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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wdiether native or foreign, come into ns. We do not thereby
acknowledge any substantive body external to us ; such ac-
cessions tend to diminish those bodies. But here is contem-
plated the actual acknowledgment of such bodies as already
parts of the Catholic Church — a point which has ever been
ojyen among us, and that by Act of Parliament, ratified by an
Episcopal Consecration in the face of Europe, in the heart of
the East.

We do not allow even our own members to come to the
Holy Communion without Confirmation, which is a rite both
of profession and of recognition, but the Protestant congrega-
tions are to be admitted without one or the other. When a
Dissenting Minister is ordained (by some individual Bishop)
at least he makes a profession and takes oaths. On the other
hand, the Canons of 1603 at least show the principles of our
Church towards Dissenters, whatever be their obligation, and
whatever practices have crept in. Now, they declare that
' Whosoever shall hereafter separate themselves from the
Communion of Saints, as is approved by the Apostles' rules
in the Church of England, and combine themselves together
in a new brotherhood, accounting the Christians who are con-
formable to the doctrine, government, rites and ceremonies of
the Church of England, to be profane and unmeet for them to
join with in Christian profession, let them be excommunicated
ijyso facto, and not restored but by the Archbishop after their
repentance and j)^d)Uc revocation of such their wicked errors.
And I suppose that a bodij (though not individual members of



1841 Letters and Correspondence 369

it) has such a continuance from first to last that it may he
considerGd to have ' separated itself.' How, then, is it to the
])urpoHe that we admit individuals who have nut separated
' without puhlic revocation of error ' *? Do we propose to give
Bishops to the Methodist Bodff, or the Baptist persuasion, or
to the Unitarian ? For this is the parallel to the measure
now in contemplation. And as to any past recognition of
foreign Protestants, so far is clear, that in 1689 the Lower
House of Convocation hindered an acknowledgment that oar
I'eligion and theirs might be classed together under the title of
' the Protestant Pieligion in general.'

I do not see that I am called upon to state what I mean
l)y the heresy of Lutheranism and Calvinism. Heresy has its
external notes, like the Church: any novel doctrine, any
doctrine which meets with general condemnation, is a heresy.
Again, there are heresies which contain so many aspects that
it is diflicult to say which is their appropriate form. Such
might he mentioned in antiquity, except that it would be
thought offensive to do so.

Lastly, we have, I fear, in prospect, though I fervently
trust it will not he realised (for, alas ! where, then, will be our
Candlestick ".^ ), an alliance with Monophysites and Nestorians.
This is a reason for moving at once, lest we begin when all is
lost. Already is our Church committed, without her cnvn act,
to much tliat is miserable. In the judgment of some persons,
it is always too early to move or too late.'

PiEV. J. n. Newman to \\v.\. J. Kkisli:.

Xovi'iiilicr 15, 184 1.

Of course no one can I'cad your sermon without being
struck by it, but my feeling is that you had better not iireach
it. 1 think it will add to our excitement, without effectin;j;auy
object.

It will increase, upon a separate authority, tlie impression,
which is not well founded, that there are men in Oxford wht)
are on the jHtint of turning to Pome, with a sort of confession

' Mcii:oiis of J. B. I[opc-Sc«tt, vol i. p. j20.
VOL. 11. li li



370 John /Iciny Nctvuhiji 1841

to the world at largo, and as a triumph to the foe over you
and us.

I know of none such. There is, doubtless, (\reat danger in
prospect ; l)ut the persons in danger are far too serious men
to act suddenly, or without waiting for what they consider
God's direction, and I should think verii fciv indeed realise to
themselves yet the prospect of a change, nay, would change,
provided our rulers showed us any sympathy, or their brethren
kept from saying or believing of them that they would change.
In that case dangerous seed might lie dormant, like a disease,
for many years. It is a very bad policy to accustom them to
the notion, that the world thinhs they will change.

The persons most in danger are not resident in Oxford ; for
example, Sibthorpe.

, , . I am not very fond of making University sermons
opportunities for a display of anything extraordinar}-. It
does our cause harm. Now all this is very free in me, so I
must tell you on the other hand that Cornish, whom I thought
I might give a sight of your sermon, irisJies it preached. But
he has seen very little of men this term, and believes, what I
think a mistake, that there are men here hanging on from
day to day. He thinks that it may do them good, and comfort
men like the Eector [Richards ?], Jelf, &c., who are alarmed.

