[Letters and Correspondence—1835]


January 3, 1835.
Here is the Abbé [Note 1] again at his former tricks. I have written to him at once telling him that it would never do to take {73} your letter piecemeal; and begging him to insert your letters as a whole, in numbers as closely consecutive as possible, and then give us his reply as a whole. I have argued fairly out with him the endless confusion into which the controversy will be brought, if we are to have half a dozen answers awaiting a reply, while there is one long letter lying by him which is to be taken bit by bit, to the utter ruin of its meaning as a complete argument. I hope this may produce some effect; if not, I shall be sorry for my friend and ashamed of the 'Univers's' tactics ...


January, 1835.
 … I am sorry to hear such poor accounts of you and Isaac. Keble says you are overworked. So does Christie; yet I would not have you leave any of it except the Deanship.

On one or two points I am inclined to grumble at you. You seem to be finessing too deep. Why publish poor Bishop Cosin's 'Tract on Transubstantiation' 7 [N.B.—Froude would not believe that I was in earnest, as I was, in shrinking from the views which he boldly followed out. I was against Transubstantiation.—J. H. N.] Surely no member of the Church of England is in any danger of overrating the miracle of the Eucharist …

I have also to grumble at you for letting Pusey call the Reformers 'the founders of our Church,' in that excellent and much to be studied paper on fasting ...

So much for fault-finding; with this fault, I think the tracts otherwise as good as could be; and some of them (inconsistently enough) are quite as strong the other way; for example: 'Rites and Customs of the Church,' the hit at the end of which could only have emanated from one pen. The same with an unsigned letter in the 'British Magazine' on the term Catholic. 'Centralisation,' too, is capital: the simile of the 'hero of romance' is equivalent to a signature.

I am amused to see among your sermons the Naples one and the Dartington one. I can see the train of thought that suggested the latter—[alla kai hemin mopsimon en] to bear witness to the same truth. [N.B.—It is the sermon [Note 2] on the Pool of Bethesda. When I was down at Dartington for the first time in July 1831, I saw a number of young girls collected together, {74} blooming, and in high spirits, 'and all went merry as a marriage-bell.' And I sadly thought what changes were in store; what hard trial and discipline was inevitable. I cannot trace their history, but Phyllis and Mary Froude married, and died quickly. Hurrell died. One, if not two, of the young Champernownes died. My sermon was dictated by the sight and the foreboding. At that very visit Hurrell caught and had his influenza upon him, which led him by slow steps to the grave. He caught it sleeping, as I did, on deck, going down the Channel from Southampton to Torbay. Influenza was about, the forerunner of the cholera. It went through the parsonage at Dartington. Every morning the sharp merry party, who somewhat quizzed me, had hopes it would seize upon me. But I escaped, and sang my warning from the pulpit. Observe how the letter goes on.—J. H. N.] Since then I have never been well, and then came my poor sister's business, who, by-the-bye, is now at Madeira.

[N. B.—Twice in my life have I, when worn with work, gone to a friend's house to recruit. The first time was the above, in 1831; the second in 1852-3, to Abbotsford. I there, à propos of nothing, and with such little consideration that I am aghast how I could have done it, urged on Hope Scott that the families of literary men did not last. It is to me incomprehensible how I could have been so gauche, or what I was thinking of. Since then the owner, young Scott Lockhart, is dead, Mrs. Hope Scott, her infant son and a daughter. And the Duke of Norfolk (who, with his family, was in the house) is at this minute hanging between life and death [Note 3]; so I am a bird of ill omen.]

In your 'Arians' I think you do not account satisfactorily for [N.B. i.e. the existence of—J. H. N.] the Eusebian party. To my mind you are especially strong in the chapter on the Variation of Ante-Nicene Statements.

Whewell's book [N.B. Which?] is very well done, certainly; but every new step in science will, in all probability, weaken his argument, which would have been still stronger than it now is before the discovery of Newton's Law.


January 16, 1835.
Copeland has written to me about the curacy of St. Mary Magdalen being offered to him, which it seems to me very {75} desirable that he should take. The only circumstance which seems to render it questionable is your having offered him St. Mary's, but I should think his place would be much more easily supplied at the latter, and I consider it quite a favour on your part your offering it to him. [This, I suppose, bears on the offer of the curacy to H. Wilberforce in 1834. Williams was retiring from it, from ill health, and going to Rome, with Froude. Copeland had the first offer. It accounts for my hesitation to H. W. and my ultimate drawing back when, I suppose, Williams got better.—J. H. N.]

The sermon criticised in the following letter is that entitled 'Christian Zeal' ('Parochial Sermons,' vol. ii. St. Simon's and St. Jude's day). The sentence Mr. Keble questions is the following (p. 388) [Note 4]:

The Jewish Law, being a visible system sanctioned by temporal rewards and punishments, necessarily involved the duty of a political temper on the part of those who were under it. They were bound to aim at securing the triumph of religion here, realising its promises, enjoying its successes, enforcing its precepts with the sword. This, I say, was their duty, and, as fulfilling it, among other reasons, David is called 'a man after God's own heart.' But the Gospel teaches us to walk by faith, not by sight, and faith teaches us so to be zealous as still to forbear anticipating the next world, but to wait till the Judge shall come.

These words 'among other reasons' were probably inserted in deference to Keble's criticism. The poem in the 'Lyra' is probably that entitled 'David and Jonathan' (p. 20):

He doom'd to die, thou on us to impress
The portent of a blood-stained holiness.


