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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]843 Letters and Corrcspoudoicc 429

without a good deal of considenition and a fair prospect of
going on steadily with it. "What I mean is the giving half an
hour every morning to the steady contemplation of some one
sacred subject. . . . You should begin by strongly impressing
on your mind that you are in Christ's Presence. ... Of
course, there is the greatest care necessary to do all this with
extreme reverence, not as an experiment, or a kind of prescrip-
tion or charm. . . .



PiKV. J. H. XkWMAN to PiKV. T. P). MOZLEY.

Oiirl : \<>r<)ul>i-r 2;^, 1843.

"Will you dine here in the Common- 1 Joom at half-past 5
on Monday ? I have nothing to tempt you, but I want to see
your face : it is so long since we met.

You cannot tell how much I have been anxious about you,
as to what you heard not so long ago. After your father and
mother and my own aunt, you have been uppermost in my
tlioughts. I fear your so-called indisposition is really mental
disgust — nothing bodily. Gladly, my dear James, would I
say anything to relieve you, but I can only say I wish tu
do so, if there is any good in that ; nothing more.

For myself, 1 have so long divested myself of hopes for the
future, if I ever had them, that I seem to have nothing to
grieve for, except the grief of others.

The answer to this note does not appear, ])ut its tone nuiy
be gathered from the folloMing reply to it :

Rev. .T. II. Newman to Pev. J. P. ]\fo/LEV.
Prirati'.] Xoi^'iiilHr 24, 1S43.

Your note made my heart ache — it is the simple truth, so
I may say it. T don't know whether it will comfort you, yet
I hope it may (as oiiun' iiinotuni pto iiiaiiiiiiicii), to ti'll you that
my present feelings are not new, nor have they come u^wn
me gradually, nor from disgust and despair, nor have they
been indulged.



430 J ohu I fciiry Newman 1843

Last summer four years (i«S39) it came strongly upon me,
from reading first the Monophysite controversy, and then
turning to the Donatist, that we were external to the Catholic
Church. I have never got over this. I did not, however,
yield to it at all, but wrote an article in the ' British Critic ' on
the Catholicity of the English Church, which had the effect of
quieting me for two years. Since this time two years the
feeling has revived and gradually strengthened. I have all
along gone against it and think I ought to do so still. I am
now publishing sermons, which speak more confidently about
our position than I inwardly feel, but I think it right and do
not care for seeming inconsistent.

I trust you may quite rely on my not admitting despair
or disgust, or giving way to feelings ivMdi I irish otherwise^
though, from the experience of the last four years, I do not
think they are likely to be otherwise.

A lady of recognised ability, the friend of a correspondent
of Mr. Newman's, had earnestly wished to enter into contro-
versy with him. In his answer to this request Mr. Newman
writes : —

She may — of course she has full right to — differ from me
in opinion, and she remains (I fully grant) just where she was.
She has not changed. I have read what she has not read, and
have changed. I read first (as I was bound to do) with other
people's eyes, and since I have read with my own, not being
able to help it ; but still I do not force my views upon her, I
have not obtruded them in any way. I have felt nothing but
pain ; but she is resolved to get into argument with me, and I
am resolved (so be it) not to argue with her. I wish to have an
argument with no one ; by which I mean anything between
person and person. And it is very bad tact in her, for it is
just the way to drive one in one's feelings further from her
opinions. She is doing just what our rulers are doing on a
lar^e scale — trying to show us that we are in a false position,
that we are not in our place. . . .



1844 Letters and Correspondence 431

PiEV. T. IT. XinVMAX T<1 J. W. BOWDEN, EsQ.

Fihriiani 21, 1844.

Half-past 10 A.M. I am just up, liavin<jj a bad cold; the
like necessity has not happened to me (except twice in
January) in my memory. This winter has been very trying
here. But you may think you have been in my thoughts
long before rising — of course you are continually, as you well
laiow. I could not come to see you, there were so many
difficulties in the way, and (though 1 shall pain you In* my
saying so) I am not worthy of friends. ^Vith my oi)inions, to
the full of which I dare not confess, I feel like a guilty person
with others, though I trust I am not so. People khully think
that I have nuich to bear externally — disappointment, slander.
Arc. No, I have nothing to bear but the anxiety which I feel
for my friends' anxiety for me, and perplexity.

This is rather an Ash "Wednesday than a Inrthday letter
[February 21 was Ahh Wednesday in 1844], but I cannot help
writing what is uppermost. We have had a heavy fall of
snow this morning, but it is now melting.

