{108} Cardinal NEWMAN is dead, and we lose in him not only one of the very greatest masters of English style, not only a man of singular purity and beauty of character, not only an eminent example of personal sanctity, but the founder, we may almost say, of the Church of England as we see it. What the Church of England would have become without the Tractarian movement we can faintly guess, and of the Tractarian movement NEWMAN was the living soul and the inspiring genius. Great as his services have been to the communion in which he died, they are as nothing by the side of those he rendered to the communion in which the most eventful years of his life were spent. All that was best in Tractarianism came from him—its reality, its depth, its low estimate of externals, its keen sense of the importance of religion to the individual soul. The conclusions to which it led him were different from those to which it led his most devoted followers, but the premisses from which they started and the temper in which they worked were identical, and whatever solid success the High Church party has attained since Cardinal NEWMAN'S departure have been due to their fidelity to his method and spirit. He will be mourned by many in the Roman Church, but their sorrow will be less than ours, because they have not the same paramount reason to be grateful to him.

It is common to speak of the naturalness and ease of Cardinal NEWMAN'S style in writing. It is, of course, the first thing that attracts notice when we open one of his books; and there are people who think it bald and thin and dry. They look out for longer words, and grander phrases, and more involved constructions, and neater epigrams. They expect a great theme to be treated with more pomp and majesty, and they are disappointed. But the majority of English readers seem to be agreed in recognising the beauty and transparent flow of language, which matches the {109} best French writing in rendering with sureness and without effort the thought of the writer. But what is more interesting than even the formation of such a style—a work, we may be sure, not accomplished without much labour—is the man behind the style. For the man and the style are one in this perfect naturalness and ease. Any one who has watched at all carefully the Cardinal's career, whether in old days or later, must have been struck with this feature of his character, his naturalness, the freshness and freedom with which he addressed a friend or expressed an opinion, the absence of all mannerism and formality; and where he had to keep his dignity, both his loyal obedience to the authority which enjoined it and the half-amused, half-bored impatience that he should be the person round whom all these grand doings centred. It made the greatest difference in his friendships whether his friends met him on equal terms, or whether they brought with them too great conventional deference or solemnity of manner. He was by no means disposed to allow liberties to be taken or to put up with impertinence; for all that bordered on the unreal, for all that was pompous, conceited, affected he had little patience; but almost beyond all these was his disgust at being made the object of foolish admiration. He protested with whimsical fierceness against being made a hero or a sage; he was what he was, he said, and nothing more, and he was inclined to be rude when people tried to force him into an eminence which he refused. With his profound sense of the incomplete and the ridiculous in this world, and with a humour in which the grotesque and the pathetic sides of life were together recognised every moment, he never hesitated to admit his own mistakes. All this ease and frankness with those whom he trusted, which was one of the lessons which he learnt from Hurrell Froude, an intercourse which implied a good deal of give and take, all this satisfied his love of freedom, his sense of the real. It was his delight to give himself free play with those whom he could trust; to feel that he could talk with {110} "open heart," understood without explaining, appealing for a response which would not fail, though it was not heard. He could be stiff enough with those who he thought were acting a part, or pretending to more than they could perform. But he believed—what was not very easy to believe beforehand—that he could win the sympathy of his countrymen, though not their agreement with him; and so, with characteristic naturalness and freshness, he wrote the Apologia.

The long life is closed. And men, according to their knowledge and intelligence, turn to seek for some governing idea or aspect of things, by which to interpret the movements and changes of a course which, in spite of its great changes, is felt at bottom to have been a uniform and consistent one. For it seems that, at starting, he is at once intolerant, even to harshness, to the Roman Church, and tolerant, though not sympathetic, to the English; then the parts are reversed, and he is intolerant to the English and tolerant to the Roman; and then at last, when he finally anchored in the Roman Church, he is seen as—not tolerant, for that would involve dogmatic points on which he was most jealous, but sympathetic in all that was of interest to England, and ready to recognise what was good and high in the English Church.

