John Henry Newman.

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

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world, is an evidence of the power of
truth, the influence of self-sacrifice and
virtue among men :

Be it resolved That the Catholic
Young Men's National Union of the
United States, in Convention assembled,
offer to his Eminence Cardinal Newman
their most heartfelt congratulations on his
elevation to the sublime dignity of Prince
of the Church, and wish him still many
years of life of honour to himself and
usefulness to the world.

Be it resolved That the National



301

Secretary send to Cardinal Newman a
copy of these preambles and resolutions.
(A true copy.) JUAN A. PIZZINI,

National Secretary.

To the Catholic Young Men's National
Union, United States of America.*

THE ORATORY, BIRMINGHAM,
August, 1880.

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

I wish I knew how duly to
express my sense of the great honour
that you have done me by the judg-
ment you have passed upon my life
and writings, and by the congratula-
tions with which you have accom-
panied it.

But there are acts of kindness so
special that to attempt to acknowledge
them worthily is almost to be un-
worthy of them.

Such it has been my happiness to
receive from various quarters on the
great occasion which has given me
yours ; and each of them has had its
distinctive claim upon my grateful and
lasting remembrance.

For yourselves, it has touched me
especially, and made me very proud,
that, severed as I am from you in
place, in nation, and in age, you

* From The Richmond Catholic Visitor, U.S.



302

should have greeted me with that
genuine personal interest, and that
warm sympathy, which is the best
privilege enjoyed by an old and
familiar friend.

Nor is it a private gratification only
which I derive from your Address. A
Cardinal has of all things nearest to
his heart the well-being of Holy
Church, and how can I have a greater
consolation and encouragement in my
last years, than in your persons to be
reminded, by the distance between us,
of her expanse of territory by your
zeal in her behalf, of her life and
strength and by your youth, of the
promise of her future.

May her glorious future and the
career of every one of you be bound
together by an indissoluble tie, to the
prosperity and peace of both Mother
and children !

I am,

Your faithful servant and friend,
JOHN H. CARDINAL NEWMAN.

PRESENTATION TO CARDINAL NEW-
MAN OF HIS PORTRAIT BY THE
CONGREGATION OF THE CHURCH
OF THE ORATORY AT BIRMING-
HAM, JUNE 19, 1881.

Cardinal Newman was presented on Sun-
day, June 19, with his portrait, subscribed
for by members of the congregation. As far



303

back as 1878, they had intended to make him
an offering of some kind on his entering his
8oth year, and the ultimate decision was that
it should be his portrait by Mr. W. W. Ou-
less, A.R.A. The work was commenced in
October, 1878, but was left incomplete until
nearly the same month in the following year.
It is a half-length portrait of his Eminence
in the collar and dress of the Oratory, with
a Cardinal's small red cap on his head. A
second portrait, for Oriel College, Oxford, has
also been painted by Mr. Ouless, but the one
is not a copy of the other. It is a curious
fact, that the requests from Oriel College, and
from the members of the Oratory congrega-
tion to allow his portrait to be painted were
made on the same morning, and almost at the
same hour.

The presentation was subscribed to by
almost every one who, from attending the
services at the Oratory, might be considered
a member of the congregation. The ceremony
took place in the school-room before a large
assembly of the parishioners.

Mr. WILLSON presented the portrait on be-
half of the congregation, and read the Address.

The A ddress.

June 19, 1881.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EMINENCE,

We, who either are now or
have been in times past members of
the congregation of the Church of the
Oratory, come to you as children to their
father asking you to accept at our hands
a token of the great reverence and affec-
tion with which we regard you, and of
the fulness of our gratitude for the
patient care with which you have for so



many years ministered to us as our
pastor.

We feel grateful to you for having
acceded to our request made more than
three years ago, that our offering should
take the form of a portrait of yourself by
an artist worthy of his task, and for the
kindness with which you have made the
sacrifice of time and personal convenience
that request involved. In accordance
with the wish you then graciously ex-
pressed, every member of the congrega-
tion, however humble, has had the oppor-
tunity and privilege of joining in this
filial offering.

When we waited on you to ask your
permission thus to express our feelings,
we could not foresee that our Holy Father
would so soon confer on you such high
honour and dignity. We have already
expressed to your Eminence the joy and
gratitude with which in common with all
Catholics we hailed your long and well-
merited elevation ; but while we feel
proud that our portrait records your high
position as a Prince of Holy Church, we
had thought of you only as our beloved
pastor and father in Christ.

