Presbyterian Messenger

The author of "Lead, kindly Light," has passed away, and entered that spirit-land in which no mortal eye can any further trace his course. In that hymn of {205} his, which discloses with singular and touching beauty the workings of his soul, the perplexed of every Church have recognised the experience of their own most anxious hours; even when they have been most firmly convinced that the gifted author mistook his path when he sought repose in the Church of Rome.   *   *   *   *   *   Only a few of the clergy have followed in the path in which NEWMAN led the way. The policy of the party had been to remain in the Church of England, and do all they can to destroy its Protestant character and Romanise it to the core. None need to be told how well they are succeeding. We may look with admiration on the sacrifice NEWMAN made that he might be true to the principles he had come to hold. The amount of service rendered by him to the cause of Rome was doubtless at one time considerably over-rated. The Papal Church possesses ready instruments in men of very diverse capacities and position; and the place of favour and influence to which she has been slowly attaining, is due to a combination of many causes. NEWMAN was more a force in Oxford than he has been since; although his personal ascendancy has always continued to be one of his most marked characteristics. He has been all along a man of a type peculiar to himself. His penetrating intellect, felicity in diction, and deep vein of feeling, mingled with a certain liveliness of imagination and occasional play of humour—these qualities are seen in his writings; but it was his singular and striking personality that rendered them so effective. We acknowledge the rich gifts he possessed, and the attributes of character that won for him so profound a regard in the circle of his friends, yet it is with the deepest regret that we look back on his career and recall the influence he has exerted in winning sympathy for the Roman Catholic Church. {206}

Primrose League

A great and good man has passed from among us. For many years he was the foremost figure in religion in England, and if the last days of his life were spent in monastic seclusion, away from the bustle of the world, it was because he felt that his work—from a controversial point of view, at all events was done. To his prolonged leisure we owe that masterpiece of literature in the English language, "the Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ."

Publishers' Circular

The greatest English ecclesiastic of later times and one of the first English writers of any time has disappeared in the person of Cardinal NEWMAN. Time was when his name was almost exclusively associated with the Tractarian movement, when people saw in him only the fiery and matchless controversialist who keenly delighted in overcoming an opponent; but a younger generation, untouched by the spirit of old antagonisms, sees in him a choicely gifted man of letters, who, departing, has left a legacy that truly enriches the treasury of English literature. Cardinal NEWMAN wrote mostly in prose and on matters of theology and religious belief, but in all he did he was the poet working unconsciously through the imagination. In some of his most signal triumphs his logic was hopelessly at fault, but there was always the saving grace of a nobler power, and hence what was often merely intended to silence a critic and gain a temporary victory has passed into literature. As of Burke in politics so of NEWMAN in theology, the distinctive note is imaginative. The light of imagination illumines all his works and accounts for many of his illogical actions. It was his imagination and not his reason that made him a convert to Rome; it was his imagination that gave fire and power, and will now give permanence to his {207} writings. He had the temperament of an artist who aims at effect, and he sedulously cultivated his gifts. On that most flexible of instruments, the English language, he played like a wizard, and men where charmed even when they were not convinced. At its best his style is superb. As Mr. Lowell said of Landor, it might also he fancied at times that he has added fresh stops to the organ which Milton found sufficient. Except Carlyle and Mr. Ruskin no such master of English prose has delighted English readers for a generation at least. Of him it may soberly be said that he has written that which the world will not willingly let die.

Rochdale Observer

(Same as Leicester Daily Post.)

Rod and Gun

Cardinal NEWMAN was by many persons considered the greatest thinker of the age. Anyone who has read the Grammar of Assent will understand the cause of this admiration. There has never been such a momentous argument so strongly built upon what, at the beginning of the essay, every critical reader must have considered a questionable foundation. Dr. NEWMAN deduced a whole system of theology from the fact of conscience; but he scarcely took any account of the equally important fact that conscience is as varied in its modes as the races of mankind themselves are. Still, the Grammar of Assent is a book which deserves to live. It never gives one the impression that the author himself was naturally, or even in the result of reflection, a believer; but it arrested many philosophies of unfaith which were as empirical as any system of metaphysical theism, and much more fraught with peril. Cardinal NEWMAN always seemed to us to remarkably {208} illustrate the curious law that a great occasion in the realm of religion calls forth a great Catholic man. Europe was entering upon a period of unrest and scepticism, and the Church produced the profoundest sceptic of the century to miraculously vindicate the reasonableness of faith.

Saturday Review

Cardinal NEWMAN sprang, as is well known, from the Evangelical party itself; and some of its marks were on him through life. His conversion was transparently honest; no one save the most contemptible of party scribes has ever hinted, or can ever hint, a doubt of that. There are men now living who have risen to high rank in the army of the aliens, but of whom it may be pronounced, as securely as one man can ever judge his brother, that, if a near prospect of bishoprics and archbishoprics had been held out to them in their own Church, they would have been ostensibly faithful to it to this day. It would be ridiculous, past all contempt or wonder, even to suggest anything of this sort in reference to NEWMAN. There may, indeed, have been in him something of the masterfulness which can only brook submission to a direct vice-gerent of God, and which would rather abrogate its independence utterly in favour of such a vice-gerent than possess it qualified by the necessity of deference to lesser dignities. The history of the Movement, abundantly as it has been written, has never been wholly told yet; but there are hints in divers versions of it which point to such a conclusion. Nor does the proud humility with which he, in the long years of his attachment to the Roman Church, stood aloof from official positions or acquiesced in his exclusion from them in any way militate against the supposition. In spite of his extraordinary magnetism for men, he always stood more or less aloof from them. Generation {209} after generation followed him, always, except in the case of the weaklings, to find themselves baffled. One of the ablest of his followers, questioned delicately enough as to his experiences, said once upon a time:—"You would not think much of those who have been in Armida's Garden if they talked of it when they came out." And it may be admitted that there was something not wholly pleasant in the quarrel with Charles Kingsley which led to the Apologia. The time, the antagonist, the occasion were too well chosen. Kingsley was a man of genius, not inferior in its different way to NEWMAN'S own, and had spoken in Yeast and elsewhere with the most unstinting admiration of his adversary. It was notorious that with all his ability he was always unable to conduct an argument, and generally unable to formulate an accurate statement. On the particular occasion, though he was formally in the wrong, he was materially in the right, and any one who could argue might with his cards have beggared NEWMAN in a deal or two. It was pretty certain that Kingsley would play those cards ill, and he did. On the other hand, it was a good moment for NEWMAN, the first blush of odium having passed over, to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the public, and he did it with consummate skill. But there remained in the minds of good judges the suspicion that the author of Westward Ho! was something of a victim. Still he had laid himself out for the punishment which he got, and should not have meddled with bowls if he was not prepared for rubbers.