Is not the ultimate key to NEWMAN'S history his keen and profound sense of the life, society, and principles of action presented in the New Testament? To this New Testament life he saw, opposed and in contrast, the ways and assumptions of English life, religious as well as secular. He saw that the organisation of society had been carried, and was still being carried, to a great and wonderful perfection; only it was the perfection of a society and way of life adapted to the present world, and having its ends here; only it was as different as anything can be from the picture which the writers of the New Testament, consciously and unconsciously, give of themselves {111} and their friends. Here was a Church, a religion, a "Christian nation," professing to be identical in spirit and rules of faith and conduct with the Church and religion of the Gospels and Epistles; and what was the identity, beyond certain phrases and conventional suppositions? He could not see a trace in English society of that simple and severe hold of the unseen and the future which is the colour and breath, as well as the outward form, of the New Testament life. Nothing could be more perfect, nothing grander and nobler, than all the current arrangements for this life; its justice, order, increasing gentleness, widening sympathies between men; but it was all for the perfection and improvement of this life; it would all go on, if what we experience now was our only scene and destiny. This perpetual antithesis haunted him, when he knew it, or when he did not. Against it the Church ought to be the perpetual protest, and the fearless challenge, as it was in the days of the New Testament. But the English Church had drunk in too deeply the temper, ideas and laws of an ambitious and advancing civilization; so much so, as to be unfaithful to its special charge and mission. The prophet had ceased to rebuke, warn, and suffer; he had thrown in his lot with those who had ceased to be cruel and inhuman, but thought only of making their dwelling-place as secure and happy as they could. The Church had become respectable, comfortable, sensible, temperate, liberal; jealous about the forms of its creeds, equally jealous of its secular rights, interested in the discussion of subordinate questions, becoming more and more tolerant of differences; and ready for works of benevolence and large charity, in sympathy with the agricultural poor, open-handed in its gifts; willing fellow-worker with society in kindly deeds, its accomplice in secularity. All this was admirable, but it was not the life of the New Testament, and it was that which filled his thoughts. The English Church had exchanged religion for civilisation, the first century for the nineteenth, the New Testament, as it is written, for {112} a counterfeit of it interpreted by Paley or Mr. Simeon; and it seemed to have betrayed its trust. Form after form was tried by him, the Christianity of Evangelicalism, the Christianity of Whately, the Christianity of Hawkins, the Christianity of Keble and Pusey; it was all very well, but it was not the Christianity of the New Testament and of the first ages. He wrote the "Church of the Fathers" to show they were not merely evidences of religion, but really living men; that they could and did live as they taught, and what was there like the New Testament or even the first ages now? Alas! there was nothing completely like them; but of all unlike things, the Church of England with its "smug parsons," and pony-carriages for their wives and daughters, seemed the most unlike: more unlike than the great unreformed Roman Church. But at least the Roman Church had not only preserved, but maintained at full strength through the centuries to our day, two things of which the New Testament was full, and which are characteristic of it—devotion and self-sacrifice. The crowds at a pilgrimage or a shrine, were much more like the multitudes who followed our Lord about the hills of Galilee, than anything that could be seen in the English Church, even if the Salvation Army were one of its instruments. And the spirit which governed the Roman Church had prevailed on men to make the sacrifice of celibacy a matter of course, as a condition of ministering in a regular and systematic way not only to the souls, but to the bodies of men, not only on the Priesthood, but on educational Brotherhoods and Sisters of the poor, and of hospitals. Devotion and sacrifice, prayer and self-denying charity, in one word sanctity, are at once on the surface of the New Testament and interwoven with all its substance. He recoiled from a representation of the religion of the New Testament which to his eye was without them. He turned to where, in spite of every disadvantage, he found them. In St. Filippo Neri he could find a link between the New Testament and progressive civilization. He could find no St. Filippo—so modern {113} and yet so Scriptural—when he sought at home.   *   *   *   *   *   And it was the reproduction, partial as it might be, yet real and characteristic, in the Roman Church of the life and ways of the New Testament, which was the irresistible attraction that tore him from the associations and the affections of half a lifetime.

Never for a moment did his loyalty and obedience to his Church, even when most tried, waver and falter. The thing is inconceivable to anyone who ever knew him, and the mere suggestion would be enough to make him blaze forth in all his old fierceness and power. But perfectly satisfied of his position, and with his duties clearly defined, he could allow large and increasing play, in the leisure of advancing age, to his natural sympathies, and to the effect of the wonderful spectacle of the world around him. He was, after all, an Englishman; and, with all his quickness to detect and denounce what was selfish and poor in English ideas and action, and with all the strength of his deep antipathies, his chief interests were for things English—English literature, English social life, English politics, English religion. He liked to identify himself, as far as it was possible, with things English, even with things that belonged to his own first days. He republished his Oxford sermons and treatises. He prized his honorary fellowship at Trinity; he enjoyed his visit to Oxford, and the welcome which he met there. He discerned how much the English Church counted for in the fight going on in England for the faith of Christ. There was in all that he said and did a gentleness, a forbearance, a kindly friendliness, a warm recognition of the honour paid him by his countrymen, ever since the Apologia had broken down the prejudices which had prevented Englishmen from doing him justice. As with his chief antagonist at Oxford, Dr. Hawkins, advancing years brought with them increasing gentleness, and generosity, and courtesy. But through all this there was perceptible to those who watched, a pathetic yearning for something which was not to be had: a {114} sense, resigned for so it was ordered—but deep and piercing, how far, not some of us, but all of us, are from the life of the New Testament: how much there is for religion to do, and how little there seems to be to do it.

Halifax Guardian

A great Englishman has been unexpectedly snatched from the midst of the nation, by the death of Cardinal NEWMAN. The whole world is rendered poorer by his decease. And although the latter half of his life was spent in a secluded religious atmosphere, not congenial to the masculine Teutonic intellect in the majority of instances, still Dr. NEWMAN has ever been deeply respected. Millions of his fellow-countrymen, forgetting that they cherish no sympathy with the ascetic instincts which aided him in the prime of life to renounce his early Protestantism, will follow his bier in thought to the grave. There are manifold lessons to be learned from his life. In addition, his death has vividly recalled to recollection the exciting incidents of the now famous Oxford movement; so much so that it would scarcely be an exaggeration to affirm that the decade, so crowded with anxieties to Oxford University and the Established Church at large, which witnessed the issue of the Tracts for the Times, has almost been lived over again in the minds of many during the current week. Still, we cannot use idolising language regarding Cardinal NEWMAN. His secession from the Church of England on October 8th, 1845, produced an undoubted shock; but its severity was somewhat mitigated because it had been distinctly foreseen. Her fortunes are not wrapped up in the fidelity or the genius of any one man. Moreover, were it possible that such could be the case, Dr. NEWMAN, even in his palmiest days within her pale, notwithstanding his strong, winning personality, {115} had defects which would necessarily have prevented him from wielding so overwhelming an influence. As a scholar he was surrounded by superiors. His degree was a disappointment and a surprise. We admit that as a theologian he wielded a facile pen, which conveyed clear ideas, logically arranged, to his readers. His mind, too, was subtle, and was admirably calculated to insinuate into others conclusions cleverly reared on premises which had not been carefully examined. Dr. NEWMAN'S chief defect, however, at least as an Oxford leader, lay in his scanty acquaintance with the history of the Christian Church. Hence his brilliant powers of exposition, combined with a masterly insight into the periods which he had studied, awakened more confidence in his guidance than he fairly deserved.

