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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which I shall read the Psalms and Lessons, kneeling, however,
towards the east. It seems to me that the absurdit}-, as it
appears to many, of Tom Keble" s daily plan is, his praying
to empty benches. Put yourself near the altar, and you may
be solitary. I see this agrees with a notion of 3-ours. I am
the more eager to begin this service because the Provost
pointedly refused to let me keep open the chapel at Christmas
[N.B. — though I was Dean]. I have waited long enough to show
that I am not acting from ' irritation.' I shall go on through

1834 Letters and Correspondence 51

the term ; in which I think there will be no impropriety
towards the College [X.13. — i.e. in not attending College chapel],
it having been formally ruled by Jenkyns that the Dean had
no more to do with the chapel than another Fellow. I gave
up my part of the chaplaincy \\.(\ College chaplaincy, which
was divided between several Fellows] in a quiet way to Eden,
on his going into Orders. It seems very desirable that you
or I should be l)ean; in that way we know the men.

.T. "W. BowDEN, Esq., to Eev. J. H. New^fax.

June 16, 1834.

... As you suppose, I have seen Keble's Installation Ode
in the papers, but I shall much prize a copy. It is worthy of
its author. I can give you a strong proof of the intensity of
my admiration of it. I found yesterday that I knew it \>\
heart, and I do not think that I shall ever forget it.

PiEV. George Piyder to Piev. J. H. Xewman.

June 18, 1834.

. . . Have you seen Gobat's 'Abyssinia'? — a missionary sent
out by the Church Missionary Society, who has been telling
that Church in our r*^me that baptismal regeneration is one
of their most grievous errors ; that a Church has no right to
anathematise any but those who do not love the Lord Jesus ;
that regular fasts are very self-righteous wicked things. Pray
tell me if you belong to the Church Missionary Society. The
book has been out about three months, I believe. Goljat was
in Abyssinia from February 1S30 to February 1S33. The
book is prefaced l)y a history of the Abyssinian Church by
Professor Lee.

Pev. p. F. Wilson to Pev. J. II. Newman.

,lnni' 22, 1S34.

I have been much surprised to find an injunction in the
preface to the Prayer Book, to the effect that all priests and

>: '1

52 /(;//;/ Ifcury Xci^nuan 1834

deacons are to say daily the inoniing and evening prayers,
either privately or openly, not being let by sickness or other
urgent cause. Do you consider this binding ? I have thought
not, for (i) I read in the next clause that the incumbent in
every parish church or chapel is to say the same in his church,
a practice which has been long discontinued. . . (2) I find
so many of the Eubrics no longer acted upon, and in the en-
deavours to enforce which you would not be supported Ijy
your Diocesan ; (3) no allusion is made to it in the Ordina-
tion Service.

F. PiOGERs, Esq., to Eev. J. II. Xewmax.

Jnno 24, 1834.

... I was rather amused, and very much bored, by the de-
bate on the Dissenters' admission. Herbert made a gentlemanly
speech, well worded and well delivered, and with tolerably good
sentiments on the subject, and was very much complimented on
all hands, by Peel, Goulburn, Spring Pace, "Wood (the mover).
The object of the opposition appeared to me to be to secure
the independence of the colleges, and in that they certainly
succeeded. The mover, a Unitarian, said, in answer to Peel,
that he intended the Dissenters should be compelled to attend
College Chapel ! It was repeated over and over again by the
Liberals, that they did not intend interfering with the
present religious discipline and education ; and the Tories
went on still assuming that they Kouhl interfere, and expatiat-
ing on the evils of so doing. It is really quite amusing how
completely one or two clever pamphlets give the tone to the
arguments on the different sides of the question. I think we
were remarking it generally some time since, and certamly
the members of the House of Commons are not exceptions to
the general rule. . .


Mr. Newman's protest to a friend against the uses to
which "Westminster Abbey was about to be applied has been
given in a previous letter. Mr. Bowdeu writes after the
event :

1834 Letters and Correspondence 53

J. "\V. BowDEX, Esq., to Pa:v. J. H. Xew.max.

J'^hj 3, i''^34-
The Dean of Westminster seems to have had a sort of
guilty consciousness about the festivah It took so well that
much interest was made for a continuation of the concerts,
and he, not wishing to make the Abbey quite an ancient
concert-room, took the only way of putting an end to solicita-
tions by setting about demolishing the tittings-up with an
absurd rapidity. The last chorus, I hear, was scarcely con-
cluded when the work of demolition began. The departing
audience, I know, found their way impeded by the ui^holsterer's
carts intended to receive the trappings, and a few hours
sufKced to put the Abbey hors de combat for any further
concerts. I went the other Sunday morning ; there was no
service at all that day ; the church was shut up for a Sunday,
St. Peter's Abbey for St. Peter's Day. The week-day service,
at least, as at St. Paul's, has also been suspended for some
days, in consequence of the engagements of the choir at the
concert rehearsals, &c. This I heard the other day in the
church itself, whither I went to show it to John [his son] as a
special favour.