January 1835.
I hope I put you to no inconvenience by keeping this sermon half a week. I have now read it twice over, and say, print it by all means. [No. 370, vol. ii. Sermon 31.—J. H. N.] It is very likely, I should think, to do good. The only marks {76} I have made on it are these : (1) Are you not a little hard on David? I thought so in the 'Lyra,' whoever wrote that about him; and is the expression 'after God's own heart' rightly limited to one point? See something in Isaac Walton's 'Complete Angler,' who rather refers it to his thankfulness. (2) Would not Nehemiah be a good additional instance? … Where you say 'direct [positive] unbelief is not so bad as lukewarmness' [see p. 383], had it not better be 'positive wrong belief,' or something equivalent? Lukewarmness, I suppose, in one sense is a sign of unbelief [Note 5].

I am glad you think the notion of the Saints' Day lectures will do. I very much wish we had begun with the Prayer Book year—that is, with St. Andrew—and I strongly urge having them prospective; for the Ember Weeks' coming out before the time gave great satisfaction to several. I shall endeavour to get something ready forthwith, either for Candlemas or St. Matthias, and send it up by the 20th to you, if I can.

P.S. From something in one of your notes I fear you are in London yourself for advice; pray send me one line at your leisure.


Do you think we should confine ourselves to this single subject of Suffragan Bishops? or that we should address the Bishop, not the Archbishop? or could you ascertain sufficiently for your purpose that entering upon the other subjects would not embarrass him, or would you like any one else to write this part and only not write it yourself, as I had rather not write about tithes, because I do not feel an immediate interest about them?


London: January 18, 1835.
I have seen a good deal of Rose the last ten days. The Church might gain from the ministers at this moment anything {77} she chose; yet I dread the Archbishop. Rose and I settled that Suffragan Bishops were highly desirable, and he said he thought they might be obtained by mere asking. Also we excogitated the use of a judicial power in the Church. As to the Prĉmunire question, on which Perceval is vehement and Keble excited, I persist in saying what I said a year and a half since—it is not the time. Such articles as yours and Perceval's are useful as keeping up a protest and as gradually enlightening people, but they do not tend immediately to practice.

Our mare's nest [i.e. project] was as follows: The abandonment of State prosecutions for blasphemy, &c. … and the disordered state of the Christian Knowledge Society, where books are taken cognisance of and condemned, render it desirable that there should be some really working Court of heresy and false doctrine. Again, such a Court would stop the mouths of those who wish for the revival of Convocation (at least very much), for this would be one part of its [Convocation's] office. Further, it was for this very work (the condemning books) that Convocation was stopped; so that it will virtually be a return to what then was. The chief advantage of this would be its practical curb upon the exercise of the King's power; for, if a Maltby were appointed, nay before his appointment, his works would be censured by this Court, and the Archbishop strengthened to refuse to consecrate. The whole Church would be kept in order. Further, it would give rise to a school of theology, the science of divinity, councils, &c.; the theological law of the Church must be revived and ecclesiastical law, moreover. The effect of this upon the divinity of the clergy would be great indeed. At present you hear Nestorianism preached in every other pulpit, &c., and the more I think of these questions the more I feel that they are questions of things, not words. Lastly, how to introduce this change? Rose thinks that a clause might be slipped into the Ecclesiastical Commission Bill, merely dispensing with the fees necessary for prosecuting in Bishops' Courts. But, again, how to hinder vexatious prosecutions? The best expedient which struck us was that, though any one might prosecute, he must lay the case before, or be open to the veto of, certain functionaries such as the Divinity Professors in the Universities. There is a fine scheme for you, which is but an air castle after all.

I could say much, were it of use, of my own solitariness {78} now you are away. Not that I would undervalue that great blessing, which is what I do not deserve, of so many friends about me; dear Rogers, Williams, [ho panu] Keble, and the friend in whose house I am staying (whom I wish with all my heart you knew, as apostolicorum princeps, Bowden), yet, after all, as is obvious, no one can enter into one's mind except a person who has lived with one. I seem to write things to no purpose as wanting your imprimatur. Perhaps it is well to cultivate the habit of writing as if for unseen companions, but I have felt it much, so that I am getting quite dry and hard.

My dear Froude, come back to us as soon as you safely can, and then next winter (please God) you shall go to Rome, and tempt Isaac (who is very willing) to go with you. But, wherever you are (so be it), you cannot be divided from us.

The subject of the Prĉmunire had occupied Hurrell Froude's mind and his father's. A letter from Mr. Keble to Mr. Newman, written January 1835, begins with an allusion to this subject, on some point of which it seemed he differed from Archdeacon Froude:


January, [Before the 20th.—J. H. N.] 1835
I heard from Archdeacon Froude this morning. I do think him remarkably sweet-tempered to write to me so in his own defence.

Now as to the Spiritualities that I think it possible for us to gain. In the first place, I am more and more of opinion that this dissolution will be a failure, and that the Parliament returned will presently put in the Whigs again [Note 7]. But suppose it otherwise.

1. I see very little difficulty in getting rid of Dissenters' marriages, only let such persons as we decline to marry, or such as decline to be married by us, get their names stuck on some Meeting House door, and duly register their intentions before a magistrate ... However, as we very well know, very few of our brethren would act on the new law, and refuse to marry in such cases. Still it would be a great relief for the few who think with us, not to be acting against any {79} civil law by our refusal. And there is such an equity in it prima facie that I should hardly think it could be refused. How to secure people against clandestine marriages is another thing.

2. Burials are a more difficult point, for the heretics will not be satisfied without the consecrated ground; but, on the whole, I am inclined to think the profanation less that way than as it is at present, for now we profane the ground and the service too. I should think certain hours might be fixed on, and certain portions of the churchyard, which would perhaps lessen the offence, I mean the profanation, though I am aware it would not satisfy them.

