John Henry Newman.

Letters and correspondence of John Henry Newman during his life in the English church, with a brief autobiography ; (Volume 2) online

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then I wrote to know if they would put one in from me. In
their reply, you know, they express indignation that it should
be thought doubtful. I have written my defence. Now Pusey
says it is so ' playful and malicious ' that they will not put it
in. The question is, with what face they can refuse ? what
face can they put upon it ? e.g. ' Mr. Newman has sent us a
rambling letter, partly in praise of the tracts, partly against
ourselves, which, though of considerable length, is not yet
finished, &c. Under these circumstances we decline, &c.' I
do not know whether they can get out of the scrape, but I
wish to provide for the chance as follows.

You know Hatchard enough to do as much as this: to call
on him with my MS. forthwith, and to beg him, if possible,
to give it to Mr. Wilkes, and to ask him (Mr. Wilkes) whether
it will be inserted in the next number (not hinting the chance
of rejection). * If not, Mr. Newman wants it back,' and that

1837 Letters and Correspondence 223

you will call for the answer and MS. on a day to be fixed.
Thus I shall be secure from an impertment representation of
its contents in a Notice to Correspondents. If you see any
absurdity in this manreuvre do not execute it. [N.B. — Mr.
Wilkes acted far more cleverly than to misrepresent mj' letter
without inserting it, as I feared. AVhat he did was to insert
it, but to append a runninj^ comment of his own, which
occupied nearly the whole page of letterpress, leaving me a
streamlet of text along the top of the page. The consequence
was that, whether readers studied his comment or no, they
could not properly read or understand my defence. The letter
was afterwards reprinted as one of the tracts in Volume IV.
under the title of ' A Letter to a Magazine.' May 15, 1862.] '
P.S. Do you observe you are a Lyrte? [that is, in the ' Lyra
Apostolica.' The allusion is, to our stargazing, atop of Trinity
Chapel Tower, with Ogle, when Bowden and I were under-
graduates. Ogle and Bowden used to be great about Alpha

PiEV. J. H. Newman to ]\rrs. John Mozlev.

Oriel: Januarif 19, 1837.

, . . Tell Miss M. that I fear I must decline the place in
her poetical collection. I never can write except in a season
of idleness. When I have been doing nothing awhile, poems
spring up as weeds in fallow fields.

I have been reading 'Emma.' Everything Miss Austen
writes is clever, but I desiderate something. There is a want
of hodfj to the story. The action is frittered away in over-
little things. There are some beautiful things in it. Emma
herself is the most interesting to me of all her heroines. I

' It was this clever device on the part of tlie Editor of the Christian
Observer that perhaps added intensity to Mr. Newman's objection to foot-
notes against which he warned the Editor. Footnotes may undoubtedly be a
distraction, but not always an unwelcome one ; but to him they were, as sucli,
instruments in the ' tearing and rending' which interruptions on a settled em-
ployment always subjected him to. But he concludes, ' An Editor must do tlie
work his own way and not mine,' making an exception in the case of ' letters
which, being independent of each other and fragmentary, admit of footnotes
•without injury.'

2 24 /c//-'/ Henry Nczinnan 1837

feel kind to her whenever I think of her. But Miss Austen
has no romance — none at alL What vile creatures her parsons
are ! she has not a dream of the high Cathohc i)6o^. That
other woman, Fairfax, is a dolt — hut I like Emma.'

I have nearly finished Southey's ' Wesley,' which is a very
superficial concern indeed : interesting of course. He does
not treat it historically in its connexion with the age, and he
cannot treat it theologically, if he would. ... I do not like
Wesley — putting aside his exceeding self-confidence, he seems
to me to have a hlack self-will, a bitterness of religious passion,
which is very unamiahle. Whitfield seems far better.

In the ' Chronological Notes ' of this date there occurs the
following entry \'

Februar}/ 3, 1S37. — Had men to tea the first time. This
was the beginning of my v:eek\y soirees, which went on till the
affair of No. 90.

James Mozley, writing to a sister, speaks of these soirees
as new things :

Fehrnary 21, 1837.

Newman gives a tea-party now ever}' Monday evening, in
term. He has just started the thing. Last night went off
very well — about eight or nine men. Conversation flowing
continuously, and every one at his ease. Newman can manage
a thing of this kind better than Pusey. . . . We talked on a
variety of subjects.'-

' In inserting this critique on Miss Austen's masterpiece the Editor has a
sense almost of disloyalty to this delightful writer. But Miss Austen's novels
are a battlefield and the reader has a right to the opinion here given. The
ethos, as Mr. Newman calls it, of a book came always foremost in his critical
estimation. He condoned a good deal when this satisfied him. Miss Austen
described parsons as she saw them, and did not recognise it as in her province
to preach to them, except indirectly by portraying the Mr. Collinses and Mr.
Eltons of the day.