No other incident of NEWMAN'S life, hardly even the gran rifiuto of the desertion itself, had a taint of ugliness. His character was indeed superior to his genius. His logical power has been praised at least sufficiently; and it has been the fashion (chiefly with persons who seem to think that they show a chivalrous generosity towards Christ by complimenting the style of a Christian) to go into ecstasies over his English. It had occasionally a wonderful charm, but it was not of the greatest. There are passages of the Dream of Gerontius {210} and the lesser poems, of the Grammar of Assent, the Sermons, and the other prose works which are unsurpassable in point of natural music. NEWMAN had the very best of all educations; he was in constant contact with some of the greatest minds of the past; his militant life for years compelled him to watch his   words, and he was by nature free from the two greatest curses of our modern English, the misuse of the adjective and the attempt to say a plain thing in fancy language. His best passages are extremely simple, and the prominence of ornate style during the century has, perhaps, on that very account caused them to be over-valued. But the marks which relegate him from the first to the second rank among masters of style are, first, the distinct prominence of the oratorical note in him, the note of spoken not written style; secondly, the fact that his command even of his own best style was very intermittent and unequal; and, thirdly, the fact that even at its best it lacked not so much distinction as individuality. It was the quintessence of the academic—an admirable thing, but still below the idiosyncrasy of the very greatest. In the same key of fault-finding, it may be noted that NEWMAN'S sympathies were somewhat restricted, both on the human and the patriotic side. It will always be remembered to his credit that he knew good wine if he did not drink much, and he was a musician. But to many of the sides of the "Movement" he was not warmly disposed, and he stood quite aloof from the noblest side of all, the side which impelled men to a new interest in the artistic, the historical, the political traditions of England. An intense but narrow conception of personal holiness and personal satisfaction with dogma ate him up—the natural legacy of the Evangelical school in which he had been nursed. The great tradition of Tory churchmanship, of pride in the Church of England as such, of determination to stand shoulder to shoulder in resisting the foreigner, whether he came from Rome or Geneva, from Tübingen or from Saint-Sulpice, of the union of all social and intellectual culture with {211} theological learning—the idea which, alone of all such ideas, has made clericalism patriotic and orthodoxy generous, made insufficient appeal to him and for want of it he himself made shipwreck.

Yet he was a very great man, and the great mistake of his life was, no doubt, a mistake merely. Of the marvellous effect of his presence something, though the least part, remains in the numerous portraits of him which exist, from the date of the Tracts to the last and singularly excellent photograph taken by Messrs. Barraud but a year or two ago. He will be remembered as a prominent figure in the greatest religious Movement of this age, as a singularly commanding and influential personality, as a writer of all but the first—some would say of the first—class whose works, or some of them, will be read for their style long after the immediate controversies which they concern are dead and, but for them, forgotten. When, indeed, he is called the greatest figure of the Movement in which he was so long the chief fighting force we must demur. It is not only that his final action fatally condemned his action precedent; it is not only that the laurels of a deserter must, though he desert from the purest motives, always be something withered. But there was in that Movement a leader positively greater than he—less, though not so very much less, in charm of style at his best; still more retiring, less self-assertive, less attractive it may be personally, but a far greater theologian, a man of wider sympathies, of equally intense, if not equally imposing, character, and, above all, of unswerving loyalty. No full justice has yet been done to that leader, but it will be done some day. For there can hardly be a greater achievement than that a man in the hour of defeat, of desertion, and of disgrace, with friends flinching and turning against their own side, with the powers that be in Church and State arrayed against him, with every witling pointing the joke and every fool suggesting treachery, should remain undaunted and unshaken, should {212} through long years abide in quietness and in confidence, faithful through life and to death, and should, with an almost unparalleled felicity, live to see the vast majority of his contemporaries who united intelligence to churchmanship on his own side. That achievement and (for the gods are just) that felicity belonged, not to JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, but to Edward Bouverie Pusey.

Scarborough Evening News

Cardinal NEWMAN is dead. The announcement will occasion widespread regret amongst every class of the community, and it is perhaps the best tribute to his Eminence that his death will be deplored by none more sincerely than those whose religious opinions were most firmly opposed to his own. The general expressions of sorrow at the loss of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN are due to the recognition that with him passes away one of the most striking and characteristic figures of a century which he did so much to stamp with his own earnestness of temper. As an ecclesiastic and a prince of the Roman Church the blank caused by his death may perhaps easily be filled, but as a student, a thinker, and a controversialist, his removal has left a gap which none can supply. We have to go back half-a-century to discover the period when NEWMAN filled the largest place in contemporary history. A product of that ecclesiastical revival in the Church of England, of which he himself was the most notable figure—the movement associated with the names of Hurrell Froude, Pusey, and Keble—he exerted an extraordinary influence on the religious thought of the time.   *   *   *   *   *   Even if he had not made himself a master of that field of thought and literature which saturated his mind with mysticism, the whole tenour of his life was that of an austere recluse for whom the natural surroundings were the cloister and the study. {213}

NEWMAN'S life was in many respects quite out of harmony with the spirit of the age—a phrase for which he often expressed pity and contempt—and yet no teacher of the century has occupied a more commanding position. Up to the day of his death he was looked up to as not only the most learned living Englishman, but as one of the most profound thinkers the country has ever produced. Men who contemned his dogmas have yet been compelled to admit that for range of knowledge and intellectual force and subtlety combined, he stands incomparable amongst the writers of the time. Who is there that has read the "Apologia" or the "Grammar of Assent," and has not owned the sway of a mighty mind? To treat such productions lightly is the privilege of a narrow-minded and ignorant religiosity; for the honest student and the truth-seeker everywhere they stand like monuments marking the conclusions of human thought on high matters delimitated by an intellect in comparison with which half the world's thinkers seem puny and weak. Looked at even from the most prejudiced standpoint, NEWMAN'S store of learning and his acuteness of thought render him a man of whom every Englishman has reason to be proud. We have said that with him "the times were out of joint." NEWMAN'S life was spent in an era of unparalleled commercial development, of scientific discovery, and of all that is summed up in the words material progress. To one of his ascetic turn of mind these things were as nought. Science and commerce were to him in his spiritual seclusion the foes of that true religious revival which at one time of his life seemed so near, but which has long since, as it seems to most observers, perished of inanition. Few passages in his writings illustrate his cast of mind so well as that in which he met the charge against Catholicism that it was inimical to material prosperity. He did not deny the allegation, but he contended that "the Church considers the action of this world and the action of the soul simply incommensurate, viewed in {214} 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 miles 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." There is here revealed the true ecclesiastic. It is picturesque, but it is not practical. Such an utterance, it is clear, might well have been uttered four hundred years ago by an Italian preacher. From a St. Francis or a Savonarola it would have been natural enough; but from the mouth of one whose lot was cast in a mercantile country it sounded strange and almost ecstatic.

