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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yourself to originate any measure of importance without
authority from the Heads of the Church, and therefore I at
once exonerate you from the accusation brought against you
by the newspaper I have quoted ; but I feel it nevertheless a
duty to my Diocese and myself, as well as to you, to ask you
to put it in my power to contradict what, if uncontradicted,
would appear to imply a glaring invasion of all ecclesiastical
discipline on your part, or of inexcusable neglect and indiffer-
ence to my duties on mine.

PiEv. J. H. Newman to the Bishop of Oxfoed.'

A'^ril 14, 1842.

I am very much obliged by your Lordship's kindness in
allowing me to write to you on the subject of my house at
Littlemore ; at the same time I feel it hard both on your
Lordship and myself that the restlessness of the public mind
should oblige you to require an explanation of me.

It is now a w^hole year since I have been the subject of
incessant misrepresentation. A j-ear since I submitted
entirely to your Lordship's authority ; and with the intention
of following out the particular act enjoined upon me, I not
only stopped the series of tracts on which I was engaged, but
withdrew from all public discussion of Church matters of the
day, or what may be called ecclesiastical politics. I turned
myself at once to the preparation for the press of the transla-
tions of St. Athanasius to which I had long wished to devote
myself, and I intended and intend to employ myself in the
like theological studies, and in the concerns of m}' own
parish and in practical works.

' Ajiologia, p. 173.

1842 Letters and Correspondence 393

With the same view of personal improvement I was led
more seriously to a design which had been long on my mind
For many years, at least thirteen, I have wished to give myself
to a life of greater religious regularity than I have hitherto
led ; but it is very unpleasant to confess such a wish even to
my Bishop, because it seems arrogant, and because it is com-
mitting me to a profession which may come to nothing. What
have I done that I am to be called to account by the world for
my private actions in a way in wliicli no one else is called ? Why
may I not have that li])ei-ty which all others are allowed ? I
am often accused of being underhand and uncandid in respect
to the intentions to which I have been alluding : but no one likes
his own good resolutions noised about, both from mere common
delicacy, and from fear lest he should not l)e aljle to fulfil
them. I feel it very cruel, though the parties in fault do not
know what they are doing, that very sacred matters between
me and my conscience are made a matter of public talk.
May I take a case parallel, though different ? Suppose a per-
son in prospect of marriage : would he like the subject discussed
in newspapers, and parties, circumstances, kz. el'c, publicly
demanded of him at the penalty of being accused of craft and
duplicity ?

The resolution I speak of has been taktn with reference to
myself alone, and has been contemplated quite independent
of the co-operation of an}' other human being, and without
reference to success or failure other than personal, and without
regard to the blame or approbation of man. And being a
resolution of years, and one to which I feel God has called me,
and in which I am violating no rule of the Church any moro
than if I married, I should have to answer for it, if I did not
pursue it, as a good Providence made openings for it. In
pursuing it, then, I am thinking of myself alone, not aiming
at any ecclesiastical or external effects. At the same time, of
course, it would be a great comfort for me to know that God
had put it into the hearts of others to pursue their personal
edification in the same way, and unnatural not to wish to have
the benefit of their presence and encouragement, or not to
think it a great infrintjement on the rijihts of conscience if

394 Jolni Henry Ncuiuan 1842

such personal and private resolutions were interfered with.
Your Lordship will allow mo to add my firm conviction that
such religious resolutions are most necessary for keeping a cer-
tain class of minds firm in their allegiance to our Church ; but
still I can as truly say that my own reason for anything I have
done has been a personal one, without which I should not have
entered upon it, and which I hope to pursue whether with or
without the sympathies of others pursuing a similar course. . .

As to my intentions, I purpose to live there myself a good
deal, as I have a resident curate in Oxford. In doing this I
believe I am consulting for the good of my parish, as my
population in Littlemore is at least equal to that of St. Mary's
in Oxford, and the n-]ioU of Littlemore is double of it. It has
been very much neglected ; and in providing a parsonage-
house at Littlemore, as this will be, and will be called, I con-
ceive I am doing a very great benefit to my people. At the
same time it has appeared to me that a partial or temporary
retirement from St. Mary's Church might be expedient under
the prevailing excitement.

