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 34 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 34 of 47)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

may be a great reason. It is perfect poison to affectation and
mock solemnity. Is it not often a most merciful weapon, be-
cause, if 3'ou were serious, you must be so much more severe ?
How merciful it is to assail a man for ' preaching prayers/
considering what might be said of it.

The Bishop of Llandaff [Copleston] has been charging most
violently against ns. His manner was violent, I am told. He
hinted almost at a Eoj-al Commission, because the Bishops
could do nothing, and vie\ys were spreading so fast. "What !
is free trade no longer a good ?

The Warden of Wadham has been preaching on the duty
of attending and submitting to the Church — i.e. the Protestants.
Haddan says he borrovred some pages from Bramhall. Is he
reduced to this ?

PiEV. J. H. New:man to Mrs. .J. Mozley.

Little )no re : Xoremher 26, 1842.

Everything is quiet in Oxford except the interiors of Heads
of Houses, and such like, who, I am told, fume and fret the
quieter things are, because there is a steady move onward.

Mr. Newman only allowed his nearest friends to see his
Bishop's letter. His sister Jemima thanks him for his confi-
dence, and at the same time betrays some natural misgivings.

December i, 1S42.

Thank j^ou very much for your kindness in allowing me to
see the enclosed. They are very interesting papers. I should
hope the Bishop quite understands you ; he seems to do so.
I am glad to hear Oxford is quiet externally. I should think

' Of course, Froucle's view, so far as there is truth in it, only holJs good
while Apostolical principles were unpopular and interfered with worldly pro-
spects : there was not the ridiculousness of sluivi in his day. Where prin-
ciples are adopted because they are the fashion, there will certainly be some
ridiculous holders of them.

1842 Letters and Correspondeiice 405

the Bishop's Charges must have clone a gi-eat deal towards
composing people's minds : they have only made some like
Mr. Close more furious.' ... I suppose you are able to make
use of your violin again now you are at Littlemore. I have
been practising hard lately and wish you could come, that I
might turn my practice to good account.

I shall long very much to see your University sermons.

PiEV. J. II. Xhwmax to 1Ji:v. .T. Keule.

Litthinorc : Dcccmhcr 20, 1S42.

As to reminding my people about Confession, it is the most
■dreary and dismal thought that I have about my parish, that
I dare do so little, or rather nothing. I have long thought it
would hinder me from ever taking another cure. Confession
is the life of the Parochial charge ; without it all is hollow, and
yet I do not see my way to say that I should not do more harm
than good by more than the most distant mention of it. Read-
ing the first Exhortation at the Communion is the only thing
I do of a direct kind. I hope that that is of a nature to startle
those who listen, though not enough perhaps to jiersuade them.

Mr. Sibthorpe, a well-known popular preacher, who had
lately surprised the world l)y becoming a convert to liome, and
after a year or two had renounced her Communion, was now
in the winter of 1 842 in Oxford, at Magdalen, of which College
he had been a Fellow.

I'lKV. J. II. Newman to J. AV. I>owiu:x, Esq.

LUlh'hunr : J irciiulxr 2(), 1842.

. . . Sibthorpe has been here, dressed ver}' imi)ressively
and eating lish ; else just the same. He dined in Magdalen
College Hall with no embarrassment, lam told, oneitber side ;
he shutting his eyes and turning up the balls [N.13. Tliis was

' Cheltenham was a sort of head(iuartcrs apainst the Movement, ami hard
words were current. A letter has conic into the Editor's hands of this date
which contains this sentence : ' Close disclaims all personality, but calls Newman
& liar and a pickpocket.'

4o6 John Henry Neiuman 1843

liabitual with him as a Protestant], and talking, and the scouts
ill Avaiting as grave and unconcerned as usual.

I am publishing my University sermons, which will be
thought sad, dull affairs ; but, having got through a sultjeet, I
wish to get rid of it.

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

Littlcmore : Janitcirij 2;^, 1843.

Some of my University sermons will be very hard, Init I
have now for twelve years been working out a theory, and
whether it is true or not it has this recommendation, that it
is consistent ; and this is the only encouragement I have to
publish, considering its unpopularity and my own ignorance
of metaphysical w^riters. I have kept to the same views and
arguments for twelve years, and am obliged to watch myself
lest in new [the later] sermons I stumble upon what I have
already said ; therefore I think I may safely publish. They are
not theological or ecclesiastical, though they bear immediately
upon the most intimate and practical religious questions.