And now we, the men women and
children of the congregation to which
you have so long ministered, ask you to
accept our humble gift with your wonted
benignity. We offer it with glad hearts,
and we trust that it may be not only
valued by the present family of your sons



in St. Philip, but remain as an heir-
loom of the house, a memorial to many
distant generations of their successors, of
their great Founder and first Father.

Humbly beseeching your blessing we
pray most earnestly that Almighty God
may spare your Eminence yet many
years to be the guide and comfort of
your loving children of this congregation,
as well as a light and defence to the
Universal Church.

Signed on behalf of the congregation by

JAMES BOURNE, Chairman }

of the Portrait
JAMES GEARY, Secretary >

Committee.
W. E. WILLSON, Treasurer )

Cardinal Newman's Reply to the Con-
gregation of the Church of the
Oratory, Birmingham, on their
Presentation of his Portrait painted
by W. W. Ouless, A.R.A.
SUNDAY, June 19, 1881.

MY DEAR CHILDREN,

I wish I could return an
answer worthy of your acceptable pres-
ent, and of the affectionate words with
which you have accompanied it.

It is indeed most acceptable to me,
and a very thoughtful kindness, that
you should have proposed to provide
a memorial of me for time to come,
and a memorial so specially personal,
which years hence will bring back
20



306

vividly the remembrance of the past
to those who have known me, and
will carry on into the future a tra-
dition of what I was like to the many
who never saw me.

It is a second kindness that you
should wish to leave it as an heir-
loom to this house ; for, by doing
so, you associate my brothers, the
Fathers of this Oratory, in your lov-
ing thoughts of me, and thereby re-
cognise what is so true, so ever
present to my mind, that you never
would have had cause to show affec-
tion towards me but for the zealous
co-operation of dear friends, living and
dead, in those acts and works of
which I get the credit.

It is a third kindness that, in carry-
ing out your purpose towards me, you
have had recourse to a man of widely
acknowledged genius, whose work,
now finished, is generally pronounced
to be worthy of his reputation, and is
found by competent judges to claim
more and more admiration, as a work
of art, the more carefully it is studied.

Nor must I omit a fourth gratifica-
tion which your Address suggests to
me. When friends and well-wishers
in years past have paid me the like
compliment, I have asked myself



307

what I had done to merit it ? But
now the Sovereign Pontiff has singled
me out for his highest mark of favour,
and thus, while you in 1878 may be
considered to have been only antici-
pating, by the honour you proposed
to me, the coming to me of his act
of grace, so now in 1881, I can for
the same reason receive it of you
without the appearance or the fear of
arrogance or presumption.

You ask for my blessing, and I
bless you with all my heart, as I
desire to be blessed myself. Each
one of us has his own individuality,
his separate history, his antecedents
and his future, his duties, his respon-
sibilities, his solemn trial, and his
eternity. May God's grace, His love,
His peace rest on all of you, united
as you are in the Oratory of St.
Philip, on old and young, on con-
fessors and penitents, on teachers and
taught, on living and dead. Apart
from that grace, that love, that peace,
nothing is stable, all things have an
end ; but the earth will last its time,
and while the earth lasts, Holy
Church will last, and while the
Church lasts, may the Oratory of
Birmingham last also, amid the for-
tunes of many generations one and



308

the same, faithful to St. Philip, strong
in the protection of our Lady and all
Saints, not losing as time goes on its
sympathy with its first fathers, what-
ever may be the burden and interests
of its own day, as we in turn now
stretch forth our hands with love and
with awe towards those, our unborn
successors, whom on earth we shall
never know.

JOHN H. CARD. NEWMAN.

SUNDAY, June 19, 1881.



APPENDIX.
I.

Cardinal Nina to Dr. Newman.
Official Offer of the Cardinalate.
REVERENDISSIMO PADRE,

II S. Padre altamente apprezzando
1'ingegno, la dottrina, che distinguono la P. V.
Rma, la pieta e lo zelo da Lei addimostrato nell'
esercizio del S. ministero, la devozione ed
attaccamento filiale alia S. Sede Apostolica ed i
segnalati servigi, che da lunghi anni sta ren-
dendo alia religione, ha divisato di darle una
publica e solenne prova di stima e benevolenza.
E percio che nel prossimo Consistoro, di cui Le
verra a suo tempo notificato il giorno precise, si
degnera di elevarla agli onori della S. Porpora.
Nel porgerle questa licta notizia per oppor-
tuna e riservata sua norma non posso a meno di
congratularmi colla P. vostra vedendone in un
modo cosi splendido rimunerati i meriti dall'
augusto Capo della Chiesa, e mi gode Tanimo di
poterla ayere ben presto a Collega, nel S. Senato,
di cui Ella senza meno sara uno dei piu belli
ornamenti.

