Autobiographical Memoir — Chapter 3

{91} THE responsibility of becoming guarantee to the University, that Newman, in spite of his ill success in the schools, was deserving of academical distinction, was now transferred from Trinity to Oriel; and, if it had required courage in him to offer himself to his electors in the latter college, it also required courage, as has been said, in them to take him. Strong as they might be in their reliance on the independence and purity of their elections, and broad as were their shoulders if public opinion was invoked against them, still they had, in choosing him, taken on themselves a real onus, and a real anxiety in the prospect of his future; and, if the sense of such generosity towards him had remained at all times present with him, he might have been saved from the hard thoughts and words, and the impatient acts to which in after times he was led to indulge at the expense of some of them. However true might be the principles and sacred the interests which, on the occasions referred to, he was defending, he had no call to forget the past, no license at an after date to forget, that, if he was able to assert his own views in opposition to theirs, it was, in truth, they who had put him into a position enabling him to do so.

As to their anxiety, upon his election, how he would turn out, there were certainly, on his first introduction to the Common-Room, definite points about him which made him somewhat a difficulty to those who brought him there. In the first place, they had to deal with his extreme shyness. It disconcerted them to find that, with their best efforts, they could not draw him out or get him to converse. He shrank into himself when his duty was to meet their advances. Easy {92} and fluent as he was among his equals and near relative, his very admiration of his new associates made a sudden intimacy with them impossible to him. An observant friend, who even at a later date saw him accidentally among strangers, not knowing the true account of his bearing, told him he considered he had had a near escape of being a stutterer. This untowardness in him was increased by a vivid self-consciousness, which sometimes inflicted on him days of acute suffering from the recollection of solecisms, whether actual or imagined, which he recognised in his conduct in society. And then there was, in addition, that real isolation of thought and spiritual solitariness which was the result of his Calvinistic beliefs. His electors, however, had not the key to the reserve which hung about him; and in default of it accounts of him of another kind began to assail their ears which increased their perplexity. With a half-malicious intent of frightening them, it was told them that Mr. Newman had for years belonged to a club of instrumental music, and had himself taken part in its public performances, a diversion innocent indeed in itself, but scarcely in keeping or in sympathy with an intellectual Common-Room, or promising a satisfactory career to a nascent Fellow of Oriel.

It was under the circumstance of misgivings such as these that Mr. Tyler, Mr. James, and other leading Fellows of the day took a step as successful in the event for their own relief as it was advantageous to Mr. Newman. Mr. Whately, afterwards Protestant Archbishop of Dublin, who had lately relinquished his fellowship by marriage, was just at that time residing in lodgings in Oxford previously to his taking possession of a Suffolk benefice, and they determined on putting their unformed probationer into his hands. If there was a man easy for a raw bashful youth to get on with it was Whately—a great talker, who endured very readily the silence of his company, original in his views, lively, forcible, witty in expressing them, brimful of information on a variety of subjects—so entertaining that, logician as he was, he is said sometimes to have fixed the attention of a party of ladies to his conversation, or rather discourse, for two or three hours at a stretch; free and easy in manners, rough indeed and {93} dogmatic in his enunciation of opinion, but singularly gracious to undergraduates and young masters who, if they were worth anything, were only too happy to be knocked about in argument by such a man. And he on his part professed to be pleased at having cubs in hand whom he might lick into shape, and who, he said, like dogs of King Charles's breed, could be held up by one leg without yelling.

Mr. Newman brought with him the first of recommendations to Whately in being a good listener, and in his special facility of entering into ideas as soon as, or before, they were expressed. It was not long before Mr. Whately succeeded in drawing him out, and he paid him the compliment of saying that he was the clearest-headed man he knew. He took him out walking and riding, and was soon able to reassure the Oriel men that they had made no great mistake in their election. Mr. Newman, on his part, felt the warmest admiration for Whately, much gratitude and a deep affection. If his master was now and then sharp, rude and positive, this inflicted no pain on so young a man, when relieved by the kindness of heart, the real gentleness and generous spirit, which those who came near him well understood to be his characteristics. The worst that could be said of Whately was that, in his intercourse with his friends, he was a bright June sun tempered by a March north-easter.

During these months Whately was full of the subject of logic; which, in spite of the Aldrich read for his B.A. examination, was quite a novelty to Mr. Newman. He lent him the MS. of his 'Analytical Dialogues,' never printed and now very scarce, and allowed him to take copies of it, which are to be found among his (Mr. Newman's) papers. At length he went so far as to propose to him to cast these dialogues into the shape of a synthetical treatise. It was a peculiarity of Whately's to compose his books by the medium of other brains. This did not detract at all from the originality of what he wrote. Others did but stimulate his intellect into the activity necessary for carrying him through the drudgery of composition. He called his hearers his anvils. He expounded his views as he walked with them; he indoctrinated them; made them repeat him; and sometimes even to put him on {94} paper, with the purpose of making use of such sketches when he should take in hand the work which was to be given to the public. He attempted to make, at one time, Mr. Rickards such an anvil, at another Mr. Woodgate; he succeeded best with Mr. Hinds, afterwards Bishop of Norwich; and it was in some such way that he began to write his well-known Treatise upon Logic through Mr. Newman—that is, under the start he gained by revising and recomposing the rude essays of a probationer Fellow of twenty-one.

This work, however—namely, his 'Elements of Logic'—was not actually published till four years later; and in his Preface to it he thus graciously speaks of Mr. Newman's infinitesimal share in its composition:

I have to acknowledge assistance received from several friends, who have at various times suggested remarks and alterations. But I cannot avoid particularising the Rev. J. Newman, Fellow of Oriel College, who actually composed a considerable portion of the work as it now stands, from manuscript not designed for publication, and who is the original author of several pages.

Newman, much gratified by this notice, thus acknowledged it to Whately:

November 14, 1826.
I cannot tell you the surprise I felt on seeing you had thought it worth while to mention my name as having contributed to the arrangement of the material [of the work]. Whatever I then wrote I am conscious was of little value, &c. &c. ... Yet I cannot regret that you have introduced my name in some sort of connexion with your own. There are few things which I wish more sincerely than to be known as a friend of yours, and though I may be on the verge of propriety in the earnestness with which I am expressing myself, yet you must let me give way to feelings which never want much excitement to draw them out, and now will not be restrained. Much as I owe to Oriel in the way of mental improvement, to none, as I think, do I owe so much as to you. I know who it was that first gave me heart to look about me after my election, and taught me to think correctly, and (strange office for an instructor) to rely upon myself. {95}

It was with reference to these first Oriel experiences of Newman, his bashfulness, awkwardness, and affectionate abandonment of himself to those who were so kind to him, as contrasted with his character as it showed to outsiders in succeeding years, that Bishop Copleston, after the notice of him quoted above, goes on to say: 'Alas, how little did we anticipate the fatal consequences!' and then applies to him the passage of Æschylus:

[ethrepsen de leonta
sinin domois agalakton
. . . . .
ameron, euphilopaida, k.t.l
.]—Agam. 717.

Whately's formal connexion with Oriel had closed before Newman was introduced to him; and he was but an occasional visitor at the University till the year 1825, when, on the death of Dr. Elmsley, he was preferred by Lord Grenville—the Chancellor—to the Headship of Alban Hall. On this occasion he showed his good opinion of the subject of this Memoir by at once making him his Vice-Principal, and though, to the sorrow of both parties, this connexion between them lasted only for a year—Mr. Newman succeeding in 1826 to the Tutor's place at Oriel vacated by Mr. R. W. Jelf—Whately continued on familiar terms with him down to the promotion of the former to the archbishopric of Dublin in 1831.

