[Letters and Correspondence—1841]


October 5, 1841.
I enclose what will be no consolation to you, but think you ought to see it. It really does seem to me as if the Bishops were doing their best to uncatholicise us, and whether they will succeed before a rescue comes who can say? The Bishop of Jerusalem is to be consecrated forthwith, perhaps in a few days. M. Bunsen is at the bottom of the whole business, who, I think I am right in saying, considers the Nicene Council the first step in the corruption of the Church.


October 12, 1841.
I am overrun with letter-writing. As to the 6th volume [of Par. Sermons], I left it to Rivington, who said that the 5th volume had sold better than any, and so advised it. I am anxious about it; it will be the most doctrinal set I have published, and that on the subject of the Eucharist. I should be sorry to get my sermons into the disfavour which attends some of my writings; but I must take my chance.

Have you heard of this atrocious Jerusalem Bishop affair? He was consecrated last Sunday. The Archbishop is doing all he can to unchurch us.


Oriel: October 10, 1841.
Have you heard of this fearful business of the Bishop of Jerusalem? I will send you some papers about it soon. It seems we are in the way to fraternise with Protestants of all sorts—Monophysites, half-converted Jews and even Druses. If any such event should take place, I shall not be able to keep a single man from Rome. They will be all trooping off sooner or later. {316}

Before receiving the above letter Mr. Bowden seems to have written strongly on the same subject.


Oriel: October 12, 1841.
So far from thinking lightly of the Jerusalem matter, I said something very strong about it in my 'Private Judgment' article, before most people suspected what was going on. It is hideous; but still I do not think the ground you take is one which is maintainable.

The facts that strike me are the following: 'We have not,' says Mr. Formby last week to me (who is just returned from Jerusalem) 'a single Anglican there: so that we are sending a Bishop to make a communion, not to govern our own people.' Next, the excuse is that there are converted Anglican Jews there who require a Bishop. Mr. Formby tells me he does not think there are half-a-dozen. But for them the Bishop is sent out, and for them he is a Bishop of the circumcision against the Epistle to the Galatians pretty nearly. Thirdly, for the sake of Prussia, he is to take under him all the foreign Protestants who will come; and the political advantages will be so great from the influence of England that there is no doubt they will come. They are to sign the Confession of Augsburg, and there is nothing to show that they hold the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. Next, the Socinian-Mahomedan Druses have asked for an English Bishop, and it is supposed Bishop Alexander will develop in that direction. Lastly there is a notion of coalescing with the Monophysites.

The Bishop, who has no Church principles, is not to be made under the jurisdiction of the English Bishops, and thus you have an Episcopate set up to gather, literally, Jews, Turks, [i.e. Druses], infidels and heretics from all quarters [i.e. without conversion]. And why? Because, Russia being represented by the Greeks, and France by the Latins, it is very desirable that England should have a Church there as a means of political influence, a resident power in the country.

I did not speak of Oxford friends in what I said, nor of anything immediate; but the case is this: Many persons are doubtful whether we have the Notes of the true Church upon us; every act of the Church, such as this of coalescing with heretics, weakens the proof. And in some cases it may be the last straw that breaks the horse's back. {317}

As to myself, I shall do nothing whatever, probably, unless, indeed, it were to give my signature to a protest (Pusey has protested to the Bishop of London, and I have been writing to friends); but I think it would be out of place in me to agitate, having been in a way silenced. But the Archbishop is really doing most grave work, of which we cannot see the end.


October 21, 1841.
Woodgate writes me important news this morning. The Vice-Chancellor talks of putting the Poetry Election on the same day as the Straker Living Election, or the day after. This will swamp Williams for certain. He might as well not stand; all the country parsons will be against him.


October 24, 1841.
I suspect it is something which Pusey scribbled in a note to Jelf, and Jelf sent bodily to the Bishop of London, which is the 'light thing.' Perhaps it may be a letter of mine to Mill. It was not light. The truth is they cannot bear the plain truth to be spoken to them. For myself, I am too anxious for others, nay for myself, to say anything light about going to Rome. Our Church seems fast Protestantising itself, and this I think it right to say everywhere (not using the word 'Protestant'), but not lightly ...


Lincoln Inn: October 15, 1841.
I do not disguise that I am anxious to know how far the recent proceedings of some of the Bishops are tending to dispose our friends towards Rome, or towards retiring from the office of the Clergy in our Church. I do not undervalue the influence of these proceedings as far as my own feelings are concerned; but my circumstances and employments render me unwilling to judge hastily upon the course that Catholics should follow—at least, if such modes of dealing with the question by the authorities of the Church should be much further pursued. I hope, therefore, that you will not think me impertinent if I ask as much information as you think {318} will be good for me—of course understanding that I ask for myself only—and that as regards myself I am (perhaps from my ignorance) disposed to judge peremptorily of the difficulties in which we are being involved.

To this question Mr. Newman replies at once:


Oriel: October 17, 1841.
I assure you I never wish to conceal any of my own thoughts from any one who asks them—so far, that is, as I can analyse them and convey to another a correct impression of them. Least of all would I be deficient in frankness to one like yourself, who from general agreement with me, and from your own earnestness, have a claim upon me. I think then that we must be very much on our guard against what Cowper calls 'desperate steps.' Do you recollect the sheep in 'The Needless Alarm'?

Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day,
Live till tomorrow, will have passed away.

We are apt to engross ourselves with the present. Think what ups and downs any course of action has; think how many hills and valleys lie in our way on a journey. One event blots out another.

