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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The list is followed up by a second declaration, of which I
hope to send you copies, from members of Convocation. The
undergraduates have got up a petition to Parliament with
from 900 to 1 ,000 signatures. I suppose the Heads of Houses
will move with a University petition in due time. The
Parents' and Guardians' list has begun. "We are now circu-
lating model petitions. I enclose specimens. Do what you
can with them. "We have other measures in prospect.

1834 Letters and Coi'respondcnce 39

Mr. Bowden writing with some objection to the ' Parents
Declaration,' Mr. Newman announces at once :

PiEv. .J. H. Newman to -T. "\V. Bowden, Esq.

I am too much hurried to argue now about the Parents'
Declaration ; but, though feeling the force of what j'ou saj',
do not repent it. Curious enough, Piose writes down to praise
\t and condemn the plan of petitions. I trust all will be
well ; we have 460 names in about four days.

T. D. AcLAND, Esq., to Eev. .J. H. Newman.

linlofina: Man 11, 1834.

My original intention in writing was to thank you for
your book (the ' Arians'), of which, I believe, I was the only
diligent peruser in Piome. Bunsen happened to be very busy
when it arrived, and Pusey [Mr. Philip Pusey] was not in a
theological mood ; so it was made over to me, and I let some
of my friends have a bare sight of it. It is impossible for
me to express the p)leasure it gave me for many reasons.
Wilson had given me such an awe (you know I used to be
afraid of you) of your severely practical philosophy, that I
would not have dared broach before 3'ou the result of m}-
Coleridge reveries, as I look back on them now ; but if I
could have mastered the clearness of thought and expression,
and summoned courage to sport the ' view ' before you, it
should have been in the words you have used, beginning :
'What, ''.,'/., is the revelation of general moral laws,' to the
end of the correcting principle in the next page. ... I cannot
say how rejoiced I felt to discover that this great and com-
prehensive key to all philosophy had obtained the sanction
of a calm mind like yours. • I thought, after all, that poor
Coleridge was not so bad a fellow, if well used ; and deter-

' Early in the following year there occurs the following sentence in the
' Chronological Notes ' : ' During this spring (1835) I for ihc first time read parts
of Coleridge's works ; and I am surprised how much I thought mine, is to be
found there.'

40 lohn Henry N'cTciuaii IS.'U

]iii]i(_'(l Lo speculate no more, but to practise the caution which
vou subjoin by a diligent application to the practical duties
of life. I have often — how often ! — wished that it had been
my lot to have been at Home the same Avinter as you. . . .
Bunsen took your book with him ; he was much struck with
the beginning, and with the economy. I don't know whether
you will succeed in shaking him in his strong Protestantism.
He says the Council of Nice was the beginning of Popery, of
adding an authority to Scrij^ture. . . . "Wiseman has desired
me to draw your attention to a German work by Mohler, on
Athanasius and his times. Very Pioman Catholic, I believe.

The following form of approval of Mr. Newman's sermons
(the writer's name not given) stands among his letters :

Eev. TO PiEV. J. H. Neavmax.

Post 0_ffi.ce, Batli : Maj/ I I, 1 834.

I have perused with much satisfaction the volume of
Sermons lately published by you, and take the liberty to ask
whether it would be convenient to compose some [as Manu-
script Divinity ! — J. H. N.] and upon what terms [!].

To HIS Sister, J. C. N.i

Mai/ 18, 1 8 34.

As to Berkeley, I do not know enough to talk, but it seems
to me, while a man holds the moral governance of God as
cxist'uig in and through his conscience, it matters not whether
he believes his senses or not. For, at least, he will hold the
external world as a divine intimation, a scene of trial Avhether
a reality or not — ^just as a child's game may be a trial. I
have tried to say this in the * Arians,' ch. i. § 3. I conceive
Hume denied conscience, Berkeley confessed it. To what
extent Berkele}' denied the existence of the external world I
am not aware ; nor do I mean to go so far myself (far from it)
as to dei\y the existence of matter, though I should deny
that what n-e saw was more than accidents of it, and say that

' Then visiting at Stowlanslof t.

1804 Letters and Correspondence 41

space perhaps is but a condition of the oltjects of sense, not
a reahty. As to Eeid, I used to know something of him some
twelve years since, when I was preparing for standing at
OrieL He is a Scotchman who pretends to set Plato to rights.
I have no business to talk of writers I have not studied ; but
3-our Scotch metaphysicians seem to me singularly destitute
of imagination. . . .