That when this great preferment came he manifested no such desire to gain Mr. Newman's co-operation in his new sphere of action, as had led him to ask his assistance at Alban Hall, was no surprise to Mr. Newman. Great changes had taken place in time interval in Mr. Newman's views and position at Oxford, and he sorrowfully recognised to the full, the gradual but steady diminution of intimacy and sympathy between himself and Dr. Whately, which had accompanied the successive events of those five years. In a correspondence which passed between them in 1834, and which has been published in part by time Archbishop's executors, and in full by Dr. Newman in his 'Apologia,' is traced the course of this mournful alienation. At length, in 1836, Mr. Newman incurred the Archbishop's deep displeasure on his taking part against Dr. Hampden's appointment to the chair of Divinity; {96} so much so that, on Dr. Whately's coming to Oxford in 1837, Mr. Newman felt it necessary to use the intervention of a friend before venturing to call on him; and twenty years later, when Mr. Newman—then a Catholic priest—was in Dublin, in the years 1854-1858, on his making a like application, he was informed in answer, from various quarters, that his visit would not be acceptable to the Archbishop.

Dr. Whately honoured Mr. Newman with his friendship for nearly ten years. During the year in which they were in close intimacy at Alban Hall, Mr. Newman served him with all his heart as his factotum—as tutor, chaplain, bursar, and dean; and he ever found in him a generous, confiding, and indulgent superior. Never was there the faintest shadow of a quarrel, or of even an accidental collision between them, though in their walks they often found themselves differing from each other on theological questions. As to theology, Mr. Newman was under the influence of Dr. Whately for four years, from 1822 to 1826; when, coincidently with his leaving Alban Hall, he began to know Mr. Hurrell Froude. On looking back he found that he had learned from Dr. Whately one momentous truth of Revelation, and that was the idea of the Christian Church as a Divine appointment, and as a substantive visible body, independent of the State, and endowed with rights, prerogatives and powers of its own.

There was another person, high in position, who, on Mr. Newman's becoming Fellow of Oriel, had a part in bringing him out of the shyness and reserve which had at first perplexed his electors. This was Dr. Charles Lloyd, Canon of Christ Church, and Regius Professor of Divinity. This eminent man, who had been the tutor, and was the intimate friend of Mr. Peel, was in an intellectual and academical point of view diametrically opposite to Dr. Whately, and it was a strange chance which brought Mr. Newman under the immediate notice of divines of such contrary schools. At that time there was a not unnatural rivalry between Christ Church and Oriel; Lloyd and Whately were the respective representatives of the two societies, and of their antagonism. Sharp words passed between them; they spoke scornfully of each other, and stories about them and the relation in which they {97} stood towards each other were circulated in the Common-Rooms. Lloyd was a scholar, and Whately was not. Whately had the reputation specially of being an original thinker, of which Lloyd was not at all ambitious. Lloyd was one of the high-and-dry school, though with far larger views than were then common; while Whately looked down on both High and Low Church, calling the two parties respectively Sadducees and Pharisees. Lloyd professed to hold to theology, and laid great stress on a doctrinal standard, on authoritative and traditional teaching, and on ecclesiastical history; Whately called the Fathers 'certain old divines,' and, after Swift or some other wit, called orthodoxy 'one's own doxy,' and heterodoxy 'another's doxy.' Lloyd made much of books and reading, and, when preacher at Lincoln's Inn, considered he was to his lawyers the official expounder of the Christian religion and the Protestant faith, just as it was the office of his Majesty's Courts to lay down for him peremptorily the law of the land; whereas Whately's great satisfaction was to find a layman who had made a creed for himself, and he avowed that he was prima facie well inclined to a heretic, for his heresy at least showed that he had exercised his mind upon its subject-matter. It is obvious which of the two men was the more Catholic in his tone of mind. Indeed, at a later date Mr. Newman availed himself, when accused of Catholicity, of the distinctions which Dr. Lloyd in an article in a Review had introduced into a controversy with Rome; and others who came within his influence [I believe, Mr. Oakeley] have testified to that influence in their case having acted in a Catholic direction. But such men attended his lectures some years later than Mr. Newman, whose debt to him was of a different kind.

These lectures were an experiment which Dr. Lloyd made on becoming Regius Professor, with a view of advancing theological studies in the University. An annual set of public lectures had been usual, attendance on them being made a sine qua non for ordination; but Dr. Lloyd's new lectures were private and familiar. He began them in 1823, the year after Mr. Newman's election at Oriel, and the year of Mr. Pusey's. His initial class consisted of eight: four Fellows of {98}

Oriel—Jelf, Ottley, Pusey and Newman—and four of Christ Church. Others were soon added, notably Mr. Richard Greswell, of Worcester, whose acquaintance with theological topics was, for a young man, wonderful. The subjects of the lectures betokened the characteristic tastes and sentiments of the lecturer. He had more liking for exegetical criticism, historical research and controversy, than for dogma or philosophy. He employed his mind upon the grounds of Christian faith rather than on the faith itself; and in his estimate of the grounds he made light of the internal evidence for revealed religion, in comparison with its external proofs. During the time that Mr. Newman attended his lectures, the years 1823 and 1824—when he left them on taking orders and a parochial charge—the class went through Sumner's 'Records of Creation'; 'Graves on the Pentateuch'; 'Carpzov on the Septuagint'; 'Prideaux's Connexion,' and other standard works, getting up the books thoroughly; for Dr. Lloyd made the lecture catechetical, taking very little part in it himself beyond asking questions, and requiring direct, full and minutely accurate answers. It is difficult to see how into a teaching such as this purely religious questions could have found their way; but Dr. Lloyd, who took a personal interest in those he came across, and who always had his eyes about him, certainly did soon make out that Mr. Newman held what are called Evangelical views of doctrine, then generally in disrepute in Oxford; and in consequence bestowed on him a notice, expressive of vexation and impatience on the one hand, and of a liking for him personally and a good opinion of his abilities on the other. He was free and easy in his ways and a bluff talker, with a rough, lively, good-natured manner, and a pretended pomposity, relieving itself by sudden bursts of laughter, and an indulgence of what is now called chaffing at the expense of his auditors; and, as he moved up and down his room, large in person beyond his years, asking them questions, gathering their answers, and taking snuff as he went along, he would sometimes stop before Mr. Newman, on his speaking in his turn, fix his eyes on him as if to look him through, with a satirical expression of countenance, and then make a feint to box his ears or kick his shins before he went {99} on with his march to and fro. There was nothing offensive or ungracious in all this, and the attachment which Mr. Newman felt for him was shared by his pupils generally; but he was not the man to exert an intellectual influence over Mr. Newman or to leave a mark upon his mind as Whately had done. To the last Lloyd was doubtful of Newman's outcome, and Newman felt constrained and awkward in the presence of Lloyd; but this want of sympathy between them did not interfere with a mutual kind feeling. Lloyd used to ask him over to his living at Ewelme in the vacations, and Newman retained to old age an affectionate and grateful memory of Lloyd. Many of his pupils rose to eminence, some of them through his helping hand. Mr. Jelf was soon made preceptor to Prince George, the future King of Hanover; Mr. Churton, who died prematurely, became chaplain to Rowley, Bishop of London, afterwards Primate; Mr. Pusey he recommended to the Minister for the Hebrew professorship, first sending him to Germany to study that language in the Universities there. As to Mr. Newman, before he had been in his lecture-room half a year, Lloyd paid him the compliment of proposing to him, young as he was, to undertake a work for students in divinity, containing such various information as is for the most part only to be found in Latin or in folios, such as the history of the Septuagint version, an account of the Talmud, &c.; but nothing came of this design.

His attendance on Dr. Lloyd's lectures was at length broken off in 1824 by his accepting the curacy of St. Clement's, a parish lying over Magdalen Bridge, where a new church was needed, and a younger man than the rector to collect funds for building it. From this time he saw very little of Dr. Lloyd, who in 1827 was promoted to the See of Oxford, and died prematurely in 1829. At the former of these dates the Bishop knew of his intention to give himself up to the study of the Fathers, and expressed a warm approval of it.

Mr. Newman held the curacy of St. Clement's for two years, up to the time when he became one of the public tutors of his College. He held it long enough to succeed in collecting the 5,000l. or 6,000l. which were necessary for the new church. It was consecrated after he had relinquished his {100} curacy, probably in the Long Vacation, when he was away from Oxford; but so it happened by a singular accident that neither while it was building nor after it was built was he ever inside it. He had no part whatever in determining its architectural character, which was in the hands of a committee. The old church, which stood at the fork of the two London roads as they join at Magdalen Bridge, was soon afterwards removed; and it thus was Mr. Newman's lot to outlive the church, St. Benet Fink, in which he was baptized, the school-house and playgrounds at Ealing, where he passed his boyhood, and the church in which he first did duty. At St. Clement's he did a great deal of hard parish work, having in the poor school, which he set on foot, the valuable assistance of the daughters of the rector, the Rev. John Gutch, Registrar of the University, at that time an octogenarian.

