Appendix to Chapter 32

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[Notes in the appendices are placed at the end of the letters to which they refer.—NR]

THE following letters (see p. 409) refer to Mr. Gladstone's pamphlet on 'The Vatican Decrees' and Dr. Newman's reply to it in his 'Letter to the Duke of Norfolk':


'Nov. 6, 1874.
'For myself, I consider he is misled in his interpretation of the ecclesiastical acts of 1870 by judging of the wording by the rules of ordinary language. Theological language, like legal, is scientific, and cannot be understood without the knowledge of long precedent and tradition, nor without the comments of theologians. Such comments time alone can give us. Even now Bishop Fessler has toned down the newspaper interpretations (Catholic and Protestant) of the words of the Council, without any hint from the Council itself to sanction him in
{560} doing so. To give an instance of what I mean:—Broad statements, standing by themselves, are open to large exceptions;—thus, St. Cyprian and St. Augustine, as the succession of great ecclesiastical authorities since, have said "out of the Church is no salvation"; yet Pius the IX, and perhaps he the first Pope, has made in addition the large exception to that principle, of invincible ignorance. Obedience to the Pope in like manner has, in the writings of theologians, important limitations. But the subject is too large for a letter.'


'The Oratory: Dec. 8th, 1874.
'No one has any authority to say I am writing against Mr. Gladstone. Many friends press me—but it would be no good writing, unless I satisfied myself—and, even if I did that, it still would not follow that I should be satisfying other people. There are many things which you can neither avow nor deny—as the old question, Had you the wickedness to knock so-and-so down—and which it would take a volume to explain, and I am too old to write a volume. And then it would not be pleasant to make things worse instead of making them better, as would be the case if I wrote a weak pamphlet. This is about how I stand.'


'The Oratory: January 18, 1875.
'Letters such as yours are a great kindness, because a great support to me. I have done my best, but I do not know how it will be taken in some quarters—It is a great thing therefore to be able to say to myself, whatever happens, nothing can deprive me of the sympathy which these private letters express for me. It is not that I have any reason for misgivings—but I have at various times been so strangely misunderstood that I am thrown back upon my own conscience and the testimony of friends.

'Your letter then is of great value to me.'


'The Oratory: January 22nd, 1875.
' … It is a great gain to me that, though I have not deserved it of you, I have your letter. Great as the weariness of writing has been, my anxiety has been quite as great a trial. I have never considered theology my line or my forte, and have not written on it except when obliged. Under these circumstances you may think how exceedingly gratified I have been to receive your letter. It is a great thing to have cause to believe, that on the whole I have been prospered in what I have written. Please sometimes say a prayer for an old man.'


'Jany 29, 1875.
'It is very pleasant to hear what you [both] say of my Pamphlet, which was almost too much for my strength, and especially William.

'As you and he say, we must wait to see what Archbishop Manning says—meanwhile letters come in to me from all sides, approving and confirming my statements. I should not like names or places mentioned, but for yourself I say that I have letters of approval from Bishops Brown, Clifford, Errington, and especially your own, Dr. Vaughan, from St. Beuno and Stonyhurst, from the Dominicans of Newcastle and of Campden, from Maynooth, Provost Cookson {561} … and various priests. The section on the Syllabus is the most opposed, I am told, to Archbishop Manning, and in it I am sheltered by Fessler, whose book is sanctioned by the Pope.'


'Feby. 23, 1875.
' … I send you a lot of letters. You will see they are very confidential and I very immodest in sending them—twenty-two, including Dr. Cullen's Pastoral. This is the most important testimony I have had, as being in print and read in all the Dublin Churches. He never would so have done, unless he meant to sanction the substance of my Pamphlet. Dr. Purcell's (Archbishop of Cincinnati) is very important too. It shows there will be some opposition to me in the United States—and doubtless in England too, for some one is moving against me, as regards portions of my Pamphlet, in a Catholic Liverpool Paper—but I trust they will not be able to do anything to hurt my views and arguments in the estimation of Protestants, by anything like a bold opposition to them.