Gradisca, ne la prego, questi miei sentimenti
ed insieme le proteste della mia particolare osser-
vanza onde mi dichiaro.

Della Paternita Vostra Reverendissima,
Servitore vero,

L. CARD. NINA.
Dal Vaticano, il Marzo 15, 1879.

II.

Dr. Newman to Pope Leo XIII.

Non oblitus sum, Pater Optime,
vel Tui vel acceptissimarum tuarum literarum,
(309)



3io

sed fui jam per duos menses tanquam in
gurgite et vortice quodam laborum episto-
larium, nee etiamnunc ad littus appuli. Quare
ignosce mihi amanter quod non citius Tibi
responsum miserim, et depone culpam illam
non desidiae vel negligentiae, sed necessitati.
Spero me aditurum esse Romam brevi cum
tu bonus viva voce mihi veniam de hac re
dabis.

III.

Dr. Newman to Dr. Ullathorne, Bishop
of Birmingham.

REVERENDISSIMO DNO GULIELMO BERNARDO
EPO BlRMINGHAMIENSI.

Feb. die 2, In festo Piirif. B.M.V., 1879.

PATER MI REVERENDISSIME,

Ne me judicent Sanctitas Sua et
Eminentissimus Cardinalis Nina quasi rudem
prorsus et excordem hominem, qui non possit
tangi vel laudatione Superiorum, vel sensu
gratitudinis vel dignitatum splendore, cum tibi
Revmo Epo meo, qui me noveris, dico plane
supra captum meum esse ilium honorem, quern
admirabili bonitate sua Sanctissimus mediocri-
tati meae deferre sibi proposuit, honorem vere
eximium et sui generis, quo ipse Pontifex
nullum in manibus habet ampliorem.

Nam ego sane, vetulus et pusilli animi,
jam per triginta annos "in nidulo meo" hujus
dilectissimi Oratorii vixi securus et felix ;
itaque obsecro Sanctitatem suam ne me
divellat a S. Philippo, Patre et Patrono meo.

Per amorem et reverentiam, qua Summus
Pontifex unusquisque, unus post alterum,
tenet et amplectitur S. Philippum meum, oro
et obtestor, ut, miseratus mentis infirmitates
meas, valetudinem non satis nrmam, annos



prope octoginta, vitas adhuc a juventute priva-
tum cursum, linguarum inscientiam, in negotiis
gerendis imperitiam, me sinat Sua Sanctitas
mori, ubi tarn longo tempore vixi.

Dum scio in intimo corde meo, quod nunc
et exinde sciam, Sanctitatem Suam bene de
me sentire, quid desiderem amplius ?
Amplitudinis Tuae,

Reverendissime Pater,
Observantissimus,

JOHN H. NEWMAN.

DATUM BIRMINGHAM, Feb. die 2,
In Festo Purification's, 1879.

IV.

THE ORATORY, BIRMINGHAM,

(Translation.)

February 2, Feast of the Purification^ 1879.
MY RIGHT REV. FATHER,

I trust that his Holiness, and the most
Eminent Cardinal Nina will not think me a
thoroughly discourteous, and unfeeling man, who
is not touched by the commendation of Superi-
ors, or a sense of gratitude, or the splendour
of dignity, when I say to you, my Bishop, who
know me so well, that I regard as altogether
above me the great honour which the Holy
Father proposes with wonderful kindness to
confer on one so insignificant, an honour quite
transcendent and unparalleled, than which his
Holiness has none greater to bestow.

For I am, indeed, old and distrustful of
myself ; I have lived now thirty years in
nidnlo meo in my much loved Oratory, shel-
tered and happy, and would therefore entreat
his Holiness not to take me from St. Philip,
my Father and Patron.

By the love and reverence with which a
long succession of Popes have regarded and
trusted St. Philip, I pray and entreat his



312

Holiness in compassion of my diffidence of
mind, in consideration of my feeble health,
my nearly eighty years, the retired course of
my life from my youth, my ignorance of
foreign languages, and my lack of experience
in business, to let me die where I have so
long lived. Since I know now and hence-
forth that his Holiness thinks kindly of me,
what more can I desire ?

