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 38 of 47)
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my nature to conceal things. Long, indeed, have I had this
sad secret when I thought it would be wrong to mention it.
By degrees, often without my intention, it has come out, and
growing conviction has justified me in mentioning it. And
smce now it is out, it will be a great comfort if you let me be
open with you, and to tell you what the state of my mind is.
Indeed, there can be no exercise of love between persons with-
out this openness. In saying this, however, I am not con-
templating any particular disclosure ; indeed, I forget almost
what I ]iave told you, and what I have not, but I mean

I went to town on Wednesday and returned on Friday,
having not quite recovered from a severe influenza, or some-
thing of the sort.

All kind thoughts of the season to all of you.

In vir/. Nativit. — I hope to keep the feast in peace and com-
fort. We always dine at the Observatory. The Holy Com-
munion is at 8 A.M., which is a great thing. Thmgs are look-
ing up at Oxford. At least, people are sanguine about throw-
ing out the Test, which will be a virtual repeal of the censure
on No. go.

]84o Letters and Correspondence 453

PiEv. .J. IT. Neavmax to Rev. J. 13. Mozley.

lAUlcmorc : Januar}j 5, 1845.

Now that the Test ' seems pretty sure of rejection, do you
thmk nothinp; at all can be done in "Ward's behalf ? Ecally
it does hurt one's sense of justice that, considering the
atrocious heresies which have lieen pul)lished without censure
on the other side, he must be visited so severely for being over-
Catholic. Not that I sec w^hat can be done. The ' Times '
cvasit, criipit. The ' Eememl)rancer ' is quarterly. Combina-
tion there can be none, yet I think we shall be sorry when all is
over if Ward is thus inequitably condemned.

Is it impossible to persuade men who come up against the
Test also to vote for Ward ?

I throw this out to relieve my mind. Before the Test was
sure of rejection Ward had no claims on anyone.

At this time a proposal was laid before Convocation for a
censure on No. 90, and the following sentences are given from
a notice issued hy Mr. Charles Marriott on the subject :

Allow me to lay before you the plain circumstances
under which the proposed censure of Mr. Newman has come

The measure has issued fiom the Hebdomadal Board
with a haste and suddenness absolutely unprecedented in Uni-
versity proceedings, and such as has left no time to mature
any regular appeal to Convocation against it. Only a week
has elapsed since the first mention of the design at all. . . .

Nothing has been done by Mr. Newman to call for such
an act from the University at this time. It is now four years
since the tract in question came out. Mr. Newman has in
this interval left residence in the Universit}^ has given up the
vicarage of St. ]\fary's, and withdrawn from the whole t-on-
troversy on the subject of the tract. If the tract was to l)e

' An alteration proposod by the Hebdomadal Board in the University
Statutes, to bo appended to the condemnation of Mr. Ward's book ; it was
subsequently withdrawn.

454 J oini Jlcnry Nczunmn l84o

condemned by the University, ought it not to have been con-
demned in 1 84 1 ; and should not the act of Convocation have
accompanied the notice of the Hebdomadal Board on the
subject ? The Hebdomadal Board, instead of proposing the
adoption of that notice to Convocation at the time they issued
it, propose it now, four years afterwards, and thus call for a
fresh and gratuitous infliction of pain when no one single fresh
act on the author's part has occurred to warrant such a
repetition. . . .

It is impossible not to observe that the idea of censuring
Mr. Newman was not mentioned until the defeat of the recently
proposed New Test, and its abandonment by the Board. It
was then put forward with all the appearance of being an
expedient for balancing that defeat, and as a measure of party

Signed, on behalf of several members of Convocation,

C. Marpjott,
Fellow and Deem of Oriel College.

This will tell the reader what the bane was of which Mr.
Mozley's affectionate words were the antidote.

Eev. J. H. Newman to Eev. J. B. Mozley.

Littlemore: Ash Wednesday, Feb. 5, 1845.

My dear James, — The bane, if it be such, and antidote
came together — for your affectionate note was the first news
I had heard about the doings of the Heads of Houses. I had
not had curiosity enough to look out for tidings, for I am, as
I was saying last week, and as the ' EngHsh Churchman ' has
said since, as though a dead man, and Hebdomadal Boards
can do me neither good nor harm. What really pains me, as
you may suppose, is the pain which friends will feel on my ac-
count ; yet this pain has a selfish compensation, for it is a
blessing of which I am quite unworthy to have friends who
feel for me as you do.^

' See reflections on this attack on No. 90. in Apologia, p. 293, and also
extracts from a pamphlet, in the Appendix.

