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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services at Littlemore, begged permission in the evening to
introduce himself to Mr. Newman. It proved to be none other
than the well-known author of the * Corner Stone ' and the
' Young Christian,' and the object of his call was to express
his deep and smcere obligations to ^Ir. Newman for the severe
strictures which had been made upon his work some time
since in the ' Tracts for the Times.' He confessed that they
had the greatest effect upon his mind, and that he should
write very differently no\v. Mr. Newman asked if there were
anything that he should wish altered in a subsequent edition
' See Essays Critical and Historical, vol. i. p. 100.

1S43 Letters and Con-cspondtiicc 417

of the Tract, but Vlx. Abbott admitted the entire fairness
of the review, and wished nothing to be withdrawn or altered.

To the Kilitor nf the * EiujlisJi Clmnlinuui.'

Littlciunvc : Ovtohcr 6.
Sir, — I am verv sorry to observe a paragrai)h in your
paper of yesterday on the subject of the call with wliicli I was
favoured in this place, some time since, by Mr. Abl)Ott. It
has been evidently sent to you with a friendly feeling towards
myself, to which I am not at all insensible, but it is kimU'r to
me than it is respectful towards Mr. Abbott. Wliat I saw of
him impressed nu^ with such feelings in his favour, that it
would grieve me indeed did he think from anything that has
got abroad that he had reason to charge me (in my report of
our conversation") with rudeness or want of consideration
towards himself. T will add, what I stated to him, that if in
my remarks in tin- ' Tracts for the Times,' upon one of his
publications, I was betrayed into any expressions which
might be considered personal, instead of confining myself to
ihe work itself which I was criticising, I am sorry for them
and wish them unsai(L I saw him but for half an hour in
bis rapid passage across the country : but wherever he is, and
whether I shall see him again or no, he has my good wishes
and my kind remembrances. I am, ^c,

John H. Xkwman.

Ekv. J. IT. Xr.wMAN to Pii:v. J. Ki;iiLi:.

Friildji, AiKfust 25, 1843.

1 have just received a letter from Lockhart, one of my
inmates, who has been away for three weeks, saying that he
is on the point of joining the Church of Eome, and is in
retreat imder Dr. (ientili of Loughborough. . . . You may
fancy how sick it makes me.

liKv. J. II. to Mrs. J. ^Iozlev,

T/ittlcnmrr : .1 ////».s7 2S, 1S43.

Perhaps you know already from your proximity to Lough-
borough that Lockhart, who has been living here with nu- for

V0T-. II. K H

41 8 John Jlciiry Xc-iVUian 184.'5

a year past, has, at Dr. Gentili's at that place, conformed to
the Church of Eome.

It lias taken us all by surprise. . . . "When he came here
I took a promise of him that he ^Youlcl renuiin (piiet for three
years, otherwise I could not receive him.

This occurrence will very likely 11 x the time of my resign-
ing St. Mary's, for he has been teaching in our school till he
went away.

. . . These are reasons enough to make me give up St.
Mary's, but, were there no other, this feeling would be suffi-
cient, that I am not so zealous a defender of the established
and existing system of religion as I ought to be for such a

Years before, Mr. Newman, in his article on * Eeligious
Parties,' had written, ' You cannot make others think as you
will, even those who are nearest and dearest to you.' ' Ex-
perience had taught him this truth ; but he had to feel it with
heavier force as time went on. His correspondence with his
sisters pressed this growing divergence upon him, however
tenderly expressed.

Mrs. J. MozLEY to Hey. J. H. Newman.

Am\mt 30, 1843.

Your letter has, as you may imagine, concerned me greatly.
I do hope you may not have quite settled on the step of giving
up St. Mary's just at this critical time. I know you have long
had your thoughts turned to this point, and I have by degrees
learned to reconcile myself to the prospect, but I cannot think
you are aware of the effect of everything you do upon people
in general, to decide upon this step just at this moment. Of
course I allude to Mr. Lockhart's change just now, with which
your step would naturally be associated b}" friends and enemies
in a manner you would not wish. There are so many anxious
minds waiting and watching your every motion, who would

' Bridsli Clitic, April 1S39, p. 426.

1843 Lctlci's and Correspondence 419

misunderstand your proceeding and consider it a beginning
of a formal disengaging of yourself from your own Cliurcli,
"whose perplexities would be sadly increased. I trust you will
think not only of yourself, Ijut of others, before you decide on
it. . . .