We have just got our new oak l)enches into the chapel,
and you caniKjt fancy what a great improvement it is.

And now, my dear Bowden, all kindest and best wishes to
you, my oldest friend, whom I must not speak more about,
with reference to myself, lest you should ])e angr}'.

Key. J. H. Xewman to ^Iiis. J. Mozlev.

Ijllli'iiinrc : M((i/ 2\, 1S44.

I am very sorry to make you anxious, but do not know
what to do. I don't like you to l)e ignorant of my state of
mind, 3'et don't like to tease you with my i-igiuarole statements.
Unless anything happened which I considered a divine call,
and beyond all calculation, I never should take anyone by
•surprise, and therefore you need not alarm yourst If as if any-
thing were happening. ]iut if 1 judge of the future by the
past, and when 1 recollect the long time, now nearly live years,
that certahi views and feelings have been more or le>s familiar



432 John Jlciiry N^ cum an 1844

to me, and sometimes pi-cssiiig on mc, it would seem as if any-
thing might happen. And I must confess that they are very
much clearer and stronger than they were even a year ago.
I can no more calculate how soon they may affect my will and
become practical, than a person who has long had a Ijodily
ailment on him (though I hope and trust it is not an ailment)
can tell when it may assume some critical shape, though it
may do so any day.

The following letter answers a question just put to him hy
his sister, glad always of subjects not harassing, in her constant
correspondence with her brother. She seems also to have
seen mutual friends, and to have heard a cheerful report of
Mr. Newman from them. He answers on the question of a
book recalling his own school days.

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

Liftlcinoyc : JiDtr t,, 1844.

. . . ' Calmet's Dictionary ' was a book the boys had {i.e.
brought from home) at school, and was popular. It is, in fact,
a very popular book, as well as a good book, and I am surprised
.aunt and you should not know it. I have never seen it myself
since I was a boy. I wish I had, but it is too dear to buy.
For a long while I used to think Calmet was a Protestant ; but
he was a good monk of the Benedictine Order, a strict man
and a reformer in his da}'. I know two other of his works —
his Comment on the Eule of St. Benedict, and his Literal
Commentary on Scripture, which I think Adam Clarke (!)
pronounced the best commentary on Scripture extant ; it is
very good certainly. . . .

You must not be surprised if I should determine on giving
up my Fellowship; but at present I have no plan formed.

I was glad to see J. Fourdrinier and Mr. Deane. You
must not suppose I put on a cheerfulness because people do
not find out I have cares ; the truth is (thank God !) I am
cheerful. And though it so entirely depends on Him that I
might be cast down for good and all any day, and know not,



JHU Letters and Correspondence 433

of course, what is before me, yet having souiul sleep at ni^'lit,
and quiet (lays, and tryiiif^ to serve Him without aims of this
world, however imperfectly, how can 1 l)nt be cheerful, as I
am ? And I trust He will overrule all painful things which
myself or others have to bear, to our good. Of course tlif
]>ain of my friends is what cuts me, and I do not know how 1
shall bear it ; but He gives us strength according to our day.

Rev. J. Kkijle to IIkv. J. il. Xf.wmvn.

Ifitr^tlcii ]'itar(iii<' : Jitnr 12, I S44.

You will easily imagine how dissatisfied I am with every
word I write to you, and will excuse one's lidgeting and con-
tinually adding more ' last words.' I want now to speak to
you about two things : one, the idea which seems to pervade
your letter that if after all you should be allowed to hr
erroneous in tliis your judgment it is equivalent to judicial
lilindness, or something of that sort. I do not exactly
see why you should assume this, unless the error were
supposed deadly or fundamental. I can imagine there might
be providential purpose in allowing even a saint to mistake
the degree of harm in communicating with or separating from
a particular portion of Christ's people, or the necessity or
sacrednessof such and such an institution ; so that even if after
a time he found himself to have been in error, he need not
of course assume that the error was judicial. If your present
view is right, Pusey's, I suppose, is wrong; should one, therefore,
infer that his prayers for light and guidance are not heard ?

])o you not think it possible (I dare say I borrow the view
from yourself) that the whole Church may be so lowered by
sin as to hinder one's finding on earth anything which seems
really to answer to the Church of the Saints ? and will it not
be well to prepare yourself for disappointment, lest you fall
into something like scepticism ? You know 1 have always
fancied that ])erhaps you were over-sanguine in making tilings
square, and did not quite allow enough for Bishop Butler's
notion of doiil>t and intellectual diHiculty being some men's
intended element and appropriate trial.

