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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cation : this would be their game, and they would carr}' it, I
think, but they will not venture on the risk.

Meanwhile Newman is very much relieved by liavmg got a
load off his back, and has been pretty cheerful. The thought
of Convocation harassed him and Keble very much. He is
writing an explanation, but he thinks that his tract-writing is
done for. He is pretty confident about the Bishop of Oxford ;
and he has been very kindly backed up. William Palmer
(Worcester), as soon as the row began, wrote a very kind letter,
speaking of No. 90 as the most valuable that had appeared,
as likely to break down traditionary interpretations, and lead
to greater agreement in essentials, and toleration of Catholic
opinions. A. Perceval also wrote to much the same effect.

1841 Letters and Correspondence 331

Koble wrote to the Yice-Cliancellor tcaking an equal share of
responsibihty in tlie Tracts. Pusey has also written, but lie
is very much cast down about the turn things have taken,
thinks the game uj), and, inter uoh, does not quite agree with
Newman's view of the Articles, though he softens down.

The row, which lias been prodigious they say, has made
Golly a great man : he now ventures to patronise the Provost,
who even condescended to lose his breakfast t'other day to
hear G. prose. He has received letters of thanks for his great
and indefatigable exertions from four Bishops — London,
Chester, Chichester, and AVinton. Newman talks of him as a
future ' great man.' I shall finish in a day or two. You
will be sorry to hear that Sam AVilberforce has lost his wife :
his Bamptons are given up.

March 21. — As soon as it became known that the Heads
meant to fall upon No. 90, Newman ))egan writing a short
pamphlet to explain its statements and objects, and let the
Heads know that it was coming, thrcjugh Puse}' and the
Provost. However, they thought it undignilied or awkward
to wait, and on Monday last they ' resolved ' that ' No. 90
suggested a mode of interpreting the Articles which evaded
rather than explained ' them, and ' which defeated the object
and was inconsistent with the observance of the Statutes '
about them. As soon as this was published, Newman wrote a
short letter to the Vice-Chancellor avowing the authorship,
and without giving up the principle of the Tract, taking their
sentence with a calm and lofty meekness, that must have let
a new light into these excellent old gentlemen. Newman
making an apology to Fox, Grayson, & Co. ! this softened
many people : even the Provost, who is very strong, thought it
necessary to butter a little about 'e.vcrUent njiirit under triiin;t
circinnntaneen,' S:c. And soon after came out Newman's explana-
tion in a letter to Jelf : his point being to defend himself against
the charges, (i) of ilialtouefitij aiid evasion, and (2) of ivdntonness.
This has rather staggered people, i.e. as to their immediate nit)ve.
I think the Heads feel that he has shown they did not take
(juite time enough to understand his meaning, and he has
brought together for their benelit in a short compass, and in

332 [ohu Ilcury Newman 1841

a pamphlet ihat ('vcrtjhuilij is snir to read, some disagreeable
facts and statements from our ])ivines. And the Heads show
that they feel it rather a floor for the present, by affecting to
consider it — which it is not in the least {jiidicc Ward) — a retrac-
iatiun or reconaideration, as our Provost said to Newman. So
the matter has ended heir as far as public measures go. On
the one side we have escaped the l)ore and defeat of Convoca-
tion, and the Heads are loudly condemned on all hands for an
arbitrary and hasty act, by which they have usurped the
powers of Convocation, of which they are supposed to be
afraid. Newman personally has appeared to great advantage,
has made, argumentatively, a very strong case, which has
checked and baffled them for a time, and weakened the effect
of their authority, by showing that they did not know who or
what the}' were dealing with. And Newman himself feels
that he may now breathe and speak more freely. On the
other hand, they have at last been able to deal a hard slap
from authority : and the mass of people in the country will be
humbugged into thinking this a formal act of the University.
Great exertions have been made both in England and Ireland
to frighten people, and I should think have been very success-
ful. And then it remains to be seen what the Bishops will do.
They were at first very much disgusted, and we heard all sorts
of rumours about meetings in London, and attempts to stir
up the Bishop of Oxford. But whatever their first impulse
may have been, they have this week seen reason to think that
their best course is to keep things quiet as far as they possibly

Last week the Bishop of Oxford wrote to Pusey, expressing
the pain he felt at the Tract, and enclosing a letter to Newman
which contained a proposal to N. to do something, which he
hoped N. would not refuse. Newman's anxiety was not a little
relieved when he found, on opening the letter, that what the
Bishop wished was that N. would undertake not to discuss the
Articles an/j more in. the Tracts. Newman wrote back offering
to do anything the Bishop wished, suppress No. 90, or stop
the Tracts, or give up St. Mary's ; which brought back a most
kind letter, expressing his great satisfaction (almost as if it

1841 Lc tiers and Correspondence


was more than he expected), and saying that hi whatever he
might say hereafter he (Newman) and his friends need fear
nothing disagi'eeable or painful : and in his letter to Pusey
he quite disconnects himself from the charge, brought by the
Tutors and Heads, of crasion. Newman was encouraged by
this to open his heart rather freely to the Bishop and is
waiting the answer. So far things hioJ: well.

