John Henry Newman.

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

. (page 22 of 47)
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 22 of 47)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ingly I now write to say that, if he would specify any Tract
which he wished drawn from publication, nay, if he said all
of them, I would do so forthwith ; that I should not like to
suppress imrts of Tracts, which might be unfair to the writer.
However, that I must except Nos. 6y and following, and Xo.
82 (they are Pusey's), over which I have no control, and a few

1838 LclU'rs and Coyrcspoudcucc 2^9

others, uliicli were not mv propert}', but which slimild not any
more appear among the Tracts, and as Ijclonging to them.

By doing this 1 think I set myself right witli him. 1
really cannot go on pul)lishing with this censure upon the
Tracts. And, if he ordered some to be suppressed, the tuunijili-
and precedent I am sure would be wortli ten times the value
of the Tracts suppressed.

Unless you think this quixotic, I am disposed very much
to do it.

P.S. — Since writing this, the idea so grows on me of the
absolute impossibility of going on (consistently) with the
Tracts, with the Bishop saying that parts are dangerous, that
if I do not write as above to him, I certainly nniat cease them.

The following letter to ^Mr. Bowden is that transcribed by
Mr. Xewman, Mith the notice that it marked the date of a
' change of fortune * :

Ei:v. J. II. Xi:wMAN to J. AV.. Bowdkx, Es{,».

Oriel: AiKjitst 17, 1838.

I delayed writing in order to give you an account of our
Bishop's Charge, which an ear-witness told me was favourable
by name to the ' Tracts for the Times.' He has been here, but,
alas ! it is the other way.

This is too strong a way of putting it, but my inii)ression
of it is this : it has dcfrd tnn-ards our ohjects and at the same
time has given iis a slap ; which, by-the-bye, is what I have
always predicted woul<l be our fate. "What he said was very
slight indeed, but a Bishop's lightest word, <\v cathrdra, is
heavy. The whole effect, too, was cold towards us, in this
way : that he had had anonymous letters saying we were going
into Boniaiiism, that lie had made incjuiries of our way of
conducting tlu' service, &.<:., and foioid nothing. Thus it was
negation : there was no praise. Then, as to the Tracts, he
said that wt' wei-e sincere, and that certain objects recom-
mended in them, such as keeping Fast and Festival, were
highly desirable ; but that there were expressions in them

s 2

26o f oJiii //any N^cwnian 1838

which might he injurious to particular minds, and ho conjured
us not to go too far, kz.

Now here, as far as the Cause goes, is ahundant gain. He
spoke strongly in favour of observing the Rubric, of recurring
to Antiquity, of Saints'-daj's ; and by implication he allowed
of turning to the East, the irpodsai^, &c. : but what has he
done to ws ? Why we stand thus. How many times in a
century is a book, and that principally the writing of a person
in a Bishop's diocese, noticed in a Bishop's Charge ? it is not
usual. Next it is said by him to contain exceptionable expres-
sions. Is it possible that any work in the world, of four thick
volumes, should not ? Certainly not. The truth, then, of the
remark is not enough to account for what a Bishop saj's, unless
it is important to say it. Nothing but important truths will
enter into a Bishop's Charge ; and since he has not said ivhat
the exceptionable things are, he has thrown a general suspicion
over all the volumes.

Under these circumstances I felt that it was impossible for
me to continue the Tracts, and wrote to Keble on the subject.
He, without knowing my opinion, c^uite took the same view,
stating it very strongly : and I feel, whatever difference of
opinion there may be about it, I cannot do otherwise. It
would be against my feelings. Pusey is at "Weymouth, and
knows nothing yet of what has happened ; nor does anyone
else ; so do not talk of it to anyone. Accordingly I have
written to the Archdeacon, not as archdeacon, but as a friend,
to say that I propose to stop the Tracts and withdraw the
existing ones from circulation ; that this is ver}' unpleasant to
me ; that the only way 1 can see to hinder it is, if I could
learn privately from the Bishop any particular Tract he
disapproves, which I would at once suppress. . . . Well, my
dear Bowden, has not this come suddenly and taken away
your breath ? It nearly has mine. But I do not thmk I can
be wrong, and I think good may come of it. It will be a
considerable loss of money, I fear ; and the fifth volume is
nearly ready for publication, but I think the precedent will
be very good ; and it M'ill make people see we are sincere and
not ambitious.

1838 Letters and Correspondence 261

... It is an oxcoodingly strong and bold Charge ; and if I
suffered, the Archlusliop of Canterbury and the rest of the
commission did not suffer less.