VOL. II. F F



434 fohn Henry A'ci'.niian 1844

The otiu'i" tliiiif; I wanted to say to you, or rather to make
you feel, was of oiie of your friends at least, and he l)elieves
a great many would be of the same mind, that notln'ng which
may happen will make an}' kind of separation or hinder con-
fidence. It is so utterly different from a change in the other
direction ; but of course one fears how it may be on your part —
I mean, what duty may suggest to you.

P.S. — Of course you make allowance for the longing to be
at rest as a secondary influence possible in your case.

Eev. J. H. New.^ian to Rev. J. Keble.

Or'xd CoUcf/e: June 12, 1S44.

... As to Arnold's ' Remains,' I cannot put myself enough
in your place to know the precise point which pains you so much,
but for myself there seems much to take comfort in, in things
as they are. I do not think that the book will take any great
effect in a wrong direction. Of course there is a great deal
in it to touch people, but there is so little consistency in his
intellectual basis that I cannot think that he will affect readers
permanently ; and then it is very pleasant to think that his
work has been so good a one — -the reformation of public schools.
This seems to have been blessed, and will survive him, and
forms the principal, or one of the two principal, subjects of the
book. And, further, if it is right to speculate on such serious
matters, there is something quite of comfort to be gathered
from his removal from the scene of action at the time it took
place, as if so good a man should not be suffered to commit
himself coininiifi against truth which he so little understood.

. . . Since I began this letter Church came into the room,
and began to talk on what he and others fear in Oxford, the
growth of scepticism. He gave me instances. It seems to
me certainl}- likely to be more and more a pressing evil.

Rev. J. H. Newman to J. AV. Bowden, Esq.

June 17, 1844.
Arnold's book is a very mournful one ; so much good and
so much bad. And "Ward's [the * Ideal '], there is a great deal



1S44 Letters and Correspondence 43:5

of f^^ood in it, and a groat deal which to nic reads hke a theory.
And I wish he had more vigour of style.

Eev. J. H. Xkwmax to Mrs. J. Mozlky.

'J'i'iiipli', London : Ai(t/nst 13, 1844.

... I have seen Bowden for a quarter of an hour. This
damp^day tries him sadly. He goes down to Clifton in a few
ilays, and I suppose I shall l)c able to go to him there as here.
. . . Itis, of course, quite an event in my life, and cannot happen
-again. My oldest friend, whom I knew for as much as nine
3'ears before I knew dear Froude, and whom a habit of affec-
tion has made part of my life, though I caimot realise things
yet.

I do fancy I am getting changed. I go into Oxford, ami
find myself out of place. Everythmg seems to say to me,
* This is not your home.' The college seems strange to me, and
even the college servants seem to look as if I were getting
strange to them. I cannot tell whether it is fancy or not,
but to myself I seem changing. I am so much more easily
touched than I used to be. lieadhig St. Wolstan's Life just
now almost brought tears to my eyes. "What a very mysterious
thing the mind is ! Yet nothing that my feelings suggest to
me is different from what has been engraven more or less
strongly on my reason long ago.

Now I dare say that if I kept this a day or two it would
seem unreal, and I could not bear to send it : and yet 1 do
think lliere is truth in it, making allowance for accidental
feeling.

We have been made very sad liy the suddi'nly lio^jeless
state of aperson probably you never heard of -^Mr. Fortescue,
a clergynum who married "William Spooner's sister, and a
great friend of Henry Wilberforce. He is of a nonjuring
family, and was taught secretly Catholic doctrine and practice
from a child. From a child, T have heard, he has gone to
confession. AVhen at ^^'adham people could not make him
out, ho lived by himself. After a while, to his surprise, he
found the things h(> had been taught to keeji secret as by a
flis<q)rui<t arcnni common talk. Jle has had most wonderful

v V 2



436 foliu Ifcury Xcioman 18J4

influence in his neighbourhood, more tlian anyone in the
Church, I suppose. He is suddenly found to be dying of con-
sumption, his left hmg being ahnost gone. They speak as if
a few weeks would bring matters to a close.

In the autumn of 1844 James IMozley and Mr. Scott of
Hoxton became joint editors of the ' Christian Remembrancer/
up to this date a )iio)it]iIij periodical, now changed to a
quarterly. James Mozley seems to have informed Mr.
Newman of the undertaking, receiving the following answer :

liEV. J. H. Newjian to Hev. J, B. Mozlev.

Liftloiiorc : Aiifinst 18, 1844.

