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APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA

BEING

A History of his Religious Opinions.

BY

JOHN HENRY CARDINAL NEWMAN.

"Commit thy way to the Lord and trust in Him, and He will do it. And He will bring forth thy justice as the light, and thy judgment as the noon-day."

LONDON

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

AND NEW YORK: 15 EAST 16th STREET

1890.

PRINTED BY

KELLY AND CO., GATE STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS,

AND KINGSTON-ON-THAMES.

PREFACE.

The following History of my Religious Opinions, now that it is detached from the context in which it originally stood, requires some preliminary explanation; and that, not only in order to introduce it generally to the reader, but specially to make him understand, how I came to write a whole book about myself, and about my most private thoughts and feelings. Did I consult indeed my own impulses, I should do my best simply to wipe out of my Volume, and consign to oblivion, every trace of the circumstances to which it is to be ascribed; but its original title of "Apologia" is too exactly borne out by its matter and structure, and these again are too suggestive of correlative circumstances, and those circumstances are of too grave a character, to allow of my indulging so natural a wish. And therefore, though in this new Edition I have managed to omit nearly a hundred pages of [Pg iv]my original Volume, which I could safely consider to be of merely ephemeral importance, I am even for that very reason obliged, by way of making up for their absence, to prefix to my Narrative some account of the provocation out of which it arose.

It is now more than twenty years that a vague impression to my disadvantage has rested on the popular mind, as if my conduct towards the Anglican Church, while I was a member of it, was inconsistent with Christian simplicity and uprightness. An impression of this kind was almost unavoidable under the circumstances of the case, when a man, who had written strongly against a cause, and had collected a party round him by virtue of such writings, gradually faltered in his opposition to it, unsaid his words, threw his own friends into perplexity and their proceedings into confusion, and ended by passing over to the side of those whom he had so vigorously denounced. Sensitive then as I have ever been of the imputations which have been so freely cast upon me, I have never felt much impatience under them, as considering them to be a portion of the penalty which I naturally and justly incurred by my change of religion, even though they were to continue as long as I lived. I left their removal to a future day, when personal feelings would have died out, and documents would see the light, which were as yet buried in closets or scattered through the country.

[Pg v]

This was my state of mind, as it had been for many years, when, in the beginning of 1864, I unexpectedly found myself publicly put upon my defence, and furnished with an opportunity of pleading my cause before the world, and, as it so happened, with a fair prospect of an impartial hearing. Taken indeed by surprise, as I was, I had much reason to be anxious how I should be able to acquit myself in so serious a matter; however, I had long had a tacit understanding with myself, that, in the improbable event of a challenge being formally made to me, by a person of name, it would be my duty to meet it. That opportunity had now occurred; it never might occur again; not to avail myself of it at once would be virtually to give up my cause; accordingly, I took advantage of it, and, as it has turned out, the circumstance that no time was allowed me for any studied statements has compensated, in the equitable judgment of the public, for such imperfections in composition as my want of leisure involved.


It was in the number for January 1864, of a magazine of wide circulation, and in an Article upon Queen Elizabeth, that a popular writer took occasion formally to accuse me by name of thinking so lightly of the virtue of Veracity, as in set terms to have countenanced and defended that neglect of it which he at the same time imputed to the Catholic Priesthood. His words were these:[Pg vi]

"Truth, for its own sake, had never been a virtue with the Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which heaven has given to the Saints wherewith to withstand the brute male force of the wicked world which marries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it is at least historically so."

These assertions, going far beyond the popular prejudice entertained against me, had no foundation whatever in fact. I never had said, I never had dreamed of saying, that truth for its own sake need not, and on the whole ought not to be, a virtue with the Roman Clergy; or that cunning is the weapon which heaven has given to the Saints wherewith to withstand the wicked world. To what work of mine then could the writer be referring? In a correspondence which ensued upon the subject between him and myself, he rested his charge against me on a Sermon of mine, preached, before I was a Catholic, in the pulpit of my Church at Oxford; and he gave me to understand, that, after having done as much as this, he was not bound, over and above such a general reference to my Sermon, to specify the passages of it, in which the doctrine, which he imputed to me, was contained. On my part I considered this not enough; and I demanded of him to bring out his proof of his accusation in[Pg vii] form and in detail, or to confess he was unable to do so. But he persevered in his refusal to cite any distinct passages from any writing of mine; and, though he consented to withdraw his charge, he would not do so on the issue of its truth or falsehood, but simply on the ground that I assured him that I had had no intention of incurring it. This did not satisfy my sense of justice. Formally to charge me with committing a fault is one thing; to allow that I did not intend to commit it, is another; it is no satisfaction to me, if a man accuses me of this offence, for him to profess that he does not accuse me of that; but he thought differently. Not being able then to gain redress in the quarter, where I had a right to ask it, I appealed to the public. I published the correspondence in the shape of a Pamphlet, with some remarks of my own at the end, on the course which that correspondence had taken.

This Pamphlet, which appeared in the first weeks of February, received a reply from my accuser towards the end of March, in another Pamphlet of 48 pages, entitled, "What then does Dr. Newman mean?" in which he professed to do that which I had called upon him to do; that is, he brought together a number of extracts from various works of mine, Catholic and Anglican, with the object of showing that, if I was to be acquitted of the crime of teaching and practising deceit and dishonesty, according to[Pg viii] his first supposition, it was at the price of my being considered no longer responsible for my actions; for, as he expressed it, "I had a human reason once, no doubt, but I had gambled it away," and I had "worked my mind into that morbid state, in which nonsense was the only food for which it hungered;" and that it could not be called "a hasty or farfetched or unfounded mistake, when he concluded that I did not care for truth for its own sake, or teach my disciples to regard it as a virtue;" and, though "too many prefer the charge of insincerity to that of insipience, Dr. Newman seemed not to be of that number."

He ended his Pamphlet by returning to his original imputation against me, which he had professed to abandon. Alluding by anticipation to my probable answer to what he was then publishing, he professed his heartfelt embarrassment how he was to believe any thing I might say in my exculpation, in the plain and literal sense of the words. "I am henceforth," he said, "in doubt and fear, as much as an honest man can be, concerning every word Dr. Newman may write. How can I tell, that I shall not be the dupe of some cunning equivocation, of one of the three kinds laid down as permissible by the blessed St. Alfonso da Liguori and his pupils, even when confirmed with an oath, because 'then we do not deceive our neighbour, but allow him to deceive himself?' ... How can I tell, that I may not in[Pg ix] this Pamphlet have made an accusation, of the truth of which Dr. Newman is perfectly conscious; but that, as I, a heretic Protestant, have no business to make it, he has a full right to deny it?"

Even if I could have found it consistent with my duty to my own reputation to leave such an elaborate impeachment of my moral nature unanswered, my duty to my Brethren in the Catholic Priesthood, would have forbidden such a course. They were involved in the charges which this writer, all along, from the original passage in the Magazine, to the very last paragraph of the Pamphlet, had so confidently, so pertinaciously made. In exculpating myself, it was plain I should be pursuing no mere personal quarrel;—I was offering my humble service to a sacred cause. I was making my protest in behalf of a large body of men of high character, of honest and religious minds, and of sensitive honour,—who had their place and their rights in this world, though they were ministers of the world unseen, and who were insulted by my Accuser, as the above extracts from him sufficiently show, not only in my person, but directly and pointedly in their own. Accordingly, I at once set about writing the Apologia pro vitâ suâ, of which the present Volume is a New Edition; and it was a great reward to me to find, as the controversy proceeded, such large numbers of my clerical brethren supporting me by their sympathy in the course which I was[Pg x] pursuing, and, as occasion offered, bestowing on me the formal and public expression of their approbation. These testimonials in my behalf, so important and so grateful to me, are, together with the Letter, sent to me with the same purpose, from my Bishop, contained in the last pages of this Volume.


This Edition differs from the first form of the Apologia as follows:—The original work consisted of seven Parts, which were published in series on consecutive Thursdays, between April 21 and June 2. An Appendix, in answer to specific allegations urged against me in the Pamphlet of Accusation, appeared on June 16. Of these Parts 1 and 2, as being for the most part directly controversial, are omitted in this Edition, excepting certain passages in them, which are subjoined to this Preface, as being necessary for the due explanation of the subsequent five Parts. These, (being 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, of the Apologia,) are here numbered as Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 respectively. Of the Appendix, about half has been omitted, for the same reason as has led to the omission of Parts 1 and 2. The rest of it is thrown into the shape of Notes of a discursive character, with two new ones on Liberalism and the Lives of the English Saints of 1843-4, and another, new in part, on Ecclesiastical Miracles. In the body of the work,[Pg xi] the only addition of consequence is the letter which is found at p. 228, a copy of which has recently come into my possession.

I should add that, since writing the Apologia last year, I have seen for the first time Mr. Oakeley's "Notes on the Tractarian Movement." This work remarkably corroborates the substance of my Narrative, while the kind terms in which he speaks of me personally, call for my sincere gratitude.

May 2, 1865.[Pg xii]


I make these extracts from the first edition of my Apologia, Part 1, pp. 3, 20-25, and Part 2, pp. 29-31 and pp. 41-51, in order to set before the reader the drift I had in writing my Volume:—

I cannot be sorry to have forced my Accuser to bring out in fulness his charges against me. It is far better that he should discharge his thoughts upon me in my lifetime, than after I am dead. Under the circumstances I am happy in having the opportunity of reading the worst that can be said of me by a writer who has taken pains with his work and is well satisfied with it. I account it a gain to be surveyed from without by one who hates the principles which are nearest to my heart, has no personal knowledge of me to set right his misconceptions of my doctrine, and who has some motive or other to be as severe with me as he can possibly be....

But I really feel sad for what I am obliged now to say. I am in warfare with him, but I wish him no ill;—it is very difficult to get up resentment towards persons whom one has never seen. It is easy enough to be irritated with friends or foes vis-à-vis; but, though I am writing with all my heart against what he has said of me, I am not conscious of personal unkindness towards himself. I think it necessary to write as I am writing, for my own sake, and for the sake of the Catholic Priesthood; but I wish to impute nothing worse to him than that he has[Pg xiii] been furiously carried away by his feelings. Yet what shall I say of the upshot of all his talk of my economies and equivocations and the like? What is the precise work which it is directed to effect? I am at war with him; but there is such a thing as legitimate warfare: war has its laws; there are things which may fairly be done, and things which may not be done. I say it with shame and with stern sorrow;—he has attempted a great transgression; he has attempted (as I may call it) to poison the wells. I will quote him and explain what I mean.... He says,—

"I am henceforth in doubt and fear, as much as any honest man can be, concerning every word Dr. Newman may write. How can I tell that I shall not be the dupe of some cunning equivocation, of one of the three kinds laid down as permissible by the blessed Alfonso da Liguori and his pupils, even when confirmed by an oath, because 'then we do not deceive our neighbour, but allow him to deceive himself?' ... It is admissible, therefore, to use words and sentences which have a double signification, and leave the hapless hearer to take which of them he may choose. What proof have I, then, that by 'mean it? I never said it!' Dr. Newman does not signify, I did not say it, but I did mean it?"—Pp. 44, 45.

Now these insinuations and questions shall be answered in their proper places; here I will but say that I scorn and detest lying, and quibbling, and double-tongued practice, and slyness, and cunning, and smoothness, and cant, and pretence, quite as much as any Protestants hate them; and I pray to be kept from the snare of them. But all this is just now by the bye; my present subject is my Accuser; what I insist upon here is this unmanly attempt of his, in his concluding pages, to cut the ground from under my feet;—to poison by anticipation the public mind against me, John Henry Newman, and to infuse[Pg xiv] into the imaginations of my readers, suspicion and mistrust of everything that I may say in reply to him. This I call poisoning the wells.

"I am henceforth in doubt and fear," he says, "as much as any honest man can be, concerning every word Dr. Newman may write. How can I tell that I shall not be the dupe of some cunning equivocation?" ...

Well, I can only say, that, if his taunt is to take effect, I am but wasting my time in saying a word in answer to his calumnies; and this is precisely what he knows and intends to be its fruit. I can hardly get myself to protest against a method of controversy so base and cruel, lest in doing so, I should be violating my self-respect and self-possession; but most base and most cruel it is. We all know how our imagination runs away with us, how suddenly and at what a pace;—the saying, "Cæsar's wife should not be suspected," is an instance of what I mean. The habitual prejudice, the humour of the moment, is the turning-point which leads us to read a defence in a good sense or a bad. We interpret it by our antecedent impressions.

The very same sentiments, according as our jealousy is or is not awake, or our aversion stimulated, are tokens of truth or of dissimulation and pretence. There is a story of a sane person being by mistake shut up in the wards of a Lunatic Asylum, and that, when he pleaded his cause to some strangers visiting the establishment, the only remark he elicited in answer was, "How naturally he talks! you would think he was in his senses." Controversies should be decided by the reason; is it legitimate warfare to appeal to the misgivings of the public mind and to its dislikings? Any how, if my accuser is able thus to practise upon my readers, the more I succeed, the less will be my success. If I am natural, he will tell them "Ars est celare artem;" if I am convincing, he will suggest that I am an able logician; if I show warmth, I[Pg xv] am acting the indignant innocent; if I am calm, I am thereby detected as a smooth hypocrite; if I clear up difficulties, I am too plausible and perfect to be true. The more triumphant are my statements, the more certain will be my defeat.

So will it be if my Accuser succeeds in his manœuvre; but I do not for an instant believe that he will. Whatever judgment my readers may eventually form of me from these pages, I am confident that they will believe me in what I shall say in the course of them. I have no misgiving at all, that they will be ungenerous or harsh towards a man who has been so long before the eyes of the world; who has so many to speak of him from personal knowledge; whose natural impulse it has ever been to speak out; who has ever spoken too much rather than too little; who would have saved himself many a scrape, if he had been wise enough to hold his tongue; who has ever been fair to the doctrines and arguments of his opponents; who has never slurred over facts and reasonings which told against himself; who has never given his name or authority to proofs which he thought unsound, or to testimony which he did not think at least plausible; who has never shrunk from confessing a fault when he felt that he had committed one; who has ever consulted for others more than for himself; who has given up much that he loved and prized and could have retained, but that he loved honesty better than name, and Truth better than dear friends....


What then shall be the special imputation, against which I shall throw myself in these pages, out of the thousand and one which my Accuser directs upon me? I mean to confine myself to one, for there is only one about which I much care,—the charge of Untruthfulness. He may cast upon me as many other imputations as he pleases, and they[Pg xvi] may stick on me, as long as they can, in the course of nature. They will fall to the ground in their season.

And indeed I think the same of the charge of Untruthfulness, and select it from the rest, not because it is more formidable but because it is more serious. Like the rest, it may disfigure me for a time, but it will not stain: Archbishop Whately used to say, "Throw dirt enough, and some will stick;" well, will stick, but not, will stain. I think he used to mean "stain," and I do not agree with him. Some dirt sticks longer than other dirt; but no dirt is immortal. According to the old saying, Prævalebit Veritas. There are virtues indeed, which the world is not fitted to judge of or to uphold, such as faith, hope, and charity: but it can judge about Truthfulness; it can judge about the natural virtues, and Truthfulness is one of them. Natural virtues may also become supernatural; Truthfulness is such; but that does not withdraw it from the jurisdiction of mankind at large. It may be more difficult in this or that particular case for men to take cognizance of it, as it may be difficult for the Court of Queen's Bench at Westminster to try a case fairly which took place in Hindostan: but that is a question of capacity, not of right. Mankind has the right to judge of Truthfulness in a Catholic, as in the case of a Protestant, of an Italian, or of a Chinese. I have never doubted, that in my hour, in God's hour, my avenger will appear, and the world will acquit me of untruthfulness, even though it be not while I live.

Still more confident am I of such eventual acquittal, seeing that my judges are my own countrymen. I consider, indeed, Englishmen the most suspicious and touchy of mankind; I think them unreasonable, and unjust in their seasons of excitement; but I had rather be an Englishman, (as in fact I am,) than belong to any other race under heaven. They are as generous, as they are hasty and[Pg xvii] burly; and their repentance for their injustice is greater than their sin.

For twenty years and more I have borne an imputation, of which I am at least as sensitive, who am the object of it, as they can be, who are only the judges. I have not set myself to remove it, first, because I never have had an opening to speak, and, next, because I never saw in them the disposition to hear. I have wished to appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober. When shall I pronounce him to be himself again? If I may judge from the tone of the public press, which represents the public voice, I have great reason to take heart at this time. I have been treated by contemporary critics in this controversy with great fairness and gentleness, and I am grateful to them for it. However, the decision of the time and mode of my defence has been taken out of my hands; and I am thankful that it has been so. I am bound now as a duty to myself, to the Catholic cause, to the Catholic Priesthood, to give account of myself without any delay, when I am so rudely and circumstantially charged with Untruthfulness. I accept the challenge; I shall do my best to meet it, and I shall be content when I have done so.


It is not my present accuser alone who entertains, and has entertained, so dishonourable an opinion of me and of my writings. It is the impression of large classes of men; the impression twenty years ago and the impression now. There has been a general feeling that I was for years where I had no right to be; that I was a "Romanist" in Protestant livery and service; that I was doing the work of a hostile Church in the bosom of the English Establishment, and knew it, or ought to have known it. There was no need of arguing about particular passages in my writings, when the fact was so patent, as men thought it to be.

First it was certain, and I could not myself deny it, that[Pg xviii] I scouted the name "Protestant." It was certain again, that many of the doctrines which I professed were popularly and generally known as badges of the Roman Church, as distinguished from the faith of the Reformation. Next, how could I have come by them? Evidently, I had certain friends and advisers who did not appear; there was some underground communication between Stonyhurst or Oscott and my rooms at Oriel. Beyond a doubt, I was advocating certain doctrines, not by accident, but on an understanding with ecclesiastics of the old religion. Then men went further, and said that I had actually been received into that religion, and withal had leave given me to profess myself a Protestant still. Others went even further, and gave it out to the world, as a matter of fact, of which they themselves had the proof in their hands, that I was actually a Jesuit. And when the opinions which I advocated spread, and younger men went further than I, the feeling against me waxed stronger and took a wider range.

And now indignation arose at the knavery of a conspiracy such as this:—and it became of course all the greater in consequence of its being the received belief of the public at large, that craft and intrigue, such as they fancied they beheld with their eyes, were the very instruments to which the Catholic Church has in these last centuries been indebted for her maintenance and extension.

There was another circumstance still, which increased the irritation and aversion felt by the large classes, of whom I have been speaking, against the preachers of doctrines, so new to them and so unpalatable; and that was, that they developed them in so measured a way. If they were inspired by Roman theologians, (and this was taken for granted,) why did they not speak out at once? Why did they keep the world in such suspense and anxiety as to what was coming next, and what was to be the upshot of[Pg xix] the whole? Why this reticence, and half-speaking, and apparent indecision? It was plain that the plan of operations had been carefully mapped out from the first, and that these men were cautiously advancing towards its accomplishment, as far as was safe at the moment; that their aim and their hope was to carry off a large body with them of the young and the ignorant; that they meant gradually to leaven the minds of the rising generation, and to open the gates of that city, of which they were the sworn defenders, to the enemy who lay in ambush outside of it. And when in spite of the many protestations of the party to the contrary, there was at length an actual movement among their disciples, and one went over to Rome, and then another, the worst anticipations and the worst judgments which had been formed of them received their justification. And, lastly, when men first had said of me, "You will see, he will go, he is only biding his time, he is waiting the word of command from Rome," and, when after all, after my arguments and denunciations of former years, at length I did leave the Anglican Church for the Roman, then they said to each other, "It is just as we said: we knew it would be so."

This was the state of mind of masses of men twenty years ago, who took no more than an external and common sense view of what was going on. And partly the tradition, partly the effect of that feeling, remains to the present time. Certainly I consider that, in my own case, it is the great obstacle in the way of my being favourably heard, as at present, when I have to make my defence. Not only am I now a member of a most un-English communion, whose great aim is considered to be the extinction of Protestantism and the Protestant Church, and whose means of attack are popularly supposed to be unscrupulous cunning and deceit, but how came I originally to have any relations with the Church of Rome at all? did I, or my opinions,[Pg xx] drop from the sky? how came I, in Oxford, in gremio Universitatis, to present myself to the eyes of men in that full blown investiture of Popery? How could I dare, how could I have the conscience, with warnings, with prophecies, with accusations against me, to persevere in a path which steadily advanced towards, which ended in, the religion of Rome? And how am I now to be trusted, when long ago I was trusted, and was found wanting?

It is this which is the strength of the case of my Accuser against me;—not the articles of impeachment which he has framed from my writings, and which I shall easily crumble into dust, but the bias of the court. It is the state of the atmosphere; it is the vibration all around, which will echo his bold assertion of my dishonesty; it is that prepossession against me, which takes it for granted that, when my reasoning is convincing it is only ingenious, and that when my statements are unanswerable, there is always something put out of sight or hidden in my sleeve; it is that plausible, but cruel conclusion to which men are apt to jump, that when much is imputed, much must be true, and that it is more likely that one should be to blame, than that many should be mistaken in blaming him;—these are the real foes which I have to fight, and the auxiliaries to whom my Accuser makes his advances.

Well, I must break through this barrier of prejudice against me if I can; and I think I shall be able to do so. When first I read the Pamphlet of Accusation, I almost despaired of meeting effectively such a heap of misrepresentations and such a vehemence of animosity. What was the good of answering first one point, and then another, and going through the whole circle of its abuse; when my answer to the first point would be forgotten, as soon as I got to the second? What was the use of bringing out half a hundred separate principles or views for the refutation of[Pg xxi] the separate counts in the Indictment, when rejoinders of this sort would but confuse and torment the reader by their number and their diversity? What hope was there of condensing into a pamphlet of a readable length, matter which ought freely to expand itself into half a dozen volumes? What means was there, except the expenditure of interminable pages, to set right even one of that series of "single passing hints," to use my Assailant's own language, which, "as with his finger tip he had delivered" against me?

All those separate charges had their force in being illustrations of one and the same great imputation. He had already a positive idea to illuminate his whole matter, and to stamp it with a force, and to quicken it with an interpretation. He called me a liar,—a simple, a broad, an intelligible, to the English public a plausible arraignment; but for me, to answer in detail charge one by reason one, and charge two by reason two, and charge three by reason three, and so on through the whole string both of accusations and replies, each of which was to be independent of the rest, this would be certainly labour lost as regards any effective result. What I needed was a corresponding antagonist unity in my defence, and where was that to be found? We see, in the case of commentators on the prophecies of Scripture, an exemplification of the principle on which I am insisting; viz. how much more powerful even a false interpretation of the sacred text is than none at all;—how a certain key to the visions of the Apocalypse, for instance, may cling to the mind (I have found it so in the case of my own), because the view, which it opens on us, is positive and objective, in spite of the fullest demonstration that it really has no claim upon our reception. The reader says, "What else can the prophecy mean?" just as my Accuser asks, "What, then, does Dr. Newman mean?" ... I reflected, and I saw a way out of my perplexity.[Pg xxii]

Yes, I said to myself, his very question is about my meaning; "What does Dr. Newman mean?" It pointed in the very same direction as that into which my musings had turned me already. He asks what I mean; not about my words, not about my arguments, not about my actions, as his ultimate point, but about that living intelligence, by which I write, and argue, and act. He asks about my Mind and its Beliefs and its sentiments; and he shall be answered;—not for his own sake, but for mine, for the sake of the Religion which I profess, and of the Priesthood in which I am unworthily included, and of my friends and of my foes, and of that general public which consists of neither one nor the other, but of well-wishers, lovers of fair play, sceptical cross-questioners, interested inquirers, curious lookers-on, and simple strangers, unconcerned yet not careless about the issue,—for the sake of all these he shall be answered.

My perplexity had not lasted half an hour. I recognized what I had to do, though I shrank from both the task and the exposure which it would entail. I must, I said, give the true key to my whole life; I must show what I am, that it may be seen what I am not, and that the phantom may be extinguished which gibbers instead of me. I wish to be known as a living man, and not as a scarecrow which is dressed up in my clothes. False ideas may be refuted indeed by argument, but by true ideas alone are they expelled. I will vanquish, not my Accuser, but my judges. I will indeed answer his charges and criticisms on me one by one[1], lest any one should say that they are unanswerable, but such a work shall not be the scope nor the substance of my reply. I will draw out, as far as may be, the history of my mind; I will state the point at which[Pg xxiii] I began, in what external suggestion or accident each opinion had its rise, how far and how they developed from within, how they grew, were modified, were combined, were in collision with each other, and were changed; again how I conducted myself towards them, and how, and how far, and for how long a time, I thought I could hold them consistently with the ecclesiastical engagements which I had made and with the position which I held. I must show,—what is the very truth,—that the doctrines which I held, and have held for so many years, have been taught me (speaking humanly) partly by the suggestions of Protestant friends, partly by the teaching of books, and partly by the action of my own mind: and thus I shall account for that phenomenon which to so many seems so wonderful, that I should have left "my kindred and my father's house" for a Church from which once I turned away with dread;—so wonderful to them! as if forsooth a Religion which has flourished through so many ages, among so many nations, amid such varieties of social life, in such contrary classes and conditions of men, and after so many revolutions, political and civil, could not subdue the reason and overcome the heart, without the aid of fraud in the process and the sophistries of the schools.

[1] This was done in the Appendix, of which the more important parts are preserved in the Notes.


What I had proposed to myself in the course of half-an-hour, I determined on at the end of ten days. However, I have many difficulties in fulfilling my design. How am I to say all that has to be said in a reasonable compass? And then as to the materials of my narrative; I have no autobiographical notes to consult, no written explanations of particular treatises or of tracts which at the time gave offence, hardly any minutes of definite transactions or conversations, and few contemporary memoranda, I fear, of the feelings or motives under which, from time to time I[Pg xxiv] acted. I have an abundance of letters from friends with some copies or drafts of my answers to them, but they are for the most part unsorted; and, till this process has taken place, they are even too numerous and various to be available at a moment for my purpose. Then, as to the volumes which I have published, they would in many ways serve me, were I well up in them: but though I took great pains in their composition, I have thought little about them, when they were once out of my hands, and for the most part the last time I read them has been when I revised their last proof sheets.

Under these circumstances my sketch will of course be incomplete. I now for the first time contemplate my course as a whole; it is a first essay, but it will contain, I trust, no serious or substantial mistake, and so far will answer the purpose for which I write it. I purpose to set nothing down in it as certain, of which I have not a clear memory, or some written memorial, or the corroboration of some friend. There are witnesses enough up and down the country to verify, or correct, or complete it; and letters moreover of my own in abundance, unless they have been destroyed.

Moreover, I mean to be simply personal and historical: I am not expounding Catholic doctrine, I am doing no more than explaining myself, and my opinions and actions. I wish, as far as I am able, simply to state facts, whether they are ultimately determined to be for me or against me. Of course there will be room enough for contrariety of judgment among my readers, as to the necessity, or appositeness, or value, or good taste, or religious prudence, of the details which I shall introduce. I may be accused of laying stress on little things, of being beside the mark, of going into impertinent or ridiculous details, of sounding my own praise, of giving scandal; but this is a case above all others, in which I am bound to follow my own lights[Pg xxv] and to speak out my own heart. It is not at all pleasant for me to be egotistical; nor to be criticized for being so. It is not pleasant to reveal to high and low, young and old, what has gone on within me from my early years. It is not pleasant to be giving to every shallow or flippant disputant the advantage over me of knowing my most private thoughts, I might even say the intercourse between myself and my Maker. But I do not like to be called to my face a liar and a knave; nor should I be doing my duty to my faith or to my name, if I were to suffer it. I know I have done nothing to deserve such an insult, and if I prove this, as I hope to do, I must not care for such incidental annoyances as are involved in the process.[Pg xxvi]

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

History of my Religious Opinions up to 1833

CHAPTER II.

History of my Religious Opinions from 1833 to 1839

CHAPTER III.

History of my Religious Opinions from 1839 to 1841

CHAPTER IV.

History of my Religious Opinions from 1841 to 1845

CHAPTER V.

Position of my Mind since 1845

NOTES.

Note A. On page 14. Liberalism[Pg xxviii]

B. On page  23. Ecclesiastical Miracles

C. On page 153. Sermon on Wisdom and Innocence

D. On page 213. Series of Saints' Lives of 1843-4

E. On page 227. Anglican Church

F. On page 269. The Economy

G. On page 279. Lying and Equivocation

SUPPLEMENTAL MATTER.

1. Chronological List of Letters and Papers quoted in this Narrative

2. List of the Author's Works

3. Letter to him from his Diocesan

4. Addresses from bodies of Clergy and Laity

ADDITIONAL NOTES.

Note 1, on page 12. Correspondence with Archbishop Whately in 1834

2, on page 90. Extract of a Letter from the Rev. E. Smedley in 1828

3, on page 185. Extract of a Letter of the Rev. Francis Faber about 1849

4, on pages 194-196. The late Very Rev. Dr. Russell

5, on page 232. Extract of a Letter from the Rev. John Keble in 1844

6, on page 237. Extract from the Times concerning the Author's visit to Oxford in 1878

7, on page 302. The oil of St. Walburga

8, on page 323. Boniface of Canterbury
[Pg 1]

MY RELIGIOUS OPINIONS.

CHAPTER I.

HISTORY OF MY RELIGIOUS OPINIONS TO THE YEAR 1833.

It may easily be conceived how great a trial it is to me to write the following history of myself; but I must not shrink from the task. The words, "Secretum meum mihi," keep ringing in my ears; but as men draw towards their end, they care less for disclosures. Nor is it the least part of my trial, to anticipate that, upon first reading what I have written, my friends may consider much in it irrelevant to my purpose; yet I cannot help thinking that, viewed as a whole, it will effect what I propose to myself in giving it to the public.


I was brought up from a child to take great delight in reading the Bible; but I had no formed religious convictions till I was fifteen. Of course I had a perfect knowledge of my Catechism.

After I was grown up, I put on paper my recollections of the thoughts and feelings on religious subjects, which I had at the time that I was a child and a boy,—such as had remained on my mind with sufficient prominence to make me then consider them worth recording. Out of these, written in the Long Vacation of 1820, and transcribed with[Pg 2] additions in 1823, I select two, which are at once the most definite among them, and also have a bearing on my later convictions.

1. "I used to wish the Arabian Tales were true: my imagination ran on unknown influences, on magical powers, and talismans.... I thought life might be a dream, or I an Angel, and all this world a deception, my fellow-angels by a playful device concealing themselves from me, and deceiving me with the semblance of a material world."

Again: "Reading in the Spring of 1816 a sentence from [Dr. Watts's] 'Remnants of Time,' entitled 'the Saints unknown to the world,' to the effect, that 'there is nothing in their figure or countenance to distinguish them,' &c., &c., I supposed he spoke of Angels who lived in the world, as it were disguised."

2. The other remark is this: "I was very superstitious, and for some time previous to my conversion" [when I was fifteen] "used constantly to cross myself on going into the dark."

Of course I must have got this practice from some external source or other; but I can make no sort of conjecture whence; and certainly no one had ever spoken to me on the subject of the Catholic religion, which I only knew by name. The French master was an émigré Priest, but he was simply made a butt, as French masters too commonly were in that day, and spoke English very imperfectly. There was a Catholic family in the village, old maiden ladies we used to think; but I knew nothing about them. I have of late years heard that there were one or two Catholic boys in the school; but either we were carefully kept from knowing this, or the knowledge of it made simply no impression on our minds. My brother will bear witness how free the school was from Catholic ideas.

I had once been into Warwick Street Chapel, with my[Pg 3] father, who, I believe, wanted to hear some piece of music; all that I bore away from it was the recollection of a pulpit and a preacher, and a boy swinging a censer.

When I was at Littlemore, I was looking over old copy-books of my school days, and I found among them my first Latin verse-book; and in the first page of it there was a device which almost took my breath away with surprise. I have the book before me now, and have just been showing it to others. I have written in the first page, in my school-boy hand, "John. H. Newman, February 11th, 1811, Verse Book;" then follow my first Verses. Between "Verse" and "Book" I have drawn the figure of a solid cross upright, and next to it is, what may indeed be meant for a necklace, but what I cannot make out to be any thing else than a set of beads suspended, with a little cross attached. At this time I was not quite ten years old. I suppose I got these ideas from some romance, Mrs. Radcliffe's or Miss Porter's; or from some religious picture; but the strange thing is, how, among the thousand objects which meet a boy's eyes, these in particular should so have fixed themselves in my mind, that I made them thus practically my own. I am certain there was nothing in the churches I attended, or the prayer books I read, to suggest them. It must be recollected that Anglican churches and prayer books were not decorated in those days as I believe they are now.

When I was fourteen, I read Paine's Tracts against the Old Testament, and found pleasure in thinking of the objections which were contained in them. Also, I read some of Hume's Essays; and perhaps that on Miracles. So at least I gave my Father to understand; but perhaps it was a brag. Also, I recollect copying out some French verses, perhaps Voltaire's, in denial of the immortality of the soul, and saying to myself something like "How dreadful, but how plausible!"[Pg 4]

When I was fifteen, (in the autumn of 1816,) a great change of thought took place in me. I fell under the influences of a definite Creed, and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, through God's mercy, have never been effaced or obscured. Above and beyond the conversations and sermons of the excellent man, long dead, the Rev. Walter Mayers, of Pembroke College, Oxford, who was the human means of this beginning of divine faith in me, was the effect of the books which he put into my hands, all of the school of Calvin. One of the first books I read was a work of Romaine's; I neither recollect the title nor the contents, except one doctrine, which of course I do not include among those which I believe to have come from a divine source, viz. the doctrine of final perseverance. I received it at once, and believed that the inward conversion of which I was conscious, (and of which I still am more certain than that I have hands and feet,) would last into the next life, and that I was elected to eternal glory. I have no consciousness that this belief had any tendency whatever to lead me to be careless about pleasing God. I retained it till the age of twenty-one, when it gradually faded away; but I believe that it had some influence on my opinions, in the direction of those childish imaginations which I have already mentioned, viz. in isolating me from the objects which surrounded me, in confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of material phenomena, and making me rest in the thought of two and two only absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator;—for while I considered myself predestined to salvation, my mind did not dwell upon others, as fancying them simply passed over, not predestined to eternal death. I only thought of the mercy to myself.

The detestable doctrine last mentioned is simply denied and abjured, unless my memory strangely deceives me, by[Pg 5] the writer who made a deeper impression on my mind than any other, and to whom (humanly speaking) I almost owe my soul,—Thomas Scott of Aston Sandford. I so admired and delighted in his writings, that, when I was an under-graduate, I thought of making a visit to his Parsonage, in order to see a man whom I so deeply revered. I hardly think I could have given up the idea of this expedition, even after I had taken my degree; for the news of his death in 1821 came upon me as a disappointment as well as a sorrow. I hung upon the lips of Daniel Wilson, afterwards Bishop of Calcutta, as in two sermons at St. John's Chapel he gave the history of Scott's life and death. I had been possessed of his "Force of Truth" and Essays from a boy; his Commentary I bought when I was an under-graduate.

What, I suppose, will strike any reader of Scott's history and writings, is his bold unworldliness and vigorous independence of mind. He followed truth wherever it led him, beginning with Unitarianism, and ending in a zealous faith in the Holy Trinity. It was he who first planted deep in my mind that fundamental truth of religion. With the assistance of Scott's Essays, and the admirable work of Jones of Nayland, I made a collection of Scripture texts in proof of the doctrine, with remarks (I think) of my own upon them, before I was sixteen; and a few months later I drew up a series of texts in support of each verse of the Athanasian Creed. These papers I have still.

Besides his unworldliness, what I also admired in Scott was his resolute opposition to Antinomianism, and the minutely practical character of his writings. They show him to be a true Englishman, and I deeply felt his influence; and for years I used almost as proverbs what I considered to be the scope and issue of his doctrine, "Holiness rather than peace," and "Growth the only evidence of life."[Pg 6]

Calvinists make a sharp separation between the elect and the world; there is much in this that is cognate or parallel to the Catholic doctrine; but they go on to say, as I understand them, very differently from Catholicism,—that the converted and the unconverted can be discriminated by man, that the justified are conscious of their state of justification, and that the regenerate cannot fall away. Catholics on the other hand shade and soften the awful antagonism between good and evil, which is one of their dogmas, by holding that there are different degrees of justification, that there is a great difference in point of gravity between sin and sin, that there is the possibility and the danger of falling away, and that there is no certain knowledge given to any one that he is simply in a state of grace, and much less that he is to persevere to the end:—of the Calvinistic tenets the only one which took root in my mind was the fact of heaven and hell, divine favour and divine wrath, of the justified and the unjustified. The notion that the regenerate and the justified were one and the same, and that the regenerate, as such, had the gift of perseverance, remained with me not many years, as I have said already.

This main Catholic doctrine of the warfare between the city of God and the powers of darkness was also deeply impressed upon my mind by a work of a character very opposite to Calvinism, Law's "Serious Call."

From this time I have held with a full inward assent and belief the doctrine of eternal punishment, as delivered by our Lord Himself, in as true a sense as I hold that of eternal happiness; though I have tried in various ways to make that truth less terrible to the imagination.

Now I come to two other works, which produced a deep impression on me in the same Autumn of 1816, when I was fifteen years old, each contrary to each, and planting in me the seeds of an intellectual inconsistency which[Pg 7] disabled me for a long course of years. I read Joseph Milner's Church History, and was nothing short of enamoured of the long extracts from St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, and the other Fathers which I found there. I read them as being the religion of the primitive Christians: but simultaneously with Milner I read Newton on the Prophecies, and in consequence became most firmly convinced that the Pope was the Antichrist predicted by Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John. My imagination was stained by the effects of this doctrine up to the year 1843; it had been obliterated from my reason and judgment at an earlier date; but the thought remained upon me as a sort of false conscience. Hence came that conflict of mind, which so many have felt besides myself;—leading some men to make a compromise between two ideas, so inconsistent with each other,—driving others to beat out the one idea or the other from their minds,—and ending in my own case, after many years of intellectual unrest, in the gradual decay and extinction of one of them,—I do not say in its violent death, for why should I not have murdered it sooner, if I murdered it at all?

I am obliged to mention, though I do it with great reluctance, another deep imagination, which at this time, the autumn of 1816, took possession of me,—there can be no mistake about the fact; viz. that it would be the will of God that I should lead a single life. This anticipation, which has held its ground almost continuously ever since,—with the break of a month now and a month then, up to 1829, and, after that date, without any break at all,—was more or less connected in my mind with the notion, that my calling in life would require such a sacrifice as celibacy involved; as, for instance, missionary work among the heathen, to which I had a great drawing for some years. It also strengthened my feeling of separation from the visible world, of which I have spoken above.[Pg 8]

In 1822 I came under very different influences from those to which I had hitherto been subjected. At that time, Mr. Whately, as he was then, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin, for the few months he remained in Oxford, which he was leaving for good, showed great kindness to me. He renewed it in 1825, when he became Principal of Alban Hall, making me his Vice-Principal and Tutor. Of Dr. Whately I will speak presently: for from 1822 to 1825 I saw most of the present Provost of Oriel, Dr. Hawkins, at that time Vicar of St. Mary's; and, when I took orders in 1824 and had a curacy in Oxford, then, during the Long Vacations, I was especially thrown into his company. I can say with a full heart that I love him, and have never ceased to love him; and I thus preface what otherwise might sound rude, that in the course of the many years in which we were together afterwards, he provoked me very much from time to time, though I am perfectly certain that I have provoked him a great deal more. Moreover, in me such provocation was unbecoming, both because he was the Head of my College, and because, in the first years that I knew him, he had been in many ways of great service to my mind.

He was the first who taught me to weigh my words, and to be cautious in my statements. He led me to that mode of limiting and clearing my sense in discussion and in controversy, and of distinguishing between cognate ideas, and of obviating mistakes by anticipation, which to my surprise has been since considered, even in quarters friendly to me, to savour of the polemics of Rome. He is a man of most exact mind himself, and he used to snub me severely, on reading, as he was kind enough to do, the first Sermons that I wrote, and other compositions which I was engaged upon.

Then as to doctrine, he was the means of great additions to my belief. As I have noticed elsewhere, he gave me[Pg 9] the "Treatise on Apostolical Preaching," by Sumner, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, from which I was led to give up my remaining Calvinism, and to receive the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. In many other ways too he was of use to me, on subjects semi-religious and semi-scholastic.

It was Dr. Hawkins too who taught me to anticipate that, before many years were over, there would be an attack made upon the books and the canon of Scripture, I was brought to the same belief by the conversation of Mr. Blanco White, who also led me to have freer views on the subject of inspiration than were usual in the Church of England at the time.

There is one other principle, which I gained from Dr. Hawkins, more directly bearing upon Catholicism, than any that I have mentioned; and that is the doctrine of Tradition. When I was an Under-graduate, I heard him preach in the University Pulpit his celebrated sermon on the subject, and recollect how long it appeared to me, though he was at that time a very striking preacher; but, when I read it and studied it as his gift, it made a most serious impression upon me. He does not go one step, I think, beyond the high Anglican doctrine, nay he does not reach it; but he does his work thoroughly, and his view was in him original, and his subject was a novel one at the time. He lays down a proposition, self-evident as soon as stated, to those who have at all examined the structure of Scripture, viz. that the sacred text was never intended to teach doctrine, but only to prove it, and that, if we would learn doctrine, we must have recourse to the formularies of the Church; for instance to the Catechism, and to the Creeds. He considers, that, after learning from them the doctrines of Christianity, the inquirer must verify them by Scripture. This view, most true in its outline, most fruitful in its consequences, opened upon me a large field of[Pg 10] thought. Dr. Whately held it too. One of its effects was to strike at the root of the principle on which the Bible Society was set up. I belonged to its Oxford Association; it became a matter of time when I should withdraw my name from its subscription-list, though I did not do so at once.

It is with pleasure that I pay here a tribute to the memory of the Rev. William James, then Fellow of Oriel; who, about the year 1823, taught me the doctrine of Apostolical Succession, in the course of a walk, I think, round Christ Church meadow; I recollect being somewhat impatient of the subject at the time.

It was at about this date, I suppose, that I read Bishop Butler's Analogy; the study of which has been to so many, as it was to me, an era in their religious opinions. Its inculcation of a visible Church, the oracle of truth and a pattern of sanctity, of the duties of external religion, and of the historical character of Revelation, are characteristics of this great work which strike the reader at once; for myself, if I may attempt to determine what I most gained from it, it lay in two points, which I shall have an opportunity of dwelling on in the sequel; they are the underlying principles of a great portion of my teaching. First, the very idea of an analogy between the separate works of God leads to the conclusion that the system which is of less importance is economically or sacramentally connected with the more momentous system[2], and of this conclusion the theory, to which I was inclined as a boy, viz. the unreality of material phenomena, is an ultimate resolution. At this time I did not make the distinction between matter itself and its phenomena, which is so necessary and so obvious in discussing the subject. Secondly, Butler's doctrine that Probability is the guide of life, led me, at[Pg 11] least under the teaching to which a few years later I was introduced, to the question of the logical cogency of Faith, on which I have written so much. Thus to Butler I trace those two principles of my teaching, which have led to a charge against me both of fancifulness and of scepticism.

[2] It is significant that Butler begins his work with a quotation from Origen.

And now as to Dr. Whately. I owe him a great deal. He was a man of generous and warm heart. He was particularly loyal to his friends, and to use the common phrase, "all his geese were swans." While I was still awkward and timid in 1822, he took me by the hand, and acted towards me the part of a gentle and encouraging instructor. He, emphatically, opened my mind, and taught me to think and to use my reason. After being first noticed by him in 1822, I became very intimate with him in 1825, when I was his Vice-Principal at Alban Hall. I gave up that office in 1826, when I became Tutor of my College, and his hold upon me gradually relaxed. He had done his work towards me or nearly so, when he had taught me to see with my own eyes and to walk with my own feet. Not that I had not a good deal to learn from others still, but I influenced them as well as they me, and co-operated rather than merely concurred with them. As to Dr. Whately, his mind was too different from mine for us to remain long on one line. I recollect how dissatisfied he was with an Article of mine in the London Review, which Blanco White, good-humouredly, only called Platonic. When I was diverging from him in opinion (which he did not like), I thought of dedicating my first book to him, in words to the effect that he had not only taught me to think, but to think for myself. He left Oxford in 1831; after that, as far as I can recollect, I never saw him but twice,—when he visited the University; once in the street in 1834, once in a room in 1838. From the time that he left, I have always felt a real affection for what I must call his memory; for, at least from[Pg 12] the year 1834, he made himself dead to me. He had practically indeed given me up from the time that he became Archbishop in 1831; but in 1834 a correspondence took place between us, which, though conducted especially on his side in a friendly spirit, was the expression of differences of opinion which acted as a final close to our intercourse. My reason told me that it was impossible we could have got on together longer, had he stayed in Oxford; yet I loved him too much to bid him farewell without pain. After a few years had passed, I began to believe that his influence on me in a higher respect than intellectual advance, (I will not say through his fault,) had not been satisfactory. I believe that he has inserted sharp things in his later works about me. They have never come in my way, and I have not thought it necessary to seek out what would pain me so much in the reading.

What he did for me in point of religious opinion, was, first, to teach me the existence of the Church, as a substantive body or corporation; next to fix in me those anti-Erastian views of Church polity, which were one of the most prominent features of the Tractarian movement. On this point, and, as far as I know, on this point alone, he and Hurrell Froude intimately sympathized, though Froude's development of opinion here was of a later date. In the year 1826, in the course of a walk, he said much to me about a work then just published, called "Letters on the Church by an Episcopalian." He said that it would make my blood boil. It was certainly a most powerful composition. One of our common friends told me, that, after reading it, he could not keep still, but went on walking up and down his room. It was ascribed at once to Whately; I gave eager expression to the contrary opinion; but I found the belief of Oxford in the affirmative to be too strong for me; rightly or wrongly I yielded to the general voice; and I have never heard, then or since,[Pg 13] of any disclaimer of authorship on the part of Dr. Whately.

The main positions of this able essay are these; first that Church and State should be independent of each other:—he speaks of the duty of protesting "against the profanation of Christ's kingdom, by that double usurpation, the interference of the Church in temporals, of the State in spirituals," p. 191; and, secondly, that the Church may justly and by right retain its property, though separated from the State. "The clergy," he says p. 133, "though they ought not to be the hired servants of the Civil Magistrate, may justly retain their revenues; and the State, though it has no right of interference in spiritual concerns, not only is justly entitled to support from the ministers of religion, and from all other Christians, but would, under the system I am recommending, obtain it much more effectually." The author of this work, whoever he may be, argues out both these points with great force and ingenuity, and with a thorough-going vehemence, which perhaps we may refer to the circumstance, that he wrote, not in propriâ personâ, and as thereby answerable for every sentiment that he advanced, but in the professed character of a Scotch Episcopalian. His work had a gradual, but a deep effect on my mind.

I am not aware of any other religious opinion which I owe to Dr. Whately. In his special theological tenets I had no sympathy. In the next year, 1827, he told me he considered that I was Arianizing. The case was this: though at that time I had not read Bishop Bull's Defensio nor the Fathers, I was just then very strong for that ante-Nicene view of the Trinitarian doctrine, which some writers, both Catholic and non-Catholic, have accused of wearing a sort of Arian exterior. This is the meaning of a passage in Froude's Remains, in which he seems to accuse me of speaking against the Athanasian Creed. I had[Pg 14] contrasted the two aspects of the Trinitarian doctrine, which are respectively presented by the Athanasian Creed and the Nicene. My criticisms were to the effect that some of the verses of the former Creed were unnecessarily scientific. This is a specimen of a certain disdain for Antiquity which had been growing on me now for several years. It showed itself in some flippant language against the Fathers in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, about whom I knew little at the time, except what I had learnt as a boy from Joseph Milner. In writing on the Scripture Miracles in 1825-6, I had read Middleton on the Miracles of the early Church, and had imbibed a portion of his spirit.

The truth is, I was beginning to prefer intellectual excellence to moral; I was drifting in the direction of the Liberalism of the day[3]. I was rudely awakened from my dream at the end of 1827 by two great blows—illness and bereavement.

[3] Vide Note A, Liberalism, at the end of the volume.

In the beginning of 1829, came the formal break between Dr. Whately and me; the affair of Mr. Peel's re-election was the occasion of it. I think in 1828 or 1827 I had voted in the minority, when the Petition to Parliament against the Catholic Claims was brought into Convocation. I did so mainly on the views suggested to me in the Letters of an Episcopalian. Also I shrank from the bigoted "two-bottle-orthodox," as they were invidiously called. When then I took part against Mr. Peel, it was on an academical, not at all an ecclesiastical or a political ground; and this I professed at the time. I considered that Mr. Peel had taken the University by surprise; that his friends had no right to call upon us to turn round on a sudden, and to expose ourselves to the imputation of time-serving; and that a great University ought not to be bullied[Pg 15] even by a great Duke of Wellington. Also by this time I was under the influence of Keble and Froude; who, in addition to the reasons I have given, disliked the Duke's change of policy as dictated by liberalism.

Whately was considerably annoyed at me, and he took a humourous revenge, of which he had given me due notice beforehand. As head of a house he had duties of hospitality to men of all parties; he asked a set of the least intellectual men in Oxford to dinner, and men most fond of port; he made me one of this party; placed me between Provost This and Principal That, and then asked me if I was proud of my friends. However, he had a serious meaning in his act; he saw, more clearly than I could do, that I was separating from his own friends for good and all.

Dr. Whately attributed my leaving his clientela to a wish on my part to be the head of a party myself. I do not think that this charge was deserved. My habitual feeling then and since has been, that it was not I who sought friends, but friends who sought me. Never man had kinder or more indulgent friends than I have had; but I expressed my own feeling as to the mode in which I gained them, in this very year 1829, in the course of a copy of verses. Speaking of my blessings, I said, "Blessings of friends, which to my door unasked, unhoped, have come." They have come, they have gone; they came to my great joy, they went to my great grief. He who gave took away. Dr. Whately's impression about me, however, admits of this explanation:—

During the first years of my residence at Oriel, though proud of my College, I was not quite at home there. I was very much alone, and I used often to take my daily walk by myself. I recollect once meeting Dr. Copleston, then Provost, with one of the Fellows. He turned round, and with the kind courteousness which sat so well on him,[Pg 16] made me a bow and said, "Nunquam minus solus, quàm cùm solus." At that time indeed (from 1823) I had the intimacy of my dear and true friend Dr. Pusey, and could not fail to admire and revere a soul so devoted to the cause of religion, so full of good works, so faithful in his affections; but he left residence when I was getting to know him well. As to Dr. Whately himself, he was too much my superior to allow of my being at my ease with him; and to no one in Oxford at this time did I open my heart fully and familiarly. But things changed in 1826. At that time I became one of the Tutors of my College, and this gave me position; besides, I had written one or two Essays which had been well received. I began to be known. I preached my first University Sermon. Next year I was one of the Public Examiners for the B.A. degree. In 1828 I became Vicar of St. Mary's. It was to me like the feeling of spring weather after winter; and, if I may so speak, I came out of my shell; I remained out of it till 1841.

The two persons who knew me best at that time are still alive, beneficed clergymen, no longer my friends. They could tell better than any one else what I was in those years. From this time my tongue was, as it were, loosened, and I spoke spontaneously and without effort. One of the two, Mr. Rickards, said of me, I have been told, "Here is a fellow who, when he is silent, will never begin to speak; and when he once begins to speak, will never stop." It was at this time that I began to have influence, which steadily increased for a course of years. I gained upon my pupils, and was in particular intimate and affectionate with two of our probationer Fellows, Robert Isaac Wilberforce (afterwards Archdeacon) and Richard Hurrell Froude. Whately then, an acute man, perhaps saw around me the signs of an incipient party, of which I was not conscious myself. And thus we discern the first elements of that movement afterwards called Tractarian.[Pg 17]

The true and primary author of it, however, as is usual with great motive-powers, was out of sight. Having carried off as a mere boy the highest honours of the University, he had turned from the admiration which haunted his steps, and sought for a better and holier satisfaction in pastoral work in the country. Need I say that I am speaking of John Keble? The first time that I was in a room with him was on occasion of my election to a fellowship at Oriel, when I was sent for into the Tower, to shake hands with the Provost and Fellows. How is that hour fixed in my memory after the changes of forty-two years, forty-two this very day on which I write! I have lately had a letter in my hands, which I sent at the time to my great friend, John William Bowden, with whom I passed almost exclusively my Under-graduate years. "I had to hasten to the Tower," I say to him, "to receive the congratulations of all the Fellows. I bore it till Keble took my hand, and then felt so abashed and unworthy of the honour done me, that I seemed desirous of quite sinking into the ground." His had been the first name which I had heard spoken of, with reverence rather than admiration, when I came up to Oxford. When one day I was walking in High Street with my dear earliest friend just mentioned, with what eagerness did he cry out, "There's Keble!" and with what awe did I look at him! Then at another time I heard a Master of Arts of my College give an account how he had just then had occasion to introduce himself on some business to Keble, and how gentle, courteous, and unaffected Keble had been, so as almost to put him out of countenance. Then too it was reported, truly or falsely, how a rising man of brilliant reputation, the present Dean of St. Paul's, Dr. Milman, admired and loved him, adding, that somehow he was strangely unlike any one else. However, at the time when I was elected Fellow of Oriel he was not in residence,[Pg 18] and he was shy of me for years in consequence of the marks which I bore upon me of the evangelical and liberal schools. At least so I have ever thought. Hurrell Froude brought us together about 1828: it is one of the sayings preserved in his "Remains,"—"Do you know the story of the murderer who had done one good thing in his life? Well; if I was ever asked what good deed I had ever done, I should say that I had brought Keble and Newman to understand each other."

The Christian Year made its appearance in 1827. It is not necessary, and scarcely becoming, to praise a book which has already become one of the classics of the language. When the general tone of religious literature was so nerveless and impotent, as it was at that time, Keble struck an original note and woke up in the hearts of thousands a new music, the music of a school, long unknown in England. Nor can I pretend to analyze, in my own instance, the effect of religious teaching so deep, so pure, so beautiful. I have never till now tried to do so; yet I think I am not wrong in saying, that the two main intellectual truths which it brought home to me, were the same two, which I had learned from Butler, though recast in the creative mind of my new master. The first of those was what may be called, in a large sense of the word, the Sacramental system; that is, the doctrine that material phenomena are both the types and the instruments of real things unseen,—a doctrine, which embraces in its fulness, not only what Anglicans, as well as Catholics, believe about Sacraments properly so called; but also the article of "the Communion of Saints;" and likewise the Mysteries of the faith. The connexion of this philosophy of religion with what is sometimes called "Berkeleyism" has been mentioned above; I knew little of Berkeley at this time except by name; nor have I ever studied him.

On the second intellectual principle which I gained from[Pg 19] Mr. Keble, I could say a great deal; if this were the place for it. It runs through very much that I have written, and has gained for me many hard names. Butler teaches us that probability is the guide of life. The danger of this doctrine, in the case of many minds, is, its tendency to destroy in them absolute certainty, leading them to consider every conclusion as doubtful, and resolving truth into an opinion, which it is safe indeed to obey or to profess, but not possible to embrace with full internal assent. If this were to be allowed, then the celebrated saying, "O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul!" would be the highest measure of devotion:—but who can really pray to a Being, about whose existence he is seriously in doubt?

I considered that Mr. Keble met this difficulty by ascribing the firmness of assent which we give to religious doctrine, not to the probabilities which introduced it, but to the living power of faith and love which accepted it. In matters of religion, he seemed to say, it is not merely probability which makes us intellectually certain, but probability as it is put to account by faith and love. It is faith and love which give to probability a force which it has not in itself. Faith and love are directed towards an Object; in the vision of that Object they live; it is that Object, received in faith and love, which renders it reasonable to take probability as sufficient for internal conviction. Thus the argument from Probability, in the matter of religion, became an argument from Personality, which in fact is one form of the argument from Authority.

In illustration, Mr. Keble used to quote the words of the Psalm: "I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding; whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, lest they fall upon thee." This is the very difference, he used to[Pg 20] say, between slaves, and friends or children. Friends do not ask for literal commands; but, from their knowledge of the speaker, they understand his half-words, and from love of him they anticipate his wishes. Hence it is, that in his Poem for St. Bartholomew's Day, he speaks of the "Eye of God's word;" and in the note quotes Mr. Miller, of Worcester College, who remarks in his Bampton Lectures, on the special power of Scripture, as having "this Eye, like that of a portrait, uniformly fixed upon us, turn where we will." The view thus suggested by Mr. Keble, is brought forward in one of the earliest of the "Tracts for the Times." In No. 8 I say, "The Gospel is a Law of Liberty. We are treated as sons, not as servants; not subjected to a code of formal commandments, but addressed as those who love God, and wish to please Him."

I did not at all dispute this view of the matter, for I made use of it myself; but I was dissatisfied, because it did not go to the root of the difficulty. It was beautiful and religious, but it did not even profess to be logical; and accordingly I tried to complete it by considerations of my own, which are to be found in my University Sermons, Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles, and Essay on Development of Doctrine. My argument is in outline as follows: that that absolute certitude which we were able to possess, whether as to the truths of natural theology, or as to the fact of a revelation, was the result of an assemblage of concurring and converging probabilities, and that, both according to the constitution of the human mind and the will of its Maker; that certitude was a habit of mind, that certainty was a quality of propositions; that probabilities which did not reach to logical certainty, might suffice for a mental certitude; that the certitude thus brought about might equal in measure and strength the certitude which was created by the strictest scientific demonstration; and that to possess such certitude might in given cases and to[Pg 21] given individuals be a plain duty, though not to others in other circumstances:—

Moreover, that as there were probabilities which sufficed for certitude, so there were other probabilities which were legitimately adapted to create opinion; that it might be quite as much a matter of duty in given cases and to given persons to have about a fact an opinion of a definite strength and consistency, as in the case of greater or of more numerous probabilities it was a duty to have a certitude; that accordingly we were bound to be more or less sure, on a sort of (as it were) graduated scale of assent, viz. according as the probabilities attaching to a professed fact were brought home to us, and as the case might be, to entertain about it a pious belief, or a pious opinion, or a religious conjecture, or at least, a tolerance of such belief, or opinion or conjecture in others; that on the other hand, as it was a duty to have a belief, of more or less strong texture, in given cases, so in other cases it was a duty not to believe, not to opine, not to conjecture, not even to tolerate the notion that a professed fact was true, inasmuch as it would be credulity or superstition, or some other moral fault, to do so. This was the region of Private Judgment in religion; that is, of a Private Judgment, not formed arbitrarily and according to one's fancy or liking, but conscientiously, and under a sense of duty.

Considerations such as these throw a new light on the subject of Miracles, and they seem to have led me to reconsider the view which I had taken of them in my Essay in 1825-6. I do not know what was the date of this change in me, nor of the train of ideas on which it was founded. That there had been already great miracles, as those of Scripture, as the Resurrection, was a fact establishing the principle that the laws of nature had sometimes been suspended by their Divine Author, and since what had happened once might happen again, a certain probability, at[Pg 22] least no kind of improbability, was attached to the idea taken in itself, of miraculous intervention in later times, and miraculous accounts were to be regarded in connexion with the verisimilitude, scope, instrument, character, testimony, and circumstances, with which they presented themselves to us; and, according to the final result of those various considerations, it was our duty to be sure, or to believe, or to opine, or to surmise, or to tolerate, or to reject, or to denounce. The main difference between my Essay on Miracles in 1826 and my Essay in 1842 is this: that in 1826 I considered that miracles were sharply divided into two classes, those which were to be received, and those which were to be rejected; whereas in 1842 I saw that they were to be regarded according to their greater or less probability, which was in some cases sufficient to create certitude about them, in other cases only belief or opinion.

Moreover, the argument from Analogy, on which this view of the question was founded, suggested to me something besides, in recommendation of the Ecclesiastical Miracles. It fastened itself upon the theory of Church History which I had learned as a boy from Joseph Milner. It is Milner's doctrine, that upon the visible Church come down from above, at certain intervals, large and temporary Effusions of divine grace. This is the leading idea of his work. He begins by speaking of the Day of Pentecost, as marking "the first of those Effusions of the Spirit of God, which from age to age have visited the earth since the coming of Christ." Vol. i. p. 3. In a note he adds that "in the term 'Effusion' there is not here included the idea of the miraculous or extraordinary operations of the Spirit of God;" but still it was natural for me, admitting Milner's general theory, and applying to it the principle of analogy, not to stop short at his abrupt ipse dixit, but boldly to pass forward to the conclusion, on other grounds plausible, that as miracles accompanied the first effusion of grace, so they[Pg 23] might accompany the later. It is surely a natural and on the whole, a true anticipation (though of course there are exceptions in particular cases), that gifts and graces go together; now, according to the ancient Catholic doctrine, the gift of miracles was viewed as the attendant and shadow of transcendent sanctity: and moreover, since such sanctity was not of every day's occurrence, nay further, since one period of Church history differed widely from another, and, as Joseph Milner would say, there have been generations or centuries of degeneracy or disorder, and times of revival, and since one region might be in the mid-day of religious fervour, and another in twilight or gloom, there was no force in the popular argument, that, because we did not see miracles with our own eyes, miracles had not happened in former times, or were not now at this very time taking place in distant places:—but I must not dwell longer on a subject, to which in a few words it is impossible to do justice[4].

[4] Vide note B, Ecclesiastical Miracles, at the end of the volume.


Hurrell Froude was a pupil of Keble's, formed by him, and in turn reacting upon him. I knew him first in 1826, and was in the closest and most affectionate friendship with him from about 1829 till his death in 1836. He was a man of the highest gifts,—so truly many-sided, that it would be presumptuous in me to attempt to describe him, except under those aspects in which he came before me. Nor have I here to speak of the gentleness and tenderness of nature, the playfulness, the free elastic force and graceful versatility of mind, and the patient winning considerateness in discussion, which endeared him to those to whom he opened his heart; for I am all along engaged upon matters of belief and opinion, and am introducing others into my narrative, not for their own sake, or because I love[Pg 24] and have loved them, so much as because, and so far as, they have influenced my theological views. In this respect then, I speak of Hurrell Froude,—in his intellectual aspect,—as a man of high genius, brimful and overflowing with ideas and views, in him original, which were too many and strong even for his bodily strength, and which crowded and jostled against each other in their effort after distinct shape and expression. And he had an intellect as critical and logical as it was speculative and bold. Dying prematurely, as he did, and in the conflict and transition-state of opinion, his religious views never reached their ultimate conclusion, by the very reason of their multitude and their depth. His opinions arrested and influenced me, even when they did not gain my assent. He professed openly his admiration of the Church of Rome, and his hatred of the Reformers. He delighted in the notion of an hierarchical system, of sacerdotal power, and of full ecclesiastical liberty. He felt scorn of the maxim, "The Bible and the Bible only is the religion of Protestants;" and he gloried in accepting Tradition as a main instrument of religious teaching. He had a high severe idea of the intrinsic excellence of Virginity; and he considered the Blessed Virgin its great Pattern. He delighted in thinking of the Saints; he had a vivid appreciation of the idea of sanctity, its possibility and its heights; and he was more than inclined to believe a large amount of miraculous interference as occurring in the early and middle ages. He embraced the principle of penance and mortification. He had a deep devotion to the Real Presence, in which he had a firm faith. He was powerfully drawn to the Medieval Church, but not to the Primitive.

He had a keen insight into abstract truth; but he was an Englishman to the backbone in his severe adherence to the real and the concrete. He had a most classical taste, and a genius for philosophy and art; and he was fond of[Pg 25] historical inquiry, and the politics of religion. He had no turn for theology as such. He set no sufficient value on the writings of the Fathers, on the detail or development of doctrine, on the definite traditions of the Church viewed in their matter, on the teaching of the Ecumenical Councils, or on the controversies out of which they arose. He took an eager courageous view of things on the whole. I should say that his power of entering into the minds of others did not equal his other gifts; he could not believe, for instance, that I really held the Roman Church to be Anti-christian. On many points he would not believe but that I agreed with him, when I did not. He seemed not to understand my difficulties. His were of a different kind, the contrariety between theory and fact. He was a high Tory of the Cavalier stamp, and was disgusted with the Toryism of the opponents of the Reform Bill. He was smitten with the love of the Theocratic Church; he went abroad and was shocked by the degeneracy which he thought he saw in the Catholics of Italy.

It is difficult to enumerate the precise additions to my theological creed which I derived from a friend to whom I owe so much. He taught me to look with admiration towards the Church of Rome, and in the same degree to dislike the Reformation. He fixed deep in me the idea of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and he led me gradually to believe in the Real Presence.


There is one remaining source of my opinions to be mentioned, and that far from the least important. In proportion as I moved out of the shadow of that liberalism which had hung over my course, my early devotion towards the Fathers returned; and in the Long Vacation of 1828 I set about to read them chronologically, beginning with St. Ignatius and St. Justin. About 1830 a proposal was made to me by Mr. Hugh Rose, who with Mr. Lyall[Pg 26] (afterwards Dean of Canterbury) was providing writers for a Theological Library, to furnish them with a History of the Principal Councils. I accepted it, and at once set to work on the Council of Nicæa. It was to launch myself on an ocean with currents innumerable; and I was drifted back first to the ante-Nicene history, and then to the Church of Alexandria. The work at last appeared under the title of "The Arians of the Fourth Century;" and of its 422 pages, the first 117 consisted of introductory matter, and the Council of Nicæa did not appear till the 254th, and then occupied at most twenty pages.

I do not know when I first learnt to consider that Antiquity was the true exponent of the doctrines of Christianity and the basis of the Church of England; but I take it for granted that the works of Bishop Bull, which at this time I read, were my chief introduction to this principle. The course of reading, which I pursued in the composition of my volume, was directly adapted to develope it in my mind. What principally attracted me in the ante-Nicene period was the great Church of Alexandria, the historical centre of teaching in those times. Of Rome for some centuries comparatively little is known. The battle of Arianism was first fought in Alexandria; Athanasius, the champion of the truth, was Bishop of Alexandria; and in his writings he refers to the great religious names of an earlier date, to Origen, Dionysius, and others, who were the glory of its see, or of its school. The broad philosophy of Clement and Origen carried me away; the philosophy, not the theological doctrine; and I have drawn out some features of it in my volume, with the zeal and freshness, but with the partiality, of a neophyte. Some portions of their teaching, magnificent in themselves, came like music to my inward ear, as if the response to ideas, which, with little external to encourage them, I had cherished so long. These were based on the mystical or[Pg 27] sacramental principle, and spoke of the various Economies or Dispensations of the Eternal. I understood these passages to mean that the exterior world, physical and historical, was but the manifestation to our senses of realities greater than itself. Nature was a parable: Scripture was an allegory: pagan literature, philosophy, and mythology, properly understood, were but a preparation for the Gospel. The Greek poets and sages were in a certain sense prophets; for "thoughts beyond their thought to those high bards were given." There had been a directly divine dispensation granted to the Jews; but there had been in some sense a dispensation carried on in favour of the Gentiles. He who had taken the seed of Jacob for His elect people had not therefore cast the rest of mankind out of His sight. In the fulness of time both Judaism and Paganism had come to nought; the outward framework, which concealed yet suggested the Living Truth, had never been intended to last, and it was dissolving under the beams of the Sun of Justice which shone behind it and through it. The process of change had been slow; it had been done not rashly, but by rule and measure, "at sundry times and in divers manners," first one disclosure and then another, till the whole evangelical doctrine was brought into full manifestation. And thus room was made for the anticipation of further and deeper disclosures, of truths still under the veil of the letter, and in their season to be revealed. The visible world still remains without its divine interpretation; Holy Church in her sacraments and her hierarchical appointments, will remain, even to the end of the world, after all but a symbol of those heavenly facts which fill eternity. Her mysteries are but the expressions in human language of truths to which the human mind is unequal. It is evident how much there was in all this in correspondence with the thoughts which had attracted me when I was young, and[Pg 28] with the doctrine which I have already associated with the Analogy and the Christian Year.

It was, I suppose, to the Alexandrian school and to the early Church, that I owe in particular what I definitely held about the Angels. I viewed them, not only as the ministers employed by the Creator in the Jewish and Christian dispensations, as we find on the face of Scripture, but as carrying on, as Scripture also implies, the Economy of the Visible World. I considered them as the real causes of motion, light, and life, and of those elementary principles of the physical universe, which, when offered in their developments to our senses, suggest to us the notion of cause and effect, and of what are called the laws of nature. This doctrine I have drawn out in my Sermon for Michaelmas day, written in 1831. I say of the Angels, "Every breath of air and ray of light and heat, every beautiful prospect, is, as it were, the skirts of their garments, the waving of the robes of those whose faces see God." Again, I ask what would be the thoughts of a man who, "when examining a flower, or a herb, or a pebble, or a ray of light, which he treats as something so beneath him in the scale of existence, suddenly discovered that he was in the presence of some powerful being who was hidden behind the visible things he was inspecting,—who, though concealing his wise hand, was giving them their beauty, grace, and perfection, as being God's instrument for the purpose,—nay, whose robe and ornaments those objects were, which he was so eager to analyze?" and I therefore remark that "we may say with grateful and simple hearts with the Three Holy Children, 'O all ye works of the Lord, &c., &c., bless ye the Lord, praise Him, and magnify Him for ever.'"

Also, besides the hosts of evil spirits, I considered there was a middle race, δαιμονια, neither in heaven, nor in hell; partially fallen, capricious, wayward; noble or[Pg 29] crafty, benevolent or malicious, as the case might be. These beings gave a sort of inspiration or intelligence to races, nations, and classes of men. Hence the action of bodies politic and associations, which is often so different from that of the individuals who compose them. Hence the character and the instinct of states and governments, of religious communities and communions. I thought these assemblages had their life in certain unseen Powers. My preference of the Personal to the Abstract would naturally lead me to this view. I thought it countenanced by the mention of "the Prince of Persia" in the Prophet Daniel; and I think I considered that it was of such intermediate beings that the Apocalypse spoke, in its notice of "the Angels of the Seven Churches."

In 1837 I made a further development of this doctrine. I said to an intimate and dear friend, Samuel Francis Wood, in a letter which came into my hands on his death. "I have an idea. The mass of the Fathers (Justin, Athenagoras, Irenæus, Clement, Tertullian, Origen, Lactantius, Sulpicius, Ambrose, Nazianzen,) hold that, though Satan fell from the beginning, the Angels fell before the deluge, falling in love with the daughters of men. This has lately come across me as a remarkable solution of a notion which I cannot help holding. Daniel speaks as if each nation had its guardian Angel. I cannot but think that there are beings with a great deal of good in them, yet with great defects, who are the animating principles of certain institutions, &c., &c.... Take England with many high virtues, and yet a low Catholicism. It seems to me that John Bull is a spirit neither of heaven nor hell.... Has not the Christian Church, in its parts, surrendered itself to one or other of these simulations of the truth?... How are we to avoid Scylla and Charybdis and go straight on to the very image of Christ?" &c., [Pg 30]&c.

I am aware that what I have been saying will, with many men, be doing credit to my imagination at the expense of my judgment—"Hippoclides doesn't care;" I am not setting myself up as a pattern of good sense or of any thing else: I am but giving a history of my opinions, and that, with the view of showing that I have come by them through intelligible processes of thought and honest external means. The doctrine indeed of the Economy has in some quarters been itself condemned as intrinsically pernicious,—as if leading to lying and equivocation, when applied, as I have applied it in my remarks upon it in my History of the Arians, to matters of conduct. My answer to this imputation I postpone to the concluding pages of my Volume.

While I was engaged in writing my work upon the Arians, great events were happening at home and abroad, which brought out into form and passionate expression the various beliefs which had so gradually been winning their way into my mind. Shortly before, there had been a Revolution in France; the Bourbons had been dismissed: and I held that it was unchristian for nations to cast off their governors, and, much more, sovereigns who had the divine right of inheritance. Again, the great Reform Agitation was going on around me as I wrote. The Whigs had come into power; Lord Grey had told the Bishops to set their house in order, and some of the Prelates had been insulted and threatened in the streets of London. The vital question was, how were we to keep the Church from being liberalized? there was such apathy on the subject in some quarters, such imbecile alarm in others; the true principles of Churchmanship seemed so radically decayed, and there was such distraction in the councils of the Clergy. Blomfield, the Bishop of London of the day, an active and open-hearted man, had been for years engaged in diluting the high orthodoxy of the[Pg 31] Church by the introduction of members of the Evangelical body into places of influence and trust. He had deeply offended men who agreed in opinion with myself, by an off-hand saying (as it was reported) to the effect that belief in the Apostolical succession had gone out with the Non-jurors. "We can count you," he said to some of the gravest and most venerated persons of the old school. And the Evangelical party itself, with their late successes, seemed to have lost that simplicity and unworldliness which I admired so much in Milner and Scott. It was not that I did not venerate such men as Ryder, the then Bishop of Lichfield, and others of similar sentiments, who were not yet promoted out of the ranks of the Clergy, but I thought little of the Evangelicals as a class. I thought they played into the hands of the Liberals. With the Establishment thus divided and threatened, thus ignorant of its true strength, I compared that fresh vigorous Power of which I was reading in the first centuries. In her triumphant zeal on behalf of that Primeval Mystery, to which I had had so great a devotion from my youth, I recognized the movement of my Spiritual Mother. "Incessu patuit Dea." The self-conquest of her Ascetics, the patience of her Martyrs, the irresistible determination of her Bishops, the joyous swing of her advance, both exalted and abashed me. I said to myself, "Look on this picture and on that;" I felt affection for my own Church, but not tenderness; I felt dismay at her prospects, anger and scorn at her do-nothing perplexity. I thought that if Liberalism once got a footing within her, it was sure of the victory in the event. I saw that Reformation principles were powerless to rescue her. As to leaving her, the thought never crossed my imagination; still I ever kept before me that there was something greater than the Established Church, and that that was the Church Catholic and Apostolic, set up from the beginning, of which[Pg 32] she was but the local presence and the organ. She was nothing, unless she was this. She must be dealt with strongly, or she would be lost. There was need of a second reformation.

At this time I was disengaged from College duties, and my health had suffered from the labour involved in the composition of my Volume. It was ready for the Press in July, 1832, though not published till the end of 1833. I was easily persuaded to join Hurrell Froude and his Father, who were going to the south of Europe for the health of the former.

We set out in December, 1832. It was during this expedition that my Verses which are in the Lyra Apostolica were written;—a few indeed before it, but not more than one or two of them after it. Exchanging, as I was, definite Tutorial work, and the literary quiet and pleasant friendships of the last six years, for foreign countries and an unknown future, I naturally was led to think that some inward changes, as well as some larger course of action, were coming upon me. At Whitchurch, while waiting for the down mail to Falmouth, I wrote the verses about my Guardian Angel, which begin with these words: "Are these the tracks of some unearthly Friend?" and which go on to speak of "the vision" which haunted me:—that vision is more or less brought out in the whole series of these compositions.

I went to various coasts of the Mediterranean; parted with my friends at Rome; went down for the second time to Sicily without companion, at the end of April; and got back to England by Palermo in the early part of July. The strangeness of foreign life threw me back into myself; I found pleasure in historical sites and beautiful scenes, not in men and manners. We kept clear of Catholics throughout our tour. I had a conversation with the Dean of Malta, a most pleasant man, lately dead; but it was[Pg 33] about the Fathers, and the Library of the great church. I knew the Abbate Santini, at Rome, who did no more than copy for me the Gregorian tones. Froude and I made two calls upon Monsignore (now Cardinal) Wiseman at the Collegio Inglese, shortly before we left Rome. Once we heard him preach at a church in the Corso. I do not recollect being in a room with any other ecclesiastics, except a Priest at Castro-Giovanni in Sicily, who called on me when I was ill, and with whom I wished to hold a controversy. As to Church Services, we attended the Tenebræ, at the Sestine, for the sake of the Miserere; and that was all. My general feeling was, "All, save the spirit of man, is divine." I saw nothing but what was external; of the hidden life of Catholics I knew nothing. I was still more driven back into myself, and felt my isolation. England was in my thoughts solely, and the news from England came rarely and imperfectly. The Bill for the Suppression of the Irish Sees was in progress, and filled my mind. I had fierce thoughts against the Liberals.

