Chapter 2. Oxford and its Movement

Degree—Scholar of Trinity—The growth of religious opinions—Eternal reward
and eternal punishment—"Trinity had never been unkind to me"—A Trinity Sunday
in after-life—A Trinity friend—Fellow of Oriel—The first of Pusey and of Keble—
Diffidences—Ordination—First publicities—"I began to be known"—The University
pulpit—A group of great listeners—Profound memories—Word-portraits-——A
prophet's chamber—Overheard prayers

NEWMAN took his degree at Trinity College in 1820; and there he remained for three years longer in the coveted position of Scholar. In his Loss and Gain he tells the story of Oxford life, as it occurred to him; and it is, in part, a story of the distractions from secular learning suffered—or enjoyed—by the student, who, especially at a time of doubt and disturbance, has great spiritual problems at heart. John Henry Newman, no less than his hero, Charles Reding, when he should have been giving days and nights to his examination papers, was to be found poring over his Testament, or on his knees by his bed, or, perhaps, relieving pent-up feelings in the writing of a hymn. Despite all minor trials, however, the young undergraduate must have possessed interior peace, since he believed in his own heavenly predestination and was—both in his own life and in his century—of an age which did not deeply concern itself with the fate of others. {14}

A book of Romaine's he had read when his teens had turned to seriousness taught him this sure hope: "I recollect," he says in the Apologia, "neither the title nor the contents, except one doctrine, which, of course, I do not include among those which I believe to have come from a divine source, viz., the doctrine of final perseverance. I received it at once, and believed that the inward conversion of which I was conscious (and of which I am still more certain than that I have hands and feet) would last into the next life, and that I was elected to eternal glory. I have no consciousness that this belief had any tendency whatever to lead me to be careless about pleasing GOD. I retained it till the age of twenty-one, when it gradually faded away; but I believe that it had some influence on my opinions, in the direction of those childish imaginations which I have already mentioned, viz., in isolating me from the objects which surrounded me, in confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of material phenomena, and making me rest in the thought of two only supreme and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator; for, while I considered myself predestined to salvation, I thought others simply passed over, not predestined to eternal death. I thought only of the mercy to myself."

This doctrine he himself later labelled "detestable"; nobody, as a Catholic, prayed more fervently, perhaps more fearfully, than he for that grace of final perseverance he had once held to be mechanically {15} guaranteed. There was perhaps something of overstrung reaction from this early "assurance" in that later temper which led him to end one of his Discourses to Mixed Congregations, "Let us look to ourselves—GOD forbid that, while we preach to others, we ourselves should become castaways!" and to declare that "the holier a man is, and the higher in the kingdom of heaven, so much the greater need has he to look carefully to his footing." And he would quote the case of his own Father, St. Philip, who cried each morning, "LORD, beware of me today, lest I betray Thee." Yet when that Saint saw young persons, he began to consider how much time they had before them to do good in, and said, "O happy you, O happy you!" a view of their future not at all tormented by previsions of lapses necessarily besetting the feet of those whose faces turn heavenward.

With growing years, that do not deaden, as some say, but rather extend and deepen, our sensibilities, years, too, that brought him the unbounded confidences of men and women, and close ties, Newman was able to declare that he "thought for others more than for himself." Surely that formula in itself precludes any doctrine of preferential "election." Never, after emerging from the egotism that is another name for Youth, could he contemplate a creation in which he was to win without an effort, where others, whatever their effort, were to fail. Doubtless, in a world where hereditary tendencies and the force of {16} untoward circumstances must often prevail, any attempt at separation between sheep and goats must seem scarce less crude and capricious than the arbitrary creed that is commonly called Calvinism. "Detestable" as Calvinism was to Newman, he did not shrink from using to the full the imagery of terror when talking of the temporal or eternal loss inflicted by sin. Say not temporal or eternal, but temporal and therefore eternal. By life's simplest rule, a day's work or pleasure, the smile of a friend, the opportunity for doing or taking a kindness, lost once, is lost for ever. Newman's belief in the granting or denial of eternal rewards dated from his sixteenth year: in the eternal happiness which itself carries an equally eternal doom for those who are denied it.