1845 Letters and Correspondence 455

On the same subject Mrs. J. Mozle}- writes to her brother :

February 9, 1845.

I have nothing particular to say to you, but, as I think of
nothing but 3'ou, I have thought I might as well write to you.
I know you have more comfort within yourself than it is in
the power of any of us to impart, or happily of those who
wish you ill to take awaj'. I am anxious about 3'our health.
I was hoping you would benefit by your visit to Hastings ; and
what a reception you had on your return to Oxford ! James
[Mozley] writes of your taking the thing calml}', as we all
knew you would — no one more so, except, perhaps, Pusey — but
the injury and injustice is not less. It is what every l)ody must
feel sooner or later. Some way or other I am sure it must
come home to all who do not do their utpiost to prevent its
being done. But how many can do nothing who feel most
keenly ! Dear John, we must pray that you may be supported
in the right way through everj-thing.

PiEv. J. Kelle to PiEv. J. H. Xewmax.

Hiirsley : Feb. 10, 1845.

My very dear Newman, — It seems uncomfortable not to be
speaking a word to 3'ou at such a time as this, when so many
are thinking of you all day long with anxiety and even tender-
ness whose words and thoughts, if they could be conveyed to
you, would be a comfort to you indeed — and surely they ic'ill
be conveyed to j-ou in effect ; sooner or later, in one shape or
another, the dew of Hermon will fall on the hill of Sion
(I trust it is not wrong so to apply the words). If you are
more hardly used by some persons, and liberties taken with
your name, such as you feel, I fear, but too keenly, yet do
not doubt nor forget how dearly beyond common examples
that name is cherished by very many others, to whom you
have been made the instrument of good, partly, perhaps, with
this very providential purpose, that so sore a trial might be
tempered to you. I just wanted to say this much, for, though
dangerous to dwell on in a common way, it seems to me just the

456 John Henry N^ciuman 1845

sort of help which one's infirmity might need and thankfully
receive when the sense of being calumniated comes over-
bitterly upon us. You will forgive it should it be altogether
out of place ; as, coming from me, it may very well be.

This move of the Heads has carried me to review the
argument of my letter to Coleridge, and I think I see clearly
that the case I there contemplated will not really have
occurred let the voting on Thursday be what it may. For
that argument went entirely on the hypothesis that the Uni-
versity is the imposer of academical subscription, the contrary
of which seems now to be ruled. I suppose it, therefore, to be
the special duty of each person whom they censure to show
by retaining his place among them that he considers their
censure null and void. I have written a short letter to this
effect, and sent it to E. Palmer, to be sent to the next ' English
Churchman ' if P. thinks proper, because the ' E. C has been
quoting that opinion of mine.

God be with 3'ou in storm and in sunshine, and make me
fitter to be your very afiectionate friend,

J. K.

PiEv. J. Keble to Eev. J. H. Newman.

Huislcy : Feb. 20, 1845.

I have nothing to say to you, dearest Newman, that is at
all to the purpose, and yet I want to say a word to you just
to say that I remember your birthday and long to be able to
keep it as I ought ; but it is to be hoped there are others who
will make up for one's deficiencies in that wa}'. One thing I
should like to do would be to choose out some one of the old
daj^s when we most enjoyed ourselves together, either with dear
Hurrell Fronde or in thought and talk of him, and live over
it again for an hour or two — if such indulgences are not unfit
for this season : and to me they ought not to be altogether
unfit, for surely they would bring with them bitter recollections.
of thoughts and fancies very unfit to have been where I was
allowed to be. But I am not going to talk of myself ; I was.
gomg to say that, if I might choose a pleasant day to think of,
perhaps the day of laying the first stone at Littlemore might

184.'3 Letters and Correspondence 457

be it. Many places and times, it seems to me, may well have
taken a sort of colouring from that day, and surely it brings
with it sweet and hopeful thoughts, and many of them, and the
past and the future, and the living and the departed, and times
of faith and times of decay, seem blended as one thinks of it, in
a way which must (by His blessing ; may we not forfeit it !) issue
in comfort at last. I remember, too, another day, when we
walked up with old Christie, and there was talk of how each
word of our Lord's is, as it were, a sort of Church canon,
and Christie said the talk ought to be printed ; this was long
after the other, but I cannot exactly remember when. "Will you
bear with me in sending you this talk, which surely is worth
very little ? — but it will not be quite worthless if it does but
amuse you a little on your birthday. I should like to try my
memory a little further, but the post-horn is announced, and
ilih letter will not keep, whatever another might do.