On the other hand, there are numerous reasons why his memory will be revered. It is impossible to deny that he was single-hearted in all his changes of creed. Neither did he pause to calculate the cost when impelled to make sacrifices for conscience sake. Therefore, when the late Charles Kingsley alleged in an article in Macmillan's Magazine, that truth was no virtue in the eyes of the Roman Catholic clergy, stamping the proposition with Cardinal NEWMAN'S authority, he inevitably perpetrated a double blunder. The head of the oratory of St. Philip Neri, at Edgbaston, enjoyed much vantage ground in rebutting such an attack. Kingsley struggled hard in the controversy. It was in vain. For it only served to call into existence the striking Apologia, which burst upon the religious world as a fascinating autobiography, winning with acclaim a verdict for undeviating honesty on behalf of the now deceased Cardinal. From the very outset, too, of the Oxford movement, a halo of heroism seemed to attach to him who was more and more for a while its central figure. Keble, Pusey, and other theological giants, likewise stood in the vanguard, but Dr. NEWMAN was more conspicuous than either of them. To ignore this was out of the {116} question. It arose partly because Dr. NEWMAN was endowed with less caution, and partly because only one at a time could be Vicar of St. Mary's, Oxford. His sermons in the University pulpit were classic compositions. Apart from their polish, they probed men's hearts to the very core. Taking advantage of his own exceptional powers of introspection, Dr. NEWMAN searched out and laid bare the inner secrets of others, and so attracted multitudes to himself for religious counsel. In the eyes of the mass of Englishmen Cardinal NEWMAN has long possessed another charm—he was a perfect master of the English language. Few have displayed with greater skill than he has, not only the flexibility of our composite tongue, but also its capacity to express every shade of thought, from subtle argument to lofty imagination. Nor was he by any means a poor poet. Readers of the Lyra Apostolica recognise his contributions as amongst the sweetest in the little volume. Indeed, the man must have commanded no faint genius who was able to take his place beside the author of the Christian Year, in presenting a selection of sacred poems to the English public. "Lead, kindly Light," is one of those thrilling hymns destined not to die wherever Christianity sways the hearts of mankind. It is difficult to realise that he who penned that undying lyric has passed from earthly life. In every sense of the word he was an Englishman. If he was driven from the busy haunts of men to spend a more contemplative mode of existence, he did not cease to be interested in the welfare of his native land. So-called Liberalism is responsible for the first change in the late Cardinal NEWMAN'S religious position. He recoiled from the hidden destructive tendencies which it was calculated to develop. The same uprooting bent is characteristic of Liberalism still. And so, we believe that Cardinal NEWMAN'S attitude towards it remained unaltered to the very last.


The abilities of Dr. NEWMAN, says Mr. Justin M'Carthy in his "History of Our Own Times," were hardly surpassed {117} by any contemporary in any department of thought. His position and influence in Oxford were almost unique. There was in his intellectual temperament a curious combination of the mystic and the logical. He was at once a poet, dreamer and a sophist in the true and not the corrupt and ungenerous sense of the latter word. It had often been said of him and of another great Englishman that a change in their early conditions and training would easily have made of NEWMAN a Stuart Mill, and of Mill a NEWMAN. England in our time has hardly had a greater master of argument and of English prose than NEWMAN. He is one of the keenest of dialecticians, and, like Mill, has the rare art that dissolves all the difficulties of the most abstruse or perplexed subject, and shows it bare and clear even to the least subtle of readers. His words dispel mists; and whether they who listen agree or not, they cannot fail to understand. A penetrating poignant satirical humour is found in most of his writings; an irony sometimes piercing suddenly through it like a darting pain. On the other hand, a generous vein of poetry and of pathos informs his style; and there are many passages of his works in which he rises to the height of a genuine and noble eloquence. In all the arts that make a great preacher or orator, NEWMAN was strikingly deficient. His manner was constrained, ungraceful and even awkward; his voice was thin and weak. His bearing was not at first impressive in any way. A gaunt emaciated figure, a sharp and eagle face, a cold meditative eye rather repelled than attracted those who saw him for the first time. Singularly devoid of affectation, NEWMAN did not always conceal his intellectual scorn of men who made loud pretence with inferior gifts, and the men must have been few indeed whose gifts were not inferior to his. NEWMAN had no scorn for intellectual inferiority in itself; he despised it only when it gave itself airs. His influence while he was the Vicar of St. Mary's at Oxford was profound. {118} As Mr. Gladstone said of him in a recent speech, "without ostentation or effort, but by simple excellence, he was continually drawing undergraduates more and more around him."

Hampshire Advertiser

Englishmen of all creeds and of all parties will hear with a thrill of regret that JOHN HENRY NEWMAN has passed to his rest. The greatest master of the English language in our time will no more wield the weapon which discomfited every assailant. The author of "Lead, Kindly Light" will never again touch that sacred harp which under his hands had so potent and pathetic a tone. The preacher who was wont to hold congregations spellbound by the magic of his oratory has preached his last sermon. The Churchman whose career comprised the whole history of the revival movement in the English Church has gone over to the great majority, whom Keble, and Pusey, and Faber, and Arnold, and Whately, and many another of the brilliant band of moral and intellectual notabilities has joined before him. It has been said of him that it was his singular good fortune to attract the respect of the most opposite schools and parties, and to win the regard of antagonists whose mutual hatred is proverbial. While the Roman Catholic Church hailed the accession of so illustrious a convert, English Churchmen still clung to the man whom they had so loved and honoured, and whose personal character and career retained to the last their ideal loftiness, unworldliness, and purity. He had given the most convincing proof that he was absolutely unassailable by the influences which control ordinary men. Fame, and influence, and position, and a career which offered scope for the highest ambition, were all surrendered without hesitation to follow what he believed to be the truth. We think him mistaken in the conclusion at which he arrived. We cannot recognise the reality of the {119} claim which was to him irresistible, but there can be no question of the sincerity with which he obeyed the call which he believed to be the voice of conscience. It is given to few men who have played so conspicuous a part in the intellectual controversies of their day, and who, above all, have mixed so freely in religious controversies, to leave behind them so absolutely impeccable a record. The man who could so suddenly and so unhesitatingly exchange the applause and the tumult of the centres of intellectual activity for the absolute seclusion and repose of the quiet Oratory at Edgbaston could be no ordinary character; but NEWMAN has never given the faintest sign that he regretted his decision. Now he has gone to his rest, leaving a blank in the intellectual history of his time, though he will not be missed by the world of action. England was proud of him, as she had every right and reason to be, for not many such minds or such characters are given to any nation. When the bitterness of controversy has died out, and new phases of the great religious questions of the age present themselves to our successors, the name of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN will remain undimmed and untarnished as that of a great thinker, a great writer, and a saintly man.

