Leicester Daily Post

A great man has passed away, a man who has made history, who has in his day exercised wide influence over his fellow-countrymen, and who has furnished the world with new thoughts and new theories. The news of his death, long expected though it was, has thrown us back into the past in a manner that might almost be described as startling. We see in our mind the Oxford of fifty ears ago, narrow, prejudiced, bigoted, and ignorant, severed from the great world outside by a line of demarcation whose bitter narrowness has scarcely yet been widened.   *   *   *   *   *  

It has always seemed to us a curious thing that the Universities should be the home of old Toryism. One would naturally expect that learned men would tend more or less to advanced ideas. The constant study of the past ought in the ordinary way to lead to a moral and mental repudiation of all its works. The study of the theology of the Fathers ought to lead to distraction. But there is a type of the human mind which revels in attempting to reconcile inconsistencies. Broad vistas of thought are shrunk from in horror, and the sight is directed to a microscopical examination of a single leaf when a whole forest is laid before the gaze of the timid observer. University education tends to foster this unfortunate growth of misdirected intellect. To a University the question of the appointment of a new Head of a House is of more importance than the question of a new Ministry. The existence of a class of toilers, struggling on from day to day amidst scenes of penury and want, never enters the mind of a Proctor bent on preserving {40} law and order in a body of young men to whom law and order are secondary considerations. The University never meets the world, never rubs shoulders with the millions in great cities, and never wastes time in thinking of their existence. The problems of modern life are not before it. Complicated as it is in England by a powerful feminine element in the shape of the wives and daughters of the College Dons, University society sinks lower and lower till it reaches a stage in which great intellects forget their studies for topics of precedence and petty gossip, and master minds, capable of doing great work for humanity, dribble down to their graves wasted on everlasting endeavours to solve problems in the Calculus of no interest to anybody but themselves, and suggestive of no useful purpose, even assuming the possibility of their ever being solved at all.

Such are the thoughts which naturally force themselves upon us when we meditate on the career of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN. Here we have a great poet, a great thinker, a sweetly sympathetic mind, a kindly and loving disposition, capable of great and wonderful good in the service of this suffering world. We ask ourselves what have been the material results of his career. We may be told that the revivification of Anglicanism was initiated by his "Tracts for the Times." We may be told that the old prejudice against Popery has been greatly modified by his writings and his career. We may be told that the example of an earnest and good life, free from mere worldly ambition, capable of the highest self-sacrifice, and never shirking the call of duty, is a great gift to the country happy enough to possess it in its midst. We grant all this. But we may be pardoned for wishing to see such glorious capacities enlisted in the active service of their fellow men. The persuasive tongue which turned thousands to thoughts of higher things might to our poor idea, have been better employed in teaching millions from the floor of the House of Commons. The introspective career is doubtless {141} noble and necessary, yet throughout all ages it has sometimes deplorable results. There were saints of old, but side by side there existed sinners of a type fortunately getting rarer, sinners who preyed upon their fellow men, who conquered, plundered, robbed, and, mutilated, and constantly wound up their career by butchering the saints who should have checked its inception. The care of one's own soul is doubtless a prime necessity, but many must feel a pang of regret when they see that it so frequently takes good men away from the care of other people's.   *   *   *   *   *   All this leaves a sense of dissatisfaction in younger spirits, and      many would have preferred to have seen JOHN HENRY NEWMAN standing side by side with that other great divine, Manning, fighting the battle of the poor and lowly. But the traditions of the University were too strong for him.


The death of Cardinal NEWMAN has removed a great personality from the Roman Catholic Church and, indeed, from the religious life of England.   *   *   *   *   *   The name of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN must ever remain inseparably associated with more than even his ascetic community, on the medieval model, at Littlemore, and the rise and progress of the High Church party. It will, for one thing, recall not only an unsurpassed if even rivalled, master of English, but no one who has enriched our literature with volume after volume which even his irreconcilable theological opponents will not willingly let die. For still another he has given to the Christian world at least one hymn which is destined to be treasured and sung by even the Protestant Church as long as it endures. Whether, therefore, we recall the Cardinal as one of the most learned and remarkable members of the Roman hierarchy, a renowned leader of religious thought, or a prelate who splendidly exhibited the courage of his convictions at the most acute crisis in the growth of his religious faith, {142} it is impossible to do other than pay a tribute to the rare combination of qualities and endowments which, decade after decade, enabled him to retain the highest lank among the distinguished ecclesiastics and thinkers of his Church and his time.

Leicester Mercury

One of the greatest Englishmen of the age, the greatest, perhaps, save one, has passed away. His death will cause profound regret, not only throughout England, but the civilised world. The Church of Rome in England has sustained a loss which can hardly be measured, and the nation is the poorer for the flickering out of the noble life which presided over the Oratory at Edgbaston.