- To show that Mr. Newman did not use these gatherings for the purpose
of converting youn^ men to his views the following letter from Miss Mitford
may be given : —

Autumn, 1853.— ' . . . The great light was Newman. ... I do not k lowhim

l)<37 Lc tiers and Conrspondcucc 22^

Perhaps tlie secret of Mr. Newman ' managing these thin<:;s
well ' was that the host liked his guests ; and allowed it to l)e
seen, as occasion offered, that he expected <^a-eat things from
them. In pathetic words he has in later years written of the
human heart, when it puts forth its first leaves and opens and
rejoices in its ' sprin.i^tide ' of natural virtue. ' It blooms in
the young like some rich flower so delicate, so fragrant, and
so dazzling. Generosity and lightness of heart and amiable-
ness ; the confiding spirit, the gentle temper, the elastic
cheerfulness, the open hand, the pure affection, the noble
aspiration, the heroic resolve, the romantic pursuit, the love
in which self has no part — are not these beautiful '? ' '

It must be said that if Mr. Newman expected great things
from his friends, young and thus endowed, he always thought
them capable of performing them. The * heroic ' was a sort
of natural element with him — his presence inspired a sense

and probably never shall ; but I know one trait of his character whilst still at
Oxford which struck nie much. It happened that a distant connexion of my
mother's, the eldest son of a chaplain in the navy, was seized with a violent
fancy to go to Oxford. He was a plodding lad of Greek and metres — with
singular good conduct but no shining talents— likely to get on by classical
knowledge as a tutor or professor. There was a large family and little money ;
and his father told him at once, " Frank, I cannot afford the necessary allow-
ance." "Just give me a little to begin with, father," returned Frank, "and I
-will get on as my betters have done before me, by teaching others, while
learning myself." His schoolmaster, being sure that he would and could do
this, Frank was sent to Oxford, taking, amongst other recommendations, letters
from me, in which I openly told this design. One of my letters was to an old
friend of Mr. Newman's, to whom he showed it; and when next I saw Frank,
he told me — somewhat to my alarm (for it was in the very height of the con-
iroversy) — that he owed to me the kind notice of that great scholar. " I break-
fast with him once a week," (juoth Frank, " and he gives me the best advice
possible." " What about ? " I inquired. " Everything," returned Frank—" the
classics, history, mathematics, general literature. He thinks me in danger of
overworking myself at Greek — he, such a scholar! — and tells me to diversify
my reading, to take exercise, and to get as much practical knowledge and
cheerful society as I can. He questioned me about Siiakespearc's poetry and
the prose-writers after IJacon. In short, ho talks to mn of every sort of subject
except what is called Tractarianism. and that he has never mentioned." Now
this seemed to me most honourable.' — 3//.ss Mit/ord's LctUrs, vol. iii. p. 273.

' Scnnons on Various Occasions, p. 265.

vol.. II. ^

2 26 lo/in llcnry Nciuniau 1837

of {greatness in his friciuls, a sense of liis greatness and the
greatness of companionship witli him.

Greatness is a strong, bold word to use, but certainly there
was a sense of this quality — very rare m most experiences —
i]i those who came even casually in contact with Mr. Newman.
* I experienced it,' writes a lady, looking back, ' when T. and I
were spending an evening — or rather some part of it — in Mr.
Newman's rooms in Oriel. In a few words spoken without
any effort, as if only the outcome of his habitual train of
thought, he took one out of the world one lived in, into
another and a higher region.' It was partly the simplicity of
his manner and words, an absence of the didactic tone —
which implies putting the mind consciously into a certain
frame — that gave this impression.

Bishop Wilberforce, in his early days, writing of a visit
to Oxford, in 1836, gives his impression, after some long
conversations with Newman : —

There was a great deal that very much delighted me in
my visit, especially some very long conversations with Newman
upon several of the most mysterious parts of the Christian
Revelation, the Trinity, &c., as well as upon some of the
greatest practical difficulties to faith arising from the present
torn state of Christendom ; and it was really most sublime, as
an exhibition of human intellect, when in parts of our discus-
sions Newman kindled and poured forth a sort of magisterial
announcement in which Scripture, Christian antiquity deeply
studied and thoroughly imbibed, humility, veneration, love
of truth, and the highest glow of poetical feeling, all impressed
their own pictures on his conversation.^

Eev. J. H. Newman to J. W. Bowden, Esq.