So believe me always, in all times, your very affectionate
and wishing to be worthier friend,

J. Keele.

I will not have you trouljle yourself to answer effusions
like this.

The ' communication ' which is the subject of the following
letter probably was Mr. Newman's intention to resign his
Fellowship in October, with a view to a subsequent step.

Mrs. .J. MozLEY to Eev. J. H. Xew^fan.

7)('/7/// ; Mdicli 13, 1S45.

You imagine rightly in thinking the communication at
the end of your letter would give me a great deal of pain.
I can think of nothing else since, and yet seem to be without
the power of writing to you. Yet I can hardly say why it is
so, for I am far from taken by surprise ; indeed, I have been
dreading to hear something of this sort for some time past.
You have sufficiently warned me of it. Yet I have so much
sanguineness in my composition that I always hope the worst
misfortunes may be averted till they arc irreniediublc. And

45^ J<-^^^'^ Jlcnry AUivvian 1845

what can be worse than this ? It is Hkc hearing that some
dear friend must die. I cannot shut my eyes to this over-
powering event tliat threatens any longer. AVhat the con-
sequences may be I know not. dear John, can you have
thought long enough before deciding on a step which, with
its probable effects, must plunge so many into confusion and
dismay ? I know what you will answer — that nothing but
the risk of personal salvation would lead you to it ; and I
quite believe it. I know you have all along had the greatest
regard for others, and acted upon it for some time past. But
think what must be our feelings who cannot entertain your
view, but can only deplore it as a grievous mistake ! And I
feel bitterly how many good sort of people would not do you
justice, but judge you very hardly indeed. It is a real pain
and grief to think of you as severed from us, as it were, by
your own sentence. I am much afraid, dear John, you may
be taken by surprise by what I say, and expect I shall receive
this event more easily. Indeed I cannot ; it is to me the
great proof of the badness of this world and the unfortunate
times we live in, that such a one as you should take the line
you have taken. . . . Pray excuse the incoherence of this letter.
I am afraid it is very strange, and does not express one small
portion of my feelings. Our poor distracted Church seems
to me in pieces, and there is no one to help her, and her
children's sympathies seem all drawn off another way. And
how sad it is to me that I cannot say these things to 3'ou
without your thinking me in error and in the wrong way, and
not to have found the true way ! Is there not enough in
the world to make one weary of it, to all who try to see
things as they really are ? I am so afraid I have said wrong
things, as well as not said what I intended ; but I am reaUy
writing in great trouble and discomfort. Pra.y forgive me if
I have not been as considerate as I ought to be, and wish
earnestly to be, for I know your trial must be great indeed.
Believe me, ever yours ver}^ affectionately,

Jemima C. Mozley.

184:"} Letters and Cori^cspondence 459

PiEv. J. H. Newman to Mks, J. Mozley.

Little more : March 15, 1845.

I have just received your very painful letter, and wish I
saw any way of making things easier to you or to myself.

If I went by what I wished, I should complete my seven
years of waiting. Surel,y more than this, or as much, cannot
be expected of me — cannot be right in me to give at my age.
How life is going ! I see men dying who were boys, almost
children, when I was born. Pass a very few years, and I am
an old man. What means of judging can I have more than
I have ? What maturity of mind am I to expect ? If I am
right to move at all, surely it is high time not to delay about
it longer. Let me give my strength to the work, not my
weakness — years in which I can profit the cause which calls
me, not the dregs of life. Is it not like a death-bed repent-
ance to put off what one feels one ought to do ?

