[Letters and Correspondence—1845]


Littlemore: January 5, 1845.
Now that the Test [Note 1] seems pretty sure of rejection, do you think nothing at all can be done in Ward's behalf? Really it does hurt one's sense of justice that, considering the atrocious heresies which have been published without censure on the other side, he must be visited so severely for being over-Catholic. Not that I see what can be done. The 'Times' evasit, erupit. The 'Remembrancer' is quarterly. Combination there can be none, yet I think we shall be sorry when all is over if Ward is thus inequitably condemned.

Is it impossible to persuade men who come up against the Test also to vote for Ward?

I throw this out to relieve my mind. Before the Test was sure of rejection Ward had no claims on anyone.

At this time a proposal was laid before Convocation for a censure on No. 90, and the following sentences are given from a notice issued by Mr. Charles Marriott on the subject: {406}

Allow me to lay before you the plain circumstances under which the proposed censure of Mr. Newman has come out.

The measure has issued from the Hebdomadal Board with a haste and suddenness absolutely unprecedented in University proceedings, and such as has left no time to mature any regular appeal to Convocation against it. Only a week has elapsed since the first mention of the design at all ...

Nothing has been done by Mr. Newman to call for such an act from the University at this time. It is now four years since the tract in question came out. Mr. Newman has in this interval left residence in the University, has given up the vicarage of St. Mary's, and withdrawn from the whole controversy on the subject of the tract. If the tract was to be condemned by the University, ought it not to have been condemned in 1841; and should not the act of Convocation have accompanied the notice of the Hebdomadal Board on the subject? The Hebdomadal Board, instead of proposing the adoption of that notice to Convocation at the time they issued it, propose it now, four years afterwards, and thus call for a fresh and gratuitous infliction of pain when no one single fresh act on the author's part has occurred to warrant such a repetition ...

It is impossible not to observe that the idea of censuring Mr. Newman was not mentioned until the defeat of the recently proposed New Test, and its abandonment by the Board. It was then put forward with all the appearance of being an expedient for balancing that defeat, and as a measure of party retaliation.

Signed, on behalf of several members of Convocation,
C. M
Fellow and Dean of Oriel College.

This will tell the reader what the bane was of which Mr. Mozley's affectionate words were the antidote.


Littlemore: Ash Wednesday, Feb. 5, 1845.
My dear James,—The bane, if it be such, and antidote came together—for your affectionate note was the first news I had heard about the doings of the Heads of Houses. I had not had curiosity enough to look out for tidings, for I am, as {407} I was saying last week, and as the 'English Churchman' has said since, as though a dead man, and Hebdomadal Boards can do me neither good nor harm. What really pains me, as you may suppose, is the pain which friends will feel on my account; yet this pain has a selfish compensation, for it is a blessing of which I am quite unworthy to have friends who feel for me as you do [Note 2].

On the same subject Mrs. J. Mozley writes to her brother:

February 9, 1845.
I have nothing particular to say to you, but, as I think of nothing but you, I have thought I might as well write to you. I know you have more comfort within yourself than it is in the power of any of us to impart, or happily of those who wish you ill to take away. I am anxious about your health. I was hoping you would benefit by your visit to Hastings; and what a reception you had on your return to Oxford! James [Mozley] writes of your taking the thing calmly, as we all knew you would—no one more so, except, perhaps, Pusey—but the injury and injustice is not less. It is what everybody must feel sooner or later. Some way or other I am sure it must come home to all who do not do their utmost to prevent its being done. But how many can do nothing who feel most keenly! Dear John, we must pray that you may be supported in the right way through everything.


Hursley: Feb. 10, 1845.
My very dear Newman,—it seems uncomfortable not to be speaking a word to you at such a time as this, when so many are thinking of you all day long with anxiety and even tenderness whose words and thoughts, if they could be conveyed to you, would be a comfort to you indeed—and surely they will be conveyed to you in effect; sooner or later, in one shape or another, the dew of Hermon will fall on the hill of Sion (I trust it is not wrong so to apply the words). If you are more hardly used by some persons, and liberties taken with your name, such as you feel, I fear, but too keenly, yet do {408} not doubt nor forget how dearly beyond common examples that name is cherished by very many others, to whom you have been made the instrument of good, partly, perhaps, with this very providential purpose, that so sore a trial might be tempered to you. I just wanted to say this much, for, though dangerous to dwell on in a common way, it seems to me just the sort of help which one's infirmity might need and thankfully receive when the sense of being calumniated comes over-bitterly upon us. You will forgive it should it be altogether out of place; as, coming from me, it may very well be.