As to the Bishops' Charges, this too must be remembered, that they have no direct authority except in their own dioceses. A Bishop's word is to be obeyed, not as to doctrine, but as a part of discipline; only in Synod do they prescribe doctrine. There is nothing to hinder anyone in the Oxford diocese maintaining just the negative of what these particular Bishops have said. Till truth is silenced among us, I do not see that Catholic minds need be in a difficulty.

Having said this, I will go on candidly to own that the said Charges are very serious matters; as virtually silencing portions of the truth in particular dioceses, and as showing that it is not impossible that our Church may lapse into heresy. I cannot deny that a great and anxious experiment is going on, whether our Church be or be not Catholic; the issue may not be in our day. But I must be plain in saying that, if it does issue in Protestantism, I shall think it my duty, if alive, to leave it. This does not seem much to grant, but it is {319} much, supposing such an event to be at our doors, for one naturally tries to make excuses then, whereas one safely pledges oneself to what is distant. I trust it not only is distant, but never to be. But the way to hinder it is to be prepared for it.

I fear I must say that I am beginning to think that the only way to keep in the English Church is steadily to contemplate and act upon the possibility of leaving it. Surely the Bishops ought to be brought to realise what they are doing.

But still, on the whole, I hope better things. At all events, I am sure that, to leave the English Church, unless something very flagrant happens, must be the work of years.

The reader will bear in mind that some fifty years have passed since the following letter was written:


October 31, 1841.
 … I have no hope at all at present that certain persons will remain in our Church twenty years, unless some accommodation takes place with Rome; but I see no sign at all of any immediate move. I think that men are far too dutiful; and in twenty years things must either get much better, or the poor Church must have got much worse or have broken to pieces; and then one's sorrow will be roused by greater events than the loss of one or two of its members. I don't know whether I am intelligible.

On the subject of the approaching election to the Poetry Professorship, Mr. Newman writes to Mr. Keble:

November 6, 1841.
I have been always against Williams standing, but I cannot say that he ought lightly to give up now. And Judge Coleridge's letter, as far as it went, made one stronger against his giving up, because it seemed to show that people thought very lightly of our prospective numbers, and, if so, retiring from the contest would gain us no thanks at all. Again, this seemed to me to account for his tone, and it is a question whether, under the circumstances, he would not think differently if he knew that Williams had a fair chance of success. There is this to be taken into account, on the other hand— {320} these slanders in the 'Standard' having already had the effect of making some of our promises draw back and beg off; and, if this continues, we are done for, and it is impossible to calculate how far it may extend.

But here again people say, and truly, that independently of all consideration for Catholic opinions, the University, as a point of principle, ought not to suffer itself to be bullied by newspapers, and that, if we give way, it will be establishing a precedent of a very evil tendency.

But again, on the other hand, Gladstone, &c., feel so strongly on the subject, and seem so to undertake for Church principles, if we now yield to them [to Gladstone, &c.], that it is in every respect wise to comply with their wishes if we can.

I think you might make Coleridge understand the facts, and then I do not know why he should not come to agree with you, and you with him. It really does seem a case in which all are agreed in their view, and, if all had the same knowledge of facts, one might hope that they would have the same opinion of what is expedient. Anyhow, do not you think that we should avoid closing the door at once to some measure of peace, and should beg others to enter into our difficulties and propose one?

Suppose a number of men, like Gladstone, came forward, professing themselves friends of Williams, and of his opinions generally (not particularly), begging him to withdraw for peace sake, and pledging themselves that it was no defeat of principle, &c.

The thing which sways with me, and has all along, is the risk of a small minority (indeed of a minority at all). I do not think Williams's success is tanti for the risk of great interests, but at present retirement seems equivalent to defeat.

REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO J. R. HOPE, ESQ. [Note 1]

Oriel College: November 11, 1841.
I thank you with all my heart for the trouble you have been at in my matter and for your advice. I have thought a good deal of it and wish I could take it. As yet I cannot get my reason to see things differently, and I suppose I must go by it. It is very difficult to analyse the mixed considerations {321} which go to make me persist in my intention of a protest.

However, since I shall have some hours more, I shall just take the chance of your having something more to say.

I distrust Bunsen indefinitely. I could fancy even he had ambitious views of reforming our Church. This is a great crisis. Things slip through one's fingers by delay. Private communications are among the best weapons of management. Be sure of this, if you would be a Macchiavelli. Great people whisper to Gladstone, and to Selwyn (men whom I respect far too much to be pleased at your thinking it necessary to defend them, for they are above the need of it), and to Pusey, and beg them to wait and see, and then half-promises are added; and meanwhile the business is done. This is what we call temporising.

Now, I know it is a most unpleasant, nauseous thing to make this protest, but I cannot help thinking that the utmost harm it will do is to make people think me a bitter fanatic. I have nothing to lose, I owe nothing (I could almost add I fear nothing), in certain quarters. On the other hand, I think a protest, in spite of the censure which would be heaped on the author of it, might do good. They will believe nothing but acts. Representations have been made to them without end. They act, why may not I? Semper ego auditor tantum? Why may not I be troublesome as well as another?—especially when thereby I seem to ease my conscience. I do not like the very thought of the crisis passing unobserved. One protest is enough for the purpose; more would seem to challenge counting.

A memorial must be formal, measured, private; and such an exposition as you propose, most desirable as it would be, would be a book. It strikes me I have facts enough to go upon. And, to be closer to them, I propose to word my sentence thus: 'Whereas, it is reported that the Most Rev., &c., have consecrated a Bishop, with a view to his exercising spiritual jurisdiction over Protestants—that is, Lutheran and Calvinist congregations—in the East (under an Act made in the last session of Parliament to amend an Act made in the twenty-sixth year of the reign of, &c., intituled an Act to empower, &c.), dispensing at the same time with, &c.'