People in the country have in general backed up manfully
and heartily. Newman has had most kind letters of approval
and concurrence, from "W. Palmer of "Worcester, A. Perceval,
Hook, Todd, and ]\[obcrly. B. Harrison is shocked rather.
But Pusey, I fear, has been much annoyed. He scarcely agrees
with Newman's view, though he is very kind. A great diffi-
culty with him and with the Bishop is that Newman has com-
mitted himself to leaving ' Ora pro nobis ' an open question.
The Moral Philosophy Professor [Sewell] has seized the oppor-
tunity to publish a letter, nominally to Pusey, but really to
Messrs. Magee and the Irish Evangelicals, in which he deeply
laments the Tract as incautious, tending to unsettle and shake
l)eople's faith in the English Church, and leading men to receive
' paradoxes and therefore errors' (good — ride Sewell's ' Christian
Ethics ') ; and, after feelingly reminding Pubcy of his own ser-
vices once on a time in the ' (Quarterly,' strongly disclaims any
connexion with the Tracts and their authors, and recommend-
ing that they should cease : ' Longum, formose, vale, vale , . .
Tola.' The papers have been full of the row, which has stirred
up London itself in no common manner ; 2,500 copies sold off
in less than a fortnight. The ' Standard ' has shown more
than usual want of sharpness in the way it has carried on
the war, and has attacked Newman personally with all the
spite which its dulness enabled it to put forth. The ' Times '
has confessed that it knows not what to do, both parties were
so loyal and good, so it has contented itself with criticising
the style of the four Tutors, reprehending those who could
substitute authority for argument, admiringthedignilicd wnyin
whicli the controversy has been carried on, and puffing Dr. Jelf,
to whom Newman addressed his letter. One hardly knows
how things are at the moment. Thev sav Arnold is going to

334 John Ilcnry Nciuman 1841

write against Newman. I have no more room, so good-bj^e.
Just received your letter from Naples. Many thanks.

P.S. — H.B. has brought out a caricature : Nicholas Nickleby
(Sir R. P.) coming to Mr. Sqiieers (Lord Br.), and asking,
* Do you want an assistant ? '

On the flaps of the same letter Mr. Newman writes :

Infest. S. Benedict i, March 21, 1841.

Carissime, — Church has told you the scrape I have got
into. Yet though my own infirmity mixes with everything I
do, I trust you would approve of my jwsition much ; I now am
in my right place, which I have long wished to be in, which I
did not know how to attain, and which has been brought about
without my intention, I hope I may say providentially, though
I am perfectly aware at the same time that it is a rebuke and
punishment for my secret pride and sloth, I do not think,
indeed, I have not had one misgiving about what I have done,
though I have done it in imperfection ; and, so be it, all will
turn out well. I cannot anticipate what will be the result of it
in this place or elsewhere as regards myself. Somehow I do
not fear for the cause.

A letter from Mr. Newman's elder sister may be given as
illustrating the anxiety the state of things was causing to many
distant friends.

Mrs. Thomas Mozley to Piev. J. H. NEw:\rAx.

March 14, 1841.

We hear nothing but ill news, I think, on all sides of us
just now. I am glad to hear you are not annoyed at your
affair, but it sounds formidable at a distance . . . the tug of
war must come some day ; let it be now if you are prepared,
and that I hope is the case. I trust to you, as a thousand
others will, and you will have their good wishes and prayers,
like mine, only better. I look to jouy late answer to the
Roman Catholic letters, as a pledge for your being carried
through this matter without harm. We shall get the tract,
and though I shall take a long breath before I read it, I will

1841 Lcttci's and Correspondence 335

contrive to believe that it does not go too far. We have for
some years been thrust down upon first principles too deep
for even respectable divines and theologians to penetrate. "Wo
must look to those who are fitted to make such studies their
sole business ; and all we have to give are our prayers,
that no bitter root may spring up in individuals or in the
body who are labouring in its cause. Hitherto this has been
singularly the case ; and I trust the pending event, if it comes
to anything, will serve to make everyone more serious, and
thin tlio ranks of those who otherwise might perhaps havo
eventually proved scandals in some way or other. . . .