A footnote in the Grammar of Assent quotes Petavius as saying that the Church has never defined the eternity of punishment. Yet some have asserted that in certain sermons of an earlier date Newman descanted on the most awful of all subjects with almost a hissing pleasure. One sentence, indeed, he himself modified in its latest published version. In later years Newman claimed: "I have tried in various ways to make that truth less terrible to the reason"; and in an often-quoted letter written to one whom his sermons had made unhappy, and whom he tenderly consoled, he dwelt mystically rather than materially on that future state which, as to its conditions, he said, remained mostly {17} a matter of private judgement. Looking back we see that the nineteenth century undoubtedly witnessed in its sons and daughters a vast awakening from such a dream as Newman's early one of a heaven for himself, and oblivion or worse for his fellows. The mystery of final loss for finite evil remains, under varying terms—whether it be George Eliot's Comte-borrowed "consequence" or that old law of causation which modern science asserts with Herbert Spencer to be the most universal as to time or space of all laws in its application. True, Robert Louis Stevenson spurned in words that burn the "damnable creed" of his Scottish ancestry; but the analogy of mortal penalty forced on that fearless spirit the final admission that the immortal penalty may not, on mere sentiment, be denied. Peradventure the century's change from complacency to consciousness has apt illustration in the reply given, just at its close, by a Woman of Letters—of a very different type from Newman, yet, like him, a convert to the Catholic Church—Pearl Mary Teresa Craigie. When asked if she believed in the doctrine of hell, as it is sometimes popularly preached, she replied: "I believe it for myself, but for no one else." The reply struck the hearer as something far beyond one of those idle reversals of the common view—in this instance that a man is sure of his own salvation and nobody else's—upon which so many reputations for the new order of wit, "the expected unexpected," have passed into {18} and out of our range of vision. For the Catholic Church, which keeps before her children "the fire that is not quenched," refuses to allow this man or that to be adjudged as he whose perversity shall endure to feed it; and this the formula of Mrs. Craigie enforces. We can bear the Agnostic's gibe against the Christian that his belief is "in a place of eternal torment eternally untenanted." For one afternoon of his life—great men have their moods—this gibe was accepted, when duly conditioned, by Cardinal Manning. We may at least hope as Universalists, he said, what we may not believe in the sense of teaching to others or relying upon with relaxed efforts for ourselves. "How," with stress of emotion said this great lover of GOD and man, "how could we endure to live through a single day if we didn't."

As an undergraduate, Newman, always something of a hero-worshipper, meditated a pilgrimage to Aston Sandford parsonage, to "see a man whom I so deeply revered—Thomas Scott, a writer who made a deeper impression on my mind than any other, and to whom, humanly speaking, I almost owe my soul. I hardly think I could have given up the idea of this expedition even after I had taken my degree; for the news of his death in 1821 came upon me as a disappointment as well as a sorrow." These "Evangelical" masters of his early days, who were all unconsciously preparing their disciple for {19} ends alike out of their ken and his, he never ceased to revere. What Pusey said of the "Evangelicals"—"we loved them because they loved our Lord"—stands as their abiding charter of brotherhood in our affections. Scott, who began life as a Unitarian, "first planted deep in my mind," said Newman, a belief in the Trinity, "that fundamental truth of religion." In Scripture he found the confirmation of what Scripture, diligent reader of it as he was from boyhood, had not itself taught him: a strange commentary, when one thinks of Newman's capacity and the average illiterate child's, on Mr. Birrell's system of "simple Bible teaching," and a presage of Newman's ultimate recourse to the voice of the Church [Note]. "I made a collection of Scripture texts in proof of the doctrine [of the Trinity] with remarks, I think, of my own upon them before I was sixteen, and a few months later I drew up a series of texts in support of each verse of the Athanasian Creed."

Other books there were which influenced him in these early years, or that were to him the mirror in which he saw and fixed his own features. One was Law's Serious Call, which called seriously to Manning also a little later, and thus conferred a double boon which itself no longer directly confers upon the modern reader. Jones of Maryland was another of his trusted authors, another was Newton, whose treatise {20} on the Prophecies persuaded him that "the Pope was the antichrist predicted by Daniel, St. Paul and St. John." He records, "My imagination was stained by the effects of this doctrine up to the year 1843; it had been obliterated from my reason and judgment at an earlier date; but the thought remained upon me as a sort of false conscience." In Joseph Milner's Church History, on the other hand, he was "nothing short of enamoured of the long extracts from St. Augustine and the other Fathers."

For Trinity, the home of the first six years of his Oxford life, Newman ever retained a tender affection. There he had whatever dreams of lay life these serious spiritual preoccupations allowed him. There he modelled in clay what was afterwards matured in a life set as marble. When he left Oxford "for good," as he himself phrased it, one of his friends who came to Littlemore to say farewell was Dr. Ogle, who had been his private tutor at Trinity. "In him," he says, "I took leave of my first College, Trinity, which was so dear to me, and which held in its foundation so many who had been kind to me both when I was a boy and all through my Oxford life. Trinity had never been unkind to me. There used to be much snapdragon growing on the walls opposite my freshman's rooms there, and I had for years taken it as the emblem of my own perpetual residence even unto death in my University." At distant intervals during the next thirty-two years a traveller to and from Birmingham {21} looked from the railway carriage, with feelings his fellows could not have divined, at the spires of Oxford; but he did not revisit it until 1868. Trinity attracted him later again, having elected him in 1877 as Honorary Fellow. He was the hero of cheering undergraduates, and he attended the college "gaudy" in the glare of limelight, feted for the first time in his already long life.

