
a moral rule, not the right rule, but still an
ethical rule, holding up a sort of principle for
admiration. And therefore those great schools,
those merely secular schools, to which I have
alluded, have such great evils attending them,
that it is difficult to pronounce an opinion
upon them ; and all one can say about them
is, perhaps, that things would not be better,
in the absence of a deep religious principle, if
the boys, who went there, remained at home.
It has been so; I do not know what it is
now. I know, however, that many of the
serious men who have had the care of them,
have felt the evil so much, and the necessity
of a remedy for it, that in some places they
are trying to introduce a sort of rule of
confession, though it has been very much
opposed by the parents. And therefore I say
that we all, being children of Adam, have
evil in us, and unless we look very care-
fully to ourselves, that evil will spring up
though we are Catholics, and it is necessary
for Catholics too, those who have the manage-
ment of schools, to have their eyes open.
But, apart from that aspect of it the evil
side of it there is a great advantage in the
mere fact of a number of young people being
brought together. And in a Seminary there
are great advantages that overcome the evil,
and therefore we may look upon it only on its
good side. It is truly good because it has
great safeguards, not only the safeguards of
the Catholic religion, but the safeguards of the
personal piety of those young people who
come and devote themselves to God, in the
flower and spring-tide of their life. They give
up their social comfort, they give up them-
selves and all they are to the glory of God


and His service, and that will of course be
seen by God, and blest by God from whom it
comes. Of course this is a great safeguard.

Another advantage is the collision of mind
with mind. Let us be ever so well inclined,
ever so good and holy, and acting ever so well
with a view to pleasing God, and with a rule
of life such as we ought to have, still there is
a great deal to do in the way of disciplining our
hearts, which we only gain by being brought
together. Every one likes his own way ; and
of course it becomes an impossibility for every
one to have his own way where there are
many to be consulted. And therefore that very
collision of mind with mind is a great advan-
tage ; and although it brings a soul into a cer-
tain degree of temptation, still, that temptation
turns to good from its being wrestled with and

Again, every one likes to see his own
opinions prevail ; and generally speaking, there
is at least great danger to those who live quite
by themselves of having opinions and views
of their own which are narrow and fixed.
These they will probably unlearn altogether, or
they will cease from the stress they lay upon
them, or their positiveness in holding them, if
they come among others ; and that is a great

And as with the mind, so also with the
heart. We all have our own tastes, and our
likes and dislikes with respect to persons,
and when a number come together all are not
equally congenial to us. But mere likes and
dislikes are overcome by this contact with
others, and we learn to look at things in
a higher light, to look on every soul as being
a child of God, and an object, as a matter of
duty, of our love. I cannot go over all that
might be said upon the subject, but that is the
primary, the great advantage of any school or
Seminary, that it brings minds together, and
brings them into collision, and rubs off all
angularity and the like at least, that is the

And then again I have not said anything
yet of obedience to superiors. There again
is a great field of Christian virtue, on which
I could say much for instance, of my own
dear father, St. Philip Neri how exceedingly
he tried his own people in this respect, merely


on principle, to prove their obedience whether
in great matters or little, though more especi-
ally in little. And this cultivation of the
spirit of obedience must obviously be brought
forward in speaking of the advantages of a
Seminary ; and I do not think it can be ex-

Then again, to look to the future. When a
priest in after life comes to look back to his
place of Christian and clerical education, he
looks back to it with great love and affection,
and it becomes to him as a centre for his
thoughts and affection to fall back upon all
through his life. We see that in secular
schools. We know in Catholic schools not to
go beyond these how the affections, and the
different memories, and the old friendships
continue, and how great an advantage it is on
our going into the world to find friends there,
those whom we have known when young,
those whom we understand and who under-
stand us. You know the time it takes you
to make friends. There are even those
whom we have not particularly liked at the
time, yet years afterwards all that softens
down. Much might be said on this subject,
and it might almost make a sermon by itself;
I had more to say on the point but I do not
recollect what. I have said enough to open a
large field of thought.

And then I think there is a great point
which can only be gained by belonging to
a body, I don't mean an advantage in theo-
logy strictly, but I mean in that settled fun-
damental principle of viewing things morally
and religiously which we get by habitual
contact with others who are of the same re-
ligious profession as ourselves. Men of the
world who know little about religion I mean
Protestants do not know what they do be-
lieve and what they don't, or if they do, they
do not understand whether it is important or
not. But with a Catholic, not only is every-
thing, whether of greater or less importance,
mapped out, but everything is almost a part
of his mind, and that is a great gain which
those have whom Almighty God in His mercy
has brought into His Church from the be-
ginning. And this applies more particularly to
the inmates of a Seminary ; their minds are
framed in a particular way, and the whole


plan both of Faith and Knowledge becomes
part of themselves. On this I think that a
great deal might be said.

