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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exi)ression of my feelings, for I assure you I do feel most
deeply thankful to you, as for other reasons so more especially
for having been the means of guiding me (with many others,.
I hope) into the cheering doctrine of the Catholic faith ►
When I was going up for my degree I committed to memory
the jiroof you gave us, in your lecture on the Thirty-nine
Articles, of the doctrine of the Trinity, and though I little
thought then of more than the immediate object I had in
view, it has stood me in need since that time in many an
hour when I have been almost tempted to abandon everythmg
in despair, and to come in to the opinion incessantly dinned
into one's ear, that when ' good men ' have differed about
these things we had better not trouble ourselves about them ;
which is as much as to say that the Bible is given to us as a,
sealed book.

J. W. BowDEN, Esq., to Piev J. H. Newman,

Easter Monday, April 20, 1835.

As I should not like to find you in the midst of business
[N.B. of the Oriel election] , . , I will name Monday the
27th, if you could procure for us lodgings for the week. My
companion, I am sure, you will like. If Government continue
the observatory erected by the East India Company at St.
Helena, he will probably be appointed regular astronomer
there ; and if not, he is a likely person to obtain some other
employment of the same nature somewhere or other. And a
High Churchman, a true Catholic, thus fixed in a scientific
position m a distant region might prove a witness for the
truth of the most important description. I am anxious,
therefore, that he should breathe for a week our Oxford

[N.B. This was the dear ' Observer Johnson.' — J. H, N.]

1835 Letters and Coryespondence lOi

Ever since Mr. Newman had become vicar of St. Mary's
he had wished for a church at Littlemore. When his Mother
and sisters estabUshed themselves at Rose Bank, and under-
took to visit the people and the schools at Littlemore, this
design of their Vicar was made known to the peoj)le, and very
eagerly seconded Ijy them.

Miss Newman writes to her brother of a petition to Oriel
set on foot In' the parishioners :

Ainil 23, 1835.

We send you the petition, and heartily wish it success,
tind you as little plague as possible. There are 295 names to
it. All the St. Mary's householders (sixty-two or sixty-three)
but one, who is not to be found. Everyone is full of hope
and anxiety. One. man said: 'If he could but live to be
buried in Littlemore churchyard he should die happy.' '

' A visitor at Eose Bank at this period hears the question of a church at
Littlemore discussed in the family circle, and writes to her mother: —

' They have already got 300/. and have not begun the regular subscription yet.
Mr. Newman means to refuse money from unworthy persons : for instance, from
one who is expected to offer to give, though he never goes to church. There is
to be a sermon in St. Mary's in a week or two in which he means to exhort
everybody " to give large sums," but he means to say that people may either
give at the doors or the Bank, in order that no one may give unwillingly from
shame, as he does not wish for money given from unworthy motives. I par-
ticularly enjoy hearing his grave authoritative way of expressing his feelings
and intentions.'

. . . ' We arc going to Oxford this afternoon to attend the Wednesday
evening service Mr. Newman lias in Adam de Brome's chapel during the
summer months. Last year he began the practice, and it was reported all over
Oxford that Mr. Newman was going to preach against the Dissenters. He, not
Aware of this report, had calculated twelve people at most attending, and had
only prepared seats for so many, and was therefore not a little astonished to
see the people pouring in, till the clerk and beadle could not find benches
enough for them. I need not say they were disappointed in the subject.'

Again, on the same visit (May 31), after speaking of certain objections made
by the Illlcy authorities to a church at Littlemore, the letter gives the clerk's
feelings on the matter : — ' The clerk is equally opposed to the innovation. In
the first place, he has buried one lialf of the parish, and he did hope to bury
the other,' and besides he will lose double fees.

I02 John Ilcnry Kciciuau 1835


May 5, 1835.

I am very much obliged to you for your offer of Littlemore,
and shall be very happy to accept it as far as I at present see.
I have, of course, many inquiries to make. The curate, I
suppose, would not be expected to reside there ; and you would
not send me about my business for anything short of heresy^
e.(j. if I were to become (not a Calvinist, for that I conceive,
humanly speaking, impossible, but) a follower of St. Augustine;
not that I have at present any leaning that way. I am very
anxious that I should be in my next station a fixture. A
rolhng stone gathers no moss.'

Kev. C. p. Golightly to Piev. J. H. Newman.

Godalmitilrj : May 26, 1835.

