Chapter 5. Milan and Rome (1846-1847)

{135} THE night of the 7th was spent at Dieppe, and the next day saw Newman and his companion in Paris, whither they travelled, taking the diligence as far as Rouen.

At Paris they were met by Robert Coffin. Notre Dame and the Archbishop were visited on the 9th and the Nuncio on the 10th, as well as the Lazarists and the Jesuits, M. Goudon acting as cicerone. On the 11th all three set out—after a visit to Abbé Degenelles at Notre Dame des Victoires—for Langres, to see Dalgairns. They arrived at M. Lorain's the following evening, remaining as his guests. Of their intercourse with the clergy at Langres Newman wrote the following account to Frederick Bowles:

'Langres: Sept. 15 (day of dear Bowden's death), 1846.
'I had intended to write to you today, and your and Christie's most welcome and interesting letters have just come. I shall not answer them now, but write on about ourselves. How shall I begin? Coffin is still kept here as in a mouse-trap, the coaches to Paris being full. He is a great comfort to us. We set off at ten tonight if all is well, for Besançon, being uncertain whether we shall thence proceed by way of Lausanne or Geneva ... Their mode of living [here] is marvellous. They have hardly any thing warm, even from the beginning of the day to the end—but the very pleasant but cold Burgundy wines. Then they have greeted us in the warmest, most affectionate way—we have had state breakfasts and dinners every day, consisting of a succession of dishes dressed in oil, the very scent of which was enough to make one sick—one at 11 A.M., the other at 7 P.M., nothing except (in honor of us) the absurdest mockery of tea in tiny coffee cups, or some wine and grapes about 9 A.M. and nothing between breakfast and dinner. And, to add to it, they {136} are in utter astonishment that such fare disagrees with us. It was the worse luck today, as we had to dine with the Bishop—at noon—and it was of course a dinner given for me, and I had to talk Latin to him, being so out of sorts all the morning. I rejoice to say, however, it went off very well. It was a very elegant dinner—and little which I could not eat—sherry in liqueur glasses (as well as claret and burgundy, which you may think I eschewed) and rum; a poor imitation of English roast beef, tough in order to be truly à l'Anglaise, and an English plum pudding in the guise of a custard pudding with raisins and eau de vie sauce. Besides this was the usual run of dishes. After dinner he handed me, as a lady, to a sofa in another room—and my good genius gave me strength for the time to talk on as fluently as I could expect. It all went off very well. Dalgairns said he had never seen the Bishop to such advantage. He embraced me on the right and left shoulder, as the Archbishop of Paris had done, on parting ...

'The clergy are a merry, simple, affectionate set—some of them quite touchingly kind and warm-hearted towards me, and only one complaining, as I think he did, of English heaviness (our stomachs were in fault). At the same time their ceremony is most amusing—they have never done bowing in the most formal manner. St. John has in vain asked how often we ought to bow on taking leave—and for me, who hardly ever made a formal bow in my life, I can hardly keep my countenance, as I put my elbows to my hips and make a segment of a circle, the lower vertebra being the centre and my head the circumference ... M. Lamont is very cheerful, and talks Latin well, which few of the other clergy do. The Dean does, and is a kind warmhearted person. There is not a great deal to see here—the Gregorians at the Cathedral pleased St. John and Coffin very much ...

'The rooms are curiously furnished—M. Lamont lodges with two ladies, who curtsey as much as the men bow. We paid them a formal visit—I think in their bedroom, and they suddenly came upon us with M. Lamont to return it in our bedroom. Luckily the beds were made, but one of the two rooms, (they open into each other) was in sad disorder. The bedrooms are all drawing rooms. In mine, in which I am writing, there is a profusion of wood—a wooden ceiling and wainscotting—a polished oak floor—a very handsome French clock—bouquets of pretty artificial flowers—handsome mantelpiece ornaments—and per contra not a drawer for my clothes, the windows and blinds perishing for want of paint, {137} and a most miserable feather bed which has cost me, added to the causes above mentioned, one or two restless nights. It is indefinitely a greater penance to lie on a feather bed than on the Littlemore straw—and I don't see when we shall be off the feather bed.

'There is a very kind, but French account, of my proceedings at Paris in the Univers, which I suppose will be translated for your edification in the Tablet. M. Goudon is the author, doubtless—he was most extremely attentive to us. He is translating my Essay.'

After dining with the Bishop, Newman and St. John went on to Besançon at night (Coffin returning to Paris). The further route to Milan—by Jura, Brigue, the Simplon, and Domodossola—lasted four days more, and Milan was reached on Sunday, the 20th, in time for Mass at the Duomo.

A gossiping letter from St. John to Dalgairns tells the story of the journey from Langres to Besançon and onwards:

'Milan: Sept. 21, 1846.
'We got to Besançon on Wednesday at 12 o'clock and found the Archbishop's secretary waiting for us. He insisted on taking us to the Archbishop after we had made our enquiries about the coaches and found that the diligence for Lausanne did not start until the next morning at 5 o'clock. I need not tell you how extremely hospitable the Archbishop was; how he showed us everything, got us tea directly we came in, looked to our rooms himself, took us over the Cathedral, and told us everything about it: one thing which I think he never could have told you, how that a certain chapel opposite the High Altar was set apart for the sacred cloth (Sindon) of our Lord: how it was lost in the troubles of the French Revolution and the Archbishop has made every enquiry for it and never been able to find it. He described it as having been of extremely great length, but so fine that it was commonly kept in a box less than a foot long. After showing us over the Cathedral, the Chaplain took us over the town, and very beautiful were the Churches I assure you. But, to come to what is more to the point, after all this we went to dinner where to our infinite amusement there was for "maigre" fare a dish of fricasseed frogs. Oh! for the "Record" or the "English Churchman!" I rather think Newman relished them, but I am sure it was out of obedience that he ate them. After dinner (during which by {138} the bye the only language spoken was Latin, which the Archbishop spoke more fluently than I ever heard anybody speak before) the Archbishop spoke of our prospects, and in the course of other matters, I mentioned your fancy for the Dominicans. Upon which he expressed himself very strongly urging us "to tell you to abide in that station where you are called"; and to this advice he added: "I think also I have St. Paul on my side. It is the business of all of you to put yourselves under your Bishop and to be regulated by him in all that you do." After this he gave us his blessing and accompanied us to our roosts, and then took leave of us.

'Sept. 22nd.— ... From Besançon we started on Wednesday morning—had a most beautiful ride to Lausanne over the Jura mountains; Mont Blanc and the Alps all before us on our right and opposite the lake of Neuchatel. But I must not now describe scenery ... It was very delightful to find a little chapel near the summit [of the Simplon] which we entered for a few minutes: there was no light and I think it must have been too great a risk to leave the Blessed Sacrament there, but still it was very cheering; a little further on nearer the top Newman and I stopped at a Crucifix and gained an indulgence I hope which was written up in German on the cross. The Italian side is more beautiful than the other and the descent longer as it seemed, for it was near 4 before we got to Domodossola. From Domo we started in an hour's time, passed thro' S. Charles's town Arona at midnight, and got to Milan just in time to hear the last mass on Sunday morning in the Duomo.'

At Milan Newman and St. John tarried between four and five weeks. To Newman that town more than any suggested the whole picture of the Church of the Fathers. His letters from thence speak more simply of peace and happiness than any others. Three days after his arrival he writes thus to Henry Wilberforce:

'Milan: Sept. 24, 1846.
'My dearest H. W.,—We are most happy here. We arrived here on Sunday morning in time for Mass—and after all the troubles of our journey, the heat, the tight confinement in diligences, the dust, the smoking, the strange faces and the uncatholic bearing of fellow-travellers, and the long spells of journeying, night as well as day, and again the discomforts of an hotel, we are quite in harbour. An Abbate, to whom Hope gave me an introduction, has got {139} us most excellent rooms, lofty, cool and quiet in the heart of Milan. They form a part of the Priest's house of S. Fidelis, and are reserved for the missioners who come to give retreats in Lent. We can get into the Church without going into the street, so it is like a private Chapel. It belonged to the Jesuits before their suppression, having been given to them by the great St. Charles. It is like a Jesuit Church, Grecian and Palladian—and I cannot deny that, however my reason may go with Gothic, my heart has ever gone with Grecian. I loved Trinity Chapel at Oxford more than any other building. There is in the Italian style such a simplicity, purity, elegance, beauty, brightness, which I suppose the word "classical" implies, that it seems to befit the notion of an Angel or Saint. The Gothic style does not seem to me to typify the sanctity or innocence of the Blessed Virgin, or St. Gabriel, or the lightness, grace, and sweet cheerfulness of the elect as the Grecian does. I could go into this beautiful Church, with its polished tall pillars, and its smiling winning altar, all day long without tiring. And it is so calm … that it is always a rest to the mind to enter it. Nothing moves there but the distant glittering lamp which betokens the Presence of Our Undying life, hidden but ever working, though entered into His rest.

'It is really most wonderful to see the Divine Presence looking out almost into the open streets from the various Churches so that at St. Lawrence's we saw the people take off their hats from the other side of the street as they passed along; no one to guard it, but perhaps an old woman who sits at work before the Church door, or has some wares to sell. And then to go into St. Ambrose's Church—where the body of the Saint lies—and to kneel at those relics, which have been so powerful, and whose possessor I have heard and read of more than other saints from a boy. It is 30 years this very month, as I may say, since God made me religious, and St. Ambrose in Milner's history was one of the first objects of my veneration. And St. Augustine too—and here he was converted! and here came St. Monica—seeking him. Here too came the great Athanasius to meet the Emperor in his exile. I never had been in a city which moved me more—not even Rome. I do not know whether it will—but I have not the history of Rome enough at my fingers' ends to be so intimately affected by it. We shall be here, I suppose, three weeks, or a month—how sorry I shall be to go!