Hereford Times

The death of Cardinal NEWMAN in his ninetieth year could not take his countrymen by surprise; but it is none the less an event of national concern, which must give rise to the most widespread regret. Another of the really great and famous Englishmen of the nineteenth century has passed away, and the void caused by his death would have been greater if he had not outlived his activity by many years. Nearly half a century has passed since NEWMAN of Oriel went over to Rome. The effects of his secession were {120} not so great as was anticipated, for the very arguments which made him a pervert have kept the vast majority of High Churchmen contented in the Church in which they were born. But NEWMAN was admired and loved, in many thousands of instances, for virtues quite distinct from his ecclesiastical views. There is no partisanship in the regret occasioned by his death.

Hereford Mercury

One of the most brilliant of our theologians has passed away in Cardinal JOHN HENRY NEWMAN. It would be impossible to enumerate the life and work of the great Catholic divine within the limits of an ordinary memoir, but it will be sufficient to say that his influence will be felt long after his name has been forgotten. Cardinal NEWMAN'S whole life is a striking instance of the position to be obtained by indomitable energy, combined with talents of a high order and a quick mental grasp which is vouchsafed to few. It cannot be said that the great divine's theological views were shaped hastily, or fettered by the shackles of conventionality. Calvanist, Tractarian, and Roman Catholic in turn, Cardinal NEWMAN might claim to have tried the tenets of every school before he finally embraced the most conservative faith, a faith in which the greater part of his working life was past, and a creed in which he believed to the day of his death. It is very certain that in the death of Cardinal NEWMAN, England has lost one of the best and brightest of her sons. {121}

Hereford Weekly Marvel

A great Englishman is gone—one of the greatest of his age, though for years he had lived, so to speak, out of the world's sight. JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, always an earnest seeker after the truth, always sincere, always gentle, and always mighty of intellect, found anchor, after much turmoil of thought and controversial rhetoric, within the walls of the Church of Rome. There were many who could not see as he saw who regretted this deeply; but all who ever came in contact with this remarkable man—one of the sturdiest strugglers in the memorable Tractarian movement which shook religious England to the heart—were struck with the beauty and the deep, pure piety of his life. He was a scholar of great parts, and a poet as well as a Churchman, and the mere enumeration of his voluminous writings fill several of the broad pages of the British Museum Library catalogue. Yet of all the burning words he penned, and of all the delicate imagery that emanated from his poetic brain, we question if aught will live longer through ages unborn than that tender, soulful lyric of his, "Lead Kindly Light," which has comforted many a broken-hearted saint in the Valley of Desolation already, and will continue to he sung by both Protestant and Catholic with equal feeling and thankfulness for many and many a year to come.

Home Mail

Cardinal NEWMAN whose death occurred at the Oratory, Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Monday night, was in his 90th year. Born the son of a London merchant prince, nurtured in Erastian Calvinism, and passing from thence by subtle gradations through metaphysical scepticism into the region of severest orthodoxy; the leader, almost for a generation, of the greatest religious revolution in Europe since the Reformation; Cardinal {122} NEWMAN has died a Prince of the Roman Catholic Church, but bereft neither of the love nor the esteem of his companions on the way, however brief their journey. It is not quite half a century since the Fellow of Oriel and Rector of Littlemore was received by Father Dominic, the Passionist, into the Church of Rome. Since then he has attained to the highest dignities, save one, which his Church could bestow, and it is impossible to exaggerate the effect which his lofty intellect and still loftier character have had upon the current English estimate of English Roman Catholicism.

Home News

Cardinal NEWMAN passed quietly and peacefully away on Monday in his ninetieth year, after a three days' illness. His death carries the mind back to another generation, and to thoughts of such men as Kingsley, Keble, and Pusey. He outlived the great controversies and the great schism which will be indelibly associated with his name and that of a few others. One would, indeed, be pretty safe in saying that some of the younger men of the present day, who have studied the story of the Tractarian movement, were under the impression that he had died long ago. For the last three years he has been little in evidence. His energies were completely exhausted, and his visits to the Oratory at Birmingham were only made with the support of two Fathers. His Eminence won and kept in an extraordinary, but none the less intelligible way, the affection and respect of the English people. Whatever he did, and however deeply he may have wounded their susceptibilities, they were ever ready to recognise the purity of his motives, the strength of his reasoning, and the dignity of the position he took up. When NEWMAN went over to the Roman Church, it was felt by many that the Anglican Church was doomed, and no doubt his secession involved it in a period of considerable trial. {123} The High Church party have acquired more and more strength with years, and, if it had had the advantage of his eloquence and logic, it would now probably have been all-powerful.

Horse and Hound

The death of Cardinal NEWMAN, even in his ninetieth year, will be a subject of general regret, for he was always in favour of moderation, and ready to check any belligerent aims, if such existed, between those whose religious views differed from his own.