The Rector of Exeter [Jones] is dead, and we are very
anxious al)Out his successor. The election is September i , I
fear I shall in consequence, anyhow, lose Sewell's article. I
have not yet a single article for the ' British Critic,* nor yet
had any time to write one. I am sure I ought not to be sorry
if the Bishop lessens my work.

Shuttleworth has pul)lished a little book against tradition ;
very superficial, retailing old objections, but specious and
perhaps mischievous.

C. Marriott is going to Chichester. Le Bas has been
paying me a visit ; he has just lost a daughter.

PiEV. J. H. Newman to Rev. J. Keble.

August 23, 183S.
I did not write to Puscy for many reasons. He had enough
to think about [Mrs. Pusey's illness]. I might seem in a
mesLSUYe jxirticcps cri)iii)iis, and unfit to mediate, though I sup-
pose his Tracts are not in fault. And he was at a distance ; so
I wrote to the Archdeacon [Clarke], stating pretty much what
passed between you and me. I said that I had recourse to
him, though in an official capacity, when I would rather liave
chosen another, because there was no other ; that I neither
wrote to him formally myself, nor wanted a formal answer ;
that the IJishop, by saymg there were ambiguous and unsafe
expressions in the Tracts (by-the-bye, the Charge itself is very
good and strong, and speaks out more than any Bishop has
done, perhaps, except the liishop of Exeter), had thrown a
suspicion over the whole, and that I seemed, under the cir-
cumstances, to have no course but to remove them out of his
way ; that a Bishop's word was not a light one, and could not
be ; that it was rare ; that it struck me I might be saved a
very disagreeable measure if he would kindly get from the
Bishop — not as archdeacon, but as a friend — not the expres-
sions, becausi! T gatlured from his Chargi^ he did not wish to

262 /ohn Ilcnry Nciuinan 1838

get into discussion, liut the Tracts which contained thorn, on
which I would withdraw such Tracts without a word, and the
rest would be saved. I ended by thanking the Bishop for the
kindness he had so often shown me, and by hinting my pain
that tlie first notice I should have of any part of my writings
being under his disapprobation should be on so j^ublic and
solemn an occasion. I was not pleased with my letter, but it
was the best I could write, and the Bishop seems to have taken
it as I meant, which is enough.

The Archdeacon answered me that he had not seen the
Charge before he heard it, that the Bishop had not consulted
him, and he thought I had better think nothing of himself,
and address the Bisliop (this made me suppose that Spry is at
the bottom of the Charge, which the Bishop's letter somewhat

I then wrote to the Bishop (who had received from the
Archdeacon my letter to him), merely asking whether I should
call or write to him.

I received his answer yesterday morning. He begins by
saying that he had been pained ever since he received my
letter, not with me, because I had perfectly satisfied him in
my own demeanom*, kii., but at the idea of having pained me :
that I must have misunderstood him ; and he entreated me to
wait at least till the Charge was printed ; that to withdraw the
Tracts, at least at once, would be unfair to him, as making
him seem to say more than he meant ; that he had been forced
to give judgment on account of anonymous letters and of
other Bishops having spoken ; that he had in his Charge
approved very much of what we had done, censu]-ed nothing,
only warned ; that he considered that the opposite party had
rather cause to complain he had gone so far : that my im-
pression was not the general one ; that he assured me that
persons who thought the Tracts were doing good, and had a
great respect for me, yet lamented expressions, l^-c, in them,
and that he would call on me when he next came into Oxford,
and hoped to meet me on the same terms as ever ; and that
he wished to know my imj^rcssion of what he had said.
Nothing could be kinder or more s^-mpathetic than his letter.

].s3S Letters and Corrcspondcticc 263

It seems lo me plain from it that lie tliouf^lit a great deal
in the Tracts very good, but would not commit himself in any
way to them. Accordingly (as far as I remember) there is
not a word of praise bestowed on them, but, on the other hand,
to balance his own adoption of what they recommended, u
slight discredit cast about them ; that he has not read them ;
that he goes b}- what he hears said, has seen extravagant
persons, &c., and (not thinking of our feelings at all, any more
than if we were the very paper Tracts themselves) he propiti-
ates the popular cry against us with a vague disapprobation,
just as men revile Popery in order to say strong Catholic
things. Of course this is entre nous, and I have expressed
myself much more strongly than would be right, were I not
putting you in possession of my thoughts with reference to 1
Ibrming a judgment. Also, I am not sure if he was not 1
rather annoyed with me when he delivered his Charge,
whether on account of the'Eemains' or for other reason.
T think he has not considered that a Bishop's word is an act,
that I am under his jurisdiction, that ho cannot criticise,
but commands only.