Eey. J. H. Newman to J. E. Hope, Esq.

Littlemorc : In Fest. Conr, S. Paitli, 1843,

In return for your announcement of some change of pur-
pose, I must tell you of one of my own in a matter where I
told you I was going to be very quiet.

My conscience goaded me some two months since to an
act which comes into effect, I believe, in the ' Conservative
Journal ' next Saturday — viz. to eat a few dirty words of mine.
I had intended it for a time of peace, the beginning of December,
but against my will and power the operation has been de-
layed, and now unluckilj' falls upon the state of irritation and
suspicion in good Anglicans which Bernard Smith's step has
occasioned, I had committed myself when all was quiet. The
meeting of Parliament will, I hope, divert attention.

P.S. — I am publishing my ' University Sermons.' You
got a headache from one ; it will be an act of gratitude to
send you all. Shall I do so '?

1843 Lette7's and Con^cspondcnce 407

In a letter Avritten later Mr. Newman says :

Since you have had a speehuenof the book, I may add, in
opposition to you, that it will be the best, not the most perfect,
book I have done. I mean there is more to develop in it,
though it is imperfect. My ' University Sermons ' are the
least theological book I have published.

Mrs. J. MozLEY to Eev. J. H. Ne"Wman.

Fchruarx) 20, 1S43.

. . . Are you pretty r//»V^ in Oxford now'? We see the
* Oxford Herald ' now and then. The last contained Golightly's
last letter, which seems a very choice production. He really
is boiling over. I have not seen what has gone before, but
one can infer.

We hear that that letter which appeared in the * Conservative
Journal,' which bears every mark of belonging to you except
your name, is making a great hubbub in the world. It seems
rather a mysterious document ; pray what is the history of
its appearance ? . . . Have you seen the amusing articles in
the ' Record ' lately ? There is one imputing the Tractarians'
dislike to jtexi-s to their desire of first shortening, and in the
end discontinumg, sermons altogether, abolishing pews being
a means of discouraging the higher classes (the especial sup-
porters of sermons) from attending church. . . .

Kow, good-bye, dear John. I wish you sometimes gave
yourself a rest, but do not try yourself too far.

PiEv. J. II. Xewman to J. W. BowDEX, Esq.

Littlcmorc : Fchnmry 21, 1843.

I had been thinking of you before the arrival of your most
kind letter, which is now almost a usual part of the day. How
fearful or even awful the number of years has become since
we knew each other ! It seems to make time such a mystery,
as if it could not be a reality, since it seems nothing though
so much has passed in it. . . .

4o8 John Hen7'y Newmmi 1843

PiEv. J. II. Newman to Mes. J. Mozley.

Littlemorc : February 21, 1843.

I was in Oxford for a fortnight lately, and only returned
here on Saturday, and it will be a comfort to you to know
that, as far as I have means of learning, there is no excite-
ment or agitation in the place at all. Golightly is writing for
friends in the country ; in Oxford he either cuts people or is
cut by them. As to your question al^out the letter [contain-
ing the Eetractation ?], I believe it is making very little talk
here [Oxford], nor do I see anything in the papers. If there
is a secret fermentation, such as you describe, I suppose it
will at some time show itself, but I don't see what it promises
to do by any manifestation. It is hard, indeed, if ever3'one
may condemn mo and I may not condemn myself. As to the
mode being ill-judged, strange, &c., what mode would be good ?
"What time would be right ? In all these matters one has not
oneself the choice of time, mode, organ, and the like ; the
actual choice is a choice between difficulties.

Tlie President of Magdalen, it seems, is to ask me, for the
fifth time, to be an examiner for the Johnson Theological

My ' University Sermons ' made their appearance on
Saturday. The last which I preached, on the ' Purification,'
lasted an hour and a half ! People went about saying there
was a good deal of mischief in it, and that it must be answered ;
but I am under no apprehensions. And so, you see, I am
altogether very tranquil.

Here is a letter all about myself, only excusable because it
is my birthday.

Eev. J. H. Xewman to Eev. S. Piicil^eds.

Little more : Marcli 7, 1843.