"With so much business always on your hands I know that
you are soon bothered, and that this letter will bother you ;
but in a matter of so much consequence to our mutual com-
fort I must run the risk of that.

Without further preface. Do you think that you are
acting quite prudently in offering Littlemore to one of whose

' The author of Reminiscences of Oriel takes some share to himself in the
first step of this affair, which ended so disastrously. It may be said that there
was a certain humorous oddity in Mr. Golightly which blinded his friends to the
Ijossibilities of bitterness that lay beneath.

In 1836 (Mr. Mozley writes), ' when Littlemore Chapel was nearly finished, it
occurred to me and some others that it would be a very nice arrangement for
Golightly to return to Oxford and take charge of the Chapel and district, which-
then had no endowment. Of course we ought to have thought a little more
about his theological views and his rather determined expression of them.
Golightly entered into the plan with real enthusiasm, bought a good house in
Holywell Street, and settled there. A single sermon dispelled the pleasant
illusion. It was evidently impossible that he and the Vicar of St. Mary's could
get on together. So there was Golightly, cajoled, betrayed, and cast adrift. It
was a case of downright folly all round.' — Vol. ii. p. 112.

Mr. Newman's habitual trust in his friends as being his friends, which was
one of his means of influence, certainly failed here.

A letter of this date speaks of a chance conversation with Mr. Golightly
when the question of his taking the curacy of Littlemore was pending, and it
reports him as pronouncing Mr. Newman an exceedingly obscure writer.

ls:]o Lclto's and Correspondence 103

religious sentiments you know nothing except from casual
conversation, and whom you never heard preach in your Hfe ?
How do you know that you would like my sermons ? You,
indeed, are not likely to hear them ; but supposmg that some fine
day Mrs. Newman and your sisters should, and then the next
time they saw you say, * John ! what a Peculiar you have
got at Littlemore ! He certainly preached last Sunday what we
thought tantamount to the total corruption of human nature,
and told us that we should search and examine ourselves as
to whether we were " born again." In short, his sermons in
tone and spirit are very different from what yours are.'

Now I certainly might express myself on these and other
sul)jects in a way 3'ou might not like. I do believe most
firmly that our Saviour's baptism is the baptism of the spii-it
(jencraUy (with possible exceptions I have nothing to do), and
that congregations are to be addressed as St. Paul addresses
the Corinthians : ' What ! know ye not that ye are the temple
of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? ' but
then I perceive that the principle of Divine grace is in so
many persons so apparently inoperative, that we are justified
in calling upon them to examine themselves whether they
have the Spirit of God or not.

Upon the corruption of our nature I am unwilling to say
a word. You, I am sure, see that subject in a far more awful
light tlian I do, and entertain feelings of deeper self-abhorrence
than I have been enabled to attain. But I sincerely think
that, whatever amiable dispositions towards our fellow-men
have survived the ' wreck of Paradise,' our hearts are by
nature wholly turned away from God, and that their language
is, ' Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of Thy

Again, if I am responsible minister at Littlemore, I should
certainly wish to act upon my own plans ; ratlier 1 sliould
say that 1 could not engage to act upon yours, at lea^t without
knowing before I settle there what they are. You mentioned
the other day baptism by innnei'sion if parents would con-
sent, and, I think, frequent conniiunion. I would gladly
adopt cither of these; but could you name any others?

I04 John Ifcnry Nc7<n)ian 1635

Now, I think, my dear Newman, tluit cjii so important a
sul»ject we cannot be too plain with one another. I shall have
occasion to be at Oxford again for a day or two in about a
fortnight. Would you like me to put into your hands two or
three of my sermons ?

I offer yon every satiH/'aciion. No two persons who think
for themselves think alike on all subjects. But the question
is, do our sentiments sufficiently coincide for you to feel
justified in entrusting part of your parish to me ? Now, if,
when I am established at Littlemore, you come to an opposite
conclusion, you would probably think it your duty to turn me
out — which I should not like ; nor should I like staj'ing if
you disai^proved of my ministry'. I should much like to be
your curate if you take me with jour eyes open ; but I have
written this letter to be sure whether they are.