Huddersfield Examiner

The death of Cardinal NEWMAN is one of those which appear as though they ought not to occur. It has been so natural a thing to have him with us that it has seemed as though he ought always to remain. But whilst in undergoing the lot of all humanity, Cardinal NEWMAN has in one sense gone from us, there is another sense in which he must remain with the English-speaking people for many years to come, to whatever section of the Christian Church, or to whatever circle of persons of culture they may belong. For several years back it has been understood that JOHN HENRY NEWMAN'S work was accomplished, and that the years which might be added would be years of respectful sympathy and grateful service offered by others to the aged servant of his God and of his Church, and that they could in the nature of things add little to the legacy which he would leave behind. Happily Shakespeare's "oft" instead of "aye" was the rightly chosen word when he said "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones." {124} Only Protestants so rabid as almost to deserve the denial of their claim to be followers of the catholic and tolerant Founder of Christianity can continue to entertain uncharitable feelings towards one who, however mistaken he may have been, has nevertheless served well his age and nation, and has set up a standard of English prose which is—for the world at large—a greater thing than his championship of an antiquated and un-English theory of church government and a gradually but surely failing and dissolving church. NEWMAN was of a temperament and turn of thinking so vastly different from those of the modern Englishman that he found conviction in arguments which are utterly insufficient for ninety-nine out of every hundred of his Protestant readers. But they are prejudiced indeed who cannot discern, behind the pleading—sometimes the special pleading for Romish theology, the charm of style and beauty of spirit which pervade well-nigh all his works. That style was often used, doubtless, to make weak argument seem strong, and, as has been pointed out, to make the worse appear the better reason. But no one will accuse NEWMAN of consciously misusing his great powers. If the spirit of progress is too healthy and too powerful to have been held in chains by even the spirit of authority which J. H. NEWMAN proclaimed, the age has been spiritualised and refined by his insistence upon the supreme importance of man s higher nature, and the comparative insignificance and worthlessness of material progress, if unaccompanied by the development of the highest qualities and faculties of the human mind and spirit. To Cardinal NEWMAN the old question "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" was the ultimate and most important question of life. And this was so, not in the narrow and somewhat selfish evangelical sense alone, but in that wider sense which identifies the soul of man with all that may be called life as distinguished from the existence of the plants and the brutes. The man who has kept that idea before {125} the modern world, and clothed it in a hundred beautifully appropriate and attractive ways, has rendered an inestimable service to his kind. Whatever his theology, and whatever his desire to induce others, by his Apology for his own life, to follow him to Rome, all who set humanity higher than the material world or the brute creation owe to Cardinal NEWMAN a debt of gratitude which will doubtless be freely acknowledged now that he has, in the full ripeness of his long life, gone to join the great majority, where creeds and churches are unknown, and where each human soul shines according to the worth of its being, and not according to the rightness—measured by human standards—of its thoughts about being and of the other accidents of its earthly existence.

Hull Express

It is pleasant to see, from reading the accounts of NEWMAN which his death has called forth, how unanimous is the feeling with regard to this noble nature. We are all proud of him, and, while it does honour to an age that it should have given birth to one who is in character and in life worthy to be ranked with the saints of bygone times, it is no less the honourable that he should have been appreciated whilst living, and should not have had to wait, as too many saints have had to do, for a recognition after death. It has been no mere fad or passing craze to speak well of this old man, who has been living for the last thirty years or more the life of a recluse at Birmingham. He has not sought popularity, he has not posed in picturesque attitudes, and he has not flattered the multitude. The Church of which he was an ornament is not one to which the majority of Englishmen are apt to be too tolerantly disposed: and before Cardinal NEWMAN became a Roman Catholic he had caused great havoc in the English Church by the dissensions which naturally {126} arose about the Anglican dogmas advanced by him. Moreover he was extremely subtle in his thoughts and his ways of expressing them, and Englishmen are not usually very kind to anyone whom they cannot readily understand and rank as one of themselves. Yet in spite of all, he was not regarded with the bitterness which is felt towards a "lost leader." He was admired for his simple character and loved for his good works, and now that he is dead everyone raises his voice to do him honour.

It is worth notice that NEWMAN, whose gentleness is universally acknowledged, has never shrunk from fighting hard for a cause which he believed to be true. He has not gained golden opinions from others at the expense of compromising his own. While he was in the Church of England he attacked the discipline and the dogma of Rome with all the strength of sincere conviction. Later on, when he was a Roman Catholic, and when Charles Kingsley accused him of lying, he entered into a fierce contest, in which he fought without the gloves, and utterly demolished his antagonist. He was not careful in answering his accuser, and he used a poignant irony, the effort of which has been well compared to a "shooting pain." When the Bulgarian atrocities were being committed, Cardinal NEWMAN came forward and gave some very severe lectures in Liverpool upon Turkey, and declared that Turkey had no more right to the land she occupied than a pirate to the sea he sailed over. Can any other instance be found of a man who was so free in controversy and yet made so few enemies? He never hedged, thought of consequences to himself, or of the possibility of being misunderstood. He spoke out just what he meant, and if he thought a thing evil he attacked it. And yet no party spirit, and no aggrieved interest, has touched the universal estimation in which he has long been held. {127}


The storms of half a century ago had long subsided, and Cardinal NEWMAN, who was most conspicuous among them, had long reached his desired haven of quiet. When at length the last pulse of a life of ninety years beat from the old man's heart, it was but as the dying fall of a wavelet that washes gently on a shore far remote from the deep waters where tempests are wont to rage and swell. A generation has arisen to whom Cardinal NEWMAN has already become a figure in history rather than a living memory. To go back to the time of his life's greatest labours is to commune with the hosts of the dead; to ponder upon the days of his youth is almost to be antiquarian. So swift and so radical have been the changes in theological matters during this century that it is hard to reconstruct in imagination the world in which young JOHN HENRY NEWMAN received his first impressions of religious truth.   *   *   *   *   *  