PiEV. Isaac "Williams to Piev. J. PI. Newman.

■Jtdy 2, 1834.

Copeland says you talked about a daily service, which I
was very glad to hear of, if it would not be too much of a tie
upon you. But I think the only gi-ound on which it can be
sustained, and without disappointment, is that the Bubric
commands that we should read the service, and if we are
bound to do so, it may be done at church as easily as else-

Rev. J. II. Newman to Bev. R. F. Wilson.

./////y 3, 1S34.

. . . Allow me to say it is a very bad way to say ' I don't
agree with uliat I believe is your opinion on this point,' with

54 John If envy Newman 1834

out specifying ^Yhat that fancied opinion is. li often happens
that the speaker is not weU instructed in what one's view is, and
there is no means of explaining this. As you are somewhat
given to this, I propose to name it the ' "Wilson fallacy.' ... I
had an instance of it the other day in a letter from Acland.
He maintains that my ' metaphysical views ' (!) agree with
Coleridge, which he is rejoiced to find. Then he adds, ' But
Wilson gave me such an idea of 3''our severely practical
doctrines as to make me quite afraid of you,' or words to that

As to the number of persons you can visit [pastoral visits],
it depends on many 'circumstances ; for example, you are a
bad walker. When I was at St. Clement's, I could visit sixteen
people without inconvenience, taking half one day and half
another ; but then they were almost next door to each other.

As to the injunction to read the Church service dail}',
it is curious you should just now have mentioned the sub-
ject. After many months' deliberation I have taken ad-
vantage of the Long Vacation [when the College Chapel is
closed] to begin daily morning service at St. Mary's ; how it
will succeed is still to be seen . . . The whole question of the
Rubrics is a melancholy one. Things are so bad that one
keeps silence.

The following lines, it will be seen, were transcribed from
a letter as a sort of act of parting from an old friend, and are
inserted here for the sake of the tender recollections they
awake in the transcriber, with whom early friendships were
very sacred things.

PiEv. S. L. Pope to Eev. J. H. Newman.

IVhittlcsca : Juhj 5, 1834.

... I am aware that my composition is faulty. I believe
the fault lies somewhere in my early training, when I learnt
so much French and Itahan, and the EngHsh was neglected.

IJiuy 4, i860. — I have kept whole a few letters of this
dear friend, so simple, so affectionate, so true, so cheerful.

1834 Letters and Correspondence


Most of his letters I must destroy as of no interest except to
me.— J. H. X.J

July I of this year (1834) is signalised in the notes by the
following entry :

Declined marrying a couple, the lady being unbaptized.

"When questions of principle were once started and an
opinion formed, it was Mr. Newman's natm*e to act. The
marriage of Dissenters had given rise to such a question. He-
was asked to marry a parishioner, a Dissenter with whom he
had held conversations on her religious opinions and on the
rite of baptism ; thus he could not act in ignorance of the
fact that she was unbaptized. To his Mother he writes :

Juh) 8, 1834.

You will like to hear what I have to saj^ [about the Jubber
matter]. Till the last hour I have felt to be one man against
a multitude. No one, apparently, to encourage me, and so
many black averted faces, that unless from my j-outh I had
been schooled to fall back upon myself, I should have been
quite out of heart. I went and sat twenty minutes with Mrs.
Small [the old dame schoolmistress at Littlemore] by way of

However, I had taken courage to send Keble my letter to
the Bishop, and to Pusey a notice I mean to put into the
paper, and within the last hour I have had both their opinions.
I could not hope that they would be favourable, but they are
both quite so, and I think you will like to hear them.

Pusey says : ' I like your letter very much ' ; he adds, ' I
am glad of what you have done, and trust it will do good,
'■'■ through evil report and good report." '

Keble says : ' I hope such a distinct and conscientious
protest against one of our crying grievances may have a good
tiffect. It is much to be hoped that no controversy //«/«c(/m^7//
connected with the present case may arise, and I hope, too,
the Bishop's answer (which I have no doubt will be as evasive

56 /(;//// Ifcnry Nc^oiuau 1834

as lie can make it) will not be such as to make you think
further measures immediately necessary.'

