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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ing of it. Poor people feel this, as often as they wish, as
sometimes happens, to come for Confirmation again and

Next, irhat is the blessing ? The prayer tells us as follows :
that those who have been regenerated and pardoned are to
be ' strengthened ' by the Holy Ghost, and to have imparted
to them the seven gifts of grace which were poured upon
Christ ; again, that they are to be ' defended,' made to ' con-
tinue ' and ' increase ' ; lastly, that they are to be placed under
the protection of God's ' fatherly hand,' and to be led forward
in obedience. Here we have an interpretation quite sufficient
of the word ' Confirmation ' — namely, as a deep fixing, estab-
lishing, rooting-in of that grace which was first given in
Baptism. These things are prayed for, and just so far as
laying on of hands has somewhat of an assurance in it over
and above a prayer (in whatever measure more or less), so far
are tliey granted.

In accordance with this the ancient Church seems to have
believed as follows : that the Holy Ghost, who is the present
Lord and animating Power of the Church, communicated
Himself variously to its members ; first in Baptism, in another
way in Confirmation, in another way in the Holy Eucharist.
His first gift or communication is forgiveness, justification,
acceptance ; and this is the distinnuisJtinfi gift of Baptism.
He is the Spirit of Justification, vid. i Cor. vi. ii, 2 Cor. iii.
6-9. This gift He gives complete and whole, and such as is
never repeated in this life : but He also gives the beginnings

Js"'>7 Letters and Corrcspoudciicc 235

of otlier gifts, which are more fidhj given aftorwardb, viz. his
sanctifying influences ; and since these are those which are
more commonly, even in Scripture, called the Spirit, it
follows that in one sense the S])irit is not given or hardly
given in Baptism. I would have you look to what Jeremy
Taylor says on Baptism (I think in his ' Life of Christ ' or ' Holy
Living ') ; and you will find some writers, such as TertuUian,
say that Baptism imparts forgiveness, Confirmation the
Spirit, which only means that Confirmation seals in their
fulness, winds up and consigns, completes the entire round of
those sanctifying gifts which are begun, which are given
inehoatel}', in Baptism. If it be said that Confirmation is
thus made a sacrament, I answer that it is properly an
integral part of the baptismal rite. I do not say of the essence
or an essential part of Baptism, but an integi'al part, just as
ii hand is an integral part of our body, yet may be amputated
without loss of life. And in ancient times it was administered
at the time of Baptism, as its ratification on the part of the
bishop. . . .

If it be asked what is the peculiar grace of Confirmation,
I answer, it seems, as the Greek name implies, to be a
jierfecting or man-making. "We in it become men in Christ
Jesus. The Ijaptismal grace is principally directed towards
the abolition of existing guilt, e.<j. original sin. The child is,
comparatively speaking, incapable of actual sin. The grace of
Confirmation is directed to arm the Christian against his three
great enemies, which on entering into his field of trial he at
once meets. This is alluded to in Keldc's poem on Con-

This I know is Ijut a sketch of what might be said. If
you have any otlier questions you want answered, let me
know. I know of wo fdmiliav l)Ook on the sul)ject. Dodsworth
has written one which it would be as well you should look at,
iind Eyre of Salisl)ury (at Pavington's) another. But I shouhl
recommend you to read Jeremy Taylor's work on Confirma-
tion^ — Xpco-is re\£to)TiK)'j. Also his remarks on Baptism,
in either his ' Holy Living ' or ' Life of Christ.' He is a writer
essentially untrustworthy — i.r. if some external attraction

236 John Ilcnry N'civnian 1837

meets liim, he cannot resist it. He is like an iron vessel
navigating between loadstone islands. The necessity, for
example, of seeming an anti-Papist will draw all his nails out.
}3ut, as far as I know, he is correct in these works, and gives
a good deal of information. It is too difficult, however, for
Elizabeth. .

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

Oriel: June 6, 1837.

... I believe, but you must have heard it if it is true,
that on the Bishop elect of Norwich [Stanley] signifying to
the Archbishop his intention of proposing Arnold to preach
his Consecration sermon, the Archbishop wrote to him to say
lie had appointed his Chaplain, Mr. Piose. . . .

P.S. I have sent up to the Curates' Fund 20L from our
early communion as a specimen of what would be good to do

PiEV. J. H. Newman to Piev. J. Keble.

June 30, 1837.