Now that he is no more it will be universally recognized that one of the most eloquent and persuasive of modern writers, one of the profoundest thinkers, the subtlest representative, perhaps, of contemporary religious thought, and a saintly man, is no more. Well would it have been for the Church of England if NEWMAN could have retained his place in her communion. But it was not to be. As a Protestant he was restless, as a Catholic he found peace. It is not for us to seek to penetrate the mystery. There is the fact. To Mr. Gladstone and Lord Russell his conversion was alike inexplicable, but it was the outcome of his sincerity, and eminently honourable to him. All differences will sink into a minor place in the presence of death. All sections of the Christian Church will stand in loving reverence beside the open grave of the author of "Lead, kindly Light." {143}

Leeds Mercury

Few cultivated Englishmen will hear without emotion the news of Cardinal NEWMAN'S death. In the fashion of his death, indeed, there is nothing to regret; he had outlived the storms of controversy, the clouds of misunderstanding, and he is called away in the peacefulness of an honoured old age. His countrymen will mourn for him with no bitterness, but in such wise as is fitting when the venerated figure of a man of conspicuous genius and goodness passes from the scene.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

In Oxford itself NEWMAN had that, which in his hands was the most potent of all instruments, the pulpit of St. Mary's. The world has seen many greater pulpit orators, it has probably never seen a greater preacher. Those who have heard him even in old age know how the lighting up of the face, the bell-like ring of the voice, gave persuasiveness to the simplest words. Many of his Oxford sermons have been published, and are familiar to all well-read men. Among their great charms was the simplicity and reality with which the preacher spoke. Those were the days, one must remember, when in Parliament and the pulpit ponderous and ornate oratory was in vogue. NEWMAN, original in all things, changed all that. "He never exaggerated," says Mr. Froude, "was never unreal. He seemed to be addressing the most secret consciousness of each of us—as the eyes of a portrait appear to look at every person in a room."   *   *   *   *   *   All looked up to him with reverence and affection. No great ecclesiastic was ever freer from the fault of ecclesiastical mannerism. No purer-minded Englishman has ever lived. It is an honoured and a beautiful life that in the fulness of time has passed to its reward. {144}

Lewisham Gazette

The idol of the literary-religious people for nearly two generations, JOHN HENRY NEWMAN has exercised a potent spell which is hardly explained, either by his charming style, or the depth and correctness of his thinking. Indeed, to the present generation the unique position he has held in the estimation of the refined and cultured, is somewhat of a puzzle, which is far from being solved by a perusal of his writings. And old admirers and worshippers at the NEWMAN shrine, on re-reading the great Cardinal's writings in the light of later days and newer movements, are obliged to fall back upon   his superb personality to explain the wonderful impression he made on men of light and leading. But though it has, naturally, been the fashion for the last few days to over-praise the genius, and exaggerate the influence of NEWMAN, every candid lover of English literature and moral greatness will admit that his writings, both for their excellence of composition and of sentiment, are worthy of a foremost place in the estimation of Englishmen.


It is strange how the death of a man who has once played a great part in the history of his country re-awakens the enthusiastic interest which attached to his name in earlier years. For nearly a quarter of a century Cardinal NEWMAN has lived more in the imagination and memory of his countrymen than as one of the same generation. Yet now that he has passed away, it may be doubted if the little knot of brothers and associates who are mourning for him at the Oratory, at Edgbaston, have not as wide a circle of sympathisers amongst all classes of Englishmen {145} as ever sorrowed over the loss of a public man of our time. There are many wise and good men who deplore NEWMAN'S defection from the English Church. There are none who do not respect his saintly life, venerate his unpretentious piety, and honour his noble work. We will say nothing of his power and charm as a writer, of the sweetness and light that bound everyone that came within its influence as by a spell of magic, of the dialectical skill which made him perhaps the most redoubtable controversialist of the day. We prefer to think of him at this moment as one of those exponents in an age of worldliness, of the higher life, who from time to time, like Gordon, for instance, seem to live amongst us for the purpose of impressing upon mankind the beauty and solace of belief; and to dwell kindly upon what was, we have very little doubt, the life-long struggle and wrestling of this gigantic mind with the simple problems of absolute faith. It was NEWMAN'S keenness of intellect and intense searching after truth that constrained him to plumb all the depths of philosophic religion and find rest nowhere. It was his simplicity of soul which, whether for good or evil to the Church to which he originally belonged, carried him safely through the rocks and shoals that have wrecked so many lives, and left him serene and peaceful in the last years of his life, happy out of the world, unmoved by the desires or ambition common to ordinary humanity, rejoicing only in the active sympathy of those around him, and in the conviction that the seed he had sown and was sowing would some day yield good fruit.   *   *   *   *   *

Leeds Mercury

There are at least two prominent reasons for the interest with which all cultivated Englishmen, without distinction of creed, regard the career of Cardinal NEWMAN. No man of the Victorian era has shown a more complete mastery of the splendid resources of our mother-tongue. {146} No man has held, within recent times, so lofty a position in the dominion of religious thought. It is scarcely too much to say that the Oxford movement, of which Dr. NEWMAN was the guiding spirit, has shaped the destinies of the Church of England in a more marked degree than any other event since the Reformation. Dr. NEWMAN has told the world himself, with touching candour and unique literary charm, the history of the growth of his own religious convictions. Few people are justified in thrusting the story of their spiritual life upon the notice of their spiritual contemporaries. It is only when some conspicuous excellence or force of character dominates a man's career that the world at large cares to learn by what hidden discipline it has gained and kept the moral heights towards which it has triumphantly struggled. These conditions existed in an altogether exceptional form in the case of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, and the union of intellectual strength and moral beauty which exalted his character renders the story of his one of singular impressiveness. Moreover he was not only the most illustrious modern guide of English thought in matters of faith, but was also compelled in self defence to stand forth before his fellow-men as an apologist for the remarkable change which had passed over his religions views. The transformation which Dr. NEWMAN underwent was both startling and complete; once the most impassioned foe of the Church of Rome, he passed suddenly over to the opposite camp, and became one the most zealous and enlightened champions of the Papal claims. Mr. R. H. Hutton is probably correct in his conjecture that it was profound pity for the restlessness and insatiability of human reason which made NEWMAN a Roman Catholic. He had so keen an insight into the morbid side of the cravings of rationalism for devouring its own offspring that he could scarcely believe that mankind would ever rest on what God has revealed unless such revelation received a human embodiment in an infallible institution, stamped by Providence with one of God's greatest attributes—inability to err.