It was the success of the Liberal cause which fretted me inwardly. I became fierce against its instruments and its manifestations. A French vessel was at Algiers; I would not even look at the tricolour. On my return, though forced to stop twenty-four hours at Paris, I kept indoors the whole time, and all that I saw of that beautiful city was what I saw from the Diligence. The Bishop of London had already sounded me as to my filling one of the Whitehall preacherships, which he had just then put on a new footing; but I was indignant at the line which he was taking, and from my Steamer I had sent home a letter declining the appointment by anticipation, should it be offered to me. At this time I was specially annoyed with Dr. Arnold, though it did not last into later years. Some one, I think, asked, in conversation at Rome, whether a[Pg 34] certain interpretation of Scripture was Christian? it was answered that Dr. Arnold took it; I interposed, "But is he a Christian?" The subject 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 the interpretation, but who is to answer for Arnold?" It was at Rome, too, that we began the Lyra Apostolica which appeared monthly in the British Magazine. The motto shows the feeling of both Froude and myself at the time: we borrowed from M. Bunsen a Homer, and Froude chose the words in which Achilles, on returning to the battle, says, "You shall know the difference, now that I am back again."

Especially when I was left by myself, the thought came upon me that deliverance is wrought, not by the many but by the few, not by bodies but by persons. Now it was, I think, that I repeated to myself the words, which had ever been dear to me from my school days, "Exoriare aliquis!"—now too, that Southey's beautiful poem of Thalaba, for which I had an immense liking, came forcibly to my mind. I began to think that I had a mission. There are sentences of my letters to my friends to this effect, if they are not destroyed. When we took leave of Monsignore Wiseman, he had courteously expressed a wish that we might make a second visit to Rome; I said with great gravity, "We have a work to do in England." I went down at once to Sicily, and the presentiment grew stronger. I struck into the middle of the island, and fell ill of a fever at Leonforte. My servant thought that I was dying, and begged for my last directions. I gave them, as he wished; but I said, "I shall not die." I repeated, "I shall not die, for I have not sinned against[Pg 35] light, I have not sinned against light." I never have been able quite to make out what I meant.

I got to Castro-Giovanni, and was laid up there for nearly three weeks. Towards the end of May I left for Palermo, taking three days for the journey. Before starting from my inn in the morning of May 26th or 27th, I sat down on my bed, and began to sob violently. My servant, who had acted as my nurse, asked what ailed me. I could only answer him, "I have a work to do in England."

I was aching to get home; yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks. I began to visit the Churches, and they calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services. I knew nothing of the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament there. At last I got off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles. Then it was that I wrote the lines, "Lead, kindly light," which have since become well known. We were becalmed a whole week in the Straits of Bonifacio. I was writing verses the whole time of my passage. At length I got to Marseilles, and set off for England. The fatigue of travelling was too much for me, and I was laid up for several days at Lyons. At last I got off again, and did not stop night or day, (except a compulsory delay at Paris,) till I reached England, and my mother's house. My brother had arrived from Persia only a few hours before. This was on the Tuesday. The following Sunday, July 14th, Mr. Keble preached the Assize Sermon in the University Pulpit. It was published under the title of "National Apostasy." I have ever considered and kept the day, as the start of the religious movement of 1833.[Pg 36]

CHAPTER II.

HISTORY OF MY RELIGIOUS OPINIONS FROM 1833 TO 1839.

In spite of the foregoing pages, I have no romantic story to tell; but I have written them, because it is my duty to tell things as they took place. I have not exaggerated the feelings with which I returned to England, and I have no desire to dress up the events which followed, so as to make them in keeping with the narrative which has gone before. I soon relapsed into the every-day life which I had hitherto led; in all things the same, except that a new object was given me. I had employed myself in my own rooms in reading and writing, and in the care of a Church, before I left England, and I returned to the same occupations when I was back again. And yet perhaps those first vehement feelings which carried me on, were necessary for the beginning of the Movement; and afterwards, when it was once begun, the special need of me was over.


When I got home from abroad, I found that already a movement had commenced, in opposition to the specific danger which at that time was threatening the religion of the nation and its Church. Several zealous and able men had united their counsels, and were in correspondence with each other. The principal of these were Mr. Keble, Hurrell Froude, who had reached home long before me,[Pg 37] Mr. William Palmer of Dublin and Worcester College (not Mr. William Palmer of Magdalen, who is now a Catholic), Mr. Arthur Perceval, and Mr. Hugh Rose.

To mention Mr. Hugh Rose's name is to kindle in the minds of those who knew him a host of pleasant and affectionate remembrances. He was the man above all others fitted by his cast of mind and literary powers to make a stand, if a stand could be made, against the calamity of the times. He was gifted with a high and large mind, and a true sensibility of what was great and beautiful; he wrote with warmth and energy; and he had a cool head and cautious judgment. He spent his strength and shortened his life. Pro Ecclesia Dei, as he understood that sovereign idea. Some years earlier he had been the first to give warning, I think from the University Pulpit at Cambridge, of the perils to England which lay in the biblical and theological speculations of Germany. The Reform agitation followed, and the Whig Government came into power; and he anticipated in their distribution of Church patronage the authoritative introduction of liberal opinions into the country. He feared that by the Whig party a door would be opened in England to the most grievous of heresies, which never could be closed again. In order under such grave circumstances to unite Churchmen together, and to make a front against the coming danger, he had in 1832 commenced the British Magazine, and in the same year he came to Oxford in the summer term, in order to beat up for writers for his publication; on that occasion I became known to him through Mr. Palmer. His reputation and position came in aid of his obvious fitness, in point of character and intellect, to become the centre of an ecclesiastical movement, if such a movement were to depend on the action of a party. His delicate health, his premature death, would have frustrated the expectation, even though the new school of opinion[Pg 38] had been more exactly thrown into the shape of a party, than in fact was the case. But he zealously backed up the first efforts of those who were principals in it; and, when he went abroad to die, in 1838, he allowed me the solace of expressing my feelings of attachment and gratitude to him by addressing him, in the dedication of a volume of my Sermons, as the man "who, when hearts were failing, bade us stir up the gift that was in us, and betake ourselves to our true Mother."

But there were other reasons, besides Mr. Rose's state of health, which hindered those who so much admired him from availing themselves of his close co-operation in the coming fight. United as both he and they were in the general scope of the Movement, they were in discordance with each other from the first in their estimate of the means to be adopted for attaining it. Mr. Rose had a position in the Church, a name, and serious responsibilities; he had direct ecclesiastical superiors; he had intimate relations with his own University, and a large clerical connexion through the country. Froude and I were nobodies; with no characters to lose, and no antecedents to fetter us. Rose could not go a-head across country, as Froude had no scruples in doing. Froude was a bold rider, as on horseback, so also in his speculations. After a long conversation with him on the logical bearing of his principles, Mr. Rose said of him with quiet humour, that "he did not seem to be afraid of inferences." It was simply the truth; Froude had that strong hold of first principles, and that keen perception of their value, that he was comparatively indifferent to the revolutionary action which would attend on their application to a given state of things; whereas in the thoughts of Rose, as a practical man, existing facts had the precedence of every other idea, and the chief test of the soundness of a line of policy lay in the consideration whether it would work. This was one of[Pg 39] the first questions, which, as it seemed to me, on every occasion occurred to his mind. With Froude, Erastianism,—that is, the union (so he viewed it) of Church and State,—was the parent, or if not the parent, the serviceable and sufficient tool, of liberalism. Till that union was snapped, Christian doctrine never could be safe; and, while he well knew how high and unselfish was the temper of Mr. Rose, yet he used to apply to him an epithet, reproachful in his own mouth;—Rose was a "conservative." By bad luck, I brought out this word to Mr. Rose in a letter of my own, which I wrote to him in criticism of something he had inserted in his Magazine: I got a vehement rebuke for my pains, for though Rose pursued a conservative line, he had as high a disdain, as Froude could have, of a worldly ambition, and an extreme sensitiveness of such an imputation.

But there was another reason still, and a more elementary one, which severed Mr. Rose from the Oxford Movement. Living movements do not come of committees, nor are great ideas worked out through the post, even though it had been the penny post. This principle deeply penetrated both Froude and myself from the first, and recommended to us the course which things soon took spontaneously, and without set purpose of our own. Universities are the natural centres of intellectual movements. How could men act together, whatever was their zeal, unless they were united in a sort of individuality? Now, first, we had no unity of place. Mr. Rose was in Suffolk, Mr. Perceval in Surrey, Mr. Keble in Gloucestershire; Hurrell Froude had to go for his health to Barbadoes. Mr. Palmer was indeed in Oxford; this was an important advantage, and told well in the first months of the Movement;—but another condition, besides that of place, was required.

A far more essential unity was that of antecedents,—a[Pg 40] common history, common memories, an intercourse of mind with mind in the past, and a progress and increase in that intercourse in the present. Mr. Perceval, to be sure, was a pupil of Mr. Keble's; but Keble, Rose, and Palmer, represented distinct parties, or at least tempers, in the Establishment. Mr. Palmer had many conditions of authority and influence. He was the only really learned man among us. He understood theology as a science; he was practised in the scholastic mode of controversial writing; and, I believe, was as well acquainted, as he was dissatisfied, with the Catholic schools. He was as decided in his religious views, as he was cautious and even subtle in their expression, and gentle in their enforcement. But he was deficient in depth; and besides, coming from a distance, he never had really grown into an Oxford man, nor was he generally received as such; nor had he any insight into the force of personal influence and congeniality of thought in carrying out a religious theory,—a condition which Froude and I considered essential to any true success in the stand which had to be made against Liberalism. Mr. Palmer had a certain connexion, as it may be called, in the Establishment, consisting of high Church dignitaries, Archdeacons, London Rectors, and the like, who belonged to what was commonly called the high-and-dry school. They were far more opposed than even he was to the irresponsible action of individuals. Of course their beau idéal in ecclesiastical action was a board of safe, sound, sensible men. Mr. Palmer was their organ and representative; and he wished for a Committee, an Association, with rules and meetings, to protect the interests of the Church in its existing peril. He was in some measure supported by Mr. Perceval.

I, on the other hand, had out of my own head begun the Tracts; and these, as representing the antagonist principle of personality, were looked upon by Mr. Palmer's[Pg 41] friends with considerable alarm. The great point at the time with these good men in London,—some of them men of the highest principle, and far from influenced by what we used to call Erastianism,—was to put down the Tracts. I, as their editor, and mainly their author, was of course willing to give way. Keble and Froude advocated their continuance strongly, and were angry with me for consenting to stop them. Mr. Palmer shared the anxiety of his own friends; and, kind as were his thoughts of us, he still not unnaturally felt, for reasons of his own, some fidget and nervousness at the course which his Oriel friends were taking. Froude, for whom he had a real liking, took a high tone in his project of measures for dealing with bishops and clergy, which must have shocked and scandalized him considerably. As for me, there was matter enough in the early Tracts to give him equal disgust; and doubtless I much tasked his generosity, when he had to defend me, whether against the London dignitaries or the country clergy. Oriel, from the time of Dr. Copleston to Dr. Hampden, had had a name far and wide for liberality of thought; it had received a formal recognition from the Edinburgh Review, if my memory serves me truly, as the school of speculative philosophy in England; and on one occasion, in 1833, when I presented myself, with some of the first papers of the Movement, to a country clergyman in Northamptonshire, he paused awhile, and then, eyeing me with significance, asked "Whether Whately was at the bottom of them?"

Mr. Perceval wrote to me in support of the judgment of Mr. Palmer and the dignitaries. I replied in a letter, which he afterwards published. "As to the Tracts," I said to him (I quote my own words from his Pamphlet), "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[Pg 42] symbols è cathedrâ but as the expression of individual minds; and individuals, feeling strongly, while on the one hand, they are incidentally faulty in mode or language, are still peculiarly effective. No great work was done by a system; whereas systems rise out of individual exertions. Luther was an individual. The very 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 by a self-sacrifice."

The visit which I made to the Northamptonshire Rector was only one of a series of similar expedients, which I adopted during the year 1833. I called upon clergy in various parts of the country, whether I was acquainted with them or not, and I attended at the houses of friends where several of them were from time to time assembled. I do not think that much came of such attempts, nor were they quite in my way. Also I wrote various letters to clergymen, which fared not much better, except that they advertised the fact, that a rally in favour of the Church was commencing. I did not care whether my visits were made to high Church or low Church; I wished to make a strong pull in union with all who were opposed to the principles of liberalism, whoever they might be. Giving my name to the Editor, I commenced a series of letters in the Record Newspaper: they ran to a considerable length; and were borne by him with great courtesy and patience. The heading given to them was, "Church Reform." The first was on the revival of Church Discipline; the second, on its Scripture proof; the third, on the application of the doctrine; the fourth was an answer to objections; the fifth was on the benefits of discipline. And then the series was abruptly brought to a termination. I had said what I really felt, and what was also in keeping with the strong teaching of the Tracts, but I suppose the Editor discovered in me some divergence from his own line of[Pg 43] thought; for at length he sent a very civil letter, apologizing for the non-appearance of my sixth communication, on the ground that it contained an attack upon "Temperance Societies," about which he did not wish a controversy in his columns. He added, however, his serious regret at the theological views of the Tracts. I had subscribed a small sum in 1828 towards the first start of the Record.

Acts of the officious character, which I have been describing, were uncongenial to my natural temper, to the genius of the Movement, and to the historical mode of its success:—they were the fruit of that exuberant and joyous energy with which I had returned from abroad, and which I never had before or since. I had the exultation of health restored, and home regained. While I was at Palermo and thought of the breadth of the Mediterranean, and the wearisome journey across France, I could not imagine how I was ever to get to England; but now I was amid familiar scenes and faces once more. And my health and strength came back to me with such a rebound, that some friends at Oxford, on seeing me, did not well know that it was I, and hesitated before they spoke to me. And I had the consciousness that I was employed in that work which I had been dreaming about, and which I felt to be so momentous and inspiring. I had a supreme confidence in our cause; we were upholding that primitive Christianity which was delivered for all time by the early teachers of the Church, and which was registered and attested in the Anglican formularies and by the Anglican divines. That ancient religion had well nigh faded away out of the land, through the political changes of the last 150 years, and it must be restored. It would be in fact a second Reformation:—a better reformation, for it would be a return not to the sixteenth century, but to the seventeenth. No time was to be lost, for the Whigs had come to do their worst, and the rescue might come too late. Bishopricks[Pg 44] were already in course of suppression; Church property was in course of confiscation; Sees would soon be receiving unsuitable occupants. We knew enough to begin preaching upon, and there was no one else to preach. I felt as on board a vessel, which first gets under weigh, and then the deck is cleared out, and luggage and live stock stowed away into their proper receptacles.

Nor was it only that I had confidence in our cause, both in itself, and in its polemical force, but also, on the other hand, I despised every rival system of doctrine and its arguments too. As to the high Church and the low Church, I thought that the one had not much more of a logical basis than the other; while I had a thorough contempt for the controversial position of the latter. I had a real respect for the character of many of the advocates of each party, but that did not give cogency to their arguments; and I thought, on the contrary, that the Apostolical form of doctrine was essential and imperative, and its grounds of evidence impregnable. Owing to this supreme confidence, it came to pass at that time, that there was a double aspect in my bearing towards others, which it is necessary for me to enlarge upon. My behaviour had a mixture in it both of fierceness and of sport; and on this account, I dare say, it gave offence to many; nor am I here defending it.

I wished men to agree with me, and I walked with them step by step, as far as they would go; this I did sincerely; but if they would stop, I did not much care about it, but walked on, with some satisfaction that I had brought them so far. I liked to make them preach the truth without knowing it, and encouraged them to do so. It was a satisfaction to me that the Record had allowed me to say so much in its columns, without remonstrance. I was amused to hear of one of the Bishops, who, on reading an early Tract on the Apostolical Succession, could not make up[Pg 45] his mind whether he held the doctrine or not. I was not distressed at the wonder or anger of dull and self-conceited men, at propositions which they did not understand. When a correspondent, in good faith, wrote to a newspaper, to say that the "Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist," spoken of in the Tract, was a false print for "Sacrament," I thought the mistake too pleasant to be corrected before I was asked about it. I was not unwilling to draw an opponent on step by step, by virtue of his own opinions, to the brink of some intellectual absurdity, and to leave him to get back as he could. I was not unwilling to play with a man, who asked me impertinent questions. I think I had in my mouth the words of the Wise man, "Answer a fool according to his folly," especially if he was prying or spiteful. I was reckless of the gossip which was circulated about me; and, when I might easily have set it right, did not deign to do so. Also I used irony in conversation, when matter-of-fact-men would not see what I meant.

This kind of behaviour was a sort of habit with me. If I have ever trifled with my subject, it was a more serious fault. I never used arguments which I saw clearly to be unsound. The nearest approach which I remember to such conduct, but which I consider was clear of it nevertheless, was in the case of Tract 15. The matter of this Tract was furnished to me by a friend, to whom I had applied for assistance, but who did not wish to be mixed up with the publication. He gave it me, that I might throw it into shape, and I took his arguments as they stood. In the chief portion of the Tract I fully agreed; for instance, as to what it says about the Council of Trent; but there were arguments, or some argument, in it which I did not follow; I do not recollect what it was. Froude, I think, was disgusted with the whole Tract, and accused me of economy in publishing it. It is principally through[Pg 46] Mr. Froude's Remains that this word has got into our language. I think, I defended myself with arguments such as these:—that, as every one knew, the Tracts were written by various persons who agreed together in their doctrine, but not always in the arguments by which it was to be proved; that we must be tolerant of difference of opinion among ourselves; that the author of the Tract had a right to his own opinion, and that the argument in question was ordinarily received; that I did not give my own name or authority, nor was asked for my personal belief, but only acted instrumentally, as one might translate a friend's book into a foreign language. I account these to be good arguments; nevertheless I feel also that such practices admit of easy abuse and are consequently dangerous; but then, again, I feel also this,—that if all such mistakes were to be severely visited, not many men in public life would be left with a character for honour and honesty.

This absolute confidence in my cause, which led me to the negligence or wantonness which I have been instancing, also laid me open, not unfairly, to the opposite charge of fierceness in certain steps which I took, or words which I published. In the Lyra Apostolica, I have said that before learning to love, we must "learn to hate;" though I had explained my words by adding "hatred of sin." In one of my first Sermons I said, "I do not shrink from uttering my firm conviction that it would be a gain to the country were it vastly more superstitious, more bigoted, more gloomy, more fierce in its religion than at present it shows itself to be." I added, of course, that it would be an absurdity to suppose such tempers of mind desirable in themselves. The corrector of the press bore these strong epithets till he got to "more fierce," and then he put in the margin a query. In the very first page of the first Tract, I said of the Bishops, that, "black event though it would be for the country, yet we could not wish them a[Pg 47] more blessed termination of their course, than the spoiling of their goods and martyrdom." In consequence of a passage in my work upon the Arian History, a Northern dignitary wrote to accuse me of wishing to re-establish the blood and torture of the Inquisition. Contrasting heretics and heresiarchs, I had said, "The latter should meet with no mercy: he assumes the office of the Tempter; and, so far forth as his error goes, must be dealt with by the competent authority, as if he were embodied evil. To spare him is a false and dangerous pity. It is to endanger the souls of thousands, and it is uncharitable towards himself." I cannot deny that this is a very fierce passage; but Arius was banished, not burned; and it is only fair to myself to say that neither at this, nor any other time of my life, not even when I was fiercest, could I have even cut off a Puritan's ears, and I think the sight of a Spanish auto-da-fè would have been the death of me. Again, when one of my friends, of liberal and evangelical opinions, wrote to expostulate with me on the course I was taking, I said that we would ride over him and his, as Othniel prevailed over Chushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia. Again, I would have no dealings with my brother, and I put my conduct upon a syllogism. I said, "St. Paul bids us avoid those who cause divisions; you cause divisions: therefore I must avoid you." I dissuaded a lady from attending the marriage of a sister who had seceded from the Anglican Church. No wonder that Blanco White, who had known me under such different circumstances, now hearing the general course that I was taking, was amazed at the change which he recognized in me. He speaks bitterly and unfairly of me in his letters contemporaneously with the first years of the Movement; but in 1839, on looking back, he uses terms of me, which it would be hardly modest in me to quote, were it not that what he says of me in praise occurs in the midst of blame. He says: "In this[Pg 48] party [the anti-Peel, in 1829] I found, to my great surprise, my dear friend, Mr. Newman of Oriel. As he had been one of the annual Petitioners to Parliament for Catholic Emancipation, his sudden union with the most violent bigots was inexplicable to me. That change was the first manifestation of the mental revolution, which has suddenly made him one of the leading persecutors of Dr. Hampden, and the most active and influential member of that association called the Puseyite party, from which we have those very strange productions, entitled, Tracts for the Times. While stating these public facts, my heart feels a pang at the recollection of the affectionate and mutual friendship between that excellent man and myself; a friendship, which his principles of orthodoxy could not allow him to continue in regard to one, whom he now regards as inevitably doomed to eternal perdition. Such is the venomous character of orthodoxy. What mischief must it create in a bad heart and narrow mind, when it can work so effectually for evil, in one of the most benevolent of bosoms, and one of the ablest of minds, in the amiable, the intellectual, the refined John Henry Newman!" (Vol. iii. p. 131.) He adds that I would have nothing to do with him, a circumstance which I do not recollect, and very much doubt.


I have spoken of my firm confidence in my position; and now let me state more definitely what the position was which I took up, and the propositions about which I was so confident. These were three:—

1. First was the principle of dogma: my battle was with liberalism; by liberalism I mean the anti-dogmatic principle and its developments. This was the first point on which I was certain. Here I make a remark: persistence in a given belief is no sufficient test of its truth: but departure from it is at least a slur upon the man who has felt so certain about it. In proportion, then, as I had in 1832 a[Pg 49] strong persuasion of the truth of opinions which I have since given up, so far a sort of guilt attaches to me, not only for that vain confidence, but for all the various proceedings which were the consequence of it. But under this first head I have the satisfaction of feeling that I have nothing to retract, and nothing to repent of. The main principle of the movement is as dear to me now, as it ever was. I have changed in many things: in this I have not. From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery. As well can there be filial love without the fact of a father, as devotion without the fact of a Supreme Being. What I held in 1816, I held in 1833, and I hold in 1864. Please God, I shall hold it to the end. Even when I was under Dr. Whately's influence, I had no temptation to be less zealous for the great dogmas of the faith, and at various times I used to resist such trains of thought on his part as seemed to me (rightly or wrongly) to obscure them. Such was the fundamental principle of the Movement of 1833.

2. Secondly, I was confident in the truth of a certain definite religious teaching, based upon this foundation of dogma; viz. that there was a visible Church, with sacraments and rites which are the channels of invisible grace. I thought that this was the doctrine of Scripture, of the early Church, and of the Anglican Church. Here again, I have not changed in opinion; I am as certain now on this point as I was in 1833, and have never ceased to be certain. In 1834 and the following years I put this ecclesiastical doctrine on a broader basis, after reading Laud, Bramhall, and Stillingfleet and other Anglican divines on the one hand, and after prosecuting the study of the Fathers on the other; but the doctrine of 1833 was[Pg 50] strengthened in me, not changed. When I began the Tracts for the Times I rested the main doctrine, of which I am speaking, upon Scripture, on the Anglican Prayer Book, and on St. Ignatius's Epistles. (1) As to the existence of a visible Church, I especially argued out the point from Scripture, in Tract 11, viz. from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles. (2) As to the Sacraments and Sacramental rites, I stood on the Prayer Book. I appealed to the Ordination Service, in which the Bishop says, "Receive the Holy Ghost;" to the Visitation Service, which teaches confession and absolution; to the Baptismal Service, in which the Priest speaks of the child after baptism as regenerate; to the Catechism, in which Sacramental Communion is receiving "verily and indeed the Body and Blood of Christ;" to the Commination Service, in which we are told to do "works of penance;" to the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to the calendar and rubricks, portions of the Prayer Book, wherein we find the festivals of the Apostles, notice of certain other Saints, and days of fasting and abstinence.

(3.) And further, as to the Episcopal system, I founded it upon the Epistles of St. Ignatius, which inculcated it in various ways. One passage especially impressed itself upon me: speaking of cases of disobedience to ecclesiastical authority, he says, "A man does not deceive that Bishop whom he sees, but he practises rather with the Bishop Invisible, and so the question is not with flesh, but with God, who knows the secret heart." I wished to act on this principle to the letter, and I may say with confidence that I never consciously transgressed it. I loved to act as feeling myself in my Bishop's sight, as if it were the sight of God. It was one of my special supports and safeguards against myself; I could not go very wrong while I had reason to believe that I was in no respect displeasing him. It was not a mere formal obedience to rule that I put[Pg 51] before me, but I desired to please him personally, as I considered him set over me by the Divine Hand. I was strict in observing my clerical engagements, not only because they were engagements, but because I considered myself simply as the servant and instrument of my Bishop. I did not care much for the Bench of Bishops, except as they might be the voice of my Church: nor should I have cared much for a Provincial Council; nor for a Diocesan Synod presided over by my Bishop; all these matters seemed to me to be jure ecclesiastico, but what to me was jure divino was the voice of my Bishop in his own person. My own Bishop was my Pope; I knew no other; the successor of the Apostles, the Vicar of Christ. This was but a practical exhibition of the Anglican theory of Church Government, as I had already drawn it out myself, after various Anglican Divines. This continued all through my course; when at length, in 1845, I wrote to Bishop Wiseman, in whose Vicariate I found myself, to announce my conversion, I could find nothing better to say to him than that I would obey the Pope as I had obeyed my own Bishop in the Anglican Church. My duty to him was my point of honour; his disapprobation was the one thing which I could not bear. I believe it to have been a generous and honest feeling; and in consequence I was rewarded by having all my time for ecclesiastical superior a man, whom, had I had a choice, I should have preferred, out and out, to any other Bishop on the Bench, and for whose memory I have a special affection. Dr. Bagot—a man of noble mind, and as kind-hearted and as considerate as he was noble. He ever sympathized with me in my trials which followed; it was my own fault, that I was not brought into more familiar personal relations with him, than it was my happiness to be. May his name be ever blessed!

And now in concluding my remarks on the second point on which my confidence rested, I repeat that here again[Pg 52] I have no retractation to announce as to its main outline. While I am now as clear in my acceptance of the principle of dogma, as I was in 1833 and 1816, so again I am now as firm in my belief of a visible Church, of the authority of Bishops, of the grace of the sacraments, of the religious worth of works of penance, as I was in 1833. I have added Articles to my Creed; but the old ones, which I then held with a divine faith, remain.

3. But now, as to the third point on which I stood in 1833, and which I have utterly renounced and trampled upon since,—my then view of the Church of Rome;—I will speak about it as exactly as I can. When I was young, as I have said already, and after I was grown up, I thought the Pope to be Antichrist. At Christmas 1824-5 I preached a sermon to that effect. But in 1827 I accepted eagerly the stanza in the Christian Year, which many people thought too charitable, "Speak gently of thy sister's fall." From the time that I knew Froude I got less and less bitter on the subject. I spoke (successively, but I cannot tell in what order or at what dates) of the Roman Church as being bound up with "the cause of Antichrist," as being one of the "many antichrists" foretold by St. John, as being influenced by "the spirit of Antichrist," and as having something "very Anti-christian" or "unchristian" about her. From my boyhood and in 1824 I considered, after Protestant authorities, that St. Gregory I. about A.D. 600 was the first Pope that was Antichrist, though, in spite of this, he was also a great and holy man; but in 1832-3 I thought the Church of Rome was bound up with the cause of Antichrist by the Council of Trent. When it was that in my deliberate judgment I gave up the notion altogether in any shape, that some special reproach was attached to her name, I cannot tell; but I had a shrinking from renouncing it, even when my reason so ordered me, from a sort of conscience or prejudice,[Pg 53] I think up to 1843. Moreover, at least during the Tract Movement, I thought the essence of her offence to consist in the honours which she paid to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints; and the more I grew in devotion, both to the Saints and to our Lady, the more impatient was I at the Roman practices, as if those glorified creations of God must be gravely shocked, if pain could be theirs, at the undue veneration of which they were the objects.

On the other hand, Hurrell Froude in his familiar conversations was always tending to rub the idea out of my mind. In a passage of one of his letters from abroad, alluding, I suppose, to what I used to say in opposition to him, he observes; "I think people are injudicious who talk against the Roman Catholics for worshipping Saints, and honouring the Virgin and images, &c. These things may perhaps be idolatrous; I cannot make up my mind about it; but to my mind it is the Carnival that is real practical idolatry, as it is written, 'the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.'" The Carnival, I observe in passing, is, in fact, one of those very excesses, to which, for at least three centuries, religious Catholics have ever opposed themselves, as we see in the life of St. Philip, to say nothing of the present day; but this we did not then know. Moreover, from Froude I learned to admire the great medieval Pontiffs; and, of course, when I had come to consider the Council of Trent to be the turning-point of the history of Christian Rome, I found myself as free, as I was rejoiced, to speak in their praise. Then, when I was abroad, the sight of so many great places, venerable shrines, and noble churches, much impressed my imagination. And my heart was touched also. Making an expedition on foot across some wild country in Sicily, at six in the morning, I came upon a small church; I heard voices, and I looked in. It was crowded, and the congregation was singing. Of course it was the mass,[Pg 54] though I did not know it at the time. And, in my weary days at Palermo, I was not ungrateful for the comfort which I had received in frequenting the churches; nor did I ever forget it. Then, again, her zealous maintenance of the doctrine and the rule of celibacy, which I recognized as Apostolic, and her faithful agreement with Antiquity in so many other points which were dear to me, was an argument as well as a plea in favour of the great Church of Rome. Thus I learned to have tender feelings towards her; but still my reason was not affected at all. My judgment was against her, when viewed as an institution, as truly as it ever had been.

This conflict between reason and affection I expressed in one of the early Tracts, published July, 1834. "Considering the high gifts and the strong claims of the Church of Rome and its dependencies on our admiration, reverence, love, and gratitude; how could we withstand it, as we do, how could we refrain from being melted into tenderness, and rushing into communion with it, but for the words of Truth itself, which bid us prefer It to the whole world? 'He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of me.' How could 'we learn to be severe, and execute judgment,' but for the warning of Moses against even a divinely-gifted teacher, who should preach new gods; and the anathema of St. Paul even against Angels and Apostles, who should bring in a new doctrine?"—Records, No. 24. My feeling was something like that of a man, who is obliged in a court of justice to bear witness against a friend; or like my own now, when I have said, and shall say, so many things on which I had rather be silent.

As a matter, then, of simple conscience, though it went against my feelings, I felt it to be a duty to protest against the Church of Rome. But besides this, it was a duty, because the prescription of such a protest was a living principle of my own Church, as expressed not simply in a[Pg 55] catena, but by a consensus of her divines, and by the voice of her people. Moreover, such a protest was necessary as an integral portion of her controversial basis; for I adopted the argument of Bernard Gilpin, that Protestants "were not able to give any firm and solid reason of the separation besides this, to wit, that the Pope is Antichrist." But while I thus thought such a protest to be based upon truth, and to be a religious duty, and a rule of Anglicanism, and a necessity of the case, I did not at all like the work. Hurrell Froude attacked me for doing it; and, besides, I felt that my language had a vulgar and rhetorical look about it. I believed, and really measured, my words, when I used them; but I knew that I had a temptation, on the other hand, to say against Rome as much as ever I could, in order to protect myself against the charge of Popery.

And now I come to the very point, for which I have introduced the subject of my feelings about Rome. I felt such confidence in the substantial justice of the charges which I advanced against her, that I considered them to be a safeguard and an assurance that no harm could ever arise from the freest exposition of what I used to call Anglican principles. All the world was astounded at what Froude and I were saying: men said that it was sheer Popery. I answered, "True, we seem to be making straight for it; but go on awhile, and you will come to a deep chasm across the path, which makes real approximation impossible." And I urged in addition, that many Anglican divines had been accused of Popery, yet had died in their Anglicanism;—now, the ecclesiastical principles which I professed, they had professed also; and the judgment against Rome which they had formed, I had formed also. Whatever deficiencies then had to be supplied in the existing Anglican system, and however boldly I might point them out, any how that system would not in the process be brought nearer to the special creed of Rome, and might be[Pg 56] mended in spite of her. In that very agreement of the two forms of faith, close as it might seem, would really be found, on examination, the elements and principles of an essential discordance.

It was with this absolute persuasion on my mind that I fancied that there could be no rashness in giving to the world in fullest measure the teaching and the writings of the Fathers. I thought that the Church of England was substantially founded upon them. I did not know all that the Fathers had said, but I felt that, even when their tenets happened to differ from the Anglican, no harm could come of reporting them. I said out what I was clear they had said; I spoke vaguely and imperfectly, of what I thought they said, or what some of them had said. Any how, no harm could come of bending the crooked stick the other way, in the process of straightening it; it was impossible to break it. If there was any thing in the Fathers of a startling character, this would be only for a time; it would admit of explanation, or it might suggest something profitable to Anglicans; it could not lead to Rome. I express this view of the matter in a passage of the Preface to the first volume, which I edited, of the Library of the Fathers. Speaking of the strangeness at first sight, in the judgment of the present day, of some of their principles and opinions, I bid the reader go forward hopefully, and not indulge his criticism till he knows more about them, than he will learn at the outset. "Since the evil," I say, "is in the nature of the case itself, we can do no more than have patience, and recommend patience to others, and with the racer in the Tragedy, look forward steadily and hopefully to the event, τω τελει πιστιν φερων, when, as we trust, all that is inharmonious and anomalous in the details, will at length be practically smoothed."

Such was the position, such the defences, such the tactics,[Pg 57] by which I thought that it was both incumbent on us, and possible for us, to meet that onset of Liberal principles, of which we were all in immediate anticipation, whether in the Church or in the University. And during the first year of the Tracts, the attack upon the University began. In November, 1834, was sent to me by Dr. Hampden the second edition of his Pamphlet, entitled, "Observations on Religious Dissent, with particular reference to the use of religious tests in the University." In this Pamphlet it was maintained, that "Religion is distinct from Theological Opinion," pp. 1. 28. 30, &c.; that it is but a common prejudice to identify theological propositions methodically deduced and stated, with the simple religion of Christ, p. 1; that under Theological Opinion were to be placed the Trinitarian doctrine, p. 27, and the Unitarian, p. 19; that a dogma was a theological opinion formally insisted on, pp. 20, 21; that speculation always left an opening for improvement, p. 22; that the Church of England was not dogmatic in its spirit, though the wording of its formularies might often carry the sound of dogmatism, p. 23.

I acknowledged the receipt of this work in the following letter:—

"The kindness which has led to your presenting me with your late Pamphlet, encourages me to hope that you will forgive me, if I take the opportunity it affords of expressing to you my very sincere and deep regret that it has been published. Such an opportunity I could not let slip without being unfaithful to my own serious thoughts on the subject.

"While I respect the tone of piety which the Pamphlet displays, I dare not trust myself to put on paper my feelings about the principles contained in it; tending as they do, in my opinion, altogether to make shipwreck of Christian faith. I also lament, that, by its appearance, the first step has been taken towards interrupting that peace and[Pg 58] mutual good understanding which has prevailed so long in this place, and which, if once seriously disturbed, will be succeeded by dissensions the more intractable, because justified in the minds of those who resist innovation by a feeling of imperative duty."

Since that time Phaeton has got into the chariot of the sun; we, alas! can only look on, and watch him down the steep of heaven. Meanwhile, the lands, which he is passing over, suffer from his driving.


Such was the commencement of the assault of Liberalism upon the old orthodoxy of Oxford and England; and it could not have been broken, as it was, for so long a time, had not a great change taken place in the circumstances of that counter-movement which had already started with the view of resisting it. For myself, I was not the person to take the lead of a party; I never was, from first to last, more than a leading author of a school; nor did I ever wish to be anything else. This is my own account of the matter; and I say it, neither as intending to disown the responsibility of what was done, or as if ungrateful to those who at that time made more of me than I deserved, and did more for my sake and at my bidding than I realized myself. I am giving my history from my own point of sight, and it is as follows:—I had lived for ten years among my personal friends; the greater part of the time, I had been influenced, not influencing; and at no time have I acted on others, without their acting upon me. As is the custom of a University, I had lived with my private, nay, with some of my public, pupils, and with the junior fellows of my College, without form or distance, on a footing of equality. Thus it was through friends, younger, for the most part, than myself, that my principles were spreading. They heard what I said in conversation, and told it to others. Under-graduates in due time took their degree, and became[Pg 59] private tutors themselves. In their new status, they in turn preached the opinions, with which they had already become acquainted. Others went down to the country, and became curates of parishes. Then they had down from London parcels of the Tracts, and other publications. They placed them in the shops of local booksellers, got them into newspapers, introduced them to clerical meetings, and converted more or less their Rectors and their brother curates. Thus the Movement, viewed with relation to myself, was but a floating opinion; it was not a power. It never would have been a power, if it had remained in my hands. Years after, a friend, writing to me in remonstrance at the excesses, as he thought them, of my disciples, applied to me my own verse about St. Gregory Nazianzen, "Thou couldst a people raise, but couldst not rule." At the time that he wrote to me, I had special impediments in the way of such an exercise of power; but at no time could I exercise over others that authority, which under the circumstances was imperatively required. My great principle ever was, Live and let live. I never had the staidness or dignity necessary for a leader. To the last I never recognized the hold I had over young men. Of late years I have read and heard that they even imitated me in various ways. I was quite unconscious of it, and I think my immediate friends knew too well how disgusted I should be at such proceedings, to have the heart to tell me. I felt great impatience at our being called a party, and would not allow that we were such. I had a lounging, free-and-easy way of carrying things on. I exercised no sufficient censorship upon the Tracts. I did not confine them to the writings of such persons as agreed in all things with myself; and, as to my own Tracts, I printed on them a notice to the effect, that any one who pleased, might make what use he would of them, and reprint them with alterations if he chose, under the conviction that their main scope could not be damaged[Pg 60] by such a process. It was the same with me afterwards, as regards other publications. For two years I furnished a certain number of sheets for the British Critic from myself and my friends, while a gentleman was editor, a man of splendid talent, who, however, was scarcely an acquaintance of mine, and had no sympathy with the Tracts. When I was Editor myself, from 1838 to 1841, in my very first number I suffered to appear a critique unfavorable to my work on Justification, which had been published a few months before, from a feeling of propriety, because I had put the book into the hands of the writer who so handled it. Afterwards I suffered an article against the Jesuits to appear in it, of which I did not like the tone. When I had to provide a curate for my new church at Littlemore, I engaged a friend, by no fault of his, who, before he had entered into his charge, preached a sermon, either in depreciation of baptismal regeneration, or of Dr. Pusey's view of it. I showed a similar easiness as to the Editors who helped me in the separate volumes of Fleury's Church History; they were able, learned, and excellent men, but their after-history has shown, how little my choice of them was influenced by any notion I could have had of any intimate agreement of opinion between them and myself. I shall have to make the same remark in its place concerning the Lives of the English Saints, which subsequently appeared. All this may seem inconsistent with what I have said of my fierceness. I am not bound to account for it; but there have been men before me, fierce in act, yet tolerant and moderate in their reasonings; at least, so I read history. However, such was the case, and such its effect upon the Tracts. These at first starting were short, hasty, and some of them ineffective; and at the end of the year, when collected into a volume, they had a slovenly appearance.

It was under these circumstances, that Dr. Pusey joined[Pg 61] us. I had known him well since 1827-8, and had felt for him an enthusiastic admiration, I used to call him 'ο μεγας. His great learning, his immense diligence, his scholarlike mind, his simple devotion to the cause of religion, overcame me; and great of course was my joy, when in the last days of 1833 he showed a disposition to make common cause with us. His Tract on Fasting appeared as one of the series with the date of December 21. He was not, however, I think, fully associated in the Movement till 1835 and 1836, when he published his Tract on Baptism, and started the Library of the Fathers. He at once gave to us a position and a name. Without him we should have had little chance, especially at the early date of 1834, of making any serious resistance to the Liberal aggression. But Dr. Pusey was a Professor and Canon of Christ Church; he had a vast influence in consequence of his deep religious seriousness, the munificence of his charities, his Professorship, his family connexions, and his easy relations with University authorities. He was to the Movement all that Mr. Rose might have been, with that indispensable addition, which was wanting to Mr. Rose, the intimate friendship and the familiar daily society of the persons who had commenced it. And he had that special claim on their attachment, which lies in the living presence of a faithful and loyal affectionateness. There was henceforth a man who could be the head and centre of the zealous people in every part of the country, who were adopting the new opinions; and not only so, but there was one who furnished the Movement with a front to the world, and gained for it a recognition from other parties in the University. In 1829, Mr. Froude, or Mr. Robert Wilberforce, or Mr. Newman were but individuals; and, when they ranged themselves in the contest of that year on the side of Sir Robert Inglis, men on either side only asked with[Pg 62] surprise how they got there, and attached no significancy to the fact; but Dr. Pusey was, to use the common expression, a host in himself; he was able to give a name, a form, and a personality, to what was without him a sort of mob; and when various parties had to meet together in order to resist the liberal acts of the Government, we of the Movement took our place by right among them.

Such was the benefit which he conferred on the Movement externally; nor were the internal advantages at all inferior to it. He was a man of large designs; he had a hopeful, sanguine mind; he had no fear of others; he was haunted by no intellectual perplexities. People are apt to say that he was once nearer to the Catholic Church than he is now; I pray God that he may be one day far nearer to the Catholic Church than he was then; for I believe that, in his reason and judgment, all the time that I knew him, he never was near to it at all. When I became a Catholic, I was often asked, "What of Dr. Pusey?"; when I said that I did not see symptoms of his doing as I had done, I was sometimes thought uncharitable. If confidence in his position is, (as it is,) a first essential in the leader of a party, this Dr. Pusey possessed pre-eminently. The most remarkable instance of this, was his statement, in one of his subsequent defences of the Movement, when moreover it had advanced a considerable way in the direction of Rome, that among its more hopeful peculiarities was its "stationariness." He made it in good faith; it was his subjective view of it.

Dr. Pusey's influence was felt at once. He saw that there ought to be more sobriety, more gravity, more careful pains, more sense of responsibility in the Tracts and in the whole Movement. It was through him that the character of the Tracts was changed. When he gave to us his Tract on Fasting, he put his initials to it. In 1835 he published his elaborate Treatise on Baptism, which was followed by[Pg 63] other Tracts from different authors, if not of equal learning, yet of equal power and appositeness. The Catenas of Anglican divines, projected by me, which occur in the Series were executed with a like aim at greater accuracy and method. In 1836 he advertised his great project for a Translation of the Fathers:—but I must return to myself. I am not writing the history either of Dr. Pusey or of the Movement; but it is a pleasure to me to have been able to introduce here reminiscences of the place which he held in it, which have so direct a bearing on myself, that they are no digression from my narrative.


I suspect it was Dr. Pusey's influence and example which set me, and made me set others, on the larger and more careful works in defence of the principles of the Movement which followed in a course of years,—some of them demanding and receiving from their authors, such elaborate treatment that they did not make their appearance till both its temper and its fortunes had changed. I set about a work at once; one in which was brought out with precision the relation in which we stood to the Church of Rome. We could not move a step in comfort, till this was done. It was of absolute necessity and a plain duty from the first, to provide as soon as possible a large statement, which would encourage and reassure our friends, and repel the attacks of our opponents. A cry was heard on all sides of us, that the Tracts and the writings of the Fathers would lead us to become Catholics, before we were aware of it. This was loudly expressed by members of the Evangelical party, who in 1836 had joined us in making a protest in Convocation against a memorable appointment of the Prime Minister. These clergymen even then avowed their desire, that the next time they were brought up to Oxford to give a vote, it might be in order to put down the Popery of the Movement. There[Pg 64] was another reason still, and quite as important. Monsignore Wiseman, with the acuteness and zeal which might be expected from that great Prelate, had anticipated what was coming, had returned to England by 1836, had delivered Lectures in London on the doctrines of Catholicism, and created an impression through the country, shared in by ourselves, that we had for our opponents in controversy, not only our brethren, but our hereditary foes. These were the circumstances, which led to my publication of "The Prophetical office of the Church viewed relatively to Romanism and Popular Protestantism."

This work employed me for three years, from the beginning of 1834 to the end of 1836, and was published in 1837. It was composed, after a careful consideration and comparison of the principal Anglican divines of the 17th century. It was first written in the shape of controversial correspondence with a learned French Priest; then it was re-cast, and delivered in Lectures at St. Mary's; lastly, with considerable retrenchments and additions, it was rewritten for publication.

It attempts to trace out the rudimental lines on which Christian faith and teaching proceed, and to use them as means of determining the relation of the Roman and Anglican systems to each other. In this way it shows that to confuse the two together is impossible, and that the Anglican can be as little said to tend to the Roman, as the Roman to the Anglican. The spirit of the Volume is not so gentle to the Church of Rome, as Tract 71 published the year before; on the contrary, it is very fierce; and this I attribute to the circumstance that the Volume is theological and didactic, whereas the Tract, being controversial, assumes as little and grants as much as possible on the points in dispute, and insists on points of agreement as well as of difference. A further and[Pg 65] more direct reason is, that in my Volume I deal with "Romanism" (as I call it), not so much in its formal decrees and in the substance of its creed, as in its traditional action and its authorized teaching as represented by its prominent writers;—whereas the Tract is written as if discussing the differences of the Churches with a view to a reconciliation between them. There is a further reason too, which I will state presently.

But this Volume had a larger scope than that of opposing the Roman system. It was an attempt at commencing a system of theology on the Anglican idea, and based upon Anglican authorities. Mr. Palmer, about the same time, was projecting a work of a similar nature in his own way. It was published, I think, under the title, "A Treatise on the Christian Church." As was to be expected from the author, it was a most learned, most careful composition; and in its form, I should say, polemical. So happily at least did he follow the logical method of the Roman Schools, that Father Perrone in his Treatise on dogmatic theology, recognized in him a combatant of the true cast, and saluted him as a foe worthy of being vanquished. Other soldiers in that field he seems to have thought little better than the Lanzknechts of the middle ages, and, I dare say, with very good reason. When I knew that excellent and kind-hearted man at Rome at a later time, he allowed me to put him to ample penance for those light thoughts of me, which he had once had, by encroaching on his valuable time with my theological questions. As to Mr. Palmer's book, it was one which no Anglican could write but himself,—in no sense, if I recollect aright, a tentative work. The ground of controversy was cut into squares, and then every objection had its answer. This is the proper method to adopt in teaching authoritatively young men; and the work in fact was intended for students in theology. My own book, on[Pg 66] the other hand, was of a directly tentative and empirical character. I wished to build up an Anglican theology out of the stores which already lay cut and hewn upon the ground, the past toil of great divines. To do this could not be the work of one man; much less, could it be at once received into Anglican theology, however well it was done. This I fully recognized; and, while I trusted that my statements of doctrine would turn out to be true and important, still I wrote, to use the common phrase, "under correction."

There was another motive for my publishing, of a personal nature, which I think I should mention. I felt then, and all along felt, that there was an intellectual cowardice in not finding a basis in reason for my belief, and a moral cowardice in not avowing that basis. I should have felt myself less than a man, if I did not bring it out, whatever it was. This is one principal reason why I wrote and published the "Prophetical Office." It was from the same feeling, that in the spring of 1836, at a meeting of residents on the subject of the struggle then proceeding against a Whig appointment, when some one wanted us all merely to act on college and conservative grounds (as I understood him), with as few published statements as possible, I answered, that the person whom we were resisting had committed himself in writing, and that we ought to commit ourselves too. This again was a main reason for the publication of Tract 90. Alas! it was my portion for whole years to remain without any satisfactory basis for my religious profession, in a state of moral sickness, neither able to acquiesce in Anglicanism, nor able to go to Rome. But I bore it, till in course of time my way was made clear to me. If here it be objected to me, that as time went on, I often in my writings hinted at things which I did not fully bring out, I submit for consideration whether this occurred except when I was in great difficulties,[Pg 67] how to speak, or how to be silent, with due regard for the position of mind or the feelings of others. However, I may have an opportunity to say more on this subject. But to return to the "Prophetical Office."

I thus speak in the Introduction to my Volume:—

"It is proposed," I say, "to offer helps towards the formation of a recognized Anglican theology in one of its departments. The present state of our divinity is as follows: the most vigorous, the clearest, the most fertile minds, have through God's mercy been employed in the service of our Church: minds too as reverential and holy, and as fully imbued with Ancient Truth, and as well versed in the writings of the Fathers, as they were intellectually gifted. This is God's great mercy indeed, for which we must ever be thankful. Primitive doctrine has been explored for us in every direction, and the original principles of the Gospel and the Church patiently brought to light. But one thing is still wanting: our champions and teachers have lived in stormy times: political and other influences have acted upon them variously in their day, and have since obstructed a careful consolidation of their judgments. We have a vast inheritance, but no inventory of our treasures. All is given us in profusion; it remains for us to catalogue, sort, distribute, select, harmonize, and complete. We have more than we know how to use; stores of learning, but little that is precise and serviceable; Catholic truth and individual opinion, first principles and the guesses of genius, all mingled in the same works, and requiring to be discriminated. We meet with truths overstated or misdirected, matters of detail variously taken, facts incompletely proved or applied, and rules inconsistently urged or discordantly interpreted. Such indeed is the state of every deep philosophy in its first stages, and therefore of theological knowledge. What we need at present for our Church's well-being, is not[Pg 68] invention, nor originality, nor sagacity, nor even learning in our divines, at least in the first place, though all gifts of God are in a measure needed, and never can be unseasonable when used religiously, but we need peculiarly a sound judgment, patient thought, discrimination, a comprehensive mind, an abstinence from all private fancies and caprices and personal tastes,—in a word, Divine Wisdom."

The subject of the Volume is the doctrine of the Via Media, a name which had already been applied to the Anglican system by writers of repute. It is an expressive title, but not altogether satisfactory, because it is at first sight negative. This had been the reason of my dislike to the word "Protestant;" viz. it did not denote the profession of any particular religion at all, and was compatible with infidelity. A Via Media was but a receding from extremes,—therefore it needed to be drawn out into a definite shape and character: before it could have claims on our respect, it must first be shown to be one, intelligible, and consistent. This was the first condition of any reasonable treatise on the Via Media. The second condition, and necessary too, was not in my power. I could only hope that it would one day be fulfilled. Even if the Via Media were ever so positive a religious system, it was not as yet objective and real; it had no original any where of which it was the representative. It was at present a paper religion. This I confess in my Introduction; I say, "Protestantism and Popery are real religions ... but the Via Media, viewed as an integral system, has scarcely had existence except on paper." I grant the objection, though I endeavour to lessen it:—"It still remains to be tried, whether what is called Anglo-Catholicism, the religion of Andrewes, Laud, Hammond, Butler, and Wilson, is capable of being professed, acted on, and maintained on a large sphere of action, or whether it be a mere[Pg 69] modification or transition-state of either Romanism or popular Protestantism." I trusted that some day it would prove to be a substantive religion.

Lest I should be misunderstood, let me observe that this hesitation about the validity of the theory of the Via Media implied no doubt of the three fundamental points on which it was based, as I have described them above, dogma, the sacramental system, and anti-Romanism.

Other investigations which had to be followed up were of a still more tentative character. The basis of the Via Media, consisting of the three elementary points, which I have just mentioned, was clear enough; but, not only had the house itself to be built upon them, but it had also to be furnished, and it is not wonderful if, after building it, both I and others erred in detail in determining what its furniture should be, what was consistent with the style of building, and what was in itself desirable. I will explain what I mean.

I had brought out in the "Prophetical Office" in what the Roman and the Anglican systems differed from each other, but less distinctly in what they agreed. I had indeed enumerated the Fundamentals, common to both, in the following passage:—"In both systems the same Creeds are acknowledged. Besides other points in common, we both hold, that certain doctrines are necessary to be believed for salvation; we both believe in the doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, and Atonement; in original sin; in the necessity of regeneration; in the supernatural grace of the Sacraments; in the Apostolical succession; in the obligation of faith and obedience, and in the eternity of future punishment,"—pp. 55, 56. So much I had said, but I had not said enough. This enumeration implied a great many more points of agreement than were found in those very Articles which were fundamental. If the two Churches were thus the same in fundamentals, they were[Pg 70] also one and the same in such plain consequences as were contained in those fundamentals and in such natural observances as outwardly represented them. It was an Anglican principle that "the abuse of a thing doth not take away the lawful use of it;" and an Anglican Canon in 1603 had declared that the English Church had no purpose to forsake all that was held in the Churches of Italy, France, and Spain, and reverenced those ceremonies and particular points which were Apostolic. Excepting then such exceptional matters, as are implied in this avowal, whether they were many or few, all these Churches were evidently to be considered as one with the Anglican. The Catholic Church in all lands had been one from the first for many centuries; then, various portions had followed their own way to the injury, but not to the destruction, whether of truth or of charity. These portions or branches were mainly three:—the Greek, Latin, and Anglican. Each of these inherited the early undivided Church in solido as its own possession. Each branch was identical with that early undivided Church, and in the unity of that Church it had unity with the other branches. The three branches agreed together in all but their later accidental errors. Some branches had retained in detail portions of Apostolical truth and usage, which the others had not; and these portions might be and should be appropriated again by the others which had let them slip. Thus, the middle age belonged to the Anglican Church, and much more did the middle age of England. The Church of the 12th century was the Church of the 19th. Dr. Howley sat in the seat of St. Thomas the Martyr; Oxford was a medieval University. Saving our engagements to Prayer Book and Articles, we might breathe and live and act and speak, as in the atmosphere and climate of Henry III.'s day, or the Confessor's, or of Alfred's. And we ought to be indulgent to all that Rome taught now, as to what Rome taught then, saving our[Pg 71] protest. We might boldly welcome, even what we did not ourselves think right to adopt. And, when we were obliged on the contrary boldly to denounce, we should do so with pain, not with exultation. By very reason of our protest, which we had made, and made ex animo, we could agree to differ. What the members of the Bible Society did on the basis of Scripture, we could do on the basis of the Church; Trinitarian and Unitarian were further apart than Roman and Anglican. Thus we had a real wish to co-operate with Rome in all lawful things, if she would let us, and if the rules of our own Church let us; and we thought there was no better way towards the restoration of doctrinal purity and unity. And we thought that Rome was not committed by her formal decrees to all that she actually taught: and again, if her disputants had been unfair to us, or her rulers tyrannical, we bore in mind that on our side too there had been rancour and slander in our controversial attacks upon her, and violence in our political measures. As to ourselves being direct instruments in improving her belief or practice, I used to say, "Look at home; let us first, (or at least let us the while,) supply our own shortcomings, before we attempt to be physicians to any one else." This is very much the spirit of Tract 71, to which I referred just now. I am well aware that there is a paragraph inconsistent with it in the Prospectus to the Library of the Fathers; but I do not consider myself responsible for it. Indeed, I have no intention whatever of implying that Dr. Pusey concurred in the ecclesiastical theory, which I have been now drawing out; nor that I took it up myself except by degrees in the course of ten years. It was necessarily the growth of time. In fact, hardly any two persons, who took part in the Movement, agreed in their view of the limit to which our general principles might religiously be carried.

And now I have said enough on what I consider to have[Pg 72] been the general objects of the various works, which I wrote, edited, or prompted in the years which I am reviewing. I wanted to bring out in a substantive form a living Church of England, in a position proper to herself, and founded on distinct principles; as far as paper could do it, as far as earnestly preaching it and influencing others towards it, could tend to make it a fact;—a living Church, made of flesh and blood, with voice, complexion, and motion and action, and a will of its own. I believe I had no private motive, and no personal aim. Nor did I ask for more than "a fair stage and no favour," nor expect the work would be accomplished in my days; but I thought that enough would be secured to continue it in the future, under, perhaps, more hopeful circumstances and prospects than the present.

I will mention in illustration some of the principal works, doctrinal and historical, which originated in the object which I have stated.

I wrote my Essay on Justification in 1837; it was aimed at the Lutheran dictum that justification by faith only was the cardinal doctrine of Christianity. I considered that this doctrine was either a paradox or a truism,—a paradox in Luther's mouth, a truism in Melanchthon's. I thought that the Anglican Church followed Melanchthon, and that in consequence between Rome and Anglicanism, between high Church and low Church, there was no real intellectual difference on the point. I wished to fill up a ditch, the work of man. In this Volume again, I express my desire to build up a system of theology out of the Anglican divines, and imply that my dissertation was a tentative Inquiry. I speak in the Preface of "offering suggestions towards a work, which must be uppermost in the mind of every true son of the English Church at this day,—the consolidation of a theological system, which, built upon those formularies, to which all clergymen are bound, may[Pg 73] tend to inform, persuade, and absorb into itself religious minds, which hitherto have fancied, that, on the peculiar Protestant questions, they were seriously opposed to each other."—P. vii.

In my University Sermons there is a series of discussions upon the subject of Faith and Reason; these again were the tentative commencement of a grave and necessary work, viz. an inquiry into the ultimate basis of religious faith, prior to the distinction into Creeds.

In like manner in a Pamphlet, which I published in the summer of 1838, is an attempt at placing the doctrine of the Real Presence on an intellectual basis. The fundamental idea is consonant to that to which I had been so long attached: it is the denial of the existence of space except as a subjective idea of our minds.

The Church of the Fathers is one of the earliest productions of the Movement, and appeared in numbers in the British Magazine, being written with the aim of introducing the religious sentiments, views, and customs of the first ages into the modern Church of England.

The Translation of Fleury's Church History was commenced under these circumstances:—I was fond of Fleury for a reason which I express in the Advertisement; because it presented a sort of photograph of ecclesiastical history without any comment upon it. In the event, that simple representation of the early centuries had a good deal to do with unsettling me in my Anglicanism; but how little I could anticipate this, will be seen in the fact that the publication of Fleury was a favourite scheme with Mr. Rose. He proposed it to me twice, between the years 1834 and 1837; and I mention it as one out of many particulars curiously illustrating how truly my change of opinion arose, not from foreign influences, but from the working of my own mind, and the accidents around me. The date, from which the portion actually[Pg 74] translated began, was determined by the Publisher on reasons with which we were not concerned.

Another historical work, but drawn from original sources, was given to the world by my old friend Mr. Bowden, being a Life of Pope Gregory VII. I need scarcely recall to those who have read it, the power and the liveliness of the narrative. This composition was the author's relaxation, on evenings and in his summer vacations, from his ordinary engagements in London. It had been suggested to him originally by me, at the instance of Hurrell Froude.

The Series of the Lives of the English Saints was projected at a later period, under circumstances which I shall have in the sequel to describe. Those beautiful compositions have nothing in them, as far as I recollect, simply inconsistent with the general objects which I have been assigning to my labours in these years, though the immediate occasion which led to them, and the tone in which they were written, had little that was congenial with Anglicanism.

At a comparatively early date I drew up the Tract on the Roman Breviary. It frightened my own friends on its first appearance; and several years afterwards, when younger men began to translate for publication the four volumes in extenso, they were dissuaded from doing so by advice to which from a sense of duty they listened. It was an apparent accident, which introduced me to the knowledge of that most wonderful and most attractive monument of the devotion of saints. On Hurrell Froude's death, in 1836, I was asked to select one of his books as a keepsake. I selected Butler's Analogy; finding that it had been already chosen, I looked with some perplexity along the shelves as they stood before me, when an intimate friend at my elbow said, "Take that." It was the Breviary which Hurrell had had with him at Barbadoes.[Pg 75] Accordingly I took it, studied it, wrote my Tract from it, and have it on my table in constant use till this day.

That dear and familiar companion, who thus put the Breviary into my hands, is still in the Anglican Church. So, too, is that early venerated long-loved friend, together with whom I edited a work which, more perhaps than any other, caused disturbance and annoyance in the Anglican world,—Froude's Remains; yet, however judgments might run as to the prudence of publishing it, I never heard any one impute to Mr. Keble the very shadow of dishonesty or treachery towards his Church in so acting.

The annotated Translation of the Treatises of St. Athanasius was of course in no sense of a tentative character; it belongs to another order of thought. This historico-dogmatic work employed me for years. I had made preparations for following it up with a doctrinal history of the heresies which succeeded to the Arian.

I should make mention also of the British Critic. I was Editor of it for three years, from July 1838 to July 1841. My writers belonged to various schools, some to none at all. The subjects are various,—classical, academical, political, critical, and artistic, as well as theological, and upon the Movement none are to be found which do not keep quite clear of advocating the cause of Rome.


So I went on for years up to 1841. It was, in a human point of view, the happiest time of my life. I was truly at home. I had in one of my volumes appropriated to myself the words of Bramhall, "Bees, by the instinct of nature, do love their hives, and birds their nests." I did not suppose that such sunshine would last, though I knew not what would be its termination. It was the time of plenty, and, during its seven years, I tried to lay up as much as I could for the dearth which was to follow it. We prospered[Pg 76] and spread. I have spoken of the doings of these years, since I was a Catholic, in a passage, part of which I will here quote:

"From beginnings so small," I said, "from elements of thought so fortuitous, with prospects so unpromising, the Anglo-Catholic party suddenly became a power in the National Church, and an object of alarm to her rulers and friends. Its originators would have found it difficult to say what they aimed at of a practical kind: rather, they put forth views and principles for their own sake, because they were true, as if they were obliged to say them; and, as they might be themselves surprised at their earnestness in uttering them, they had as great cause to be surprised at the success which attended their propagation. And, in fact, they could only say that those doctrines were in the air; that to assert was to prove, and that to explain was to persuade; and that the Movement in which they were taking part was the birth of a crisis rather than of a place. In a very few years a school of opinion was formed, fixed in its principles, indefinite and progressive in their range; and it extended itself into every part of the country. If we inquire what the world thought of it, we have still more to raise our wonder; for, not to mention the excitement it caused in England, the Movement and its party-names were known to the police of Italy and to the back-woodmen of America. And so it proceeded, getting stronger and stronger every year, till it came into collision with the Nation, and that Church of the Nation, which it began by professing especially to serve."

The greater its success, the nearer was that collision at hand. The first threatenings of what was coming were heard in 1838. At that time, my Bishop in a Charge made some light animadversions, but they were animadversions, on the Tracts for the Times. At once I offered to stop them. What took place on the occasion I prefer[Pg 77] to state in the words, in which I related it in a Pamphlet addressed to him in a later year, when the blow actually came down upon me.

"In your Lordship's Charge for 1838," I said, "an allusion was made to the Tracts for the Times. Some opponents of the Tracts said that you treated them with undue indulgence.... I wrote to the Archdeacon on the subject, submitting the Tracts entirely to your Lordship's disposal. What I thought about your Charge will appear from the words I then used to him. I said, 'A Bishop's lightest word ex cathedrâ is heavy. His judgment on a book cannot be light. It is a rare occurrence.' And I offered to withdraw any of the Tracts over which I had control, if I were informed which were those to which your Lordship had objections. I afterwards wrote to your Lordship to this effect, that 'I trusted I might say sincerely, that I should feel a more lively pleasure in knowing that I was submitting myself to your Lordship's expressed judgment in a matter of that kind, than I could have even in the widest circulation of the volumes in question.' Your Lordship did not think it necessary to proceed to such a measure, but I felt, and always have felt, that, if ever you determined on it, I was bound to obey."

That day at length came, and I conclude this portion of my narrative, with relating the circumstances of it.


From the time that I had entered upon the duties of Public Tutor at my College, when my doctrinal views were very different from what they were in 1841, I had meditated a comment upon the Articles. Then, when the Movement was in its swing, friends had said to me, "What will you make of the Articles?" but I did not share the apprehension which their question implied. Whether, as time went on, I should have been forced, by the necessities of the original theory of the Movement, to put on paper the speculations[Pg 78] which I had about them, I am not able to conjecture. The actual cause of my doing so, in the beginning of 1841, was the restlessness, actual and prospective, of those who neither liked the Via Media, nor my strong judgment against Rome. I had been enjoined, I think by my Bishop, to keep these men straight, and I wished so to do: but their tangible difficulty was subscription to the Articles; and thus the question of the Articles came before me. It was thrown in our teeth; "How can you manage to sign the Articles? they are directly against Rome." "Against Rome?" I made answer, "What do you mean by 'Rome?'" and then I proceeded to make distinctions, of which I shall now give an account.

By "Roman doctrine" might be meant one of three things: 1, the Catholic teaching of the early centuries; or 2, the formal dogmas of Rome as contained in the later Councils, especially the Council of Trent, and as condensed in the Creed of Pope Pius IV.; 3, the actual popular beliefs and usages sanctioned by Rome in the countries in communion with it, over and above the dogmas; and these I called "dominant errors." Now Protestants commonly thought that in all three senses, "Roman doctrine" was condemned in the Articles: I thought that the Catholic teaching was not condemned; that the dominant errors were; and as to the formal dogmas, that some were, some were not, and that the line had to be drawn between them. Thus, 1. The use of Prayers for the dead was a Catholic doctrine,—not condemned in the Articles; 2. The prison of Purgatory was a Roman dogma,—which was condemned in them; but the infallibility of Ecumenical Councils was a Roman dogma,—not condemned; and 3. The fire of Purgatory was an authorized and popular error, not a dogma,—which was condemned.

Further, I considered that the difficulties, felt by the[Pg 79] persons whom I have mentioned, mainly lay in their mistaking, 1, Catholic teaching, which was not condemned in the Articles, for Roman dogma which was condemned; and 2, Roman dogma, which was not condemned in the Articles, for dominant error which was. If they went further than this, I had nothing more to say to them.

A further motive which I had for my attempt, was the desire to ascertain the ultimate points of contrariety between the Roman and Anglican creeds, and to make them as few as possible. I thought that each creed was obscured and misrepresented by a dominant circumambient "Popery" and "Protestantism."

The main thesis then of my Essay was this:—the Articles do not oppose Catholic teaching; they but partially oppose Roman dogma; they for the most part oppose the dominant errors of Rome. And the problem was, as I have said, to draw the line as to what they allowed and what they condemned.

Such being the object which I had in view, what were my prospects of widening and of defining their meaning? The prospect was encouraging; there was no doubt at all of the elasticity of the Articles: to take a palmary instance, the seventeenth was assumed by one party to be Lutheran, by another Calvinistic, though the two interpretations were contradictory of each other; why then should not other Articles be drawn up with a vagueness of an equally intense character? I wanted to ascertain what was the limit of that elasticity in the direction of Roman dogma. But next, I had a way of inquiry of my own, which I state without defending. I instanced it afterwards in my Essay on Doctrinal Development. That work, I believe, I have not read since I published it, and I do not doubt at all I have made many mistakes in it;—partly, from my ignorance of the details of doctrine, as the Church of Rome holds them, but partly from my impatience to clear as large a range for[Pg 80] the principle of doctrinal Development (waiving the question of historical fact) as was consistent with the strict Apostolicity and identity of the Catholic Creed. In like manner, as regards the 39 Articles, my method of inquiry was to leap in medias res. I wished to institute an inquiry how far, in critical fairness, the text could be opened; I was aiming far more at ascertaining what a man who subscribed it might hold than what he must, so that my conclusions were negative rather than positive. It was but a first essay. And I made it with the full recognition and consciousness, which I had already expressed in my Prophetical Office, as regards the Via Media, that I was making only "a first approximation to the required solution;"—"a series of illustrations supplying hints for the removal" of a difficulty, and with full acknowledgment "that in minor points, whether in question of fact or of judgment, there was room for difference or error of opinion," and that I "should not be ashamed to own a mistake, if it were proved against me, nor reluctant to bear the just blame of it."—Proph. Off. p. 31.

I will add, I was embarrassed in consequence of my wish to go as far as was possible in interpreting the Articles in the direction of Roman dogma, without disclosing what I was doing to the parties whose doubts I was meeting; who, if they understood at once the full extent of the licence which the Articles admitted, might be thereby encouraged to proceed still further than at present they found in themselves any call to go.

1. But in the way of such an attempt comes the prompt objection that the Articles were actually drawn up against "Popery," and therefore it was transcendently absurd and dishonest to suppose that Popery, in any shape,—patristic belief, Tridentine dogma, or popular corruption authoritatively sanctioned,—would be able to take refuge under their text. This premiss I denied. Not any religious doctrine[Pg 81] at all, but a political principle, was the primary English idea of "Popery" at the date of the Reformation. And what was that political principle, and how could it best be suppressed in England? What was the great question in the days of Henry and Elizabeth? The Supremacy;—now, was I saying one single word in favour of the Supremacy of the Holy See, in favour of the foreign jurisdiction? No, I did not believe in it myself. Did Henry VIII. religiously hold Justification by faith only? did he disbelieve Purgatory? Was Elizabeth zealous for the marriage of the Clergy? or had she a conscience against the Mass? The Supremacy of the Pope was the essence of the "Popery" to which, at the time of the composition of the Articles, the Supreme Head or Governor of the English Church was so violently hostile.

2. But again I said this:—let "Popery" mean what it would in the mouths of the compilers of the Articles, let it even, for argument's sake, include the doctrines of that Tridentine Council, which was not yet over when the Articles were drawn up, and against which they could not be simply directed, yet, consider, what was the object of the Government in their imposition? merely to get rid of "Popery?" No; it had the further object of gaining the "Papists." What then was the best way to induce reluctant or wavering minds, and these, I supposed, were the majority, to give in their adhesion to the new symbol? how had the Arians drawn up their Creeds? was it not on the principle of using vague ambiguous language, which to the subscribers would seem to bear a Catholic sense, but which, when worked out on the long run, would prove to be heterodox? Accordingly, there was great antecedent probability, that, fierce as the Articles might look at first sight, their bark would prove worse than their bite. I say antecedent probability, for to what extent[Pg 82] that surmise might be true, could only be ascertained by investigation.

3. But a consideration came up at once, which threw light on this surmise:—what if it should turn out that the very men who drew up the Articles, in the very act of doing so, had avowed, or rather in one of those very Articles themselves had imposed on subscribers, a number of those very "Papistical" doctrines, which they were now thought to deny, as part and parcel of that very Protestantism, which they were now thought to consider divine? and this was the fact, and I showed it in my Essay.

Let the reader observe:—the 35th Article says: "The second Book of Homilies doth contain a godly and wholesome doctrine, and necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies." Here the doctrine of the Homilies is recognized as godly and wholesome, and concurrence in that recognition is imposed on all subscribers of the Articles. Let us then turn to the Homilies, and see what this godly doctrine is: I quoted from them to the following effect:

1. They declare that the so-called "apocryphal" book of Tobit is the teaching of the Holy Ghost, and is Scripture.

2. That the so-called "apocryphal" book of Wisdom is Scripture, and the infallible and undeceivable word of God.

3. That the Primitive Church, next to the Apostles' time, and, as they imply, for almost 700 years, is no doubt most pure.

4. That the Primitive Church is specially to be followed.

5. That the Four first General Councils belong to the Primitive Church.

6. That there are Six Councils which are allowed and received by all men.[Pg 83]

7. Again, they speak of a certain truth, and say that it is declared by God's word, the sentences of the ancient doctors, and judgment of the Primitive Church.

8. Of the learned and holy Bishops and doctors of the Church of the first eight centuries being of great authority and credit with the people.

9. Of the declaration of Christ and His Apostles and all the rest of the Holy Fathers.

10. Of the authority both of Scripture and also of Augustine.

11. Of Augustine, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, and about thirty other Fathers, to some of whom they give the title of "Saint," to others of "ancient Catholic Fathers and doctors, &c."

12. They declare that, not only the holy Apostles and disciples of Christ, but the godly Fathers also, before and since Christ, were endued without doubt with the Holy Ghost.

13. That the ancient Catholic Fathers say that the "Lord's Supper" is the salve of immortality, the sovereign preservative against death, the food of immortality, the healthful grace.

14. That the Lord's Blessed Body and Blood are received under the form of bread and wine.

15. That the meat in the Sacrament is an invisible meat and a ghostly substance.

16. That the holy Body and Blood of thy God ought to be touched with the mind.

17. That Ordination is a Sacrament.

18. That Matrimony is a Sacrament.

19. That there are other Sacraments besides "Baptism and the Lord's Supper," though not "such as" they.

20. That the souls of the Saints are reigning in joy and in heaven with God.

21. That alms-deeds purge the soul from the infection[Pg 84] and filthy spots of sin, and are a precious medicine, an inestimable jewel.

22. That mercifulness wipes out and washes away sins, as salves and remedies to heal sores and grievous diseases.

23. That the duty of fasting is a truth more manifest than it should need to be proved.

24. That fasting, used with prayer, is of great efficacy and weigheth much with God; so the Angel Raphael told Tobias.

25. That the puissant and mighty Emperor Theodosius was, in the Primitive Church which was most holy and godly, excommunicated by St. Ambrose.

26. That Constantine, Bishop of Rome, did condemn Philippicus, then Emperor, not without a cause indeed, but very justly.

Putting altogether aside the question how far these separate theses came under the matter to which subscription was to be made, it was quite plain, that in the minds of the men who wrote the Homilies, and who thus incorporated them into the Anglican system of doctrine, there was no such nice discrimination between the Catholic and the Protestant faith, no such clear recognition of formal Protestant principles and tenets, no such accurate definition of "Roman doctrine," as is received at the present day:—hence great probability accrued to my presentiment, that the Articles were tolerant, not only of what I called "Catholic teaching," but of much that was "Roman."

4. And here was another reason against the notion that the Articles directly attacked the Roman dogmas as declared at Trent and as promulgated by Pius the Fourth:—the Council of Trent was not over, nor its Canons promulgated at the date when the Articles were drawn up[5], so[Pg 85] that those Articles must be aiming at something else? What was that something else? The Homilies tell us: the Homilies are the best comment upon the Articles. Let us turn to the Homilies, and we shall find from first to last that, not only is not the Catholic teaching of the first centuries, but neither again are the dogmas of Rome, the objects of the protest of the compilers of the Articles, but the dominant errors, the popular corruptions, authorized or suffered by the high name of Rome. The eloquent declamation of the Homilies finds its matter almost exclusively in the dominant errors. As to Catholic teaching, nay as to Roman dogma, of such theology those Homilies, as I have shown, contained no small portion themselves.

[5] The Pope's Confirmation of the Council, by which its Canons became de fide, and his Bull super confirmatione by which they were promulgated to the world, are dated January 26, 1564. The Articles are dated 1562.

5. So much for the writers of the Articles and Homilies;—they were witnesses, not authorities, and I used them as such; but in the next place, who were the actual authorities imposing them? I reasonably considered the authority imponens to be the Convocation of 1571; but here again, it would be found that the very Convocation, which received and confirmed the 39 Articles, also enjoined by Canon that "preachers should be careful, that they should never teach aught in a sermon, to be religiously held and believed by the people, except that which is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, and which the Catholic Fathers and ancient Bishops have collected from that very doctrine." Here, let it be observed, an appeal is made by the Convocation imponens to the very same ancient authorities, as had been mentioned with such profound veneration by the writers of the Homilies and the Articles, and thus, if the Homilies contained views of doctrine which now would be called Roman, there seemed to me to be an extreme probability that the Convocation of 1571 also countenanced and received, or at least did not reject, those doctrines.

6. And further, when at length I came actually to look[Pg 86] into the text of the Articles, I saw in many cases a patent justification of all that I had surmised as to their vagueness and indecisiveness, and that, not only on questions which lay between Lutherans, Calvinists, and Zuinglians, but on Catholic questions also; and I have noticed them in my Tract. In the conclusion of my Tract I observe: The Articles are "evidently framed on the principle of leaving open large questions on which the controversy hinges. They state broadly extreme truths, and are silent about their adjustment. For instance, they say that all necessary faith must be proved from Scripture; but do not say who is to prove it. They say, that the Church has authority in controversies; they do not say what authority. They say that it may enforce nothing beyond Scripture, but do not say where the remedy lies when it does. They say that works before grace and justification are worthless and worse, and that works after grace and justification are acceptable, but they do not speak at all of works with God's aid before justification. They say that men are lawfully called and sent to minister and preach, who are chosen and called by men who have public authority given them in the Congregation; but they do not add by whom the authority is to be given. They say that Councils called by princes may err; they do not determine whether Councils called in the name of Christ may err."