I seem as if I could boar anything now. I felt that I
could not have done otherwise than I did. Yet it is very dis-
tressing to be alone. I do not know that it is inconsistent to
say this, much as I think I agree with Keble and Pusey. In
new cases and sudden emergencies the most accordant minds
differ in judgment.

I am more jDleased at these letters than I can say. I haxl
taken my vexation as a sort of punishment for my many sins,.
and did not expect thus to be comforted.

Hev. J. H. New:man to J. W. Bowdex, Esq.

Oriel CoUcfir : Jnhj 13, 1834.

Perhaps you have seen in the papers the Jubber affair.
The only thing that annoyed me was that I was represented
to have spoken rudely, which w'as not the case. As to re-
fusing marriage to unbaptized persons, we must make a stand
somewJierc. Things are rolling downhill so gradually that,
wherever one makes a stand, it will be said to be a harsh
measure. But I am determined (please God) that, as far as
I am concerned, the Church shall not crumble away without
my doing in my place what I can to hinder it. I had had
conversation with this man before on the subject of his
daughter's baptism ; I did not seek out the case, and it was a
new one in St. Mary's. I had no time to refer to the Bishop.
I never can be sorry for what I have done ; nothing can make
me sorr}', though existing Church authorities should declare
against me. Keble and Pusey have both taken my part, artd
I care not at all, I think, what odium comes on me so that I
make my protest.

J. W. BowDEN, Esq., to Pvev. T. H. Xewman.

.////// 14, 1834.

. . . About your learning German. fBowden gave me a
set of books for this purpose as early as (?) 1823.] I scarcei}-

1S04 Letters and Correspondence 57

recommend it — not but that you would soon obtain proficiency
enough to read it if jion gave noursclf up to the study for a few
weeks. But how are j'ou to do this ? Your time is too
precious to be spent in indirect labours for the Church.

"With regard to the Jubber business, I saw the story in
the ' Times,' and at once concluded that the rudeness was an
unfounded charge, Eose dined with me the day on which it
appeared. He said that he did not well see his way while
the law recognised no marriages but Church ones. I thought
it highly desirable that the anomaly should be shown, and
that the point should be brought to an issue.

Rkv. J. H. Newman to Eev. A. P. Perceval.

Jidif 20, 1834.

[I have no copy of this. I have transcribed it from
Perceval's letter to Arnold, 1841.]

As to the Tracts, every one has his own taste. You object
to some things, another to others. If we altered to please
every one the effect would be spoiled. They were not intended
as symbols ex cathedra, but as the expression of indiridiad
minds, and individuals feeling strongly ; while, on the one
hand, they are incidentally faulty in mode or language, on
the other they are still peculiarly effective. Xo great work
was ever done by a system, whereas systems rise out of in-
dividual exertions. Luther was an individual. The vei*y
faults of an individual excite attention ; he loses, but his
cause, if good, and he powerful-minded, gains. This is the
way of things ; we promote truth b}' a self-sacriiice. There

are many things in • -'s tract which I could have MJshed said

otherwise for one reason or othei-, but the whole was to my
mind admirable, most persuasive and striking.

[This letter was in answer to a letter of his of June 7,
1834, whieh T have transcril)ed elsewhere. On the outside of
it I have made a memorandum, as was my custom, 'Answered
July 20, 1834,' which agrees with the above. I don't know

who the is. In Perceval's letter there is no allusion to

any particular tract. — J. H. N.]

58 John Henry NciK.nnan 1834


Juhf, 1834.

. . . By the wa}', I saw your name in the papers in con-
nection with the Dissenters' Marriage Question. . . I met Sir
Eobert Inglis yesterday, who talked over your act, and seemed
much to applaud it. Jacohson told me that he had no doubt
you were acting quite conscientiously, as your brother had
done ; but he thought there had been as much want of judg-
ment in the one as in the other, &c., but that perhaps you did
it only to bring things to a crisis that you might force some
alteration about the marriage of Dissenters. I urged the
obvious reasons, and asked whether lie could conscientiously
use the service if he knew the party was unbaptized. He said
no ; but by going into the church, in the present state of the
law, a person virtually undertook to fulfil all the functions
which the State required of him, of which this was one.

PiEV. J. H. Newman to Eev. S. Eickaeds.