It was during these years of parochial duty that Mr. Newman underwent a great change in his religious opinions, a change brought about by very various influences. Of course the atmosphere of Oriel Common-Room was one of these; its members, together with its distinguished head, being as remarkable for the complexion of their theology and their union among themselves in it, as for their literary eminence. This unanimity was the more observable inasmuch as, elected by competition, they came from various places of education, public and private, from various parts of the country, and from any whatever of the colleges of Oxford; thus being without antecedents in common, except such as were implied in their being Oxford men and selected by Oriel examiners. Viewed as a body, we may pronounce them to be truly conscientious men, ever bearing in mind their religious responsibilities, hard or at least energetic workers, liberal in their charities, correct in their lives, proud of their college rather than of themselves, and, if betraying something of habitual superciliousness towards other societies, excusable for this at that date, considering the exceptional strictness of the then Oriel discipline, and the success of Oriel in the schools. In religion they were neither High Church nor Low Church, but had become a new school, or, as their enemies would say, a clique, which was characterised by its spirit of moderation and comprehension, {101} and of which the principal ornaments were Copleston, Davison, Whately, Hawkins and Arnold. Enemies they certainly had. Among these, first, were the old unspiritual, high-and-dry—then in possession of the high places of Oxford—who were suspicious whither these men would go, pronounced them 'unsafe,' and were accused of keeping Copleston from a bishopric—a class of men who must not be confused with such excellent persons as the Watsons, Sykes, Crawleys, of the old London Church Societies and their surroundings, though they pulled with them; next and especially, the residents in the smaller and less distinguished colleges—the representatives, as they may be considered, of the country party, who regarded them as angular men, arrogant, pedantic, crotchety, and both felt envy at their reputation and took offence at the strictness of their lives. Their friends, on the other hand, as far as they had exactly friends, were of the Evangelical party, who, unused to kindness from their brethren, hailed with surprise the advances which Copleston seemed to be making towards them in his writings and by his acts, and were grateful for that liberality of mind which was in such striking contrast with the dominant High Church; and who, in Keble again—in spite of his maintenance of baptismal regeneration—recognised, to use their own language, a spiritual man. What a large number of the Evangelical party then felt, Mr. Newman as one of them felt also; and thus he was drawn in heart to his Oriel associates in proportion as he became intimate with them.

The Oriel Common-Room has been above spoken of as a whole; but the influence thence exercised on Mr. Newman came especially from two of its members, Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Pusey, of whom Pusey was external to what may be technically called the Oriel School. Though senior in age by just half a year, he was junior to Newman in both University and College standing, being elected at Oriel the year after Newman. He was a disciple of Lloyd's, not of Whately's, or perhaps it may be said not even of Lloyd's. The son of a man conspicuous for his religious earnestness and his charities, he left Eton and Christ Church for Oriel, not only an accurate scholar and a portentous student, but endowed with a deep seriousness and a large-minded open-handed zeal in the service {102} of God and his neighbour, which he had inherited from his home. Newman first saw him on his dining, as a stranger, at Oriel high-table, when a guest of his Eton friend Jelf, and as a future candidate, as it was reported, for a fellowship. Newman used to speak in after life of this first introduction to one with whom eventually he was so closely united, and to 'the blessing of' whose 'long friendship and example,' as he said in the Dedication to him of his first volume of Sermons, he had owed so much. His light curly head of hair was damp with the cold water which his headaches made necessary for his comfort; he walked fast, with a young manner of carrying himself, and stood rather bowed, looking up from under his eyebrows, his shoulders rounded, and his bachelor's gown not buttoned at the elbow, but hanging loose over his wrists. His countenance was very sweet, and he spoke little. This chronic headache nearly lost him his election in the following year. After commencing the paper work of the examination, he found himself from the state of his head utterly unable to complete it. He deliberately tore up the exercise on which he was engaged, and withdrew from the scene of action. But this abandonment of his expectations did not please his friends, and they would not allow it; they forced him back, and one of the Fellows, then a stranger to him, Dr. Jenkyns, afterwards Canon of Durham, gathered up the fragments of his composition as they lay scattered on the floor, and succeeded so happily in fitting and uniting them together that they were used by his examiners as a portion of is trial. His headaches continued beyond his Oriel years, but he was always full of work. When Newman was offered the curacy of St. Clement's, it was at Puseys suggestion, and Pusey was to have taken part in its duties. when Dr. Lloyd sent him off to Germany.

It is interesting to trace the course of Newman's remarks on Pusey in his private journal, commencing as they do in a high patronising tone, and gradually changing into the expression of simple admiration of his new friend. April 4, 1823, he writes, speaking of the election of Fellows: 'Two men have succeeded this morning' [E. B. Pusey and W. R. Churton] 'who, I trust, are favourably disposed to religion, or at least {103} moral and thinking, not worldly and careless men'; and he goes on to pray that they may be brought 'into time true Church.' On the 13th he notes down: 'I have taken a short walk with Pusey after church and we have had some very pleasing conversation. He is a searching man, and seems to delight in talking on religious subjects.' By May 2 Newman has advanced further in his good opinion of him. He writes:

I have had several conversations with Pusey on religion since I last mentioned him. How can I doubt his seriousness? His very eagerness to talk of the Scriptures seems to prove it. May I lead him forward, at the same time gaining good from him! He has told me the plan of his Essay for the Chancellor's prize, and I clearly see that it is much better than mine. I cannot think I shall get it; to this day I have thought I should.

And on May 17 he remarks:

That Pusey is Thine, O Lord, how can I doubt? His deep views of the Pastoral Office, his high ideas of the spiritual rest of the Sabbath, his devotional spirit, his love of the Scriptures, his firmness and zeal, all testify to the operation of the Holy Ghost; yet I fear he is prejudiced against Thy children. Let me never be eager to convert him to a party or to a form of opinion. Lead us both on in the way of Thy commandments. What am I that I should be so blest in my near associates!

Nothing more is said in these private notes about Pusey before the Long Vacation; but hardly is it over when he notes down: 'Have just had a most delightful walk with Pusey: our subjects all religious, all devotional and practical. At last we fell to talking of Henry Martyn and missionaries. He spoke beautifully on the question, "Who are to go?"' On February 1 of the next year (1824) he notes down, 'Have just walked with Pusey; he seems growing in the best things—in humility and love of God and man. What an active devoted spirit! God grant he may not, like Martyn, "burn as phosphorus!"' Lastly, on March 15, when the year from his first acquaintance with Pusey had not yet run out, he writes: 'Took a walk with Pusey: discoursed on missionary {104} subjects. I must bear every circumstance in continual remembrance. We went along the lower London road, crossed to Cowley, and, coming back, just before we arrived at Magdalen Bridge turnpike, he expressed to me' ... There is a blank in the MS. The writer has not put into words what this special confidence was which so affected him. He continues: 'Oh, what words shall I use? My heart is full. How should I be humbled to the dust! What importance I think myself of! My deeds, my abilities, my writings! Whereas he is humility itself, and gentleness, and love, and zeal, and self-devotion. Bless him with Thy fullest gifts, and grant me to imitate him.'

