ART. VIII.—JOHN HENRY CARDINAL NEWMAN.

1.—IN MEMORIAM LITERATURE.

{391} [Dublin Review, vol. 24, No. 11, Third Series, October 1890, pp. 391-436.]

1. Sermon Preached at the Funeral of Cardinal Newman. By WILLIAM CLIFFORD, Bishop of Clifton. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, TrŘbner & Co. 1890.

2. Sayings of Cardinal Newman. London: Burns & Oates.

3. Cardinal Newman; a Monograph. By JOHN OLDCASTLE. Being the October, 1890, number of Merry England. London: John Simpkins, Essex Street, Strand.

4. An Outline of the Life of Cardinal Newman. By WILLIAM BARRY, D.D. London: Catholic Truth Society.

5. Apologia pro Vita Sua: being a History of his Religious Opinions. By JOHN HENRY CARDINAL NEWMAN. [New and Cheaper Edition.] London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. 1890.

6. Magazine Articles:—"Cardinal Newman and his Contemporaries" (the Contemporary Review), by Mr. Wilfrid Meynell; "Cardinal Newman" (the New Review), by Mr. C. Kegan Paul; "John Henry Newman" (the Fortnightly), by Mr. W. S. Lilly, &c.

ON the evening of Monday, August 11, 1890, died, in his own Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Edgbaston, and at the patriarchal age of ninety years, John Henry Newman, Cardinal Deacon of the Holy Roman Church, with the Title of San Georgio in Velabro, for whose loss the deep sorrow not only of the Catholics of these lands, but it may be said of the English people everywhere is yet fresh and vivid,—Requiescat in pace. His end was, perhaps to an ideal extent, such as he himself would have desired. It matters little where one dies or when, as he well knew who had thought so often of death, but even as to this men have their fancies and their prejudices. We believe that the saintly Italian Passionist priest who baptised Newman hoped his end might come at his work; and certainly another saintly priest also a Passionist, Father Ignatius Spencer, the zealous apostle of prayer for England, hoped, as his own choice, that he might die in harness and with swift blow; and, interestingly enough, Father {392} Dominic died on a railway platform, and Father Ignatius fell by the wayside alone. Cardinal Newman's death, however, was happily otherwise. He fell asleep peacefully in that home he so dearly loved, and of which he spoke so touchingly when last he came back to it after a brief sojourn in Rome; with his brethren—of one of whom it has been said that he was "more to the lonely celibate than a begotten son"—around him to comfort and to pray; at peace with the outside world, having outlived its misunderstandings, its anger and resentment for his acts and words of an earlier time; with many old and long disrupted friendships re-formed in the warmth of a pleasant evening of life, and with the echoes still lingering in the air of those acclamations of love and esteem which, both within and without the Church, rang like music around him as he came back to Protestant England an English Cardinal, universally beloved, respected, honoured—could there have been an ending to life very much more to his heart's wish? Still more, perhaps, as to its inward and spiritual aspect was it such as he had hoped for. In one of those beautiful sermons in his "Discourses to Mixed Congregations"—"the first work," he said, "which I publish as a Father of this Oratory of St. Philip Neri"—he wrote, now more than forty years ago:

O my Lord and Saviour, support me in that hour in the strong arms of Thy Sacraments, and by the fresh fragrance of Thy consolation. Let the absolving words be said over me, and the holy oil sign and seal me, and Thy own Body be my food, and Thy Blood my sprinkling; and let sweet Mary breathe on me, and my Angel whisper peace to me, and my glorious Saints, and my own dear Father smile on me; that in them all, and through them all, I may receive the gift of perseverance, and die, as I desire to live, in Thy Faith and in Thy Church, in Thy service, and in Thy love. (Discourse vi. "God's Will the End of Life.")

Surely his end was even as he had prayed; and his soul is already, as we trust, within those gates, to reach to which he had asked his friend to pray:

    That I may find the grace,
To reach the holy house of toll,
    The frontier resting-place.

To reach that golden palace gate,
    Where souls elect abide,
Waiting their certain call to heaven
    With Angels at their side.

In such direction go our thoughts in the first days of bereavement and mourning. As Catholics we cannot but seek and find consolation in the remembrance of his Catholic life and virtues. With gratification, and with gratitude also to the Father of {393} mercies, do we linger over the story of how, long ago, he departed from friends and associates, from studies and interests, and from that Oxford which had so long been his home, when "the word of the Lord came to him as it did to Abraham of old." It is a joy, as it is a lesson, to recall how humble he was; how absorbed in the great act when, daily he offered the tremendous Sacrifice at the altar of God; how as the end drew nigh, and he could no longer celebrate daily Mass, he found his consolation in telling his beads, refreshing his soul in the contemplation of the mysteries of Our Lady's rosary. By such remembrances is he linked to the affections of Catholics who never knew his face or heard his voice, more closely than he could ever have been for merely his intellectual gifts, or his splendid writings, or even for his tender heart, transparent truthfulness, and chivalrous honour.

Forty-five years ago this October, the grace of conversion came to him. The "Kindly Light" showed him the vision of Rome, the Jerusalem of the new covenant exactly at a time midway in the span of his earthly pilgrimage, in the maturity of his powers, in the stability of manhood, with the ties and associations of a lifetime formed and entwined round his heart in an abundance that might well have been itself taken for a divine benediction. Was the light now a "kindly" one? Not apparently perhaps; but with a faith even as that of Abraham Newman followed it. How touching those words which he wrote in 1871 as to the great step of his secession from the Anglican communion, showing as they do his spiritual instincts, and the fidelity of his soul to God's inspirations.

"As to your question," he wrote to a lady correspondent, "whether if I had stayed in the Anglican Church till now, I should have joined the Catholic Church at all, at any time now or hereafter, I think that most probably I should not; but observe, for this reason, because God gives grace, and if it is not accepted He withdraws His grace; and since of His free mercy, and from no merits of mine, He then offered me the grace of conversion, if I had not acted upon it, it was to be expected that I should be left, a worthless stump, to cumber the ground, and to remain where I was till I died."

Words these which also suggest how strong all those ties and feelings held him, that if not broken while the spirit of the Lord was upon him, would have held him triumphantly when left to himself. But "I have not sinned against the light," he said in 1833, trying to assure himself, thus, that he should not yet die. Certain do we feel that to the end, he never sinned against the light: Et lux perpetua luceat ei, Domine!

Of the "in memoriam" literature which we have placed at the head of these remarks, we need say very little by way of explanation. {394} The books and articles there named, form but a fraction of the studies of Newman or the tribute to his memory, which since his death, have abounded in book, magazine, and newspapers everywhere. We have taken a few of the more important ones by Catholics, not as disparaging or underesteeming the others, but because these are more likely to be the ones our more distant readers will look to us to mention at the present time.

The Bishop of Clifton's funeral oration, even deprived of the emotion visible in its delivery, reads admirably. Simple in its language, but full of admiration for the subject of it, and of kindly appreciation, it gives a brief sketch of his career, and a touching reference to some of his good qualities and virtues. The Bishop had long known the late Cardinal, and had, as he mentions, served his first Mass in the chapel of Propaganda, Rome, on Corpus Christi day, 1847; and he was competent to speak of his life as a Catholic. His Lordship made a good point in quoting from the well-known sermon "Christ on the Waters," the fine description of the Anglo-Saxon character when transformed by Grace, to apply it as the best panegyric of the Cardinal himself.

The Almighty Lover of Souls looked again, and He saw in that poor forlorn and ruined nature ... what would illustrate and preach abroad His grace if He took pity on it. He saw in it a natural nobleness, a simplicity, a frankness of character, a love of truth, a zeal for justice, an indignation at wrong, an admiration of purity, a reverence for law, a keen appreciation of the beautifulness and majesty of order—nay, further a tenderness, and an affectionateness of heart which he knew would become the glorious instrument of His high will, illuminated and vivified by His supernatural gifts.

A somewhat fuller sketch of the life of the Cardinal is Dr. W. Barry's "Outline," which appeared a few days after his death as the Tablet leader, and is now reprinted and published in the C.T.S.'s penny series. Suffice it to say that it is an excellent brief sketch. We shall presently quote a sentence from it which will serve as a specimen of the style in which it is written. Of the magazine articles which we have named on our list, Mr. Meynell's, as one would anticipate, is full of admiration for his subject, brightly written, and with plenty of illustrative reference. One characteristic paragraph will show its style, and also what it contains deserves to be recorded:

Beautiful were the tributes which Newman's death elicited from the conspicuous pulpits of Anglicanism, and most affecting to Catholics; but some of the preachers strangely misunderstood their man when they hinted, as Canon Knox-Little did, that Newman would never have left Anglicanism in 1845, had he foreseen how many Roman collars would be worn, how many beards be shaved off, how many "celebrations" be talked about, and confessions {394} heard in the Establishment in 1890. Why, the Arians in their day had Bishops, and Masses, and organisation as perfect us that of the orthodox; but it was with Athanasius, that Newman ranged himself while still an Anglican, and it was precisely the parallel he found between Anglicans and Arians, or Donatists, that brought him at last from Oxford to Birmingham.

It was, in truth, to the Canon Knox-Littles that he addressed himself when he said: "Look into the matter more steadily; it is very pleasant to decorate your chapels, oratories, and studies now, but you cannot be doing this for ever. It is pleasant to adopt a habit or a vestment; to use your office-book or your beads; but it is like feeding on flowers, unless you have that objective vision in your faith, and that satisfaction in your reason, of which devotional exercises and ecclesiastical appointment are the suitable expression. They will not last in the long run, unless commanded and rewarded on Divine authority; they cannot be made to rest on the influence of individuals. It is well to have rich architecture, curious works of art, and splendid vestments, when you have a present God; but, oh! what a mockery if you have not. If your externals surpass what is within, you are so far as hollow as your Evangelical opponents, who baptise, yet expect no grace. Thus your Church becomes not a home, but a sepulchre; like those high cathedrals once Catholic, which you not know what to do with, which you shut up, and make monuments of, sacred to the memory of what has passed away."

Mr. Lilly's paper in the Fortnightly, has the unique recommendation of containing a number of Cardinal Newman's letters, all addressed to Mr. Lilly himself. Mr. Kegan Paul's thoughtful and beautifully written study, in the New Review, seems to be the outpouring of very deep personal feeling, and is tinged with pathetic solemnity. The writer's own recent reception into the Catholic Church, a result which he apparently attributes to the influence of one whom he addresses as "dear and honoured Master and Father," may account for this. It is a brief but very suggestive paper, to be especially recommended.

The October number of Merry England is devoted exclusively to the late Cardinal, and is by far the best record of his life which has yet appeared. It forms an excellent memoir pour servir, and there is a wonderful amount of matter in it—anecdotes, letters, reminiscences, &c.—and, as though "John Oldcastle's" descriptions were not pleasant and graphic enough, there are some admirable photographic illustrations and a facsimile of "Lead, Kindly Light." One of these interesting photographic views is of the last resting-place at Rednal, another is of St. Mary the Virgin, at Oxford, where Newman preached those wonderful sermons, and two other views show us the Birmingham Oratory and the interior of its church. There is {396} still another view worth naming; we have not seen it elsewhere. It is a photograph of the "row of five or six small cottages of one story" which formed the historic "Littlemore," whither Newman retired after the publication of "Tract 90," and where, having written the "Essay on Development" to the point where it abruptly breaks off, he was received into the bosom of the Catholic Church. We feel tempted to quote from Mr. Oldcastle one beautiful trait of the last earthly days of the Cardinal, for which we fancy we are exclusively indebted to him:

The end came at last quickly. There had been little illnesses; and the failure of strength was so apparent that it seemed as if a breath or a movement would extinguish the faint spark. On one of these days he asked some of the Fathers to come in and play or sing to him Father Faber's hymn of "The Eternal Years." When they had done so once, he made them repeat it, and this several times. "Many people," he said, "speak well of my 'Lead, Kindly Light,' but this is far more beautiful. Mine is of a soul in darkness—this of the eternal light."