Oriel College: Juhj 30, 1S34.

Thank you for a sight of Lady W.'s letter. Since you
Tiave let me see her opinion of me, I suppose the best return
I can make is to let you know my opinion of her. And I am
led first of all to express my thanks at her benevolent intention
of having me shown up in some Eeview or other, which is not
the less benevolent because it is impracticable in the way she
wishes. I mean it would be easy to get some party or pro-
fessedly eclectic Eeview to lash me, but that would not answer
Iier purpose. On the other hand, a Church Eeview, such as
the 'British Critic,' though it might not agree with me,
would know enough of Church theology to find it was a very
difficult thing to convict me of running counter to the great
stream of our divines. Sit anima mea cum Hammondo and
such like. This is, indeed, a very curious feature of her
remarks. She knows (apparently) nothing of the Church
of England as such. She jumbles 11 s with what she calls
* Protestants,' and thinks it sufficient to prove that so-and-so

1804 Lettei's and Correspoudciicc 59

is not the * Protestant ' doctrine. Now I should frighten good
people if I were to say I disown the word ' Protestant,' 3-et in
the sense she uses it I do disown it. I protest as much
against Calvin as against the Council of Trent, whereas
Protestant in her sense is a crooked stick, bent on one side.
The word Protestant does not, as far as I know, occur in our
formularies. It is an uncomfortable, perplexing word, intended
to connect us — and actually connecting us — with the Protestants
abroad. We are a ' Reformed ' Church, not a 'Protestant.'
I care not a whit for the Diet of Augsburg. Calvin is no
guide to me, not even as an authority, and as for Bucer I
wish he had never crossed the sea. That the Puritanic spirit
spread in Elizabeth's and James's time, and did sad havoc,
tainting even good and wise men, is certain. Blessed is he
who is not corrupted by his age, who keeps his garments
white and clean ! Who can do it except, so to say, by
miracle ? Even Hooker, I should think (I speak under cor-
rection), but gradually worked his way out of his Puritanic
education, but he did do so. The spirit of Puritanism has
been succeeded by the Methodistic. (Of course, I do not use
the word reproachfully, but historical^.) W^e, the while,
children of the Holy Church, whencesoevcr brought into it,
whether by early training or afterthought, have had one voice,
that one voice which the Church has had from the beginning.
As far as I can make out, the good and holy men of every
age have not much differed from each other — Hooker and
Taylor from St. Bernard, St. Bernard from St. Chrysostom.
IMeanwhile, the Church of Piome apostatised at Trent. It is
too much to say that we, the children of Pidley and Laud,
are innovators, introducing opinions, and open to warnings
such as Lady W. gives us. Show me I am an innovator, and
without question I will be silent. Then she need not speak
of consequences of my doctrine, and 1 will be silent in that.
But if I but speak as the Church has ever spoken, let her, if
she will, still ' protest,' but let her (piite understand her posi-
tion, as external to the Church, as herself being one of, on
the whole, an innovating party. Whether right or wrong,
she, not I, must show cause why she says what she says.

6o ./'^-^^^^ Ilcury N'cicmaii 1834

But doubtless tlie torrent of the day is so much with her,
that I must consent to be in an apparent minorit}^ and to
rest on the scenes of past years, from ' the upper room ' in
Acts i. to the Court of Carisbrooke or Uxbridge. Doubtless
I have made up my mind, as every one must who tries to
stand against the torrent, to be misunderstood and called
names. She may be quite sure that not a word has she said
by way of accounting for my holding what 1 hold, but I could
have said more plausibly l)efore her ; I could have made out
a more specious story against myself, have spoken of reaction,
tfcc. But, after all, what is the fact ? That, however I came
to hold what I hold, I hold it with such men as Hammond
and Wilson, and therefore I am consoled, as well as prepared,
for the names Pelagian, Papist, or an3'thing else — /i?)

I would wish to ask Lady W. whether she uses such words
as Pelagian historically or not. If she does, let her tell me
what Pelagius's doctrine was, and show I agree with it ; if
not, it is indirectly assiiminn that I have so committed myself
as to fall under the expressed censure of the Church, which
is unfair. Next, I observe that it is inconsistent in her
calling me a Pelagian and yet spiritually-minded. Let her
be quite sure that when I think a person a heretic, I shall
never call him religious. A spiritually-minded heretic may
exist in the ' Protestant ' world, but not in the Church.

I conceive a clergyman is likely to have seen as much of
l^ersons in distress of mind as Lady W.