3. I should like very much a short Bill empowering Bishops as such to receive and invest in their names, as Bishops of the diocese, such sums as the faithful might from time to time contribute for Church purposes, i.e. to send curates here and there as might be wanted—in short, the old plan of Church offerings; so that when a new church is built no special endowment should be needed. It would be a step towards the old plan, which must be reverted to, if we don't mean it all to be redistributed at pleasure. I think this would be a step towards making Church property a spirituality—that is, an offering—and therefore I make bold to mention it here. Perhaps no law is needed in the matter, but I really wish something of the sort were done.

I very much like Archdeacon Froude's view about nominations without Prĉmunire, increasing the real influence of the King; and should like him to point it out in a pamphlet. For I confess to you that I look on the Prĉmunire as a national sin which we ought to get rid of, if possible, though practically no further good might come of it. I can hardly enter into your view of keeping it up as a grievance which it is convenient to have to complain of. [N. B.—I suppose I protested about the last sentence above.—J. H. N.]

It would seem that Mr. Newman wrote to Mr. Keble to ask what his words had been that excited this criticism, and Mr. Keble sent him a copy of the passage he asked for. In his subsequent transcription of letters he adds the following explanation of his meaning:—'I should think it certain that the King could secure, out of three to be presented to him, one mere Erastian or Latitudinarian; thus the Church would {80} be in a still worse plight. It would have nothing to complain of.'

[N.B.—I said nothing about keeping the Prĉmunire in order to have a grievance, but that Perceval's new scheme would be one which, being our own, we could not complain of, though it worked as ill as the Prĉmunire, whereas of the Prĉmunire we had a right to complain, for it was a tyrannical measure imposed on the Church against our will.]


January 21, 1835 (Fairford).
I send this, the fag end of what I sent to the printer yesterday: (1) that you may not think me quite perfidious; (2) that you may revise the other part, if you think it worth while; (3) that you may judge what title had better be given to the set, perhaps 'A Village Sermon for such a day.' It would not pledge us to find one every month; and I own I am so much of a Conservative as rather to dislike giving 'definite pledges,' and I want to know how you are, but I do not wish to bother you. Perhaps Bowden would be so kind as to send me a line.

We go on here much as we did; my father, in some respects, going downhill.

I have been looking over a good deal of friend Jenkyns' 'Cranmer,' and am more and more satisfied that Hooker wrote many things in order to counteract in a quiet way the ultra-Protestantism of the said Cranmer and his school.

I see that cathedrals are to be robbed, and we poor curates enriched at the expense of you beneficed men. This, I suppose, it will be right to submit to, on the principle of loyalty to the King; at least there is a paper of Hammond's which seems to imply as much. But I really do think one might make a push for a Suffragan or two with a chance of succeeding. But on this I hope to attack Rose quite independently of your worship. Therefore I give you no message to him.

I long to get up a turmoil here against what they are doing at the S. P. C. K. I can see that it is wrong, though I don't very well know what it is. But if, as I understand, they have adopted all Tyler's 'Literature and Education,' one really ought to make a stir.

I think this ministry will stand for the present, but that {81} before long we shall have the old splitting about some sort of emancipation again. [N.B. This was on the whole fulfilled in the case of Sir Robert Peel and the Corn Laws.] Meanwhile, I suppose we must be up early and late, spreadiitg abroad our principles. I want to hear of Froude again.

The 'Chronological Notes' contain the following entries:

January 7, 1835.—Went to town to Bowden's for advice.
January 9.—Called on Rose at Lambeth. Introduced to Master of Trinity [Wordsworth].
January l2.—Dined at Rivington's, meeting Rose and Boone.
January l8.—Went to Margaret Chapel; introducing Wood to Bowden.
January 27.—Returned to Oxford, having gone entirely for my health.

In looking back on this visit, Mr. Bowden again comments on his friend's power of cheerfully falling in with the thoughts and ways of congenial family life:

February 4, 1835.
I cannot tell you how much Elizabeth and I miss you. It is curious how in three weeks we established in our minds the impression that your presence with us was the rule, and your absence the exception, so that it seems now a strange thing to us to be without you.


February 5, 1835.
I am sad about the Commission (of Archbishops, &c.) which seems to me a new precedent in the history of the Church. I only hope they will be quick. There is a talk in different parts of this kingdom of petitions from the clergy to strengthen the Premier against the Archbishop! so that speed is everything. I cannot help thinking that a pamphlet from you on the Catholic and heretical spirit would be very seasonable.

You might say something on the practical (so to say) tendencies of the day, and of the English character; the looking for some tangible use of usages, &c., and considering everything as a theory which is not seen; our impatience of general views; on the difference between abstract grounds and grounds of principle; in what sense conscience is abstract. {82}

Mr. R. F. Wilson writing to Mr. Newman on the question of Subscription at matriculation, with suggestions for some alterations, then turns to a rumour current at the time:

February 5, 1835.
 … You speak of Pusey's and Sewell's exertions in the cause. Would it not be a good thing when anything very satisfactory of this sort appears, which could be sent in form of a letter by the post, to give it circulation among out-members of the University, and so keep them alive as to what is going on?

May I inquire the truth of a statement I heard respecting you the other day, made to account for Arnold's ill-concealed bitterness in his sad, and to me inexplicable, appendix xi. of his last volume, that on his last dining at Oriel you rose and left the hall immediately that he entered?

[N.B.—I. need hardly say that it was a simple lie.—J. H. N.]


Oriel College: February 9, 1835.
We feel much indebted to you for your handsome contribution towards our expenses, which we are happy to believe have not been incurred in vain. I trust the stimulus we have been able to give to Churchmen has been like the application of volatile salts to a person fainting, pungent but restorative. High and true principle there is all through the Church, I fully believe, and this supported and consecrated by our great writers of the seventeenth century; but from long quiet we were going to sleep. Not a month passes without our hearing of something gratifying in one part of the kingdom or another. I am quite surprised when I think how things have worked together, and this in minute ways which none knows but myself. If it be not presumptuous, I should say the hand of God was in it.