These extracts reached to within a few months of Mr. Newman's ordination, which took place on June 13, 1824, at the hands of Dr. Legge, Bishop of Oxford. It was by this important event in his life, and the parochial duties which were its immediate supplement, that he was thrown into a close intimacy with his other friend, Mr. Hawkins, then vicar of St. Mary's—an intimacy not less important in the mark it left upon him, though far other than his familiar intercourse with Pusey. Hawkins bore a very high character, and to know his various personal responsibilities, and his conduct under them, was to esteem and revere him; he had an abiding sense of duty, and had far less than others of that secular spirit which is so rife at all times in places of intellectual eminence. He was clear-headed and independent in his opinions, candid in argument, tolerant of the views of others, honest as a religious inquirer, though not without something of self-confidence in his enunciations. He was a good parish priest, and preached with earnestness and force, collecting about him undergraduates from various colleges for his hearers. At this date—1824, 1825—on the ground of health he never drank wine, and was accustomed to say that he should not live beyond forty. He has already reached eighty-five years, and in the full use of all his faculties. On him, then, bound as he was by his parochial charge to residence through the year, Mr. Newman, then curate of St. Clement's, was thrown in a special way. In the Long Vacation, when the other Fellows were away, they two had Hall and Common-Room {105} to themselves. They dined and read the papers; they took their evening walk, and then their tea, in company; and, while Mr. Newman was full of the difficulties of a young curate, he found in Mr. Hawkins a kind and able adviser.

There was an interval of twelve years between their ages, but Mr. Hawkins was, in mind, older than his years, and Mr. Newman younger; and the intercourse between them was virtually that of tutor and pupil. Up to this time the latter took for granted, if not intelligently held, the opinions called Evangelical; and of an Evangelical cast were his early sermons, though mildly such. His first sermon, on 'Man goeth forth to his work and to his labour until the evening,' implied in its tone a denial of baptismal regeneration; and Mr. Hawkins, to whom he showed it, came down upon it at once on this score. The sermon divided the Christian world into two classes, the one all darkness, the other all light; whereas, said Mr. Hawkins, it is impossible for us, in fact, to draw such a line of demarcation across any body of men, large or small, because difference in religion and moral excellence is one of degree. Men are not either saints or sinners; but they are not as good as they should be, and better than they might be—more or less converted to God, as it may happen. Preachers should follow the example of St. Paul; he did not divide his brethren into two, the converted and unconverted, but he addressed them all, as 'in Christ,' 'sanctified in Him,' as having had 'the Holy Ghost in their hearts,' and this while he was rebuking them for the irregularities and scandals that had occurred among them. Criticism such as this, which of course he did not deliver once for all, but as occasions offered, and which, when Newman dissented, he maintained and enforced, had a great, though a gradual, effect upon the latter, when carefully studied in the work from which it was derived, and which Hawkins gave him; this was Sumner's 'Apostolical Preaching.' This book was successful in the event beyond anything else in rooting out Evangelical doctrines from Mr. Newman's creed.

He observes in his Private Journal, under date of August 24, 1824: {106}

Lately I have been thinking much on the subject of grace, regeneration, &c., and reading Sumner's 'Apostolical Preaching,' which Hawkins has given me. Sumner's I book threatens to drive me into either Calvinism or Baptismal Regeneration, and I wish to steer clear of both, at least in preaching. I am always slow in deciding a question; and last night it I was so distressed and low about it that the thought even struck me I must leave the Church. I have been praying about it before I rose this morning, and I do not know what will be the end of it. I think I really desire the truth, and would embrace it wherever I found it.

On the following January 13 he writes:

It seems to me that the great stand is to be made, not against those who connect a spiritual change with baptism, but those who deny a spiritual change altogether. [Here he alludes to Dr. Lloyd, rightly or wrongly.] All who confess the natural corruption of the heart, and the necessity of a change (whether they connect regeneration with baptism or not), should unite against those who make regeneration a mere opening of new prospects, when the old score of offences is wiped away, and a person is for the second time put, as it were, on his good behaviour.

Here he had, in fact, got hold of the Catholic doctrine that forgiveness of sin is conveyed to us, not simply by imputation, but by the implanting of a habit of grace.

Mr. Newman, then, before many months of his clerical life were over, had taken the first step towards giving up the Evangelical form of Christianity; however, for a long while certain shreds and tatters [Note 1] of that doctrine hung about his preaching, nor did he, for a whole ten years, altogether sever himself from those great religious societies and their meetings which then, as now, were the rallying ground and the strength {107} of the Evangelical body. Besides Sumner, Butler's celebrated work, which he studied about the year 1825, had, as was natural, an important indirect effect upon him in the same direction, as placing his doctrinal views on a broad philosophical basis, with which an emotional religion could have little sympathy.

There was another great theological principle which he owed to Mr. Hawkins, in addition to that which Sumner's work had taught him. He has already mentioned it in his 'Apologia'—namely, the quasi-Catholic doctrine of Tradition, as a main element in ascertaining and teaching the truths of Christianity. This doctrine Hawkins had, on Whately's advice, made the subject of a sermon before the University. Whately once said of this sermon to Newman in conversation: 'Hawkins came to me and said, "What shall I preach about?" putting into my hands at the same time some notes which he thought might supply a subject. After reading them I said to him, "Capital! Make a sermon of them by all means. I did not know till now that you had so much originality in you." Whately felt the doctrine to be as true as he considered it original.

Though the force of logic and the influence of others had so much to do with Mr. Newman's change of religious opinion, it must not be supposed that the teaching of facts had no part in it. On the contrary, he notes down in memoranda made at the time, his conviction, gained by personal experience, that the religion which he had received from John Newton and Thomas Scott would not work in a parish; that it was unreal; that this he had actually found as a fact, as Mr. Hawkins had told him beforehand; that Calvinism was not a key to the phenomena of human nature, as they occur in the world. And, in truth, much as he owed to the Evangelical teaching, so it was he never had been a genuine Evangelical. That teaching had been a great blessing for England; it had brought home to the hearts of thousands the cardinal and vital truths of Revelation, and to himself among others. The Divine truths about our Lord and His person and offices, His grace, the regeneration of our nature in Him; the supreme duty of living, not only morally, but in his faith, fear, and {108} love; together with the study of Scripture, in which these truths lay, had sheltered and protected him in his most dangerous years, had been his comfort and stay when he was forlorn, and had brought him on in habits of devotion, till the time came when he was to dedicate himself to the Christian ministry. And he ever felt grateful to the good clergyman who introduced them to him, and to the books, such as Scott's 'Force of Truth,' Beveridge's 'Private Thoughts,' and Doddridge's 'Rise and Progress,' which insist upon them; but, after all, the Evangelical teaching, considered as a system and in what was peculiar to itself, had from the first failed to find a response in his own religious experience, as afterwards in his parochial. He had, indeed, been converted by it to a spiritual life, and so far his experience bore witness to its truth; but he had not been converted in that special way which it laid down as imperative, but so plainly against rule, as to make it very doubtful in the eyes of normal Evangelicals whether he had really been converted at all. Indeed, at various times of his life, as, for instance, after the publication of his 'Apologia,' letters, kindly intended, were addressed to him by strangers or anonymous writers, assuring him that he did not yet know what conversion meant, and that the all-important change had still to be wrought in him if he was to be saved.

And he himself quite agreed in the facts which were the premisses of these writers, though, of course, he did not feel himself obliged to follow them on to their grave conclusion. He was sensible that he had ever been wanting in those special Evangelical experiences which, like the grip of the hand or other prescribed signs of a secret society, are the sure token of a member. There is, among his private papers, a memorandum on the subject much to the point, which he set down originally in 1821, and transcribed and commented on in 1826. In 1821—the date, be it observed, when he was more devoted to the Evangelical creed, and more strict in his religious duties than at any previous time—he had been drawing up at great length an account of the Evangelical process of conversion in a series of Scripture texts, going through its stages of conviction of sin, terror, despair, news of the free {109} and full salvation, apprehension of Christ, sense of pardon, assurance of salvation, joy and peace, and so on to final perseverance; and he there makes this N.B. upon his work:

I speak of conversion with great diffidence, being obliged to adopt the language of books. For my own feelings, as far as I remember, were so different from any account I have ever read that I dare not go by what may be an individual case.

This was in 1821; transcribing the memorandum in 1826, he adds:

That is, I wrote juxta præscriptum. In the matter in question, that is, conversion, my own feelings were not violent, but a returning to, a renewing of, principles, under the power of the Holy Spirit, which I had already felt, and in a measure acted on when young.