You must not think me very presuming. I am so very
anxious you should always be as right in everything as you
have been hitherto. ... I have written a great deal with
very little in it, and 1 hardly can hope you will find any-
thing of weight in it, for I know you do not make up your
mind on slight grounds. If the matter is settled in your
mind, and must be so, 1 trust the sense of having done what
you thought right will be your reward and my great consola-
tion ; for what would become of me if I could not think of
you, as I always have thought with joy and gratitude, that 1
am your sister ? Yes, dear John, I feel it cannot be otherwise ;
wliiehever way you decide it will be a noble and true part,
and not taken up from any inii)ulse, or caprice, or pique, l)ut
on true and right princii)Ios tliat \\ill carry a blessing with

Poor Aunt is a good deal distressed at what you are doing.
I mentioned it, as it was better to do so now than to take
lier l)y surprise.

]\rr. Newman seems to have answered bis sister at once.
"We gather this from the following letter, written the day but
one after that just given :

Mrs. T. !\rozLKV to Pihv. .T. II.

Sijihiiilicr I, 1S45.

1 am very sorry indued if my Iviivv increased the pain you
must feel. I know well that must be very great. In return,
I must say your to-day's letter has greatly lessened mine.
You have such a clear view on the subject that 1 cannot for a
moment wish you to do otherwise than you have decided. It
must be rigV<t for tfoir to act when you feel so strongly. I
should be the last person to urge you to a contrary course ;

420 fo/iii Henry Newman 1843

;iiid, further, your coniidence (and that of others on whom you
depend also) makes me think you must be right in your
judgment. So I shall be reconciled to what must still be a
very sad event to mc. . . .

The following letter, from a lady — the name unknown to
the Editor — must have been forwarded to Mr. Newman by
Mrs. J. Mozley :

Fkoh a Lady to Mrs. J. Mozley.

Aiujn^t 30, 1843.

I have been thinking that among all the opinions and
feelings your brother is called upon to sympathise with,
perhaps he hears least and knows least of those who are,
perhaps, the most numerous class of all, people living at a
distance from him, and scattered over the country with no
means of communication with him as with one another, yet
who all have been used to look up to him as a guide. These
people have a claim upon him : he has witnessed to the world,
and they have received his witness ; he has taught and they
have striven to be obedient pupils. He has formed their
minds, not accidentally: he has sounJit to do so, and he has
succeeded. He has undertaken the charge and cannot now
shake them ofY. His words have been spoken in vain to
many, but not to them. He has been the means under Pro-
vidence of making them what they are. Each might have
gone his separate way but for him. To them his voluntary
resignation of ministerial duties will be a severe blow. If he
was silenced, the blame would rest with others ; but, giving
them up of his own free will, they will have a sense of aban-
donment and desertion. There is something sad enough and
discouraging enough in being shunned and eyed with distrust
by neighbours, friends, and clergy, but while we have had
some one to confide in, to receive instruction from, this has
been borne easily. A sound from Littlemore and St. Mary's
seems to reach us even here, and has given comfort on many
a dreary day ; but when that voice ceases, even the words it
has already spoken will lose some of their power ; we shall

184;} LcKcrs and Correspondence 421

have sad thouj^hts as we read tlieni. Such iva>i our ^'uide, Imt
he has left us to seek our own path : our champion has
deserted us — our watchman, wlicwe cry used to cheer us, is
heard no more.

In spite of tlie sorrow and the fear that sucli a step may
excite, I know it maif he ri^dit to do it — and if your hrotlier
does so, I shall try to think it is ; l)ut it seems right that he
should know all the consequences. We shall not leave the
Church as oth(u-s may. "We have no for Rome ; but
it is a stronfj; step to make our home feel cheerless, and this
will tend to do it — at least for a time. But it is a ]ar«4t'
subject and you will say it far better than'l. I liave said this
as a sort of relief to my feelings ; you will judge wh' ther this
view of the subject is worth noticing.

PiKv. .T. H. Newman to ^Ii;s. J. Mozley.

.I/'///f.s^ 31, 1843.

I am sorry to put you to such pain. Your letter and

's ' to you, would have brought me to many tears unless

I had so hard a heart. You must take what I do in faitli at
least ; if not, I fear I cannot find a better way of consoling

1 wonder my late letters have not prepared you for this.
Have you realised that three years since 1 wished to do it ;
and that I have said so in print, and that then only a fricml
prevented me '?

It has been determined on since Lent. All through Lent
I and another kept it in nn'nd ; and then, for safety, I said 1
would not act till October, though we both came to one view.
October is coming !

