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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1834 Letters and Correspojtdcnce 63

fatal delusion — the notion that haptism was a mere ceremony.
It was not a question of infant or adult baptism. I had no
time to ask the Bishop. Indeed, I am quite easy, thank God.

To HIS Mother.

Auf/iist 21, 1834.

I have just seen a paper, the ' Times ' of the 19th, which
contains a letter from a Dissenter about my refusing to marry.
To my surprise he says it has been always considered that the
law is with vie. And he mentions cases of clergymen who
have acted as I did. However, his own view is that the law
says nothing either way, which, you know, is what I have
thought all along. He refers to another letter which had
appeared in the ' Times ' on the subject. So, I suppose, a sort
of discussion has been going on. He writes temperately, and
does not seem to be angry with me, though he complains-
of the system. I am very glad people have been brought to
attend to the sul)ject.

Mr. Newman's feeling for places was part of his strong
memory from a child. Wherever he had lived, thought,,
formed friendships, enjoyed or suffered, the scenes in which
events ran their course remained sharply imprinted on his
mind, to be revived, often to painful acuteness, at the sight of
them. In writing to his Mother, it was natural to him to
describe his feelings more freely than to the closest friend :
Ho to her he wrote on revisiting Alton ' while the impression
was still vivid :

To HIS Mother.

Alton: Septi'mlicr 20, 1S34.

I left Stevens this morning and got here about two o'clock.
As 1 got near the place I many times wished I had not come.
I found it so very trying. So many strong feelings, distinct
from each other, were awakened. The very length of time

• Mr. Xcwman's father on leaving London had settled with his family for a
few years at Alton. His children always remembered the place with alTcction,

64 [oJin Ilcnry Nciviuan IS-'U

since 1 was here was a serious thought, ahuost hah" my hfe ;
and I so different from what a boy, as I then was, could be :
not indeed, in my having any strong stimulus of worldly hope
then which I have not now — for, strange though it may seem,
never, even as a boy, had I any vision of success, fortune,
or worldly comfort, to bound my i^rospect of the future — but
because, after fifteen years, I felt, after all, that I was hardly
the same person as to all external relations, and as regards
the particular tempering and colouring of my mind.

And then the number of painful events, and pleasant too,
which have gone between my past and my present self. And,
further, the particular season at which we lived here, when I
was just entered at Oxford, so that this place is, as it were,
the record, as it w^as the scene, of my undergraduate studies
and opinions. The Oxford reminiscences of that time have
been effaced by my constant residence there since, but here I
am thrown back upon those years which never can come

There are many little incidents stored in my memory
which now waken into life. Especially, I remember that first
evening of my return from Oxford in 1818, after gaining the
scholarship at Trinity, and my Father saying ' What a happy
meeting this ! ' Often and often such sayings of his come
into my mind, and almost overpower me ; for I consider he
did do very much for me at a painful sacrifice to himself, and
was so generous and kind. . . .

All these various thoughts so troubled me as I came along,
:and the prospect opened clearer and clearer, that I felt quite
sick at heart. There was something so mysterious, too, in
seeing old sights, half recohecting them and doubting. It is
like seeing the ghosts of friends. Perhaps it is the impres-
sion it makes upon one of God's npholdiuf/ power which is so
awful — but it seemed to me so very strange that everything
was in its place, after so long a time. As we came near, and I
saw Monk's Wood, the church and the hollow on the other
side of the town, it was as fearful as if I was standing on the
^rave of some one I knew, and saw him gradually recover life,
and rise again. Quite a lifetime seems to divide me from the

1804 Lcllcrs and Correspondence 65

time I was here. I wished myself away from the pain of it,
and then the excitement caused a reaction, and I got quite
insensible and callous, and then again got disgusted with
myself and thought I had made a great fool of myself in
coming here at all, and wondered what I should do with my-
self now I was here. Meanwhile the coach went on and I
found myself at the Swan.

In the Long Vacation of i S34, Mr. Newman pays a few days'
visit to Mr. Golightly, then just settled at Godalming, and,
Avriting to his sister, describes his house :

Sej^tcmhcr 25, 1834.