As to Pi. H. Froude's ' Kemains,' I am sanguine that the
volume will take with University men. I have transcribed
the ' Private Thoughts,' and am deeply impressed with their
attractive character. They are full of instruction and interest,
as I think all will feel. I have transcribed them for your
imjjrimatur. If you say ' yes,' and send them to me, I propose
to go to press almost immediately.

These ' Thoughts ' i^resent a remarkable instance of the
temptation to Eationalism, self-speculation, lVc, subdued.
We see his mind only breaking out into more original and
beautiful discoveries, from that very repression which at first
sight seemed likely to be the utter prohibition to exercise his
special powers. He used playfully to say that ' his highest
ambition was to be a humdrum,' and by relinquishing the
prospect of originality he has but become more original.

1837 Letters and Correspoudeucc 237

Eev. J. II. Newman to F. Hogers, Esq.

I have many things to write about, and hardly know
which to begin with.

I send you a number of extracts from Fronde's letters to
me. It was Isaac "Williams's suggestion. ... I propose that a
selection of letters, such as this, should follow on the ' Private
Thoughts,' as displaying his mind. Eead them attentively.
If you think there is a chance of their doing, I nmst apply
for yours, Keble's, Williams's, and his home letters. Qu. to
whom did he write when abroad [in Ital}^ ?]

My reasons for this selection are such as the following :
I. to show his mind, his unaffectedness, playfulness, brilliancy,
which nothing else would show. His letters approach to con-
versation, to show his delicate mode of implying, not
expressing, sacred thoughts ; his utter hatred of pretence
and humbug. 1 have much to say on the danger which (I
think) at present besets the Apostolical movement of getting
2')cculi(ir in externals, i.e. formal, manneristic. Sec. Now,
Froude disdained all sJioic of religion. In losing him we
have lost an important correction. I fear our fasting, itc,
may get ostentatious. His letters are a second-best preven-
tive. 2. To make the work interesting, nothing takes so
much as these private things. 3, To show the history of the
•formation of his opinions. Vaughan was observing the other
day that we never have the history of men in the most interesting
period of their life, from eighteen to twenty-eight or thirty,
when they iwefonninii ; now this gives Froude's. 4. To show
how deliberately and dispassionately he formed his opinions ;
they were not taken up as mere fancies. This invests them
with much consideration. Here his change from Tory to
Apostolical is curious. 5. To show the interesting iiron-th of his
mind, how indolence was overcome, $cc. ; to show his love of
mathematics, his remarkable struggle against the lassitude of
disease, his working to the hint. 6. For the intrinsic merit of
his remarks.

238 I oliit I Iciiry Nciviiian ^^•.\l

If you think ilio iu)tion eiitcrtainahlc, I wish you could
put th(3 MS. into the liantls of some person who is a j^ood
judge, yet more impartial than ourselves, in order to ascertain
his impf<'s>iio» of it. The difficulty is, he ought to have seen
the ' Private Thoughts,' of which it is a continuation in
fact. I thought of Acland, except that he is a fastidious
man. What say you to Hope ? But I leave it to your judg-

If you and the other agree in countenancing the notion,
then send down the MS. to Keble with an enumeration of
the reasons for publishing it which I have given above. You
see I have hardly any letters from Barbadoes about the 2)hir(',
and none (of course) from Italy. These, when added, will
increase and diversify the interest of the whole.

I propose in the preface to say briefly that ' the author
had his own opinions about some of the agents in the
ecclesiastical revolution of the sixteenth century, which he-
was as free to hold as the contrary ; that we are not bound to
individuals, and that the same liberty by which we are able
to speak against Henry YIII. may be extended to our judgment
of Cranmer.'

I am going to review Lamennais' work in October. It is
most curious.

As to the statutes, I do not suppose any of us will differ in
■principle, though I have not interchanged a word with any
one. We are at liberty to alter our statutes, therefore let us
■in honorem Dei alter them. But wJuit alterations ? As to
the sermo latinus, I should consent to that being altered; but
even here I think it would be most respectful rather to append
the alteration as a sort of perpetual suspension than to
obliterate it.