Eev. J. n, Xewaean to Mrs. J. Mozley.

March 15, 1841.

... Of course everything I write has that in it which a
vast many i:)ersons will dislike, but I do think that they have
misapprehended mo. I have been this da}' passing a pamphlet
through the press. What will be done I know not. I try to
prepare myself for the worst. As yet I am as quiet and happy
as I could wish. The Heads are debating now, but I hope
they won't decide till my pamphlet comes out.

Eev. J. H. Newman to 'Mn^. Tuomas Mozley.

MarcJt 15, 1 84 1.

I just hear the Heads of Houses have printed a very
strong resolution, viz. that my explanation of the Articles is
evasive. I assure you it is a (/rrat relief to me that it alhrms
no doctrine.

My own character will bear the charge.

Marcli 16. — I have quite enough, thank God, to keep mo
from inward trouble ; no one ever did a great thing without

Vyv.v. T. H. Newman to J. "\V. Bowdkn, Es(,).

Oriil : MiircJt 15, 1S4I.

The Heads, I believe, have just done a violent act: they
have said that my interpretation of the Articles is an evasion.

336 John Henry Ah^ivnian ]84L

])o not think that this will pain mc. You see no (hjclrinc is
censured, and my shoulders shall manage to bear the charge.
If you knew all, or when you know, you will see that I
liavc asserted a great principle, and I ought to suffer for it;
that the Articles are to be interpreted, not according to the
meaning of the writers, but (as far as the wording will admit)
according to the sense of the Catholic Church.

PiEV. J. H. Newman to Mrs. J. Mozley.

Oriel: JMarch 16, 1 84 1.

Believe me, I am not at all troubled, a word which, being
understood in its full sense, excludes everything bad.

Mdirli 21. — I have put down on a separate paper all
the news I can think of. I do not like there should be any
secret between you and A. M. ; so if you please to show her
Mrs. 's letter you can.

What do you mean b}- ' the sensation I am causing in the
world ' ? Have they caricatured me yet ?

P.S. — The day the notice against me came out we read in
Church the chapter about Adoni-bezek. I cannot number my
seventy viciims, but I felt conscious.

Eev. J. H. Newman to Eev. E. W. Church.

I Attic more : Thursday, 1841.

I wish Cornish, or someone else, would give me some idea
whether I shall give up my name (Z think the V.-C. will send
to me to ask, on common report. Of course I should give it
then). I do want to know this.

My idea was to write a sort of explanation of the tract
at once, but if they are at all the tracts, that is hardly worth
while perhaps.

Could Keble think it over ?

Puscy seemed to me to wish me to give my name and
defend it. I wish it. The onlv question is, what will come
of it as regards the Yice-Chancellor ?

I shall be in Oxford to-morrow afternoon.

1841 Lc tiers and Correspondence 3-; 7

The following letter to the Bishop of Oxford is horroweil
from the * Apologia ' ' :

MarcJi 20, 1 84 1.

No one can enter into my situation but myself. I sec a
great many minds working in various directions and a variety
of principles with multiplied bearings ; I act for the best. I
sincerely think that matters would not have gone better for
the Church had I never written. And if I write I have a
choice of ditiiculties. It is easy for those who do not enter
into those difficulties to say, ' He ought to say this, and not
say that,' Init things are wonderfull}' linked together, and I
cannot, or rather I would not, be dishonest. "When persons,
too, interrogate me, I am obliged, in many cases, to give an
opinion, or I seem to be underhand. Keeping silence looks
like artifice. And I do not like people to consult or respect
me from thinking differently of my opinions from what 1 know
them to l)e. And again (to use the proverb), what is one man's
food is another man's poison. All these things make my
situation very difficult. ]3ut that collision must at some time
ensue between members of the Church of opposite sentiments
I have long been aware. The time and mode have been in the
hand of Providence ; I do not mean to exclude my own great
imperfections in bringing it about ; yet I still fed obliged to
think the tract necessary.

Rev. J. 11. Newman to He v. J. KepiLe.

March 2 r, i S41.

Many thanks for your very jileasant pajier. ]>y all mi'ans.
if not too much trouble, complete it and send it straiglit to
Roworth (printer of the 'British Critic ').