. . . ]3ut I ought to tell you something about Golightly's
house. It has the advantage of being close to the church, of
being in the town in front, and behind in the country most
entirely ; of having a (piiet garden with a pretty prospect and
ihie trees, a most extensive homestead — buildings, courtyards,
and olTices without end — of having eight windows in front (it
is not high), a quadrangle, and numerous hiding-places for
troublous times (G. is going to make one behind a chimney,
hot !) It has the disadvantage of being an old, ramshackle,
up-and-down place, with innumerable lioors, staircases,
closets and windows, white wainscoting and black doors, old
daubs of family portraits, low ceilings, small windows, and
dark rooms, endless draughts, and enormous chairs. The soil
is sandy and dry ; l)ut tliere are low meadows with the Wey
through them just below the house, ditches of filthy mud, and a
mephitic pond, all which must bo ver}' disagreeable in winter.
This house is close to the Workhouse ; the people are not very
interesting, and the incumbent would certainly soon quarrel
with our friend were he not soon going away for his health.

G. is very merry and sportive. I am very well, but people
seem to think me very thin, and I certahily think I ani.

The following thought, or feeling, is more characteristic of
the writer's temperament than of his teaching. Addressing
the same sister after going over a house splendidly litted up,

VOL. II. r

66 J oini Ilcury Ncicmaii 1834

he could put into words liis personal oLjection to show and
state, and all that might minister to self-indulgence, which no
change of circumstances could change in him.

I confess I could not (I think) live in so l)cautiful a place.
I should destroy the conservatory, and turn the inner-
drawing-room into a chapel. Xatin-aJ beauties I feel na
grudge against ; hut artificial, whether exotic plants, foreign
gems and marbles, rare viands, statues and paintings, seem
as out of place as to be waited on by slaves. I think the
principle of objection to both is the same.

PiEV. J. H, Newman to his Sister Jemi:ma.

Tunhridfje WclU : October 2, 1834.

I dined with the Dean yesterday, who is a kind unassuming-
man. . . He has no rieirs, and in consequence is like a ship
without a rudder. Since I have been away I have read
Butler's ' Book of the Eoman Catholic Church,' Marsh's ' Com-
parative View,' andFaber's 'Eomanism' almost, and have more
of a view. To become a Eomanist seems more and more impos-
sible ; to unite with Rome (if she would let us) not impossible ;
but she would not, without ceasing to be Rome. Somehow
my own confidence in my views seems to grow. I am aware I
have not yet fully developed them to myself. There are opinions
as yet unknown to me, which must be brought out and
received ; inconsistencies, too, perhaps to be set right ; but,
on the whole, I seem to have a grasp of a system, very com-
prehensive. I could go on a great way with Eome, and a
great way with the Evangelicals ; nay, I should not despair
of religious Dissenters. I think our system will be very
taking from its novelty, its sublimit}', and its argumen-
tative basis. I see persons struck and puzzled at it. Such
is M. Bunsen, who, when I first had some words with him,,
looked at me with interest, as one who was on ground which
he had once occupied. I am conscious to myself I easily
bring a person to a stand, and to say : ' Eeally I have not
considered it in that point of view.' (Whether a permanent

1834 Letters and Correspondence 6"]

effect would be produced is another matter.) I attribute this,
not to any powers of argument which I have (for, if I had my
will, I never would argue, and I suppose, on the other hand,
one likes to do what one can do well), but simply to my having
got hold, somehow or other, of an imposing vicu-, call it right
or wrong. I should not be surprised (though sorry) if an
Apostolical School started up at Cambridge, as the Shelleian,
Utilitarian, &c. As to the Evangelicals, I have been much
struck with a most sensible account of the state of India, just
received here from Mr. Tucker, in almost every word of which —
it is full of practical and doctrinal matters — I agree. Though
he is a Calviuist, I do believe our differences would in India
almost be a matter of a few words. He gives a most exciting
account of his field of labour, without intending it. At this
moment, could I choose, and have all circumstances and provi-
dences at my disposal, I would go as an independent Bishop
to his part of India, and found a Church there. This, 3-ou
will say, is an ambitious flight. I am sure some one ought to
be sent as Bishop ; but the State, the State ! we are crippled.
I can fancy the day coming when India might l)c a refuge, if
our game was up here. — Love to my Mother and Frank.

. . . P.S. There is a lady here who plays most beautifully.
I think I never heard such a touch — why, I cannot make out,
for she has not long fingers. Your touch is very good ; but I
thought it required long fingers to be brilliant. So you must
set yourself to rival her. It would be interesting to examine
the causes of expression, which you might easily do.
Strength of finger is one thing, certainly. This lady is not
brilliant in the common sense — tliat is, smart and rattling — but
every note is so full-toned, so perfect, that one requires
nothing beyond itself. This in Beethoven's effective passages
produces a surprising effect. I accompanied her last night,
and am to do so again to night.