'I have said not a word about that overpowering place, {140} the Duomo. It has moved me more than St. Peter's did—but then I studiously abstained from all services &c. when I was at Rome, and now of course I have gone wherever they were going on and have entered into them. And, as I have said for months past that I never knew what worship was, as an objective fact, till I entered the Catholic Church, and was partaker in its offices of devotion, so now I say the same on the view of its cathedral assemblages. I have expressed myself so badly that I doubt if you will understand me, but a Catholic Cathedral is a sort of world, every one going about his own business, but that business a religious one; groups of worshippers, and solitary ones—kneeling, standing—some at shrines, some at altars—hearing Mass and communicating, currents of worshippers intercepting and passing by each other—altar after altar lit up for worship, like stars in the firmament—or the bell giving notice of what is going on in parts you do not see, and all the while the canons in the choir going through matins and lauds, and at the end of it the incense rolling up from the high altar, and all this in one of the most wonderful buildings in the world and every day—lastly, all of this without any show or effort—but what everyone is used to—everyone at his own work, and leaving everyone else to his.

'My best love attend you, your wife and children—in which St. John joins.

'Ever yours, Carissime, most affectionately, J. H. N.'

He writes on the same day to William Goodenough Penny, one of the Oxford converts who had joined the community at Maryvale:

'It is always a refreshment to the mind, and elevates it, to enter a Church such as St. Fidelis. It has such a sweet, smiling, open countenance—and the altar is so gracious and winning, standing out for all to see, and to approach. The tall polished marble columns, the marble rails, the marble floor, the bright pictures, all speak the same language. And a light dome crowns the whole. Perhaps I do but follow the way of elderly persons, who have seen enough that is sad [in] life to be able to dispense with officious intentional sadness—and as the young prefer autumn and the old spring, the young tragedy and the old comedy, so in the ceremonial of religion, younger men have my leave to prefer Gothic, if they will but tolerate me in my weakness which requires the Italian. It is so soothing and pleasant, after the hot streets, {141} to go into these delicate yet rich interiors, which are like the bowers of paradise or an angel's chamber. We found the same in a different way in Paris. It was oppressively hot and we wandered through the narrow streets in the evening, seeking out the Jesuits' house. When we found it, the Superior was out, and we were ushered in, as into a drawing-room, into so green and beautiful a garden, with refreshing trees on the lawn, and quiet figures stealing along the walks saying their office. We entered a trellised walk of vines and seated ourselves on a stone bench which lay on the ground.'

He continues the letter on September 29:

'We are pretty well settled here now, and have begun with an Italian master today, not that we have been idle before. I am as much overcome with this place as I was at first. The greatness of St. Carlo is so striking. I have been reading good part of his life. He is the very life of this place to this day. In spite of all sorts of evils, political and others, in spite of infidelity and the bad spirit of the day, there is an intense devotion to San Carlo. And the discipline of the clergy is sustained by his regulations in a more exact state than we found it even in France or than it is at Rome. He was made Archbishop, as you know, when a young man, by the Pope his uncle—there had not been a Bishop appointed for eighty years, and the place was in a frightful state of disorder. For twenty years he laboured here with the zeal which is so well known in the history of the Church, and carried out and exemplified the reforms laid down at Trent. Well, when he was in the midst of his labour, he was taken off, by his excessive mortifications doubtless as a disposing cause, but immediately by a fever. He was near and at his native place Arona and with difficulty he got to Milan. He was but 46—the news spread in the city that he was in danger—people did not know how to believe it—he was in the very midst of a career of great reforms, and at the prime of life, as men speak. At length the fact forced itself on people's minds, and the churches were crowded—the Blessed Sacrament was exposed—the utmost excitement prevailed—night came, and the frantic devotion (so to call it) of the people continued. Suddenly the great bell of the Duomo began to sound and announced to the city its irreparable loss. This is over three centuries ago, yet St. Carlo seems still to live. You see the memorials of him on every side—the crucifix that stopped the plague as he bore it along—his mitre—his ring—his letters. Above all his sacred relics. {142} Mass is offered at his tomb daily; and you can see it from above. "O bone pastor in populo" seems forced on the mind by everything one sees. And it seems as if there were a connexion between him and us, though at first sight what have Saxons who have never paid him any special devotion to do with an Italian? but he was raised up to resist that dreadful storm under which poor England fell—and as he in his day saved his country from Protestantism and its collateral evils, so are we now attempting to do something to resist the same foes of the Church in England—and therefore I cannot but trust that he will do something for us above, where he is powerful, though we are on one side of the Alps, and he belonged to the other. So I trust; and my mind has been full of him, so that I have even dreamed of him—and we go most days and kneel at his shrine, not forgetting Maryvale when there.'

Several friends came and went while they were at Milan—George Talbot and Amherst from Oscott; Richard Simpson of Oriel, who had just been received, and with whom Newman was to be closely associated at a critical moment later on; Edward Walford from Oxford; and Mr. Serjeant Bellasis, the friend of James Hope. On September 29 systematic Italian lessons were begun, St. John being especially keen to become a proficient. Italian manners and Italian compliments were learnt, and to Newman's great delight St. John parted from an Italian friend, whom they expected to see again in Rome the following January, expressing in confident Italian a strong hope that they would shortly meet again 'in hell'—for he pronounced 'iverno' (winter) as if it were 'inferno.' Newman's diary is almost without entries during most of the visit—the time being probably spent in visiting all that was interesting in the place. During the last few days Count Mellerio was in Milan, and several meetings with him are recorded, including an expedition to Monza. Manzoni, however, the author of 'I Promessi Sposi' (which cost Macaulay 'many tears' [Note 1]), did not return to Milan until after their departure. {143}

A letter from Newman to Dalgairns towards the end of the visit shows his unabated delight in the place. Newman again goes into the question of the future plans of himself and his friends, on which his views were constantly changing. The Jesuits, to whom later on, in Rome especially, he was so greatly drawn, had evidently been severely criticised by his Milan acquaintance, and the Oratorian prospect was for the moment in the ascendant.

'Milan: October 18, 1846.
'You are always in my thoughts when I am at St. Carlo's shrine, who was a most wonderful saint, and died just at the age at which I have begun to live. But this is altogether a wonderful city—the city of St. Ambrose, St. Monica, St. Augustine, St. Athanasius, to say no more. Our parish Church belonged to the Jesuits and in it is preserved a cast of St. Ignatius's head taken after his death. The Church of St. Satyrus (St. Ambrose's brother) belonged to the Oratorians, and there is an altar to St. Philip. And St. Paul's was the favourite place of devotion of St. Carlo. But the memorials of St. Carlo are all about us—and to go back to early times, here is the Church from which St. Ambrose repelled the soldiers of the Arian, and where he and the people passed the night in prayer and psalmody. "Excubabat pia plebs in Ecclesia, mori parata cum Episcopo servo tuo"; I quote St. Augustine, as you may not have it at hand. We have just returned from the Duomo where there has been a great function including a (Pontifical?) high Mass in celebration of the Dedication of the Church by St. Carlo. The day is very wet, but the area of the Church was crowded from end to end ...

'We have missed Manzoni—but been besieged almost daily by his chaplain—Ghianda, whom we like very much indeed. He speaks Latin like a native, though he has given it up in his late conversations with us. Rosmini passed through Milan, sending me a civil message, with an explanation that he did not call since he could not speak Latin nor I Italian. This is not enough to explain his not calling. Ghianda has a great admiration for him, and Manzoni has also. I wish we had more to tell of him, but I cannot get at the bottom of his philosophy; I wish to believe it is all right, yet one has one's suspicions. I do not think we have got a bit further than this in our reflections and conclusions, to think that Dr. Wiseman was right, in saying that we ought to be Oratorians ... Altogether it seems rather {144} the age for external secularism with the gentle inward bond of asceticism—and this is just Oratorianism. We have been asking Ghianda about the Dominicans, and whether they had preserved their traditions anywhere. He said he thought they had at Florence, and somewhere else. We asked what he meant—why that they were still Thomists &c. However, on further inquiry we found that the said Dominicans of Florence were manufacturers of scented water, &c. and had very choice wine in their cellar. He considered Lacordaire quite a new beginning, a sort of knight errant, and not a monk. However, as to our prospects, I repeat nothing can be known till we get to Rome.

'I have asked St. John what else I have to say, and he says "Tell him you bully me!" This is true, but he deserves it. I am glad to tell you he is decidedly stronger. I have been making him take some quinine. The journey along the Valley before we came to the Simplon was very trying; and the weather now is not good. We have been so happy here for a month or five weeks, I quite dread the moving again—and if it is wet, so much the worse—but it does not do to anticipate evils.'

On October 21, Newman and Ambrose St. John went the round of the seven Basilicas of Milan, and at six o'clock on the morning of the 23rd they left for Pavia (where they saw St. Augustine's shrine), going on to Genoa, which they reached at noon on Saturday, the 24th, and thence (after a halt of two days) to Pisa and Civita Vecchia, arriving at Rome by diligence at 10 P.M. on the Wednesday. On Thursday morning Newman and St. John went straight to St. Peter's, and by a fortunate coincidence found the Holy Father himself saying Mass at the Confession—the traditional tomb of the Apostles.

On the same day visits were paid to Cardinal Franzoni and to Monsignor Brunelli, secretary to Propaganda, who soon became their fast friend. The presence of George Ryder and his young family in Rome gave Newman the rest and happiness of seeing the familiar faces of old friends, and we find many meetings with them recorded in the diary.