Perhaps the greatest result of NEWMAN'S life and teaching was that he has compelled educated people to take a very different view of the Roman Catholic faith to that which was held fifty years ago. It is still open to the vulgar and the ill-informed to dismiss the old faith with a sneer or a Scriptural phrase: these are the class who are well content to have their thinking done for them. But these are not the men who set the mark of solidity on English character. There remains that smaller but more important class of people who prefer to think for themselves, and who endeavour, however imperfectly, to carry out the injunction to "Prove all things." As Pascal put it, they "search with many sighs." To these NEWMAN'S works must always be a source of delight. Here was a man of almost unexampled scholarship prepared to assert that the age of miracles was not past, and that to the faithful Church were still extended special proofs of divine favour. Out of place such an one might be, but there will always be room in the world for men of every shade of thought who feel that truth is the first essential, and that everything else is a secondary matter. The refusal to adjust his beliefs by the opinions of others, and his uncompromising adherence to views which were unpopular because they appeared to him to be true, are sufficient to preserve the name {215} of JOHN HENRY NEWMAN as one of the brightest figures of his time.

Scots' Observer

The greatest master of English prose has gone from us. But Cardinal NEWMAN was more than an unequalled writer. Placed in the midst of the most Philistine, the most narrow-minded of nations, he conquered well-nigh universal esteem by the transparent integrity of his character. No one above the level of a ranting fanatic ventured to impugn his flawless honour. He changed his creed, but he was consistent through all his mutations of belief.   *   *   *   *   *   At length NEWMAN seceded from a Church which now seemed to him "the veriest of nonentities," a mere "civil establishment daubed with dogma," and Rome gained a convert the equal of Pascal in controversial skill, and a preacher as thrilling as Bossuet. Thereafter, he has written, he never had one doubt; he had no further history of religious opinions to narrate. His work thenceforth was twofold; he strove to crush Liberalism on the one hand, and on the other to discomfit those who sought to engraft their private theories and their unauthorised interpretations upon the Catholic creed. By Liberalism he meant a very great deal more than the principles of any single political party. He meant a universal, anti-dogmatic, revolutionary movement which was sapping authority, blighting out reverence for human and divine law, giving ruinous licence to personal opinions, and driving the world headlong into social chaos and the valley of the dry bones of atheism. To repel this "flood of fiery bale" he opposed the barrier of dogma, and on dogma his belief was from the opening to the end of his life immovably grounded. He has been spoken of as one who uttered a siren-song to allure men to the Church of his adoption. He certainly never sought to throw seductive hazes round the Catholic Church, or to soften the {216} austere element in her teachings. There was no gentle mysticism, no relaxing piety, no voluptuous ecstasy in the belief of the man who taught

"Christian, wouldst thou learn to love?
First learn thee how to hate."

The religious mind, so he taught, must be ever burdened and saddened by conscience, by a power in contrast with the enjoyment derivable from the exercise of the affections and from the perception of beauty.

Men in whom the Christian conviction is a consuming, ever-burning passion, as it was with NEWMAN, are in general wont to turn to the Beyond. Compared to the tremendous issues involved in their religion, the cares and joys, the triumphs and the failures of the life of the world seem contemptible, perilous, and empty distractions. Others, again, who are deeply interested in the play of human character, in the marvels of civilisation, and in the pageant of Nature, may be far enough removed from scepticism, but are not likely to abide under the sway of religious conviction and the stress of the religious passion. But NEWMAN, with whom the sense of the Divine presence was so absorbing, so poignant, so heart-piercing as to be almost oppressing, to whom the world without God was "a vision to dizzy and appal," had an interest in the working of men's minds and in the spectacle of things so sympathetic at once and so keen that he might well have fashioned forth works of immortal imaginative art had not his soul been dominated to far other ends. He studied politics and science and literature; he was a consummate musician; it was said that there was hardly a topic on which he could not converse. He sympathised with greatness in all its manifestations. The fascination of his presence, his voice and manner, was irresistible. When at Oxford he was the idol of hundreds with whom Credo in Newmannum became a byword. He was one of the most charming among talkers, never dogmatic, hardly ever didactic, passing {217} lightly and brightly from one subject to another, but at his best in the handling of serious matters. His senses were exquisitely keen; when at Oxford, it is said that, though he rarely drank wine, yet so fine was his palate that it came to be his function to "taste" for the college cellar.

Of the all-accomplished writer what new word is there to be said? One or two men have shown an equal mastery of the English speech, but there is none other whose prose is at once so classically chaste and stately and so vibrating with passion. Persuasion, irony, denunciation, narrative, analysis, description—all are at the command of this incomparable artist. He is at once the most caustic and the most winning of writers. He can befool an opponent with delicate satire, and foil him and hurl him into logical bankruptcy with the closest, the most irresistible, argument. And, in another sphere of literary craft, he can bring before you the men of "august Athena" in a style as pure and stately as the marble of their sculptors and as pellucid as the air they breathed.

Much of the best prose of our day is suggestive of mosaic work, so elaborately are the words selected and set. But NEWMAN'S prose is like a perfect Greek landscape, with its pure outlines and unsullied skies and clear-cut hills and varying suffusions of exquisite violet light. And yet—and ye! It is saddening to think to what ends the wielder of this faultless weapon has employed it. Not by the most perfect dialectic, the most captivating literary art, can one hope to stem the tide of industrialism and science. It is as if one sought to check a steam roller with a damascened rapier.