The magnificence of his intellectual endowment saved him from a too sudden arrestment of individual growth. If the last forty years of his life look to us like comparative sterility, there were nearly fifty on the other side of his grand crisis which abounded in mental activity, We follow the marvellous boy to school, to find him pass almost at once to the head of all his contemporaries. He proceeds to Oxford, and again distinguishes himself, not, indeed, by the quality of his certificates, but in the easy predominance which marked him out in the everyday intercourse of the university. Students of mental history will notice, with due appreciation of the fact, that, notwithstanding the pious childhood secured to him by parental care and example, he passed through that experience, not infrequent in the early teens of actively intelligent and sensitive young people, known as "conversion."

Earnest, brilliant, alert, the young man found himself attracted by the mystic and sacramental aspect of religion; a poet at {128} heart rather than a philosopher—yet preserving in early manhood, as he appears to have done all through life, the breadth of intellectual sympathy to which allusion has been made already as marking his youthful years. He seems to have taken the latter characteristic for "Liberalism," to which, indeed, it belongs, but which it by no means exhausts. His increasing devotion to the study of the early history of the Church, and his persistent search after the authoritative voice of the centuries of "undivided" Christendom, betrayed in him that temperament which is most directly opposed to Liberalism. How men can, without avowed inconsistency, ostensibly base their religious opinions upon the traditions of the elders and yet claim to be "Liberals" is, we confess, utterly unintelligible to us. If a thinker deliberately espouses the proposition that the men of old time were in some special way guaranteed a success in the pursuit of truth denied to later generations, he may without our demurrer range himself alongside of those who by reason of the narrowness of their sympathies are least entitled to the noble name of Liberal. But if to be a Liberal in theology it is essential that a mind should be assured of the principle of human progress towards ever clearer lights, even at the cost of abandoning old mistakes, Dr. NEWMAN was certainly never to he accused of Liberalism. Pondering over Clement and Athanasius and Augustine he might, and did, discover how deeply those mighty men thought concerning the world as it seemed to them. But to study them with a view of settling the most ancient, and therefore the most indisputable, truths of the Christian religion was not, we imagine, the most hopeful path for a still growing mind. Still growing he was, but, as the event showed, his growth was towards the institution which most sternly represses individual liberty. The steps by which he reached that logical goal have been made familiar by the copious memoirs called forth by his death.  *   *   *   *   *   This was in October, 1845, when the great writer was in the very zenith of manhood's strength. Whenever, since the prostration of the {129} Emperor Henry before Hildebrand, was the majesty of man so humbled before the pretensions of ecclesiasticism?

The long interval of saintly industry in lowly, and with rare exception, hidden ways, which has followed that culminating act of submission to authority, has seen, as we have said, a new generation arise. The more studious have read his "Grammar of Assent," or dipped into his "Discourses." Many more have been attracted by the "Apologia," in which his personal charm—as of a saintly Julius Cæsar, we are told by numerous writers—was extended over multitudes beyond his immediate circle. Countless worshippers have lifted up their voice to the "Kindly Light" for whose leading he prayed sixty years ago. Englishmen, who are race-proud, were pleased to have their great writer made a Prince by the sovereign Pontiff of the most august of ecclesiastical institutions. Liberals who lay their wreath of honour at the old man's grave will do so ungrudgingly. He was not of us, but he was a worthy antagonist. We could almost forgive the Romish Church things as bad as his subjection, if her converts were all like the great priest of yesterday.

Irish Times

The late Cardinal NEWMAN, in one of the most attractive and best known of his writings, pays an eloquent tribute to Dr. Whately, who, he says, first taught him to use his reason in religion. Acting on this precept it soon became evident that a widening gulf was being formed between the Principal and Vice-Principal of St. Alban's Hall. Few could forsee that soon differences irreconcilable would manifest themselves. No one at Oxford so deeply felt, and, in a way, resented the final step of separation from the Church of England which Dr. NEWMAN felt himself compelled to take, as his old friend and patron. {130} Those were stirring times for the Church and Realm, and at a crucial period minds of unusual calibre and hearts of unblemished integrity at the Oxford University united in counsel and purpose to avert the avalanche they saw descending. The war-cry of the Tractarians was "No Liberalism in Religion," and it is a question for the philosopher to interpret this motto of party in the existing state of Christianity.   *   *   *   *   *   The perils which NEWMAN, Pusey, Keble, and Hurrel Froude, so painfully apprehended, and to avert which the Tracts for the Times were issued, are realized facts in the Church on the other side of the Channel.   *   *   *   *   *   Dr. NEWMAN exerted a commanding influence over his associates and owed his influence to a logic of singular force and clearness. It is not generally known that he wrote the Book on Fallacies in Whately's celebrated treatise. In the pulpit his sermons—some of the finest in print—produced extraordinary effects. No less masterful were his published books. His vocabulary was peculiarly graceful, simple, and clear, and no author of our day displays more comprehensive acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures. After his secession Dr. NEWMAN passed a comparatively secluded life, and was but once forced to reappear in connection with the famous Kingsley controversy, in the management of which he displayed unabated genius.