Such were the considerations which weighed with me in my inquiry how far the Articles were tolerant of a Catholic, or even a Roman interpretation; and such was the defence which I made in my Tract for having attempted it. From what I have already said, it will appear that I have no need or intention at this day to maintain every particular interpretation which I suggested in the course of my Tract, nor indeed had I then. Whether it was prudent or not, whether it was sensible or not, any how I attempted only a first essay of a necessary work, an essay[Pg 87] which, as I was quite prepared to find, would require revision and modification by means of the lights which I should gain from the criticism of others. I should have gladly withdrawn any statement, which could be proved to me to be erroneous; I considered my work to be faulty and open to objection in the same sense in which I now consider my Anglican interpretations of Scripture to be erroneous; but in no other sense. I am surprised that men do not apply to the interpreters of Scripture generally the hard names which they apply to the author of Tract 90. He held a large system of theology, and applied it to the Articles: Episcopalians, or Lutherans, or Presbyterians, or Unitarians, hold a large system of theology and apply it to Scripture. Every theology has its difficulties; Protestants hold justification by faith only, though there is no text in St. Paul which enunciates it, and though St. James expressly denies it; do we therefore call Protestants dishonest? they deny that the Church has a divine mission, though St. Paul says that it is "the Pillar and ground of Truth;" they keep the Sabbath, though St. Paul says, "Let no man judge you in meat or drink or in respect of ... the sabbath days." Every creed has texts in its favour, and again texts which run counter to it: and this is generally confessed. And this is what I felt keenly:—how had I done worse in Tract 90 than Anglicans, Wesleyans, and Calvinists did daily in their Sermons and their publications? how had I done worse, than the Evangelical party in their ex animo reception of the Services for Baptism and Visitation of the Sick[6]? Why was I to be dishonest[Pg 88] and they immaculate? There was an occasion on which our Lord gave an answer, which seemed to be appropriate to my own case, when the tumult broke out against my Tract:—"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at him." I could have fancied that a sense of their own difficulties of interpretation would have persuaded the great party I have mentioned to some prudence, or at least moderation, in opposing a teacher of an opposite school. But I suppose their alarm and their anger overcame their sense of justice.

[6] For instance, let candid men consider the form of Absolution contained in that Prayer Book, of which all clergymen, Evangelical and Liberal as well as high Church, and (I think) all persons in University office declare that "it containeth nothing contrary to the Word of God."

I challenge, in the sight of all England, Evangelical clergymen generally, to put on paper an interpretation of this form of words, consistent with their sentiments, which shall be less forced than the most objectionable of the interpretations which Tract 90 puts upon any passage in the Articles.

"Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to His Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, of His great mercy forgive thee thine offences; and by His authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

I subjoin the Roman form, as used in England and elsewhere: "Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego auctoritate ipsius te absolvo, ab omni vinculo excommunicationis et interdicti, in quantum possum et tu indiges. Deinde ego te absolvo à peccatis tuis, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritûs Sancti. Amen."


In the sudden storm of indignation with which the Tract was received throughout the country on its appearance, I recognize much of real religious feeling, much of honest and true principle, much of straightforward ignorant common sense. In Oxford there was genuine feeling too; but there had been a smouldering, stern, energetic animosity, not at all unnatural, partly rational, against its author. A false step had been made; now was the time for action. I am told that, even before the publication of the Tract, rumours of its contents had got into the hostile camp in an exaggerated form; and not a moment was lost in proceeding to action, when I was actually fallen into the hands of the Philistines. I was quite unprepared for the[Pg 89] outbreak, and was startled at its violence. I do not think I had any fear. Nay, I will add, I am not sure that it was not in one point of view a relief to me.

I saw indeed clearly that my place in the Movement was lost; public confidence was at an end; my occupation was gone. It was simply an impossibility that I could say any thing henceforth to good effect, when I had been posted up by the marshal on the buttery-hatch of every College of my University, after the manner of discommoned pastry-cooks, and when in every part of the country and every class of society, through every organ and opportunity of opinion, in newspapers, in periodicals, at meetings, in pulpits, at dinner-tables, in coffee-rooms, in railway carriages, I was denounced as a traitor who had laid his train and was detected in the very act of firing it against the time-honoured Establishment. There were indeed men, besides my own immediate friends, men of name and position, who gallantly took my part, as Dr. Hook, Mr. Palmer, and Mr. Perceval; it must have been a grievous trial for themselves; yet what after all could they do for me? Confidence in me was lost;—but I had already lost full confidence in myself. Thoughts had passed over me a year and a half before in respect to the Anglican claims, which for the time had profoundly troubled me. They had gone: I had not less confidence in the power and the prospects of the Apostolical movement than before; not less confidence than before in the grievousness of what I called the "dominant errors" of Rome: but how was I any more to have absolute confidence in myself? how was I to have confidence in my present confidence? how was I to be sure that I should always think as I thought now? I felt that by this event a kind Providence had saved me from an impossible position in the future.


First, if I remember right, they wished me to withdraw[Pg 90] the Tract. This I refused to do: I would not do so for the sake of those who were unsettled or in danger of unsettlement. I would not do so for my own sake; for how could I acquiesce in a mere Protestant interpretation of the Articles? how could I range myself among the professors of a theology, of which it put my teeth on edge even to hear the sound?

Next they said, "Keep silence; do not defend the Tract;" I answered, "Yes, if you will not condemn it,—if you will allow it to continue on sale." They pressed on me whenever I gave way; they fell back when they saw me obstinate. Their line of action was to get out of me as much as they could; but upon the point of their tolerating the Tract I was obstinate. So they let me continue it on sale; and they said they would not condemn it. But they said that this was on condition that I did not defend it, that I stopped the series, and that I myself published my own condemnation in a letter to the Bishop of Oxford. I impute nothing whatever to him, he was ever most kind to me. Also, they said they could not answer for what some individual Bishops might perhaps say about the Tract in their own charges. I agreed to their conditions. My one point was to save the Tract.

Not a line in writing was given me, as a pledge of the observance of the main article on their side of the engagement. Parts of letters from them were read to me, without being put into my hands. It was an "understanding." A clever man had warned me against "understandings" some thirteen years before: I have hated them ever since.

In the last words of my letter to the Bishop of Oxford I thus resigned my place in the Movement:—

"I have nothing to be sorry for," I say to him, "except having made your Lordship anxious, and others whom I am bound to revere. I have nothing to be sorry for, but everything to rejoice in and be thankful for. I have never[Pg 91] taken pleasure in seeming to be able to move a party, and whatever influence I have had, has been found, not sought after. I have acted because others did not act, and have sacrificed a quiet which I prized. May God be with me in time to come, as He has been hitherto! and He will be, if I can but keep my hand clean and my heart pure. I think I can bear, or at least will try to bear, any personal humiliation, so that I am preserved from betraying sacred interests, which the Lord of grace and power has given into my charge[7]."[Pg 92]

[7] To the Pamphlets published in my behalf at this time I should add "One Tract more," an able and generous defence of Tractarianism and No. 90, by the present Lord Houghton.

CHAPTER III.

HISTORY OF MY RELIGIOUS OPINIONS FROM 1839 TO 1841.

And now that I am about to trace, as far as I can, the course of that great revolution of mind, which led me to leave my own home, to which I was bound by so many strong and tender ties, I feel overcome with the difficulty of satisfying myself in my account of it, and have recoiled from the attempt, till the near approach of the day, on which these lines must be given to the world, forces me to set about the task. For who can know himself, and the multitude of subtle influences which act upon him? And who can recollect, at the distance of twenty-five years, all that he once knew about his thoughts and his deeds, and that, during a portion of his life, when, even at the time, his observation, whether of himself or of the external world, was less than before or after, by very reason of the perplexity and dismay which weighed upon him,—when, in spite of the light given to him according to his need amid his darkness, yet a darkness it emphatically was? And who can suddenly gird himself to a new and anxious undertaking, which he might be able indeed to perform well, were full and calm leisure allowed him to look through every thing that he had written, whether in published works or private letters? yet again, granting that calm contemplation of the past, in itself so desirable, who could afford to be leisurely and deliberate, while he[Pg 93] practises on himself a cruel operation, the ripping up of old griefs, and the venturing again upon the "infandum dolorem" of years in which the stars of this lower heaven were one by one going out? I could not in cool blood, nor except upon the imperious call of duty, attempt what I have set myself to do. It is both to head and heart an extreme trial, thus to analyze what has so long gone by, and to bring out the results of that examination. I have done various bold things in my life: this is the boldest: and, were I not sure I should after all succeed in my object, it would be madness to set about it.


In the spring of 1839 my position in the Anglican Church was at its height. I had supreme confidence in my controversial status, and I had a great and still growing success, in recommending it to others. I had in the foregoing autumn been somewhat sore at the Bishop's Charge, but I have a letter which shows that all annoyance had passed from my mind. In January, if I recollect aright, in order to meet the popular clamour against myself and others, and to satisfy the Bishop, I had collected into one all the strong things which they, and especially I, had said against the Church of Rome, in order to their insertion among the advertisements appended to our publications. Conscious as I was that my opinions in religion were not gained, as the world said, from Roman sources, but were, on the contrary, the birth of my own mind and of the circumstances in which I had been placed, I had a scorn of the imputations which were heaped upon me. It was true that I held a large bold system of religion, very unlike the Protestantism of the day, but it was the concentration and adjustment of the statements of great Anglican authorities, and I had as much right to hold it, as the Evangelical, and more right than the Liberal party could show, for asserting their own respective doctrines. As I[Pg 94] declared on occasion of Tract 90, I claimed, in behalf of who would in the Anglican Church, the right of holding with Bramhall a comprecation with the Saints, and the Mass all but Transubstantiation with Andrewes, or with Hooker that Transubstantiation itself is not a point for Churches to part communion upon, or with Hammond that a General Council, truly such, never did, never shall err in a matter of faith, or with Bull that man had in paradise and lost on the fall, a supernatural habit of grace, or with Thorndike that penance is a propitiation for post-baptismal sin, or with Pearson that the all-powerful name of Jesus is no otherwise given than in the Catholic Church. "Two can play at that," was often in my mouth, when men of Protestant sentiments appealed to the Articles, Homilies, or Reformers; in the sense that, if they had a right to speak loud, I had the liberty to speak out as well as they, and had the means, by the same or parallel appeals, of giving them tit for tat. I thought that the Anglican Church was tyrannized over by a mere party, and I aimed at bringing into effect the promise contained in the motto to the Lyra, "They shall know the difference now." I only asked to be allowed to show them the difference.

What will best describe my state of mind at the early part of 1839, is an Article in the British Critic for that April. I have looked over it now, for the first time since it was published; and have been struck by it for this reason:—it contains the last words which I ever spoke as an Anglican to Anglicans. It may now be read as my parting address and valediction, made to my friends. I little knew it at the time. It reviews the actual state of things, and it ends by looking towards the future. It is not altogether mine; for my memory goes to this,—that I had asked a friend to do the work; that then, the thought came on me, that I would do it myself: and that[Pg 95] he was good enough to put into my hands what he had with great appositeness written, and that I embodied it in my Article. Every one, I think, will recognize the greater part of it as mine. It was published two years before the affair of Tract 90, and was entitled "The State of Religious Parties."

In this Article, I begin by bringing together testimonies from our enemies to the remarkable success of our exertions. One writer said: "Opinions and views of a theology of a very marked and peculiar kind have been extensively adopted and strenuously upheld, and are daily gaining ground among a considerable and influential portion of the members, as well as ministers of the Established Church." Another: The Movement has manifested itself "with the most rapid growth of the hot-bed of these evil days." Another: "The Via Media is crowded with young enthusiasts, who never presume to argue, except against the propriety of arguing at all." Another: "Were I to give you a full list of the works, which they have produced within the short space of five years, I should surprise you. You would see what a task it would be to make yourself complete master of their system, even in its present probably immature state. The writers have adopted the motto, 'In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.' With regard to confidence, they have justified their adopting it; but as to quietness, it is not very quiet to pour forth such a succession of controversial publications." Another: "The spread of these doctrines is in fact now having the effect of rendering all other distinctions obsolete, and of severing the religious community into two portions, fundamentally and vehemently opposed one to the other. Soon there will be no middle ground left; and every man, and especially every clergyman, will be compelled to make his choice between the two." Another: "The time has gone by, when those unfortunate[Pg 96] and deeply regretted publications can be passed over without notice, and the hope that their influence would fail is now dead." Another: "These doctrines had already made fearful progress. One of the largest churches in Brighton is crowded to hear them; so is the church at Leeds. There are few towns of note, to which they have not extended. They are preached in small towns in Scotland. They obtain in Elginshire, 600 miles north of London. I found them myself in the heart of the highlands of Scotland. They are advocated in the newspaper and periodical press. They have even insinuated themselves into the House of Commons." And, lastly, a bishop in a charge:—It "is daily assuming a more serious and alarming aspect. Under the specious pretence of deference to Antiquity and respect for primitive models, the foundations of the Protestant Church are undermined by men, who dwell within her walls, and those who sit in the Reformers' seat are traducing the Reformation."

After thus stating the phenomenon of the time, as it presented itself to those who did not sympathize in it, the Article proceeds to account for it; and this it does by considering it as a re-action from the dry and superficial character of the religious teaching and the literature of the last generation, or century, and as a result of the need which was felt both by the hearts and the intellects of the nation for a deeper philosophy, and as the evidence and as the partial fulfilment of that need, to which even the chief authors of the then generation had borne witness. First, I mentioned the literary influence of Walter Scott, who turned men's minds in the direction of the middle ages. "The general need," I said, "of something deeper and more attractive, than what had offered itself elsewhere, may be considered to have led to his popularity; and by means of his popularity he re-acted on his readers, stimulating their mental thirst, feeding their hopes, setting[Pg 97] before them visions, which, when once seen, are not easily forgotten, and silently indoctrinating them with nobler ideas, which might afterwards be appealed to as first principles."

Then I spoke of Coleridge, thus: "While history in prose and verse was thus made the instrument of Church feelings and opinions, a philosophical basis for the same was laid in England by a very original thinker, who, while he indulged a liberty of speculation, which no Christian can tolerate, and advocated conclusions which were often heathen rather than Christian, yet after all installed a higher philosophy into inquiring minds, than they had hitherto been accustomed to accept. In this way he made trial of his age, and succeeded in interesting its genius in the cause of Catholic truth."

Then come Southey and Wordsworth, "two living poets, one of whom in the department of fantastic fiction, the other in that of philosophical meditation, have addressed themselves to the same high principles and feelings, and carried forward their readers in the same direction."

Then comes the prediction of this re-action hazarded by "a sagacious observer withdrawn from the world, and surveying its movements from a distance," Mr. Alexander Knox. He had said twenty years before the date of my Article: "No Church on earth has more intrinsic excellence than the English Church, yet no Church probably has less practical influence.... The rich provision, made by the grace and providence of God, for habits of a noble kind, is evidence that men shall arise, fitted both by nature and ability, to discover for themselves, and to display to others, whatever yet remains undiscovered, whether in the words or works of God." Also I referred to "a much venerated clergyman of the last generation," who said shortly before his death, "Depend on it, the day will come, when those great doctrines, now buried, will be[Pg 98] brought out to the light of day, and then the effect will be fearful." I remarked upon this, that they who "now blame the impetuosity of the current, should rather turn their animadversions upon those who have dammed up a majestic river, till it has become a flood."

These being the circumstances under which the Movement began and progressed, it was absurd to refer it to the act of two or three individuals. It was not so much a movement as a "spirit afloat;" it was within us, "rising up in hearts where it was least suspected, and working itself, though not in secret, yet so subtly and impalpably, as hardly to admit of precaution or encounter on any ordinary human rules of opposition. It is," I continued, "an adversary in the air, a something one and entire, a whole wherever it is, unapproachable and incapable of being grasped, as being the result of causes far deeper than political or other visible agencies, the spiritual awakening of spiritual wants."

To make this clear, I proceed to refer to the chief preachers of the revived doctrines at that moment, and to draw attention to the variety of their respective antecedents. Dr. Hook and Mr. Churton represented the high Church dignitaries of the last century; Mr. Perceval, the Tory aristocracy; Mr. Keble came from a country parsonage; Mr. Palmer from Ireland; Dr. Pusey from the Universities of Germany, and the study of Arabic MSS.; Mr. Dodsworth from the study of Prophecy; Mr. Oakeley had gained his views, as he himself expressed it, "partly by study, partly by reflection, partly by conversation with one or two friends, inquirers like himself:" while I speak of myself as being "much indebted to the friendship of Archbishop Whately." And thus I am led on to ask, "What head of a sect is there? What march of opinions can be traced from mind to mind among preachers such as these? They are one and all in their degree the organs[Pg 99] of one Sentiment, which has risen up simultaneously in many places very mysteriously."

My train of thought next led me to speak of the disciples of the Movement, and I freely acknowledged and lamented that they needed to be kept in order. It is very much to the purpose to draw attention to this point now, when such extravagances as then occurred, whatever they were, are simply laid to my door, or to the charge of the doctrines which I advocated. A man cannot do more than freely confess what is wrong, say that it need not be, that it ought not to be, and that he is very sorry that it should be. Now I said in the Article, which I am reviewing, that the great truths themselves, which we were preaching, must not be condemned on account of such abuse of them. "Aberrations there must ever be, whatever the doctrine is, while the human heart is sensitive, capricious, and wayward. A mixed multitude went out of Egypt with the Israelites." "There will ever be a number of persons," I continued, "professing the opinions of a movement party, who talk loudly and strangely, do odd or fierce things, display themselves unnecessarily, and disgust other people; persons, too young to be wise, too generous to be cautious, too warm to be sober, or too intellectual to be humble. Such persons will be very apt to attach themselves to particular persons, to use particular names, to say things merely because others do, and to act in a party-spirited way."

While I thus republish what I then said about such extravagances as occurred in these years, at the same time I have a very strong conviction that those extravagances furnished quite as much the welcome excuse for those who were jealous or shy of us, as the stumbling-blocks of those who were well inclined to our doctrines. This too we felt at the time; but it was our duty to see that our good should not be evil-spoken of; and accordingly, two or[Pg 100] three of the writers of the Tracts for the Times had commenced a Series of what they called "Plain Sermons" with the avowed purpose of discouraging and correcting whatever was uppish or extreme in our followers: to this Series I contributed a volume myself.

Its conductors say in their Preface: "If therefore as time goes on, there shall be found persons, who admiring the innate beauty and majesty of the fuller system of Primitive Christianity, and seeing the transcendent strength of its principles, shall become loud and voluble advocates in their behalf, speaking the more freely, because they do not feel them deeply as founded in divine and eternal truth, of such persons it is our duty to declare plainly, that, as we should contemplate their condition with serious misgiving, so would they be the last persons from whom we should seek support.

"But if, on the other hand, there shall be any, who, in the silent humility of their lives, and in their unaffected reverence for holy things, show that they in truth accept these principles as real and substantial, and by habitual purity of heart and serenity of temper, give proof of their deep veneration for sacraments and sacramental ordinances, those persons, whether our professed adherents or not, best exemplify the kind of character which the writers of the Tracts for the Times have wished to form."

These clergymen had the best of claims to use these beautiful words, for they were themselves, all of them, important writers in the Tracts, the two Mr. Kebles, and Mr. Isaac Williams. And this passage, with which they ushered their Series into the world, I quoted in the Article, of which I am giving an account, and I added, "What more can be required of the preachers of neglected truth, than that they should admit that some, who do not assent to their preaching, are holier and better men than some who do?" They were not answerable for the intemperance[Pg 101] of those who dishonoured a true doctrine, provided they protested, as they did, against such intemperance. "They were not answerable for the dust and din which attends any great moral movement. The truer doctrines are, the more liable they are to be perverted."

The notice of these incidental faults of opinion or temper in adherents of the Movement, led on to a discussion of the secondary causes, by means of which a system of doctrine may be embraced, modified, or developed, of the variety of schools which may all be in the One Church, and of the succession of one phase of doctrine to another, while that doctrine is ever one and the same. Thus I was brought on to the subject of Antiquity, which was the basis of the doctrine of the Via Media, and by which was not to be understood a servile imitation of the past, but such a reproduction of it as is really new, while it is old. "We have good hope," I say, "that a system will be rising up, superior to the age, yet harmonizing with, and carrying out its higher points, which will attract to itself those who are willing to make a venture and to face difficulties, for the sake of something higher in prospect. On this, as on other subjects, the proverb will apply, 'Fortes fortuna adjuvat.'"

Lastly, I proceeded to the question of that future of the Anglican Church, which was to be a new birth of the Ancient Religion. And I did not venture to pronounce upon it. "About the future, we have no prospect before our minds whatever, good or bad. Ever since that great luminary, Augustine, proved to be the last bishop of Hippo, Christians have had a lesson against attempting to foretell, how Providence will prosper and" [or?] "bring to an end, what it begins." Perhaps the lately-revived principles would prevail in the Anglican Church; perhaps they would be lost in some miserable schism, or some more miserable compromise; but there was nothing[Pg 102] rash in venturing to predict that "neither Puritanism nor Liberalism had any permanent inheritance within her."

Then I went on: "As to Liberalism, we think the formularies of the Church will ever, with the aid of a good Providence, keep it from making any serious inroads upon the clergy. Besides, it is too cold a principle to prevail with the multitude." But as regarded what was called Evangelical Religion or Puritanism, there was more to cause alarm. I observed upon its organization; but on the other hand it had no intellectual basis; no internal idea, no principle of unity, no theology. "Its adherents," I said, "are already separating from each other; they will melt away like a snow-drift. It has no straightforward view on any one point, on which it professes to teach, and to hide its poverty, it has dressed itself out in a maze of words. We have no dread of it at all; we only fear what it may lead to. It does not stand on intrenched ground, or make any pretence to a position; it does but occupy the space between contending powers, Catholic Truth and Rationalism. Then indeed will be the stern encounter, when two real and living principles, simple, entire, and consistent, one in the Church, the other out of it, at length rush upon each other, contending not for names and words, or half-views, but for elementary notions and distinctive moral characters."

Whether the ideas of the coming age upon religion were true or false, at least they would be real. "In the present day," I said, "mistiness is the mother of wisdom. A man who can set down a half-a-dozen general propositions, which escape from destroying one another only by being diluted into truisms, who can hold the balance between opposites so skilfully as to do without fulcrum or beam, who never enunciates a truth without guarding himself against being supposed to exclude the contradictory,—who[Pg 103] holds that Scripture is the only authority, yet that the Church is to be deferred to, that faith only justifies, yet that it does not justify without works, that grace does not depend on the sacraments, yet is not given without them, that bishops are a divine ordinance, yet those who have them not are in the same religious condition as those who have,—this is your safe man and the hope of the Church; this is what the Church is said to want, not party men, but sensible, temperate, sober, well-judging persons, to guide it through the channel of no-meaning, between the Scylla and Charybdis of Aye and No."

This state of things, however, I said, could not last, if men were to read and think. They "will not keep in that very attitude which you call sound Church-of-Englandism or orthodox Protestantism. They cannot go on for ever standing on one leg, or sitting without a chair, or walking with their feet tied, or like Tityrus's stags grazing in the air. They will take one view or another, but it will be a consistent view. It may be Liberalism, or Erastianism, or Popery, or Catholicity; but it will be real."

I concluded the Article by saying, that all who did not wish to be "democratic, or pantheistic, or popish," must "look out for some Via Media which will preserve us from what threatens, though it cannot restore the dead. The spirit of Luther is dead; but Hildebrand and Loyola are alive. Is it sensible, sober, judicious, to be so very angry with those writers of the day, who point to the fact, that our divines of the seventeenth century have occupied a ground which is the true and intelligible mean between extremes? Is it wise to quarrel with this ground, because it is not exactly what we should choose, had we the power of choice? Is it true moderation, instead of trying to fortify a middle doctrine, to fling stones at those who do?... Would you rather have your sons and daughters[Pg 104] members of the Church of England or of the Church of Rome?"

And thus I left the matter. But, while I was thus speaking of the future of the Movement, I was in truth winding up my accounts with it, little dreaming that it was so to be;—while I was still, in some way or other, feeling about for an available Via Media, I was soon to receive a shock which was to cast out of my imagination all middle courses and compromises for ever. As I have said, this Article appeared in the April number of the British Critic; in the July number, I cannot tell why, there is no Article of mine; before the number for October, the event had happened to which I have alluded.

But before I proceed to describe what happened to me in the summer of 1839, I must detain the reader for a while, in order to describe the issue of the controversy between Rome and the Anglican Church, as I viewed it. This will involve some dry discussion; but it is as necessary for my narrative, as plans of buildings and homesteads are at times needed in the proceedings of our law courts.


I have said already that, though the object of the Movement was to withstand the Liberalism of the day, I found and felt this could not be done by mere negatives. It was necessary for us to have a positive Church theory erected on a definite basis. This took me to the great Anglican divines; and then of course I found at once that it was impossible to form any such theory, without cutting across the teaching of the Church of Rome. Thus came in the Roman controversy.

When I first turned myself to it, I had neither doubt on the subject, nor suspicion that doubt would ever come upon me. It was in this state of mind that I began to[Pg 105] read up Bellarmine on the one hand, and numberless Anglican writers on the other. But I soon found, as others had found before me, that it was a tangled and manifold controversy, difficult to master, more difficult to put out of hand with neatness and precision. It was easy to make points, not easy to sum up and settle. It was not easy to find a clear issue for the dispute, and still less by a logical process to decide it in favour of Anglicanism. This difficulty, however, had no tendency whatever to harass or perplex me: it was a matter which bore not on convictions, but on proofs.

First I saw, as all see who study the subject, that a broad distinction had to be drawn between the actual state of belief and of usage in the countries which were in communion with the Roman Church, and her formal dogmas; the latter did not cover the former. Sensible pain, for instance, is not implied in the Tridentine decree upon Purgatory; but it was the tradition of the Latin Church, and I had seen the pictures of souls in flames in the streets of Naples. Bishop Lloyd had brought this distinction out strongly in an Article in the British Critic in 1825; indeed, it was one of the most common objections made to the Church of Rome, that she dared not commit herself by formal decree, to what nevertheless she sanctioned and allowed. Accordingly, in my Prophetical Office, I view as simply separate ideas, Rome quiescent, and Rome in action. I contrasted her creed on the one hand, with her ordinary teaching, her controversial tone, her political and social bearing, and her popular beliefs and practices, on the other.

While I made this distinction between the decrees and the traditions of Rome, I drew a parallel distinction between Anglicanism quiescent, and Anglicanism in action. In its formal creed Anglicanism was not at a great distance from Rome: far otherwise, when viewed in its insular spirit,[Pg 106] the traditions of its establishment, its historical characteristics, its controversial rancour, and its private judgment. I disavowed and condemned those excesses, and called them "Protestantism" or "Ultra-Protestantism:" I wished to find a parallel disclaimer, on the part of Roman controversialists, of that popular system of beliefs and usages in their own Church, which I called "Popery." When that hope was a dream, I saw that the controversy lay between the book-theology of Anglicanism on the one side, and the living system of what I called Roman corruption on the other. I could not get further than this; with this result I was forced to content myself.

These then were the parties in the controversy:—the Anglican Via Media and the popular religion of Rome. And next, as to the issue, to which the controversy between them was to be brought, it was this:—the Anglican disputant took his stand upon Antiquity or Apostolicity, the Roman upon Catholicity. The Anglican said to the Roman: "There is but One Faith, the Ancient, and you have not kept to it;" the Roman retorted: "There is but One Church, the Catholic, and you are out of it." The Anglican urged "Your special beliefs, practices, modes of action, are nowhere in Antiquity;" the Roman objected: "You do not communicate with any one Church besides your own and its offshoots, and you have discarded principles, doctrines, sacraments, and usages, which are and ever have been received in the East and the West." The true Church, as defined in the Creeds, was both Catholic and Apostolic; now, as I viewed the controversy in which I was engaged, England and Rome had divided these notes or prerogatives between them: the cause lay thus, Apostolicity versus Catholicity.

However, in thus stating the matter, of course I do not wish it supposed that I allowed the note of Catholicity really to belong to Rome, to the disparagement of the[Pg 107] Anglican Church; but I considered that the special point or plea of Rome in the controversy was Catholicity, as the Anglican plea was Antiquity. Of course I contended that the Roman idea of Catholicity was not ancient and apostolic. It was in my judgment at the utmost only natural, becoming, expedient, that the whole of Christendom should be united in one visible body; while such a unity might, on the other hand, be nothing more than a mere heartless and political combination. For myself, I held with the Anglican divines, that, in the Primitive Church, there was a very real mutual independence between its separate parts, though, from a dictate of charity, there was in fact a close union between them. I considered that each See and Diocese might be compared to a crystal, and that each was similar to the rest, and that the sum total of them all was only a collection of crystals. The unity of the Church lay, not in its being a polity, but in its being a family, a race, coming down by apostolical descent from its first founders and bishops. And I considered this truth brought out, beyond the possibility of dispute, in the Epistles of St. Ignatius, in which the Bishop is represented as the one supreme authority in the Church, that is, in his own place, with no one above him, except as, for the sake of ecclesiastical order and expedience, arrangements had been made by which one was put over or under another. So much for our own claim to Catholicity, which was so perversely appropriated by our opponents to themselves:—on the other hand, as to our special strong point, Antiquity, while, of course, by means of it, we were able to condemn most emphatically the novel claim of Rome to domineer over other Churches, which were in truth her equals, further than that, we thereby especially convicted her of the intolerable offence of having added to the Faith. This was the critical head of accusation urged against her by the Anglican disputant; and as he referred to St. Ignatius[Pg 108] in proof that he himself was a true Catholic, in spite of being separated from Rome, so he triumphantly referred to the Treatise of Vincentius of Lerins upon the "Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus," in proof that the controversialists of Rome, in spite of their possession of the Catholic name, were separated in their creed from the Apostolical and primitive faith.

Of course those controversialists had their own mode of answering him, with which I am not concerned in this place; here I am only concerned with the issue itself, between the one party and the other—Antiquity versus Catholicity.

Now I will proceed to illustrate what I have been saying of the status of the controversy, as it presented itself to my mind, by extracts from my writings of the dates of 1836, 1840, and 1841. And I introduce them with a remark, which especially applies to the paper, from which I shall quote first, of the date of 1836. That paper appeared in the March and April numbers of the British Magazine of that year, and was entitled "Home Thoughts Abroad." Now it will be found, that, in the discussion which it contains, as in various other writings of mine, when I was in the Anglican Church, the argument in behalf of Rome is stated with considerable perspicuity and force. And at the time my friends and supporters cried out, "How imprudent!" and, both at the time, and especially at a later date, my enemies have cried out, "How insidious!" Friends and foes virtually agreed in their criticism; I had set out the cause which I was combating to the best advantage: this was an offence; it might be from imprudence, it might be with a traitorous design. It was from neither the one nor the other; but for the following reasons. First, I had a great impatience, whatever was the subject, of not bringing out the whole of it, as clearly as I could; next I wished to be as fair to my adversaries as possible; and thirdly I thought that there was a great[Pg 109] deal of shallowness among our own friends, and that they undervalued the strength of the argument in behalf of Rome, and that they ought to be roused to a more exact apprehension of the position of the controversy. At a later date, (1841,) when I really felt the force of the Roman side of the question myself, as a difficulty which had to be met, I had a fourth reason for such frankness in argument, and that was, because a number of persons were unsettled far more than I was, as to the Catholicity of the Anglican Church. It was quite plain that, unless I was perfectly candid in stating what could be said against it, there was no chance that any representations, which I felt to be in its favour, or at least to be adverse to Rome, would have had any success with the persons in question.

At all times I had a deep conviction, to put the matter on the lowest ground, that "honesty was the best policy." Accordingly, in July 1841, I expressed myself thus on the Anglican difficulty: "This is an objection which we must honestly say is deeply felt by many people, and not inconsiderable ones; and the more it is openly avowed to be a difficulty, the better; for there is then the chance of its being acknowledged, and in the course of time obviated, as far as may be, by those who have the power. Flagrant evils cure themselves by being flagrant; and we are sanguine that the time is come when so great an evil as this is, cannot stand its ground against the good feeling and common sense of religious persons. It is the very strength of Romanism against us; and, unless the proper persons take it into their serious consideration, they may look for certain to undergo the loss, as time goes on, of some whom they would least like to be lost to our Church." The measure which I had especially in view in this passage, was the project of a Jerusalem Bishopric, which the then Archbishop of Canterbury was at that time concocting with M. Bunsen, and of which I shall speak more in the[Pg 110] sequel. And now to return to the Home Thoughts Abroad of the spring of 1836:—

The discussion contained in this composition runs in the form of a dialogue. One of the disputants says: "You say to me that the Church of Rome is corrupt. What then? to cut off a limb is a strange way of saving it from the influence of some constitutional ailment. Indigestion may cause cramp in the extremities; yet we spare our poor feet notwithstanding. Surely there is such a religious fact as the existence of a great Catholic body, union with which is a Christian privilege and duty. Now, we English are separate from it."

The other answers: "The present is an unsatisfactory, miserable state of things, yet I can grant no more. The Church is founded on a doctrine,—on the gospel of Truth; it is a means to an end. Perish the Church, (though, blessed be the promise! this cannot be,) yet let it perish rather than the Truth should fail. Purity of faith is more precious to the Christian than unity itself. If Rome has erred grievously in doctrine, then it is a duty to separate even from Rome."

His friend, who takes the Roman side of the argument, refers to the image of the Vine and its branches, which is found, I think, in St. Cyprian, as if a branch cut from the Catholic Vine must necessarily die. Also he quotes a passage from St. Augustine in controversy with the Donatists to the same effect; viz. that, as being separated from the body of the Church, they were ipso facto cut off from the heritage of Christ. And he quotes St. Cyril's argument drawn from the very title Catholic, which no body or communion of men has ever dared or been able to appropriate, besides one. He adds, "Now I am only contending for the fact, that the communion of Rome constitutes the main body of the Church Catholic, and that we are split off from it, and in the condition of the Donatists."[Pg 111]

The other replies by denying the fact that the present Roman communion is like St. Augustine's Catholic Church, inasmuch as there must be taken into account the large Anglican and Greek communions. Presently he takes the offensive, naming distinctly the points, in which Rome has departed from Primitive Christianity, viz. "the practical idolatry, the virtual worship of the Virgin and Saints, which are the offence of the Latin Church, and the degradation of moral truth and duty, which follows from these." And again: "We cannot join a Church, did we wish it ever so much, which does not acknowledge our orders, refuses us the Cup, demands our acquiescence in image-worship, and excommunicates us, if we do not receive it and all other decisions of the Tridentine Council."

His opponent answers these objections by referring to the doctrine of "developments of gospel truth." Besides, "The Anglican system itself is not found complete in those early centuries; so that the [Anglican] principle [of Antiquity] is self-destructive." "When a man takes up this Via Media, he is a mere doctrinaire;" he is like those, "who, in some matter of business, start up to suggest their own little crotchet, and are ever measuring mountains with a pocket ruler, or improving the planetary courses." "The Via Media has slept in libraries; it is a substitute of infancy for manhood."

It is plain, then, that at the end of 1835 or beginning of 1836, I had the whole state of the question before me, on which, to my mind, the decision between the Churches depended. It is observable that the question of the position of the Pope, whether as the centre of unity, or as the source of jurisdiction, did not come into my thoughts at all; nor did it, I think I may say, to the end. I doubt whether I ever distinctly held any of his powers to be de jure divino, while I was in the Anglican Church;—not that I saw any difficulty in the doctrine; not that in connexion[Pg 112] with the history of St. Leo, of which I shall speak by and by, the idea of his infallibility did not cross my mind, for it did,—but after all, in my view the controversy did not turn upon it; it turned upon the Faith and the Church. This was my issue of the controversy from the beginning to the end. There was a contrariety of claims between the Roman and Anglican religions, and the history of my conversion is simply the process of working it out to a solution. In 1838 I illustrated it by the contrast presented to us between the Madonna and Child, and a Calvary. The peculiarity of the Anglican theology was this,—that it "supposed the Truth to be entirely objective and detached, not" (as in the theology of Rome) "lying hid in the bosom of the Church as if one with her, clinging to and (as it were) lost in her embrace, but as being sole and unapproachable, as on the Cross or at the Resurrection, with the Church close by, but in the background."

As I viewed the controversy in 1836 and 1838, so I viewed it in 1840 and 1841. In the British Critic of January 1840, after gradually investigating how the matter lies between the Churches by means of a dialogue, I end thus: "It would seem, that, in the above discussion, each disputant has a strong point: our strong point is the argument from Primitiveness, that of Romanists from Universality. It is a fact, however it is to be accounted for, that Rome has added to the Creed; and it is a fact, however we justify ourselves, that we are estranged from the great body of Christians over the world. And each of these two facts is at first sight a grave difficulty in the respective systems to which they belong." Again, "While Rome, though not deferring to the Fathers, recognizes them, and England, not deferring to the large body of the Church, recognizes it, both Rome and England have a point to clear up."[Pg 113]

And still more strongly, in July, 1841:

"If the Note of schism, on the one hand, lies against England, an antagonist disgrace lies upon Rome, the Note of idolatry. Let us not be mistaken here; we are neither accusing Rome of idolatry nor ourselves of schism; we think neither charge tenable; but still the Roman Church practises what is so like idolatry, and the English Church makes much of what is so very like schism, that without deciding what is the duty of a Roman Catholic towards the Church of England in her present state, we do seriously think that members of the English Church have a providential direction given them, how to comport themselves towards the Church of Rome, while she is what she is."

One remark more about Antiquity and the Via Media. As time went on, without doubting the strength of the Anglican argument from Antiquity, I felt also that it was not merely our special plea, but our only one. Also I felt that the Via Media, which was to represent it, was to be a sort of remodelled and adapted Antiquity. This I advanced both in Home Thoughts Abroad and in the Article of the British Critic which I have analyzed above. But this circumstance, that after all we must use private judgment upon Antiquity, created a sort of distrust of my theory altogether, which in the conclusion of my Volume on the Prophetical Office (1836-7) I express thus: "Now that our discussions draw to a close, the thought, with which we entered on the subject, is apt to recur, when the excitement of the inquiry has subsided, and weariness has succeeded, that what has been said is but a dream, the wanton exercise, rather than the practical conclusions of the intellect." And I conclude the paragraph by anticipating a line of thought into which I was, in the event, almost obliged to take refuge: "After all," I say, "the Church is ever invisible in its day, and faith only apprehends it." What was this, but to give up the Notes of[Pg 114] a visible Church altogether, whether the Catholic Note or the Apostolic?


The Long Vacation of 1839 began early. There had been a great many visitors to Oxford from Easter to Commemoration; and Dr. Pusey's party had attracted attention, more, I think, than in any former year. I had put away from me the controversy with Rome for more than two years. In my Parochial Sermons the subject had at no time been introduced: there had been nothing for two years, either in my Tracts or in the British Critic, of a polemical character. I was returning, for the Vacation, to the course of reading which I had many years before chosen as especially my own. I have no reason to suppose that the thoughts of Rome came across my mind at all. About the middle of June I began to study and master the history of the Monophysites. I was absorbed in the doctrinal question. This was from about June 13th to August 30th. It was during this course of reading that for the first time a doubt came upon me of the tenableness of Anglicanism. I recollect on the 30th of July mentioning to a friend, whom I had accidentally met, how remarkable the history was; but by the end of August I was seriously alarmed.

I have described in a former work, how the history affected me. My stronghold was Antiquity; now here, in the middle of the fifth century, I found, as it seemed to me, Christendom of the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries reflected. I saw my face in that mirror, and I was a Monophysite. The Church of the Via Media was in the position of the Oriental communion, Rome was, where she now is; and the Protestants were the Eutychians. Of all passages of history, since history has been, who would have thought of going to the sayings and doings of old Eutyches, that delirus senex, as (I think) Petavius calls[Pg 115] him, and to the enormities of the unprincipled Dioscorus, in order to be converted to Rome!

Now let it be simply understood that I am not writing controversially, but with the one object of relating things as they happened to me in the course of my conversion. With this view I will quote a passage from the account, which I gave in 1850, of my reasonings and feelings in 1839:

"It was difficult to make out how the Eutychians or Monophysites were heretics, unless Protestants and Anglicans were heretics also; difficult to find arguments against the Tridentine Fathers, which did not tell against the Fathers of Chalcedon; difficult to condemn the Popes of the sixteenth century, without condemning the Popes of the fifth. The drama of religion, and the combat of truth and error, were ever one and the same. The principles and proceedings of the Church now, were those of the Church then; the principles and proceedings of heretics then, were those of Protestants now. I found it so,—almost fearfully; there was an awful similitude, more awful, because so silent and unimpassioned, between the dead records of the past and the feverish chronicle of the present. The shadow of the fifth century was on the sixteenth. It was like a spirit rising from the troubled waters of the old world, with the shape and lineaments of the new. The Church then, as now, might be called peremptory and stern, resolute, overbearing, and relentless; and heretics were shifting, changeable, reserved, and deceitful, ever courting civil power, and never agreeing together, except by its aid; and the civil power was ever aiming at comprehensions, trying to put the invisible out of view, and substituting expediency for faith. What was the use of continuing the controversy, or defending my position, if, after all, I was forging arguments for Arius or Eutyches, and turning devil's advocate against the much-enduring[Pg 116] Athanasius and the majestic Leo? Be my soul with the Saints! and shall I lift up my hand against them? Sooner may my right hand forget her cunning, and wither outright, as his who once stretched it out against a prophet of God! anathema to a whole tribe of Cranmers, Ridleys, Latimers, and Jewels! perish the names of Bramhall, Ussher, Taylor, Stillingfleet, and Barrow from the face of the earth, ere I should do ought but fall at their feet in love and in worship, whose image was continually before my eyes, and whose musical words were ever in my ears and on my tongue!"

Hardly had I brought my course of reading to a close, when the Dublin Review of that same August was put into my hands, by friends who were more favourable to the cause of Rome than I was myself. There was an article in it on the "Anglican Claim" by Dr. Wiseman. This was about the middle of September. It was on the Donatists, with an application to Anglicanism. I read it, and did not see much in it. The Donatist controversy was known to me for some years, as has appeared already. The case was not parallel to that of the Anglican Church. St. Augustine in Africa wrote against the Donatists in Africa. They were a furious party who made a schism within the African Church, and not beyond its limits. It was a case of Altar against Altar, of two occupants of the same See, as that between the Non-jurors in England and the Established Church; not the case of one Church against another, as of Rome against the Oriental Monophysites. But my friend, an anxiously religious man, now, as then, very dear to me, a Protestant still, pointed out the palmary words of St. Augustine, which were contained in one of the extracts made in the Review, and which had escaped my observation. "Securus judicat orbis terrarum." He repeated these words again and again, and, when he was gone, they kept ringing in my ears. "Securus judicat orbis[Pg 117] terrarum;" they were words which went beyond the occasion of the Donatists: they applied to that of the Monophysites. They gave a cogency to the Article, which had escaped me at first. They decided ecclesiastical questions on a simpler rule than that of Antiquity; nay, St. Augustine was one of the prime oracles of Antiquity; here then Antiquity was deciding against itself. What a light was hereby thrown upon every controversy in the Church! not that, for the moment, the multitude may not falter in their judgment,—not that, in the Arian hurricane, Sees more than can be numbered did not bend before its fury, and fall off from St. Athanasius,—not that the crowd of Oriental Bishops did not need to be sustained during the contest by the voice and the eye of St. Leo; but that the deliberate judgment, in which the whole Church at length rests and acquiesces, is an infallible prescription and a final sentence against such portions of it as protest and secede. Who can account for the impressions which are made on him? For a mere sentence, the words of St. Augustine, struck me with a power which I never had felt from any words before. To take a familiar instance, they were like the "Turn again Whittington" of the chime; or, to take a more serious one, they were like the "Tolle, lege,—Tolle, lege," of the child, which converted St. Augustine himself. "Securus judicat orbis terrarum!" By those great words of the ancient Father, interpreting and summing up the long and varied course of ecclesiastical history, the theory of the Via Media was absolutely pulverized.

I became excited at the view thus opened upon me. I was just starting on a round of visits; and I mentioned my state of mind to two most intimate friends: I think to no others. After a while, I got calm, and at length the vivid impression upon my imagination faded away. What I thought about it on reflection, I will attempt to describe presently. I had to determine its logical value, and its[Pg 118] bearing upon my duty. Meanwhile, so far as this was certain,—I had seen the shadow of a hand upon the wall. It was clear that I had a good deal to learn on the question of the Churches, and that perhaps some new light was coming upon me. He who has seen a ghost, cannot be as if he had never seen it. The heavens had opened and closed again. The thought for the moment had been, "The Church of Rome will be found right after all;" and then it had vanished. My old convictions remained as before.

At this time, I wrote my Sermon on Divine Calls, which I published in my volume of Plain Sermons. It ends thus:—

"O that we could take that simple view of things, as to feel that the one thing which lies before us is to please God! What gain is it to please the world, to please the great, nay even to please those whom we love, compared with this? What gain is it to be applauded, admired, courted, followed,—compared with this one aim, of not being disobedient to a heavenly vision? What can this world offer comparable with that insight into spiritual things, that keen faith, that heavenly peace, that high sanctity, that everlasting righteousness, that hope of glory, which they have, who in sincerity love and follow our Lord Jesus Christ? Let us beg and pray Him day by day to reveal Himself to our souls more fully, to quicken our senses, to give us sight and hearing, taste and touch of the world to come; so to work within us, that we may sincerely say, 'Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and after that receive me with glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.'"


Now to trace the succession of thoughts, and the conclusions,[Pg 119] and the consequent innovations on my previous belief, and the general conduct, to which I was led, upon this sudden visitation. And first, I will say, whatever comes of saying it, for I leave inferences to others, that for years I must have had something of an habitual notion, though it was latent, and had never led me to distrust my own convictions, that my mind had not found its ultimate rest, and that in some sense or other I was on journey. During the same passage across the Mediterranean in which I wrote "Lead kindly light," I also wrote the verses, which are found in the Lyra under the head of "Providences," beginning, "When I look back." This was in 1833; and, since I have begun this narrative, I have found a memorandum under the date of September 7, 1829, in which I speak of myself, as "now in my rooms in Oriel College, slowly advancing &c. and led on by God's hand blindly, not knowing whither He is taking me." But, whatever this presentiment be worth, it was no protection against the dismay and disgust, which I felt, in consequence of the dreadful misgiving, of which I have been relating the history. The one question was, what was I to do? I had to make up my mind for myself, and others could not help me. I determined to be guided, not by my imagination, but by my reason. And this I said over and over again in the years which followed, both in conversation and in private letters. Had it not been for this severe resolve, I should have been a Catholic sooner than I was. Moreover, I felt on consideration a positive doubt, on the other hand, whether the suggestion did not come from below. Then I said to myself, Time alone can solve that question. It was my business to go on as usual, to obey those convictions to which I had so long surrendered myself, which still had possession of me, and on which my new thoughts had no direct bearing. That new conception of things should only so far influence me, as it had a logical claim to do so. If[Pg 120] it came from above, it would come again;—so I trusted,—and with more definite outlines and greater cogency and consistency of proof. I thought of Samuel, before "he knew the word of the Lord;" and therefore I went, and lay down to sleep again. This was my broad view of the matter, and my primâ facie conclusion.

However, my new historical fact had already to a certain point a logical force. Down had come the Via Media as a definite theory or scheme, under the blows of St. Leo. My "Prophetical Office" had come to pieces; not indeed as an argument against "Roman errors," nor as against Protestantism, but as in behalf of England. I had no longer a distinctive plea for Anglicanism, unless I would be a Monophysite. I had, most painfully, to fall back upon my three original points of belief, which I have spoken so much of in a former passage,—the principle of dogma, the sacramental system, and anti-Romanism. Of these three, the first two were better secured in Rome than in the Anglican Church. The Apostolical Succession, the two prominent sacraments, and the primitive Creeds, belonged, indeed, to the latter; but there had been and was far less strictness on matters of dogma and ritual in the Anglican system than in the Roman: in consequence, my main argument for the Anglican claims lay in the positive and special charges, which I could bring against Rome. I had no positive Anglican theory. I was very nearly a pure Protestant. Lutherans had a sort of theology, so had Calvinists; I had none.

However, this pure Protestantism, to which I was gradually left, was really a practical principle. It was a strong, though it was only a negative ground, and it still had great hold on me. As a boy of fifteen, I had so fully imbibed it, that I had actually erased in my Gradus ad Parnassum, such titles, under the word "Papa," as "Christi Vicarius," "sacer interpres," and "sceptra gerens," and[Pg 121] substituted epithets so vile that I cannot bring myself to write them down here. The effect of this early persuasion remained as, what I have already called it, a "stain upon my imagination." As regards my reason, I began in 1833 to form theories on the subject, which tended to obliterate it; yet by 1838 I had got no further than to consider Antichrist, as not the Church of Rome, but the spirit of the old pagan city, the fourth monster of Daniel, which was still alive, and which had corrupted the Church which was planted there. Soon after this indeed, and before my attention was directed to the Monophysite controversy, I underwent a great change of opinion. I saw that, from the nature of the case, the true Vicar of Christ must ever to the world seem like Antichrist, and be stigmatized as such, because a resemblance must ever exist between an original and a forgery; and thus the fact of such a calumny was almost one of the notes of the Church. But we cannot unmake ourselves or change our habits in a moment. Though my reason was convinced, I did not throw off, for some time after,—I could not have thrown off,—the unreasoning prejudice and suspicion, which I cherished about her at least by fits and starts, in spite of this conviction of my reason. I cannot prove this, but I believe it to have been the case from what I recollect of myself. Nor was there any thing in the history of St. Leo and the Monophysites to undo the firm belief I had in the existence of what I called the practical abuses and excesses of Rome.

To her inconsistencies then, to her ambition and intrigue, to her sophistries (as I considered them to be) I now had recourse in my opposition to her, both public and personal. I did so by way of a relief. I had a great and growing dislike, after the summer of 1839, to speak against the Roman Church herself or her formal doctrines. I was very averse to speaking against doctrines, which might possibly[Pg 122] turn out to be true, though at the time I had no reason for thinking they were; or against the Church, which had preserved them. I began to have misgivings, that, strong as my own feelings had been against her, yet in some things which I had said, I had taken the statements of Anglican divines for granted without weighing them for myself. I said to a friend in 1840, in a letter, which I shall use presently, "I am troubled by doubts whether as it is, I have not, in what I have published, spoken too strongly against Rome, though I think I did it in a kind of faith, being determined to put myself into the English system, and say all that our divines said, whether I had fully weighed it or not." I was sore about the great Anglican divines, as if they had taken me in, and made me say strong things, which facts did not justify. Yet I did still hold in substance all that I had said against the Church of Rome in my Prophetical Office. I felt the force of the usual Protestant objections against her; I believed that we had the Apostolical succession in the Anglican Church, and the grace of the sacraments; I was not sure that the difficulty of its isolation might not be overcome, though I was far from sure that it could. I did not see any clear proof that it had committed itself to any heresy, or had taken part against the truth; and I was not sure that it would not revive into full Apostolic purity and strength, and grow into union with Rome herself (Rome explaining her doctrines and guarding against their abuse), that is, if we were but patient and hopeful. I began to wish for union between the Anglican Church and Rome, if, and when, it was possible; and I did what I could to gain weekly prayers for that object. The ground which I felt to be good against her was the moral ground: I felt I could not be wrong in striking at her political and social line of action. The alliance of a dogmatic religion with liberals, high or low, seemed to me a providential direction against[Pg 123] moving towards Rome, and a better "Preservative against Popery," than the three volumes in folio, in which, I think, that prophylactic is to be found. However, on occasions which demanded it, I felt it a duty to give out plainly all that I thought, though I did not like to do so. One such instance occurred, when I had to publish a Letter about Tract 90. In that Letter, I said, "Instead of setting before the soul the Holy Trinity, and heaven and hell, the Church of Rome does seem to me, as a popular system, to preach the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, and purgatory." On this occasion I recollect expressing to a friend the distress it gave me thus to speak; but, I said, "How can I help saying it, if I think it? and I do think it; my Bishop calls on me to say out what I think; and that is the long and the short of it." But I recollected Hurrell Froude's words to me, almost his dying words, "I must enter another protest against your cursing and swearing. What good can it do? and I call it uncharitable to an excess. How mistaken we may ourselves be, on many points that are only gradually opening on us!"

Instead then of speaking of errors in doctrine, I was driven, by my state of mind, to insist upon the political conduct, the controversial bearing, and the social methods and manifestations of Rome. And here I found a matter ready to my hand, which affected me the more sensibly for the reason that it lay at our very doors. I can hardly describe too strongly my feeling upon it. I had an unspeakable aversion to the policy and acts of Mr. O'Connell, because, as I thought, he associated himself with men of all religions and no religion against the Anglican Church, and advanced Catholicism by violence and intrigue. When then I found him taken up by the English Catholics, and, as I supposed, at Rome, I considered I had a fulfilment before my eyes how the Court of Rome played fast and loose, and justified the serious charges which I had seen[Pg 124] put down in books against it. Here we saw what Rome was in action, whatever she might be when quiescent. Her conduct was simply secular and political.

This feeling led me into the excess of being very rude to that zealous and most charitable man, Mr. Spencer, when he came to Oxford in January, 1840, to get Anglicans to set about praying for Unity. I myself, at that time, or soon after, drew up such prayers; their desirableness was one of the first thoughts which came upon me after my shock; but I was too much annoyed with the political action of the Catholic body in these islands to wish to have any thing to do with them personally. So glad in my heart was I to see him, when he came to my rooms with Mr. Palmer of Magdalen, that I could have laughed for joy; I think I did laugh; but I was very rude to him, I would not meet him at dinner, and that, (though I did not say so,) because I considered him "in loco apostatæ" from the Anglican Church, and I hereby beg his pardon for it. I wrote afterwards with a view to apologize, but I dare say he must have thought that I made the matter worse, for these were my words to him:—

"The news that you are praying for us is most touching, and raises a variety of indescribable emotions.... May their prayers return abundantly into their own bosoms.... Why then do I not meet you in a manner conformable with these first feelings? For this single reason, if I may say it, that your acts are contrary to your words. You invite us to a union of hearts, at the same time that you are doing all you can, not to restore, not to reform, not to re-unite, but to destroy our Church. You go further than your principles require. You are leagued with our enemies. 'The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.' This is what especially distresses us; this is what we cannot understand;[Pg 125] how Christians, like yourselves, with the clear view you have that a warfare is ever waging in the world between good and evil, should, in the present state of England, ally yourselves with the side of evil against the side of good.... Of parties now in the country, you cannot but allow, that next to yourselves we are nearest to revealed truth. We maintain great and holy principles; we profess Catholic doctrines.... So near are we as a body to yourselves in modes of thinking, as even to have been taunted with the nicknames which belong to you; and, on the other hand, if there are professed infidels, scoffers, sceptics, unprincipled men, rebels, they are found among our opponents. And yet you take part with them against us.... You consent to act hand in hand [with these and others] for our overthrow. Alas! all this it is that impresses us irresistibly with the notion that you are a political, not a religious party; that in order to gain an end on which you set your hearts,—an open stage for yourselves in England,—you ally yourselves with those who hold nothing against those who hold something. This is what distresses my own mind so greatly, to speak of myself, that, with limitations which need not now be mentioned, I cannot meet familiarly any leading persons of the Roman Communion, and least of all when they come on a religious errand. Break off, I would say, with Mr. O'Connell in Ireland and the liberal party in England, or come not to us with overtures for mutual prayer and religious sympathy."

And here came in another feeling, of a personal nature, which had little to do with the argument against Rome, except that, in my prejudice, I viewed what happened to myself in the light of my own ideas of the traditionary conduct of her advocates and instruments. I was very stern in the case of any interference in our Oxford matters on the part of charitable Catholics, and of any attempt[Pg 126] to do me good personally. There was nothing, indeed, at the time more likely to throw me back. "Why do you meddle? why cannot you let me alone? You can do me no good; you know nothing on earth about me; you may actually do me harm; I am in better hands than yours. I know my own sincerity of purpose; and I am determined upon taking my time." Since I have been a Catholic, people have sometimes accused me of backwardness in making converts; and Protestants have argued from it that I have no great eagerness to do so. It would be against my nature to act otherwise than I do; but besides, it would be to forget the lessons which I gained in the experience of my own history in the past.

This is the account which I have to give of some savage and ungrateful words in the British Critic of 1840 against the controversialists of Rome: "By their fruits ye shall know them.... We see it attempting to gain converts among us by unreal representations of its doctrines, plausible statements, bold assertions, appeals to the weaknesses of human nature, to our fancies, our eccentricities, our fears, our frivolities, our false philosophies. We see its agents, smiling and nodding and ducking to attract attention, as gipsies make up to truant boys, holding out tales for the nursery, and pretty pictures, and gilt gingerbread, and physic concealed in jam, and sugar-plums for good children. Who can but feel shame when the religion of Ximenes, Borromeo, and Pascal, is so overlaid? Who can but feel sorrow, when its devout and earnest defenders so mistake its genius and its capabilities? We Englishmen like manliness, openness, consistency, truth. Rome will never gain on us, till she learns these virtues, and uses them; and then she may gain us, but it will be by ceasing to be what we now mean by Rome, by having a right, not to 'have dominion over our faith,' but to gain and possess our affections in the bonds of the gospel. Till[Pg 127] she ceases to be what she practically is, a union is impossible between her and England; but, if she does reform, (and who can presume to say that so large a part of Christendom never can?) then it will be our Church's duty at once to join in communion with the continental Churches, whatever politicians at home may say to it, and whatever steps the civil power may take in consequence. And though we may not live to see that day, at least we are bound to pray for it; we are bound to pray for our brethren that they and we may be led together into the pure light of the gospel, and be one as we once were one. It was most touching news to be told, as we were lately, that Christians on the Continent were praying together for the spiritual well-being of England. May they gain light, while they aim at unity, and grow in faith while they manifest their love! We too have our duties to them; not of reviling, not of slandering, not of hating, though political interests require it; but the duty of loving brethren still more abundantly in spirit, whose faces, for our sins and their sins, we are not allowed to see in the flesh."

No one ought to indulge in insinuations; it certainly diminishes my right to complain of slanders uttered against myself, when, as in this passage, I had already spoken in disparagement of the controversialists of that religious body, to which I myself now belong.


I have thus put together, as well as I can, what has to be said about my general state of mind from the autumn of 1839 to the summer of 1841; and, having done so, I go on to narrate how my new misgivings affected my conduct, and my relations towards the Anglican Church.

When I got back to Oxford in October, 1839, after the visits which I had been paying, it so happened, there had been, in my absence, occurrences of an awkward character,[Pg 128] compromising me both with my Bishop and also with the authorities of the University; and this drew my attention at once to the state of the Movement party there, and made me very anxious for the future. In the spring of the year, as has been seen in the Article analyzed above, I had spoken of the excesses which were to be found among persons commonly included in it:—at that time I thought little of such an evil, but the new views, which had come on me during the Long Vacation, on the one hand made me comprehend it, and on the other took away my power of effectually meeting it. A firm and powerful control was necessary to keep men straight; I never had a strong wrist, but at the very time, when it was most needed, the reins had broken in my hands. With an anxious presentiment on my mind of the upshot of the whole inquiry, which it was almost impossible for me to conceal from men who saw me day by day, who heard my familiar conversation, who came perhaps for the express purpose of pumping me, and having a categorical yes or no to their questions,—how could I expect to say any thing about my actual, positive, present belief, which would be sustaining or consoling to such persons as were haunted already by doubts of their own? Nay, how could I, with satisfaction to myself, analyze my own mind, and say what I held and what I did not hold? or how could I say with what limitations, shades of difference, or degrees of belief, I still held that body of Anglican opinions which I had openly professed and taught? how could I deny or assert this point or that, without injustice to the new light, in which the whole evidence for those old opinions presented itself to my mind?

However, I had to do what I could, and what was best, under the circumstances; I found a general talk on the subject of the Article in the Dublin Review; and, if it had affected me, it was not wonderful, that it affected[Pg 129] others also. As to myself, I felt no kind of certainty that the argument in it was conclusive. Taking it at the worst, granting that the Anglican Church had not the Note of Catholicity; yet there were many Notes of the Church. Some belonged to one age or place, some to another. Bellarmine had reckoned Temporal Prosperity among the Notes of the Church; but the Roman Church had not any great popularity, wealth, glory, power, or prospects, in the nineteenth century. It was not at all certain as yet, even that we had not the Note of Catholicity; but, if not this, we had others. My first business then, was to examine this question carefully, and see, whether a great deal could not be said after all for the Anglican Church, in spite of its acknowledged short-comings. This I did in an Article "on the Catholicity of the English Church," which appeared in the British Critic of January, 1840. As to my personal distress on the point, I think it had gone by February 21st in that year, for I wrote then to Mr. Bowden about the important Article in the Dublin, thus: "It made a great impression here [Oxford]; and, I say what of course I would only say to such as yourself, it made me for a while very uncomfortable in my own mind. The great speciousness of his argument is one of the things which have made me despond so much," that is, as anticipating its effect upon others.

But, secondly, the great stumbling-block lay in the 39 Articles. It was urged that here was a positive Note against Anglicanism:—Anglicanism claimed to hold, that the Church of England was nothing else than a continuation in this country, (as the Church of Rome might be in France or Spain,) of that one Church of which in old times Athanasius and Augustine were members. But, if so, the doctrine must be the same; the doctrine of the Old Church must live and speak in Anglican formularies, in the 39 Articles. Did it? Yes, it did; that is what I maintained;[Pg 130] it did in substance, in a true sense. Man had done his worst to disfigure, to mutilate, the old Catholic Truth; but there it was, in spite of them, in the Articles still. It was there,—but this must be shown. It was a matter of life and death to us to show it. And I believed that it could be shown; I considered that those grounds of justification, which I gave above, when I was speaking of Tract 90, were sufficient for the purpose; and therefore

I set about showing it at once. This was in March, 1840, when I went up to Littlemore. And, as it was a matter of life and death with us, all risks must be run to show it. When the attempt was actually made, I had got reconciled to the prospect of it, and had no apprehensions as to the experiment; but in 1840, while my purpose was honest, and my grounds of reason satisfactory, I did nevertheless recognize that I was engaged in an experimentum crucis. I have no doubt that then I acknowledged to myself that it would be a trial of the Anglican Church, which it had never undergone before,—not that the Catholic sense of the Articles had not been held or at least suffered by their framers and promulgators, not that it was not implied in the teaching of Andrewes or Beveridge, but that it had never been publicly recognized, while the interpretation of the day was Protestant and exclusive. I observe also, that, though my Tract was an experiment, it was, as I said at the time, "no feeler"; the event showed this; for, when my principle was not granted, I did not draw back, but gave up. I would not hold office in a Church which would not allow my sense of the Articles. My tone was, "This is necessary for us, and have it we must and will, and, if it tends to bring men to look less bitterly on the Church of Rome, so much the better."

This then was the second work to which I set myself; though when I got to Littlemore, other things interfered to prevent my accomplishing it at the moment. I had in[Pg 131] mind to remove all such obstacles as lay in the way of holding the Apostolic and Catholic character of the Anglican teaching; to assert the right of all who chose, to say in the face of day, "Our Church teaches the Primitive Ancient faith." I did not conceal this: in Tract 90, it is put forward as the first principle of all, "It is a duty which we owe both to the Catholic Church, and to our own, to take our reformed confessions in the most Catholic sense they will admit: we have no duties towards their framers." And still more pointedly in my Letter, explanatory of the Tract, addressed to Dr. Jelf, I say: "The only peculiarity of the view I advocate, if I must so call it, is this—that whereas it is usual at this day to make the particular belief of their writers their true interpretation, I would make the belief of the Catholic Church such. That is, as it is often said that infants are regenerated in Baptism, not on the faith of their parents, but of the Church, so in like manner I would say that the Articles are received, not in the sense of their framers, but (as far as the wording will admit or any ambiguity requires it) in the one Catholic sense."

A third measure which I distinctly contemplated, was the resignation of St. Mary's, whatever became of the question of the 39 Articles; and as a first step I meditated a retirement to Littlemore. Littlemore was an integral part of St. Mary's Parish, and between two and three miles distant from Oxford. I had built a Church there several years before; and I went there to pass the Lent of 1840, and gave myself up to teaching in the Parish School, and practising the choir. At the same time, I had in view a monastic house there. I bought ten acres of ground and began planting; but this great design was never carried out. I mention it, because it shows how little I had really the idea at that time of ever leaving the Anglican Church. That I contemplated as early as 1839 the further step of[Pg 132] giving up St. Mary's, appears from a letter which I wrote in October, 1840, to Mr. Keble, the friend whom it was most natural for me to consult on such a point. It ran as follows:—

"For a year past a feeling has been growing on me that I ought to give up St. Mary's, but I am no fit judge in the matter. I cannot ascertain accurately my own impressions and convictions, which are the basis of the difficulty, and though you cannot of course do this for me, yet you may help me generally, and perhaps supersede the necessity of my going by them at all.

"First, it is certain that I do not know my Oxford parishioners; I am not conscious of influencing them, and certainly I have no insight into their spiritual state. I have no personal, no pastoral acquaintance with them. To very few have I any opportunity of saying a religious word. Whatever influence I exert on them is precisely that which I may be exerting on persons out of my parish. In my excuse I am accustomed to say to myself that I am not adapted to get on with them, while others are. On the other hand, I am conscious that by means of my position at St. Mary's, I do exert a considerable influence on the University, whether on Under-graduates or Graduates. It seems, then, on the whole that I am using St. Mary's, to the neglect of its direct duties, for objects not belonging to it; I am converting a parochial charge into a sort of University office.

"I think I may say truly that I have begun scarcely any plan but for the sake of my parish, but every one has turned, independently of me, into the direction of the University. I began Saints'-days Services, daily Services, and Lectures in Adam de Brome's Chapel, for my parishioners; but they have not come to them. In consequence I dropped the last mentioned, having, while it lasted, been naturally led to direct it to the instruction of those who did come,[Pg 133] instead of those who did not. The Weekly Communion, I believe, I did begin for the sake of the University.

"Added to this the authorities of the University, the appointed guardians of those who form great part of the attendants on my Sermons, have shown a dislike of my preaching. One dissuades men from coming;—the late Vice-Chancellor threatens to take his own children away from the Church; and the present, having an opportunity last spring of preaching in my parish pulpit, gets up and preaches against doctrine with which I am in good measure identified. No plainer proof can be given of the feeling in these quarters, than the absurd myth, now a second time put forward, 'that Vice-Chancellors cannot be got to take the office on account of Puseyism.'

"But further than this, I cannot disguise from myself that my preaching is not calculated to defend that system of religion which has been received for 300 years, and of which the Heads of Houses are the legitimate maintainers in this place. They exclude me, as far as may be, from the University Pulpit; and, though I never have preached strong doctrine in it, they do so rightly, so far as this, that they understand that my sermons are calculated to undermine things established. I cannot disguise from myself that they are. No one will deny that most of my sermons are on moral subjects, not doctrinal; still I am leading my hearers to the Primitive Church, if you will, but not to the Church of England. Now, ought one to be disgusting the minds of young men with the received religion, in the exercise of a sacred office, yet without a commission, and against the wish of their guides and governors?

"But this is not all. I fear I must allow that, whether I will or no, I am disposing them towards Rome. First, because Rome is the only representative of the Primitive Church besides ourselves; in proportion then as they are loosened from the one, they will go to the other. Next, because many doctrines which I have held have far greater,[Pg 134] or their only scope, in the Roman system. And, moreover, if, as is not unlikely, we have in process of time heretical Bishops or teachers among us, an evil which ipso facto infects the whole community to which they belong, and if, again (what there are at this moment symptoms of), there be a movement in the English Roman Catholics to break the alliance of O'Connell and of Exeter Hall, strong temptations will be placed in the way of individuals, already imbued with a tone of thought congenial to Rome, to join her Communion.

"People tell me, on the other hand, that I am, whether by sermons or otherwise, exerting at St. Mary's a beneficial influence on our prospective clergy; but what if I take to myself the credit of seeing further than they, and of having in the course of the last year discovered that what they approve so much is very likely to end in Romanism?

"The arguments which I have published against Romanism seem to myself as cogent as ever, but men go by their sympathies, not by argument; and if I feel the force of this influence myself, who bow to the arguments, why may not others still more, who never have in the same degree admitted the arguments?

"Nor can I counteract the danger by preaching or writing against Rome. I seem to myself almost to have shot my last arrow in the Article on English Catholicity. It must be added, that the very circumstance that I have committed myself against Rome has the effect of setting to sleep people suspicious about me, which is painful now that I begin to have suspicions about myself. I mentioned my general difficulty to Rogers a year since, than whom I know no one of a more fine and accurate conscience, and it was his spontaneous idea that I should give up St. Mary's, if my feelings continued. I mentioned it again to him lately, and he did not reverse his opinion, only expressed great reluctance to believe it must be so."

Mr. Keble's judgment was in favour of my retaining my[Pg 135] living; at least for the present; what weighed with me most was his saying, "You must consider, whether your retiring either from the Pastoral Care only, or from writing and printing and editing in the cause, would not be a sort of scandalous thing, unless it were done very warily. It would be said, 'You see he can go on no longer with the Church of England, except in mere Lay Communion;' or people might say you repented of the cause altogether. Till you see [your way to mitigate, if not remove this evil] I certainly should advise you to stay." I answered as follows:—

"Since you think I may go on, it seems to follow that, under the circumstances, I ought to do so. There are plenty of reasons for it, directly it is allowed to be lawful. The following considerations have much reconciled my feelings to your conclusion.

"1. I do not think that we have yet made fair trial how much the English Church will bear. I know it is a hazardous experiment,—like proving cannon. Yet we must not take it for granted that the metal will burst in the operation. It has borne at various times, not to say at this time, a great infusion of Catholic truth without damage. As to the result, viz. whether this process will not approximate the whole English Church, as a body, to Rome, that is nothing to us. For what we know, it may be the providential means of uniting the whole Church in one, without fresh schismatizing or use of private judgment."

Here I observe, that, what was contemplated was the bursting of the Catholicity of the Anglican Church, that is, my subjective idea of that Church. Its bursting would not hurt her with the world, but would be a discovery that she was purely and essentially Protestant, and would be really the "hoisting of the engineer with his own petar." And this was the result. I continue:[Pg 136]

"2. Say, that I move sympathies for Rome: in the same sense does Hooker, Taylor, Bull, &c. Their arguments may be against Rome, but the sympathies they raise must be towards Rome, so far as Rome maintains truths which our Church does not teach or enforce. Thus it is a question of degree between our divines and me. I may, if so be, go further; I may raise sympathies more; but I am but urging minds in the same direction as they do. I am doing just the very thing which all our doctors have ever been doing. In short, would not Hooker, if Vicar of St. Mary's, be in my difficulty?"—Here it may be objected, that Hooker could preach against Rome and I could not; but I doubt whether he could have preached effectively against Transubstantiation better than I, though neither he nor I held that doctrine.

"3. Rationalism is the great evil of the day. May not I consider my post at St. Mary's as a place of protest against it? I am more certain that the Protestant [spirit], which I oppose, leads to infidelity, than that which I recommend, leads to Rome. Who knows what the state of the University may be, as regards Divinity Professors in a few years hence? Any how, a great battle may be coming on, of which Milman's book is a sort of earnest. The whole of our day may be a battle with this spirit. May we not leave to another age its own evil,—to settle the question of Romanism?"

I may add that from this time I had a curate at St. Mary's, who gradually took more and more of my work.

Also, this same year, 1840, I made arrangements for giving up the British Critic, in the following July, which were carried into effect at that date.


Such was about my state of mind, on the publication of Tract 90 in February 1841. I was indeed in prudence taking steps towards eventually withdrawing from St. Mary's, and[Pg 137] I was not confident about my permanent adhesion to the Anglican creed; but I was in no actual perplexity or trouble of mind. Nor did the immense commotion consequent upon the publication of the Tract unsettle me again; for I fancied I had weathered the storm, as far as the Bishops were concerned: the Tract had not been condemned: that was the great point, and I made much of it.

To illustrate my feelings during this trial, I will make extracts from my letters addressed severally to Mr. Bowden and another friend, which have come into my possession.

1. March 15.—"The Heads, I believe, have just done a violent act: they have said that my interpretation of the Articles is an evasion. Do not think that this will pain me. You see, no doctrine is censured, and my shoulders shall manage to bear the charge. If you knew all, or were here, you would see that I have asserted a great principle, and I ought to suffer for it:—that the Articles are to be interpreted, not according to the meaning of the writers, but (as far as the wording will admit) according to the sense of the Catholic Church."

2. March 25.—"I do trust I shall make no false step, and hope my friends will pray for me to this effect. If, as you say, a destiny hangs over us, a single false step may ruin all. I am very well and comfortable; but we are not yet out of the wood."

3. April 1.—"The Bishop sent me word on Sunday to write a Letter to him 'instanter.' So I wrote it on Monday: on Tuesday it passed through the press: on Wednesday it was out: and to-day [Thursday] it is in London.

"I trust that things are smoothing now; and that we have made a great step is certain. It is not right to boast, till I am clear out of the wood, i.e. till I know how the Letter is received in London. You know, I suppose, that I am to stop the Tracts; but you will see in the Letter, though I speak quite what I feel, yet I have managed to[Pg 138] take out on my side my snubbing's worth. And this makes me anxious how it will be received in London.

"I have not had a misgiving for five minutes from the first: but I do not like to boast, lest some harm come."

4. April 4.—"Your letter of this morning was an exceedingly great gratification to me; and it is confirmed, I am thankful to say, by the opinion of others. The Bishop sent me a message that my Letter had his unqualified approbation; and since that, he has sent me a note to the same effect, only going more into detail. It is most pleasant too to my feelings, to have such a testimony to the substantial truth and importance of No. 90, as I have had from so many of my friends, from those who, from their cautious turn of mind, I was least sanguine about. I have not had one misgiving myself about it throughout; and I do trust that what has happened will be overruled to subserve the great cause we all have at heart."

5. May 9.—"The Bishops are very desirous of hushing the matter up: and I certainly have done my utmost to co-operate with them, on the understanding that the Tract is not to be withdrawn or condemned."

Upon this occasion several Catholics wrote to me; I answered one of my correspondents in the same tone:—

"April 8.—You have no cause to be surprised at the discontinuance of the Tracts. We feel no misgivings about it whatever, as if the cause of what we hold to be Catholic truth would suffer thereby. My letter to my Bishop has, I trust, had the effect of bringing the preponderating authority of the Church on our side. No stopping of the Tracts can, humanly speaking, stop the spread of the opinions which they have inculcated.

"The Tracts are not suppressed. No doctrine or principle has been conceded by us, or condemned by authority. The Bishop has but said that a certain Tract is 'objectionable,' no reason being stated, I have no intention whatever[Pg 139] of yielding any one point which I hold on conviction; and that the authorities of the Church know full well."


In the summer of 1841, I found myself at Littlemore without any harass or anxiety on my mind. I had determined to put aside all controversy, and I set myself down to my translation of St. Athanasius; but, between July and November, I received three blows which broke me.

1. I had got but a little way in my work, when my trouble returned on me. The ghost had come a second time. In the Arian History I found the very same phenomenon, in a far bolder shape, which I had found in the Monophysite. I had not observed it in 1832. Wonderful that this should come upon me! I had not sought it out; I was reading and writing in my own line of study, far from the controversies of the day, on what is called a "metaphysical" subject; but I saw clearly, that in the history of Arianism, the pure Arians were the Protestants, the semi-Arians were the Anglicans, and that Rome now was what it was then. The truth lay, not with the Via Media, but with what was called "the extreme party." As I am not writing a work of controversy, I need not enlarge upon the argument; I have said something on the subject in a Volume, from which I have already quoted.