A'o time is ' the ' time. You may ha\ c thought as you read,
* three years ago it would not have mattered.' ^^"iil three
years hence be easier '? The question is, <)ii;iltt it to l>e done'.*

I mention a great secret, l)wause 1 do not wish others to
share in the responsil)ility ; but 1 will say this, that I have
always said, * 1 cannot go wrong when A [Kebi«' ■ and H

' Tlic letter, .\ugust 30, enclixfl liy Mr-. Mo/.It\v.

42 2 /(//;/ Jlcnry Ncicnitiu 1H43

[Rogers] agree tliat I should do a thing.' These two men
agree in ////k. / have not persuaded them.

I wrote to one of them tlie other day, whether I should
assign some reasons. He answered to this effect : ' No one
who knows the history of No. 90 can he surprised at it. Any-
one hut you would have taken the step hefore.'

My dearest Jemima, my circumstances are not of my
making. One's dut}' is to act vndcr circumstances. Is it a
light thing to give up Littlemore ? Am I not providing
dreariness for myself ? If others, whom I am pierced to think
about, because I cannot help them, suffer, shall not I suffer in
my own way ?

Everything that one does honestly, sincerely, with prayer,
with advice, must turn to good. In what am I not likely to
be as good a judge as another ? In the consequences ? True,
but is not this what I have been ever protesting against ? the
going by expedience, not by principle ? My sweetest Jemima,
of whom I am quite unworthy, rather pra}^ that I may be
directed aright, rather pray that something may occur to
hinder me if I am wrong, than take the matter into your own

Rev. J. H. New^.ian to Rev. J. Keble.
^ Litth'inore : Scptonhcr i, 1843.

I have just got your note. I am ready still to keep St.
Mary's if you think best. Will you turn it in your mind,
however ? i . That a noise will be made at my resigning
ivhenever I resign. It seems to me a dream to wait for a
quiet time. Will not resignation become more difficult every
quarter of a year ? 2. That Lockhart's affair gives a reason
for my resigning, as being a very great scandal. So great is
it that, though I do not feel myself responsible, I do not
know how I can hold up my head again while I have St. Mary's.
3. If it did for a moment alarm people, as if something were
to come of my resigning which they did not know, yet a very
little time would undeceive them.

Shoulch you think it advisable for me to retain St. Mary's

1843 feeders and Correspondence 423

awhile, would you object lo my trying to get someone to
take my duty at Oxford ciitircln, i.e. Sermons and all ?

As to Loc'khart, be was all but going over a year and a
half ago, before 1 knew him. His friends got me to take him
by way of steadying him, and I made him promise, as a con-
dition of his coming, that ho would put aside all thought of
change for three years. He has gone on very well, expressed
himself several times as greatly rejoiced that he had made the
promise (though I saw in him no change of opini<nt), and set
himself anxiously to improve the weak ^wints in his

Rev. .T. it. to Eev. J. B. Mozley.
ConfiiJcntial.'] Littlemure : SeptemJirr i, 1843.

]\ry dear James, — Thank you for j-our most kind letter. I
thought you would know already the prospect of my leavmg
St. Mary's without my speaking to you of a subject which was
but in prospect, and which (as you may think) makes me very
sick. I have been thinking of it these three, I may say four,
years, nor do I act without advice.

Really it is no personal feeling or annoyance under which
I do it. I hope I am right in speaking openly to you, which
I have not done but to a very few, but now I will tell you the
real cause — which others besides those to whom I have said
it may guess — Init which (as far as 1 recollect) I have only
told to Rogers, H. Wilberforce, R. Wilberforce, and Kcble.
. . . Tom may suspect it and Copeland, so may Church and
Marriott. Indeed, I cannot name the limit of surmisers.

The truth then is, I am not a good son enough of the
Church of England to feel I can in conscience hold iirefernuMit
under her. 1 love the Church of Rome too well.

Now please /'/'//' ////s, there's a good fellow, for you some-
times let letters lie on your mantelpiece.

This matter of Lockharfs (who seems regularly to havo
been fascinated by Dr. (ientili against his will) may liave the
effect of delaying my measure, but I shall be guiiled by

424 John Henry XcwiJiaii i8l:>

In the ' Chronological Notes ' for September 1 843 [ire these
entries :

Septciitbcr 17. — Preached in the afternoon at St. Mary's.

Scptcuthcr 18. — Had no sleep last night; went to town
with Goldsmid to Doctor's Commons ; resigned St. Mary's
before a Notary ; Mr. Eollery [?] came back ; George Denison
in the train ; walked to and fro as far as Abingdon.

Scptemhcr 19. — My resignation given in by Copeland to the

Scptemhcr 24. — Preached [at St. Mary's].