'You will observe besides, among the letters I send, those of a Bishop, two Provosts of important Dioceses, two Jesuit theologians, two Dominicans, the President of Maynooth, and among Ultramontanes, Bowyer and Lord Denbigh. The allusion in Dr. Russell's letter to a balloon was in consequence of my saying that I was up in one, and was as yet in danger of being entangled in chimney pots, of being lodged on some high tree, trailed along the ground, or run away with into the German ocean, and I could not be comfortable till I found myself safely seated by my own fire-side.

'I hear good news from France. M. Veuillot is giving up the Univers—some say from bad health, others because he finds his position a very ticklish one. In Italy, too, Father Curci, S. J. is leaving the staff of the Civilità and wishes to set up a moderate periodical at Florence, having already published a paper in which he plainly announces that it is a dream to fancy that the temporal power can be restored in these times, and that the Church must go back to Apostolic times. Other moderate organs of religious opinion, I am told, are struggling into light in Italy.

'P.S. Thanks for the compliment you pay my crabbed "Assent."


'The Oratory: March 9, 1875.
'Certainly I shall not have to write any Pamphlet. Gladstone's Vaticanism is mainly against the Archbishop, not against me.

'In a new Edition of my Letter I shall add a Postscript—but I should really like to be enlightened as to what I have to answer; for G. only denies what I have said for the most part, without giving reasons why.

'To go into the Council of Constance is merely to take up the old trite controversy which has been gone through time out of mind by the two parties, each having its cut and dried answers and rejoinders.

'The only thing that Gladstone says new is about the marriage question—that I shall take up as far as I know anything about it. I am sorry to say there is some very unpleasant case at Rome to which G. refers. Some one I believe of the K. family is the principal in it, which has shocked numbers, including, I hear, the Archbishop and our Bishop. It will be sure to come out, and will be a scandal, if it be what I am told it is. It is said that some of our Bishops will make a statement about it. The passage which Father Perrone writes, and {562} Gladstone quotes, is atrocious—but I cannot be sorry, if the case is brought out, for they must be made to feel at Rome that they, as others, are exposed to the public opinion of the world—but we shall have to suffer.'


'April 29, 1875.
'As to your first question, I should say that the word "infallibility" has never been ascribed to the Church in any authoritative document till the Vatican Council—and it has been not unfrequently urged as an objection (and I think by myself in print in former days) that the Church's "infallibility" was not de fide. Yet the Church acted as infallible and was accepted as infallible from the first. What was the case with the Church was the case with the Pope. The most real expression of the doctrine is, not that he is infallible but that his decisions are "irreformabilia" and true. So that the question did not arise in the mind of Christians in any formal shape "is he infallible, and in what and how far?" for all they felt was that what he said was "the voice of the Church," "for he spoke for the Church," "the Church spoke in him," and what the Church spoke was true. And accordingly his word was (to use a common phrase) "taken for gospel," and he meant it "for gospel," he "laid down the law," and he meant to "lay down the law"—he was sure he was right, no one had any doubt he was right—he was "the proper person to speak and to settle the matter." This (with whatever accidental exceptions) was his and the Christian world's feeling in the matter—as any ordinary man now, (bigoted Protestant, if you will, acting from prejudice) says "I know I am right," so the Pope would say "I know it is so, and it is my duty to tell the flock of Christ so," without analyzing whether it was a moral certainty, or an inspiration or a formal limited infallibility, or whatever other means which was the ground of his unquestioning and his absolute peremptoriness. Honorius then or any other Pope of those times, when he chose, acted as infallible and was obeyed as infallible, without having a clear perception that his ipse dixit arose from a gift of infallibility.

'But again, at least the Church acted as infallible from the first, e.g. in Councils, &c.—Now the Pope ever acted in company with the Church, sometimes before the hierarchy, sometimes after, sometimes simultaneously with, the hierarchy. He always spoke as the voice of the Church. The Vatican Council has decided that he is not only the instrumental and ministerial head or organ of the Church, not only has a power of veto, not only is a co-operating agent in de fide decisions, but that in him lies the root of the matter, that his decision, viewed separate even from the Bishops, is gospel.