This move of the Heads has carried me to review the argument of my letter to Coleridge, and I think I see clearly that the case I there contemplated will not really have occurred let the voting on Thursday be what it may. For that argument went entirely on the hypothesis that the University is the imposer of academical subscription, the contrary of which seems now to be ruled. I suppose it, therefore, to be the special duty of each person whom they censure to show by retaining his place among them that he considers their censure null and void. I have written a short letter to this effect, and sent it to R. Palmer, to be sent to the next 'English Churchman' if P. thinks proper, because the 'E. C.' has been quoting that opinion of mine.

God be with you in storm and in sunshine, and make me fitter to be your very affectionate friend,
J. K.


Hursley: Feb. 20, 1845.
I have nothing to say to you, dearest Newman, that is at all to the purpose, and yet I want to say a word to you just to say that I remember your birthday and long to be able to keep it as I ought; but it is to be hoped there are others who will make up for one's deficiencies in that way. One thing I should like to go would be to choose out some one of the old days when we most enjoyed ourselves together, either with dear Hurrell Froude or in thought and talk of him, and live over it again for an hour or two—if such indulgences are not unfit for this season: and to me they ought not to be altogether unfit, for surely they would bring with them bitter recollections of thoughts and fancies very unfit to have been where I was allowed to be. But I am not going to talk of myself; I was {409} going to say that, if I might choose a pleasant day to think of, perhaps the day of laying the first stone at Littlemore might be it. Many places and times, it seems to me, may well have taken a sort of colouring from that day, and surely it brings with it sweet and hopeful thoughts, and many of them, and the past and the future, and the living and the departed, and times of faith and times of decay, seem blended as one thinks of it in a way which must (by His blessing; may we not forfeit it!) issue in comfort at last. I remember, too, another day, when we walked up with old Christie, and there was talk of how each word of our Lord's is, as it were, a sort of Church Canon, and Christie said the talk ought to be printed; this was long after the other, but I cannot exactly remember when. Will you bear with me in sending you this talk, which surely is worth very little?—but it will not be quite worthless if it does but amuse you a little on your birthday. I should like to try my memory a little further, but the post-horn is announced, and this letter will not keep, whatever another might do.

So believe me always, in all times, your very affectionate and wishing to be worthier friend,
J. K

I will not have you trouble yourself to answer effusions like this.

The 'communication' which is the subject of the following letter probably was Mr. Newman's intention to resign his Fellowship in October, with a view to a subsequent step.


Derby: March 13, 1845.
You imagine rightly in thinking the communication at the end of your letter would give me a great deal of pain. I can think of nothing else since, and yet seem to be without the power of writing to you. Yet I can hardly say why it is so, for I am far from taken by surprise; indeed, I have been dreading to hear something of this sort for some time past. You have sufficiently warned me of it. Yet I have so much sanguineness in my composition that I always hope the worst misfortunes may be averted till they are irremediable. And what can be worse than this? It is like hearing that some {410} dear friend must die. I cannot shut my eyes to this overpowering event that threatens any longer. What the consequences may be I know not. O dear John, can you have thought long enough before deciding on a step which, with its probable effects, must plunge so many into confusion and dismay? I know what you will answer—that nothing but the risk of personal salvation would lead you to it; and I quite believe it. I know you have all along had the greatest regard for others, and acted upon it for some time past. But think what must be our feelings who cannot entertain your views, but can only deplore it as a grievous mistake! And I feel bitterly how many good sort of people would not do you justice, but judge you very hardly indeed. It is a real pain and grief to think of you as severed from us, as it were, by your own sentence. I am much afraid, dear John, you may be taken by surprise by what I say, and expect I shall receive this event more easily. Indeed I cannot; it is to me the great proof of the badness of this world and the unfortunate times we live in that such a one as you should take the line you have taken ... Pray excuse the incoherence of this letter. I am afraid it is very strange, and does not express one small portion of my feelings. Our poor distracted Church seems to me in pieces, and there is no one to help her, and her children's sympathies seem all drawn off another way. And how sad it is to me that I cannot say these things to you without your thinking me in error and in the wrong way, and not to have found the true way! Is there not enough in the world to make one weary of it, to all who try to see things as they really are? I am so afraid I have said wrong things, as well as not said what I intended; but I am really writing in great trouble and discomfort. Pray forgive me if I have not been as considerate as I ought to be, and wish earnestly to be, for I know your trial must be great indeed.
Believe me, ever yours very affectionately,


Littlemore: March 15, 1845.
I have just received your very painful letter, and wish I saw any way of making things easier to you or to myself.