Liverpool Mercury

The death of Cardinal NEWMAN deprives us of one of the greatest of Englishmen. The statesman who is stricken down while still in the public service creates a void which at once touches public sympathy in a profound degree; but the scholar and hermit who has hidden himself away in a monastic establishment, and has been making his mark only upon the literature and the minds of the age, may lay down his burden almost unnoticed by a restless world outside. He disliked of publicity which affected himself personally. The Oratory and the study at Edgbaston, noiseless, calm, soothing, had a fascination for him, especially as he wandered far down the vale of years, which no other kind of existence could supply. His controversial days ceased with the circumstances that compelled him to enter the arena of disputation. His cardinalatial period has been all peace. Vitality was lingering with him long after his figure had practically vanished from the popular view. It was his wish to die in the privacy of his chosen home, amidst those who knew him and loved him best. When he accepted the highest title in the power of the Pope to bestow he was simply obeying a command from his superior, and clothing himself with an honour which, in his case, would entail no return to the world or its loud activities.    *   *   *   *   *   If we miss the eminent ecclesiastic less than if he had maintained to the last a place in which he would, as it were, be seen and his personality directly felt by all men, it is the none the less true that an immense void will be felt by the tens of thousands over whom he exercised a profound intellectual spell. The consolation is that the assets of his genius remain behind to exercise a perpetual influence in favour of beauty and refinement upon the tongue which, with Shakespeare, he moulded into its finest forms.


We think of him only as one of the very greatest of the Englishmen of his age, and also as gifted with one of the {148} most charming and transparent natures. His old college at Oxford not only forgave him long ago, but paid him the tribute of an honorary dignity. His old pupils and admirers, who did not allow themselves to he led upon his religious path, bowed cheerfully down to his intellectual and moral grandeur, and learned men everywhere, who rejoice in literary feasts, draw refreshment from his works as from some most pellucid fount. When invested with the cardinalate he chose as his motto "Heart speaketh unto Heart." It was through the heart, rather than through the head, that his disposition impelled him to leave a stamp upon those who came in contact with him; and certainly his adoption of the Roman Catholic creed marked the commencement of a rapid decline in him of the merely polemical spirit. But there never weakened in him the love of truth, as he conceived it; while, if possible, his profound warmth of sympathy grew with advancing years. After all, it is something to leave behind, in a censorious world a memory so fragrant.

Liverpool Echo

The patriarchal age to which Cardinal NEWMAN had attained ought, in the ordinary course of things, to reconcile his admirers, and where are they not to be found within the confines of Christendom? to the loss which his death inflicts. Long before ninety most men are dead to the world: yet front his hermitage in the Oratory at Edgbaston the venerable ecclesiastic sent forth at intervals such trumpet blasts of eloquence as fairly captivated and enchained his universal auditory. Cardinal NEWMAN, while stern even to austerity in imposing religious observances upon those of his own faith, was full of kindly toleration to the beliefs of others: and hence, no doubt, the secret of the spell he exercised over the fiercer spirits among religious opponents. It was a remarkable {149} characteristic of the man that while his worn features and attenuated frame had proclaimed painfully that he was very near the goal of life's journey, the vigour of his intellect showed no falling away.

The suasiveness of Cardinal NEWMAN has been frequently emphasised by men of all classes and creeds. In Macmillan's Magazine for March, 1884, Sir Francis Doyle, who was for some time Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford, thus testifies to this fact—"That great man's ardent zeal and extraordinary genius drew all those within his sphere like a magnet, to attach themselves to him and to his doctrines. Nay, before he himself became a Romanist, his mesmeric influence, as it were, acted not only upon the Tractarians, but even in some degree upon outsiders like myself. Whenever I was at Oxford, I used regularly to go and listen to his sermon at St. Mary's in the afternoon, and have never heard such a preacher since. I do not know whether it is a mere fancy of mine, or whether those who knew him better will accept and endorse my belief, that one element of his wonderful power developed itself after this fashion: He always began as if he had determined to set forth his idea of the truth in the plainest language, as men say, intelligible to the meanest understandings; but his burning zeal and his fine poetical imagination were not thus to be controlled. As I hung upon his words, I thought I could trace behind his will, and pressing against it, a rush of thoughts and images which he ever struggled to keep back; but in the end they were generally too strong for him, and poured themselves out in a torrent of eloquence all the more impetuous for having been so long repressed." His "Apologia" will ever possess a living human interest.