He used in later years to consider the posture of his mind, early and late, relatively to the Evangelical teaching of his youth, an illustration of what he had written in his essay on Assent, upon the compatibility of the indefectibility of genuine certitude with the failure of such mere belief as at one time of our lives we took for certitudes [Note 2].

We may assent [he there says] to a certain number of propositions altogether—that is, we may make a number of assents all at once; but in doing so we run the risk of putting upon one level, and treating as if of the same value, acts of the mind which are very different from each other in character and circumstance.

Now a religion is not a proposition, but a system; it is a rite, a creed, a philosophy, a rule of duty, all at once; and to accept a religion is neither a simple assent to it nor a complex assent, neither a conviction nor a prejudice ... not a mere act of profession, nor of credence, nor of opinion, nor of speculation, but it is a collection of all these various kinds of assent, some of one description, some of another; but out of all these different assents how many are of that kind which I have called certitude? For instance, the fundamental dogma of Protestantism is the exclusive authority of Scripture; but in holding this a Protestant holds a host of propositions, explicitly or implicitly, and holds them with assents of various {110} character ... Yet if he were asked the question, he would probably answer that he was certain of the truth of Protestantism, though Protestantism means a hundred things at once, and he believes, with actual certitude, only one of them all.

Applying these remarks to his own case, he used to say that, whereas, upon that great change which took place in him as a boy there were four doctrines, all of which forthwith he held, as if certain truths—namely, those of the Holy Trinity, of the Incarnation, of Predestination, and of the Lutheran apprehension of Christ—the first three, which are doctrines of the Catholic religion, and, as being such, are true, and really subjects of certitude and capable of taking indefectible possession of the mind, and therefore ought not in his case to have faded away, remained indelible through all his changes of opinion, up to and over the date of his becoming a Catholic; whereas the fourth, which is not true, though he thought it was, and therefore not capable of being held with certitude, or with the promise of permanence, though he thought it was so held, did in the event, as is the nature of a mere opinion or untrue belief, take its departure from his mind in a very short time, or, rather, was not held by him from the first. However, in his early years, according to the passage quoted from his essay, he confused these four distinct doctrines together, as regards their hold upon him, and transferred that utter conviction which he had of what was revealed about the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity and the Divine Economy to his state of mind relatively to Luther's tenet of justification by faith only.

Having this confused idea of Christian doctrine, and of his own apprehension of it, and considering the Evangelical teaching true, because there were great truths in it, he had felt and often spoken very positively as to his certainty of its truth, and the impossibility of his changing his mind about it. On one occasion in particular he has recorded his feelings when he found himself affectionately cautioned by his Father, from his own experience of the world, against the Lutheran doctrine and a headstrong acceptance of it. This was shortly before he succeeded at Oriel, and he takes a note of it in his Private {111} Journal. In the course of conversation, availing himself of some opportunity, his Father is there reported to have said: 'Take care; you are encouraging a morbid sensibility and irritability of mind, which may be very serious. Religion, when carried too far, induces a mental softness. No one's principles can be established at twenty. Your opinion in two or three years will certainly change. I have seen many instances of the same kind. You are on dangerous ground. The temper you are encouraging may lead to something alarming. Weak minds are carried into superstition, and strong minds into infidelity; do not commit yourself, do nothing ultra.' On these prudent warnings his son observes, after prayer against delusion, pride, or uncharitableness, 'How good God is to give me "the assurance of hope"! If anyone had prophesied to me confidently that I should change my opinions, and I was not convinced of the impossibility, what anguish should I feel!' Yet, very few years passed before, against his confident expectations, his Father's words about him came true.

Fifty or sixty years ago the intellectual antagonist and alternative of the Evangelical creed was Arminianism. The Catholic faith, Anglo-Catholicism, Irvingism, Infidelity, were as yet unknown to the religious inquirer.

A cold Arminian doctrine, the first stage of Liberalism, was the characteristic aspect for the high-and-dry Anglicans of that day and of the Oriel divines. There was great reason then to expect that, on Newman leaving the crags and precipices of Luther and Calvin, he would take refuge in the flats of Tillotson and Barrow, Jortin and Paley. It cannot be said that this was altogether a miscalculation; but the ancient Fathers saved him from the danger that threatened him. An imaginative devotion to them and to their times had been the permanent effect upon him of reading at school an account of them and extracts from their works in Joseph Milner's 'Church History,' and even when he now and then allowed himself, as in 1825, in criticisms of them, the first centuries were his beau-ideal of Christianity. Even then what he composed was more or less directed towards that period, and, however his time might be occupied or his mood devotional, he never was {112} unwilling to undertake any work of which they were to be the staple.

Thus in 1823 he drew up an argument for the strict observance of the Christian Sabbath from the writings of St. Chrysostom and other Fathers; in 1825-6, when he had not only Alban Hall and St. Clement's on his hands, but, in addition, the laborious task of raising sums for his new church, he wrote a Life of Apollonius and his Essay on Miracles. In 1826 he projected writing for the 'Encyclopædia Metropolitana' a history of the first three centuries of Christianity, and in 1827 he drew up a defence of infant baptism from the patristical testimonies furnished to him in Wall's well-known treatise. In the same year he gave a commission to his friend Pusey, who was then in Germany, to purchase for him as many volumes of the Fathers as came to his hand. And in 1828 he began systematically to read them.

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Letters and Extracts Connecting Chapters 3. and 4. of the Memoir

Surveying from a distance the excessive work of this period of his life, there stands in Mr. Newman's own hand the following admission:

This close application [to his Essay on Miracles] did not hinder my daily work in my parish and St. Alban Hall, visitings, &c., and two fresh sermons every Sunday. It was now first that I felt what, in the event, became a chronic indigestion from which I have never recovered. I overworked myself at this time.

The correspondence of this date illustrates what the Memoir has touched on, both of his literary labours and his early devotion to the Fathers. The following letter to his sister relates to his Essay on Miracles, which, months before, Mr. Hawkins had spoken of, as 'filling the window-seat' with books out of the college library. {113}

J. H. N. TO H. E. N.

January 26, 1826.
… Apollonius is a crafty old knave. After surveying the essay itself, I took hold of him, thinking to lift him up to the level of completion without much ado; but the old fellow clung so tight to me that I could hardly get rid of him. He asked me ever so many questions about my authorities for saying this or that of him, made me poke into dusty books in wild-goose chases, &c. &c. In fact, instead of despatching him in two days, I was ten. He detained me till St. Alban claimed me. You know I am going over to St. Mary's. [Qy. to be tutor at Oriel.]


January 27, 1826.
On thinking over your proposal concerning the article on the Fathers of the second century, I cannot but be apprehensive that it would be much too large an undertaking for the time that I could give to it in the course of a year. May I venture to inquire whether it would fall in with your arrangements were I to undertake the Fathers of the second and third centuries in one paper—that is, in fact, the ante-Nicene Fathers—engaging to send it to you this time two years. The period between the Apostolical Fathers and the Nicene Council would then be treated as a whole, embracing the opinions of the Church and so much of Platonism and Gnosticism as may be necessary to elucidate it.

P.S.—I fear I must decline the article on Music; my acquaintance with the subject is not at all sufficient to justify me in undertaking to write upon it.

Mr. Smedley declines the proposition of comprising the second and third centuries in one paper, in spite of its general advantages, as 'covering too large a space for the particular system of our work,' with suggestions how to meet the difficulty. 'Could you not find some convenient break—the reign of Pertinax, perhaps—which might enable you to terminate a first paper?' A proposal he does not seem to have acted upon. {114}


February 17, 1826.
As you are to consider this a birthday letter, I must not omit begging you to accept the kindest wishes that a mother can offer to a son who has ever been her greatest consolation in affliction, and a comfort and delight at all times and in all situations. We are daily receiving great instruction and advantage, I trust, from the course of sermons you last sent us. We all agreed that a week was much too long to wait between each; and when we have read these repeatedly I hope you will let us have some more.

Again (March 6):

I assure you your sermons are a real comfort and delight to me. They are what I think sermons ought to be—to enlighten, to correct, to support, and to strengthen. It is, my dear, a great gift to see so clearly the truths of religion; still more to be able to impart the knowledge to others. You will, I am sure, duly appreciate the treasure, and make it valuable to many besides yourself.