There remains for us only to call attention to a new and cheap edition of the "Apologia," which the publishers have opportunely brought out at a moment of special public interest in it. "The boldest and most touching of modern religious biographies," as Mr. Kegan Paul styles it, is destined to live. It will ever remain, as the Cardinal intended (on his side and from his standpoint) it should—a book of final appeal. It is his own deliberate revelation of his spiritual and mental history, of his herculean efforts to defend the "Via Media," of the failure, and of its consequences. He had been the Athanasius of the Oxford Movement. But at Littlemore he was called on to act a still more noble r˘le: to pay heroic tribute to Truth, by confessing before the world that the principles he had fought to defend were themselves a mistake, and by going over to seek admission into what had hitherto been to him, as it was to them, the camp of the enemy. It was a giant's effort too; though it may seem to Catholics so very easy a matter. The English Protestant public failed to see the reason of it; later on they even suggested that he, now that he had grown familiar with the Roman camp and had moved behind the scenes, himself regretted it. Repeatedly he protested that he had "never had one doubt" as a Catholic, that he had been "in perfect peace and contentment," but to little result: it was still supposed that he must regret Anglicanism. Then he wrote what apparently could not be mistaken or misinterpreted:—

I have not had one moment's wavering of trust in the Catholic Church ever since I was received into her fold. I hold, and ever have held, a supreme satisfaction in her worship, discipline, and {397} teaching; and an eager longing, and a hope against hope, that the many dear friends whom I have left in Protestantism may be partakers in my happiness. And I do hereby profess that Protestantism is the dreariest of possible religions; that the thought of the Anglican service makes me shiver, and the thought of the Thirty-nine Articles makes me shudder. Return to the Church of England! No! "The net is broken, and we are delivered." I should be a consummate fool (to use a mild term) if, in my old age I left "the land flowing with milk and honey" for the city of confusion and the house of bondage.

Dr. Barry remarks in his "Outline" that it took ten years to bring Newman into the Church, and that, therefore, "it may well take a century or two to bring the nation." However, very shortly after the last quoted vehement denial of one species of insincerity, the opportunity of reaching the ear of the British public came to Newman. Kingsley's charge of untruthfulness was the providential means. Newman, as Dr. Barry puts it, was allowed to speak, and his countrymen listened."

They listened to the Apologia pro vita sua.

With regard to the three papers which follow in our own pages, we should like to be allowed to thank both Father Stanton, of the Oratory, and Father Lockhart for allowing us to trespass on their busy hours to pen, and that hurriedly, the very interesting reminiscences they have sent us of those early days when they were among Newman's disciples. Father Lockhart had the glory of "leading the way" and his prior submission to the Church was the immediate reason of Newman's resigning his pastorate at St. Mary's. Father Stanton was one of the two, Father F. S. Bowles being the other, who were baptised and received with Newman. We cannot refrain from quoting "John Oldcastle's" account of the reception; we believe our readers will forgive us the long extract, if only Mr. Oldcastle himself will accept our acknowledgments and do likewise.

These three, "the Vicar" and the two disciples, entered the curious chapel on Thursday afternoon, October 9, 1845, and stood in a line together. Function there was none; and Ritualism hid her face. The bowl of Baptism was of domestic, not of ecclesiastical pattern; and all else was of a tale. Then Father Dominic gave a little address, saying his Nunc Dimittis. Dalgairns and St. John went into Oxford, to the primitive Catholic chapel—St. Clement's—and borrowed from the old priest, Father Newsham, an altar-stone and vestments, so that Father Dominic might say Mass the next morning—the first and only time at Littlemore. At the Mass the neophytes received their first Communion. The fervour of Father Dominic, when he made his thanksgiving, greatly impressed the converts, who had not been accustomed in Anglicanism to see so {398} much emotion in prayer. One little incident may be recorded as almost comic. On the evening before their reception into the Church, Father Dominic went into the chapel with the catechumens and recited Office with them. But when they came to the record of how St. Denis, after his martyrdom, put his head under his arm and walked about, Father Dominic cried "stop," and skipped it over. He thought such legends might be a difficulty to beginners, but he did not know his men; for who was more familiar with miracles and the authority assigned to them than the author of those Essays which had made Macaulay exclaim: "The times require a Middleton!" In truth the neophytes were rather scandalised at him, and not at it.

We do not know what grounds the writer of this passage had for making this last reflection, but it is probably just enough,—if a man of Father Dominic's character did cry stop. But the reflection leads us to remark how the legends of the saints had been but a few years before a wonderfully real crux to the writer of Tract 75. That Tract was written by Newman to set before his fellow clergy the general excellence of the Breviary services, and to claim "whatever is good and true in them for the Church Catholic in opposition to the Roman Church, whose only real claim over and above other Churches is that of having adopted certain additions and novelties"—"apocryphal legends of saints" he goes on to call them, which "were used to stimulate and occupy the popular [mediŠval] mind." Even after he had disabused his mind of the idea that Rome exalted our Lady to the disparagement of our Lord (which came about in 1842, as he tells in the "Apologia"), "it was still a long time," he says, "before I got over my difficulty on the score of the devotion 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." In the Offices at Littlemore oret had been substituted for ora where invocations of the saints occurred, we believe up to that very day when the Office of St. Denis and his companions was recited with Father Dominic. Let the scandal, however, have been which way it may, it is interesting to note Newman's affection for the Brievary as early as the year 1836, and whilst he was at the same time denouncing the "Roman corruptions" of it. That Tract 75 is noteworthy as a specimen of his talent as a translator, a subject which, so far as we remember, has not yet engaged the critics. In it he gives an English version of an ordinary Sunday Office, at length; and his verse renderings of the hymns "Nocte sugentes," "Te lucis ante terminum," and the others, which have since become so familiar, were, we imagine, written for this occasion. His version of the Confiteor is curious: {399}

I confess before God Almighty, before the Blessed Mary, Ever-Virgin, the blessed Michael, &c., and you my brethren, that I have sinned too much in thought, word, and deed. It is my fault, my fault; my grievous fault. Therefore I beseech, &c.

He then goes on to translate the lessons, hymns, and special antiphons of the Offices for the Feast of the Transfiguration, and for the Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr. This part of his task having been faithfully done, even as to the obnoxious antiphons of Our Lady, the writer relieves his Protestant soul by a proceeding at which one cannot help smiling. He adds "a design for a service on March 21, the day on which Bishop Ken was taken from the Church below!" The lessons of the second Nocturn are a life of Ken, and those of the third, on the Gospel (Luke xxii. 25-30), are taken from Jeremy Taylor; and there are hymns, original presumably, but no prayer! The translations given by Newman of these Antiphons of Our Lady, which he says "are quite beyond the power of any defence," will be found interesting, as indeed is the whole of this singular Tract. Here is the Alma Redemptoris Mater and the Salve Regina, the latter of which the curious may like to compare with the recently authorised version of the Manual of Prayers:

            ALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER.
Kindly Mother of the Redeemer, who art ever of heaven
The open gate, and the star of the sea, aid a falling people,
Which is trying to rise again; thou who didst give birth,
While Nature marvelled how, to thy Holy Creator,
Virgin both before and after, from Gabriel's mouth,
Accepting All hail, be merciful towards sinners.

SALVE REGINA.

Hail O Queen, the mother of mercy, our life, sweetness, and hope, hail. To thee we exiles cry out; the sons of Eve. To thee we sigh, groaning and weeping in this valley of tears. Come then, O our patroness, turn thou on us those merciful eyes of thine, and show to us, after this exile, Jesus the blessed fruit of thy womb, O gracious, O pitiful, O sweet Virgin Mary.

To return, however, from this digression, and to bring these hasty lines to a conclusion, it will be observed that Father Lockhart's paper is followed by one from the pen of a non-Catholic writer. We willingly give space to Dr. Hayman's eloquent tribute to the memory of the illustrious dead. He was never, we believe, a disciple of the Cardinal, but had listened to him in the pulpit of St. Mary's, and knew and revered him. We do not suppose that it will surprise any one to find that to {400} some excellent Anglicans Cardinal Newman's career as a Catholic was one of perplexing obscurity; but they may be led by the metaphor of the "noble swan frozen in" to conclude that Dr. Hayman is one of those, and there have been not a few at any time in England, who, in Exeter Hall language, would accuse "Romanism" of being intellectual suicide as well as spiritual doom. We, on our part, do not believe Dr. Hayman means anything of this latter kind, but refers, even when he says "frozen in," to the fact that Newman, as a Catholic, led a life of retirement and inactivity, which, in contrast with his Anglican work, seems obscurity. Perhaps it is perplexing to many that Newman was never sent to Oxford, or, for example, never made a bishop. But apart from these unrealised possibilities, which cannot and need not here be discussed; we may refer to a widespread sentiment which has fastened on the popular mind, to the effect that some sort of numbness weakened his intellectual activity, and arrested his spiritual growth and usefulness. Now, as to the first, we should say that the answer is sufficiently suggested in Newman's own metaphor of his case—"it was like coming into port after a storm." Distinctly has he since explained of himself that he could write only under the stimulus of outward emergency. There was plenty of that and to spare in his Anglican days; and tracts and pamphlets, sermons and volumes flowed from his pen. There has been less of it in his Catholic days and from within; but, thanks to Protestants, there has been some. And one such instance we think rather negatives the notion of obscurity. Had Newman not a far larger audience when he wrote his "Apologia" than when he wrote Tract 90?

But we Catholics think he has accomplished one arduous work: and it has a practical and a dogmatic side. On the latter, he never lost his influence on the English public—on the contrary, it has grown with the years since his conversion—and that influence he has uniformly used to bring home to the minds of his countrymen that the claim of the Catholic Church to their obedience is consonant with the Christian dispensation, as it is both legitimate and urgent. Dr. Barry, in his "Outline" has put this forcibly:

One thing he did, with such triumphant success that it need not be done again. He showed that the question of Rome is the question of Christianity. Taking Bishop Butler's great work for his foundation, he applied to the Catholic Church that "Analogy" which had proved in the Bishop's hands an irrefragable argument. As, if we hold the course of Nature to be in accordance with reason, we cannot but allow that natural and revealed religion, proceeding as they do on similar laws and by like methods, are founded on reasons too—so, {401} if once we admit that in the Bible there is a revelation from on high, we must come down by sure steps to Rome and the Papacy as inheriting what the Bible contains. To demonstrate this was to make an end of the Reformation, so far as it claimed authority from Scripture or kindred with Christ and His Apostles. When John Henry Newman arrived at that conclusion and followed it up by submitting to Rome, he undid, intellectually speaking, the mischief of the last three centuries. And he planted in the mind of his countrymen a suspicion which every day seems ripening towards certitude, that if they wish to remain Christians they must go back to the rock from which they were hewn, and become once again the sheep of the Apostolic Shepherd. Cardinal Newman has done this great thing; and its achievement will be his lasting memorial (p. 31).

But not only has he watered, as it were, with his eloquence, what others might have planted in vain; but in what large measure has not God given the increase, in these our days already, through the influence of his word, of his prayers, of his example. And to have been himself, as it were, the morning-star of the "Second Spring" to his own England—would he deem twenty-five, or even forty-five years, of retirement (not of obscurity) ill spent for such a privilege? We feel reluctant to quote further, but Mr. Kegan Paul's pathetic words must speak for us, better than we can for ourselves:

Because his works have always been before the public, and because his saintly life has been known, he has continued, even in retirement, to exercise an extraordinary influence on men. "He really died long since; his work has long been over," writes one. How little they know who thus speak! No intellectual conversion in England or America has taken place in the twenty years of his retirement wherein he has not borne a part, and when converts flew as doves to the windows, his has been the hand which drew them in. There are same who have made their submission to the Church since his death, and the amari aliquid in their joy and thankfulness has been that they could not, in his life, tell him that he was the agent of their conversion, and ask his blessing …

Ah! dear and honoured Master and Father, it may be that thou knowest now how largely has that thy prayer been fulfilled, written "on the Feast of Corpus Christi," twenty-six years ago.