The * Christian Remembrancer ' doubtless will much
improve in its quarterly shape. Essays are so much more
readable quarterly than monthly. The fiajxr is not good for
the purpose. I heartily wish it success, and shall l)e pleased
to find you have found a basis of view on which to go. I
suppose, ('.(/., you will review "Ward's book, which I am sur-
prised to find is very successful in quarters where I should
have expected it to be disregarded and to fail. The notice in
the last ' English Churchman ' is a proof of this. They
would not praise unless they found a number of persons
did so. Dodsworth (I am told) likes it, Dr. Wootten, Mr.
Watson, Mr. Evans of Hampstead, Copeland, Mr. Crawley,
&c., and others as unlike each other as these. Yet for myself
I cannot see the ground of his main position — that a Church
may be utterly without the gift of teaching, yet possessed of
the gift of the Sacraments. Perhaps the ' Christian Remem-
brancer ' will throw some light upon it, either refuting it or
maintaining it,

I return Arthur's (Mozley) note. AVill you toll him that if
his friend will pay us a visit here for a week I shall be truly
glad, and then I can have more talk with him on his project.
Could he come at once ?

In the autumn of 1S44 an opposition was raised to the



1844 Letters and Correspondence 437

election of Dr. Symons as Vice-Chancellor in succession to
Dr. Wynter. This succession to the oltice was so according
to all precedent that opposition to it was frit from tlic iirst a
very douhtful measure ; hut Dr. Symons had not only Ijeen
one of the six doctors who had suspended Dr. Pusey, but had
shown especial animosity to the party of which Dr. Pusc}'
was one of the leaders. On the (juestion of expediencj' James
Mozley consulted Mr. Newman. The answer shows that it
cost ]\rr. Newman a decided etTort to throw himself aj^ain
into party pohtics. However, whatever concerned his friends
could not fail to interest him, wluu hy an efl'ort he brought
liis mind to iix upoji and to warm to the (]uestion.'

PiEv. J. H. NivWMAX TO Pi:v. J. ]j. M()/,Li:v.

Littlentorc : Ainjust 22, 1844.

I wish I could say an^'thing to your purpose on the
question of the V.-C, but somehow I cannot get my mind
to grasp these things as I ought. ^ly own position is so
diiferent that I cannot throw myself into them. This I feel
very painfully when my opinion is asked on many occasions.
I feel stupid and as if I had nothing to say, and must speak
at random if I speak by way of saying something. And if 1
do say nothing, then 1 seem reserved and unfriendly.

As his friend, ^h\ Bowden, lay dying, Mr. Newman writes
to Mr. Keble :

Si'ptrmhrr 14, 1S44.

. . . One forgets past feelings, else I should say that I
never have had pain before like the present. I thought so
yesterday and said so, but 1 suppose it is not so. Yrt 1 am
in very great distress, and do trust I shall be kept from gloom
and ill-temper. I have given him up since October last, yet
have not realised his loss till now, it n(jw. He is my oldest

' Ikcadeis who wish to know more of this subject will liiiil it further di -
cussed in Letters vf Ucv. J. li. Mozley, D.D., p. 154.



438 I nini Ilciiry Xcunnan 1844

friend ; 1 have been most intimate with him for above twenty-
seven years. He was sent to call on me the day after I came
into residence ; he introduced me to college and University ;
he is the link between me and Oxford. I have ever known
Oxford in him. In losing him I seem to lose Oxford. We
used to live in each other's rooms as undergraduates, and
men used to mistake our names and call us by each other's.
When he married he used to make a like mistake himself, and
call me Elizabeth and her Newman. And now for several
years past, though loving him with all my heart, I have shrunk
from him, feeling that I had opinions . . .

Mr. Newman continues the letter three days after :

Grosrciior Place : September ij.

It is a great comfort to all parties that he is here and not
at Clifton. . . . He died and lies in a room I have known
these twenty-four years. . . . And there lies now my oldest
friend, so dear to me — and I, with so little faith or hope, as
dead as a stone, and detesting myself.

[John William Bowxlen died September 15, 1 844. I
sobbed bitterly over his coffin to think that he had left me
still dark as to what the way of truth was, and what I ought
to do in order to please God and fulfil His will. — J. H. N.]



Eev. J. Keble to Rev. J. H. Newman.

Hio-.sleij : S<'pte}iiher 19, 1844.