2. I was in the misery of this new unsettlement, when a second blow came upon me. The Bishops one after another began to charge against me. It was a formal, determinate movement. This was the real "understanding;" that, on which I had acted on the first appearance of Tract 90, had come to nought. I think the words, which had then been used to me, were, that "perhaps two or three of them might think it necessary to say something in their charges;" but by this time they had tided over the difficulty of the Tract, and there was no one to enforce the "understanding." They went on in this way, directing[Pg 140] charges at me, for three whole years. I recognized it as a condemnation; it was the only one that was in their power. At first I intended to protest; but I gave up the thought in despair.

On October 17th, I wrote thus to a friend: "I suppose it will be necessary in some shape or other to re-assert Tract 90; else, it will seem, after these Bishops' Charges, as if it were silenced, which it has not been, nor do I intend it should be. I wish to keep quiet; but if Bishops speak, I will speak too. If the view were silenced, I could not remain in the Church, nor could many others; and therefore, since it is not silenced, I shall take care to show that it isn't."

A day or two after, Oct. 22, a stranger wrote to me to say, that the Tracts for the Times had made a young friend of his a Catholic, and to ask, "would I be so good as to convert him back;" I made answer:

"If conversions to Rome take place in consequence of the Tracts for the Times, I do not impute blame to them, but to those who, instead of acknowledging such Anglican principles of theology and ecclesiastical polity as they contain, set themselves to oppose them. Whatever be the influence of the Tracts, great or small, they may become just as powerful for Rome, if our Church refuses them, as they would be for our Church if she accepted them. If our rulers speak either against the Tracts, or not at all, if any number of them, not only do not favour, but even do not suffer the principles contained in them, it is plain that our members may easily be persuaded either to give up those principles, or to give up the Church. If this state of things goes on, I mournfully prophesy, not one or two, but many secessions to the Church of Rome."

Two years afterwards, looking back on what had passed, I said, "There were no converts to Rome, till after the condemnation of No. 90."[Pg 141]

3. As if all this were not enough, there came the affair of the Jerusalem Bishopric; and, with a brief mention of it, I shall conclude.

I think I am right in saying that it had been long a desire with the Prussian Court to introduce Episcopacy into the new Evangelical Religion, which was intended in that country to embrace both the Lutheran and Calvinistic bodies. I almost think I heard of the project, when I was at Rome in 1833, at the Hotel of the Prussian Minister, M. Bunsen, who was most hospitable and kind, as to other English visitors, so also to my friends and myself. The idea of Episcopacy, as the Prussian king understood it, was, I suppose, very different from that taught in the Tractarian School: but still, I suppose also, that the chief authors of that school would have gladly seen such a measure carried out in Prussia, had it been done without compromising those principles which were necessary to the being of a Church. About the time of the publication of Tract 90, M. Bunsen and the then Archbishop of Canterbury were taking steps for its execution, by appointing and consecrating a Bishop for Jerusalem. Jerusalem, it would seem, was considered a safe place for the experiment; it was too far from Prussia to awaken the susceptibilities of any party at home; if the project failed, it failed without harm to any one; and, if it succeeded, it gave Protestantism a status in the East, which, in association with the Monophysite or Jacobite and the Nestorian bodies, formed a political instrument for England, parallel to that which Russia had in the Greek Church, and France in the Latin.

Accordingly, in July 1841, full of the Anglican difficulty on the question of Catholicity, I thus spoke of the Jerusalem scheme in an Article in the British Critic: "When our thoughts turn to the East, instead of recollecting that there are Christian Churches there, we leave it to the[Pg 142] Russians to take care of the Greeks, and the French to take care of the Romans, and we content ourselves with erecting a Protestant Church at Jerusalem, or with helping the Jews to rebuild their Temple there, or with becoming the august protectors of Nestorians, Monophysites, and all the heretics we can hear of, or with forming a league with the Mussulman against Greeks and Romans together."

I do not pretend, so long after the time, to give a full or exact account of this measure in detail. I will but say that in the Act of Parliament, under date of October 5, 1841, (if the copy, from which I quote, contains the measure as it passed the Houses,) provision is made for the consecration of "British subjects, or the subjects or citizens of any foreign state, to be Bishops in any foreign country, whether such foreign subjects or citizens be or be not subjects or citizens of the country in which they are to act, and ... without requiring such of them as may be subjects or citizens of any foreign kingdom or state to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and the oath of due obedience to the Archbishop for the time being" ... also "that such Bishop or Bishops, so consecrated, may exercise, within such limits, as may from time to time be assigned for that purpose in such foreign countries by her Majesty, spiritual jurisdiction over the ministers of British congregations of the United Church of England and Ireland, and over such other Protestant Congregations, as may be desirous of placing themselves under his or their authority."

Now here, at the very time that the Anglican Bishops were directing their censure upon me for avowing an approach to the Catholic Church not closer than I believed the Anglican formularies would allow, they were on the other hand, fraternizing, by their act or by their sufferance, with Protestant bodies, and allowing them to put themselves under an Anglican Bishop, without any renunciation of[Pg 143] their errors or regard to their due reception of baptism and confirmation; while there was great reason to suppose that the said Bishop was intended to make converts from the orthodox Greeks, and the schismatical Oriental bodies, by means of the influence of England. This was the third blow, which finally shattered my faith in the Anglican Church. That Church was not only forbidding any sympathy or concurrence with the Church of Rome, but it actually was courting an intercommunion with Protestant Prussia and the heresy of the Orientals. The Anglican Church might have the Apostolical succession, as had the Monophysites; but such acts as were in progress led me to the gravest suspicion, not that it would soon cease to be a Church, but that, since the 16th century, it had never been a Church all along.

On October 12th, I thus wrote to Mr. Bowden:—"We have not a single Anglican in Jerusalem; so we are sending a Bishop to make a communion, not to govern our own people. Next, the excuse is, that there are converted Anglican Jews there who require a Bishop; I am told there are not half-a-dozen. But for them the Bishop is sent out, and for them he is a Bishop of the circumcision" (I think he was a converted Jew, who boasted of his Jewish descent), "against the Epistle to the Galatians pretty nearly. Thirdly, for the sake of Prussia, he is to take under him all the foreign Protestants who will come; and the political advantages will be so great, from the influence of England, that there is no doubt they will come. They are to sign the Confession of Augsburg, and there is nothing to show that they hold the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration.

"As to myself, I shall do nothing whatever publicly, unless indeed it were to give my signature to a Protest; but I think it would be out of place in me to agitate, having been in a way silenced; but the Archbishop is really[Pg 144] doing most grave work, of which we cannot see the end."

I did make a solemn Protest, and sent it to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and also sent it to my own Bishop with the following letter:—

"It seems as if I were never to write to your Lordship, without giving you pain, and I know that my present subject does not specially concern your Lordship; yet, after a great deal of anxious thought, I lay before you the enclosed Protest.

"Your Lordship will observe that I am not asking for any notice of it, unless you think that I ought to receive one. I do this very serious act in obedience to my sense of duty.

"If the English Church is to enter on a new course, and assume a new aspect, it will be more pleasant to me hereafter to think, that I did not suffer so grievous an event to happen, without bearing witness against it.

"May I be allowed to say, that I augur nothing but evil, if we in any respect prejudice our title to be a branch of the Apostolic Church? That Article of the Creed, I need hardly observe to your Lordship, is of such constraining power, that, if we will not claim it, and use it for ourselves, others will use it in their own behalf against us. Men who learn whether by means of documents or measures, whether from the statements or the acts of persons in authority, that our communion is not a branch of the One Church, I foresee with much grief, will be tempted to look out for that Church elsewhere.

"It is to me a subject of great dismay, that, as far as the Church has lately spoken out, on the subject of the opinions which I and others hold, those opinions are, not merely not sanctioned (for that I do not ask), but not even suffered.[Pg 145]

"I earnestly hope that your Lordship will excuse my freedom in thus speaking to you of some members of your Most Rev. and Right Rev. Body. With every feeling of reverent attachment to your Lordship,

"I am, &c."

PROTEST.

"Whereas the Church of England has a claim on the allegiance of Catholic believers only on the ground of her own claim to be considered a branch of the Catholic Church:

"And whereas the recognition of heresy, indirect as well as direct, goes far to destroy such claim in the case of any religious body:

"And whereas to admit maintainers of heresy to communion, without formal renunciation of their errors, goes far towards recognizing the same:

"And whereas Lutheranism and Calvinism are heresies, repugnant to Scripture, springing up three centuries since, and anathematized by East as well as West:

"And whereas it is reported that the Most Reverend Primate and other Right Reverend Rulers of our Church have consecrated a Bishop with a view to exercising spiritual jurisdiction over Protestant, that is, Lutheran and Calvinist congregations in the East (under the provisions of an Act made in the last session of Parliament to amend an Act made in the 26th year of the reign of his Majesty King George the Third, intituled, 'An Act to empower the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Archbishop of York for the time being, to consecrate to the office of Bishop persons being subjects or citizens of countries out of his Majesty's dominions'), dispensing at the same time, not in particular cases and accidentally, but as if on principle and universally, with any abjuration of error on the part[Pg 146] of such congregations, and with any reconciliation to the Church on the part of the presiding Bishop; thereby giving some sort of formal recognition to the doctrines which such congregations maintain:

"And whereas the dioceses in England are connected together by so close an intercommunion, that what is done by authority in one, immediately affects the rest:

"On these grounds, I in my place, being a priest of the English Church and Vicar of St. Mary the Virgin's, Oxford, by way of relieving my conscience, do hereby solemnly protest against the measure aforesaid, and disown it, as removing our Church from her present ground and tending to her disorganization.

"John Henry Newman.

"November 11, 1841."


Looking back two years afterwards on the above-mentioned and other acts, on the part of Anglican Ecclesiastical authorities, I observed: "Many a man might have held an abstract theory about the Catholic Church, to which it was difficult to adjust the Anglican,—might have admitted a suspicion, or even painful doubts about the latter,—yet never have been impelled onwards, had our Rulers preserved the quiescence of former years; but it is the corroboration of a present, living, and energetic heterodoxy, that realizes and makes such doubts practical; it has been the recent speeches and acts of authorities, who had so long been tolerant of Protestant error, which has given to inquiry and to theory its force and its edge."

As to the project of a Jerusalem Bishopric, I never heard of any good or harm it has ever done, except what it has done for me; which many think a great misfortune, and I one of the greatest of mercies. It brought me on to the beginning of the end.[Pg 147]

CHAPTER IV.

HISTORY OF MY RELIGIOUS OPINIONS FROM 1841 TO 1845.

§ 1.

From the end of 1841, I was on my death-bed, as regards my membership with the Anglican Church, though at the time I became aware of it only by degrees. I introduce what I have to say with this remark, by way of accounting for the character of this remaining portion of my narrative. A death-bed has scarcely a history; it is a tedious decline, with seasons of rallying and seasons of falling back; and since the end is foreseen, or what is called a matter of time, it has little interest for the reader, especially if he has a kind heart. Moreover, it is a season when doors are closed and curtains drawn, and when the sick man neither cares nor is able to record the stages of his malady. I was in these circumstances, except so far as I was not allowed to die in peace,—except so far as friends, who had still a full right to come in upon me, and the public world which had not, have given a sort of history to those last four years. But in consequence, my narrative must be in great measure documentary, as I cannot rely on my memory, except for definite particulars, positive or negative. Letters of mine to friends since dead have come into my hands; others have been kindly lent me for the occasion; and I have some drafts of others, and some notes which I made, though I have no strictly personal or continuous memoranda[Pg 148] to consult, and have unluckily mislaid some valuable papers.

And first as to my position in the view of duty; it was this:—1. I had given up my place in the Movement in my letter to the Bishop of Oxford in the spring of 1841; but 2. I could not give up my duties towards the many and various minds who had more or less been brought into it by me; 3. I expected or intended gradually to fall back into Lay Communion; 4. I never contemplated leaving the Church of England; 5. I could not hold office in its service, if I were not allowed to hold the Catholic sense of the Articles; 6. I could not go to Rome, while she suffered honours to be paid to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints which I thought in my conscience to be incompatible with the Supreme, Incommunicable Glory of the One Infinite and Eternal; 7. I desired a union with Rome under conditions, Church with Church; 8. I called Littlemore my Torres Vedras, and thought that some day we might advance again within the Anglican Church, as we had been forced to retire; 9. I kept back all persons who were disposed to go to Rome with all my might.

And I kept them back for three or four reasons; 1. because what I could not in conscience do myself, I could not suffer them to do; 2. because I thought that in various cases they were acting under excitement; 3. because I had duties to my Bishop and to the Anglican Church; and 4, in some cases, because I had received from their Anglican parents or superiors direct charge of them.

This was my view of my duty from the end of 1841, to my resignation of St. Mary's in the autumn of 1843. And now I shall relate my view, during that time, of the state of the controversy between the Churches.


As soon as I saw the hitch in the Anglican argument, during my course of reading in the summer of 1839, I[Pg 149] began to look about, as I have said, for some ground which might supply a controversial basis for my need. The difficulty in question had affected my view both of Antiquity and Catholicity; for, while the history of St. Leo showed me that the deliberate and eventual consent of the great body of the Church ratified a doctrinal decision as a part of revealed truth, it also showed that the rule of Antiquity was not infringed, though a doctrine had not been publicly recognized as so revealed, till centuries after the time of the Apostles. Thus, whereas the Creeds tell us that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, I could not prove that the Anglican communion was an integral part of the One Church, on the ground of its teaching being Apostolic or Catholic, without reasoning in favour of what are commonly called the Roman corruptions; and I could not defend our separation from Rome and her faith without using arguments prejudicial to those great doctrines concerning our Lord, which are the very foundation of the Christian religion. The Via Media was an impossible idea; it was what I had called "standing on one leg;" and it was necessary, if my old issue of the controversy was to be retained, to go further either one way or the other.

Accordingly, I abandoned that old ground and took another. I deliberately quitted the old Anglican ground as untenable; though I did not do so all at once, but as I became more and more convinced of the state of the case. The Jerusalem Bishopric was the ultimate condemnation of the old theory of the Via Media:—if its establishment did nothing else, at least it demolished the sacredness of diocesan rights. If England could be in Palestine, Rome might be in England. But its bearing upon the controversy, as I have shown in the foregoing chapter, was much more serious than this technical ground. From that time the Anglican Church was, in my mind, either not a normal portion of that One Church to which the promises[Pg 150] were made, or at least in an abnormal state; and from that time I said boldly (as I did in my Protest, and as indeed I had even intimated in my Letter to the Bishop of Oxford), that the Church in which I found myself had no claim on me, except on condition of its being a portion of the One Catholic Communion, and that that condition must ever be borne in mind as a practical matter, and had to be distinctly proved. All this is not inconsistent with my saying above that, at this time, I had no thought of leaving the Church of England; because I felt some of my old objections against Rome as strongly as ever. I had no right, I had no leave, to act against my conscience. That was a higher rule than any argument about the Notes of the Church.

Under these circumstances I turned for protection to the Note of Sanctity, with a view of showing that we had at least one of the necessary Notes, as fully as the Church of Rome; or, at least, without entering into comparisons, that we had it in such a sufficient sense as to reconcile us to our position, and to supply full evidence, and a clear direction, on the point of practical duty. We had the Note of Life,—not any sort of life, not such only as can come of nature, but a supernatural Christian life, which could only come directly from above. Thus, in my Article in the British Critic, to which I have so often referred, in January, 1840 (before the time of Tract 90), I said of the Anglican Church that "she has the note of possession, the note of freedom from party titles, the note of life,—a tough life and a vigorous; she has ancient descent, unbroken continuance, agreement in doctrine with the Ancient Church." Presently I go on to speak of sanctity: "Much as Roman Catholics may denounce us at present as schismatical, they could not resist us if the Anglican communion had but that one note of the Church upon it,—sanctity. The Church of the day [4th century] could not[Pg 151] resist Meletius; his enemies were fairly overcome by him, by his meekness and holiness, which melted the most jealous of them." And I continue, "We are almost content to say to Romanists, account us not yet as a branch of the Catholic Church, though we be a branch, till we are like a branch, provided that when we do become like a branch, then you consent to acknowledge us," &c. And so I was led on in the Article to that sharp attack on English Catholics, for their shortcomings as regards this Note, a good portion of which I have already quoted in another place. It is there that I speak of the great scandal which I took at their political, social, and controversial bearing; and this was a second reason why I fell back upon the Note of Sanctity, because it took me away from the necessity of making any attack upon the doctrines of the Roman Church, nay, from the consideration of her popular beliefs, and brought me upon a ground on which I felt I could not make a mistake; for what is a higher guide for us in speculation and in practice, than that conscience of right and wrong, of truth and falsehood, those sentiments of what is decorous, consistent, and noble, which our Creator has made a part of our original nature? Therefore I felt I could not be wrong in attacking what I fancied was a fact,—the unscrupulousness, the deceit, and the intriguing spirit of the agents and representatives of Rome.

This reference to Holiness as the true test of a Church was steadily kept in view in what I wrote in connexion with Tract 90. I say in its Introduction, "The writer can never be party to forcing the opinions or projects of one school upon another; religious changes should be the act of the whole body. No good can come of a change which is not a development of feelings springing up freely and calmly within the bosom of the whole body itself; every change in religion" must be "attended by deep repentance;[Pg 152] changes" must be "nurtured in mutual love; we cannot agree without a supernatural influence;" we must come "together to God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves." In my Letter to the Bishop I said, "I have set myself against suggestions for considering the differences between ourselves and the foreign Churches with a view to their adjustment." (I meant in the way of negotiation, conference, agitation, or the like.) "Our business is with ourselves,—to make ourselves more holy, more self-denying, more primitive, more worthy of our high calling. To be anxious for a composition of differences is to begin at the end. Political reconciliations are but outward and hollow, and fallacious. And till Roman Catholics renounce political efforts, and manifest in their public measures the light of holiness and truth, perpetual war is our only prospect."

According to this theory, a religious body is part of the One Catholic and Apostolic Church, if it has the succession and the creed of the Apostles, with the note of holiness of life; and there is much in such a view to approve itself to the direct common sense and practical habits of an Englishman. However, with the events consequent upon Tract 90, I sunk my theory to a lower level. For what could be said in apology, when the Bishops and the people of my Church, not only did not suffer, but actually rejected primitive Catholic doctrine, and tried to eject from their communion all who held it? after the Bishops' charges? after the Jerusalem "abomination[8]?" Well, this could be said; still we were not nothing: we could not be as if we never had been a Church; we were "Samaria." This then was that lower level on which I placed myself, and all who felt with me, at the end of 1841.

[8] Matt. xxiv. 15.

To bring out this view was the purpose of Four Sermons[Pg 153] preached at St. Mary's in December of that year. Hitherto I had not introduced the exciting topics of the day into the Pulpit[9]; on this occasion I did. I did so, for the moment was urgent; there was great unsettlement of mind among us, in consequence of those same events which had unsettled me. One special anxiety, very obvious, which was coming on me now, was, that what was "one man's meat was another man's poison." I had said even of Tract 90, "It was addressed to one set of persons, and has been used and commented on by another;" still more was it true now, that whatever I wrote for the service of those whom I knew to be in trouble of mind, would become on the one hand matter of suspicion and slander in the mouths of my opponents, and of distress and surprise to those on the other hand, who had no difficulties of faith at all. Accordingly, when I published these Four Sermons at the end of 1843, I introduced them with a recommendation that none should read them who did not need them. But in truth the virtual condemnation of Tract 90, after that the whole difficulty seemed to have been weathered, was an enormous disappointment and trial. My Protest also against the Jerusalem Bishopric was an unavoidable cause of excitement in the case of many; but it calmed them too, for the very fact of a Protest was a relief to their impatience. And so, in like manner, as regards the Four Sermons, of which I speak, though they acknowledged freely the great scandal which was involved in the recent episcopal doings, yet at the same time they might be said to bestow upon the multiplied disorders and shortcomings of the Anglican Church a sort of place in the Revealed Dispensation, and an intellectual position in the controversy, and the dignity of a great principle, for unsettled minds to take and use,—a principle which might teach[Pg 154] them to recognize their own consistency, and to be reconciled to themselves, and which might absorb and dry up a multitude of their grudgings, discontents, misgivings, and questionings, and lead the way to humble, thankful, and tranquil thoughts;—and this was the effect which certainly it produced on myself.

[9] Vide Note C. Sermon on Wisdom and Innocence.

The point of these Sermons is, that, in spite of the rigid character of the Jewish law, the formal and literal force of its precepts, and the manifest schism, and worse than schism, of the Ten Tribes, yet in fact they were still recognized as a people by the Divine Mercy; that the great prophets Elias and Eliseus were sent to them; and not only so, but were sent to preach to them and reclaim them, without any intimation that they must be reconciled to the line of David and the Aaronic priesthood, or go up to Jerusalem to worship. They were not in the Church, yet they had the means of grace and the hope of acceptance with their Maker. The application of all this to the Anglican Church was immediate;—whether, under the circumstances, a man could assume or exercise ministerial functions, or not, might not clearly appear (though it must be remembered that England had the Apostolic Priesthood, whereas Israel had no priesthood at all), but so far was clear, that there was no call at all for an Anglican to leave his Church for Rome, though he did not believe his own to be part of the One Church:—and for this reason, because it was a fact that the kingdom of Israel was cut off from the Temple; and yet its subjects, neither in a mass, nor as individuals, neither the multitudes on Mount Carmel, nor the Shunammite and her household, had any command given them, though miracles were displayed before them, to break off from their own people, and to submit themselves to Judah[10].[Pg 155]

[10] As I am not writing controversially, I will only here remark upon this argument, that there is a great difference between a command, which presupposes physical, material, and political conditions, and one which is moral. To go to Jerusalem was a matter of the body, not of the soul.

It is plain, that a theory such as this,—whether the marks of a divine presence and life in the Anglican Church were sufficient to prove that she was actually within the covenant, or only sufficient to prove that she was at least enjoying extraordinary and uncovenanted mercies,—not only lowered her level in a religious point of view, but weakened her controversial basis. Its very novelty made it suspicious; and there was no guarantee that the process of subsidence might not continue, and that it might not end in a submersion. Indeed, to many minds, to say that England was wrong was even to say that Rome was right; and no ethical or casuistic reasoning whatever could overcome in their case the argument from prescription and authority. To this objection, as made to my new teaching, I could only answer that I did not make my circumstances. I fully acknowledged the force and effectiveness of the genuine Anglican theory, and that it was all but proof against the disputants of Rome; but still like Achilles, it had a vulnerable point, and that St. Leo had found it out for me, and that I could not help it;—that, were it not for matter of fact, the theory would be great indeed; it would be irresistible, if it were only true. When I became a Catholic, the Editor of the Christian Observer, Mr. Wilkes, who had in former days accused me, to my indignation, of tending towards Rome, wrote to me to ask, which of the two was now right, he or I? I answered him in a letter, part of which I here insert, as it will serve as a sort of leave-taking of the great theory, which is so specious to look upon, so difficult to prove, and so hopeless to work.

"Nov. 8, 1845. I do not think, at all more than I did,[Pg 156] that the Anglican principles which I advocated at the date you mention, lead men to the Church of Rome. If I must specify what I mean by 'Anglican principles,' I should say, e.g. taking Antiquity, not the existing Church, as the oracle of truth; and holding that the Apostolical Succession is a sufficient guarantee of Sacramental Grace, without union with the Christian Church throughout the world. I think these still the firmest, strongest ground against Rome—that is, if they can be held" [as truths or facts.] "They have been held by many, and are far more difficult to refute in the Roman controversy, than those of any other religious body.

"For myself, I found I could not hold them. I left them. From the time I began to suspect their unsoundness, I ceased to put them forward. When I was fairly sure of their unsoundness, I gave up my Living. When I was fully confident that the Church of Rome was the only true Church, I joined her.

"I have felt all along that Bp. Bull's theology was the only theology on which the English Church could stand. I have felt, that opposition to the Church of Rome was part of that theology; and that he who could not protest against the Church of Rome was no true divine in the English Church. I have never said, nor attempted to say, that any one in office in the English Church, whether Bishop or incumbent, could be otherwise than in hostility to the Church of Rome."


The Via Media then disappeared for ever, and a Theory, made expressly for the occasion, took its place. I was pleased with my new view. I wrote to an intimate friend, Samuel F. Wood, Dec. 13, 1841: "I think you will give me the credit, Carissime, of not undervaluing the strength of the feelings which draw one [to Rome], and yet I am (I trust) quite clear about my duty to remain where I am;[Pg 157] indeed, much clearer than I was some time since. If it is not presumptuous to say, I have ... a much more definite view of the promised inward Presence of Christ with us in the Sacraments now that the outward notes of it are being removed. And I am content to be with Moses in the desert, or with Elijah excommunicated from the Temple. I say this, putting things at the strongest."

However, my friends of the moderate Apostolical party, who were my friends for the very reason of my having been so moderate and Anglican myself in general tone in times past, who had stood up for Tract 90 partly from faith in me, and certainly from generous and kind feeling, and had thereby shared an obloquy which was none of theirs, were naturally surprised and offended at a line of argument, novel, and, as it appeared to them, wanton, which threw the whole controversy into confusion, stultified my former principles, and substituted, as they would consider, a sort of methodistic self-contemplation, especially abhorrent both to my nature and to my past professions, for the plain and honest tokens, as they were commonly received, of a divine mission in the Anglican Church. They could not tell whither I was going; and were still further annoyed when I persisted in viewing the condemnation of Tract 90 by the public and the Bishops as so grave a matter, and when I threw about what they considered mysterious hints of "eventualities," and would not simply say, "An Anglican I was born, and an Anglican I will die." One of my familiar friends, Mr. Church, who was in the country at Christmas, 1841-2, reported to me the feeling that prevailed about me; and how I felt towards it will appear in the following letter of mine, written in answer:—

"Oriel, Dec. 24, 1841. Carissime, you cannot tell how sad your account of Moberly has made me. His view of the sinfulness of the decrees of Trent is as much against[Pg 158] union of Churches as against individual conversions. To tell the truth, I never have examined those decrees with this object, and have no view; but that is very different from having a deliberate view against them. Could not he say which they are? I suppose Transubstantiation is one. Charles Marriott, though of course he would not like to have it repeated[11], does not scruple at that. I have not my mind clear. Moberly must recollect that Palmer [of Worcester] thinks they all bear a Catholic interpretation. For myself, this only I see, that there is indefinitely more in the Fathers against our own state of alienation from Christendom than against the Tridentine Decrees.

[11] As things stand now, I do not think he would have objected to his opinion being generally known.

"The only thing I can think of," [that I can have said of a startling character,] "is this, that there were persons who, if our Church committed herself to heresy, sooner than think that there was no Church any where, would believe the Roman to be the Church; and therefore would on faith accept what they could not otherwise acquiesce in. I suppose, it would be no relief to him to insist upon the circumstance that there is no immediate danger. Individuals can never be answered for of course; but I should think lightly of that man, who, for some act of the Bishops, should all at once leave the Church. Now, considering how the Clergy really are improving, considering that this row is even making them read the Tracts, is it not possible we may all be in a better state of mind seven years hence to consider these matters? and may we not leave them meanwhile to the will of Providence? I cannot believe this work has been of man; God has a right to His own work, to do what He will with it. May we not try to leave it in His hands, and be content?[Pg 159]

"If you learn any thing about Barter, which leads you to think that I can relieve him by a letter, let me know. The truth is this,—our good friends do not read the Fathers; they assent to us from the common sense of the case: then, when the Fathers, and we, say more than their common sense, they are dreadfully shocked.

"The Bishop of London has rejected a man, 1. For holding any Sacrifice in the Eucharist. 2. The Real Presence. 3. That there is a grace in Ordination[12].

[12] I cannot prove this at this distance of time; but I do not think it wrong to introduce here the passage containing it, as I am imputing to the Bishop nothing which the world would think disgraceful, but, on the contrary, what a large religious body would approve.

"Are we quite sure that the Bishops will not be drawing up some stringent declarations of faith? Is this what Moberly fears? Would the Bishop of Oxford accept them? If so, I should be driven into the Refuge for the Destitute [Littlemore]. But I promise Moberly, I would do my utmost to catch all dangerous persons and clap them into confinement there."

Christmas Bay, 1841. "I have been dreaming of Moberly all night. Should not he and the like see, that it is unwise, unfair, and impatient to ask others, What will you do under circumstances, which have not, which may never come? Why bring fear, suspicion, and disunion into the camp about things which are merely in posse? Natural, and exceedingly kind as Barter's and another friend's letters were, I think they have done great harm. I speak most sincerely when I say, that there are things which I neither contemplate, nor wish to contemplate; but, when I am asked about them ten times, at length I begin to contemplate them.

"He surely does not mean to say, that nothing could separate a man from the English Church, e.g. its avowing Socinianism; its holding the Holy Eucharist in a Socinian[Pg 160] sense. Yet, he would say, it was not right to contemplate such things.

"Again, our case is [diverging] from that of Ken's. To say nothing of the last miserable century, which has given us to start from a much lower level and with much less to spare than a Churchman in the 17th century, questions of doctrine are now coming in; with him, it was a question of discipline.

"If such dreadful events were realized, I cannot help thinking we should all be vastly more agreed than we think now. Indeed, is it possible (humanly speaking) that those, who have so much the same heart, should widely differ? But let this be considered, as to alternatives. What communion could we join? Could the Scotch or American sanction the presence of its Bishops and congregations in England, without incurring the imputation of schism, unless indeed (and is that likely?) they denounced the English as heretical?

"Is not this a time of strange providences? is it not our safest course, without looking to consequences, to do simply what we think right day by day? shall we not be sure to go wrong, if we attempt to trace by anticipation the course of divine Providence?

"Has not all our misery, as a Church, arisen from people being afraid to look difficulties in the face? They have palliated acts, when they should have denounced them. There is that good fellow, Worcester Palmer, can whitewash the Ecclesiastical Commission and the Jerusalem Bishopric. And what is the consequence? that our Church has, through centuries, ever been sinking lower and lower, till good part of its pretensions and professions is a mere sham, though it be a duty to make the best of what we have received. Yet, though bound to make the best of other men's shams, let us not incur any of our own. The truest friends of our Church are they, who say boldly when[Pg 161] her rulers are going wrong, and the consequences; and (to speak catachrestically) they are most likely to die in the Church, who are, under these black circumstances, most prepared to leave it.

"And I will add, that, considering the traces of God's grace which surround us, I am very sanguine, or rather confident, (if it is right so to speak,) that our prayers and our alms will come up as a memorial before God, and that all this miserable confusion tends to good.

"Let us not then be anxious, and anticipate differences in prospect, when we agree in the present.

"P.S. I think when friends" [i.e. the extreme party] "get over their first unsettlement of mind and consequent vague apprehensions, which the new attitude of the Bishops, and our feelings upon it, have brought about, they will get contented and satisfied. They will see that they exaggerated things.... Of course it would have been wrong to anticipate what one's feelings would be under such a painful contingency as the Bishops' charging as they have done,—so it seems to me nobody's fault. Nor is it wonderful that others" [moderate men] "are startled" [i.e. at my Protest, &c. &c.]; "yet they should recollect that the more implicit the reverence one pays to a Bishop, the more keen will be one's perception of heresy in him. The cord is binding and compelling, till it snaps.

"Men of reflection would have seen this, if they had looked that way. Last spring, a very high churchman talked to me of resisting my Bishop, of asking him for the Canons under which he acted, and so forth; but those, who have cultivated a loyal feeling towards their superiors, are the most loving servants, or the most zealous protestors. If others became so too, if the clergy of Chester denounced the heresy of their diocesan, they would be doing their duty, and relieving themselves of the share which they otherwise have in any possible defection of their brethren.[Pg 162]

"St. Stephen's [Day, December 26]. How I fidget! I now fear that the note I wrote yesterday only makes matters worse by disclosing too much. This is always my great difficulty.

"In the present state of excitement on both sides, I think of leaving out altogether my reassertion of No. 90 in my Preface to Volume 6 [of Parochial Sermons], and merely saying, 'As many false reports are at this time in circulation about him, he hopes his well-wishers will take this Volume as an indication of his real thoughts and feelings: those who are not, he leaves in God's hand to bring them to a better mind in His own time.' What do you say to the logic, sentiment, and propriety of this?"

An old friend, at a distance from Oxford, Archdeacon Robert I. Wilberforce, must have said something to me at this time, I do not know what, which challenged a frank reply; for I disclosed to him, I do not know in what words, my frightful suspicion, hitherto only known to two persons, viz. his brother Henry and Mr. Frederic Rogers,[13] that, as regards my Anglicanism, perhaps I might break down in the event,—that perhaps we were both out of the Church. I think I recollect expressing my difficulty, as derived from the Arian and Monophysite history, in a form in which it would be most intelligible to him, as being in fact an admission of Bishop Bull's; viz. that in the controversies of the early centuries the Roman Church was ever on the right side, which was of course a primâ facie argument in favour of Rome and against Anglicanism now. He answered me thus, under date of Jan. 29, 1842: "I don't think that I ever was so shocked by any communication, which was ever made to me, as by your letter of this morning. It has quite unnerved me.... I cannot but write to you, though I am at a loss where to begin.... I know of no act by which we have dissevered ourselves from the communion of the Church Universal....[Pg 163] The more I study Scripture, the more am I impressed with the resemblance between the Romish principle in the Church and the Babylon of St. John.... I am ready to grieve that I ever directed my thoughts to theology, if it is indeed so uncertain, as your doubts seem to indicate."

[13] Now Lord Blachford.

While my old and true friends were thus in trouble about me, I suppose they felt not only anxiety but pain, to see that I was gradually surrendering myself to the influence of others, who had not their own claims upon me, younger men, and of a cast of mind in no small degree uncongenial to my own. A new school of thought was rising, as is usual in doctrinal inquiries, and was sweeping the original party of the Movement aside, and was taking its place. The most prominent person in it, was a man of elegant genius, of classical mind, of rare talent in literary composition:—Mr. Oakeley. He was not far from my own age; I had long known him, though of late years he had not been in residence at Oxford; and quite lately, he has been taking several signal occasions of renewing that kindness, which he ever showed towards me when we were both in the Anglican Church. His tone of mind was not unlike that which gave a character to the early Movement; he was almost a typical Oxford man, and, as far as I recollect, both in political and ecclesiastical views, would have been of one spirit with the Oriel party of 1826-1833. But he had entered late into the Movement; he did not know its first years; and, beginning with a new start, he was naturally thrown together with that body of eager, acute, resolute minds who had begun their Catholic life about the same time as he, who knew nothing about the Via Media, but had heard much about Rome. This new party rapidly formed and increased, in and out of Oxford, and, as it so happened, contemporaneously with that very[Pg 164] summer, when I received so serious a blow to my ecclesiastical views from the study of the Monophysite controversy. These men cut into the original Movement at an angle, fell across its line of thought, and then set about turning that line in its own direction. They were most of them keenly religious men, with a true concern for their souls as the first matter of all, with a great zeal for me, but giving little certainty at the time as to which way they would ultimately turn. Some in the event have remained firm to Anglicanism, some have become Catholics, and some have found a refuge in Liberalism. Nothing was clearer concerning them, than that they needed to be kept in order; and on me who had had so much to do with the making of them, that duty was as clearly incumbent; and it is equally clear, from what I have already said, that I was just the person, above all others, who could not undertake it. There are no friends like old friends; but of those old friends, few could help me, few could understand me, many were annoyed with me, some were angry, because I was breaking up a compact party, and some, as a matter of conscience, could not listen to me. When I looked round for those whom I might consult in my difficulties, I found the very hypothesis of those difficulties acting as a bar to their giving me their advice. Then I said, bitterly, "You are throwing me on others, whether I will or no." Yet still I had good and true friends around me of the old sort, in and out of Oxford too, who were a great help to me. But on the other hand, though I neither was so fond (with a few exceptions) of the persons, nor of the methods of thought, which belonged to this new school, as of the old set, though I could not trust in their firmness of purpose, for, like a swarm of flies, they might come and go, and at length be divided and dissipated, yet I had an intense sympathy in their object and in the direction in which their path lay, in spite of my old friends, in spite[Pg 165] of my old life-long prejudices. In spite of my ingrained fears of Rome, and the decision of my reason and conscience against her usages, in spite of my affection for Oxford and Oriel, yet I had a secret longing love of Rome the Mother of English Christianity, and I had a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin, in whose College I lived, whose Altar I served, and whose Immaculate Purity I had in one of my earliest printed Sermons made much of. And it was the consciousness of this bias in myself, if it is so to be called, which made me preach so earnestly against the danger of being swayed in religious inquiry by our sympathy rather than by our reason. And moreover, the members of this new school looked up to me, as I have said, and did me true kindnesses, and really loved me, and stood by me in trouble, when others went away, and for all this I was grateful; nay, many of them were in trouble themselves, and in the same boat with me, and that was a further cause of sympathy between us; and hence it was, when the new school came on in force, and into collision with the old, I had not the heart, any more than the power, to repel them; I was in great perplexity, and hardly knew where I stood; I took their part; and, when I wanted to be in peace and silence, I had to speak out, and I incurred the charge of weakness from some men, and of mysteriousness, shuffling, and underhand dealing from the majority.


Now I will say here frankly, that this sort of charge is a matter which I cannot properly meet, because I cannot duly realize it. I have never had any suspicion of my own honesty; and, when men say that I was dishonest, I cannot grasp the accusation as a distinct conception, such as it is possible to encounter. If a man said to me, "On such a day and before such persons you said a thing was white, when it was black," I understand what is meant[Pg 166] well enough, and I can set myself to prove an alibi or to explain the mistake; or if a man said to me, "You tried to gain me over to your party, intending to take me with you to Rome, but you did not succeed," I can give him the lie, and lay down an assertion of my own as firm and as exact as his, that not from the time that I was first unsettled, did I ever attempt to gain any one over to myself or to my Romanizing opinions, and that it is only his own coxcombical fancy which has bred such a thought in him: but my imagination is at a loss in presence of those vague charges, which have commonly been brought against me, charges, which are made up of impressions, and understandings, and inferences, and hearsay, and surmises. Accordingly, I shall not make the attempt, for, in doing so, I should be dealing blows in the air; what I shall attempt is to state what I know of myself and what I recollect, and leave to others its application.

While I had confidence in the Via Media, and thought that nothing could overset it, I did not mind laying down large principles, which I saw would go further than was commonly perceived. I considered that to make the Via Media concrete and substantive, it must be much more than it was in outline; that the Anglican Church must have a ceremonial, a ritual, and a fulness of doctrine and devotion, which it had not at present, if it were to compete with the Roman Church with any prospect of success. Such additions would not remove it from its proper basis, but would merely strengthen and beautify it: such, for instance, would be confraternities, particular devotions, reverence for the Blessed Virgin, prayers for the dead, beautiful churches, munificent offerings to them and in them, monastic houses, and many other observances and institutions, which I used to say belonged to us as much as to Rome, though Rome had appropriated them and boasted of them, by reason of our having let them slip[Pg 167] from us. The principle, on which all this turned, is brought out in one of the Letters I published on occasion of Tract 90. "The age is moving," I said, "towards something; and most unhappily the one religious communion among us, which has of late years been practically in possession of this something, is the Church of Rome. She alone, amid all the errors and evils of her practical system, has given free scope to the feelings of awe, mystery, tenderness, reverence, devotedness, and other feelings which may be especially called Catholic. The question then is, whether we shall give them up to the Roman Church or claim them for ourselves.... But if we do give them up, we must give up the men who cherish them. We must consent either to give up the men, or to admit their principles." With these feelings I frankly admit, that, while I was working simply for the sake of the Anglican Church, I did not at all mind, though I found myself laying down principles in its defence, which went beyond that particular kind of defence which high-and-dry men thought perfection, and even though I ended in framing a kind of defence, which they might call a revolution, while I thought it a restoration. Thus, for illustration, I might discourse upon the "Communion of Saints" in such a manner, (though I do not recollect doing so,) as might lead the way towards devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints on the one hand, and towards prayers for the dead on the other. In a memorandum of the year 1844 or 1845, I thus speak on this subject: "If the Church be not defended on establishment grounds, it must be upon principles, which go far beyond their immediate object. Sometimes I saw these further results, sometimes not. Though I saw them, I sometimes did not say that I saw them:—so long as I thought they were inconsistent, not with our Church, but only with the existing opinions, I[Pg 168] was not unwilling to insinuate truths into our Church, which I thought had a right to be there."

To so much I confess; but I do not confess, I simply deny that I ever said any thing which secretly bore against the Church of England, knowing it myself, in order that others might unwarily accept it. It was indeed one of my great difficulties and causes of reserve, as time went on, that I at length recognized in principles which I had honestly preached as if Anglican, conclusions favourable to the cause of Rome. Of course I did not like to confess this; and, when interrogated, was in consequence in perplexity. The prime instance of this was the appeal to Antiquity; St. Leo had overset, in my own judgment, its force as the special argument for Anglicanism; yet I was committed to Antiquity, together with the whole Anglican school; what then was I to say, when acute minds urged this or that application of it against the Via Media? it was impossible that, in such circumstances, any answer could be given which was not unsatisfactory, or any behaviour adopted which was not mysterious. Again, sometimes in what I wrote I went just as far as I saw, and could as little say more, as I could see what is below the horizon; and therefore, when asked as to the consequences of what I had said, I had no answer to give. Again, sometimes when I was asked, whether certain conclusions did not follow from a certain principle, I might not be able to tell at the moment, especially if the matter were complicated; and for this reason, if for no other, because there is great difference between a conclusion in the abstract and a conclusion in the concrete, and because a conclusion may be modified in fact by a conclusion from some opposite principle. Or it might so happen that my head got simply confused, by the very strength of the logic which was administered to me, and thus I gave my sanction to conclusions which really[Pg 169] were not mine; and when the report of those conclusions came round to me through others, I had to unsay them. And then again, perhaps I did not like to see men scared or scandalized by unfeeling logical inferences, which would not have troubled them to the day of their death, had they not been forced to recognize them. And then I felt altogether the force of the maxim of St. Ambrose, "Non in dialecticâ complacuit Deo salvum facere populum suum;"—I had a great dislike of paper logic. For myself, it was not logic that carried me on; as well might one say that the quicksilver in the barometer changes the weather. It is the concrete being that reasons; pass a number of years, and I find my mind in a new place; how? the whole man moves; paper logic is but the record of it. All the logic in the world would not have made me move faster towards Rome than I did; as well might you say that I have arrived at the end of my journey, because I see the village church before me, as venture to assert that the miles, over which my soul had to pass before it got to Rome, could be annihilated, even though I had been in possession of some far clearer view than I then had, that Rome was my ultimate destination. Great acts take time. At least this is what I felt in my own case; and therefore to come to me with methods of logic had in it the nature of a provocation, and, though I do not think I ever showed it, made me somewhat indifferent how I met them, and perhaps led me, as a means of relieving my impatience, to be mysterious or irrelevant, or to give in because I could not meet them to my satisfaction. And a greater trouble still than these logical mazes, was the introduction of logic into every subject whatever, so far, that is, as this was done. Before I was at Oriel, I recollect an acquaintance saying to me that "the Oriel Common Room stank of Logic." One is not at all pleased when poetry, or eloquence, or devotion,[Pg 170] is considered as if chiefly intended to feed syllogisms. Now, in saying all this, I am saying nothing against the deep piety and earnestness which were characteristics of this second phase of the Movement, in which I had taken so prominent a part. What I have been observing is, that this phase had a tendency to bewilder and to upset me; and, that, instead of saying so, as I ought to have done, perhaps from a sort of laziness I gave answers at random, which have led to my appearing close or inconsistent.

I have turned up two letters of this period, which in a measure illustrate what I have been saying. The first was written to the Bishop of Oxford on occasion of Tract 90:

"March 20, 1841. No one can enter into my situation but myself. I see a great many minds working in various directions and a variety of principles with multiplied bearings; I act for the best. I sincerely think that matters would not have gone better for the Church, had I never written. And if I write I have a choice of difficulties. It is easy for those who do not enter into those difficulties to say, 'He ought to say this and not say that,' but things are wonderfully linked together, and I cannot, or rather I would not be dishonest. When persons too interrogate me, I am obliged in many cases to give an opinion, or I seem to be underhand. Keeping silence looks like artifice. And I do not like people to consult or respect me, from thinking differently of my opinions from what I know them to be. And again (to use the proverb) what is one man's food is another man's poison. All these things make my situation very difficult. But that collision must at some time ensue between members of the Church of opposite sentiments, I have long been aware. The time and mode has been in the hand of Providence; I do not mean to exclude my own great imperfections in bringing[Pg 171] it about; yet I still feel obliged to think the Tract necessary."

The second is taken from the notes of a letter which I sent to Dr. Pusey in the next year:

"October 16, 1842. As to my being entirely with Ward, I do not know the limits of my own opinions. If Ward says that this or that is a development from what I have said, I cannot say Yes or No. It is plausible, it may be true. Of course the fact that the Roman Church has so developed and maintained, adds great weight to the antecedent plausibility. I cannot assert that it is not true; but I cannot, with that keen perception which some people have, appropriate it. It is a nuisance to me to be forced beyond what I can fairly accept."


There was another source of the perplexity with which at this time I was encompassed, and of the reserve and mysteriousness, of which that perplexity gained for me the credit. After Tract 90 the Protestant world would not let me alone; they pursued me in the public journals to Littlemore. Reports of all kinds were circulated about me. "Imprimis, why did I go up to Littlemore at all? For no good purpose certainly; I dared not tell why." Why, to be sure, it was hard that I should be obliged to say to the Editors of newspapers that I went up there to say my prayers; it was hard to have to tell the world in confidence, that I had a certain doubt about the Anglican system, and could not at that moment resolve it, or say what would come of it; it was hard to have to confess that I had thought of giving up my Living a year or two before, and that this was a first step to it. It was hard to have to plead, that, for what I knew, my doubts would vanish, if the newspapers would be so good as to give me time and let me alone. Who would ever dream of making the world his confidant? yet I was considered insidious,[Pg 172] sly, dishonest, if I would not open my heart to the tender mercies of the world. But they persisted: "What was I doing at Littlemore?" Doing there! have I not retreated from you? have I not given up my position and my place? am I alone, of Englishmen, not to have the privilege to go where I will, no questions asked? am I alone to be followed about by jealous prying eyes, which take note whether I go in at a back door or at the front, and who the men are who happen to call on me in the afternoon? Cowards! if I advanced one step, you would run away; it is not you that I fear: "Di me terrent, et Jupiter hostis." It is because the Bishops still go on charging against me, though I have quite given up: it is that secret misgiving of heart which tells me that they do well, for I have neither lot nor part with them: this it is which weighs me down. I cannot walk into or out of my house, but curious eyes are upon me. Why will you not let me die in peace? Wounded brutes creep into some hole to die in, and no one grudges it them. Let me alone, I shall not trouble you long. This was the keen feeling which pierced me, and, I think, these are the very words in which I expressed it to myself. I asked, in the words of a great motto, "Ubi lapsus? quid feci?" One day when I entered my house, I found a flight of Under-graduates inside. Heads of Houses, as mounted patrols, walked their horses round those poor cottages. Doctors of Divinity dived into the hidden recesses of that private tenement uninvited, and drew domestic conclusions from what they saw there. I had thought that an Englishman's house was his castle; but the newspapers thought otherwise, and at last the matter came before my good Bishop. I insert his letter, and a portion of my reply to him:—

"April 12, 1842. So many of the charges against yourself and your friends which I have seen in the public journals have been, within my own knowledge, false and[Pg 173] calumnious, that I am not apt to pay much attention, to what is asserted with respect to you in the newspapers.

"In" [a newspaper] "however, of April 9, there appears a paragraph in which it is asserted, as a matter of notoriety, that a 'so-called Anglo-Catholic Monastery is in process of erection at Littlemore, and that the cells of dormitories, the chapel, the refectory, the cloisters all may be seen advancing to perfection, under the eye of a Parish Priest of the Diocese of Oxford.'

"Now, as I have understood that you really are possessed of some tenements at Littlemore,—as it is generally believed that they are destined for the purposes of study and devotion,—and as much suspicion and jealousy are felt about the matter, I am anxious to afford you an opportunity of making me an explanation on the subject.

"I know you too well not to be aware that you are the last man living to attempt in my Diocese a revival of the Monastic orders (in any thing approaching to the Romanist sense of the term) without previous communication with me,—or indeed that you should take upon yourself to originate any measure of importance without authority from the heads of the Church,—and therefore I at once exonerate you from the accusation brought against you by the newspaper I have quoted, but I feel it nevertheless a duty to my Diocese and myself, as well as to you, to ask you to put it in my power to contradict what, if uncontradicted, would appear to imply a glaring invasion of all ecclesiastical discipline on your part, or of inexcusable neglect and indifference to my duties on mine."

I wrote in answer as follows:—

"April 14, 1842. I am very much obliged by your Lordship's kindness in allowing me to write to you on the subject of my house at Littlemore; at the same time I feel it hard both on your Lordship and myself that the restlessness[Pg 174] of the public mind should oblige you to require an explanation of me.

"It is now a whole year that I have been the subject of incessant misrepresentation. A year since I submitted entirely to your Lordship's authority; and, with the intention of following out the particular act enjoined upon me, I not only stopped the series of Tracts, on which I was engaged, but withdrew from all public discussion of Church matters of the day, or what may be called ecclesiastical politics. I turned myself at once to the preparation for the Press of the translations of St. Athanasius to which I had long wished to devote myself, and I intended and intend to employ myself in the like theological studies, and in the concerns of my own parish and in practical works.

"With the same view of personal improvement I was led more seriously to a design which had been long on my mind. For many years, at least thirteen, I have wished to give myself to a life of greater religious regularity than I have hitherto led; but it is very unpleasant to confess such a wish even to my Bishop, because it seems arrogant, and because it is committing me to a profession which may come to nothing. For what have I done that I am to be called to account by the world for my private actions, in a way in which no one else is called? Why may I not have that liberty which all others are allowed? I am often accused of being underhand and uncandid in respect to the intentions to which I have been alluding: but no one likes his own good resolutions noised about, both from mere common delicacy and from fear lest he should not be able to fulfil them. I feel it very cruel, though the parties in fault do not know what they are doing, that very sacred matters between me and my conscience are made a matter of public talk. May I take a case parallel though different?[Pg 175] suppose a person in prospect of marriage; would he like the subject discussed in newspapers, and parties, circumstances, &c., &c., publicly demanded of him, at the penalty of being accused of craft and duplicity?

"The resolution I speak of has been taken with reference to myself alone, and has been contemplated quite independent of the co-operation of any other human being, and without reference to success or failure other than personal, and without regard to the blame or approbation of man. And being a resolution of years, and one to which I feel God has called me, and in which I am violating no rule of the Church any more than if I married, I should have to answer for it, if I did not pursue it, as a good Providence made openings for it. In pursuing it then I am thinking of myself alone, not aiming at any ecclesiastical or external effects. At the same time of course it would be a great comfort to me to know that God had put it into the hearts of others to pursue their personal edification in the same way, and unnatural not to wish to have the benefit of their presence and encouragement, or not to think it a great infringement on the rights of conscience if such personal and private resolutions were interfered with. Your Lordship will allow me to add my firm conviction that such religious resolutions are most necessary for keeping a certain class of minds firm in their allegiance to our Church; but still I can as truly say that my own reason for any thing I have done has been a personal one, without which I should not have entered upon it, and which I hope to pursue whether with or without the sympathies of others pursuing a similar course....

"As to my intentions, I purpose to live there myself a good deal, as I have a resident curate in Oxford. In doing this, I believe I am consulting for the good of my parish, as my population at Littlemore is at least equal to that of St. Mary's in Oxford, and the whole of Littlemore is double[Pg 176] of it. It has been very much neglected; and in providing a parsonage-house at Littlemore, as this will be, and will be called, I conceive I am doing a very great benefit to my people. At the same time it has appeared to me that a partial or temporary retirement from St. Mary's Church might be expedient under the prevailing excitement.

"As to the quotation from the [newspaper], which I have not seen, your Lordship will perceive from what I have said, that no 'monastery is in process of erection;' there is no 'chapel;' no 'refectory', hardly a dining-room or parlour. The 'cloisters' are my shed connecting the cottages. I do not understand what 'cells of dormitories' means. Of course I can repeat your Lordship's words that 'I am not attempting a revival of the Monastic Orders, in any thing approaching to the Romanist sense of the term,' or 'taking on myself to originate any measure of importance without authority from the Heads of the Church.' I am attempting nothing ecclesiastical, but something personal and private, and which can only be made public, not private, by newspapers and letter-writers, in which sense the most sacred and conscientious resolves and acts may certainly be made the objects of an unmannerly and unfeeling curiosity."


One calumny there was which the Bishop did not believe, and of which of course he had no idea of speaking. It was that I was actually in the service of the enemy. I had forsooth been already received into the Catholic Church, and was rearing at Littlemore a nest of Papists, who, like me, were to take the Anglican oaths which they disbelieved, by virtue of a dispensation from Rome, and thus in due time were to bring over to that unprincipled Church great numbers of the Anglican Clergy and Laity. Bishops gave their countenance to this imputation against me. The case was simply this:—as I made Littlemore a[Pg 177] place of retirement for myself, so did I offer it to others. There were young men in Oxford, whose testimonials for Orders had been refused by their Colleges; there were young clergymen, who had found themselves unable from conscience to go on with their duties, and had thrown up their parochial engagements. Such men were already going straight to Rome, and I interposed; I interposed for the reasons I have given in the beginning of this portion of my narrative. I interposed from fidelity to my clerical engagements, and from duty to my Bishop; and from the interest which I was bound to take in them, and from belief that they were premature or excited. Their friends besought me to quiet them, if I could. Some of them came to live with me at Littlemore. They were laymen, or in the place of laymen. I kept some of them back for several years from being received into the Catholic Church. Even when I had given up my living, I was still bound by my duty to their parents or friends, and I did not forget still to do what I could for them. The immediate occasion of my resigning St. Mary's, was the unexpected conversion of one of them. After that, I felt it was impossible to keep my post there, for I had been unable to keep my word with my Bishop.

The following letters refer, more or less, to these men, whether they were actually with me at Littlemore or not:—

1. "March 6, 1842. Church doctrines are a powerful weapon; they were not sent into the world for nothing. God's word does not return unto Him void: If I have said, as I have, that the doctrines of the Tracts for the Times would build up our Church and destroy parties, I meant, if they were used, not if they were denounced. Else, they will be as powerful against us, as they might be powerful for us.

"If people who have a liking for another, hear him[Pg 178] called a Roman Catholic; they will say, 'Then after all Romanism is no such bad thing.' All these persons, who are making the cry, are fulfilling their own prophecy. If all the world agree in telling a man, he has no business in our Church, he will at length begin to think he has none. How easy is it to persuade a man of any thing, when numbers affirm it! so great is the force of imagination. Did every one who met you in the streets look hard at you, you would think you were somehow in fault. I do not know any thing so irritating, so unsettling, especially in the case of young persons, as, when they are going on calmly and unconsciously, obeying their Church and following its divines, (I am speaking from facts,) as suddenly to their surprise to be conjured not to make a leap, of which they have not a dream and from which they are far removed."

2. 1843 or 1844. "I did not explain to you sufficiently the state of mind of those who were in danger. I only spoke of those who were convinced that our Church was external to the Church Catholic, though they felt it unsafe to trust their own private convictions; but there are two other states of mind; 1. that of those who are unconsciously near Rome, and whose despair about our Church would at once develope into a state of conscious approximation, or a quasi-resolution to go over; 2. those who feel they can with a safe conscience remain with us while they are allowed to testify in behalf of Catholicism, i.e. as if by such acts they were putting our Church, or at least that portion of it in which they were included, in the position of catechumens."

3. "June 20, 1843. I return the very pleasing letter you have permitted me to read. What a sad thing it is, that it should be a plain duty to restrain one's sympathies, and to keep them from boiling over; but I suppose it is a matter of common prudence.[Pg 179]

"Things are very serious here; but I should not like you to say so, as it might do no good. The Authorities find, that, by the Statutes, they have more than military power; and the general impression seems to be, that they intend to exert it, and put down Catholicism at any risk. I believe that by the Statutes, they can pretty nearly suspend a Preacher, as seditiosus or causing dissension, without assigning their grounds in the particular case, nay, banish him, or imprison him. If so, all holders of preferment in the University should make as quiet an exit as they can. There is more exasperation on both sides at this moment, as I am told, than ever there was."

4. "July 16, 1843. I assure you that I feel, with only too much sympathy, what you say. You need not be told that the whole subject of our position is a subject of anxiety to others beside yourself. It is no good attempting to offer advice, when perhaps I might raise difficulties instead of removing them. It seems to me quite a case, in which you should, as far as may be, make up your mind for yourself. Come to Littlemore by all means. We shall all rejoice in your company; and, if quiet and retirement are able, as they very likely will be, to reconcile you to things as they are, you shall have your fill of them. How distressed poor Henry Wilberforce must be! Knowing how he values you, I feel for him; but, alas! he has his own position, and every one else has his own, and the misery is that no two of us have exactly the same.

"It is very kind of you to be so frank and open with me, as you are; but this is a time which throws together persons who feel alike. May I without taking a liberty sign myself, yours affectionately, &c."

5. "August 30, 1843. A. B. has suddenly conformed to the Church of Rome. He was away for three weeks. I suppose I must say in my defence, that he promised me[Pg 180] distinctly to remain in our Church three years, before I received him here."

6. "June 17, 1845. I am concerned to find you speak of me in a tone of distrust. If you knew me ever so little, instead of hearing of me from persons who do not know me at all, you would think differently of me, whatever you thought of my opinions. Two years since, I got your son to tell you my intention of resigning St. Mary's, before I made it public, thinking you ought to know it. When you expressed some painful feeling upon it, I told him I could not consent to his remaining here, painful as it would be to me to part with him, without your written sanction. And this you did me the favour to give.

"I believe you will find that it has been merely a delicacy on your son's part, which has delayed his speaking to you about me for two months past; a delicacy, lest he should say either too much or too little about me. I have urged him several times to speak to you.

"Nothing can be done after your letter, but to recommend him to go to A. B. (his home) at once. I am very sorry to part with him."

7. The following letter is addressed to Cardinal Wiseman, then Vicar Apostolic, who accused me of coldness in my conduct towards him:—

"April 16, 1845. I was at that time in charge of a ministerial office in the English Church, with persons entrusted to me, and a Bishop to obey; how could I possibly write otherwise than I did without violating sacred obligations and betraying momentous interests which were upon me? I felt that my immediate, undeniable duty, clear if any thing was clear, was to fulfil that trust. It might be right indeed to give it up, that was another thing; but it never could be right to hold it, and to act as if I did not hold it.... If you knew me, you[Pg 181] would acquit me, I think, of having ever felt towards your Lordship in an unfriendly spirit, or ever having had a shadow on my mind (as far as I dare witness about myself) of what might be called controversial rivalry or desire of getting the better, or fear lest the world should think I had got the worse, or irritation of any kind. You are too kind indeed to imply this, and yet your words lead me to say it. And now in like manner, pray believe, though I cannot explain it to you, that I am encompassed with responsibilities, so great and so various, as utterly to overcome me, unless I have mercy from Him, who all through my life has sustained and guided me, and to whom I can now submit myself, though men of all parties are thinking evil of me."


Such fidelity, however, was taken in malam partem by the high Anglican authorities; they thought it insidious. I happen still to have a correspondence which took place in 1843, in which the chief place is filled by one of the most eminent Bishops of the day, a theologian and reader of the Fathers, a moderate man, who at one time was talked of as likely on a vacancy to succeed to the Primacy. A young clergyman in his diocese became a Catholic; the papers at once reported on authority from "a very high quarter," that, after his reception, "the Oxford men had been recommending him to retain his living." I had reasons for thinking that the allusion was made to me, and I authorized the Editor of a Paper, who had inquired of me on the point, to "give it, as far as I was concerned, an unqualified contradiction;"—when from a motive of delicacy he hesitated, I added "my direct and indignant contradiction." "Whoever is the author of it," I continued to the Editor, "no correspondence or intercourse of any kind, direct or indirect, has passed between Mr. S. and myself, since his conforming to the Church of Rome,[Pg 182] except my formally and merely acknowledging the receipt of his letter, in which he informed me of the fact, without, as far as I recollect, my expressing any opinion upon it. You may state this as broadly as I have set it down." My denial was told to the Bishop; what took place upon it is given in a letter from which I copy. "My father showed the letter to the Bishop, who, as he laid it down, said, 'Ah, those Oxford men are not ingenuous.' 'How do you mean?' asked my father. 'Why,' said the Bishop, 'they advised Mr. B. S. to retain his living after he turned Catholic. I know that to be a fact, because A. B. told me so.'" "The Bishop," continues the letter, "who is perhaps the most influential man in reality on the bench, evidently believes it to be the truth." Upon this Dr. Pusey wrote in my behalf to the Bishop; and the Bishop instantly beat a retreat. "I have the honour," he says in the autograph which I transcribe, "to acknowledge the receipt of your note, and to say in reply that it has not been stated by me, (though such a statement has, I believe, appeared in some of the Public Prints,) that Mr. Newman had advised Mr. B. S. to retain his living, after he had forsaken our Church. But it has been stated to me, that Mr. Newman was in close correspondence with Mr. B. S., and, being fully aware of his state of opinions and feelings, yet advised him to continue in our communion. Allow me to add," he says to Dr. Pusey, "that neither your name, nor that of Mr. Keble, was mentioned to me in connexion with that of Mr. B. S."

I was not going to let the Bishop off on this evasion, so I wrote to him myself. After quoting his Letter to Dr. Pusey, I continued, "I beg to trouble your Lordship with my own account of the two allegations" [close correspondence and fully aware, &c.] "which are contained in your statement, and which have led to your speaking of me in terms which I hope never to deserve. 1. Since Mr. B. S.[Pg 183] has been in your Lordship's diocese, I have seen him in Common rooms or private parties in Oxford two or three times, when I never (as far as I can recollect) had any conversation with him. During the same time I have, to the best of my memory, written to him three letters. One was lately, in acknowledgment of his informing me of his change of religion. Another was last summer, when I asked him (to no purpose) to come and stay with me in this place. The earliest of the three letters was written just a year since, as far as I recollect, and it certainly was on the subject of his joining the Church of Rome. I wrote this letter at the earnest wish of a friend of his. I cannot be sure that, on his replying, I did not send him a brief note in explanation of points in my letter which he had misapprehended. I cannot recollect any other correspondence between us.

"2. As to my knowledge of his opinions and feelings, as far as I remember, the only point of perplexity which I knew, the only point which to this hour I know, as pressing upon him, was that of the Pope's supremacy. He professed to be searching Antiquity whether the see of Rome had formerly that relation to the whole Church which Roman Catholics now assign to it. My letter was directed to the point, that it was his duty not to perplex himself with arguments on [such] a question, ... and to put it altogether aside.... It is hard that I am put upon my memory, without knowing the details of the statement made against me, considering the various correspondence in which I am from time to time unavoidably engaged.... Be assured, my Lord, that there are very definite limits, beyond which persons like me would never urge another to retain preferment in the English Church, nor would retain it themselves; and that the censure which has been directed against them by so many of its Rulers has a very grave bearing upon those limits." The Bishop replied in[Pg 184] a civil letter, and sent my own letter to his original informant, who wrote to me the letter of a gentleman. It seems that an anxious lady had said something or other which had been misinterpreted, against her real meaning, into the calumny which was circulated, and so the report vanished into thin air. I closed the correspondence with the following Letter to the Bishop:—

"I hope your Lordship will believe me when I say, that statements about me, equally incorrect with that which has come to your Lordship's ears, are from time to time reported to me as credited and repeated by the highest authorities in our Church, though it is very seldom that I have the opportunity of denying them. I am obliged by your Lordship's letter to Dr. Pusey as giving me such an opportunity." Then I added, with a purpose, "Your Lordship will observe that in my Letter I had no occasion to proceed to the question, whether a person holding Roman Catholic opinions can in honesty remain in our Church. Lest then any misconception should arise from my silence, I here take the liberty of adding, that I see nothing wrong in such a person's continuing in communion with us, provided he holds no preferment or office, abstains from the management of ecclesiastical matters, and is bound by no subscription or oath to our doctrines."

This was written on March 8, 1843, and was in anticipation of my own retirement into lay communion. This again leads me to a remark:—for two years I was in lay communion, not indeed being a Catholic in my convictions, but in a state of serious doubt, and with the probable prospect of becoming some day, what as yet I was not. Under these circumstances I thought the best thing I could do was to give up duty and to throw myself into lay communion, remaining an Anglican. I could not go to Rome, while I thought what I did of the devotions she sanctioned to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. I did not give up[Pg 185] my fellowship, for I could not be sure that my doubts would not be reduced or overcome, however unlikely I might consider such an event. But I gave up my living; and, for two years before my conversion, I took no clerical duty. My last Sermon was in September, 1843; then I remained at Littlemore in quiet for two years. But it was made a subject of reproach to me at the time, and is at this day, that I did not leave the Anglican Church sooner. To me this seems a wonderful charge; why, even had I been quite sure that Rome was the true Church, the Anglican Bishops would have had no just subject of complaint against me, provided I took no Anglican oath, no clerical duty, no ecclesiastical administration. Do they force all men who go to their Churches to believe in the 39 Articles, or to join in the Athanasian Creed? However, I was to have other measure dealt to me; great authorities ruled it so; and a great controversialist, Mr. Stanley Faber, thought it a shame that I did not leave the Church of England as much as ten years sooner than I did. He said this in print between the years 1847 and 1849. His nephew, an Anglican clergyman, kindly wished to undeceive him on this point. So, in the latter year, after some correspondence, I wrote the following letter, which will be of service to this narrative, from its chronological notes:—

"Dec. 6, 1849. Your uncle says, 'If he (Mr. N.) will declare, sans phrase, as the French say, that I have laboured under an entire mistake, and that he was not a concealed Romanist during the ten years in question,' (I suppose, the last ten years of my membership with the Anglican Church,) 'or during any part of the time, my controversial antipathy will be at an end, and I will readily express to him that I am truly sorry that I have made such a mistake.'

"So candid an avowal is what I should have expected[Pg 186] from a mind like your uncle's. I am extremely glad he has brought it to this issue.

"By a 'concealed Romanist' I understand him to mean one, who, professing to belong to the Church of England, in his heart and will intends to benefit the Church of Rome, at the expense of the Church of England. He cannot mean by the expression merely a person who in fact is benefiting the Church of Rome, while he is intending to benefit the Church of England, for that is no discredit to him morally, and he (your uncle) evidently means to impute blame.

"In the sense in which I have explained the words, I can simply and honestly say that I was not a concealed Romanist during the whole, or any part of, the years in question.

"For the first four years of the ten, (up to Michaelmas, 1839,) I honestly wished to benefit the Church of England, at the expense of the Church of Rome:

"For the second four years I wished to benefit the Church of England without prejudice to the Church of Rome:

"At the beginning of the ninth year (Michaelmas, 1843) I began to despair of the Church of England, and gave up all clerical duty; and then, what I wrote and did was influenced by a mere wish not to injure it, and not by the wish to benefit it:

"At the beginning of the tenth year I distinctly contemplated leaving it, but I also distinctly told my friends that it was in my contemplation.

"Lastly, during the last half of that tenth year I was engaged in writing a book (Essay on Development) in favour of the Roman Church, and indirectly against the English; but even then, till it was finished, I had not absolutely intended to publish it, wishing to reserve to myself the chance of changing my mind when the argumentative[Pg 187] views which were actuating me had been distinctly brought out before me in writing.

"I wish this statement, which I make from memory, and without consulting any document, severely tested by my writings and doings, as I am confident it will, on the whole, be borne out, whatever real or apparent exceptions (I suspect none) have to be allowed by me in detail.

"Your uncle is at liberty to make what use he pleases of this explanation."


I have now reached an important date in my narrative, the year 1843; but before proceeding to the matters which it contains, I will insert portions of my letters from 1841 to 1843, addressed to Catholic acquaintances.

1. "April 8, 1841 ... The unity of the Church Catholic is very near my heart, only I do not see any prospect of it in our time; and I despair of its being effected without great sacrifices on all hands. As to resisting the Bishop's will, I observe that no point of doctrine or principle was in dispute, but a course of action, the publication of certain works. I do not think you sufficiently understood our position. I suppose you would obey the Holy See in such a case; now, when we were separated from the Pope, his authority reverted to our Diocesans. Our Bishop is our Pope. It is our theory, that each diocese is an integral Church, intercommunion being a duty, (and the breach of it a sin,) but not essential to Catholicity. To have resisted my Bishop, would have been to place myself in an utterly false position, which I never could have recovered. Depend upon it, the strength of any party lies in its being true to its theory. Consistency is the life of a movement.

"I have no misgivings whatever that the line I have taken can be other than a prosperous one: that is, in itself,[Pg 188] for of course Providence may refuse to us its legitimate issues for our sins.

"I am afraid, that in one respect you may be disappointed. It is my trust, though I must not be too sanguine, that we shall not have individual members of our communion going over to yours. What one's duty would be under other circumstances, what our duty would have been ten or twenty years ago, I cannot say; but I do think that there is less of private judgment in going with one's Church, than in leaving it. I can earnestly desire a union between my Church and yours. I cannot listen to the thought of your being joined by individuals among us."

2. "April 26, 1841. My only anxiety is lest your branch of the Church should not meet us by those reforms which surely are necessary. It never could be, that so large a portion of Christendom should have split off from the communion of Rome, and kept up a protest for 300 years for nothing. I think I never shall believe that so much piety and earnestness would be found among Protestants, if there were not some very grave errors on the side of Rome. To suppose the contrary is most unreal, and violates all one's notions of moral probabilities. All aberrations are founded on, and have their life in, some truth or other—and Protestantism, so widely spread and so long enduring, must have in it, and must be witness for, a great truth or much truth. That I am an advocate for Protestantism, you cannot suppose;—but I am forced into a Via Media, short of Rome, as it is at present."

3. "May 5, 1841. While I most sincerely hold that there is in the Roman Church a traditionary system which is not necessarily connected with her essential formularies, yet, were I ever so much to change my mind on this point, this would not tend to bring me from my present position, providentially appointed in the English Church. That[Pg 189] your communion was unassailable, would not prove that mine was indefensible. Nor would it at all affect the sense in which I receive our Articles; they would still speak against certain definite errors, though you had reformed them.

"I say this lest any lurking suspicion should be left in the mind of your friends that persons who think with me are likely, by the growth of their present views, to find it imperative on them to pass over to your communion. Allow me to state strongly, that if you have any such thoughts, and proceed to act upon them, your friends will be committing a fatal mistake. We have (I trust) the principle and temper of obedience too intimately wrought into us to allow of our separating ourselves from our ecclesiastical superiors because in many points we may sympathize with others. We have too great a horror of the principle of private judgment to trust it in so immense a matter as that of changing from one communion to another. We may be cast out of our communion, or it may decree heresy to be truth,—you shall say whether such contingencies are likely; but I do not see other conceivable causes of our leaving the Church in which we were baptized.

"For myself, persons must be well acquainted with what I have written before they venture to say whether I have much changed my main opinions and cardinal views in the course of the last eight years. That my sympathies have grown towards the religion of Rome I do not deny; that my reasons for shunning her communion have lessened or altered it would be difficult perhaps to prove. And I wish to go by reason, not by feeling."

4. "June 18, 1841. You urge persons whose views agree with mine to commence a movement in behalf of a union between the Churches. Now in the letters I have written, I have uniformly said that I did not expect that union in our time, and have discouraged the notion of all[Pg 190] sudden proceedings with a view to it. I must ask your leave to repeat on this occasion most distinctly, that I cannot be party to any agitation, but mean to remain quiet in my own place, and to do all I can to make others take the same course. This I conceive to be my simple duty; but, over and above this, I will not set my teeth on edge with sour grapes. I know it is quite within the range of possibilities that one or another of our people should go over to your communion; however, it would be a greater misfortune to you than grief to us. If your friends wish to put a gulf between themselves and us, let them make converts, but not else. Some months ago, I ventured to say that I felt it a painful duty to keep aloof from all Roman Catholics who came with the intention of opening negotiations for the union of the Churches: when you now urge us to petition our Bishops for a union, this, I conceive, is very like an act of negotiation."

5. I have the first sketch or draft of a letter, which I wrote to a zealous Catholic layman: it runs as follows, as far as I have preserved it, but I think there were various changes and additions:—"September 12, 1841. It would rejoice all Catholic minds among us, more than words can say, if you could persuade members of the Church of Rome to take the line in politics which you so earnestly advocate. Suspicion and distrust are the main causes at present of the separation between us, and the nearest approaches in doctrine will but increase the hostility, which, alas, our people feel towards yours, while these causes continue. Depend upon it, you must not rely upon our Catholic tendencies till they are removed. I am not speaking of myself, or of any friends of mine; but of our Church generally. Whatever our personal feelings may be, we shall but tend to raise and spread a rival Church to yours in the four quarters of the world, unless you do what none but you can do. Sympathies, which would flow over to the Church of Rome, as a matter[Pg 191] of course, did she admit them, will but be developed in the consolidation of our own system, if she continues to be the object of our suspicions and fears. I wish, of course I do, that our own Church may be built up and extended, but still, not at the cost of the Church of Rome, not in opposition to it. I am sure, that, while you suffer, we suffer too from the separation; but we cannot remove the obstacles; it is with you to do so. You do not fear us; we fear you. Till we cease to fear you, we cannot love you.

"While you are in your present position, the friends of Catholic unity in our Church are but fulfilling the prediction of those of your body who are averse to them, viz. that they will be merely strengthening a rival communion to yours. Many of you say that we are your greatest enemies; we have said so ourselves: so we are, so we shall be, as things stand at present. We are keeping people from you, by supplying their wants in our own Church. We are keeping persons from you: do you wish us to keep them from you for a time or for ever? It rests with you to determine. I do not fear that you will succeed among us; you will not supplant our Church in the affections of the English nation; only through the English Church can you act upon the English nation. I wish of course our Church should be consolidated, with and through and in your communion, for its sake, and your sake, and for the sake of unity.

"Are you aware that the more serious thinkers among us are used, as far as they dare form an opinion, to regard the spirit of Liberalism as the characteristic of the destined Antichrist? In vain does any one clear the Church of Rome from the badges of Antichrist, in which Protestants would invest her, if she deliberately takes up her position in the very quarter, whither we have cast them, when we took them off from her. Antichrist is described as the ανομος, as exalting himself above the yoke of religion and[Pg 192] law. The spirit of lawlessness came in with the Reformation, and Liberalism is its offspring.

"And now I fear I am going to pain you by telling you, that you consider the approaches in doctrine on our part towards you, closer than they really are. I cannot help repeating what I have many times said in print, that your services and devotions to St. Mary in matter of fact do most deeply pain me. I am only stating it as a fact.

"Again, I have nowhere said that I can accept the decrees of Trent throughout, nor implied it. The doctrine of Transubstantiation is a great difficulty with me, as being, as I think, not primitive. Nor have I said that our Articles in all respects admit of a Roman interpretation; the very word 'Transubstantiation' is disowned in them.

"Thus, you see, it is not merely on grounds of expedience that we do not join you. There are positive difficulties in the way of it. And, even if there were not, we shall have no divine warrant for doing so, while we think that the Church of England is a branch of the true Church, and that intercommunion with the rest of Christendom is necessary, not for the life of a particular Church, but for its health only. I have never disguised that there are actual circumstances in the Church of Rome, which pain me much; of the removal of these I see no chance, while we join you one by one; but if our Church were prepared for a union, she might make her terms; she might gain the cup; she might protest against the extreme honours paid to St. Mary; she might make some explanation of the doctrine of Transubstantiation. I am not prepared to say that a reform in other branches of the Roman Church would be necessary for our uniting with them, however desirable in itself, so that we were allowed to make a reform in our own country. We do not look towards Rome as believing that its communion is infallible, but that union is a duty."[Pg 193]

6. The following letter was occasioned by the present made to me of a book by the friend to whom it is written; more will be said on the subject of it presently:—

"Nov. 22, 1842. I only wish that your Church were more known among us by such writings. You will not interest us in her, till we see her, not in politics, but in her true functions of exhorting, teaching, and guiding. I wish there were a chance of making the leading men among you understand, what I believe is no novel thought to yourself. It is not by learned discussions, or acute arguments, or reports of miracles, that the heart of England can be gained. It is by men 'approving themselves,' like the Apostle, 'ministers of Christ.'