"And I earnestly pray for this whole company with a hope against hope, that all of us who were once so united, and 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." {402}

———————

2.—SOME REMINISCENCES OF THE EARLY DAYS OF CARDINAL NEWMAN'S CATHOLIC LIFE.

I HAVE been asked to put on paper my recollections of the early days of Cardinal Newman's Catholic life. As I am one of the few survivors of those who had the privilege of living in his society at that time, and, with a single exception, the only one who was present on the occasion of his reception into the Church, it is supposed that I may have many things to say which would be interesting to his friends, and tending, if it were possible, to increase the veneration in which his memory is universally held.

No doubt it ought to be so; but forty-five years is a long time to look back, or to recall the particular details of even important events, when I have no journal, and scarcely any notes to help me.

While, therefore, it is a consolation to me to offer some tribute to one whom I consider my chief benefactor in the highest order of good gifts, and I am persuaded that nothing can be more honourable to him than the bare statement of facts; still I greatly fear that what I have to say, limited as it must be to matters actually remembered, will be found to be meagre and unsatisfactory to those who look for a vivid and entertaining narrative.

It was on the 20th June, 1845, that I first went to Littlemore, on Mr. Newman's kind invitation, an invitation which he studiously withheld until he perceived the bent of my thoughts, and ascertained that I was free from all other engagements. Such was his scrupulous fear of influencing others, while he was himself in a state of uncertainty.

If I am not mistaken, Mr. Newman's house at Littlemore has already been described in print, though I do not remember when or by whom.

I may mention, however, that it consisted mainly of a row of five or six small cottages of one storey, which he had purchased, or more probably taken on lease, before they were completed, or at all events before they had been occupied. Whether according to the original plan, or by an alteration of his, the doors, with the exception of that leading to the kitchen, did not open on the public road, but on a court within. The floors were of brick, and the windows and doors those of a common labourer's cottage. At right angles to this row, and connected with it, was another building, which comprised the entrance on the Cowley Road, one or two small rooms, one considerably larger, which {403} may have been intended for a small barn, and beyond that another room with a chamber over it, which was the only part of the house having a second storey.

The space between these buildings and the walls which separated them from the adjoining premises, was planted with a few shrubs, and on the side of the cottages was an open verandah, protecting to some extent the doors from the wind and rain.

I was most cordially welcomed by Mr. Newman and the friends who were with him at the time. These were A. St. John, J. B. Dalgairns, and F. S. Bowles. The plan of life they followed was simple in the extreme, to the verge of austerity, but was apparently somewhat mitigated from what it had been some years before. There was no written rule, but everything went on in the same course day after day. Mr. Newman, who would allow no affectation of monastic titles, was still commonly called the vicar, as having held the parish of St. Mary, when first he began to reside at Littlemore. There were no servants in the house. A woman from the village came to do the cooking, and a boy was employed in odd jobs throughout the day. Perfect silence was observed in the house, except during the recreation in the library after dinner. The whole of the Breviary Office was said in the Oratory, though not according to the Roman calendar, and with the omission, I think, of the Suffragia Sanctorum, and the final antiphon of our Lady, as being expressly contrary to the Anglican Articles.

Matins were said at an early hour in the morning; and I have been told that, during the Advent of 1842, they had made the experiment of rising at midnight for this purpose, on the persuasion of Dalgairns, who had an enthusiastic admiration of the Cistercian Rule. Mr. Newman however considered that it would be imprudent to continue the practice, and it was abandoned.

Besides this, we went twice a day to the Anglican service in the village church. The morning was devoted to study in the library, some who had work in the Bodleian often going to Oxford for that purpose. Mr. Newman was known to be engaged on his work, which afterwards appeared as the Essay on Development, and usually devoted about fourteen hours a day to the task. Others were reading various books, but no one, as far as I know, controversial works. I remember that Mr. Newman placed in my hands the Epistles of St. Jerome. We took our breakfast standing in the dining-room, and some luncheon also in the middle of the day. In the afternoon it was usual to take a walk, and sometimes Mr. Newman accompanied us, and kept up a most delightful conversation; but I may be allowed to say that he walked along the road and over the commons at such a pace, as {404} to keep his younger companions on the trot, and almost breathless.

Dinner was at five o'clock with reading, the book at this time being some work of Blosius. Then followed recreation, as we should now call it, in the library, and tea, a most refreshing break in the long silence of the day. During that time we had the full advantage of Mr. Newman's familiar conversation, the charms of which are so well known to many. I do not think religious controversy was ever introduced, and I do not suppose that any one wished to speak on the subject. It seemed to be tacitly admitted that the time for that was past, and that prayer and quiet were the best means of co-operating with the work of divine grace. We had few visitors from Oxford. It was the long vacation, which might account for it, though I surmise there were some remaining in the University who might have been expected to call, had they not been deterred by reports or suspicions of what was likely to happen before long.

However, we frequently saw Copeland, who was serving Littlemore for the vicar of St. Mary's. Others we saw occasionally—Mr. and Mrs. Ward, already Catholics, were living at Rose Hill, between Littlemore and Oxford, but at this time we did not see much of them—Mr. and Mrs. Crawley resided at Littlemore, and we saw them sometimes, as also Mr. Woodmason and his family.

Mr. Newman was occasionally called to London, by some business or other, for a few days, and was at this time sitting, if I am not mistaken, for his miniature by Ross, which was painted for his friend, Mr. Crawley.

Thus three months passed, not unhappily, but with little variety, until, in September, I went to pay a short visit to my friends. Before returning, I wrote to Mr. Newman to tell him that I had made up my mind to seek admission into the Catholic Church, and that I had thoughts of going to Stonyhurst for that purpose. He wrote in answer, on October the 4th, to say that Dalgairns had actually been received on St. Michael's Day by F. Dominic, the Passionist at Aston, and St. John, on October the 2nd, at Prior Park; that the time had come for himself to take the same step, and that F. Dominic was coming to visit him at Littlemore, when he intended to ask for admission. He most kindly invited me to return, to be received with him, but if I could not do so, he approved of my plan of going to Stonyhurst.

This letter I value greatly, and take it to be the first distinct avowal in writing of his definite purpose. The letter which he quotes in the Apologia, as addressed to several friends, bears the later date of the 8th October.

I returned to Littlemore on Wednesday the 8th. St. John and {405} Dalgairns had come back; Bowles was still there, and J. Walker had also come on a visit.

F. Dominic arrived late in the evening, after I had retired for the night. He was soaked with rain, is I heard—having probably travelled to Oxford on the outside of the coach—and dried himself by the fire. I have heard that Mr. Newman made his Confession, or, at all events, began it that night. In the morning, my impression is that F. Dominic went to Oxford to say Mass, accompanied by St. John, and that they returned, bringing with them an altar-stone, chalice, and the requisites for celebrating the Holy Sacrifice at Littlemore, where a temporary altar was constructed in the Oratory.

In the afternoon he heard the Confession of Bowles end myself, and the evening was appointed for the reception of the three into the Catholic Church. I have already spoken of the Oratory, but have not described it.

It was one of the cottage rooms, perhaps twelve or thirteen feet square. The window was entirely boarded up, and the walls hung with some kind of red cloth. There was a Crucifix between a pair of candlesticks on a small table or altarino, and a high branch-candlestick, to give light for reading the Office.

The ceremony of reconciliation with the Catholic Church took place about eight or nine o'clock in the evening of the 9th October, the feast of St. Denys and Companions. There were present only F. Dominic, the officiant, A. St. John, and J. B. Dalgairns as witnesses, with the three who were received—viz., J. H. Newman, F. S. Bowies, and R. Stanton. The complete rite as in the ritual was followed, with the profession of Faith according to the formula of Pius IV., and baptism sub conditione. The next day, the 10th, which, according to the Roman calendar, followed by the celebrant, is the feast of St. Francis Borgia, F. Dominic said Mass, and administered holy Communion to the converts.

There was no great change in the manner of life at Littlemore, except, of course, what was involved in our withdrawal from the Anglican body. We used to go to Mass at Oxford, a walk of nearly three miles, on Sundays and Thursdays—the only days on which the chapel was opened in those times—and received the sacraments from Mr. Newsham, the resident priest. As the old chapel was in the parish of St. Clement, we were able to reach it without going through the town.

In this way the next four months passed, while we were expecting some plan for the future. Dalgairns, however, left us for Langres, on the invitation of M. Lorain, a Canon of the Cathedral, in whose house he resided, studying for the priesthood under his direction; and there he remained till after his ordination, when he joined us in Rome. J. Walker, who was received about a week after {406} the rest, also stayed, and A. J. Christie, already a Catholic, came from London to visit us, but, as I think, did not permanently reside with us till we were settled at Maryvale.

One great difference, however, was that Mr. Newman was frequently absent. He went to see several of the Bishops, and visited some of the principal colleges, especially Oscott, where he received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Mgr. Wiseman, on All Saints Day, taking the name of Mary, out of long cherished devotion to our Blessed Lady, as well as some religious houses, and a few Catholic families, with whom he had more or less acquaintance.

The result of these visits and consultations was the acceptance of Mgr. Wiseman's generous offer to place the old college of Oscott at our disposal, where we were to begin our ecclesiastical studies, expecting the course of events as to our future.

Before the end of February we were settled at old Oscott, from that time known as Maryvale, the name having been chosen, as I understand, by Christie. Besides Mr. Newman, there were St. John, W. G. Penny, Walker, Christie, Bowles, and Stanton. John Brand Morris was with us for a short time, but removed to the college of Oscott. There was an Italian priest in the house, whose Mass we attended, and who took charge of the Mission, but he lived entirely apart, and did not belong to our society.

Mgr. Wiseman undertook the general direction of our studies, and recommended us, or at least the juniors, to begin with Melchior Canus de locis. Now and then he and Dr. Errington would come down from the college, and instruct us in the scholastic method of disputation, as practised in the Roman schools.

It must have been in the earlier months of our residence at Maryvale that Gregory XVI., whose pontificate was drawing to a close, sent a silver Crucifix, with his blessing, to Mr. Newman, and afterwards some other devotional object through Cardinal Acton. It was either at this time, or after our return from Rome in 1848, that Mr. Francis Newman came to pay a visit to his brother. He dined with us, but I think did not stay the night.

In this way the spring and summer of 1846 passed happily and quietly; and in the enjoyment of Mr. Newman's friendship and advice we were content to wait the development of his plans for the future. Meanwhile he and some of his companions received the first Tonsure and the Minor Orders, on the Ember Saturday of Pentecost, the 6th of June.

Towards the end of the summer it was decided, by Mgr. Wiseman's advice, that Mr. Newman should visit Rome, and there wait to receive Holy Orders, and ascertain the pleasure of {407} the newly elected Pope as to his future course of life. It was thought best that he should be accompanied by St. John only, and that the rest should stay at Maryvale, in readiness to join them if it should be found to be expedient.

It was after the opening of the Church of St. Giles, at Cheadle, on the 1st September, that the two travellers took leave of their companions. We had all been invited to that ceremony, and Mr. Newman was staying with Lord Shrewsbury at Alton Towers for the occasion. I am not clear whether they left England immediately or not; but they travelled slowly, halting at various places by the way. At Langres they were most warmly welcomed by the illustrious bishop, Mgr. Parisis, and numbers of the clergy. They were also presented to Mgr. Mathieu, Archbishop of Besanšon, and afterwards Cardinal, by whose conversation Mr. Newman is said to have been much impressed. At Milan they stayed perhaps a month, studying Italian, and there they made the acquaintance of Manzoni and others. They did not reach Rome till the end of October, shortly before the Possesso of Pius IX. at St. John Lateran. They took up their abode at the College of Propaganda, which was at that time under the direction of the Jesuit Fathers, who treated them with the utmost kindness and consideration, especially the Rector, the distinguished Father Bresciani, for whom Mr. Newman always professed the highest regard.