Or'id: Fehruary 26, 1837.
You are very kind in your good wishes from 3'ear to year,

' Life of Bisliop Wilberforce, vol. i. p. 95.

1837 Letters and Correspondence zzy

and though I have been remiss in words, it is not as if 1 did
not think of yon. I hope to have a good account of your
health next time you write. Johnson gave me but a poor

At present I suppose my beginning weekly communion
will l)e a hindrance to my coming to town after Easter.'

PiEV. J, n. Xr.WMAN TO PiEV. J. KeBLE.

Olhi: March .?, 1S37.

The Act for the extinction of Sodor and Man had a flaw in
it. AVc were very desirous you should send us a petition for
this place, thinking you excel in that line more than we do.
If S. Wilberforce is at home, will you send him a line or a
petition ? Do send a strong one. I will sign it with half a
dozen even. . .

They say the Dean of Lichfield is to have the vacant see.
One report was that the Dishop of Oxford was to go there.
If so the coii'jc (Vt'Un' will fall foul of Pusey. Only fancy
our being under Hampden. They say the Bishop of Salis-
bury has died rich. The ])uke has written to Hampden to
resign the Hall [St. Mary], as being non-resident.

As has been said, the tracts issued singly, had been at
once a difficulty and an expense. No leading pul^lisher would,
or indeed could, undertake them ; ])ut collected and published
in volumes they had a rapid sale.

PiEV. J. H. Xewmax to J. W. ]3owDEN, Esq.

March 16, 1S37.

You know, I suppose, the third volume of tracts has been
some time out of print. This in a month or two. There is
no doubt Mr. "Wilkes's froth and fury arises from witnessing
the spread of Apostolical opinions. I am constantly having
letters of inquiry from strangers. The Cathedral article in

' This weekly communion Mr. Xewniun subsequently mentions, ns the only
one of his parochial plans which he began with any thought of the I'niversity

Q 2

2 28 fohii Jfciiry N'c'unuan 1837

the ' Quartevly,' I am told, is consideicd the greatest triumph
of Apostohcisin. When the ' Quarter!}- ' turns x\postohcal,
liirnam Wood may weh begin marching. Tlie amusing thing
is that the poor ' Christian Observer ' is obhged to pufT our
muniiicence, meekness, &c. ; to compare us to Fenelon, &c. He
win do more good in this way than harm by his raihng ; for
no one who'is * pecuharly ' disposed but thinks as bad of our
views as he can ah-ead}'.

We are getting up addresses to the Archbishop, of con-
gratulation for his spirit ; of intercession to Parhament on
behalf of the Isle of Man, ko.. ; but I suppose not much will
come of them. In Devonshire they are addressing the King
on the ground of his Coronation Oath. I cannot say I wish
the Ministers out. Even as to preferments they will do
pretty much the same as the Conservatives. Denison was
just the man [E. Denison of Merton, just then made Bishop
of Salisbury], except as being too young to be promoted by
Sir E. Peel, and I find the Conservatives in London praise
generally the ecclesiastical appointments of this Ministry.
[N.B. It was said at this time that Lord Melbourne (the
Premier) declared that ' the Bishops died to spite him,' he was
so hard up for Liberal candidates for promotion. It was just
after the Hampden matter too. Wlien the see of Salisbury
was vacant, it was said at the time (1837) that Mr. Sotheron
Estcourt (Conservative) went to Sir C. W^ood (Whig and in
the Ministry), both Oriel men, and said. Why not make E.
Denison (a third Oriel man and their contemporary) the new
Bishop ? and that Lord Melbourne seized and acted upon
their suggestion. — J.H.N. May 15, 1862]. Even if Sir
Eobcrt Peel extravagated into better men at any time, what
would be his most ambitious ascent ? To Rose, I suppose,
who, with his ten thousand excellences, yet has not the firm-
ness for these times. Wliat a good appointment Oakeley's is
to the Whitehall preachership ! You will have very elegant
and interesting and very bold and apostolical sermons from

1837 Letters and Corrcspoiidcucc 229


Ov'ii'l : M<inJi 31, 1S37.

Robert Williams has, I suppose, sent you from the Bishop
of Sotlor and Man a milk-and-water petition which I suspect
here will get no signatures at all. Without conciliating the
many it will dishearten the few. . .

I am pleasud at 3'our liking the book [' Prophetical Office ']
yet if it conciliates some it will frighten others, I fear. At
least I am not sanguine. I am glad to hear it is selling.