It does not alter my opinion. Eogers, who has heard of
the subject of the sermon, is, I am told, decidedly against
it, and so is Church. My own notion is that you should
preach a good parish sermon, and Wilson might select, if you
would trust him.

Pusey's circular,' which Gilbert has answered, is, I fear,

' The following is the circular spoken of : —

Sir, — Understanding that a circular is being sent round to all the members
of Convocation, soliciting their votes for the Eev. J. Garbett, late Fellow of
Brasenose, and now Hector of Clayton, Sussex, in the approaching election for
the Professorship of Poetry, I take the liberty of mentioning some circumstances
which may influence your decision, and with which you are possibly unac-
quainted.

The Eev. Isaac Williams, M.A., Fellow of Trinity, was, before our recent
unhappy divisions, generally thought by resident members of the University to
be marked out by his poetic talents tc fill that chair whenever it should become



1841 Letters and Correspondence 371

consiclc^red a failure. It looks like hoisting a flag of part}',
and allowing the others to deny they meant to do so, yet to
say at the same time : ' Well, if 3'ou do, we must do so too.
And tlicy sa}', 'You did the like in the cause of Maurico
and Yaughan, and now i/ok are the persons to cvy out.'

I think the ' Ulterior Measures ' tottos a most effective one
in our favour. "\Yilliams alone can give yuu satisfaction upon
it. 1 will inquire of him.

They give out they arc going to beat us by four to one. If
these arc not random words, since they cannot reckon us less
than 150, they make themselves 600, which is within the
limit of possibility. It is a great many to reach. "\Ve must
do all we can.

Towards the close of the year ]\rr. Newman confides to
Mr. Rickards his uneasy state of mind.

Olid College: December i, 1841.

My dear Rickards, — My silence must seem to you quite
unkind, though it does not at all arise from not thinking of
you and Mrs. Rickards ; but, besides my very great engagements,
these lie so much in writing that my hand is in a state of con-
vacant. In 1S23 he gained tlie prize for Latin Verse; his subsequent larger
^Torks, ' The Cathedral ' and ' Thoughts in Past Years,' speak for themselves,
Lotli bearing the rich character of our early English poetry.

To those unacquainted with his character, or who know him only through
the medium of newspaper controversy, it may be necessary to state, that the
uniform tendency of his writings and influence has been to calm men's minds
amid our unhappy divisions, and to form them in dutiful allegiance to that
Church of which he is himself a reverential fdon and Minister.

He is also a resident ; whereas employments which involved non-residence
were considered a suflicient reason to prevent a member of a leading college from
being put forward by its Head.

On the other hand, it is a known fact, that Mr. Ciarbett would not even now
have been brought forward, except to prevent the election of Mr. Williams.

Under these circumstances it is earnestly hoped that the University will
not, by the rejection of such a candidate as Mr. Williams, commit itself to tho
principle of making all its elections matters of party strife, or declaring in-
eligible to any of its cilices (however qualified) persons, whose earnest desire
and aim it has for many years been, to promote the sound princij)les of our
Church, according to the teaching of her Liturgy.— I have the liononr to be
your humble servant, E. 13. Posey.

Christ Church, Nov. 17, 1S41.

II u 2



372 John Henry Nci^niian 1841

tiiinoil weariness, and it is a f^rcat effort to me lo sit down to
a letter. However, now that I am about it, I will try to
tell you one or two things of myself, whicli, l)y-the-l»ye, I
douht whether I have told, or at least set about tellin;^^ or told
in any connected way, to any one else.