It was not long before the project of joining the Oratory of St. Philip began seriously to be entertained. It had been spoken of at Littlemore, and Mr. Newman had procured a copy of the old English translation of the "Rule of St. Philip," by Abraham Woodhead. Mr. Newman knew that the plan would find especial favour with Mgr. Wiseman, who had already more than hinted at it, and whose great devotion towards St. Philip led him to write to see his sons established in his district.

In Rome he soon perceived that it would be best adapted to his own tendencies, and the disposition of those who desired to join him, and accordingly opened the subject to Mgr. Brunelli, the secretary of the S. Congregation of the Propaganda. This prelate was greatly pleased with the scheme, and took an early opportunity of laying it before Pius IX. His Holiness expressed his warmest approbation, and that no time might be lost in carrying it out, charged Mr. Newman to call to Rome such of his friends as desired to associate themselves with him.

Thus the household at Maryvale was broken up for the time. Walker went to the college at Oscott, not being disposed to undertake the journey, and Christie returned to London. Penny and Stanton started for Rome in Lent, and were soon followed by Bowles. {408}

As the Pope had not yet determined the place of their residence, the new comers found hospitality at the Retreat of the Passionist Fathers at the Convent of Sts. John and Paul. There they were joined by Bowles and Dalgairns, who came from France already a priest, and soon after by R. A. Coffin, who was then staying in Rome. Meanwhile Mr. Newman and St. John remained at Propaganda, where they were ordained priests by Cardinal Franzoni, on Trinity Sunday, 1847, Father Newman celebrating his first Mass in a chapel of that college on the festival of Corpus Christi.

It was the end of June before the Pope placed the little community under one roof, in the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Croce, in Gerusalemme, and appointed Father Carlo Rossi, of the Roman Oratory, to be their instructor in the Rule and Discipline of the Congregation of St. Philip. Although no time was lost, all could not be assembled till the beginning of July, and consequently the Festival of the Visitation of Our Lady was considered as the day of the first formation of the English Congregation of the Oratory, being the day on which our Founder assumed the habit of St. Philip.

At this point I must bring to a close this very hasty and meagre account of the first months of the Catholic life of the Great Cardinal who has so lately been taken from us. The only credit I can lay claim to is the accuracy in the relation of facts, which I think I have secured as far as possible by submitting these notes to the revision of Father Bowles, and supplying certain deficiencies with the help of his observations.

RICHARD M. STANTON,
Priest of the Oratory.

———————

3.—CARDINAL NEWMAN; OR, "'TIS FIFTY YEARS SINCE."

AMONG the many indications marking the different Phases of religious thought in England, perhaps none is more noteworthy than the way in which the death of our venerable Cardinal has been received by the English non-Catholic public. The public press, the surest test of public opinion, when all political and religious parties are agreed on any point, has spoken unmistakably its estimate of this great Catholic, and of the work of his lifetime. They have spoken of his death as a public loss, {409} the passing away of one of the grandest intellects of our age, worthy to be ranked with an Origen, an Athanasius, an Augustine—of a soul most lovable and tender, straightforward, honest, and truthful to conscience in all that he has done or written.

But the words of our beloved Cardinal Archbishop, spoken in the London Oratory, at the Solemn Mass of Requiem, say all this better far than words of mine.

"If any proof were needed of the immeasurable work that John Henry Newman has wrought in England, the last week would be enough. None could doubt that the great multitude of his personal friends in the first half of his life, and the still greater multitude of those who have been instructed, consoled, and won to God by the unequalled beauty, the irresistible persuasion of his writings, at such a time as this, would pour out the love and gratitude of their hearts.

"But that the public voice of England, political and religious, in all its diversities, should, for once, unite in love and veneration of a man who had broken through its sacred barriers and defied its religious prejudices, who could have believed it?

"He had committed the unpardonable sin in England. He had rejected the whole Tudor Settlement in religion. He had become Catholic, as our fathers were; and yet, for no one in our memory has such a heartfelt and loving veneration been poured out. Some one (a non-Catholic writer) has said: 'Whether Rome canonises him or not, he will be canonised in the thoughts of pious people of many creeds in England.' This is true; but I will not therefore say that the mind of England is changed. Nevertheless, it must be said that, towards a man who has done so much to estrange it, the will of the English people was changed; the old malevolence had passed into good will.

"If this is a noble testimony to a great Christian life, it is as noble a proof of the justice, equity, and uprightness of the English people. In venerating John Henry Newman it has unconsciously revealed and honoured itself.

"In the history of this great life, and of all that it has done, we cannot forget that we owe to him, among other debts, one singular achievement. No one who does not intend to be laughed at, will henceforward say that the Catholic religion is fit only for weak intellects and unmanly brains. This superstition of pride is over. The author of the 'Grammar of Assent' may make them think twice before they so expose themselves. Again, the designer and editor of the 'Library of the Fathers' has planted himself on the undivided Church of the first six centuries; and he holds the field; the key of the position is lost." {410}

These are great words, pregnant of meaning. They will be remembered in connection with our two great Cardinals, so long as the "History of England" is read. For they mark the last half century of England's history and of the history of religion, which is inseparable from that of the English people, in whom is so deeply rooted the natural religious instinct.

Every thinking man in England is either a believer or a non-believer in Christianity. Few profess to be indifferent on the matter. Few are disbelievers in Christianity; fewer still are Atheists. Every man, even if he is a non-believer, yet a man of some education and reflection, knows that Christianity has been the religion of all the most enlightened nations of the world for the greater part of twenty centuries, and of most of their greatest men, philosophers, statesmen, men of learning, and letters.

He knows that it began with the poor; at the first, "not many rich, not many noble, not many learned were called." But gradually it spread among the learned and the noble, who were converted through beholding the lives of extraordinary virtue and heroism even to martyrdom, of poor working men and women, the modesty of Christian virgins, many of them, both men and women, their own slaves, as most of the working-class were in those ages of Imperial Rome. He knows that it was nothing but Christianity that created Christendom, where Heathendom had lain, infecting for ages all God's fair earth, like the corrupting bones and corpses in Ezekiel's vision.

It was Christianity that bid these corpses rise and live, that breathed into the dead world the Spirit from God, the spirit of charity and of liberty. For liberty is man's conscious power of self-government, through aid of a new light and a new force, which was not in human nature before the coming of Christ. It was this new consciousness of the "perfect law of liberty," of the liberty of the children of God, which gave to every Christian an intimate sense of right, and of duty to God and to all that God had made, and to "the powers that be, which are ordained by God." It taught the right of every man to live and to possess the fruits of his toil; and in matters between his soul and God, to follow his own conscience, to be free from all human dictation in matter of religion. Such was the Charter of the Gospel, and such was the Christianity which was the creation of the Gospel, and which converted the world.

But there are some who admit all this, as historical fact, and yet say, we do not believe any longer in Christianity. If they are asked why, they will say, because Christianity, now, is not like Primitive Christianity. We could believe in that as a revelation from heaven. It proved itself by its fruits, it appealed to the people, to the working classes, to the masses of mankind. It was {411} the very mark of Christ's religion that "to the poor the Gospel was preached." It endured three hundred years of martyrdom, yet it conquered the world; its strength was in weakness; it could not be human, it could not but have been divine.

So reasoned the men of the Oxford movement, when they began to put out the Tracts for the Times in 1833, and it was the spirit of John Henry Newman that inspired that whole movement.

These men of the Church of England believed firmly in Christianity as a divine revelation, and in Christ, as "God manifest in the Flesh"—"Emmanuel, God with us." They studied the New Testament and the Primitive Christian writers, who were the immediate disciples of the Apostles, and of their immediate successors; the writings of St. Ignatius, the disciple of St. John, of St. IrenŠus his disciple, and St. Justin, the martyr. They went on to study SS. Cyprian, Cyril, Athanasius, Augustine, and the rest.

It was to this study that they were sent by the authoritative canons of the Church of England, as the best commentaries on Scripture, and the rule that the founders of the Anglican Church professed to have followed.

The men of the Oxford movement had thus formed for themselves what they believed to be the typical form of Primitive Christianity.

They turned then to compare it with the Christianity of the Church of England, and the more they contemplated the contrast, the more were they astounded and horrified at the prospect before them. They asked why was this. They did not stop at details, but went at once to the last reason of the thing.

They observed that the supreme characteristic of Primitive Christianity was an intense conviction that the Church was a divine power in the world: the visible kingdom of the God of heaven foretold by Daniel, gifted by its Divine Author with "the Spirit of truth," of which Christ had said: "I will send to you the Spirit of truth, that He may guide you into all truth, and that He may abide with you for ever;" and again, in our Lord's last words ever spoken on earth, "All power is given to Me in heaven and upon earth; go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you, and, behold, I am with you all days, even to the end of the world."

They turned to St. IrenŠus, the disciple of S. Polycarp, who was himself the disciple of S. John, and who wrote within fifty years of the Apostles. They found there, set forth, in the most luminous manner, that Primitive Christianity adhered to the {412} teaching of a living body, already called the Catholic or universal Church, spread everywhere. Pagan writers like Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny have testified to this, as a fact known to all, within fifty years of the death of Christ. Of the Church, IrenŠus speaks as a witness, from within, to the same fact, to which Pagan historians witnessed, from without. "This preaching and this faith, once delivered to the Apostles by Christ, the Church having received, though she be spread throughout the whole world, carefully guards, as inhabiting one house, as having one soul, and the same heart, and delivers down as having one mouth. Nor have the Churches of Germany believed otherwise, nor of Spain, nor Gaul, nor in the East, nor in Egypt, nor in Syria, nor those of the middle of the world. But, as the sun, God's creature, throughout the world, is one and the same; so, too, the preaching of the truth shines everywhere, and enlightens all men "that are willing to come to the knowledge of the truth."

"There being such proofs to look to, we ought not to seek elsewhere for the truth, which it is easy to receive from the Church, since the Apostles most fully committed unto this Church, as unto a rich storehouse, all which is of the truth. For this is the gate of life; all the rest are thieves and robbers. They must, therefore, be avoided; but whatever may be of the Church, we must love with the utmost diligence, and lay hold of the tradition of the truth."

The teaching of S. IrenŠus was seen to be one and the same with that of the earlier and later Fathers. I have selected his words, because they witness to the belief of the whole Church of the second century, of the Eastern portion of Christendom, of which IrenŠus was a native, and of the Western portion also, for he was Bishop of Lyons in Gaul, when he wrote, and where he suffered martyrdom.

The men of the Oxford movement saw that Christians were no longer a united body, that the Protestant principle of the Bible, interpreted by each man's private judgment, had utterly destroyed all unity of doctrine, and all idea of any divine authority residing in the Church and having the power and right to say what interpretations of Scripture were right, and what were wrong. Hence the endless multitude of Dissenting Sects in England, all offshoots from the Established Church. They saw, too, that in the Church of England, the whole power of deciding what was to be taught in that Church, was vested in the Sovereign, by Act of Parliament, and depended in reality on the varying phases of public opinion, as represented by Parliament.

It seemed to them that the only thing to be done was to appeal to the Christian public opinion of the country, and to {413} endeavour powerfully to act upon that. This decided them to put forward, in the "Tracts for the Times," in the clearest manner, the contrast between Primitive Christianity, and the actual Christianity of the Church of England.

It was for the same reason that Newman projected and carried out the great work of translating the principal Fathers of the early centuries.

When Newman projected the "Library of the Fathers" he had certainly not the smallest suspicion that the movement would issue, through logical sequence, from premiss to conclusion, in his obligation in conscience to become, what he would then have called, a Roman Catholic.

This comes out clearly in his "Apologia," and in his "Anglican Difficulties," and it is noteworthy, because Newman has often been accused of being a Papist in disguise. He tells us that, when he began the "Tracts for the Times," in 1833, he believed that the Church of the Roman Communion was anti-Christian and idolatrous, in fact, that the Pope was the Anti-Christ of prophecy.