'Before the Vatican Council, even Gallicans allowed that the Pope was infallible, supposing the Bishops accepted his decision—and at least that Honorius would feel, supposing him led to make any ex cathedra decision, so that I deny your correspondent's words, "he could not in the 7th Century actually intend to exert that infallible authority, which has been dogmatically defined in the 19th." Yes, he could, and though he might not be clear as to the conditions of infallibility, though he might take for granted, or implicitly expect, and be sure of, the concurrence of the Bishops of the world with him as a condition of the act being infallible.

'The account I have given of the Council of Ephesus in "Theodoret" in Historical Sketches is a further illustration of what I have tried to bring out here.

'I might have taken a higher ground, for long before the Vatican Council, though not perhaps in the time of Honorius, Popes have realized to themselves their own infallibility, and from the first, as we see in the history of St. Victor, {563} St. Stephen, St. Dionysius in the Ante-nicene times—they have acted as if their word was law, without making nice distinctions.

'When your correspondent says "Previous to the Vatican Council no doctrines defined only by the Pope are absolutely to be received," I remark on the contrary there was such an agreement in fact between Pope and Bishops that, when he taught and was followed by the world, (as took place) it was impossible to discuss whether the Bishops concurred by an act of independent judgment or by an act of submission to him. Practically the Pope has taught dogmatically from the first, e.g. it is not at all clear that Leo's famous Tome against Eutyches is an act of infallibility; but what is clear is that it had the effect of turning a great mass of Bishops right round, as if he were infallible, and making them with him in the Council of Chalcedon use the words definitive of the two natures in One Person, which he had in his Tome forced upon them. He has been from the first (where history is minute enough for the purpose) the beginning and the end, he has had the first and last word, of every definition. You understand me, I am bringing out my view, without stopping to notice objections or opposite statements.

'Well, and now I am not sure whether I have expressed myself clearly, and should like you to tell me, whether it enables you to answer your correspondent.

'But any how I am tired just now, and shall reserve your second question for another letter.

'When you write, tell me honestly that you are well, for till you are quite, I think you must honestly watch over your doings.'


'Rednal: July 28, 1875.
'I am not sure that you apprehended my answer to your first, which was, I think, to this effect. "Did not the Pope exert his infallible voice in early times? but if so, must he not have known himself infallible, and did he?" I think I answered thus—He never acted by himself—he acted in General Council, or in Roman Council, with the concurrence or co-operation of some local Council, or with his own counsellors and theologians; never by himself—nor to this day has he acted by himself. Now in cases of this kind, the question always arises, what was, and in what lay, the essence of the act—for instance, the Holy Eucharist is a sacrifice—but to this day it is an open question what is the act of sacrifice, what is the constituting act, which is the sacrifice. The common opinion is that the act of consecration is the act of sacrifice—but Bellarmine, I think, held that it is the Priest's communion. While another opinion is that the whole action from the consecration to the communion is sacrificial. I believe also it is allowable to consider that it cannot be determined, but that the whole canon must be viewed as one indivisible act, ("per modum unius" is the theological phrase) and that we cannot analyze it, as schoolmen wish to do.

'The condemnation of Nestorius illustrates what I would say; his doctrine is first condemned by the Alexandrians—then by his own people of Syria—then the Pope sends round to the principal sees of Christendom, who do the same. Upon this the Pope sends him notice he must recant within ten days or he will excommunicate him. After this the General Council is called and his condemnation passed—on which the Emperor banishes him. Now where and in what lay the infallible voice? if they had been asked, I suppose, they could not have told—viz. whether it lay in the whole process as being the result of it, or in the Council {564} or in the Pope, or again, taking the Pope by himself, while they would understand that an infallible decision followed on his voice. Still they would not be able to say whether he spoke by his own intrinsic absolute authority, or as the voice and organ of the whole Church, who spoke through him.

'This too must be considered—that the infallibility of the Church (or of the Pope) is, as far as I know, a novel phrase. The infallibility of the Church has never been defined as a dogma (except indirectly in the late Vatican Council). The form which the doctrine took was to say that the point in dispute, when once decided, was "irreformable," it was settled once for all, it was part of the Catholic faith. Therefore attention was centred in the thing, not in the person—and, though of course it could not be settled for good in one certain way, unless the parties settling it were infallible, this view of the subject did not prominently come before the Pope or the Bishops. This is what I have meant to say on your first question.