The funeral of the late Cardinal NEWMAN was an eloquent testimony of admiration. Men of all shades of opinion, alike theological and political, votaries of science, literature, and classical culture, members of the different professions and trades, were at the tomb's verge, and seemed spell-bound with what they saw and heard. All, whether or not present at the obsequies, acknowledged that one of the most remarkable ecclesiastics of our day had passed from the earthly scene. {131} Fortunately he has left behind him—not an autobiography, which seldom furnishes a reliable basis towards forming an adequate estimate of calibre and character—but a minute analysis of the rise and progress of his opinions in religion, and more particularly of the grounds of his change. Probably no more striking record, particularly when we have regard to the sequel, has made its appearance, of the formation of religious thought.   *   *   *   *   *   One virtue so rapturously commended by Carlyle—self denial—was conspicuous throughout the entire life of the late Cardinal NEWMAN. He laid paramount stress as a sacred duty on the conscientious formation of religious convictions, and in strict adherence to this inflexible rule he surrendered an academic position of lofty eminence, and in other ways broke with the tenderest and most cherished associations of which human life is capable.

Jewish Chronicle

The death of Cardinal NEWMAN removes from the religious world one of the most remarkable figures of the century. What his real influence might finally have been to England, had he remained within the pale of its national Church, none can tell; that it would have proved of vast consequence is perfectly certain. As it was, NEWMAN'S later career developed by logical consistency the tendency towards Romanism shared by the High Church Party. It is from this point of view that his action in seceding to Rome has direct importance for Jews, beyond the natural interest felt by the adherents of every religion in the life and work of so noble a champion of conscientious obedience to the dictates of what he regarded as the truth. For Judaism, too, has been undergoing the same struggle between Tradition—as represented by Rome in the Christian Church—and the {132} Reform ideas on the basis of the individual conscience—corresponding to the Protestant regeneration in Christianity. What NEWMAN dreamed of and hoped for in his earlier years was the discovery of the via media that should reconcile these extremes and build up on traditional ground an edifice composed of materials newly-hewn from the quarry of the human heart. Just when the admiring world believed that he had found the long-looked-for path, logical consistency stepped in to render compromise hateful to his soul. And yet for Judaism at least, salvation must be sought in the direction rejected by NEWMAN as leading nowhere. NEWMAN himself is an enduring influence for good. The age of heroes has not passed away, and great minds still plan great deeds which shall move men to do right. "Be thou a man," said our sages; and if Judaism has of late years stagnated somewhat, this has been in some measure because of the want of men of the stamp of the high-souled Cardinal who has just passed away. Such a type as that of Cardinal NEWMAN is found again and again in the history of the Jewish people. Perhaps the parallel of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN in Jewish history would be the life and character of Jehudah Halevy more than of any other. Indeed there is a striking similarity in a certain loftiness of tone and spiritual self-forgetfulness which we find in their writings. "Lead, Kindly Light!" breathes throughout the same sense of unfailing confidence in Divine help which may be read in that splendid composition of Jehudah Halevy commencing with the words "O Lord, all my desire is before Thee, although my lips utter it not. If I withdraw from Thee my life is death, but whilst I cling to Thee my death is life." There is the same note of resignation to be found expressed in metre in that famous line of NEWMAN'S hymn "Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant shore; one step's enough for me." It is rare indeed in the present generation of Englishmen, {133} surrounded as we are by all the influences of political sagacity and mundane enterprise, to meet with lives which can be likened to the "Fathers" of the church and the "sages" of the synagogue. But such a one was undoubtedly seen in the person of the deceased scholar and divine.

Jewish Standard

One of the most imposing figures in the field of English religious thought has passed away full of years and honours. He was an ecclesiastic of an unique type. That he abhorred to found his belief in a Supreme Being on the subtleties of philosophical demonstration would make him a true follower of the philosopher Kant. Like the latter he took the existence of God as a fact which it was impossible to deny, the belief in which was categorically demanded by all our inner motives. But he leaves Kant's theory entirely by his conviction that our moral consciousness cannot possibly be all in all to man. Mystical as his nature was he wanted to communicate with the Supernatural in a more palpable way. He wanted a God who wandered on earth, and whose authority was upheld and constantly promulgated by a visible authority, by one who wielded his power directly through him. In view of that peculiarity of his character which made him follow up principles which he had once adopted as true to their last consequences, the step he took in throwing himself into the arms of Rome cannot surprise anyone. Once the standpoint accepted of the necessity of a visible authority on earth, within the confines of the Christian Church, his conversion to the Catholic Church appears quite as a matter of course. He was opposed to Liberalism in religion, and believed that it was nothing but the admission that we had no certain test whereby to tell the true from the false, that everybody was to {134} think as he liked, and that the principle of authority had no place between a man and his conscience. It is common to us Jews whenever a great man dies outside our circle to search for points of contact between the deceased man of fame and our own Jewish principles. We must admit that between Cardinal NEWMAN'S principles and our own religious tenets very little, if any real resemblance exists. Such points of course could be found, although we fear not without some violence being done both to the Cardinal's and our own doctrines, unless we like to attach any importance to some accidental intercourse between the Cardinal and some Jews; for instance that his playmate was Benjamin Disraeli and other items of the same description which belong to the realm of anecdotes. It behoves us nevertheless as Jews not to be insensible to the passing away of an undoubtedly great man, who during all his life was at pains, in his own way certainly, to realize religious truth, and to make his life harmonious with his convictions.

John Bull

To a keen, clear, and logical mind Cardinal NEWMAN added signal eloquence and a rare power of writing English. He retained to the end what has been justly called his "mastery of all the resources of our English tongue." His prose is polished yet easy, vigorous without effort, splendidly luminous. It possesses all the essentials of style, and is, indeed, as near perfection as style can ever be. His poetry, of which The Dream of Gerontius, is the most famous specimen, combines delicacy of touch, sweetness of expression, and strength of imagination in a very uncommon degree. Great popularity has been achieved by his poem, "Lead, kindly Light," widely used as a hymn, and one of the most beautiful and melodious in any hymnology. Of The {135} Dream of Gerontius it will be remembered that it so fascinated General Gordon that he carried a well-thumbed and scored copy of it in his pocket at Khartoum. The clearness of Cardinal NEWMAN'S intellect was not clouded by the increasing weakness of advancing years; nor was there anything in him of the fretfulness of old age to impair the sweetness of his temper and his singular personal fascination. The affection and veneration of those who were living with him were not tried by the common failures which too often impair the glory of genius and sanctity when physical strength is decaying.