I suppose Knox is tempted to say what he says about schism from a wish to see what is good in everything. This he seems to be seeking in other cases: and it does not argue that he would, if interrogated, have defended what happens to have been overruled for good. Yet he is not to be excused altogether, certainly to judge from the little I have read of his letters. {83}

He is a remarkable instance of a man searching for and striking out the truth by himself. Could we see the scheme of things as angels see it, I fancy we should find he has his place in the growth and restoration (so be it) of Church principles. Coleridge seems to me another of the same class. With all his defects of doctrine, which are not unlike Knox's, he seems capable of rendering us important service. At present he is the oracle of young Cambridge men, and will prepare them (please God) for something higher. Both these men are laymen, and that is remarkable. The very stones cry out. Wesleyans and Socinians are made children to Abraham. In the last century Dr. Johnson is another striking instance and in another line, taking the gloomy side of religion, as they have taken the mystical. Nothing is so consoling as to see the indestructibility of good principles; again and again they spring up, and in the least expected quarters. Ken and his party were scarcely disappearing when Butler was raised up to carry on the spiritual succession even from among the Dissenters.


February 20, 1835.
Let me begin by expressing the good wishes appropriate to the anniversary on which you will receive this; anticipating for you as much earthly happiness as can be the lot of a fearless champion of the truth in these evil times, and an ample portion of that true happiness which no evils of the day can take away, and of which the duration will not be counted by anniversaries... What a wonderful drama is going on if we could but trace it as a whole, and know the multiplied bearings of each varied scene upon our nation and our Church! However we can see our own parts, and that must for the present suffice us.

The little ones have not forgotten you. John repeats to me the stories which you told …


March 4, 1835.
Favus distillans labia tua [Note 8], as some one said to John of Salisbury. What can have put it into your head that your {84} style is dry? The letter you sent me in the box was among the most amusing I ever received.

I have now made up my mind to come back the packet after the next so as to be in England the middle of May, and am not wholly without hope that the voyage may do something for me. The notion of going to Rome with Isaac is very gratifying. I must learn French for it though, for I have no notion of trusting 'providence,' as I did last time.

March 28.—The sun has already got almost to his full strength, though the earth is of course beginning to collect its stock of caloric—and the experience of last year assures me that the less I have of it the better.

A preceding letter of Mr. Keble's touches on the question of Suffragan Bishops, which shows it a question already in the minds of the movers of the Movement.

The pamphlet bearing the date March 12, 1835, on 'The Restoration of Suffragan Bishops,' [Note 9] has been reprinted in the author's works in the volume entitled 'Via Media.' Some passages from it will be given in the appendix.


March 18, 1835.
I received yesterday from Rivington's and read with great pleasure this morning, your judicious and sensible pamphlet in regard to Suffragan Bishops. It was always a favourite measure of mine; but in the various instances in which during the last twenty years I have mentioned the subject to one or other of our existing bishops, I have found them universally averse to it, and, as in some instances I could trace, from motives of much too personal and interested a nature to be justified.


March 21, 1835.
I have received a copy of your pamphlet ('Suffragan Bishops') with particular satisfaction. Not only for its powerful {85} (though unavailing) advocacy of a principle for which according to my measure I had long been contending, but for the desire it allows me to express, of personal acquaintance with the author, whom hitherto I had the pleasure of knowing only through his works and his friendships.


March 23, 1835.
 … I have for several years very openly expressed my opinion that the restoration of the office of a Suffragan Bishop would be a remedy for by far the greatest part of the defects of our Church Establishment, and every day shows me more conclusively that, whether the dioceses be rearranged or not, the physical strength of twenty-six men is perfectly unequal to perform the necessary ministrations of the episcopal office among 13,000,000 of people. I hope your pamphlet will not be too late to do good, and that possibly it may be the means of appropriating to the use of the Episcopal order of Suffragans those prebendal stalls which, if so applied, will give strength and energy to the whole body of the clergy, but which if applied to augment, as the term is, the incomes of the parochial clergy, will prove to be but a drop of water in the ocean, or as a penny given to pay the debt of a pound.


April 6, 1835.
I thank you very sincerely for your work on Suffragan Bishops; I have read it with great interest. You do not notice, but you must know, the objection entertained in high quarters to the institution of the order. It is this, the Suffragans never sat in Parliament. They could not be seated there now, because the House of Commons at this day would not permit a Bill to pass which might empower the King to create the additional number of Parliamentary sees. On the other hand, the presence of bishops, doing the other work of bishops without seats in the Upper House, would quickly raise the question 'Why should any of the order sit there at all?' One of our prelates said to me, 'In five years that point would be urged with tremendous force.' Valeat quantum. Personally I should not anticipate this result. {86}


April 8, 1835.
I do think the Christian Church has been, and is, and always will be, and must be, adapted to meet every state of society and every variety of circumstances except only one. I pray God I may be mistaken in thinking that it is the case now—the time when nobody, or next to nobody, cares for it; or else those who might be looked to with the most confidence either fairly give it up or defend it on such odd principles, or no principles, that they are actually its enemies ... It does seem to me that the plan which you propose [Suffragan Bishops] would, and, humanly speaking, only would, meet the present circumstances; but I have no hope that any measure so rational and Christian will be favourably entertained by any numerous body of men.


Oriel: April 8, 1835.
I am glad to find that Spry takes my pamphlet even more kindly than Hale or Dr. Goddard. The 'British Critic,' if I may judge from peering through the uncut pages, throws cold water on it, but seems not to have read it; for it speaks of Suffragans not being a restoration at all in our Church.