If I went by what I wished, I should complete my seven years of waiting. Surely more than this, or as much, cannot {411} be expected of me—cannot be right in me to give at my age. How life is going! I see men dying who were boys, almost children, when I was born. Pass a very few years, and I am an old man. What means of judging can I have more than I have? What maturity of mind am I to expect? If I am right to move at all, surely it is high time not to delay about it longer. Let me give my strength to the work, not my weakness—years in which I can profit the cause which calls me, not the dregs of life. Is it not like a death-bed repentance to put off what one feels one ought to do?

As to my convictions, I can but say what I have told you already, that I cannot at all make out why I should determine on moving, except as thinking I should offend God by not doing so. I cannot make out what I am at except on this supposition. At my time of life men love ease. I love ease myself. I am giving up a maintenance involving no duties, and adequate to all my wants. What in the world am I doing this for (I ask myself this), except that I think I am called to do so? I am making a large income by my sermons, I am, to say the very least, risking this; the chance is that my sermons will have no further sale at all. I have a good name with many; I am deliberately sacrificing it. I have a bad name with more. I am fulfilling all their worst wishes, and giving them their most coveted triumph. I am distressing all I love, unsettling all I have instructed or aided. I am going to those whom I do not know, and of whom I expect very little. I am making myself an outcast, and that at my age. Oh, what can it be but a stern necessity which causes this?

Pity me, my dear Jemima. What have I done thus to be deserted, thus to be left to take a wrong course, if it is wrong? I began by defending my own Church with all my might when others would not defend her. I went through obloquy in defending her. I in a fair measure succeed. At the very time of this success, before any reverse, in the course of my reading it breaks upon me that I am in a schismatical Church. I oppose myself to the notion; I write against it—year after year I write against it, and I do my utmost to keep others in the Church. From the time my doubts come upon me I begin to live more strictly; and really from that time to this I have done more towards my inward improvement, as far as I can judge, than in any time of my life. Of course I have all through had many imperfections, and might {412} have done every single thing I have done much better than I have done it. Make all deductions on this score, still, after all, may I not humbly trust that I have not so acted as to forfeit God's gracious guidance? And how is it that I have improved in other points if in respect of this momentous matter I am so fearfully blinded? …

Why should I distress your kind heart with all my miseries? Yet you must know them, to avoid the greater misery of looking at me externally, and wondering and grieving over what seems incomprehensible. Shall I add that, distressing as is my state, it has not once come upon me to say, O that I had never begun to read theology! O that I had never meddled in ecclesiastical matters! O that I had never written the Tracts, &c.! I lay no stress on this, but state it ... Of course the human heart is mysterious. I may have some deep evil in me which I cannot fathom; I may have done some irreparable thing which demands punishment; but may not one humbly trust that the earnest prayers of many good people will be heard for me? May not one resign oneself to the event, whatever it turns out to be? May one not hope and believe, though one does not see it, that God's hand is in the deed, if a deed there is to be; that He has a purpose, and will bring it to good, and will show us that it is good, in His own time? Let us not doubt, may we never have cause to doubt, that He is with us. Continually do I pray that He would discover to me if I am under a delusion; what can I do more? What hope have I but in Him? To whom should I go? Who can do me any good? Who can speak a word of comfort but He? Who is there but looks on me with a sorrowful face?—but He can lift up the light of His countenance upon me. All is against me—may He not add Himself as an adversary? May He tell me, may I listen to Him if His will is other than I think it to be!

Palm Sunday.— ... So, my dear Jemima, if you can suggest any warnings to me which I am not considering, well, and thank you; else do take comfort, and think that perhaps you have a right to have faith in me, perhaps you have a right to believe that He who has led me hitherto will not suffer me to go wrong. I am somehow in better spirits this morning, and I say what it occurs to me to say at the time. Have I not a right to ask you not to say, as you have said in your letter, that I shall do wrong? What right have you to judge me? Have the multitude who will judge me any right {413} to judge me? Who of my equals, who of the many who will talk flippantly about me, has a right? Who has a right to judge me but my Judge? Who has taken such, pains to know my duty (poor as they have been) as myself? Who is more likely than I to know what I ought to do? I may be wrong, but He that judgeth me is the Lord, and 'Judge nothing before the time.'