My reason for wishing to keep the original text is, that
a statute, though obsolete, often lets one into the spint of"
the foundation, and is, therefore, very important for direc-
tion even wdien not literally obeyed. I should like the
alterations to be appended ; but this is a matter of expe-

Next, perhaps some persons would go further than I as

1837 Lcllci's and Correspondence 239

to idud slioulcl be rcpcalLil, I uonhl not rcpcul the reading
Scripture in Hall. Must I then at once return to it ? This
is not iiecfssanj, though I should like it. It is sometimes put
as a dilemma, you must either repeal your statutes or keep
them. I deny it ; it is a shrewd argument for a lawyer i)r
politician, not for a divine. Any divine must acknowledge
that all of us take a most solemn vow of universal obedience
in baptism, which yet we neither attempt to keep nor repeal.
I mean that the highest obedience is a privilcfiv, and that
persons by transgressing lose the privilege, are unworthy of
it, and not only do not, but are not allowed to, enjoy it. We
are bound to go to church, but a person under an interdict
cannot. We are bound to reprove others, but a penitent may
not consistently with his fallen state. In like numner we
inherit a second best oljcdience to the statutes ; Ave cannot at
will reverse the sins of our forefathers, and retraverse the
course of centuries, any more than at will we could rt'peal the
Emancipation Act. W(> are committed — ' go with the men.'
It were a privilege to obey tlie statutes, but our ?]dos is l>c-
neath them. We cannot force up our ?]0os; or if this or that
person thinks himself equal to certain observances, the
majority of fellows may not be. In i-etaining the statutes,
then, not observing them, we are no more breaking our oaths
than a statesman breaks his ]»aptismal oath in holding it a
duty to make the Church dominant, yet not agitating for the
reinforcement of the Test Act.

As to the injunctions of Parliament against the praying
for the dead, which you say has virtually repealed a portion
of our statutes, I agree witli you, and. with my views of the
omnipotence of rarliament in such a matter, amquite content
to urge with you that iiofJiintf more need be; done. The
Provost will grant choikjIi lias been done, and I will allow that
not too 111 iH-Ji; he will say Parliament has done good and no
harm. Prom what you say I supi)ose you will agree with me
in all Ibis. Let me know.

1 saw for a day last week, and was as grave (yet

natural) as a judge the whole time, except for one instant,
when, to try , I suddenly on a pause broke out with a

240 joJin I fciiry Ncivnmn 1837

sentence like this, turning round sharp : ' So, , you wish,

it seems, to change the monarchy into a repubhc ? ' (this was

not it, but like it). shrunk up as if twenty thousand pins

had been thrust into him ; his flesh goosified, his mouth
puckered up, and he looked the picture of astonishment, awe,
suspicion and horror. After this trial I went back to my
grave manner, and all was well. Now don't you see that, for
his good and comfort, one must put on one's company coat
before him ? he cannot bear one's shirt-sleeves.

Stanley attends Sacrament in St. Mary's now.

Cholderton is a very nice place to my fancy ; the village
itself beautiful.

I see the ' Christian Advocate ' at Cambridge has written
against the Tracts.

Excuse me if I have not courage to read over this frightful
scrawl. — Ever yours affectionately,

John H. Newman.

P.S. — I am told that the ' Christian Observer ' has reviewed
the ' Lyra,' and in so doing has spoken with interest of
Eroude as the most spiritual and least bigoted, &c., of the
whole set.

Keble wants to raise a sum for the endowment of Otter-
bourn, and I have promised to raise ten pounds. I wish if
jou see Acland or R. Williams, or any other wealthy friend,
you would ask them from me for one pound towards it.

" Eev. J. H. Newman to Eev. J. Keble.

Oriel: Jnhj 16, 1 837.

"Williams has suggested the publication of extracts from
Hurrell's letters. I feared at first they would be too personal
as regards others, but then I began to think that, if they
could be given, they would be next best to talking with him,
and v/ould show him in a light otherwise unattainable. Then
there are so many clever things in those he sent me, the first
hints of principles, &c., which land others have pursued, and
of which he ought to have the credit. Moreover, we have

]837 Letters and Correspondence 24 1

often said the movement, if anything comes of it, nuist he
cntlmsiastic. Now here is a man fitted al)Ove all others to
kindle enthusiasm. I have written to William Froiule ahont
it, who caught at the idea, which he said had already struck
him. Considering the state of the University, everything
wliicli can tell against Hampdonism will he a gain.

PiEv. J. 11. Newman to Miss M. R. Giiihrxi:.

Oriel College : .////// 24, 1.S37.
... As to the Translations of the Fathers, there is no reason
in the world you should suhscribe to them. However, I do
not think that any decoction, such as even Hooker's, can take
their place. Yet while I say this I am unable to anticipate
whether a translation can preserve their spirit. 1 should not
wonder if it turned out that they seemed quite flat and insipid.
It seems to me the great use of our library will he to make
the clergy read the originals; and it is giving a general i)n]>iihr
m a certain direction. However, others think dilferently :
namely, that they may become popular reading. I do not
deny it, and feel I have no means of judging. The event is the
only way of deciding the question.