Your letters are always kind and welcome, and I received
your last with a mixture of feelings. I prize most highly the
good opinion of friends, perhaps too highly, but an evil
conscience alwaj'S is haunting me that they place more con-

1843 Letters and Correspondence 409

fidence in mc than I deserve. This, I know full well, is the
case with many, and consequently I am ever feelinp; it to be a
duty which presses on me, to do all I can to make them sit
looser of mo than their kindness naturally allows them. Also
people from without, friends even some of them, who my con-
science tells me maj' bo thinkinj^' me like those not over-
respectable persons who ' palter with us in a double sense,' and
are understood to promise, what nevertheless their words do not
convey. I assure you, nothing has haunted me more continually
for years than the idea that undergraduates are trusting mo
more than they should, and I have done many things by way
of preventing it. I should not wonder if the feeling ended in
separating me from St. ^Mary's, about which 1 have thought
many times.

And 3-et, of course, I could not but be much pleased with
your sending me the messenger who brought your note, who
seems just what 3'ou describe him — an amiable, modest man.
I believe, too, he has considerable academical attainments,
though I am not much in the way to hear about them.

I have just heard to my surprise that my ' University
Sermons,' which have been published little more than a
fortnight, have come to a second edition. This is unaccount-
able ; every volume of my sermons hitherto has been a year
in running through the first. As many of these are on very
abstruse subjects, I cannot tliink that they have been l)ought
for their contents.

Our Library here is gi'owing so much that I do not know
how" we shall manage for room. All our beds have been full
for months, and I think we must cut our sets of rooms into
two to admit more inmates. AVc liave found no inconvenicnco
from the winter, though certainly, on the whole, it has been a
very mild one.

Ekv. .T. it. Xkwman- to ^riss IL

J/ittltiii(»r : March 8, 1843.

Pieligious truth is reached, not by reasoning, but l)y an
inward perception. Anyone can reason ; only disciplined,

4IO John Heniy Newman iai3

educated, formed minds can perceive. Nothing, then, is more
important to you than habits of self-command, as you say
yourself. You are overflo^Ying with feeling and impulse ; all
these must be restrained, ruled, brought under, converted
into principles and habits or elements of character. Consider
that you have this great work to do, to change yourself ; and
you cannot doubt that, ^Yhatcver be the imperfections of the
Enghsh Church, and whatever the advantages of the Eoman,
there are gifts and aids in the former abundantly enough to
carry you through this necessary work.

... I would without scruple offer to be of such use to
Mr. L. as one of your letters seemed to suggest, except that
I am very sceptical about my being really of use to him.
The truth is that I have a great dislike of controverting or
the like with people I do not know, I do not think it answers.
Very seldom have il been persuaded into the attempt, and
never, I think, with success. I have hitherto succeeded in
keeping people in our Church whose turn of mind, aspirations,
&c., I know, but I have failed whenever I have been asked to
write to strangers. As to Mr. L.'s thinking I evade the
particular question he asked, it is hardly one which, as I
consider, he could ask of me. I do not see that the Tridentine
Decrees and our Articles are in certain points reconcilable ;
if I had a clear view in favour of the Decrees, as a belief in
the ecumenicity of the Tridentine Council would involve, I
could not sign the Articles. The very fact that I am under
subscription to the Articles, implies that I cannot affirm the
Council to be ecumenical.

Mrs. J. MozLEY to Eev. J. H. Xewman.

March 25, 1843.

I have been daily wishing to write to you, but had made
up my mind 1 would finish your ' University Sermons ' before
I did so. Now I find one edition has run out before John [her
husband] and I have got through our methodical reading. . . .
You know all are new to me after ' Saul ' ; 1 could not have
believed unless I saw it that I had not heard you preach from

1843 Letters and Coj'vespondence 411

the University pulj^it since that occasion. I do not know any
vohime I have ever read that was so attractive and satisfying
to the U3ind except Butler's ' Analogy.' It makes deep things
so very simple. I was particularly pleased with the second
sermon, as laying down princijiles so clearly. It seems to
account for things one has wondered at all one's life, and to
reconcile one's instinctive feelings against certain worldly
views and motives, as supplying a good reason for the repug-
nance one felt towards them. I tell you this hecause I think
3'ou sometimes like to know the impression your works make
on readers, though perhaps I am not a fair person to take, as
I am so much better acquainted with your mind than many
people. Yet it seems curious to me that I have read this
second sermon before and did not see as much in it as I do
now. Of course I am a good deal different from what I was
when it was written. I suppose most people see more in
things than they did ten years ago. I have mentioned one
sermon only, though there is a great deal to remark on in each.
Each seems to have a little world of its own . . . We are
pleased at your tribute to music ; but what do you mean by
fourteen notes ? Do you mean the twelve semitones, as some
suggest ? I am indignant at the idea, and think you knew
what you were saying. Please tell me when you write.