For two years and more I have been in a states of great
uneasiness as to my position here, owing to the consciousness I
felt, that my opinions went far beyond what had been custo-
mary in the English Church. Not that I felt it any personal
trouble, for I thought and think that such opinions were
allowed in our Church fully ; but that, looking on ni}- position
here, I seemed to be a sort of schismatic or demagogue, sup-
porting a party against the religious authorities of the place.
In what I have done in my parish, whether in the ordinary
routine of duty, or any improvements or additions which I have
attempted, I have uniformly kept my parishioners before my
mind, and wished to act for ihem. But almost in every case
my endeavours have fallen dead upon them as a whole, but
have been eagerly apprehended and welcomed by University
men, and of these a great many Undergraduates. In propor-
tion, then, as I had reason to believe that the Heads of Houses
were dissatisfied with me, did I seem to myself in the position
of one who, to the neglect, at least virtual, of his own duties,
was interfering with those committed to the charge of others
against their will, and that for the propagation of feelings and
opinions which I felt were not so truly those of the English
Church as their own. And all this in spite of my preaching
very little on directly doctrinal subjects, but on practical ; for
somehow what came out from me in an ethical form took the
shape of doctrine by the time it reached other minds. In
consequence, for two years past my view of my duty and my
prospective plans here have been very unsettled. I have had
many schemes floating on my mind how to get out of a posi-
tion which of all others is to me most odious — that of a teacher
setting up for himself against authority, though, I suppose,
(if it may be said reverently), our Saviour bore this Cross as
others. The most persistent feeling on my mind has been to
give up St. Mary's.



]-Ml Lcticrs a:::i Coyrcspondcnce 2ilZ

The reason I say all this to you now is that, whether it
will turn ultimately for the hetter or worsL-, yet certainly at
present the greater gloom in which the prospects of the Church
lie, has had for the time the effect of clearing awa}' clouds
before my own path. I mean that the most serious things
"^vhich are happening, in word and deed, around us have in
great measure taken away that delicacy towards authorities
which has hitherto been so painfully harassing to me. . . As to
this Jerusalem Bishopric, I seriously think that, if the measure
is fairly carried out, it will do more to unchurch us than
any event for the last three hundred years. A\'itli these feelings
it is not wonderful that I should see my present position here
in a very different light. my dear llickards, pray excuse all
this sad talk about myself, which disgusts me as I make it, and
I fear I am writing you a most pompous sort of letter, but I
think you will like to hear about me, and it is a comfort to m(f
to write it out. and I have no time to pick and choose my
words. But to return. It really seems to me that the Heads
of Houses are now not defending the English Church, but
virtually and ])ractically, though they may not mean it,
johiingwith this heretical spirit and supporting // ; so that the
contest is no longer one of what would be represented as a
quasi-Romanisra against AngHcanism, but of Catholicism
against heresy. And thus, to my mind, at present a much
broader (piestion swallows up the particular one.



Mrs. J. ]\[ozLKV to PiEV. J. H. Newman.

1 >c'cnii}>fr 3, 1841.

I do feel very anxious about prospects hi general,
especially sinci' your last alarming letter. My great trust is
that you will lie supported through this trial ; that you may
act as firmly as you have hitherto done. You must not think
that I am at all afraid of you or doubtful of you. ... 1 only
feel more and more thankful that you have more judgment
und clearsightedness than the rest of the world, so as to steer
throuizh a most difficult course.



374 John Henry Neiuman ]H41

In December 1841, Mr. Peter Young, Mr, Keble's curate
at Hursley, was a second time refused priest's orders l)y the
Bishop of Winchester, for giving answers at his examination
on the subject of the Eucharist which did not satisfy the
. Bishoj). This step on the part of the Bishop naturally caused
trouble and anxiety.

Rev. John Keble to Bkv. J. H, Xev.man.

Ilnrsleij : 3 S. in Adv., December 12, 1841.

I send you Peter's account of his Confession, if one may
venture to call it so. I have written the case and sent it
with all the documents to Hope, who has received them and
takes a few days to advise about appealing ; though I do not
suppose myself there is any chance of that, I thought it best
to know for certain. I think of stating the case by way of
Protest to the Archbishop, and perhaps sending copies to all
iVnglican Bishops.

Eev. J. H. New^ian to PiEV. J. Keele.

Dceemher 16, 1S41.

"We all feel very sad at your news. ... It is here that it
will tell painfully. ... I really cannot feel any great grief
about you, much as it must distress you, for it must turn to
good. I do not see you can do better than send round your
statement to the Bishops if there is no appeal. Young's
answers are just what they should be. I suppose they are as
near as possible verbatim. Certainly it does present a strange
view — a Bishop refusing any but one certain c.rpJanation of a
point left open ! ... It is only wonderful at such an interview
that he acquitted himself so very well.

I have not had time to study the Charge. I hear people

speak of it as mild, considering. It really suggests to me the

hope that the matter may be smoothed over ; but I am quite

sure the worst possible effect will follow if you do not act bona

fide on your letter to Judge Coleridge.