'Your second, I think, was this—"If the Schola Theologorum decides the meaning of a Pope or a Council's words, the Schola is infallible, not they or he."

'In answer to this I observe that there are no words, ever so clear, but require an interpretation, at least as to their extent. For instance, an inspired writer says that "God is love"—but supposing a set of men so extend this as to conclude—"therefore there is no future punishment for bad men?" Some power then is needed to determine the general sense of authoritative words—to determine their direction, drift, limits, and comprehension, to hinder gross perversions. This power is virtually the passive infallibility of the whole body of the Catholic people. The active infallibility lies in the Pope and Bishops—the passive in the "universitas" of the faithful. Hence the maxim "securus judicat orbis terrarum." The body of the faithful never can misunderstand what the Church determines by the gift of its active infallibility. Here on the one hand I observe that a local sense of a doctrine, held in this or that country, is not a "sensus universitatis," and on the other hand the Schola Theologorum is one chief portion of that universitas—and it acts with great force both in correcting popular misapprehensions and narrow views of the teaching of the active infallibilitas, and, by the intellectual investigations and disputes which are its very life, it keeps the distinction clear between theological truth and theological opinion, and is the antagonist of dogmatism. And while the differences of the School maintain the liberty of thought, the unanimity of its members is the safeguard of the infallible decisions of the Church and the champion of faith.

'I wonder whether I have made myself clear.'


'The Oratory: November 30, 1875.
'Thank you for your affectionate letter.

'I don't feel so vexed at Mr. Ward, as you are in your kindness for me. He has a right to his say—and I don't know that we had any right to expect that he would sit down quiet, when I had delivered so fierce a protest against him. All one can say is, that since he had the first word, he need not have determined to have the last word too. However, I only wished an opportunity of making my protest—that I have done—and he cannot undo the fact that I have made it—and, by making it, have recorded that all Catholics do not agree with him, and that he is not the spokesman for the orbis terrarum.

'As to Oxford, Father Gallwey asked me to preach at the opening of the Church. He, and the Jesuits all along have shown me nothing but kindness and {565} sympathy. I did not preach, because for this twenty years and more I have preached nowhere but in my own Church. There have been one or two exceptions which, for one reason or other, I could not help making. Also, I am too old now to preach, and have long said that even exceptions are not to be in future.

'I repeat, from first to last I have had nothing but kindness from the Jesuits. It is not they who have kept me from work.'

The following is the letter referred to at p. 407:


'Weston Manor, Isle of Wight, 30th January, 1875.
'My dear Father Newman,—I was so engaged yesterday in business connected with our forthcoming number that I could not give your letter my attention. But I was extremely glad to see your handwriting again after some interval, and am grateful also for your various kind expressions. I infer that you would wish me rather to answer said letter than merely acknowledge its receipt, so I will try to answer what you say point by point. I have taken up my best pen, so as to minimise (not indeed doctrine but) your trouble in deciphering me. At last you can throw it unread into the fire if it bores you.

'I see most clearly and admit most readily that you had no legitimate alternative between either not writing at all or including in your pamphlet what you consider a just rebuke of our exorbitances. My grief is not that you say what you say, but that you think it.

'I feel sensibly your kind eulogy of my straightforwardness.

'Your chief charge against me is that I "make my own belief the measure of the belief of others." As these words stand they do not convey to me any definite idea. But it seems to me that the difference between you and me (I do not wish at all to under-rate it) may be understood by some such explanation as this.

'It has always appeared to me that a Catholic thinker or writer ought to aim at this: viz., so to think and write, as he judges that the Holy See (interpreted by her official Acts, and due regard being had to individual circumstances) would wish him to think and write. I have often said in the Dublin Review that peace and truth are in some sense necessarily antagonistic; that every proclamation of a truth is a disturbance of peace. I have then gone on to say that whether or no in some given case the interest of souls would suffer most by the proclamation or the withholding of some given truth—that this question is one which ordinary men (I mean not specially helped by God) cannot even approximate to deciding; that consequently is one of the very chief gifts bestowed upon the Pope, that in his authoritative teaching he can so decide.

