John Henry Newman.

Apologia pro vita sua: being a history of his religious opinions online

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Pabt I.

Edburga, V., nun at Winton, granddaughter of Alfred.
Editha, Q.V., nun of Tamworth, sister to Edburga.
Algyfa, or Elgiva, Q., mother of Edgar.
E^iar, K.

Edward, K.M. at Corfe Castle.
Edith, v., daughter of St. Edgar and St. WulfhUda.
WulfhUda, or Vulfrida, A. of WUton.
Merwenna, V.A* of Romsey.
Elfreda, A. of Romsey.

Christina of Romsey, Y., sister of St. Margaret of


July 2.



Oct. 9.


Mar. 15.


Dec. 21.


Nov. 28.






Oct. 28.


April 9.


Nov. 4.


June 15.


July 15.


May 18.




Mar. 18.


Sept. 16.


Sept. 9.


Mar. 30.


Oct. 29.


Dec. 5.

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336 NOTE D.


Pabt IL

961 July 4. Odo, Archb. of Canterbury, Benedictine Monk.

960-992 Feb. 28. Oswald, Archb. of York, B. of Worcester, nephew tc

St. Odo.
951-1012 Mar. 12. Elphege the Bald, B. of Winton.
988 May 19. Dunstan, Archb. of Canterbury.
973 Jan. 8. Wulsin, B. of Sherboume.
984 Aug. 1. Ethelwold,B. of Winton.

1015 Jan. 22. Brithwold, B. of Winton.



950 Feb. 15. Sigfnde, B., apostle of Sweden.

1016 June 12. Eskill, B.M. in Sweden, kmsman of St. Sigfride.
1028 Jan. 18. Wolfred, M. in Sweden.

1050 July 15. David, A., Cluniac in Sweden.


Elphege, M. Archb. of Canterbury.
Walston, C. near Norwich.
Alfwold, B. of Sherborne.
William, B. of Roschid in Denmark.
Edward, K.C.
Osmund, B. of Salisbury.


Wulstan, B. of Worcester.
Lanfranc, Archb. of Canterbury.
Anselm, Doctor, Archb. of Canterbury,
Thomas, Archb. M. of Canterbury.
Hugh, B. of Lincoln, Carthusian Monk.


Paet L

1109 InguVphus, A, of Croylcmd,

1117 Apr. 30. J5. Maud, Q. Wife of Henry I.

1124 Apr. 13. Caradoc, H. in South Wales.

1127 Jan. 16. Henry, H. in Northumberland.

1144 Mar. 25. William, M. of Norwich.

1151 Jan. 19. Henry, M.B. of Upsal.

1150 Aug. 13. Walter, A. of Fontenelle, in France.

1154 June 8. William, Archb. of York.

1170 May 21. Godric, H. in Durham.

1180 Oct. 25. John of Salisbury, B, of Chartre9.


April 19.


May. 30.


Mar. 35.


Sept. 2.


Jan. 5.


Dec. 4.


Jan. 19.


May 28.


Apr. 21.


Dec. 29.


Nov. 17.

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SERIES OF saints' LIVES OP 1843-4. 337

1182 June 24. Bartholomew, C, monk at Durham*

1189 Feb. 4. Gilbert, A. of Sempringham.

1190 Aug. 21. Richard,B. of Andria.

1200 :Beter de Blois, Archd. of Bath.


Pabt II. — CiSTBBTLor Oedee.

1134 Apr. 17. Stephen, A. of Citeaux.

1139 June 7. Robert, A. of Newminster in Northumberland

1154 Feb. 20. Ubic, H. in Dorsetshire.

1160 Aug. 3. Walthen, A. of Mebose.

1166 Jan. 12. Aeh-ed, A. of RievaL


Past I.

1228 July 9. Stephen Langton, Archh, of Canterbury,

12 i2 Nov. 16. Edmund, Archb. of Canterbury.

1253 Apr. 3. Richard, B. of Chichester.

1282 Oct. 2. Thomas, B. of Hereford.

1294 Dec. 3. John PecJcham, Archb, of Canterbury.


Paet II. — Oedees op Fbiaes.