His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts. He may have purposes as merciful as they are beyond us. Let us do our best, and leave the event to Him? He will give us strength to bear. Surely I have to bear most; and if I do not shrink from bearing it others must not shrink. May I do my best; am I not trying to do my best?—may we not trust it will turn to the best?

To this most moving letter his sister at once replies:

Derby: Good Friday, March 21.
Many thanks for your kindness in writing to me so promptly and at such a length. I feel almost vexed with myself for having said anything that should have, as it were, compelled you to write so much. For I feel it is a great effort to you to write, and I fear I cannot altogether receive all you say as you would wish. And indeed I must say that, thinking as you do, with such a strong view of what is right, I cannot ask or wish you to act otherwise than you contemplate. If my former letter seemed urgent it was in the hope of drawing something different from you from what I have done. I know on a point of conscience we must not be drawn aside by persuasions or arguments, which tell with others, but which are only mere excuses if we act by them when they do not touch ourselves. Indeed I do pity you, for I know you are just the person to feel the force of the sacrifices you are making more than most, without the excitement which carries most persons through such changes; and it needs no assurance from you for me to be sure that you do it simply because you think it right, when interest or love of ease would naturally draw you another way. This is my hope and my consolation; but I cannot fancy it otherwise with you, nor could I bear to think it possible. O may you be rewarded now and hereafter in the way God thinks best! I believe I do not wish to choose for you—so as you are doing His will and His work, what more can one desire?—and I do take comfort in feeling how short-sighted {414} we are in judging only of a few passing years. What signify the pains and trials of the next four or five years for those who live to see them, if it pleases God to bring good to His Church out of them? All this strikes me as a bystander; of course if I were a man or a clergyman, or if events arose to compel me to be an actor, I should have a weight of responsibility which would make me feel differently.

Then, dear John, you attack me, and wish me to ask myself whether after all you may not be right. But, indeed, I do often put it to myself in that light. I know how ignorant I am, how little I ought to assume I am right in any one thing. Yet there are some things one dare not doubt, and some things it is one's highest happiness to believe and try to realise. So, however unworthy I am, I feel we must in some measure go by our own faith and our own light, though that light be little better than darkness. I daresay on the point in question I may be prejudiced, it is most likely—we have one-sided views from birth and education; but I really do not think I am aware of any strong or hostile feelings against Rome which some would not scruple to entertain. I have been unlearning such the last dozen years, and have thought them criminal since I ceased to believe Rome to be Antichrist—that is, since I read your sermons. Not that I ever could quite accept the Protestant notion; I always hoped there might be some other way of getting over the difficulty. I assure you I am not conscious of a bitter feeling towards Rome; we seem to have enough to do with sorrow and humiliation at home without quarrelling with other Churches. Indeed, I may say more, I feel deeply the debt of gratitude we owe to Rome as our Spiritual Mother, and it pains me much on this account to hear Rome slightly regarded. But yet I have no bias toward Rome, nor see any compensation in Rome to make up for the defects of our Church. I am afraid of paining you by saying she does not approve herself to me as at all fulfilling what she pretends to—far from it. She appears to me to contain un-Christian elements, which as long as she cherishes them seem an absolute barrier to her converting the world.

I am afraid you will feel this a painful letter … These are solemn days to have one's thoughts ruffled by controversy when one would desire they should be turned towards higher subjects of contemplation; but, indeed, I am not conscious of having my feelings uncomfortably excited, or I should not have {415} chosen Good Friday to write to you. Far from it; indeed, I cannot fancy it in writing to you ...

On reading over this letter I am quite ashamed of it, yet do not think I shall mend it by writing it over again, so must only beg you to forgive me if I have said anything unbecoming. I trust, dear John, you will attain that peace of mind without which life is a burden (a struggle it needs must be). Who should have it if you fail, who have been the means of comforting so many.
Believe me, ever your very affectionate sister,

P.S.—As to aunt, I think on consideration she is in a way prepared—that is, she is alarmed, and she betrays it by every now and then professing the greatest security about you. This pains me a good deal, as she sometimes chooses to talk of you to strangers. This has not been often, but she often expresses the greatest anxiety about you to me, and wonder and curiosity as to what you think, &c.