I talked to you about Iloadley because Eickards's great
ground against us is that language about the Eucharist which
was allowable in the Fathers, is dangerous since the Popish
corruption. To this Keble answers, and I think well, that
Hoadlej'ism has introduced a new era, and that Protestantism,
though allowable three centuries since, is dangerous now.

You will do a good work if you talk over Piickards and
make him take in and recommend the tracts, but I cannot
retract one single step from what I have said in them. I
cannot say with truth that I repent of any one passage in
them. If it were all to come over again (I do not think I
should have the courage, for attacks make one timid, but) I
should wish to do just the same. If he says anything
against the 'Week-day Lecture,' do not tny/ne, merely speak of
Hoadleyism, and get him to read Bishop Cosin ; not as if Bishop
Cosin was a defence of us, but as containing a true vicir. A
book like his gradually imbues the mind with the truth, so
that, when it comes back to what offended it at hrst, it is no
longer startled.

PiKv. E B TO lti:v. .1. H. Xkwmax.

^f^t^| 27, I 834.

I often think that Christians are remiss in not acknow-
ledging the great debt of gratitude they owe to those who
have first planted in tlieni the seeds of that faith, the fruit of
wliich we know is more valuable than the whole world. Tliis,
my dear sir, is, I confess, my case as regards you. I have
often thought that, if I had been enabled to do any good, wliat
encouragement I should receive from knowing it, and it is upon
this principle that I have determined thus freely to acknow-

42 John Ilcjiry Ncwuiau ]S;34-

ledge that I o^YC to you more than I can repay, and IjIgss the
day that brought me under your tuition at AU^an Hall, and
under your ministry at St. Mary's. I often feel I wish I
could myself become a learner again at the feet of some
Christian Gamaliel, that I might return at some future period
to instruct others ^Yith more judgment and power than at

Eev. H. W. Wilberforce to Eev, J. H. Newman.

May 27, 1834.

I have been for some days on the point of waiting to you,
excited thereto by reading some of your old letters of last
year, the kindness of which prompted me almost irresistibly to
write, if it were only to say how very highly I prized it. To-
day I was delighted by the unexpected sight of your hand-
writing ... I have loved you like a brother : and my saddest feel-
ings have been often in thinking that, when in the events of
life I am separated far from you, you will, perhaps, disapprove
or misunderstand my conduct, and will cease to feel towards
me as you have done ; or that our minds will grow asunder
by the natural progress of change which goes on in this
changing w"orld ; and, therefore, every such mark of continued
kind feeling warms my heart. How w"onderful will ifc be
hereafter if we attain to a state w'here souls can hold inter-
course immediately, and where space makes no division be-
tween them ! My dearest father used repeatedly to say that one
great idea of the happiness of Heaven in his mind, was that there
there can be no misunderstandmgs, and jealousies, and suspi-
cions, such as are so common here even among good men.

The proceedmgs of the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge, as has been shown in one or two preceding letters,
were now occupying the attention of Mr. Newman and his
friends, certain changes in the management which indicated
a desire to meet the liberal tendencies of the day, exciting
their suspicion or disapproval. The following letter from
Mr. Bowden describes the proceedings at a monthly meeting :

1834 Letters and Correspoiideiiee 43

J. "W. BowDEN, Esq., to Rev. J. IT. Xewmax.

Juni' 4, 1834.

I iittended yesterday the Christian Knowledge Monthly
Meeting. Al)out 1 50 persons were present. . . A report was
read of the Standing Committee respecting the Tract Com-
mittee . . . the only other matter of importance was the
annual report of the Committee of General Literature ; at the
conclusion of which the Bishop of Gloucester rose and said :
* Well, now the only thing to decide is, what donation we shall
make them- this year. Last year we gave them 1,000/. Shall
we — I do not know what to say — I speak timidly — sliall we
double the grant, and this year give 2,000/. '? ' and this, at a
late hour of the day, and when two-thirds of the members
had quitted the room, was about to be passed sann phrase !
I, among others, rose and suggested postponement for con-
sideration. After much talk on this point, the sense of the
meeting was taken ; and, the show of hands being nearly
equal, a division took place, when there appeared : for post-
ponement 27, against it 24. The question stands postponed
accordingly till the first Tuesday in July. I want you, there-
fore, to furnish me with whatever information you can. . . .
' The Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties ' I am aware of,
and should I find that still upon the catalogue, I shall not fail
to expose it.