And now I am coming to a further point,
and I think I can show what I have in my
mind by referring to an instance in illustra-
tion of it. There was a poor wanderer, one
not of the Church, who when God was
good to her said, " Thou art the God that
seest me ". This was Agar, when she ran
away from her mistress. She seemed to
have no friend in the world ; she was in
despair ; and when the angel of God ap-
peared to her and said, " Whence comest
thou, and whither goest thou ? " she was
so overcome with the thought that in her
own misery there was One who had His eyes
upon her, and whose providence extended over
her, that " she called the name of the Lord
that spoke unto her, * Thou the God who hast
seen me'"; and "she called the well" by
which she sat a well being then a most im-
portant mercy in that country which we can-
not estimate now ** the well of Him that
liveth and seeth me ". Now, it is especially
important for all of us to know that we are
in the presence of .God, and to live in His
presence ; and this is an obligation over and
above those great religious principles, those
moral advantages, those safeguards for our
faith and conduct that I have been speaking
of. It is not easy to say how far this is
a mercy which is generally given or gained.
I suppose that to the minds of people who
live in the world I mean without religion
the thought that God sees them is a thing
quite out of their comprehension. They are
haunted, possessed with the things that are,
the things that come before them, with
their worldly aims, their worldly duties day
by day ; but the notion of living in the
presence of an Unseen Being does not come
home to them. And of course everything
would go right, through God's mercy, if
a man had got that simple gift, that great
grace. In the lesson for to-day, St. Aloysius,
you recollect, when his medical men or his
superior told him in his illness not to think at
all, replied, that the thought of the presence of
God pursued him ; he could not get rid of it.
There you find what it was in the case of a


saint ; well, it is what all holy people feel in
a degree. And there is a case which bears
on this, and it is mentioned in a very beautiful
way in the life of that holy woman, Mother
Margaret Hallahan. I think the way she puts
it but I may be wrong is that she would
have to answer for a great deal, she had al-
ways sinned against light, she said, because
she was never out of the presence of God.
She had the thought of God always before
her. ... I should suppose that is what
St. Paul means when he says, " Pray with-
out ceasing " ; it is having the presence of
Almighty God specially before us, and that
may be considered to be one especial mercy
and gift of a Seminary that you are living
in the presence of God, and therefore must
believe in the deep interest of our Lord and
Saviour in you ; and that the mind, through
God's mercy, cannot be hurt or damaged
without great fault and miserable neglect
of one's self; and that in spite of the great
field of temptation into which any priest goes
when he enters into the world, there is
around him an armour to put on. You know
how very much St. Paul speaks of the armour
which we are to put on. Well, that is what I
say is one work of a Seminary, to put on you
"the armour of God, that you may be able to
stand against the deceits of the devil. For
our wrestling is not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities and powers, against
the rulers of the world of this darkness, against
the spirits of wickedness in the high places ;
therefore take unto you the armour of God,
that you may be able to resist in the evil day,
and to stand in all things perfect. Stand there-
fore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breast-plate of justice, and
your feet shod with the preparation of the
gospel of peace ; in all things taking the shield
of faith wherewith you may be able to extin-
guish all the fiery darts of the most wicked
one ; and take unto you the helmet of salva-
tion, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the
word of God)." And so he goes on, more
than I can read.

So the feeling of the presence of God is,
more than anything else, what we must long
for and pray for ; and all the advantages which
a seminary gives flow into that channel, into


that object, for it includes Faith, Hope, and
Charity, according to our measure.

I must not be long, but there are one or
two things I will say a word or two upon.

As to theology itself. Besides the direct
importance of the subject (I am not speaking
now of theology as such, but study of theo-
logy as being our duty, our profession, in a
certain sense our occupation in the service
of God), I think theology has a great indirect
advantage in this way. When a priest
goes into the world he is generally so much
taken up with work that he has no time for
anything else. And that is a reason why now
he should be taking advantage of those years
which he has in the Seminary, where the time
may be spent profitably, theology thoroughly
soaking into the mind, so that it is a resource
to turn to. Well, I say he must have a certain
acquaintance a certain degree and measure of
theology for the duty of priest. And he may
have times, or occasions although very few
priests have time for anything else but work ;
it would be better possibly if they had, but
still there are times when from not being
strong, or other causes, priests may have time
on their hands. Now, there is nothing more
dangerous than leisure I mean leisure of the
mind. We have got very crafty, very subtle,
very powerful enemies. W r e have enemies
within us, and enemies without us. St. Paul
says a spirit of evil surrounds us. We have
the great enemies, the world, the flesh, and
the devil ; and it is a great thing to have
imbibed a love of theology, something which
we can take up and feel interested in, if at
any time we don't know exactly what to do.
I will not say more upon that, though much
might be said upon it, but it requires more
experience than I can have to speak worthily
on such a subject, for it is a great one.