'By a further consequence, I have thought it might very often be a duty to persuade Catholics (if one can) that certain beliefs are obligatory on them which as yet they do not recognise. I have thought that this was one's duty, whenever it should seem to one (after due deliberation) that the Holy See is desiring to enforce this obligation; and on the other hand I have always said that truths, which one might think to have been infallibly declared, ought not on that account to be brought forward, unless there are signs that the Holy See wishes them to be now brought forward (I refer to truths other than the dogmata of the faith, though connected intimately with them). And I have thought that the "peace and unity" which as you so truly say are the "privilege and duty of Catholics," {566} are to be sought in one way and no other, viz. in increasing among us all an ex animo deference, not only to the definitions but to the doctrinal intimations of the Holy See.

'I have written on at dreadful length, but I did not see how otherwise to explain myself. Now I am daily more and more convinced that my aim has been the true one; but I am also daily more and more convinced that I have fallen into grievous mistakes of judgment from time to time, whether as regards what I have said, or (much more) my way of saying it. I may say with the greatest sincerity that the one main cause of this has always appeared to me to be my breach with you. Never was a man more unfit than I to play any kind of first fiddle. You supplied exactly what I needed; corrected extravagances, corrected crudities, suggested opposite considerations, pointed out exaggerations of language, etc. etc. When I found that you and I (as I thought) proceeded on fundamentally different principles, this invaluable help was lost; and I have never been able even approximately to replace you. If you will not laugh at the expression, I will say that I have felt myself a kind of intellectual orphan. I may say in my own praise that my censors have complimented me on my submissiveness; but I have always wished to submit myself much more could I have found a guide whom I trusted.

'Excuse this tremendous prolixity of egotism. It will at least show how very desirous I am that you should think less ill than you do of my intellectual attitude, and that your rebukes therefore should be less severe. The whole colour of my life has changed, I assure you, from the loss of your sympathy. But my gratitude for the past will ever remain intact.
'Affectionately yours,
W. G. W

'I hope I am not dreadfully illegible.'

I append some further letters and memoranda (see p. 418) which illustrate the thoughts which occupied Newman's mind in the years covered by this chapter. The decay actual and prospective of Christian faith, and the thought of death and what follows after death, were subjects to which he frequently recurred.


'August 3, 1874.
'I think our Lord's words are being fulfilled, "When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith upon earth?" the plague of unbelief is in every religious community, in the Unitarian, in the Kirk, in the Episcopalian, in the Church of England, as well as in the Catholic Church. What you want is faith, just as so many persons in other communions want faith. The broad section of the Church of England wants faith—you in the Catholic Church want faith. The disease is the same, though its manifestations are different.

'It is a moral disease, and therefore there must be some fault in those who are afflicted with it. They ought to strive and to pray, and sooner or later they would get the better of it. There is no proof they do. I wish to speak with great tenderness of you, because I should be most presumptuous, if I spoke lightly of temptations from which God's mercy, and that alone, has protected me,—but as far as I see, I do not think you have with a resolute heart, and with earnestness, fought the battle of your soul. I know others who, with greater {567} disadvantages than I suppose yours are, have been brave, and determined, and, though they have been knocked down, have got up again, and fought on. They will have their reward, and it will be great. St. Philip says, "Paradise is not meant for cowards," and, when I see such instances of courage, I feel how little I have myself done in that line—and I think you have done very little too.

'It seems to me that, instead of going straightforward to your work, you indulge yourself in finding fault with priests, whom you should not come near, and are not unwilling to provoke them—that you do not make the best of things, but take pleasure in complaints. I may be wrong in points of detail in my view of you, and beg you to pardon me, if I am—but I don't think I am wrong on the whole. We cannot do without faith, and faith is the gift of God. You do not seem to me to keep before your mind, and to realize, these two awful truths.

'I have not written to you sooner because I have had so many letters to write, and many requiring an immediate answer—and sometimes, when I had time, I forgot to do so.'