It is miserable to be in the forlorn situation in which I find myself, and I know I have no [omma tes psuches], but am groping in the dark. Yet I do not see better than to do as I propose. {322}

Do you know that Pusey is writing a kind of [Apologia], addressed to the Bishops about their Charges? And now, my dear Hope, I have inflicted enough sadness, if not dulness, on you.


6 Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn: November 12, 1841.
On considering your letter, received this morning, I was not much surprised at your adhering to the Protest. Nor am I aware that I can urge anything valid against your view of opposing acts to acts. If you are to protest, it had better be before the Bishops have acted collectively than after it.

P.S.—I was amused at your warning about private communications. I had just refused an invitation of Bunsen's to discuss the whole scheme on this ground.


November 13, 1841.
I do nothing but distress you. After many changes of mind, I have resolved on transmitting to the Bishop of Oxford the accompanying Protest, and shall make it public to the world. There are difficulties on all sides, in acting and not acting. By this Protest I shall partly be doing what I complain of in others: exciting and unsettling people. On the other hand, unless a Protest is made, others will determine that our Church is given up and uncatholicised. A Protest may moderate great persons and make them think twice, and it is but fair and straightforward, and a duty to my brethren, to tell them how things are going, and a duty in itself to mark the beginning of any deviation from our customary ways.

The mode of acting will of course be censured; I cannot think of any way better, and, though it may make me seem intemperate, nothing else has a chance of being effected.

P.S.—it seems there are certainly plans on foot in some quarters (but I don't wish it mentioned) for effecting a great extended union of Protestants, the Church of England being at its head. I distrust Bunsen without limit. {323}


Oriel: November 13, 1841.
After much anxious thought, I have made up my mind to the enclosed Protest, and have sent it to the Bishop of Oxford. It is quite plain that our rulers can unchurch us, and I have no assurance that there is not a great scheme afloat to unite us in a Protestant League—the limits of which no one can see. I do not wish this mentioned.

I know well I shall be abused for this act, but if it hinders their going so far as they otherwise would, it will be something.


It seems as if I were never to write to your Lordship without giving you pain, and I know that my present subject does not especially concern your Lordship; yet, after a great deal of anxious thought, I lay before you the enclosed Protest.

Your Lordship will observe that I am not asking for any notice of it, unless you think that I ought to receive one. I do this very serious act in obedience to my sense of duty.

If the English Church is to enter on a new course, and assume a new aspect, it will be more pleasant to me hereafter to think that I did not suffer so grievous an event to happen without bearing witness against it.

May I be allowed to say that I augur nothing but evil if we in any respect prejudice our title to be a branch of the Apostolic Church? That article of the Creed, I need hardly observe to your Lordship is of such constraining power, that if we will not claim it and use it for ourselves, others will use it in their own behalf against us. Men who learn, whether by means of documents or measures, whether from the statements or the acts of persons in authority, that our communion is not a branch of the One Church, I foresee with much grief, will be tempted to look out for that Church elsewhere.

It is to me a subject of great dismay that, as far as the Church has lately spoken out, on the subject of the opinions which I and others hold, those opinions are, not merely not sanctioned (for that I do not ask), but not even suffered.

I earnestly hope that your Lordship will excuse my freedom in thus speaking to you of some members of your Most Rev. and Right Rev. body. With every feeling of reverent attachment to your Lordship, I am, &c. {324}


WHEREAS the Church of England has a claim on the allegiance of Catholic believers only on the ground of her own claim to be considered a branch of the Catholic Church:

And, whereas the recognition of heresy, indirect as well as direct, goes far to destroy such claim in the case of any religious body:

And, whereas to admit maintainers of heresy to communion without formal renunciation of their errors, goes far towards recognising the same:

And, whereas Lutheranism and Calvinism are heresies, repugnant to Scripture, springing up three centuries since, and anathematised by East as well as West:

And, whereas it is reported that the Most Rev. Primate and other Right Rev. Rulers of our Church have consecrated a Bishop, with a view to exercising spiritual jurisdiction over Protestant, that is, Lutheran and Calvinistic congregations in the East (under the provisions of an Act made in the last session of Parliament to amend an Act made in the twenty-sixth year of the reign of His Majesty King George III., intituled, 'an Act to empower the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Archbishop of York for the time being, to consecrate to the office of a Bishop persons being subjects or citizens of countries out of His Majesty's dominions'), dispensing at the same time, not in particular cases and accidentally, but as if on principle and universally, with any abjuration of errors on the part of such congregations, and with any reconciliation to the Church on the part of the presiding Bishop; thereby giving in some sort a formal recognition to the doctrines which such congregations maintain:

And, whereas the dioceses in England are connected together by so close an intercommunion, that what is done by authority in one immediately affects the rest:

On these grounds, I, in my place, being a Priest of the English Church, and Vicar of St. Mary's, Oxford, by way of relieving my conscience, do hereby solemnly protest against the measure aforesaid, and disown it, as removing our Church from her present ground, and tending to her disorganisation.

November 11, 1841.
The Bishop of Oxford's answer to Mr. Newman's letter was not preserved. Its tenor may be gathered from the following letter to Mr. Keble (just after November 13): {325}

I think you will like the enclosed letter of the Bishop of Oxford's, which I have just received. Please burn it, as it was not intended to be sent about. I accompanied my Protest with so free a note that I expected to be reproved.