The feelings he all along entertained for his old haunt had been expressed ten years earlier in a letter, dated from Birmingham, Trinity Monday, 1868, and addressed to the Rev. Thomas Short, of Trinity:

"MY DEAR SHORT,—It is fifty years today since I was elected Scholar of Trinity. And, as you had so much to do with the election, I consider you my first benefactor at Oxford. In memory of it I have been saying Mass for you this morning. I should not have ventured to write to tell you this, but, happening to mention it to William Neville, he said, 'Do write and tell him so, for I said Mass for him yesterday, being Trinity Sunday.' This letter will at least show the love we bear to you and old Trinity amid all changes. Take it as such, and believe me to be, affectionately yours—

After Trinity, Oriel seemed strange to Newman, when, in 1823, it elected him to a Fellowship. "During the first years of my residence at Oriel," he himself says, "though proud of my college, I {22} was not quite at home there. I was very much alone, and I used often to take my daily walk by myself." On one such occasion he met Dr. Copleston, then Provost, who turned round, made him a bow, and said, "Never less alone than when alone." At first he had no friend but Pusey; and even to Pusey, though Newman "could not fail to revere a soul so devoted to the cause of religion, so full of good works, so faithful in his affections," he could not open his heart—then or afterwards. Keble, too, was a Fellow of Oriel, and when Newman went to receive the congratulations of the Fellows, he bore it all until Keble took his hand; "and then," he says, "I felt so abashed and so unworthy of the honour done me, that I seemed desirous of quite sinking into the ground." But Keble was not in residence; and was shy of him, so Newman thought, in consequence of the marks he still bore of the Evangelical and Liberal schools. Hurrell Froude, quoting the murderer who had done one good thing in his life, boasted of himself that he had brought Newman and Keble finally "to understand each other" in 1828.

As time went on, things and thoughts wonderfully changed. By 1824 Newman took Orders and was appointed curate at St. Clement's; he preached his first University sermon; became a tutor of his college and a public examiner, and wrote one or two essays which were well received. "I began to be known." And he began to know. He had for {23} his intimate friends Hurrell Froude and Robert Isaac Wilberforce, afterwards the fellow-archdeacon of Manning in secession to Rome. His hold on young men began. "But is he a good man?" mothers of sons anxiously asked, and their sisters echoed the question. The Tracts which all were reading were in themselves a recommendation; and the answer the young men gave was not doubtful. Newman's hold upon them was a grip of goodness; an attraction which was not of earth, at-a time when an attraction of that kind in a university was unusual.

No wonder there was concern at home about a Mentor who did not confine his influence to the improvement of their morals, but pushed it into the domain of doctrine. Already he had builded deep his foundations; and stone by stone was laid on that base. One by one, doctrines the Reformers had spurned were brought into daily service; and devotions, long discarded, awoke the fervour of young men in their rooms, and gave to private oratories an air of mystery that recalled the dangers and the ecstasies of the catacombs. And the great Catholic Revivalist was learning even while he taught. From Dr. Hawkins, Vicar of St Mary's, and, later, Provost of Oriel, came some of his lessons. He it was who trained Newman to weigh his words; who used to "snub me most severely on reading the first sermons that I wrote"; who lent Newman Archbishop Sumner's Treatise on Apostolical Preaching, {24} which taught him the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, and who opened a new world to him by teaching him the principle of tradition. He laid down the proposition, self-evident as soon as stated to those who have at all examined the structure of Scripture, that the Sacred Text was never intended to teach doctrine, but only to prove it. Dr. Whately, who was in other respects a contrary influence upon Newman's Catholic tendency, held this view too; and Whately was, besides, "the first to teach me the existence of the Church as a substantive body; next to fix in me anti-Erastian views of Church polity." It was Whately who "taught me to see with my own eyes and walk with my own feet. Not that I had not a good deal to learn from others still, but I influenced them as well as they me, and co-operated rather than merely concurred with them."

From the Rev. William James, then Fellow of Oriel, Newman acquired "the doctrine of the Apostolical Succession in the course of a walk, I think, round Christ Church meadow." And the reading of Bishop Butler's Analogy was an era in his religious history, with its picture of a visible Church, the oracle of Truth; its exposition of the historical character of revelation; its tendency to favour "the theory to which I was inclined as a boy, namely, the unreality of material phenomena"; and its formula that probability is the guide of life—which Newman afterwards turned to good {25} service in the Grammar of Assent, and wherever else he developed the idea of the logical cogency of Faith.