'Aug. 29, 1875.
'A few days ago (on August 22), an old lady died—suddenly; so suddenly that her daughter had gone away for a week—and she was well enough to enjoy the garden—her daughter says "quite suddenly, from the breaking of something in her lungs." She had a strange dream two nights, or one night before she died. She thought her daughter, who had died in wedlock ten years since, appeared to her in shining light, and said "Mother, I am permitted by God to come and speak to you, before you leave the earth." She then asked her, "Are you in heaven? are you happy?" "Not yet in heaven," she was answered, "but O so happy! Busy, busy for God—doing work for him." The old mother asked what work? "Not employments as on earth—we see and know so differently," and she added, "I cannot tell you more, than I am permitted by God." Her mother asked if she knew what passes here, she said, "No, nothing since I left the earth; I remember my own life perfectly, but nothing after." Then she asked by name after her husband and children, and each of her brothers and sisters. This dream left the lady "perfectly radiant from henceforth." At this time she "seemed quite well."

'It seems to me a very remarkable dream, as being very unlike what would occur to a Protestant, as the lady was, nay to most Catholics. First there is no immediate introduction into heaven for the departed soul. Secondly (tho' nothing is said of penal suffering,) there is definite mention of the "quoddam quasi pratum" of St. Bede and various Holy Virgins. Thirdly there is the mention of employments which cannot be described—which is a metaphysical thought strange as occurring to an old lady. Fourthly the statement of the soul's ignorance of what goes on here is against the grain of Protestant, not to say Catholic anticipations. Fifthly the vivid remembrance (contemplation) of its own past life is not commonly attributed by Protestants to the separated soul. And sixthly there is no suggestion, which is so familiar a thought with Protestants, not to say Catholics, of the dead enjoying the society of their dead friends. Where did the lady get the ideas which make up this dream? And then its coming, if there is no inaccuracy in the account, to warn her of her approaching death, at a time when she was in no serious state of weakness or with other physical intimation of what was coming.

'I am the more struck with the dream, because I have either long or at least {568} lately held about the intermediate state all the six points I have enumerated. The first of course, because it is an article of Catholic faith—the second, since I wrote in 1835 "They are at rest &c." The third I have thought about much lately, our dense ignorance being painfully brought home to me by the death of friends lately. The fourth from the silence of Scripture on the subject—of course the instance of saints who enjoy the beatific vision is not in point. Nor does the ignorance of the departed concerning us preclude their praying for us. The fifth, as in my verses in 1832, "My home is now &c." And the sixth from the circumstance of the resurrection being spoken of in Scripture as the time when there is a restoration of all things, and, as we may suppose, a meeting of friends. Before that, the departed, as such, are not members of the heavenly "Curia."

'Not till then, if even then:—our duty being, when we lose those who have been hitherto the light of our eyes, not so much to look forward to meeting them again, as to take their removal as an occasion to fix our thoughts more steadily, and our love, on Him, who is the true Lover of Souls, recollecting the great danger we lie under of making an idol of the creature, instead of cherishing the intimate conviction that God alone can be our peace, joy, and blessedness.

'As I am on the subject of dreams, I will mention one which was granted to a young lady on her death bed, not so striking in its contents, nor bearing upon any definite doctrines, yet well worth remembering. It is given in the words of her brother.

'"About 15 hours before she died she was with my Father and Mother, and said something of the blessing it would be to be sure she was saved. My Mother said something of God's mercy which made her rather eagerly disclaim any 'prying into the secrets of God,' and, 'she should know in His good time.' Then she shut her eyes and seemed to go to sleep. All at once she opened her eyes and stretched out her arms with great animation and said 'Dear Papa, dear Mamma, I have received the seal of my salvation; we shall all meet again. Call the dear boys and the dear girls.' ... My Father and Mother both declare that it was not the least like wandering of mind. Certainly afterwards all she said, which was little enough, and at intervals, was like a person thinking of those about her, not of her own future state. When we came in, she kissed us all, saying 'I think something to everybody.' To me she said 'God bless you, dearest Fred, you have been of great use to me.'"'

The following is from a letter of the same year:

'Dec. 4, 1875.
'I think what a severe purgatory it would be, tho' there were no pain at all, but darkness, silence, and solitude, and ignorance where you were, how you held together, on what you depended, all you knew of yourself being that you thought, and no possible anticipation, how long this state would last, and in what way it would end, and with a vivid recollection of every one of your sins from birth to death, even tho' you were no more able to sin, and knew this, and though you also knew you were.