And that leads me (and it is the last re-
mark I shall make) to notice the objection
that theology leads to a very narrow sort of
education ; that it is much better, as is the
case with the churches around us that are
not Catholic churches, to have knowledge of
the world; that it is a good thing for those
who are going into a religious life, into a
pastoral life, into a ministerial life, to have
mixed with the world ; to gain more know-


ledge of the world ; and that this is a good
thing for religion, since it of course brings a
certain influence to bear upon the laity, and
so on. But without noticing the objection in
itself, whether it is a good objection against
seminaries, I say, it seems, as contrasted with
what may be called a liberal education, that a
professional education is narrow. There is an
objection made to much of the educational
science and systems of the present day, that
everything which strengthens and enlightens
the mind, and that beautifies and refines the
mind, is not attended to in the professional
education ; and that those who have only a
professional education are narrow. In one
word, that they can hardly be said to have
those general feelings which those have who
have the advantage of a liberal education.
And again, that they are not fit to cope with
them in point of religious controversy ; they
don't know anything about religious contro-
versy : they don't know anything about the
people they have to address. That is all
true ; I am not denying that, but still I would
say one word on that point. I do not see
why theology should not so far open their
mind as to lead afterwards, at fitting oppor-
tunities, to priests getting that knowledge of
controversy, and of history, and so on, which
they have not in the Seminary. It is an
addition ; we cannot do everything at once ;
we begin with the most important and go on
to the other ; and therefore in the proper time
and proper place, the study of controversy and
kindred subjects, and the secular knowledge
which is necessary for it, such as history and
the like, may become very opportune and a
great boon ; but still, I think that one must
recollect that there is a power, an innate
power, blest by Almighty God, in a straight-
forward, well-educated priest, though he knows
nothing of the world, and is likely to make
mistakes in the world. Take the case, which
is a typical one, of that Cure in the south of
France, the Cure d'Ars, who made such a
great impression on so very many people from
every quarter, and see what effect he had upon
them ; I say that straightforward, open-hearted
devotion to Almighty God, that simple thinking
of our duty towards Him, and the loving of
Him : these overcome the soul ; and I really


think that many persons, not to say most
persons, are converted by the simplicity of
a Catholic, and especially a Catholic priest ;
and that by straightforward going about his
duty, and by honestly speaking out what the
Church teaches, he does more good, except
in particular cases, than if he were ever so
good a controversialist. I will not say more,
than that if he attempt controversy at all, it
should be with the feeling of a zealous contro-
versialist. I am not denying of course the
great advantage of a knowledge about people,
a knowledge of their arguments and the harm
that is done by imprudently ventilating a sub-
ject when one is not perfectly informed upon
it. Bad arguments do a great deal of harm,
but a holy life is a source of good to all who
come near it. " Let your light so shine before
men that they may see your good works and
glorify your Father who is in heaven."

May we all enter more into the responsi-
bilities put upon us ! How much we can do
for God, and how much He will enable us to
do if we put our simple trust in Him !

From the Catholic Young Men's Na-
tional Union, United States, America.

May 28, 1880.


"Whereas The principal object of the
Catholic Young Men's National Union is
the promotion of the interest of Religion,
the preservation of sound morals, and the
diffusion of true science and useful know-

And whereas Among the chief pro-
moters of these beneficent purposes in
modern times, the distinguished English
Oratorian, Dr. Newman, occupies a fore-
most place, as well on account of his


profound learning, scholarship, and con-
stant literary labours for the maintenance,
defence, and furtherance of the truth,
as because of his great virtues and blame-
less life, in which he has exemplified the
beauty and symmetry which characterise
the Christian man, and make him attrac-
tive even to the hostile world,

And whereas Since our last national
meeting our Holy Father, Leo XIII., has
deigned to crown with the sublime dignity
of Cardinal the illustrious Dr. Newman,

Be it resolved That we recognise
in this gracious act of our Holy Father
the best and most convincing proof that
our Mother, the Church, is to-day what
she has ever been, the Mother of Christian
civilisation, the patroness and rewarder
of knowledge and virtue :

Be it resolved That the universal
acclaim, with which the elevation of Dr.
Newman has been received throughout the

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