Littlemore: April 2, 1845.
I have just been looking at your article in the 'C. R.,' [Note 3]and it has touched me exceedingly. I knew you loved me, as I do you, but I was not prepared for what you say; and now, as is the law of such things, I know it just when I am losing it. You speak as if writing a funeral oration, and so it is. Yet sometimes I think, so it shall not be—for surely I am now more cut off from you than I can be in any other circumstances, and when the dreadful trials of the next few years are over I may have the opportunity, if we both live, of something more of intimacy with you than I can have now.

Alas! I do not forget how changeable all things are, and how difficult it is for minds to keep pace with each other which walk apart. You may fancy how all this oppresses me. All that is dear to me is being taken from me. My days are gone like a shadow, and I am withered like grass.

I say to myself, if I am under a delusion, what have I done, what grave sin have I committed, to bring such a judgment on me? O that it may be revealed to me, and the {416} delusion broken! But I go on month after month, year after year, without change of feeling except in one direction; not floating up and down, but driving one way.

I know well, my dear James, that you do not forget to think of me at solemn times, but I really think that now the time is short. I cannot promise myself to remain as I am after Christmas, perhaps not so long, though I suppose in the event I shall linger on some little while longer. By November I expect to have resigned my Fellowship, and perhaps may publish something.

I don't mind your telling this in confidence to anyone you please, but of course you will keep this letter safely.

What complicated distress! I suppose it will be less when the worst is over.
Ever yours most affectionately,


Littlemore: April 3, 1845.
My dear Church,—I see by the advertisement in the 'C. R.' that the third edition of your 'St. Cyril' is in the press. I wish you would tell them to let you have what sheets you wish, and alter what you like. Don't let it escape you. I have always had it on my conscience, I can use no lighter word, that I was so inconsiderate towards you in some things as it passed through the first printing, and though I fear what mischief I did cannot be set right without giving you much trouble, I do wish to call your attention to it. I assure you it has quite been on my conscience. At various times have I been going to speak to you about it for four or five years past, and always meant to do so some day or other. Accept this apology, my dear Church, and forgive me. As I say so tears come into my eyes. That arises from the accident of this time, when I am giving up so much I love; but though I may be in low spirits just now, what I have said in the former page is not so to be interpreted.

Just now I have been overset by James Mozley's article in the 'C. R.' Yet really, my dear Church, I have never for an instant had even the temptation of repenting my leaving Oxford. The feeling of repentance has not come even into my mind. How could it? How could I remain at St. Mary's, {417} a hypocrite? How could I be answerable for souls (and life so uncertain) with the conviction or at least persuasion which I had upon me? It is, indeed, a dreadful responsibility to act as I am doing; and I feel His hand heavy on me without intermission who is all wisdom and love, so that my mind and heart are tired out, just as the limbs might be from a load on one's back; that sort of dull aching pain is mine. But my responsibility really is nothing to what it would be to be answerable for souls, for confiding, loving souls, in the English Church, with my convictions.

I don't like you to go out of office without my thanks for your kindness to me last February 13.

My love to Marriott, and save me the pain of sending him a line.
Ever yours very affectionately,

In a note without date, addressed R. Church, Esq., there occurs this sentence, 'I suspect you do not like to have the credit of all my translations. We will take care in the preface to set you right with the public.' An N.B. in pencil, after marking this sentence, says, 'This illustrates the letter of April 3, 1845.—J. H. N.'


Littlemore: April 10, 1845.
I think it would be a kind thing to show James [Mozley] the long letter I sent you on Palm Sunday, unless there is anything in it I do not recollect.

I write a line in a hurry. How glad I should be if you could see this place and our house this year. One knows so little what is before us.