For a few days Newman and St. John took up their residence at an hotel at which George Talbot, Amherst, and Lord Clifford were staying. But on November 9 they moved to Propaganda. {145}

The 'Collegio di Propaganda' was founded by Urban VIII. in the early seventeenth century, to further the plan of his predecessor Gregory XV., who had in 1622 founded the Congregation of Cardinals 'de propaganda fide' with the object of promoting foreign missions to the heathen. The college contained young men of every nationality and prepared them for missionary work. The building in which Newman and St. John found themselves was built by Urban from the designs of Bernini. The college has a fine library and a museum containing interesting MSS. and a wonderful assortment of idols, trophies of missionary conquests in heathen parts. Newman's first impressions of the place are given in a letter to Mr. David Lewis, in which he also gives some account of the last days at Milan and the journey to Rome:

'Collegio di Propaganda, Nov. 15, 1846.
'We have been at Rome three weeks next Wednesday, and in College nearly a week. They are wonderfully kind to us, we have everything our own way and, if we pleased, might be mere sight seers come to Rome to kill time (I suppose, however, they would not be pleased with us if we were). We are in daily lectures with the boys. We dine at 11½ and Sup at 8—both very good meals. At 7 A.M. have café au lait, and tea as we go to bed. They insist on the tea. They have put stoves in our rooms and anticipate all our wants. We have not yet been introduced to the Pope. The climate of Rome is trying—as variable as England, and some days very keen. We have seen Meyrick, who is very happy; we have been to the Passionists—but have seen more of the Jesuits than of any others. We have not yet seen anything of the Oratorians. We had a most pleasant time at Milan, and much regretted to leave it. We were lodged in a Priest's house, but quite to ourselves, and we employed ourselves in visiting Churches and attempting Italian. It was a time when most people, even Priests, were out of town; which would have been a loss, had we been better Italian scholars—and we were even glad to be to ourselves. We made one or two very pleasant acquaintances, besides dining at Count Mellerio's, who is a great person at Milan. Our passage to Genoa might have been much worse, but as it was, we had first to be shipped in boats (a little way past Pavia), when we rowed through the fields and woods of the place for an hour or so—then we had all our luggage opened under {146} a most threatening sky, without any covering—then we were mounted atop of our own luggage in two one horse carts, riding backwards, for sundry miles, till night-fall—and then in the dusk and rain to be rowed across the mighty Po. The Jesuits are in great force at Genoa, the French Fathers having taken refuge there. We fell in with an Irish Novice, a very nice fellow, who was allowed to take us over the place—and with a French Father, who had been in England, and spoke English, of whom we saw a good deal. From Genoa we came to Civita Vecchia by the steamer, and went up by a railroad to Pisa on our way. See what a dull matter of fact letter I am writing, but I have not the pictorial power for any other—and you must take it as the best article I can produce ... There are above thirty languages in the town; we have been introduced to all the youths—as many as 30 (out of perhaps 120) speak English [Note 2]—but we are the only Englishmen. Everything goes on with quite a military punctuality—but the boys seem very happy and merry.

'We hear no Politics here—but the English papers seem to be full of the Politics of Rome. The Pope's solemn Processo was this day week, when he gave his blessing from the loggia of St. John Lateran—it was a most wonderful sight. We saw him the very first morning we came, walking about St. Peter's, and stood quite close to him, and the first Mass we heard in Rome was his, and that at St. Peter's Tomb—a very unusual occurrence. St. John desires all kind remembrances—and now good bye.

'Ever yours affectionately,

St. John writes on the same day to Dalgairns at Langres:

'Rome: Nov. 15, 1846.
'We have visited the seven Basilicas, the tre Fontane (St. Paul's place of martyrdom) St. Peter Montorio (St. Peter's) St. Clement's where lie St. Ignatius M. and St. Clement, (close as might be expected to the Colosseum); St. Ignatius Loyola's bedroom and the room where he wrote his constitutions; here also died St. Francis Borgia; there are in the Gesu also St. Stanislaus Kostka's bedroom at the Noviciate (where he died); also St. Philip Neri's relics, and what is most interesting the very little chapel in the Catacombs where his heart was enlarged. We have been {147} extremely kindly treated, there is no doubt about it: two of the best rooms in the house have been selected for us, and fitted up with very handsome furniture new from top to bottom; which in Italy is a special compliment ... When we first came they seemed to propose that we should have our own way entirely, living here as [at] a lodging house, going to Church at a fashionable hour at the Church opposite, going in and out as we liked: but when they found that this would not do, they were evidently not unwilling that we should conform to the rules as much as we pleased, ourselves; and we are accordingly given three lectures a day. The rector was evidently pleased when Newman talked with him the other day, and spoke of the great sacrifice we chose to make &c. I wonder what he thinks we have been used to. We have everything in greater luxury than at Maryvale except fires which we might make up for with stoves. I cannot doubt however Newman does edify them in the true sense of the word by turning schoolboy at his age. For me it is all very well, and I have no doubt with time I shall not find old Perrone very dry. We shall move together and get on in spite of a cut and driedness which one may have to expect. What they will do with us I have no idea yet, we have not had any hints about ordination or anything else. All the authorities in the house are Jesuits, and the domestic places of responsibility are filled by Jesuit lay brothers: as doctor, porter, superintendent of the house affairs, &c. So much for our new school, for school it is, tho' for grown up boys albeit. There is every prospect of its being a very happy place to stop in. I hardly know what else to tell you—we have met the Ryders and a good many others that we know, amongst others Newman's friend and convert Miss Giberne.'.

It was Newman's temptation—so he told Father Neville in looking back at those days—to spend the leisure time he allowed himself with old friends whose memories and habits had so much in common with his own. But he felt that he must not fail to use his opportunity for knowing Rome and the Romans. Forty-five was not young for the beginning of a new life, and there was no time to be lost. The climate tried him and a very severe cold kept him in bed for some days: but he made friends with Cardinal Acton, who took him to see the Passionists on the Celian within a few days of his arrival. He had a long talk with Padre Mazio and other Professors at the Roman College, with the Rector of {148} propaganda, and with Monsignor Brunelli during his first week, and called on Princess Doria.

On the 23rd, after a visit to William Clifford [Note 3] at the Collegio Nobile and a walk of some hours in the country, Newman and St. John were unexpectedly summoned by Monsignor Brunelli to the Vatican to be presented to Pius IX. The interview is described a little later by both in letters to Dalgairns:

'As St. John has not given you an account of our visit to the Pope,' Newman writes, 'I will; though you don't deserve it, you write such scanty letters. At the end of November, one Sunday, after we had been taking a dirty walk and come in almost at dusk, we were suddenly summoned in that dirty state to go to the Pope, and went with our Mantille dipped in water, not to remove, but to hide, its filth. We went with Monsignor Brunelli, the Secretary here, Archbishop of Thessalonica, and after waiting about an hour and a half in the anteroom, were summoned in to His Holiness. We saw him for but a few minutes. He is a handsome vigorous man, not looking older than he is, and his manners exceedingly easy and affable. He told us a story of some English conversion, and when St. John asked in simplicity "What was the man's name?" he smiled and, laying his hand on St. John's arm, answered, "Do you think I can recollect your English names?" He asked our Christian names, and said he was very much pleased to see me—a recovered sheep, and then he ran across the room and gave me the picture St. John told you of. He gave St. John himself a coronation medal, and afterwards told some one he was so sorry he could not give him a picture, but he had no other. When I knelt down to kiss his foot on entrance, I knocked my head against his knee. A friend of mine, Miss Giberne, on being presented, took up his foot in her hands; it is a wonder she did not throw him over. This is what I suppose you wanted to know. There is not much to tell—but particularity brings a thing home to the mind, I know.'

St. John writes at the same time:

'Before Newman went to the Holy Father, he (the Pope) told F. Corta that he wished to see Newman "again and again," and when we were there nothing could be more really and heartily cordial than his way ... I do hope {149} and trust that when Newman has become more familiar with the language he will have an opportunity of laying open to him the wants of England &c.: from the Pope's encyclical letter it quite looks as if he felt that the most pressing want of the Church at present is something to meet the philosophy of the age. It is curious how exactly this coincides with Newman's line. But now here comes the rub—how in the want of a free knowledge of the language and of influential persons to represent Newman's capabilities and all that the rest of the converts might do in this or in any other way, how, I say, is the Pope without almost a supernatural guidance to put Newman in the way of carrying out any plan for establishing a school of philosophy or for any other purpose. How is the Pope to know again the influence Newman has on the minds of others, how that he is almost alone as a preacher to students and divines of an English turn of mind? All these things when on the spot present themselves as practical difficulties which are not so easy to solve, and Newman as you well know is not the person to solve them by putting himself forward.'