P.S.—The cat is let out from the Wadham bag: that if the Protestant interest succeeds against Williams, stringent measures are to follow. It will be a very sharp contest.

In reviewing the affair of the Jerusalem Bishopric, Mr. Newman was disposed to attribute to it a strong influence on his subsequent course of action. He writes in the 'Apologia pro Vita sua':

Looking back two years afterwards on the above mentioned and other acts on the part of Anglican Ecclesiastical authorities, I observed: 'Many a man might have held an abstract theory about the Catholic Church, to which it was difficult to adjust the Anglican, might have admitted a suspicion or even painful doubts about the latter, yet never have been impelled onwards, had our rulers preserved the quiescence of former years; but it is the corroboration of a present, living, and energetic heterodoxy that realises and makes such doubts practical; it has been the recent speeches and acts of authorities who had so long been tolerant of Protestant error, which has given to inquiry and to theory its force and edge.' [Note 2]


November 16, 1841.
 … The Jerusalem matter is miserable and has given me great uneasiness. At length (what no one yet knows of) I have delivered in a formal Protest to my Bishop, which, when it comes to be known, will make a stir. It is to the effect that I consider the measure, if carried out, as removing the Church from her present position and tending to her disorganisation.

I do not believe I can be touched for it; and I have not any intention of doing anything more. But future events are quite beyond us. I assure you I fully purpose, having done this, to sit quite still.

Do not believe any absurd reports. They talk in the papers of secessions among us to Rome. Do not believe it. {326} Not one will go. At the same time I cannot answer for years hence, if the present state of things is persevered in. The Heads are refusing testimonials for Orders. The effect in time will be to throw a number of young men on the world.

Again, if the whole Church speaks against me, if the Bishops, one by one, &c. &c., of course the effect ultimately will be very fearful; but I assure you, my dearest Jemima, that every one I know tells me everything about himself, and there is nothing done, said, or written but what in some way or other I see (though I do not mean to make myself responsible for everything), and, unless some strange change comes over me, there is no fear at present.


November 17, 1841.
It was a great relief and satisfaction to me to hear from you that you thought my Protest had better not be published, so much so that I hardly like to tell you that Pusey is rather strong for its publication. He does not concur in that part which says that Lutheranism is a heresy, but he thinks that a very strong step now may stop matters. The 'Standard' of yesterday speaks out about the necessity of our coalescing with the Nestorians; the Monophysites we have already heard of; in short, before we know where we are, we shall find ourselves in communion with heretics. I am told that an agent of the Christian Knowledge Society writes them word in their printed papers that he communicated in Nestorian churches.

I am sorry you do not think my Protest respectful, but on the whole I have greatly relieved my mind by it. I doubt much whether others should make protests; people will be counting how many.

As to your objection from the case of Dissenters, do not the Canons prescribe some punishment, &c., for those who speak against the Church of England? But, to tell the truth, I fear our Bishops, &c., have so recognised the Dissenters here that they cannot simply be called an external body. We take their baptisms, they are buried in our churchyards, and they have been countenanced to any extent by individual Bishops. Further, we have not gone so far as to give them Bishops without any renunciation of error on the part of congregations, and that is what we are doing for the Lutherans and in the East. It does seem to me quite an unparalleled act of communion, {327} and at all events it is a new instance in a new field. I have sent the Protest to the Bishop of Oxford and to Harrison (the Archbishop's Chaplain); nothing further.

P.S.—I have learnt that the Bishop of Oxford knew nothing whatever of the Jerusalem matter; had never been consulted. The Act speaks of English or other Protestant congregations. I have been thinking of something of the kind for a month past [a protest?]. Palmer's [of Magdalen] intended protest is what determined me. Pusey, Copeland, C. Marriott, Palmer and Rope saw it, but of course I have the responsibility.


Oriel: November 19, 1841.
Keble was frightened at my Protest, and against its publication. Pusey is disappointed if it is not published. I have just heard from the Bishop of Oxford, and enclose a copy of his note, which pray burn. I accompanied the Protest with a strong note, for which I expected a rebuke, saying that we were in some quarters not only not sanctioned but silenced, and that if men who believed the articles of the Creed were taught from authority that the English Church was not the Church Catholic, they would seek it elsewhere. You see how kind he is.

It also gives me hope. Does the Bishop of Exeter know of the Proceedings at Lambeth more than the Bishop of Oxford? Is he not likely to put a spoke in the wheel? The Duke of Wellington has disgusted him; would that he could get disgusted with Protestantism. Why should he not split up this Bunsen league? But I do not like to criticise.

Every nerve is being exerted against Williams. Wadham is rising as a college, and has told one of its members that if Williams is beaten, Convocation is to go on to other stringent measures against us. I think all persons should know the exact state of the case. Nothing would more delight the Heads, in their own dominions, supreme as they are, than to drive certain people out of the Church. Mordecai can neither do them good nor harm, and but annoy them. Whether the Bishops, or at least some of them, would like it is another question.

P.S.—Our Provost (entre nous) has asked a man why he was not at Chapel on November 5, and because he did not like the State Service has said he will not give him testimonials for Orders. {328}


November 21, 1841.
Our present great discomfort is the matter of Williams's election to the Professorship. I have been against his standing throughout, from a great dread of Convocation, but, considering I am the cause of the opposition by No. 90, it would have been ungenerous to press my view, and I cannot complain of the difficulty, though I foresaw it. I have a dread of Convocation exceedingly great. And now we hear that if our opponents succeed in this contest, which I fear they will, there is already a plan to proceed to measures which are to have the effect of 'driving us clean out of the University.' I suppose this means, when put soberly, something like a test about the sense in which the Articles are subscribed, which need not be retrospective. Now the effect of W.'s failure will be bad enough in itself; and, I am sorry to say, I fear some friends of mine, though they do not say so, would not be sorry for it ... They look out, with some sort of relief, for signs of our Church retrograding and withdrawing her Notes ...