The visit here suggested was paid in the following July. The idea of a last sight of Littlemore had occurred also to his sister. From the following letter it may be gathered that Mr. Copeland, who had been in charge since Mr. Newman's resignation of St. Mary's, had given up his rooms in Littlemore and returned to Oxford in order to provide a lodging for Mrs. Mozley during her stay. The following letter, written from Mrs. Barnes's, gives her first impressions. {418}

MRS. J. MOZLEY TO A. M. [Note 5]

July 17, 1845.
What a change there is in this place from what it was when first I knew it! I hear a great deal from Mrs. Barnes, who seems a most excellent person. She represents the improvement as really not merely external. She is never tired of praising Mr. Copeland. Among his other good qualities one that especially pleased and satisfied me is his real love of the parish. It makes me hope that, come what will, he will keep his post here ... And Mr. Copeland has got such a footing in people's affections. I am in hopes good people will not go far astray while he is here ...

 … He (J. H. N.) looks just the same as when I saw him last, and seems tolerably well. He has been with us an hour this morning, and will dine here. We are going to church in ten minutes; the times here are 11 and 3. After church I am to pay calls in the village with J. H. N. …

Everything shows that Mr. Newman attended service at Littlemore until the final step was taken [Note 6].

The following letter from Mrs. J. Mozley to A. M. announces what might now be considered imminent.

October 6, 1845.
 … I have had a letter, which I have been expecting and half-dreading to receive, this week from J. H. N. to say he has written to the Provost to resign his Fellowship. He adds that now anything may be expected any day.


Littlemore: October 8, 1845.
My dear Jemima,—I must tell you what will pain you greatly, but I will make it as short as you would wish me to do. {419}

This night Father Dominic, the Passionist, sleeps here. He does not know of my intention, but I shall ask him to receive me into what I believe to be the One Fold of the Redeemer.

This will not go till all is over.
Ever yours affectionately,

When once it was known that Mr. Newman was on the point of taking the long-contemplated step, the question of his remaining at Littlemore became an important one. Those whom he was leaving felt his continuance close to Oxford a difficulty, as a most unsettling state of things to certain minds. Others said that to stay was to follow the leading of Providence, that waiting to act till called upon was right.

That the question had been evidently touched upon by Mrs. J. Mozley in writing to her brother may be gathered from the following letter.


Littlemore: 5.30 A.M., October 9, 1845.
My dear Jemima,—Before your letter came last evening I had written an important line to you, which will go, I suppose, tomorrow.

It is very natural that persons should have the feeling you express about my leaving Littlemore, but in having it they do not put themselves in my position, but view me from their own. Few people can put themselves into another person's position ...

All this is quite consistent with believing, as I firmly do, that individuals in the English Church are invisibly knit into that True Body of which they are not outwardly members; and consistent, too, with thinking it highly injudicious, indiscreet, wanton, to interfere with them in particular cases—only it is a matter of judgment in the particular case. It might be indiscreet in me to remain here; it might not. Persons have quite a right to blame my judgment if they will, though even here they should recollect that I may be in the position to be the better judge. But it must be put on the ground of discretion. If I said I ought in duty to go away, I should be confessing I ought not to join the Church of Rome at all. {420}

I think I have found that those who fear me and wish me away think I ought to go, and those who really wish me to stay have no such thoughts. All depends on their own views of the general question.

As to 'sacrifice,' which do you think would be pleasantest to me, to leave this place or to stay? …

I enclose a note to aunt. I will say nothing about my feelings all along to one so good and sweet as you are. There is one who knows how much it has laid upon my heart to pain you. But I am not going to make apology, or to seem to try to recommend myself to you.
Ever yours affectionately,
J. H. N.

To this letter his sister replies:


Derby: October 11, 1845.
I was aware when I sent my letter that you had reasons strong and satisfactory to yourself for remaining where you are, and certainly, according to my own views, I cannot see anything wrong in your doing so, but the other appeared to me best and most right. And also I knew that, could I place myself in your exact position, I might see this point also just as you represent it. But the fact that our conclusions are so different, judging according to our own respective views, only places before my eyes still more vividly and painfully what I am slow to realise, that we are indeed separated from each other further than I can bear to allow. But we must be fearfully wide asunder, or you would not judge it necessary to leave us.