Father Neville, to whom Newman had talked often of these days, learned from him that he was somewhat tried by the schoolboy life and schoolboy companionship at Propaganda—'a whole troop of blackamoors,' in Father Neville's own phrase; and to one who had for years lived in the most interesting society which Oxford afforded, the great change in his surroundings, coming in middle life, must have had its drawbacks. He ever spoke, however, with especial admiration of Father Bresciano the Rector, and of Father Ripetti his Jesuit confessor. St. John had, as we have seen, been sanguine that the importance of the work which Newman had most at heart for intellectual needs within the Christian Church, in view of the anti-Christian movement of contemporary thought, was strongly felt in Rome. But this hope was not entirely verified. Whatever the Pope felt and desired instinctively and in general, in fact things seem to have remained much what they had long been, and developments in philosophy with a view to the thought of the hour received no encouragement. This, the one serious trial of his Roman visit, became more evident later on; but there were symptoms of it from the first which led to a certain moderation in anticipations for the future. The new life was, in Newman's {150} own phrase, 'loss and gain.' Trials multiplied later on. The time at Propaganda, however, remained on the whole in his mind one of peace on which he loved to look back. A letter written at this time to Henry Wilberforce speaks unmistakably of happiness, although the note of sadness is not absent:

'Collegio di Propaganda. Dec 13, 1846.
'My dear Henry,—I am tempted to write to you again, since your kind message through the Ryders—and that the more because it is pleasant to think of an old friend in a far country. Nothing can exceed the kindness of the people with whom I am. Father Bresciano especially, the Rector, is a man of real delicacy as well as kindness, and he anticipates all our wants in the most acceptable way—he really enters surprisingly into our feelings; but after all there is nothing like an old friend. New friends cannot love one—if they would; they know nothing of one—but to one who has known another twenty years, his face and his name is a history; a long series of associations is bound up with every word or deed which comes from him, which has a meaning and an interpretation in those associations. And thus I feel that no one here can sympathize with me duly—for even those who think highly of me have the vaguest, most shadowy, fantastic notions attached to their idea of me, and feel a respect, not for me, but for some imagination of their own which bears my name. It would be sad indeed, if all this did not throw me back upon more directly religious thoughts than that of any creature—and indeed it does. Both what people here can do for me, and what they cannot, carries off the mind to Him who "has fed me all my life long until this day," whom I find protecting me most wonderfully under such new circumstances, just as He ever has before, and who can give me that sympathy which men cannot give. It is so wonderful to find myself here in Propaganda—it is a kind of dream—and yet so quiet, so safe, so happy—as if I had always been here—as if there had been no violent rupture or vicissitude in my course of life—nay more quiet and happy than before. I was happy at Oriel, happier at Littlemore, as happy or happier still at Maryvale—and happiest here. At least whether I can rightly compare different times or not, how happy is this very thing that I should ever be thinking the state of life in which I happen to be, the happiest of all. There cannot be a more striking proof how I am blest. As we go about the Churches of Rome, St. John ever says of the last he sees, {151} "Well, this is the most striking of all." This as yet has been the happiness of my own life—though of course I do not know what is before me, and may at length against my will be brought out into the world—but it does not seem likely. I say it does not seem likely, for I can't tell as yet what they will make of me here, or whether they will find me out. It is very difficult to get into the mind of a person like me, especially considering so few speak English, and fewer still understand it spoken,—and I can say so little in Italian. Then again in a College one sees so few people out of doors. It is most difficult even to get to speak Italian, though I am in an Italian house; what with the time in chapel, the Latin spoken in lecture, and the brief vacations. I am living the greater part of my time to and with myself—with St. John in the room opposite. What can people know of me? Nor would it do good to go out—both because I am so slow at the language and because I am so bashful and silent in general society. Miss Giberne, who is here, tells me a saying of Rickards about me, that when my mouth was shut it seems as if it would never open, and when open as if it would never shut. So that I don't expect people will know me. The consequence will be, that, instead of returning with any special responsibilities upon me, any special work to do, I should on my return slink into some ready-formed plan of operation, and if I did not become a friar or Jesuit, I should go on hum-drumming in some theological seminary or the like. It is one especial benefit in the Catholic Church that a person's usefulness does not depend on the accident of its being found out. There are so many ready-formed modes of usefulness, great institutions, and orders with great privileges and means of operation, that he has but to unite himself to one of them, and it is as if Pope and Cardinals took him up personally. I am always, I think, egotistical to you, but indeed I believe to no one else. So, since I am in for it, I will add, what (as far as I know) I have never told to anyone—that, before now, my prayers have been so earnest that I never might have dignity or station, that, as they have been heard as regards the English Church, I think they will be heard now also.

'As yet the persons I have chiefly seen, besides the good Jesuits here, are those of the Gesu and the Roman College. They are all abundantly kind—and I think I shall gain a good deal from them—there are none however yet, who quite come up to our good priests at Milan, to one of whom in particular we got much attached. They are generally somewhat {152} cut and dried here—(all I say to you is in confidence). One thing however has struck me here and everywhere (though I am ashamed to introduce it with an "however"—ashamed to introduce it at all) the monstrous absurdity of supposing that the Catholic Priests are not absolute and utter believers in the divinity of their own system. They are believers so as to be bigots—their fault is that they generally cannot conceive how educated Englishmen can be Anglicans with a good conscience—but they have a profound confidence in the truth of Catholicism—indeed it would be shocking to entertain the question, except that it is so commonly asked in England.

'We are about 150 here. 32 languages spoken in the house. It is most affecting to see the youths give the embrace at the Pax at the Mass. It is like Pentecost come again. And some of them may, for what one knows, be martyrs. There have been (many) Martyrs of the Congregation, for they go to all sorts of countries. By the bye we have in a chapel the relics of a martyr, St. Hyacinth, which have lately been found in the catacombs, inscription and all—he was burnt; it is a long and curious story. The tomb had been unopened since the time of St. Damasus who inclosed it. We have been with Fr. Marchi to the Catacomb of St. Agnese. I dare say you have heard an account of it from the Ryders. My imagination was disappointed, I had heard so much of it, but not my reason. Fancy a chapel under ground, deep and (of the 2nd or 3rd century) highly painted. This strikes me as a most remarkable fact, that church decoration should be a part of Christianity, that it should be practised in the midst of persecution and in the heart of the earth. The chapel I speak of has an apse; and an altar, just like a modern Catholic one, with the tomb of a martyr under—the paintings of two martyrs praying on each side—and at the back (what we should call the east end) a large figure of the Blessed Virgin with her hands out in prayer (as the Priest stretches them now in the Mass)—our Lord is in her lap, not in prayer ... In the same (I think) chapel there were two stone chairs—think of seeing the chairs in which the primitive bishops and priests sat in persecution, and in their very places, unmoved! … It is impossible to see Mrs. and still more Miss Ryder, without seeing how firmly they are Catholics; and that excitement has nothing to do with their conversion. I wish you saw the children—they seem so happy. Little Alice came up to me on St. Francis Xavier's day and asked me if {153} I did not love the saint of the day. They take to Catholicism just as the Bowdens do. O my dear H. how can you be so cruel to poor John! Why defraud him of his inheritance? The report here is that Fortescue is near moving.

'We are under the Pincian, but the Tiber was close to us the other morning, having crossed the Corso.

'Ever yours affectionately,
J. H. N.'

The thoughts, feelings, and general impressions of Rome during the first two months of their residence may be gathered from the following letter written at the end of December by St. John to Dalgairns, who had just received priest's orders at Langres:

'All the Italians we have been thrown amongst have been, I must say, most universally kind, in the college it increases rather than wears off; and the F. Rector is certainly one of the most considerate not to say kind persons I have met with. Meeting with such a man has certainly saved us both a great many trials. He is always telling Newman to have his own way more, and looking out to see what he really wishes ... We have picked up divers things from time to time about the rules &c. of different orders we have come across. [From] what I have heard of the Dominican [ethos]; they put me in mind of the old Anglican "High and dry's." Newman will go into them more at length. The Jesuits I never can cease to venerate, be my calling what it may; they are a wonderful body: The Passionists have a high name as a very edifying body, too strict though for poor dear old human nature. Their house is one of the best ordered monasteries in cleanliness &c. &c. in Rome: we hope to see them again tomorrow for it is the anniversary of our stay at Aston Hall. Dr. Theiner of the Oratorians we have seen and breakfasted with; most extremely kind he was, said Mass for us and gave us Communion on St. Stephen's day in St. Philip's little chapel where he had his ecstasies at Mass and where the brother used to come back after leaving him for two hours, and look thro' a grating to see if his ecstasies were over (his Sciocchezze as St. Philip used to call them himself). All remains as he left it. His confessional, bed, shoes, discipline, all there. A most interesting visit we had and we hope soon to see more of the institute and get acquainted with its working. The Redemptorists we have not seen; they have no house here, only a small church and two or three priests, but they have {154} a very high character indeed as a rising order. Their great house is at Naples, and see them we certainly ought. Have we then after all got nearer our mark you will ask; what is to be our line? As yet we have not. Newman has no data yet to know whether Theology or preaching is to (be) his line: it must work out in time. Meanwhile we are getting experience and all of us are being sifted. Besides us three Penny is certainly to be with us. "De caeteris nihil constat—Spero sed timeo." You yourself when at Maryvale can undoubtedly do much ... What think you of coming to Rome before you return to England? If Bowles perhaps were to come with you, I really think it might be more important than returning at once to Maryvale. It may be Newman may see his way so plain that you would not be needed here, but the chances are that your being here would very much assist him. No one at a pinch could trumpet for him, and bring out his meaning and his line &c. like yourself. The Pope and all persons high in office here, speak French [Note 4]. However I only throw this out now; it may so happen that by Easter we shall say to you:—"you must come."'

An incident slight in itself, yet trying and tiresome in the gossiping atmosphere of Roman society, had happened early in December. A niece of Lady Shrewsbury died suddenly immediately after her arrival in Rome. Prince Borghese called on Newman on December 3 and begged him to preach at her funeral on the following day. The Prince hoped that he would point the moral of a sudden death. The Romans always imagined that many Protestants in Rome were deterred only by worldly motives from joining the Church. Here then was an opportunity of reminding them that if they delayed it might prove to be too late. Newman did his very best to excuse himself from a distasteful office, but in vain.