Right Rev. Father,

Your most devoted

JOHN H. NEWMAN.

v,

There were other disappointments very
different from those of which he wrote
to Dr. Ullathorne (note Prefatory Notice,
xviii.) :

He felt deeply what he had heard and
knew of Dr. Dollinger, and it was his in-
tention to have returned home by way of
Germany, for the opportunity he might
thus have of personal communication with
him. They were acquainted personally,
for they had met twice or thrice, and,
occasionally, correspondence had passed
between them ; moreover, at the sugges-
tion of Cardinal Wiseman, who was
intimate with Dr. Dollinger, he had
endeavoured to draw the latter to take
part in the new University in Dublin,
but this could not be brought about ;
and now, at this time, in his own new
position, it was due, the Cardinal said,
from himself to Dr. Dollinger, not to
pass through the Continent without going
to him. He was very intent upon this,



313

and apparently, he connected his object
mentally with the solemn Ceremonial of
his Creation as giving him authority, and
power, and liberty to speak, such as he
had not had before. It was, however, a
subject too grave for many words : his
firm and emphatic utterance of the few
that he used fully afforded a reading of
his mind in their stead. Again, before
leaving Rome, his almost silent acqui-
escence in the decision of his physician,
that the cold and laborious route home
which he was intending could not in con-
science be allowed, was very expressive
of his solemn and calm resignation of his
purpose to the over-ruling of the will of
God. Nevertheless, he would have been
very glad indeed to have carried out this
intention as a first use of his Cardinalate
in the service of God.

This intention had been made while
on the journey to Rome, and it was
very strongly urged upon Dr. Aitken to
permit it ; but, after careful considera-
tion, the latter could only say, that to
bring the Cardinal home at all, was al-
most beyond his hope.

To his great disappointment also, illness
had deprived the Cardinal of all but a
superficial acquaintance with his brethren
in the Sacred College; nevertheless, there
were some of these, and also other per-
sons of high position, who had attracted
him very much, and he had been struck
by the courtesy shown to him and the



314

unreservedness in conversation with him
generally. He determined, therefore, to
make up for his loss by returning to
Rome for a time, as soon as the re-
establishment of his health would allow
it, looking forward for instance to talking
with some who had not followed him in
all his writings, and to becoming con-
versant with many matters of interest
and importance. Moreover, and above
all things, he desired to open his mind
fully to the Holy Father on those edu-
cational subjects which had occupied him
so much, and concerning which his know-
ledge and experience were exceptional.

The earliest days of the approaching
March (1880) had been fixed by him for
his departure, but disappointment again
overtook him ; an accident which frac-
tured two of his ribs confined him to his
home, and opportunity thus lost never
returned. Each successive year left its
deeper mark of age upon him, one thing
and another made the prospect of his
going to Rome more and more distant,
till it became contemplated only in case
of some emergency incidental to his posi-
tion as Cardinal calling him thither; or,
should the Holy Father's position become
perilous, as at one time seemed not un-
likely, then, he, as would beseem a
Cardinal, would be at his side.

For it must not be thought that because
he was exempted from the ordinary duties
of the Cardinalate, he held a merely



honorary distinction. In the event, for
example, of a Conclave, no privilege
would have freed him from being present
and taking his part in it ; and, in fact,
with his habitual forethought for respon-
sibilities, he drew clearly before him the
course he would take in such an occur-
rence, determining to safeguard his own
necessarily limited knowledge of persons,
by claiming the guidance of Cardinal
Pecci, as being the brother of the Pope
who had been so good to him. Having
resolved upon this he put aside further
thought of the subject ; its necessary
consideration, however, brought home to
him, very solemnly, the greatness of what
the Pope had done for him.

But there was more than this ; for in
taking thought at this time of what the
Pope had done for him, this came to his
mind, viz., that he had been placed in
the position of a Pope in putentid, a
possible Pope. And should that become
a reality what ought he to do ? Speak-
ing in a matter-of-fact manner, but with
grave seriousness, he went on to say
that his time would necessarily be too
brief for him to do anything himself,
" but this I could do," he said, "appoint
and organise commissions on various
subjects, and thus advance work for
another to take up if he willed. That
would be the work for me to do. It
would have to begin at once, without any
delay." Having said that, then with the



$16

briskness and relief as of one now seeing
and knowing his way, he made mention
of a Pope elected at ninety-three and
dying at ninety-six, who had done a
great work at that age and in that short
time. This subject was then as the other
put aside. They occurred at the same
time, and are both too characteristic of
the Cardinal for the omission of either,
though the omission of the latter has
been suggested for reasons which are
easy to see. The latter is very character-
istic of his most solemn devotion to the
Holy Ghost, especially in such matters
as a General Council, and the Conclave
for the election of a Pope. He had made
his estimate of what the Pope had done
for him, and he said of it, " Man could
not do more ".