1217 June 17. John, Fr., Trinitarian.

1232 Mar. 7. William, Fr., Franciscan.

1240 Jan. 31. Serapion, Fr., M., Redemptionist.

1265 May 16. Simon Stock, H., General of the Carmelitee.

1279 Sept. 11. Robert Kilwardby, Archb, of Canterbury Fr. Domi*


Past IIL

1239 Mar. 14. Robert H. at Knaresboro'.

1241 Oct. 1. Roger, B. of London.

1256 July 27. Hugh, M. of Lmcoln.

1295 Aug. 6. Thomas, Mo., M. of Dover.

1254 Oct. 9. Robert Orossteste, B, oj Lincoln.

1270 July 14. Boniface, Archb. of Canterbury.

1278 Oct. 18. Walter de Merton, B, of Eo'cJ^ster,


1326 Oct. 5. Stapletony B, of Exeter.

1327 Sept. 21. Edward K,

1349 Sept. 29. B. Richard, H. oj Sampole.
1345 Apr. 14. Richard of Bury, B, of Lincoln.

1349 Aug. 26. Bradwardine, Archb, of Canterbury, the Doctor Pro-


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338 NOTB D.

1858 Sept 2. Wmiam, Pr., Scrvite.

1379 Oct 10. John, C. of Bridlington.

1824-1404 Sept 27. WilUam of Wykeham, B, of Wini<m.

1400 Wniiam, Fr. Austin.


1471 Kay 22. Ssnrv, K, of England,

1486 Aug. 11. WillumofWanefleet,B,ofW%nton.

1509 June 29. Margaret, Countess of Bichmond,

1528 Sept .4. Siekard lbs, S. of Winton.

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I HAVE been bringing out my mind in this Volume on
every subject which has come before me ; and therefore I
am bound to state plainly what I feel and have felt, since
I was a Catholic, about the Anglican Church. I said, in
a former page, that, on my conversion, I was not conscious
* of any change in me of thought or feeling, as regards
matters of doctrine ; this, however, was not the case as
regards some matters of fact, and, unwilling as I am to
give offence to religious Anglicans, I am bound to confess
that I felt a great change in my view of the Church of
England. I cannot tell how soon there came on me, —
but very soon,— -an extreme astonishment that I had ever
imagined it to be a portion of the Catholic Church. For
the first time, I looked at it from without, and (as I should
myself say) saw it as it was. Forthwith I could not get
myself to see in it any thing else, than what I had so long
fearfully suspected, from as far back as 1836, — a mere
national institution. As if my eyes were suddenly opened,
so I saw it— spontaneously, apart from any definite act of
reason or any argument ; and so I have seen it ever since,
I suppose, the main cause of this lay in the contrast which
was presented to me by the Catholic Church. Then I
recognized at once a reality which was quite a new thing
with me. Then I was sensible that I was not making for
myself a Church by an effort of thought ; I needed not to
make an act of faith in her ; I had not painfully to force
myself into a position, but my mind fell back upon itself
in relaxation and in peace, and I gazed at her almost

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f340 NOTE E.

passively as a great objective fact. I looked at her ;— at
her rites, her ceremonial, and her precepts ; and I said,
" This is a religion ;" and then, when I looked back upon
the poor Anglican Church, for which I had laboured so
hard, and upon all that appertained to it, and thought of
our various attempts to dress it up doctrinally and esthe-
tically, it seemed to me to be the veriest of nonentities.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity ! How can I make a
record of what passed within me, without seeming to be
satirical? But I speak plain, serious words. As people
call me credulous for acknowledging Catholic claims, so
they call me satirical for disowning Anglican pretensions ;
to them it is credulity, to them it is satire ; but it is not
so in me. What they think exaggeration, I think truth.
I am not speaking of the Anglican Church with any disdain,
though to them I seem contemptuous. To them of course
it is " Aut Caesar aut nullus," but not to me. It may be
a great creation, though it be not divine, and this is how
I judge of it. Men, who abjure the divine right of kings,
would be very indignant, if on that account they were
considered disloyal. And so I recognize in the Anglican
Church a time-honoured institution, of noble historical
memories, a monument of ancient wisdom, a momentous
arm of political strength, a great national organ, a source
of vast popular advantage, and, to a certain point, a wit-
ness and teacher of religious truth. I do not think that,
if what I have written about it since I have been a
Catholic, be equitably considered as a whole, I shall be
found to have taken any other view than this ; but that it
is something sacred, that it is an oracle of revealed
doctrine, that it can claim a share in St. Ignatius
or St. Cyprian, that it can take the rank, contest
the teaching, and stop the path of the Church of St.
Peter, that it can call itself "the Bride of the Lamb,"
thia is the view of it which simply disappeared from my