In the December of the year before, he had started with his friend Hurrell Froude, and others, on a tour in Italy, and spent some time in Rome. He received no religious impressions there. He says: "We kept out of the way of Catholics throughout our tour." He went, in short, as most tourists go, with all the prejudices in which he had been brought up, and which he never doubted were a true and just view of things. He saw all things through this medium of prejudice, and came back as he had started. He says, speaking of his stay in Rome: "As to Church services, we attended the TenebrŠ at the Sistine Chapel, but for the sake of the Miserere, that was all." He went only to hear the famous music of the Papal choir, which, as a born musician, he was able fully to appreciate. He says: "My general feeling was, 'All, save the spirit of man, is divine.'" He parted from his friends in Rome, and made a journey by himself through Sicily. There, he was taken dangerously ill with fever. His servant thought he would die, but he kept saying to himself: "I shall not die; I have a work to do in England. I shall not die, for I have not sinned against light." In his illness in Sicily he was visited by the priest of the place, who had heard, probably from his Catholic servant, that an Englishman was dying, and would not send for a priest. Newman was too ill to talk. He says: "I felt inclined to enter into controversy with him." But he had no thought of availing himself of his spiritual services. Referring to his Diary (June 1833) he says: "I was aching to get home. I felt I had a work to do. At Palermo I was kept three weeks waiting for a vessel. I began {414} to visit the churches, and they calmed my impatience. I did not attend any service. I knew nothing of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament there. At last I got off in an orange-boat bound for Marseilles. We were becalmed in the Straits of Bonifacio. Then it was that I wrote the lines, 'Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom.'"

He arrived, at last, at Oxford about the second week of July. He writes: "On the following Sunday (July 14) Mr. Keble preached the 'Assize Sermon' in the University pulpit. It was published under the title of 'National Apostacy.' I have ever considered and kept that day as the start of the religious movement of 1833."

It was now that the work began, on which he had been ruminating during his journey and his illness, when he said: "I have a work to do in England. I shall not die; I have not sinned against the light."

Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom
          Lead thou me on.
I do not ask to see the distant scene,
          One step enough for me.

"One step" was clear to him. It was to act, as we have said above, on Christian public opinion, and, if possible, bring back England to the truth, unity, and fervour of Primitive Christianity. The means he devised for this end was principally the "Tracts for the Times," and the "Translations of the Early Fathers." Another most important instrument was placed in his hands—the parochial pulpit of St. Mary's University and parish church, of which he had been appointed Vicar. Newman's beautiful series of historical sketches called the "Church of the Fathers" was published for the same end. He says: "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 of the Church into the modern Church of England."

The translation of Fleury's "Church History" was also projected, and intended, to make English Churchmen familiar with the history of the early councils of the Church, of the controversies on which they pronounced definitive judgment, and by which the creeds used in the Anglican Church were framed; and developed, in order more fully to define the "faith once delivered" by the Apostles, and thus to meet each new attack of rationalising heresy. Thus the work progressed from 1833 to 1841. Of this time, Newman writes: "So I went on for years up to 1841. It was, in a human point of view, the happiest time of my life. {415} ... We prospered and spread … The Anglo-Catholic party (as it is called) suddenly became a power in the National Church, and an object of alarm to her rulers and friends … It seemed as if those doctrines were in the air, and that the movement was the birth of a crisis rather than of a place or party. In a very few years, a school of opinion had been formed, fixed in its principles, indefinitive and progressive in their range; and it extended itself into every part of the country. Nay, the movement and its party-names (Puseyite, Newmanite, Tractarian), were known to the police of Italy, and to the backwood-men of America … And so it proceeded, getting stronger and stronger every year, till it came into collision with the nation and the Church of the nation; which it began by professing, especially, to serve."

The "Tracts for the Times" and the "Library of the Fathers" obtained a wide circulation, and formed a school in the Church of England. They may be said to have, in a sense, created the present Church of England. For very few Churchmen would now deny that Christianity is essentially connected with a visible Church, which, at least in General Council, would be infallible. The claim of every Churchman is, that the Church of England is a part of the Catholic Church of the days of SS. IrenŠus, Cyprian, and Cyril, and the rest.

They avoid thinking of their separation from the rest of Christendom, under the "Tudor settlement" of the Church of England, by law established and by authority of Parliament, as a National Church. They have no theory of the Visible Unity of the Church, which fits in with the visible fact of disunion, and they take refuge in words which, if they mean anything, have reference only to the invisible Church, which Catholics also admit, but in which they would charitably include every soul that is right with God, dissenters of all shades, and possibly even some Pagans, according to the teaching of the great Jesuit theologians, such as De Lugo, Suarez, and others.

But to return to our narrative. Several important public events brought out more and more clearly, in the minds of Newman and of those who acted with him, the absolute Erastianism, or complete dependence on the State, of the Church of England. The Whigs were in office; Liberalism in religion was in the ascendant. The appointment of Dr. Hampden, one of the leading clergy of the Liberal or Broad Church school, suspected of Arian or Socinian leanings, to a bishopric, against the vehement protest of the University of Oxford and of many of the bishops, showed this complete servitude to the State, and to the Prime Minister of the day, who happened to have a majority in the House of Commons. {416}

Then came a project of the Government, to which the bishops assented, to establish, in concert with Prussia, an Anglican bishop at Jerusalem, who was to rule over Lutherans, Calvinists, and Anglicans, and to hold communion, if they saw their way, with Nestorians, and Eutychians—heretics condemned by the General Councils, by which the Anglican Church, in her canons, professed to be bound. An Act of Parliament was passed to enable the Archbishop of Canterbury, by royal authority, to consecrate this bishop. The Archbishop consented, saying, as he had said in the case of Dr. Hampden, that he had no authority against an Act of Parliament and the royal supremacy over the Church.

This had the effect, as it were, of a revelation on the men of the Oxford movement. They began to see more clearly that the Church of England was, by its very constitution, simply a department of the State, and they saw moreover that this condition of things in the Church of England had continued all along, ever since the false step taken in the sixteenth century, when the English sovereign, with the full consent of the bishops, and by Act of Parliament, made himself head of the Church, and through his Law Courts, "in all causes ecclesiastical as well as civil, Supreme." A few years later, after Newman had left the Church of England, this same servitude of the Established Church to the State was brought out, even more clearly, in the decision of the Law Courts, in the Gorham case, by which the doctrine of regeneration in baptism was made an open question in the Church of England. It was this revelation of the Royal Supremacy in matters of doctrine and discipline that led to Newman's secession, and to that of his immediate disciples. It was the revelation, in the Gorham case, that was the immediate cause that led to the submission to the Church of Archdeacon Manning, and of those who, like the Wilberforces, Hope Scott, and a host of others, became Catholics about the same time as our Cardinal Archbishop. It was he who, at that time, said: "The Gorham case is a revelation to us; it has opened our eyes to the false step made by the Church of England under the Tudor settlement." When some were deliberating what to do, whether to submit to the Pope, or to form a Free Church of England, independent of the State, it was Manning who spoke memorable words. "No," said he, "three hundred years ago we left a good ship for a boat; I am not going to leave a boat for a tub."

However, in 1841, the leaders of the movement had not got so far as to think of leaving the Church of England. They still hoped. Newman writes: "I thought that the Anglican Church was tyrannised over by a mere party." Their hope was that they might be able gradually to influence the Christian public opinion {417} of the country, and draw it to a desire of returning to Primitive Christianity and the Church of the Fathers.

They did not then see that the Catholic Church is the Visible Kingdom of God upon earth, essentially one, and visibly united in its Head, the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, whom Christ had made the centre of unity, and placed on that "chair of truth," against which He had declared "the gates of hell should not prevail against it."

Newman, eminently, and for long years, had made the history of the early centuries of Christianity the matter of his profound study. We, his disciples (for I came under the influence of his mind about 1839 or 1840) were directed by his writings into the same line of study. We knew that the Fathers, St. Athanasius, St. Leo, and the rest, whom we took as trustworthy witnesses of the faith of the Primitive Church, were the chief agents in preserving the Church from Arian, Nestorian, Eutychian, and other errors, especially by means of the General Councils, which expressed the infallible authority of the Church; and we saw that if it had not been for the perpetual indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Church, it would have been impossible for the faith to have been preserved, amidst the revolts of rationalizing Christians, Alexandrian Platonists, and Jews and hair-splitting Greek Sophists.

But we saw no less clearly that the Church of England had become little more than a department of the State, and that it had helplessly abdicated all claim to an independent judgment in all matters of religious faith.

We perceived also, gradually, and were helped to see it, through Newman's supereminent knowledge of ecclesiastical history, that the Bishop of Rome had always been the supreme agent in keeping the whole Church united; in the Councils, also, he always had held the most prominent place, as well by his legates who presided, as by his sanction of their decrees; which were considered binding on the whole Church, only when they had received his approval.

Moreover, the more we read these early Christian writers, the more clearly did we see that, besides the doctrines which the Church of England held in common with Rome, nearly every doctrine which the English Reformation had rejected, was held to be part and parcel of the Christian faith by those authorities of early Christianity—I mean such doctrines as the Real Presence and Sacrifice of the Mass, so clearly taught by St. Clement of Rome, who speaks of the "Eucharistic Offering to God," which has succeeded to the oblations at the altar in the Old Law. St. Ignatius, of Antioch, again says, speaking of certain heretics, "They abstain from the Eucharist and the Oblations, because {418} they do not confess that the Eucharist is Flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, the Flesh which suffered for our sins, which the Father in His mercy raised again," &c. St. Justin, the martyr, and St. IrenŠus, are equally explicit. Well do I remember the first time when, at Oxford, I read these and many similar testimonies, in the "Library of the Fathers," especially a long passage in the "Catechetical Instructions" of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in which he says that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, as truly as the water was changed into wine at the marriage of Cana in Galilee.

In short, we became convinced that, on these doctrines, as also on those of purgatory, prayers for the dead, the honour due to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, and our right to ask their prayers, and last but not least, on the authority of the Pope; or as St. IrenŠus calls it, "the superior Headship of the Church, founded at Rome by SS. Peter and Paul, to which Church all Churches and all the faithful in the whole world were bound to have recourse, or to be united with it in communion," the ancient Church and the Church of the Roman communion were substantially agreed.

These studies had led many of us to think seriously, that it might be our duty at once to make our submission to the Catholic Church, which we saw had its centre at Rome, and, as it would seem, was by divine institution, head of the visible Church.

Newman was not as yet convinced that the Roman supremacy over all Churches was a matter of divine institution. He thought it was in the mind of our Lord, in His words to Peter, as the normal condition of the Church; but he then supposed it was only indirectly of divine, but was directly of ecclesiastical institution. It was only in 1844, when he had reviewed all his studies, throughout more than fifteen years, of the Fathers and the Councils, and of the whole course of ecclesiastical history, that in the course of writing his "Essay on Development," he came to the conclusion that the supremacy of the Pope was the key-stone of the arch, and that it was his own indispensable duty in conscience, to submit himself to the Roman obedience.

Thus, as I have shown, a fundamental revolution had been taking place in our idea of the Church, and of Christianity. For the first time, the vision of the world-wide Church, in its majestic unity, had come before us. We saw it, for the first time, not as we had supposed it to be, an aggregate of congregations—a voluntary union of spiritual families, but as a world-wide essentially united kingdom—the Kingdom as shown to the Prophet Daniel, like to a stone cut from a mountain without hand, set up by the God of heaven, which was to be gradually developed until it became a mountain filling the whole earth, destined to last {419} for ever. Of this world-wide Church, we know the Church of England was once a portion. How it could form any part of that unity, since its separation 300 years before, we could not see.

From the moment that we were convinced that the charges against the Roman communion, of being idolatrous, anti-Christian, and the rest, had been answered, they were completely banished from our minds. The fact that it formed the vast majority of Catholic Christendom, necessarily took away the chief ground of our Protestant position. Sides were changed; we saw that we had to defend our protest, or else yield to the authority we had protested against.