'Prince Borghese would take no refusal,' St. John writes to Dalgairns; 'in vain did Newman say it was not in his way to make appeals to the feelings &c., there was no getting off it was clear without offending the whole —Borgheses, Dorias, and perhaps Lord Shrewsbury; the Prince made such a point of it, that he went himself to the Cardinal Vicario to get permission for Newman to preach. And so preach he must, and that upon a certain subject {155} (viz. the Protestants), and preach he did the next day. I was there and heard him. You may guess what a trial it was to him. You will have little difficulty in imagining the sermon. In many points not unlike some of his printed sermons, according to request turning the event into an argument for the necessity of conversion in every one of us. You may fancy him saying:—"We all need conversion." When he had spoken in general to Catholics and all, he addressed the Protestants, commenting strongly on the usual miserable irreverence of the English in the Churches, as everybody knows the one thing which strikes people who go to any great function in Rome, prying about like brute animals into the Holiest places. He especially excepted all who had come to the funeral, saying, "Do then for God what you are willing to do for men you love. Help this poor soul by your Conversion as Catholics can by their prayers." He concluded with a beautiful panegyric on the real greatness of the Anglo-Saxon character, "only needed to be Catholic &c." Such a sermon to you and I would be an old friend: but excepting myself I really believe it was a new idea to every soul present. As you may guess, those who did like it liked it very much—as the Princess Aldo Brandini, a half sister of Prince Borghese, who himself with others of his family could not follow the English. But the majority, including many old stageing Catholics who brought Protestant friends to hear the music, were disgusted to see their friends whipped before their faces. And still more the Protestants who heard the account from their brother Protestants (whose sole idea seems to be that Newman has called them all brutes and dogs &c. &c.) became quite rabid; and the disease, propagated at balls and parties, has spread partly amongst Protestants and partly even amongst Catholics to an amazing extent. All this would be mighty little consequence. Pretty nearly all English here come for pleasure, and do not like to be told "Rome is no place for them but the very place in the whole world where Michael and the dragon may almost be seen in battle." (Newman's words.) But Talbot has spread far and wide that the Pope told him (Talbot) that Newman had spoken too strongly to the Protestants and that he supposed he was more of a philosopher than an orator. This has given a handle which has certainly produced a bad effect amongst the English Catholics in Rome. Talbot, I should say, at first liked the sermon and wished others to like it, so it is no more than mere thoughtless gossip {156} on his part; but it is a sad mistake. So much for this affair which ... as you may suppose has at times rather tried Newman.'

For a time there seems to have been at the Vatican a touch of that neglect with which any court is apt to show its displeasure; and the Pope's wish to see Newman 'again and again' appeared to evaporate.

But other trials were in store from Newman's difficulty in obtaining the agreement of Roman theologians with certain views, expressed in his writings, which he felt to be necessary for the times.

Newman had, before leaving England, heard from many quarters of the impression made by his 'Essay on Development' on thinkers outside the Church—Protestants, as they were in those days comprehensively called. The following letter from Dr. Gillies, Vicar Apostolic and Archbishop of one of the Scotch districts, written earlier in the year, 1846, bears witness to the effect of its general argument on an Edinburgh audience:

'I received your book late on a Saturday night, and spent a portion of the night in reading it—I introduced it next day from the pulpit to a mixed congregation, and announced at the same time a short course of lectures upon it—My eighth and last lecture was given last evening, and I am most happy to tell you that from first to last, once in spite of the most stormy and trying weather, your Book has secured a very select and crowded attendance. Fully two thirds of those present were Protestants of every description, and there were at least ten men for one woman, and mostly men of education. The lectures generally occupied the best part of two hours each, when they did not considerably exceed that time; yet from first to last your arguments were listened to with the most intense interest, and I have had occasion to hear since from the best authority that very many Protestants were extremely sorry that I so much compressed the matter at the end, as already to have brought our weekly meetings to a conclusion. That a very favourable impression has been made by your essay on the minds of many Protestants I am certain.'

It is probable that the nature of Newman's first chapter in the 'Development' Essay had a large share in giving the {157} thoughtful Scotchmen a new idea of the importance of the Catholic Religion and interesting them in the Essay itself. Newman's treatment of the development of a living idea in its relations to the civilisation in which it energises, infused into an old controversy the quality of philosophical imagination. Roman rigidity and the 'variations of Popery' were dealt with as opposite manifestations of the special genius of Catholicism. A deep philosophical principle was suggested as accounting for phenomena in the Catholic religion which had been so often treated with contempt.

That the philosophical law exhibited in the development of any great idea was manifest in the changes in the external presentation of the Catholic religion from the days of the Apostles to those of Gregory XVI. was Newman's constant contention. As the idea remains identical in spite of all changes in that environment which determines its actual expression, so was the Catholic religion, he argued, ever essentially the same through all the changes in its external manifestations and status, and in the method of the theological schools. Of the course of that religion may be said in some measure what he says of the development of a living idea itself, 'old principles reappear under new forms. It changes with them in order to remain the same. In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below, to live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often.'

The assurance of Archbishop Gillies that the argument of his book had arrested the attention of the Scotch thinkers was very satisfactory and encouraging. He desired to get it authoritatively recognised as orthodox Catholic apologetic. It was all-important, then, to utilise the opportunity of his being in Rome for this purpose.

Moreover, almost at the beginning of his visit to Rome Newman turned his serious attention to the proposal that his own followers should take their place as theologians and apologists of the new age. He considered again the scheme which he and Dalgairns had discussed in England, that Maryvale should be a school of theology. And both in theology and in apologetics the principle of his Essay was in his mind all-important. The acute secularist and anti-religious movement on the Continent was being brought before his eyes. It was {158} the eve of the revolution of '48, in which the anti-clerical spirit was so marked. Rome, on the other hand, stood before him as the living evidence of the continuous existence of Christianity in the Catholic Church, and of its truth. The vigorous life of Rome's old age was on Newman's principles one of the very proofs that its religion was true. Both these spectacles inspired him to complete and coordinate his own philosophy of the development of the Christian Church. 'The maxims and first principles of religion in a perfectly logical mind lead to Rome; their denial to religious negation'—this was his main contention from 1845 to the end of his life. One set of principles led to the development of religious truth, the other to the development of religious error. Thus the principle of development combined both the evidence for the Catholic Church and the reply to modern agnosticism.

He expressed this position later on in one of his Catholic works as follows:

'The multitude of men indeed are not consistent, logical or thorough; they obey no law in the course of their religious views; and while they cannot reason without premisses, and premisses demand first principles, and first principles must ultimately be (in one shape or another) assumptions, they do not recognise what this involves, and are set down at this or that point in the ascending or descending scale of thought, according as their knowledge of facts, prejudices, education, domestic ties, social position, and opportunities for inquiry determine; but nevertheless there is a certain ethical character, one and the same, a system of first principles, sentiments and tastes, a mode of viewing the question and of arguing, which is formally and normally, naturally and divinely, the organum investigandi given us for gaining religious truth, and which would lead the mind by an infallible succession from the rejection of atheism to theism, and from theism to Christianity, and from Christianity to Evangelical Religion, and from these to Catholicity.' [Note 5]

Newman desired, if he resumed his work for theology, to draw out this argument scientifically both as a strong weapon {159} in the hands of the Christian apologist and for the benefit of inquirers and sceptics. The task of teaching divinity to theological students would be exactly the opportunity he wanted to bring out clearly and persuasively his philosophy of faith and to instil it into the rising generation—a far more effective mode of influence than mere controversy, with its attendant misunderstandings. Yet for men, however acknowledged their intellectual eminence, to aspire to teach divinity when they were but recent converts, must, he felt, appear bold. In England the converts, though so well received at the colleges, were, he gradually learnt, already viewed with some suspicion by the bulk of English Catholics. On the other hand, they were absolutely trusted by one man of genius among their English co-religionists—Bishop Wiseman. And the scheme, both in itself and in its ultimate object of stemming the tide of modern infidelity, had been Wiseman's own. Moreover, Wiseman was by education and traditions a Roman. The hope arose that the views he and Newman shared might find special support in Rome; and armed with authority from the Holy See Newman might successfully accomplish what else it would be extravagant to think of attempting. The root-principles of his religious philosophy were sketched in the sermons on Faith and Reason known as the 'Oxford University Sermons,' of which he wrote that he considered it, though incomplete, the best book that he had ever written [Note 6]. The superstructure was indicated in the 'Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.'

The first thing, then, was to ascertain how these works were viewed in Rome. And there was a difficulty from the start, for no theologian in the city read English with any facility. The 'Development' Essay, as the work immediately leading to his conversion, naturally came first under consideration, and Dalgairns arranged to have it translated into French. A similar proposal was made a little later as to a selection from the Sermons.