As to the quotation from the [newspaper] which I have not
seen, your Lordship will perceive from what I have said that
no ' monastery is in process of erection,' there is no ' chapel,'
no ' refectory,' hardly a dining-room or parlour. The
' cloisters ' are my shed connecting the cottages. I do not
understand what ' cells of dormitories ' means. Of course I
can repeat your Lordship's words, that ' I am not attempting
a revival of the Monastic Orders in anything approaching to
the Eomanist sense of the term,' or 'taking on myself to
originate any measure of importance without authority from
the Heads of the Church.' I am attempting nothing ecclesi-
astical, but something personal and private, and which can
only be made public, not private, by newspapers and letter-
writers, in which sense the most sacred and conscientious
resolves and acts may certainly be made the objects of an
unmannerly and unfeeling curiosity.

The following is a reply to some report (unknown) that Mr.
Hope had sent him :

1842 Letters and Correspondence 395

Eev. J. H. Newman to J. 11. Hope, Esq.'
Daham c l)omo S. M. V. ajmd Littlcmorc : April 22, 1842.

My dear Hope, — Does not this portentous date promise to
outweigh any ne<]jative I can give to your question in the
mind of the inquirer '? for any one who could ask such a
question would think such a dating equivalent to the answer.
However, if I must answer in form, 1 believe it to be one great
absurdity and untruth from beginning to end, though it is hard
I must answer for every hundred men in the whole kingdom.
Negatives are dangerous ; all I can say, however, is that I don't
believe, or suspect, or fear any such occurrence, and look upon
it as neither probable nor improbable, but simply untrue.

We are all much quieter and more resigned than we were,
and are remarkably desirous of building up a position, and
proving that the English theory is tenable — or rather the
English state of things. If the Bishops will leave us alone
the fever will subside.

Rev. J. H. Newman to J. "\V. Bowden, Esq.

Littlcmorc: April 22, 1S42.

I do not think I shall achieve my journey to London just
now, and shall still have the pleasure of seeing you at home.

I am just come here [N.B. — The 19th of April was the
first night that I slept in the new house], and must set things
going ; and that requires close residence for a while. At this
very moment I am literally solus, without servant or anything
else ; but I suppose we shall accumulate in time. [The last
day that I was at Littlcmorc I was also solus, Quuiquagesima
Sunday, Eebruary 22, 1846; without any inmate, without my
books, amid the ruins of my bookcases. I left with my
baggage at 4 p.m.]

Bev. J. n. Newman to Bev. J. Keiile.

Littlcmorc: April 29, 1S42.

I write for a copy of your Brotest, if I can have one, but
use your discretion. It is for a good man. as I believe him,
' Memoirs of Hope -Scott, vol. ii. p. 7.

396 folni Jfcnry N^cwinan 1842

though I do not know him — Mr. Scott, the rcpuljUshcr of
* Lawrence on Lay Baptism.' His cm*ate was rejected hy the
Bishop of London on the ground of Yomig's rejection, though
his Lordship repented next day. If you choose to send
straight, direct ' Parsonage, Hoxton, London.' If not, at
least I shall profit by a letter from you, which will be a treat.

I have long been very anxious about Pusey's loneliness,^
and it has now come upon me more than ever. There is the
coincidence of your Poetry Professorship expiring, Isaac
Williams leaving, and my going to Littlemore. I had hoped
that Lucy would have been by this time old enough to be a
companion, but I think what he wants is, someone -to consult
and talk to, and he does not take to younger men ; else there
is Barker in the house, and at a word he could attract to him
whom he would. There is Marriott. There is no good telling
you all this, but it relieves me to do so.

My Bishop sent me a letter requiring an explanation what
I was doing here. I wrote him a very full answer. He
answered me most kindly, saying that the assertions about
me were proved by my explanation to be ' cruel and unjust
and calumnious,' and saying that he much approved of my
residing here, where a resident incumbent was wanted. . . .

The Margaret Professor (Dr. Faussett) has not been con-
sulted in the late theological statute affair, and is in dudgeon.

PiEV. J. H. Newman to Fiev. J. Keble.

'Maxj 24, 1842.
You will be glad to hear that the Bishop's Charge delivered
yesterday was very favourable to us, or rather to our cause,
for some of us suffered. He began by a description of the
Movement, and of the bitterness with which it had been
assailed ; spoke against newspaper writers and meeting
spouters, and praised us in contrast. This took up some
time. Then he went to the Tracts ; said part were very
obscure, others wrong, and that the writers seemed not to
care about offending people. Then Xo. go came in. Then

' Mrs. Pusey dictl May 26, 1839.