PiEv. J. H. Newman to his Mothkr.

October 7, 1834.

Mrs. B. is a warm, young, amiable person ; full of feeling —
says everything she thinks. She is very pleasant to talk

68 J ohu Henry A'ccujuan 1S.')4

to. I went with her to visit a nunnery near, yestercla}'.
Whether they sympathised in my appearance or not I cannot
tell, hut they treated me "svith a confidence which, my friends
tell me, was unprecedented. Not only did I go all through
the schoolgirls' dormitories, but one of the nuns introduced
me to her own cell. I liked everything but the gloom. The
cleanliness of every part of the house was exquisite ; but the
bed in the cell had black curtains and a green baize coverlet.
This looked dirty as well as dismal. In consistency the sheets
ought to have been black too.

The following letters are taken from the Life of Archbishop

Archbishop "Whately to Eev. -J. H. Newman, B.D.

Diihlin : Octuher 2^, 1834.

My dear Newman, — A most shocking report concerning
you has reached me, which indeed carries such an improba-
bilit}^ on the face of it, that 3'ou ma}- perhaps wonder at my
giving it a thought ; and at first I did not ; but finding it re-
peated from different quarters, it seems to me worth contradic-
ting for the sake of j'our character.

Some Oxford Undergraduates, I fin.l, openly report that
when I was at Oriel last spring you absented 3'ourself from
chapel on purpose to avoid receiving the Communion along
with me, and that you yourself declared this to be the case.
I would not notice every idle rumour, but this has been so
confidently and so long asserted, that it would be a satisfac-
tion to me to be able to declare its falsity as a fact, from your
authority. I did, indeed, at once declare my utter unbelief,
but then this has only the weight of my opinion, though an
opinion resting, I think, on no insuflicient grounds. I did
not profess to rest my disbelief on our long, intimate, and
confidential friendship, which would make it your right and
your duty, if I did anything to offend you, or anything you
might think materially wrong, to remonstrate with me ; but
on your general character, which I was persuaded would have

' Life of Archbishojp IVJiatcly, vol. i. p. 233.

18;]4 Letters and Corrcspaiidcuce 69

made you incapable, even had no such close connexion existed
between us, of conduct so unchristian and inlmman. But, as
I said, I should like for your sake to be able to contradict
the report from your authority. — Ever 3'ourH, very truly.

!{. Whately.

Eev. .J. H. Xew^ian to AncHBisnop Whately.

Oriel Colh'f/e : October 2S, 1834.

My dear Lord, — My absence from the Sacrament in the
College chapel on the Sunday you were in Oxford was occa-
sioned solely and altogether by my having it on that day in
St. Mary's ; and I am pretty sure, if I may trust my memory,
that I did not even know of your Grace's presence there till
after the service. Most certainly such knowledge would not
have affected my attendance. I need not saj', this being the
case, that the report of my having made any statement on the
subject is quite unfounded; indeed, your letter of this morning
is the first information I have had in any shape of the exist-
ence of the report.

I am happy in being thus able to afford an explanation
as satisfactory to 3"ou as the kind feelings which you have
ever entertained towards me could desire ; yet on honest
reflection I cannot conceal from myself that it was generally
a relief to me to see so little of your Grace when you were in
Oxford, and it is a greater relief now to have an opportunity
of saying so to j^ourself. I have ever wished to observe the
rule, never to make a public charge against another behind
his back ; and, though in the course of conversation and the
urgency of accidental occurrences it is sometimes difficult to
keep to it, yet I trust I have not broken it, especially in your
own ease, i.e. though my most ultimate friends know how
deeply I deplore the line of ecclesiastical policy adopted under
your archiepiscopal sanction, and though in society I may
have clearly shown that I have an opinion one way rather
tlian the other, yet I have never in my intention — never, au I
believe, at all spoken of your (irace in a serious way l)etore
strangers ; indeed, mixing little in general society, and not

70 John Henry Newman 1834

over-apt to open myself in it, I have had Httle temptation to
do so. Least of all should I so forget myself as to take
undergraduates into my confidence in such a matter.

