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

Llttleinorr : April 2, 1845.

I have just been looking at your article in the ' C. E.,' ' and
it has touched me exceedingly. I knew you loved me, as I do
you, but I was not prepared for what you say ; and now, as
is the law of such things, I know it just when I am losing it.
You speak as if writing a funeral oration, and so it is. Yet
sometimes I think, so it shall not be — for surely I am now
more cut off from you than I can be in any other circum-
stances, and when the dreadful trials of the next few years
are over I may have the opportunity, if we both live, of
something more of intimacy with you than I can have now.

Alas ! I do not forget how changeable all things are, and
how difficult it is for minds to keep pace with each other
which walk apart. You may fancy how all this oppresses me.
All that is dear to me is being taken from me. My days are
gone like a shadow, and I am withered like grass.

I say to myself, if I am under a delusion, what have I
done, what grave sin have I committed, to bring such a
judgment on me ? that it may be revealed to me, and the
delusion broken ! But I go on month after month, year after
year, without change of feeling except in one direction ; not
floating up and down, but driving one way.

I know well, my dear James, that you do not forget to
think of me at solemn times, but I really think that now the
time is short. I cannot promise myself to remain as I am
after Christmas, perhaps not so long, though I suppose in the
event I shall linger on some little while longer. By November

' ' Eecent Proceedings at Oxford,' Christian Ecmcmbrancer, April 1845.

184-j Letters and Correspondence 465

I expect to have resigned my Fellowship, and perhaps may
publish something.

I don't mind your telling this in confidence to anyone you
please, but of course you will keep this letter safel}'.

What complicated distress ! I suppose it will be less when
the worst is over.

Ever yours most affectionately,

John H. Newman.

PiEV. J. H. Newman to Piev. E. W. Church. '

Littlcinorc : April i, 1845.

My dear Church, — I see l»y the advertisement in the
' C. K.' that the third edition of your ' St. Cyril ' is in the
press. I wish you would tell them to let you have what
sheets you wish, and alter what you like. Don't let it escape
you. I have always had it on my conscience, I can use no
lighter word, that I was so inconsiderate towards you in some
thuigs as it passed through the first printing, and though I
fear what mischief I did cannot be set right without giving
you much trouble, I do wish to call your attention to it. I
assure you it has quite been on my conscience. At various
times have I been going to speak to 3'ou about it for four or
five years past, and always meant to do so some day or other.
Accept this apology, my dear Church, and forgive me. As I
say so tears come into my eyes. That arises from the accident
of this time, when I am giving up so much I love ; but though
I may be in low spirits just now, what I have said in the
former page is not so to be interpreted.

Just now I have been overset by James Mozley's article in
the ' C. R.' Yet really, my dear Church, I have never for an
instant had even the temptation of repenting my leaving
Oxford. The feeling of repentance has not come even into
my mind. How could it '? How could I remain at St. Mary's,
a hypocrite ? How could I l)e answerable for souls (and life
so uncertain) with the conviction, or at least persuasion
which I had upon me ? It is, indeed, a dreadful responsibility

' Extracts from this letter are given in the Ajohyjia, p. 232.

466 John Heniy Newman i84o

to act as I am doing ; and I feci His hand heavy on mc with-
out intermission who is all wisdom and love, so that my
mind and heart are tired out, just as the liml)s might he from
a load on one's hack ; that sort of dull aching pain is mine.
But my responsihility really is nothing to what it would he to
he answerahle for souls, for confiding, loving souls, in the
English Church, with my convictions.

I don't like you to go out of office without my thanks for
your kindness to me last Fehruary 13.

My love to Marriott, and save me the pain of sending

him a line.

Ever yours very affectionately,

John H. Newman.

In a note without date, addressed E. Church, Esq., there
occurs this sentence, ' I suspect you do not like to have the
credit of all my translations. We will take care in the
preface to set you right with the public' An N.B. in pencil,
after marking this sentence, sa3^s, ' This illustrates the letter
of April 3, 1845.— J. H. N.'

Eev, J. H. Newsman to Mks. J. Mozley.

Littlemore : April 10, 184$.

I think it would be a kind thing to show James [Mozley]
the long letter I sent you on Palm Sunday, unless there is
anything in it I do not recollect.