1842 Letters and Correspondence 397

there must be some delicate wording for which I shall look
anxiously in the Charge when published ; but I understood
him to say that he thought No. 90's interpretation not the
obvious, that he wished to take the obvious, that he was
against all interpretations which made the Articles anything
or nothing, and yet he did not see why Calvinists and Puritans
should 1)6 allowed to consider that the Articles admitted
them, but men who agi'eed with Bull, Beveridge, Andrewes, ko,.,
might not have the same liberty the other way.

Then he went to the disciples of the Movement, and here
his regular censure began : i, Palmer's Anathema (Magdalen
Palmer); 2, Vestments; 3, Oakeley's translation of St.
Buonaventura ; 4, the speaking against the Pieformers ; 5,
leaning to Pome, and an unreal unity. He concluded by
saying that he expected hardly any clergymen to go to Rome
but only very young persons ; and that if people attempted
to dam up the Movement, there would be a great inundation
and a fearful schism. And he also said some strong things
against the Church of Pome. I have left out some topics
from forgetfulness.

As to the ' Dublin," poor Dr. AViseman is dying to get us,
and this makes him write in an anxious, forced, rhetorieal
way, being naturally not a little pompous in manner, though
I believe it is principally manner.

PiEv. .J. H. Newman to Pkv. .T. Keble.

Litth'iUDrc : Mai/ 24, 1 842.

I have just heard that the Heads of Houses have jxissrd
a repeal of the Statutes against Hampden, and the question
is to be brought into Convocation in ten days.

What I mean to do myself is this : at all events to go and
vote myself against it, but not to write about to bi'ing men
up unless a committee is formed in Oxford against Hamixlen,
and not to take part in the formation of, or in, a t-onnnittoe.
[My feeling was that it did not become me, being myself under
Hebdomadal censure, to take a forward part now against
Hampden, though I might give my vote against him as a private

398 John Henry Newman 1842

M.A.] I cannot believe that a committee will not be formed.
You had better get some one who is in Oxford to keep you au
courant. Since the young M.A.'s of six years are, I trust,
mainly with us, I trust the repeal will be rejected, provided
only an Oxford committee is formed. The ' llecord ' in its
last number took Hampden's part expressly.

Eev. J. H. Newman to Mrs. J, Mozley.

Little mo re : June 13, 1842.

I am full of work, and this last week have been well-nigh
knocked up with fatigue.

The Bishop's Charge gives great satisfaction. It is plain
which way he leans, and everything I hear goes the same
way. He means to pay me a visit at my new abode, not as a
Bishop, but as a friend, out of kindness. They want to work
an altar-cloth for Cuddesdon after the pattern of j'ours.

There is no chance, I fear, of my getting to Derby this
year. I am a family man, and cannot leave home.

Eev. J. H. Newman to Mrs. Thomas Mozley.

June 3, 1842.
Will you tell Tom [then editor of the ' British Critic 'J to
take care so much is not said about me in future numbers.
I don't like to say so to Ward or Oakeley — it would be
ungracious ; and they do it really because they think it comes
in their way to do it ; but it will seem as if I gave up the
' B. C that I might be puffed in it, which could not be decently
done while I was editor.

The following letter was written by Mr. Newman in reply
to a question put to him by the Venerable AV. K. Lyall, Arch-
deacon of Maidstone and afterwards Dean of Canterbury. It
was forwarded in 1 886 to Cardinal Newman by a relative of
the late Archdeacon Lyall and transmitted by him to the

1842 Letters and Coi'respondejue 399

PiEV. -T. n. Newman to Venerable W. Pi. Lyall.

Littlcmore : July 16, 1842.

. . . Your question is just the difTicult one of En<^'Iisli
theology, and as time goes on it will be moi-e and more felt.
It is as deeply feeling it that some persons at present have
been called ultras and thought to sympathise with R(jmo.
"While tlie Catholic Church is broken up into fragments it will
always be a most perplexing question, * What and where is
the Church ? ' And those who maintain the Article of the
Creed which declares the fact that there is a Church, will be
looked upon by hard-headed Dissenters and Liberals as unreal
and cloudy in their views.