The death of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN evokes from Englishmen of all creeds and classes expressions of deep sorrow and of the {150} most sincere respect and admiration. A great man in the highest and noblest sense of the word is dead, and the world is poorer by the loss of a beautiful spirit, and true saint. It is not as the theologian or the controversialist that we prefer to think of the memory of NEWMAN enduring for all time, but as the great writer of an English pure and undefiled, the master of a style unrivalled in its lucidity and force, the sweet singer of the unseen world, and at the same time the forger of thunderbolts which made his opponents in the area of discussion wince and tremble.   *   *   *   *   *   The English-speaking world during all these years never lost their love and admiration for the theologian and scholar, the champion of so many controversies, the man around whose head raged at one time the bitterest feuds, and who himself maintained through all an ideal existence of rigid simplicity and gentleness. There was nothing of the proud prelate about the great Cardinal, who at his beloved Oratory, in his native land, passed his declining years happily, and at peace with all the world, with his intellectual vigour undimmed, and faithful to the last in the discharge of his daily round of self-imposed duties. Truly a more gentle or kindly spirit never irradiated in this or any other age the wild and troubled waters of theological controversy.

Liverpool Express

The members of a college which produced the late Cardinal, the present Dean of St. Paul's, and Mr. Matthew Arnold are not without justification when they boast of "the Oriel style." It is a style pre-eminent1y hard to characterise, or define, or even describe; but perhaps its chief notes "are perfect clearness, absolute ease, an entire freedom from pomposity, and a courageous use of colloquial English so homely as to be almost slang.

Liverpool Post

At the age of nearly ninety years a prince has fallen amongst us—a prince of the Roman Catholic Church, a prince of intellect, a prince among theologians, a prince among men. Cardinal NEWMAN was pre-eminently the hero of a great struggle in religious thought, a struggle which changed the face of English religion. Those who least admire or even tolerate the revival of Church feeling which began with the revolt of NEWMAN and Pusey and others against the Liberalism of fifty years ago, must admit that there is no visible limit to the influence which the Oxford movement has had upon English religious life. No sect, or scarcely any, has escaped the results of the great change that then stirred and passed over a great area of English thought and education and religious usage. Architecture, observances, cast of devotion, every form and sort of contributory art and literature, have owned the influence of the great Tractarian revival. The successors of the Puseyites are now the revivalists and Methodists of the Church of England. Their manner and practices of religion have to a large extent become the use of average Englishmen. Whether the Church of Rome itself has greatly profited by the vast change which has been accomplished with such far-reaching results may be disputed. Roman Catholic progress may be put down to other causes. But the names of NEWMAN and MANNING alone suffice to suggest that an enormous increment of strength must have come to the Church of Rome through Tractarian channels. A much more tremendous accession has come to the strength of sacerdotal and sacramental ideas which in their essentials are distinct from the old Protestantism. Nor is this all. Observe the latest development of Anglican theology. "Lux Mundi," produced by men who could not have existed but for the Oxford movement, has boldly appropriated all the light of modern criticism and discovery, and has found in Church {152} principles the means of conciliating the most unqualified rationalism with the most positive dogmatic teachings of an infallible Church.

Much of all this lies without the limits which Dr. NEWMAN early set himself. The play of his mind when he first quitted his evangelical moorings was curious. By degrees at first slow but always sure and eventually rapid, he realised to himself and others the development of Church doctrine by other means than that of scriptural authority. At first he held this line of re-discovery to be compatible with the sweetly reasonable and moderate claims of the Church of England; but the force of the argument soon carried him beyond her pale; and especially was he affected by the consideration that there was no sufficient buttress for the truth which he deemed intrinsically essential and necessary in the absence of an authoritative power speaking in the place of God to every child of man. Uttered by shallow men the craving for certitude, the longing to submit to authority for the sake of certitude, has always seemed to Protestants and to Rationalists absurd enough. They could never understand how certainty was arrived at more nearly because an authority was positive alike in what it said and in claiming to impose credence in saying it. But JOHN HENRY NEWMAN always used this argument with wondrous and engaging subtlety. He had a manner of infecting all who heard or read him with some sense both of his own longing for ascertained truth and of the plausibility, at all events, of his belief that certainty was to be found where he pinned his faith. He made his theory in this matter catch hold of many susceptibilities of many minds. Scarcely any intelligence is without some peg or protuberance upon which may be hung some shred of the sort of faith which it was Dr. NEWMAN'S pride and yearning to encourage. Years after he had established himself and many others firmly in the faith in which he himself was thoroughly rooted, he extended to the general doctrines of {153} religion the argument by which he had made good to himself the authority of the Church. His "Grammar of Assent" may probably be said without exaggeration to be worthy of Bishop Butler, with the important addition, in NEWMAN'S favour, that his English was as perfect as Butler's was ungainly, and that all that could be done by style was done for a lucid, insinuating, closely-knit, yet thoroughly winsome demonstration, such as Butler would have encumbered by awkwardness and turgidity.

To his countrymen, of all faiths alike, NEWMAN was endeared by his beautiful English—of which his memorable description of the English Bible is the most popular example; by his pure and modest character, wholly without taint of self-consciousness and self-seeking; by his thorough understanding of them as Englishmen, he never ceasing to be one of themselves, or becoming in any way or degree Italian; and by the beautiful and noble language in which he always addressed them, language not only choice and grandly simple as English, but entirely national and racy of our soil, unchanged by association with ecclesiasticism; possessed to the last with the fine, manly, open-air, and in a good sense secular character which marks the free men of a free country in their intellectual intercourse with each other. Much as he had sacrificed to be the meek pupil of the Church, profoundly as he accepted in his heart of hearts the Church's positive teaching, few Churchmen used so little Ecclesiastical technicality in writing and speech. Cardinal Manning, also a great master of chaste eloquence, has picked up and assimilated much more of the Roman style than NEWMAN with his more elaborate study and more thorough learning ever acquired. Perhaps he avoided it. Certain it is that he spoke to the last as an Englishman to Englishmen—not merely as Cardinal Manning always does in being interested in what Englishmen are interested in—not by any means so much as Cardinal Manning does in taking part in national movements and affairs—but in preserving {154} the English tone of a great man of letters and free theology, altogether without mannerism, and exhibiting no peculiarity except the wonderful gift of always expressing everything as well as any human being could imagine it could be expressed. Qualities of this kind, though they may seem purely   literary, enter into the very substance and fibre of a great man's being. NEWMAN could not have written or spoken as he always wrote and spoke without being what he always was.