I write a line in a hurry. How glad I should be if you
could see this place and our house this year. One knows so
little what is before us.

The visit here suggested was paid in the following July.
The idea of a last sight of Littlemore had occurred also to
his sister. From the following letter it may be gathered
that Mr. Copeland, who had been in charge since Mr. Newman's
resignation of St. Mary's, had given up his rooms in Littlemore
and returned to Oxford in order to provide a lodging for Mrs.

1845 Lcttei's and Correspondence 467

Mozley during her stay. The following letter, written from
Mrs. Barnes's, gives her first impressions.

Mrs. J. Mozley to A. M."

.////// 17, 1S45.

"What a change there is in this place from what it was
when first I knew it ! I hear a great deal from Mrs. Barnes,
who seems a most excellent person. She represents the im-
provement as really not merely external. She is never tired
of praising Mr. Copeland. Among his other good qualities
one that especially pleased and satisfied me is his real love
of the parish. It makes me hope that, come what will, ho will
keep his post here. . . . And Mr. Copeland has got such a
footing in people's affections. I am in holies good people will
not go far astray while he is here. . . .

... He (J. H. N.) looks just the same as when I saw him
last, and seems tolerahly well. He has heen with us an hour
this morning, and will dine here. We are going to church
in ten minutes ; the times here are 1 1 and 3. After church I am
to pay calls in the village with J. H. N. . . .

Everything shows that Mr. Newman attended service at
Littlemore until the final step was taken. -

The following letter from Mrs. J. Mozley to A. M.
announces what might now he considered imminent.

Octolx')- 6, 1845.

... I have had a letter, which I have heen expecting
and half-dr(>ading to receive, this week from J. H. N. to say
he has written to the Provost to resign his Fellowship. He
adds that now anything may be expected any day.

• Tlic Editor.

* A letter written some years later, after visiting Littlemore, says : ' I did
not observe in any of the Littlemore village people any knowledge of the cause
of Mr. Newman's leaving them. It seemed clear to me that he had never
spoken a word to them that might set them thinking.'

II H '2

468 J^^^^^ Jlcnry Nciunian I8i.>

PiEV. J. H. Newman to Mrs. J. ]\Iozley.

l/ittJeiiiore : Octohcr 8, 1845.

My dear Jemima, — I must tell you what will pain you
greatly, but I will make it as short as you would wish me
to do.

This night Father Dominic, the Passionist, sleeps here.
He does not know of my intention, but I shall ask him to
receive me into what I believe to be the One Fold of the

This will not go till all is over.

Ever yours affectionately,

John H. Newman.

When once it was known that Mr. Newman was on the
point of taking the long contemplated step, the question of
his remaining at Littlemore became an important one. Those
whom he was leaving felt his continuance close to Oxford
a difficult}^ as a most unsettling state of things to certain
minds. Others said that to stay was to follow the leading of
Providence : that waiting to act till called upon was right.

That the question had been evidently touched upon by Mrs.
J, Mozley in writing to her brother may be gathered from the
following letter.

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

Littlemore: 5.30 a.m., Octoher g, 1845.

My dear Jemima, — Before your letter came last evening I
had written an important line to you, which will go, I suppose,

It is very natural that persons should have the feeling
you express about my leaving Littlemore, but in having it they
do not put themselves in my position, but "\iew me from their
own. Few people can put themselves into another person's
position. . . .

All this is quite consistent with believing, as I firmly do,

134o Letters and Correspondence 469

that individuals in tlio English Church are invisibly knit into
that True Body of which they are not outwardly members; and
consistent, too, with thinking it highly injudicious, indiscreet,
wanton, to interfere with them in particular cases — only it is
a matter of judgment in the particular case. It might be
indiscreet in me to remain here ; it might not. Persons have
quite a right to blame my judgment if they will, though even
here they should recollect that I may bo in the position to be
the better judge. But it must be put on the ground of discre-
tion. If I said I ought in dnt]! to go away, I should be con-
fessing I ought not to join the Church of Bome at all.

I think I have found that those who fear me and wish mo
away think I 'ought to go, and those who really wish me to
stay have no such thoughts. All depends on their own views
of the general question.