These tender and happy mother's letters are given for a purpose which the reader will understand as time advances. Even now their tone is too confiding to be allowed to pass without some touch of warning.


I feel pleased you like my sermons. I am sure I need not caution you against taking anything I say on trust. Do not be run away with by any opinion of mine. I have seen cause to change my mind in some respects, and I may change again. I see I know very little about anything, though I often think I know a great deal.

I have a great undertaking before me in the tutorship here. I trust God may give me grace to undertake it in a proper spirit, and to keep steadily in view that I have set myself apart for His service for ever. There is always the danger of the love of literary pursuits assuming too prominent a place in the thoughts of a college tutor, or his viewing his situation merely as a secular office—a menus of a future provision when he leaves college. {115}

The Oriel election and fellowship was this year a momentous one to Mr. Newman, as bringing him into intimacy with the friend whose influence he ever felt powerful beyond all others to which he had been subject. He writes of the election to his mother:

March 31, 1826.
… I go to Bath tomorrow morning, and while in the neighbourhood must employ myself in transcribing my essay, for I must have done it by a week hence. I return to Oxford on Thursday, and commence my labours at Oriel the following Monday. I gave up my church last Sunday, and my parish duty this day. I shall preach one or two sermons more. I did not send my letter to you before mid-day Saturday, and had then begun neither of my sermons for the following day ...

By-the-bye, I have not told you the name of the other successful candidate—Froude of Oriel [Robert Wilberforce was the first]. We were in grave deliberation till near two this morning, and then went to bed. Froude is one of the acutest and clearest and deepest men in the memory of man. I hope our election will be in honorem Dei et Sponsæ suœ Ecciesiæ salutem, as Edward II. has it in our statutes.


April 29, 1826.
I send Blanco White's book. We have just given a diploma degree to Blanco ... he is, however, too violent. I have received your letter, and have just despatched my famous essay by the night coach to town ... I have felt much that my engagements of late drove me from you, hindered my conversing with you, making me an exile, I may say, from those I so much love.

But this life is no time for enjoyment, but for labour, and I have especially deferred ease and quiet for a future life in devoting myself to the immediate service of God.

A foregoing letter fixes the day when Mr. Newman was to enter upon his tutorial office. As it may interest some readers to know an undergraduate's first impressions of Mr. Newman, as tutor, some sentences may be given from old letters in the Editor's possession. {116}


Oriel: April 28, 1826.
… I have at last had an interview with my new tutor, Mr. Newman, who gave me much good advice on the subject of themes, and gave me a manuscript treatise on composition written by Whately, who is a famous man here. This I have copied, and have all the week been furiously engaged in causes and effects and antecedent probabilities and plausibilities, which, as I have never read a line of logic, have been very abstruse.

Again, writing a month or two later:

June, 1826.
… Newman—my new tutor—has been very attentive and obliging, and has given me abundance of good advice. He has requested me to consider carefully what information and instruction I require for my course of reading, and also to determine what books to take up, and he will have a little conversation with me before the vacation.

The same pen, writing in December of the same year (1826):

… I have received very great attentions this term, both from my tutor (Newman) and the Dean. I go up to Collections next Thursday; after that I shall stay in Oxford a week to read Dr. Whately's 'Rhetoric' preparatory to making a careful study of Aristotle's 'Rhetoric' at home, which Newman, my tutor, strongly recommends.

Our college will make but a poor figure in the class list, which comes out, I believe, today. Our best is expected to be only a double second. Our men are getting so dreadfully dissipated; perhaps as bad as any in the University.

The following letter from Mr. Newman, in answer to his sister Harriett's petition that he will give her something to do, may suggest a task to some youthful, or indeed to some maturer, reader:

May 1, 1826.
You could not have proposed a more difficult question than in asking me to give you 'something to do.' I will write {117} down a few suggestions as they occur to me; but whether they are rich or barren, difficult or easy, agreeable or disagreeable, I will not pretend to determine:

Compare St. Paul's speeches in the Acts with any of his Epistles, with a view of finding if they have any common features.

Make a summary of the doctrines conveyed in Christ's teaching, and then set down over against them what St. Paul added to them, what St. Peter, what St. John, and whether St. Paul differs from the other three in any points; whether of silence, or omission, or whether they all have peculiar doctrines, &c. &c.

… I am about to undertake a great work, perhaps. As I have not room to tell you about it, I must refer you to Jemima's letter.

Such a particular interest attaches to the name of Mr. Newman's youngest sister—Mary—whose early death was commemorated by him in many touching lines, and whose loss constituted that 'bereavement' which checked tendencies of thought at a critical time, as related in the 'Apologia'—that a letter of hers to her brother written at the age of fifteen or sixteen, characteristic in its nature and simplicity, as showing the mingled awe and familiarity which such an elder brother inspired, will not be out of place here:

May 5, 1826.
Dear John, how extremely kind you are. Oh, I wish I could write as fast as I think. I cannot tell why, but whatever I write to you I am always ashamed of. I think it must be vanity; and yet I do not feel so to most others. And now all I have written I should like to burn.

Thank you for your long letter, which I do not deserve. I wish I could see your rooms. Are they called generally by the titles you give them? I hope the 'brown room' is not quite so grave as the name would lead one to suppose. At least Harriett would not be in the number of its admirers. You know brown is not a great favourite of hers. I had no idea you lectured in your rooms …

Oh, how delightful if you can do as you say! It really will be quite astonishing to have you for so long—but poor Frank! I wish, oh, that he might be with us too! ... I {118} did not imagine, John, that with all your tutoric gravity, and your brown room, you could be so absurd as your letter (I beg your pardon) seems to betray.

How very thoughtless I must be! I have proceeded so far without saying one word of your 'unwellness,' which ought to have come first; I hope it was worthy of no higher appellation ... In the Long Vacation, you know, we shall be able to nurse you ...

Well, I really think I have found out the secret of my difficulty in writing to you. It is because I never told you that difficulty. At least, I find I write much easier since my confession.


May 5, 1826.
I am very sorry to hear you have been so poorly. I feared you were not well when you were last here. The design you have formed of reading through the Fathers reminds me of Archbishop Usher; he was eighteen years in accomplishing the task, and he began at twenty. What is meant by 'the Fathers'? Surely not all the authors from the second century to Bernard?

June 6, 1826, Mrs. Newman writes on Mr. Francis Newman's double first, taken with especial distinction.

I think I must congratulate you equally with Frank on his success, as I suspect your anxiety on the occasion has been much greater than even his.

Again (June 13):

It is very delightful about Frank. I am more thankful on your account than on his. He is a piece of adamant. You are such a sensitive being [Note 3].


August 4, 1826.
… Now touchant les miracles, do you recollect our remarking that all sceptical ways of accounting for the establishment of Christianity are much more marvellous and difficult {119} of belief than the system which admits its miraculous nature? I find in Dante exactly the same idea [Note 4]. St. Peter asks him why he believes in the inspiration of the Scriptures: he refers to the miracles. But why believe those miracles themselves? Then follows this passage: 'If the world turned itself to Christianity,' said I, 'without miracles, this one is such that the others are not the hundredth part of it.'

J. C. N. TO J. H. N.

August 5, 1826.
Mary desires her love, and begs that the next time you write you will be so kind as to enlighten her on the uses of reading the Fathers.


Ulcombe: June 28, 1826.
You must come and make acquaintance with Mrs. Rickards, that in future, when I write to you, as I hope I often may, I may send you her kind regards as well as my own.

Shortly after this date Mr. Rickards, himself a late Fellow of Oriel, planning that he and Mrs. Rickards should leave his parish in Kent for a few weeks, arranged with Mr. Newman to fill his place in the interval. As a Long Vacation rest, this suited Mr. Newman, and after Mr. and Mrs. Rickards' departure he and his sister Harriett arrived at Ulcombe, and occupied the deserted rectory [Note 5].

From the leisure of Ulcombe Mr. Newman writes to Mr. Keble: it is the first time the two names are seen in correspondence.