His great place has yet to be defined. Undoubtedly an intellectual giant, who voluntarily lays aside or binds his strength in the bonds of absolute faith, limits greatly the achievements of his powers. But it will be almost as impossible to over-estimate NEWMAN'S achievements as to exaggerate his prowess. Few know whether there was an inner and in any way different man, confessed to confidants. Rumour used to say so. It also sometimes said that the great Cardinal varied in faith and feeling from month to month and from week to week—now abasing himself in humiliation, anon soaring in speculation, and again branching out into daring scepticisms or freedoms. There were no signs of this in his public writings or preachings. All was as submissive, as humble, as faithful, as pious, as it was magnificent with a glorious strength and masterly with simple power—with inimitable grace—with the soul-reaching music of heart-whole and devout conviction.

Lynn News and County Press

When you have penetrated to the very core of the difficulties of religious people you find you have reached NEWMAN. Round him more than any other man in our century the war of religious thought has been waged. Nor has it been a mere jangling of the creeds. The difficulties reached in NEWMAN'S {155} position are root difficulties. NEWMAN was brought up in the Church of England, an Oxford trained parson. He was from the first recognised as a man of great ability, of charming personality, of striking simplicity and earnestness, blessed with an honest enquiring mind. Later, when he grieved many of his best friends by deserting their faith, no one could manage to be embittered, so strong was the impression of sincerity and reverent thoughtfulness thrown off by the seceder. NEWMAN'S was one of those minds which must get down to the very foundations of opinion and belief; and so he was constantly asking himself; why am I a Churchman? For some time he tried to show in an ecclesiastical way that an English Churchman holds   a sound and logical position. But he failed at last to satisfy even himself; and finally came to a stand—as must all inquirers, it seems to us—before the choice between Authority and Rationalism. Where is the guide in religion? It is to be found in some outward authority, or in our own reason and conscience? If we are to walk in the way of the fathers, and accept our faith at other men's hands, who are our authorised and genuine rulers? If we are to follow our own thoughts and be a law unto ourselves, where may we not drift? NEWMAN came to the conclusion that the voice of authority was only to be unmistakeably found in the Church of Rome. Accept the teachings of that church, and if obedience to authority be the true basis of religion you are right, and may afterwards feel safe and quiescent. If you shrink from a surrender of yourself to the church there is only one logical alternative, and that is to think independently for your self, to believe what seems best to you, drifting from this to that with changing knowledge, and so to piece together a faith to which something is being added constantly, and from which something is being taken away—a makeshift, the best you can get for your own. The Church, authority, obedience, and a sense of certainty; or rationalism, individuality, freedom, and uncertainty in religion—those were the {156} alternatives, and NEWMAN, seeing all the bearings of the case, deliberately chose the former. He became a Roman Catholic, inquired no more, and was happy. There are millions of men who are happy because they trust and do not inquire, but they are not logical as he was. They trust in they know not what; he knew that he was putting himself into the keeping of the one Church which, if priestly succession, and continuity of power count, is the direct ecclesiastical outcome of the work of Christ and his apostles. If self-surrender to a Church is ever justifiable, it was justifiable in his case. This war between Faith and Reason is at the bottom of most of our controversies; Conservatism and Radicalism are but phases of it. NEWMAN was the most striking and charming of the men who illustrate one temperament, for after all it is largely a matter of temperament to which side one belongs. We differ in toto from NEWMAN, and hold that "to seek, to strive to conquer; not to yield" is our great prerogative as men, in religion as in politics, but we recognise how many beautiful lives have been lived in the pleasant lotus-land of voluntary religious subjection, and amongst these lives, that of NEWMAN will ever be one of the most attractive. Apart from the great religious problem which he so fully illustrated, Cardinal NEWMAN afforded many topics for comments, of which we can only find space here for two. He has not taken any part in politics; he has written comparatively little, and what he has written has often dealt with subjects that are not of popular interest; yet his influence has been enormous. The reason has been that his pure and lofty spirit has had a great charm for all who have known him, and he has drawn to him many of the choicest minds of our generation. He has therefore acted through a select few upon the many, and has radiated influences through many bye-channels that have modified the spirit of the age to a large extent unperceived. The last point we would mention is that whatever he has had to say has been listened to by all thoughtful persons, and especially by all {157} lovers of our noble English tongue, because it has been said in the best possible way. There never was a greater master of exquisite English prose than NEWMAN. Whatever chance may betide his controversies, his works will, we believe, be kept alive, because in them English has reached its most perfect form of expression. That is a great thing to say when we consider it is only by the written word that the England of today can appeal to the England of the distant future.