"As to your question, whether the Volume you have sent is not calculated to remove my apprehensions that another gospel is substituted for the true one in your practical instructions, before I can answer it in any way, I ought to know how far the Sermons which it comprises are selected from a number, or whether they are the whole, or such as the whole, which have been published of the author's. I assure you, or at least I trust, that, if it is ever clearly brought home to me that I have been wrong in what I have said on this subject, my public avowal of that conviction will only be a question of time with me.

"If, however, you saw our Church as we see it, you would easily understand that such a change of feeling, did it take place, would have no necessary tendency, which you seem to expect, to draw a person from the Church of England to that of Rome. There is a divine life among us, clearly manifested, in spite of all our disorders, which is as great a note of the Church, as any can be. Why should we seek our Lord's presence elsewhere, when He vouchsafes it to us where we are? What call have we to change our communion?

"Roman Catholics will find this to be the state of things[Pg 194] in time to come, whatever promise they may fancy there is of a large secession to their Church. This man or that may leave us, but there will be no general movement. There is, indeed, an incipient movement of our Church towards yours, and this your leading men are doing all they can to frustrate by their unwearied efforts at all risks to carry off individuals. When will they know their position, and embrace a larger and wiser policy?"

§ 2.

The letter which I have last inserted, is addressed to my dear friend, Dr. Russell, the present President of Maynooth. He had, perhaps, more to do with my conversion than any one else. He called upon me, in passing through Oxford in the summer of 1841, and I think I took him over some of the buildings of the University. He called again another summer, on his way from Dublin to London. I do not recollect that he said a word on the subject of religion on either occasion. He sent me at different times several letters; he was always gentle, mild, unobtrusive, uncontroversial. He let me alone. He also gave me one or two books. Veron's Rule of Faith and some Treatises of the Wallenburghs was one; a volume of St. Alfonso Liguori's Sermons was another; and it is to those Sermons that my letter to Dr. Russell relates.

Now it must be observed that the writings of St. Alfonso, as I knew them by the extracts commonly made from them, prejudiced me as much against the Roman Church as any thing else, on account of what was called their "Mariolatry;" but there was nothing of the kind in this book. I wrote to ask Dr. Russell whether any thing had[Pg 195] been left out in the translation; he answered that there certainly were omissions in one Sermon about the Blessed Virgin. This omission, in the case of a book intended for Catholics, at least showed that such passages as are found in the works of Italian Authors were not acceptable to every part of the Catholic world. Such devotional manifestations in honour of our Lady had been my great crux as regards Catholicism; I say frankly, I do not fully enter into them now; I trust I do not love her the less, because I cannot enter into them. They may be fully explained and defended; but sentiment and taste do not run with logic: they are suitable for Italy, but they are not suitable for England. But, over and above England, my own case was special; from a boy I had been led to consider that my Maker and I, His creature, were the two beings, luminously such, in rerum naturâ. I will not here speculate, however, about my own feelings. Only this I know full well now, and did not know then, that the Catholic Church allows no image of any sort, material or immaterial, no dogmatic symbol, no rite, no sacrament, no Saint, not even the Blessed Virgin herself, to come between the soul and its Creator. It is face to face, "solus cum solo," in all matters between man and his God. He alone creates; He alone has redeemed; before His awful eyes we go in death; in the vision of Him is our eternal beatitude.

1. Solus cum solo:—I recollect but indistinctly what I gained from the Volume of which I have been speaking; but it must have been something considerable. At least I had got a key to a difficulty; in these Sermons, (or rather heads of sermons, as they seem to be, taken down by a hearer,) there is much of what would be called legendary illustration; but the substance of them is plain, practical, awful preaching upon the great truths of salvation. What I can speak of with greater confidence is the effect produced[Pg 196] on me a little later by studying the Exercises of St. Ignatius. For here again, in a matter consisting in the purest and most direct acts of religion,—in the intercourse between God and the soul, during a season of recollection, of repentance, of good resolution, of inquiry into vocation,—the soul was "sola cum solo;" there was no cloud interposed between the creature and the Object of his faith and love. The command practically enforced was, "My son, give Me thy heart." The devotions then to Angels and Saints as little interfered with the incommunicable glory of the Eternal, as the love which we bear our friends and relations, our tender human sympathies, are inconsistent with that supreme homage of the heart to the Unseen, which really does but sanctify and exalt, not jealously destroy, what is of earth. At a later date Dr. Russell sent me a large bundle of penny or half-penny books of devotion, of all sorts, as they are found in the booksellers' shops at Rome; and, on looking them over, I was quite astonished to find how different they were from what I had fancied, how little there was in them to which I could really object. I have given an account of them in my Essay on the Development of Doctrine. Dr. Russell sent me St. Alfonso's book at the end of 1842; however, it was still a long time before I got over my difficulty, on the score of the devotions paid to the Saints; perhaps, as I judge from a letter I have turned up, it was some way into 1844 before I could be said fully to have got over it.

2. I am not sure that I did not also at this time feel the force of another consideration. The idea of the Blessed Virgin was as it were magnified in the Church of Rome, as time went on,—but so were all the Christian ideas; as that of the Blessed Eucharist. The whole scene of pale, faint, distant Apostolic Christianity is seen in Rome, as through a telescope or magnifier. The harmony of the whole, however, is of course what it was. It is unfair[Pg 197] then to take one Roman idea, that of the Blessed Virgin, out of what may be called its context.

3. Thus I am brought to the principle of development of doctrine in the Christian Church, to which I gave my mind at the end of 1842. I had made mention of it in the passage, which I quoted many pages back (vide p. 111), in "Home Thoughts Abroad," published in 1836; and even at an earlier date I had introduced it into my History of the Arians in 1832; nor had I ever lost sight of it in my speculations. And it is certainly recognized in the Treatise of Vincent of Lerins, which has so often been taken as the basis of Anglicanism. In 1843 I began to consider it attentively; I made it the subject of my last University Sermon on February 2; and the general view to which I came is stated thus in a letter to a friend of the date of July 14, 1844;—it will be observed that, now as before, my issue is still Creed versus Church:—

"The kind of considerations which weighs with me are such as the following:—1. I am far more certain (according to the Fathers) that we are in a state of culpable separation, than that developments do not exist under the Gospel, and that the Roman developments are not the true ones. 2. I am far more certain, that our (modern) doctrines are wrong, than that the Roman (modern) doctrines are wrong. 3. Granting that the Roman (special) doctrines are not found drawn out in the early Church, yet I think there is sufficient trace of them in it, to recommend and prove them, on the hypothesis of the Church having a divine guidance, though not sufficient to prove them by itself. So that the question simply turns on the nature of the promise of the Spirit, made to the Church. 4. The proof of the Roman (modern) doctrine is as strong (or stronger) in Antiquity, as that of certain doctrines which both we and Romans hold: e.g. there is more of evidence in Antiquity for the necessity of Unity, than for[Pg 198] the Apostolical Succession; for the Supremacy of the See of Rome, than for the Presence in the Eucharist; for the practice of Invocation, than for certain books in the present Canon of Scripture, &c. &c. 5. The analogy of the Old Testament, and also of the New, leads to the acknowledgment of doctrinal developments."

4. And thus I was led on to a further consideration. I saw that the principle of development not only accounted for certain facts, but was in itself a remarkable philosophical phenomenon, giving a character to the whole course of Christian thought. It was discernible from the first years of the Catholic teaching up to the present day, and gave to that teaching a unity and individuality. It served as a sort of test, which the Anglican could not exhibit, that modern Rome was in truth ancient Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, just as a mathematical curve has its own law and expression.

5. And thus again I was led on to examine more attentively what I doubt not was in my thoughts long before, viz. the concatenation of argument by which the mind ascends from its first to its final religious idea; and I came to the conclusion that there was no medium, in true philosophy, between Atheism and Catholicity, and that a perfectly consistent mind, under those circumstances in which it finds itself here below, must embrace either the one or the other. And I hold this still: I am a Catholic by virtue of my believing in a God; and if I am asked why I believe in a God, I answer that it is because I believe in myself, for I feel it impossible to believe in my own existence (and of that fact I am quite sure) without believing also in the existence of Him, who lives as a Personal, All-seeing, All-judging Being in my conscience. Now, I dare say, I have not expressed myself with philosophical correctness, because I have not given myself to the study of what metaphysicians have said on the subject;[Pg 199] but I think I have a strong true meaning in what I say which will stand examination.

6. Moreover, I found a corroboration of the fact of the logical connexion of Theism with Catholicism in a consideration parallel to that which I had adopted on the subject of development of doctrine. The fact of the operation from first to last of that principle of development in the truths of Revelation, is an argument in favour of the identity of Roman and Primitive Christianity; but as there is a law which acts upon the subject-matter of dogmatic theology, so is there a law in the matter of religious faith. In the first chapter of this Narrative I spoke of certitude as the consequence, divinely intended and enjoined upon us, of the accumulative force of certain given reasons which, taken one by one, were only probabilities. Let it be recollected that I am historically relating my state of mind, at the period of my life which I am surveying. I am not speaking theologically, nor have I any intention of going into controversy, or of defending myself; but speaking historically of what I held in 1843-4, I say, that I believed in a God on a ground of probability, that I believed in Christianity on a probability, and that I believed in Catholicism on a probability, and that these three grounds of probability, distinct from each other of course in subject matter, were still all of them one and the same in nature of proof, as being probabilities—probabilities of a special kind, a cumulative, a transcendent probability but still probability; inasmuch as He who made us has so willed, that in mathematics indeed we should arrive at certitude by rigid demonstration, but in religious inquiry we should arrive at certitude by accumulated probabilities;—He has willed, I say, that we should so act, and, as willing it, He co-operates with us in our acting, and thereby enables us to do that which He wills us to do, and carries us on, if our will does but co-operate with His,[Pg 200] to a certitude which rises higher than the logical force of our conclusions. And thus I came to see clearly, and to have a satisfaction in seeing, that, in being led on into the Church of Rome, I was not proceeding on any secondary or isolated grounds of reason, or by controversial points in detail, but was protected and justified, even in the use of those secondary or particular arguments, by a great and broad principle. But, let it be observed, that I am stating a matter of fact, not defending it; and if any Catholic says in consequence that I have been converted in a wrong way, I cannot help that now.

I have nothing more to say on the subject of the change in my religious opinions. On the one hand I came gradually to see that the Anglican Church was formally in the wrong, on the other that the Church of Rome was formally in the right; then, that no valid reasons could be assigned for continuing in the Anglican, and again that no valid objections could be taken to joining the Roman. Then, I had nothing more to learn; what still remained for my conversion, was, not further change of opinion, but to change opinion itself into the clearness and firmness of intellectual conviction.

Now I proceed to detail the acts, to which I committed myself during this last stage of my inquiry.


In 1843, I took two very significant steps:—1. In February, I made a formal Retractation of all the hard things which I had said against the Church of Rome. 2. In September, I resigned the Living of St. Mary's, Littlemore included:—I will speak of these two acts separately.

1. The words, in which I made my Retractation, have given rise to much criticism. After quoting a number of passages from my writings against the Church of Rome, which I withdrew, I ended thus:—"If you ask me how an individual could venture, not simply to hold, but to[Pg 201] publish such views of a communion so ancient, so wide-spreading, so fruitful in Saints, I answer that I said to myself, 'I am not speaking my own words, I am but following almost a consensus of the divines of my own Church. They have ever used the strongest language against Rome, even the most able and learned of them. I wish to throw myself into their system. While I say what they say, I am safe. Such views, too, are necessary for our position.' Yet I have reason to fear still, that such language is to be ascribed, in no small measure, to an impetuous temper, a hope of approving myself to persons I respect, and a wish to repel the charge of Romanism."

These words have been, and are, again and again cited against me, as if a confession that, when in the Anglican Church, I said things against Rome which I did not really believe.

For myself, I cannot understand how any impartial man can so take them; and I have explained them in print several times. I trust that by this time their plain meaning has been satisfactorily brought out by what I have said in former portions of this Narrative; still I have a word or two to say in addition to my former remarks upon them.

In the passage in question I apologize for saying out in controversy charges against the Church of Rome, which withal I affirm that I fully believed at the time when I made them. What is wonderful in such an apology? There are surely many things a man may hold, which at the same time he may feel that he has no right to say publicly, and which it may annoy him that he has said publicly. The law recognizes this principle. In our own time, men have been imprisoned and fined for saying true things of a bad king. The maxim has been held, that, "The greater the truth, the greater is the libel." And so as to the judgment of society, a just indignation would be felt against a writer who brought forward wantonly[Pg 202] the weaknesses of a great man, though the whole world knew that they existed. No one is at liberty to speak ill of another without a justifiable reason, even though he knows he is speaking truth, and the public knows it too. Therefore, though I believed what I said against the Roman Church, nevertheless I could not religiously speak it out, unless I was really justified, not only in believing ill, but in speaking ill. I did believe what I said on what I thought to be good reasons; but had I also a just cause for saying out what I believed? I thought I had, and it was this, viz. that to say out what I believed was simply necessary in the controversy for self-defence. It was impossible to let it alone: the Anglican position could not be satisfactorily maintained, without assailing the Roman. In this, as in most cases of conflict, one party was right or the other, not both; and the best defence was to attack. Is not this almost a truism in the Roman controversy? Is it not what every one says, who speaks on the subject at all? Does any serious man abuse the Church of Rome, for the sake of abusing her, or because that abuse justifies his own religious position? What is the meaning of the very word "Protestantism," but that there is a call to speak out? This then is what I said: "I know I spoke strongly against the Church of Rome; but it was no mere abuse, for I had a serious reason for doing so."

But, not only did I think such language necessary for my Church's religious position, but I recollected that all the great Anglican divines had thought so before me. They had thought so, and they had acted accordingly. And therefore I observe in the passage in question, with much propriety, that I had not used strong language simply out of my own head, but that in doing so I was following the track, or rather reproducing the teaching, of those who had preceded me.

I was pleading guilty to using violent language, but I[Pg 203] was pleading also that there were extenuating circumstances in the case. We all know the story of the convict, who on the scaffold bit off his mother's ear. By doing so he did not deny the fact of his own crime, for which he was to hang; but he said that his mother's indulgence when he was a boy, had a good deal to do with it. In like manner I had made a charge, and I had made it ex animo; but I accused others of having, by their own example, led me into believing it and publishing it.

I was in a humour, certainly, to bite off their ears. I will freely confess, indeed I said it some pages back, that I was angry with the Anglican divines. I thought they had taken me in; I had read the Fathers with their eyes; I had sometimes trusted their quotations or their reasonings; and from reliance on them, I had used words or made statements, which by right I ought rigidly to have examined myself. I had thought myself safe, while I had their warrant for what I said. I had exercised more faith than criticism in the matter. This did not imply any broad misstatements on my part, arising from reliance on their authority, but it implied carelessness in matters of detail. And this of course was a fault.

But there was a far deeper reason for my saying what I said in this matter, on which I have not hitherto touched; and it was this:—The most oppressive thought, in the whole process of my change of opinion, was the clear anticipation, verified by the event, that it would issue in the triumph of Liberalism. Against the Anti-dogmatic principle I had thrown my whole mind; yet now I was doing more than any one else could do, to promote it. I was one of those who had kept it at bay in Oxford for so many years; and thus my very retirement was its triumph. The men who had driven me from Oxford were distinctly the Liberals; it was they who had opened the attack upon Tract 90, and it was they who would gain a second benefit,[Pg 204] if I went on to abandon the Anglican Church. But this was not all. As I have already said, there are but two alternatives, the way to Rome, and the way to Atheism: Anglicanism is the halfway house on the one side, and Liberalism is the halfway house on the other. How many men were there, as I knew full well, who would not follow me now in my advance from Anglicanism to Rome, but would at once leave Anglicanism and me for the Liberal camp. It is not at all easy (humanly speaking) to wind up an Englishman to a dogmatic level. I had done so in good measure, in the case both of young men and of laymen, the Anglican Via Media being the representative of dogma. The dogmatic and the Anglican principle were one, as I had taught them; but I was breaking the Via Media to pieces, and would not dogmatic faith altogether be broken up, in the minds of a great number, by the demolition of the Via Media? Oh! how unhappy this made me! I heard once from an eye-witness the account of a poor sailor whose legs were shattered by a ball, in the action off Algiers in 1816, and who was taken below for an operation. The surgeon and the chaplain persuaded him to have a leg off; it was done and the tourniquet applied to the wound. Then, they broke it to him that he must have the other off too. The poor fellow said, "You should have told me that, gentlemen," and deliberately unscrewed the instrument and bled to death. Would not that be the case with many friends of my own? How could I ever hope to make them believe in a second theology, when I had cheated them in the first? With what face could I publish a new edition of a dogmatic creed, and ask them to receive it as gospel? Would it not be plain to them that no certainty was to be found any where? Well, in my defence I could but make a lame apology; however, it was the true one, viz. that I had not read the Fathers cautiously enough; that in such nice points, as[Pg 205] those which determine the angle of divergence between the two Churches, I had made considerable miscalculations. But how came this about? why, the fact was, unpleasant as it was to avow, that I had leaned too much upon the assertions of Ussher, Jeremy Taylor, or Barrow, and had been deceived by them. Valeat quantum,—it was all that could be said. This then was a chief reason of that wording of the Retractation, which has given so much offence, because the bitterness, with which it was written, was not understood;—and the following letter will illustrate it:—

"April 3, 1844. I wish to remark on William's chief distress, that my changing my opinion seemed to unsettle one's confidence in truth and falsehood as external things, and led one to be suspicious of the new opinion as one became distrustful of the old. Now in what I shall say, I am not going to speak in favour of my second thoughts in comparison of my first, but against such scepticism and unsettlement about truth and falsehood generally, the idea of which is very painful.

"The case with me, then, was this, and not surely an unnatural one:—as a matter of feeling and of duty I threw myself into the system which I found myself in. I saw that the English Church had a theological idea or theory as such, and I took it up. I read Laud on Tradition, and thought it (as I still think it) very masterly. The Anglican Theory was very distinctive. I admired it and took it on faith. It did not (I think) occur to me to doubt it; I saw that it was able, and supported by learning, and I felt it was a duty to maintain it. Further, on looking into Antiquity and reading the Fathers, I saw such portions of it as I examined, fully confirmed (e.g. the supremacy of Scripture). There was only one question about which I had a doubt, viz. whether it would work, for it has never been more than a paper system....

"So far from my change of opinion having any fair[Pg 206] tendency to unsettle persons as to truth and falsehood viewed as objective realities, it should be considered whether such change is not necessary, if truth be a real objective thing, and be made to confront a person who has been brought up in a system short of truth. Surely the continuance of a person, who wishes to go right, in a wrong system, and not his giving it up, would be that which militated against the objectiveness of Truth, leading, as it would, to the suspicion, that one thing and another were equally pleasing to our Maker, where men were sincere.

"Nor surely is it a thing I need be sorry for, that I defended the system in which I found myself, and thus have had to unsay my words. For is it not one's duty, instead of beginning with criticism, to throw oneself generously into that form of religion which is providentially put before one? Is it right, or is it wrong, to begin with private judgment? May we not, on the other hand, look for a blessing through obedience even to an erroneous system, and a guidance even by means of it out of it? Were those who were strict and conscientious in their Judaism, or those who were lukewarm and sceptical, more likely to be led into Christianity, when Christ came? Yet in proportion to their previous zeal, would be their appearance of inconsistency. Certainly, I have always contended that obedience even to an erring conscience was the way to gain light, and that it mattered not where a man began, so that he began on what came to hand, and in faith; and that any thing might become a divine method of Truth; that to the pure all things are pure, and have a self-correcting virtue and a power of germinating. And though I have no right at all to assume that this mercy is granted to me, yet the fact, that a person in my situation may have it granted to him, seems to me to remove the perplexity which my change of opinion may occasion.

"It may be said,—I have said it to myself,—'Why, however,[Pg 207] did you publish? had you waited quietly, you would have changed your opinion without any of the misery, which now is involved in the change, of disappointing and distressing people.' I answer, that things are so bound up together, as to form a whole, and one cannot tell what is or is not a condition of what. I do not see how possibly I could have published the Tracts, or other works professing to defend our Church, without accompanying them with a strong protest or argument against Rome. The one obvious objection against the whole Anglican line is, that it is Roman; so that I really think there was no alternative between silence altogether, and forming a theory and attacking the Roman system."

2. And now, in the next place, as to my Resignation of St. Mary's, which was the second of the steps which I took in 1843. The ostensible, direct, and sufficient reason for my doing so was the persevering attack of the Bishops on Tract 90. I alluded to it in the letter which I have inserted above, addressed to one of the most influential among them. A series of their ex cathedrâ judgments, lasting through three years, and including a notice of no little severity in a Charge of my own Bishop, came as near to a condemnation of my Tract, and, so far, to a repudiation of the ancient Catholic doctrine, which was the scope of the Tract, as was possible in the Church of England. It was in order to shield the Tract from such a condemnation, that I had at the time of its publication in 1841 so simply put myself at the disposal of the higher powers in London. At that time, all that was distinctly contemplated in the way of censure, was contained in the message which my Bishop sent me, that the Tract was "objectionable." That I thought was the end of the matter. I had refused to suppress it, and they had yielded that point. Since I published the former portions of this Narrative, I have found what I[Pg 208] wrote to Dr. Pusey on March 24, while the matter was in progress. "The more I think of it," I said, "the more reluctant I am to suppress Tract 90, though of course I will do it if the Bishop wishes it; I cannot, however, deny that I shall feel it a severe act." According to the notes which I took of the letters or messages which I sent to him on that and the following days, I wrote successively, "My first feeling was to obey without a word; I will obey still; but my judgment has steadily risen against it ever since." Then in the Postscript, "If I have done any good to the Church, I do ask the Bishop this favour, as my reward for it, that he would not insist on a measure, from which I think good will not come. However, I will submit to him." Afterwards, I got stronger still and wrote: "I have almost come to the resolution, if the Bishop publicly intimates that I must suppress the Tract, or speaks strongly in his charge against it, to suppress it indeed, but to resign my living also. I could not in conscience act otherwise. You may show this in any quarter you please."

All my then hopes, all my satisfaction at the apparent fulfilment of those hopes was at an end in 1843. It is not wonderful then, that in May of that year, when two out of the three years were gone, I wrote on the subject of my retiring from St. Mary's to the same friend, whom I had consulted upon it in 1840. But I did more now; I told him my great unsettlement of mind on the question of the Churches. I will insert portions of two of my letters:—

"May 4, 1843.... At present I fear, as far as I can analyze my own convictions, I consider the Roman Catholic Communion to be the Church of the Apostles, and that what grace is among us (which, through God's mercy, is not little) is extraordinary, and from the overflowings of His dispensation. I am very far more sure that England is in schism, than that the Roman additions[Pg 209] to the Primitive Creed may not be developments, arising out of a keen and vivid realizing of the Divine Depositum of Faith.

"You will now understand what gives edge to the Bishops' Charges, without any undue sensitiveness on my part. They distress me in two ways:—first, as being in some sense protests and witnesses to my conscience against my own unfaithfulness to the English Church, and next, as being samples of her teaching, and tokens how very far she is from even aspiring to Catholicity.

"Of course my being unfaithful to a trust is my great subject of dread,—as it has long been, as you know."

When he wrote to make natural objections to my purpose, such as the apprehension that the removal of clerical obligations might have the indirect effect of propelling me towards Rome, I answered:—

"May 18, 1843.... My office or charge at St. Mary's is not a mere state, but a continual energy. People assume and assert certain things of me in consequence. With what sort of sincerity can I obey the Bishop? how am I to act in the frequent cases, in which one way or another the Church of Rome comes into consideration? I have to the utmost of my power tried to keep persons from Rome, and with some success; but even a year and a half since, my arguments, though more efficacious with the persons I aimed at than any others could be, were of a nature to infuse great suspicion of me into the minds of lookers-on.

"By retaining St. Mary's, I am an offence and a stumbling-block. Persons are keen-sighted enough to make out what I think on certain points, and then they infer that such opinions are compatible with holding situations of trust in our Church. A number of younger men take the validity of their interpretation of the Articles, &c. from me on faith. Is not my present position a cruelty, as well as a treachery towards the Church?[Pg 210]

"I do not see how I can either preach or publish again, while I hold St. Mary's;—but consider again the following difficulty in such a resolution, which I must state at some length.

"Last Long Vacation the idea suggested itself to me of publishing the Lives of the English Saints; and I had a conversation with [a publisher] upon it. I thought it would be useful, as employing the minds of men who were in danger of running wild, bringing them from doctrine to history, and from speculation to fact;—again, as giving them an interest in the English soil, and the English Church, and keeping them from seeking sympathy in Rome, as she is; and further, as tending to promote the spread of right views.

"But, within the last month, it has come upon me, that, if the scheme goes on, it will be a practical carrying out of No. 90, from the character of the usages and opinions of ante-reformation times.

"It is easy to say, 'Why will you do any thing? why won't you keep quiet? what business had you to think of any such plan at all?' But I cannot leave a number of poor fellows in the lurch. I am bound to do my best for a great number of people both in Oxford and elsewhere. If I did not act, others would find means to do so.

"Well, the plan has been taken up with great eagerness and interest. Many men are setting to work. I set down the names of men, most of them engaged, the rest half engaged and probable, some actually writing." About thirty names follow, some of them at that time of the school of Dr. Arnold, others of Dr. Pusey's, some my personal friends and of my own standing, others whom I hardly knew, while of course the majority were of the party of the new Movement. I continue:—

"The plan has gone so far, that it would create surprise and talk, were it now suddenly given over. Yet how is it[Pg 211] compatible with my holding St. Mary's, being what I am?"


Such was the object and the origin of the projected Series of the English Saints; and, since the publication was connected, as has been seen, with my resignation of St. Mary's, I may be allowed to conclude what I have to say on the subject here, though it may read like a digression. As soon then as the first of the Series got into print, the whole project broke down. I had already anticipated that some portions of the Series would be written in a style inconsistent with the professions of a beneficed clergyman, and therefore I had given up my Living; but men of great weight went further in their misgivings than I, when they saw the Life of St. Stephen Harding, and decided that it was of a character inconsistent even with its proceeding from an Anglican publisher: and so the scheme was given up at once. After the two first numbers, I retired from the Editorship, and those Lives only were published in addition, which were then already finished, or in advanced preparation. The following passages from what I or others wrote at the time will illustrate what I have been saying:—

In November, 1844, I wrote thus to the author of one of them: "I am not Editor, I have no direct control over the Series. It is T.'s work; he may admit what he pleases; and exclude what he pleases. I was to have been Editor. I did edit the two first numbers. I was responsible for them, in the way in which an Editor is responsible. Had I continued Editor, I should have exercised a control over all. I laid down in the Preface that doctrinal subjects were, if possible, to be excluded. But, even then, I also set down that no writer was to be held answerable for any of the Lives but his own. When I[Pg 212] gave up the Editorship, I had various engagements with friends for separate Lives remaining on my hands. I should have liked to have broken from them all, but there were some from which I could not break, and I let them take their course. Some have come to nothing; others like yours have gone on. I have seen such, either in MS. or Proof. As time goes on, I shall have less and less to do with the Series. I think the engagement between you and me should come to an end. I have any how abundant responsibility on me, and too much. I shall write to T. that if he wants the advantage of your assistance, he must write to you direct."

In accordance with this letter, I had already advertised in January 1844, ten months before it, that "other Lives," after St. Stephen Harding, would "be published by their respective authors on their own responsibility." This notice was repeated in February, in the advertisement to the second number entitled "The Family of St. Richard," though to this number, for some reason which I cannot now recollect, I also put my initials. In the Life of St. Augustine, the author, a man of nearly my own age, says in like manner, "No one but himself is responsible for the way in which these materials have been used." I have in MS. another advertisement to the same effect, but I cannot tell whether it ever appeared in print.

I will add, since the authors have been considered "hot-headed fanatic young men," whom I was in charge of, and whom I suffered to do intemperate things, that, while the writer of St. Augustine was in 1844 past forty, the author of the proposed Life of St. Boniface, Mr. Bowden, was forty-six; Mr. Johnson, who was to write St. Aldhelm, forty-three; and most of the others were on one side or other of thirty. Three, I think, were under twenty-five. Moreover, of these writers some became Catholics,[Pg 213] some remained Anglicans, and others have professed what are called free or liberal opinions[14].

[14] Vide Note D, Lives of the English Saints.


The immediate cause of the resignation of my Living is stated in the following letter, which I wrote to my Bishop:—

"August 29, 1843. It is with much concern that I inform your Lordship, that Mr. A. B., who has been for the last year an inmate of my house here, has just conformed to the Church of Rome. As I have ever been desirous, not only of faithfully discharging the trust, which is involved in holding a living in your Lordship's diocese, but of approving myself to your Lordship, I will for your information state one or two circumstances connected with this unfortunate event.... I received him on condition of his promising me, which he distinctly did, that he would remain quietly in our Church for three years. A year has passed since that time, and, though I saw nothing in him which promised that he would eventually be contented with his present position, yet for the time his mind became as settled as one could wish, and he frequently expressed his satisfaction at being under the promise which I had exacted of him."

I felt it impossible to remain any longer in the service of the Anglican Church, when such a breach of trust, however little I had to do with it, would be laid at my door. I wrote in a few days to a friend:

"September 7, 1843. I this day ask the Bishop leave to resign St. Mary's. Men whom you little think, or at least whom I little thought, are in almost a hopeless way. Really we may expect any thing. I am going to publish a Volume of Sermons, including those Four against moving."


I resigned my living on September the 18th. I had not[Pg 214] the means of doing it legally at Oxford. The late Mr. Goldsmid was kind enough to aid me in resigning it in London. I found no fault with the Liberals; they had beaten me in a fair field. As to the act of the Bishops, I thought, to borrow a Scriptural image from Walter Scott, that they had "seethed the kid in his mother's milk."

I said to a friend:—

"Victrix causa diis placuit, sed victa Catoni."

And now I may be almost said to have brought to an end, as far as is necessary for a sketch such as this is, the history both of my changes of religious opinion and of the public acts which they involved.

I had one final advance of mind to accomplish, and one final step to take. That further advance of mind was to be able honestly to say that I was certain of the conclusions at which I had already arrived. That further step, imperative when such certitude was attained, was my submission to the Catholic Church.

This submission did not take place till two full years after the resignation of my living in September 1843; nor could I have made it at an earlier day, without doubt and apprehension, that is, with any true conviction of mind or certitude.

In the interval, of which it remains to speak, viz. between the autumns of 1843 and 1845, I was in lay communion with the Church of England, attending its services as usual, and abstaining altogether from intercourse with Catholics, from their places of worship, and from those religious rites and usages, such as the Invocation of Saints, which are characteristics of their creed. I did all this on principle; for I never could understand how a man could be of two religions at once.

What I have to say about myself between these two autumns I shall almost confine to this one point,—the[Pg 215] difficulty I was in, as to the best mode of revealing the state of my mind to my friends and others, and how I managed to reveal it.


Up to January, 1842, I had not disclosed my state of unsettlement to more than three persons, as has been mentioned above, and as is repeated in the course of the letters which I am now about to give to the reader. To two of them, intimate and familiar companions, in the Autumn of 1839: to the third, an old friend too, whom I have also named above, I suppose, when I was in great distress of mind upon the affair of the Jerusalem Bishopric. In May, 1843, I made it known, as has been seen, to the friend, by whose advice I wished, as far as possible, to be guided. To mention it on set purpose to any one, unless indeed I was asking advice, I should have felt to be a crime. If there is any thing that was abhorrent to me, it was the scattering doubts, and unsettling consciences without necessity. A strong presentiment that my existing opinions would ultimately give way, and that the grounds of them were unsound, was not a sufficient warrant for disclosing the state of my mind. I had no guarantee yet, that that presentiment would be realized. Supposing I were crossing ice, which came right in my way, which I had good reasons for considering sound, and which I saw numbers before me crossing in safety, and supposing a stranger from the bank, in a voice of authority, and in an earnest tone, warned me that it was dangerous, and then was silent, I think I should be startled, and should look about me anxiously, but I think too that I should go on, till I had better grounds for doubt; and such was my state, I believe, till the end of 1842. Then again, when my dissatisfaction became greater, it was hard at first to determine the point of time, when it was too strong to suppress with propriety. Certitude of course is a point, but doubt is a progress; I was not near certitude yet. Certitude is a reflex[Pg 216] action; it is to know that one knows. Of that I believe I was not possessed, till close upon my reception into the Catholic Church. Again, a practical, effective doubt is a point too, but who can easily ascertain it for himself? Who can determine when it is, that the scales in the balance of opinion begin to turn, and what was a greater probability in behalf of a belief becomes a positive doubt against it?

In considering this question in its bearing upon my conduct in 1843, my own simple answer to my great difficulty had been, Do what your present state of opinion requires in the light of duty, and let that doing tell: speak by acts. This I had done; my first act of the year had been in February. After three months' deliberation I had published my retractation of the violent charges which I had made against Rome: I could not be wrong in doing so much as this; but I did no more at the time: I did not retract my Anglican teaching. My second act had been in September in the same year; after much sorrowful lingering and hesitation, I had resigned my Living. I tried indeed, before I did so, to keep Littlemore for myself, even though it was still to remain an integral part of St. Mary's. I had given to it a Church and a sort of Parsonage; I had made it a Parish, and I loved it; I thought in 1843 that perhaps I need not forfeit my existing relations towards it. I could indeed submit to become the curate at will of another, but I hoped an arrangement was possible, by which, while I had the curacy, I might have been my own master in serving it. I had hoped an exception might have been made in my favour, under the circumstances; but I did not gain my request. Perhaps I was asking what was impracticable, and it is well for me that it was so.

These had been my two acts of the year, and I said, "I cannot be wrong in making them; let that follow which must follow in the thoughts of the world about me, when they see what I do." And, as time went on, they fully answered my purpose. What I felt it a simple duty to do,[Pg 217] did create a general suspicion about me, without such responsibility as would be involved in my initiating any direct act for the sake of creating it. Then, when friends wrote me on the subject, I either did not deny or I confessed my state of mind, according to the character and need of their letters. Sometimes in the case of intimate friends, whom I should otherwise have been leaving in ignorance of what others knew on every side of them, I invited the question.

And here comes in another point for explanation. While I was fighting in Oxford for the Anglican Church, then indeed I was very glad to make converts, and, though I never broke away from that rule of my mind, (as I may call it,) of which I have already spoken, of finding disciples rather than seeking them, yet, that I made advances to others in a special way, I have no doubt; this came to an end, however, as soon as I fell into misgivings as to the true ground to be taken in the controversy. For then, when I gave up my place in the Movement, I ceased from any such proceedings: and my utmost endeavour was to tranquillize such persons, especially those who belonged to the new school, as were unsettled in their religious views, and, as I judged, hasty in their conclusions. This went on till 1843; but, at that date, as soon as I turned my face Rome-ward, I gave up, as far as ever was possible, the thought of in any respect and in any shape acting upon others. Then I myself was simply my own concern. How could I in any sense direct others, who had to be guided in so momentous a matter myself? How could I be considered in a position, even to say a word to them one way or the other? How could I presume to unsettle them, as I was unsettled, when I had no means of bringing them out of such unsettlement? And, if they were unsettled already, how could I point to them a place of refuge, when I was not sure that I should choose it for myself? My only line, my only[Pg 218] duty, was to keep simply to my own case. I recollected Pascal's words, "Je mourrai seul." I deliberately put out of my thoughts all other works and claims, and said nothing to any one, unless I was obliged.

But this brought upon me a great trouble. In the newspapers there were continual reports about my intentions; I did not answer them; presently strangers or friends wrote, begging to be allowed to answer them; and, if I still kept to my resolution and said nothing, then I was thought to be mysterious, and a prejudice was excited against me. But, what was far worse, there were a number of tender, eager hearts, of whom I knew nothing at all, who were watching me, wishing to think as I thought, and to do as I did, if they could but find it out; who in consequence were distressed, that, in so solemn a matter, they could not see what was coming, and who heard reports about me this way or that, on a first day and on a second; and felt the weariness of waiting, and the sickness of delayed hope, and did not understand that I was as perplexed as they were, and, being of more sensitive complexion of mind than myself, were made ill by the suspense. And they too of course for the time thought me mysterious and inexplicable. I ask their pardon as far as I was really unkind to them. There was a gifted and deeply earnest lady, who in a parabolical account of that time, has described both my conduct as she felt it, and her own feelings upon it. In a singularly graphic, amusing vision of pilgrims, who were making their way across a bleak common in great discomfort, and who were ever warned against, yet continually nearing, "the king's highway" on the right, she says, "All my fears and disquiets were speedily renewed by seeing the most daring of our leaders, (the same who had first forced his way through the palisade, and in whose courage and sagacity we all put implicit trust,) suddenly stop short, and declare that he[Pg 219] would go on no further. He did not, however, take the leap at once, but quietly sat down on the top of the fence with his feet hanging towards the road, as if he meant to take his time about it, and let himself down easily." I do not wonder at all that I thus seemed so unkind to a lady, who at that time had never seen me. We were both in trial in our different ways. I am far from denying that I was acting selfishly both in her case and in that of others; but it was a religious selfishness. Certainly to myself my own duty seemed clear. They that are whole can heal others; but in my case it was, "Physician, heal thyself." My own soul was my first concern, and it seemed an absurdity to my reason to be converted in partnership. I wished to go to my Lord by myself, and in my own way, or rather His way. I had neither wish, nor, I may say, thought of taking a number with me. Moreover, it is but the truth to say, that it had ever been an annoyance to me to seem to be the head of a party; and that even from fastidiousness of mind, I could not bear to find a thing done elsewhere, simply or mainly because I did it myself, and that, from distrust of myself, I shrank from the thought, whenever it was brought home to me, that I was influencing others. But nothing of this could be known to the world.

The following three letters are written to a friend, who had every claim upon me to be frank with him, Archdeacon Manning:—it will be seen that I disclose the real state of my mind in proportion as he presses me.

1. "October 14, 1843. I would tell you in a few words why I have resigned St. Mary's, as you seem to wish, were it possible to do so. But it is most difficult to bring out in brief, or even in extenso, any just view of my feelings and reasons.

"The nearest approach I can give to a general account of them is to say, that it has been caused by the general repudiation of the view, contained in No. 90, on the part[Pg 220] of the Church. I could not stand against such an unanimous expression of opinion from the Bishops, supported, as it has been, by the concurrence, or at least silence, of all classes in the Church, lay and clerical. If there ever was a case, in which an individual teacher has been put aside and virtually put away by a community, mine is one. No decency has been observed in the attacks upon me from authority; no protests have been offered against them. It is felt,—I am far from denying, justly felt,—that I am a foreign material, and cannot assimilate with the Church of England.

"Even my own Bishop has said that my mode of interpreting the Articles makes them mean any thing or nothing. When I heard this delivered, I did not believe my ears. I denied to others that it was said.... Out came the charge, and the words could not be mistaken. This astonished me the more, because I published that Letter to him, (how unwillingly you know,) on the understanding that I was to deliver his judgment on No. 90 instead of him. A year elapses, and a second and heavier judgment came forth. I did not bargain for this,—nor did he, but the tide was too strong for him.

"I fear that I must confess, that, in proportion as I think the English Church is showing herself intrinsically and radically alien from Catholic principles, so do I feel the difficulties of defending her claims to be a branch of the Catholic Church. It seems a dream to call a communion Catholic, when one can neither appeal to any clear statement of Catholic doctrine in its formularies, nor interpret ambiguous formularies by the received and living Catholic sense, whether past or present. Men of Catholic views are too truly but a party in our Church. I cannot deny that many other independent circumstances, which it is not worth while entering into, have led me to the same conclusion.[Pg 221]

"I do not say all this to every body, as you may suppose; but I do not like to make a secret of it to you."

2. "Oct. 25, 1843. You have engaged in a dangerous correspondence; I am deeply sorry for the pain I shall give you.

"I must tell you then frankly, (but I combat arguments which to me, alas, are shadows,) that it is not from disappointment, irritation, or impatience, that I have, whether rightly or wrongly, resigned St. Mary's; but because I think the Church of Rome the Catholic Church, and ours not part of the Catholic Church, because not in communion with Rome; and because I feel that I could not honestly be a teacher in it any longer.

"This thought came to me last summer four years.... I mentioned it to two friends in the autumn.... It arose in the first instance from the Monophysite and Donatist controversies, the former of which I was engaged with in the course of theological study to which I had given myself. This was at a time when no Bishop, I believe, had declared against us[15], and when all was progress and hope. I do not think I have ever felt disappointment or impatience, certainly not then; for I never looked forward to the future, nor do I realize it now.

[15] I think Sumner, Bishop of Chester, must have done so already.

"My first effort was to write that article on the Catholicity of the English Church; for two years it quieted me. Since the summer of 1839 I have written little or nothing on modern controversy.... You know how unwillingly I wrote my letter to the Bishop in which I committed myself again, as the safest course under circumstances. The article I speak of quieted me till the end of 1841, over the affair of No. 90, when that wretched Jerusalem Bishopric (no personal matter) revived all my alarms.[Pg 222] They have increased up to this moment. At that time I told my secret to another person in addition.

"You see then that the various ecclesiastical and quasi-ecclesiastical acts, which have taken place in the course of the last two years and a half, are not the cause of my state of opinion, but are keen stimulants and weighty confirmations of a conviction forced upon me, while engaged in the course of duty, viz. that theological reading to which I had given myself. And this last-mentioned circumstance is a fact, which has never, I think, come before me till now that I write to you.

"It is three years since, on account of my state of opinion, I urged the Provost in vain to let St. Mary's be separated from Littlemore; thinking I might with a safe conscience serve the latter, though I could not comfortably continue in so public a place as a University. This was before No. 90.

"Finally, I have acted under advice, and that, not of my own choosing, but what came to me in the way of duty, nor the advice of those only who agree with me, but of near friends who differ from me.

"I have nothing to reproach myself with, as far as I see, in the matter of impatience; i.e. practically or in conduct. And I trust that He, who has kept me in the slow course of change hitherto, will keep me still from hasty acts, or resolves with a doubtful conscience.

"This I am sure of, that such interposition as yours, kind as it is, only does what you would consider harm. It makes me realize my own views to myself; it makes me see their consistency; it assures me of my own deliberateness; it suggests to me the traces of a Providential Hand; it takes away the pain of disclosures; it relieves me of a heavy secret.

"You may make what use of my letters you think right."[Pg 223]

3. My correspondent wrote to me once more, and I replied thus: "October 31, 1843. Your letter has made my heart ache more, and caused me more and deeper sighs than any I have had a long while, though I assure you there is much on all sides of me to cause sighing and heartache. On all sides:—I am quite haunted by the one dreadful whisper repeated from so many quarters, and causing the keenest distress to friends. You know but a part of my present trial, in knowing that I am unsettled myself.

"Since the beginning of this year I have been obliged to tell the state of my mind to some others; but never, I think, without being in a way obliged, as from friends writing to me as you did, or guessing how matters stood. No one in Oxford knows it or here" [Littlemore], "but one near friend whom I felt I could not help telling the other day. But, I suppose, many more suspect it."

On receiving these letters, my correspondent, if I recollect rightly, at once communicated the matter of them to Dr. Pusey, and this will enable me to describe, as nearly as I can, the way in which he first became aware of my changed state of opinion.

I had from the first a great difficulty in making Dr. Pusey understand such differences of opinion as existed between himself and me. When there was a proposal about the end of 1838 for a subscription for a Cranmer Memorial, he wished us both to subscribe together to it. I could not, of course, and wished him to subscribe by himself. That he would not do; he could not bear the thought of our appearing to the world in separate positions, in a matter of importance. And, as time went on, he would not take any hints, which I gave him, on the subject of my growing inclination to Rome. When I found him so determined, I often had not the heart to go on. And then I knew, that, from affection to me, he so often took up and threw himself into what I said, that I[Pg 224] felt the great responsibility I should incur, if I put things before him just as I might view them myself. And, not knowing him so well as I did afterwards, I feared lest I should unsettle him. And moreover, I recollected well, how prostrated he had been with illness in 1832, and I used always to think that the start of the Movement had given him a fresh life. I fancied that his physical energies even depended on the presence of a vigorous hope and bright prospects for his imagination to feed upon; so much so, that when he was so unworthily treated by the authorities of the place in 1843, I recollect writing to the late Mr. Dodsworth to state my anxiety, lest, if his mind became dejected in consequence, his health should suffer seriously also. These were difficulties in my way; and then again, another difficulty was, that, as we were not together under the same roof, we only saw each other at set times; others indeed, who were coming in or out of my rooms freely, and according to the need of the moment, knew all my thoughts easily; but for him to know them well, formal efforts were necessary. A common friend of ours broke it all to him in 1841, as far as matters had gone at that time, and showed him clearly the logical conclusions which must lie in propositions to which I had committed myself; but somehow or other in a little while, his mind fell back into its former happy state, and he could not bring himself to believe that he and I should not go on pleasantly together to the end. But that affectionate dream needs must have been broken at last; and two years afterwards, that friend to whom I wrote the letters which I have just now inserted, set himself, as I have said, to break it. Upon that, I too begged Dr. Pusey to tell in private to any one he would, that I thought in the event I should leave the Church of England. However, he would not do so; and at the end of 1844 had almost relapsed into his former thoughts about me, if I may[Pg 225] judge from a letter of his which I have found. Nay, at the Commemoration of 1845, a few months before I left the Anglican Church, I think he said about me to a friend, "I trust after all we shall keep him."

In that autumn of 1843, at the time that I spoke to Dr. Pusey, I asked another friend also to communicate in confidence, to whom he would, the prospect which lay before me.

To another friend, Mr. James Hope, now Mr. Hope Scott, I gave the opportunity of knowing it, if he would, in the following Postscript to a letter:—

"While I write, I will add a word about myself. You may come near a person or two who, owing to circumstances, know more exactly my state of feeling than you do, though they would not tell you. Now I do not like that you should not be aware of this, though I see no reason why you should know what they happen to know. Your wishing it would be a reason."

I had a dear and old friend, near his death; I never told him my state of mind. Why should I unsettle that sweet calm tranquillity, when I had nothing to offer him instead? I could not say, "Go to Rome;" else I should have shown him the way. Yet I offered myself for his examination. One day he led the way to my speaking out; but, rightly or wrongly, I could not respond. My reason was, "I have no certainty on the matter myself. To say 'I think' is to tease and to distress, not to persuade."

I wrote to him on Michaelmas Day, 1843: "As you may suppose, I have nothing to write to you about, pleasant. I could tell you some very painful things; but it is best not to anticipate trouble, which after all can but happen, and, for what one knows, may be averted. You are always so kind, that sometimes, when I part with you, I am nearly moved to tears, and it would be a relief to be[Pg 226] so, at your kindness and at my hardness. I think no one ever had such kind friends as I have."

The next year, January 22, I wrote to him: "Pusey has quite enough on him, and generously takes on himself more than enough, for me to add burdens when I am not obliged; particularly too, when I am very conscious, that there are burdens, which I am or shall be obliged to lay upon him some time or other, whether I will or no."

And on February 21: "Half-past ten. I am just up, having a bad cold; the like has not happened to me (except twice in January) in my memory. You may think you have been in my thoughts, long before my rising. Of course you are so continually, as you well know. I could not come to see you; I am not worthy of friends. With my opinions, to the full of which I dare not confess, I feel like a guilty person with others, though I trust I am not so. People kindly think that I have much to bear externally, disappointment, slander, &c. No, I have nothing to bear, but the anxiety which I feel for my friends' anxiety for me, and their perplexity. This is a better Ash-Wednesday than birthday present;" [his birthday was the same day as mine; it was Ash-Wednesday that year;] "but I cannot help writing about what is uppermost. And now, my dear B., all kindest and best wishes to you, my oldest friend, whom I must not speak more about, and with reference to myself, lest you should be angry." It was not in his nature to have doubts: he used to look at me with anxiety, and wonder what had come over me.

On Easter Monday: "All that is good and gracious descend upon you and yours from the influences of this Blessed Season; and it will be so, (so be it!) for what is the life of you all, as day passes after day, but a simple endeavour to serve Him, from whom all blessing comes? Though we are separated in place, yet this we have in[Pg 227] common, that you are living a calm and cheerful time, and I am enjoying the thought of you. It is your blessing to have a clear heaven, and peace around, according to the blessing pronounced on Benjamin[16]. So it is, my dear B., and so may it ever be."

[16] Deut. xxxiii. 12.

He was in simple good faith. He died in September of the same year. I had expected that his last illness would have brought light to my mind, as to what I ought to do. It brought none. I made a note, which runs thus: "I sobbed bitterly over his coffin, to think that he left me still dark as to what the way of truth was, and what I ought to do in order to please God and fulfil His will." I think I wrote to Charles Marriott to say, that at that moment, with the thought of my friend before me, my strong view in favour of Rome remained just what it was. On the other hand, my firm belief that grace was to be found within the Anglican Church remained too[17]. I wrote to another friend thus:—

[17] On this subject, vide my Third Lecture on "Anglican Difficulties," also Note E, Anglican Church.

"Sept. 16, 1844. I am full of wrong and miserable feelings, which it is useless to detail, so grudging and sullen, when I should be thankful. Of course, when one sees so blessed an end, and that, the termination of so blameless a life, of one who really fed on our ordinances and got strength from them, and sees the same continued in a whole family, the little children finding quite a solace of their pain in the Daily Prayer, it is impossible not to feel more at ease in our Church, as at least a sort of Zoar, a place of refuge and temporary rest, because of the steepness of the way. Only, may we be kept from unlawful security, lest we have Moab and Ammon for our progeny, the enemies of Israel."[Pg 228]

I could not continue in this state, either in the light of duty or of reason. My difficulty was this: I had been deceived greatly once; how could I be sure that I was not deceived a second time? I thought myself right then; how was I to be certain that I was right now? How many years had I thought myself sure of what I now rejected? how could I ever again have confidence in myself? As in 1840 I listened to the rising doubt in favour of Rome, now I listened to the waning doubt in favour of the Anglican Church. To be certain is to know that one knows; what inward test had I, that I should not change again, after that I had become a Catholic? I had still apprehension of this, though I thought a time would come, when it would depart. However, some limit ought to be put to these vague misgivings; I must do my best and then leave it to a higher Power to prosper it. So, at the end of 1844, I came to the resolution of writing an Essay on Doctrinal Development; and then, if, at the end of it, my convictions in favour of the Roman Church were not weaker, of taking the necessary steps for admission into her fold.

By this time the state of my mind was generally known, and I made no great secret of it. I will illustrate it by letters of mine which have been put into my hands.

"November 16, 1844. I am going through what must be gone through; and my trust only is that every day of pain is so much taken from the necessary draught which must be exhausted. There is no fear (humanly speaking) of my moving for a long time yet. This has got out without my intending it; but it is all well. As far as I know myself, my one great distress is the perplexity, unsettlement, alarm, scepticism, which I am causing to so many; and the loss of kind feeling and good opinion on the part of so many, known and unknown, who have wished well to me. And of these two sources of pain it is the former that is the constant, urgent, unmitigated one.[Pg 229] I had for days a literal ache all about my heart; and from time to time all the complaints of the Psalmist seemed to belong to me.

"And as far as I know myself, my one paramount reason for contemplating a change is my deep, unvarying conviction that our Church is in schism, and that my salvation depends on my joining the Church of Rome. I may use argumenta ad hominem to this person or that[18]; but I am not conscious of resentment, or disgust, at any thing that has happened to me. I have no visions whatever of hope, no schemes of action, in any other sphere more suited to me. I have no existing sympathies with Roman Catholics; I hardly ever, even abroad, was at one of their services; I know none of them, I do not like what I hear of them.

[18] Vide supr. p. 219, &c. Letter of Oct. 14, 1843, compared with that of Oct. 25.

"And then, how much I am giving up in so many ways! and to me sacrifices irreparable, not only from my age, when people hate changing, but from my especial love of old associations and the pleasures of memory. Nor am I conscious of any feeling, enthusiastic or heroic, of pleasure in the sacrifice; I have nothing to support me here.

"What keeps me yet is what has kept me long; a fear that I am under a delusion; but the conviction remains firm under all circumstances, in all frames of mind. And this most serious feeling is growing on me; viz. that the reasons for which I believe as much as our system teaches, must lead me to believe more, and that not to believe more is to fall back into scepticism.

"A thousand thanks for your most kind and consoling letter; though I have not yet spoken of it, it was a great gift."

Shortly after I wrote to the same friend thus: "My intention is, if nothing comes upon me, which I cannot[Pg 230] foresee, to remain quietly in statu quo for a considerable time, trusting that my friends will kindly remember me and my trial in their prayers. And I should give up my fellowship some time before any thing further took place."

There was a lady, now a nun of the Visitation, to whom at this time I wrote the following letters:—

1. "November 7, 1844. I am still where I was; I am not moving. Two things, however, seem plain, that every one is prepared for such an event, next, that every one expects it of me. Few, indeed, who do not think it suitable, fewer still, who do not think it likely. However, I do not think it either suitable or likely. I have very little reason to doubt about the issue of things, but the when and the how are known to Him, from whom, I trust, both the course of things and the issue come. The expression of opinion, and the latent and habitual feeling about me, which is on every side and among all parties, has great force. I insist upon it, because I have a great dread of going by my own feelings, lest they should mislead me. By one's sense of duty one must go; but external facts support one in doing so."

2. "January 8, 1845. What am I to say in answer to your letter? I know perfectly well, I ought to let you know more of my feelings and state of mind than you do know. But how is that possible in a few words? Any thing I say must be abrupt; nothing can I say which will not leave a bewildering feeling, as needing so much to explain it, and being isolated, and (as it were) unlocated, and not having any thing with it to show its bearings upon other parts of the subject.

"At present, my full belief is, in accordance with your letter, that, if there is a move in our Church, very few persons indeed will be partners to it. I doubt whether one or two at the most among residents at Oxford. And I don't know whether I can wish it. The state of the[Pg 231] Roman Catholics is at present so unsatisfactory. This I am sure of, that nothing but a simple, direct call of duty is a warrant for any one leaving our Church; no preference of another Church, no delight in its services, no hope of greater religious advancement in it, no indignation, no disgust, at the persons and things, among which we may find ourselves in the Church of England. The simple question is, Can I (it is personal, not whether another, but can I) be saved in the English Church? am I in safety, were I to die to-night? Is it a mortal sin in me, not joining another communion?

"P.S. I hardly see my way to concur in attendance, though occasional, in the Roman Catholic chapel, unless a man has made up his mind pretty well to join it eventually. Invocations are not required in the Church of Rome; somehow, I do not like using them except under the sanction of the Church, and this makes me unwilling to admit them in members of our Church."

3. "March 30. Now I will tell you more than any one knows except two friends. My own convictions are as strong as I suppose they can become: only it is so difficult to know whether it is a call of reason or of conscience. I cannot make out, if I am impelled by what seems clear, or by a sense of duty. You can understand how painful this doubt is; so I have waited, hoping for light, and using the words of the Psalmist, 'Show some token upon me.' But I suppose I have no right to wait for ever for this. Then I am waiting, because friends are most considerately bearing me in mind, and asking guidance for me; and, I trust, I should attend to any new feelings which came upon me, should that be the effect of their kindness. And then this waiting subserves the purpose of preparing men's minds. I dread shocking, unsettling people. Any how, I can't avoid giving incalculable pain. So, if I had my will, I should like to wait till the summer of 1846, which would[Pg 232] be a full seven years from the time that my convictions first began to fall on me. But I don't think I shall last so long.

"My present intention is to give up my Fellowship in October, and to publish some work or treatise between that and Christmas. I wish people to know why I am acting, as well as what I am doing; it takes off that vague and distressing surprise, 'What can have made him?'"

4. "June 1. What you tell me of yourself makes it plain that it is your duty to remain quietly and patiently, till you see more clearly where you are; else you are leaping in the dark."

In the early part of this year, if not before, there was an idea afloat that my retirement from the Anglican Church was owing to my distress that I had been so thrust aside, without any one's taking my part. Various measures were, I believe, talked of in consequence of this surmise. Coincidently with it appeared an exceedingly kind article about me in a Quarterly, in its April number. The writer praised me in kind and beautiful language far above my deserts. In the course of his remarks, he said, speaking of me as Vicar of St. Mary's: "He had the future race of clergy hearing him. Did he value and feel tender about, and cling to his position?... Not at all.... No sacrifice to him perhaps, he did not care about such things."

There was a censure implied, however covertly, in these words; and it is alluded to in the following letter, addressed to a very intimate friend:—

"April 3, 1845.... Accept this apology, my dear Church, and forgive me. As I say so, tears come into my eyes;—that arises from the accident of this time, when I am giving up so much I love. Just now I have been overset by James Mozley's article in the Remembrancer; yet really, my dear Church, I have never for an instant had[Pg 233] even the temptation of repenting my leaving Oxford. The feeling of repentance has not even come into my mind. How could it? How could I remain at St. Mary's a hypocrite? how could I be answerable for souls, (and life so uncertain,) with the convictions, or at least persuasions, which I had upon me? It is indeed a responsibility to act as I am doing; and I feel His hand heavy on me without intermission, who is all Wisdom and Love, so that my heart and mind are tired out, just as the limbs might be from a load on one's back. That sort of dull aching pain is mine; but my responsibility really is nothing to what it would be, to be answerable for souls, for confiding loving souls, in the English Church, with my convictions. My love to Marriott, and save me the pain of sending him a line."


I am now close upon the date of my reception into the Catholic Church; at the beginning of the year a letter had been addressed to me by a very dear friend, now no more, Charles Marriott. I quote some sentences from it, for the love which I bear him and the value that I set on his good word.

"January 15, 1845. You know me well enough to be aware, that I never see through any thing at first. Your letter to Badeley casts a gloom over the future, which you can understand, if you have understood me, as I believe you have. But I may speak out at once, of what I see and feel at once, and doubt not that I shall ever feel: that your whole conduct towards the Church of England and towards us, who have striven and are still striving to seek after God for ourselves, and to revive true religion among others, under her authority and guidance, has been generous and considerate, and, were that word appropriate, dutiful, to a degree that I could scarcely have conceived possible, more unsparing of self than I should have thought nature could sustain. I have felt with pain every link[Pg 234] that you have severed, and I have asked no questions, because I felt that you ought to measure the disclosure of your thoughts according to the occasion, and the capacity of those to whom you spoke. I write in haste, in the midst of engagements engrossing in themselves, but partly made tasteless, partly embittered by what I have heard; but I am willing to trust even you, whom I love best on earth, in God's Hand, in the earnest prayer that you may be so employed as is best for the Holy Catholic Church."

In July, a Bishop thought it worth while to give out to the world that "the adherents of Mr. Newman are few in number. A short time will now probably suffice to prove this fact. It is well known that he is preparing for secession; and, when that event takes place, it will be seen how few will go with him."

I had begun my Essay on the Development of Doctrine in the beginning of 1845, and I was hard at it all through the year till October. As I advanced, my difficulties so cleared away that I ceased to speak of "the Roman Catholics," and boldly called them Catholics. Before I got to the end, I resolved to be received, and the book remains in the state in which it was then, unfinished.

One of my friends at Littlemore had been received into the Church on Michaelmas Day, at the Passionist House at Aston, near Stone, by Father Dominic, the Superior. At the beginning of October the latter was passing through London to Belgium; and, as I was in some perplexity what steps to take for being received myself, I assented to the proposition made to me that the good priest should take Littlemore in his way, with a view to his doing for me the same charitable service as he had done to my friend.

On October the 8th I wrote to a number of friends the following letter:—

"Littlemore, October 8th, 1845. I am this night expecting Father Dominic, the Passionist, who, from his[Pg 235] youth, has been led to have distinct and direct thoughts, first of the countries of the North, then of England. After thirty years' (almost) waiting, he was without his own act sent here. But he has had little to do with conversions. I saw him here for a few minutes on St. John Baptist's day last year.

"He is a simple, holy man; and withal gifted with remarkable powers. He does not know of my intention; but I mean to ask of him admission into the One Fold of Christ....

"I have so many letters to write, that this must do for all who choose to ask about me. With my best love to dear Charles Marriott, who is over your head, &c., &c.

"P.S. This will not go till all is over. Of course it requires no answer."


For a while after my reception, I proposed to betake myself to some secular calling. I wrote thus in answer to a very gracious letter of congratulation sent me by Cardinal Acton:—

"Nov. 25, 1845. I hope you will have anticipated, before I express it, the great gratification which I received from your Eminence's letter. That gratification, however, was tempered by the apprehension, that kind and anxious well-wishers at a distance attach more importance to my step than really belongs to it. To me indeed personally it is of course an inestimable gain; but persons and things look great at a distance, which are not so when seen close; and, did your Eminence know me, you would see that I was one, about whom there has been far more talk for good and bad than he deserves, and about whose movements far more expectation has been raised than the event will justify.

"As I never, I do trust, aimed at any thing else than obedience to my own sense of right, and have been magnified[Pg 236] into the leader of a party without my wishing it or acting as such, so now, much as I may wish to the contrary, and earnestly as I may labour (as is my duty) to minister in a humble way to the Catholic Church, yet my powers will, I fear, disappoint the expectations of both my own friends, and of those who pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

"If I might ask of your Eminence a favour, it is that you would kindly moderate those anticipations. Would it were in my power to do, what I do not aspire to do! At present certainly I cannot look forward to the future, and, though it would be a good work if I could persuade others to do as I have done, yet it seems as if I had quite enough to do in thinking of myself."

Soon, Dr. Wiseman, in whose Vicariate Oxford lay, called me to Oscott; and I went there with others; afterwards he sent me to Rome, and finally placed me in Birmingham.

I wrote to a friend:—

"January 20, 1846. You may think how lonely I am. 'Obliviscere populum tuum et domum patris tui,' has been in my ears for the last twelve hours. I realize more that we are leaving Littlemore, and it is like going on the open sea."

I left Oxford for good on Monday, February 23, 1846. On the Saturday and Sunday before, I was in my house at Littlemore simply by myself, as I had been for the first day or two when I had originally taken possession of it. I slept on Sunday night at my dear friend's, Mr. Johnson's, at the Observatory. Various friends came to see the last of me; Mr. Copeland, Mr. Church, Mr. Buckle, Mr. Pattison, and Mr. Lewis. Dr. Pusey too came up to take leave of me; and I called on Dr. Ogle, one of my very oldest friends, for he was my private Tutor, when I was an Undergraduate. In him I took leave of my first[Pg 237] College, Trinity, which was so dear to me, and which held on its foundation so many who had been kind to me both when I was a boy, and all through my Oxford life. Trinity had never been unkind to me. There used to be much snap-dragon growing on the walls opposite my freshman's rooms there, and I had for years taken it as the emblem of my own perpetual residence even unto death in my University.

On the morning of the 23rd I left the Observatory. I have never seen Oxford since, excepting its spires, as they are seen from the railway[19].[Pg 238]

[19] At length I revisited Oxford on February 26th, 1878, after an absence of just 32 years. Vide Additional Note at the end of the volume.

CHAPTER V.

POSITION OF MY MIND SINCE 1845.

From the time that I became a Catholic, of course I have no further history of my religious opinions to narrate. In saying this, I do not mean to say that my mind has been idle, or that I have given up thinking on theological subjects; but that I have had no variations to record, and have had no anxiety of heart whatever. I have been in perfect peace and contentment; I never have had one doubt. I was not conscious to myself, on my conversion, of any change, intellectual or moral, wrought in my mind. I was not conscious of firmer faith in the fundamental truths of Revelation, or of more self-command; I had not more fervour; but it was like coming into port after a rough sea; and my happiness on that score remains to this day without interruption.

Nor had I any trouble about receiving those additional articles, which are not found in the Anglican Creed. Some of them I believed already, but not any one of them was a trial to me. I made a profession of them upon my reception with the greatest ease, and I have the same ease in believing them now. I am far of course from denying that every article of the Christian Creed, whether as held by Catholics or by Protestants, is beset with intellectual difficulties; and it is simple fact, that, for myself, I cannot answer those difficulties. Many persons are very sensitive[Pg 239] of the difficulties of Religion; I am as sensitive of them as any one; but I have never been able to see a connexion between apprehending those difficulties, however keenly, and multiplying them to any extent, and on the other hand doubting the doctrines to which they are attached. Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate. There of course may be difficulties in the evidence; but I am speaking of difficulties intrinsic to the doctrines themselves, or to their relations with each other. A man may be annoyed that he cannot work out a mathematical problem, of which the answer is or is not given to him, without doubting that it admits of an answer, or that a certain particular answer is the true one. Of all points of faith, the being of a God is, to my own apprehension, encompassed with most difficulty, and yet borne in upon our minds with most power.

People say that the doctrine of Transubstantiation is difficult to believe; I did not believe the doctrine till I was a Catholic. I had no difficulty in believing it, as soon as I believed that the Catholic Roman Church was the oracle of God, and that she had declared this doctrine to be part of the original revelation. It is difficult, impossible, to imagine, I grant;—but how is it difficult to believe? Yet Macaulay thought it so difficult to believe, that he had need of a believer in it of talents as eminent as Sir Thomas More, before he could bring himself to conceive that the Catholics of an enlightened age could resist "the overwhelming force of the argument against it." "Sir Thomas More," he says, "is one of the choice specimens of wisdom and virtue; and the doctrine of transubstantiation is a kind of proof charge. A faith which stands that test, will stand any test." But for myself, I cannot indeed prove it, I cannot tell how it is; but I say, "Why should it not be? What's to hinder it? What do I know of substance or matter? just as much as the greatest philosophers, and[Pg 240] that is nothing at all;"—so much is this the case, that there is a rising school of philosophy now, which considers phenomena to constitute the whole of our knowledge in physics. The Catholic doctrine leaves phenomena alone. It does not say that the phenomena go; on the contrary, it says that they remain; nor does it say that the same phenomena are in several places at once. It deals with what no one on earth knows any thing about, the material substances themselves. And, in like manner, of that majestic Article of the Anglican as well as of the Catholic Creed,—the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity. What do I know of the Essence of the Divine Being? I know that my abstract idea of three is simply incompatible with my idea of one; but when I come to the question of concrete fact, I have no means of proving that there is not a sense in which one and three can equally be predicated of the Incommunicable God.

But I am going to take upon myself the responsibility of more than the mere Creed of the Church; as the parties accusing me are determined I shall do. They say, that now, in that I am a Catholic, though I may not have offences of my own against honesty to answer for, yet, at least, I am answerable for the offences of others, of my co-religionists, of my brother priests, of the Church herself. I am quite willing to accept the responsibility; and, as I have been able, as I trust, by means of a few words, to dissipate, in the minds of all those who do not begin with disbelieving me, the suspicion with which so many Protestants start, in forming their judgment of Catholics, viz. that our Creed is actually set up in inevitable superstition and hypocrisy, as the original sin of Catholicism; so now I will proceed, as before, identifying myself with the Church and vindicating it,—not of course denying the enormous mass of sin and error which exists of necessity in that world-wide multiform Communion,—but going to[Pg 241] the proof of this one point, that its system is in no sense dishonest, and that therefore the upholders and teachers of that system, as such, have a claim to be acquitted in their own persons of that odious imputation.


Starting then with the being of a God, (which, as I have said, is as certain to me as the certainty of my own existence, though when I try to put the grounds of that certainty into logical shape I find a difficulty in doing so in mood and figure to my satisfaction,) I look out of myself into the world of men, and there I see a sight which fills me with unspeakable distress. The world seems simply to give the lie to that great truth, of which my whole being is so full; and the effect upon me is, in consequence, as a matter of necessity, as confusing as if it denied that I am in existence myself. If I looked into a mirror, and did not see my face, I should have the sort of feeling which actually comes upon me, when I look into this living busy world, and see no reflexion of its Creator. This is, to me, one of those great difficulties of this absolute primary truth, to which I referred just now. Were it not for this voice, speaking so clearly in my conscience and my heart, I should be an atheist, or a pantheist, or a polytheist when I looked into the world. I am speaking for myself only; and I am far from denying the real force of the arguments in proof of a God, drawn from the general facts of human society and the course of history, but these do not warm me or enlighten me; they do not take away the winter of my desolation, or make the buds unfold and the leaves grow within me, and my moral being rejoice. The sight of the world is nothing else than the prophet's scroll, full of "lamentations, and mourning, and woe."

To consider the world in its length and breadth, its various history, the many races of man, their starts, their fortunes, their mutual alienation, their conflicts; and then[Pg 242] their ways, habits, governments, forms of worship; their enterprises, their aimless courses, their random achievements and acquirements, the impotent conclusion of long-standing facts, the tokens so faint and broken of a superintending design, the blind evolution of what turn out to be great powers or truths, the progress of things, as if from unreasoning elements, not towards final causes, the greatness and littleness of man, his far-reaching aims, his short duration, the curtain hung over his futurity, the disappointments of life, the defeat of good, the success of evil, physical pain, mental anguish, the prevalence and intensity of sin, the pervading idolatries, the corruptions, the dreary hopeless irreligion, that condition of the whole race, so fearfully yet exactly described in the Apostle's words, "having no hope and without God in the world,"—all this is a vision to dizzy and appal; and inflicts upon the mind the sense of a profound mystery, which is absolutely beyond human solution.

What shall be said to this heart-piercing, reason-bewildering fact? I can only answer, that either there is no Creator, or this living society of men is in a true sense discarded from His presence. Did I see a boy of good make and mind, with the tokens on him of a refined nature, cast upon the world without provision, unable to say whence he came, his birth-place or his family connexions, I should conclude that there was some mystery connected with his history, and that he was one, of whom, from one cause or other, his parents were ashamed. Thus only should I be able to account for the contrast between the promise and the condition of his being. And so I argue about the world;—if there be a God, since there is a God, the human race is implicated in some terrible aboriginal calamity. It is out of joint with the purposes of its Creator. This is a fact, a fact as true as the fact of its existence; and thus the doctrine of what is theologically[Pg 243] called original sin becomes to me almost as certain as that the world exists, and as the existence of God.

And now, supposing it were the blessed and loving will of the Creator to interfere in this anarchical condition of things, what are we to suppose would be the methods which might be necessarily or naturally involved in His purpose of mercy? Since the world is in so abnormal a state, surely it would be no surprise to me, if the interposition were of necessity equally extraordinary—or what is called miraculous. But that subject does not directly come into the scope of my present remarks. Miracles as evidence, involve a process of reason, or an argument; and of course I am thinking of some mode of interference which does not immediately run into argument. I am rather asking what must be the face-to-face antagonist, by which to withstand and baffle the fierce energy of passion and the all-corroding, all-dissolving scepticism of the intellect in religious inquiries? I have no intention at all of denying, that truth is the real object of our reason, and that, if it does not attain to truth, either the premiss or the process is in fault; but I am not speaking here of right reason, but of reason as it acts in fact and concretely in fallen man. I know that even the unaided reason, when correctly exercised, leads to a belief in God, in the immortality of the soul, and in a future retribution; but I am considering the faculty of reason actually and historically; and in this point of view, I do not think I am wrong in saying that its tendency is towards a simple unbelief in matters of religion. No truth, however sacred, can stand against it, in the long run; and hence it is that in the pagan world, when our Lord came, the last traces of the religious knowledge of former times were all but disappearing from those portions of the world in which the intellect had been active and had had a career.

And in these latter days, in like manner, outside the[Pg 244] Catholic Church things are tending,—with far greater rapidity than in that old time from the circumstance of the age,—to atheism in one shape or other. What a scene, what a prospect, does the whole of Europe present at this day! and not only Europe, but every government and every civilization through the world, which is under the influence of the European mind! Especially, for it most concerns us, how sorrowful, in the view of religion, even taken in its most elementary, most attenuated form, is the spectacle presented to us by the educated intellect of England, France, and Germany! Lovers of their country and of their race, religious men, external to the Catholic Church, have attempted various expedients to arrest fierce wilful human nature in its onward course, and to bring it into subjection. The necessity of some form of religion for the interests of humanity, has been generally acknowledged: but where was the concrete representative of things invisible, which would have the force and the toughness necessary to be a breakwater against the deluge? Three centuries ago the establishment of religion, material, legal, and social, was generally adopted as the best expedient for the purpose, in those countries which separated from the Catholic Church; and for a long time it was successful; but now the crevices of those establishments are admitting the enemy. Thirty years ago, education was relied upon: ten years ago there was a hope that wars would cease for ever, under the influence of commercial enterprise and the reign of the useful and fine arts; but will any one venture to say that there is any thing any where on this earth, which will afford a fulcrum for us, whereby to keep the earth from moving onwards?

The judgment, which experience passes whether on establishments or on education, as a means of maintaining religious truth in this anarchical world, must be extended even to Scripture, though Scripture be divine. Experience[Pg 245] proves surely that the Bible does not answer a purpose for which it was never intended. It may be accidentally the means of the conversion of individuals; but a book, after all, cannot make a stand against the wild living intellect of man, and in this day it begins to testify, as regards its own structure and contents, to the power of that universal solvent, which is so successfully acting upon religious establishments.

Supposing then it to be the Will of the Creator to interfere in human affairs, and to make provisions for retaining in the world a knowledge of Himself, so definite and distinct as to be proof against the energy of human scepticism, in such a case,—I am far from saying that there was no other way,—but there is nothing to surprise the mind, if He should think fit to introduce a power into the world, invested with the prerogative of infallibility in religious matters. Such a provision would be a direct, immediate, active, and prompt means of withstanding the difficulty; it would be an instrument suited to the need; and, when I find that this is the very claim of the Catholic Church, not only do I feel no difficulty in admitting the idea, but there is a fitness in it, which recommends it to my mind. And thus I am brought to speak of the Church's infallibility, as a provision, adapted by the mercy of the Creator, to preserve religion in the world, and to restrain that freedom of thought, which of course in itself is one of the greatest of our natural gifts, and to rescue it from its own suicidal excesses. And let it be observed that, neither here nor in what follows, shall I have occasion to speak directly of Revelation in its subject-matter, but in reference to the sanction which it gives to truths which may be known independently of it,—as it bears upon the defence of natural religion. I say, that a power, possessed of infallibility in religious teaching, is happily adapted to be a working instrument, in the course of human affairs, for[Pg 246] smiting hard and throwing back the immense energy of the aggressive, capricious, untrustworthy intellect:—and in saying this, as in the other things that I have to say, it must still be recollected that I am all along bearing in mind my main purpose, which is a defence of myself.

I am defending myself here from a plausible charge brought against Catholics, as will be seen better as I proceed. The charge is this:—that I, as a Catholic, not only make profession to hold doctrines which I cannot possibly believe in my heart, but that I also believe in the existence of a power on earth, which at its own will imposes upon men any new set of credenda, when it pleases, by a claim to infallibility; in consequence, that my own thoughts are not my own property; that I cannot tell that to-morrow I may not have to give up what I hold to-day, and that the necessary effect of such a condition of mind must be a degrading bondage, or a bitter inward rebellion relieving itself in secret infidelity, or the necessity of ignoring the whole subject of religion in a sort of disgust, and of mechanically saying every thing that the Church says, and leaving to others the defence of it. As then I have above spoken of the relation of my mind towards the Catholic Creed, so now I shall speak of the attitude which it takes up in the view of the Church's infallibility.

And first, the initial doctrine of the infallible teacher must be an emphatic protest against the existing state of mankind. Man had rebelled against his Maker. It was this that caused the divine interposition: and to proclaim it must be the first act of the divinely-accredited messenger. The Church must denounce rebellion as of all possible evils the greatest. She must have no terms with it; if she would be true to her Master, she must ban and anathematize it. This is the meaning of a statement of mine which has furnished matter for one of those special accusations to which I am at present replying: I have, however,[Pg 247] no fault at all to confess in regard to it; I have nothing to withdraw, and in consequence I here deliberately repeat it. I said, "The Catholic Church holds it better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse." I think the principle here enunciated to be the mere preamble in the formal credentials of the Catholic Church, as an Act of Parliament might begin with a "Whereas." It is because of the intensity of the evil which has possession of mankind, that a suitable antagonist has been provided against it; and the initial act of that divinely-commissioned power is of course to deliver her challenge and to defy the enemy. Such a preamble then gives a meaning to her position in the world, and an interpretation to her whole course of teaching and action.