Sheffield Telegraph

Cardinal NEWMAN'S death is universally introduced in the English Press with the words "We deeply regret to announce." It has grown to be almost a formal phrase; but in Cardinal {218} NEWMAN'S case its employment is made in all sincerity, and the regret expressed will find an echo in every quarter of the land. Full of years has the Cardinal gone to his rest. Far beyond the allotted span of life has the Cardinal stayed amongst us. "The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be four score years yet is their strength labour and sorrow." With JOHN HENRY NEWMAN dies the greatest theologian of the century; and one of the sweetest of men. Though he embraced a creed which the mass of the people of this land reject, his countrymen retained a reverence almost amounting to affection for him. At such a time as this it is more pleasing to dwell on the nobility, the gentleness, the saintliness of the man than to deal with controversies with which his name is inseparably associated. But the mark left by JOHN HENRY NEWMAN on the record of the intellectual thought of the age is one which will never be effaced. For JOHN HENRY NEWMAN the night has gone, and the morn broken. The Roman Catholic Church mourns a man who was indeed a prince amongst his fellows; and the human race is the poorer for his loss. "Howl, fir tree, for the cedar is fallen!"

Shields Daily Gazette

The life for which Dr. NEWMAN once so eloquently apologized—using the "apology," of course, in its older and truer sense, as it was employed by Bishop Watson in his "apology for the Bible,"—has at length come to a quiet end. The great preacher, writer, leader of men, died in his ninetieth year. It is odd to think that the furious controversies in which he formerly bore so active and distinguished a part will now be revived merely as recollections. They sound to us in these days like the noises of battle in the Arthurian poems of Lord Tennyson—indistinct, confused, ghostly, afar off. The {219} relative point of view has changed pretty nearly all round. Men do not look at things now as they did when the "Tracts for the Times" were issuing from the press. It is impossible to imagine that in these times a tempest of theological controversy could be raised by such a statement as that subscription to the thirty-nine articles is not incompatible with holding with many of the doctrines of the Church of Rome.   *   *   *   *   *   Charles Kingsley, who rode at his theological antagonists pretty much as he rode after the hounds, without much regard to obstacles, and straight across country, could never bring himself to believe in the intellectual uprightness even of a man of such high character as Cardinal NEWMAN; and it was, in fact, Kingsley's blunt manner of assault which produced the "Apologia pro vita sua," in which NEWMAN laid before the world a wonderfully vivid description of the feelings, influences, and intellectual processes which led him to join the Church of Rome. The book was triumphant so far as its main object was concerned. It established NEWMAN'S character—if this was ever doubted to any wide extent—for unselfishness and sincerity. But it is a rather painful book to read. Minds which are not distinctively of the scholastic order are struck by the consideration that there must have been a great deal of unnecessary self-torture, that the great theologian now deceased had too much of the temper of Simeon Stylites when that saint was occupying his pillar, and that a more robust intellect would easily have broken through the web in which NEWMAN simply entangled himself more and more. The truth is that the Cardinal's mental arrangements were so complex as to puzzle and confuse even himself. If he had been thrown into parish work in some big city, instead of continuing in the heated and, at that time, unhealthy atmosphere of Oxford, the whole tenour of his life must have been changed. But as things were, his soul became exhausted by intellectual subtleties and the constant workings of a mind which was itself incapable of {220} exhaustion. After all, his real reason for joining Rome was that he felt the need of some certitude against which to lean himself. Like Milton's angels, he was "in wandering mazes lost" until he became convinced that the only resting place on earth is in the bosom of an infallible church. Thenceforth he tortured himself no longer. Had his mind, when he joined the Church of Rome, continued to work on the same problems as had occupied him whilst he remained a member of the Church of England, he would infallibly have come back again, perhaps to make another reversion later on. But having once accepted the Roman Church as the final authority in religion there was no more self-questioning, and NEWMAN lived on at peace with himself, a remarkable spectacle to the world. His influence on English thought has been to a large extent quite independent of his teachings and religious opinions. This may seem almost impossible when all that he has written has a distinct bearing upon religion, and yet on examination the statement will be found to be quite true. NEWMAN had, in the first place, an enormous personal influence, which, strong as it was in all cases, did not invariably, or even very commonly, result in carrying his disciples along the path that he himself pursued. There was a magnetic attraction about him, a sweetness such as scarcely another man in this century has possessed. In his old Oxford days he exercised a quite singular power over all who were then at the University, the greatest and the least. As he passed through streets and quadrangles men said to each other, "Hush, there's NEWMAN." Perhaps his greatest service to mankind will prove to be that he formed character rather than convictions, that he moulded the dispositions of men to a far greater extent than he influenced their opinions. Then, also, he had the power of a great style. Taking him altogether, he was our finest writer of English, not excepting Mr. Ruskin, for, in comparison, Ruskin is lacking in modulation of phrase, in intellectual restraint, and in grave {221} dignity of thought. As a theologian, probably, NEWMAN was least great; as a writer his greatness is indisputable; as a man whose austere earnestness was accompanied by the most unusual beauty of character he was unquestionably one of the most deservedly distinguished figures of his age.


It has been observed that NEWMAN was the Creator of the Church of England as it exists at the present day. This is, perhaps, the most serious impeachment that can be brought against him, for the Church of England at the present day is more narrowly intolerant than any of the sects.