What Newman learned from Butler, Keble confirmed. The Christian Year was published in 1827; and, long afterwards, when Newman sought to label the effect made upon him by "the music of a school long unknown in England," and by "religious teaching, so deep, so pure, so beautiful," he concludes that his two chief gains were a closer drawing to the Sacramental system and the dispelling of any general discounting of the certainty of things which might follow in some minds on the acceptance of Butler's bow to probability. If this were to be allowed, then the saying, "O GOD, if there be a GOD, save my soul, if I have a soul!" would be the highest measure of devotion. "I considered," says Newman, "that Mr. Keble met this difficulty by assigning the firmness of assent which we give to religious doctrine, not to the probabilities which introduced it, but to the living power of faith and love which accepted it. Faith and love are directed towards an Object; in the vision of that Object they live; it is that Object, received in faith and love, which renders it reasonable to take probability as sufficient for internal conviction. Thus the agreement about probability, in the matter of religion, becomes an argument from personality, which in fact is one form of the argument from authority. In illustration, Mr. Keble used to quote the words of {26} the Psalm, 'I will guide thee with Mine eye. Be not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding, whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle.' Friends do not ask for literal commands; from their knowledge of the speaker they understand his half-words, and from love of him they anticipate his wishes." But this view of the matter, though sympathetically received by Newman, did not satisfy him. "It was beautiful and religious," he says, "but it did not even profess to be logical; and accordingly I tried to complete it with considerations of my own which are implied in my University Sermons, Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles and Essay on Development of Doctrine. My argument is in outline as follows: that that absolute certitude which we were able to possess, whether as to the truths of natural theology, or as to the fact of a revelation, was the result of an assemblage of concurring and converging probabilities, and that, both according to the constitution of the human mind and the will of its Maker, that certainty was a habit of mind, that certainty was a quality of propositions; that probabilities which did not reach to logical certainty might create a mental certitude; that the certitude thus created might equal in measure and strength the certitude which was created by the strictest scientific demonstration; and that to have such certitude might, in given cases and to given individuals, be a plain duty, though not to others in other circumstances." Considerations such as these threw a new {27} light, as Newman saw it, on the whole question of miracles.

One other strong influence, psychologically the most interesting of all, in the development of Newman's apostolate, was that supplied by Hurrell Froude, elder brother of the historian. Newman's character-sketch lives in the pages of the Apologia; the Hurrell Froude of the seven years preceding his death in 1836 was still vividly remembered by Newman in 1864 for the "gentleness and tenderness of nature, the playfulness, the free, elastic force and graceful versatility of mind, and the patient, winning considerateness in discussion, which endeared him to those to whom he opened his heart. I speak of Hurrell Froude as a man of high genius, brimful and overflowing with ideas and views, in him original. And he had an intellect as critical and logical as it was speculative and bold. Dying prematurely, as he did, and in the conflict and transition state of opinion, his religious views never reached their ultimate conclusion. His opinions arrested and influenced me, even when they did not gain my assent. He professed openly his admiration of the Church of Rome and his hatred of the Reformers. He delighted in the notion of an hierarchical system, of sacerdotal power and of full ecclesiastical liberty. He felt scorn of the maxim, 'The Bible, and the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants,' and he gloried in accepting tradition as a main instrument of religious teaching. He had {28} a high, severe idea of the intrinsic excellence of virginity; and he considered the Blessed Virgin its great pattern. He delighted in thinking of the saints; he had a keen appreciation of the idea of sanctity, its possibilities and its heights; and he was more than inclined to believe a large amount of miraculous interference as occurring in the Early and Middle Ages. He embraced the principle of penance and mortification. He had a deep devotion to the Real Presence."

When Newman adds of Hurrell Froude that he was "an Englishman to the backbone," he shows that already he had outgrown the idea that England is of its essence Protestant, and that a man is less a patriot, in any true sense of a now bastardized and commercialized word, because he takes his creed from Palestine by Peter's way of Rome rather than by Luther's way of Worms. Rossetti wittily said, after reading some early West London School Board debates, that there seemed to be "a Hammersmith GOD"; and it maybe said that Froude was among the first of that Oxford day to discover there was not a distinctively British one. Newman had to thank him for being the great loosener of those prejudices that, planted in childhood, become almost part of the very fabric of faith. Fascinating as this influence was on one who was so ready to receive it, Newman recognized its limitations. In advance of his leader, he went to the Fathers; and, in the Long Vacation of 1828, he set about to study them chronologically {29} from St. Ignatius and St. Justin. From Bishop Bull he had already learned the rule that antiquity was the true exponent of the text of Christianity; and when, on the suggestion of Mr. Hugh Rose and Dean Lyall, he set to work on the Council of Nicę, he found, in writing the history of the Arians, he was face to face with that doctrine of the authority of the Chair of Peter denied by Arians once, and again by Anglicans.