November 23, 1841.
Thank you very much for your interesting and important letter. It is the darkest view I have seen of things a long time. That does not show it is not a true one. But still … there is so much good and hopeful around that I trust there may, without presumption, be ground for hope. Indeed, I cannot believe the mere rejection of Mr. Williams would embolden the University to act. At any rate, dear John, I do not see how any decision of the University can affect you … while you are protected by your Bishop. Certainly this Jerusalem Bishopric seems a very superfluous wound to the Church. May I keep a copy of your Protest?


Oriel College: November 24, 1841.
 ... What has startled me in this reported measure is this: the setting Bishops to preside over Protestant bodies. Those who have been for centuries separated from the {329} Episcopal succession, and who are in the profession of heresy, require reconciliation. They should come into the Church, not the Church set Bishops over them as she finds them. Surely this is an act not parallel to the mere admission of individuals from them into our communion sub silentio. Those individuals, whether native or foreign, come into us. We do not thereby acknowledge any substantive body external to us; such accessions tend to diminish those bodies. But here is contemplated the actual acknowledgment of such bodies as already parts of the Catholic Church—a point which has ever been open among us, and that by Act of Parliament, ratified by an Episcopal Consecration in the face of Europe, in the heart of the East.

We do not allow even our own members to come to the Holy Communion without Confirmation, which is a rite both of profession and of recognition, but the Protestant congregations are to be admitted without one or the other. When a Dissenting Minister is ordained (by some individual Bishop) at least he makes a profession and takes oaths. On the other hand, the Canons of 1603 at least show the principles of our Church towards Dissenters, whatever be their obligation, and whatever practices have crept in. Now, they declare that 'Whosoever shall hereafter separate themselves from the Communion of Saints, as is approved by the Apostles' rules in the Church of England, and combine themselves together in a new brotherhood, accounting the Christians who are conformable to the doctrine, government, rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, to be profane and unmeet for them to join with in Christian profession, let them be excommunicated ipso facto, and not restored but by the Archbishop after their repentance and public revocation of such their wicked errors.' And I suppose that a body (though not individual members of it) has such a continuance from first to last that it may be considered to have 'separated itself.' How, then, is it to the purpose that we admit individuals who have not separated 'without public revocation of error'? Do we propose to give Bishops to the Methodist Body, or the Baptist persuasion or to the Unitarian? For this is the parallel to the measure now in contemplation. And as to any past recognition of foreign Protestants, so far is clear, that in 1689 the Lower House of Convocation hindered an acknowledgment that our religion and theirs might be classed together under the title of 'the Protestant Religion in general.' {330}

I do not see that I am called upon to state what I mean by the heresy of Lutheranism and Calvinism. Heresy has its external notes, like the Church: any novel doctrine, any doctrine which meets with general condemnation, is a heresy. Again, there are heresies which contain so many aspects that it is difficult to say which is their appropriate form. Such might be mentioned in antiquity, except that it would be thought offensive to do so.

Lastly, we have, I fear, in prospect, though I fervently trust it will not be realised (for, alas! where, then, will he our Candlestick?), an alliance with Monophysites and Nestorians. This is a reason for moving at once, lest we begin when all is lost. Already is our Church committed, without her own act, to much that is miserable. In the judgment of some persons, it is always too early to move or too late [Note 3].


November 15, 1841.
Of course no one can read your sermon without being struck by it, but my feeling is that you had better not preach it. I think it will add to our excitement, without effecting any object.

It will increase, upon a separate authority, the impression, which is not well founded, that there are men in Oxford who are on the point of turning to Rome, with a sort of confession to the world at large, and as a triumph to the foe over you and us.

I know of none such. There is, doubtless, great danger in prospect; but the persons in danger are far too serious men to act suddenly, or without waiting for what they consider God's direction, and I should think very few indeed realise to themselves yet the prospect of a change, nay, would change, provided our rulers showed us any sympathy, or their brethren kept from saying or believing of them that they would change. In that case dangerous seed might lie dormant, like a disease, for many years. It is a very bad policy to accustom them to the notion, that the world thinks they will change.

The persons most in danger are not resident in Oxford; for example, Sibthorpe.

 … I am not very fond of making University sermons opportunities for a display of anything extraordinary. It {331} does our cause harm. Now all this is very free in me, so I must tell you on the other hand that Cornish, whom I thought I might give a sight of your sermon, wishes it preached. But he has seen very little of men this term, and believes, what I think a mistake, that there are men here hanging on from day to day. He thinks that it may do them good, and comfort men like the Rector [Richards?], Jelf, &c., who are alarmed.

It does not alter my opinion. Rogers, who has heard of the subject of the sermon, is, I am told, decidedly against; it, and so is Church. My own notion is that you should preach a good parish sermon, and Wilson might select, if you would trust him.

Pusey's circular [Note 4], which Gilbert has answered, is, I fear, considered a failure. It looks like hoisting a flag of party, {332} and allowing the others to deny they meant to do so, yet to say at the same time: 'Well, if you do, we must do so too.' And they say, 'You did the like in the cause of Maurice and Vaughan, and now you are the persons to cry out.'