Cardinal NEWMAN'S life was evenly divided between the Church of England and that of Rome. He was forty-live years of age when he left the English Church, and he died after forty-five years' service in the Church of his adoption. It is too early yet to say which of the two periods has had the greater influence on his own generation, or will contribute most to his own fame. NEWMAN himself—we pay him the homage of dropping all titles—declared that the Oxford movement owed more to Keble's "Christian Year" than to any other influence; and it is undoubtedly true that any movement, political or religious, which is so fortunate as to command the services of a genuine poet gains an immense accession of strength. Men are moved by their imaginations and feelings more than by their reason, and it is to these that the poet makes his appeal. We are not disposed therefore to underrate the influence of the sweet singer of the "Christian Year." If any single man is to be picked out as the leading and stimulating spirit of the Oxford {222} movement, that man is undoubtedly NEWMAN. The movement was fortunate in the number of able and brilliant men who rendered it loyal and ungrudging service, but NEWMAN was the only man of real genius among them. It is possible that even as a poet posterity may rank him higher than Keble. If he does not keep uniformly on Keble's level, he has certainly soared to loftier heights. His keen, subtle, and resourceful dialectic was thus illuminated by the glow of his poetic temperament, and the personality of the man pervaded his work. There was not a leader among the Tractarians who could approach him in the gift of personal influence. It was not till after he left Oxford, as he tells us in a humorous passage in the "Apologia," that he learnt that he was an object of imitation to crowds of young men at the University. His dress, his gait, the pose of his head, the play of his features, were copied by his admirers. On one occasion he was obliged to wear a shoe with the heel turned down, on account of a chilblain, and it immediately became a fashion for a time among undergraduates who had fallen under his spell to go about with the heel of one shoe turned clown, By way of reaction against the modern exaltation of preaching, the early Tractarians discouraged extempore sermons and all graces of delivery. NEWMAN accordingly wrote all his sermons, and delivered them without gesture and nearly in monotone. Yet so vividly did the personality of the man speak through the tones of that silvery voice, that he managed to express more feeling by his monotone than other preachers could express by all the arts of oratory. And then, as a writer, his style is the perfection of that art which conceals art. It reads as if it grew out of his mind spontaneously and without effort, but is in reality the result of laborious training, and he has himself let us into the secret of its acquisition in one of the charming essays which he published while rector of the Roman Catholic University in Dublin.   *   *   *   *   *   {223} But how shall we account for NEWMAN'S secession? His was no ordinary conversion. He had surveyed the whole field of controversy between the English and Roman Churches, and had entered the arena and returned, as was thought, with the spoils of victory. Besides numerous essays dealing with the main points in dispute, he published a powerful attack upon the Roman position in a series of brilliant lectures. Yet, like the Sicambrian of old, he suddenly changed sides, "burning what he had adored, and adoring what he had burnt." NEWMAN'S conversion was probably due to many causes. He was evidently afraid of his own intellect. A vein of scepticism lay at the bottom of his character, and he had the example of two brothers to warn him. Frank Newman passed from a fervid Evangelicalism to a pale theism without Christianity; and the third brother, of whom the critics appear to be ignorant, became an atheist, and died a few years ago at Tenby, where he had for years lived the life of a recluse. NEWMAN therefore craved for some recognised authority to whom he could bow, and found it at last in Rome. And yet it was on rationalistic principles that he became a Roman Catholic. He knew history too well to be able to reconcile the modern Papal system with the Christianity of the first six centuries, which he had studied so carefully in writing his "History of the Arians," and he could not bend his conscience to the dictates of any authority until his reason was convinced. His faith demanded some sort of rational basis, and so he wrote his "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine," before he could accept the creed of Rome. Having thus satisfied his reason, he made his submission to Rome, and was satisfied. Then "for the first time," as he tells us in the "Apologia," he "looked up at the Church of Rome from within." That admission reveals much. He had never looked up to the Church of England from within. He always viewed it from without, experimenting upon it and theorising about it, but never really yielding it the loyal submission of a son. But it is {224} probable that a more sympathetic treatment from those in authority would have prevented his secession. What a nature like his needed was sympathy and active service. The responsibility and duties of a bishop's office would have diverted his mind from unhealthy brooding, and left him no time or inclination for spinning out theories. But instead of sympathy he received abuse, and was bidden to leave. How deeply he felt this treatment is shown in the last sermon he preached in the English Church. Even at this distance of time it is difficult to read passages like the following without emotion:

"Oh, my mother, whence is this unto thee that thou hast good things poured upon thee and canst not keep them, and barest children yet darest not own them? Why hast thou not the wish to use their services, and the heart to rejoice in their love? How is it that whatever is generous in purpose, or deep in devotion—thy flower and thy promise—falls from thy bosom, and finds no home within thine arms? Who hath put this note upon thee, to have 'a miscarrying womb and dry breasts,' to be strange to thine own flesh, and thine eyes cruel towards thy little ones? Thine own offspring, the fruit of thy womb, who love thee and would toil for thee; thou dost look upon with fear, as though a portent, or thou doth loathe as an offence; at best thou dost but endure, as if they had no claim but on thy patience, self-possession, and vigilance, to be rid of them as easily as thou mayest. Thou makest them 'stand all the day idle,' as the very condition of thy bearing with them; or thou biddest them begone where they will be more welcome; or thou sellest them for nought to the stranger that passes by. And what wilt thou do in the end thereof?"


There are deaths yet to come which will agitate the English world more than Cardinal NEWMAN'S, but there has been none, so far as we know, that will leave the world that really knew him with so keen a sense of deprivation, of a white star extinguished, of a sign vanished, of an age impoverished, of a grace withdrawn. To many, and to many who are not Roman Catholics, it will seem the nearest approach in their own experience to what the death of the Apostle John must have been to the Church of the Fathers, when the closing words of his epistle, {225} "Little children, keep yourselves from idols," were still ringing in their ears. Cardinal NEWMAN was one of those who did not lean on others, but on whom others leaned. He has told us in his "Apologia" that Dr. Whately had attributed to him the ambition to be the head of a party, but he thought he had attributed it unjustly:—"My habitual feeling then and since has been, that it was not I who sought friends, but friends who sought me. Never man had kinder or more indulgent friends than I have, but I expressed my own feeling as to the mode in which I gained them in this very year 1829, in the course of a copy of verses. Speaking of my blessings, I said: 'Blessings of friends, which to my door unasked, unhoped have come.' They have come, they have gone; they came to my great joy, they went to my great grief. He who gave took away." Dr. Copleston said of Newman, "Nunquam minus solus, quam cum solus,"—and that is one reason why he leaves such a blank behind him. It is always the lonely spirit on which more social natures lean. And yet NEWMAN was quite right in saying that ambition was never his weakness. As he himself confesses, he soon lost all hold of the Tractarian movement, and found it proceeding on lines of its own without much relation to his own wish or will; nor did it evidently trouble him to find that he had lost his hold of it. He speaks of a sense of relief rather than of a sense of mortification when he found himself, after the publication of Tract 90, posted up on the buttery-hatch of every College "like a discommoned pastry-cook." He found it hard enough to make out whither he himself was going; but it was a much easier inquiry, and one less embarrassed by all sorts of moral perplexities, than it had been at the time when he felt himself more or less responsible for a whole host of other men's movements, and, indeed, for the action of a great party in the Church. He might have said of himself what he said of St. Gregory Nazianzen in his own poem (Palermo, June 12th, 1833):— {226}

"Thou couldst a people raise, but couldst not rule
              So, gentle one,
Heaven set thee free,—for, ere thy years were full,
              Thy work was done;
According thee the lot thou lovedst best,
To muse upon the past,—to serve, yet be at rest."