If I were to say what I really feel, 1 should say plainly
that no greater benefit could, in my opinion, be granted to the
Church than the publication of sermons from you, and that
on account of their mnltfr, not only of the authority of your
name. I am so glad you are thinking of Irena-us.

PiEv. J. H. Newman to J. ^\'. Bowdex, Esq.

Oiiil : April 12, 1S37.

As to my breaking off the correspondence with the
' Christian Observer,' I do not see lioic I could continue it
after they spoke about pounds, shillings, and pence. So I
wrote to tell the Editor so.

My present notion is to puljlish what will almost be a book
on Justification, and perhaps in the Preface to allude to the
' Christian Observer.' [N.B. As my Lectures on the Pro-
l)hetical Office of the Church rose out of my correspondence
with the Abl)e Jager, so those on Justilieation rose out of
my controversy with {he 'Christian Observer."] Or if tlie
Editor does not publish the rest of my letter, nJdrJi I irish,
then I would publish it with such alterations as are neces-
sary. ...

The translation of the ' Confessions of St. Austin ' are
intended to appear in August, the ' Cyril. Hieros.' or a vohnno
of Chrysostom hi October, and tlicncefortli it will jjroceed, we
trust, quarterly.

230 John llcury iVczji/ian 1837

PiEV. J. H. Newman t(^ IiKv. J. Kedle.

Ajnil 14, 1837.

The ' Christian Ohserver ' has received the report of //o/a*
o'iviiig the 5,000/. Pusey says, in case you think it worth
while to notice it, keep this in view, that every denial tends
negatively to fix it on the right person. Such gross indeli-
cacy, though they mean it as praise, arises, as he says, from
their thinking it no use doing good unless it is talked a])0ut.
He says that, having given up tlie notion of heavenly reward
as sell-righteousness, they take to earthly.

That dedication to Eouth was quite on my mind for a
while, and made me very anxious. I felt the chance of what
you have thought, beforehand, and earnestly deprecated it.
Those I showed it to entirely approved of it. Pusey thought
it just what it should be. I should have sent it to you had
there been time. I do not, j'ou see, defend it — I mean I take
my own anxiety, not as a proof of caution, but as a fore-

It is a comfort to think that when I am out of health you
would let me come to Hursley for a while. But I rejoice
to say I am better than I have been for years.

. . . AYoodgate is Bampton Lecturer, which is a good

The following letter to his sister is given from Mr.
Kewman's copy of the original, taken at a later date, when he
was engaged in the task of looking through his general and
family correspondence :

To HIS SiSTEE (Mrs. .John Mozley).

,S7. Mnrk'slApril 25], 1837.

"What you say about my book ['Prophetical Office'] is
very gratifying. I hear the same in various other quarters,
and it is selling very well. It only shows how deej? the
absurd notion was in men's minds that I was a Papist ;
and now they are agreeably surprised. Thus I gain, as

1S37 Letters and Coii'cspoudcucc 231

commonly happens in the long run, hy being misrepresented,
thanks to ' liecord ' & Co. &c. ... I call the notion of my
))eing a I'apist absurd, for it argues an utter ignorance of
theology. AVe have all fallen back from the time of the Resto-
ration in a wonderful way. Any one who knew anything of
theology would not have confounded me with the Papists ; and
if he gave me any credit for knowledge of tlieology, or for
clearheadedness, he would not have thought me in danger of
l)ecoming one. True it is, every one who by liis (hvh irit had
.gone as far as I from popular Protestantism, or who had
))een taught from iritJiout, not being up to the differences of
things, and trained to discrimination, might have been in
<langer of going further ; but no one who either had learned
Iiis doctrine Instoricallij or had tolerable clearness of head
could be in more danger than in confusing the sun and moon.
However, I frankly own that if, in some important points,
our Anglican 7]6os differs from Popery, in others it is like it,
and on the whole far more like it than like Protestantism. So
one must expect a revival of the slander or misapprehension
in some shape or other. And we shall never be free from it,
<.)f course.

To HIS Sister (Mrs. Thos. Mozley).

Mai/ 3, 1837.

I began weekly communion at Easter, and have found th(>
c-hurch very well attended. Ihave it at seven in the morning.
Last Sunday I had thirty-six communicants. In the course of
four Sundays the alms have amounted to between 19/. and
20/. I divide them between the J)iocesan Fund for increasing
small livings, and the ]iew London Clergy Aid Society.

PiKv. .J. PL Newman to Y. Piocunis, Esg.

<h-irl CoHciic: .June I, 1837.