As to ' sacrifice,' which do j-ou think would be pleasantest
to me, to leave this place or to stay ? . . . .

I enclose a note to aunt. I will say nothing about my
feelings all along to one so good and sweet as you are. There
is One who knows how much it has lain upon my heart to pain
you. But I am not going to make apology, or to seem to try
to recommend myself to you.

Ever yours affectionately,

j.'h. n.

To this letter his sister replies :

Mrs. J. MozLEY to Bev. J. If. Xkwman.

J>cr}>i/: Ottiihcr II, 1S45.

I was aware when I sent my lottei- that you had reasons
strong and satisfactory to yourself for remaining where you
are, and certainly, according to my own views, I cannot see
anything ivvouij in your doing so, but the other appeared to
ine host and most right. And also I knew that, could I place
myself in your exact position, I might see this point also just
as you represent it. But the fact that our conclusions are so
different, judging according to our own respective views, only
places before my eyes still more vividly and painfully what I am

470 John Henry Newman 1845

slow to realise, that we are indeed separated from each other
further than I can bear to allow. But we must be fearfully
wide asunder, or you would not judge it necessary to leave us.
Of course I cannot judge of the motives of the persons to
whom you allude, but I assure you, dear John, it was from no
motive of fear that I offered my opinion. I did not go so far as
to think of the consequences. I was thinking of what seemed
to me right, or rather, I would repeat, hest, and I sincerely
believe this was the feeling of those who expressed the same
opinion. . . . For myself, I feel the future such a mystery
that in me it would be foolish indeed to shape my conduct
with regard to consequences. One seems so little to apprehend
what may be the effect of any one action. But if I do say what
I think of the future, I do not fear for our Church from this
movement, though it may be a searching trial to her (I am
speaking now not of your residence at Littlemore or elsewhere ^
for that surely cannot make essential difference). Dear John,
when you spoke in the name of our Church your exhortations
were all powerful, your voice seemed the voice of an angel, you
touched a chord in all our hearts — you seemed to know our
very hearts. Since your new views have gained the ascen-
dency how great the change ! . . . Now I do not mean to saj"
your influence will not be very great. Your talents, expe-
rience, and depth of mind must make your words powerful ;
but you will not influence the same class of minds that j'ou
have in times past. Believe me, it is very painful to me to
contemplate all this, much more write it down. But I love
my Church dearly, and place confidence in her as a chosen
vessel, whom the Lord will not forsake though He bring her
to an extremit}^, and what you said of consequences has
brought me to set things more formally before my mind than
I might have done. I am afraid my letter must give you pain ;
how can it be otherwise ? This is the misery of difference in
the most important of all subjects, the one thing needful for
us ail.

Believe me ever, dear John,

With the truest affection, your sister,

Jemijia C. Mozley.

184.J Letters and Correspondence 47 1

Some extracts from Mr. Newman's reply to his sister are


Littlcinore : October 1 845.

Thank you for your kind letter, and tell aunt how relieved
I was to see her handwriting.

Nothing you say about my loss of influence has any ten-
dency to hurt me, as you kindly fear it should. I never have
thought about any influence I had had. I never have mas-
tered what it was. It is simply no effort whatever to give it
up. The pain, indeed, which I knew I was giving to in-
dividuals has affected me much ; but as to influence, the
whole world is one great vanity, and I trust I am not set on
anything in it — I trust not. Nor have I thrown influence
away if I have acted at the call of dut3\ . . .

I have no distinct view about remaining at Littlemore ;
but to move would be to decide one way. "While I am un-
decided, I remain. ... I feel it very doubtful what is best to
be done, and what is God's will. . . .

And now, God bless you, my very dear sister, and believe


Ever yours affectionately,

John H. Newman.

Mr. Newman, who has himself written such moving words
on the parting of friends, has given evidence how much the part-
ing words of Mr. Keble had touched him, by depositing them
among the records of Keble College. The Editor has been
kindly allowed to place them here.

I'lEV. J. Keble to Iikv. J. II. Newman.