Kensington News

The fundamental idea in NEWMAN'S mind appears throughout to have been that of religion and theology as an organism, if that somewhat technical biological term may be permitted to be used. He gradually became more and more opposed to pure individualism, or, as it might be called, to atomism; he everywhere desired that individuals should act only as a connected body, as members of an organization; he held that the individuals were the mere crude material, and that it was the fact of organization that gave them their significance, their place, and their life. To say that he laid more and more stress on the idea of the Church, and less on the individual judgment, is only to re-state the same idea in other words, and it is almost curious that the idea should have been so prominent in the mind of a thinker who was by no means a student of the physical and who appears to have been unacquainted with the biological sciences. The reason is probably to be found in the historical studies of which the "History of the Arians" was the first fruit. They were so severe as to undermine his health; and their result was to convince him that the man is the child of his country, his age, and his inherited {136} prepossessions. It was, consequently, on the historical side that he worked out, in his Essay on Development, the idea of the world as not a standing and fixed system, but a process, which was afterwards worked out in botany and zoology by Charles Darwin, and has now penetrated into every sphere of thought and has enthroned itself in most. The idea of the Church as an organization almost inevitably led him to Rome; the conception of doctrines developing in conformity with pre-ordained spiritual law and order, increased his tendency in that direction, and likewise provided him with a reply to the charge of the recency of particular Roman dogmas. The same spirit showed itself in his connected views of particular sets of dogmas, in his linking of them together, and his endeavours to reduce groups of them to a principle—to the principle, for instance, of the ministry of matter, or of the sacramental system. At the same time, he was by no means a Biblical critic. He does not appear to have had more than the most rudimentary knowledge, if indeed he had any knowledge whatever, of Hebrew or of Chaldee; and even his Greek was the Greek of the Classics and of the Christian writers of the fourth and fifth centuries rather than the Chaldaizing Greek of the New Testament. He was a mystic rather than a critic; a synthetist rather than an analyst; a builder up of system, rather than a dissector and puller to pieces.

Lady's Pictorial

It was once said of a venerable statesman, by one who differed with him in politics, "We are all proud of him!" and the same might have been said of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN—scholar, poet, theologian, man of deep learning, saintly life, and never-failing gentleness. A Prince of the Roman Church, the dead Cardinal was as {137} humble as a child; a profound scholar, he was ever ready to learn. Eighty years ago, when a boy in his father's house in Bloomsbury Square, he was the playmate of another great Englishman, Benjamin Disraeli, and both children, destined to achieve such greatness in different ways, were remarkable for a tendency to mysticism.

To scholars and lovers of perfect English literature, Cardinal NEWMAN has left as a legacy his wonderful "Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ." To the Anglican public his memory will also be dear as the author of the exquisitely tender hymn, "Lead, kindly Light." But the noblest memorial of such a man is his life. Gentle, cultured, pure, beautiful as some old-world cloister legend, it has faded gracefully out of existence, but, like a dead rose, its fragrance cannot die, but will perfume the pages of his life-story for all time.

Land and Water

Of late years this much-loved and gentle priest has been the idol only of a favoured few. His life's work was finished many years ago. It is the memory of it, and its influence that men are discussing today.

The name of NEWMAN is associated with what is most aptly called the English Renascence and general reawakening on broader lines of our native religion, art, and learning, of which the Ritualistic movement within the pale of the Church, and the Pre-Raphaelite school in art, and the Gothic revival in architecture without that pale, are the most noticeable outward tokens. A wave of life passed over English thought, and the first sign we had of its passage was Tractarianism.

The dry bones of formalism and conventionality were rudely breathed upon in those earlier days in the Forties, and it very {138} soon became evident that in religion we had a body of young men and earnest thinkers who were tending towards some new development. For a time this body held well together. NEWMAN and Pusey stood out amongst its leaders, less on account of their higher intellectuality and will-power than because of the wonderful personal magnetism and influence they exercised, especially over the young. When the late Cardinal was vicar of St. Mary's, Oxford, Credo in Newmannum was to be taken very literally—"I believe in Newman," that is, in the man, much more than "I believe as Newman believes."

NEWMAN has been very variously appraised. Carlyle, little in sympathy with the dainty, exquisitely conscientious and refined cleric, said he had no more brains than a rabbit. Mr. Gladstone thinks the English Church has suffered no such great blow since the Reformation as Newman's defection. It is a common thing to hear that the Apologia, and the Grammar of Assent contains the finest English of this century. There are those who, all Prince of the Holy Roman Church as he is, would have laid the Cardinal in Westminster Abbey.

NEWMAN is said to have had very little sympathy with modern thought. That is comprehensible enough. The Cardinal's enquiries had but one aim—the discovery of something in which to believe, something on which to build his faith. Modern investigators are disinterested analysts. They seek to know, more from curiosity than anything else, what things may be untrue. They are indifferent as to results, or have a prejudice in favour of doubt justified, and are happiest when unearthing a negative. NEWMAN and his, I have pointed out, gave us Ritualism, Victorian Gothic, and Pre-Raphaelitism, inter alia. The new men have given us Robert Ellesmerism—"a new religion in Tavistock-square," the Griffin in architecture, Whistlerism, and the N.E.A.C. Of late years, as I have said, Cardinal NEWMAN'S individuality seemed to melt away. La piété chrétienne anéantit le moi {139} humain et la civilité humaine le cache et le supprime. And he became the very incarnation of piety and gentle courtesy.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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