Lynn Advertiser

It is an exaggeration to say, as the Standard does, that the death of Cardinal NEWMAN "will create a profound sensation throughout the civilized world." One of the most eminent of living Englishmen has been called to his rest after a life lengthened nearly to the utmost span, and one, too, whose career has had a remarkable and abiding influence upon the religious institution of which in his earlier days he was a devoted member. But the late Cardinal NEWMAN had long ceased to exercise over modern thought any direction or control. His life since his secession from the Church of England has been absolutely uneventful. The rest and peace he sought in the Roman communion he possibly found there; against her solid concrete mass of dogma the most fiery of souls must beat in vain. Once within the Roman pale, NEWMAN had no alternative but acceptance and submission, and probably he desired no other. Nevertheless, if the death of the venerable ecclesiastic is of less significance than some are disposed to believe, no Englishman who has passed middle life and recollects, either with or without sympathy, the fierce theological controversies of fifty years ago, will read of Cardinal NEWMAN'S death without a feeling of emotion. His has been a great name in two Churches. His life and career have interested many and fascinated not a few. All alike recognize {158} the nobility of his character, the purity of his aims, and the strength of his intellectual attainments. A man of profound learning, his knowledge was used with unconscious ease. In controversy his dialectical skill won the admiration even of those who believed it to be exercised in a bad cause. His personal goodness was not less conspicuous than his mental endowments. It may be truly said of him that he lived, from his early days at Oxford to his hour at the Birmingham Oratory in habitual communion with the unseen world.

Manchester Courier

During the past week the name of NEWMAN has been on every tongue, and has been mentioned in every newspaper with surprising unanimity of tone. That the British public should have been content for a time to sink religious difference is of itself the highest tribute which could have been paid to the memory of the deceased Cardinal. There has been a good deal of talk about the Tractarians, and as a body of alleged Romanisers they have been in certain quarters roundly abused; yet there has been little harsh criticism heard with respect to him who was at once the "leading soul and the inspiring genius of the Tractarian movement." This reticence cannot be altogether attributed to that good feeling which silences adverse judgments on the dead. Sometimes it is necessary to speak out candidly even in the presence of death, where the higher interests of truth and justice are concerned. Nor can this leniency adopted where once language very different might have been used, be wholly set down to a more liberal attitude towards the Oxford revival. No doubt a much wider view is now taken of that movement, which failing in its Romanizing tendencies, was eminently successful in other ways. People are beginning to recognize that to it, not only the better parts of Ritualism are due, but that {159} the ripples of the wave have quickened the worship of the whole Church, and even of dissenting bodies as well. Yet the secret of the hushed tone, and, as it were, the suspension of theological hostilities over the grave of Cardinal NEWMAN must be sought not in the sentiment of lenience to the dead, nor in the force of a broader conviction, so much as in the individual character. The sweet personality of the man, his profound sincerity, his tender devotion, his impressiveness in the pulpit—these traits spoke to the heart. In this sense there is a peculiar significance in the arms and motto of the late Cardinal, consisting of three hearts, with the words Cor ad cor loquitur—heart speaketh unto heart. In the Apologia the heart spoke as well as the head, and even more intensely so, though in fewer words, in the immortal hymn which finds universal acceptance.


By the death of Cardinal NEWMAN, a conspicuous and in many ways, a great figure has been withdrawn from the stage. A peaceful death at the age of ninety, a life which—we use the term without reference to his religious beliefs—can best be described as saintly. Of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN it may be said that he was an essentially humble minded sincere man, with an intellectual weakness for logical and metaphysical subtleties which ultimately drifted him Romewards. His death will be regretted sincerely by all sorts and conditions of men, and for Churchmen the regret will be intensified by the fact that he did not die in the communion in which he had done such excellent work.

Manchester Evening Mail

The world is poorer for the loss of a great man. In the still, sweet seclusion of the Edgbaston Oratory, JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, one of the most famous and saintly Englishmen of our {160} time, passed quietly away. We had almost got to think that death had forgotten the "old man of sweet aspect," whose life has summed up so much that is noble and so much that is weak in our English nature. It is usual when some "divinely-gifted," whose work or personal influence has had a determining effect upon the opinions and lives of his contemporaries, to wait a little before attempting a final estimate of his character and merits. We do not think that any pause is necessary in the case of NEWMAN. The bitter resentments and painful misconceptions of the Tractarian era have long since disappeared. The smoke of the battle has rolled away, and not only the true personal lineaments of those who engaged in the strife, but the real character, and, to a large extent, the remote consequences of the struggle have for many stood clearly revealed. We have grown so accustomed to regard the head of the English Oratory with the deepest feeling of love and veneration that it is almost a painful effort to recall the time when he was an object of mistrust and even obloquy. While the whole of Protestantism and the Anglican Church in particular was staggering under the effect of his secession to Rome, it is small wonder that in many minds a feeling of indignation at what they considered an almost unparalleled betrayal should have been uppermost. NEWMAN was accused in effect of being a secret convert long before the final rupture took place, and of having by equivocation in the pulpit and religious dissimulation out of it endeavoured to insensibly lead others into the abyss of superstition which had closed over himself. How keenly he felt these suspicions and aspersions he shows in the preface to that wonderful soul-unveiling "Apologia pro vita sua," which for ever removed all misunderstandings between NEWMAN and his countrymen. "It is not pleasant," he says, "to reveal to high and low, young and old, what has gone on within me from my early years. It is not pleasant to be giving to every {161} shallow or flippant disputant the advantage over me of knowing my most private thoughts—I might almost say of the intercourse between myself and my Maker. But I do not like to be called to my face a liar and a knave, nor should I be doing my duty to my faith or to my name if I were to suffer it.   *   *   *   *   *   I have never doubted that in my hour, in God's hour, my avenger will appear, and the world will acquit me of untruthfulness even though it be not while I live." Elsewhere he says: "Whatever judgment my readers may eventually form of me from these pages I am confident that they will believe me in what I shall say in the course of them." His confidence was not misplaced. For more than a generation he enjoyed the consciousness that Catholics and Protestants alike accepted his own estimate of himself as one who gave up much that he loved and prized and could have returned, but that he loved honesty better than name, and truth better than dear friends.