In like manner she has ever put forth, with most energetic distinctness, those other great elementary truths, which either are an explanation of her mission or give a character to her work. She does not teach that human nature is irreclaimable, else wherefore should she be sent? not, that it is to be shattered and reversed, but to be extricated, purified, and restored; not, that it is a mere mass of hopeless evil, but that it has the promise upon it of great things, and even now, in its present state of disorder and excess, has a virtue and a praise proper to itself. But in the next place she knows and she preaches that such a restoration, as she aims at effecting in it, must be brought about, not simply through certain outward provisions of preaching and teaching, even though they be her own, but from an inward spiritual power or grace imparted directly from above, and of which she is the channel. She has[Pg 248] it in charge to rescue human nature from its misery, but not simply by restoring it on its own level, but by lifting it up to a higher level than its own. She recognizes in it real moral excellence though degraded, but she cannot set it free from earth except by exalting it towards heaven. It was for this end that a renovating grace was put into her hands; and therefore from the nature of the gift, as well as from the reasonableness of the case, she goes on, as a further point, to insist, that all true conversion must begin with the first springs of thought, and to teach that each individual man must be in his own person one whole and perfect temple of God, while he is also one of the living stones which build up a visible religious community. And thus the distinctions between nature and grace, and between outward and inward religion, become two further articles in what I have called the preamble of her divine commission.

Such truths as these she vigorously reiterates, and pertinaciously inflicts upon mankind; as to such she observes no half-measures, no economical reserve, no delicacy or prudence. "Ye must be born again," is the simple, direct form of words which she uses after her Divine Master: "your whole nature must be re-born; your passions, and your affections, and your aims, and your conscience, and your will, must all be bathed in a new element, and reconsecrated to your Maker,—and, the last not the least, your intellect." It was for repeating these points of her teaching in my own way, that certain passages of one of my Volumes have been brought into the general accusation which has been made against my religious opinions. The writer has said that I was demented if I believed, and unprincipled if I did not believe, in my own statement, that a lazy, ragged, filthy, story-telling beggar-woman, if chaste, sober, cheerful, and religious, had a prospect of heaven, such as was absolutely closed to an accomplished statesman,[Pg 249] or lawyer, or noble, be he ever so just, upright, generous, honourable, and conscientious, unless he had also some portion of the divine Christian graces;—yet I should have thought myself defended from criticism by the words which our Lord used to the chief priests, "The publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." And I was subjected again to the same alternative of imputations, for having ventured to say that consent to an unchaste wish was indefinitely more heinous than any lie viewed apart from its causes, its motives, and its consequences: though a lie, viewed under the limitation of these conditions, is a random utterance, an almost outward act, not directly from the heart, however disgraceful and despicable it may be, however prejudicial to the social contract, however deserving of public reprobation; whereas we have the express words of our Lord to the doctrine that "whoso looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." On the strength of these texts, I have surely as much right to believe in these doctrines which have caused so much surprise, as to believe in original sin, or that there is a supernatural revelation, or that a Divine Person suffered, or that punishment is eternal.

Passing now from what I have called the preamble of that grant of power, which is made to the Church, to that power itself, Infallibility, I premise two brief remarks:—1. on the one hand, I am not here determining any thing about the essential seat of that power, because that is a question doctrinal, not historical and practical; 2. nor, on the other hand, am I extending the direct subject-matter, over which that power of Infallibility has jurisdiction, beyond religious opinion:—and now as to the power itself.

This power, viewed in its fulness, is as tremendous as the giant evil which has called for it. It claims, when brought into exercise but in the legitimate manner, for[Pg 250] otherwise of course it is but quiescent, to know for certain the very meaning of every portion of that Divine Message in detail, which was committed by our Lord to His Apostles. It claims to know its own limits, and to decide what it can determine absolutely and what it cannot. It claims, moreover, to have a hold upon statements not directly religious, so far as this,—to determine whether they indirectly relate to religion, and, according to its own definitive judgment, to pronounce whether or not, in a particular case, they are simply consistent with revealed truth. It claims to decide magisterially, whether as within its own province or not, that such and such statements are or are not prejudicial to the Depositum of faith, in their spirit or in their consequences, and to allow them, or condemn and forbid them, accordingly. It claims to impose silence at will on any matters, or controversies, of doctrine, which on its own ipse dixit, it pronounces to be dangerous, or inexpedient, or inopportune. It claims that, whatever may be the judgment of Catholics upon such acts, these acts should be received by them with those outward marks of reverence, submission, and loyalty, which Englishmen, for instance, pay to the presence of their sovereign, without expressing any criticism on them on the ground that in their matter they are inexpedient, or in their manner violent or harsh. And lastly, it claims to have the right of inflicting spiritual punishment, of cutting off from the ordinary channels of the divine life, and of simply excommunicating, those who refuse to submit themselves to its formal declarations. Such is the infallibility lodged in the Catholic Church, viewed in the concrete, as clothed and surrounded by the appendages of its high sovereignty: it is, to repeat what I said above, a supereminent prodigious power sent upon earth to encounter and master a giant evil.

And now, having thus described it, I profess my own absolute submission to its claim. I believe the whole revealed[Pg 251] dogma as taught by the Apostles, as committed by the Apostles to the Church; and as declared by the Church to me. I receive it, as it is infallibly interpreted by the authority to whom it is thus committed, and (implicitly) as it shall be, in like manner, further interpreted by that same authority till the end of time. I submit, moreover, to the universally received traditions of the Church, in which lies the matter of those new dogmatic definitions which are from time to time made, and which in all times are the clothing and the illustration of the Catholic dogma as already defined. And I submit myself to those other decisions of the Holy See, theological or not, through the organs which it has itself appointed, which, waiving the question of their infallibility, on the lowest ground come to me with a claim to be accepted and obeyed. Also, I consider that, gradually and in the course of ages, Catholic inquiry has taken certain definite shapes, and has thrown itself into the form of a science, with a method and a phraseology of its own, under the intellectual handling of great minds, such as St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas; and I feel no temptation at all to break in pieces the great legacy of thought thus committed to us for these latter days.

All this being considered as the profession which I make ex animo, as for myself, so also on the part of the Catholic body, as far as I know it, it will at first sight be said that the restless intellect of our common humanity is utterly weighed down, to the repression of all independent effort and action whatever, so that, if this is to be the mode of bringing it into order, it is brought into order only to be destroyed. But this is far from the result, far from what I conceive to be the intention of that high Providence who has provided a great remedy for a great evil,—far from borne out by the history of the conflict between Infallibility and Reason in the past, and the prospect of it in the[Pg 252] future. The energy of the human intellect "does from opposition grow;" it thrives and is joyous, with a tough elastic strength, under the terrible blows of the divinely-fashioned weapon, and is never so much itself as when it has lately been overthrown. It is the custom with Protestant writers to consider that, whereas there are two great principles in action in the history of religion, Authority and Private Judgment, they have all the Private Judgment to themselves, and we have the full inheritance and the superincumbent oppression of Authority. But this is not so; it is the vast Catholic body itself, and it only, which affords an arena for both combatants in that awful, never-dying duel. It is necessary for the very life of religion, viewed in its large operations and its history, that the warfare should be incessantly carried on. Every exercise of Infallibility is brought out into act by an intense and varied operation of the Reason, both as its ally and as its opponent, and provokes again, when it has done its work, a re-action of Reason against it; and, as in a civil polity the State exists and endures by means of the rivalry and collision, the encroachments and defeats of its constituent parts, so in like manner Catholic Christendom is no simple exhibition of religious absolutism, but presents a continuous picture of Authority and Private Judgment alternately advancing and retreating as the ebb and flow of the tide;—it is a vast assemblage of human beings with wilful intellects and wild passions, brought together into one by the beauty and the Majesty of a Superhuman Power,—into what may be called a large reformatory or training-school, not as if into a hospital or into a prison, not in order to be sent to bed, not to be buried alive, but (if I may change my metaphor) brought together as if into some moral factory, for the melting, refining, and moulding, by an incessant, noisy process, of the raw material of human nature, so excellent, so dangerous, so capable of divine purposes.[Pg 253]

St. Paul says in one place that his Apostolical power is given him to edification, and not to destruction. There can be no better account of the Infallibility of the Church. It is a supply for a need, and it does not go beyond that need. Its object is, and its effect also, not to enfeeble the freedom or vigour of human thought in religious speculation, but to resist and control its extravagance. What have been its great works? All of them in the distinct province of theology:—to put down Arianism, Eutychianism, Pelagianism, Manichæism, Lutheranism, Jansenism. Such is the broad result of its action in the past;—and now as to the securities which are given us that so it ever will act in time to come.

First, Infallibility cannot act outside of a definite circle of thought, and it must in all its decisions, or definitions, as they are called, profess to be keeping within it. The great truths of the moral law, of natural religion, and of Apostolical faith, are both its boundary and its foundation. It must not go beyond them, and it must ever appeal to them. Both its subject-matter, and its articles in that subject-matter, are fixed. And it must ever profess to be guided by Scripture and by tradition. It must refer to the particular Apostolic truth which it is enforcing, or (what is called) defining. Nothing, then, can be presented to me, in time to come, as part of the faith, but what I ought already to have received, and hitherto have been kept from receiving, (if so,) merely because it has not been brought home to me. Nothing can be imposed upon me different in kind from what I hold already,—much less contrary to it. The new truth which is promulgated, if it is to be called new, must be at least homogeneous, cognate, implicit, viewed relatively to the old truth. It must be what I may even have guessed, or wished, to be included in the Apostolic revelation; and at least it will be of such[Pg 254] a character, that my thoughts readily concur in it or coalesce with it, as soon as I hear it. Perhaps I and others actually have always believed it, and the only question which is now decided in my behalf, is, that I have henceforth the satisfaction of having to believe, that I have only been holding all along what the Apostles held before me.

Let me take the doctrine which Protestants consider our greatest difficulty, that of the Immaculate Conception. Here I entreat the reader to recollect my main drift, which is this. I have no difficulty in receiving the doctrine; and that, because it so intimately harmonizes with that circle of recognized dogmatic truths, into which it has been recently received;—but if I have no difficulty, why may not another have no difficulty also? why may not a hundred? a thousand? Now I am sure that Catholics in general have not any intellectual difficulty at all on the subject of the Immaculate Conception; and that there is no reason why they should. Priests have no difficulty. You tell me that they ought to have a difficulty;—but they have not. Be large-minded enough to believe, that men may reason and feel very differently from yourselves; how is it that men, when left to themselves, fall into such various forms of religion, except that there are various types of mind among them, very distinct from each other? From my testimony then about myself, if you believe it, judge of others also who are Catholics: we do not find the difficulties which you do in the doctrines which we hold; we have no intellectual difficulty in that doctrine in particular, which you call a novelty of this day. We priests need not be hypocrites, though we be called upon to believe in the Immaculate Conception. To that large class of minds, who believe in Christianity after our manner,—in the particular temper, spirit, and light, (whatever word is used,) in which Catholics believe it,—there is no burden at all in[Pg 255] holding that the Blessed Virgin was conceived without original sin; indeed, it is a simple fact to say, that Catholics have not come to believe it because it is defined, but that it was defined because they believed it.

So far from the definition in 1854 being a tyrannical infliction on the Catholic world, it was received every where on its promulgation with the greatest enthusiasm. It was in consequence of the unanimous petition, presented from all parts of the Church to the Holy See, in behalf of an ex cathedrâ declaration that the doctrine was Apostolic, that it was declared so to be. I never heard of one Catholic having difficulties in receiving the doctrine, whose faith on other grounds was not already suspicious. Of course there were grave and good men, who were made anxious by the doubt whether it could be formally proved to be Apostolical either by Scripture or tradition, and who accordingly, though believing it themselves, did not see how it could be defined by authority and imposed upon all Catholics as a matter of faith; but this is another matter. The point in question is, whether the doctrine is a burden. I believe it to be none. So far from it being so, I sincerely think that St. Bernard and St. Thomas, who scrupled at it in their day, had they lived into this, would have rejoiced to accept it for its own sake. Their difficulty, as I view it, consisted in matters of words, ideas, and arguments. They thought the doctrine inconsistent with other doctrines; and those who defended it in that age had not that precision in their view of it, which has been attained by means of the long disputes of the centuries which followed. And in this want of precision lay the difference of opinion, and the controversy.

Now the instance which I have been taking suggests another remark; the number of those (so called) new doctrines will not oppress us, if it takes eight centuries to promulgate even one of them. Such is about the length of[Pg 256] time through which the preparation has been carried on for the definition of the Immaculate Conception. This of course is an extraordinary case; but it is difficult to say what is ordinary, considering how few are the formal occasions on which the voice of Infallibility has been solemnly lifted up. It is to the Pope in Ecumenical Council that we look, as to the normal seat of Infallibility: now there have been only eighteen such Councils since Christianity was,—an average of one to a century,—and of these Councils some passed no doctrinal decree at all, others were employed on only one, and many of them were concerned with only elementary points of the Creed. The Council of Trent embraced a large field of doctrine certainly; but I should apply to its Canons a remark contained in that University Sermon of mine, which has been so ignorantly criticized in the Pamphlet which has been the occasion of this Volume;—I there have said that the various verses of the Athanasian Creed are only repetitions in various shapes of one and the same idea; and in like manner, the Tridentine Decrees are not isolated from each other, but are occupied in bringing out in detail, by a number of separate declarations, as if into bodily form, a few necessary truths. I should make the same remark on the various theological censures, promulgated by Popes, which the Church has received, and on their dogmatic decisions generally. I own that at first sight those decisions seem from their number to be a greater burden on the faith of individuals than are the Canons of Councils; still I do not believe that in matter of fact they are so at all, and I give this reason for it:—it is not that a Catholic, layman or priest, is indifferent to the subject, or, from a sort of recklessness, will accept any thing that is placed before him, or is willing, like a lawyer, to speak according to his brief, but that in such condemnations the Holy See is engaged, for the most part, in repudiating one or two great lines of[Pg 257] error, such as Lutheranism or Jansenism, principally ethical not doctrinal, which are divergent from the Catholic mind, and that it is but expressing what any good Catholic, of fair abilities, though unlearned, would say himself, from common and sound sense, if the matter could be put before him.

Now I will go on in fairness to say what I think is the great trial to the Reason, when confronted with that august prerogative of the Catholic Church, of which I have been speaking. I enlarged just now upon the concrete shape and circumstances, under which pure infallible authority presents itself to the Catholic. That authority has the prerogative of an indirect jurisdiction on subject-matters which lie beyond its own proper limits, and it most reasonably has such a jurisdiction. It could not act in its own province, unless it had a right to act out of it. It could not properly defend religious truth, without claiming for that truth what may be called its pomœria; or, to take another illustration, without acting as we act, as a nation, in claiming as our own, not only the land on which we live, but what are called British waters. The Catholic Church claims, not only to judge infallibly on religious questions, but to animadvert on opinions in secular matters which bear upon religion, on matters of philosophy, of science, of literature, of history, and it demands our submission to her claim. It claims to censure books, to silence authors, and to forbid discussions. In this province, taken as a whole, it does not so much speak doctrinally, as enforce measures of discipline. It must of course be obeyed without a word, and perhaps in process of time it will tacitly recede from its own injunctions. In such cases the question of faith does not come in at all; for what is matter of faith is true for all times, and never can be unsaid. Nor does it at all follow, because there is a gift of infallibility in the Catholic Church, that therefore[Pg 258] the parties who are in possession of it are in all their proceedings infallible. "O, it is excellent," says the poet, "to have a giant's strength, but tyrannous, to use it like a giant." I think history supplies us with instances in the Church, where legitimate power has been harshly used. To make such admission is no more than saying that the divine treasure, in the words of the Apostle, is "in earthen vessels;" nor does it follow that the substance of the acts of the ruling power is not right and expedient, because its manner may have been faulty. Such high authorities act by means of instruments; we know how such instruments claim for themselves the name of their principals, who thus get the credit of faults which really are not theirs. But granting all this to an extent greater than can with any show of reason be imputed to the ruling power in the Church, what difficulty is there in the fact of this want of prudence or moderation more than can be urged, with far greater justice, against Protestant communities and institutions? What is there in it to make us hypocrites, if it has not that effect upon Protestants? We are called upon, not to profess any thing, but to submit and be silent, as Protestant Churchmen have before now obeyed the royal command to abstain from certain theological questions. Such injunctions as I have been contemplating are laid merely upon our actions, not upon our thoughts. How, for instance, does it tend to make a man a hypocrite, to be forbidden to publish a libel? his thoughts are as free as before: authoritative prohibitions may tease and irritate, but they have no bearing whatever upon the exercise of reason.

So much at first sight; but I will go on to say further, that, in spite of all that the most hostile critic may urge about the encroachments or severities of high ecclesiastics, in times past, in the use of their power, I think that the event has shown after all, that they were mainly in the right, and that those whom they were hard upon were mainly[Pg 259] in the wrong. I love, for instance, the name of Origen: I will not listen to the notion that so great a soul was lost; but I am quite sure that, in the contest between his doctrine and followers and the ecclesiastical power, his opponents were right, and he was wrong. Yet who can speak with patience of his enemy and the enemy of St. John Chrysostom, that Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria? who can admire or revere Pope Vigilius? And here another consideration presents itself to my thoughts. In reading ecclesiastical history, when I was an Anglican, it used to be forcibly brought home to me, how the initial error of what afterwards became heresy was the urging forward some truth against the prohibition of authority at an unseasonable time. There is a time for every thing, and many a man desires a reformation of an abuse, or the fuller development of a doctrine, or the adoption of a particular policy, but forgets to ask himself whether the right time for it is come: and, knowing that there is no one who will be doing any thing towards its accomplishment in his own lifetime unless he does it himself, he will not listen to the voice of authority, and he spoils a good work in his own century, in order that another man, as yet unborn, may not have the opportunity of bringing it happily to perfection in the next. He may seem to the world to be nothing else than a bold champion for the truth and a martyr to free opinion, when he is just one of those persons whom the competent authority ought to silence; and, though the case may not fall within that subject-matter in which that authority is infallible, or the formal conditions of the exercise of that gift may be wanting, it is clearly the duty of authority to act vigorously in the case. Yet its act will go down to posterity as an instance of a tyrannical interference with private judgment, and of the silencing of a reformer, and of a base love of corruption or error; and it will show still less to[Pg 260] advantage, if the ruling power happens in its proceedings to evince any defect of prudence or consideration. And all those who take the part of that ruling authority will be considered as time-servers, or indifferent to the cause of uprightness and truth; while, on the other hand, the said authority may be accidentally supported by a violent ultra party, which exalts opinions into dogmas, and has it principally at heart to destroy every school of thought but its own.

Such a state of things may be provoking and discouraging at the time, in the case of two classes of persons; of moderate men who wish to make differences in religious opinion as little as they fairly can be made; and of such as keenly perceive, and are honestly eager to remedy, existing evils,—evils, of which divines in this or that foreign country know nothing at all, and which even at home, where they exist, it is not every one who has the means of estimating. This is a state of things both of past time and of the present. We live in a wonderful age; the enlargement of the circle of secular knowledge just now is simply a bewilderment, and the more so, because it has the promise of continuing, and that with greater rapidity, and more signal results. Now these discoveries, certain or probable, have in matter of fact an indirect bearing upon religious opinions, and the question arises how are the respective claims of revelation and of natural science to be adjusted. Few minds in earnest can remain at ease without some sort of rational grounds for their religious belief; to reconcile theory and fact is almost an instinct of the mind. When then a flood of facts, ascertained or suspected, comes pouring in upon us, with a multitude of others in prospect, all believers in Revelation, be they Catholic or not, are roused to consider their bearing upon themselves, both for the honour of God, and from tenderness for those many souls who, in consequence[Pg 261] of the confident tone of the schools of secular knowledge, are in danger of being led away into a bottomless liberalism of thought.

I am not going to criticize here that vast body of men, in the mass, who at this time would profess to be liberals in religion; and who look towards the discoveries of the age, certain or in progress, as their informants, direct or indirect, as to what they shall think about the unseen and the future. The Liberalism which gives a colour to society now, is very different from that character of thought which bore the name thirty or forty years ago. Now it is scarcely a party; it is the educated lay world. When I was young, I knew the word first as giving name to a periodical, set up by Lord Byron and others. Now, as then, I have no sympathy with the philosophy of Byron. Afterwards, Liberalism was the badge of a theological school, of a dry and repulsive character, not very dangerous in itself, though dangerous as opening the door to evils which it did not itself either anticipate or comprehend. At present it is nothing else than that deep, plausible scepticism, of which I spoke above, as being the development of human reason, as practically exercised by the natural man.

The Liberal religionists of this day are a very mixed body, and therefore I am not intending to speak against them. There may be, and doubtless is, in the hearts of some or many of them a real antipathy or anger against revealed truth, which it is distressing to think of. Again, in many men of science or literature there may be an animosity arising from almost a personal feeling; it being a matter of party, a point of honour, the excitement of a game, or a satisfaction to the soreness or annoyance occasioned by the acrimony or narrowness of apologists for religion, to prove that Christianity or that Scripture is untrustworthy. Many scientific and literary men, on the other hand, go on, I am confident, in a straightforward impartial[Pg 262] way, in their own province and on their own line of thought, without any disturbance from religious difficulties in themselves, or any wish at all to give pain to others by the result of their investigations. It would ill become me, as if I were afraid of truth of any kind, to blame those who pursue secular facts, by means of the reason which God has given them, to their logical conclusions: or to be angry with science, because religion is bound in duty to take cognizance of its teaching. But putting these particular classes of men aside, as having no special call on the sympathy of the Catholic, of course he does most deeply enter into the feelings of a fourth and large class of men, in the educated portions of society, of religious and sincere minds, who are simply perplexed,—frightened or rendered desperate, as the case may be,—by the utter confusion into which late discoveries or speculations have thrown their most elementary ideas of religion. Who does not feel for such men? who can have one unkind thought of them? I take up in their behalf St. Augustine's beautiful words, "Illi in vos sæviant," &c. Let them be fierce with you who have no experience of the difficulty with which error is discriminated from truth, and the way of life is found amid the illusions of the world. How many a Catholic has in his thoughts followed such men, many of them so good, so true, so noble! how often has the wish risen in his heart that some one from among his own people should come forward as the champion of revealed truth against its opponents! Various persons, Catholic and Protestant, have asked me to do so myself; but I had several strong difficulties in the way. One of the greatest is this, that at the moment it is so difficult to say precisely what it is that is to be encountered and overthrown. I am far from denying that scientific knowledge is really growing, but it is by fits and starts; hypotheses rise and fall; it is difficult to anticipate which of them will keep their ground,[Pg 263] and what the state of knowledge in relation to them will be from year to year. In this condition of things, it has seemed to me to be very undignified for a Catholic to commit himself to the work of chasing what might turn out to be phantoms, and, in behalf of some special objections, to be ingenious in devising a theory, which, before it was completed, might have to give place to some theory newer still, from the fact that those former objections had already come to nought under the uprising of others. It seemed to be specially a time, in which Christians had a call to be patient, in which they had no other way of helping those who were alarmed, than that of exhorting them to have a little faith and fortitude, and to "beware," as the poet says, "of dangerous steps." This seemed so clear to me, the more I thought of the matter, as to make me surmise, that, if I attempted what had so little promise in it, I should find that the highest Catholic Authority was against the attempt, and that I should have spent my time and my thought, in doing what either it would be imprudent to bring before the public at all, or what, did I do so, would only complicate matters further which were already complicated, without my interference, more than enough. And I interpret recent acts of that authority as fulfilling my expectation; I interpret them as tying the hands of a controversialist, such as I should be, and teaching us that true wisdom, which Moses inculcated on his people, when the Egyptians were pursuing them, "Fear ye not, stand still; the Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." And so far from finding a difficulty in obeying in this case, I have cause to be thankful and to rejoice to have so clear a direction in a matter of difficulty.

But if we would ascertain with correctness the real course of a principle, we must look at it at a certain distance, and as history represents it to us. Nothing carried[Pg 264] on by human instruments, but has its irregularities, and affords ground for criticism, when minutely scrutinized in matters of detail. I have been speaking of that aspect of the action of an infallible authority, which is most open to invidious criticism from those who view it from without; I have tried to be fair, in estimating what can be said to its disadvantage, as witnessed at a particular time in the Catholic Church, and now I wish its adversaries to be equally fair in their judgment upon its historical character. Can, then, the infallible authority, with any show of reason, be said in fact to have destroyed the energy of the Catholic intellect? Let it be observed, I have not here to speak of any conflict which ecclesiastical authority has had with science, for this simple reason, that conflict there has been none; and that, because the secular sciences, as they now exist, are a novelty in the world, and there has been no time yet for a history of relations between theology and these new methods of knowledge, and indeed the Church may be said to have kept clear of them, as is proved by the constantly cited case of Galileo. Here "exceptio probat regulam:" for it is the one stock argument. Again, I have not to speak of any relations of the Church to the new sciences, because my simple question all along has been whether the assumption of infallibility by the proper authority is adapted to make me a hypocrite, and till that authority passes decrees on pure physical subjects and calls on me to subscribe them, (which it never will do, because it has not the power,) it has no tendency to interfere by any of its acts with my private judgment on those points. The simple question is, whether authority has so acted upon the reason of individuals, that they can have no opinion of their own, and have but an alternative of slavish superstition or secret rebellion of heart; and I think the whole history of theology puts an absolute negative upon such a supposition.[Pg 265]

It is hardly necessary to argue out so plain a point. It is individuals, and not the Holy See, that have taken the initiative, and given the lead to the Catholic mind, in theological inquiry. Indeed, it is one of the reproaches urged against the Roman Church, that it has originated nothing, and has only served as a sort of remora or break in the development of doctrine. And it is an objection which I really embrace as a truth; for such I conceive to be the main purpose of its extraordinary gift. It is said, and truly, that the Church of Rome possessed no great mind in the whole period of persecution. Afterwards for a long while, it has not a single doctor to show; St. Leo, its first, is the teacher of one point of doctrine; St. Gregory, who stands at the very extremity of the first age of the Church, has no place in dogma or philosophy. The great luminary of the western world is, as we know, St. Augustine; he, no infallible teacher, has formed the intellect of Christian Europe; indeed to the African Church generally we must look for the best early exposition of Latin ideas. Moreover, of the African divines, the first in order of time, and not the least influential, is the strong-minded and heterodox Tertullian. Nor is the Eastern intellect, as such, without its share in the formation of the Latin teaching. The free thought of Origen is visible in the writings of the Western Doctors, Hilary and Ambrose; and the independent mind of Jerome has enriched his own vigorous commentaries on Scripture, from the stores of the scarcely orthodox Eusebius. Heretical questionings have been transmuted by the living power of the Church into salutary truths. The case is the same as regards the Ecumenical Councils. Authority in its most imposing exhibition, grave bishops, laden with the traditions and rivalries of particular nations or places, have been guided in their decisions by the commanding genius of individuals, sometimes young and of inferior rank. Not that uninspired[Pg 266] intellect overruled the super-human gift which was committed to the Council, which would be a self-contradictory assertion, but that in that process of inquiry and deliberation, which ended in an infallible enunciation, individual reason was paramount. Thus Malchion, a mere presbyter, was the instrument of the great Council of Antioch in the third century in meeting and refuting, for the assembled Fathers, the heretical Patriarch of that see. Parallel to this instance is the influence, so well known, of a young deacon, St. Athanasius, with the 318 Fathers at Nicæa. In mediæval times we read of St. Anselm at Bari, as the champion of the Council there held, against the Greeks. At Trent, the writings of St. Bonaventura, and, what is more to the point, the address of a Priest and theologian, Salmeron, had a critical effect on some of the definitions of dogma. In some of those cases the influence might be partly moral, but in others it was that of a discursive knowledge of ecclesiastical writers, a scientific acquaintance with theology, and a force of thought in the treatment of doctrine.

There are of course intellectual habits which theology does not tend to form, as for instance the experimental, and again the philosophical; but that is because it is theology, not because of the gift of infallibility. But, as far as this goes, I think it could be shown that physical science on the other hand, or again mathematical, affords but an imperfect training for the intellect. I do not see then how any objection about the narrowness of theology comes into our question, which simply is, whether the belief in an infallible authority destroys the independence of the mind; and I consider that the whole history of the Church, and especially the history of the theological schools, gives a negative to the accusation. There never was a time when the intellect of the educated class was more active, or rather more restless, than in the middle[Pg 267] ages. And then again all through Church history from the first, how slow is authority in interfering! Perhaps a local teacher, or a doctor in some local school, hazards a proposition, and a controversy ensues. It smoulders or burns in one place, no one interposing; Rome simply lets it alone. Then it comes before a Bishop; or some priest, or some professor in some other seat of learning takes it up; and then there is a second stage of it. Then it comes before a University, and it may be condemned by the theological faculty. So the controversy proceeds year after year, and Rome is still silent. An appeal perhaps is next made to a seat of authority inferior to Rome; and then at last after a long while it comes before the supreme power. Meanwhile, the question has been ventilated and turned over and over again, and viewed on every side of it, and authority is called upon to pronounce a decision, which has already been arrived at by reason. But even then, perhaps the supreme authority hesitates to do so, and nothing is determined on the point for years: or so generally and vaguely, that the whole controversy has to be gone through again, before it is ultimately determined. It is manifest how a mode of proceeding, such as this, tends not only to the liberty, but to the courage, of the individual theologian or controversialist. Many a man has ideas, which he hopes are true, and useful for his day, but he is not confident about them, and wishes to have them discussed, He is willing, or rather would be thankful, to give them up, if they can be proved to be erroneous or dangerous, and by means of controversy he obtains his end. He is answered, and he yields; or on the contrary he finds that he is considered safe. He would not dare to do this, if he knew an authority, which was supreme and final, was watching every word he said, and made signs of assent or dissent to each sentence, as he uttered it. Then indeed he would be fighting, as the Persian soldiers, under[Pg 268] the lash, and the freedom of his intellect might truly be said to be beaten out of him. But this has not been so:—I do not mean to say that, when controversies run high, in schools or even in small portions of the Church, an interposition may not advisably take place; and again, questions may be of that urgent nature, that an appeal must, as a matter of duty, be made at once to the highest authority in the Church; but if we look into the history of controversy, we shall find, I think, the general run of things to be such as I have represented it. Zosimus treated Pelagius and Cœlestius with extreme forbearance; St. Gregory VII. was equally indulgent with Berengarius:—by reason of the very power of the Popes they have commonly been slow and moderate in their use of it.

And here again is a further shelter for the legitimate exercise of the reason:—the multitude of nations which are within the fold of the Church will be found to have acted for its protection, against any narrowness, on the supposition of narrowness, in the various authorities at Rome, with whom lies the practical decision of controverted questions. How have the Greek traditions been respected and provided for in the later Ecumenical Councils, in spite of the countries that held them being in a state of schism! There are important points of doctrine which have been (humanly speaking) exempted from the infallible sentence, by the tenderness with which its instruments, in framing it, have treated the opinions of particular places. Then, again, such national influences have a providential effect in moderating the bias which the local influences of Italy may exert upon the See of St. Peter. It stands to reason that, as the Gallican Church has in it a French element, so Rome must have in it an element of Italy; and it is no prejudice to the zeal and devotion with which we submit ourselves to the Holy See to admit this plainly. It seems to me, as I have been saying, that[Pg 269] Catholicity is not only one of the notes of the Church, but, according to the divine purposes, one of its securities. I think it would be a very serious evil, which Divine Mercy avert! that the Church should be contracted in Europe within the range of particular nationalities. It is a great idea to introduce Latin civilization into America, and to improve the Catholics there by the energy of French devotedness; but I trust that all European races will ever have a place in the Church, and assuredly I think that the loss of the English, not to say the German element, in its composition has been a most serious misfortune. And certainly, if there is one consideration more than another which should make us English grateful to Pius the Ninth, it is that, by giving us a Church of our own, he has prepared the way for our own habits of mind, our own manner of reasoning, our own tastes, and our own virtues, finding a place and thereby a sanctification, in the Catholic Church.


There is only one other subject, which I think it necessary to introduce here, as bearing upon the vague suspicions which are attached in this country to the Catholic Priesthood. It is one of which my accusers have before now said much,—the charge of reserve and economy. They found it in no slight degree on what I have said on the subject in my History of the Arians, and in a note upon one of my Sermons in which I refer to it. The principle of Reserve is also advocated by an admirable writer in two numbers of the Tracts for the Times, and of these I was the Editor.

Now, as to the Economy itself[20], it is founded upon the words of our Lord, "Cast not your pearls before swine;" and it was observed by the early Christians more or less,[Pg 270] in their intercourse with the heathen populations among whom they lived. In the midst of the abominable idolatries and impurities of that fearful time, the Rule of the Economy was an imperative duty. But that rule, at least as I have explained and recommended it, in anything that I have written, did not go beyond (1) the concealing the truth when we could do so without deceit, (2) stating it only partially, and (3) representing it under the nearest form possible to a learner or inquirer, when he could not possibly understand it exactly. I conceive that to draw Angels with wings is an instance of the third of these economical modes; and to avoid the question, "Do Christians believe in a Trinity?" by answering, "They believe in only one God," would be an instance of the second. As to the first, it is hardly an Economy, but comes under what is called the "Disciplina Arcani." The second and third economical modes Clement calls lying; meaning that a partial truth is in some sense a lie, as is also a representative truth. And this, I think, is about the long and the short of the ground of the accusation which has been so violently urged against me, as being a patron of the Economy.

[20] Vide Note F, The Economy.

Of late years I have come to think, as I believe most writers do, that Clement meant more than I have said. I used to think he used the word "lie" as an hyperbole, but I now believe that he, as other early Fathers, thought that, under certain circumstances, it was lawful to tell a lie. This doctrine I never maintained, though I used to think, as I do now, that the theory of the subject is surrounded with considerable difficulty; and it is not strange that I should say so, considering that great English writers declare without hesitation that in certain extreme cases, as to save life, honour, or even property, a lie is allowable. And thus I am brought to the direct question of truth, and of the truthfulness of Catholic priests generally[Pg 271] in their dealings with the world, as bearing on the general question of their honesty, and of their internal belief in their religious professions.


It would answer no purpose, and it would be departing from the line of writing which I have been observing all along, if I entered into any formal discussion on this question; what I shall do here, as I have done in the foregoing pages, is to give my own testimony on the matter in question, and there to leave it. Now first I will say, that, when I became a Catholic, nothing struck me more at once than the English out-spoken manner of the Priests. It was the same at Oscott, at Old Hall Green, at Ushaw; there was nothing of that smoothness, or mannerism, which is commonly imputed to them, and they were more natural and unaffected than many an Anglican clergyman. The many years, which have passed since, have only confirmed my first impression. I have ever found it in the priests of this Diocese; did I wish to point out a straightforward Englishman, I should instance the Bishop, who has, to our great benefit, for so many years presided over it.

And next, I was struck, when I had more opportunity of judging of the Priests, by the simple faith in the Catholic Creed and system, of which they always gave evidence, and which they never seemed to feel, in any sense at all, to be a burden. And now that I have been in the Church nineteen years, I cannot recollect hearing of a single instance in England of an infidel priest. Of course there are men from time to time, who leave the Catholic Church for another religion, but I am speaking of cases, when a man keeps a fair outside to the world and is a hollow hypocrite in his heart.

I wonder that the self-devotion of our priests does not strike a Protestant in this point of view. What do they[Pg 272] gain by professing a Creed, in which, if their enemies are to be credited, they really do not believe? What is their reward for committing themselves to a life of self-restraint and toil, and perhaps to a premature and miserable death? The Irish fever cut off between Liverpool and Leeds thirty priests and more, young men in the flower of their days, old men who seemed entitled to some quiet time after their long toil. There was a bishop cut off in the North; but what had a man of his ecclesiastical rank to do with the drudgery and danger of sick calls, except that Christian faith and charity constrained him? Priests volunteered for the dangerous service. It was the same with them on the first coming of the cholera, that mysterious awe-inspiring infliction. If they did not heartily believe in the Creed of the Church, then I will say that the remark of the Apostle had its fullest illustration:—"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." What could support a set of hypocrites in the presence of a deadly disorder, one of them following another in long order up the forlorn hope, and one after another perishing? And such, I may say, in its substance, is every Mission-Priest's life. He is ever ready to sacrifice himself for his people. Night and day, sick or well himself, in all weathers, off he is, on the news of a sick call. The fact of a parishioner dying without the Sacraments through his fault is terrible to him; why terrible, if he has not a deep absolute faith, which he acts upon with a free service? Protestants admire this, when they see it; but they do not seem to see as clearly, that it excludes the very notion of hypocrisy.

Sometimes, when they reflect upon it, it leads them to remark on the wonderful discipline of the Catholic priesthood; they say that no Church has so well ordered a clergy, and that in that respect it surpasses their own; they wish they could have such exact discipline among[Pg 273] themselves. But is it an excellence which can he purchased? is it a phenomenon which depends on nothing else than itself, or is it an effect which has a cause? You cannot buy devotion at a price. "It hath never been heard of in the land of Chanaan, neither hath it been seen in Theman. The children of Agar, the merchants of Meran, none of these have known its way." What then is that wonderful charm, which makes a thousand men act all in one way, and infuses a prompt obedience to rule, as if they were under some stern military compulsion? How difficult to find an answer, unless you will allow the obvious one, that they believe intensely what they profess!


I cannot think what it can be, in a day like this, which keeps up the prejudice of this Protestant country against us, unless it be the vague charges which are drawn from our books of Moral Theology; and with a short notice of the work in particular which by our accusers is especially thrown into our teeth, I shall bring these observations to a close.

St. Alfonso Liguori, then, it cannot be denied, lays down that an equivocation, (that is, a play upon words, in which one sense is taken by the speaker, and another sense intended by him for the hearer,) is allowable, if there is a just cause, that is, in an extraordinary case, and may even be confirmed by an oath. I shall give my opinion on this point as plainly as any Protestant can wish; and therefore I avow at once that in this department of morality, much as I admire the high points of the Italian character, I like the English rule of conduct better; but, in saying so, I am not, as will shortly be seen, saying any thing disrespectful to St. Alfonso, who was a lover of truth, and whose intercession I trust I shall not lose, though, on the matter under consideration, I follow other guidance in preference to his.[Pg 274]

Now I make this remark first:—great English authors, Jeremy Taylor, Milton, Paley, Johnson, men of very different schools of thought, distinctly say, that under certain extraordinary circumstances it is allowable to tell a lie. Taylor says: "To tell a lie for charity, to save a man's life, the life of a friend, of a husband, of a prince, of a useful and a public person, hath not only been done at all times, but commended by great and wise and good men. Who would not save his father's life, at the charge of a harmless lie, from persecutors or tyrants?" Again, Milton says: "What man in his senses would deny, that there are those whom we have the best grounds for considering that we ought to deceive,—as boys, madmen, the sick, the intoxicated, enemies, men in error, thieves? I would ask, by which of the commandments is a lie forbidden? You will say, by the ninth. If then my lie does not injure my neighbour, certainly it is not forbidden by this commandment." Paley says: "There are falsehoods, which are not lies, that is, which are not criminal." Johnson: "The general rule is, that truth should never be violated; there must, however, be some exceptions. If, for instance, a murderer should ask you which way a man is gone."

Now, I am not using these instances as an argumentum ad hominem; but the purpose to which I put them is this:—

1. First, I have set down the distinct statements of Taylor, Milton, Paley, and Johnson:—now, would any one give ever so little weight to these statements, in forming a real estimate of the veracity of the writers, if they now were alive? Were a man, who is so fierce with St. Alfonso, to meet Paley or Johnson to-morrow in society, would he look upon him as a liar, a knave, as dishonest and untrustworthy? I am sure he would not. Why then does he not deal out the same measure to Catholic priests?[Pg 275] If a copy of Scavini, which speaks of equivocation as being in a just cause allowable, be found in a student's room at Oscott, not Scavini himself, but even the unhappy student, who has what a Protestant calls a bad book in his possession, is judged to be for life unworthy of credit. Are all Protestant text-books, which are used at the University, immaculate? Is it necessary to take for gospel every word of Aristotle's Ethics, or every assertion of Hey or Burnett on the Articles? Are text-books the ultimate authority, or rather are they not manuals in the hands of a lecturer, and the groundwork of his remarks? But, again, let us suppose, not the case of a student, or of a professor, but of Scavini himself, or of St. Alfonso; now here again I ask, since you would not scruple in holding Paley for an honest man, in spite of his defence of lying, why do you scruple at holding St. Alfonso honest? I am perfectly sure that you would not scruple at Paley personally; you might not agree with him, but you would not go further than to call him a bold thinker: then why should St. Alfonso's person be odious to you, as well as his doctrine?

Now I wish to tell you why you are not afraid of Paley; because, you would say, when he advocated lying, he was taking extreme or special cases. You would have no fear of a man who you knew had shot a burglar dead in his own house, because you know you are not a burglar: so you would not think that Paley had a habit of telling lies in society, because in the case of a cruel alternative he thought it the lesser evil to tell a lie. Then why do you show such suspicion of a Catholic theologian, who speaks of certain extraordinary cases in which an equivocation in a penitent cannot be visited by his confessor as if it were a sin? for this is the exact point of the question.

But again, why does Paley, why does Jeremy Taylor, when no practical matter is actually before him, lay down a maxim about the lawfulness of lying, which will startle[Pg 276] most readers? The reason is plain. He is forming a theory of morals, and he must treat every question in turn as it comes. And this is just what St. Alfonso or Scavini is doing. You only try your hand yourself at a treatise on the rules of morality, and you will see how difficult the work is. What is the definition of a lie? Can you give a better than that it is a sin against justice, as Taylor and Paley consider it? but, if so, how can it be a sin at all, if your neighbour is not injured? If you do not like this definition, take another; and then, by means of that, perhaps you will be defending St. Alfonso's equivocation. However, this is what I insist upon; that St. Alfonso, as Paley, is considering the different portions of a large subject, and he must, on the subject of lying, give his judgment, though on that subject it is difficult to form any judgment which is satisfactory.

But further still: you must not suppose that a philosopher or moralist uses in his own case the licence which his theory itself would allow him. A man in his own person is guided by his own conscience; but in drawing out a system of rules he is obliged to go by logic, and follow the exact deduction of conclusion from conclusion, and must be sure that the whole system is coherent and one. You hear of even immoral or irreligious books being written by men of decent character; there is a late writer who says that David Hume's sceptical works are not at all the picture of the man. A priest might write a treatise which was really lax on the subject of lying, which might come under the condemnation of the Holy See, as some treatises on that score have already been condemned, and yet in his own person be a rigorist. And, in fact, it is notorious from St. Alfonso's Life, that he, who has the repute of being so lax a moralist, had one of the most scrupulous and anxious of consciences himself. Nay, further than this, he was originally in the Law, and on one occasion he[Pg 277] was betrayed into the commission of what seemed like a deceit, though it was an accident; and that was the very occasion of his leaving the profession and embracing the religious life.

The account of this remarkable occurrence is told us in his Life:—

"Notwithstanding he had carefully examined over and over the details of the process, he was completely mistaken regarding the sense of one document, which constituted the right of the adverse party. The advocate of the Grand Duke perceived the mistake, but he allowed Alfonso to continue his eloquent address to the end without interruption; as soon, however, as he had finished, he rose, and said with cutting coolness, 'Sir, the case is not exactly what you suppose it to be; if you will review the process, and examine this paper attentively, you will find there precisely the contrary of all you have advanced.' 'Willingly,' replied Alfonso, without hesitating; 'the decision depends on this question—whether the fief were granted under the law of Lombardy, or under the French Law.' The paper being examined, it was found that the Grand Duke's advocate was in the right. 'Yes,' said Alfonso, holding the paper in his hand, 'I am wrong, I have been mistaken.' A discovery so unexpected, and the fear of being accused of unfair dealing filled him with consternation, and covered him with confusion, so much so, that every one saw his emotion. It was in vain that the President Caravita, who loved him, and knew his integrity, tried to console him, by telling him that such mistakes were not uncommon, even among the first men at the bar. Alfonso would listen to nothing, but, overwhelmed with confusion, his head sunk on his breast, he said to himself, 'World, I know you now; courts of law, never shall you see me again!' And turning his back on the assembly, he withdrew to his own house, incessantly[Pg 278] repeating to himself, 'World, I know you now.' What annoyed him most was, that having studied and re-studied the process during a whole month, without having discovered this important flaw, he could not understand how it had escaped his observation."

And this is the man, so easily scared at the very shadow of trickery, who is so flippantly pronounced to be a patron of lying.

But, in truth, a Catholic theologian has objects in view which men in general little compass; he is not thinking of himself, but of a multitude of souls, sick souls, sinful souls, carried away by sin, full of evil, and he is trying with all his might to rescue them from their miserable state; and, in order to save them from more heinous sins, he tries, to the full extent that his conscience will allow him to go, to shut his eyes to such sins, as are, though sins, yet lighter in character or degree. He knows perfectly well that, if he is as strict as he would wish to be, he shall be able to do nothing at all with the run of men; so he is as indulgent with them as ever he can be. Let it not be for an instant supposed, that I allow of the maxim of doing evil that good may come; but, keeping clear of this, there is a way of winning men from greater sins by winking for the time at the less, or at mere improprieties or faults; and this is the key to the difficulty which Catholic books of moral theology so often cause to the Protestant. They are intended for the Confessor, and Protestants view them as intended for the Preacher.

2. And I observe upon Taylor, Milton, and Paley thus: What would a Protestant clergyman say to me, if I accused him of teaching that a lie was allowable; and if, when he asked for my proof, I said in reply that such was the doctrine of Taylor and Milton? Why, he would sharply retort, "I am not bound by Taylor or Milton;" and if I went on urging that "Taylor was one of his authorities,"[Pg 279] he would answer that Taylor was a great writer, but great writers were not therefore infallible. This is pretty much the answer which I make, when I am considered in this matter a disciple of St. Alfonso.

I plainly and positively state, and without any reserve, that I do not at all follow this holy and charitable man in this portion of his teaching. There are various schools of opinion allowed in the Church: and on this point I follow others. I follow Cardinal Gerdil, and Natalis Alexander, nay, St. Augustine. I will quote one passage from Natalis Alexander:—"They certainly lie, who utter the words of an oath, without the will to swear or bind themselves: or who make use of mental reservations and equivocations in swearing, since they signify by words what they have not in mind, contrary to the end for which language was instituted, viz. as signs of ideas. Or they mean something else than the words signify in themselves and the common custom of speech." And, to take an instance: I do not believe any priest in England would dream of saying, "My friend is not here;" meaning, "He is not in my pocket or under my shoe." Nor should any consideration make me say so myself. I do not think St. Alfonso would in his own case have said so; and he would have been as much shocked at Taylor and Paley, as Protestants are at him[21].

[21] Vide Note G, Lying and Equivocation.


And now, if Protestants wish to know what our real teaching is, as on other subjects, so on that of lying, let them look, not at our books of casuistry, but at our catechisms. Works on pathology do not give the best insight into the form and the harmony of the human frame; and, as it is with the body, so is it with the mind. The Catechism of the Council of Trent was drawn up for the express[Pg 280] purpose of providing preachers with subjects for their Sermons; and, as my whole work has been a defence of myself, I may here say that I rarely preach a Sermon, but I go to this beautiful and complete Catechism to get both my matter and my doctrine. There we find the following notices about the duty of Veracity:—

"'Thou shalt not bear false witness,' &c.: let attention be drawn to two laws contained in this commandment:—the one, forbidding false witness; the other bidding, that removing all pretence and deceits, we should measure our words and deeds by simple truth, as the Apostle admonished the Ephesians of that duty in these words: 'Doing truth in charity, let us grow in Him through all things.'

"To deceive by a lie in joke or for the sake of compliment, though to no one there accrues loss or gain in consequence, nevertheless is altogether unworthy: for thus the Apostle admonishes, 'Putting aside lying, speak ye truth.' For therein is great danger of lapsing into frequent and more serious lying, and from lies in joke men gain the habit of lying, whence they gain the character of not being truthful. And thence again, in order to gain credence to their words, they find it necessary to make a practice of swearing.

"Nothing is more necessary [for us] than truth of testimony, in those things, which we neither know ourselves, nor can allowably be ignorant of, on which point there is extant that maxim of St. Augustine's: Whoso conceals the truth, and whoso puts forth a lie, each is guilty; the one because he is not willing to do a service, the other because he has a wish to do a mischief.

"It is lawful at times to be silent about the truth, but out of a court of law; for in court, when a witness is interrogated by the judge according to law, the truth is wholly to be brought out.

"Witnesses, however, must beware, lest, from over-confidence[Pg 281] in their memory, they affirm for certain, what they have not verified.

"In order that the faithful may with more good will avoid the sin of lying, the Parish Priest shall set before them the extreme misery and turpitude of this wickedness. For, in holy writ, the devil is called the father of a lie; for, in that he did not remain in Truth, he is a liar, and the father of a lie. He will add, with the view of ridding men of so great a crime, the evils which follow upon lying; and, whereas they are innumerable, he will point out [at least] the sources and the general heads of these mischiefs and calamities, viz. 1. How great is God's displeasure and how great His hatred of a man who is insincere and a liar. 2. What little security there is that a man who is specially hated by God may not be visited by the heaviest punishments. 3. What more unclean and foul, as St. James says, than ... that a fountain by the same jet should send out sweet water and bitter? 4. For that tongue, which just now praised God, next, as far as in it lies, dishonours Him by lying. 5. In consequence, liars are shut out from the possession of heavenly beatitude. 6. That too is the worst evil of lying, that that disease of the mind is generally incurable.

"Moreover, there is this harm too, and one of vast extent, and touching men generally, that by insincerity and lying faith and truth are lost, which are the firmest bonds of human society, and, when they are lost, supreme confusion follows in life, so that men seem in nothing to differ from devils.

"Lastly, the Parish Priest will set those right who excuse their insincerity and allege the example of wise men, who, they say, are used to lie for an occasion. He will tell them, what is most true, that the wisdom of the flesh is death. He will exhort his hearers to trust in God, when[Pg 282] they are in difficulties and straits, nor to have recourse to the expedient of a lie.

"They who throw the blame of their own lie on those who have already by a lie deceived them, are to be taught that men must not revenge themselves, nor make up for one evil by another."

There is much more in the Catechism to the same effect, and it is of universal obligation; whereas the decision of a particular author in morals need not be accepted by any one.


To one other authority I appeal on this subject, which commands from me attention of a special kind, for it is the teaching of a Father. It will serve to bring my work to a conclusion.

"St. Philip," says the Roman Oratorian who wrote his Life, "had a particular dislike of affectation both in himself and others, in speaking, in dressing, or in any thing else.

"He avoided all ceremony which savoured of worldly compliment, and always showed himself a great stickler for Christian simplicity in every thing; so that, when he had to deal with men of worldly prudence, he did not very readily accommodate himself to them.

"And he avoided, as much as possible, having any thing to do with two-faced persons, who did not go simply and straightforwardly to work in their transactions.

"As for liars, he could not endure them, and he was continually reminding his spiritual children, to avoid them as they would a pestilence."

These are the principles on which I have acted before I was a Catholic; these are the principles which, I trust, will be my stay and guidance to the end.[Pg 283]

I have closed this history of myself with St. Philip's name upon St. Philip's feast-day; and, having done so, to whom can I more suitably offer it, as a memorial of affection and gratitude, than to St. Philip's sons, my dearest brothers of this House, the Priests of the Birmingham Oratory, Ambrose St. John, Henry Austin Mills, Henry Bittleston, Edward Caswall, William Paine Neville, and Henry Ignatius Dudley Ryder? who have been so faithful to me; who have been so sensitive of my needs; who have been so indulgent to my failings; who have carried me through so many trials; who have grudged no sacrifice, if I asked for it; who have been so cheerful under discouragements of my causing; who have done so many good works, and let me have the credit of them;—with whom I have lived so long, with whom I hope to die.

And to you especially, dear Ambrose St. John; whom God gave me, when He took every one else away; who are the link between my old life and my new; who have now for twenty-one years been so devoted to me, so patient, so zealous, so tender; who have let me lean so hard upon you; who have watched me so narrowly; who have never thought of yourself, if I was in question.

And in you I gather up and bear in memory those familiar affectionate companions and counsellors, who in Oxford were given to me, one after another, to be my daily solace and relief; and all those others, of great name and high example, who were my thorough friends, and showed me true attachment in times long past; and also those many younger men, whether I knew them or not, who have never been disloyal to me by word or deed; and[Pg 284] of all these, thus various in their relations to me, those more especially who have since joined the Catholic Church.

And I earnestly pray for this whole company, with a hope against hope, that all of us, who once were so united, and so happy in our union, may even now be brought at length, by the Power of the Divine Will, into One Fold and under One Shepherd.

May 26, 1864.
In Festo Corp. Christ.
[Pg 285]

NOTES.

NOTE A. ON PAGE 14.

LIBERALISM.

I have been asked to explain more fully what it is I mean by "Liberalism," because merely to call it the Anti-dogmatic Principle is to tell very little about it. An explanation is the more necessary, because such good Catholics and distinguished writers as Count Montalembert and Father Lacordaire use the word in a favorable sense, and claim to be Liberals themselves. "The only singularity," says the former of the two in describing his friend, "was his Liberalism. By a phenomenon, at that time unheard of, this convert, this seminarist, this confessor of nuns, was just as stubborn a liberal, as in the days when he was a student and a barrister."—Life (transl.), p. 19.

I do not believe that it is possible for me to differ in any important matter from two men whom I so highly admire. In their general line of thought and conduct I enthusiastically concur, and consider them to be before their age. And it would be strange indeed if I did not read with a special interest, in M. de Montalembert's beautiful volume, of the unselfish aims, the thwarted projects, the unrequited toils, the grand and tender resignation of Lacordaire. If I hesitate to adopt their language[Pg 286] about Liberalism, I impute the necessity of such hesitation to some differences between us in the use of words or in the circumstances of country; and thus I reconcile myself to remaining faithful to my own conception of it, though I cannot have their voices to give force to mine. Speaking then in my own way, I proceed to explain what I meant as a Protestant by Liberalism, and to do so in connexion with the circumstances under which that system of opinion came before me at Oxford.

If I might presume to contrast Lacordaire and myself, I should say, that we had been both of us inconsistent;—he, a Catholic, in calling himself a Liberal; I, a Protestant, in being an Anti-liberal; and moreover, that the cause of this inconsistency had been in both cases one and the same. That is, we were both of us such good conservatives, as to take up with what we happened to find established in our respective countries, at the time when we came into active life. Toryism was the creed of Oxford; he inherited, and made the best of, the French Revolution.

When, in the beginning of the present century, not very long before my own time, after many years of moral and intellectual declension, the University of Oxford woke up to a sense of its duties, and began to reform itself, the first instruments of this change, to whose zeal and courage we all owe so much, were naturally thrown together for mutual support, against the numerous obstacles which lay in their path, and soon stood out in relief from the body of residents, who, though many of them men of talent themselves, cared little for the object which the others had at heart. These Reformers, as they may be called, were for some years members of scarcely more than three or four Colleges; and their own Colleges, as being under their direct influence, of course had the benefit of those stricter views of discipline and teaching, which they themselves were urging on the University. They had, in no[Pg 287] long time, enough of real progress in their several spheres of exertion, and enough of reputation out of doors, to warrant them in considering themselves the élite of the place; and it is not wonderful if they were in consequence led to look down upon the majority of Colleges, which had not kept pace with the reform, or which had been hostile to it. And, when those rivalries of one man with another arose, whether personal or collegiate, which befall literary and scientific societies, such disturbances did but tend to raise in their eyes the value which they had already set upon academical distinction, and increase their zeal in pursuing it. Thus was formed an intellectual circle or class in the University,—men, who felt they had a career before them, as soon as the pupils, whom they were forming, came into public life; men, whom non-residents, whether country parsons or preachers of the Low Church, on coming up from time to time to the old place, would look at, partly with admiration, partly with suspicion, as being an honour indeed to Oxford, but withal exposed to the temptation of ambitious views, and to the spiritual evils signified in what is called the "pride of reason."

Nor was this imputation altogether unjust; for, as they were following out the proper idea of a University, of course they suffered more or less from the moral malady incident to such a pursuit. The very object of such great institutions lies in the cultivation of the mind and the spread of knowledge: if this object, as all human objects, has its dangers at all times, much more would these exist in the case of men, who were engaged in a work of reformation, and had the opportunity of measuring themselves, not only with those who were their equals in intellect, but with the many, who were below them. In this select circle or class of men, in various Colleges, the direct instruments and the choice fruit of real University Reform, we see the rudiments of the Liberal party.[Pg 288]

Whenever men are able to act at all, there is the chance of extreme and intemperate action; and therefore, when there is exercise of mind, there is the chance of wayward or mistaken exercise. Liberty of thought is in itself a good; but it gives an opening to false liberty. Now by Liberalism I mean false liberty of thought, or the exercise of thought upon matters, in which, from the constitution of the human mind, thought cannot be brought to any successful issue, and therefore is out of place. Among such matters are first principles of whatever kind; and of these the most sacred and momentous are especially to be reckoned the truths of Revelation. Liberalism then is the mistake of subjecting to human judgment those revealed doctrines which are in their nature beyond and independent of it, and of claiming to determine on intrinsic grounds the truth and value of propositions which rest for their reception simply on the external authority of the Divine Word.

Now certainly the party of whom I have been speaking, taken as a whole, were of a character of mind out of which Liberalism might easily grow up, as in fact it did; certainly they breathed around an influence which made men of religious seriousness shrink into themselves. But, while I say as much as this, I have no intention whatever of implying that the talent of the University, in the years before and after 1820, was liberal in its theology, in the sense in which the bulk of the educated classes through the country are liberal now. I would not for the world be supposed to detract from the Christian earnestness, and the activity in religious works, above the average of men, of many of the persons in question. They would have protested against their being supposed to place reason before faith, or knowledge before devotion; yet I do consider that they unconsciously encouraged and successfully introduced into Oxford a licence of opinion which went far[Pg 289] beyond them. In their day they did little more than take credit to themselves for enlightened views, largeness of mind, liberality of sentiment, without drawing the line between what was just and what was inadmissible in speculation, and without seeing the tendency of their own principles; and engrossing, as they did, the mental energy of the University, they met for a time with no effectual hindrance to the spread of their influence, except (what indeed at the moment was most effectual, but not of an intellectual character) the thorough-going Toryism and traditionary Church-of-England-ism of the great body of the Colleges and Convocation.

Now and then a man of note appeared in the Pulpit or Lecture Rooms of the University, who was a worthy representative of the more religious and devout Anglicans. These belonged chiefly to the High-Church party; for the party called Evangelical never has been able to breathe freely in the atmosphere of Oxford, and at no time has been conspicuous, as a party, for talent or learning. But of the old High Churchmen several exerted some sort of Anti-liberal influence in the place, at least from time to time, and that influence of an intellectual nature. Among these especially may be mentioned Mr. John Miller, of Worcester College, who preached the Bampton Lecture in the year 1817. But, as far as I know, he who turned the tide, and brought the talent of the University round to the side of the old theology, and against what was familiarly called "march-of-mind," was Mr. Keble. In and from Keble the mental activity of Oxford took that contrary direction which issued in what was called Tractarianism.

Keble was young in years, when he became a University celebrity, and younger in mind. He had the purity and simplicity of a child. He had few sympathies with the intellectual party, who sincerely welcomed him as a brilliant[Pg 290] specimen of young Oxford. He instinctively shut up before literary display, and pomp and donnishness of manner, faults which always will beset academical notabilities. He did not respond to their advances. His collision with them (if it may be so called) was thus described by Hurrell Froude in his own way. "Poor Keble!" he used gravely to say, "he was asked to join the aristocracy of talent, but he soon found his level." He went into the country, but his instance serves to prove that men need not, in the event, lose that influence which is rightly theirs, because they happen to be thwarted in the use of the channels natural and proper to its exercise. He did not lose his place in the minds of men because he was out of their sight.

Keble was a man who guided himself and formed his judgments, not by processes of reason, by inquiry or by argument, but, to use the word in a broad sense, by authority. Conscience is an authority; the Bible is an authority; such is the Church; such is Antiquity; such are the words of the wise; such are hereditary lessons; such are ethical truths; such are historical memories; such are legal saws and state maxims; such are proverbs; such are sentiments, presages, and prepossessions. It seemed to me as if he ever felt happier, when he could speak or act under some such primary or external sanction; and could use argument mainly as a means of recommending or explaining what had claims on his reception prior to proof. He even felt a tenderness, I think, in spite of Bacon, for the Idols of the Tribe and the Den, of the Market and the Theatre. What he hated instinctively was heresy, insubordination, resistance to things established, claims of independence, disloyalty, innovation, a critical, censorious spirit. And such was the main principle of the school which in the course of years was formed around him; nor is it easy to set limits to its influence in its day; for multitudes[Pg 291] of men, who did not profess its teaching, or accept its peculiar doctrines, were willing nevertheless, or found it to their purpose, to act in company with it.

Indeed for a time it was practically the champion and advocate of the political doctrines of the great clerical interest through the country, who found in Mr. Keble and his friends an intellectual, as well as moral support to their cause, which they looked for in vain elsewhere. His weak point, in their eyes, was his consistency; for he carried his love of authority and old times so far, as to be more than gentle towards the Catholic Religion, with which the Toryism of Oxford and of the Church of England had no sympathy. Accordingly, if my memory be correct, he never could get himself to throw his heart into the opposition made to Catholic Emancipation, strongly as he revolted from the politics and the instruments by means of which that Emancipation was won. I fancy he would have had no difficulty in accepting Dr. Johnson's saying about "the first Whig;" and it grieved and offended him that the "Via prima salutis" should be opened to the Catholic body from the Whig quarter. In spite of his reverence for the Old Religion, I conceive that on the whole he would rather have kept its professors beyond the pale of the Constitution with the Tories, than admit them on the principles of the Whigs. Moreover, if the Revolution of 1688 was too lax in principle for him and his friends, much less, as is very plain, could they endure to subscribe to the revolutionary doctrines of 1776 and 1789, which they felt to be absolutely and entirely out of keeping with theological truth.

The Old Tory or Conservative party in Oxford had in it no principle or power of development, and that from its very nature and constitution: it was otherwise with the Liberals. They represented a new idea, which was but gradually learning to recognize itself, to ascertain its[Pg 292] characteristics and external relations, and to exert an influence upon the University. The party grew, all the time that I was in Oxford, even in numbers, certainly in breadth and definiteness of doctrine, and in power. And, what was a far higher consideration, by the accession of Dr. Arnold's pupils, it was invested with an elevation of character which claimed the respect even of its opponents. On the other hand, in proportion as it became more earnest and less self-applauding, it became more free-spoken; and members of it might be found who, from the mere circumstance of remaining firm to their original professions, would in the judgment of the world, as to their public acts, seem to have left it for the Conservative camp. Thus, neither in its component parts nor in its policy, was it the same in 1832, 1836, and 1841, as it was in 1845.

These last remarks will serve to throw light upon a matter personal to myself, which I have introduced into my Narrative, and to which my attention has been pointedly called, now that my Volume is coming to a second edition.

It has been strongly urged upon me to re-consider the following passages which occur in it: "The men who had driven me from Oxford were distinctly the Liberals, it was they who had opened the attack upon Tract 90," p. 203, and "I found no fault with the Liberals; they had beaten me in a fair field," p. 214.

I am very unwilling to seem ungracious, or to cause pain in any quarter; still I am sorry to say I cannot modify these statements. It is surely a matter of historical fact that I left Oxford upon the University proceedings of 1841; and in those proceedings, whether we look to the Heads of Houses or the resident Masters, the leaders, if intellect and influence make men such, were members of the Liberal party. Those who did not lead, concurred or acquiesced in them,—I may say, felt a satisfaction. I do not recollect[Pg 293] any Liberal who was on my side on that occasion. Excepting the Liberal, no other party, as a party, acted against me. I am not complaining of them; I deserved nothing else at their hands. They could not undo in 1845, even had they wished it, (and there is no proof they did,) what they had done in 1841. In 1845, when I had already given up the contest for four years, and my part in it had passed into the hands of others, then some of those who were prominent against me in 1841, feeling (what they had not felt in 1841) the danger of driving a number of my followers to Rome, and joined by younger friends who had come into University importance since 1841 and felt kindly towards me, adopted a course more consistent with their principles, and proceeded to shield from the zeal of the Hebdomadal Board, not me, but, professedly, all parties through the country,—Tractarians, Evangelicals, Liberals in general,—who had to subscribe to the Anglican formularies, on the ground that those formularies, rigidly taken, were, on some point or other, a difficulty to all parties alike.

However, besides the historical fact, I can bear witness to my own feeling at the time, and my feeling was this:—that those who in 1841 had considered it to be a duty to act against me, had then done their worst. What was it to me what they were now doing in opposition to the New Test proposed by the Hebdomadal Board? I owed them no thanks for their trouble. I took no interest at all, in February, 1845, in the proceedings of the Heads of Houses and of the Convocation. I felt myself dead as regarded my relations to the Anglican Church. My leaving it was all but a matter of time. I believe I did not even thank my real friends, the two Proctors, who in Convocation stopped by their Veto the condemnation of Tract 90; nor did I make any acknowledgment to Mr. Rogers, nor to Mr. James Mozley, nor, as I think, to Mr. Hussey, for their[Pg 294] pamphlets in my behalf. My frame of mind is best described by the sentiment of the passage in Horace, which at the time I was fond of quoting, as expressing my view of the relation that existed between the Vice-Chancellor and myself.

"Pentheu,
Rector Thebarum, quid me perferre patique
Indignum cogas?" "Adimam bona." "Nempe pecus, rem,
Lectos, argentum; tollas licet." "In manicis et
Compedibus, sævo te sub custode tenebo." (viz. the 39 Articles.)
"Ipse Deus, simul atque volam, me solvet." Opinor,
Hoc sentit: Moriar. Mors ultima linea rerum est.

I conclude this notice of Liberalism in Oxford, and the party which was antagonistic to it, with some propositions in detail, which, as a member of the latter, and together with the High Church, I earnestly denounced and abjured.

1. No religious tenet is important, unless reason shows it to be so.

Therefore, e.g. the doctrine of the Athanasian Creed is not to be insisted on, unless it tends to convert the soul; and the doctrine of the Atonement is to be insisted on, if it does convert the soul.

2. No one can believe what he does not understand.

Therefore, e.g. there are no mysteries in true religion.

3. No theological doctrine is any thing more than an opinion which happens to be held by bodies of men.

Therefore, e.g. no creed, as such, is necessary for salvation.

4. It is dishonest in a man to make an act of faith in what he has not had brought home to him by actual proof.

Therefore, e.g. the mass of men ought not absolutely to believe in the divine authority of the Bible.

5. It is immoral in a man to believe more than he can spontaneously receive as being congenial to his moral and mental nature.

Therefore, e.g. a given individual is not bound to believe in eternal punishment.

[Pg 295]

6. No revealed doctrines or precepts may reasonably stand in the way of scientific conclusions.

Therefore, e.g. Political Economy may reverse our Lord's declarations about poverty and riches, or a system of Ethics may teach that the highest condition of body is ordinarily essential to the highest state of mind.

7. Christianity is necessarily modified by the growth of civilization, and the exigencies of times.

Therefore, e.g. the Catholic priesthood, though necessary in the Middle Ages, may be superseded now.

8. There is a system of religion more simply true than Christianity as it has ever been received.

Therefore, e.g. we may advance that Christianity is the "corn of wheat" which has been dead for 1800 years, but at length will bear fruit; and that Mahometanism is the manly religion, and existing Christianity the womanish.

9. There is a right of Private Judgment: that is, there is no existing authority on earth competent to interfere with the liberty of individuals in reasoning and judging for themselves about the Bible and its contents, as they severally please.

Therefore, e.g. religious establishments requiring subscription are Anti-christian.

10. There are rights of conscience such, that every one may lawfully advance a claim to profess and teach what is false and wrong in matters, religious, social, and moral, provided that to his private conscience it seems absolutely true and right.

Therefore, e.g. individuals have a right to preach and practise fornication and polygamy.

11. There is no such thing as a national or state conscience.

Therefore, e.g. no judgments can fall upon a sinful or infidel nation.

[Pg 296]

12. The civil power has no positive duty, in a normal state of things, to maintain religious truth.

Therefore, e.g. blasphemy and sabbath-breaking are not rightly punishable by law.

13. Utility and expedience are the measure of political duty.

Therefore, e.g. no punishment may be enacted, on the ground that God commands it: e.g. on the text, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed."

14. The Civil Power may dispose of Church property without sacrilege.

Therefore, e.g. Henry VIII. committed no sin in his spoliations.

15. The Civil Power has the right of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and administration.

Therefore, e.g. Parliament may impose articles of faith on the Church or suppress Dioceses.

16. It is lawful to rise in arms against legitimate princes.

Therefore, e.g. the Puritans in the 17th century, and the French in the 18th, were justifiable in their Rebellion and Revolution respectively.

17. The people are the legitimate source of power.

Therefore, e.g. Universal Suffrage is among the natural rights of man.

18. Virtue is the child of knowledge, and vice of ignorance.

Therefore, e.g. education, periodical literature, railroad travelling, ventilation, drainage, and the arts of life, when fully carried out, serve to make a population moral and happy.

All of these propositions, and many others too, were familiar to me thirty years ago, as in the number of the tenets of Liberalism, and, while I gave into none of them except No. 12, and perhaps No. 11, and partly No. 1, before I began to publish, so afterwards I wrote against most of them in some part or other of my Anglican works.

If it is necessary to refer to a work, not simply my own,[Pg 297] but of the Tractarian school, which contains a similar protest, I should name the Lyra Apostolica. This volume, which by accident has been left unnoticed, except incidentally, in my Narrative, was collected together from the pages of the "British Magazine," in which its contents originally appeared, and published in a separate form, immediately after Hurrell Froude's death in 1836. Its signatures, α, β, γ, δ, ε ξ, denote respectively as authors, Mr. Bowden, Mr. Hurrell Froude, Mr. Keble, Mr. Newman, Mr. Robert Wilberforce, and Mr. Isaac Williams.

There is one poem on "Liberalism," beginning "Ye cannot halve the Gospel of God's grace;" which bears out the account of Liberalism as above given; and another upon "the Age to come," defining from its own point of view the position and prospects of Liberalism.


I need hardly say that the above Note is mainly historical. How far the Liberal party of 1830-40 really held the above eighteen Theses, which I attributed to them, and how far and in what sense I should oppose those Theses now, could scarcely be explained without a separate Dissertation.[Pg 298]

NOTE B. ON PAGE 23.

ECCLESIASTICAL MIRACLES.

The writer, who gave occasion for the foregoing Narrative, was very severe with me for what I had said about Miracles in the Preface to the Life of St. Walburga. I observe therefore as follows:—

Catholics believe that miracles happen in any age of the Church, though not for the same purposes, in the same number, or with the same evidence, as in Apostolic times. The Apostles wrought them in evidence of their divine mission; and with this object they have been sometimes wrought by Evangelists of countries since, as even Protestants allow. Hence we hear of them in the history of St. Gregory in Pontus, and St. Martin in Gaul; and in their case, as in that of the Apostles, they were both numerous and clear. As they are granted to Evangelists, so are they granted, though in less measure and evidence, to other holy men; and as holy men are not found equally at all times and in all places, therefore miracles are in some places and times more than in others. And since, generally, they are granted to faith and prayer, therefore in a country in which faith and prayer abound, they will be more likely to occur, than where and when faith and prayer are not; so that their occurrence is irregular. And further, as faith and prayer obtain miracles, so still more commonly do they gain from above the ordinary interventions of Providence; and, as it is often very difficult to distinguish between a providence and a miracle, and there will be more providences than miracles, hence it will happen that many occurrences will be called miraculous,[Pg 299] which, strictly speaking, are not such, that is, not more than providential mercies, or what are sometimes called "grazie" or "favours."

Persons, who believe all this, in accordance with Catholic teaching, as I did and do, they, on the report of a miracle, will of necessity, the necessity of good logic, be led to say, first, "It may be," and secondly, "But I must have good evidence in order to believe it."

1. It may be, because miracles take place in all ages; it must be clearly proved, because perhaps after all it may be only a providential mercy, or an exaggeration, or a mistake, or an imposture. Well, this is precisely what I had said, which the writer, who has given occasion to this Volume, considered so irrational. I had said, as he quotes me, "In this day, and under our present circumstances, we can only reply, that there is no reason why they should not be." Surely this is good logic, provided that miracles do occur in all ages; and so again I am logical in saying, "There is nothing, primâ facie, in the miraculous accounts in question, to repel a properly taught or religiously disposed mind." What is the matter with this statement? My assailant does not pretend to say what the matter is, and he cannot; but he expresses a rude, unmeaning astonishment. Accordingly, in the passage which he quotes, I observe, "Miracles are the kind of facts proper to ecclesiastical history, just as instances of sagacity or daring, personal prowess, or crime, are the facts proper to secular history." What is the harm of this?

2. But, though a miracle be conceivable, it has to be proved. What has to be proved? (1.) That the event occurred as stated, and is not a false report or an exaggeration. (2.) That it is clearly miraculous, and not a mere providence or answer to prayer within the order of nature. What is the fault of saying this? The inquiry is parallel to that which is made about some extraordinary[Pg 300] fact in secular history. Supposing I hear that King Charles II. died a Catholic, I am led to say: It may be, but what is your proof?

In my Essay on Miracles of the year 1826, I proposed three questions about a professed miraculous occurrence: 1. is it antecedently probable? 2. is it in its nature certainly miraculous? 3. has it sufficient evidence? To these three heads I had regard in my Essay of 1842; and under them I still wish to conduct the inquiry into the miracles of Ecclesiastical History.


So much for general principles; as to St. Walburga, though I have no intention at all of denying that numerous miracles have been wrought by her intercession, still, neither the Author of her Life, nor I, the Editor, felt that we had grounds for binding ourselves to the belief of certain alleged miracles in particular. I made, however, one exception; it was the medicinal oil which flows from her relics. Now as to the verisimilitude, the miraculousness, and the fact, of this medicinal oil.

1. The verisimilitude. It is plain there is nothing extravagant in this report of her relics having a supernatural virtue; and for this reason, because there are such instances in Scripture, and Scripture cannot be extravagant. For instance, a man was restored to life by touching the relics of the Prophet Eliseus. The sacred text runs thus:—"And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha. And, when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood upon his feet." Again, in the case of an inanimate substance, which had touched a living Saint: "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul; so that[Pg 301] from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them." And again in the case of a pool: "An Angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water; whosoever then first, after the troubling of the water, stepped in, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." 2 Kings [4 Kings] xiii. 20, 21. Acts xix. 11, 12. John v. 4. Therefore there is nothing extravagant in the character of the miracle.

2. Next, the matter of fact:—is there an oil flowing from St. Walburga's tomb, which is medicinal? To this question I confined myself in my Preface. Of the accounts of medieval miracles, I said that there was no extravagance in their general character, but I could not affirm that there was always evidence for them. I could not simply accept them as facts, but I could not reject them in their nature;—they might be true, for they were not impossible; but they were not proved to be true, because there was not trustworthy testimony. However, as to St. Walburga, I repeat, I made one exception, the fact of the medicinal oil, since for that miracle there was distinct and successive testimony. And then I went on to give a chain of witnesses. It was my duty to state what those witnesses said in their very words; so I gave the testimonies in full, tracing them from the Saint's death. I said, "She is one of the principal Saints of her age and country." Then I quoted Basnage, a Protestant, who says, "Six writers are extant, who have employed themselves in relating the deeds or miracles of Walburga." Then I said that her "renown was not the mere natural growth of ages, but begins with the very century of the Saint's death." Then I observed that only two miracles seem to have been "distinctly reported of her as occurring in her lifetime; and they were handed down apparently by tradition." Also, that such miracles are said to have commenced[Pg 302] about A.D. 777. Then I spoke of the medicinal oil as having testimony to it in 893, in 1306, after 1450, in 1615, and in 1620. Also, I said that Mabillon seems not to have believed some of her miracles; and that the earliest witness had got into trouble with his Bishop. And so I left the matter, as a question to be decided by evidence, not deciding any thing myself.