PiEV. J. 11. Newman to ^Ins. J. ^NIozlev.

Littlnmnr: Murch 27, 1843.

I assure you what you say about my ' University Sermons '
is very acceptable and cheering, as I am not in the way of
knowing at all what is thought of them. Their rapid sale took
me quite by surprise, but did not prove the impression they
made. I certainly thought it, though incomplete and nnperfeet,
yet my best volume, but there did not appear any dear reason
that others should think the same. I'y-the-bye, do you mean
the second sermon ? 1 have been loykingat it ami ciiiniot see
what you allude to.

I had already been both amused and provoked to liml my
gross blunder about the ' fourteen.' But do not, pray, suppose

412 John I I airy A'cwman 1843

I doubled the notes for semitones, though it looks very like it.
The truth is, I had a most stupid idea in my head there were
fifteen semitones, and I took off one for the octave. On
reading it over when published I saw the absurdity. I have
a great dislike to publishing hot bread, and this is one proof
of the inconvenience. The greater part of the sermons, at
least, cannot plead haste for their imperfection. . . .

In answer to a question the letter goes on :

As for [one long dead], it is difficult to speak without

saying more than I wish. 1 impute nothing unkind or
insincere, or otherwise faulty to him. It is his misfortune by
the course of accident to know what very few people indeed
linow, and he naturally shapes his course from his anticipation
of the future. If the future does not confirm his anticipation,
he will seem timid and ungenerous ; but if it does, he will seem
more sharpsighted and wary than he deserves to be accounted.
I believe I wrote under the sad feeling (for the passage had
hurt me a good deal) that I was losing friends.

Eev. J. IT. Xew3ian to J. "\V. Bowden, Esq.

April 3, 1843.

Of course you have heard before this of dear Wood's
alarming state, which is a gi^eat grief to me, as to you. How
wonderful the ways of Providence are ! One is carried back to
the memory of this time four years [to that time when Bowden
was all but given over, and Wood was at once well and the
-correspondent who informed us of Bowden's state. — J. H. N.].
I just now heard from him, and he gives himself quite over.
He speaks of his extreme state of weakness. . . . He seems
to hope that it may be God's will that his trial should be short.
[He died April 22.] What a real trouble this is !

I was going to write to you about a plan I have of editing
in numbers ' Saints of the British Isles.' Is there any one
which you would like to take ? Some are appropriated, but I
hardly know which are in your way since you are a Conti-

1843 Letters and Correspondence 413

ncntalist. St. Boniface struck me. Ansclm and Lanfranc
are in Church's hands, Nvho has a sort of ri<,dit to them.

I mean the work to be historical and devotional, but not
controversial. Doctrinal questions need not enter. As to
miracles, I think they may be treated as matters of faith —
credible accordin^i,' to their evidence.

PiKv. J. 11. Newman to Mrs. J. Mozlhy.

Littlcmoir : Ajnil t,o, 1843.
I have lost a pjreat friend in Wood. . . . God makes me
new friends when I lose old ; to be sure they are younpjer, but
there are compensations even then. My dear .Jemima, my
life is done before it seems well begun.

PiEv. .J. II. Newman to Mrs. J. ]\Iozley.

Mil,/ 24, 1S43.

Do you know that the Yice-Chancellor has taken to a
sermon of Pusey's, preached last Sunday week at Christ
Church, and that six doctors are about to sit upon it ? ... I
am not without anxiety as to its effect upon him personally.
I could fancy it making him retire into himself and breakuig
his spirit. . . . But this may be foolish croaking.

A present from a qnasi stranger [Mr. PJiodesJ has just
been made to me for our chapel, of two red granite columns ;
they are only five feet high, Init, if Egyptian, will cut up into
many thm shafts. Perhaps these may be enough to form
part of a stone pulpit [and another anonymous 20o7. for the
same purpose]. "\Yc think of reseating the cliapel this summer.
A finger organ has been given us [by an undergraduate]. We
shall do everything we can at once, for, for what we know,
our time at Littlemore may be short. I do not see how I can
go on holding the living in the face of the episcopal Charges
of the two last years — but I shall not decide tlie jjoint myself.

\\i:\. .1. II. Newman to Pev. J. K'kp.i.e.

Litth'morr : Mii'i 2<j, 1S43.