I think the 'Ulterior Measures' [topos] a most effective one in our favour. Williams alone can give you satisfaction upon it. I will inquire of him.

They give out they are going to beat us by four to one. If these are not random words, since they cannot reckon us less than 150, they make themselves 600, which is within the limit of possibility. It is a great many to reach. We must do all we can.

Towards the close of the year Mr. Newman confides to Mr. Rickards his uneasy state of mind.

Oriel College: December 1, 1841.
My dear Rickards,—My silence must seem to you quite unkind, though it does not at all arise from not thinking of you and Mrs. Rickards; but, besides my very great engagements, these lie so much in writing that my hand is in a state of continued weariness, and it is a great effort to me to sit down to a letter. However, now that I am about it, I will try to tell you one or two things of myself, which, by-the-bye, I doubt whether I have told, or at least set about telling, or told in any connected way, to any one else.

For two years and more I have been in a state of great uneasiness as to my position here, owing to the consciousness I felt, that my opinions went far beyond what had been customary in the English Church. Not that I felt it any personal trouble, for I thought and think that such opinions were allowed in our Church fully; but that, looking on my position here, I seemed to be a sort of schismatic or demagogue, supporting a party against the religious authorities of the place. In what I have done in my parish, whether in the ordinary routine of duty, or any improvements or additions which I have attempted, I have uniformly kept my parishioners before my mind, and wished to act for them. But almost in every case my endeavours have fallen dead upon them as a whole, but have been eagerly apprehended and welcomed by University men, and of these a great many Undergraduates. In proportion, then, as I had reason to believe that the Heads of Houses were dissatisfied with me, did I seem to myself in the position {333} of one who, to the neglect, at least virtual, of his own duties, was interfering with those committed to the charge of others against their will, and that for the propagation of feelings and opinions which I felt were not so truly those of the English Church as their own. And all this in spite of my preaching very little on directly doctrinal subjects, but on practical; for somehow what came out from me in an ethical form took the shape of doctrine by the time it reached other minds. In consequence, for two years past my view of my duty and my prospective plans here have been very unsettled. I have had many schemes floating on my mind how to get out of a position which of all others is to me most odious—that of a teacher setting up for himself against authority, though, I suppose (if it may be said reverently), our Saviour bore this Cross as others. The most persistent feeling on my mind has been to give up St. Mary's.

The reason I say all this to you now is that, whether it will turn ultimately for the better or worse, yet certainly at present the greater gloom in which the prospects of the Church lie, has had for the time the effect of clearing away clouds before my own path. I mean that the most serious things which are happening, in word and deed, around us have in great measure taken away that delicacy towards authorities which has hitherto been so painfully harassing to me ... As to this Jerusalem Bishopric, I seriously think that, if the measure is fairly carried out, it will do more to unchurch us than any event for the last three hundred years. With these feelings it is not wonderful that I should see my present position here in a very different light. O my dear Rickards, pray excuse all this sad talk about myself, which disgusts me as I make it, and I fear I am writing you a most pompous sort of letter, but I think you will like to hear about me, and it is a comfort to me to write it out, and I have no time to pick and choose my words. But to return. It really seems to me that the Heads of Houses are now not defending the English Church, but virtually and practically, though they may not mean it, joining with this heretical spirit and supporting it; so that the contest is no longer one of what would be represented as a quasi-Romanism against Anglicanism but of Catholicism against heresy. And thus, to my mind, at present a much broader question swallows up the particular one. {334}


December 3, 1841.
I do feel very anxious about prospects in general, especially since your last alarming letter. My great trust is that you will be supported through this trial; that you may act as firmly as you have hitherto done. You must not think that I am at all afraid of you or doubtful of you ... I only feel more and more thankful that you have more judgment and clearsightedness than the rest of the world, so as to steer through a most difficult course.

In December 1841 Mr. Peter Young, Mr. Keble's curate at Hursley, was a second time refused priest's orders by the Bishop of Winchester, for giving answers at his examination on the subject of the Eucharist which did not satisfy the Bishop. This step on the part of the Bishop naturally caused trouble and anxiety.


Hursley: 3 S. in Adv., December 12, 1841.
I send you Peter's account of his Confession, if one may venture to call it so. I have written the case and sent it with all the documents to Hope, who has received them and takes a few days to advise about appealing; though I do not suppose myself there is any chance of that, I thought it best to know for certain. I think of stating the case by way of Protest to the Archbishop, and perhaps sending copies to all Anglican Bishops.


December 16, 1841.
We all feel very sad at your news ... It is here that it will tell painfully ... I really cannot feel any great grief about you, much as it must distress you, for it must turn to good. I do not see you can do better than send round your statement to the Bishops if there is no appeal. Young's answers are just what they should be. I suppose they are as near as possible verbatim. Certainly it does present a strange view—a Bishop refusing any but one certain explanation of a {335} point left open! ... It is only wonderful at such an interview that he acquitted himself so very well.

I have not had time to study the Charge. I hear people speak of it as mild, considering. It really suggests to me the hope that the matter may be smoothed over; but I am quite sure the worst possible effect will follow if you do not act bona fide on your letter to Judge Coleridge.