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mind on my conversion, and which it would be almost a
miracle to reproduce. " I went by, and lo ! it was gone ;
I sought it, but its place could no where be found ;" and
nothing can bring it badk to me. And, as to its pos-
session of an episcopal succession from the time of the
Apostles, well, it may have it, and, if the Holy See ever
so decide, I will believe it, as being the decision of a
higher judgment than my own ; but, for myself, I must
have St. Philip's gift, who saw the sacerdotal character on
the forehead of a gaily-attired youngster, before I can by
my own wit acquiesce in it, for antiquarian arguments are
altogether unequal to the urgency of visible facts. Why
is it that I must pain dear friends by saying so, and
kindle a sort of resentment against me in the kindest of
hearts ? but I must, though to do it be not only a grief to
me, but most impolitic at the moment. Any how, this is
my mind ; and, if to have it, if to have betrayed it, before
now, involuntarily by my words or my deeds, if on a
fitting occasion, as now, to have avowed it, if all this be a
proof of the justice of the charge brought against me by
my accuser of having "turned round upon my Mother-
Church with contumely and slander," in this sense, but
in no other sense, do I plead guilty to it without a word
in extenuation.

In no other sense surely ; the Church of England has
been the instrument of Providence in conferring great
benefits on me ; — ^had I been born in Dissent, perhaps I
should never have been baptized; had I been born an
English Presbyterian, perhaps I should never have known
our Lord's divinity ; had I not come to Oxford, perhaps I
never should have heard of the visible Church, or of
Tradition, or other Catholic doctrines. And as I have
received so much good from the Anglican Establishment
itself, can I have the heart or rather the want of charity,
considering that it does for so -*iany others, what it has

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342 NOTE E.

done for me, to wish to Bee it overthrown P I have no
such wish while it is what it is, and while we are so small
a body. Not for its own sake, but for the sake of the
many congregations to which it ministers, I will do no-
thing against it. While Catholics are so weak in Eng-
land, it is doing our work ; and, though it does us harm
in a measure, at present the balance is in our favour.
What our duty would be at another time and in other
circumstances, supposing, for instance, the Establishment
lost its dogmatic faith, or at least did not preach it, is
another matter altogether. In secular history we read of
hostile nations' having long truces, and renewing them
from time to time, and that seems to be the position which
the Catholic Church may fairly take up at present in rela-
tion to the Anglican Establishment.

Doubtless the National Church has hitherto been a
serviceable breakwater against doctrinal errors, more
fundamental than its own. How long this will last in the
years now before us, it is impossible to say, for the
Nation drags down its Church to its own level ; but still
the National Church has the same sort of influence over
the Nation that a periodical has upon the party which it
represents, and my own idea of a Catholic's fitting attitude
towards the National Church in this its supreme hour, is
that of assisting and sustaining it, if it be in our power,
in the interest of dogmatic truth. I should wish to avoid
every thing (except indeed under the direct call of duty,
and this is a material exception,) which went to weaken
its hold upon the public mind, or to imsettle its establish-
ment, or to embarrass and lessen its maintenance of those
great Christian and Catholic principles and doctrines
which it has up to this time successfully preached.

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For the Economy, considered as a rule of practice, I
shall refer to what I wrote upon it in 1830 — 32, in
my History of the Arians. I have shown above, pp. 26,
27, that the doctrine in question had in the early Church
a large signification, when applied to the divine ordi-
nances : it also had a definite application to the duties of
Christians, whether clergy or laity, in preaching, in
instructing or catechizing, or in ordinary intercourse with
the world around them ; and in this aspect I have here
to consider it.

As Almighty God did not all at once introduce the
Gospel to the world, and thereby gradually prepared men
for its profitable reception, so, according to the doctrine
of the early Church, it was a duty, for the sake of the
heathen among whom they lived, to observe a great
reserve and caution in communicating to them the know-
ledge of " the whole counsel of God." This cautious dis-
pensation of the truth, after the manner of a discreet and
vigilant steward, is denoted by the word " economy.'' It
is a mode of acting which comes under the head of Pru-
dence, one of the four Cardinal Virtues.

The principle of the Economy is this ; that out of
various courses, in religious conduct or statement, all and
each allowable antecedently and in themselves, that ought to
be taken which is most expedient and most suitable at the
time for the object in hand.