As to my convictions, I can but say what I have told you
already, that I cannot at all make out n-lnj I should determine
on moving, except as thinking I should offend God by not
doing so. I cannot make out what I am at except on this
supposition. At my time of life men love ease. I love ease
myself. I am giving up a maintenance involving no duties,
and adequate to all my wants. What in the world am I
doing this for (I ask mi/scIf this), except that I think I am
called to do so ? I am making a large income by my sermons.
I am, to say the very least, risking this ; the chance is that
my sermons will have no further sale at all. I have a good
name with many ; I am deliberately sacrificing it. I have a
bad name with more ; I am fulfilling all their worst wishes,
and giving them their most coveted triumph. I am dis-
tressing all I love, unsettling all I have instructed or aided.
I am going to those whom I do not know, and of whom I
expect very little. I am making myself an outcast, and tliat
at my age. Oh, what can it be but a stern necessity which
causes this ?

Pity me, my dear Jemima. What have I done thus to be
deserted, thus to be left to take a wrong course, if it is

460 John Henry Neiuiuaii 184>'>

"wrong ? I began by defending my own Church with all my
might when others would not defend her. I went through
obloquy in defending her. I in a fair measure succeed. At
the very time of this success, before any reverse, in the course
of my reading it breaks upon me that I am in a schismatical
Church. I oppose mj'self to the notion ; I write against it —
year after year I write against it, and I do my utmost to
keep others in the Church. From the time my doubts come
upon me I begin to live more strictly ; and really from that
time to this I have done more towards my inward improve-
ment, as far as I can judge, than in any time of my life. Of
course I have all through had many imperfections, and might
have done every single thing I have done much better than
I have done it. Make all deductions on this score, still, after
all, may I not humbly trust that I have not so acted as to
forfeit God's gracious guidance ? And how is it that I have
improved in other points if in respect of this momentous
matter I am so fearfully blinded ? . . .

"Why should I distress your kind heart with all my miseries?
Yet 3^ou must know them, to avoid the greater misery of
looking at me externally, and wondering and grieving over
what seems incomprehensible. Shall I add that, distressing
as is my state, it has not once come upon me to say, O
that I had never begun to read theology ! that I had
never meddled in ecclesiastical matters ! that I had
never written the Tracts, &c ! I lay no stress on this, but
state it. . . . Of course the human heart is mysterious. I
may have some deep evil in me which I cannot fathom ; I may
have done some irreparable thing which demands punishment ;
but may not one humbly trust that the earnest prayers of
many good people will be heard for me ? May not one resign
oneself to the event, whatever it turns out to be ? May one
not hope and believe, though one does not see it, that God's
hand is in the deed, if a deed there is to be ; that He has a
purpose, and will bring it to good, and will show us that it is
good, in His own time ? Let us not doubt, may we never have
cause to doubt, that He is with us. Continually do I pray that
He would discover to me if I am under a delusion ; what can

1845 Letters and CoTrcspondcnce 461

I do more ? What hope have I but in Him ? To whom should
I go ? "Who can do mc any good '? ^^'ho can speak a word
of comfort but He ? "Who is there but looks on me with a
sorrowful face ? — ])ut He can lift up tlie liglit of His counte-
nance upon me. All is against me — may He not add Himself
as an adversary ! May He tell me, may I listen to Him, if
His will is other than I think it to be !

l\dm Sundaij. — , . . So, my dear Jemima, if you can
suggest any warnings to me which I am not considering, well,
and thank you ; else do take comfort, and think that perhaps
you have a right to have faith in me, perhaps you have a
right to believe that He who has led me hitherto will not
suffer me to go wrong. I am somehow in better spirits this
morning, and I say what it occurs to me to say at the time.
Have I not a right to ask you not to say, as you have said in
your letter, that I shall do wrong ? "What right have you to
judge me ? Have the multitude who will judge me any right
to judge me ? Who of my equals, who of the many who will
talk flippantly about me, has a right ? Who has a right to
judge me but my Judge ? Who has taken such pains to
know my duty (poor as they have been) as myself '? Who is
more likely than I to know what I ought to do ? I may be
wrong, but He that judgeth me is the Lord, and ' Judge
nothing before the time.'

His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts as our
thoughts. He may have purposes as merciful as they are be-
yond us. Let us do our best, and leave the event to Him ; He
will give us strength to bear. Surely I have to bear most ; and
if I do not shrink from bearing it others must not shrink.
May I do my best ; am I not trying to do my best ? — may we
not trust it will turn to the best 9

To this most moving letter his sister at once replies :

Derby : Good Friday, March 21.