1 had some talk with Joshua Watson. He said : ' I believe
you are in correspondence with Pusey. I wish you would
ask him what we are to do with our University petition,
Avhich lies at Rivington's and which has about 200 names.'
He afterwards, upon the principle that ' all Newman's friends,
should know each other,' introduced me to Piose, with whom
I had only time to shake hands.

PiEV. A. P. Pekceval to PiEV. J. H. Xewman.

June 7, 1834.

I will give what assistance I can to your Tract Committee.
If 3'ou receive subscriptions tell me. I have another paper, * A
Catechism on the Eucharist,' nearly ready, which I will send you

44 J^''^^^^ Jlciiry N'czuuian ISC-i

and, il" 3011 like to have a few plain sermons, I will look out
some for 3'ou — but on tJiis coiiditioit : that if anything strikes
you as better otherwise, you will either alter it or send it back
to mo for revision ; for I will not conceal from you that I
think many of the first tracts you sent out wanted a careful
consideration, and the pruning knife ; but I suppose you were
glad to publish them as fast as 3-ou could get them, and afraid
of damping the ardour of your contributors. . . .^

Considering the enormous difficult}' in getting tracts into
circulation that have to make their way without the sanction
of an accredited Society, it ma}' be matter of surprise that the
* Tracts for the Times ' succeeded in gaining attention at once.
Mr. Bowden did his best, working with great intelligence, but
of course without experience. ^Ir. Turrill, the first publisher,
failed to satisfy necessary requirements, and leading pub-
lishers were almost unpersuadable on the point.

Thus Mr. Newman writes pathetically to Mr. Bowden :

I find Parker here has an insuperable objection to selling
the tracts, which he says are not in his way. "When you see
Eivington, will you suggest the possibility of his throwing
them into other channels ? for what Parker feels, I suppose,
other booksellers will.

Probably they never got into circulation through or-
dinary trade machinery. They were read by thinkers and
talkers, they were widely distributed, and universally dis-
cussed ; but at a vast expense of money, trouble, and worry to
the writers, and with real difficulty to the readers, who could
rarely procure them through the ordinary channels. Xo doubt
it was the influence of what has been described as ' that wonder-
ful personality,' already known by report and widely felt
beyond the circle to whom Mr. Newman was known even by
sight, which overcame obstacles that under ordinary circum-

' For answer to this letter see p. 57.

1834 Letters and Cojirspondcucc 45

stances would have been insurmountable. Mr. Newman thus
relieves his mind on this subject, in a postscript to a letter
bearing the date June 10, 1834 :

I am full of disgust of all sorts. I am quite put out about
the tracts. That they have done good I quite feel, but such
large sums have been subscribed for their printing that 1
Avish to do as much with them as ever I can.

Ekv. H. F. Lytk' to l^Kv. J. 11. Newman.

Oxford, June 12.

May I beg jour acceptance of the accompanying little
volume ? "NVilljerforce mentioned to me yesterday that you
had been so kind as to give him some of your admirable
tracts for me.

Archdeacon Froude to Uev. J. H. NEW^[AN.

Jnue 16, 1834.

. . . Mr. Lytc has a particular wish to be introduced to
you. He is a person of very considerable attainments, an ex-
cellent speaker, and a most valuable help to keep mischievous
people harmless. In a singularly difficult parish he has for
ten years past given himself up to the duties of it with n
patient perseverance and good management which have placed
him very high in the opinion of all who know him.

The following letter shows how securely Mr. Newman's
friends might reckon on his sj'mpathy and thoughtful counsels
in their private difficulties, however his time and interest
might be supposed to be absorbed by the demands and anxieties,
of the * Movement ' :

Eev. J. 11. Newman to Hev. \\. F. Wilson.

Oriel ('(illcfir : June 15, 1S34.

You must not be at all surprised or put out at fcch'ng the
difficulties you describe. It is the lot of all nun who are by

' Author of llic livnin 'Abide witli mc'