Instances of its application and exercise in Scripture
are such as the following:—!. Divine Providence did but


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344 NOTE F.

gradually impart to the world in general, and to the Jews
in particular, the knowledge of His will : — He is said to
have " winked at the times of ignorance among the hea-
then ;" and He suflfered in the Jews divorce " because ef
the hardness of their hearts/* 2. He has allowed Him-
self to be represented as having eyes, ears, and hands, as
having wrath, jealousy, grief, and repentance. 3. In like
manner, our Lord spoke harshly to the Syro-Phoenician
woman, whose daughter He was about to heal, and made
as if He would go further, when the two disciples had
come to their journey's end. 4. Thus too Joseph " made
himself strange to his brethren," and Elisha kept silence
on request of Naaman to bow in the house of Eimmon.
5. Thus St. Paul circumcised Timothy, while he cried out
** Circumcision availeth not."

It may be said that this principle, true in itself, yet is
dangerous, because it admits of an easy abuse, and carries
men away into what becomes insincerity and cimning.
This is undeniable; to do evil that good may come, to
consider that the means, whatever they are, justify the
end, to sacrifice truth to expedience, unscrupulousness,
recklessness, are grave offences. These are abuses of
the Economy. But to call them economicalis to give a fine
name to what occurs every day, independent of any know-
ledge of the doctrine of the Economy. It is the abuse of
a rule which nature suggests to every one. Every one
looks out for the " mollia tempera fandi," and for "moUia
verba" too.

Having thus explained what is meant by the Economy
as a rule of social intercourse between men of different
religious, or, again, political, or social views, next I will
go on to state what I said in the Arians.

I say in that Volume first, that our Lord has given us
the principle in His own words, — " Cast not your pearls
before swine ;" and that He exemplified it in His teach-

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ing by parables ; that St. Paul expressly distinguishes
between the milk which is necessary to one set of men,
and the strong meat which is allowed to others, and that,
in two Epistles. I say, that the Apostles in the Acts
observe the same rule in their speeches, for it is a fact,
that they do not preach the high doctrines of Christianity,
but only " Jesus and the Resurrection " or " repentance
and faith." I also say, that this is the very reason that
the Fathers assign for the silence of various writers in the
first centuries on the subject of our Lord's divinity.
I also speak of the catechetical system practised in the
early Church, and the disciplina arcani as regards the
doctrine of the Holy Trinity, to which Bingham bears
witness ; also of the defence of this rule by Basil, Cyril
of Jerusalem, Chrysostom, and Theodoret.

But next the question may be asked, whether I have
said any thing in my Volume to guard the doctrine, thus
laid down, from the abuse to which it is obviously exposed:
and my answer is easy. Gf course, had I had any idea
that I should have been exposed to such hostile mis-
representations, as it has been my lot to undergo on the
subject, I should have made more direct avowals than I
have done of my sense of the gravity and the danger of
that abuse. Since I could not foresee when I wrote, that
I should have been wantonly slandered, I onljr wonder
that I have anticipated the charge as fully as will be seen
in the following extracts.

For instance, speaking of the Disciplina Arcani, I say : —
(1) " The elementary information given to the heathen or
catechumen was in no sense undone by the subsequent secret
teaching, which was in fact but the filling up of a hare hut
correct outline,^* p. 58, and I contrast this with the conduct
of the Manichaeans " who represented the initiatory disci-
pline as founded on a fiction or hypothesis, which was to
be forgotten by the learner as he made progress in the real

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346 NOTB p.

doctrine of the Gospel." (2) As to allegorizing, I say
that the Alexandrians erred, whenever and as far as they
proceeded " to obscure the primary meaning of Scripture,
and to weaken the force of historical facts and express de-
clarations," p. 69. (3) And that they were " more open
to censure,^* when, on being " urged by objections to various
passages in the history of the Old Testament, as derogatory
to the divine perfectiojis or to the Jewish Saints, they had
recourse to an allegorical explanation byway of answer ^^ p. 71.

(4) I add, ^^ Itis impossible to defend such a procedure, which
seems to imply a want of faith in those who had recourse to
it ;** for " God has given us rules of right and u?rong," ibid.

(5) Again, I say, — " The abuse of the Economy in the hands
of unscrupulous reasoners, is obvious. JEven the honest con-
troversialist or teacher will find it very difficult to repre-
sent, tcithout misrepresenting, what it is yet his duty to pre-
sent to his hearers with caution or reserve. Here the
obvious rule to guide our practice is, to be careful ever to
maintain substantial truth in our use of the economical
method," pp. 79, 80. (6) And so far from concurring at
all hazards with Justin, Gregory, or Athanasius, I say,
"It is plain [they] were justified or not in their Economy,
according as they did or did not practically mislead their
op2)onents,*' p. 80. (7) I proceed, " It is so difficult to hit
the mark in these perplexing cases, that it is not won-
derful, should these or other Fathers have failed at times,
and said more or less than was proper," ibid.