That was a lot which, for the last twenty years at least of his long life, Cardinal NEWMAN enjoyed. Yet, the mere knowledge that he was living in the quiet Oratory at Edgbaston helped men to realise that the spiritual world is even more real than the material world, and that in that lonely, austere, and yet gracious figure, God had made a sign to Great Britain that the great purpose of life is a purpose to which this life hardly more than introduces us.

For it is impossible to find any life in this century so singly and simply devoted to spiritual ends as Cardinal NEWMAN'S. There have been more heroic lives, more laborious lives, more apparently beneficent lives,—the lives of soldiers, martyrs, missionaries, all lived nobly in the sight of God,—but none of them at once so detached from the common human interests, and yet so natural, genial, and human as NEWMAN'S.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

In fact, Cardinal NEWMAN, though he lived a life so detached from the ordinary pleasures and cares of this world that it is hardly intelligible to an ordinary Englishman who gives his whole soul to those pleasures and cares, was altogether human. There was nothing in him of the spiritual pride and grandiosity of detachment from the world. He was detached from it in the simplest and most sensitively natural manner, as of one who was all compact of the tenderest fibres of human feeling, even though he did not permit himself to plunge into its passions and its fascinations. Yet how delicately, how truly he read human nature,—its smallness as well as its greatness; its eagerness about trifles; its love of the finest gossamer threads which connect it with its kind; its immense satisfaction in dwelling not merely on all the external incidents of life, but even on all the possible incidents which {227} might have been but were not,—in building up in imagination the fortunes which some averted accident would have revolutionised if it had not been averted, in entering into the influences which made this or that man what he was, and might have made him richer or poorer if only some other not improbable event had occurred to modify his actual destiny; how exquisitely he depicted the stir of pleasurable emotion with which men reflect that in their youth they knew some great personage, or heard some great speech, and with which they felicitate themselves on having been so near the focus of a considerable drama as actually to touch one of its leading figures; all this NEWMAN represented to himself and to his hearers and readers with a vivacity which made his own detachment from the world all the more impressive, his own passionate absorption in the spiritual interests of life all the more unique and emphatic. There was no finer genius than his for understanding the gentle vividness, the happy reciprocal affections, the light play and irony and tender surprises of life. Yet when he was only thirty-two years old, he could truly write this of himself:—

                        " . . . . . . . . . But Thou, dear Lord,
Whilst I traced out bright scenes which were to come,
Isaac's pure blessings and a verdant home,
Didst spare me and withhold Thy fearful word;
Wiling me year by year, till I am found
A pilgrim pale with Paul's sad girdle bound."

Never surely was there an intellect which combined a happier and more delicate insight into the concrete side of life, with a larger and more daring grasp of its abstract truths, and of that fine and intricate middle region which connects the logic of facts with the logic of the understanding.

For NEWMAN was very much more than a masterly thinker. There have been many more masterly thinkers of the kind which men call "systematic." But NEWMAN perceived more vividly than any English thinker of our century the weakness of what is called systematic thought, and the faint influence exerted by any abstract system over the practical life of men. {228} There is no religious thinker in our country, we will not say merely of the present century, but, so far as the present writer knows, of any century, who has apprehended more clearly how various and how mixed and unrecognised by men in general, are the elements of motive and perception which go to make up practical genius, the genius for doing successfully what most men only try to do and wish to do. The implicit reason by which those are practically guided who succeed in what they attempt, as distinguished from the explicit theoretic reason with which they are formally furnished by those who profess to educate them and to fit them for their actual careers, had never been analysed by any English thinker as it was analysed by NEWMAN, especially in the Oxford University Sermons; and this, indeed, was the great source of his religious influence. As he measured rightly the width of the chasm between blundering good intentions and social tact, the immense distance between practical genius and the formal theoretic teaching of which men of practical genius make so little, so he had apprehended clearly the immeasurable gulf that divides real religious motive from the formal appeals which are supposed to produce religious habits of mind. He delineates again and again the utter dreariness with which the mere mention of the word "religion" fills the heart of young people, and what is more, he knew how to charm that dreariness away, how to fill the heart with gratitude, with devotion, with ardent zeal, with loving ambition. He knew the awakening effect of presenting to his hearers what was the actual life of the primitive Church, and asking them how far that life resembled the life of religious faith of our own day. He knew how to prick with his irony the sluggish will, how to move with his pathos the obtuse heart, how to transfer, in short, his own reality of insight into the actual life depicted in the New Testament to those who had so accustomed themselves to hear of it without realising it, that it had lost all vivid practical meaning for them altogether. He insists in many of his University sermons on the difference {229} between a really great General's appreciation of the facts of a campaign and the theoretic General's idea of the formal treatment of those facts, between a really practised climber's command of the various points at which he can make his way up a precipice, and the inexperienced man's futile conception of the proper way to climb it; and he himself showed just the same piercing vision into the most effective ways of moving men to be Christians, which he ascribed to the military genius in his insight into the true treatment of a campaign, or to the mountaineer in his mastery of the deftest way of scaling an apparently inaccessible rock. And he could not only do this—he could analyse the mode in which it was done. He could justify theoretically the potent implicit reason of man against the fruitless and formal explicit reason. He could show how much more powerful was the combination of humility, trust, imagination, feeling, perception, in apprehending the revealed mind and will of God, than the didactic and formal proofs to which the popular religious appeals of our day usually have recourse. Never was there a bolder appeal than his to the craving of the heart for a great example, never was there a more delicate mixture of reason and imagination than his in stirring up the heart to great resolves. His practical sermons illustrated in the most powerful way what the University Sermons philosophically analysed and justified. He was much more than a great thinker—a great thinker who could wield that "zigzag lightning of the brain" which presses home the thought it gauges and measures.

Of NEWMAN'S literary style it is hardly possible to speak too highly. It was so pure and delicate that it fascinates even those who have least sympathy with his intellectual and moral creed. Mr. John Morley, himself master of one of the purest styles in England, spoke of it only two or three months ago as an illustration of the perfect style. NEWMAN'S English was simple, graceful, subtle, real; and it often displayed all these great qualities at once. There was passion in it, and yet there was {230} that pleading, subdued tone which chastens and softens passion, and moulds it to all the tenderest purposes of life.


We have lost in some respects our greatest Englishman in Cardinal NEWMAN—clearly the greatest master of English style, probably him whose life has been more completely the outcome of consistent, deep, and coherent purpose, than that of any other man of genius whom this century of our history has seen. Nowhere has there been a life so completely all of a piece, so patiently carved out of one pure block of purpose, as Cardinal NEWMAN'S. As the writer in the Guardian says, whether as Evangelical in his boyhood, or as High Churchman in his youth, or as Roman Catholic in his maturity and old age, his one idea has been to get back to the life of the New Testament, and to realise it in a sense in which neither Evangelicals, nor High Churchmen, nor Roman Catholics have contrived to realise it as yet.