46 lohn Henry Nc7ui)ian 1S34

themselves, on first engai^iiif; on parochial duty, especially of
those who are of an anxious turn of mind. I felt so much of
it on starting that I should compassionate you very much un-
less I recollected that after a while the prospect before me
cleared, as doubtless it will with you, through God's mercy.
It certainly is very distressing to have to trust one's own judg-
ment on such important matters, and the despondency re-
sulting is made still more painful by the number of little, un-
important matters which must be decided one way or other,
though without any good reason to guide the decision, and
which in consequence are very fidgetting. You will not get
over all this at once ; yet in time all will be easy, in spite of
wdiatever you may have to urge about your own disposition.
So much then generally, though j^ou tell me not to speak
in that way. Then as to your coldness which you complain
of, I am sorry I can give no rcc'ipc here. I can only say that I
have much to lament m that way myself ; that I am con-
tinually very cold and unimpressed, and very painful it is ;
but what can be done ? Would we could so command our
minds as to make them feel as they ought ! But it is their
very disease that they are not suitably affected according to
the intrinsic value of the objects presented to them ; that
they are excited by objects of this world, not by the realities
of death and judgment, and the mercies of the Gospel. Mean-
while, it is our plain duty to speak,' to explain and to pray,
even while we find ourselves cold, and, please God, while we
thus do what is a plain duty, perchance He may visit us and
impress us with the realities of the subjects we are speaking
upon. Certain it is (looking at things merely humanly) the
oftener you go to a sick person, the more you are likely at last
to get interested in him. How can j^ou expect to feel anything
the first or second time, when j^ou as yet know nothing of his
state ? Interest will grow upon you, as 3'ou ascertain his
state of mind. It is an irrational despondency and an im-
patience to complain because nothing comes of your first visit.
Be sure also that what he is to get from you is not communi-
cated all at once — nay, not m words. What he will first gain
will be the sight of vour earnestness . . . and will thence be

1834 LettcTS and Correspondence 47

impressed with the rcaht}' of that wliich makes you earnest,
your comuig clay by day to him, sacrificing your own ease,
cl-c. ...

A passage in the ' Apologia ' throws Hght on the allusion
in the following letter :

At that time' I was specially annoyed with Dr. Arnold,
though it did not last into later years. Some one, I think,
asked in conversation at Eome, whether a certain interpretation
of Scripture was Christian ? It was ansM-ered that Dr. Arnold
took it ; I interposed, ' But is he a Christian ? ' The su1)ject
went out of my head at once : when afterwards I was taxed
with it, I could say no more in explanation than (what I
believe was the fact) that I must have had in mind some free
views of Dr. Arnold about the Old Testament — I thought I must
have meant 'Arnold answers for that interpretation, luit who
is to answer for Arnold ? ' (' Apologia pro Vita sua,' p. 33.)

PiEv. J. H. Newman to Eev. E. H. Fkoude.

June 15, 1834.

. . . Was it not a strange mishap that, much as you
■abused me for making you a cat's paw, 3-et when the time of
danger came, you should get out of the way and leave imio-
eent me to trouble ? So it was ; only think how mildl}' I have
always spoken of Arnold, and how bitterly you ; never did I
nse a- harsh word against him, I think, except that once, and
then at Eome, and with but one or two friends. Yet even
from Rome those few words are dragged forth, and I have to
answer for them, in spite of my very great moderation and
charity as touching him. In the next place, my tracts were
abused as Popish — as for other things, so especially for ex-
pressions about the Eucharist. Here, as you well know, it
was you who were apt to be unguarded — not I.

I could tell you much, onh- it is renewing sorrows and
nothing else, of the plague the tracts have been to us, and
how we have removed them to liiviugton's. That the said

' In 1S33, when Mr. Newman was in Heme.

48 John Jlciiry A'c2uuian 18.34

tracts have been of essential benefit it is impossible to doubt.
Pamphlets, sermons, Arc., on the Apostolic Succession are
appearing in every part of the kingdom ; and every other
Sunday we have a University sermon on the subject. . . .

H. Wilbcrforce engaged to marry Miss S. last December —
was afraid to tell me, and left Oxford without ; spread abroad
I had cut Pi. for marrying. Yet he has not ratted, and
will not (so be it). Marriage, when a crime, is a crime which
it is criminal to repent of.

I have in writing my prediction, given in to the Provost
four years since, that if our system of tuition w'ere stopped,
the classes would fail ; and I referred him to the fact that when
Tyler, Keble, and Whately ceased to take private pupils, the
series of honours stopped in 1823. Now observe Eden came
up the term before. Bliss the term after I was appointed
tutor ; they are the two first new honours of <nir series.
Eogers took his honours two years since ; he was the last of
my pupils, and the last of our (Classical, i.e. in College)
honours. Nothing is doing now. Men, like young [James]
Mozley, who might have been anything, are doing nothing.
Well; Denison [the tutor] now wishes to found scholarships
(from the Fellows' proceeds, I believe) in order to enconrofie
reading. Qu. : Should not the tuition money supply the fund ?
[N.B. October 17, i860. — I believe from that time tOl now,
and in spite of the scholarship scheme being carried out, Oriel
has never regained its place in the class list.] Since schemes
are going about, I have a scheme of my own [about the Bos-
worth lecture]. At present it is useless. Oriel is famous for
its careless divinity in the schools. Balliol has catechetical
lectures. It is highly desirable then to endow Bos, make the
men attend the lectures, Sec. Sec.