But Newman and others of our leaders had not, as yet, come to this point. They thought Rome was right in claiming the headship of the Church; but they also considered that a legitimate claim may be pushed too far. They reflected that there had been abuses in the Papal relations with England, in old times, demands for large money payments, and for the grant of the incomes of English Bishoprics and other rich benefices, in favour of Italian ecclesiastics, which had been a grievance in old times, against which English Catholic sovereigns had uniformly protested.

These, and other things had led, first to a coolness on the part of the English towards Rome, in Catholic times, and this had grown up, especially, during the days of the anti-popes, when rival Pontiffs each claimed the obedience of Catholics, and the justice of the claim of each was so open to doubt, that England embraced the obedience of one Pope, France and Scotland of another, and Spain at one time owned the authority of a third claimant. In fact, the contention between the popes and anti-popes was, to a great extent, a battle of rival nationalities.

Such historical difficulties, and many others, helped to complicate the question, and the result was that the most of us resolved to stay by Newman; doubting the soundness of our own conclusions to which, with far greater knowledge, he had not arrived.

Three of us younger men, however, went off, and were received into the Catholic Church; and it is somewhat singular that these three men were Scotsmen, Johnstone Grant, of St. John's College, now a Jesuit; Edward Douglas, of Christ Church, now a Redemptorist; and his friend Scott-Murray, squire of Danesfield, deceased. I was soon to be another Scotsman added to the list. I suppose our coming from Jacobite and Scotch Episcopalian stocks, and not being so rooted as Englishmen are, in favour of everything English, left us freer to criticise and condemn Church of England Christianity.

Our secession was decided by several things: The publication by Newman of Tract 00, the object of which was to show that {420} there was no need to go to Rome, because we found nearly all Roman doctrines were taught in the Primitive Church, although rejected or neglected by the Church of England; because the 39 Articles were not articles of faith, but an attempt at compromise. They were intended to include Puritans, and Catholics who were ready to give up the Pope. This confirmed our growing convictions—our disgust with the Church of England was all but complete, and it only increased this disgust, if it could be shown that her founders had deliberately ventured to obscure the old religion, by what Newman had called "the stammering words of ambiguous formularies."

The Tract made a great stir throughout the University and the country; but, as every one knows, the interpretation of the Articles was furiously repudiated by the Anglican bishops, and by the Protestant public-opinion of the country. The bigotry and intolerance of the Puritan party was stirred to a white heat. Newman saw that his attempt to find terms of reconciliation, and to speak of the creed of Rome, as substantially identical, differing only on minor points, from Primitive Christianity, with which the Anglican Church professed to agree—had failed. But the truth has proclaimed itself trumpet-tongued throughout the English-speaking world.

It has in our day come to be admitted by all. It is now, I think, twenty years, since I copied the following passage from the Saturday Review, no friend, as we know, to Catholics, nor to the Catholicising movement in the Church of England: "The distinctive principle of the English Reformation was an appeal to Christian antiquity, as admirable, and probably as imaginary, as the 'Golden Age' of the poets. The era of the Protestant Reformation was before the age of accurate historical criticism. The true method of historical criticism was as yet uncreated, and it is not too much to say, that, whatever accurate knowledge we now possess of the Church of the first centuries, has been obtained within the last fifty years, and that a better acquaintance with the remains of antiquity has convinced us that many doctrines and practices, which have been commonly accounted to be peculiarities of later Romanism, existed in the best and purest ages of Christianity."

No one could ignore Newman's part in this remarkable change in public opinion, and in the historical judgment of educated men of whatever creed, or of no creed at all. It is this which Cardinal Manning expresses, when he says: "The designer and editor of the 'Library of the Fathers,' has planted himself on the undivided Church of the first six centuries of Christianity; and he holds the field. The key of the position is lost." The old Anglican claim to hold a via media {421} on the basis of Christian antiquity, between Catholic Christendom on the one side, and Protestantism on the other, has been for ever exploded.

The second thing which hastened my submission to the Catholic Church was the reading of a Catholic book, Milner's "End of Controversy." Some years before I had taken the book away from my friend Johnstone Grant, to whom it had been given by a Catholic priest in London. I rated him soundly for reading a Catholic book, told him he had no more right to read it, than to study a Socinian or Infidel book. The book lay in my drawer in college.

Newman's sermons and Pusey's writings, on baptismal grace and post-baptismal sin, had wrought in me a moral revolution, and a terrible fear that I had lost God for ever. I saw myself a baptised Christian and, therefore, once a temple of God. But through the sins of childhood and of thoughtless youth, reduced to a state in which I could not doubt that I had lost the grace of God, and my soul had become a dwelling-place of devils. Anglican theology taught clearly, in its Prayer Book and Catechism, almost as clearly as it is taught in the Catholic Catechism, that souls are regenerated in Baptism. But it tells of no other Sacrament by which sins committed after Baptism may be remitted. At that day, no one thought of proving the belief of the Church of England in the Sacrament of Penance, Confession, and Priestly Absolution, from the few words about the absolving power in the Anglican ordination service, and in that for the visitation of the sick. Any one who wishes to do so, may find the doctrine there. I had never heard of it, until, in an hour of deep mental distress, I turned over the pages of Milner's End of Controversy. There I first heard of the Sacrament of reconciliation after post-baptismal sin, and it was Milner that sent me to the Anglican Prayer Book, for proof that the Church of England admitted, in theory, the same doctrine on this point, as had always and everywhere been, not only taught, but practised in the Catholic Church.

This discovery was a great relief to my mind, but it did not increase my confidence in the Church of England. There were the "stammering words of ambiguous formularies" once more. What was to be said of a Church which had so obscured a divine ordinance for the remission of sin—a Sacrament therefore, by its own definition; to quote the words of the Catechism: "A Sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given to us; ordained by Christ Himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof."

Here then was a Sacrament., so necessary for salvation, which {422} had practically fallen into complete disuse in the Church of England for 300 years!

It was difficult to try Confession in the Anglican Church. However, I made the attempt, as at least a moral discipline. Archdeacon Manning, whom I knew, was in Oxford, for it was his turn to preach the University sermon. I went to Confession to him in Merton College Chapel, his own college. It was a relief to me for a time. He also gave me excellent advice, and, I think, counselled me to put myself under Newman, and try to remain and take Orders in the Anglican Church. I tried to do so. I was admitted, by Newman's great kindness, as one of his first companions at Littlemore. I remained with him about a year. The life was something like what we had read of in the "Lives of the Fathers of the Desert"—of prayer, fasting, and study. We rose at midnight to recite the Nocturnal office of the Roman Breviary. I remember, direct invocation of Saints was omitted, and, instead, we asked God that the Saint of the day might pray for us. I think we passed an hour in private prayer, and, for the first time, I learned what meditation meant. We fasted every day till twelve, and in Lent and Advent till five. There was some mitigation on Sundays and the greater festivals. We went to Communion at the village church and to the service there, morning and evening, every day; we went to Confession every week. Once after Confession I said to Newman, "Are you sure you have the power of giving absolution?" He paused, and then said in a tone of deep distress, "Why will you ask me? Ask Pusey." This was, I think, in the spring of 1843. It was the first indication I had received that Newman had begun seriously to doubt his position in the Anglican Church. I see from his "Apologia" that his doubts, as to whether the Church of Rome was not altogether in the right, and the Church of England wholly in the wrong, had taken root in his mind about that time.

I had promised him, soon after going to Littlemore, that I would stay three years. He had made it a condition. I gave the promise, but after a year I found it impossible to keep it. With great grief I left my dear master, and made my submission to the Catholic Church. My secession led to Newman's resigning his parish. His last sermon, as an Anglican, was preached at Littlemore. It is entitled "The Parting of Friends." He thought he was compromised by my act, and he was much displeased with me for breaking my promise.

After two years, he and his other companions at Littlemore were received into the Church.

We left the Church of England with grief. All the good we knew, we had learned there; we had been led step by step by {423} God's grace, but we left, because we could not close our eyes to the fact that the Church of England was no part of a Visible Church; rather than separate from which Sir Thomas More, Bishop Fisher, and hundreds of others have laid down their lives in martyrdom.

Almost the first thing Newman did after his reception into the Church was to take the trouble to come all the way to Ratcliffe College, in Leicestershire, where I was studying, to see me, in order to show that he blamed me no longer. A year after I was ordained priest I went to see him, when he was living in community with Father Faber, Dalgairns and others at St. Wilfrid's in Staffordshire. They had all been ordained. I remember he would serve my Mass, as an act of humility and affection. Since that time I have always paid him an annual visit at the Oratory, Birmingham, where he always received me with the most cordial affection. When I first went to Rome, as representative there of my Order, that of the Fathers of Charity, founded by Rosmini, he gave me, as Cardinal, a letter to the Pope. This introduction has been, for the last eight years, of immense service to me in Rome.

Soon after Easter of this year I paid him my last visit. He sent for me to come to him, before he rose in the morning, saying that after dressing, he might feel himself too much exhausted to receive me. I found him weak, weak indeed, in body, but as bright and clear in mind as ever. I told him news from Rome which I knew would interest him. He listened with all his old intensity of thought; fully appreciated the facts and the situation of matters ecclesiastical and political.

I knelt down; took his hand, and kissed it. I felt sure I should not see him again. I thanked him for all the good he had done me, since, under God, he had been, as I hoped, the instrument of my salvation. I asked his blessing, which he gave me with great earnestness, simplicity, and tenderness. Three months later I stood by his bier.

O, great and holy soul, remember us with God, and may our prayers and masses avail to thine eternal rest and peace.

WILLIAM LOCKHART, B.A. Oxon. {424}

———————

4.—CARDINAL NEWMAN: OUR LOSS, AND NOW OUR GAIN.

A TRIBUTE FROM THE STANDPOINT OF ANGLICANISM.

WHY should we mourn for him? Rather, our period of mourning is over. It had lasted long, and the snapping of the last frail link of earthly life has now reunited us to him in a more intense and inseparable bond. Death has not built up, but removed the partition. He who is thus given back to those who loved and honoured him, sheds spiritual influence in a wider sphere than could be commanded from the retreat at Littlemore, or the Oratory at Birmingham. The Master in Israel renews his presence to his bereaved disciples. He seemed awhile a star of far-off ray, he now fills an orbit of nearer splendour.

His work, as a whole, cannot be duly estimated, even by the standards of time, until a longer period has elapsed. As with all great men who were greatest in the region of thought, its probate is deferred. But his character and personality are an heritage of immediate value. That mitis sapientia which takes the sting from controversy; that innate nobleness which touches with something of its own lustre all who approach it, because it has first quenched every spark of self-seeking; the severe logic, ascetically dry, four-square and analytical; the rich imagination which deals contrariwise in largely integrated and highly rounded forms; the heart of love which ever gives its best and grudges not, which robs of austerity the hard mechanism of intellect, and oils every valve of human intercourse—all these were met in him, and live not in memory only, as a mere picture on the dead wall of the past, but as a living study of an eye undimmed—of that single-eyed faith which sees all things from an undisturbed focus, and finds its standards of judgment in the pure ideals of holiness.

But we have around us that chorus of Babel, the sectaries of all denominations, striking for once the unwonted note of concord and harmony, as a tribute to something in the man which has penetrated them. What can that be, for his saintliness was not of the type familiar to them? It is probably the man's unalloyed genuineness which compels their homage. The inward and outward wholeness of sincerity, which formed the grain of his character, pillars itself aloft over their heads like a monolith of crystal, and has a self-luminous power which draws all eyes. In their homage to that, their differences are for a moment hushed. {425} A great spirit passing on its way, laying down the shell of mortality, and paying that tribute to the perishable, which all both small and great must pay, strikes a deep chord of human sympathy. But this is common to statesmen, warriors, and world-ruling magnates—to Wolsey and Richelieu. But then there comes in the spiritual power which fascinates even the least saintly, whose lines were the furthest removed from its ruling principle. Let men waste themselves as they will on a thousand trifles; there is that in a consistent sacrifice of all secondary ends to one primary, and that the highest known, which shows by contrast as a diamond amidst paste imitations. Each bubble-chaser holds his breath and bows the head with awe at the glimpse of a great truth lived through to the end and emphasized by death. Worldly discords are hushed in a throb of genuine feeling, which unifies for a moment the thoughtful part of humanity with the thoughtless, as the seal of completeness is set on a great example of self-devotion.