Many thanks for your kindness in writing to me so promptly
and at such a length. I feel almost vexed witli myself for
having said anything that should have, as it were, compclk'd

462 Jo Jin Henry Newman 1845

you to write so much. For I feel it is a great effort to you to
write, and I fear I cannot altogether receive all you say as you
would wish. And indeed I must say that, thinking as you do,
with such a strong view of what is right, I cannot ask or wish
you to act otherwise than you contemplate. If my former
letter seemed urgent it was in the hope of drawing something
different from you from what I have done. I know on a
point of conscience we must not be drawn aside by persuasions
or arguments, which tell with others, but which are only mere
excuses if we act by them when they do not touch ourselves.
Indeed I do pity you, for I know you are just the person to
feel the force of the sacrifices you are making more than
most, without the excitement which carries most persons
through such changes ; and it needs no assurance from you for
me to be sure that you do it simply because you think'it right,
when interest or love of ease would naturally draw you
another way. This is my hope and my consolation ; but I
cannot fancy it otherwise with you, nor could I bear to think
it possible. may you be rewarded now and hereafter in the
way God tlimks best ! I believe I do not wish to choose for
you — so as you are doing His will and His work, what more
can one desire '? — and I do take comfort in feeling how short-
sighted we are in judging only of a few passing years. What
signify the pains and trials of the next four or five years for
those who live to see them, if it pleases God to bring good to
His Church out of them '? All this strikes me as a bystander ;
of course if I were a man or a clergyman, or if events arose
to compel me to be an actor, I should have a weight of respon-
sibility which would make me feel differently.

Then, dear John, you attack me, and wish me to ask
myself whether after all you may not be right. But, indeed,
I do often put it to myself in that light. I know how ignorant
I am, how little I ought to assume I am right in any one
thing. Yet there are some things one dare not doubt, and
some things it is one's highest happiness to believe and try to
realise. So, however unworthy I am, I feel we must in some
measure go by our own faith and our own light, though that
light be little better than darkness. I daresay on the point

1845 Letters and Correspondence 463

in question I may be prejudiced, it is most likely — we have
one-sided views from birth and education ; but I really do not
think I am aware of any strong or hostile feelings against
Eome which some would not scruple to entertain. I have
been unlearning such the last dozen years, and have thought
them crimmal since I ceased to believe Eome to be Antichrist
— that is, since I read your sermons. Not that I ever could
quite accept the Protestant notion ; I always hoped there
might be some other way of getting over the difliculty. I
assure you I am not conscious of a bitter feeling towards
Eome ; we seem to have enough to do with sorrow and
humiliation at home without quarrelling with other Churches.
Indeed, I may say more, I feel deeply the debt of gratitude we
owe to Eome as our Spiritual Mother, and it pains me much
on this account to hear Eome slightly regarded. But yet I
have no bias toward Eome, nor see any compensation in Eome
to make up for the defects of our Church. I am afraid of
paining you by saying she does not approve herself to me as
at all fulfilling what she pretends to — far from it. She
appears to me to contain un-Christian elements, which as
long as she cherishes them seem an absolute barrier to her
convertmg the world. . . .

I am afraid you will feel this a painful letter. . . . These
are solemn days to have one's thoughts ruffled by controversy
when one would desire they should be turned towards higher
subjects of contemplation ; but, indeed, I am not conscious of
having mj' feelings uncomfortably excited, or I should not have
chosen Good Friday to write to you. Far from it ; indeed, I
cannot fancy it in v/riting to you. . . .

On reading over this letter I am quite ashamed of it,
yet do not think I shall mend it by writing it over again, so
must only beg you to forgive me if I have said anything unbe-
coming. I trust, dear John, you will attain that peace of mind
without which life is a burden (a struggle it needs must be).
"Who should have it if you fail, who have been the means of
comforting so many ?

Believe me, ever your very ali'ectionate sister,


464 John He my Newman 1845

P.S. — As to aunt, I think on consideration she is in a way
prepared — tliat is, she is alarmed, and she betrays it by every
now and then professing the greatest security about you.
This pains me a good deal, as she sometimes chooses to talk
of you to strangers. This has not been often, but she often
expresses the greatest anxiety about you to me, and wonder
and curiosity as to what j'ou think, &c.

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 38 of 47)