Of course I cannot judge of the motives of the persons to whom you allude, but I assure you, dear John, it was from no motive of fear that I offered my opinion. I did not go so far as to think of the consequences. I was thinking of what seemed to me right, or rather, I would repeat, best, and I sincerely believe this was the feeling of those who expressed the same opinion ... For myself, I feel the future such a mystery that in me it would be foolish indeed to shape my conduct with regard to consequences. One seems so little to apprehend what may be the effect of any one action. But if I do say what I think of the future, I do not fear for our Church from this movement, though it may be a searching trial to her (I am {421} speaking now not of your residence at Littlemore or elsewhere for that surely cannot make essential difference). Dear John, when you spoke in the name of our Church your exhortations were all powerful, your voice seemed the voice of an angel, you touched a chord in all our hearts—you seemed to know our very hearts. Since your new views have gained the ascendancy how great the change! ... Now I do not mean to say your influence will not be very great. Your talents, experience, and depth of mind must make your words powerful; but you will not influence the same class of minds that you have in times past. Believe me, it is very painful to me to contemplate all this, much more write it down. But I love my Church dearly, and place confidence in her as a chosen vessel, whom the Lord will not forsake though He bring her to an extremity, and what you said of consequences has brought me to set things more formally before my mind than I might have done. I am afraid my letter must give you pain; how can it be otherwise? This is the misery of difference in the most important of all subjects, the one thing needful for us all.
Believe me ever, dear John,
With the truest affection, your sister,

Some extracts from Mr. Newman's reply to his sister are given.

Littlemore: October 1845.
Thank you for your kind letter, and tell aunt how relieved I was to see her handwriting.

Nothing you say about my loss of influence has any tendency to hurt me, as you kindly fear it should. I never have thought about any influence I had had. I never have mastered what it was. It is simply no effort whatever to give it up. The pain, indeed, which I knew I was giving to individuals has affected me much; but as to influence, the whole world is one great vanity, and I trust I am not set on anything in it—I trust not. Nor have I thrown influence away if I have acted at the call of duty ...

I have no distinct view about remaining at Littlemore; but to move would be to decide one way. While I am undecided, {422} I remain ... I feel it very doubtful what is best to be done, and what is God's will ...

And now, God bless you, my very dear sister, and believe me,
Ever yours affectionately,

Mr. Newman, who has himself written such moving words on the parting of friends, has given evidence how much the parting words of Mr. Keble had touched him by depositing them among the records of Keble College. The editor has been kindly allowed to place them here.


Hursley: October 3, 1845.
My dear Newman,—I feel as if I had something to say to you, although I don't very well know what it will be; but Charlotte's [Mrs. Keble] illness having for the present at least abated, I find that I am better able than I have been for near a fortnight past to think and speak coherently of other things; and what can I think of so much as you, dear friend, and the [agonia] which awaits us with regard to you, except, indeed, when my thoughts travel on to Bisley and Tom's bedside, for there, as well as here, everything almost seems to have been, perhaps to be, hanging by a thread. At such times one seems in a way to see deeper into realities, and I must own to you that the impression on my own mind of the reality of the things I have been brought up among, and of its being my own fault, not theirs, whereinsoever I am found wanting—this impression seems to deepen in me as death draws nearer, and I find it harder to imagine that persons such as I have seen and heard of lately, should be permitted to live and die deceiving themselves on such a point as whether they are aliens to the grace of God's sacraments or no.

October 11, Midnight.
I had written thus far about a week ago, and then left off for very weariness, and now that I was thinking of going on with my writing I find that the thunderbolt has actually fallen upon us, and you have actually taken the step which we greatly feared. I will not plague you, then, with what I might otherwise have set down—something which passed, directly relating to yourself, in what fell from my dear wife on this day {423} fortnight, when, in perfect tranquillity and self-possession, having received the Holy Communion, she took leave of us all, expecting hourly to sink away. By God's great mercy she revived, and still continues among us, with, I trust, increasing hopes of recovery; but the words which she spoke were such that I must always think of them as of the last words of a saint. Some of them I had thought of reporting to you, but this, at any rate, is not the time.

Wilson has told me how kindly you have been remembering us in our troubles; it was very kind, when you must have so much upon your own mind. Who knows how much good your prayers and those of other absent friends may have done us, both here and at Bisley?—for there, too, as I daresay you know, has been a favourable change, and a more decided one, I imagine, than here; at least their doctor has told them they may make themselves comfortable, which is far beyond anything that has yet been said to us. But his recovery is very, very slow. There, too, as well as here, everything has fallen out so as to foster the delusion, if delusion it be, that we are not quite aliens, not living among unrealities. Yet you have no doubt the other way. It is very mysterious, very bewildering indeed; but, being so, one's duty seems clearly pointed out: to abide where one is, till some new call come upon one. If this were merely my own reason or feeling, I should mistrust it altogether, knowing, alas! that I am far indeed from the person to whom guidance is promised; but when I see the faith of others, such as I know them to be, and so very near to me as God has set them, I am sure that it would be a kind of impiety but to dream of separating from them.