I answered him last night that I would certainly wait till his
Charge came out, that I had ever studied to please him in word
and deed, and that no two persons agree on minor matters,
in expediency, in opinion, or in expressions ; that his ordinary
silence as regards his clergy had been interpreted by me to
mean that in such matters, whichever way his own judgmont
lay, he allowed such differences, but that I had ever felt that
lio could withdraw his permission, and that, when he spoke,
his word was my rule ; and that, as to the Tracts, thty were
a large work, and l)ut a human production, and doubtless
full of imperfections. I knew this anyhow, but his formal
noticing the faults made them important, and for this reason,
and to obe}' him, and lest the world and my opponents should
iind me in the false position of being in opposition to him,
and in order that the doctrine of the Tracts might not
l)c inconsistent with ray conduct respecting them, I had
felt that to withdraw them in whole or in part was my
only course and 1 entreated him to believe that I should find

264 John Ilcury Ncwuiaii isss

real pleasure in submitting myself to liis expressed judg-

Then I told him what my impression was of what he had
said. He would get this letter this morning.

I^N.B. — I believe that, after the Bishop's d(;atli, my auto-
graph letters were in the hands of his widow. — J. H. X.

July 9, 1885.]

Now Q. I. Am I driving him into committing himself to
name certain expressions, &c. ? You see I have distinctly
waived all wish to know them. Q. 2. In my first letter I
professed a wish to go l)y what he really wished, if I privately
learnt what Tracts he disapproved. Now suppose he tells me
in speech or conversation, ' Go on with the Tracts,' and yet
prints the Charge as he read it (I think he will) , with a critique
on them, what am I to do ? Am I to appear undutiful when
I am not ? I have no view, but I will do what you advise^
I wish to be prepared with a view.

Kev. J. H. Newman to E. W. Church, Esq.

/SY. BartJiolomcic, 1838.

I wish I could think of something good for kut oiKoi'o/xiav.
I doubt whether in a new Father I shall not introduce the
word ' economically.' 1 consider it to mean a representation
or scene, only a true one. For example, the traveller and ewe
lamb are represented in word, and are not real. But the
Apostles asked Christ about the end of the world. They were
answered by our Lord's bringing together facts as Nathan
did irords. It is a trnejahle.^

Harrison is appointed Archbishop's Chaplain in the place
of Ogilvie. Palmer of Worcester is going to be married. Dr.
Kidd tells me Kichards is to be Head of Exeter, if he will
consent. Thus I have given you these ecclesiastical promo-

I am grieved to hear a very bad account of Greswell. It
is very doubtful if he can return to Oxford. If so, I suppose
tutors must be sought among the juniors.

' e.g. Hos. i. 2. Ezek. iv. 5, xxiv.

1838 Letters and Coyrcspomicucc 265

PiEv. J. 11. Newman to Eev. J. Kkijle.

All;lllst 2S, 1S38.

The Bisho]5, you will be glad to know, is vcrv imuli pleased
•with my letter, and wishes that nothing should appear in his
Charge which may give any pain. This comes indirectly
through Acland and must not be mentioned, so everything is
as well as it can be. This is a great comfort, since your
brother speaks of it in a way 1 do not like, and both Pusey
and Bowden are annoyed. Thanks for your letter, Ixith as
advice and encouragement. Your quotation from Virgil
brought tears into my eyes. No one has encouragid mc but
you. Pusey was so cast down when he heard it. that lie liim-
self needed comfort. I have no cough, thank you : it is always
voluntary, proceeding not from my lungs but from weakness
in my muscles of utterance.

PiEV. J. H. Newman to J. "\V. Bowdex, Esq.

Septcm})cr 4, 1838.

... As to the Bishop and me, I have little to tell you ;
I have written two letters and he one. I have promised not
to do anything till the Charge is printed. 1 have heard
indirectly what is very good news, but of course secret, that
he is much pleased with my letters, and that he is desirous
to nuike any alterations in his Charge which may relieve me.
I am quite certain that in my position I could do nothing
else. To suffer my Bishop to breathe a word against mc would
be to put myself in a false position. Depend upon it our
strength (as of every thing or person, political, religious,
philosophical) is conHistcncy. If we show we are not afraid of
carrying out our principles in whatever direction, luniianly
speaking, nothing can hurt us, and it seems the most likely
way to obtain a blessing. I do not think it would have l)een
volunteering a persecution. Observe I do not think I am out
of the wood yet ; for I do not see liow the Bishop can materially
alter his Charge or how I can l)ear any blow whativer. i low-
ever, I am sanguine it will end well. At the same lime 1 am

266 John Henry iVciunian 1838

bound to say that Pusey in the main seemed to agree with
yoii, as did Thomas Keblc.