Scptemhcr 25. — Littlemore commemoration; Pusey ad-
ministered sacrament ; H. W. came ; I preached No. 604, my
last sermon.'

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

Scptemhcr 22, 1843.

[^As to .] You cannot estimate what so many (alas !)

feel at present, the strange effect produced on the mind when
the conviction flashes, or rather pours, in upon it that Piome
is the true Church. Of course it is a most revolutionary, and
therefore a most exciting, tumultuous conviction. For this
reason persons should not act under it, for it is impossible in
such a state of emotion that they can tell whether their
conviction is well founded or not. They cannot judge
calmly. . . .

It pains me very deeply to pain you, but you see how I
am forced to it. You will not say, I think, that I am less
affectionate to you from the bottom of my heart and loving,
than I ever have been.

' Professor Shairp eloquently recalls his feelings at hearing no longer Mr.
Newman's voice in St. Mary's. ' On these things, looking over an interval of
tive-and-twenty years, how vividly comes back the remembrance of the aching
blank, the awful pause which fell on Oxford when that voice had ceased, and
we knew that we should hear it no more. It was as when, to one kneeling by
night, in the silence of some vast cathedral, the great bell tolling solemnly
overhead has suddenly gone still. . . . Since then many voices of powerful
teachers may have been heard, but none that ever penetrated the soul like his.'
— Shairp's Studies in Poetry and Fliiloso^ihy, p. 255.

lJ-'43 Letters and Correspoude)iee 425

In his sister's answer are these ^Yords, ' I see wliut we all
need is i)aticncc with the course of events, and with each

PiEV. J. H. Xew:\ian to J. W. ]jowni:x, Ks(^

Sfjiti'iiihcr 29, I S43.

As you may suppose I have nothing to write to you about,
pleasant. I ((nihl tell you some very painful things ; but it
is best not to anticipate troubles, which after all can but
happen, and for what one knows may be averted. You are
always so kind, that sometimes, when I ]iart from you, I am
nearly moved to tears, as it would be a relief to be so, at your
kindness and at my hardness. I think no one ever had such
kind friends as I have, far beyond my deserts.

"\Yc collected altogether 61/. at the offertory on ]\l()nday
[anniversary of Dedication], and had I had my wits about
me, I might have added a 5/. which had been given me for
such a purpose.

Eden [new Vicar of St. Mary's] seems desirous of taking
C'opcland as curate ; but this is rntrt- nous.

^^'hat shall 1 add ? I daresay when I have closed this [
shall recollect something I ought to have said.

Believe me, my very dear Bowden, my old ainl true friend,
ever yours affectionately, J. 11. X.

IiEV. J. PI. Xkw^fan to Mi'.s. Thomas Mozley.

Srptcmlifr 2g, 1S43.

I do so despair of the Churcli ol" England, and am so
evidently cast off by her, and, on the other liand, 1 am so drawn
to the Church of Rome, that I think it s<tjir, as a matter of
honesty, not to keep my living.

This is a very different thing from having any iittintimt
of joining the Chureh of Borne. However, to avow generally
as much as 1 have said, would be wrong for ten thousand
reasons. People cannot understand a man being in a state of
iJonJit, of iiiisiiirinn, of being uni'ijual to rcsjxuisihilitifn, Sec. :
but they will conclude that he has clear views either one way

426 John Ifcnry Ncwjnan 1843

or the other. All I know is, that I could not without hypocrisy
profess myself any longer a teacher and a chamjnon for our

Very few persons know this — hardly one person, only one
(I think) in Oxford, viz. James Mozley. I think it would be
most cruel, most unkind, most unsettling to tell them.

My dear Harriett, you must learn patience, so must we all,
and resignation to the will of God.

Mrs. J. MozLEY to Piev. J. H. Xewman.

October 8, 1843.

Your letters are indeed sad for me to read. I feel I am
very unfit to judge of what you say. As Harriett requests
you to be candid, you cannot sa}' less than you have.

Knowing all I do of you and your present opinions, I do
not call in question anything you have done, or your manner
of doing it. I may deeply lament, but I cannot find fault ; I
cannot accuse you of being impatient, precipitate, or insincere.
Far from me ever be the thought of this last. I cannot say
you have not acted wisely under the circumstances, and I am
sure you have acted kindly and considerately. But for many
years I have anxiously watched the course, and endeavoured
to ascertain particulars concerning converts to Eomanism, and
I must say I have never heard of anyone like yourself. All
other conversions I have known anything of, men and women,
seem more the fruit of excitement and restlessness than of
straightforward honest conviction. . . .