Ulcombe: September 1, 1826.
I have been commencing Hebrew in this retreat, an object I have long had in view and had begun to despair of accomplishing, and just finishing Genesis, though I had hoped to have made much further progress. The interest attending it has far surpassed all my anticipations, high as they were, and, though I clearly see I could never be a scholar without {120} understanding Chaldee, Syriac and Arabic, yet I think I may get insight enough into the language at least to judge of the soundness of the criticisms of scholars, and to detect the superficial learning of some who only pretend to be scholars. Is it not very difficult to draw a line in these studies? There seems no natural limit before the languages above mentioned are mastered. And is it not very tantalising to stop short of them? I should like to know whether those languages are so formidable as is sometimes said; in Greek we have a variety of dialects, and works in every diversity of style; can the Semitic tongues all together contain one hundredth part of the difficulty of Greek? Considering, too (as I suppose is the case with them all), their greater simplicity of structure? I wish we began learning Hebrew ten years sooner. Hoping we shall meet well and happily in October,
I remain, my dear Keble, most truly yours.

The following letter, opening with an amusing grievance, shows the writer in an unaccustomed vein:


Ulcombe. September 5, 1826.
I know you will not consider me unmindful of you because I am silent. Three letters I have received from you, and yet you have not heard from me; but now I will try to make amends. You must not suppose that the letters you send to Harriett are in any measure addressed to me or read by me if that were the case, I should be still more in your debt than I am. But Harriett is very stingy, and dribbles out her morsels of information from your letters occasionally and graciously, and I have told her I mean to complain to you of it. I, on the contrary, am most liberal to her of my letters. And in her acts of grace she generally tells me what you and Mary, &c. say in her words. Now it is not so much for the matter of letters that I like to read them as for their being written by those I love. It is nothing then to tell me that so and so 'tells no news,' 'says nothing,' &c.; for if he or she says nothing, still he or she says, and the saying is the thing. Am not I very sensible? You have received from H. such full information of our, I cannot say movements, but sittings, here, that it will be unnecessary for me to add anything.

I hope to finish Genesis the day after tomorrow (Thursday), {121} having gained, as I hope, a considerable insight into the language. At first I found my analytical method hard work, but after a time it got much less laborious, and though as yet I have not any connected view of Hebrew grammar, yet the lines begin to converge and to show something of regularity and system. I think it a very interesting language, and would not (now I see what it is) have not learned it for any consideration. I shall make myself perfect in the Pentateuch before I proceed to any other part of Scripture, the style being, I conceive, somewhat different, and I wish to become sensible of the differences. I read it with the Septuagint.

On Mr. and Mrs. Rickards' return to Ulcombe an intimacy was at once formed; the ladies were friends from the first; Mr. Rickards's influence told at once on Harriett, and she ever retained for him the warmest admiration and respect for his judgment. To those who knew Mr. and Mrs. Rickards, it would seem natural that Harriett should write home an enthusiastic description of both, with a report, also, of her brother's 'ordeal,' as she termed it, Mr. Rickards doubtless bringing his penetration to bear on the man who, for several weeks, had had his parish in charge. A full sheet from Mrs. Newman and Mary remains in answer to this letter.

Mary—'Joy of sad hearts and light of downcast eyes'—in writing to her sisters, had habitually a style of her own, perfectly expressive, but embarrassed by requiring too much from her pen. Thus, at fourteen, wishing to impress on Harriett how clever she thinks her, 'what imagination you have,' she can only exclaim, 'How tiresome it is that in letters one cannot speak! I wish I knew what inflections to put, and then you would see by the tone of my voice that I was in earnest,' and sensible of the restrictions of sober grammar, proposes a compact to Jemima. Jemima must supply the adjectives, &c. &c., and she the interjections.


September 25, 1826.
I sit down, dear Harriett, in a frenzy of delight, sorrow, impatience, affection and admiration; delight at your happiness, sorrow at your letter [Harriett had complained of {122} headache], disappointment, impatience to see you, admiration at you all! How much I should like to know Mr. and Mrs. Rickards! And yet, I don't know, perhaps I should be afraid; but no, I should not be afraid. O Harriett! I want to say such an immense number of things, and I cannot say one. I will try to be a little quiet; but how is it possible while Mamma is reading to Aunt your charming description of John's 'ordeal'? Poor girl with a headache, poor girl—'outrageous'; sweet girl! nice girl! dear girl! Oh, what shall I begin with? Mamma's arrival on Friday quite revived me just as I was sinking in a torpid despondency. [Then follow home details, and apologies for writing in such a scramble.]

On the return of the pastor to his parish, Mr. Newman's task was done. He left Ulcombe, his sister remaining some time longer on a visit to her new friends.

H. E. N. TO J. H. N.

Ulcombe: September 25, 1826.
How strange it is to me that I cannot come and consult you as I have been so long happy and able to do! Dear John, take care of yourself, and be sure you let me know from authority how you are. Mr. Rickards dreamed that you wrote saying you had been extremely happy here, and the only want you at all perceived in him was a hat [Note 6]. You begged to present him with one. Is it not ridiculous! He must have discovered our thoughts by chiromancy.


October 13, 1826.
Mudiford is a very bracing place, and the air and bathing did me more good than the air and sea of Worthing or the Island. The sands are beautiful. The truth must be spoken: the air of Oxford does not suit me. I feel it directly I return to it.

Of course the new arrangements in college will increase my business considerably. I don't know what the Fathers will say to it. {123}

The following letter is written in prospect of the Tutorship:


October 13, 1826.
… I am sorry to say the Provost [Copleston, about to be consecrated Bishop of Llandaff] has been very unwell at Chester; he is better now. The news of Tyler's departure from Oriel nearly overset him. You, I suppose, recollect the circumstances which attended Tyler's election to the Dean's office. The Provost feels he is now losing one whom he selected from the Fellows as his confidant and minister; and that, too, at the very moment when new duties take himself in part from the college. We who remain are likely to have a great deal of work and responsibility laid upon us; nescio quo pacto, my spirits, most happily, rise at the prospect of danger, trial, or any call upon me for unusual exertion; and as I came outside the Southampton coach to Oxford, I felt as if I could have rooted up St. Mary's spire, and kicked down the Radcliffe.


November 2, 1826.
I have no great village news to tell ... If I had not felt towards you as I do—that is, if you will allow me to say so—very warmly, I should have been much more punctilious in writing to you in the way of inquiries and thanks. This much, however, I may be bold to say, that my sense of the value of your late kind services is not lessened by finding, as I have found since you left, that the good folks of the village are quite determined never to forget you. They speak of you as if they were conscious you had done them good. Now this is comfort enough for any one man at a time, and I pray you to hoard it up, and take a glint of it only sometimes if you happen to be pestered and well-nigh tired out by a graceless booby congregation in the shape of a class. It is well for a man who is liable to such circumstances to have some bright parts of his life to look to, just to cheer him up and tell him that it does not all run to waste.

Much of the following letter has been given in the Memoir, and is therefore omitted here; but one or two passages must {124} be repeated, to give place to the strain of memory and reflection awakened by it. Transcribing this letter in 1860, Dr. Newman supplements it with the note in brackets.


November 14, 1826.
My dear Principal,—I have just received, through Hinds, your kind and valuable present, for which accept my best thanks [Whately's 'Logic' on its first appearance]. On looking through it I find you have enriched your treatise with so much more matter that, compared with the article in the 'Encyclopædia,' it is in many respects a new work.

Much as I owe to Oriel in the way of mental improvement, to none, as I think, do I owe so much as to you. I know who it was that first gave me heart to look about me after my election, and taught me to think correctly, and—strange office for an instructor—to rely upon myself. Nor can I forget that it has been at your kind suggestion that I have been since led to employ myself in the consideration of several subjects [N.B.—In the articles in the 'Encyclopædia Metropolitana'] which, I cannot doubt, have been very beneficial to my mind.