But all this while there was a country besides England itself in which English was read, America. And the practical people inhabiting that country were first introduced to the 'Essay on Development' by the Unitarians, who quoted it as evidence {160} that the Trinitarian doctrine was not primitive, but was a development of the third century. An outcry followed—the narrow and vigorous Dr. Brownson taking the matter up in his Review; and echoes of the outcry found their way to Rome. Further, the 'Development' Essay—which, though finished when he was convinced of the truth of Catholicism, was, strictly speaking, a work of Newman's Anglican life—was not separated by the popular hubbub in Rome or in America from his other Anglican works, written in the days when Rome was hateful to him. Strong sayings were quoted from the 'Prophetical Office' as to the papacy being Antichrist and Romanism 'possessed by the devil.' Echoes reached Rome, within a fortnight of his arrival, of ignorant clamour in America of a kind which it is hopeless to deal with—in which misunderstanding acquires the heat of righteous wrath, and to listen to explanation is held to be like giving ear to the tempter. All this was the more disappointing because Newman had found immediately on his arrival that the all-important principle of 'Development,' the fact that it was a vera causa, was admitted by the Roman theologians; and he had hoped that the question of its extent as evidenced by the facts of history could be discussed calmly. The American outcry prevented for the moment any such calm discussion and seems to have scared the Romans. Controversial exigencies naturally held an important place in the city which was the centre of the government of a militant Church, and thus the report that Newman's book had given the Unitarians big and effective guns created prejudice. All this was most annoying and discouraging for Newman. He was determined not to press his view publicly without Roman support, but he at once took steps to let the Americans know that at least in principle his theory was accepted in Rome. A fortnight after his arrival Newman refers to the situation in a letter to Dalgairns:

'Collegio di Propaganda: November 15, 1846.
'My dear Dalgairns,—Knox writes me word that the whole American Church, all the Bishops I think, are up in arms against my book. They say it is half Catholicism half infidelity. Of course they know nothing of antiquity or of the {161} state of the case; ... but their extreme violence—for Knox calls it a storm—shows that I am quite right in writing to Knox what people think here before I now commit myself publicly to what yet I see no reason whatever to relinquish privately. All I have heard about my book here has been from two professors, one dogmatic of the Collegio Romano, (Jesuits). They evidently have been influenced by the American opposition which is known in Rome; but what they say after all is not much. They admit the principle of development but say I have carried it too far, judging by bits translated for them. When I asked for instances they took the part of Bull against Petavius and said Petavius went too far and retracted. I pressed them whether I had been too far on the subject of the Pope's supremacy, but they didn't seem to know more of the book than the above. They said that the American Unitarians availed themselves of my admissions. This both showed whence their objection to me came, and also explained the cause of the American irritation. The Socinians of Boston urge them with bits of my book; they are not divines enough to know whether or not they should take my theory, and therefore are simply at a disadvantage. I suspect this is the state of the case. Also I fancy the book may be too ultramontane for our American friends, and too much representing the Church as against government.

'However it is clear that (though I don't think it will come to this) I must not be the propounder of a new theory on so grave a subject without any encouragement to believe that I am concurring in the Roman traditions.

'But the practical point is this. You see everything depends on the exactness of the French translation [Note 7]. An incautious rendering of particular phrases may ruin everything. It is plain, then, sorry as I am to give you trouble, a good deal depends on your sharpness of eye. You are the only person who can do what is required. I will say this too—I am very anxious that my Preface, containing my Retractations, should be carefully translated. You will see the reason—for what do you think Father Perrone in his new edition says of me? "Newman Romanum Pontificem vocat diabolum." By the bye it is an encouraging fact, connected with the theory of development, that the said Perrone is writing a book to show that the Immaculate Conception may be made an article of Faith ... {162}

'You must not be prejudiced against the Jesuits. I say this because I think you have never come in contact with any. We have seen a great many, and with no persons do we get on so well. Not that I mean to be a Jesuit or to persuade you, but I really do think we should leave ourselves open to everything, and I wish you to be clear of prejudice. We got acquainted with a very pleasing Father (P. Jourdain), a Frenchman at Genoa, and here we like them very much. Meyrick [Note 8] is very happy and we have seen him twice—last on Friday, St. Stanislaus's day.

'What do you think of Mr. Spencer having joined the Passionists? I am very glad for Father Dominic's sake. We went to their House here with Cardinal Acton. It is very clean and beautifully situated. We saw various remains (dress, &c.) of Venerable Paul [Note 9]. They expect he will be canonized by the end of three years. Suppose we all become Passionists.

Ever yours affectionately,

As Newman learnt more of the state of opinion in Rome and among Catholics elsewhere, the situation became more tantalising. His Oxford University Sermons made a great and most favourable impression among the theologians in some quarters—notably in France. Then, again, the neo-scholastic philosophical revival had not yet begun, and Rosmini had been urging the need of a religious philosophy specially suited to the age. The absence then of any existing generally accepted rival system (for he learnt on all hands that there was none) seemed at first sight to give Newman the opportunity for urging his own views. Moreover, Newman found that what was taught on 'Faith and Reason' and on 'Development' by Father Perrone, the chief theological Professor in Rome, went in its general direction on lines with which he himself entirely concurred. Again, one of the most important points in Newman's own philosophy—the idea of "wisdom" as the outcome of deep thought in the Christian Church on the whole field of knowledge under the {163} guidance of the Spirit of Wisdom, and as the special gift of the perfect—he found accepted in substance by a representative theologian with whom he conversed.

Yet in the end it proved that, while he understood, and claimed as in accord with his own thought, so many of the views of the ablest Roman professors, some of the most influential among them did not understand him and hesitated to accept his teaching. His terminology was different from theirs; and when thought advanced to further issues than they had already contemplated, even though the consideration of such issues was Newman's response to questions raised by the thinking world, these minds, so acute up to a certain point, appeared to him to stop short abruptly.

Moreover, what was not understood was at once wrongly characterised by its adverse critics: they gave it a label from their own stock in trade, and it was then declared to be untenable. His language on 'probability'—in which the essential contrast was really between demonstrative evidence and circumstantial or cumulative evidence—was interpreted as a denial, with Hermes, of the possibility of getting beyond probability and attaining to certainty on matters of religion. It availed not that Newman found precisely his own view in so approved a writer as De Lugo. De Lugo points out that while our belief in revelation, in so far as it depends on the Word of God, is most certain, nevertheless its ultimate premiss is our belief that God has in fact spoken. This is a matter of circumstantial evidence and not of demonstration. And it is less clear and cogent than our belief (for example) in the existence of India, which rests on human testimony, and is also a question of moral proof and not of demonstration [Note 10]. {164} Newman held that his own position no more disparaged religious certainty than De Lugo's, but his terminology made his view suspect. Some of his critics, adhering to the language of the thirteenth century, with its passion for syllogism, seemed to him to be ready to lose an important truth and ignore undeniable facts rather than admit a new expression.

Newman's language about Faith was confused by others with the condemned fideism of M. Bautain. So, too, on the question of actual development of doctrine he could not get the Roman professors who criticised him to face clearly his difficulties, and his critics accused him of holding that the Church could define what was simply not in the tradition. His position was, of course, that what was implicitly present from the first, as being an 'aspect of the idea' handed down by tradition, might be at a given time denied by those who did not yet master intellectually all the implications of this tradition. And yet at the same time, while Roman divines failed to accept the view in the abstract, they were defending it in the concrete. Perrone was maintaining that the Immaculate Conception—which such representative Doctors as St. Bernard and St. Thomas had declared not to be in the tradition—could nevertheless be defined. Again, Perrone did admit the difference between moral and demonstrative evidence; yet many demurred to Newman's own expressions, which meant no more. And these criticisms were, he learnt, based on scraps of his writings, which were not understood in their context. All this tried and perplexed him. The customary exposition on these questions was that left as a legacy by acute minds; but it stopped short here and there, he thought, of issues which had since become pressing. On difficulties long familiar the current text-books had the accepted answer, often expressed extremely well. A new point of view, however, those divines who criticised him seemed not to realise. To acquiesce in this state of things was, he said, to abandon the dream of an apologetic adequate to meet the growing infidelity of the age. {165}

Yet, on the other hand, Newman, whose great desire was to work under authority, could not undertake a campaign against a phase of theological thought which tried him. He did indeed urge privately that the philosophy he advocated, based as it was on generalisations from the history of thought within the Church herself, though unfamiliar to Catholics in its form, was in substance unquestionably in harmony with Catholic traditions. He urged that it ought to be given time to develop and explain itself. Whereas it was instead hastily judged by a customary mode of speaking which did not allow for it, and by an interpretation of its phraseology which was alien to its true nature. That authority should condemn or check what he believed to be essential for the defence of Christian faith in new circumstances, before it had been given time to make itself understood, would be in his eyes a misfortune. Yet he feared that this might occur if he pressed his points too insistently. Moreover, he thought he saw signs that the views of Roman divines were in a state of transition. He found, to his surprise, that both St. Thomas and Aristotle were now out of favour in Rome. Philosophising in general was suspect. It was clear that such views were not likely to be permanent. A little patience was needed. When, therefore, it became finally evident to him that he could not, for the time at least, win general and hearty support among the Roman theologians for his writings on these subjects, he determined to abandon the scheme of founding a theological college as at least premature, and simply to leave his books to make their own way gradually.

At first he thought of laying his own view of the situation before the Pope himself. But this idea he soon abandoned. Some years would have to be allowed for what he had already written to be weighed and understood. It must then come to be generally realised that what Rome already admitted as to Development in such cases as the prerogatives of the Papacy and the Immaculate Conception, really conceded principles for which Newman was contending, and which the theologians who opposed him hesitated explicitly to grant. Moreover, on Faith and Reason his terminology was the real gravamen. His own analysis was not opposed in essence to that of the schools, but rather was engineered by a different {166} line of approach—starting from the psychological side where the heirs to scholasticism started from the logical side. Certain principles familiar to Oxford were, he said, new to Rome. They must be understood before his works could be themselves accurately taken in. Without such preparation, his drift being misconceived, he might even be censured—a painful commencement of his Catholic life.

He had written definitely to Wiseman within a few weeks of his arrival, proposing to found a theological seminary at Maryvale: and Wiseman accepted the suggestion. But after it had been made, further interviews with Roman theologians raised serious doubts. In his letters at this time we see his changing impressions as to what was thought in Rome of his last book, and what hope there might be of his teaching in England under the direct authority of Propaganda. In the end the theological scheme was abandoned and the Oratorian plan was revived, to its exclusion.


'Rome. Collegio di Propaganda In Fest. St. Caecil. Nov. 22.
'My dear Dalgairns,—I sent you a letter from this place so recently, that probably I shall not dispatch this at once, but I write while things are fresh in my mind and as they occur.