As Mr. Newman read Mr. Golightly's letter over a second
time he added explanatory recollections :

[Jidy 25, i860. — I dare say I did not accept his offer of
reading his sermons— and in neglecting it I was imprudent.
The event showed it. But in my defence I will say (i) that
there is not one word of this letter to which I objected at the
time, nor afterwards. (2) I had alwa^'s liked my curates to
have full swing . . . Mr. Gower, who was thought of before
Golightly's proposed coming to Littlemore, was an Evangelical.
(3) I did not at all fanc}^ that G. meant to say that he did
deny Baptismal Eegeneration — indeed, he said in the above
letter distinctly the contrary; but I understood him to mean
that my sisters would soy he did, because his tone differed from
mine. Moreover, in a letter of August 10, 1831, contrast'mg
himself with his friend B., he says, ' I believe he does not
consider Regeneration always to accompany Baptism adminis-
tered in infancy' ; and in another of October 12, 1832, he so
identifies himself with Pusey and myself as to comfort him-
self in the prospect of a solitary living near Oxford by the

thought that ' the B. coach will bring me into Oxford in

hours, and you [I] and Pusey are fixtures there.' (4) His

1835 Letters and Corrcspoudcuce 105

favourite divine was Hammond, whose sentiments on the
point of Baptismal Regeneration cannot he questioned. I
thought then his feehng was a mere scruple, and I turned otT
from what, if I had heen more prudent and less impatient, I
should have examined more deeply. It will he observed, too,
in the foregoing letters that he ' spelled ' for the curacy and
suggested the idea to me. What occurred in the event I
recollect well enough in the general, and shall ascertain in its
details when I find the letters on the suhject. He began in
the course of 1835, if not Ijcfure, to speak against passages in
the ' Arians ' publicly, and 1 siip])()s<- he had something to do
with H.'s attack on me at the end of that year. I had not a
dream in consequence, as far as I recollect, of retreating from
my prospective engagement.

Pusey published his tract on Baptism under date of St.
Bartholomew, St. IMichael, and St. Luke of the above year,
1835. Golightl}^ I think, preached somewhere in Oxford— not
at Littlemore (where there was no church as yet) — against
Pusey. Pusey brought the matter before me, and said, ' It
will never do for you to take him as your curate.' He was
7iof, I think it will appear, //r/ my curate, and I, in consequence,
put an end to the prospective engagement. This must have
been in the spring of 1836. He never got over it. We were
never friends again. He brought the above letter against me.
I write this from the memory of twenty-four years ago, not
having yet come upon the correspondence which accompanied
the breach.

P.S. — It will be observed that Golightly's letter is dated
May 1835. Now it was in the beginning of that year that I

had the corresi)ondence with , and Golightlyhad heard of

it. Now since the difference arose from my thinking they
had not been candid with me, it was not unnatural that
Golightly should resolve that he should not be wanting on that
score. I suppose at that time, too, I was somewhat frighten-
ing people by my statements of doctrine ; for (towards tiie
€nd of 1835, 1 think) H. made a sudden and, as I thought,
very strange attack on me. I speak from memory, for 1 have
not found the correspondence yet.]

106 fohn I It'll ry Xcicnian 1835

PiEY. Pi. II. FllOUDE TO PiKV. J. 11. XeWMAN.

Jh-istol, Man 17. 1835-
Fratres dcsideratissimi , here I uni, hi'iicdictum sit nomcn
Dei, and as well as could be expected. I will not boast, and
indeed have nothing to boast of, as my pulse is still far from

[K. H. F. made his appearance in Oxford on Tuesday, May
18. The day after was the Convocation in the Theatre, when
the proposed innovation of a Declaration of Conformity to the
Church of England, instead of Subscription to the Articles, was
rejected by 459 to 57. It was the last vote he gave. The
following letter must have been sent to him to Dartmgton.
He left Oxford, never to return, on June 4. During this time
Bowden was in Oxford ; it was the first and last time of his
seemg P. H. F.— J. H. N.]

PiEv. J. H. Newman to Rev. P. II. Froude.

May 1835.

We hope to have in Oxford all sorts of people on Wednes-
day. You have pamphlets to read without end if you wish to
be idle. Eden has written a splendid pamphlet ; C. Marriott
has had a hit the same way. If you like bitterness, we are on
the high road towards it. I wish it had so happened you
could have been here on Wednesday ; there will be Ryder,
H. Wilberforce, Wilson, Acland, Bowden, Woodgate, Cornish,
Bliss, Rickards, &c. Keble is not yet married. Dornford
most likely leaves us. Blencowe is married. I am very
well — as well, perhaps, as ever ; and at most, please God,
have only the prospect of I know not what, years hence.
But this is as it shall seem fit ; perhaps I am exaggerating.
Rogers is likely to remain here another year. Best and
kindest respects to your father.'