Gladstone's speech raised in my mind your difficulty at once. It led me to three explanations. 1. That the reporters had not understood what was above their captus. 2. That he was obliged to speak in the language, or according to the calculus, of the Commons. 3. That we floored so miserably at the Reformation that, though the Church ground is defensible and true, yet the edge of truth is so fine that no plain man can see it.


Oriel: April 10, 1835.
I have the satisfaction of a number of notes in favour of my pamphlet [N.B. on Suffragan Bishops] and from persons I scarcely expected to like it; among others, Hale, Spry, Archdeacon Goddard, Joshua Watson, &c.

As to the Low Church party, we must aim at the 'rising {87} generation.' One cannot expect to get over those whose minds are formed by long habit. But young men feel a disposition (bad enough) to rise against the system they have been brought up in, and I trust, the true one being suggested, will keep them from taking up with Liberalism &c. &c. instead of Peculiarism. I have the greatest encouragement this way, as far as my Oxford acquaintance goes.

I shall be glad to be introduced to your companion [N.B. Manuel Johnson, afterwards 'Radcliffe Observer']; he must be a rare person in his line.


April 11, 1835.
Our friend A. Perceval, I find, prefers the division of the dioceses to the restoration of Suffragans. I confess I agree with you rather than with him on this point, because I think it most important that there should be frequent intercourse between the people and the highest order of pastors, and this, under existing circumstances, can only be done by the reinstitution of Suffragans. Of course we should all prefer the establishment of twenty or thirty new dioceses, but of that there is no hope.

The following letter relates to Blanco White's change to Unitarianism. He left the Archbishop's house and Dublin Jan. 9, 1835, for Liverpool:


March 25, 1835.
 ... But this morning's letter has made my blood run cold. I have hardly been able to think of anything else than poor dear Blanco. Is the extent of his defection certain? How and what have you heard of it? Pray tell me. How exactly it bears out the opinion you often expressed to me about his state of mind ... Do you remember pointing out a black dog shaking all over nearly opposite St. John's Gate, and comparing him to it? and then going on to this subject I never have seen a poor beast in the same state without remembering that conversation.

[N.B.—This must have been in 1830, I think, in the Long {88} vacation, near Ogle's house. The dog had the distemper. I meant that Blanco White's mind seemed to me so helplessly disorganised.—J. H. N.]


March 31, 1835.
A little form was shown me this morning as a proposed authoritative interpretation of the act of subscription, which pleased me better than anything I have seen. It ran something in this manner:

'I, A. B., declare by the act of subscription that I profess nothing contrary to the doctrine of the Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles.'

I think the word 'profess' very happy, and if the practice of subscription is retained, might not such a form obviate all objection?

Later on in the year the 'Chronological Notes' enter:

Breakfasted with Sewell and Harrison to talk over Bishop of Exeter's notion of an explanation of the subscription.


March 16, 183.5.
I regret extremely that the error of a word quoted from your sermons should have escaped notice in correcting the press of the pamphlet I lately published on the Religion and Education of Ireland. In the third edition, to which I have annexed a preface, a copy of which I request you will do me the favour to accept, you will perceive that the mistake has been corrected.

[I don't recollect how the mistake had been brought home to him, but he did not correct it accurately and perfectly in his 'third edition.' Accordingly in thanking him for the pamphlet and the 'kind consideration which led to his note,' I was obliged to express a hope that he would not think me over-accurate if I observed that the mistake was not entirely corrected; though no one now could at all doubt about the meaning of the passage. I noticed this, 'that in a fourth edition it might be altogether set right.'—J. H. N.] {89}


April 6, 1835.
If you knew the comfort it is to me to hear of your proceedings and your 'work and labour of love' (if I may use the Scripture phrase), while everything, humanly speaking, seems darkening round the Church, you would feel yourself repaid for your kindness, I am sure, in the happiness you have occasioned. I hope that you will consider this as the genuine expression of my feelings, for I assure you I do feel most deeply thankful to you, as for other reasons so more especially for having been the means of guiding me (with many others, I hope) into the cheering doctrine of the Catholic faith. When I was going up for my degree I committed to memory the proof you gave us, in your lecture on the Thirty-nine Articles, of the doctrine of the Trinity, and though I little thought then of more than the immediate object I had in view, it has stood me in need since that time in many an hour when I have been almost tempted to abandon everything in despair, and to come in to the opinion incessantly dinned into one's ear, that when 'good men' have differed about these things we had better not trouble ourselves about them; which is as much as to say that the Bible is given to us as a sealed book.


Easter Monday, April 20, 1835.
As, I should not like to find you in the midst of business [N.B. of the Oriel election] ... I will name Monday the 27th, if you could procure for us lodgings for the week. My companion, I am sure, you will like. If Government continue the observatory erected by the East India Company at St. Helena, he will probably be appointed regular astronomer there; and if not, he is a likely person to obtain some other employment of the same nature somewhere or other. And a High Churchman, a true Catholic, thus fixed in a scientific position in a distant region might prove a witness for the truth of the most important description. I am anxious, therefore, that he should breathe for a week our Oxford air.

[N.B. This was the dear 'Observer Johnson.'—J. H. N.] {90}

Ever since Mr. Newman had become vicar of St. Mary's he had wished for a church at Littlemore. When his Mother and sisters established themselves at Rose Bank, and undertook to visit the people and the schools at Littlemore, this design of their Vicar was made known to the people, and very eagerly seconded by them.