Perhaps over and above all these doctrines to which his intellect was sometimes receptive in advance of his heart, and sometimes his heart in advance of his intellect, was another which he does not enumerate. What occurs to us as we record this development of doctrine in him is its arbitrariness. A chance meeting with a man, an almost equally fortuitous turning over the pages of a book, and the face of Religion changes for him. It seems as though he was left to take up a Truth as one might take up a piece of cake, because somebody happened to hand it to him at afternoon tea. He took a walk round Christ Church Meadows with Mr. James, and came back, not, as many would, with the loss of a glove, but having picked up the doctrine of the Apostolical Succession. Of course, the ground was laid that took the seed; and the bare record of the sowing gives no clue to the long and painful process of the fertilizing and final reaping. Nevertheless, the opportunity given to him was, by mere force of circumstances, denied to others, with less {30} receptiveness—itself the property of genius; men of minor understandings, with neither time to take the lesson nor teachers to impart it. Yet Truth is the universal right of man, and, for its satisfaction, demands the Universal Teacher. John Henry Newman, painfully, fearfully, and by roads most feet would miss or falter in, arrived at conclusions which are brought home to the babes and sucklings of the Catholic Church. Deep in his consciousness must his own experience have fixed for him the need of a guide; the need which was leading him already, though he knew it not, to the very threshold of the Church.

It was in the company of Hurrell Froude, from whom he learned, and learned to unlearn, so much, that Newman started out on the most memorable and destiny-revealing journey of his life:

"We set out in December, 1832. It was during this expedition that my verses which are in the Lyra Apostolica were written: a few indeed before it, but not more than one or two of them after it. Exchanging, as I was, definite lectorial labours, and the literary quiet and pleasant friendships of the last six years, for foreign countries and an unknown future, I naturally was led to think that some inward changes, as well as some large course of action, was coming upon me. At Whitchurch, while waiting for the down mail to Falmouth, I wrote the verses about my Guardian Angel, which begin with these words: "Are these the tracks of some unearthly Friend?" {31} and go on to speak of "the vision" which haunted me: that vision is more or less brought out in the whole series of these compositions.

"I went to various coasts of the Mediterranean; parted with my friends at Rome; went down for the second time to Sicily at the end of April, and got back to England by Palermo in the early part of July. The strangeness of foreign life threw me back into myself; I found pleasures in historical sites and beautiful scenes, not in men and manners. We kept clear of Catholics throughout our tour. I had a conversation with the Dean of Malta, a most pleasant man, lately dead; but it was about the Fathers, and the library of the great church. I knew the Abbate Santini, at Rome, who did no more than copy for me the Gregorian tones. Froude and I made two calls upon Monsignore (now Cardinal) Wiseman at the Collegio Inglese, shortly before we left Rome. I do not recollect being in a room with any other ecclesiastics except a priest at Castro-Giovanni in Sicily, who called on me when I was ill, and with whom I wished to hold a controversy. As to Church services, we attended the Tenebrę, at the Sistine, for the sake of the Miserere, and that was all. My general feeling was, 'All save the spirit of man is divine.' I saw nothing that was not external; of the hidden life of Catholics I knew nothing. I was still more driven back into myself, and felt my isolation. England was in my thoughts solely, and the news from England came rarely and imperfectly. The Bill {32} for the Suppression of the Irish Sees was in progress, and filled my mind. I had fierce thoughts against the Liberals.

"It was the success of the Liberal cause which fretted me inwardly. I became fierce against its instruments and its manifestations. A French vessel was at Algiers; I would not even look at the tri-colour. On my return, though forced to stop a day at Paris, I kept indoors the whole time, and all that I saw of that beautiful city was what I saw from the diligence. The Bishop of London had already sounded me as to my filling one of the Whitehall preacherships, which he had just then put on a new footing; but I was indignant at the line which he was taking, and from my steamer I had sent home a letter declining the appointment by anticipation, should it be offered to me. At this time I was specially annoyed with Dr. Arnold, though it did not last into later years. Some one, I think, asked in conversation at Rome, whether a certain interpretation of Scripture was Christian. It was answered that Dr. Arnold took it; I interposed, 'But is he a Christian?' The subject went out of my head at once; when afterwards I was taxed with it, I could say no more in explanation, than that I thought I must have been alluding to some free views of Dr. Arnold about the Old Testament. I thought I must have meant, 'But who is to answer for Arnold?' It was at Rome too that we began the Lyra Apostolica, which appeared monthly in the British Magazine. The motto shows {33} the feeling of both Froude and myself at the time: we borrowed from M. Bunsen a Homer, and Froude chose the words in which Achilles, on returning to the battle, says, 'You shall know the difference, now that I am back again.'