I consider that, according to the great Anglican theory (by
which I mean the theory of Laud, Bull, Butler, cl-c, upon
which alone the English Church can stand, as l)eing neither
Eoman nor Puritan), the present state of the Church is like
that of an empire breaking or broken up. At least I know of
no better illustration. "Where is the Turkish Empire at this
day? In a measure it has been, and is no more. Various
parts of it are wrested from it, others are in rebelHon. There
is no one authority which s])caks ; individuals in particuliir
localities know not whom to obey or how they shall be best
fulfilling the duty of loyalty to the descendants of Othman.
Sometimes the truest allegiance is to oppose what seems to
come with authority. Li man}^ cases there is only a choice
of difticulties. For the most part, a Turk speaking of pre-
cepts, prerogatives, powers, speaks Init of former times. He
appeals to history ; he means the earlier empire when he
speaks of Ottoman principles and doctrhies. In whatever
degree this is true of the Turkish power, at least it is true of
the Church. Our Lord founded a kingdom : it spread over
the earth and then broke up. Our difficulties in faith and
obedience are just those wliicli a subject in a decaying enii)Li-i-
has in matters of allegiance. "We sometimes do not know
what is of authority and what is not ; who has credentials and
who has not ; when local authorities are exceeding their powir
and when they are not ; how far old precedents must be

400 folni Henry N^ewinan 1842

modified in cxistin<,' circumstances, how far not. This view
might be illustrated in detail to any extent from the contro-
versies and difficulties of the day. Lay haptism, the poor
law, the Irish Eoman Catholic Acts, the Jerusalem Bishopric,
are all, in very different ways, difficulties which rise out of a
sick or rather dying kingdom. Under these circumstances,
when we are asked, ' Where is the Church ? ' I can hut answer,
* Where it u-as ' — the Church only h while it is one, for it is in-
dividually as He who animates and informs it. It is under
an eclipse or hi deliquio now, or, as Bellarmine says of the
tenth century, ' Christ is asleep in the ship,' and a curious
collateral witness to this is found in the difficulty which the
Eoman Catholics themselves find in determining ichere the
seat of infallibility is. The Church has authority only while
all the members conspire together. In such strange circum-
stances as those in which we find ourselves we can but do
what we think will best ])h'ase the Lord and Master of the
Church — what is most pious ; we ruk; ourselves by what the
Church did or said before this visitation fell upon her ; we
obey those that are set over us, first, because they are set over
us ; next, because at least the Apostolical Succession is pre-
served (which is like dc facto rulers being of the blood royal) ;
further, because they are the nearest representatives we can
find of the whole Church, and are to a very great extent her
instruments. We consider the local Church the type and
deputy of the whole.

Should you think it of use to ask me any further ques-
tions by way of clearing my view I will gladly attempt it.

Eev. J. H. Xewmax to Mrs. J. Mozley.

Littlcmore : Jidy 31, 1842.

I have just finished my essay preliminary to Fleur}*, which
I thought never would come to an end. I have long wished
to write to you, but my hand is fatigued.

As to new verses, when my plantations are gi'own up into
trees, and I have built a nest in the topmost boughs, then will
you get me to sing a fresh tune.

1842 Letters and Correspondence 401

PiEV. J. H. Xkwman to J. "\V. BowDEN, Esq.

Littlemorc : Aii'inst 28, 1842.

The onlj' thinj^ I have to tell you is that Mr. 0^111)}', the
Ecclesiastical History Professor in the Theolof;ical Seminary
of New York, called on me the other day, and told me that
your ' Hildebrand ' was one of the books most in request among
the divinity students in his department.

I fear these Americans have done a most serious thing,
about which a row must be made. I have seen nothing; in
print, but am told that their presiding Bishop, Griswold, has
formally admitted a Nestorian, as a Nestorian, to Communion,
expressing at the same time the concurrence of his people, or
a good part of them. Acts like this will drive men out of their
Church. . . .

Another agitation for Hampden is proceeding. His friends
are getting 600 names for some purpose by a certain time.
]\[ore I do not know.

PiF.v. J. H. Newman to Pev. J. Kkisle.

Little more : Srptinnhrr 12, 1S42.

I rejoiced to hear from you and of your doings. I am so
idle about letter- writing, and my hand is so tired, that I had
preferred to inquire about you from others to trying to elicit
a line from you by a direct address.

As to your paper, which I return, 1 liad heard of the in-
tention (as I suppose j'ou had) several months back, and
certainly my own impression was, supposing the object of the
^lemorial to be confined to Arnold's merits in his school, that
if called on, 1 might join in it, and therefore much more you.
It strikes me that such as we may do things now which we
could not do ten years ago, because now we are so well known
that no one can mistake our meanings. I recollect Froude and
myself keeping ofi' in 1832 from the meeting in Oxford about
the Walter Scott Testimonial, because it was taken up by the
Liberals; but then our opinions were unknown, and to have
joined it would seem adopting Liberal notions.