What was the harm of all this? but my Critic muddled it together in a most extraordinary manner, and I am far from sure that he knew himself the definite categorical charge which he intended it to convey against me. One of his remarks is, "What has become of the holy oil for the last 240 years, Dr. Newman does not say," p. 25. Of course I did not, because I did not know; I gave the evidence as I found it; he assumes that I had a point to prove, and then asks why I did not make the evidence larger than it was.

I can tell him more about it now: the oil still flows; I have had some of it in my possession; it is medicinal still. This leads to the third head.

3. Its miraculousness. On this point, since I have been in the Catholic Church, I have found there is a difference of opinion. Some persons consider that the oil is the natural produce of the rock, and has ever flowed from it; others, that by a divine gift it flows from the relics; and others, allowing that it now comes naturally from the rock, are disposed to hold that it was in its origin miraculous, as was the virtue of the pool of Bethsaida.

This point must be settled of course before the virtue of the oil can be ascribed to the sanctity of St. Walburga; for myself, I neither have, nor ever have had, the means of going into the question; but I will take the opportunity of its having come before me, to make one or two remarks, supplemental of what I have said on other occasions.[Pg 303]

1. I frankly confess that the present advance of science tends to make it probable that various facts take place, and have taken place, in the order of nature, which hitherto have been considered by Catholics as simply supernatural.

2. Though I readily make this admission, it must not be supposed in consequence that I am disposed to grant at once, that every event was natural in point of fact, which might have taken place by the laws of nature; for it is obvious, no Catholic can bind the Almighty to act only in one and the same way, or to the observance always of His own laws. An event which is possible in the way of nature, is certainly possible too to Divine Power without the sequence of natural cause and effect at all. A conflagration, to take a parallel, may be the work of an incendiary, or the result of a flash of lightning; nor would a jury think it safe to find a man guilty of arson, if a dangerous thunderstorm was raging at the very time when the fire broke out. In like manner, upon the hypothesis that a miraculous dispensation is in operation, a recovery from diseases to which medical science is equal, may nevertheless in matter of fact have taken place, not by natural means, but by a supernatural interposition. That the Lawgiver always acts through His own laws, is an assumption, of which I never saw proof. In a given case, then, the possibility of assigning a human cause for an event does not ipso facto prove that it is not miraculous.

3. So far, however, is plain, that, till some experimentum crucis can be found, such as to be decisive against the natural cause or the supernatural, an occurrence of this kind will as little convince an unbeliever that there has been a divine interference in the case, as it will drive the Catholic to admit that there has been no interference at all.[Pg 304]

4. Still there is this gain accruing to the Catholic cause from the larger views we now possess of the operation of natural causes, viz. that our opponents will not in future be so ready as hitherto, to impute fraud and falsehood to our priests and their witnesses, on the ground of their pretending or reporting things that are incredible. Our opponents have again and again accused us of false witness, on account of statements which they now allow are either true, or may have been true. They account indeed for the strange facts very differently from us; but still they allow that facts they were. It is a great thing to have our characters cleared; and we may reasonably hope that, the next time our word is vouched for occurrences which appear to be miraculous, our facts will be investigated, not our testimony impugned.

5. Even granting that certain occurrences, which we have hitherto accounted miraculous, have not absolutely a claim to be so considered, nevertheless they constitute an argument still in behalf of Revelation and the Church. Providences, or what are called grazie, though they do not rise to the order of miracles, yet, if they occur again and again in connexion with the same persons, institutions, or doctrines, may supply a cumulative evidence of the fact of a supernatural presence in the quarter in which they are found. I have already alluded to this point in my Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles, and I have a particular reason, as will presently be seen, for referring here to what I said in the course of it.


In that Essay, after bringing its main argument to an end, I append to it a review of "the evidence for particular alleged miracles." "It does not strictly fall within the scope of the Essay," I observe, "to pronounce upon the truth or falsehood of this or that miraculous narrative, as it occurs in ecclesiastical history; but only to furnish such[Pg 305] general considerations, as may be useful in forming a decision in particular cases," p. cv. However, I thought it right to go farther and "to set down the evidence for and against certain miracles as we meet with them," ibid. In discussing these miracles separately, I make the following remarks, to which I have just been referring.

After discussing the alleged miracle of the Thundering Legion, I observe:—"Nor does it concern us much to answer the objection, that there is nothing strictly miraculous in such an occurrence, because sudden thunderclouds after drought are not unfrequent; for, I would answer, Grant me such miracles ordinarily in the early Church, and I will ask no other; grant that, upon prayer, benefits are vouchsafed, deliverances are effected, unhoped-for results obtained, sicknesses cured, tempests laid, pestilences put to flight, famines remedied, judgments inflicted, and there will be no need of analyzing the causes, whether supernatural or natural, to which they are to be referred. They may, or they may not, in this or that case, follow or surpass the laws of nature, and they may do so plainly or doubtfully, but the common sense of mankind will call them miraculous; for by a miracle is popularly meant, whatever be its formal definition, an event which impresses upon the mind the immediate presence of the Moral Governor of the world. He may sometimes act through nature, sometimes beyond or against it; but those who admit the fact of such interferences, will have little difficulty in admitting also their strictly miraculous character, if the circumstances of the case require it, and those who deny miracles to the early Church will be equally strenuous against allowing her the grace of such intimate influence (if we may so speak) upon the course of divine Providence, as is here in question, even though it be not miraculous."—p. cxxi.

And again, speaking of the death of Arius: "But after[Pg 306] all, was it a miracle? for, if not, we are labouring at a proof of which nothing comes. The more immediate answer to this question has already been suggested several times. When a Bishop with his flock prays night and day against a heretic, and at length begs of God to take him away, and when he is suddenly taken away, almost at the moment of his triumph, and that by a death awfully significant, from its likeness to one recorded in Scripture, is it not trifling to ask whether such an occurrence comes up to the definition of a miracle? The question is not whether it is formally a miracle, but whether it is an event, the like of which persons, who deny that miracles continue, will consent that the Church should be considered still able to perform. If they are willing to allow to the Church such extraordinary protection, it is for them to draw the line to the satisfaction of people in general, between these and strictly miraculous events; if, on the other hand, they deny their occurrence in the times of the Church, then there is sufficient reason for our appealing here to the history of Arius in proof of the affirmative."—p. clxxii.

These remarks, thus made upon the Thundering Legion and the death of Arius, must be applied, in consequence of investigations made since the date of my Essay, to the apparent miracle wrought in favour of the African confessors in the Vandal persecution. Their tongues were cut out by the Arian tyrant, and yet they spoke as before. In my Essay I insisted on this fact as being strictly miraculous. Among other remarks (referring to the instances adduced by Middleton and others in disparagement of the miracle, viz. of "a girl born without a tongue, who yet talked as distinctly and easily, as if she had enjoyed the full benefit of that organ," and of a boy who lost his tongue at the ago of eight or nine, yet retained his speech, whether perfectly or not,) I said, "Does Middleton mean[Pg 307] to say, that, if certain of men lost their tongues at the command of a tyrant for the sake of their religion, and then spoke as plainly as before, nay if only one person was so mutilated and so gifted, it would not be a miracle?"—p. ccx. And I enlarged upon the minute details of the fact as reported to us by eye-witnesses and contemporaries. "Out of the seven writers adduced, six are contemporaries; three, if not four, are eye-witnesses of the miracle. One reports from an eye-witness, and one testifies to a fervent record at the burial-place of the subjects of it. All seven were living, or had been staying, at one or other of the two places which are mentioned as their abode. One is a Pope, a second a Catholic Bishop, a third a Bishop of a schismatical party, a fourth an emperor, a fifth a soldier, a politician, and a suspected infidel, a sixth a statesman and courtier, a seventh a rhetorician and philosopher. 'He cut out the tongues by the roots,' says Victor, Bishop of Vito; 'I perceived the tongues entirely gone by the roots,' says Æneas; 'as low down as the throat,' says Procopius; 'at the roots,' say Justinian and St. Gregory; 'he spoke like an educated man, without impediment,' says Victor of Vito; 'with articulateness,' says Æneas; 'better than before;' 'they talked without any impediment,' says Procopius; 'speaking with perfect voice,' says Marcellinus; 'they spoke perfectly, even to the end,' says the second Victor; 'the words were formed, full, and perfect,' says St. Gregory."—p. ccviii.

However, a few years ago an Article appeared in "Notes and Queries" (No. for May 22, 1858), in which various evidence was adduced to show that the tongue is not necessary for articulate speech.

1. Col. Churchill, in his "Lebanon," speaking of the cruelties of Djezzar Pacha, in extracting to the root the tongues of some Emirs, adds, "It is a curious fact, however,[Pg 308] that the tongues grow again sufficiently for the purposes of speech."

2. Sir John Malcolm, in his "Sketches of Persia," speaks of Zâb, Khan of Khisht, who was condemned to lose his tongue. "This mandate," he says, "was imperfectly executed, and the loss of half this member deprived him of speech. Being afterwards persuaded that its being cut close to the root would enable him to speak so as to be understood, he submitted to the operation; and the effect has been, that his voice, though indistinct and thick, is yet intelligible to persons accustomed to converse with him.... I am not an anatomist, and I cannot therefore give a reason, why a man, who could not articulate with half a tongue, should speak when he had none at all; but the facts are as stated."

3. And Sir John McNeill says, "In answer to your inquiries about the powers of speech retained by persons who have had their tongues cut out, I can state from personal observation, that several persons whom I knew in Persia, who had been subjected to that punishment, spoke so intelligibly as to be able to transact important business.... The conviction in Persia is universal, that the power of speech is destroyed by merely cutting off the tip of the tongue; and is to a useful extent restored by cutting off another portion as far back as a perpendicular section can be made of the portion that is free from attachment at the lower surface.... I never had to meet with a person who had suffered this punishment, who could not speak so as to be quite intelligible to his familiar associates."


I should not be honest, if I professed to be simply converted, by these testimonies, to the belief that there was nothing miraculous in the case of the African confessors. It is quite as fair to be sceptical on one side of the question[Pg 309] as on the other; and if Gibbon is considered worthy of praise for his stubborn incredulity in receiving the evidence for this miracle, I do not see why I am to be blamed, if I wish to be quite sure of the full appositeness of the recent evidence which is brought to its disadvantage. Questions of fact cannot be disproved by analogies or presumptions; the inquiry must be made into the particular case in all its parts, as it comes before us. Meanwhile, I fully allow that the points of evidence brought in disparagement of the miracle are primâ facie of such cogency, that, till they are proved to be irrelevant, Catholics are prevented from appealing to it for controversial purposes.[Pg 310]

NOTE C. ON PAGE 153.

SERMON ON WISDOM AND INNOCENCE.

The professed basis of the charge of lying and equivocation made against me, and, in my person, against the Catholic clergy, was, as I have already noticed in the Preface, a certain Sermon of mine on "Wisdom and Innocence," being the 20th in a series of "Sermons on Subjects of the Day," written, preached, and published while I was an Anglican. Of this Sermon my accuser spoke thus in his Pamphlet:—

"It is occupied entirely with the attitude of 'the world' to 'Christians' and 'the Church.' By the world appears to be signified, especially, the Protestant public of these realms; what Dr. Newman means by Christians, and the Church, he has not left in doubt; for in the preceding Sermon he says: 'But if the truth must be spoken, what are the humble monk and the holy nun, and other regulars, as they are called, but Christians after the very pattern given us in Scripture, &c.'.... This is his definition of Christians. And in the Sermon itself, he sufficiently defines what he means by 'the Church,' in two notes of her character, which he shall give in his own words: 'What, for instance, though we grant that sacramental confession and the celibacy of the clergy do tend to consolidate the body politic in the relation of rulers and subjects, or, in other words, to aggrandize the priesthood? for how can the Church be one body without such relation?'"—Pp. 8, 9.

He then proceeded to analyze and comment on it at great length, and to criticize severely the method and tone of my Sermons generally. Among other things, he said:—[Pg 311]

"What, then, did the Sermon mean? Why was it preached? To insinuate that a Church which had sacramental confession and a celibate clergy was the only true Church? Or to insinuate that the admiring young gentlemen who listened to him stood to their fellow-countrymen in the relation of the early Christians to the heathen Romans? Or that Queen Victoria's Government was to the Church of England what Nero's or Dioclesian's was to the Church of Rome? It may have been so. I know that men used to suspect Dr. Newman,—I have been inclined to do so myself,—of writing a whole Sermon, not for the sake of the text or of the matter, but for the sake of one single passing hint—one phrase, one epithet, one little barbed arrow, which, as he swept magnificently past on the stream of his calm eloquence, seemingly unconscious of all presences, save those unseen, he delivered unheeded, as with his finger-tip, to the very heart of an initiated hearer, never to be withdrawn again. I do not blame him for that. It is one of the highest triumphs of oratoric power, and may be employed honestly and fairly by any person who has the skill to do it honestly and fairly; but then, Why did he entitle his Sermon 'Wisdom and Innocence?'

"What, then, could I think that Dr. Newman meant? I found a preacher bidding Christians imitate, to some undefined point, the 'arts' of the basest of animals, and of men, and of the devil himself. I found him, by a strange perversion of Scripture, insinuating that St. Paul's conduct and manner were such as naturally to bring down on him the reputation of being a crafty deceiver. I found him—horrible to say it—even hinting the same of one greater than St. Paul. I found him denying or explaining away the existence of that Priestcraft, which is a notorious fact to every honest student of history, and justifying (as far as I can understand him) that double dealing by which prelates, in the middle age, too often played off alternately the sovereign against the people, and the people against the sovereign, careless which was in the right, so long as their own power gained by the move. I found him actually using of such (and, as I thought, of himself and his party likewise) the words 'They yield outwardly; to assent inwardly were to betray the faith. Yet they are called deceitful and double-dealing, because they do as much as they can, and not more than they may.' I found him telling Christians that they will always seem 'artificial,' and 'wanting in openness and manliness;' that they will always be 'a mystery' to the world, and that the world will always think them rogues; and bidding them glory in what the world (i.e. the rest of their countrymen) disown, and say with Mawworm, 'I like to be despised.'

"Now, how was I to know that the preacher, who had the reputation of being the most acute man of his generation, and of having a specially intimate acquaintance with the weaknesses of the human heart, was utterly blind to the broad meaning and the plain practical result of a Sermon like this, delivered before fanatic and hot-headed young men, who hung upon his every word? that he did not foresee that they would think that they obeyed him by becoming affected, artificial, sly, shifty, ready for concealments and equivocations?" &c. &c.—Pp. 14-16.

My accuser asked in this passage what did the Sermon mean, and why was it preached. I will here answer this question; and with this view will speak, first of[Pg 312] the matter of the Sermon, then of its subject, then of its circumstances.

1. It was one of the last six Sermons which I wrote when I was an Anglican. It was one of the five Sermons I preached in St. Mary's between Christmas and Easter, 1843, the year when I gave up my Living. The MS. of the Sermon is destroyed; but I believe, and my memory too bears me out, as far as it goes, that the sentence in question about Celibacy and Confession, of which this writer would make so much, was not preached at all. The Volume, in which this Sermon is found, was published after that I had given up St. Mary's, when I had no call on me to restrain the expression of any thing which I might hold: and I stated an important fact about it in the Advertisement, in these words:—

"In preparing [these Sermons] for publication, a few words and sentences have in several places been added, which will be found to express more of private or personal opinion, than it was expedient to introduce into the instruction delivered in Church to a parochial Congregation. Such introduction, however, seems unobjectionable in the case of compositions, which are detached from the sacred place and service to which they once belonged, and submitted to the reason and judgment of the general reader."

This Volume of Sermons then cannot be criticized at all as preachments; they are essays; essays of a man who, at the time of publishing them, was not a preacher. Such passages, as that in question, are just the very ones which I added upon my publishing them; and, as I always was on my guard in the pulpit against saying any thing which looked towards Rome, I shall believe that I did not preach the obnoxious sentence till some one is found to testify that he heard it.

At the same time I cannot conceive why the mention of Sacramental Confession, or of Clerical Celibacy, had I made it, was inconsistent with the position of an Anglican Clergyman. For Sacramental Confession and Absolution actually form a portion of the Anglican Visitation of the[Pg 313] Sick; and though the 32nd Article says that "Bishops, priests, and deacons, are not commanded by God's law either to vow the state of single life or to abstain from marriage," and "therefore it is lawful for them to marry," this proposition I did not dream of denying, nor is it inconsistent with St. Paul's doctrine, which I held, that it is "good to abide even as he," i.e. in celibacy.

But I have more to say on this point. This writer says, "I know that men used to suspect Dr. Newman,—I have been inclined to do so myself,—of writing a whole Sermon, not for the sake of the text or of the matter, but for the sake of one simple passing hint,—one phrase, one epithet." Now observe; can there be a plainer testimony borne to the practical character of my Sermons at St. Mary's than this gratuitous insinuation? Many a preacher of Tractarian doctrine has been accused of not letting his parishioners alone, and of teasing them with his private theological notions. The same report was spread about me twenty years ago as this writer spreads now, and the world believed that my Sermons at St. Mary's were full of red-hot Tractarianism. Then strangers came to hear me preach, and were astonished at their own disappointment. I recollect the wife of a great prelate from a distance coming to hear me, and then expressing her surprise to find that I preached nothing but a plain humdrum Sermon. I recollect how, when on the Sunday before Commemoration one year, a number of strangers came to hear me, and I preached in my usual way, residents in Oxford, of high position, were loud in their satisfaction that on a great occasion, I had made a simple failure, for after all there was nothing in the Sermon to hear. Well, but they were not going to let me off, for all my common-sense view of duty. Accordingly they got up the charitable theory which this Writer revives. They said that there was a double purpose in those plain addresses of mine,[Pg 314] and that my Sermons were never so artful as when they seemed common-place; that there were sentences which redeemed their apparent simplicity and quietness. So they watched during the delivery of a Sermon, which to them was too practical to be useful, for the concealed point of it, which they could at least imagine, if they could not discover. "Men used to suspect Dr. Newman," he says, "of writing a whole Sermon, not for the sake of the text or of the matter, but for the sake of one single passing hint, ... one phrase, one epithet, one little barbed arrow, which, as he swept magnificently past on the stream of his calm eloquence, seemingly unconscious of all presences, save those unseen, he delivered unheeded," &c. To all appearance, he says, I was "unconscious of all presences." He is not able to deny that the "whole Sermon" had the appearance of being "for the sake of the text and matter;" therefore he suggests that perhaps it wasn't.


2. And now as to the subject of the Sermon. The Sermons of which the Volume consists are such as are, more or less, exceptions to the rule which I ordinarily observed, as to the subjects which I introduced into the pulpit of St. Mary's. They are not purely ethical or doctrinal. They were for the most part caused by circumstances of the day or of the moment, and they belong to various years. One was written in 1832, two in 1836, two in 1838, five in 1840, five in 1841, four in 1842, seven in 1843. Many of them are engaged on one subject, viz. in viewing the Church in its relation to the world. By the world was meant, not simply those multitudes which were not in the Church, but the existing body of human society, whether in the Church or not, whether Catholics, Protestants, Greeks, or Mahometans, theists or idolaters, as being ruled by principles, maxims, and instincts of their own, that is, of an unregenerate nature, whatever their[Pg 315] supernatural privileges might be, greater or less, according to their form of religion. This view of the relation of the Church to the world as taken apart from questions of ecclesiastical politics, as they may be called, is often brought out in my Sermons. Two occur to me at once; No. 3 of my Plain Sermons, which was written in 1829, and No. 15 of my Third Volume of Parochial, written in 1835. On the other hand, by Church I meant,—in common with all writers connected with the Tract Movement, whatever their shades of opinion, and with the whole body of English divines, except those of the Puritan or Evangelical School,—the whole of Christendom, from the Apostles' time till now, whatever their later divisions into Latin, Greek, and Anglican. I have explained this view of the subject above at pp. 69-71 of this Volume. When then I speak, in the particular Sermon before us, of the members, or the rulers, or the action of "the Church," I mean neither the Latin, nor the Greek, nor the English, taken by itself, but of the whole Church as one body: of Italy as one with England, of the Saxon or Norman as one with the Caroline Church. This was specially the one Church, and the points in which one branch or one period differed from another were not and could not be Notes of the Church, because Notes necessarily belong to the whole of the Church every where and always.

This being my doctrine as to the relation of the Church to the world, I laid down in the Sermon three principles concerning it, and there left the matter. The first is, that Divine Wisdom had framed for its action laws, which man, if left to himself, would have antecedently pronounced to be the worst possible for its success, and which in all ages have been called by the world, as they were in the Apostles' days, "foolishness;" that man ever relies on physical and material force, and on carnal inducements[Pg 316] as Mahomet with his sword and his houris, or indeed almost as that theory of religion, called, since the Sermon was written, "muscular Christianity;" but that our Lord, on the contrary, has substituted meekness for haughtiness, passiveness for violence, and innocence for craft: and that the event has shown the high wisdom of such an economy, for it has brought to light a set of natural laws, unknown before, by which the seeming paradox that weakness should be stronger than might, and simplicity than worldly policy, is readily explained.

Secondly, I said that men of the world, judging by the event, and not recognizing the secret causes of the success, viz. a higher order of natural laws,—natural, though their source and action were supernatural, (for "the meek inherit the earth," by means of a meekness which comes from above,)—these men, I say, concluded, that the success which they witnessed must arise from some evil secret which the world had not mastered,—by means of magic, as they said in the first ages, by cunning as they say now. And accordingly they thought that the humility and inoffensiveness of Christians, or of Churchmen, was a mere pretence and blind to cover the real causes of that success, which Christians could explain and would not; and that they were simply hypocrites.

Thirdly, I suggested that shrewd ecclesiastics, who knew very well that there was neither magic nor craft in the matter, and, from their intimate acquaintance with what actually went on within the Church, discerned what were the real causes of its success, were of course under the temptation of substituting reason for conscience, and, instead of simply obeying the command, were led to do good that good might come, that is, to act in order to secure success, and not from a motive of faith. Some, I said, did yield to the temptation more or less, and their motives became mixed; and in this way the world in a[Pg 317] more subtle shape had got into the Church; and hence it had come to pass, that, looking at its history from first to last, we could not possibly draw the line between good and evil there, and say either that every thing was to be defended, or certain things to be condemned. I expressed the difficulty, which I supposed to be inherent in the Church, in the following words. I said, "Priestcraft has ever been considered the badge, and its imputation is a kind of Note of the Church: and in part indeed truly, because the presence of powerful enemies, and the sense of their own weakness, has sometimes tempted Christians to the abuse, instead of the use of Christian wisdom, to be wise without being harmless; but partly, nay, for the most part, not truly, but slanderously, and merely because the world called their wisdom craft, when it was found to be a match for its own numbers and power."

Such is the substance of the Sermon: and as to the main drift of it, it was this; that I was, there and elsewhere, scrutinizing the course of the Church as a whole, as if philosophically, as an historical phenomenon, and observing the laws on which it was conducted. Hence the Sermon, or Essay as it more truly is, is written in a dry and unimpassioned way: it shows as little of human warmth of feeling as a Sermon of Bishop Butler's. Yet, under that calm exterior there was a deep and keen sensitiveness, as I shall now proceed to show.


3. If I mistake not, it was written with a secret thought about myself. Every one preaches according to his frame of mind, at the time of preaching. One heaviness especially oppressed me at that season, which this Writer, twenty years afterwards, has set himself with a good will to renew: it arose from the sense of the base calumnies which were heaped upon me on all sides. It is worth observing that this Sermon is exactly contemporaneous with the report[Pg 318] spread by a Bishop (vid. supr. p. 181), that I had advised a clergyman converted to Catholicism to retain his Living. This report was in circulation in February 1843, and my Sermon was preached on the 19th. In the trouble of mind into which I was thrown by such calumnies as this, I gained, while I reviewed the history of the Church, at once an argument and a consolation. My argument was this: if I, who knew my own innocence, was so blackened by party prejudice, perhaps those high rulers and those servants of the Church, in the many ages which intervened between the early Nicene times and the present, who were laden with such grievous accusations, were innocent also; and this reflection served to make me tender towards those great names of the past, to whom weaknesses or crimes were imputed, and reconciled me to difficulties in ecclesiastical proceedings, which there were no means now of properly explaining. And the sympathy thus excited for them, re-acted on myself, and I found comfort in being able to put myself under the shadow of those who had suffered as I was suffering, and who seemed to promise me their recompense, since I had a fellowship in their trial. In a letter to my Bishop at the time of Tract 90, part of which I have quoted, I said that I had ever tried to "keep innocency;" and now two years had passed since then, and men were louder and louder in heaping on me the very charges, which this Writer repeats out of my Sermon, of "fraud and cunning," "craftiness and deceitfulness," "double-dealing," "priestcraft," of being "mysterious, dark, subtle, designing," when I was all the time conscious to myself, in my degree, and after my measure, of "sobriety, self-restraint, and control of word and feeling." I had had experience how my past success had been imputed to "secret management;" and how, when I had shown surprise at that success, that surprise again was imputed to "deceit;" and how my honest heartfelt submission[Pg 319] to authority had been called, as it was called in a Bishop's charge abroad, "mystic humility;" and how my silence was called an "hypocrisy;" and my faithfulness to my clerical engagements a secret correspondence with the enemy. And I found a way of destroying my sensitiveness about these things which jarred upon my sense of justice, and otherwise would have been too much for me, by the contemplation of a large law of the Divine Dispensation, and felt myself more and more able to bear in my own person a present trial, of which in my past writings I had expressed an anticipation.

For this feeling and thus speaking this Writer compares me to "Mawworm." "I found him telling Christians," he says, "that they will always seem 'artificial,' and 'wanting in openness and manliness;' that they will always be 'a mystery' to the world; and that the world will always think them rogues; and bidding them glory in what the world (that is, the rest of their fellow-countrymen) disown, and say with Mawworm, 'I like to be despised.' Now how was I to know that the preacher ... was utterly blind to the broad meaning and the plain practical result of a Sermon like this delivered before fanatic and hot-headed young men, who hung upon his every word?"—Fanatic and hot-headed young men, who hung on my every word! If he had undertaken to write a history, and not a romance, he would have easily found out, as I have said above, that from 1841 I had severed myself from the younger generation of Oxford, that Dr. Pusey and I had then closed our theological meetings at his house, that I had brought my own weekly evening parties to an end, that I preached only by fits and starts at St. Mary's, so that the attendance of young men was broken up, that in those very weeks from Christmas till over Easter, during which this Sermon was preached, I was but five times in the pulpit there. He would have found,[Pg 320] that it was written at a time when I was shunned rather than sought, when I had great sacrifices in anticipation, when I was thinking much of myself; that I was ruthlessly tearing myself away from my own followers, and that, in the musings of that Sermon, I was at the very utmost only delivering a testimony in my behalf for time to come, not sowing my rhetoric broadcast for the chance of present sympathy.

Again, he says: "I found him actually using of such [prelates], (and, as I thought, of himself and his party likewise,) the words 'They yield outwardly; to assent inwardly were to betray the faith. Yet they are called deceitful and double-dealing, because they do as much as they can, not more than they may.'" This too is a proof of my duplicity! Let this writer, in his dealings with some one else, go just a little further than he has gone with me; and let him get into a court of law for libel; and let him be convicted; and let him still fancy that his libel, though a libel, was true, and let us then see whether he will not in such a case "yield outwardly," without assenting internally; and then again whether we should please him, if we called him "deceitful and double-dealing," because "he did as much as he could, not more than he ought to do." But Tract 90 will supply a real illustration of what I meant. I yielded to the Bishops in outward act, viz. in not defending the Tract, and in closing the Series; but, not only did I not assent inwardly to any condemnation of it, but I opposed myself to the proposition of a condemnation on the part of authority. Yet I was then by the public called "deceitful and double-dealing," as this Writer calls me now, "because I did as much as I felt I could do, and not more than I felt I could honestly do." Many were the publications of the day and the private letters, which accused me of shuffling, because I closed the Series of Tracts, yet kept the Tracts on sale, as if I ought to comply not only with[Pg 321] what my Bishop asked, but with what he did not ask, and perhaps did not wish. However, such teaching, according to this Writer, was likely to make young men "suspect, that truth was not a virtue for its own sake, but only for the sake of the spread of 'Catholic opinions,' and the 'salvation of their own souls;' and that cunning was the weapon which heaven had allowed to them to defend themselves against the persecuting Protestant public."—p. 16.

And now I draw attention to a further point. He says, "How was I to know that the preacher ... did not foresee, that [fanatic and hot-headed young men] would think that they obeyed him, by becoming affected, artificial, sly, shifty, ready for concealments and equivocations?" "How should he know!" What! I suppose that we are to think every man a knave till he is proved not to be such. Know! had he no friend to tell him whether I was "affected" or "artificial" myself? Could he not have done better than impute equivocations to me, at a time when I was in no sense answerable for the amphibologia of the Roman casuists? Had he a single fact which belongs to me personally or by profession to couple my name with equivocation in 1843? "How should he know" that I was not sly, smooth, artificial, non-natural! he should know by that common manly frankness, by which we put confidence in others, till they are proved to have forfeited it; he should know it by my own words in that very Sermon, in which I say it is best to be natural, and that reserve is at best but an unpleasant necessity. For I say there expressly:—[Pg 322]

"I do not deny that there is something very engaging in a frank and unpretending manner; some persons have it more than others; in some persons it is a great grace. But it must be recollected that I am speaking of times of persecution and oppression to Christians, such as the text foretells; and then surely frankness will become nothing else than indignation at the oppressor, and vehement speech, if it is permitted. Accordingly, as persons have deep feelings, so they will find the necessity of self-control, lest they should say what they ought not."

He sums up thus:

"If [Dr. Newman] would ... persist (as in this Sermon) in dealing with matters dark, offensive, doubtful, sometimes actually forbidden, at least according to the notions of the great majority of English Churchmen; if he would always do so in a tentative, paltering way, seldom or never letting the world know how much he believed, how far he intended to go; if, in a word, his method of teaching was a suspicious one, what wonder if the minds of men were filled with suspicions of him?"—p. 17.

Now, in the course of my Narrative, I have frankly admitted that I was tentative in such of my works as fairly allowed of the introduction into them of religious inquiry; but he is speaking of my Sermons; where, then, is his proof that in my Sermons I dealt in matters dark, offensive, doubtful, actually forbidden? He must show that I was tentative in my Sermons; and he has the range of eight volumes to gather evidence in. As to the ninth, my University Sermons, of course I was tentative in them; but not because "I would seldom or never let the world know how much I believed, or how far I intended to go;" but because University Sermons are commonly, and allowably, of the nature of disquisitions, as preached before a learned body; and because in deep subjects, which had not been fully investigated, I said as much as I believed, and about as far as I saw I could go; and a man cannot do more; and I account no man to be a philosopher who attempts to do more.[Pg 323]

NOTE D. ON PAGE 213.

SERIES OF SAINTS' LIVES OF 1843-4.

I have here an opportunity of preserving, what otherwise would be lost, the Catalogue of English Saints which I formed, as preparatory to the Series of their Lives which was begun in the above years. It is but a first Essay, and has many obvious imperfections; but it may be useful to others as a step towards a complete hagiography for England. For instance St. Osberga is omitted; I suppose because it was not easy to learn any thing about her. Boniface of Canterbury is inserted, though passed over by the Bollandists on the ground of the absence of proof of a cultus having been paid to him. The Saints of Cornwall were too numerous to be attempted. Among the men of note, not Saints, King Edward II. is included from piety towards the founder of Oriel College. With these admissions I present my Paper to the reader.[Pg 324]

Preparing for Publication, in Periodical Numbers, in small 8vo, The Lives of the English Saints, Edited by the Rev. John Henry Newman, B.D., Fellow of Oriel College.

It is the compensation of the disorders and perplexities of these latter times of the Church that we have the history of the foregoing. We indeed of this day have been reserved to witness a disorganization of the City of God, which it never entered into the minds of the early believers to imagine: but we are witnesses also of its triumphs and of its luminaries through those many ages which have brought about the misfortunes which at present overshadow it. If they were blessed who lived in primitive times, and saw the fresh traces of their Lord, and heard the echoes of Apostolic voices, blessed too are we whose special portion it is to see that same Lord revealed in His Saints. The wonders of His grace in the soul of man, its creative power, its inexhaustible resources, its manifold operation, all this we know, as they knew it not. They never heard the names of St. Gregory, St. Bernard, St. Francis, and St. Louis. In fixing our thoughts then, as in an undertaking like the present, on the History of the Saints, we are but availing ourselves of that solace and recompense of our peculiar trials which has been provided for our need by our Gracious Master.

And there are special reasons at this time for recurring to the Saints of our own dear and glorious, most favoured, yet most erring and most unfortunate England. Such a recurrence may serve to make us love our country better, and on truer grounds, than heretofore; to teach us to invest her territory, her cities and villages, her hills and springs, with sacred associations; to give us an insight into her present historical position in the course of the Divine Dispensation; to instruct us in the capabilities of the English character; and to open upon us the duties and the hopes to which that Church is heir, which was in former times the Mother of St. Boniface and St. Ethelreda.

Even a selection or specimens of the Hagiology of our country may suffice for some of these high purposes; and in so wide and rich a field of research it is almost presumptuous in one undertaking to aim at more than such a partial exhibition. The list that follows, though by no means so large as might have been drawn up, exceeds the limits which the Editor proposes to his hopes, if not to his wishes; but, whether it is allowed him to accomplish a larger or smaller portion of it, it will be his aim to complete such subjects or periods as he begins before bringing it to a close. It is hardly necessary to observe that any list that is producible in this stage of the undertaking can but approximate to correctness and completeness in matters of detail, and even in the names which are selected to compose it.

He has considered himself at liberty to include in the Series such saints as have been born in England, though they have lived and laboured out of it; and such, again, as have been in any sufficient way connected with our country, though born out of it; for instance, Missionaries or Preachers in it, or spiritual or temporal rulers, or founders of religious institutions or houses.

He has also included in the Series a few eminent or holy persons, who, though not in the Sacred Catalogue, are recommended to our religious memory by their fame, learning, or the benefits they have conferred on posterity. These have been distinguished from the Saints by printing their names in italics.

It is proposed to page all the longer Lives separately; the shorter will be thrown together in one. They will be published in monthly issues of not more than 128 pages each; and no regularity, whether of date or of subject, will be observed in the order of publication. But they will be so numbered as to admit ultimately of a general chronological arrangement.

[Pg 325]

The separate writers are distinguished by letters subjoined to each Life: and it should be added, to prevent misapprehension, that, since under the present circumstances of our Church, they are necessarily of various, though not divergent, doctrinal opinions, no one is answerable for any composition but his own. At the same time, the work professing an historical and ethical character, questions of theology will be, as far as possible, thrown into the back ground.

J. H. N.
Littlemore, Sept. 9, 1843.

CALENDAR OF ENGLISH SAINTS.

JANUARY.

1 Elvan, B. and Medwyne, C.
2 Martyrs of Lichfield.
3 Melorus, M.
4
5 Edward, K.C.
6 Peter, A.
7 Cedd, B.
8 Pega, V. Wulsin, B.
9 Adrian, A. Bertwald, Archb.
10 Sethrida, V.
11 Egwin, B.
12 Benedict Biscop, A. Aelred, A.
13 Kentigern, B.
14 Beuno, A.
15 Ceolulph, K. Mo.
16 Henry, Hermit. Fursey, A.
17 Mildwida, V.
18 Ulfrid or Wolfrid, M.
19 Wulstan, B. Henry, B.
20
21
22 Brithwold, B.
23 Boisil, A.
24 Cadoc, A.
25
26 Theoritgida, V.
27 Bathildis, Queen.
28
29 Gildas, A.
30
31 Adamnan, Mo. Serapion, M.[Pg 326]

FEBRUARY.

1
2 Laurence, Archb.
3 Wereburga, V.
4
5
6 Ina, K. Mo.
7 Augulus, B.M. Richard, K.
8 Elfleda, A. Cuthman, C.
9 Theliau, B.
10 Trumwin, B.
11
12 Ethelwold, B. of Lindisfarne. Cedmon, Mo.
13 Ermenilda, Q.A.
14
15 Sigefride, B.
16 Finan, B.
17
18
19
20 Ulric, H.
21
22
23 Milburga, V.
24 Luidhard, B. Ethelbert of Kent, K.
25 Walburga, V.A.
26
27 Alnoth, H.M.
28 Oswald, B.
29

MARCH.

1 David, Archb. Swibert, B.
2 Chad, B. Willeik, C. Joavan, B.
3 Winwaloe, A.
4 Owin, Mo.
5
6 Kineburga, &c., and Tibba, VV.
7 Easterwin, A. William, Friar.
8 Felix, B.
9 Bosa, B.
10
11
12 Elphege, B. Paul de Leon, B.C.
13
14 Robert, H.
15 Eadgith, A.
16
17 Withburga, V.
18 Edward, K.M.
19 Alcmund, M.
20 Cuthbert, B. Herbert, B.
21
22
23 Ædelwald, H.
24 Hildelitha, A.
25 Alfwold of Sherborne, B. and William, M.
26
27
28
29 Gundleus, H.
30 Merwenna, A.
31

APRIL.

1
2
3 Richard, B.
4
5
6
7
8
9 Frithstan, B.
10
11 Guthlake, H.
12
13 Caradoc, H.
14 Richard of Bury, B.
15 Paternus, B.[Pg 327]
16
17 Stephen. A.
18
19 Elphege, Archb.
20 Adelbare, M. Cedwalla, K.
21 Anselm, Archb. Doctor.
22
23 George M.
24
25
26
27
28
29 Wilfrid II. Archb.
30 Erconwald, B. Suibert, B. Maud, Q.

MAY.

1 Asaph, B. Ultan, A. Brioe, B.C.
2 Germanus, M.
3
4
5 Ethelred, K. Mo.
6 Eadbert, A.
7 John, Archb. of Beverley.
8
9
10
11 Fremund, M.
12
13
14
15
16 Simon Stock, H.
17
18 Elgiva, Q.
19 Dunstan, Archb. B. Alcuin, A.
20 Ethelbert, K.M.
21 Godric, H.
22 Winewald, A. Berethun, A. Henry, K.
23
24 Ethelburga, Q.
25 Aldhelm, B.
26 Augustine, Archb.
27 Bede, D. Mo.
28 Lanfranc, Archb.
29
30 Walston, C.
31 Jurmin, C.

JUNE.

1 Wistan, K.M.
2
3
4 Petroc, A.
5 Boniface, Archb. M.
6 Gudwall, B.
7 Robert, A.
8 William, Archb.
9
10 Ivo, B. and Ithamar, B.
11
12 Eskill, B.M.
13
14 Elerius, A.
15 Edburga, V.
16
17 Botulph, A. John, Fr.
18
19
20 Idaberga, V.
21 Egelmund, A.
22 Alban, and Amphibolus, MM.
23 Ethelreda, V.A.
24 Bartholomew, H.
25 Adelbert, C.
26
27 John, C. of Moutier.
28
29 Margaret, Countess of Richmond.
30

JULY.

1 Julius, Aaron, MM. Rumold, B. Leonorus, B.
2 Oudoceus, B. Swithun, B.
3 Gunthiern, A.
4 Odo, Archb.
5 Modwenna, V.A.
6 Sexburga, A.
7 Edelburga, V.A. Hedda, B. Willibald, B. Ercongota, V.
8 Grimbald, and Edgar, K.
9 Stephen Langton, Archb.
10
11
12
13 Mildreda, V.A.
14 Marchelm, C. Boniface, Archb.
15 Deus-dedit, Archb. Plechelm, B. David, A. and Editha of Tamworth, Q.V.
16 Helier, H.M.
17 Kenelm, K.M.
18 Edburga and Edgitha of Aylesbury, VV. Frederic, B.M.
19
20
21
22
23
24 Wulfud and Ruffin, MM. Lewinna, V.M.
25
26
27 Hugh, M.
28 Sampson, B.
29 Lupus, B.
30 Tatwin, Archb. and Ermenigitha, V.
31 Germanus, B. and Neot, H.

AUGUST.

1 Ethelwold, B. of Winton.
2 Etheldritha, V.
3 Walthen, A.
4
5 Oswald, K.M. Thomas, Mo. M. of Dover.
6
7
8 Colman, B.
9
10
11 William of Waynfleet, B.
12
13 Wigbert, A. Walter, A.
14 Werenfrid, C.
15
16
17
18 Helen, Empress.
19
20 Oswin, K.M.
21 Richard, B. of Andria.
22 Sigfrid, A.
23 Ebba, V.A.
24
25 Ebba, V.A.M.
26 Bregwin, Archb. Bradwardine, Archb.
27 Sturmius, A.
28
29 Sebbus, K.
30
31 Eanswida, V.A. Aidan, A.B. Cuthburga, Q.V.[Pg 328]

SEPTEMBER.

1
2 William, B. of Roschid. William, Fr.
3
4
5
6 Bega, A.
7 Alcmund, A. Tilhbert, A.
8
9 Bertelin, H. Wulfhilda or Vulfridis, A.
10 Otger, C.
11 Robert Kilwardby, Archb.
12
13
14 Richard Fox, B.
15
16 Ninian, B. Edith, daughter of Edgar, V.
17 Socrates and Stephen, MM.
18
19 Theodore, Archb.
20
21 Hereswide, Q. Edward II. K.
22
23
24
25 Ceolfrid, A.
26
27 William of Wykeham, B.
28 Lioba, V.A.
29 B. Richard of Hampole, H.
30 Honorius, Archb.

OCTOBER.

1 Roger, B.
2 Thomas of Hereford, B.
3 Ewalds (two) MM.
4
5 Walter Stapleton, B. Acca, B.
6 Ywy, C.
7 Ositha, Q.V.M.
8 Ceneu, V.
9 Lina, V. and Robert Grostete, B.
10 Paulinus, Archb. John, C. of Bridlington.
11 Edilburga, V.A.
12 Edwin, K.
13
14 Burchard, B.
15 Tecla, V.A.
16 Lullus, Archb.
17 Ethelred, Ethelbright, MM.
18 Walter de Merton, B.
19 Frideswide, V. and Ethbin, A.
20
21 Ursula, V.M.
22 Mello, B.C.
23
24 Magloire, B.
25 John of Salisbury, B.
26 Eata, B.
27 Witta, B.
28 B. Alfred.
29 Sigebert, K. Elfreda, A.
30
31 Foillan, B.M.

NOVEMBER.

1
2
3 Wenefred, V.M. Rumwald, C.
4 Brinstan, B. Clarus, M.
5 Cungar, H.
6 Iltut, A. and Winoc, A.
7 Willebrord, B.
8 Willehad, B. Tyssilio, B.
9
10 Justus, Archb.
11
12 Lebwin, C.
13 Eadburga of Menstrey, A.
14 Dubricius, B.C.
15 Malo, B.
16 Edmund, B.
17 Hilda, A. Hugh, B.
18
19 Ermenburga, Q.
20 Edmund, K.M. Humbert, B.M.
21
22 Paulinus, A.
23 Daniel, B.C.
24
25
26
27
28 Edwold, M.
29
30[Pg 329]

DECEMBER.

1
2 Weede, V.
3 Birinus, B. Lucius, K. and Sola, H.
4 Osmund, B.
5 Christina, V.
6
7
8 John Peckham, Archb.
9
10
11 Elfleda, A.
12 Corentin, B.C.
13 Ethelburga, Q. wife of Edwin.
14
15
16
17
18 Winebald, A.
19
20
21 Eadburga, V.A.
22
23
24
25
26 Tathai, C.
27 Gerald, A.B.
28
29 Thomas, Archb. M.
30
31

N.B. St. William, Austin-Friar, Ingulphus, and Peter of Blois have not been introduced into the above Calendar, their days of death or festival not being as yet ascertained.


CHRONOLOGICAL ARRANGEMENT.

SECOND CENTURY.

182 Dec. 3. Lucius, K. of the British.
      Jan. 1. Elvan, B. and Medwyne, C. envoys from St. Lucius to Rome.

FOURTH CENTURY.

300 Oct. 22. Mello, B. C. of Rouen.
303 Ap. 23. George, M. under Dioclesian. Patron of England.
—June 22. Alban and Amphibalus, MM.
—July 1. Julius and Aaron, MM. of Caerleon.
304 Jan. 2. Martyrs of Lichfield.
—Feb. 7. Augulus, B.M. of London.
328 Aug. 18. Helen, Empress, mother of Constantine.
388 Sept. 17. Socrates and Stephen, M.M. perhaps in Wales.
411 Jan. 3. Melorus, M. in Cornwall.

FIFTH CENTURY.

432 Sept. 16. Ninian, B. Apostle of the Southern Picts.
429 July 31. Germanus, B. C. of Auxerre.
      July 29. Lupus, B. C. of Troyes.
502 May 1. Brioc, B. C., disciple of St. Germanus. [Pg 330]

490 Oct. 8. Ceneu, or Keyna, V., sister-in-law of Gundleus.
492 Mar. 29. Gundleus, Hermit, in Wales.
      July 3. Gunthiern, A., in Brittany.
453 Oct. 21. Ursula, V.M. near Cologne.
bef. 500 Dec. 12. Corentin, B.C. of Quimper.

FIFTH AND SIXTH CENTURIES.

Welsh Schools.

444-522 Nov. 14. Dubricius, B.C., first Bishop of Llandaff.
520 Nov. 22. Paulinus, A. of Whitland, tutor of St. David and St. Theliau.
445-544 Mar. 1. David, Archb. of Menevia, afterwards called from him.
abt. 500 Dec. 26. Tathai, C., master of St. Cadoc.
480 Jan. 24. Cadoc, A., son of St. Gundleus, and nephew of St. Keyna.
abt. 513 Nov. 6. Iltut, A., converted by St. Cadoc.
545 Nov. 23. Daniel, B.C., first Bishop of Bangor.
aft. 559 Apr. 18. Paternus, B.A., pupil of St. Iltut.
573 Mar. 12. Paul, B.C. of Leon, pupil of St. Iltut.
      Mar. 2. Ioavan, B., pupil of St. Paul.
599 July 28. Sampson, B., pupil of St. Iltut, cousin of St. Paul de Leon.
565 Nov. 15. Malo, B., cousin of St. Sampson.
575 Oct. 24. Magloire, B., cousin of St. Malo.
583 Jan. 29. Gildas, A., pupil of St. Iltut.
      July 1. Leonorus, B., pupil of St. Iltut.
604 Feb. 9. Theliau, B. of Llandaff, pupil of St. Dubricius.
560 July 2. Oudoceus, B., nephew to St. Theliau.
500-580 Oct. 19. Ethbin, A., pupil of St. Sampson.
516-601 Jan. 13. Kentigern, B. of Glasgow, founder of Monastery of Elwy.

SIXTH CENTURY.

529 Mar. 3. Winwaloe, A., in Brittany.
564 June 4. Petroc., A., in Cornwall.
      July 16. Helier, Hermit, M., in Jersey.
      June 27. John, C. of Moutier, in Tours.
590 May 1. Asaph, B. of Elwy, afterwards called after him.
abt. 600 June 6. Gudwall, B. of Aleth in Brittany.
      Nov. 8. Tyssilio, B. of St. Asaph.

SEVENTH CENTURY.

Part I.

600 June 10. Ivo, or Ivia, B. from Persia.
596 Feb. 24. Luidhard, B. of Senlis, in France.
616 Feb. 24. Ethelbert, K. of Kent.
608 May 26. Augustine, Archb. of Canterbury, Apostle of England.
624 Apr. 24. Mellitus, Archb. of Canterbury,}
619 Feb. 2. Laurence, Archb. of Canterbury,} Companions of St.
608 Jan. 6. Peter, A. at Canterbury,} Augustine.
627 Nov. 10. Justus, Archb. of Canterbury,}
653 Sept. 30. Honorius, Archb. of Canterbury,}
662 July 15. Deus-dedit, Archb. of Canterbury. [Pg 331]

SEVENTH CENTURY.

Part II.

642 Oct. 29. Sigebert, K. of the East Angles.
646 Mar. 8. Felix, B. of Dunwich, Apostle of the East Angles.
650 Jan. 16. Fursey, A., preacher among the East Angles.
680 May 1. Ultan, A., brother of St. Fursey.
655 Oct. 31. Foillan, B.M., brother of St. Fursey, preacher in the Netherlands.
680 June 17. Botulph, A., in Lincolnshire or Sussex.
671 June 10. Ithamar, B. of Rochester.
650 Dec. 3. Birinus, B. of Dorchester.
705 July 7. Hedda, B. of Dorchester.
717 Jan. 11. Egwin, B. of Worcester.

SEVENTH CENTURY.

Part III.

690 Sept. 19. Theodore, Archb. of Canterbury.
709 Jan. 9. Adrian, A. in Canterbury.
709 May 25. Aldhelm, B. of Sherborne, pupil of St. Adrian.

SEVENTH CENTURY.

Part IV.

630 Nov. 3. Winefred, V.M. in Wales.
642 Feb. 4. Liephard, M.B., slain near Cambray.
660 Jan. 14. Beuno, A., kinsman of St. Cadocus and St. Kentigern.
673 Oct. 7. Osgitha, Q.V.M., in East Anglia during a Danish inroad.
630 June 14. Elerius, A. in Wales.
680 Jan. 27. Bathildis, Q., wife of Clovis II., king of France.
687 July 24. Lewinna, V.M., put to death by the Saxons.
700 July 18. Edberga and Edgitha, VV. of Aylesbury.

SEVENTH CENTURY.

Part V.

644 Oct. 10. Paulinus, Archb. of York, companion of St. Augustine.
633 Oct. 12. Edwin, K. of Northumberland.
      Dec. 13. Ethelburga, Q., wife to St. Edwin.
642 Aug. 5. Oswald, K.M., St. Edwin's nephew.
651 Aug. 20. Oswin, K.M., cousin to St. Oswald.
683 Aug. 23. Ebba, V.A. of Coldingham, half-sister to St. Oswin.
689 Jan. 31. Adamnan, Mo. of Coldingham.

SEVENTH CENTURY.

Part VI.—Whitby.

650 Sept. 6. Bega, V.A., foundress of St. Bee's, called after her.
681 Nov. 17. Hilda, A. of Whitby, daughter of St. Edwin's nephew.
716 Dec. 11. Elfleda, A. of Whitby, daughter of St. Oswin.
680 Feb. 12. Cedmon, Mo. of Whitby. [Pg 332]

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH CENTURIES.

Part I.

      Sept. 21. Hereswida, Q., sister of Hilda, wife of Annas, who succeeded Egric, Sigebert's cousin.
654 Jan. 10. Sethrida, V.A. of Faremoutier, St. Hereswida's daughter by a former marriage.
693 Apr. 30. Erconwald, A.B., son of Annas and St. Hereswida, Bishop of London, Abbot of Chertsey, founder of Barking.
677 Aug. 29. Sebbus, K., converted by St. Erconwald.
      May 31. Jurmin, C., son of Annas and St. Hereswida.
650 July 7. Edelburga, V.A. of Faremoutier, natural daughter of Annas.
679 June 23. Ethelreda, Etheldreda, Etheltrudis, or Awdry, V.A., daughter of Annas and St. Hereswida.
Mar. 17. Withburga, V., daughter of Annas and St. Hereswida.
699 July 6. Sexburga, A., daughter of Annas and St. Hereswida.
660 July 7. Ercongota, or Ertongata, V.A. of Faremoutier, daughter of St. Sexburga.
699 Feb. 13. Ermenilda, Q.A., daughter of St. Sexburga, wife of Wulfere.
aft. 675 Feb. 3. Wereburga, V., daughter of St. Ermenilda and Wulfere, patron of Chester.
abt. 680 Feb. 27. Alnoth, H.M., bailiff to St. Wereburga.
640 Aug. 31. Eanswida, V.A., sister-in-law of St. Sexburga, granddaughter to St. Ethelbert.
668 Oct. 17. Ethelred and Ethelbright, MM., nephews of St. Eanswida.
      July 30. Ermenigitha, V., niece of St. Eanswida.
676 Oct. 11. Edilberga, V.A. of Barking, daughter of Annas and St. Hereswida.
678 Jan. 26. Theoritgida, V., nun of Barking.
aft. 713 Aug. 31. Cuthberga, Q.V., of Barking, sister of St. Ina.
700 Mar. 24. Hildelitha, A. of Barking.
728 Feb. 6. Ina, K. Mo. of the West Saxons.
740 May 24. Ethelburga, Q., wife of St. Ina, nun at Barking.

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH CENTURIES.

Part II.

652 June 20. Idaburga, V.}
696 Mar. 6. Kineburga, Q.A.}
701—— Kinneswitha, V.} Daughters of King Penda.
      —— Chidestre, V.}
692 Dec. 2. Weeda, V.A.}
696 Mar. 6. Tibba, V., their kinswoman.
      Nov. 3. Rumwald, C., grandson of Penda.
680 Nov. 19. Ermenburga, Q., mother to the three following.
      Feb. 23. Milburga, V.A. of Wenlock,} Grand-daughters of
      July 13. Mildreda, V.A. of Menstrey,} Penda.
676 Jan. 17. Milwida, or Milgitha, V.}
750 Nov. 13. Eadburga, A. of Menstrey. [Pg 333]

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH CENTURIES.

Part III.

670 July 24. Wulfad and Ruffin, MM., sons of Wulfere, Penda's son, and of St. Erminilda.
672 Mar. 2. Chad, B. of Lichfield.
664 Jan. 7. Cedd, B. of London.
688 Mar. 4. Owin, Mo. of Lichfield.
689 Apr. 20. Cedwalla, K. of West Saxons.
690-725 Nov. 5. Cungar, H. in Somersetshire.
700 Feb. 10. Trumwin, B. of the Picts.
705 Mar. 9. Bosa, Archb. of York.
709 Apr. 24. Wilfrid, Archb. of York.
721 May 7. John of Beverley, Archb. of York.
743 Apr. 29. Wilfrid II., Archb. of York.
733 May 22. Berethun, A. of Deirwood, disciple of St. John of Beverley.
751 May 22. Winewald, A. of Deirwood.

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH CENTURIES.

Part IV.—Missions.

729 Apr. 24. Egbert, C., master to Willebrord.
693 Oct. 3. Ewalds (two), MM. in Westphalia.
690-736 Nov. 7. Willebrord, B. of Utrecht, Apostle of Friesland.
717 Mar. 1. Swibert, B., Apostle of Westphalia.
727 Mar. 2. Willeik, C., successor to St. Swibert.
705 June 25. Adelbert, C., grandson of St. Oswald, preacher in Holland.
705 Aug. 14. Werenfrid, C., preacher in Friesland.
720 June 21. Engelmund, A., preacher in Holland.
730 Sept. 10. Otger, C. in Low Countries.
732 July 15. Plechelm, B., preacher in Guelderland.
750 May 2. Germanus, B.M. in the Netherlands.
760 Nov. 12, Lebwin, C. in Overyssel, in Holland.
760 July 14. Marchelm, C., companion of St. Lebwin, in Holland.
697-755 June 5. Boniface, Archb., M. of Mentz, Apostle of Germany.
712 Feb. 7. Richard, K. of the West Saxons.
704-790 July 7. Willibald, B. of Aichstadt,}} in Franconia,}}
730-760 Dec. 18. Winebald, A. of Heidenheim,} Children of} in Suabia,} St. Richard.}
779 Feb. 25. Walburga, V.A. of Heidenheim,}}
aft. 755 Sept. 28. Lioba, V.A. of Bischorsheim,}
750 Oct. 15. Tecla, V.A. of Kitzingen, in Franconia,} Companions } of St.
788 Oct. 16. Lullus, Archb. of Mentz,} Boniface.
abt. 747 Aug. 13. Wigbert, A. of Fritzlar and Ortdorf, in} Germany,}
755 Apr. 20. Adelhare, B.M. of Erford, in Franconia,}
780 Aug. 27. Sturmius, A. of Fulda,}
786 Oct. 27. Witta, or Albuinus, B. of Buraberg, in} Germany,}[Pg 334]
791 Nov. 8. Willehad, B. of Bremen, and Apostle of} Saxony,} Companions
791 Oct. 14. Burchard, B. of Wurtzburg, in Franconia,} of St.
790 Dec 3. Sola, H., near Aichstadt, in Franconia,} Boniface.
775 July 1. Rumold, B., Patron of Mechlin.
807 Apr. 30. Suibert, B. of Verden in Westphalia.

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH CENTURIES.

Part V.—Lindisfarne and Hexham.

670 Jan. 23. Boisil, A. of Melros, in Scotland.
651 Aug. 31. Aidan, A.B. of Lindisfarne.
664 Feb. 16. Finan, B. of Lindisfarne.
676 Aug. 8. Colman, B. of Lindisfarne.
685 Oct. 26. Eata, B. of Hexham.
687 Mar. 20. Cuthbert, B. of Lindisfarne.
      Oct. 6. Ywy, C. disciple of St. Cuthbert.
690 Mar. 20. Herbert, H. disciple of St. Cuthbert.
698 May 6. Eadbert, B. of Lindisfarne.
700 Mar. 23. Ædelwald, H. successor of St. Cuthbert, in his hermitage.
740 Feb. 12. Ethelwold, B. of Lindisfarne.
740 Nov. 20. Acca, B. of Hexham.
764 Jan. 15. Ceolulph, K. Mo. of Lindisfarne.
756 Mar. 6. Balther, H at Lindisfarne.
      " Bilfrid, H. Goldsmith at Lindisfarne.
781 Sept. 7. Alchmund, B. of Hexham.
789 Sept. 7. Tilhbert, B. of Hexham.

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH CENTURIES.

Part VI.—Wearmouth and Yarrow.

703 Jan. 12. Benedict Biscop, A. of Wearmouth.
685 Mar. 7. Easterwin, A. of Wearmouth.
689 Aug. 22. Sigfrid, A. of Wearmouth.
716 Sept. 25. Ceofrid, A. of Yarrow.
734 May 27. Bede, Doctor, Mo. of Yarrow.
804 May 19. B. Alcuin, A. in France.

EIGHTH CENTURY.

710 May 5. Ethelred, K. Mo. King of Mercia, Monk of Bardney.
719 Jan. 8. Pega, V., sister of St. Guthlake.
714 April 11. Guthlake, H. of Croyland.
717 Nov. 6. Winoc, A. in Brittany.
730 Jan. 9. Bertwald, Archb. of Canterbury.
732 Dec. 27. Gerald, A.B. in Mayo.
734 July 30. Tatwin, Archb. of Canterbury.
750 Oct. 19. Frideswide, V. patron of Oxford.
762 Aug. 26. Bregwin, Archb. of Canterbury.
700-800 Feb. 8. Cuthman, C. of Stening in Sussex.
bef. 800 Sept. 9. Bertelin, H. patron of Stafford. [Pg 335]

EIGHTH AND NINTH CENTURIES.

793 May 20. Ethelbert, K.M. of the East Angles.
834 Aug. 2. Etheldritha, or Alfreda, V., daughter of Offa, king of Mercia, nun at Croyland.
819 July 17. Kenelm, K.M. of Mercia.
849 June 1. Wistan, K.M. of Mercia.
838 July 18. Frederic, Archb. M. of Utrecht.
894 Nov. 4. Clarus, M. in Normandy.

NINTH CENTURY.

Part I.—Danish Slaughters, &c.

819 Mar. 19. Alcmund, M., son of Eldred, king of Northumbria, Patron of Derby.
870 Nov. 20. Edmund, K.M. of the East Angles.
862 May 11. Fremund, H. M. nobleman of East Anglia.
870 Nov. 20. Humbert, B.M. of Elmon in East Anglia.
867 Aug. 25. Ebba, V.A.M. of Coldingham.

NINTH CENTURY.

Part II.

862 July 2. Swithun, B. of Winton.
870 July 5. Modwenna, V.A. of Pollesworth in Warwickshire.
      Oct. 9. Lina, V. nun at Pollesworth.
871 Mar. 15. Eadgith, V.A. of Pollesworth, sister of King Ethelwolf.
900 Dec. 21. Eadburga, V.A. of Winton, daughter of King Ethelwolf.
880 Nov. 28. Edwold, H., brother of St. Edmund.

NINTH AND TENTH CENTURIES.

883 July 31. Neot, H. in Cornwall.
903 July 8. Grimbald, A. at Winton.
900 Oct. 28. B. Alfred, K.
929 April 9. Frithstan, B. of Winton.
934 Nov. 4. Brinstan, B. of Winton.

TENTH CENTURY.

Part I.

960 June 15. Edburga, V., nun at Winton, granddaughter of Alfred.
926 July 15. Editha, Q.V., nun of Tamworth, sister to Edburga.
921 May 18. Algyfa, or Elgiva, Q., mother of Edgar.
975 July 8. Edgar, K.
978 Mar. 18. Edward, K.M. at Corfe Castle.
984 Sept. 16. Edith, V., daughter of St. Edgar and St. Wulfhilda.
990 Sept. 9. Wulfhilda, or Vulfrida, A. of Wilton.
980 Mar. 30. Merwenna, V.A. of Romsey.
990 Oct. 29. Elfreda, A. of Romsey.
1016 Dec. 5. Christina of Romsey, V., sister of St. Margaret of Scotland. [Pg 336]

TENTH CENTURY.

Part II.

961 July 4. Odo, Archb. of Canterbury, Benedictine Monk.
960-992 Feb. 28. Oswald, Archb. of York, B. of Worcester, nephew to St. Odo.
951-1012 Mar. 12. Elphege the Bald, B. of Winton.
988 May 19. Dunstan, Archb. of Canterbury.
973 Jan. 8. Wulsin, B. of Sherbourne.
984 Aug. 1. Ethelwold, B. of Winton.
1015 Jan. 22. Brithwold, B. of Winton.

TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES.

Missions.

950 Feb. 15. Sigfride, B., apostle of Sweden.
1016 June 12. Eskill, B.M. in Sweden, kinsman of St. Sigfride.
1028 Jan. 18. Wolfred, M. in Sweden.
1050 July 15. David, A., Cluniac in Sweden.

ELEVENTH CENTURY.

1012 April 19. Elphege, M. Archb. of Canterbury.
1016 May 30. Walston, C. near Norwich.
1053 Mar. 31. Alfwold, B. of Sherborne.
1067 Sept. 2. William, B. of Roschid in Denmark.
1066 Jan. 5. Edward, K.C.
1099 Dec. 4. Osmund, B. of Salisbury.

ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CENTURIES.

1095 Jan. 19. Wulstan, B. of Worcester.
1089 May 28. Lanfranc, Archb. of Canterbury.
1109 Apr. 21. Anselm, Doctor, Archb. of Canterbury.
1170 Dec. 29. Thomas, Archb. M. of Canterbury.
1200 Nov. 17. Hugh, B. of Lincoln, Carthusian Monk.

TWELFTH CENTURY.

Part I.

1109 Ingulphus, A. of Croyland.
1117 Apr. 30. B. Maud, Q. Wife of Henry I.
1124 Apr. 13. Caradoc, H. in South Wales.
1127 Jan. 16. Henry, H. in Northumberland.
1144 Mar. 25. William, M. of Norwich.
1151 Jan. 19. Henry, M.B. of Upsal.
1150 Aug. 13. Walter, A. of Fontenelle, in France.
1154 June 8. William, Archb. of York.
1170 May 21. Godric, H. in Durham.
1180 Oct. 25. John of Salisbury, B. of Chartres.[Pg 337]
1182 June 24. Bartholomew, C., monk at Durham.
1189 Feb. 4. Gilbert, A. of Sempringham.
1190 Aug. 21. Richard, B. of Andria.
1200 Peter de Blois, Archd. of Bath.

TWELFTH CENTURY.

Part II.—Cistertian Order.

1134 Apr. 17. Stephen, A. of Citeaux.
1139 June 7. Robert, A. of Newminster in Northumberland.
1154 Feb. 20. Ulric, H. in Dorsetshire.
1160 Aug. 3. Walthen, A. of Melrose.
1166 Jan. 12. Aelred, A. of Rieval.

THIRTEENTH CENTURY.

Part I.

1228 July 9. Stephen Langton, Archb. of Canterbury.
1242 Nov. 16. Edmund, Archb. of Canterbury.
1253 Apr. 3. Richard, B. of Chichester.
1282 Oct. 2. Thomas, B. of Hereford.
1294 Dec. 3. John Peckham, Archb. of Canterbury.

THIRTEENTH CENTURY.

Part II.—Orders of Friars.

1217 June 17. John, Fr., Trinitarian.
1232 Mar. 7. William, Fr., Franciscan.
1240 Jan. 31. Serapion, Fr., M., Redemptionist.
1265 May 16. Simon Stock, H., General of the Carmelites.
1279 Sept. 11. Robert Kilwardby, Archb. of Canterbury, Fr. Dominican.

THIRTEENTH CENTURY.

Part III.

1239 Mar. 14. Robert H. at Knaresboro'.
1241 Oct. 1. Roger, B. of London.
1255 July 27. Hugh, M. of Lincoln.
1295 Aug. 5. Thomas, Mo., M. of Dover.
1254 Oct. 9. Robert Grossteste, B. of Lincoln.
1270 July 14. Boniface, Archb. of Canterbury.
1278 Oct. 18. Walter de Merton, B. of Rochester.

FOURTEENTH CENTURY.

1326 Oct. 5. Stapleton, B. of Exeter.
1327 Sept. 21. Edward K.
1349 Sept. 29. B. Richard, H. of Hampole.
1345 Apr. 14. Richard of Bury, B. of Lincoln.
1349 Aug. 26. Bradwardine, Archb. of Canterbury, the Doctor Profundus.[Pg 338]
1358 Sept. 2. Willam, Fr., Servite.
1379 Oct. 10. John, C. of Bridlington.
1324-1404 Sept. 27. William of Wykeham, B. of Winton.
1400 William, Fr. Austin.

FIFTEENTH CENTURY.

1471 May 22. Henry, K. of England.
1486 Aug. 11. William of Wanefleet, B. of Winton.
1509 June 29. Margaret, Countess of Richmond.
1528 Sept. 14. Richard Fox, B. of Winton. [Pg 339]

NOTE E. ON PAGE 227.

THE ANGLICAN CHURCH.

I have been bringing out my mind in this Volume on every subject which has come before me; and therefore I am bound to state plainly what I feel and have felt, since I was a Catholic, about the Anglican Church. I said, in a former page, that, on my conversion, I was not conscious of any change in me of thought or feeling, as regards matters of doctrine; this, however, was not the case as regards some matters of fact, and, unwilling as I am to give offence to religious Anglicans, I am bound to confess that I felt a great change in my view of the Church of England. I cannot tell how soon there came on me,—but very soon,—an extreme astonishment that I had ever imagined it to be a portion of the Catholic Church. For the first time, I looked at it from without, and (as I should myself say) saw it as it was. Forthwith I could not get myself to see in it any thing else, than what I had so long fearfully suspected, from as far back as 1836,—a mere national institution. As if my eyes were suddenly opened, so I saw it—spontaneously, apart from any definite act of reason or any argument; and so I have seen it ever since. I suppose, the main cause of this lay in the contrast which was presented to me by the Catholic Church. Then I recognized at once a reality which was quite a new thing with me. Then I was sensible that I was not making for myself a Church by an effort of thought; I needed not to make an act of faith in her; I had not painfully to force myself into a position, but my mind fell back upon itself in relaxation and in peace, and I gazed at her almost[Pg 340] passively as a great objective fact. I looked at her;—at her rites, her ceremonial, and her precepts; and I said, "This is a religion;" and then, when I looked back upon the poor Anglican Church, for which I had laboured so hard, and upon all that appertained to it, and thought of our various attempts to dress it up doctrinally and esthetically, it seemed to me to be the veriest of nonentities.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! How can I make a record of what passed within me, without seeming to be satirical? But I speak plain, serious words. As people call me credulous for acknowledging Catholic claims, so they call me satirical for disowning Anglican pretensions; to them it is credulity, to them it is satire; but it is not so in me. What they think exaggeration, I think truth. I am not speaking of the Anglican Church with any disdain, though to them I seem contemptuous. To them of course it is "Aut Cæsar aut nullus," but not to me. It may be a great creation, though it be not divine, and this is how I judge of it. Men, who abjure the divine right of kings, would be very indignant, if on that account they were considered disloyal. And so I recognize in the Anglican Church a time-honoured institution, of noble historical memories, a monument of ancient wisdom, a momentous arm of political strength, a great national organ, a source of vast popular advantage, and, to a certain point, a witness and teacher of religious truth. I do not think that, if what I have written about it since I have been a Catholic, be equitably considered as a whole, I shall be found to have taken any other view than this; but that it is something sacred, that it is an oracle of revealed doctrine, that it can claim a share in St. Ignatius or St. Cyprian, that it can take the rank, contest the teaching, and stop the path of the Church of St. Peter, that it can call itself "the Bride of the Lamb," this is the view of it which simply disappeared from my[Pg 341] mind on my conversion, and which it would be almost a miracle to reproduce. "I went by, and lo! it was gone; I sought it, but its place could no where be found," and nothing can bring it back to me. And, as to its possession of an episcopal succession from the time of the Apostles, well, it may have it, and, if the Holy See ever so decide, I will believe it, as being the decision of a higher judgment than my own; but, for myself, I must have St. Philip's gift, who saw the sacerdotal character on the forehead of a gaily-attired youngster, before I can by my own wit acquiesce in it, for antiquarian arguments are altogether unequal to the urgency of visible facts. Why is it that I must pain dear friends by saying so, and kindle a sort of resentment against me in the kindest of hearts? but I must, though to do it be not only a grief to me, but most impolitic at the moment. Any how, this is my mind; and, if to have it, if to have betrayed it, before now, involuntarily by my words or my deeds, if on a fitting occasion, as now, to have avowed it, if all this be a proof of the justice of the charge brought against me by my accuser of having "turned round upon my Mother-Church with contumely and slander," in this sense, but in no other sense, do I plead guilty to it without a word in extenuation.

In no other sense surely; the Church of England has been the instrument of Providence in conferring great benefits on me;—had I been born in Dissent, perhaps I should never have been baptized; had I been born an English Presbyterian, perhaps I should never have known our Lord's divinity; had I not come to Oxford, perhaps I never should have heard of the visible Church, or of Tradition, or other Catholic doctrines. And as I have received so much good from the Anglican Establishment itself, can I have the heart or rather the want of charity, considering that it does for so many others, what it has[Pg 342] done for me, to wish to see it overthrown? I have no such wish while it is what it is, and while we are so small a body. Not for its own sake, but for the sake of the many congregations to which it ministers, I will do nothing against it. While Catholics are so weak in England, it is doing our work; and, though it does us harm in a measure, at present the balance is in our favour. What our duty would be at another time and in other circumstances, supposing, for instance, the Establishment lost its dogmatic faith, or at least did not preach it, is another matter altogether. In secular history we read of hostile nations having long truces, and renewing them from time to time, and that seems to be the position which the Catholic Church may fairly take up at present in relation to the Anglican Establishment.

Doubtless the National Church has hitherto been a serviceable breakwater against doctrinal errors, more fundamental than its own. How long this will last in the years now before us, it is impossible to say, for the Nation drags down its Church to its own level; but still the National Church has the same sort of influence over the Nation that a periodical has upon the party which it represents, and my own idea of a Catholic's fitting attitude towards the National Church in this its supreme hour, is that of assisting and sustaining it, if it be in our power, in the interest of dogmatic truth. I should wish to avoid every thing (except indeed under the direct call of duty, and this is a material exception,) which went to weaken its hold upon the public mind, or to unsettle its establishment, or to embarrass and lessen its maintenance of those great Christian and Catholic principles and doctrines which it has up to this time successfully preached.[Pg 343]

NOTE F. ON PAGE 269.

THE ECONOMY.

For the Economy, considered as a rule of practice, I shall refer to what I wrote upon it in 1830-32, in my History of the Arians. I have shown above, pp. 26, 27, that the doctrine in question had in the early Church a large signification, when applied to the divine ordinances: it also had a definite application to the duties of Christians, whether clergy or laity, in preaching, in instructing or catechizing, or in ordinary intercourse with the world around them; and in this aspect I have here to consider it.

As Almighty God did not all at once introduce the Gospel to the world, and thereby gradually prepared men for its profitable reception, so, according to the doctrine of the early Church, it was a duty, for the sake of the heathen among whom they lived, to observe a great reserve and caution in communicating to them the knowledge of "the whole counsel of God." This cautious dispensation of the truth, after the manner of a discreet and vigilant steward, is denoted by the word "economy." It is a mode of acting which comes under the head of Prudence, one of the four Cardinal Virtues.

The principle of the Economy is this; that out of various courses, in religious conduct or statement, all and each allowable antecedently and in themselves, that ought to be taken which is most expedient and most suitable at the time for the object in hand.

Instances of its application and exercise in Scripture are such as the following:—1. Divine Providence did but[Pg 344] gradually impart to the world in general, and to the Jews in particular, the knowledge of His will:—He is said to have "winked at the times of ignorance among the heathen;" and He suffered in the Jews divorce "because of the hardness of their hearts." 2. He has allowed Himself to be represented as having eyes, ears, and hands, as having wrath, jealousy, grief, and repentance. 3. In like manner, our Lord spoke harshly to the Syro-Phœnician woman, whose daughter He was about to heal, and made as if He would go further, when the two disciples had come to their journey's end. 4. Thus too Joseph "made himself strange to his brethren," and Elisha kept silence on request of Naaman to bow in the house of Rimmon. 5. Thus St. Paul circumcised Timothy, while he cried out "Circumcision availeth not."

It may be said that this principle, true in itself, yet is dangerous, because it admits of an easy abuse, and carries men away into what becomes insincerity and cunning. This is undeniable; to do evil that good may come, to consider that the means, whatever they are, justify the end, to sacrifice truth to expedience, unscrupulousness, recklessness, are grave offences. These are abuses of the Economy. But to call them economical is to give a fine name to what occurs every day, independent of any knowledge of the doctrine of the Economy. It is the abuse of a rule which nature suggests to every one. Every one looks out for the "mollia tempora fandi," and for "mollia verba" too.

Having thus explained what is meant by the Economy as a rule of social intercourse between men of different religious, or, again, political, or social views, next I will go on to state what I said in the Arians.

I say in that Volume first, that our Lord has given us the principle in His own words,—"Cast not your pearls before swine;" and that He exemplified it in His teaching[Pg 345] by parables; that St. Paul expressly distinguishes between the milk which is necessary to one set of men, and the strong meat which is allowed to others, and that, in two Epistles. I say, that the Apostles in the Acts observe the same rule in their speeches, for it is a fact, that they do not preach the high doctrines of Christianity, but only "Jesus and the Resurrection" or "repentance and faith." I also say, that this is the very reason that the Fathers assign for the silence of various writers in the first centuries on the subject of our Lord's divinity. I also speak of the catechetical system practised in the early Church, and the disciplina arcani as regards the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, to which Bingham bears witness; also of the defence of this rule by Basil, Cyril of Jerusalem, Chrysostom, and Theodoret.

But next the question may be asked, whether I have said any thing in my Volume to guard the doctrine, thus laid down, from the abuse to which it is obviously exposed: and my answer is easy. Of course, had I had any idea that I should have been exposed to such hostile misrepresentations, as it has been my lot to undergo on the subject, I should have made more direct avowals than I have done of my sense of the gravity and the danger of that abuse. Since I could not foresee when I wrote, that I should have been wantonly slandered, I only wonder that I have anticipated the charge as fully as will be seen in the following extracts.