"Especially when I was left by myself; the thought came upon me that deliverance is wrought, not by the many but by the few, not by bodies but by persons. Now it was, I think, that I repeated to myself the words, which had ever been dear to me from my school days, 'Exoriare aliquis!' now too, that Southey's beautiful poem of Thalaba, for which I had an immense liking, came forcibly to my mind. I began to think that I had a mission. There are sentences of my letters to my friends to this effect, if they are not destroyed. When we took leave of Monsignor Wiseman, he had courteously expressed a wish that we might make a second visit to Rome; I said with great gravity, 'We have a work to do in England.' I went down at once to Sicily and the presentiment grew stronger. I struck into the middle of the island, and fell ill of a fever at Leonforte. My servant thought that I was dying, and begged for my last directions. I gave them as he wished; but I said, 'I shall not die.' I repeated, 'I shall not die, for I have not sinned against light, I have not sinned against light.' I never have been able to make out at all what I meant.

"I got to Castro-Giovanni, and was laid up there for nearly three weeks. Towards the end of May I {34} set out for Palermo, taking three days for the journey. Before starting from my inn in the morning of May 26 or 27, I sat down on my bed and began to sob bitterly. My servant, who had acted as my nurse, asked what ailed me. I could only answer, 'I have a work to do in England.'

"I was aching to get home; yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks. I began to visit the churches, and they calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services. I knew nothing of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament there. At last I got off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles. We were becalmed a whole week in the Straits of Bonifacio. Then it was that I wrote the lines, Lead, Kindly Light, which have since become well known. I was writing verses the whole time of my passage. At length I got to Marseilles, and set off for England. The fatigue of travelling was too much for me, and I was laid up for several days at Lyons. At last I got off again, and did not stop night or day till I reached England and my mother's house. My brother had arrived from Persia only a few hours before. This was on the Tuesday. The following Sunday, July 14, Mr. Keble preached the assize sermon in the University pulpit. It was published under the title of 'National Apostasy.' I have ever considered and kept the day as the start of the religious movement of 1833."

In 1828 Newman had become Vicar of St. Mary {35} the Virgin, a post involving no change of residence. Though it was primarily a parochial church, "gown" soon vied with "town" in attendance. And it was from this pulpit as much as from the desk at which he wrote or edited the Tracts for the Times that Newman now carried out his great dream of work for England. He had for his listeners the future clergy of the Church of England of all schools, and not these only. In no other case quite so much expert and other testimony has been given to the power of spoken words—as regards both the words themselves and the way they were spoken. That other great figure in the history of the revival of the Church in England supplies a fitting first witness; for Cardinal Manning recalled, after a lapse of sixty years, being led captive by the "form and voice and penetrating words at Evensong in the University church," where having once seen and heard Newman, he "never willingly failed to be." Dean Stanley—no name follows Manning's as more of a contrast—agreed in this: "There are hardly any passages in English literature," he says, "which have exceeded in beauty the description of music in his University Sermons; the description of the sorrows of human life in his sermon on the Pool of Bethesda; the description of Elijah on Mount Horeb; or, again, in the Discourses addressed to Mixed Congregations, the arrival of St. Peter as a missionary in Rome; the description of Dives as the example of the self-indulgent voluptuary; the {36} account of the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and of the growth in the belief in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary."

Principal Shairp too put into words the thoughts of many hearts when he said: "On those calm Sunday afternoons he was heard preaching from the pulpit of St Mary's, 'as if the angels and the dead were his audience.' That voice it was that thrilled young hearts—that living presence that drew to itself whatever there was in Oxford that was noble in purpose, or high and chivalrous in devotion." "No one," says Mr. James Anthony Froude, "who heard his sermons in those days can forget them. They were seldom directly theological. Newman, taking some Scripture character for a text, spoke to us about ourselves, our temptations, our experiences. His illustrations were inexhaustible. 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 the room. They appeared to me to be the outcome of continued meditation upon his fellow-creatures and their position in the world, their awful responsibilities, the mystery of their nature, strangely mixed of good and evil, of strength and weakness. A tone, not of fear, but of infinite pity, ran through them all."

And one, at least, was there, with the distraction of a student of the mechanism of oratory: "Now, Dr. Newman's manner in the pulpit," says Gladstone, "was one about which, if you consider it in its separate {37} parts, you would arrive at very unsatisfactory conclusions. There was not very much change in the inflexion of the voice; action there was none. His sermons were read, and his eyes were always bent on his book, and all that, you will say, is against efficiency in preaching. Yes, but you take the man as a whole, and there was a stamp and a seal upon him; there was a solemn sweetness and music in the tone; there was a completeness in the figure, taken together with the tone and with the manner, which made even his delivery singularly attractive."