... It is remarkable how plans of altering the Liturgy
have died away ever since our movement began ; we have
given our opponents other things to think about. How-
ever, the cry may revive any day, yet the suspension of it is
a gain. . . .

We have nothing to hope or fear from Whig or Conservative
Governments, or from bishops, or from peers, or from courts,
or from other visible power. We must trust our own )'jdos —
that is, what is unseen and its unseen Author. L do ho^ie
we shall be strengthened to develop in new ways, since the
ordinary waj's are stopped up.

PiEV. J. H. Newman to .1. V\'. ]5ownEN, Esq.

AuijHst 25, 1S37.
... If any one wished to bring about the repeal of the
Pvccmuniyr, the Bishop of Norwich's sermon is oar ally. Put

VOL. II. u

242 Jolni Ilcury AU'ivn/au ]8:37

I jun not for toiicliiiij^' iiny of owy forms. If we can l)ut infuse
a new spirit into the Church, those will fall off as the case of
a chrysalis. Quid leges sine moribus } And in like manner,
quid noil mores f When there is a spirit it finds out channels,
it creates the external tokens and means of energising. On
the other hand we are not ripe for a change.
INfy best eonipHmcnts to Hildehrand.

Eev. J. H. New:\ian to Eev. J. Keele.

August 27, 1837.
Thank you for wishing for me at the consecration [of
Hursley church ?], and I should have much liked it. I think
I am very cold and reserved to people, but I cannot ever
realise to myself that any one loves me. I believe that is
partly the reason, or I dare not realise it.

Eev. .T. H. Newman to F. EoctErs, Esq.

Oriel: August t^i, 1837.
Archdeacon Fronde sent up within this last weekHurrell's
private journal (1826-1827), of which I did not know the exist-
ence before, giving an account of his fastings, &c., and his
minute faults and temptations at the time. Also a letter of
liis mother's, indirectly addressed to him within a year of
her death, speaking of his failings and good points. They
are more interesting than anything I have seen, except,
perhaps, his letters to Keble, which are also come. Does it
not seem as if Providence was putting things into our hands
for something especial ? there is so gradual and unexpected
an accumulation. I should be rejoiced at the prospect of
your reviewing the volume. I want Eivington to have the
volumes purchasable separately ; each will have separate
interest for a different set of persons — the sermons for parsons,
the first volume for young people. You should have the sheets
as fast as they come from the press. I doubt whether you
know enough at present to begin. These new papers have
quite made my head whirl, and have put things quite in a
new light.

1837 Letters and Correspondence 243

Your judgiiioiit about ' The Kin;:,'d()m of the Saints ' is
most vahiable : first, because it is the first I have had on the
subject, certainly the first deUberate one after a perusal of
Scripture ; next, because it is a very cssetitial theory in the
Anglican system, indeed it is the heart of it. Further, it
fits in to Froude's theory of Church and State ; and lastly,
not the least, it is valuable for the sake of the person
making it.

I wish Wood would put down on paper irlurr and Jioir he
disagrees with me. I see no more than the man in the moon.
All I have said is, that the Fathers do appeal in all their
controversies to Scripture as a final authority. When this
occurs once only it may be an accident. When it occurs
again and again uniformly, it does invest Scripture with
the character of an exclusive rule of faith. And besides
this, they used strong expressions about Scripture. Try if
you can master his objection. You told me you thought my
lecture satisfactory yourself when you read it. Do you mean
that the ' Dublin Review ' article floors mine or is floored ?
I do not recollect any arguments it uses against our theory of
the Rule of Faith. I fancied the article was Dr. Wiseman's,
but know no more than you.

I never have had so much important business on my
hands at a time as now. The Library of the Fathers, my
l)ook on Justification, some Tracts, and Froude's papers.

Some passages of a letter of sympathy with his friend on
a severe domestic loss may be given here, though the whole
letter, full of touches of feeling as it is, is of too strictly
private a character for insertion.

Ri:v. T. H. Nkwmax to F. Rogers, Esq.

(hill: September 2 S, 1837.

l\Iy first feeling on receiving your letter was to think liow
great a privilege I had lost, by not taking advantage of the
leave you gave me some weeks since, to come to lihukheath
for a dnv. ]5ut then it struck me that / had not lost it ;

2j}4 John Ilciiry Xciciiiaii 1837

ilioro are tilings only allowed one under circumstances, and
though, as far as my own gratification went, 1 would have
gone from Oxford on purpose, yet that in many ways would
have heen outstepping duty and propriety, and so I comfort
myself that under things as they were, leave was not given
me providentially, though hy you.

