John Henry Newman.

Loss and gain : or, The story of a convert .. online

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THE STORY OF A CONVERT.



ADHUC MODICUM ALIQUANTULUM,

QUI VENTURUS EST, VEISIET, ET NON TARDABIT.

JUSTUS AUTEM MEUS EX FIDE A^IYIT.



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DUBLIN :

JAMES DUFFY, 7 WELLINGTON QUAY.

1858.



JOHN F. FOWLER, PRINTER,

3 CROW STREET, DAME STREET,

DUBLIN.



ITS 3^



ADVERTISEMENT.



The following tale is not intended as a work of contro-
versy in behalf of the Catholic Religion; but as a
description of what is understood bj few, — the course
of thought and state of mind, or rather one of those
coui'ses and states, which issue in conviction of its
Divine origin.

Nor is it founded in fact, to use the common phrase.
It is not the history of any individual mind among
the recent converts to the Catholic Church. The prin-
cipal characters are imaginary ; and the writer wishes
to disclaim personal allusion in any. It is with this
view that he has feigned ecclesiastical bodies and places,
to avoid the chance, which might otherwise occur, of
unintentionally suggesting to the reader real individuals,
who were far from his thoughts.

At the same time, free use has been made of say-
ings and doings which are characteristic of the time
and place in which the scene is laid. And moreover,
when a general truth or fact is exhibited, as in a tale,
in individual specimens of it, it is impossible that the

810IFJ0



IV ADVERTISEMENT.

ideal representation sliould not more or less coincide,
in spite of the author's endeavour, with its existing
instances or champions.

It must also be added, to prevent a fiirther miscon-
ception, that no proper representative is intended in this
tale, of the religious opinions which had lately so much
influence in the University of Oxford.

Feb. 21, 1848.



LOSS AND GAIN.



PART I.



CHAPTER I.



Charles Reding was the only son of a clergyman,
who was in possession of a valuable benefice in a midland
county. His father intended him for orders, and sent
him at a proper age to a public school. He had long
revolved in his mind the respective advantages and dis-
advantages of pubHc and private education, and had
decided in favour of the former. " Seclusion", he said,
" is no security for virtue. There is no telling what is
in a boy's heart : he may look as open and happy as
usual, and be as kind and attentive, when there is a
great deal wrong going on within. The heart is a secret
with its Maker; no one on Earth can hope to get at it or
to touch it. I have a cure of souls ; what do I really know
of my parishioners? nothing; their hearts are sealed
books to me. And this dear boy, he comes close to me;
he throws his anns round me ; but his soul is as much
out of my sight as if he were at the antipodes. I am
not accusing him of reserve, dear fellow ; his very love

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Z LOSS AND GAIN.

and reverence for me keep him in a sort of cliarmetl soli-
iiide- I cannot expect to get at tlie bottom of him :

' Each in his hidden sphere of bliss or woe,
Our hermit spirits dwell'.

It is our lot here below. No one on Earth can knoAv
Charles's secret thonghts. Did I guard him here at
home ever so well, yet, in due time, it would be found
that a serpent had crept into the heart of his innocence.
Boys do not fully know what is good and what is evil ;
they do wrong things at first almost innocently. Novelty
hides vice from them ; there is no one to warn them or
give them rules ; and they become slaves of sin, while
they are learning what sin is. They go to the Univer-
sity, and suddenly plunge into excesses, the greater in
proportion to their inexperience. And besides all this,
I am not equal to the task of forming so active and
in



Online LibraryJohn Henry NewmanLoss and gain : or, The story of a convert .. → online text (page 1 of 26)