Jftirsli't/: October T,, 1 845.
My dear Newman, — I feel as if 1 liad something to say to
you, although I don't very well know wliat it will be ; but
Charlotte's [Mrs. Keble] illness having for the present at
least abated, I find that I am better able tlmii 1 have l)een
for near a fortnight past to think and speak coherently of
other things ; and what can I think of sei much as you, dear

472 John Ilciwy Newman \^\:>

friend, and the a^wvla ^vllicll awaits us with regard to you,
except, indeed, when my thoughts travel on to Bisley and
Tom's bedside, for there, as well as here, everything almost
seems to have been, perhaps to be, hanging by a thread. At
such times one seems in a ^Yay to see deeper into realities,
and I must own to 3'ou that the impression on my own mind
of the reality of the things I have been brought up among,
and of its being my own fault, not theirs, whereinsoever I am
found wanting — this impression seems to deepen in me as
death draws nearer, and I find it harder to imagine that
persons such as I have seen and heard of lately, should be
permitted to live and die deceiving themselves on such a point
as whether they are aliens to the grace of God's sacraments

or no.

October 11, Miditi(j]it.

I had written thus far about a week ago, and then left
off for very weariness, and now that I was thinking of going
on with my writing I find that the thunderbolt has actually
fallen upon us, and you have actually taken the step which we
greatly feared. I will not plague you, then, with what I might
otherwise have set down — something which passed, directly
relating to yourself, in what fell from mj- dear wife on this day
fortnight, when, in perfect tranquillity and self-possession,
having received the Holy Communion, she took leave of us all,
expecting hourly to sink away. By God's great mercy she
revived, and still continues among us, wdth, I trust, increasing
hopes of recovery ; but the words which she spoke were such
that I must always think of them as of the last words of a
saint. Some of them I had thought of reporting to you, but
this, at any rate, is not the time.

Wilson has told me how kindty 3'ou have been remember-
ing us in our troubles ; it was very kind, when you must have
so much upon your own mind. AVho knows how much good
your prayers and those of other absent friends may have done
us, both here and at Bisley ? — for there, too, as I daresay you
know, has been a favourable change, and a more decided one,
I imagine, than here ; at least their doctor has told them they
may make themselves comfortable, which is far beyond any-

1845 Letters and Con-espoudence ^73

thing that has yet been said to us. But his recovery is very,
very slow. There, too, as well as here, everything has fallen
out so as to foster the delusion, if delusion it be, that we are
not quite aliens, not living among unrealities. Yet you have
no doubt the other way. It is very mysterious, very bewilder-
ing indeed ; but, being so, one's duty seems clearly pointed
out : to abide where one is, till some new call come upon one.
If this were merely my own reason or feeling, I should mis-
trust it altogether, knowing, alas ! that I am far indeed from
the person to whom guidance is promised ; but when I see
the faith of others, such as I know them to be, and so very
near to me as God has set them, I am sure that it would be a
kind of impiety but to dream of separating from them.

Besides the deep grief of losing you for a guide and helper,
and scarce knowing which way to look, . . . you may guess what
uncomfortable feelings haunt me, as if I, more than anyone
else, was answerable for whatever of distress and scandal may
occur. I keep on thinking, ' If I had been dilTerent, perhaps
Newman would have been guided to see things differently,
and we might have been spared so many broken hearts and
bewildered spirits.' To be sure, that cold, hard way of going
on, which I have mentioned to you before, stands my friend
at such times, and hinders me, I suppose, from being really
distressed ; but this is how I feel that I ought to feel, and I
tell you. . . . And now I wish you to help me. That way of
help, at any rate, is not forbidden 3'ou in respect of any one of us.

My dearest Newman, you have been a kind and helpful
friend to me in a way in which scarce anyone else could have
been, and you are so mixed up in ni}' mind with old and dear
and sacred thoughts that I cannot well bear to part with
you, most unworthy as I know myself to be. And yet I
cannot go along with you. I must cling to the belief that
we are not really parted : you have taught me so, and I scarce
think you can unteach me. And having relieved my mind
with this little word, I will only say, God bless you, and reward
you a thousand fold for all your help in every way to me un-
worthy, and to many others ! May you have peace where you
are gone, and help us in some way to get peace ; but somehow

474 fohn Henry Newman

I scarce think it will be in the way of controversy. And so,
with somewhat of a feeling as if the spring had been taken
out of my year,