The Principle of the Economy is familiarly acted on
among us every day. When we would persuade others,
we do not begin by treading on their toes. Men would be
thought rude who introduced their own religious notions
into mixed society, and were devotional in a drawing-? room.
Have we never thought lawyers tiresome who did not
observe this polite rule, who came down for the assizes and
talked law all through dinner ? Does the same argument

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tell in the House of Commons, on the hustings, and at
Exeter Hall? Is an educated gentleman never worsted
at an election by the tone and arguments of some clever
fellow, who, whatever his shortcomings in other respects,
understands the common people P

As to the Catholic Religion in England at the present
day, this only will I observe,— that the truest expedience
is to answer right out, when you are asked ; that the wisest
economy is to have no management ; that the best pru-
dence is not to be a coward ; that the most damaging folly
ia to be found out shuffling ; and that the first of virtues is
to " tell truth, and shame the devil."

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348 K01£ G.



Ai.MOST all authors, Catholic and Protestant, admit, that
when a fust came is present, there is some kind or other of
verbal misleading, which is not sin. Even silence is in
certain cases virtually such a misleading, according to the
Proverb, " Silence gives consent." Again, silence is abso-
lutely forbidden to a Catholic, as a mortal sin, under cer-
tain circumstances, e. g. to keep silence, when it is a duty
to make a profession of faith.

Another mode of verbal misleading, and the most direct,
is actually saying the thing that is not ; and it is defended
on the principle that such words are not a lie, when there
is a " justa causa," as killing is not murder in the case of
an executioner.

Another ground of certain authors for saying that an
untruth is not a lie where there is a just cause, is, that
veracity is a kind of justice, and therefore, when we have
no duty of justice to tell truth to another, it is no sin not
to do so. Hence we may say the thing that is not, to
children, to madmen, to men who ask impertinent ques-
tions, to those whom we hope to benefit by misleading.

Another ground, taken in defending certain untruths, ex
justd causa, as if not lies, is, that veracity is for the sake of
society, and that, if in no case whatever we might lawfully
mislead others, we should actually be doing society great

Another mode of verbal misleading is equivocation or a
play upon words ; and it is defended on the theory that to

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lie is to use words in a sense whicli they will not bear. '
But an equivocator uses them in a received sense, though (
there is another received sense, and therefore, according to
this definition, he does not lie.

Others say that all equivocations are, after aU, a kind of
lying, — faint li^ or awkward lies, but still lies ; and some
of these disputants infer, that therefore we must not equi-
vocate, and others that equivocation is but a half- measure,
and that it is better to say at once that in certain cases
untruths are not lies.

Others will try to distinguish between evasions and
equivocations; but though there are evasions which are
clearly not equivocations, yet it is very difficult scientifi-
cally to draw the line between the one and the other.

To these must be added the imscientific way of dealing
with lies:— viz. that on a great or cruel occasion a man
cannot help telling a He, and he would not be a man, did
he not tell it, but still it is very wrong, and he ought not
to do it, and he must trust that the sin will be forgiven
him, though he goes about to commit it ever so deliberately,
and is sure to commit it again under similar circumstances.
It is a necessary frailty, and had better not be thought
about before it is incurred, and not thought of again, after
is is well over. This view cannot for a moment be de-
fended, but, I suppose, it is very common.

I think the historical course of thought upon the matter
has been this : the Greek Fathers thought that, when there
was SLjusta causa, an untruth need not be a lie. St. Augus-
tine took another view, though with great misgiving;
and, whether he is rightly interpreted or not, is the doctor
of the great and common view that all untruths are lies,
and that there can be no just cause of untruth. In these
later times, this doctrine has been found difficult to work,
and it has been largely taught that, though all untruths

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350 NOTE G.

are Kes, yet that certain equivocations, when there is a
just cause, are not untruths.

Further, there have been and all along through these
later ages, other schools, running parallel with the above
mentioned, one of which says that equivocations, &c. after
all are lies, and another which says that there are untruths
which are not lies.

And now as to the "just cause," which is the condition,
nine qud non. The Greek Fathers make it such as these,
self defence, charity, zeal for God's honour, and the like.

St. Augustine seems to deal with the same "just causes"
as the Greek Fathers, even though he does not allow of

Online LibraryJohn Henry NewmanApologia pro vita sua: being a history of his religious opinions → online text (page 29 of 33)