Things seem going on tolerably. They say tlie Jjislioj) of
London is not to move. Our Bishop is most kind, and I trust
we shall manage matters. ]hit we must not crow till we are
out of the wood.

' Sec Apukyj'ut, p. 170.

338 lohn Jicnry Newvian 1841

Rev. J. n. Newman to Rev. J. Keble.

March 25, 1841.

I write to yon in some anxiety. The Bishop wishes me,
in a letter I am to write to him, to say that, ' at his hUldiufj,'
I will suppress Tract 90.

I have no difficulty in saying and doing so if he tells me,
but my difficulty is as to my then position.

The Heads having censured the tract as an ' evasion,' and
thereby indirectly condemned the views of doctrine contained
in it, the Bishop (even though he put it on the ground of
peace, &c.) would virtually in the eyes of the world be cen-
suring it,

I do not think I can acquiesce in such a proceeding by any
active co-operation of mine. It is stigmatising my interpreta-
tion of Articles 6 and 1 1 quite as much as of any other. I
am at this moment the representative of the interests of many
who more or less think with me.

I think I am observing my dut}' to the Bishop by suppress-
ing the tract, and my duty to my principles by resigning my

Again, it is painful enough as it is to be Yicar of St.
Mary's with the whole of the Heads of Houses against me,
but if the Bishop indirectly joins them I cannot stand it.
cannot be a demagogue or a quasi-schismatic.

The Bishop is himself all kindness, but whether people
in London will allow him to yield this point is yet to be

Pusey says there has been a talk of the Bishops, as a body,
condemning the tract. Is this [legally] possihle ? Did not the
sovereign issue a declaration in the time of King Charles,
Queen Anne and King George I. ?

You see, though they suppressed my tract, they still would
allow answers to it to be circulated, and man}' will be. And
Bishops, moreover, would be charging. This the Bishop of
London announces.

I think Wilson's article a most capital one, and very

1841 Letters and Correspondence 339

The letter to the Bishop of Oxford is rrivcn in c.rtotso in
the author's work entitled, ' Via Media,' and tills twenty-eight
pages. As entering on the subject of Tract 90, it is
hardly in place among Letters, but tliu conclusion ' whiih
touches on personal feelings is in place.

. . . And now having said, I trust, as much as your Lord-
ship re(piires on the subject of Piomanism, I will add a few
words, and complete my explanation, in acknowledgment of
the inestimable privilege I feel in being a member of that
Church over which your Lordship, with others, presides.
Indeed, did I not feel it to be a privilege which I am able to
seek nowhere else on earth, why should I l)e at this moment
waiting to your Lordship ? What motive have I for an
unreserved and joyful submission to your authority, Init the
feeling that the Church which 3'ou rule is a divinely ordained
channel of supernatural grace to the souls of her members ?
Why should I not prefer my own opinion, and my own way of
acting, to tliat of the Bishops, except that I know full well
that in matters indifterent I should be acting lightly towards
the spouse of Christ and the awful presence which dwells in
her, if I hesitated a moment to put your Lordship's will before
my own ? I know full well your kindness to me personally
would be in itself quite enough to win any but the most
insensible heart, and did a clear matter of conscience occur in
which I felt bound to act for m3'self, my personal feelings
towards 3'our Lordship would become a most severe trial to
me, independently of the higher considerations to which I
have referred ; but I trust I have given tokens of my dutiful-
ness to you, apart from theinlluence of such personal motives,
and I have done so because I think that to belong to the
Catholic Cliurch is the lirst of all i)rivileges here below, as
involving in it heavenly privileges, and because I consider the
Church over wliidi you preside to be the Catholic Church in
this country. Surely, then, I have no need to profess in words,
I will not say my attachment, but my deep reverence, towards

' Via Media, vol. ii. p. 416.

t 2

340 fohu J It'll ry Nczuman 1841

the JVLothcr of Saints wlien I am showinf^ it in action ; yet
that words may not be altogether wanting, I beg tf) lay Ijefore
your Lordship the following extract from the article already
mentioned wliich I wrote in defence of the English Church
against a Pioman controversialist in the course of the last

' The Church is emphatically a living l)ody, and there can
be no greater proof of a particular communion being part of
the Church than the appearance in it of a continued and
abiding energy, nor a more melancholy proof of its being a
corpse than torpidity. We say an energy continued and abiding,
for accident will cause the activity of a moment, or an external
principle give the semblance of self-motion. On the other
hand, even a living body may for a while be asleep. And here
we have an illustration of what we just now urged about the
varjdng c6genc3^ of the notes of the Church according to times
and circumstances. No one can deny that at times the
Eoman Church itself, restless as it is at most times, has been
in a state of sleep or disease resembling death,' &c.