'We heard in Milan that Rosmini's one idea was to make a positive substantive philosophy instead of answering objections in a petty way and being no more than negative. He seemed to think that the age required a philosophy, for at present there was none. Several things of the same kind which he said struck me as good. What we hear here, though we have but just begun to hear, confirms this. Hope told me we should find very little theology here, and a talk we had yesterday with one of the Jesuit fathers here shows we shall find little philosophy. It arose from our talking of the Greek studies of the Propaganda, and asking whether the youths learned Aristotle. "Oh no," he said, "Aristotle is in no favour here—no, not in Rome—nor St. Thomas. I have read Aristotle and St. Thomas and owe a great deal to them, but they are out of favour here and throughout Italy. St. Thomas is a great saint—people don't care to speak against him; they profess to reverence him, but put him aside." I asked what philosophy they did adopt. He said {167} none. "Odds and ends—whatever seems to them best—like St. Clement's Stromata. They have no philosophy. Facts are the great things, and nothing else. Exegesis, but not doctrine." He went on to say that many privately were sorry for this, many Jesuits, he said; but no one dared oppose the fashion. When I said I thought there was a latent power in Rome which would stop the evil, and that the Pope had introduced Aristotle and St. Thomas into the Church, and the Pope was bound to maintain them, he shrugged his shoulders and said that the Pope could do nothing if people would not obey him, and that the Romans were a giddy people not like the English. He did not like to talk more, but said, if we came to his rooms some day, he would have a talk with us. I am glad to say that he and another Father spoke highly of the Dominicans, and he on this occasion said that St. Thomas was honoured among them (!) as Ghianda had told us was the case at Florence. He spoke slightingly of Perrone—but seemed to think he was useful for the moment.—Here's a look out ...

'This notion has come into my head,—if it seems possible a little while hence, I shall write to Dr. Wiseman—till then you are the only person I tell it to—but it may vanish in smoke. Might not Propaganda like to have a dependency of its own in England? All England is now under the Propaganda, but for that very reason it has almost no part of England. Again they talk of a hierarchy, and then no part of England would be under Propaganda—and they might like to keep a hold over it. Now, might not we become such an offshoot of Propaganda under strict rules? …

'Nov. 23rd. Yesterday after writing the above, we were suddenly summoned to the Pope; but I shall leave St. John to give you an account. From what I hear today, I fear theology, as such, must for a time be laid on the shelf at Maryvale, and we must take to preaching practical sermons. The theologians of the Roman Church who are said to sway the theology of Rome are introducing bits (without having seen the whole book) bits of my Essay into their lecture to dissent from. This seems very absurd. I will not raise controversy in the Church, and it would ill become a new Catholic to be introducing views—and again, really all my books hitherto have been written from hand to mouth—and though it will not only be a triumph to such as Palmer but I fear throw back such as Hope, I think I shall be content to let the matter rest for years before I write again. The {168} worst is that I am cut off from controversy against infidels altogether.

'Nov. 26th. I have complained to Father Mario of the Collegio Romano, who assures me the Professors have not been speaking against my book; yet there must have been some foundation for the report. I told them how it would be taken up in England, and did all I could to frighten him—for if the Yankees make a clatter about concessions to the Unitarians on the one hand, it is right to inflict upon the Romans the fear of the English being thrown back on the other. I think I shall get no opinion whatever one way or other on my main point. If I were to write a sort of memorial or case to the Pope himself and ask his advice, you would tell me it is worth nothing, as you did at Langres. I cannot think this—all Saints have had recourse to the Pope for advice and direction—yet they did not expect him to speak "ex cathedra."'


'Collegio di Propaganda In Fest. Concept. Immac. B. M. V. 1846.
'I fear you will call me a fidget since I have written to you so lately—but I think I might put a few lines of Preface to my third (French) Edition of the Essay, if you did not think that by saying something I should be committing myself to what I did not happen to deny. Since I wrote I find the Essay is accused of denying moral certainty and holding with Hermes we cannot get beyond probability in religious questions. This is far from my meaning. I use "probable" in opposition to "demonstrative" and moral certainty is a state of mind ... I suspect they are somewhat afraid of the book in prospect, here; yet they grant the principle [of development]. Perrone has written a Treatise on the connection of Reason and Faith which I like very much. I am glad to see I have no view counter to it—but there is the subtle question "whether a person need be conscious of his own certainty (faith)" &c., which I cannot find he answers, and I have asked him about it ...

'There is no doubt the Jesuits are the only persons here. They say, however, that the Dominicans are rising in Italy. You shall come and judge for yourself. You have plenty of cash.

'I have just discovered that at p. 9 of my book I quote from my Prophetical Office a passage where I say that there is but probability for the existence of God. This would scandalize the Romans sadly. I might leave it {169} out did it not seem to throw light upon other passages. What I meant was that the moral certainty which belief implied arose from probable not demonstrative arguments [Note 11]. Would a Preface of a few lines confined to the subject of probability be the best remedy?'

Even apart from the reasons which finally decided Newman in his choice for the future, his letters show that the Oratorian plan was growing on him. Possibly the daily intercourse with Ambrose St. John, whose tastes were not intellectual, told in the Oratorian direction and against Dalgairns' idea of joining the Dominicans. Newman did not sympathise with the exclusive Thomism in theology and the French rigorism with which the Dominicans were associated. In one letter he avows that he could not join an order with a 'dominant imperious theology.' On the other hand, the Oratorians, essentially Italian, fell in with the gentler moral theology of St. Alfonso. 'You and St. John,' he writes to Dalgairns, 'must of course have a real influence on my decision.'

'We have seen the Chiesa Nuova,' he writes to Dalgairns on December 31, 'and the Casa adjoining, with Theiner—who said Mass with and for us and communicated us in the small room where St. Philip had his ecstasies. The "casa" is the most beautiful thing of the kind we have seen in Rome—rather too comfortable, i.e. fine galleries for walking in summer, splendid orange trees &c. &c. If I wished to follow my bent, I should join them (the Oratorians) if I joined any. They have a good library, and handsome sets of rooms apparently. It is like a College with hardly any rule. They keep their own property, and furnish their own rooms. It is what Dr. {170} Wiseman actually wishes, and really I should not wonder, if at last I felt strongly inclined to it, for I must own I feel the notion of giving up property try my faith very much ...

'I have the greatest fear I am bamboozling myself when I talk of an order; and that, just as Anglicans talk of being Catholics but draw back when it comes to the point, so I, at my time of life, shall never feel able to give up property and take to new habits. Not that I should not do it, had I a clear call—but it is so difficult to know what a clear call is. I do not know enough of the rule of the different congregations to have any opinion yet—and again I do not think I could, religiously, do anything that Dr. Wiseman disapproved ... But as much as this I think I do see—that I shall not be a Dominican. I shall be of a (so-called) lax school. Another great difficulty I have in thinking of a regular life, is my own previous history. When it comes upon me how late I am trying to serve the Church, the obvious answer is, Even saints, such as St. Augustine, St. Ignatius, did not begin in earnest till a late age. "Yes, but I am much older than they." So then I go on to think and to trust that my past life may form a sort of [aphorme] and a ground of future usefulness. Having lived so long in Oxford, my name and person are known to a very great many people I do not know—so are my books—and I may have begun a work which I am now to finish. Now the question is whether as a regular I do not at once cut off all this, as becoming a sort of instrument of others, and so clean beginning life again. As a Jesuit e.g. no one would know that I was speaking my own words: or was a continuation, as it were, of my former self. On the other hand this matter of the Sermon and the Pope, of which St. John will tell you, seems to throw me off any direct assistance from the Pope and on to an order or congregation, if I am to be useful. Don't suppose I lay more stress on it than this, viz. that he may think me a person of little judgment, who has lived in a College all his days, and is not likely to do much directly for the conversion of the English. Had I time, I would tell you a notion, which I have thought it worth while to mention to Dr. Wiseman of our being a college in England dependent on Propaganda here, and as it were their servants. This would not be inconsistent with being Oratorians.'

Ten days later he returns to the anxious question of the French translation of his Sermons and Essay. {171}

'I am both surprised and pleased,' he writes to Dalgairns, 'to hear what you say about my University Sermons—for though I feel confident they are in the main Catholic, yet I doubted whether they did not require considerable alteration in the phraseology, as indeed I have hinted in the Preface. I still think they require explanation ... The truth is, I think people want preparing for the Essay by laying down principles which have long been familiar to our minds ...

'Jan. 11.—We have been hearing mass this morning in the very room of St. Francis (Assisi) in the Trastevere. The Superior is a learned man, one of the Congregation of the Index, and we had some interesting talk with him. He seemed to take it for granted we were to be writers, and spoke most handsomely (on the information of a friend) of the "lives of the Saints." He wished theology written as a whole and "con gusto," not drily and by bits—recommended St. Thomas, and no commentator (not Cajetan even, whom the Jesuits so recommended, as being dry) or if one, Billuart, whom Father Dominic recommended. St. Alfonso had no view—collated opinions, put them down, gave his own, and that was all. Rosmini was an able, holy man—a great friend of his own, but had made theology somewhat too philosophical, i.e. wished to prove everything ... He spoke of "the theologian" very much as I have spoken of "wisdom" or philosophy in my last Sermon but one. We hope to see him again. He is a great friend of Theiner's and has translated one of his works. By the bye, we went to the Oratory last night, and were very much disappointed to find it a simple concert, with hardly anything religious about it—a short sermon—a few prayers, people sitting the while. (7 P.M.) We were this evening at St. Ardoca, the Theatine Church, to hear Father Ventura. The whole was just what we had hoped the Oratory would be; the Rosary, a clear, plain, dogmatic, powerful sermon—and benediction;—a large Church crowded ...