It was in St. Mary's, above all, that men learned how to bear great names greatly. Lord Coleridge then founded the opinion expressed in later years: "Raphael is said to have thanked GOD that he had lived in the days of Michael Angelo; there are scores of men I know, there are hundreds and thousands I believe, who thank GOD that they have lived in the days of John Henry Newman." The voice is silent for ever now; but the printed words remain; and these in bare type retain their hold. Mr. R. H. Hutton confessed that the University Sermons and other works had "fascinated" him ever since he was eighteen or nineteen; and he added: "I have often said that, if it were ever my hard lot to suffer solitary confinement, and I were given my choice of books, and were limited to one or two, I should prefer some of Dr. Newman's to Shakspeare himself." {38}

The little incident, that proved so large a one—young William Lockhart's secession—brought Newman down from that pulpit in 1843, two years before his own escape from "the City of Confusion." "It was," says Principal Shairp, "as when to one kneeling by night, in the silence of some vast cathedral, the great bell tolling solemnly overhead has suddenly gone still." To Newman it was something more real than that—it was the beginning of the great Renunciation.

"The young, the ardent and the sentimental" of the early 'forties, whom Henry Rogers pilloried in the Edinburgh, made themselves felt—and felt as Edinburgh reviewers even—before many years were over. Some became Catholics, others manned the Anglican Church. Rival Cabinet Ministers might be seen sitting under the same Tractarian shepherd in Mayfair. A Dean of St. Paul's and a Lord Chief Justice ranked it as a highest honour to be the hosts of Cardinal Newman, even after his secession. Dean Church was one of that immense body of actual contemporaries or immediate juniors who came under Newman's personal influence, and who, later, spread the principles which transformed the Anglican communion. In one sense the Guardian, which Dean Church controlled, expressed bare truth when, at the time of Newman's death, it named him "the founder of the Anglican Church as it now is," and said: "Great as his services have been to the communion in which he died, they are as nothing {39} by the side of those he rendered to the communion in which the most eventful years of his life were spent. He will be mourned by many in the Roman Church; but their sorrow will be less than ours, because they have not the same paramount reason to be grateful to him." Nay; not in admiration for his mind, nor in reverence for his character, nor in personal devotion yielded him even by strangers, can those to whom he came be outstripped by those whom he left. His life was divided with a strange equality of time between the two communions; for he lived in each for half of it almost to a month. And if he actually changed the face of the Anglican Church, he at least left an impress on the other.

The young generation does not associate the name of Newman with horses or vintages; but it is Mr. Froude, I think, who somewhere refers to him as the trusted wine-taster of his College; and to his love for horse exercise there are many allusions in Mr. Mozley's Reminiscences. In his earlier Oriel days he rode a good deal. Besides taking his chance of the Oxford hacks, Newman had for some time a pretty but dangerous animal, Klepper, brought over from Ireland by Lord Abercorn, then at Christ Church. "One little matter of self-imposed duty, arising out of a painful occasion, will," says Mr. Mozley, "be remembered by all who ever accompanied Newman in a country walk." Newman and Dornford were riding to Littlemore when they encountered {40} a cart, and saw the carter jump down, to be caught between the wheel and the milestone, and be killed on the spot. The shock on Dornford was such that he was seriously ill for two months. The result in Newman's case was a solemn vow that whenever he met a carter driving without reins, or sitting on the shaft, he would make him get down; and this he never failed to do. Several years after, Mozley and Newman were walking on the same road. There came rattling on two newly-painted wagons, drawn by splendid teams, and with several men in the wagons, but no one on foot. Newman had no choice; he was bound by his vow, and he compelled the men to come down. But when out of sight, the men got into the wagon again, and one fell out and was killed.

Other examples of the Cardinal's habits of self-discipline during this time are on record. He never passed a day without writing a Latin sentence, either a translation or an original composition, before he had done his morning's work. Frequently, when on the point of leaving his room for an afternoon walk, he asked a friend to stay a minute or two while he was writing his daily sentence. Then, too, he wrote and laid by a complete history of every serious question in which he was concerned, such as that of the college tuition. He did the same with every book he read and every subject he inquired into. He drew up a summary or an analysis of the matter, or of his own views upon it. Mr. Mozley's {41} further outlining of his brother-in-law at this period companions well enough the "Sketch from St. Mary's," from the pencil of an undergraduate:

"Newman did not carry his head aloft or make the best use of his height. He did not stoop, but he had a slight bend forwards, owing perhaps to the rapidity of his movements, and to his always talking while he was walking. His gait was that of a man upon serious business bent, and not on a promenade. There was no pride in his port or defiance in his eye. Though it was impossible to see him without interest and something more, he disappointed those who had known him only by name. They who saw for the first time the man whom some warm admirer had described in terms above common eulogy, found him so little like the great Oxford don or future pillar of the Church that they said he might pass for a Wesleyan minister. John Wesley must have been a much more imposing figure. Robust and ruddy sons of the Church looked on him with condescending pity as a poor fellow whose excessive sympathy, restless energy and general unfitness for this practical world would soon wreck him. Thin, pale, and with large lustrous eyes ever piercing through this vale of men and things, he hardly seemed made for this world. His dress—it became almost the badge of his followers—was the long-tailed coat, not always very new. Newman, however, never studied his 'get-up,' or even thought of it. He had other uses for his income {42} which in these days would have been thought poverty. Newman walked quick, and, with a congenial companion, talked incessantly. George Ryder said of him that when his mouth was shut, it looked as if it could never open; and when it was open, it looked as if it never could shut."

James Anthony Froude's description is, as might be supposed, brilliantly but misleadingly picturesque: "He was above middle height, slight and spare. His head was large, his face remarkably like that of Julius Cęsar. The forehead, the shape of the ears and nose, were almost the same. The lines of the mouth were very peculiar, and I should say exactly the same. In both men there was an original force of character, which refused to be moulded by circumstances, which was to make its own way and become a power in the world; a clearness of intellectual perception, a disdain for conventionalities, a temper imperious and wilful, but along with it a most attaching gentleness, sweetness, singleness of heart and purpose."

Newman's rooms at Oriel, on the first floor near the chapel, communicated with what was no better than a large closet, overlighted with an immense bay-window over the chapel door. It had been a lumber-room; but "Newman fitted it up as a prophet's chamber," says Mozley, "and there, night after night, in the Long Vacation of 1835, offered up prayers for himself and the Church. Returning to college late one night, I found that, even in the gateway, I could not only hear the voice of prayer, {43} but could even distinguish words." Strangers coming to Oxford, and seeking out the abode of the man who was "moving the Church of England to its foundations," were surprised to find him in simple undergraduate's lodgings. In the rooms above lived William Froude, Hurrell's younger brother, who was to be Brunel's helper in laying out the Bristol and Exeter Railway, and who was to make for himself a more difficult spiritual way to Rome. While Newman was praying, William Froude was making laughing-gas and staining his window-sills with sulphuric acid. From 1837 to 1840, Mozley records: "Newman had no college office or work, and was seldom seen in Hall; but he gave receptions every Tuesday evening in the Common Room, largely attended by both college and out-college men."

Newman's friendships, though formed and governed under exacting and unusual conditions, were extraordinarily tender. Such friendships among men were less common when the Oxford Movement began than they have since become; and the present generation, if it owed nothing else to the Newmania (as Bishop Hampden called it), would have reason to be grateful for this infusion of tenderness into the relations of man with man. The sentiment expressed, to George Eliot's great admiration, in the closing passage of the Apologia, appears and reappears elsewhere—in Newman's method of addressing Dr. Church, Dean of St Paul's—"Carissime"; {44} in his sudden outbreak where, on hearing of the death of Hurrell Froude, he throws aside in one epithet the conventional eighteenth-century stiffness which ruled nearly all his poems, and exclaims:

Dearest! he longs to speak, as I to know,
    And yet we both refrain;
It were not good: a little doubt below,
    And all will soon be plain.

Newman's young men improved on their model. Faber, who had a greater exuberance of both feeling and expression, wrote to Lord John Manners:

Thou walkest with a glory round thy brow,
Like saints in pictures, radiant in the blaze
And splendour of thy boyhood, mingling now
With the bold bearing of a man, that plays
In eyes, which do with such sweet skill express
Thy soul's hereditary gentleness.

That male eyes had "sweet skill," or that men had eyes at all worth observing by men, came as a surprise, if not as a shock, to many; and Faber himself, writing to some one who expostulated with him, says: "Strong expressions towards male friends are matters of taste. I feel what they express to me. B. thinks a revival of chivalry in male friendships a characteristic of the rising generation, and a hopeful one." "B.," whoever he was, was right. The shyness which made an Englishman ashamed to embrace even his father arose from times when wine-parties and a common interest in the heredity of dogs and horses were the most sacred links between men. The Oxford Movement helped to establish {45} different relations—of mutual confidence, mutual affection, mutual respect.

Though we now reach the second step in Newman's great Renunciation, his withdrawal from the University and the city, he did not formally resign his Fellowship until the crucial October of 1845.

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Neither was Dr. Johnson a believer in "simple Bible teaching," for he took Boswell's breath away by naming the New Testament "the most difficult book in the world."
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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