'Or again, supposing the phenomena of sleep and dreaming arise from the absence of the brain's action, and the feeble, vain attempt of the soul to act without the brain, so that without a brain one cannot think consecutively and rationally, and that the intermediate or disembodied state, before the elect soul goes to heaven, is a helpless dream, in which it neither can sin on the one hand, any more than when a man sins when dreaming now, but on the other cannot be said to exercise intellect or to have knowledge.' {569}

'Sept. 10, 1876.
'I suppose, when we are brought into the unseen state, we shall find things so different from what we had expected, that it would seem as if nothing had hitherto been revealed to us; or more exactly, it will be like our first sensations on personally knowing a man whom we had known hitherto only by his writings, when we are led to say that he is so unlike, yet still like what we anticipated.'

(Written after the death of Mrs. Wootten.)

'Jan. 17th, 1876.
'My dear Northcote,—I thank you for your very kind letter which has just come, and thank you also most sincerely for your intended Mass for Mrs. Wootten and for me.

'It is only a wonder she lasted so, and it has been God's great mercy that she has been kept here for us so long. As Pusey reminds me in a letter just come from him, though I did not need reminding, 40 years ago she was dying every winter. I have thought her going for the last year, and told Fr. St. John so. She had a fall last summer year, which must have been a great shock to her—and Fr. St. John's death was a great shock too of another kind—but she was herself to the last, vigorous, active, and cheerful. Our boys who came around her bed as familiarly as if she were up, would not believe it was her deathbed, and she was conversing and giving her judgment on ordinary matters within a few hours of her death. The doctor (a Protestant) said he never met a person with less fear of death though she knew it was at hand. Her only anxiety was lest in dying she should in any of her words or acts disedify bystanders. At three o'clock in the afternoon she was as bright as usual—she suddenly fell off at six or seven—and died at eleven. Her last word to me was "Jesus."

'I am not forgetful of your sister-in-law's great family trials, those she mentioned to me, and those she did not.
'Most sincerely yours,


'The Oratory: July 9, 1876.
'My dear Mrs. Froude,—I am quite ashamed you should make so much of me. What can I have done to deserve such words as you use? What can I have said, when with you, which is worth Isy making a note of for the benefit of Hurrell? This only I know, that all through my life God has mercifully given me good friends, and that I never know how to be grateful enough to Him for so precious a gift.

'In proportion as you love me, you will pray for me that I may make a good end. When a man gets to my age, the awful future comes before him vividly and is ever haunting his thoughts. I am quite well according to all my sensations, but I was quite surprised at Christchurch to find what a unity of thought and feeling there was between that poor girl who was dying and myself who had no illness about me. We seemed both to be going beyond that dark curtain together.' {570}


'July 25th, 1876.
'As to your pictures, where would our Church and House be without them? They give brilliancy to every one of our dead walls—they are evergreen plants, lasting winter and summer. The only difficulty I felt about St. Jane Frances was where to put her. As to St. Francis himself it is now twenty years that I have had in mind to give an altar to him—but we have not yet space. I shall hail your two pictures with great satisfaction when they come—and so that of dear Ambrose too, which you have so thoughtfully done.

'I went to pay the visits you speak of with a great effort [Note], and had no accident except slipping down a staircase without hurting myself. This time two years when I last went to Jemima I managed to dip my foot down to the wheel of the rail carriage, and rolled under the wheel of a pony chaise. My ankles and knees are so weak, that, for that reason alone, I dread a journey. But besides this, travelling always makes me ill. I am quite well at home, but going about is a great trouble to me. I was forced to take my last journey—it was to see poor Eleanor, née Bretherton, who is dying, and is leaving four children apparently without means of support. It did not take many hours, and I was not with her above two hours. I gladly would come to see you, if I were sure the journey would not make me ill before I got to you. Pray ask your Bishop for his blessing for me and all here. It is very kind in him to send me a message. I was sorry to hear he was in a bad state of health.