T. Morris of Christ Church has been taken to for his (first)
sermon at Christ Church on Ascension l)av for the Dtau. I

414 John Henry Nczuman 1843

enclose what will throw light on the state of the case. "We
think it a very bad move of the Heads, and the V.-C. is getting
frightened and told Morris he was against it. Also he is
veering round about Pusoy, and he told M. he meant to be
impartial and receive charges on the other side.

S. is cast off by the 'Quarterly,' and appears holding out
signals of distress and flags of truce to us.

George Denison has been very urgent with us here to get
up a protest against the unecclcsiastical clauses of the Factory
Bill, a subject on which he is full of fury. I told him nothing
would be done. . . .

Pusey is much better, though hardly off his sofa. No news
about his sermon beyond what I have said above.

Again :

Saturdau, June 3, 1843.

They have suspended Pusey from preaching for two years.
He is making a protest, which will be in the Common-Piooms
to-day. His sermon will be published in a day or two.

To a lady residing at a distance from Oxford, Mr. Newman
writes on the subject of Dr. Pusey 's suspension :

Oriel College: June 4, 1843.

I daresay by this time you have heard pretty nearly the
rights of Dr. Pusey's matter. This day three weeks he
preached a- Catholic, not over strong, sermon in the Cathedral,
and for it he has been suspended from preaching for two years.

Every one here thought it from the first a very impolitical
step on the part of the Heads of Houses, for if there is a
Puseyite who is revered it is Dr. Pusey, by all parties. And
their mode of proceeding — appointing a board known to be
hostile to him, and not giving their reasons, or marking
particular passages — has increased the annoyance even of
moderate men.

It is difficult to predict the ultimate effects. If his cause
is taken up extensivel}^ it will damage the Heads. If not, it
will tend to alienate still more from the Church persons of

1843 Letters and Correspondence 415

whose attachment to it there is ah*eady cause to he suspicious.
It is one of those events which tend to hring matters to a crisis,
without carrying with them any intimation on wliicli side it
will he decided.

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

Litth'inorc: July 25, 1S43.
. . . The papers tell us that Lord Ashley [afterwards Lord
Shafteshury] has had a meeting in London in some puhlic
place to consult u])on the expediency of petitioning the
Duke of Wellington to put down Puseyism in Oxford. . . .

Mrs. J. MozLEY to Rev. J. H. Newman,

Jnhi 27, 1843.

I am so sorry to hear 3'ou are out of spirits. I really
think, while there is one Bishop like your Bishop, there is
every reason for hope. Indeed, if there were not, yet how
soon everything might he changed ! The principles you fight
for must reach the higher clergy in time. I daresay I under-
stand the matter quite superficially, hut it seems to me that
there is a great difference hetween our time and that of the
non-jurors. Then Catholic doctrines were on the decline, and
Liheral doctrines rising into fashion. . . . Now surely the
Catholic movement will prevail if we are not utterly unworthy.
People are heginning to he moved hy the meek, unresentful
spirit of those whose zeal and ardour in the cause have all
along heen undisputed. Indeed, dear John, I cannot but
believe many in our day will live to see things very different.
Perhaps I am sanguine without reason, because I have nothing
to ))ear ; but then remember, perhaps you may be dejected
with insufficient reason, because you have to bear the brunt of
the battle. You are indeed in a wonderful position : may you
be able to bear up in it, as one of the true champions of our
Church, not tired by all the opposition and calumny which
have assailed you on all sides.

Now, I do so wish, John, you would pay us a ^isit. 1 will
practise hard to get up some Beethoven.

4i6 [ohu Jlcury Kciunian 1843

Jacob Abbott's visit was quite romantic. I should like to
hear his side. His explanation reminds me of your saying,
that No. 90 was written for one set of people and read by

The following particulars relating to Jacob Abbott's call
on J\Ir. Newman, here alluded to, are taken from ' Essays
Critical and Historical.' '

* The author of the " Corner Stone " met my strictures with
a Christian forbearance, and a generosity which I can never
forget. He went out of his way, when in England in 1843,
to find me out at Littlemore, and to give me the assurance,
both by that act and by word of mouth, that he did not
take offence at what many a man would have thought justified
serious displeasure. I think he felt, what really was the case,
that I had no unkind feelings towards him, but spoke of his
work simply in illustration of a widely spread sentiment m
religious circles, then as now, which seemed to me dangerous
to Gospel faith.'

I have no other record of the incident than the following
two paragraphs in a well-known newspaper of the day :

From the ' EikjUsIl Churchman.'

A few Sundays ago a stranger who had been observed
joining very attentively both in the morning and afternoon

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 34 of 47)