1841 Letter's and Correspondence 375

I wish you would impress on all bystanders, patrons,
friends and the like what a miserable effect is produced on the
minds of young and sensitive persons, when they are accused
or remonstrated with as suspected Romanists. This is now
going on largely. Letters are flying about — Mr. Poole's
already m print. It is bad enough to l)e rudely told by
enemies that they have no business in the English Church,
but are dishonest in remaining in it (and this is going on
without scruple or limit) ; but when qnau friends take up the
tone of alarm, when great people take up the Oxford Calendar,
and go through the Colleges, then a man says to himself, ' I
certainly fear there is something in- mc which I am not aware
of,' just as if every one were to stare at him as he walked
the streets. Then the familiarity it creates with the idea of
Romanism i-s miserable ; and the dreadful unsympathetic,
chilling atmosphere created around him by it is a distinct
evil. All this added to his inward scarcely recogjiised ten-
dencies towards Rome.

Rev. J. H. Xew^ian to J. W. Bowden, Esq.

Orid: St. Thomas' J hi if, 1841.

I hear' that a large number of Professors have removed
their names from the Camden [Cambridge Architectural
Society '?] as well as the Bishop of London. What is the mean-
ing of all this ?

On the whole I am in good spirits ' about the Jerusalem
matter. If the Prussian plan is carried out, it will cut my
ground clean from under me. For eight years I have been
writing, either to j) rove, or on the 'jround that we air a branch
of the Catholic Church, that we were committed to nothing in-
consistent with it ; therefore I have a sort of right to make a
protest, and a pretty strong one. Certain people will believe
nothing but acts, and assuredly I will waste no more uords.
I am sanguine that acts will tell ; and this protest is an act.

Palmer's [of Magdalen?] pamphlet on the Ji-rusalem
Bishoi^ric just published is a very important one, and must

' I.e. with his own strong measure of a protest.



376 folin Ifciiry Ncn'inan 1841

produce ail impression. Anotlior pamphlet, too, is coming out
in a few days, very important also [Hope? or (iladstone ?],
and more intiuential. Of course the cry is, ' Why don't 3'ou
wait till you see what the Bishops have done ? just as in the
Chapter business it was, ' Why did not you speak sooner ? ' It
is always too early or too late with some people ; and hy
speaking soon one hinders the xcnj things they then go on
to i")rotest they never meant to do.

Oi': Septemljer 22 came my first proof of Athanasius, and I
have been at it ever since at the rate of from eight to twelve
hours a day [I wrote the notes 10 the text already in type], yet
have done so little as to be almost ashamed to make this avowal.
But it has hindered me writing letters, except under necessity.

Eev. J. H. Newman to Eev. E. AV. Cuurch.

Oriel: CJirifttmas Eve, 1841.

C'arissime . . .

I suppose it would be no relief to M. to insist upon the
circumstance that there is no immediate danger. Individuals
can never be answered for, of com-se, but I should think lightly
of that man w'ho for some one act of the Bishops should all at
once leave the Church. Now, considering how the Clergy
really are improving, considering that this row is even making
them read the Tracts, is it not possible we ma}' all be in a better
state of mind some years hence to consider these matters ? and
may we not leave them meanwhile to the will of Providence ?
I cannot believe this work has been of man ; God has a right
to His own work, to do what He will with it. May w'e not try
to leave it in His hands and be content '?

If you learn anything about B. which leads you to think
that I can relieve him by a letter let me know. The truth is_
this — our good friends do not read the Fathers ; they assent
to us from the common sense of the case ; then, when the
Fathers, and we, say more than common sense they are
dreadfully shocked.

I guess W. Palmer, the deacon (for this is the simplest de-
signation), has not satisfied our Winchester friends in his
Golightliad.



]i<i] Letters and Correspondence 2)77

P.S. — The Bishop of London has rejected a man for hold-
ing (i) aiuj sacritice in the Eucharist ; (2) the Heal Presence;
(3) that there is a grace in Ordination.

Are we quite sure that the ]iisliops will not he drawing up
some stringent declarations of faith '? Is this Mhat ^M. fears ?
Would the Bishop of Oxford accept them ? If so, I should be
driven into ^liss Burford's refuge for the destitute ! But I
promised M. I would do my utmost to catch all dangerous
persons and clap them into confinement there. After all, I
have repented about the Bollandists (a defective copy lately
bought). Am not I shilly-shally.'