' It happened to the Editor, passing the coach oflice in company with Mrs,
Newman, to see Froude as he alighted from the coach which brought him to
Oxford, and was being greeted by his friends. He was terribly thin — his coun-
tenance dark and wasted, but with a brilliancy of expression and grace of out-
line which justitied all that his friends had said of him. He was in the Theatre

l&is Letters and Coryespondcuce 107

Eev. Hugh J. PiOse to Rev. J. II, Xe\v::an-.

June 9, 1835.

I ought to have written to you long ago, to say that I am
dehghted with your ' Home Thoughts,' and think them most

But I wish to submit this to your judgment. As you will
certainly seem to good Protestants to leave our Church in an
awkward condition at the end of your present paper, would it
not be well to give the answer which you are about to do to the
difficulty, along with the difficulty itself — to give, in short.
No. 3 with No. 2 ?

I have not had the grace either to thank you for your
xcrij satisfactorij letter about Vincent [of Lerins ?] I say very
satisfactory because I fully agree with your view.

In the course of this summer I am very anxious — as I have
done with Church Eeform, I hope — to brhig forward some
notice of the following subjects :

Instruction of the laity, and the proper means of remedy-
ing our grievous errors and deficiencies on that point. Books
— as whether these are the means ; and if so, what books ?

Picligious societies and their evils. The watit 0/ faith in
God's promises and in ajtpointed means which makes us rely
on these disorderly ones.

Excitement as a means of propagating religion, and its
certain mischief.

Clerical education.

Establishment of libraries of sound standard l)ooks in all
small towns, for the use of the clergy, that those who wish to
read may have opportunities and means. I wish you would
give me any hints, or helps, or suggestions on any of these
matters ; and suggestions, too, of other subjects of importance.

I have it in mind also, as I hear such clear accounts of the
great efforts made by the Piomanists in the Midland countie3,
to reprint good old tracts which may put the question on its
four legs ; for our good clergy are sadly to seek in the great

next day, entering into all the enthusiasm of the scenes, and shouting Son placet
■with all his friends about him. While he lived at all he must live his life.

roS John Ifciiry Ncivman l8:5o

points, viz. Cliurcli authority, kt. Can you tell me any works
■which you recommend ? Do you think the plan a good one ?

There is a book on Convocation by a Mr. Kempthorne of
Gloucester, with which he seems to have taken much pains ;
if you see it or would see it, and give me a few lines on it, I
should be very thankful.

I wish to deal kindly by him.

Cardinal Newman warns the Editor against perpetuating
the bitterness of controversy. * If, for example,' he writes,
' the Hampden controversy is touched upon, let it be on its
ethical side.' The following letter on this controversy seems
to satisfy this requirement :

Eev. J. H. Newman to Eev. S. Eickards.

June 1835.
I am disposed to agree with you that a plain and broad
view has not yet been taken of the question. It is always the
way when one is in the midst of a struggle. On first hearing
of the point in dispute, a plain man generally takes a plain
view, but in a little while he as much forgets it as a man
descending into a valley which he has to cross, loses sight of
his original landmarks. In saying this I do not mean that
his second view is necessarily wrong — far from it (though it
may be so, if passion, interest, &c., come into play) ; but it is
minute and particular, perhaps partial, and does not do full
justice to the subject, and he does not recover his original
calm vision of things till he has retired from the contest, or
it has died away some time. However, I do not know that
these secondary views are less useful to others. Few men
like a plain, common-sense view, and the particular comes
moi'e home to the peculiarity of their own minds or opinions,
one man being caught with one idea, another with another.
Thus I consider the view of the letter to the Archbishop about
Hampden and his school to be verj' true, but influential with
those only or chiefly who are apprehensive of the consequences
of the first steps of change. * Self-protection ' is an object

1835 Lc Iters and Correspondence 109

■with those who are afraid of their own minds buing unsettled
— in the present conflict of opinions a growing class. I say
all this in vindication of the character of the pamplilets, while
I admit your criticism also, by way of showing the hopeless-
ness of any of us supplying your desideratum. Any one who
lives at a distance, like yourself, is more likely to fullil it, if
you would turn your thoughts tliat way.