Staffordshire Chronicle

The one event which has overshadowed every other topic this week has been the death of Cardinal NEWMAN—that strangely luminous personality which has been so closely identified with a great historical epoch in the religious life of England. Although for nearly half a century he has been buried as it were in the bosom of an alien church, his intimate connection with the great upheaval of feeling and thought in the history of the Anglican Church, known as the Tractarian Movement, has carried down to our later day a strange interest in his life and work. His intellectual and religious eminence have equally contributed to the widespread feeling of affection and reverence manifested for the deceased Cardinal amongst adherents of every shade of religious {231} belief in this country. The genuine expression of sorrow called forth throughout the land by his death testifies the deep and enduring impression his individuality made on the popular mind, as well as to the extent of his influence on the spiritual 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 dialectical skill; 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 elsewhere, and this we think will be found in the sentiment of his fellow countrymen that 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 the qualities and virtues appealed less powerfully to his countrymen than the grandeur of soul which made him content to find in a life of self-sacrifice and obscurity the truest opportunities for dutiful service to God and man.


The announcement of the death of Cardinal NEWMAN will cause a profound sensation throughout the civilized world. It is no exaggeration to say that one of the greatest names in the history of two Churches is now enrolled among the deathless dead. His end was a euthanasia. He died full of years and honours, at the patriarchal age of 89, an object of esteem and admiration to thousands who had no sympathy with his religious views, even in the form which they originally wore, and to thousands more who, far from being Romanists or Anglicans, neither professed nor called themselves Christians. It was the singular lot of this great and {232} remarkable man to attract to himself, though for widely different reasons, the respect of the most opposite Schools and Parties, and to win the love and applause of theological antagonists who hated each other with the hatred that is a proverb.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

NEWMAN'S position in ecclesiastical history is one of peculiar interest. It stands out in clear relief, unlike that of many other great men whom it is so difficult to classify or define.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

NEWMAN, without any seeking of his own, became the natural leader of Party, and with the aid of deeply learned coadjutors, and brilliant and devoted lieutenants, produced an effect throughout the country which eclipsed for a time almost every subject of public interest. With what rare skill, with what power, with what beauty, with what mingled sweetness and satire, simplicity and subtlety, he worked out his great scheme, England will long remember, and old men will long repeat to their children. Then, when he had all but perfected his weapon, it broke suddenly in his hands, and left him defenceless before his enemies. The story is equal to any romance that was ever written, and may hereafter furnish materials to the poet or the novelist scarcely inferior in dramatic capabilities to the great events of the Seventeenth Century.

What would have been the progress and the ultimate goal of the Tractarian movement, had NEWMAN remained in the Church of England to inspire and direct it, is a question of inexhaustible interest, but of almost hopeless obscurity. We know that as a controversial writer he had no match: that he would have been a bold man who ventured to cast ridicule on Ritualism, if NEWMAN had been in arms to defend it, and retort on the assailant with all that wealth of mockery and irony which overwhelmed KINGSLEY and ACHILLI. And we know also that NEWMAN, while still fighting for the Via Media, foresaw that if it was to {233} succeed a richer Ritual must be gradually introduced. When we reflect on the success which the High Church Party, including the more moderate Ritualists, have achieved without NEWMAN'S assistance, it seems not impossible that they might have won over the whole nation, had he been in the midst of them. But, on the other side of the account, we have to place the fact that much of NEWMAN'S popularity, and influence, and prestige arose, strange to say, from the very fact of his joining the Roman Church, and might not otherwise have existed in anything like the same degree. What is the value of his work to the Church of his adoption, she can tell better than we can. But his pure and lofty character is the common property of us all. Both those whom he left and those to whom he came may profit by his example. He voluntarily embraced a life of obscurity in devotion to what he believed to be the truth, when he might have been for another generation the most powerful man in the Church of England, and the reconstructor, perhaps, of the great Anglican system which was dropped at the Revolution. A splendid career lay before him when he retired from St. Mary's to Littlemore, there to mature the resolve which had been gradually taking possession of his mind, to give up all and follow what seemed the voice of divine truth. No English Churchman will doubt that he will have his reward, and no English layman but will deplore the death of a great and lofty genius, and the extinction of a high and noble life.


The news of the death of Cardinal NEWMAN will awake many echoes—some distant, some strangely near—in many memories. Had NEWMAN died at any moment during the last forty years, his loss must have seemed to bear away from our midst one of {234} the great masters of life. How is it that we now think of him? To many Englishmen the music of his eloquence, and the still more magic music of his career, will have but a faint sound, like the notes of a great organ heard from afar. To others it will seem mixed with the deepest harmonies of their being. The men and women whom he carried away in his revolt against what, for want of a better word, we may call the "new spirit," and those who were swept into far different paths, are like him dead and gone, and, unlike him, many of them are forgotten.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

But still NEWMAN has lived on. Still we have seemed to realize the ideal spiritual beauty which affected MATTHEW ARNOLD as he heard NEWMAN in St. Mary's pulpit discoursing of the "beatific vision." Why is this?

Not perhaps because NEWMAN was very largely understood and appreciated by the mass of his countrymen who are non-Catholics. To them the great popular figure in Anglo Catholicism has been Cardinal MANNING, who has supplied the complement of all the qualities—popular sympathy, interest in the world's everyday work, and a passionate desire to translate his religion into the common life of the people which NEWMAN lacked. Nor can it be said that a very large proportion of his countrymen have toiled up the intellectual steeps, and leaped the wild precipices of thought, by which Cardinal NEWMAN led the readers of the "Grammar of Assent." His poems have no doubt had a wider and more domestic influence. What weary and much-travelled soul has not found refreshment from the most beautiful hymn that ever was written, "Lead, kindly Light?" What more delicate vision of the mysteries of death and after-death is to be found than in the "Dream of Gerontius?" Yet, it can hardly be said that NEWMAN has, even in these works, come very closely home to the hearts of his countrymen. What, then, we ask again, is the secret of his great influence; what are the components of the spell which he holds over us, and {235} which is so strong now in the moment of his death?