The fascination of John Henry Newman lay in what he was; more in the open book of his own life than in the volumes which he wrote, and the deep things which he taught. From any stirring share in human affairs he had long ceased; but there remained, after all that he did was done, that which he was—indelible, as powerful in his quiet life-haven at the Oratory, as had been when he was the foremost figure in theological strife—nay, sweeping a wider radius of influence now than it could do then; for then it was by circumstances limited to the few who knew and loved the man, but now it circles round the world wherever moral forces are acknowledged, as it were on a tide-wave of emotion. He became so popular because he had always lived above popularity. Not that he disdained it, for his moral mould was too large for the littleness of disdain, but took it as a homage, not to himself, but to the truth for which he lived. Lord Bacon's adage, that the multitude pay homage readily to the commonplace virtues, while the highest of all obtain from them the rarest recognition, was in his case reversed. Few men of our or any day have lived their principles so thoroughly; but, beyond this, he had the threefold power which perceived those principles by intuition, impressed them by ratiocination, and stamped them upon others by his character. His own record of his struggles shows that his charming harmony of various tones was not reached at once, and the "Kindly Light," whose leading he invoked, came gradually on his path.

Even those who had least sympathy with the deeper essence of his nature were struck by the mental and moral symmetry which marked its workings, the masterful yet graceful strength of his controversial attitude, the directness of point, yet needle-delicacy {426} of touch, the force of matter and courtesy of manner—in short, the thoroughbred style which expressed the man, and made it impossible to him to execute a clumsy movement, or give an unfair blow. Refined natures only would appreciate that chivalry of strength, most forcible when sympathizing with weakness; and that shrinking from all that soils the surface where all within was sensitively pure, which mark the gentleman by nature. In some secondary points, especially in the fine interplay of Šsthetic qualities, in the genuine timbre of all the lighter notes in every chord, he often reminds one of Charles Lamb.

Where a life has reserved nothing in its self-sacrifice, there is less need and less consciousness of reserve in human intercourse. Hence the perfect affability of Newman, the readiness with which he replied to, and the graciousness with which he acknowledged, the respectful approaches of his juniors. The large heart seemed always open; and he who had outlived all his contemporaries found still troops of friends around him, and a crowd of disciples who knew him at second or third hand only, and yet felt as distinct a fascination of his reality as though some electric band united them with those who had sat at his feet at Oxford forty years ago. The following example of his accessibility is among many which can be personally guaranteed. One of these disciples of the aftergrowth, shortly after Newman's elevation to the Cardinalate, wrote, enclosing a copy of a theological serial, containing an article against infidelity, founded in part on a passage in one of the "Plain Sermons" of half a century previous, with due acknowledgment of the source. But finding the publication was disfigured by an advertisement, illustrated in a rather broad style, and founded on the passage in one of the "Ingoldsby Legends," where a

                     Nice cake of soap,
Worthy of washing the hands of the Pope

is presented for "the Cardinal" to perform his ablutions, the writer tore it out for the waste-paper basket. Cardinal Newman replied with mingled suavity and gravity—appreciatively as regards the article, but adding the remark that he "failed to perceive the relevancy of the illustration accompanying it," which he therewith re-enclosed. In which, to his horror, the correspondent recognized the offending abomination which he had devoted to the uses of the scullery-maid. What he had intended exactly to exclude he had in fact included, and placed, by inadvertent haste in closing for post, in the same envelope with his own letter! He of course wrote a modest apology explaining the oversight, which drew again a gracious reply.

But although thus flowing with the milk of human kindness, {427} there was a period when he could on occasion be savage. In the soreness of heart which beset his last days of Anglicanism, he seems to have greeted with a growl any of either side of old friends or new who offered to approach too near. But this very soreness was but the anguish of the then impending wrench from the comradeship of early years.

Had it not been for this deep vein of tender feeling, allied closely to a sensitive scrupulosity of conscience—had it not been for the shock which he foresaw among the ranks where he had been a loved and trusted leader, and for the ties of attached veneration which he personally felt for old friends, old attitudes of devotion, old habits of life and thought, interwoven in him with all the subtle delicacy of the nerves with the muscles in the human flame, the change which was consummated at Littlemore in 1845 would have come to pass some years sooner. The subject is a solemn and a tender one. He shall speak for himself here:—

My difficulty was this: I had been deceived greatly once; how could I be sure 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.

How closely this state of mind illustrates the often-quoted lines of Shakespeare:

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma or a hideous dream.
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

For he continues:

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 yet again:

How much am I giving up in so many ways! and to me the sacrifice is 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 [Note 1] {428}

So long as a mere machine is duly wound, the pendulum will oscillate for ever; but every oscillation of the ripe fruit upon the bough brings nearer the moment when it drops away; and Newman seems to have been matured intellectually for his change before he was so morally. Had he been more rigidly a man of logic, and less a man of feeling, Oxford and the Anglican position would have seen the last of him much earlier in the forties.

Of the actual change—of the very moment when he had planted his foot on the turn-table at last—a deeply interesting anecdote has lately found its way to light; although the letter which is its voucher has unluckily perished. That letter, one of several written in a similar tenour to a few select friends [Note 2], was addressed to Dr. Pusey, as follows:—

My dearest Pusey,—Before this reaches you all will be over. Father Dominic, who is on his way to a Chapter in Belgium, will be here this evening, and will, I hope, receive me into what I believe to be the Church of St. Athanasius.

The last phrase is not absolutely certain. "The Church of St. Athanasius, or something of that sort," was the expression used by the narrator, to whom Dr. Pusey passed on the letter, inscribed in pencil in his own hand with [kurie eleeson, christe eleeson, kurie eleeson]. The narrator added, "Poor Pusey was so badly hurt, that he had no wish to see the letter again, so he sent it to me, telling me that I might keep it." This narrator was the late Rev. Thomas Henderson, for many years vicar of Messing in Essex, who was born shortly before the century began, and was thus senior to and intimate with Dr. Pusey. He told it to his sometime curate, the Rev. Martin Rule, from whose letter in John Bull of Sept. 20, 1890, I extract this account.

The letter of Newman, which at the time, Mr. Henderson could not lay his hand upon, but was anxious to recover and show, with no doubt a view to its preservation, was, after his sudden death a few days later, actually found among his papers and burnt. This precipitate act deprives us of the means of actual verification, and prevents Mr. Rule from speaking with the authority of one who saw the letter. The rash destroyer, however, recognized enough of the character and contents to confirm Mr. Henderson's statement, especially the fact of a memorandum added by a different hand.

The keystone of the Cardinal's intellectual structure seems to me to have been a sense of the objectivity of the highest truth. I mean, ever since his mind broke at Oxford into freedom from the [patroparadota]. His early continental tour, and the turn which his personal intimacies took, in John Keble and Hurrell {429} Froude, and conversely his dropping away from Whately and Hawkins, are so many indices of his mind settling down in this direction. It is true that he adopted first one and then another interpretative aspect of that objectivity; but to that idea itself he held fast with a fundamental tenacity from about 1831 onwards. All sacrifices made for truth, and the correlative idea of moral duty in holding fast by truth, imply this [Note 3]. For how can a man feel that "I ought" comes in, when hardship, loss and pain are to be suffered for a mere subjective tenet, or how distinguish it from the various idola specűs which form its surroundings? Thus, with Newman, the objectivity of truth, however it might take a colour from the receiving mind, yet moulded that mind by the pressure of its form; and in this will, I think, be found the kernel principle of his "Grammar of Assent," the most winnowed thought-product of his mind.

At his earlier period this objectivity, I think, extended itself to the region of politics—i.e., he seems to have held that there were certain relations existing as of right, because objectively true, between the citizen and the body politic. His comments on the expulsion of Charles X. in France, his dislike of O'Connell, and his detestation of the French tricolour, are examples. Writing in 1853, he seems rather to view constitutional relations as the expression outwardly of certain deeply implanted racial germs, which expand through maxims and public sentiments into institutions, which may or may not harmonize with objective truth. He shall speak for himself.

As individuals have characters of their own, so have races. Most men have their strong and their weak points, and points neither good nor bad, but idiosyncratic. And so of races … Moreover growing out of these varieties or idiosyncrasies, and corresponding to them, will be found in these several races, and proper to each, a certain assemblage of beliefs, convictions, rules, usages, traditions, proverbs and principles; some political, some social, some moral; and these tending to some definite form of government and modus vivendi, or polity, as their natural scope … This then is the Constitution of a State, securing, as it does, the national unity by at once strengthening and controlling the governing power. It is something more than law; it is the embodiment of special ideas, ideas perhaps which have been held by a race for ages, which are of immemorial usage, which have fixed themselves in its innermost heart, which are in its eyes sacred to it, and have practically the force of eternal truths, whether they be such or not … They are the expression of some or other sentiment of loyalty, of order, of duty, of honour, of faith, of justice, of glory. They are the creative {430} and conservative influences of Society; they erect nations into States and invest States with Constitutions [Note 4].

The few words which I have italicized, show that the writer by no means considered a constitution (however true, as a development, to some innate germ), as necessarily an expression of objective truth; and I suppose he would have considered this as tending to limit its authority.

It was but fair to take a glance at his political utterances, however secondary in their interest to the absorbing principles which shaped his career. Besides which, Newman was an intense Englishman. He knew his countrymen in their forte and in their foibles as few professed divines have cared to know them, and could hit them off with that fine point and that mordent acid, which formed his etching style. Here is a John Bull sketch, founded on a reminiscence of Sir Walter Scott's "Two Drovers."

He is indeed rough, surly, a bully and a bigot; these are his weak points: but if ever there was a generous, good, tender heart, it beats within his breast. Most placable, he forgives and forgets; forgets not only the wrongs he has received, but the insults he has inflicted. Such he is commonly, for doubtless there are times and circumstances in his dealings with foreigners in which, whether when in despair or from pride, he becomes truculent and simply hateful; but at home his bark is worse than his bite. He has qualities, excellent for the purposes of neighbourhood and intercourse; and he has besides a shrewd sense and a sobriety of judgment, and a practical logic which passion does not cloud, and which makes him understand that good fellowship is not only commendable, but expedient too. And he has within him a spring of energy, pertinacity and perseverance, which makes him as busy and effective in a colony as he is companionable at home. Some races do not move at all; others are ever jostling against each other; the Englishman is ever stirring, yet never treads too hard upon his fellow countryman's toes. He does his work neatly, silently, in his own place; he looks to himself and can take care of himself; and he has that instinctive veneration for the law, that he can worship it even in the abstract, and thus is fitted to go shares with others all around him in that political sovereignty which other races are obliged to concentrate in one ruler … Some races are like children, and require a despot to nurse and feed and dress them, to give them pocket-money, and take them out for airings. Others, more manly, prefer to be rid of the trouble of their affairs, and use their ruler as their mere manager and man of business. Now an Englishman likes to take his own matters into his own hands. He stands on his own ground, and does as much work as half-a-dozen men of certain other {431} races. He can join too with others, and has a turn for organizing, but he insists on its being voluntary. He is jealous of no one, except kings and governments, and offensive to no one except their partisans and creatures.

Then, with a glance at our Anglo-Indian Empire, he continues:—

Pass a few years and a town has arisen on the desert beach, and houses of business are extending their connections and influence up the country. At length a company of merchants make the place their homestead, and they protect themselves from their enemies with a fort. They need a better defence than they have provided, for a numerous host is advancing upon them, and they are likely to be driven into the sea. Suddenly a youth, the castaway of his family, half clerk, half soldier, puts himself at the head of a few troops, defends posts, gains battles, and ends in founding a mighty empire over the graves of Mahmood and Aurungzebe.