Everywhere the deceased Cardinal was recognised as the most distinguished of English Roman ecclesiastics, the most eloquent and the most persuasive of modern writers, the subtlest and most profound representative of contemporary religious thought. For the last forty years his personality has been always of interest to men of culture, who found in his character and conduct singleness of mind, earnestness of endeavour, and the sacrifice of everything that interfered with the convictions he held. NEWMAN was equally distinguished as a writer both of prose and poetry. He was a master of masculine English, and perhaps the ablest controversialist of his age. His poetry was deep, pure and rhythmical, and its devotional spirit is intense. {162}

Manchester Examiner

JOHN HENRY NEWMAN is dead. A Prince of the Church, a king among men has entered within the veil. After a long life of ninety years, his weary yet quenchless spirit is at rest. For the last three years the Cardinal's health has been but feeble. To borrow his own words from that touching "Apologia" which will live in the memory of the English-speaking race as long as the echo of the music of Keble's "Christian Year" haunts as it strikes upon the responsive ear, "A deathbed has scarcely a history; it is a tedious decline, with seasons of rallying and seasons of falling back; and since the end is foreseen, or what is called a matter of time, it has little interest for the reader, especially if he has a kind heart." Kind hearts, in plenty, will be found to mourn the loss of the great and good man who has gone from us. They will not be slow to acknowledge the gain they have derived from the words of wisdom and comfort which have fallen from his lips in the course of a long and eventful career. He has left, too, what is more precious still—the example of a noble and a stainless life. Question as one may the logic of the man—the validity of the evidence on which he withdrew from communion with the Church of his birth—the sincerity of the motives which prompted the momentous step is beyond all shadow of a doubt. One of the deepest and best read of thinkers, gifted with surpassing powers of clear and lucid expression, he took the step deliberately, in obedience to the dictates of conscience. "From the age of fifteen" he once wrote, "dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion; I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other religion; religion as a mere sentiment is to me a dream and a mockery." That belief he held to the end. How truly he lived up to it his written words, now that the living voice is silenced, remain to tell. Of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN it may fittingly and reverently be said, in the words of Goethe, his was a "beautiful spirit." {163}

Manchester Guardian

A leader is fallen in Israel, and with him passes away one of the greatest Englishmen, and beyond all question the greatest master of the English language, of our time. 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. It is not that he has in the least converted Englishmen either from their Protestantism or their Liberalism; but he has made it impossible for educated persons to dismiss the religion he possessed as a farrago of absurdities not worth examining, and he has made it difficult for a rational Protestant to assert that Mr. Spurgeon, say, has apprehended "the truth" in some pre-eminent way denied to the author of the "Apologia." The current English view of Roman Catholicism used to be somewhat insular and provincial, and it is mainly owing to Cardinal NEWMAN that it has become less so. And the curious thing is that he won this victory over stubborn British prepossessions without losing the goodwill of the people whom he was constantly opposing and sometimes ridiculing. We have to remember that, even more than Protestantism, Liberalism was regarded by NEWMAN as the enemy, and that the whole tone and temper of our time, with its breaking down of castes and classes, its throwing open of Oxford endowments to men of any creed or none, its determination to make this life worth living for the "common man," its democratic bent, its principle of government not merely for the people but by the people, and its strong secular turn—using the word in no offensive sense—in all things, were absolutely alien and even abhorrent to him. It is {164} often said that Catholic countries abroad are inferior to non-Catholic countries in all the elements of material prosperity. NEWMAN did not care to inquire whether the charge was true or not. His answer was that "the Church considers the action of this world and the action of the soul simply incommensurate, viewed in their respective spheres; she would rather save the soul of one single wild bandit of Calabria, or whining beggar of Palermo, than draw a hundred lines of railroad through the length of Italy, or carry out a sanitary reform in its fullest details in every city of Sicily, except so far as these great national works tended to some spiritual good beyond them." And yet this preacher of authority, this contemner of private judgment, and this mocker of all the mere material progress on which the age seemed exclusively bent, was never unpopular in England. Somehow it was felt that he was very English himself, with all his insistence upon a point of view with which the mass of Englishmen had little sympathy, and that he was anything rather than a mere foreign ecclesiastic who did not understand us. It was not an accident that made a book of NEWMAN'S the favourite of Gordon's last hours. There was something congenial in him—as well, no doubt, as something that repelled—to all deeply religious souls, whatever their differences might be. And then, it is perhaps impossible for Englishmen to feel unkindly towards such a master of their tongue. But whatever the reasons, the fact remains. Englishmen were proud of the great Cardinal; they had even a certain affection for him and few among them but will mourn his loss.