I am, always, your affectionate and grateful,

J. Keble.

The Editor's task is already carried beyond the date
anticipated; but one passage from a letter of the year 1847,
though dated from Eome, will not be felt out of place among
the records of the Movement. For some years the three
great movers might seem to hold little communication with
each other, as they had ceased to act together ; but that the
mutual respect and high moral estimate of each for the other
continued to the end, the correspondence of the time abun-
dantly shows. An extract from a letter of Dr. Newman's to his
sister, Jan. 26, 1 847, may be given in evidence that the strong
act of separation had not disturbed his estimate of Mr. Keble's
character. The letter was written before Dr. Newman's own
destmation was fixed on, but amongst other founders of Orders
he is led to speak of St. Philip Neri, the founder of the Ora-
toriaus, and after some historical details he goes on :

This great saint reminds me in so many ways of Keble,
that I can fancy what Keble would have been, if God's will
had been he should have been born m another place and age ;
he was formed on the same type of extreme hatred of humbug,
playfulness, nay, oddity, tender love for others, and severity,
which are lineaments of Keble. '

The foregoing passage was written in 1847. There is a
record of a conversation which took place all but thirty years
later, on a visit paid by Dr. Newman to his sister in 1876 —
notes of which were taken at the earliest opportunit}', with

' In the preface to Occasional Papers and i?efiezfsof John Keble, published
in 1877, the reader will find a very interesting letter from Dr. Newman to the
Editor of the work, giving his recollections and impressions of Mr. Keble's
character, recalling ' the sweet gravity with which he spoke,' and going on to
ask, ' How can I profess to paint a man who will not sit for his pictm'e, &c. ? '

Letters and Correspondence 475

as much accuracy as the present writer was capable of —
and the following words show that no length of time or
altered circumstances had changed his estimate of his other
great associate in the Movement : that Pusey, as well as
Keble, had lost nothing of his love and veneration :

He spoke of Dr. Pusey with deep affection and admiration —
' so full of the love of God ' — as if it had been a very great
trial his not having gone over to Pome. Could not finish
his sentence. ' Nothing had had greater weight than his
Tract on Baptism.'

The tone and action with which the words ' so full of the
love of God ' were spoken live in memorj- to this day.

And here the Editor's task ends.

476 John Henry Newman


The chronological limit assigned to the Editor is reached,
but some letters remain from different som'ces which will in-
terest the reader — interest wholly irrespective of the great
change which was set as a close to the task imposed. Any
words that allude to that change are only given where they
fix the date.

The Editor thanks the Eev. C. L. Cold well for allowing the
following letter on Style, which was addressed to his father-in-
law, the late Eev. John Hayes, vicar of Colebrookdale, to
have a place in these pages.

T]ic Oratory, Birmiufiham : April 13, 1869.

My dear Sir, — I saw the article you speak of in the
* Times,' and felt flattered by the passage which referred to

The writer must have alluded in the sentence which leads
to your question, to my 'Lectures and Essays on University
Subjects,' which is at present out of print. In that volume
there are several papers on English and Latin composition.

It is simpl}' the fact that I have been obliged to take great
j)ains with every thing I have written, and I often write
chapters over and over again, besides innumerable corrections
and interlinear additions. I am not stating this as a merit,
only that some persons write their best first, and I very
seldom do. Those who are good speakers may be supposed to
be able to write off what thev want to say. I, who am not a
good speaker, have to correct laboriously what I put on paper.
I have heard that Archbishop Howley, who was an elegant

Letters and Correspoudeiiee 477

writer, betrayed the labour by Nvbich he became bo by hia
mode of speaking, which was most painful to hear from his
hesitations and alterations — that is, he was correcting his
composition as he went along.

However, I may truly say that I never have been in the
practice since I was a boy of attempting to write well, or to
form an elegant style. I think I never have written for writing
sake ; but my one and single desire and aim has been to do
what is so difficult — viz. to express clearly and exactly my
meaning; this has been the motive principle of all my
corrections and re- writings. When I have read over a passage
which I had written a few days before, I have found it so
obscure to myself that I have either put it altogether aside
or fiercely corrected it ; Init I don't get any better for practice.
I am as much obliged to correct and re-write as I was thirty
years ago.

As to patterns for imitation, the only master of style I

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 39 of 47)