They are, we think, twofold. First, it is as the saint, not as the profound scholar, the subtly ingenious critic, the master of musical speech, the constructor of new or newly-adapted systems of metaphysical thought, that NEWMAN has kept and will keep his hold on our imaginations. In this busy, material, striving and crying age, NEWMAN revived in his beautiful personality and serenely-ordered life what seemed a dead and gone ideal. He retired within himself, seeking to realise the truths of which, as he said in a memorable passage, though nature and reason seemed to contradict them, his "whole being was full." So the Birmingham Oratory came in time to fill the place in the Englishman's fancy of the hermits' cave of early Christian days. The messages that came from it had often the air of chill aloofness from the world's beliefs and doings which were the distinctive mark of NEWMAN, as of that other great Englishman, Ruskin. NEWMAN laid a cool hand on the feverish pulses of our life, and we felt the touch. The simplicity of the man's life, the solemnity of his tones, his marvellous spiritual history, his wondrous influence over his contemporaries of an earlier day, all helped to bring to life again the old notions of saintship. Manning brought to men's minds the more active heroes of Catholicism—the Anselms, the Savonarolas, the ecclesiastical statesmen and workers. NEWMAN was St. Simeon Stylites on his pillar, holding converse with things that were far apart from our busy life in market, on platform, and even in the pulpit.

As with NEWMAN'S spiritual, so with his intellectual influence. He rightly likened his inner life to a journey, the object of which was to find a final goal and place of rest. He found it. Others never did—never will—never can. They toil on, pursuing the white bird, Truth, like the climber in the beautiful apologue in Olive Schreiner's beautiful book; and, at the end of all their toilings up the mountains, they are happy if a single feather falls on their bosoms. NEWMAN was not of {236} this type. He had seen of the travail of his soul, and was satisfied. He had found the "beatific vision," and men walking without it seemed to him to be outside the circle of light and happiness and true knowledge. To no man living in any age has it perhaps been given so finely and fully to grasp his intellectual ideals—to be always in sight of the "kindly light" that led him on through "moor and fen," over "crag and torrent"—and to realise them in a more beautiful and consistent life.

St. Helens Newspaper

My work is done,
    My task is o'er,
And so I come,
    Taking it home,
For the Crown is won,
For evermore.
            Dream of Gerontius.

So Cardinal NEWMAN wrote, and now at the ripe age of 89 years he has gone, taking his work home. There are few men dead or living who have a greater sheaf of well gathered work to show as the result of their labours through a well-spent life.   *   *   *   *   *   Today every creed and class is giving utterance to the warmest eulogiums, and Cardinal NEWMAN is placed in one of the high niches of fame as an admirable character, and one of the brightest and chastest writers of pure English.

St. James's Gazette

In Cardinal NEWMAN we lose an English writer of the very highest distinction and a teacher of commanding influence; but his work in both kinds—in the former certainly—was done some time before he died. {237} It was not death, but old age and those retired and reposeful habits of life which old age makes a necessity for some natures that withdrew that potent personality and that impressive figure not only from the ranks of controversy but from the field of letters. No one has arisen to write like NEWMAN since NEWMAN ceased to write, and none such is likely to arise within any less period of time than commonly divides the great masters in literature from one another. If the great literary artist has been taken from us, the perfect models which he has bequeathed to us remain behind and are imperishable. We only wish that but a fraction of the orators who have been, and will shortly be, doing lip-service to that noble style—unequalled in any era of our language for its combination of strength, grace, and dignity—could be persuaded to cultivate those qualities in which it abounds and to chasten those which it eschews. But that, unhappily, there is little likelihood of our seeing, and, least of all, of our seeing it in that department of literature in which the author of the "Parochial Sermons" put forth his utmost power. With a few, a very few, exceptions—we might almost say with only one exception so marked as to assure us of the survival of the great academic tradition of which NEWMAN was the supreme representative—contemporary homiletic oratory is drifting, as far as the emotional religiosity of our day has already drifted, from those landmarks of simplicity and sanity which this great classic of the pulpit ever kept in view. One thinks of the sort of language in which the more "popular" of popular preachers delight to clothe the sort of ideas which their auditors best love to contemplate; and one finds a difficulty in believing that they and the late "Dr. NEWMAN of S. Mary's" are really practitioners of the same sacred art. That eloquence which knew how to flow so ardently without ever becoming flamboyant, that exquisite familiarity of address which never {238} stumbled into the slipshod colloquial, that old-world simplicity of speech which yet never carried homeliness to affectation, that resolute plainness of construction which so unerringly avoided its besetting pitfalls, which never failed of charm in seeking after force, or, as happens so often to it in inferior hands, gave us "instead of beauty, baldness;" —it is not merely that the latter-day orator or writer on things religious fails to unite in his own style this remarkable array of uncommon qualities. It is that there is not among these qualities—from the power of keeping rhetoric clear of "gush" down to the power of preserving simplicity from descent into bathos—which does not seem totally alien to every tendency of the religious literature of the day.


It is impossible at the close of the week in which he died to open one's lips on literary topics without a word to record the passing away of so great a writer of English—so great a master, in his own phrase, of the twofold Logos, the thought and the word, distinct but inseparable from each other.

With the true NEWMAN style is altogether an intellectual grace; and so far as it is sensuous at all, the affinity is rather with the art of music than with the art of painting, which has had so large and often so disastrous an influence over the literary style of this century. NEWMAN was, in fact, himself musical—though that may not have had much to do with his literary style.

Style—that is, no doubt, NEWMAN'S supreme distinction as a man of letters. It has become very much the fashion to praise that style, though it has not yet become the fashion to copy its excellence. For the matter of that, it is, no doubt, inimitable. Men have talked, NEWMAN complained, as if one man could do the thought and another the style; as if fine writing were an addition from without to the matter treated of—a sort of {239} ornament superinduced, or a luxury indulged in, by those who had time and inclination for such vanities. Could they really think, he wondered, that Homer or Pindar or Shakspeare or Dryden or Walter Scott was accustomed to aim at diction for its own sake, instead of being inspired with his subject and pouring forth beautiful words because he had beautiful thoughts? This was surely too great a paradox to be borne. What thought NEWMAN had himself taken about diction, for diction's sake, he took in his 'prentice days. At fourteen or fifteen he imitated Addison, he told the students of the Irish Catholic University; when he was seventeen he wrote in the style of Johnson; about the same time he fell in with the twelfth volume of Gibbon, and his ears rang with the cadence of his sentences, and he dreamed of it for a night or two. Then he began to make an analysis of Thucydides in Gibbon's style.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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