But the question may be asked, how
could the Cardinal have carried out his
intentions under the difficulty that he felt
in conversing, except in English ? Now,
as he has sometimes spoken of this disad-
vantage, and he does so in strong terms
in his letter to Bishop Ullathorne of
February 2, some lines shall be given to
the subject.

The isolated position of England in his
schoolboy days, and his own occupations
later on, had cut him off from the faci-
lities of acquiring that command of modern
languages which he envied in others ; but
it may be assumed that in no case would
modern languages have become his forte.



317

His difficulty, however, was more im-
aginary than real. He was not unac-
quainted with German, for, on Dr. Pusey
urging him to it, and while still young,
he had applied himself to the study of
that language ; but after a time he aban-
doned it by way of protest against the too
great weight, as he thought it, given by
his friend to the opinion of Germans in
particular, on those subjects which most
interested both of them. He had the
usual literary knowledge of French and
Italian, and he was particularly fond of
the latter, but in neither was he so at
home as to be able to use them with
satisfaction to himself for conversation or
argument. Even Latin failed him here,
although, from his early years he had,
for mere pleasure used it in familiar con-
versation. At school, for instance, where,
according to his own vivacious descrip-
tion, he was drawn with others to this
use of it by the excitement of taking part
in the performance of Latin plays. And,
in his undergraduate days, it was again
developed by the strict rule he and another
made for themselves of Latin conversation
at the breakfast which they usually had
together. Later in life this fluency was
gradually very much lost. Bad Latin
annoyed him, and difficult Latin was
repugnant to him as being contrary to
his notion of the simplicity of style
due to Latin ; his own study, too, of the
great controversies in the early history



of the Church, had made him very exact
and critical, in fact, an expert, as to the
precise value and meaning of words and
the true use of expressions, at different
epochs, in Latin and Greek. All this
.led to a diffidence and a nervous
fear of himself in these respects, which,
by impeding his utterance, greatly in-
creased the difficulty. Nevertheless, he
considered that at any time he needed
only some few days of conversation in
quiet intercourse to become at his ease
whether in Latin or Italian ; the same
may be said of French. He did not
anticipate a recurrence of his difficulty
at this time ; he said very distinctly that
he did not.

To the Cardinal himself, it was from
first to last a mystery that the Holy
Father had thought of him for this
dignity, considering the retirement of his
life and the fact that his books were
written in English. Already he had
reached that great age when services to
others are no longer to be counted upon ;
and, in his past, in his sacerdotal years,
what, unless it were his school at Edgbas-
ton, had he to show as done by him ?
Nevertheless, the highest authority in the
Church had now set the seal of approbation
upon him ; the clouds of past years had
cleared away, and he could turn towards
the grave bearing the most distinguished
mark of merit that Holy Church can
give. With what gratitude and religious



319

joy he received this honour, with what
kindness and modesty he rebuked almost
severely (as he in truth once or twice
intended) the too high estimate of him-
self shown in some of the congratulatory
addresses, all this will be found in the
accompanying collection of addresses and
his replies to them.*

VI.

THE ORATORY,

May 28, 1880.
MY DEAR BLACHFORD,

Thank you for your very affec-
tionate letter just received. Of course all that
has happened for a year past and more, has
been overpoweringly gratifying but equally,
or still more surprising as if it was not I.
Both feelings together, pleasure and astonish-
ment, make it a trial to my head and heart,
and comes a third thought Is it possible there
won't be a reaction or contrecoup of some
kind ? and I think of Polycrates.

What has touched me most has been the
strange tokens of affection and interest in me
where I suspected or deserved none . . .
most grateful to me but most confounding,

is L 's which you report, especially as I,

who had never seen him before, unkindly
thought him so cold and stiff. I was very
much amused at the humour of his remark

* To a letter from Birmingham, March 28, 1879, with
respect to general congratulations, he writes to Lord
Blachford : " I am overwhelmed and wearied out with
answering letters so joyful and affectionate that I should
be as hard as a stone, and as cruel as an hyena, and as
ungrateful as a wild cat, if I did not welcome them ; but


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