I wish you would impress on all bystanders, patrons, friends and the like what a miserable effect is produced on the minds of young and sensitive persons, when they are accused or remonstrated with as suspected Romanists. This is now going on largely. Letters are flying about—Mr. Poole's already in print. It is bad enough to be rudely told by enemies that they have no business in the English Church, but are dishonest in remaining in it (and this is going on without scruple or limit); but when quasi friends take up the tone of alarm, when great people take up the Oxford Calendar, and go through the Colleges, then a man says to himself, 'I certainly fear there is something in me which I am not aware of,' just as if every one were to stare at him as he walked the streets. Then the familiarity it creates with the idea of Romanism is miserable; and the dreadful unsympathetic, chilling atmosphere created around him by it is a distinct evil. All this added to his inward, scarcely recognised tendencies towards Rome.


Oriel: St. Thomas' Day, 1841.
I hear that a large number of Professors have removed their names from the Camden [Cambridge Architectural Society?] as well as the Bishop of London. What is the meaning of all this?

On the whole I am in good spirits [Note 5] about the Jerusalem matter. If the Prussian plan is carried out, it will cut my ground clean from under me. For eight years I have been writing, either to prove, or on the ground that we are a branch of the Catholic Church, that we were committed to nothing inconsistent with it; therefore I have a sort of right to make a protest, and a pretty strong one. Certain people will believe {336} nothing but acts, and assuredly I will waste no more words. I am sanguine that acts will tell; and this protest is an act.

Palmer's [of Magdalen?] pamphlet on the Jerusalem Bishopric just published is a very important one, and must produce an impression. Another pamphlet, too, is coming out in a few days, very important also [Hope? or Gladstone?], and more influential. Of course the cry is, 'Why don't you wait till you see what the Bishops have done?' Just as in the Chapter business it was, 'Why did not you speak sooner?' It is always too early or too late with some people; and by speaking soon one hinders the very things they then go on to protest they never meant to do.

On September 22 came my first proof of Athanasius, and I have been at it ever since at the rate of from eight to twelve hours a day [I wrote the notes to the text already in type], yet have done so little as to be almost ashamed to make this avowal. But it has hindered me writing letters, except under necessity.


Oriel: Christmas Eve, 1841.
I suppose it would be no relief to M. to insist upon the circumstance that there is no immediate danger. Individuals can never be answered for, of course, but I should think lightly of that man who for some one act of the Bishops should all at once leave the Church. Now, considering how the Clergy really are improving, considering that this row is even making them read the Tracts, is it not possible we may all be in a better state of mind some years hence to consider these matters? and may we not leave them meanwhile to the will of Providence? I cannot believe this work has been of man; God has a right to His own work, to do what He will with it. May we not try to leave it in His hands and be content?

If you learn anything about B. which leads you to think that I can relieve him by a letter let me know. The truth is this—our good friends do not read the Fathers; they assent to us from the common sense of the case; then, when the Fathers, and we, say more than common sense they are dreadfully shocked.

I guess W. Palmer, the deacon (for this is the simplest designation), has not satisfied our Winchester friends in his Golightliad. {337}

P.S. The Bishop of London has rejected a man for holding (1) any sacrifice in the Eucharist; (2) the Real Presence; (3) that there is a grace in Ordination.

Are we quite sure that the Bishops will not be drawing up some stringent declarations of faith? Is this what H. fears? Would the Bishop of Oxford accept them? If so, I should be driven into Miss Burford's refuge for the destitute! But I promised H. I would do my utmost to catch all dangerous persons and clap them into confinement there. After all, I have repented about the Bollendists (a defective copy lately bought). Am not I shilly shally?


Christmas Day: 1841.
An odd compliment of the season to bore you with this note. Yet I have been dreaming of M. all night, and so write again, and that in spite of your saying, what I am annoyed at, that you are not well.

Should not M. and the like see that it is unwise, unfair, and impatient to ask others what will you do under circumstances which have not, which may never come? Why bring fear, suspicion and dissension into the camp about things which are merely in posse? Natural and exceedingly kind as Barter and another friend's letters were which I received, I think they have done great harm. I speak most sincerely when I say that there are things which I neither contemplate nor wish to contemplate, but when I am asked about them ten times at length I begin to contemplate them.

And, again, M. surely does not mean to say that nothing could separate a man from the English Church—e.g. its avowing Socinianism, its holding the Holy Eucharist in a Socinian sense. Yet he would say it was not right to contemplate such things.

Again, our case is altered from that of Ken's—to say nothing of the last miserable century, which has given us to start from a much lower level and with much less to spare than a Churchman of the seventeenth century. Questions of doctrine are now coming in—with him it was a question of discipline.

If such dreadful events were realised, I cannot help thinking we should all be vastly more agreed than we think now. Indeed, is it possible (humanly speaking) that those who have {338} so much the same heart should widely differ? But let this be considered as the alternative. What communion could we join? Could the Scotch or American sanction the presence of its Bishops and congregations in England without incurring the imputation of schism, unless, indeed—and is that likely?—they denounced the English as heretical?

Is not this a time of strange providences? Is it not our safest course, without looking to consequences, to do simply what we think right day by day? Shall we not be sure to go wrong if we attempt to trace by anticipation the course of Divine Providence?

Has not all our misery as a Church arisen from people being afraid to look difficulties in the face? They have palliated acts when they should have denounced them. There is that good fellow Worcester Palmer can whitewash the Ecclesiastical Commission and the Jerusalem Bishopric, and what is the consequence? That our Church has through centuries ever been sinking lower and lower, till a good part of its pretensions and professions is a mere sham, though it be a duty to make the best of what we have received. Yet, though bound to make the best of other men's shams, let us not incur any of our own. The truest friends of our Church are they who boldly say when her rulers are going wrong and the consequences. And (to speak catachrestically) they are most likely to die in the Church who are (under these black circumstances) most prepared to leave it.