Miss Newman writes to her brother of a petition to Oriel set on foot by the parishioners:

April 23, 1835.
We send you the petition, and heartily wish it success, and you as little plague as possible. There are 295 names to it. All the St. Mary's householders (sixty-two or sixty-three) but one, who is not to be found. Everyone is full of hope and anxiety. One man said: 'If he could but live to be buried in Littlemore churchyard he should die happy.' [Note 10] {91}


May 5, 1835.
I am very much obliged to you for your offer of Littlemore, and shall be very happy to accept it as far as I at present see. I have, of course, many inquiries to make. The curate, I suppose, would not be expected to reside there; and you would not send me about my business for anything short of heresy, e.g. if I were to become (not a Calvinist, for that I conceive, humanly speaking, impossible, but) a follower of St. Augustine; not that I have at present any leaning that way. I am very anxious that I should be in my next station a fixture. A rolling stone gathers no moss [Note 11].


Godalming: May 26, 1835.
With so much business always on your hands I know that you are soon bothered, and that this letter will bother you; but in a matter of so much consequence to our mutual comfort I must run the risk of that.

Without further preface. Do you think that you are acting quite prudently in offering Littlemore to one of whose {92} religious sentiments you know nothing except from casual conversation, and whom you never heard preach in your life? How do you know that you would like my sermons? You, indeed, are not likely to hear them; but supposing that some fine day Mrs. Newman and your sisters should, and then the next time they saw you say, 'O John! what a Peculiar you have got at Littlemore! He certainly preached last Sunday what we thought tantamount to the total corruption of human nature, and told us that we should search and examine ourselves as to whether we were "born again." In short, his sermons in tone and spirit are very different from what yours are.'

Now I certainly might express myself on these and other subjects in a way you might not like. I do believe most firmly that our Saviour's baptism is the baptism of the spirit generally (with possible exceptions I have nothing to do), and that congregations are to be addressed as St. Paul addresses the Corinthians: 'What! know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' but then I perceive that the principle of Divine grace is in so many persons so apparently inoperative, that we are justified in calling upon them to examine themselves whether they have the Spirit of God or not.

Upon the corruption of our nature I am unwilling to say a word. You, I am sure, see that subject in a far more awful light than I do, and entertain feelings of deeper self-abhorrence than I have been enabled to attain. But I sincerely think that, whatever amiable dispositions towards our fellow-men have survived the 'wreck of Paradise,' our hearts are by nature wholly turned away from God, and that their language is, 'Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways.'

Again, if I am responsible minister at Littlemore, I should certainly wish to act upon my own plans; rather I should say that I could not engage to act upon yours, at least without knowing before I settle there what they are. You mentioned the other day baptism by immersion if parents would consent, and, I think, frequent communion. I would gladly adopt either of these; but could you name any others?

Now, I think, my dear Newman, that on so important a subject we cannot be too plain with one another. I shall have occasion to be at Oxford again for a day or two in about a fortnight. Would you like me to put into your hands two or three of my sermons? {93}

I offer you every satisfaction. No two persons who think for themselves think alike on all subjects. But the question is, do our sentiments sufficiently coincide for you to feel justified in entrusting part of your parish to me? Now, if, when I am established at Littlemore, you come to an opposite conclusion, you would probably think it your duty to turn me out—which I should not like; nor should I like staying if you disapproved of my ministry. I should much like to be your curate if you take me with your eyes open; but I have written this letter to be sure whether they are.

As Mr. Newman read Mr. Golightly's letter over a second time he added explanatory recollections:

[July 25, 1860.—I dare say I did not accept his offer of reading his sermons—and in neglecting it I was imprudent. The event showed it. But in my defence I will say (1) that there is not one word of this letter to which I objected at the time, nor afterwards. (2) I had always liked my curates to have full swing ... Mr. Gower, who was thought of before Golightly's proposed coming to Littlemore, was an Evangelical. (3) I did not at all fancy that G. meant to say that he did deny Baptismal Regeneration—indeed, he said in the above letter distinctly the contrary; but I understood him to mean that my sisters would say he did because his tone differed from mine. Moreover, in a letter of August 10, 1831, contrasting himself with his friend B., he says, 'I believe he does not consider Regeneration always to accompany Baptism administered in infancy'; and in another of October 12, 1832, he so identifies himself with Pusey and myself as to comfort himself in the prospect of a solitary living near Oxford by the thought that 'the B. coach will bring me into Oxford in —— hours, and you [I] and Pusey are fixtures there.' (4) His favourite divine was Hammond, whose sentiments on the point of Baptismal Regeneration cannot be questioned. I thought then his feeling was a mere scruple, and I turned off from what, if I had been more prudent and less impatient, I should have examined more deeply. It will be observed, too, in the foregoing letters that he 'spelled' for the curacy and suggested the idea to me. What occurred in the event I recollect well enough in the general, and shall ascertain in its details when I find the letters on the subject. He began in the course of 1835, if not before, to speak against passages in {94} the 'Arians' publicly, and I suppose he had something to do with H.'s attack on me at the end of that year. I had not a dream in consequence, as far as I recollect, of retreating from my prospective engagement.

Pusey published his tract on Baptism under date of St. Bartholomew, St. Michael, and St. Luke of the above year, 1835. Golightly, I think, preached somewhere in Oxford—not at Littlemore (where there was no church as yet)—against Pusey. Pusey brought the matter before me, and said, 'It will never do for you to take him as your curate.' He was not, I think it will appear, yet my curate, and I, in consequence, put an end to the prospective engagement. This must have been in the spring of 1836. He never got over it. We were never friends again. He brought the above letter against me. I write this from the memory of twenty-four years ago, not having yet come upon the correspondence which accompanied the breach.

P.S.—It will be observed that Golightly's letter is dated May 1835. Now it was in the beginning of that year that I had the correspondence with ——, and Golightly had heard of it. Now since the difference arose from my thinking they had not been candid with me, it was not unnatural that Golightly should resolve that he should not be wanting on that score. I suppose at that time, too, I was somewhat frightening people by my statements of doctrine; for (towards the end of 1835, I think) H. made a sudden and, as I thought, very strange attack on me. I speak from memory, for I have not found the correspondence yet.]