402 John Heniy New7nan 1842

Moreover, I think there would he nothing inconsistent or
hypocritical, or exemplifying the ' Virtutem incolumcm,' &c. in
my taking part in this Arnold Memorial, liecause I am con-
scious of having always done justice to his great merits at
Rughj- ' — nay, having always defended him in many other

respects, as considering him widely different from and

and many other persons with whom he is associated ;

as being more real and earnest than his friends ; as having
done a work when they are merely talkers. I think I never
spoke harshly of him except on the occasion [at Eome, vide
' Apol.' pp. 33, 34] which gave me the opportunity [on his taxing
me with it sharply] of doing so, and which I really cannot
reproach myself with. I put all this as my own case, thmk-
ing it applies a fortiori to you. I believe the only contro-
versial piece we have put out against him is Froude's fragment.

However, Pusey does not like it, or rather is against it.
He does not like Whately's name as one of the committee,
though I don't think this goes to the root of his difficulty.
What is uncomfortable, he adds that if I subscribe be certainly
will. I wish he would not do this. It is exceedingly kind, but
I doubt the wisdom of it ; certainly it embarrasses me a good
deal. Did you subscribe I should like to do so, but it is very
hard that Puse}^ will not have a view of his own.

It would be painful to me not to subscribe, but you shall
give me your advice, please, as you ask mme. [I was advised
7iot to offer a subscription. I suppose this meant that it would
not be received.]

' In this relation the following letter from Dean Lake may be extracted from
the Guardian : — ■

Jamiary 25, 1888.

There is indeed a great deal more to be said of Arnold's remarkable mind — •
for many of his faults can be traced to his being a solitary thinker — than can
be expressed in a single letter. But it is a constant pleasure to me to remember
that no man would have been a more earnest upholder of the supernatural
truth of Christianity than Arnold if he was still with us, and that while on many
points he entirely agreed with the noblest of his opponents in his own time, he
is also in a very real sense a support to the higher worship of the present day.
And, lastly, I have good reason for believing that no person has so fully
recognised his high character, both moral and intellectual, as the very greatest of
his still surviving antagonists.

1842 Letters and Correspojidencc 403

Curious, I have just been reading Lockhart's * Life of
Scott.' Curious, too, I feel so dilierent about it from j'ou. It
lias brought more tears into my eyes than any book I cvei-
read, but withal has left an impression on me like a bud
dream. I cannot get the bitter taste out of my moulli. 1
mean it is so like ' Vanity of Vanities,' except that I really do
trust h(! has done a vorJi, and may be an instrument in the
hands of Providence for the revival of Catholicity. . . .

Eev. J. 11. Xewmax to Mrs. J. Mozley.

Lit tie more : September ij, 1S42.

. . . The publishers in London are gaping after the Church
line, each trjdng to outrun the other in securing writers. . . .
It shows most surprisingly the spread of Catholic oiiinions. . . .
but meanwhile I and others, who see how things arc going, do
not feel the less uneasiness, spread as they may. They have
no solid bottom. . . . But, I suppose, if one feels certain things
to be right and true, it is want of faith not to preach tliem
merely because one cannot systematise.

If I come to you I think you will think me vastly aged in
this year and a half. I begin to think myself an old man.

On the domgs of certain Religious Professors the question
of ridicule as a legitimate engine comes forward.

PtEV. J. H. Newman to Rev. J. Kedle.

Oriel : Oetohcr 2 1,1 842.

As to ridicule, to state the doings of is in fact to

ridicule them. The ridiculous is a natural principle ; it is not
iiKide. Of course a writer may make a thing ridiculous, l)ut
then it is by exaggeration, cVc, Imt I cannot help thmkingthat
our friends are [Qy. one friend is] intrinsically ridiculous. Rut
if so, is not stating ihefaet a sort of providential means of
disabusing people ? — the thing, when stated, thus carrying its
refutation with itself. I know that it lias been said that it
distresses certain minds, but it undeceives and sets right many

n D 2

404 John Henry Neumian 1842"

more. Froudc says tliat Apostolicals may l^e bated, but can-
not be ridiculed.' I sbould like to analyse tbe reasons of the
individuals who are offended by it — that it is so irresistible

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 33 of 47)