And I will add that, considering the traces of God's grace which surround us, I am very sanguine, or rather confident (if it is right so to speak), that our prayers and our alms will come up as a memorial before God, and that all this miserable confusion will turn to good.

Let us not, then, be anxious and anticipate differences in prospect, when we agree in the present.

P.S.—I think, when friends get over the first unsettlement of mind and consequent vague apprehensions which the new attitude of the Bishops and our feelings upon it have brought about, they will get contented and satisfied; they will see that they exaggerated things. There is our good friend of Exeter, who at first was very unhappy, is now cheerful. Of course it would have been wrong to anticipate what one's feelings would be under such a painful contingency as the Bishops charging as they have done; so it seems to me nobody's fault. Nor is it wonderful that others are startled; {339} yet they should recollect that the more implicit the reverence one pays to a Bishop, the more keen will be one's perception of heresy in him. The cord is binding and compelling till it snaps. Men of reflection would have seen this if they had looked that way. Last spring a very High Churchman talked to me about resisting my Bishop; asking him for the Canons under which he acted, &c. But those who have cultivated a loyal feeling towards their superiors are the most loving servants or the most zealous protesters. If others became so too, if the clergy of —— denounced the heresy of their diocesan, they would be doing their duty and relieving themselves of the share they will otherwise have in any possible defections of their brethren.

But I have wandered. I really do think that after this distress is over our friends will see that they have exaggerated the cause of it.


Christmas 1841.
This comes with my Christmas wishes and a copy of the Protest such as it has occurred to me; on which I shall be glad of your judgment. Hope said, Why not send it to Convocation? but I am much more inclined to my original plan, as being more canonical, quieter and more respectful, and quite as likely to prove effectual. Would it be at all better to put it into Latin? It would be quieter, but would it not destroy all or nearly all chance of effect?

I shall send it, I suppose, to Farnham first, enclosing with it a copy of Young's loyal statement ... I thought to have it lithographed to send to the other Bishops.


December 26, 1841.
Copeland and I have been studying your Protest [about Young], which we like very much.

It seems to me exceedingly good. I am very pleased indeed. In every way it is important. It brings together a number of very strong grounds, nor is it the least valuable on this ground, that it reminds our friends of the strong points in favour of our Church's Catholicity. It will do much good in this way. I long for a decision from Sir Herbert Jenner; {340} it would quiet many distressed consciences by putting before them a fact. It is not love of Rome that unsettles people, but fear of heresy at home.

And your Protest is very important as a bold looking of difficulties in the face. The Church of England has been ruined by people shutting their eyes and making the best of things.

I dislike Convocation, and on first hearing was averse to Hope's suggestion, but on second thoughts I incline that way. The question is how to do most good to the English Church. I distrust the Bishops altogether; e.g. the Bishop of —— told a person, from whom it comes to me, that when he was appointed Bishop he had not read a word of theology, but, since that, he had begun studying Scott's Bible. Convocation is fairer to the Church, inasmuch as the clergy are sounder than the Bishops. Again, it delays a decision, and time is our friend; every year (so be it!) will make us stronger.

P.S.—I own my feeling is that your protest should go far and wide—as far as the Bishop's act. How else shall we save the Church from being committed?


Hursley: December 28, 1841.
I am very glad indeed that you think the Protest likely to do good: nor have I the least objection to lay it before Convocation if you think that better: only I do not like the delay, as I want to communicate with our Bishop on the matter of his Charge besides, and I think it best on many accounts for the two to go together. How would it be if I were to send the copies to the members of Convocation singly instead of waiting for their session? I will attend to your suggestions on some of the reasons, for which I am much obliged to you.


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1. Memoirs of J. R. Hope-Scott, vol. i. p. 307.
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2. See Apologia, p. 146.
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3. Memoirs of J. R. Hope-Scott, vol. i. p. 320.
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4. The following is the circular spoken of:—
Sir,—Understanding that a circular is being sent round to all the members of Convocation, soliciting their votes for the Rev. J. Garbett, late Fellow of Brasenose, and now Rector of Clayton, Sussex, in the approaching election for the Professorship of Poetry, I take the liberty of mentioning some circumstances which may influence your decision, and with which you are possibly unacquainted.

The Rev. Isaac Williams, M.A., Fellow of Trinity, was, before our recent unhappy divisions, generally thought by resident members of the University to be marked out by his poetic talents to fill that chair whenever it should become vacant. In 1823 he gained the prize for Latin Verse; his subsequent larger works, 'The Cathedral' and 'Thoughts in Past Years,' speak for themselves, both bearing the rich character of our early English poetry.

To those unacquainted with his character, or who know him only through the medium of newspaper controversy, it may be necessary to state, that the uniform tendency of his writings and influence has been to calm men's minds amid our unhappy divisions, and to form them in dutiful allegiance to that Church of which he is himself a reverential Son and Minister.

He is also a resident; whereas employments which involved non-residence were considered a sufficient reason to prevent a member of a leading college from being put forward by its Head.

On the other hand, it is a known fact, that Mr. Garbett would not even now have been brought forward, except to prevent the election of Mr. Williams.

Under these circumstances it is earnestly hoped that the University will not, by the rejection of such a candidate as Mr. Williams, commit itself to the principle of making all its elections matters of party strife, or declaring ineligible to any of its offices (however qualified) persons, whose earnest desire and aim it has for many years been, to promote the sound principles of our Church, according to the teaching of her Liturgy.—I have the honour to be your humble servant,
Christ Church, Nov. 17, 1841.              E. B. P
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5. I.e. with his own strong measure of a protest.
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