June 21.

I have long come to the conclusion that our time is not
come : i.e. that other persons can do the day's work as well as
or better than we can, our business being only to give them
a shove now and then. You send home flaming papers, but
after all I fall back to what I said last year on your articles
about the Pramunire. Not that it is not right (very right) to

1831 ].c tiers and Correspondence 49

aecnstom men's imaj:,dnations to the prospect of chaiif^es ; l)ut
tkey cannot realise t]n- avfjnmcnU, they are quite Ijeyond them.
I see tliis in the case of some of the tracts compared \vith
others ; and (I am sure) recalhng the memory of my own
feehngs in past years, I can quite understand it. This is oin-
'gain, and I intend to make use of it. . . .

Meanwhile let us read, and i)repare ourselves for better
things. I am sitting in tlie ]3odleian, collating manuscripts
of Dionysius, <kQ., and intend to he happy. I reflect witli
some pleasure that some of our most learned men lived and
acted in most troublous times, as Usher, Hammond, Taylor,
nnd in primitive thnes Clement of Alexandria, Dionysius, and
Origen, Surely our intervals of repose (so be it) will l)e many,
and give room for much reading and thinking.

The edition of Dionysius I am engaged on opens a widi'
field of reading ; it will appear in Latin, and is written tliere-
fore for myself chiefly, and the (icniiis loci ; but still I hope
it may be of use elsewhere. In Germany they eagerly read
everything ; one may suggest views. Again to ]iarr edited
respectably such a work gives one a solid influence, built on
a foundation which no one can shake, because no one can
criticise. It is a KTi}/xa, removed from the profane popu-
lace, and the more ' magnillcum ' because it is unknown.
So that even for our purposes it is not without its use ; and
abundantly useful if it l)ring me acquainted with the history
of the early Church.

The Bishop of Lincoln [Kaj'c] has, in a letter to Hose,
criticised my account of the Diiiciplina Arcanl ; and he thinks
lightly of my learning, which truly is little enough', but yet,
I think, enough for my purpose, and far more than he thinks.
Because I have given conclusions without noticing objections,
and their answers, he thinks me ignorant of the existence of
the objections. My present notion is that, in the course of
time, I nuist publish a series of dissertations in a second
volume [of the ' Arians 'J : for example, ' On the I)is<i]>liii(i
Arcani' — 'On the Primitive Church's Notion of the External
World,' Sec. Scv.

As to Bose, he is a fine fellow, ccrtaiidy he is. and com-

voL. II 1:

50 J '■^^^'^ Ilcnry Ncn'iuau 1834

plains lie has no one all through London in whom he can
confide. Oh, that you were well enough to assist him in
London ! You are not lit to move of yourself, hut you would
act through Rose as spirit acts on external matter through a
body. He has everything which iioii are without, and is so
inflammable that not even muscles are more sensitive of
volition than he would be of you. I wish he were not so
passionate. I and Keble have had a quarrel with him ; so
has Sewell — amantUtm irce, I trust. I want to tell you as a
deep secret that the successor of Sanctus Thomas [I.e. Dr.
Howley, Archbishop of Canterbury], being indisposed, took
up a work on the Arians, which quite took, and fidgeted him.
Thanks to Ogilvie and Eose, he is much more decided this
session. But every one says, if bad times really come, he
will be a confessor, then a martyr.

It is now a year since I have been anxious to begin a
weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper, but as yet I have
not moved a step. I think I shall begin with Saints' days first.
What I have done is to have a Wednesday evening's service,
beginning in April with the long days, which is followed by a
lecture extempore on the Creed. Next year I may take some
lives— Hooker, Pddley, BuH, cl-c. I am quite fluent, although
I never shall be eloquent. I at first drew above a hundred,
chiefly University men, though they fell off. Further, I think
I mean on St. Peter's da}^ i.e. next Sunday, to announce my
intention of reading the morning service daily in the chancel
while and whenever I am in Oxford, according to the injunc-
tions of the Church, whether people attend or not. I shall
have a defek put up near the altar, facmg the south, from

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 4 of 47)