I ^Yish I could convey to your Grace the mixed and very
IDainfiil feelings which the late history of the Irish Church
has raised in me — the union of her members with men of
heterodox views, and the extinction (without ecclesiastical
sanction) of half her candlesticks,' the witnesses and guarantees
of the truth and the trustees of the Covenant. I willingly
own that, both in my secret judgment and my mode of speak-
ing concerning you to my friends, I have had great alternations
and changes of feeling — defending, then blaming, your policy,
next praising yourself and protestmg agamst your measures,
according as the affectionate remembrances which I had of
you, rose against my utter aversion of the secular and un-
believing policy in which I consider the Irish Church to be
implicated. I trust I shall never be forgetful of the kindness
you uniformly showed me durmg your residence m Oxford,
and anxiously hope that no duty to Christ and His Church
may ever interfere with my expression of it. However, on the
present opportunity I am conscious to myself, that I am
acting according to the dictates both of duty and gratitude, if
I beg your leave to state my persuasion that the perilous
measures in which your Grace has acquiesced, are but the
legitimate offspring of those principles, difficult to describe in
few words, with which your reputation is associated — prmciples
which bear upon the very fundamentals of all argument and
investigation, and affect almost every doctrine and every
maxim on which our faith and our conduct depend. I can
feel no reluctance to confess that, when I first was connected
with your Grace, gratitude to you and admiration of your
character weighed strongly upon me ; and had not some-
thing from within resisted, I should certainly have adopted
views on religious and social questions such as seem to my
present judgment to be based on the pride of reason, and

' By the Irish Church Temporalities Act (passed August 14, 1S33) two arch-
bishoprics were prospectively abolished, aud the Suffragan bishoprics reduced
by consolidation from eighteen to ten.

1834 Letters and Correspondence 7 1

tending towards infidelity, and which, in your own case,
nothing but 3'our Grace's high rehgious temper, and the un-
clouded faith of your mind, have been able to withstand, I
am quite confident that, however you may regret my judgment,
jou will give me credit, not only for honesty, but a deeper
feeling, in thus laying it before you.

May I be suflered to add that your name is ever mentioned
in my prayers, and to subscribe myself, your Grace's very
shicere friend and servant,

Joiix Henky Newman.

S. F. Wood, Esq., to Eev. J. H. Newman.

TemjAc: Saturdai/, Xoicmbcr 1, 1834.

I was truly pleased to hear from Eogers that you returned
to Oxford in such good health and spirits.

I have enjoyed very comfortable health, and have had
many blessings to be thankful for. For the last month,
owing to the emptiness of London and a delightful freedom
from interruption, I have been able to follow other studies
more congenial than the law, giving to the last as much
attention as duty enjoins. I have chiefly been attending to
•our own history as regards Church matters.

As not alien to this matter, I will just mention how much
I have been interested by your two ' Via Medias,' ' as con-
taining a more systematic exposition of your views than I was
before possessed of, and as accounting, to my mind at least,
for the mode and form in which your * Parochial Sermons '
exhibit Divine truths. You will be interested, I think, by my
referring you to a passage in the preface to the third volume
of Burnet's ' History of the Reformation,' p. 13, ed. Clarendon,
beginning at * I cannot conclude ' to ' Eonian Communion.'

PiEV. W. Sewell to PiEV. J. II. Newman.

Exeter Cullq/c : Xorcmhcr 1S34.
1 am going to Harrison's this evening about 8 o'clock to
chat over with him the subject of Subscription.
' Nos. 3S and 40 of Tracts for the Times.

72 John Henry Ncuiiian. I8.'i4

I have just heard that th(i IIcaclH of Houses meditate
bringing I'orNvard tlie alx)htion of it even tliis term. Surely
something ought to he done. Could we meet this evening at
Ch. Ch. ?

Mr. Newman, writing some notes at the hack of Mr.
Sewell's letter, concludes with the following sentence :

There seems to he a general forehoding that religious
quarrels and party divisions will be the consequence of such
relaxation ; and, whether this occurs or not, it is certain that
the prospect of religious indifference will impose it as a duty
upon such as feel a value for Divine truth, to make every
feeling and influence secondary to their determination to sup-
port the view they believe to be Scriptural against all, &c.

Eev. E. B. Pusey, D.D., to Eev. J. H. Newman.

Xovrmhcr lo.

You will have heard that the Heads of Houses have de-
cided by a majority of one to displace the Articles from
undergraduate subscription. I will gladly join in any measures
which can be adopted to fight the battle efficiently in Convoca-

Eev. J. H. Newman to Eev. J. Kelle.