Also, I felt great relief in your letter from finding, not
only that the worst was over, but that it was over so


You have, in every w-ay of viewing her memory, nothing
but pleasant thoughts about your sister.

We were celebrating the anniversary of the Consecration
at Littlemorc the day you lost her, the 22nd. I like such
coincidences, there is something very pleasant in them. We
had a most delightful day in every way. The weather was
most lovely, and the people, out of their own head, orna-
mented the chapel with flowers. I preached, and Pusey
administered the Sacrament. We were aiilicd- to have
Afternoon Service when Morning Service was- over, and
complied. The Offertory collection was for a school-room,
and we got above 1 8/. It was a most pleasant day, and all
this while your sister was leaving you. Well, if anything
which has been done in Oxford, whether in prayer or other
way, has been useful to her, I hope she will not forget us

There is no reason to suppose that the question of vest-
ments or of ritual was ever a prominent one in Mr. Newman's
mind, but his critics seem to have expected, and even attri-
buted to him, observances of this character, which the tone of
his letters proves had no foundation in fact.

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

Ilnvslcy: October 6, 1837.

Truro people told Keble that they had it from an Oxford
man that he (the Oxford man) had gone into Littlemore

1837 Letters and Correspondence 245

chapel and found lights burning there, and was told they burn
night and day. Daman, our Fellow, was told at Ilfraconilx'
by the clergyman that I wore on my surplfce a rich illuminated

I am here for a week to consult w ith Keble about Froude's
papers, which are now in the press and require a good deal
of attention. You will, I think, be deeply interested in
them. His father has put some into my hands of a most
private nature. They are quite new even to Keble, who
knew more about him than anyone. . , . All persons of
unhacknied feelings and j'outhful minds must be taken by
them ; others will think them romantic, scrupulous, over-
refined, &c.

In return for 3'ours I will give you another eVoy of the
Bishop of L. At his table H. \Vilberforce said, in answer to
a question, that in case of a demand for marriage without
l)anns or licence (according to the new Act) he should consult
his Bishop. On which the Bishop of L. [qy. Copleston] said,
* "Were I asked I should give no answer ; I should say : " You
and I must obey the haiv, and if we do not choose to obey
the Law, we must go out of the Establishment." ' There is
nothing to hope from him. By-the-bye, the Bishop of Lincoln
[Kayo] has spoken in favour of the Tracts in a charge. This
is capital.

P.S. — I heard the other day of a young man in an office
being led to Apostolical views by the ' Becord.' Then he
bought Pusey's Tracts, and he now lends them about, and has
become a propagandist. Hook has converted three AVcsleyan

Bi:v. J. n. Xi:w:\iAN to Bkv, J. Keble.

Octohrr 26, 1837.

Sir Bobert Inglis has been to the Isle of Man, and
tells me the clergy there have subscribed a petition Jor
instead of aiiainat the suppression of their see, being
tempted by the spoils. The laity are getting up a petition

246 John Jlcnry Nciviuan iS-'Jr

Ekv. J. IT. Nemman to PiEV. J. Kkdij:.

Ovid: Xorrjiihrr T,, 1837.

Your news al:»out the Bislioj) of W. is good. In return I
present you with two rumours.

One, that the Somerset Low Church party arc to get up a
petition signed by 2,000 against I tnow not what ; against
perhaps all candles, postures and vestments which imagination
ever pictured.

Next, that 200 and more of the "Winchester clergy are
petitioning the Archbishop to call a Provincial Council, to
censure the Piev. John Keble for laying waste the Diocese by
his sermon on Tradition. Also, that there was a great desire
to make the said J. K. commit himself on some point which
will set him wrong with the majority. Therefore, bear in
your mouth the tongue of the wise, and put a /3ovs sttI '^fs.axrar].

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

Oriel Collcrje : Xov. 22, 1837.

So the two parties of the aristocracy are to join, and the
Church, as distinct from the Establishment, to be quietly
dropped. As to our statutes it is a long business. I will get
you some papers on the subject. The revision is quite a new
question, without precedent since the Laudian code. The
Heads [of Houses] wish to bring it into the ordinary business
of the University, as then- concern ; the Convocation, as if
sui generis, to judge it by antecedent precedents, i.e. precedent

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 20 of 47)