Bristol: May 17, 1835.
Fratres desideratissimi, here I am, benedictum sit nomen Dei, and as well as could be expected. I will not boast, and indeed have nothing to boast of, as my pulse is still far from satisfactory.

[R. H. F. made his appearance in Oxford on Tuesday, May 18. The day after was the Convocation in the Theatre, when the proposed innovation of a Declaration of Conformity to the Church of England, instead of Subscription to the Articles, was rejected by 459 to 57. It was the last vote he gave. The following letter must have been sent to him to {95} Dartington. He left Oxford, never to return, on June 4. During this time Bowden was in Oxford; it was the first and last time of his seeing R. H. F.—J. H. N.]


May, 1835.
We hope to have in Oxford all sorts of people on Wednesday. You have pamphlets to read without end if you wish to be idle. Eden has written a splendid pamphlet; C. Marriott has had a hit the same way. If you like bitterness, we are on the high road towards it. I wish it had so happened you could have been here on Wednesday; there will be Ryder, H. Wilberforce, Wilson, Acland, Bowden, Woodgate, Cornish, Bliss, Rickards, &c. Keble is not yet married. Dornford most likely leaves us. Blencowe is married. I am very well—as well, perhaps, as ever; and at most, please God, have only the prospect of I know not what, years hence. But this is as it shall seem fit; perhaps I am exaggerating. Rogers is likely to remain here another year. Best and kindest respects to your father [Note 12].


June 9, 1835.
I ought to have written to you long ago, to say that I am delighted with your 'Home Thoughts,' and think them most important.

But I wish to submit this to your judgment. As you will certainly seem to good Protestants to leave our Church in an awkward condition at the end of your present paper, would it not be well to give the answer which you are about to do to the difficulty, along with the difficulty itself—to give, in short, No. 3 with No. 2?

I have not had the grace either to thank you for your {96} very satisfactory letter about Vincent [of Lerins?] I say very satisfactory because I fully agree with your view.

In the course of this summer I am very anxious—as I have done with Church Reform, I hope—to bring forward some notice of the following subjects:

Instruction of the laity, and the proper means of remedying our grievous errors and deficiencies on that point. Books—as whether these are the means; and if so, what books?

Religious societies and their evils. The want of faith in God's promises and in appointed means which makes us rely on these disorderly ones.

Excitement as a means of propagating religion, and its certain mischief.

Clerical education.

Establishment of libraries of sound standard books in all small towns, for the use of the clergy, that those who wish to read may have opportunities and means. I wish you would give me any hints, or helps, or suggestions on any of these matters; and suggestions, too, of other subjects of importance.

I have it in mind also, as I hear such clear accounts of the great efforts made by the Romanists in the Midland counties, to reprint good old tracts which may put the question on its four legs; for our good clergy are sadly to seek in the great points, viz. Church authority, &c. Can you tell me any works which you recommend? Do you think the plan a good one?

There is a book on Convocation by a Mr. Kempthorne of Gloucester, with which he seems to have taken much pains; if you see it or would see it, and give me a few lines on it, I should be very thankful.

I wish to deal kindly by him.

Cardinal Newman warns the Editor against perpetuating the bitterness of controversy. 'If, for example,' he writes, 'the Hampden controversy is touched upon, let it be on its ethical side.' The following letter on this controversy seems to satisfy this requirement:


June 1835.
I am disposed to agree with you that a plain and broad view has not yet been taken of the question. It is always the {97} way when one is in the midst of a struggle. On first hearing of the point in dispute, a plain man generally takes a plain view, but in a little while he as much forgets it as a man descending into a valley which he has to cross, loses sight of his original landmarks. In saying this I do not mean that his second view is necessarily wrong—far from it (though it may be so, if passion, interest, &c., come into play); but it is minute and particular, perhaps partial, and does not do full justice to the subject, and he does not recover his original calm vision of things till he has retired from the contest, or it has died away some time. However, I do not know that these secondary views are less useful to others. Few men like a plain, commonsense view, and the particular comes more home to the peculiarity of their own minds or opinions, one man being caught with one idea, another with another. Thus I consider the view of the letter to the Archbishop about Hampden and his school to be very true, but influential with those only or chiefly who are apprehensive of the consequences of the first steps of change. 'Self-protection' is an object with those who are afraid of their own minds being unsettled—in the present conflict of opinions a growing class. I say all this in vindication of the character of the pamphlets while I admit your criticism also, by way of showing the hopelessness of any of us supplying your desideratum. Any one who lives at a distance, like yourself, is more likely to fulfil it, if you would turn your thoughts that way.


Dartington: June 11, 1835.
I got home Friday evening before dark very comfortably ... My poor sister is perfectly cheerful and free from pain, but daily declines in strength. Indeed, she is now very visibly weakened since I first saw her. It is impossible she should live many days. She is quite aware of her state, and seems to be as composed and almost happy as if she was to sleep.

There is something very indescribable in the effect which old sights and smells produce in me here just now, after having missed them so long. Also old Dartington House, with its feudal appendages, calls up so many Tory associations as almost to soften one's heart with lamenting the course of events which is to re-erect the Church by demolishing so {98} much that is beautiful: 'rich men living peaceably in their habitations.'

I have hardly coughed all today, and am beginning to have my wind easier, and people do not look so horribly black at me as they did.

On my way from Oxford, Keble talked a good deal about Church matters, and particularly about the ancient Liturgies, and my analysis of Palmer, which had put the facts to him in rather a new point of view.


June 20.
People complain everywhere of the difficulty of getting at the Oxford Tracts. I suppose the change of publishers has caused this, but it keeps them out of circulation most provokingly. I see everywhere that 'the harvest is truly ready.'