'Jan. 12.—It strikes me there may be a difficulty of getting the book published in Rome—first it goes through three censors, which will cause delay—next one is a Dominican "ex officio," as you know, and may be severe with it. It must be published by you in France. Again, which I am told here is very important for the Essay, you must find for the Sermons some authorities to put in notes "ad calcem." You once showed me, e.g. a passage of St. Bernard—you may have some from St. Thomas—and Nicolai's "summa" may give some from the Fathers, e.g. {172} Tertullian says that the heathen called faith a "presumptio"—perhaps, however, not in my sense of the word. And there is a passage about faith in Origen Contra Celsum 1, 8 or 9. If, however, you will send me references, I will send you back the passages from hence. They should be short and critically apposite. I have some at Maryvale. You must not think Father Passaglia at the Collegio Romano not a philosophical divine. I think he most probably is—he has the appearance of it. They quite recognise here the distinction between moral and demonstrative proof, but are jealous. I really do think I should, and do, agree with them fully. I discard Hermesianism &c., &c., as much as they. I may have used unguarded expressions, or been now and then extreme, but I think they (i.e. the Church, viewing it humanly), take a broad sensible shrewd view of reason and faith—and I have ever wished to do the same and think I have so done. I will sketch a preface and send to you directly my volume comes to me from England. A great deal depends on a clear explanation what I mean by reason and by faith—and the drift of the whole. The first sermon (on the Epiphany) is the most delicate. I should not wonder if I had to alter some bits.'

It was perhaps Newman's keen sensitiveness to his surroundings, and his instinctive craving to persuade and desire to be understood, which made him write at this time his Latin treatises on St. Athanasius, as he found his English writings so imperfectly comprehended. They included a dry historical exhibition of the variations in the use of the terms finally employed in the definitions which fixed the doctrines of the Incarnation and Trinity—a point of great importance to some of his arguments in the 'Development' Essay.

In the letter to Dalgairns in which he announces the preparation of these treatises occurs one of those rare passages in which he betrays a keen consciousness of his own intellectual power. Evidently the work of revising the University Sermons had made him grasp their outcome with new vividness and realise their power as a whole:


'I am terribly frightened lest the book [the French version of the University Sermons], like Rosmini's and others, should be brought before the Index. Do they do {173} so to Protestant books? no, therefore best keep all allusions which show it was preached in Oxford. It seems hard, since nations now converse by printing, not the schools, that an English Catholic cannot investigate truth with one of France or Rome without having the Inquisition upon him. What I say is, "I am not maintaining what I say is all true, but I wish to assist in investigating and bringing to light great principles necessary for the day—and the only way to bring these out is freely to investigate, with the inward habitual intention (which I trust I have) always to be submitting what I say to the judgment of the Church. Could not this feeling be expressed in the Preface?

'I will put down here, as I read thro' the Sermons, thoughts which strike me, which will make the Preface. I quote from the Second Edition, but I believe there is not above a page difference between them. I may also include some independent thoughts for the Preface.

.       .       .       .       .       .       .

'And now after reading these Sermons I must say I think they are, as a whole, the best things I have written, and I cannot believe that they are not Catholic, and will not be useful. Indeed these are the times (I mean after reading them and the like) that feelings come upon me, which do not often else, but then vividly—I mean the feeling that I have not yet been done justice to—but I must leave all this to Him who knows what to do with me. People do not know me—and sometimes they half pass me by. It has been portion of Saints, even; and well may be my portion. He who gives gifts, is the best judge how to use His own. He has the sole right to do as He will, and He knows what He is doing. Yet sometimes it is marvellous to me how my life is going, and I have never been brought out prominently—and now I am likely less than ever—for there seems something of an iron form here, tho' I may be wrong; but I mean, people are at no trouble to deepen their views. It is natural.

'What do you think of my being engaged in translating into Latin and publishing here 4 disputations from my Athanasius? 1. On the 4th oration. 2. On the creed of Antioch. 3. On the [hypostasis] &c. So it is—you see I am determined to make a noise, if I can. It shan't be my fault if people think small-beer of me. Is not this ambitious?' … {174}

On February 14 Newman writes hesitating even as to the publication of the Sermons without a strong theological approval. He absolutely denies the coincidence of his theory with the fideism of Bautain; yet, as even Dalgairns thought that the two views were coincident, how could he hope to avoid suspicion? Again, Dr. Grant and Father Passaglia were reported to have been speaking against the 'Essay on Development.' He does not want a second 'row.' The trouble over the St. Isidore sermon had already tried him. 'I don't like,' he writes, 'to begin my Catholic career with a condemnation and retractation.' The more peaceful prospect of practical work as an Oratorian definitely wins the day. He begins making suggestions for the personnel of the Oratory. He wants a 'good musician,' a 'good lay-brother,' a 'good cook.'

St. John in an accompanying letter speaks of the Oratorian plan as practically decided and the idea of a theological college abandoned. The French translation of the Sermons, however, was ultimately published. St. John's words explain the situation clearly:

'As to any other plan—as of a Theological school—there is no doubt it is too much for us poor converts at present. Even those who are most favourable to us I think feel it is—and there is a party who would be up in arms at the idea. These people have tried Newman a great deal lately. Nothing is so harassing as to hear suspicions, and not to be able to get anything definite to act upon. And as far as I see Newman's game is to wait and let his book fight its own way. Come what will, it will never be pooh-poohed. Again it harasses him much to be lugged head and shoulders into controversy again. The truth is to be brief we want the Church to back us in England against prejudices. In all practical work we shall be backed most heartily—and as to Dr. Griffiths or the old Catholics they are not, between ourselves, in good odour here at all. The Pope, Cardinal Franzoni, Mgr. Brunelli—one and all complain of the state of London &c. Here then we are sure of support; but in theology all as yet is quite uncertain.'

Such difficulties were perhaps inevitable considering the extreme slowness of Rome to admit even novelty of expression in theology. Moreover, Newman thought that {175} the history of Lamennais, who after being honoured Leo XII. had ultimately left the Catholic Church, increased the traditionary fear of originality. 'They can't forget that they burnt their fingers over Lamennais,' he said. However, as we shall see, Newman arrived later on at a satisfactory modus vivendi with Father Perrone. But unanimous and cordial Roman support for his views which he regarded as a sine qua non to undertaking the teaching of theology was clearly, as has been already intimated, not the time forthcoming.

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1. 'I finished Manzoni's novel,' writes Macaulay, 'not without many tears. The scene between the Archbishop and Don Abbondio is one of the noblest I know. The parting scene between the lovers and Father Cristoforo is most touching. If the Church of Rome really were what Manzoni represents her to be I should be tempted to follow Newman's example.' Trevelyan's Macaulay, ii. 409.
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2. Americans, Canadians, Scotch, and Irish—so Ambrose St. John explains in a letter.
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3. The brother of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, afterwards Bishop of Clifton.
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4. Dalgairns spoke French like a native.
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5. This statement of the case was added as an appendix to the later editions of the Grammar of Assent in reply to a misrepresentation of Newman's argument which appeared in the London daily Press.
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6. See p. 58.
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7. This will seem to some a remarkable presage on Newman's part in respect of the singularly inaccurate translations of his writings in our own time.
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8. Newman had written by mistake 'Tickell.' St. John, in correcting it to 'Meyrick,' adds: 'N. says it is all the same, all Jesuits have the same cut about them.'
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9. St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists, who was in 1846 not yet canonised.
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10. Oritur autem hæc major evidentia de India, quam de rebus fidei, non quidem ex eo quod fundamenta nostræ fidei minora sint; sunt enim multo majora, cum sint veracitas et testificatio divina; sed ex eo, quod minus clare nobis proponuntur, quam fundamenta ad credendam existentiam Indiæ. Nam ad convincendum intellectum, et determinandum ad assensum non solum deservit pondus ipsius motivi, sed etiam major claritas, qua proponitur, quæ magis impedit dubium, et formidinem de objecto, quam pondus solum motivi absque ea claritate cogniti. Quare licet auctoritas divina æque clare cognita magis determinaret ex se, et convinceret intellectum, quam motiva humana, quæ habet ad credendam Indiam: de facto tamen seclusa pia affectione, et imperio voluntatis, minus cogit, quia non æque clare, sed magis obscure apparet, quam appareant illa alia motiva, et ideo secluso imperio voluntatis, posset facile intellectus dissentire, prout de facto dissentiunt hæretici, quibus proposita sufficienter sunt motiva credibilitatis nostræ fidei: cum eadem experientia ostendat neminem negare Indiam humana solum auctoritate probatam.—De Virtute Fidei divinæ, Disp. II. Sect. 42. Cf. Newman's letter to Mr. Capes at p. 247.
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11. W. G. Ward often pointed out that the language of modern Roman theologians on this subject was quite unlike that of the greatest scholastics, who fully recognised the difficulties attaching to the proof of Theism. In a letter to J. S. Mill, dated November 1848, he quotes the words of De Lugo, 'existentiam Dei vix potest eximius philosophus evidenter demonstrare,' and of Suarez, 'Constat ex dictis magna consideratione et speculatione opus esse ad veritatem hanc efficaciter persuadendum … Multi gentiles de hac re dubitarant ... et nonnulli etiam fideles et docti negant eam veritatem esse evidentem' (W. G. Ward and the Catholic Revival, p. 27) The words of St. Thomas Aquinas are well known, 'If the way of reason were the only road open to the knowledge of God, the human race would remain in the greatest darkness of ignorance, since the true knowledge of God, the best means of making men perfect and good, would accrue only to a few after a long time' Contra Gentiles, i.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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