[There is scarcely anyone whom in memory I love more than Whately, even now. How gladly would I have called upon him in Dublin, except that, again and again by his friends and my own, I have been warned off. He is now pursuing me in his new publications, without my having any part in the provocation. In 1836 he was most severe upon me in relation to the Hampden matter. In 1837 he let me call on him when he was in Oxford; I have never seen him since. I ever must say he taught me to think. A remarkable phrase is to be found in the above letter—' strange office for an instructor, [you] taught me to rely upon myself.' The words have a meaning—namely, that I did not in many things agree with him. I used to propose to myself to dedicate a work to him if I ever wrote one, to this effect: 'To Richard Whately, D.D., &c. who, by teaching me to think, taught me to differ from himself.' Of course more respectfully wrapped up.—J. H. N., November 10, 1860.]

A passage like this needs in fairness some comment. Persons of strong views and convictions hold in memory their {125} feelings and conflicts of feeling, but of course are unconscious of the expression of countenance that is apt to go along with strong disapprobation in temperaments of this class. They relapse into tenderness, and think nothing of the 'lofty and sour stage,' which has conveyed its meaning to the observer. A friend, looking back to a day when Whately, then Archbishop of Dublin, was in Oxford, 'remembers accusing Mr. Newman to his face of being able to cast aside his friends without a thought, when they fairly took part against what he considered the truth. And he said, "Ah, Rogers, you don't understand what anguish it was to me to pass Whately in the street coldly the other day." Possibly Whately's alienation from Newman might also have had its touch of anguish, never allowed to transpire.'

The following letter has an allusion to the cares of Mr. Newman's new office as college tutor:


November, 1826.
… I have some trouble with my horses [college pupils], as you may imagine, for whenever they get a new coachman they make an effort to get the reins slack. But I shall be very obstinate, though their curvetting and shyings are very teasing.

November 9.
Pray wish Mary, from me, many happy returns of this day, and tell her I hope she will grow a better girl every year, and I think her a good one. I love her very much; but I will not say (as she once said to me) I love her better than she loves me.


Oriel College: November 26, 1826.
My dear Rickards,—In our last conversation I think you asked me whether any use had occurred to my mind to which your knowledge of our old divines might be applied. Now one has struck me—so I write. Yet very probably the idea is so obvious that it will not be new to you, and if so, you will not think it worth paying postage for. I begin by assuming that the old worthies of our Church are neither {126} Orthodox nor Evangelical, but intractable persons, suspicious characters, neither one thing nor the other. Now it would be a most useful thing to give a kind of summary of their opinions. Passages we see constantly quoted from them for this side and for that; but I do not desiderate the work of an advocate, but the result of an investigation—not to bring them to us, but to go to them. If, then, in a calm, candid, impartial manner, their views were sought out and developed, would not the effect be good in a variety of ways? I would advise taking them as a whole—a corpus theolog. and ecclesiast.—the English Church—stating, indeed, how far they differ among themselves, yet distinctly marking out the grand, bold, scriptural features of that doctrine in which they all agree. They would then be a band of witnesses for the truth, not opposed to each other (as they now are), but one—each tending to the edification of the body of Christ, according to the effectual working of His Spirit in everyone, according to the diversity of their gifts, and the variety of circumstances under which each spake his testimony. For an undertaking like this few have the advantages you have; few the requisite knowledge, few the candour, few the powers of discrimination—very few all three requisites together. The leading doctrine to be discussed would be (I think) that of regeneration; for it is at the very root of the whole system, and branches out in different ways (according to the different views taken of it) into Church of Englandism, or into Calvinism, Antipædobaptism, the rejection of Church government and discipline, and the mere moral system. It is connected with the doctrines of free-will, original sin, justification, holiness, good works, election, education, the visible Church, &c. Another leading doctrine would be that connected with the observance of the Lord's Day, connected with which the Sabbatarian controversy must be introduced. Again, on Church government, union, schism, order, &c.; here about Bible Society, Church Missionary (sodes!), &c. Again, upon the mutual uses, bearings, objects, &c., of the Jewish and Christian covenants, on which points I shall be rejoiced to find them (what I think) correct. This is, indeed, a large head of inquiry, for it includes the questions of the lawfulness of persecution, national blessings, judgments, union of Church and State, and again of the profitableness, often, of the uses and relative value of facts at the present day, of the gradual development of doctrines, of election, &c. Again the opinions of these doctors concerning the Trinity and {127} Incarnation—how far they give in to Platonic doctrines, &c. &c. I have mixed subjects together unpardonably, and have made, as Whately would tell us, cross divisions. Never mind. The first subject, regeneration, is by far the most important and useful, I think ...

It is six years yesterday since I passed my examination; and if you knew all about me which I know, at and since that time, you would know I have very much to be serious about and grateful for. I trust I am placed where I may be an instrument for good to the Church of God. May you (as you are, and more than you are) be a blessing to all around you for miles and miles. And may we both and all the members of Christ work together in their respective stations for the edification of the whole body. This is Sunday, and I cannot better conclude my letter than by such a prayer.
Ever yours very sincerely,

The subject Mr. Newman proposes to Mr. Rickards was one for which he would seem naturally, as well as by his course of reading, well fitted; but he had an objection to 'big books.' The following characteristic answer gives his grounds for declining the proposed task:


January 9, 1827.
You entertained me by the magnificent work with which you design that I should ennoble myself; and by your so quietly taking for granted two such very debatable points as that I could write it and that other people would read it. Your plan pleased me much by its comprehensiveness and by its ingenuity too; but I do not quite agree with you in thinking that much can be done in these times of ours, through the weight of old authorities. I am not of opinion that any considerable regard would be paid to them except by a few thoughtful men, however well they might be collected; and even they would be hardly inclined to listen to a man offering to do this for them; and, in fact, I guess the materials will be found too stubborn and discrepant to work well in the form in which you are naturally so desirous to see them. My impression is that our old writers are excellent men to keep company with, if you wish to strengthen your powers by {128} conversing with great and original thinkers; they will help you greatly to form a solid judgment for yourself, but they seldom give you a conclusion so wrought out as that you can use it for an argument in the shape in which they present it to you. Hooker and Bishop Sanderson are almost the only exceptions to this.

It seems to me, in these days, the way to draw attention and to make oneself useful, is rather by possessing oneself of the matter of those old venerable men than by leaning upon their names; by taking advantage of their fertility and fulness, and adding to these the clearness of conception and the strict yet luminous method of reasoning in which, I think, we have it in our power completely to outdo them. There is an old proverb, 'A man may say "on my conscience" once a year,' and I believe we must do much the same with the writers we are speaking of. We shall employ them to the most purpose by keeping them constantly in our own sight and out of other people's.

I am not dealing out this by way of admonition to you 'de legitimo usu Patrum'; but to tell you that I cannot write a big book.


November 25, 1826.
The term wears away. I have felt much the delight of having but one business [the college tutorship]. No one can tell the unpleasantness of having matters of different kinds to get through at once. We talk of its distracting the mind; and its effect upon me is, indeed, a tearing or ripping open of the coats of the brain and the vessels of the heart.

When I first wrote a thing—my first review—I expected to have opinions given me about it, to be corrected, &c. &c.; but now, old stager as I am, I have learned to take too 'large views' to look out for any immediate notice of a composition, such as 'Miracles,' in the 'Encyclopædia.' Whether it is the number of failures I have had in prize essays, &c. &c., have made me patient, or whether it is insensibility or fickleness, certain it is I rarely give a thought to the success of anything, though it has given me even as much trouble as this essay.

Mr. Blanco White plays the violin, and has an exquisite ear. I wish I could tempt him to Brighton.

The fourth and last chapter of the Memoir has now to be given.


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1. This phrase, 'shreds and tatters,' had jarred on the reader (the Editor), who, encouraged to make comments, ventured to criticise what seemed its tone. A letter, treating on other matters connected with the task in hand, has this postscript:
'P.S.—I am surprised you should think that by shreds and tatters I meant to express contempt. Even a king's robe may be cut up into unintelligible bits. I have not looked out the passage; but I am sure I meant patches. Catholicism may be held in bits and pieces; but I will look out the phrase.'
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2. Grammar of Assent, p. 243.
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3. In November of this year Mr. F. W. Newman got a fellowship at Balliol.
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4. Parad. xxiv. 88-111.
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5. At this time the Essay on Miracles passed through the press.
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6. A future letter will explain this.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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