Your letter of this morning has made me very sad

indeed, it was exceedingly kind in you to say what you

have, and T feel it very much. Ever since I asked you what

I did so abruptly, when you were here, not knowing how

232 fohn Ilcnry N^ciuinan 1837

matters stood, I have borne your sister continually in mind,
and was anxious to hear how things were. I am not certain
you do not anticipate what is still future hnstilij, but I
know I should just do the same in your case. If it is to turn
out as you forebode, it is only a fresh instance of what I sup-
pose one must make up one's mind to think, and what is
consoling to think, that those who are early taken away are
the fittest to be taken, and that it is a privilege so to betaken,
and they are in their proper place when taken. Surely God
would not separate from us such, except it were best both for
them and for us, and that those who are taken away are such
as are most acceptable to Him seems proved by what we see;
for scarcely do you hear of some especial instance of religious
excellence, but you have also cause of apprehension how long
such a one is to continue here. I suppose one ought to take
it as the rule. We pray daily ' Thy kingdom come ' — if we
understand our words, we mean it as a privilege to leave the
world, and we must not wonder that God grants the privilege
to some of those who pray for it. It would be rather wonder-
ful if He did not. "When we use the Lord's prayer, we pray
not only for our eventual regathering, but our dispersion in
the interval. The more we live in the world that is not seen,
the more shall we feel that the removal of friends into that
unseen world is a bringing them near to us, not a separation.
I really do not think this fancifulness. I think it attainable —
just as our Saviour's going brought Him nearer, though in-
visibly, in the Spii'it.

You do not say anything about 3"our father and mother.
May they, and your sisters, and 3'ourself, and all of 3'ou be
supported under whatever is to happen, is the earnest and
anxious praj'er of

Your very affectionate, J. H. X.

The date of the following letter, which was found amongst
Mrs. John Mozley's papers, seems to show that she had ^Titten
to her brother, with a view to the approaching confirmation
of her husband's youngest sister.

1837 Letters and Correspondeuee 233

PiEv. J. n. Newman to Mus. John Mozley.

Oriel Collcfic : June 4, 1837.

I -wisli I could write you a satisfactory letter on the sub-
ject of Confirmation, As to books, I will mention something
before I conclude ; as to sermons, I have none. I shall be
WTiting some soon, perhaps, as a Confirmation is approaching.
I will say what strikes me, but it will be ditHcult to come to
the point in a page or two, and T am but i)artially informed
on the subject.

I doubt whether one should look to the service for the
doctrine of the Church about Confirmation, though it ////.'//// be
there. Prayers are not sermons, except accidentally. The
Puritans, &c., wished so to make them; they looked upon sacra-
ments chiefly as sermons, and thought their grace lay in their
kindling impressions in the mind; hence they generally started
with a long preachment : in the extreme Protestant (Conti-
nental) baptismal services, that is, you have a long exhortation.
In the same spirit Bucer, in King Edward's Second Book, pre-
fixed the Exhortation at the beginning of the daily service,
which still forms part of the service : in the primitive way, the
worshipper did not think of himself— he came to God— God's
house and altar were the sermon which addressed him and
roused him. His Sacraments were the objects of his regards.
Words were unnecessary. Hence in Ordination the lajiin;! on
of hands is the whole. There are no words necessary. Ac-
cordingly in our service for the consecration of bishops, the
words used in the act of consecrating are not explanatory — the
word ' bishop ' is used, but there is no definition of the olVu-e,
anymore than of the word 'confirmation' in the Conlirniatioii
service. It was an objection of the Piomanists to our Con-
secration service that till the Restoration it did not I'von
contain the word bishop ? [I think so]. This is answcrtd by
Courayer, who shows that to this day ["?] the same form is used
in the Church of Rome, or used to be. I am not sure of my
entire accuracy here, but am right in the outline. Hence in our
Coniirmation service the Exhortation is an address to those
who come, demanding of Ihtin wliat ///<'/ har<- (<> nice. They

234 / ohu Henry NcK'nian 1S37

give their ivovil. The l)ishf)p imposes his hand — such is the

The action speaks ; it must he a gift. "What else is meant
by liiiiinn luinds on ? "When a person takes an oath, the
magistrate, ^c, administers and witnesses it. The Inshoji -would
do the same, if it were merely a promise on the part of the
young. I conceive this is plain to common-sense, even if the
bishop said not a word in administering the rite. It must he
a peculiar sort of blessing ; every prayer is a sort of blessing,
but laying on of hands is evidently a special kind of blessing,
before we go on to look into antiquity, and to see the mean-

Online LibraryJohn Henry NewmanLetters and correspondence of John Henry Newman during his life in the English church, with a brief autobiography ; (Volume 2) → online text (page 19 of 47)