. . . Two of our Translations of the Fathers will greet you
on your return to the South. I think they will do us harm
at first. Wo shall see choice bits of bigotr}-, fancifulness,
superstition, &c., strung together in the 'Eecord,' &c.

PiEA'. J. H. Newman to J. W. Bowden, Esq.

Scptemhcy 21, 1838.

The Bishop's Charge is to appear soon. I met him in the
street the other daj^ and thanked him for his kindness. * No,'
he said ; ' do not thank me : wait till you see.' These are
ominous words ; but, from what he has written to Pusey, I
cannot think that he means to put me in an awkward

The Archbishop [Whately] of Dublin is here, and is just
what he was in manner, &c. At first I was afraid to call,
knowing how annoyed he had been ; but I got him sounded,
and found he was pretty tame, and called in consequence.
He is so good hearted a man that it passed off well. I set
him upon Political Economy' and the Irish Poor Law, listened
for half an hour and came awa}'.

So far as the following letters to Mr. Keble are contribu-
tions to the history of the movement they are in place here,
and as illustrating the character of their writer under the
extreme tension of the moment, are not less so. The reader
will find a comment on the confidence of his tone from the
pen of ' J. H. N.' as he transcribes his letters after an interval
of forty-seven years.

Eev. J. H. Newman to Piev. J. Keble.

Xovcmhcr 6, 1838.

On Saturda}' morning I had a letter from Prevost pro-
testing in strong terms against the ' Breviary ' being published.
I wished to send it to Wood and Williams, but felt that some
explanation was necessary for sending them so needless^

J8o>( Letters and Correspondence 267

abrupt a letter. "Wood sends me back tlic answer I enclose,
which you will see implies (what I had told him) that, though
1 did not feel that Prevost's opposition was an insurmountable
ol^jection, I could translate no more h_ymns without your leave.
Your letter has saved me the awkwardness of writing to you
on the subject. "What I proposed to Wood was to correct the
' Breviary ' by Home standard. I confess I much dislike correct-
ing it by my private judgment, or by the vague opinions of
the day, or by what people will think. I mentioned to him the
Thirty-nine Articles, entitling it ' The Breviary Befctrmed
according to the Thirty-ninu Articles,' but the Thirty-nine
Articles will not cut out the legends. Then I thought of the
preface to the Prayer Book. What would you say to both
together '? After all, is there any one of our standards which
would keep out such as ' May St. Mary and all saints mtercede
for us to the Lord,' &c. ? Are we bound to cut out what is
of unknown antiquity and not forbidden by our Church '? I do
not think it will do to attempt to correct it by history. None of
the parties concerned are strong enough in facts to do so.

The sooner I have your answer the better. They go
printing on, but this at present will invohe very little

Biiv. J. H. Newman to Bi:v. J. Kedle.

XoronJtcr 21, 1S38.

. . . And now as to ni}' subject. I will first give an
unpleasant sketch of things, being sorry so to trouble you.

Some months since J. F. Christie wrote me word that
your brother was one of the persons mcluded in my remark in
my letter to Faussett, as holding at once the Apostolical
Succession, and that the Pope was Antichrist. ... 1 had
already modified the passage in the second edition somewhat,
from a hint that Williams had given me, and on receipt of
this letter (Christie's) I wrote to your brother to express my
sorrow for what was quite unintentional, and to say that in truth
I still did not think that he held the Pope to be ///*• Antichrist,
lie answered that he did not wish to argue the uiMlft i-, (hat

268 lohn II envy Newman 1838

lie lieariily wished I would go out of Oxford somewhere or
other for a time and forget Faussett, &c., and that he was
sorry to hear I was proposing hastily to give up the Tracts.
The tone of this letter, of which I forget the rest, hurt me a
good deal, the more as being quite unexpected. However, I
said nothing, except conveying a message through you to the
effect that I could not construe parts of it.

I then sent to ask him if I might make a collection for the
poor of Bisley on our anniversary at Littlemore, which in con-
sequence of his assent I did, and sent it to him.