To conclude, I doubt not you have before now given my
Lady a hint on the confident way in which she, a lay person,
speaks of Christ's ministers. At first I was amused at the
w^ay in which she laid down the law, but on second thoughts
it seemed a more serious thing. It is part of the evil of our
present system, which puts great people about the Church,
and, if they are religious, makes them little Queen Besses.
She may be quite sure that, if she comes into collision with
me, I shall take some quiet opportunitj- of hinting this to her.
I write currcntc calamo, having no time for a very finished

133J: Letters and Correspondence 6i

11 EV. J. n. Xkwman to J. W. Bo-\vDEX, Esq.

Oriel Collr;ic : AiKjiiHt lo, 1834.

Pray give yourself no great trouljle aljout the German
Athanasius. "When I shall have an opportunity of correcting
my ' Arians' is, of course, very uncertain, and of distant date.
I fanc,y I shall continue fidget}- till I have learned a smatter-
nig of German, hut that, of course, is of a date still furthei-
removed. You see we stand a chance of heing inundated
with German divinity, and they have (I helieve) written some
useful hooks, too, in my line ; hoth which reasons make me
anxious to understand them.

I have heen engaged in editing Dionysius since I M-rote to
you.^ It is not a very lahorious husiness ; most of it was
done to my hand, and I have now managed nearly to hrcak
the neck of it ; so I shall almost lay it hy and take it up from
time to time, or keep it quietly in hand. I thought it was
good to take something easy as a beginning. If you say. Why
edit hooks at all? I answer I have great fears of being
superficial. Nothing is a greater temptation in writing such
a book as the * Arians ' than to take facts and Fathers at
second hand : and I wish to Mithdraw myself as nuich as
possible from it.

The last week I have taken up the sul)ject of the Anglican
Convocation, have rummaged out of tliu library a certain
number of pamphlets, and have begun reading and writing.
I have long plagued my friends on every side to undertake
and get up this passage of history, which seems to me very
important now ; and, failing, have at length begun myself.
... 1 have a visitation sermon to preach at home, and was
iniwilling to be away any part of the time, but shall take
some of the 1689- 1780 pamphlets with me afterwards. I go
to J. Keble's for a week.

I took your hint al)out Popery innncdiately, and wrote tlie
tract called ' Via Media,' which appeared the beginning of this
month, though I am diffident whether it will answer your

' Mr. Newman hail agreed to Dr. Biuton's request to edit Dionysius for the
University Press.

62 John llciiry Neiuman ]s.34

aim. I am quite prepared lor tlie charges of botli Popery
and Pelagiaiiism, nor do I see how to escape them. In my
view of the matter, the flood of Puritanism is pouring over
the Church, as Liberahsm over the world ; and any one who
believes this and makes a stand will be sure to incur the
reputation of those heresies which are the contrary of the
fashionable ones. There are multitudes of men who shrink
from styling themselves Calvinistic, and yet accuse all doc-
trine which is short of Calvinism of Pelagianism ; again,
who call themselves Churchmen, and speak in a sentimental
way about the Church (as Cunningham), yet call any man a
Papist who begins to act as if he loved it. And now I believe
the Saurinians, Peculiars, or in whatever other name they
rejoice [Evangelicals], havmg, after long labour, made progress,
and seeing the goal before them, are much irritated at the
thought of being thrown back again. Mr. Wilks, of the
' Christian Observer,' seems to pant for the comprehension
contemplated in 1689, has schemes for removing the Popery
of the services, bringing in Dissenters, and is both frightened
and angry at the ' British Magazine,' the Oxford proceedings,
&c. How is it possible one can escape? I do not expect,
though (of course) the more protests (as you say) one puts
on record against the imputations cast on one, the better.

As to my marriage business. I suppose the hubbub is at
an end. I have gained my point ; so let those laugh wha
w'in : no one can rail away the protest I have made. I conlcl
■not avoid it. I did not hunt out the parties. I never should
* ask questions ' for conscience sake. I knew the 3'oung
woman was unbaptized. I had had some months before con-
versation with her father about it ; so had Williams : and she
would not be baptized. One of the sons had inquired about
baptism with some secular purpose. Xone of them seemed
to have a notion of its religious character. It was not a
question of Dissenter or Churchman ; not a question who
baptized. She was not baptized at meeting-house or church.
I could not have taken on me the responsibility, against the
wish and spirit of the Church, to commit an act which might
have made me the instrument of encouraging persons in a

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 5 of 47)