The following (continuing the same line of thought) might almost have been written by Thackeray:—

The Englishman is on the top of the Andes, or in a diving bell in the Pacific, or taking notes at Timbuctoo, or grubbing at the Pyramids, or scouring over the Pampas, or acting as Prime Minister to the King of Dahomey, or smoking the pipe of friendship with the Red Indians, or hutting at the Pole. A people so alive, so curious, so busy as the English, will be a power in themselves, independently of political arrangements; and will be, on that very ground, jealous of a rival, impatient of a master, and strong enough to cope with the one and repel the other. A government is their natural foe, they cannot do without it altogether, but they will have of it as little as they can. They will forbid the concentration of power; they will multiply its seats, complicate its acts, and make it safe by making it inefficient. They will take care that it is the worst worked of all the many organizations which are found in their country. As despotisms keep their subjects in ignorance, lest they should rebel, so will a free people maim and cripple their government, lest it should tyrannize … England surely is the paradise of little men and the purgatory of great ones. May I never be a Minister of State or Field-Marshal! I'd be an individual, self-respecting Briton, in my own private castle, with the Times to see the world by, and pen and paper to scribble off withal to some public print and set the world right. Public men are only my employÚs; I use them as I think fit, and turn them off without warning. Aberdeen, Gladstone, Sidney Herbert, Newcastle, what are they muttering about services and ingratitude? Were they not paid? Hadn't they their regular quarter-day? Raglan, Burgoyne, Dundas—I cannot recollect all the fellows' names—can they merit ought? Can they be profitable to me, their lord and master?"

Admire the delicacy, again, of the following stroke:— {432}

At the public meeting held to thank that earnest and energetic man, Mr. Maurice, for the particular complexion of one portion of his theology, a speaker congratulated him on having, in questioning or denying eternal punishment, given (not a more correct, but) a "more genial" interpretation to the declarations of Holy Scripture.

As a theologian, the force which he puts forth was probably nothing as compared with his reserves. He never shows that dead hand which marks the treatise-maker, but whatever truth he recognizes quickens under his touch. Probably no man ever passed through so momentous a shock, especially in the years of the judgment's maturity, unhinging the allegiance of half a life-time, with so little of change in his own personality. We of that earlier allegiance naturally prefer the mental products of that earlier period. They seem to us to contrast with the later growth, as the fruitage of the open air and sunshine contrast with those of a hothouse, and have more of the unforced aroma and native bouquet. The "Plain Sermons" are still a great storehouse of holy wisdom, and probably nine-tenths of their contents are irrespective of the line of cleavage which separated him from us later and remain unaffected by it. Here is a sample from "Christ Manifested in Remembrance," vol. iv. p. 263, ed. 1869.

Kings of the earth, and the great men and rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, who, in their day, so magnified themselves, so ravaged and deformed the Church, that it could not be seen except by faith, these are found in nowise to have infringed the continuity of its outlines, which shine out clear and glorious, and even more delicate and tender for the very attempt to obliterate them. It needs very little study of history to prove how really this is the case; how little schisms, and divisions, and disorders, and troubles, and fears, and persecutions, and scatterings, and threatenings, interfere with the glory of Christ Mystical, as looked upon afterwards, though at the time they almost hid it. Great Saints, great events, great privileges, like the everlasting mountains, grow as we recede from them.

Or take, from the same volume, p. 218, on "The Greatness and Littleness of Human Life," the following:—

Over and above our positive belief in this great truth [a future life], we are actually driven to a belief; we attain a sensible conviction of that life to come, a certainty striking home to our hearts and piercing them, by this imperfection of what is present. The very greatness of our powers make this life look pitiful; the very pitifulness of this life forces our thoughts to another; and the prospect of another gives a dignity and value to this life which promises it; and thus this life is at once great and little, and we rightly contemn it while we exalt its importance. {433}

For chastened fervour, for unaffected solemnity, clearness of didactic outline, and pathetic earnestness of exhortation, one must go a long way back in the annals of the Anglican pulpit to find him surpassed. To the congregation of St. Mary's, Oxford, he was specially adapted by its higher degree of culture, and by the academic sympathy between the University and the higher grade of professional and other minds having secular relations with its members. Besides these, not a few members of the University itself, especially among the rising juniors, the youth of devotional mettle and promise, filled places there, and raised the standard of capacity in the audience. From the time of Simeon and Bishop Wilson (Calcutta) to the middle of the century was such an era of sermons as had hardly been known since the Restoration in that Church which was then restored. The average length of parochial discourses was probably greater then than before or since. I need not dwell on causes, but merely state facts. The religious fashion of the day thus gave him exceptional advantages; and being at once a man of mark, and as the breeze of controversy blew to a gale, a marked man, he used them with an impressiveness only strengthened by all that was known of a personality transparently sincere and devoted. Thus, although lacking the electric fascination which holds an audience by a spell woven of matter and manner, of voice, gesture, eye, and nervous sympathies, and tinging the pulpit with something of the lecture-room, Newman grew into the hearts and minds of his habitual hearers with a power which was more felt after his sermon than during the course of it, and depended rather on the unsluiced stream of afterthought than the momentary inundation of eloquence.

After recording our preference for the freshness and naturalness of the earlier Newman as against the later, it is only fair to set beside it the following verdict of a writer in the Tablet, on the other side:—

Newman's Anglican writings are clear and cold; when he became a Catholic it was like going into a southern atmosphere, all glow and sunshine; his nature expanded, his eloquence took fire, and the passionate energy which had been seeking for an object found it in preaching the visible kingdom of Christ.

So let the question rest—laudabunt alii, &c. Each will probably prefer the earlier or later vintage, according as his own standard of taste has been previously formed. But taking the estimate of the Tablet as expressing a fact and implying a value, what astonishes Anglicans most in the later career of the Newman of their early memories is that so little use was made of such a master mind by those at whose disposal he had placed its fully {434} matured powers. He had not yet reached his "grand climacteric" when he left us. His position on the whole since then has been one of perplexing obscurity to all who felt what a power they had lost in him. Of the Anglican Church it is unhappily true that it hardly owns its greatest men, does not know what to do with them, feels them rather an excrescence on its system, and an incumbrance to the working of its machinery, as if a diamond had got into a grist-mill——in this respect how truly national!—teste Newman in the above words, "the paradise of little men, the purgatory of great ones." We honestly thought that Rome knew better, and eminent authorities are not wanting who extol her wisdom in that respect. The practical appreciation evidenced in the utilization of a convert so richly endowed with various gifts does not tend to confirm that opinion. Tandem aliquando! was on the lips of most of us, when we heard that the Cardinal's hat had dropped on him. He reminds us of some noble swan, which, after a long sojourn on terra firma, find its way to its proper element at last, and is straightway frozen in.

As regards his style, Newman was so purely classical because he was so unpedantic. His mind never runs in the ruts of familiar phrase. There is now and then a direct allusion to, seldom a quotation of, the great masters of Greece and Rome. But his writings exhale the aroma of their influence at every pore. It is impossible to draw this out without going through, as it were, the process of distillation over again. I will only refer to one instance of the often unconscious influence exercised by the grandest models of mental form on a sympathetic genius, because I am not aware that it has yet been noticed. The entire attitude of his mind in the preface to his "Apologia" is that of Socrates in the famous "Apology" of Plato. To exhibit this in detail would be tedious trifling. I will just detach a specimen flower:

It is this which is the strength 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 round 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 up my sleeve, &c. &c.

To those who remember the parallel complaint of Socrates against the established prejudices which filled and poisoned the popular mind of Athens against him, Platonic quotations would be superfluous here, and to others unmeaning.

Questions of style often lead to such startling comparisons as have the effect for the moment of caricatures. I venture to compare {435} him, then, with Dean Swift in some of the main intellectual elements which constitute style; more especially in the balance of logical against imaginative endowments, and in the absence of mere rhetorical declaration. In Swift the two more interpenetrate one another: as it were two charges in one gun-barrel; in Newman they are like parallel tubes, each detonating separately, but guided by a single sight. Had Swift possessed the moral elevation and spiritual fervour of Newman, then, allowing for the disparity of their centuries, he would have written as Newman wrote. For "proper words in proper places," they are, I think, the two greatest masters of English prose which the two centuries have seen, and that mainly by virtue of the balance of qualities above referred to. But, "Cousin Swift you will never be a poet," said Dryden to his aspiring kinsman. Our Newman, however, was a poet. I will cull from his own "Gerontius" a single blossom to throw upon his grave—

O man, strange composite of heaven and earth,
Majesty dwarfed to baseness! fragrant flower
Running to poisonous seed! and seeming worth
Cloaking corruption! weakness mastering power!
Who never art so near to crime and shame,
As when thou hast achieved some deed of name.

Those who remember the noble sonnet of Wordsworth, beginning—on a theme borrowed from old Bede—

Man's life is like a swallow, mighty king,

or that splendid stanza of Byron which comes upon us in "Don Juan" like a meteor flashing out of swampy slime—

Between two worlds life hovers, like a star
'Twixt night and morn, upon th' horizon's verge.
How little do we know that which we are!
How less what we may be! &c.

may hang this of Newman's beside them as worthy to form a triptych.

His tale of years all but spans nine decades of this nineteenth century, as did that of John Wesley before him of the eighteenth; with whom again, especially in his earlier career, he has not a few points in common. Each sought to trim to larger and more lustrous life the waning lamp of spiritual religion. Each began his work in Oxford, and led a band of the more finely tempered spirits there. Oxford, felix prole virum, claims each as an alumnus. Each grew in his respective century to be its most typical specimen among our native theologians, each became a centre of partisan strife, and each unwillingly. Wesley's strong reverence for and study of the early Church, his longing to {436} strengthen by some of its most saintly and serviceable usages the Anglican system as he knew it, and his recalling the Thirty-nine Articles from their popular Calvinistic interpretation, mark him as a labourer in the same quarry as Newman, albeit he left the deeper strata unsearched. But Wesley's mind was essentially prosaic and practical, with no visionary glimpses. He "asked no angel's wing, no seraph's fire," whereas Newman bodied forth the unseen. His lyre indeed has few notes, but they are sweet and pure and lofty. Faith, hope and charity, piety and reverence, are the lines of the stave on which they hang. He knew his own compass and never overstrained it. Few since Dante and Milton have aspired to kindred themes, and fewer still have not singed their wings in soaring up to them.

Is he realizing the dream of his own "Gerontius," into which he has now passed—finding it all "true which was done by the Angel," and no longer deeming "that he saw a vision," [Note 5] [ouk onar … all' hupar ede] [Note 6], and filling up those outlines of symbolic mystery which he draws in the words:

Thou livest in a world of signs and types,
The presentations of most holy truths,
Living and strong, which now encompass thee.
A disembodied soul, thou hast by right
No converse with aught else beside thyself;
But lest so stern a solitude should load
And break thy being, in mercy are vouchsafed
Some lower measures of perception,
Which seem to thee as though through channels brought,
Through ear, or nerves, or palate, which are gone.

I only say, if so it be, so be it. For, as St. Augustine says of a Purgatorial fire, "I will not argue against it, because perchance it is true." [Note 7]

HENRY HAYMAN, D.D.

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Notes

1. "Apologia," ed. 1890, pp. 228-9.
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2. Ibid. pp. 234-5.
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3. "No one, I say, will die for his own calculations; he dies for realities." "Essay on Secular Knowledge as a Principle of Action," written 1841.
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4. "Who's to Blame? States and Constitutions." Reprinted from the Catholic Standard. By "Catholicus."
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5. Et nesciebat quia verum est quod fiebat per angelum, existimabat autem se visum videre.—"Actus Ap." xii. 9.
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6. Hom. "Odys." xx. 90.
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7. Non redarguo, quia forsitan verum est.—"De Civit. Dei." xxi. 26.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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