About the same time he sent me his Tract, as I certainly
thought for ipuhlication. Accordingly I had it printed and
sent him the proof. He in answer professed himself per-
plexed at my having acted so hastily.

About the same time Pusey wrote to Jeffries to know if he
w^ould take part in the scheme of a college of priests for a
large town. Jeffries, scarcely giving a direct answer to the
question asked him, went into a long argument against the
idea itself to Puse}^, his senior, who had not asked his advice,
proposing instead a mode which he preferred, and suggesting
how I could give advice to Christie in furtherance of it.

Then lately came Prevost's letter about the ' Breviary,'
which, in telling me for the first time of his objection to the
plan, said that he, Jeffries and your brother were much
distressed at it, spoke of those who ' used ' to sympathise
with us, offered to pay expenses if they were stopped at once,
and begged an immediate answer. . . .

Now I write this for two purposes. First, I put myself
entirely into your hands. I will do whatever you suggest. I
really do hope I have no wish but that of peace with all
parties, and of satisfying you. If you tell me to make any
submission to anyone, I will do it. Indeed, I am determined,
if I can, that no charge should lie against me beyond that of
being myself — that is, of having certain opinions and a certain
way of expressing them.

And next about the opinions and their expression : there
too I give myself up to your judgment. If you will tell me
what not to do, I will not do it. I wish parties would seriously

1838 Letters and Correspondence 269

ask themselves what they desire of me. Is it to stop writing?
I will stop anything you advise. Is it to show what I write to
others hefore publishing ? It is my rule already. Pusey saw
my letter to Faussett. Williams and others heard and recom-
mended the publishing of my lectures. Is it to stop my
weekly parties, or anything else ? I will gladlj' do so.

Now this being understood, may I not fairly ask for some
little confidence in me as to what, under these voluntary
restrictions, I do ? People really should put themselves into
my place, and consider how the appearance of suspicion,
jealousy, and discontent is likely to afl't'ct one who is most
conscious that everything he does is imperfect, and therefore
soon begins so to suspect everything he does as to have no
heart and little power to do anything at all. Anyone can
fancy the effect which the presence of ill-disposed spectators
would have on some artist or operator engaged in a delicate
experiment. Is such conduct kind towards me ? is it feeling ?
If I ought to stop I am ready to stop, but do not in the same
breath chide me (for instance) for thinking of stopping the
Tracts, and then be severe on the Tracts which are actually
published. If I am to proceed I must be taken for what I
am — not agreeing perhaps altogether with those who criticise
me, but still (I suppose) on the whole subserving rather than
not what they consider right ends. This I feel, that if I am
met with loud remonstrances before gentle hints are tried, and
if suspicions go before proofs, I shall very soon be silenced
whether persons wish it or no. To the * Library of the Fathers '
I am pledged, to the * British Critic ' only to the end of this
year, and to nothing else besides the ' liemains.' If such a
result takes place, if persons force me by their criticisms into
that state of disgust which the steady contemplation of his
own doings is sure to create in an}' serious man, they will
have done a work which may cause them some sorrow, per-
haps some self-reproach.

[This was the last occasion on whiili I could prefer a claim
iox confidence. The very next autumn (1839) my misgivings
began, which led me in 1840 to write a very different letter to
Keble. — J.H.N. July 10, 1885.]

2^0 I oh 11 Ilciwy Newman 1^38

PiEV. T. IT. Newman to Eev. J, KEiiLi:.

Noveinhcr uSjcS.

... 1 feel your kindness in sending me the extract from
your brother's letter. If I say that my view aljout Prevost's
letter is suhstantudlij what it was, I say so only for the sake
of honesty. Anything I can do to smooth matters I will
gladly. I only hope that Prevost has got over the annoyance
of my letter (for which I am truly sorry), as I have, I trust,
got over the annoyance of his.

As to the Decemvirate of Eevision, I have no objection to
it ; but the question will arise, who are they to Ije ? Will
your brother allow more than one or two out of all our friends?
and again, how is time to be found for it ? It is difficult to
get one reviser. Are allthe articles in the 'British Critic ' to
have a second reviser after myself '? I repeat I have no ob-
jection, except what seems to me its impracticability. It is
virtually enjoining silence, which if it is to be done had better
be done openly.

These three letters to Mr. Keble, so keenly sensitive in
their tone, have been lately read by Mr. Newman's pupil and
friend (F. Pi.), to whom so many of the letters brought before
the reader are addressed — letters showing a remarkable warmth

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 22 of 47)