Methodist Recorder

Of Cardinal NEWMAN'S ability or his world-wide influence it is not necessary to speak. It is on the theological life of England, and on the practical Church life even more than on {165} the theological, that he has left his deepest and most abiding mark. One of the foremost of the Tractarian set, he took a lead in what proved to be a wonderful revival of life and energy in the Established Church. Had there been in it more of the joyous experience of early Methodism, it might have resulted in all that was desired by John Wesley himself. As it was, the heart-rest was not forthcoming; and NEWMAN like many more sought to supply the lack by an unconditional surrender to ecclesiastical authority. He left the Christian Church in which he had been nurtured; but he did not leave the Church of Christ. Those who least sympathise with his conclusions, and who fail to recognise any logical force in the arguments which he arrayed for his defence, have been able none the less to admire the beauties of his character, and to revere the intensity of his loyalty and devotion to the One Saviour. By multitudes who rejected the peculiarities of his teaching he will be remembered with sincere veneration as a great and a good man.

Methodist Times

The death of Cardinal NEWMAN removes from this world one of the most distinguished and impressive personages of the century. No man ever enjoyed greater advantages and opportunities than Cardinal NEWMAN. As vicar of St. Mary's he was able to reach the young Oxford men of his time at the most impressionable age. This rare, especial source of influence was supplemented by a unique literary style which has fairly intoxicated successive generations of authors and journalists. Men write of NEWMAN'S style in the language of an effusive lover rather than that of a deliberate critic. It is probably too early to determine the precise influence of NEWMAN upon the thought and life of this country. When {166} the academic and literary clamour have passed away we shall be able to determine how far he deserves the enormous reputation which he now enjoys. Anyone who reads his Apologia will see that he contemplated all things from an exceedingly narrow standpoint. His life was largely academic, speculative and mediŠval. He seemed to be born five hundred years too late. Whether he and his successors will succeed in dragging the Established Church of England hack into mediŠvalism remains to be seen. But each succeeding decade seems to make that more and more impossible. Cardinal NEWMAN leaves behind him no successor. But he has made imperishable contributions to English literature.

Midland Weekly Herald

He is dead! The genuine expression of sorrow called forth throughout the land by Cardinal NEWMAN'S death witnesses to the deep and enduring impression his individuality made on the popular mind, as well as to the extent of his influence on the religious and intellectual life of his country. A many-sided man, he was great on every side or aspect of his character. He was a preacher of singular eloquence and persuasion, and a writer of the very highest distinction, with unrivalled powers of logic, irony, and tenderness; nevertheless, the comparatively narrow limits of his sphere of action and period of activity compel us to look for the reason of his universal popularity and influence everywhere. A great Churchman, a golden-mouthed preacher, a masterly dialectician, a sweet poet, he was this and nothing more; but, above all, he was a great Englishman. The strength and dignity, the simplicity and sweetness of his character were conspicuously reflected in his writings; but these qualities and virtues appealed less powerfully to his countrymen than the grandeur of his soul which made him content to {167} find in a life of self-sacrifice and obscurity the truest opportunities for dutiful service to God and man.

Midland Evening News

The announcement of Cardinal NEWMAN'S death will be received with regret by all sections of the Christian community. Undoubtedly Cardinal NEWMAN will figure in history as one of the most conspicuous characters of the century. He had taken a prominent part in the leading theological controversies that have arisen during the past half century, and he has died a faithful servant of the Roman Catholic Church.   *   *   *   *   *   All the civilized world will mourn his death, and though Protestants do not endorse his religious views they will deeply sympathise with the Roman Catholics of this country in the irreparable loss which they have sustained.

Morning Advertiser

The death of Cardinal NEWMAN removes from the scene one of the most prominent and interesting figures in the religious history of the century with which his long life has been contemporary.   *   *   *   *   *   His literary industry was exceptional, and was sustained to a late stage of his life. As a writer of "English undefiled" he had no superior—if indeed he had an equal—among an army of brilliant contemporaries. His style beautifully limpid, nervous, elegant, and virile, is classic. Rome secured in him a redoubtable champion, for he was a master of the controversial art, as was signally illustrated by his polemical encounter with the Rev. CHARLES KINGSLEY, his gifted but over-matched antagonist. Cardinal NEWMAN takes rank among authors for his {168} exquisite prose, but his sacred poetry is also admirable, and his "Lead, kindly light" has been adopted by other communions.


The morning ceremonies were imposing, but comparatively simple, an arrangement which was in accord with the character and, it is understood, with the wishes of their distinguished object. This spirit also inspired the panegyric pronounced by Dr. Clifford, whose eloquent and yet unadorned eulogy of the deceased was in its way a fine and effective example of the funeral oration. It was a fitting close of a beautiful life that NEWMAN should be laid to rest in the tranquil seclusion which he had marked out for his burial place and near the community in whose midst, as he was fond of saying, he found in life that peace which the world cannot give. The estimate of his life and character which was delivered beside his coffin yesterday will be not more cordially endorsed by his co-religionists than by the vast mass of his fellow countrymen, who never ceased to admire the man, however strongly they differed from the pervert. "Cor ad Cor loquitur," the motto on his Cardinal's escutcheon, is at once sadly and happily appropriate in its suggestiveness of the sympathy which his death has evoked. He was respected and he will be remembered not as an unequalled master of prose, not as a poet, whose hymns are the common property of all the churches, not as a profound theologian or a champion in the field of controversy, but as a bright example of Christian integrity and of those noble qualities of conscientiousness and devotion to a high moral standard which appeal particularly to the admiration and the regard of Englishmen.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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