Kev. Pi. II. Froudi: to Piev. J. PI. Xi:wman'.

Dartiiifitiiu : June \\, 1835.

I got home Friday evening before dark very comfortabl}'.
. . . My poor sister is perfectly cheerful and free from pain^
but daily declines in strength. Indeed, she is now very
visibly weakened since I first saw her. It is impossible she
should live many days. She is quite aware of her state, and
seems to be as composed and almost happy as if she was
going to sleep. . . .

There is something very indescribable in the circet wliich
old sights and smells produce in me here just now, after
having missed tliem so long. Also old Dartington House,,
with its feudal appendages, calls up so many Tory associations
as almost to soften one's heart with lamenting the course of
events which is to re-erect the Church by demolishing so
much that is beautiful : ' rich men living peaceably in their

I have hardly coughed all to-day, and am beginning ta
have my wind easier, and people do not look so horribly black
at me as they did.

On my way from Oxford, Keblc talked a good deal about
Church matters, and particularly about the ancient Liturgies,
and my analysis of Palmer, which had put the facts to him
in rather a new point of view.

PiKv. Pi. II. Froude to Pkv. J. 11. Xkwmax.

Jiiiir 20.

People complain everywhere of the difficulty of getting at
the 0.\ford Tracts. I suppose the change of publisliers has

iio J oJui //any Nciunian 1835

caused tliis, but it Iceeps tlicra out of circulation most pro-
vokingly. I see everywhere that ' the harvest is truly ready.'

PiEv. J. H. Newman to Rev. E. H. Froude.

June 22, 1835.

I want your view of the extent of power which may be
given to the laity in the Church system, e.(j. the maintenance
of the Faith is their clear prerogative. Qu. : What power
may they have in synods ? Judicially ? In legislation ? ko..
I have heard from Acland (Tune 11), and he wants to know
whether Churchmen might not admit (what the Liberals are
bent on) a subsidiary system of education to the Church system
for Dissenters. To answer abstractedly, I think they might ;
hut I doubt not irreconcilable differences would arise in the
detail. The Church must not reconcile itself to it, yet must
claim to have control over it.

Think of this, please, and answer me ; and do not say
"■ the whole system is rotten,' and so dismiss the subject. We
must take things as they are, and make the most of them.
Acland wants to be allowed to acknowledge a system ' inferior,
secondary, partial, local, temporary ; the State saying that
education ouglit to be based on Eeligion, and Eeligion on the
Church ; that this is what alone it considers to be National
Education ; but that it is willing to give some assistance to a
secondary system in the hope of giving it a good direction.'
And then follows the question which has especiall}' led me to
mention the subject to you. Would you attempt a sort of
Scripture School, which, without actively opjDosing the Church,
should endeavour to teach children on the foundation of the
Bible without inculcating the peculiarities of the Church, as
it is distinguished from those bodies which do not on the
one hand deny its creeds (the Socinians) or deny that it is a
Church at all (the Eomanists), e.g. Kildare Street ?

I was taken with the influenza and could not finish this.
On second thoughts I gave up all Acland"s plan as a mare's
nest, and wrote him word so. At the same time I should like
your opinion whether there is any way in which, under colour

1835 Lc tiers ami Correspondence 1 1 i

of giving a pure Scripture education, we might yet inculcate
our notions. The difficulty is this — are our notions so on the
surface of Scripture that a plain person ought to see them
there, at least when suggested to him ? Or, again, how far is
the unpopularity of our notions among readers of Scripture,
to be traced to Protestant blindness and prejudice ?

Mr. Froude in the following letter talks, in his vein, of the
hold his friend was gaining over ardent and impressible spirits.
Those who remember the early days of the Movement will
recal similar examples of the effect of Mr. Newman's writings,
on persons open to religious impressions.

Rev. R. II. Froude to Rev. J. H. Newman.

Juhj 2, 1835.

I have heard from my sisters and the Champernouns of
the efficacy of j^our opuscula in leading captive silly women.
One very curious instance I heard the other day of an ex-
ceedingly clever girl who for the last two or three years has
been occasionally laid up with a very painful illness, and
suffered severely. Nobody that she lives with can have acted
as channels for infecting her, as they are all either common-
place sensible people, or Evangelical, or lax. But she has got

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 9 of 47)