PiEv. J. IT. Xewman to Pii:v. Pi. "W. CniRcii.

Cli ristmas iJaij : 1 84 1 .

An odd compliment of the season to bore you with this
note. Yet I have been dreaming of M. all night, and so write
again, and that in spite of your saying, what I am annoyed
at, that you are not well.

Should not M. and the like see that it is unwise, unfair,
and impatient to ask others what will you do under circum-
stances which have not, which may never come ? Why bring
fear, suspicion and dissension into the camp about things
which are merely in posse ? Natural and exceedingly kind as
Barter and another friend's letters were which I received, I
think they have done great harm. I speak most sincerely
when I say that there are things which I neither contemplatt-
nor wish to contemplate, but when i am asked about them
ten times at length 1 begin to contemplate them.

And, again, M. surely does not mean to say that noihinii
could separate a man from the English Church — i'.<i. its avowing
8ocinianism, its holding tlic Holy Ihicharist in a Socinian sunsr.
Yet he would say it was not right to contemplate sui-h
things.

Again, our case is altered from that of Ken's — to say
nothing of the last miserable century, which has givi-n us to
start from, a much lower level and with much less to spare
than a Churchman of the seventeenth century. Questions of



378 John Jlcnry Newman 1841

(lortrinr, are now coming in — with liim it was a question of dis-
cipline.

If such (h-eaclful events were rcahsed, I cannot help think-
ing we should all be vastly more agreed than we think now.
Indeed, is it possible (humanly speaking) that those who have
so much the same heart should widely differ ? But let this be
considered as the alternative, llluit communion could we
join ? Could the Scotch or American sanction the presence of
its Bishops and congregations in England without incurring the
imputation of schism, unless, indeed — and is that likely ? — they
denounced the English as heretical ?

Is not this a time of strange providences ? Is it not our
safest course, without looking to consequences, to do simply
irhat we think right day by day? Shall we not be sure to
go wrong if we attempt to trace by anticipation the course of
Divine Providence ?

Has not all our misery as a Church arisen from people
being afraid to look difficulties in the face? They have
palliated acts when they should have denounced them. There
is that good fellow Worcester Palmer can whitewash the
Ecclesiastical Commission and the Jerusalem Bishopric, and
what is the consequence? That our Church has through
centuries ever been sinking lower and lower, till a good part of
its pretensions and professions is a mere sham, though it be
a duty to make the best of what we have received. Yet, though
bound to make the best of other men's shams, let us not incur
any of our own. The truest friends of our Church are they
who boldly say when her rulers are going wrong and the con-
sequences. And (to speak catachrestically) they are most
likely to die in the Church who are (under these black circum-
stances) most prepared to leave it.

And I will add that, considering the traces of God's grace
which surround us, I am very sanguine, or rather confident
(if it is right so to speak), that our prayers and our alms will
come up as a memorial before God, and that all this miserable
confusion will turn to good.

Let us not, then, be anxious and anticipate differences in
prospect, when we agree in the present.



1841 Letters and Co7'respondenee 379

P.S. — I think, when friends get over the first unsettlement
of mind and consequent vague apprehensions wliich the new
attitude of the Bishops and our feehngs upon it liavc brought
about, they will get contented and satisfied ; they will see
that they exaggerated things. There is our good friend of
Exeter, who at first was very unhappy, is now cheerful. Of
course it would have been wrong to anticipate what one's
feelings would be under such a painful contingency as the
Bishops charging as they have done : so it seems to me no-
body's fault. Nor is it wonderful that others are startled ;
yet they should recollect that the more implicit the reverence
one pays to a Bishop, the more keen will be one's perception
of heresy in him. The cord is binding and compelling till it
snaps. Men of reflection would have seen this if they had
looked that way. Last spring a very High Churchman talked
to me about resisting my Bishop ; asking him for the Canons
under which he acted, &c. But those who have cultivated a
loyal feeling towards their superiors are the most loving
servants or the most zealous protesters. If others became so

too, if the clergy of denounced the heresy of their

diocesan, they would be doing their duty and relieving them-
selves of the share they will otherwise have in any possible
defections of their brethren.

But I have wandered. I really do think that after this
distress is over our friends will see that they have exaggerated
the cause of it.

Eev. J. Keble to PiEV. J. II. Xewman.



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 31 of 47)