June 22, 1835.
I want your view of the extent of power which may be given to the laity in the Church system, e.g. the maintenance of the Faith is their clear prerogative. Qu.: What power may they have in synods? Judicially? In legislation? &c. I have heard from Acland (June 11), and he wants to know whether Churchmen might not admit (what the Liberals are bent on) a subsidiary system of education to the Church system for Dissenters. To answer abstractedly, I think they might; I but I doubt not irreconcilable differences would arise in the detail. The Church must not reconcile itself to it, yet must claim to have control over it.

Think of this, please, and answer me; and do not say 'the whole system is rotten,' and so dismiss the subject. We must take things as they are, and make the most of them. Acland wants to be allowed to acknowledge a system 'inferior, secondary, partial, local, temporary; the State saying that education ought to be based on Religion, and Religion on the Church; that this is what alone it considers to be National Education; but that it is willing to give some assistance to a secondary system in the hope of giving it a good direction.' And then follows the question which has especially led me to mention the subject to you. Would you attempt a sort of {99} Scripture School, which, without actively opposing the Church, should endeavour to teach children on the foundation of the Bible without inculcating the peculiarities of the Church, as it is distinguished from those bodies which do not on the one hand deny its creeds (the Socinians) or deny that it is a Church at all (the Romanists) e.g. Kildare Street?

I was taken with the influenza and could not finish this. On second thoughts I gave up all Acland's plan as a mare's nest, and wrote him word so. At the same time I should like your opinion whether there is any way in which, under colour of giving a pure Scriptural education we might yet inculcate our notions. The difficulty is this—are our notions so on the surface of Scripture that a plain person ought to see them there, at least when suggested to him? Or, again, how far is the unpopularity of our notions among readers of Scripture, to be traced to Protestant blindness and prejudice?


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1. Le Protestantisme aux prises avec la doctrine Catholique: correspondance avec deux ministres anglais. Par l'Abbé Jager. Paris 1836. Vide Apologia, p. 64, ed. 1883.
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2. 'Scripture a Record of Human Sorrow,' Parochial Sermons, vol. i.
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3. That is at the time this retrospect was written.
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4. The references given are to Parochial and Plain Sermons.
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5. The sermon as printed has 'positive misbelief is a less odious state of mind than the temper of those who are indifferent to religion, who say that one opinion is as good as the other, and contemn or ridicule those who are in earnest.'
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6. Written during his visit to Mr. Bowden in town.
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7. Which was the case.
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8. Song of Solomon, iv. 11, Vulg.
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9. The Rev. J. B. Mozley writes on March 11, 1835:—'Newman's pamphlet on Suffragans will be out immediately. It is astonishing the speed with which he composes; and that when he has a dozen other things hanging on his mind at the same time. It is certainly a good illustration of Rose's maxim, that those who have most to do are the fittest persons to take in hand new work.'
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10. A visitor at Rose Bank at this period hears the question of a church at Littlemore discussed in the family circle, and writes to her mother:—'They have already got 300l. and have not begun the regular subscription yet. Mr. Newman means to refuse money from unworthy persons: for instance, from one who is expected to offer to give, though he never goes to church. There is to be a sermon in St. Mary's in a week or two in which he means to exhort everybody "to give large sums," but he means to say that people may either give at the doors or the Bank, in order that no one may give unwillingly from shame, as he does not wish for money given from unworthy motives. I particularly enjoy hearing his grave authoritative way of expressing his feelings and intentions.'

 … 'We are going to Oxford this afternoon to attend the Wednesday evening service Mr. Newman has in Adam de Brome's chapel during the summer months. Last year he began the practice, and it was reported all over Oxford that Mr. Newman was going to preach against the Dissenters. He, not aware of this report, had calculated twelve people at most attending, and had only prepared seats for so many, and was therefore not a little astonished to see the people pouring in, till the clerk and beadle could not find benches enough for them. I need not say they were disappointed in the subject.'

Again on the same visit (May 31), after speaking of certain objections made by the Iffley authorities to a church at Littlemore, the letter gives the clerk's feelings on the matter:—'The clerk is equally opposed to the innovation. In the first place, he has buried one half of the parish, and he did hope to bury the other,' and besides he will lose double fees.
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11. The author of Reminiscences of Oriel takes some share to himself in the first step of this affair, which ended so disastrously. It may be said that there was a certain humorous oddity in Mr. Golightly which blinded his friends to the possibilities of bitterness that lay beneath.

In 1836 (Mr. Mozley writes), 'when Littlemore Chapel was nearly finished, it occurred to me and some others that it would be a very nice arrangement for Golightly to return to Oxford and take charge of the Chapel and district, which then had no endowment. Of course we ought to have thought a little more about his theological views and his rather determined expression of them. Golightly entered into the plan with real enthusiasm, bought a good house in Holywell Street, and settled there. A single sermon dispelled the pleasant illusion. It was evidently impossible that he and the Vicar of St. Mary's could get on together. So there was Golightly, cajoled, betrayed, and cast adrift. It was a case of downright folly all round.'—Vol. ii. p. 112.

Mr. Newman's habitual trust in his friends as being his friends, which was one of his means of influence, certainly failed here.

A letter of this date speaks of a chance conversation with Mr. Golightly when the question of his taking the curacy of Littlemore was pending, and it reports him as pronouncing Mr. Newman an exceedingly obscure writer.
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12. It happened to the Editor, passing the coach office in company with Mrs. Newman, to see Froude as he alighted from the coach which brought him to Oxford, and was being greeted by his friends. He was terribly thin—his countenance dark and wasted, but with a brilliancy of expression and grace of outline which justified all that his friends had said of him. He was in the Theatre next day, entering into all the enthusiasm of the scenes, and shouting Non placet with all his friends about him. While he lived at all he must live his life.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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