You are very kind to send me so many particulars
[J. AV. Bowden's death], so many which, I hope and believe,
will soon begin and always continue to be a great comfort
to you. Just now you are stunned with the blow, but as to
being hard-hearted, I have too sad and shameful experience
how soft-hearted people who cry easily, may soon let go
the good thoughts which came to them from such death-
beds, and have their hearts hardened in another sort of
manner. But really and truly may one not accept such a
calm departure as this as a pledge of mercy and comfort in



1844 Letters aiiel Corresponeienee 4:^9

one's own cares and i)erplexities ? — the gleam has gone behind
the cloud, but we know it is still there, and are permitted and
encouraged to hope for a sight of it again at no very long
distance.

Altogether it seems very much to realise George Herbert's
notion of going from earth to Paradise, as from one room to
another.

Mr. Newman's feelings, as expressed with such bitterness
in the last letter to ]\Ir. Keble, may well have been aggravated
by the state of his own lu'ulth at this period of trial. There is
a letter, September 26, 1844, from his friend and physician.
Dr. Babington, in reply to a report of himself from his patient,
which shows him, as it were, glad of an opportunity to use
very plain language on the subject of overwork and deficient
nutriment and rest — a warnhig founded oji observations made
in their last interview in the spring of this year.

Dr. Baiunoton ' to Bev. J. II. Nkw.man.

SrjilonJxr 26, 1S44.

I have not read your letter without anxiety. ... I think
you must consider seriously whether you take sufficient support
and sufficient rest. "When I last saw you — about the close of
Lent, I believe — I was much struck with your appearance,
which was shrunk and debilitated ; and it is impossible to
avoid the suspicion that, partly by overwork, and partly by
deficient nutriment, you are rendering yourself unlit fur
exertion.

This serious warning had its effect. There are words in
j\Ir. Newman's writing that seem to imply that from this time
he altered his mode of living.

Writing late in the autunni to his sister, in reply to ai
(piestion from her relating to a person always interesting to
him, Mr. Newnuin indulges in an act of self-portraiture most

' [My iiu'iliLiil adviser since 1S27. .1. H. N.



440 I o/ni I loiry Ncuniian 1844

unusual witli him — of which, indeed, tlie lettcTS and papers
before the Editor oft'er no precedent; hut those who knew
him best ■will, perhaps, be most struck with tlie truth of the
image he raises.

Eev. J, H. Newman to Mrs. J. Mozi.ey.

October 31, 1844.

I begin this letter for a not very complimentary reason,
but from having a headache, a very unusual visitor, which
hinders me from working.

You ask me about my meeting Arnold, and though there
is nothing but what is commonplace to tell, I cannot tell it
without introducing myself more than is pleasant. Indeed,
the less I have to say, the more I must bring in myself, if I
am to say anything ; but even then I have little enough.

The second of February, as you know, is our great Gaud}-
of the year. The Provost dines in Hall at the top of the table ;
and in the Common-rioom, to which the party adjourn, sits
at the right hand of the Dean, as being the guest of the
Fellows. Eden was Dean, and was taken ill, I think, when
the news came that Arnold was coming with the Provost, and
I, being Senior Fellow, must take the Dean's place. My first
feeling was to shirk. 'It is not my place,' I said, 'to take
the office upon me. It is nothing to me. I am not bound
to entertain Arnold," &.Q., d-c. However, I thought it would
be cowardly, so after all I went, knowing that both in Hall
and Common-Pioom the trio at the top of the table would be
Provost, Arnold, and I, and that in the Common-Pioom I
should sit at the top between them as the entertainer.

The Provost came into Hall with Arnold and Baden-Powell
(who made a fourth), I being already in ni}' place at table,
waiting for them. The Provost came up in a brisk, smart
way, as if to cut through an awkward beginning, and said
quickly, ' Arnold, I don't think you know Newmaii ' ; on which
Arnold and I bowed, and I spoke. I was most absolutely
cool, or rather calm and unconcerned, all through the meet-
ing from beginning to end ; but I don't know whether j^ou



JH44 Letters and Correspondence 441

have seen me enough in such situations to know (what I reall}'
beheve is not any aftc-ctation at all on my part ; I am not at
all conscious of any such thing, though people ^YOuld think
it) that I seem, if you will let me say it, ioiiut on a very simple,
innocent, and modest manner. 1 sometimes laugh at myself,
and at the absurdities which result from it ; but reall}' I can-
not help it, and I really do believe it to be genuine. On one
occasion in the course of our conversation I actually blushed
high at some mistake I made, and yet on the whole I am
quite collected. Now, are you not amused at all this? or
ought not I to blush now ? I never said a word of all this
about myself to anyone in my life before; though, perhaps,
that does not mend the matter that T should say it now.
However, to proceed.

So when the Provost said, ' I don't think, Arnold, you know



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 36 of 47)