For instance, speaking of the Disciplina Arcani, I say:—(1) "The elementary information given to the heathen or catechumen was in no sense undone by the subsequent secret teaching, which was in fact but the filling up of a bare but correct outline," p. 58, and I contrast this with the conduct of the Manichæans "who represented the initiatory discipline as founded on a fiction or hypothesis, which was to be forgotten by the learner as he made progress in the real[Pg 346] doctrine of the Gospel." (2) As to allegorizing, I say that the Alexandrians erred, whenever and as far as they proceeded "to obscure the primary meaning of Scripture, and to weaken the force of historical facts and express declarations," p. 69. (3) And that they were "more open to censure," when, on being "urged by objections to various passages in the history of the Old Testament, as derogatory to the divine perfections or to the Jewish Saints, they had recourse to an allegorical explanation by way of answer," p. 71. (4) I add, "It is impossible to defend such a procedure, which seems to imply a want of faith in those who had recourse to it;" for "God has given us rules of right and wrong", ibid. (5) Again, I say,—"The abuse of the Economy in the hands of unscrupulous reasoners, is obvious. Even the honest controversialist or teacher will find it very difficult to represent, without misrepresenting, what it is yet his duty to present to his hearers with caution or reserve. Here the obvious rule to guide our practice is, to be careful ever to maintain substantial truth in our use of the economical method," pp. 79, 80. (6) And so far from concurring at all hazards with Justin, Gregory, or Athanasius, I say, "It is plain [they] were justified or not in their Economy, according as they did or did not practically mislead their opponents," p. 80. (7) I proceed, "It is so difficult to hit the mark in these perplexing cases, that it is not wonderful, should these or other Fathers have failed at times, and said more or less than was proper," ibid.

The Principle of the Economy is familiarly acted on among us every day. When we would persuade others, we do not begin by treading on their toes. Men would be thought rude who introduced their own religious notions into mixed society, and were devotional in a drawing-room. Have we never thought lawyers tiresome who did not observe this polite rule, who came down for the assizes and talked law all through dinner? Does the same argument[Pg 347] tell in the House of Commons, on the hustings, and at Exeter Hall? Is an educated gentleman never worsted at an election by the tone and arguments of some clever fellow, who, whatever his shortcomings in other respects, understands the common people?


As to the Catholic Religion in England at the present day, this only will I observe,—that the truest expedience is to answer right out, when you are asked; that the wisest economy is to have no management; that the best prudence is not to be a coward; that the most damaging folly is to be found out shuffling; and that the first of virtues is to "tell truth, and shame the devil."[Pg 348]

NOTE G. ON PAGE 279.

LYING AND EQUIVOCATION.

Almost all authors, Catholic and Protestant, admit, that when a just cause is present, there is some kind or other of verbal misleading, which is not sin. Even silence is in certain cases virtually such a misleading, according to the Proverb, "Silence gives consent." Again, silence is absolutely forbidden to a Catholic, as a mortal sin, under certain circumstances, e.g. to keep silence, when it is a duty to make a profession of faith.

Another mode of verbal misleading, and the most direct, is actually saying the thing that is not; and it is defended on the principle that such words are not a lie, when there is a "justa causa," as killing is not murder in the case of an executioner.

Another ground of certain authors for saying that an untruth is not a lie where there is a just cause, is, that veracity is a kind of justice, and therefore, when we have no duty of justice to tell truth to another, it is no sin not to do so. Hence we may say the thing that is not, to children, to madmen, to men who ask impertinent questions, to those whom we hope to benefit by misleading.

Another ground, taken in defending certain untruths, ex justâ causâ, as if not lies, is, that veracity is for the sake of society, and that, if in no case whatever we might lawfully mislead others, we should actually be doing society great harm.

Another mode of verbal misleading is equivocation or a play upon words; and it is defended on the theory that to[Pg 349] lie is to use words in a sense which they will not bear. But an equivocator uses them in a received sense, though there is another received sense, and therefore, according to this definition, he does not lie.

Others say that all equivocations are, after all, a kind of lying,—faint lies or awkward lies, but still lies; and some of these disputants infer, that therefore we must not equivocate, and others that equivocation is but a half-measure, and that it is better to say at once that in certain cases untruths are not lies.

Others will try to distinguish between evasions and equivocations; but though there are evasions which are clearly not equivocations, yet it is very difficult scientifically to draw the line between the one and the other.

To these must be added the unscientific way of dealing with lies:—viz. that on a great or cruel occasion a man cannot help telling a lie, and he would not be a man, did he not tell it, but still it is very wrong, and he ought not to do it, and he must trust that the sin will be forgiven him, though he goes about to commit it ever so deliberately, and is sure to commit it again under similar circumstances. It is a necessary frailty, and had better not be thought about before it is incurred, and not thought of again, after it is well over. This view cannot for a moment be defended, but, I suppose, it is very common.


I think the historical course of thought upon the matter has been this: the Greek Fathers thought that, when there was a justa causa, an untruth need not be a lie. St. Augustine took another view, though with great misgiving; and, whether he is rightly interpreted or not, is the doctor of the great and common view that all untruths are lies, and that there can be no just cause of untruth. In these later times, this doctrine has been found difficult to work, and it has been largely taught that, though all untruths[Pg 350] are lies, yet that certain equivocations, when there is a just cause, are not untruths.

Further, there have been and all along through these later ages, other schools, running parallel with the above mentioned, one of which says that equivocations, &c. after all are lies, and another which says that there are untruths which are not lies.


And now as to the "just cause," which is the condition, sine quâ non. The Greek Fathers make it such as these, self-defence, charity, zeal for God's honour, and the like.

St. Augustine seems to deal with the same "just causes" as the Greek Fathers, even though he does not allow of their availableness as depriving untruths, spoken on such occasions, of their sinfulness. He mentions defence of life and of honour, and the safe custody of a secret. Also the great Anglican writers, who have followed the Greek Fathers, in defending untruths when there is the "just cause," consider that "just cause" to be such as the preservation of life and property, defence of law, the good of others. Moreover, their moral rights, e.g. defence against the inquisitive, &c.

St. Alfonso, I consider, would take the same view of the "justa causa" as the Anglican divines; he speaks of it as "quicunque finis honestus, ad servanda bona spiritui vel corpori utilia;" which is very much the view which they take of it, judging by the instances which they give.

In all cases, however, and as contemplated by all authors, Clement of Alexandria, or Milton, or St. Alfonso, such a causa is, in fact, extreme, rare, great, or at least special. Thus the writer in the Mélanges Théologiques (Liège, 1852-3, p. 453) quotes Lessius: "Si absque justa causa fiat, est abusio orationis contra virtutem veritatis, et civilem consuetudinem, etsi proprie non sit mendacium."[Pg 351] That is, the virtue of truth, and the civil custom, are the measure of the just cause. And so Voit, "If a man has used a reservation (restrictione non purè mentali) without a grave cause, he has sinned gravely." And so the author himself, from whom I quote, and who defends the Patristic and Anglican doctrine that there are untruths which are not lies, says, "Under the name of mental reservation theologians authorize many lies, when there is for them a grave reason and proportionate," i.e. to their character.—p. 459. And so St. Alfonso, in another Treatise, quotes St. Thomas to the effect, that if from one cause two immediate effects follow, and, if the good effect of that cause is equal in value to the bad effect (bonus æquivalet malo), then nothing hinders the speaker's intending the good and only permitting the evil. From which it will follow that, since the evil to society from lying is very great, the just cause which is to make it allowable, must be very great also. And so Kenrick: "It is confessed by all Catholics that, in the common intercourse of life, all ambiguity of language is to be avoided; but it is debated whether such ambiguity is ever lawful. Most theologians answer in the affirmative, supposing a grave cause urges, and the [true] mind of the speaker can be collected from the adjuncts, though in fact it be not collected."

However, there are cases, I have already said, of another kind, in which Anglican authors would think a lie allowable; such as when a question is impertinent. Of such a case Walter Scott, if I mistake not, supplied a very distinct example, in his denying so long the authorship of his novels.

What I have been saying shows what different schools of opinion there are in the Church in the treatment of this difficult doctrine; and, by consequence, that a given individual, such as I am, cannot agree with all of them,[Pg 352] and has a full right to follow which of them he will. The freedom of the Schools, indeed, is one of those rights of reason, which the Church is too wise really to interfere with. And this applies not to moral questions only, but to dogmatic also.


It is supposed by Protestants that, because St. Alfonso's writings have had such high commendation bestowed upon them by authority, therefore they have been invested with a quasi-infallibility. This has arisen in good measure from Protestants not knowing the force of theological terms. The words to which they refer are the authoritative decision that "nothing in his works has been found worthy of censure," "censurâ dignum;" but this does not lead to the conclusions which have been drawn from it. Those words occur in a legal document, and cannot be interpreted except in a legal sense. In the first place, the sentence is negative; nothing in St. Alfonso's writings is positively approved; and, secondly, it is not said that there are no faults in what he has written, but nothing which comes under the ecclesiastical censura, which is something very definite. To take and interpret them, in the way commonly adopted in England, is the same mistake, as if one were to take the word "Apologia" in the English sense of apology, or "Infant" in law to mean a little child.

1. Now first as to the meaning of the above form of words viewed as a proposition. When a question on the subject was asked of the fitting authorities at Rome by the Archbishop of Besançon, the answer returned to him contained this condition, viz. that those words were to be interpreted, "with due regard to the mind of the Holy See concerning the approbation of writings of the servants of God, ad effectum Canonizationis." This is intended to prevent any Catholic taking the words about St. Alfonso's[Pg 353] works in too large a sense. Before a Saint is canonized, his works are examined, and a judgment pronounced upon them. Pope Benedict XIV. says, "The end or scope of this judgment is, that it may appear, whether the doctrine of the servant of God, which he has brought out in his writings, is free from any soever theological censure." And he remarks in addition, "It never can be said that the doctrine of a servant of God is approved by the Holy See, but at most it can [only] be said that it is not disapproved (non reprobatam) in case that the Revisers had reported that there is nothing found by them in his works, which is adverse to the decrees of Urban VIII., and that the judgment of the Revisers has been approved by the sacred Congregation, and confirmed by the Supreme Pontiff." The Decree of Urban VIII. here referred to is, "Let works be examined, whether they contain errors against faith or good morals (bonos mores), or any new doctrine, or a doctrine foreign and alien to the common sense and custom of the Church." The author from whom I quote this (M. Vandenbroeck, of the diocese of Malines) observes, "It is therefore clear, that the approbation of the works of the Holy Bishop touches not the truth of every proposition, adds nothing to them, nor even gives them by consequence a degree of intrinsic probability." He adds that it gives St. Alfonso's theology an extrinsic probability, from the fact that, in the judgment of the Holy See, no proposition deserves to receive a censure; but that "that probability will cease nevertheless in a particular case, for any one who should be convinced, whether by evident arguments, or by a decree of the Holy See, or otherwise, that the doctrine of the Saint deviates from the truth." He adds, "From the fact that the approbation of the works of St. Alfonso does not decide the truth of each proposition, it follows, as Benedict XIV. has remarked, that we may combat the doctrine which[Pg 354] they contain; only, since a canonized saint is in question, who is honoured by a solemn culte in the Church, we ought not to speak except with respect, nor to attack his opinions except with temper and modesty."

2. Then, as to the meaning of the word censura: Benedict XIV. enumerates a number of "Notes" which come under that name; he says, "Out of propositions which are to be noted with theological censure, some are heretical, some erroneous, some close upon error, some savouring of heresy," and so on; and each of these terms has its own definite meaning. Thus by "erroneous" is meant, according to Viva, a proposition which is not immediately opposed to a revealed proposition, but only to a theological conclusion drawn from premisses which are de fide; "savouring of heresy is" a proposition, which is opposed to a theological conclusion not evidently drawn from premisses which are de fide, but most probably and according to the common mode of theologizing;—and so with the rest. Therefore when it was said by the Revisers of St. Alfonso's works that they were not "worthy of censure," it was only meant that they did not fall under these particular Notes.

But the answer from Rome to the Archbishop of Besançon went further than this; it actually took pains to declare that any one who pleased might follow other theologians instead of St. Alfonso. After saying that no Priest was to be interfered with who followed St. Alfonso in the Confessional, it added, "This is said, however, without on that account judging that they are reprehended who follow opinions handed down by other approved authors."

And this too I will observe,—that St. Alfonso made many changes of opinion himself in the course of his writings; and it could not for an instant be supposed that we were bound to every one of his opinions, when he did[Pg 355] not feel himself bound to them in his own person. And, what is more to the purpose still, there are opinions, or some opinion, of his which actually have been proscribed by the Church since, and cannot now be put forward or used. I do not pretend to be a well-read theologian myself, but I say this on the authority of a theological professor of Breda, quoted in the Mélanges Théol. for 1850-1. He says: "It may happen, that, in the course of time, errors may be found in the works of St. Alfonso and be proscribed by the Church, a thing which in fact has already occurred."


In not ranging myself then with those who consider that it is justifiable to use words in a double sense, that is, to equivocate, I put myself under the protection of such authors as Cardinal Gerdil, Natalis Alexander, Contenson, Concina, and others. Under the protection of these authorities, I say as follows:—

Casuistry is a noble science, but it is one to which I am led, neither by my abilities nor my turn of mind. Independently, then, of the difficulties of the subject, and the necessity, before forming an opinion, of knowing more of the arguments of theologians upon it than I do, I am very unwilling to say a word here on the subject of Lying and Equivocation. But I consider myself bound to speak; and therefore, in this strait, I can do nothing better, even for my own relief, than submit myself, and what I shall say, to the judgment of the Church, and to the consent, so far as in this matter there be a consent, of the Schola Theologorum.

Now in the case of one of those special and rare exigencies or emergencies, which constitute the justa causa of dissembling or misleading, whether it be extreme as the defence of life, or a duty as the custody of a secret, or of a personal nature as to repel an impertinent inquirer, or a[Pg 356] matter too trivial to provoke question, as in dealing with children or madmen, there seem to be four courses:—

1. To say the thing that is not. Here I draw the reader's attention to the words material and formal. "Thou shalt not kill;" murder is the formal transgression of this commandment, but accidental homicide is the material transgression. The matter of the act is the same in both cases; but in the homicide, there is nothing more than the act, whereas in murder there must be the intention, &c., which constitutes the formal sin. So, again, an executioner commits the material act, but not that formal killing which is a breach of the commandment. So a man, who, simply to save himself from starving, takes a loaf which is not his own, commits only the material, not the formal act of stealing, that is, he does not commit a sin. And so a baptized Christian, external to the Church, who is in invincible ignorance, is a material heretic, and not a formal. And in like manner, if to say the thing which is not be in special cases lawful, it may be called a material lie.

The first mode then which has been suggested of meeting those special cases, in which to mislead by words has a sufficient occasion, or has a just cause, is by a material lie.

The second mode is by an æquivocatio, which is not equivalent to the English word "equivocation," but means sometimes a play on words, sometimes an evasion: we must take these two modes of misleading separately.

2. A play upon words. St. Alfonso certainly says that a play upon words is allowable; and, speaking under correction, I should say that he does so on the ground that lying is not a sin against justice, that is, against our neighbour, but a sin against God. God has made words the signs of ideas, and therefore if a word denotes two ideas, we are at liberty to use it in either of its senses: but[Pg 357] I think I must be incorrect in some respect in supposing that the Saint does not recognize a lie as an injustice, because the Catechism of the Council, as I have quoted it at p. 281, says, "Vanitate et mendacio fides ac veritas tolluntur, arctissima vincula societatis humanæ; quibus sublatis, sequitur summa vitæ confusio, ut homines nihil a dæmonibus differre videantur."

3. Evasion;—when, for instance, the speaker diverts the attention of the hearer to another subject; suggests an irrelevant fact or makes a remark, which confuses him and gives him something to think about; throws dust into his eyes; states some truth, from which he is quite sure his hearer will draw an illogical and untrue conclusion, and the like.

The greatest school of evasion, I speak seriously, is the House of Commons; and necessarily so, from the nature of the case. And the hustings is another.

An instance is supplied in the history of St. Athanasius: he was in a boat on the Nile, flying persecution; and he found himself pursued. On this he ordered his men to turn his boat round, and ran right to meet the satellites of Julian. They asked him, "Have you seen Athanasius?" and he told his followers to answer, "Yes, he is close to you." They went on their course as if they were sure to come up to him, while he ran back into Alexandria, and there lay hid till the end of the persecution.

I gave another instance above, in reference to a doctrine of religion. The early Christians did their best to conceal their Creed on account of the misconceptions of the heathen about it. Were the question asked of them, "Do you worship a Trinity?" and did they answer, "We worship one God, and none else;" the inquirer might, or would, infer that they did not acknowledge the Trinity of Divine Persons.

It is very difficult to draw the line between these[Pg 358] evasions and what are commonly called in English equivocations; and of this difficulty, again, I think, the scenes in the House of Commons supply us with illustrations.

4. The fourth method is silence. For instance, not giving the whole truth in a court of law. If St. Alban, after dressing himself in the Priest's clothes, and being taken before the persecutor, had been able to pass off for his friend, and so gone to martyrdom without being discovered; and had he in the course of examination answered all questions truly, but not given the whole truth, the most important truth, that he was the wrong person, he would have come very near to telling a lie, for a half-truth is often a falsehood. And his defence must have been the justa causa, viz. either that he might in charity or for religion's sake save a priest, or again that the judge had no right to interrogate him on the subject.

Now, of these four modes of misleading others by the tongue, when there is a justa causa (supposing there can be such),—(1) a material lie, that is, an untruth which is not a lie, (2) an equivocation, (3) an evasion, and (4) silence,—First, I have no difficulty whatever in recognizing as allowable the method of silence.

Secondly, But, if I allow of silence, why not of the method of material lying, since half of a truth is often a lie? And, again, if all killing be not murder, nor all taking from another stealing, why must all untruths be lies? Now I will say freely that I think it difficult to answer this question, whether it be urged by St. Clement or by Milton; at the same time, I never have acted, and I think, when it came to the point, I never should act upon such a theory myself, except in one case, stated below. This I say for the benefit of those who speak hardly of Catholic theologians, on the ground that they admit text-books which allow of equivocation. They are asked, how can we trust you, when such are your views? but such views, as[Pg 359] I already have said, need not have any thing to do with their own practice, merely from the circumstance that they are contained in their text-books. A theologian draws out a system; he does it partly as a scientific speculation: but much more for the sake of others. He is lax for the sake of others, not of himself. His own standard of action is much higher than that which he imposes upon men in general. One special reason why religious men, after drawing out a theory, are unwilling to act upon it themselves, is this: that they practically acknowledge a broad distinction between their reason and their conscience; and that they feel the latter to be the safer guide, though the former may be the clearer, nay even though it be the truer. They would rather be in error with the sanction of their conscience, than be right with the mere judgment of their reason. And again here is this more tangible difficulty in the case of exceptions to the rule of Veracity, that so very little external help is given us in drawing the line, as to when untruths are allowable and when not; whereas that sort of killing which is not murder, is most definitely marked off by legal enactments, so that it cannot possibly be mistaken for such killing as is murder. On the other hand the cases of exemption from the rule of Veracity are left to the private judgment of the individual, and he may easily be led on from acts which are allowable to acts which are not. Now this remark does not apply to such acts as are related in Scripture, as being done by a particular inspiration, for in such cases there is a command. If I had my own way, I would oblige society, that is, its great men, its lawyers, its divines, its literature, publicly to acknowledge as such, those instances of untruth which are not lies, as for instance untruths in war; and then there could be no perplexity to the individual Catholic, for he would not be taking the law into his own hands.[Pg 360]

Thirdly, as to playing upon words, or equivocation, I suppose it is from the English habit, but, without meaning any disrespect to a great Saint, or wishing to set myself up, or taking my conscience for more than it is worth, I can only say as a fact, that I admit it as little as the rest of my countrymen: and, without any reference to the right and the wrong of the matter, of this I am sure, that, if there is one thing more than another which prejudices Englishmen against the Catholic Church, it is the doctrine of great authorities on the subject of equivocation. For myself, I can fancy myself thinking it was allowable in extreme cases for me to lie, but never to equivocate. Luther said, "Pecca fortiter." I anathematize his formal sentiment, but there is a truth in it, when spoken of material acts.

Fourthly, I think evasion, as I have described it, to be perfectly allowable; indeed, I do not know, who does not use it, under circumstances; but that a good deal of moral danger is attached to its use; and that, the cleverer a man is, the more likely he is to pass the line of Christian duty.


But it may be said, that such decisions do not meet the particular difficulties for which provision is required; let us then take some instances.

1. I do not think it right to tell lies to children, even on this account, that they are sharper than we think them, and will soon find out what we are doing; and our example will be a very bad training for them. And so of equivocation: it is easy of imitation, and we ourselves shall be sure to get the worst of it in the end.

2. If an early Father defends the patriarch Jacob in his mode of gaining his father's blessing, on the ground that the blessing was divinely pledged to him already, that it was his, and that his father and brother were acting at once against his own rights and the divine will, it does not[Pg 361] follow from this that such conduct is a pattern to us, who have no supernatural means of determining when an untruth becomes a material, and not a formal lie. It seems to me very dangerous, be it ever allowable or not, to lie or equivocate in order to preserve some great temporal or spiritual benefit; nor does St. Alfonso here say any thing to the contrary, for he is not discussing the question of danger or expedience.

3. As to Johnson's case of a murderer asking you which way a man had gone, I should have anticipated that, had such a difficulty happened to him, his first act would have been to knock the man down, and to call out for the police; and next, if he was worsted in the conflict, he would not have given the ruffian the information he asked, at whatever risk to himself. I think he would have let himself be killed first. I do not think that he would have told a lie.

4. A secret is a more difficult case. Supposing something has been confided to me in the strictest secrecy, which could not be revealed without great disadvantage to another, what am I to do? If I am a lawyer, I am protected by my profession. I have a right to treat with extreme indignation any question which trenches on the inviolability of my position; but, supposing I was driven up into a corner, I think I should have a right to say an untruth, or that, under such circumstances, a lie would be material, but it is almost an impossible case, for the law would defend me. In like manner, as a priest, I should think it lawful to speak as if I knew nothing of what passed in confession. And I think in these cases, I do in fact possess that guarantee, that I am not going by private judgment, which just now I demanded; for society would bear me out, whether as a lawyer or as a priest, in holding that I had a duty to my client or penitent, such, that an[Pg 362] untruth in the matter was not a lie. A common type of this permissible denial, be it material lie or evasion, is at the moment supplied to me:—an artist asked a Prime Minister, who was sitting to him, "What news, my Lord, from France?" He answered, "I do not know; I have not read the Papers."

5. A more difficult question is, when to accept confidence has not been a duty. Supposing a man wishes to keep the secret that he is the author of a book, and he is plainly asked on the subject. Here I should ask the previous question, whether any one has a right to publish what he dare not avow. It requires to have traced the bearings and results of such a principle, before being sure of it; but certainly, for myself, I am no friend of strictly anonymous writing. Next, supposing another has confided to you the secret of his authorship:—there are persons who would have no scruple at all in giving a denial to impertinent questions asked them on the subject. I have heard a great man in his day at Oxford, warmly contend, as if he could not enter into any other view of the matter, that, if he had been trusted by a friend with the secret of his being author of a certain book, and he were asked by a third person, if his friend was not (as he really was) the author of it, he ought, without any scruple and distinctly, to answer that he did not know. He had an existing duty towards the author; he had none towards his inquirer. The author had a claim on him; an impertinent questioner had none at all. But here again I desiderate some leave, recognized by society, as in the case of the formulas "Not at home," and "Not guilty," in order to give me the right of saying what is a material untruth. And moreover, I should here also ask the previous question, Have I any right to accept such a confidence? have I any right to make such a[Pg 363] promise? and, if it be an unlawful promise, is it binding when it cannot be kept without a lie? I am not attempting to solve these difficult questions, but they have to be carefully examined. And now I have said more than I had intended on a question of casuistry.[Pg 364]

SUPPLEMENTAL MATTER.

I.

LETTERS AND PAPERS OF THE AUTHOR USED IN THE COURSE OF THIS WORK.

February 11, 1811 3
October 26, 1823 2
September 7, 1829 119
July 20, 1834 41
November 28, " 57
August 18, 1837 29
February 11, 1840 124
" 21, " 129
October 29(?)" 132
November " 135
March 15, 1841 137
" 20, " 170
" 24, " 208
" 25, " 137
April 1, " 137
" 4, " 138
" 8, " 138
" 8, " 187
" 26, " 188
May 5, " 188
" 9, " 138
June 18, " 189
September 12, 1841 190
October 12, " 143
" 17, " 140
" 22, " 140
November 11, " 145
" 14, " 144
December 13, " 156
" 24, " 157
" 25, " 159
" 26, " 162
March 6, 1842 177
April 14, " 173
October 16, " 171
November 22, " 193
Feb. 25, & 28, 1843 181
March 3, " 182
" 8, " 184
May 4, " 208
" 18, " 209
June 20, " 178
July 16, " 179
August 29, " 213
August 30, 1843 179
September 7, " 213
" 29, " 225
October 14, " 219
" 25, " 221
" 31, " 223
November 13, " 140
1843 or 1844 178
January 22, 1844 226
February 21, " 226
April 3, " 205
" 8, " 226
July 14, " 197
September 16, " 227
November 7, " 230
November 16, 1844 228
" 24, " 229
1844 (?) 225
1844 or 1845 167
January 8, 1845 230
March 30, " 231
April 3, " 232
" 16, " 180
June 1, " 232
" 17, " 180
October 8, " 234
November 8, " 155
" 25, " 235
January 20, 1846 236
December 6, 1849 185

[Pg 366]

II.

CARDINAL NEWMAN'S WORKS.

N.B.—This List, originally made in 1865, is now corrected up to 1890.

1. SERMONS.

VOLS. 1-8. Parochial and Plain Sermons. (Longmans.)

9. Sermons on Subjects of the Day. (Longmans.)

10. University Sermons. (Longmans.)

11. Sermons to Mixed Congregations. (Burns and Oates.)

12. Occasional Sermons. (Burns and Oates.)

2. TREATISES.

13. On the Doctrine of Justification. (Longmans.)

14. On the Development of Christian Doctrine. (Longmans.)

15. On the Idea of a University. (Longmans.)

16. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent. (Longmans.)

3. ESSAYS.

17. Two Essays on Miracles. 1. Of Scripture. 2. Of Ecclesiastical History. (Longmans.)

18. Discussions and Arguments. 1. How to accomplish it. 2. The Antichrist of the Fathers. 3. Scripture and the Creed. 4. Tamworth Reading-Room. 5. Who's to blame? 6. An Argument for Christianity. (Longmans.)

19, 20. Essays Critical and Historical. 2 vols. 1. Poetry. 2. Rationalism. 3. Apostolical Tradition. 4. De la Mennais. 5. Palmer on Faith and Unity. 6. St. Ignatius. 7. Prospects of the Anglican Church. 8. The Anglo-American Church. 9. Countess of Huntingdon. 10. Catholicity of the Anglican Church. 11. The Antichrist of Protestants. 12. Milman's Christianity. 13. Reformation of the Eleventh Century. 14. Private Judgment. 15. Davison. 16. Keble. (Longmans.)[Pg 367]

4. HISTORICAL.

21-23. Historical Sketches. 3 vols. 1. The Turks. 2. Cicero. 3. Apollonius. 4. Primitive Christianity. 5. Church of the Fathers. 6. St. Chrysostom. 7. Theodoret. 8. St. Benedict. 9. Benedictine Schools. 10. Universities. 11. Northmen and Normans. 12. Medieval Oxford. 13. Convocation of Canterbury. (Longmans.)

5. THEOLOGICAL.

24. The Arians of the Fourth Century. (Longmans.)

25, 26. Annotated Translation of Athanasius. 2 vols. (Longmans.)

27. Tracts. 1. Dissertatiunculæ. 2. On the Text of the Seven Epistles of St. Ignatius. 3. Doctrinal Causes of Arianism. 4. Apollinarianism. 5. St. Cyril's Formula. 6. Ordo de Tempore. 7. Douay Version of Scripture. (Burns and Oates.)

6. POLEMICAL.

28, 29. The Via Media of the Anglican Church. 2 vols. with Notes. Vol. I. Prophetical Office of the Church. Vol. II. Occasional Letters and Tracts. (Longmans.)

30, 31. Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching Considered. 2 vols. Vol. I. Twelve Lectures. Vol. II. Letters to Dr. Pusey concerning the Bl. Virgin, and to the Duke of Norfolk in Defence of the Pope and Council. (Longmans.)

32. Present Position of Catholics in England. (Longmans.)

33. Apologia pro Vita Sua. (Longmans.)

7. LITERARY.

34. Verses on Various Occasions. (Longmans.)

35. Loss and Gain. (Burns and Oates.)

36. Callista. (Longmans.)

37. The Dream of Gerontius. (Longmans.)

¶ It is scarcely necessary to say that the Author submits all that he has written to the judgment of the Church, whose gift and prerogative it is to determine what is true and what is false in religious teaching.[Pg 368]

III.

LETTER OF APPROBATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF BIRMINGHAM, DR. ULLATHORNE.

"Bishop's House, June 2, 1864.

"My dear Dr. Newman,—

"It was with warm gratification that, after the close of the Synod yesterday, I listened to the Address presented to you by the clergy of the diocese, and to your impressive reply. But I should have been little satisfied with the part of the silent listener, except on the understanding with myself that I also might afterwards express to you my own sentiments in my own way.

"We have now been personally acquainted, and much more than acquainted, for nineteen years, during more than sixteen of which we have stood in special relation of duty towards each other. This has been one of the singular blessings which God has given me amongst the cares of the Episcopal office. What my feelings of respect, of confidence, and of affection have been towards you, you know well, nor should I think of expressing them in words. But there is one thing that has struck me in this day of explanations, which you could not, and would not, be disposed to do, and which no one could do so properly or so authentically as I could, and which it seems to me is not altogether uncalled for, if every kind of erroneous impression that some persons have entertained with no better evidence than conjecture is to be removed.

"It is difficult to comprehend how, in the face of facts, the notion should ever have arisen that during your Catholic life, you have been more occupied with your own thoughts than with the service of religion and the work of the Church. If we take no other work into consideration beyond the written productions which your Catholic pen has given to the world, they are enough for the life's labour of another. There are the Lectures on Anglican Difficulties, the Lectures on Catholicism in England, the great work on the Scope and End of University Education, that on the Office and Work of Universities, the Lectures and Essays on University Subjects, and the two Volumes of Sermons; not to speak of your contributions to the Atlantis, which you founded, and to other periodicals; then there are those beautiful offerings to Catholic literature, the Lectures on the Turks, Loss and Gain, and Callista, and though last, not least, the Apologia, which is destined to put many idle[Pg 369] rumours to rest, and many unprofitable surmises; and yet all these productions represent but a portion of your labour, and that in the second half of your period of public life.

"These works have been written in the midst of labour and cares of another kind, and of which the world knows very little. I will specify four of these undertakings, each of a distinct character, and any one of which would have made a reputation for untiring energy in the practical order.

"The first of these undertakings was the establishment of the congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri—that great ornament and accession to the force of English Catholicity. Both the London and the Birmingham Oratory must look to you as their founder and as the originator of their characteristic excellences; whilst that of Birmingham has never known any other presidency.

"No sooner was this work fairly on foot than you were called by the highest authority to commence another, and one of yet greater magnitude and difficulty, the founding of a University in Ireland. After the Universities had been lost to the Catholics of these kingdoms for three centuries, every thing had to be begun from the beginning: the idea of such an institution to be inculcated, the plan to be formed that would work, the resources to be gathered, and the staff of superiors and professors to be brought together. Your name was then the chief point of attraction which brought these elements together. You alone know what difficulties you had to conciliate and what to surmount, before the work reached that state of consistency and promise, which enabled you to return to those responsibilities in England which you had never laid aside or suspended. And here, excuse me if I give expression to a fancy which passed through my mind.

"I was lately reading a poem, not long published, from the MSS. De Rerum Natura, by Neckham, the foster-brother of Richard the Lion-hearted. He quotes an old prophecy, attributed to Merlin, and with a sort of wonder, as if recollecting that England owed so much of its literary learning to that country; and the prophecy says that after long years Oxford will pass into Ireland—'Vada boum suo tempore transibunt in Hiberniam.' When I read this, I could not but indulge the pleasant fancy that in the days when the Dublin University shall arise in material splendour, an allusion to this prophecy might form a poetic element in the inscription on the pedestal of the statue which commemorates its first Rector.

"The original plan of an Oratory did not contemplate any parochial work, but you could not contemplate so many souls in want of pastors without being prompt and ready at the beck of authority to strain all your efforts in coming to their help. And this brings me to the third and the most continuous of those labours to which I have alluded. The mission in Alcester Street, its church and schools, were the first work of the Birmingham Oratory. After several years of close and hard work, and a considerable call upon the private resources of the Fathers who had established this congregation, it was delivered[Pg 370] over to other hands, and the Fathers removed to the district of Edgbaston, where up to that time nothing Catholic had appeared. Then arose under your direction the large convent of the Oratory, the church expanded by degrees into its present capaciousness, a numerous congregation has gathered and grown in it; poor schools and other pious institutions have grown up in connexion with it, and, moreover, equally at your expense and that of your brethren, and, as I have reason to know, at much inconvenience, the Oratory has relieved the other clergy of Birmingham all this while by constantly doing the duty in the poor-house and gaol of Birmingham.

"More recently still, the mission and the poor school at Smethwick owe their existence to the Oratory. And all this while the founder and father of these religious works has added to his other solicitudes the toil of frequent preaching, of attendance in the confessional, and other parochial duties.

"I have read on this day of its publication the seventh part of the Apologia, and the touching allusion in it to the devotedness of the Catholic clergy to the poor in seasons of pestilence reminds me that when the cholera raged so dreadfully at Bilston, and the two priests of the town were no longer equal to the number of cases to which they were hurried day and night, I asked you to lend me two fathers to supply the place of other priests whom I wished to send as a further aid. But you and Father St. John preferred to take the place of danger which I had destined for others, and remained at Bilston till the worst was over.

"The fourth work which I would notice is one more widely known. I refer to the school for the education of the higher classes, which at the solicitation of many friends you have founded and attached to the Oratory. Surely after reading this bare enumeration of work done, no man will venture to say that Dr. Newman is leading a comparatively inactive life in the service of the Church.

"To spare, my dear Dr. Newman, any further pressure on those feelings with which I have already taken so large a liberty, I will only add one word more for my own satisfaction. During our long intercourse there is only one subject on which, after the first experience, I have measured my words with some caution, and that has been where questions bearing on ecclesiastical duty have arisen. I found some little caution necessary, because you were always so prompt and ready to go even beyond the slightest intimation of my wish or desires.

"That God may bless you with health, life, and all the spiritual good which you desire, you and your brethren of the Oratory, is the earnest prayer now and often of,

"My dear Dr. Newman,

"Your affectionate friend and faithful servant in Christ,

"+ W. B. ULLATHORNE."[Pg 371]

IV.

LETTERS OF APPROBATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT FROM CLERGY AND LAITY.

It requires some words of explanation why I allow myself to sound my own praises so loudly, as I am doing by adding to my Volume the following Letters, written to me last year by large bodies of my Catholic brethren, Priests, and Laymen, in the course or on the conclusion of the publication of my Apologia. I have two reasons for doing so.

1. It seems hardly respectful to them, and hardly fair to myself, to practise self-denial in a matter, which after all belongs to others as well as to me. Bodies of men become authorities by the fact of being bodies, over and above the personal claims of the individuals who constitute them. To have received such unusual Testimonials in my favour, as I have to produce, and then to have let both those Testimonials and the generous feelings which dictated them be wasted, and come to nought, would have been a rudeness of which I could not bear to be guilty. Far be it from me to show such ingratitude to those who were especially "friends in need." I am too proud of their approbation not to publish it to the world.

2. But I have a further reason. The belief obtains extensively in the country at large, that Catholics, and especially the Priesthood, disavow the mode and form, in which I am accustomed to teach the Catholic faith, as if they were not generally recognized, but something special and peculiar to myself; as if, whether for the purposes[Pg 372] of controversy, or from the traditions of an earlier period of my life, I did not exhibit Catholicism pure and simple, as the bulk of its professors manifest it. Such testimonials, then, as now follow, from as many as 558 priests, that is, not far from half of the clergy of England, secular and religious, from the Bishop and clergy of a diocese at the Antipodes, and from so great and authoritative a body as the German Congress assembled last year at Wurzburg, scatter to the winds a suspicion, which it is not less painful, I am persuaded, to numbers of those Protestants who entertain it, than it is injurious to me who have to bear it.

I. THE DIOCESE OF WESTMINSTER.

The following Address was signed by 110 of the Westminster clergy, including all the Canons, the Vicars General, a great number of secular priests, and five Doctors in theology; Fathers of the Society of Jesus, Fathers of the Order of St. Dominic, of St. Francis, of the Oratory, of the Passion, of Charity, Oblates of St. Charles, and Marists.

"London, March 15, 1864.

"Very Reverend and Dear Sir,

"We, the undersigned Priests of the Diocese of Westminster, tender to you our respectful thanks for the service you have done to religion, as well as to the interests of literary morality, by your Reply to the calumnies of [a popular writer of the day.]

"We cannot but regard it as a matter of congratulation that your assailant should have associated the cause of the Catholic Priesthood with the name of one so well fitted to represent its dignity, and to defend its honour, as yourself.

"We recognize in this latest effort of your literary power one further claim, besides the many you have already established, to the gratitude and veneration of Catholics, and trust that the reception which it has met with on all[Pg 373] sides may be the omen of new successes which you are destined to achieve in the vindication of the teaching and principles of the Church.

"We are,

"Very Reverend and Dear Sir,

"Your faithful and affectionate Servants in Christ."

(The Subscriptions follow.)

"To the Very Rev.

"John Henry Newman, D.D."

II.—THE ACADEMIA OF CATHOLIC RELIGION.

"London, April 19, 1864.

"Very Rev. and Dear Sir,

"The Academia of Catholic Religion, at their meeting held to-day, under the Presidency of the Cardinal Archbishop, have instructed us to write to you in their behalf.

"As they have learned, with great satisfaction, that it is your intention to publish a defence of Catholic Veracity, which has been assailed in your person, they are precluded from asking you that that defence might be made by word of mouth, and in London, as they would otherwise have done.

"Composed, as the Academia is, mainly of Laymen, they feel that it is not out of their province to express their indignation that your opponent should have chosen, while praising the Catholic Laity, to do so at the expense of the Clergy, between whom and themselves, in this as in all other matters, there exists a perfect identity of principle and practice.

"It is because, in such a matter, your cause is the cause of all Catholics, that we congratulate ourselves on the rashness of the opponent that has thrown the defence of that cause into your hands.

"We remain,

"Very Reverend and Dear Sir,

"Your very faithful Servants,

"JAMES LAIRD PATTERSON,

"EDW. LUCAS, Secretaries.

"To the Very Rev. John Henry Newman, D.D.,

"Provost of the Birmingham Oratory."

The above was moved at the meeting by Lord Petre, and seconded by the Hon. Charles Langdale.[Pg 374]

III.—THE DIOCESE OF BIRMINGHAM.

In this Diocese there were in 1864, according to the Directory of the year, 136 Priests.

"June 1, 1864.

"Very Reverend and Dear Sir,

"In availing ourselves of your presence at the Diocesan Synod to offer you our hearty thanks for your recent vindication of the honour of the Catholic Priesthood, We, the Provost and Chapter of the Cathedral, and the Clergy, Secular and Regular, of the Diocese of Birmingham, cannot forego the assertion of a special right, as your neighbours and colleagues, to express our veneration and affection for one whose fidelity to the dictates of conscience, in the use of the highest intellectual gifts, has won even from opponents unbounded admiration and respect.

"To most of us you are personally known. Of some, indeed, you were, in years long past, the trusted guide, to whom they owe more than can be expressed in words; and all are conscious that the ingenuous fulness of your answer to a false and unprovoked accusation, has intensified their interest in the labours and trials of your life. While, then, we resent the indignity to which you have been exposed, and lament the pain and annoyance which the manifestation of yourself must have cost you, we cannot but rejoice that, in the fulfilment of a duty, you have allowed neither the unworthiness of your assailant to shield him from rebuke, nor the sacredness of your inmost motives to deprive that rebuke of the only form which could at once complete his discomfiture, free your own name from the obloquy which prejudice had cast upon it, and afford invaluable aid to honest seekers after Truth.

"Great as is the work which you have already done, Very Reverend Sir, permit us to express a hope that a greater yet remains for you to accomplish. In an age and in a country in which the very foundations of religious faith are exposed to assault, we rejoice in numbering among our brethren one so well qualified by learning and experience to defend that priceless deposit of Truth, in obtaining which you have counted as gain the loss of all things most dear and precious. And we esteem ourselves happy in being able to offer you that support and encouragement which the assurance of our unfeigned admiration and regard may be able to give you under your present trials and future labours.

"That you may long have strength to labour for the Church of God and the glory of His Holy Name is, Very Reverend and Dear Sir, our heartfelt and united prayer."

(The Subscriptions follow.)

"To the Very Rev. John Henry Newman, D.D."[Pg 375]

IV.—THE DIOCESE OF BEVERLEY.

The following Address, as is stated in the first paragraph, comes from more than 70 Priests:—

"Hull, May 9, 1864.

"Very Rev. and Dear Dr. Newman,

"At a recent meeting of the clergy of the Diocese of Beverley, held in York, at which upwards of seventy priests were present, special attention was called to your correspondence with [a popular writer]; and such was the enthusiasm with which your name was received—such was the admiration expressed of the dignity with which you had asserted the claims of the Catholic Priesthood in England to be treated with becoming courtesy and respect—and such was the strong and all-pervading sense of the invaluable service which you had thus rendered, not only to faith and morals, but to good manners so far as regarded religious controversy in this country, that I was requested, as Chairman, to become the voice of the meeting, and to express to you as strongly and as earnestly as I could, how heartily the whole of the clergy of this diocese desire to thank you for services to religion as well-timed as they are in themselves above and beyond all commendation, services which the Catholics of England will never cease to hold in most grateful remembrance. God, in His infinite wisdom and great mercy, has raised you up to stand prominently forth in the glorious work of re-establishing in this country the holy faith which in good old times shed such lustre upon it. We all lament that, in the order of nature, you have so few years before you in which to fight against false teaching that good fight in which you have been so victoriously engaged of late. But our prayers are that you may long be spared, and may possess to the last all your vigour, and all that zeal for the advancement of our holy faith, which imparts such a charm to the productions of your pen.

"I esteem it a great honour and a great privilege to have been deputed, as the representative of the clergy of the Diocese of Beverley, to tender you the fullest expression of our most grateful thanks, and the assurance of our prayers for your health and eternal happiness.

"I am,

"Very Rev. and Dear Sir,

"With sentiments of profound respect,

"Yours most faithfully in Christ,

"M. TRAPPES.

"The Very Rev. Dr. Newman."[Pg 376]

V. AND VI.—THE DIOCESES OF LIVERPOOL AND SALFORD.

The Secular Clergy of Liverpool amounted in 1864 to 103, and of Salford to 76.

"Preston, July 27, 1864.

"Very Rev. and Dear Sir,

"It may seem, perhaps, that the Clergy of Lancashire have been slow to address you; but it would be incorrect to suppose that they have been indifferent spectators of the conflict in which you have been recently engaged. This is the first opportunity that has presented itself, and they gladly avail themselves of their annual meeting in Preston to tender to you the united expression of their heartfelt sympathy and gratitude.

"The atrocious imputation, out of which the late controversy arose, was felt as a personal affront by them, one and all, conscious as they were, that it was mainly owing to your position as a distinguished Catholic ecclesiastic, that the charge was connected with your name.

"While they regret the pain you must needs have suffered, they cannot help rejoicing that it has afforded you an opportunity of rendering a new and most important service to their holy religion. Writers, who are not overscrupulous about the truth themselves, have long used the charge of untruthfulness as an ever ready weapon against the Catholic Clergy. Partly from the frequent repetition of this charge, partly from a consciousness that, instead of undervaluing the truth, they have ever prized it above every earthly treasure, partly, too, from the difficulty of obtaining a hearing in their own defence, they have generally passed it by in silence. They thank you for coming forward as their champion: your own character required no vindication. It was their battle more than your own that you fought. They know and feel how much pain it has caused you to bring so prominently forward your own life and motives, but they now congratulate you on the completeness of your triumph, as admitted alike by friend and enemy.

"In addition to answering the original accusation, you have placed them under a new obligation, by giving to all, who read the English language, a work which, for literary ability and the lucid exposition of many difficult and abstruse points, forms an invaluable contribution to our literature.

"They fervently pray that God may give you health and length of days, and, if it please Him, some other cause in which to use for His glory the great powers bestowed upon you.

"Signed on behalf of the Meeting,

"THOS. PROVOST COOKSON.

"The Very Rev. J. H. Newman."[Pg 377]

VII.—THE DIOCESE OF HEXHAM.

The Secular Priests on Mission in 1864 in this Diocese were 64.

"Durham, Sept. 22, 1864.

"My Dear Dr. Newman,

"At the annual meeting of the Clergy of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, held a few days ago at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I was commissioned by them to express to you their sincere sympathy, on account of the slanderous accusations, to which you have been so unjustly exposed. We are fully aware that these foul calumnies were intended to injure the character of the whole body of the Catholic Clergy, and that your distinguished name was singled out, in order that they might be more effectually propagated. It is well that these poisonous shafts were thus aimed, as no one could more triumphantly repel them. The 'Apologia pro Vitâ suâ' will, if possible, render still more illustrious the name of its gifted author, and be a lasting monument of the victory of truth, and the signal overthrow of an arrogant and reckless assailant.

"It may appear late for us now to ask to join in your triumph, but as the Annual Meeting of the Northern Clergy does not take place till this time, it is the first occasion offered us to present our united congratulations, and to declare to you, that by none of your brethren are you more esteemed and venerated, than by the Clergy of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.

"Wishing that Almighty God may prolong your life many more years for the defence of our holy religion and the honour of your brethren,

"I am, dear Dr. Newman,

"Yours sincerely in Jesus Christ,

"RALPH PROVOST PLATT, V. G.

"The Very Rev. J. H. Newman."

VIII.—THE CONGRESS OF WÜRZBURG.

"September 15, 1864.

"Sir,

"The undersigned, President of the Catholic Congress of Germany assembled in Würzburg, has been commissioned to express to you, Very Rev. and Dear Sir, its deep-felt gratitude for your late able defence of the Catholic Clergy, not only of England, but of the whole world, against the attacks of its enemies.[Pg 378]

"The Catholics of Germany unite with the Catholics of England in testifying to you their profound admiration and sympathy, and pray that the Almighty may long preserve your valuable life.

"The above Resolution was voted by the Congress with acclamation.

"Accept, very Rev. and Dear Sir, the expression of the high consideration with which I am

"Your most obedient servant,

"(Signed) ERNEST BARON MOIJ DE SONS.

"The Very Rev. J. H. Newman."

IX.—THE DIOCESE OF HOBART TOWN.

"Hobart Town, Tasmania, November 22, 1864.

"Very Rev. and Dear Sir,

"By the last month's post we at length received your admirable book, entitled, 'Apologia pro Vitâ suâ,' and the pamphlet, 'What then does Dr. Newman mean?'

"By this month's mail, we wish to express our heartfelt gratification and delight for being possessed of a work so triumphant in maintaining truth, and so overwhelming in confounding arrogance and error, as the 'Apologia.'

"No doubt, your adversary, resting on the deep-seated prejudice of our fellow-countrymen in the United Kingdom, calculated upon establishing his own fame as a keen-sighted polemic, as a shrewd and truth-loving man, upon the fallen reputation of one, who, as he would demonstrate,—yes, that he would,—set little or no value on truth, and who, therefore, would deservedly sink into obscurity, henceforward rejected and despised!

"Aman of old erected a gibbet at the gate of the city, on which an unsuspecting and an unoffending man, one marked as a victim, was to be exposed to the gaze and derision of the people, in order that his own dignity and fame might be exalted; but a divine Providence ordained otherwise. The history of the judgment that fell upon Aman, has been recorded in Holy Writ, it is to be presumed, as a warning to vain and unscrupulous men, even in our days. There can be no doubt, a moral gibbet, full 'fifty cubits high,' had been prepared some time, on which you were to be exposed, for the pity at least, if not for the scorn and derision of so many, who had loved and venerated you through life!

"But the effort made in the forty-eight pages of the redoubtable pamphlet, 'What then does Dr. Newman Mean?'—the production of a bold, unscrupulous man, with a coarse mind, and regardless of inflicting pain on[Pg 379] the feelings of another, has failed,—marvellously failed,—and he himself is now exhibited not only in our fatherland, but even at the Antipodes, in fact wherever the English language is spoken or read, as a shallow pretender, one quite incompetent to treat of matters of such undying interest as those he presumed to interfere with.

"We fervently pray the Almighty, that you may be spared to His Church for many years to come,—that to Him alone the glory of this noble work may be given,—and to you the reward in eternal bliss!

"And from this distant land we beg to convey to you, Very Rev. and Dear Sir, the sentiments of our affectionate respect, and deep veneration."

(The Subscriptions follow, of the Bishop Vicar-General and eighteen Clergy.)

"The Very Rev. Dr. Newman, &c. &c. &c."[Pg 380]

ADDITIONAL NOTES.

NOTE ON PAGE 12.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH ARCHBISHOP WHATELY IN 1834.

On application of the Editor of Dr. Whately's Correspondence, the following four letters were sent to her for publication: they are here given entire. It will be observed that they are of the same date as my letter to Dr. Hampden at p. 57.

1.

"Dublin, October 25, 1834.

"My dear Newman,

"A most shocking report concerning you has reached me, which indeed carries such an improbability on the face of it that you may perhaps wonder at my giving it a thought; and at first I did not, but finding it repeated from different quarters, it seems to me worth contradicting for the sake of your character. Some Oxford undergraduates, I find, openly report that when I was at Oriel last spring you absented yourself 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 satisfaction 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 insufficient 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 any thing to offend you or any thing you might think materially wrong—to remonstrate with me;—but on your general character; which I was persuaded would have made you incapable, even had no such close connexion existed between us, of conduct so unchristian and inhuman. But, as I said, I should like for your sake to be able to contradict the report from your own authority.

"Ever yours very truly,

"R. WHATELY."[Pg 381]

2.

"Oriel College, October 28, 1834.

"My dear Lord,

"My absence from the Sacrament in the College Chapel on the Sunday you were in Oxford, was occasioned 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 say, 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 existence of the report.

"I am happy in being thus able to afford an explanation as satisfactory to you, 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 at Oxford: and it is a greater relief now to have an opportunity of saying so to yourself. 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 case: i.e. though my most intimate 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 than the other, yet I have never in my intention, never (as I believe) at all, spoken of your Grace in a serious way before strangers;—indeed mixing very little in general society, and not overapt to open myself in it, I have had little temptation to do so. Least of all should I so forget myself as to take undergraduates into my confidence in such a matter.

"I wish I could convey to your Grace the mixed and very painful 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 trustees of the Covenant. I willingly own that both in my secret judgment and my mode of speaking concerning you to my friends, I have had great alternations and changes of feeling,—defending, then blaming your policy, next praising your own self and protesting against your measures, according as the affectionate remembrances which I had of you rose against my utter aversion of the secular and unbelieving policy in which I considered the Irish Church to be implicated. I trust I shall never be forgetful of the kindness you uniformly showed me during your residence in Oxford: and anxiously hope that no duty to Christ and His Church may ever[Pg 382] interfere with the expression of my sense 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 especially associated; principles which bear upon the very fundamentals of all argument and investigation, and affect almost every doctrine and every maxim by which our faith or our conduct is to be guided. I can feel no reluctance to confess, that, when I first was noticed by your Grace, gratitude to you and admiration of your powers wrought upon me; and, had not something from within resisted, I should certainly have adopted views on religious and social duty, which seem to my present judgment to be based in the pride of reason and to tend towards infidelity, and which in your own case nothing but your Grace's high religious temper and the unclouded faith of early piety has been able to withstand.

"I am quite confident, that, however you may regard this judgment, you will give me credit, not only for honesty, but for a deeper feeling in thus laying it before you.

"May I be suffered to add, that your name is ever mentioned in my prayers, and to subscribe myself

"Your Grace's very sincere friend and servant,

"J. H. NEWMAN."

3.

"Dublin, November 3, 1834.

"My dear Newman,

"I cannot forbear writing again to express the great satisfaction I feel in the course I adopted; which has, eventually, enabled me to contradict a report which was more prevalent and more confidently upheld than I could have thought possible: and which, while it was perhaps likely to hurt my character with some persons, was injurious to yours in the eyes of the best men. For what idea must any one have had of religion—or at least of your religion—who was led to think there was any truth in the imputation to you of such uncharitable arrogance!

"But it is a rule with me, not to cherish, even on the strongest assertions, any belief or even suspicion, to the prejudice of any one whom I have any reason to think well of, till I have carefully inquired, and dispassionately heard both sides. And I think if others were to adopt the same rule, I should not myself be quite so much abused as I have been.

"I am well aware indeed that one cannot expect all, even good men, to[Pg 383] think alike on every point, even after they shall have heard both sides; and that we may expect many to judge, after all, very harshly of those who do differ from them: for, God help us! what will become of men if they receive no more mercy than they show to each other! But at least, if the rule were observed, men would not condemn a brother on mere vague popular rumour, about principles (as in my case) 'difficult to describe in few words,' and with which his 'reputation is associated.' My own reputation I know is associated, to a very great degree, with what are in fact calumnious imputations, originated in exaggerated, distorted, or absolutely false statements, for which even those who circulate them, do not, for the most part, pretend to have any ground except popular rumour: like the Jews at Rome; 'as for this way, we know that it is every where spoken against.'

"For I have ascertained that a very large proportion of those who join in the outcry against my works, confess, or even boast, that they have never read them. And in respect of the measure you advert to—the Church Temporalities Act—(which of course I shall not now discuss), it is curious to see how many of those who load me with censure for acquiescing in it, receive with open arms, and laud to the skies, the Primate; who was consulted on the measure—as was natural, considering his knowledge of Irish affairs, and his influence—long before me; and gave his consent to it; differing from Ministers only on a point of detail, whether the revenues of six Sees, or of ten, should be alienated.

"Of course, every one is bound ultimately to decide according to his own judgment; nor do I mean to shelter myself under his example: but only to point out what strange notions of justice those have, who acquit with applause the leader, and condemn the follower in the same individual transaction.

"Far be it from any servant of our Master, to feel surprise or anger at being thus treated; it is only an admonition to me to avoid treating others in a similar manner; and not to 'judge another's servant,' at least without a fair hearing.

"You do me no more than justice, in feeling confident that I shall give you credit both for 'honesty and for a deeper feeling' in freely laying your opinions before me: and besides this, you might have been no less confident, from your own experience, that, long since—whenever it was that you changed your judgment respecting me—if you had freely and calmly remonstrated with me on any point where you thought me going wrong, I should have listened to you with that readiness and candour and deference, which as you well know, I always showed, in the times when 'we took sweet counsel together, and walked in the house of God as friends;'—when we consulted together about so many practical measures, and about almost all the principal points in my publications.

"I happen to have before me a letter from you just eight years ago, in which, after saying that 'there are few things you wish more sincerely than to be known as a friend of mine,' and attributing to me, in the[Pg 384] warmest and most flattering terms, a much greater share in the forming of your mind than I could presume to claim, you bear a testimony, in which I do most heartily concur, to the freedom at least of our intercourse, and the readiness and respect with which you were listened to. Your words are: 'Much as I owe to Oriel in the way of mental improvement, to none, as I think, do I owe so much as to yourself. I know who it was first gave me heart to look about me after my election, and taught me to think correctly, and—strange office for an instructor—to rely upon myself. Nor can I forget that it has been at your kind suggestion, that I have since been led to employ myself in the consideration of several subjects, which I cannot doubt have been very beneficial to my mind.'

"If in all this I was erroneous,—if I have misled you, or any one else, into 'the pride of reason,' or any other kind of pride,—or if I have entertained, or led others into, any wrong opinions, I can only say I sincerely regret it. And again I rejoice if I have been the means of contributing to form in any one that 'high religious temper and unclouded faith' of which I not only believe, with you, that they are able to withstand tendencies towards infidelity, but also, that without them, no correctness of abstract opinions is worth much. But what I meant to point out, is, that there was plainly nothing to preclude you from offering friendly admonition (when your view of my principles changed), with a full confidence of being at least patiently and kindly listened to.

"I for my part could not bring myself to find relief in escaping the society of an old friend,—with whom I had been accustomed to frank discussion,—on account of my differing from him as to certain principles, whether through a change of his views, or (much more) of my own,—till at least I had made full trial of private and affectionate remonstrance and free discussion. Even a 'man that is a heretic,' we are told, even a ruler of a Church is not to reject, till after repeated admonitions.

"But though your regard for me does not show itself such as I think mine would have been under similar circumstances, I will not therefore reject what remains of it. Let us pray for each other that it may please God to enlighten whichever of us is, on any point, in error, and recall him to the truth; and that at any rate we may hold fast that charity, without which all knowledge, and all faith, that could remove mountains, will profit us nothing.

"I fear you will read with a jaundiced eye,—if you venture to read it at all—any publication of mine; but 'for auld lang syne' I take advantage of a frank to enclose you my last two addresses to my clergy.

"Very sincerely yours,

"RD. WHATELY."[Pg 385]

4.

"Oriel, November 11, 1834.

"My dear Lord,

"The remarks contained in your last letter do not come upon me by surprise, and I can only wish that I may be as able to explain myself to you, as I do with a clear and honest conscience to myself. Your Grace will observe that the letter of mine from which you make an extract, was written when I was in habits of intimacy with you, in which I have not been of late years. It does not at all follow, because I could then speak freely to you, that I might at another time. Opportunity is the chief thing in such an office as delivering to a superior an opinion about himself. Though I never concealed my opinion from you, I have never been forward. I have spoken when place and time admitted, when my opinion was asked, when I was called to your side and was made your counsellor. No such favourable circumstances have befallen me of late years,—if I must now state in explanation what in truth has never occurred to me in this fulness, till now I am called to reflect upon my own conduct and to account for an apparent omission. I have spoken the first opportunity you have given me; and I am persuaded good very seldom comes of volunteering a remonstrance.

"Again, I cannot doubt for an instant that you have long been aware in a measure that my opinions differed from your Grace's. You knew it when at Oxford, for you often found me differing from you. You must have felt it, at the time you left Oxford for Dublin. You must have known it from hearsay in consequence of the book I have published. What indeed can account for my want of opportunities to speak to you freely my mind, but the feeling on your part, (which, if existing, is nothing but a fair reason,) that my views are different from yours?

"And that difference is certainly of no recent date. I tacitly allude to it in the very letter you quote—in which, I recollect well that the words 'strange office for an instructor,—to rely upon myself,' were intended to convey to you that, much as I valued (and still value) your great kindness and the advantage of your countenance to me at that time, yet even then I did not fall in with the line of opinions which you had adopted. In them I never acquiesced. Doubtless I may have used at times sentiments and expressions, which I should not now use; but I believe these had no root in my mind, and as such they were mere idle words which I ought ever to be ashamed of, because they were idle. But the opinions to which I especially alluded in my former letter as associated by the world with your Grace's name under the title of 'Liberal,' (but not, as you suppose, received by me on the world's authority,) are those which may be briefly described as the Anti-superstition notions; and to these I do not recollect ever assenting. Connected with these I would[Pg 386] instance the undervaluing of Antiquity, and resting on one's own reasonings, judgments, definitions, &c., rather than authority and precedent; and I think I gave very little in to this;—for a very short time too (if at all), in to the notion that the State, as such, had nothing to do with religion. On the other hand, whatever I held then deliberately, I believe I hold now; though perhaps I may not consider them as points of such prominent importance, or with precisely the same bearing as I did then:—as the abolition of the Jewish Sabbath, the unscripturalness of the doctrine of imputed righteousness (i.e. our Lord's active obedience)—the mistakes of the so-called Evangelical system, the independence of the Church; the genius of the Gospel as a Law of Liberty, and the impropriety of forming geological theories from Scripture. Of course every one changes in opinion between twenty and thirty; doubtless, I have changed; yet I am not conscious that I have so much changed, as made up my mind on points on which I had no opinion. E.g. I had no opinion about the Catholic Question till 1829. No one can truly say I was ever for the Catholics; but I was not against them. In fact I did not enter into the state of the question at all.

"Then as to my change of judgment as to the character of your Grace's opinions, it is natural that, when two persons pursue different lines from the same point, they should not discover their divergence for a long while; especially if there be any kind feeling in the one towards the other. It was not for a very long time that I discovered that your opinions were (as I now think them) but part of intellectual views, so different from your own inward mind and character, so peculiar in themselves, and (if you will let me add) so dangerous. For a long time I thought them to be but different; for a longer, to be but in parts dangerous; but their full character in this respect came on me almost on a sudden. I heard at Naples the project of destroying the Irish Sees, and at first indignantly rejected the notion, which some one suggested, that your Grace had acquiesced in it. I thought I recollected correctly your Grace's opinion of the inherent rights of the Christian Church, and I thought you never would allow men of this world so to insult it. When I returned to England, all was over. I was silent on the same principle that you are silent about it in your letter; that it was not the time for speaking; and I only felt, what I hinted at when I wrote last, a bitter grief, which prompted me, when the act was irretrievable, to hide myself from you. However, I have spoken, with whatever pain to myself, the first opportunity you have given me.

"I might appeal to my conscience without fear in proof of the delight it would give me at this time to associate my name with yours, and to stand forward as your friend and defender, however humble. I should hope you know me enough to be sure, that, however great my faults are, I have no fear of man such as to restrain me, if I could feel I had a call that way. But may God help me, as I will ever strive to fulfil my first duty, the defence of His[Pg 387] Church, and of the doctrine of the old Fathers, in opposition to all the innovations and profanities which are rising round us.

"My dear Lord,

"Ever yours most sincerely and gratefully,

"J. H. NEWMAN.

"P.S. I feel much obliged by your kindness in sending me your Addresses to your clergy, which I value highly for your Grace's sake."[Pg 388]

NOTE ON PAGE 90.

EXTRACT OF A LETTER PROM THE REV. E. SMEDLEY, EDITOR OF THE "ENCYCLOPÆDIA METROPOLITANA."

When I urged on one occasion an "understanding" I had had with the publishers of the "Encyclopædia," he answered, June 5, 1828, "I greatly dislike the word 'understanding,' which is always misunderstood, and which occasions more mischief than any other in our language, unless it be its cousin-german 'delicacy.'"

NOTE ON PAGE 185.

EXTRACT OF A LETTER OF THE LATE REV. FRANCIS A. FABER, OF SAUNDERTON.

A letter of Mr. F. Faber's to a friend has just now (March, 1878) come into my hands, in which he says, "I have had a long correspondence with Newman on the subject of my uncle's saying he was 'a concealed Roman Catholic' long before he left us. It ends in my uncle making an amende."[Pg 389]

NOTE ON PAGES 194-196.

I have said above, "Dr. Russell had, perhaps, more to do with my conversion than any one else. He called on me in passing through Oxford in the summer of 1843; and I think I took him over some of the buildings of the University. He called again another summer, on his way from Dublin to London. I do not recollect that he said a word on the subject of religion on either occasion. He sent me at different times several letters.... He also gave me one or two books; Veron's Rule of Faith and some Treatises of the Wallenburghs was one; a volume of St. Alfonso Liguori's sermons was another.... At a later date Dr. Russell sent me a large bundle of penny or halfpenny books of devotion," &c.

On this passage I observe first that he told me, on one occasion of my seeing him since the publication of the "Apologia," that I was so far in error, that he had called on me at Oxford once only, not twice. He was quite positive on the point; it was when he was, I believe, on his way to Rome to escape a bishopric.

Secondly, my own mistake has led to some vagueness or inaccuracy in the statements made by others. In a friendly notice of Dr. Russell upon his death, it is said, in the "Times":—

"Personally he was unknown to the leaders of the movement, but his reputation stood high in Oxford. He was often applied to for information and suggestion on the points arising in the Tractarian controversy. Through a formal call made by him on Dr. Newman a correspondence arose, which resulted in the final determination of the latter to join the Roman Catholic Church."

On this I remark—(1) that in 1841-5, Dr. Russell was not well known in Oxford, and it cannot be said that then "his reputation stood high" there; (2) that he never[Pg 390] was "applied to for information" by any one of us, as far as my knowledge goes; and (3) that his call on me in 1841(3?) was in no sense "formal;" I had not expected it; I think he introduced himself, though he may have had a letter from Dr. Wiseman; and no "correspondence" arose in consequence. He may perhaps have sent me three letters, independent of each other, in five years; and, as far as I know, he was unaware of his part in my conversion, till he saw my notice of it in the "Apologia."

NOTE ON PAGE 232.

EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM THE REV. JOHN KEBLE TO THE AUTHOR.

"Nov. 18, 1844.—I hope I shall not annoy you if I copy out for you part of a letter which I had the other day from Judge Coleridge:—

"'I was struck with part of a letter from A. B., expressing a wish that Newman should know how warmly he was loved, honoured, and sympathized with by large numbers of Churchmen, so that he might not feel solitary, or, as it were, cast out. What think you of a private address, carefully guarded against the appearance of making him the head of a party, but only assuring him of gratitude, veneration, and love?' &c., &c.

"I thought I would just let you understand how such a person as Coleridge feels."

NOTE ON PAGE 237.

EXTRACT FROM THE "TIMES" NEWSPAPER ON THE AUTHOR'S VISIT TO OXFORD IN FEBRUARY, 1878.

"The Very Rev. Dr. Newman has this week revisited Oxford for the first time since 1845. He has been staying[Pg 391] with the Rev. S. Wayte, President of Trinity College, of which society Dr. Newman was formerly a scholar, and has recently been elected an Honorary Fellow. On Tuesday evening Dr. Newman met a number of old friends at dinner at the President's lodgings, and on the following day he paid a long visit to Dr. Pusey at Christ Church. He also spent a considerable time at Keble College, in which he was greatly interested. In the evening Dr. Newman dined in Trinity College Hall at the high table, attired in his academical dress, and the scholars were invited to meet him afterwards. He returned to Birmingham on Thursday morning."

NOTE ON PAGE 302.

THE MEDICINAL OIL OF ST. WALBURGA.

I have received the following on the subject of the oil of St. Walburga from a German friend, the Rev. Corbinian Wandinger, which is a serviceable addition to what is said upon it in Note B. He says:—

"In your 'Apologia,' 2nd Edition, p. 302, you say you neither have, nor ever have had, the means of going into the question of the miraculousness of the oil of St. Walburga. By good chance, there has arisen a contest not long ago between two papers, a catholic and a free-thinking one, about this very question, from which I collected materials. Afterwards I asked Professor Suttner, of Eichstädt, if the defender of the miraculousness might be fully and in every point trusted, and I was answered he might, since he was nobody else but the parson of St. Walburga, Rev. Mr. Brudlacher.

"You know all the older literature of the oil of St. Walburga, therefore I restrict myself to statements of a later date than 1625.

"First of the attempts to explain the oil as a natural produce of the rock.

"Some thought of ordinary rock-oil. But the slightest experiment proves that origin, properties, and effect of the oil of St. Walburga and petroleum have nothing common with each other.

"Others thought of a salt-rock, and of solution of the salt particles. But[Pg 392] the marble slab from which the oil drops is of Jura-chalk, and in the whole Jura is not a single particle of salt to be found, and the liquor itself does not in the least savour of salt; besides that, if this were the case, the stone must have crumbled into pieces long since, whilst it is quite massive still.

"Others thought of humour in the air, or the so-called sweating of the stones. But why does the slab which bears the holy relics alone sweat? and, why do all others beside, above, beneath it, in and out of the altar-cave, though being of the same nature, remain perfectly dry? Why should it sweat, the whole church being so dry that not a single humid spot of a hand's breadth is visible? Why does this slab not sweat except within a certain period, that is from October 12, the anniversary of depositing, to February 25, the day of the death of St. Walburga? And why does it remain dry at every other time, even at the most humid temperature of the air possible, and in the wettest years, for instance, 1866? Besides, what other stone, and be it in the deepest cave, will sweat during four or five months a quantity of liquor from six to ten Mass (a Mass = 1·07 French Litres)? If these naturalists are asked all this, then they, too, are at the end of their wits.

"To this point I add two facts which may be proved beyond any doubt; the one by unquestionable historical records, the other by still living eye-witnesses. When under Bishop Friedrich von Parsberg the interdict was inflicted on the city of Eichstädt, during all the year 1239 not a single drop of liquor became visible on the coffin-plate of St. Walburga. The contrary fact was stated on June 7, 1835. The cave was opened on this day by chance, passengers longing to see it. To their astonishment they found the stone so profusely dropping with oil, that the golden vase fixed underneath was full to the brim, whereas at this season never had been observed there any fluid. Some weeks later arrived the long-wished-for royal decree which sanctioned the reopening of the convent of St. Walburga; it was signed on that very 7th of June, 1835, by his Majesty King Louis I.

"Moreover, let one try to gather water which is dropping from sweating stone, or glass, or metal, and let him see if it will be pure and limpid, or rather muddy, filthy, and cloudy. The oil of St. Walburga on the contrary, is and remains so limpid and crystal, that a bottle, which had been filled and officially sealed at the reopening of the cave after the Swedish invasion, 1645, preserves to this day the oil so very clear and clean as if it had been filled yesterday; an occurrence never to be observed even on the purest spring-water, according to the testimony of the royal circuit-physician (K. Bezirksarzt).

"To this testimony of a naturalist may be added that of a much higher authority. The renowned naturalist, Von Oken, surely an unquestionable expert, came one day, while he was Professor in the University of Munich, to Eichstädt on the special purpose to investigate this extraordinary phenomenon. The cave was opened to him, he received every information he wished for, and having seen and examined everything, he pronounced publicly without any reluctance that he could not explain the matter in a natural way. He took[Pg 393] of the liquor to Munich in order to subject it to a chemical analysis, and declared then by writing the result of his researches to be that he could take it neither for natural water, nor oil, and that, in general, he was not able to explain the phenomenon as being in accordance with the laws of nature.

"Let me add the testimony of a historical authority. Mr. Sax, counsellor of the government (K. Regierungsrath), in his history of the diocese and city of Eichstädt, after he has spoken of the origin, the properties, and the effect of the oil of St. Walburga, concludes that 'they are of such a singular kind, that they not only exceed far the province of extraordinary nature-phenomena, but that they, in spite of the constant discrediting and slandering by bullying free-thinkers, preserved the great confidence of the catholic people even in far distant countries.'

"Now of the miracles. There are related by the people many thousands, but, of course, few of them are attested. In the Pastoral paper of Eichstädt, 1857, page 207, I read that Anton Ernest, Bishop of Brünn, in Moravia, announces, under Nov. 1, 1857, to the Bishop of Eichstädt, the recovery of a girl in the establishment of the sisters of charity from blindness, and sends, in order to attest the fact, the following document, which I am to translate literally:—

"'In the name of the indivisible Trinity. We, Anton Ernest, by God's and the Holy See's grace, Bishop of Brünn. After we had received, first by the curate of the establishment of the Daughters of Christian Charity in this place, and then also from other quarters, the notice that a girl in the aforesaid establishment had regained the use of her eyes miraculously in the very moment when she had a vial, containing oil of St. Walburga, offered to her, brought to her mouth and kissed, we thought it to be our duty to research scrupulously into the fact, and to put it beyond all doubt in the way of a special commission, by hearing of witnesses and a trial at the place of the fact, if there be truth, and how much of it, in the supposed miraculous healing.

"'About the report of this commission and the adjoined testimony of the physician, we have then, as prescribes the Holy Council of Trent (Sess. 25), collected the judgments of our theologians and other pious men; and as these all were quite in accordance, and the fact itself with all its circumstances lay before us quite clear and open, we have, after invocation of assistance of the Holy Ghost, pronounced, judged, and decided as follows:—

"'The instantaneous removal of the most pertinacious eyelid-cramp (Augenlied krampf), which Matilda Makara during many months had hindered in the use of her eyes and kept in blindness, and the simultaneous recurrence of the full eye-sight, phlogistic appearances still remaining in the eyes, which occurred when Matilda Makara on Nov. 7, 1856, had a vial with the oil of St. Walburga brought, full of confidence, to her mouth and kissed, must be acknowledged to be a fact which, besides the order of nature, has been effected by God's grace, and is therefore a miracle.[Pg 394]

"'And that the memory of this Divine favour may be preserved, that to God eternal thanks may be given, the confidence of the faithful may be incited and nourished, this devotion to the great wonder-worker St. Walburga may be promoted, we order that this aforegoing decision shall be affixed in the chapel of the Daughters of Christian Charity in this place, that it shall be preserved for all times to come, and that the 7th Nov. shall be celebrated as a holiday every year in this aforesaid establishment.

"'Given in our Episcopal Residence at Brünn,

"'Nov. 1, 1857,

"'(L. S.) Anton Ernest, Bishop.'

"A second record about St. Walburga I find in the Eichstädt Pastoral paper, 1858, page 192, from which I take the following: 'The Superioress of the Convent of St. Walburga had received in summer 1858 the notice of a miraculous cure written by the Superioress of the Convent of St. Leonard-sur-Mer, Sussex. At request for an authenticated report, John Bamber, chaplain of the Convent of the Holy Infant at St. Leonard-sur-Mer, wrote about the following: "Sister Walburga had been ill fifteen months, of which five bedridden. The physician pronounced the malady to be incurable. Large exterior tumour, frequent (thrice or four times a day) vomitings were caused by the diseased pylorus. The matter was hopeless, when the Superioress on April 27 thought of using the oil of St. Walburga. The chaplain brought it on the tongue of the sick sister, and in the same moment she had a burning feeling which seemed to her to descend, and to affect especially the sick part. In a few minutes the inner smart ceased, the tumour fell off, she felt recovered. Next morning she rose, assisted at the holy mass, communicated, ate with good appetite. She was quite recovered, but somewhat feeble, as people always are after a great disease. The physician, a Protestant, abode by his opinion the malady to be incurable, acknowledged, however, the healing. His words were: 'I believe the healing to be effected by the oil of St. Walburga, but how, I don't know.' As a Protestant he refused to give testimony that the operation of the oil had been miraculous.'

"The report is authenticated by Thomas, Bishop of Southwark.

"Freising, Bayern,

"September 13, 1873."[Pg 395]

NOTE ON PAGE 323.

BONIFACE OF CANTERBURY.

When I made the above reference in 1865 to Boniface of Canterbury, I was sure I had seen among my books some recent authoritative declaration on the subject of his cultus in opposition to the Bollandists; but I did not know where to look for it. I have now found in our Library (Concess. Offic. t. 2) what was in my mind. It consists of five documents proceeding from the Sacred Congregation of Rites, with the following title:—

"Emo ac Revmo Domino Card. Lambruschini Relatore, Taurinen. Approbationis cultûs ab immemorabili tempore præstiti B. Bonifacio à Subaudiâ Archiepiscopi Cantuarien. Instante serenissimo Rege Sardiniæ Carolo Alberto. Romæ, 1838."

Also Dr. Grant, Bishop of Southwark, has kindly supplied me with the following extract from the Correspondance de Rome, 24 November, 1851, adding "St. Boniface of Canterbury or of Savoy was beatified æquipollenter by Gregory XVI.:"—

"Le B. Boniface de Savoie, xi de ce nome, petit-fils d'Humbert iii, Archevêque de Cantorbéry. Confirmation de son culte, également à la demande du Roi Charles Albert, 7 Sept. 1838. D'abord moine parmi les Chartreux, puis Archevêque de Cantorbéry, consacré par Innocent IV. au Concile Général de Lyons; il occupa le siége 25 ans. Mort en 1270 pendant un voyage en Savoie. Son corps porté à Haucatacombe; concours des populations; miracles; son corps retrouvé intact trois siècles après sa mort. Son nom dans les livres liturgiques. Sa fête célébrée sans aucune interruption. Sur la relation de Card. Lambruschini, la S. C. des Rites le 1 Sept. 1838, décida qu'il constait de cas exceptionnel aux décrets d'Urbain VIII. p. 410."

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