. . . We are indeed in a dark cloud. That small body in
the Church that seemed to be at unity is rent asunder. Still
I feel hope that we shall not be utterh* forsaken. Amid all our
troubles we have as yet our greatest privileges spared to us.

PiEV. J. H. Xewman to fJ. "\V. BowDEN, Esq.

Littlcmorc: October 31, 1S43.

. . . Our Provost stuck out strongly against gi%"ing Eden
testimonials for Institution at St. Mary's ; with no one to

184.T Lcfh'rs and Correspondence 427

second liim. Finding, as it would appear, that he would only
he creating a precedent of Institution ivxihmt testimonials, he
has given in. Eden would not let him impose on him an
abjuration of No. 90 rr.s' a test, as he claimed to do.

Have you seen Gladstone's article in the Colonial (Jiiartcrli/ '?
It is very kind ; but like a statesman he takes a non-practical
view of the matter, and gives no solution of the ditliculties
that cause our present distress. "When persons have got into
their minds that a union with Rome is nrcessanf for thrir
being Catholics, it is vain to tell them that they have no chance
of making the EiuiUah Nation submit itself to Rome. They
have no 2>l(tnf(, but view the matter as a personal one.

On my return last night I found your welcome letter. [I
was then at Derby from ]\Ionday to Saturday.]

Under the pressure of his own misgivings and earnest
desires to check impatient thought and action in others,
glimpses come before us that this was a time when * Every-
one that was in distress and everyone that was discontented
gathered themselves unto him.' Some of these letters of
counsel seem to throw a light on ^NFr. Newman's habit of
religious thought. In answer to the same lady ' whose diffi-
culties have already been (pioted, and wlio had sought his

counsel, he writes :

Lilllciiiorr : Xorcnilirr ^, 1S43.

I am not quite satisfied at the way you speak of your own
powers. It is dangerous to say ' I have great powers ' though
it be true, and one knows it to be true. It becomes a tempta-
tion to dwell on the fact. I think it a duty for a person to
turn away from the thought as a suggestion from an evil
principle, and to note it down as such ; nay even to mention
it in confession as an approach to sin. in consequence of

' Thif? liul.v's ontluisiastio tcnipciaiiicnt and lu-r depi'inltMit rircuinstnncos
e(iually excited Mr. Newman's symiiatliies. His roKard for lit r lasted till the
end of her restless life-one of his latest notes comparing; her to one snint
in the calendar ' who never could settle.' In 1844 she conformed to Home.
Some intere.stinR letters of his to her, of a later date, have recently fallen into
the Editor's hands.

428 John Ifcnry X civ man 1K4:{

sayiiif; this, yon are led on to another declaration which
seems to me rasli — * I nnist have an infalhhlc guide.' I do
not quite hke the tone of this.

As to my not speaking out, if so, you have not taken the
way to make me. ^^'hen a person wishes the advice and
guidance of a director, he asks definite questions, he does not
give a narrative at length, from which the other is to pick
out l^y a constant unflagging acuteness the points on which
he wishes or ouglit to have advice. It was not putting your-
self in the relation of a patient to a physician.

. . . My mind is full of various matters, many of them so
painful that 1 have sometimes heen tempted to smile at the
ingenuit}^ with which you have invented for 3'ourself trouhles.
I confess I have not had time to pursue the progress of an
active mind like yours from day to day, when I have so many
thoughts pressing on my own, and when each successive
letter from you perhaps changed or reversed the state of
things in which you found yourself shortly hefore.

I quite understand the inconveniences of your present
situation. But you must recollect all places have their temp-
tations — nay, even the cloisters. Our very work here is to
overcome ourselves and to lie sensible of our hourly infirmities ;
to feel them keenly is but the necessary step towards over-
coming them. Never expect to be without such while life
lasts ; if these were overcome, you would discover others, and
that both because your eyes would see your real state of im-
perfection more clearly than now, and also because they are
in a great measure a temptation of the Enemy, and he has
temptations for all states, all occasions. He can turn what-
ever we do, whatever we do not do, into a temptation, as a
skilful rhetorician turns anything into an argument. It is
plain I am not saying this to make you acquiesce in the evils
3'ou speak of ; if such be the condition of this life, to resist
them is also its duty, and to resist them with success.

Nothing is more painful than that sense of unreality which
you describe. I believe one especial remedy for it is to give a
certain time of the da}' to meditation, though the cure is, of
course, very uncertain. However, you should not attempt it

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 35 of 47)