Oriel : Xoremher lo, 1834.
The Heads of Houses have to-day by a majority of one
decided on introducing a measure into Convocation, to remove
undergraduate subscription to the Articles. What they pro-
pose to substitute for it I have not yet learned. Two measures
are talked of : either a simple declaration that the person
to be matriculated would conform to the discipline and
worship of the place, which, in fact, is bringing us to Cam-
bridge ; or this with the addition that he does not dissent
from the Articles. Burton has gone over. Pusey is staunch
the other way. Sewell is staunch, and Harrison atmis non
animo minor. We all seem to agree that we would go as far
as this, viz. to allow of an additional sentence in theEpinomis
explanatonj of our meaning in imposing the subscription. K

1834 Letters and Correspondence

/ v>

we are inisiindcfstood (which is llie p,TOiind taken against us),
then let us rxjdaiii ourselves ; to (ilf<-r would l)e implying we
are wrong. Pusey has drawn up a sketch of an explanation ;
it runs as follows : —

' The University supposes that those who, coming for her
instructions, subscribe the Articles, thereby profess, according
to their different attainments, that the}' receive these Articles
as believing them to be true, either from their own conviction
or at least upon the authority of the Church. She would
not, however, wish altogether to exclude those of a scrupulous
conscience, who might hesitate to state this of themselves, and
yet knew of no opinion which they held opposed either to the
discipline or doctrine of the Church of England.'

P.S. — Eogers heard from Froude yesterday. He says
nothing about his health, but is evidently home-sick and

In Froude's ' Remains,' p. 374, we find the letter probably
here spoken of, beginning in the half-fretful, half-humorous
tone natural to an expectant, suffering under the intolerable
delay incident to distant correspondence in those days. Froude

writes :

Srptciiiln'r 25, 1S34.

By the time you get this, it will be near a year since I
have heard a word about you. ... Of N. I heard as lute as
December 15, 1833. I have just referred to the rascal's letter.
But as to K., C, and you, and the ]\[.'s, Sec, I am in utter
ignorance on which side the St3'x you are all residing.

By the same post seems to have come some direct letter
or message to the N. here spoken of, which elicits the follow-
ing self-justification and tender remonstrance :

Eev. J. 11. Xhwmax to PiEv. Pi. II. Froidi:.

November 12, 1834.

I am not surprised you should be so unjust to me, for I
should be so to you under the same circumstances. You see

74 John Henry Ncionian 1834

Avc expected you here Avitli the Bishop of Barbadoes till tlid
middle of May, and therefore did not send letters. AVhen we
found him here without you, we instantly began to write ; by
iiccidents which we could not help {c.(j. the box was a fortnight
on the road to Partington), it was August before it was off.
However, you liad news of Oxford up to the minute of its

In the vacation I worked hard at Dionysius Alex., and
then at subjects connected with the Anglican Convocation, the
fruits of which are beginning to appear in the [' British ']
Magazine, though they are not satisfactory. Since that I
have got into controversy with a Parisian Abbe, whom Harrison,
arabicising with De Saci, fell in with. The war is to be on
the whole Eomish question, and I have been reading Laud,
Stillingfleet, &c.

Keble's father has taken to his bed, and is so ill that
Keble does not leave him. This keen weather makes his
illness very serious. I suppose we shall have a good election.
Perhaps Yaughan of Ch. Ch. will stand ; a clever man, a
friend of Denison's, a connexion of the Provost's.

Noveniher i8.

Vaughan is going to the law, yet last Long Vacation, for love
of Oxford, took up his abode here, and attended daily service
at St. Mary's. Piogers says that he is his own forming. Eogers
was elected Yinerian Scholar unanimously last Wednesday.

I am so angry with you, I cannot sa}'. Have we not sent
jou a full box? That up to September 29 3'ou had not
received it, is as hard for us to bear as for you. "Why will
JOU not have a little faith ? I was week after week saying,
* Now the time's nearly come for the box to arrive,' &c. How
I long to see you again if so be ! I suppose all this is for
your good. You want a taming in various ways. It is to
wean you from your over-interest in politics. Y^ou are cer-
tainly aXrjdcos ttoXitlkos, and I miss you continually in
advice ; but of course one is fond of what one does well ; so
you see you are being taught to unlearn the world — the

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 6 of 47)