This extract may be sufficient to show my feelings towards
my Church as far as statements on paper can show them.

It may be well to give here an extract from the ' Apologia '
on Mr. Newman's correspondence with Dr. Pusey on this
subject : ^

' Since I published the former portions of this narrative, I
have found M'hat I wrote to Dr. Pusey on March 24, while the
matter was in progress. " The more I think of it," I said,
" the more reluctant I am to suppress Tract 90, though, of
course, I will do it if the Bishop wishes it ; I cannot, however,
deny that I shall feel it a severe act." According to the notes
which I took of the letters or messages which I sent to him on
that and the following days, I wrote successively : " My first
feeling was to obey Mithout a word ; I will obey still ; but my
judgment has steadily risen against it ever since." Then, in
the postscript : " If I have done any good to the Church, I do
' Apologia, p. 207.

1841 Letters and Correspondenee 341

nsk the Bishop this favour, as my reward for it, that he would
not insist on a measure from which I think good will not come.
However, I will suhmit to him." Afterwards I got stronger
still and wrote : " I have almost come to the resolution, if the
Bishop puhlicly intimates that I must sujjpress the tract, or
speaks strongly in his Charge against it, to suj^prcss it indeed,
but to resign my living also. I could not in conscience act
otherwise." You may show this in any quarter you please.'

Eev. J. II. Newman to yi\\<: .1. '\Iq7.\a-.\.

Mdicli 30, 1S41.

The tract affair is settled on these terms, which others
may think a disappointment, hut to me is a very fair bargain.
I am now publishing a letter to the Bishop at his wish, stating
that he wishes the tracts to be discontinued, and he thinks
Ko. 90 objectionable as tending to disturb the Church. I am
quite satisfied with the bargain I have got, if this is all — as I
suj)pose it will be.

Eev. J. H. Newman to Be v. J. Kehle.

April I, 1841.

. . , Pusej', too, is writing. I am sanguine about my letter
to the Bishop, which was out yesterday. I ha\ e spoken (juitu
what I feel ; yet I think I have managed to wedge in a good
many bits of Catholicism, which iioir come out with the Bishop's
sanction. How odd it is that one should be (iblc to act from the
heart, yet from the head too ; yet I think I have lieen honest
— at least I hope so.

A declaration is coming out, to be signed only by great
men, )i>>t Tractarians. It is expecttd that the Ibads will

Also, Sewell's postscript is to contain a sort of avowal
from the Vice-Chancellor, that the llehdoiiKulal .\ct is not a
theological censure.

^Ve are all in very good spirits here.

342 J ohn Jlcnry Newman 1841

liKV. J. II. NEw:\rAN to Eev. J. Kejjle.

Aiyyil I, 1 84 1.

I write a second note about your projected pamphlet. I
am not at all sure that our game, if I may use the word, is
not to let the matter drop at present. We have got the
principle of our interpretation admitted, in that it has not
been condemned. Do not let us provoke opposition. Number?^
will be taking advantage silently and quietly of the admission
for their own benefit. It will soon be assumed as a matter of

Pusey is writing ; I wish he were not. Since I don't think
he at all enters into my view (No ; ' my view ' is expressed in
the last paragraph of No. 90), but considers what has been
done a pure evil (in his heart), and only wishes to soften
and remedy it, of course my argument v.'ould not tell with

By-the-bye, do you see a curious and much to be noticed
letter in the ' British Magazine ' signed O ? Besides, the
Bishops, I believe, are sorely bent on keeping the peace. It
seems that a very strong movement against us was to have
been made by the redoubtable London clergy, and I sup-
pose my Bishop's message to me was intended to soothe

I do really think that things had better be quiet, and, as
to Joshua Watson, I think he will say so too. I am strongly
against losing your pamphlet, but think it might come out in
another shape by-and-by.

Now observe I say all this, like the men of Laputa, from
antecedent notions, without having seen your proof.

Bishop of Oxford to Eev. J. H. Newman.

Ciiddcsdon : Friday, April 2, 1 84 1.
]\Iy dear Sir, — I cannot let our late communications termi-
nate without a few last words to express my entire satisfac-
tion and gratification at your letters received yesterday

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 28 of 47)