Besides the deep grief of losing you for a guide and helper, and scarce knowing which way to look, ... you may guess what uncomfortable feelings haunt me, as if I, more than anyone else, was answerable for whatever of distress and scandal may occur. I keep on thinking, 'If I had been different, perhaps Newman would have been guided to see things differently, and we might have been spared so many broken hearts and bewildered spirits.' To be sure, that cold, hard way of going on, which I have mentioned to you before, stands my friend at such times, and hinders me, I suppose, from being really distressed; but this is how I feel that I ought to feel, and I tell you ... And now I wish you to help me. That way of help, at any rate, is not forbidden you in respect of any of us.

My dearest Newman, you have been a kind and helpful {424} friend to me in a way in which scarce anyone else could have been, and you are so mixed up in my mind with old and dear and sacred thoughts that I cannot well bear to part with you, most unworthy as I know myself to be. And yet I cannot go along with you. I must cling to the belief that we are not really parted: you have taught me so, and I scarce think you can unteach me. And having relieved my mind with this little word, I will only say, God bless you, and reward you a thousandfold for all your help in every way to me unworthy, and to many others! May you have peace where you are gone, and help us in some way to get peace; but somehow I scarce think it will be in the way of controversy. And so, with somewhat of a feeling as if the spring had been taken out of my year,
I am, always, your affectionate and grateful,
J. K

The Editor's task is already carried beyond the date anticipated; but one passage from a letter of the year 1847, though dated from Rome, will not be felt out of place among the records of the Movement. For some years the three great movers might seem to hold little communication with each other, as they had ceased to act together; but that the mutual respect and high moral estimate of each for the other continued to the end the correspondence of the time abundantly shows. An extract from a letter of Dr. Newman's to his sister, Jan. 26, 1847, may be given in evidence that the strong act of separation had not disturbed his estimate of Mr. Keble's character. The letter was written before Dr. Newman's own destination was fixed on, but amongst other founders of Orders he is led to speak of St. Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratorians, and after some historical details he goes on:

This great saint reminds me in so many ways of Keble, that I can fancy what Keble would have been if God's will had been that he should have been born in another place and age; he was formed on the same type of extreme hatred of humbug, playfulness, nay, oddity, tender love for others, and severity, which are lineaments of Keble [Note 7]. {425}

The foregoing passage was written in 1847. There is a record of a conversation which took place all but thirty years later, on a visit paid by Dr. Newman to his sister in 1876—notes of which were taken at the earliest opportunity, with as much accuracy as the present writer was capable of—and the following words show that no length of time or altered circumstances had changed his estimate of his other great associate in the Movement: that Pusey, as well as Keble, had lost nothing of his love and veneration:

He spoke of Dr. Pusey with deep affection and admiration, 'so full of the love of God'—as if it had been a very great trial his not having gone over to Rome. Could not finish his sentence. 'Nothing had had greater weight than his Tract on Baptism.'

The tone and action with which the words 'so full of the love of God' were spoken, live in memory to this day.

And here the Editor's task ends.

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1. An alteration proposed by the Hebdomadal Board in the University Statutes, to be appended to the condemnation of Mr. Ward's book; it was subsequently withdrawn.
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2. See reflections on this attack on No. 90, in Apologia, p. 293; and also extracts from a pamphlet, in the Appendix.
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3. 'Recent Proceedings at Oxford,' Christian Remembrancer, April 1845.
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4. Extracts from this letter are given in the Apologia, p. 232.
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5. The Editor.
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6. A letter written some years later, after visiting Littlemore, says:
'I did not observe in any of the Littlemore village people any knowledge of the cause of Mr. Newman's leaving them. It seemed clear to me that he had never spoken a word to them that might set them thinking.'

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7. In the preface to Occasional Papers and Reviews of John Keble, published in 1817, the reader will find a very interesting letter from Dr. Newman to the Editor of the work, giving his recollections and impressions of Mr. Keble's character, recalling 'the sweet gravity with which he spoke,' and going on to ask, 'How can I profess to paint a man who will not sit for his picture, &c.?'
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2004 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.