'To scandalize is to make to fall, or to trip up against an obstacle. We may be religiously scandalized and irreligiously. Things which ought to scandalize are called "scandala parvulorum"—those which ought not are "scandala Pharisaeorum"—the words "little ones" and "Pharisees" being allusions to Scripture. Perhaps this isn't what you want.
'Ever yours affly,
J. H. N.'

Note: Farewell visits to his relations.

'The Oratory: Oct. 10, 1876.
'My dear Sister Pia,—God bless you for your thoughts about yesterday. I grieve indeed at your sad news and will say Mass for your intention about your Brother. You never can have an idea of the worth and power of prayer, or of the great efficacy of your own prayers for him and others, till you are in the unseen world. He does for us "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us." You must go by faith, not by sight.

'Thank you for what you say about Frank. He has formally joined the Unitarians. My hope is that on his death bed, God will be merciful to him, and his belief in our Lord may revive.
'Ever yrs affly,


'The Oratory: Nov. 17, 1875.
'My dear Blachford,—Your news about James Mozley shocked me much. I wrote off to his sister and his sister-in-law, but neither could give me much more in the way of information than the word "paralysis" conveys.

'It has ever been to me a terrible idea, because its first attack is so often utterly without warning, and because, however slight, it is commonly, in elderly men, the beginning of the end. James must be nearly 60, but of course I only {571} recollect him as a young man, and to me his life seems scarcely begun. A hasty word I spoke of him broke off all intercourse between us when I became a Catholic, and as I have never felt sympathy enough with his mind and views to make efforts to renew it, and he has never come in my way, I have not seen him for 30 years. I sent him a message on receipt of your letter about him, but Caroline Johnson feels it to be imprudent as yet to deliver it to him. He is getting better every day, but they are resigned to his never being quite what he was.

'This complaint is the penance and stern memento of intellectual men. How many in our time, who have exercised their brains, have died of it! I used to have a list, but I have given up collecting instances—among my own friends, Keble, Whately, C. Marriott, G. Copeland, Ogilvie, Woodgate, E. Churton, Ogle, &c. I am trying to think what James M. can have done to weaken a constitution which everyone thought so strong. Has he been over excited and tried by his metaphysical controversies, which I can conceive might be very distressing to a man who had the onus of an argumentative combat with the responsibility of a Chair? or has he sat up late at nights, which I suppose is very wearing? Even from selfish motives I am always trying to find out a way of accounting in individual cases for what seems so mysterious—the appearance to self and to others of perfect health and ordinary strength, and then the sudden failure of one's powers.

'As to your paper, let it be only a squib or a cracker, yet such small things may kindle a great fire, and this I meant when I said, I hoped you would have to write again. As to your being only half a metaphysician, I don't know who is a whole one, though some men have more confidence in themselves than others. The assumptions of Mill are for an able man incomprehensible. For myself I am very far from agreeing with many of your positions, e.g., that matter is "that which occupies space"; I am utterly ignorant what matter is objectively—phenomena prove that it exists, but not what it is. Therefore space is only the word for the idea of a break in the continuity of phenomena, and is doubly subjective, as depending on phenomena which are subjective and as being bowed out of actual existence by the actual continuity of phenomena. While we thus differ, is not metaphysical science in abeyance?

'But this does not help Mr. Huxley in your quarrel with him. If he would be modest in his teaching, he would be tolerable, but from all I know of him, I must consider him intolerant and therefore intolerable. Your argument anyhow is good. You say first, we must from the analogy of self and of our experience of others, i.e., men, (whom we determine to have sensation and volition from external indications) determine from like indications that brute animals can feel and can will. How is this conclusion to be touched as regards brute animals, without our holding that our friend feels nothing, when he is subjected to a surgical operation?

'Your second position was that, tho' there was, or might be, such a phenomenon as unconscious cerebration, yet, because there was, sometimes in the case of man, it did not follow that to it was to be attributed all that seems like sensation and volition in brutes, or else we might similarly infer, that, because patients under the operation of chloroform utter cries when the knife touches them, but recollect nothing afterwards of having suffered pain, therefore none of us know what pain is, however we may show signs of it.

'This is how I understood you—and I don't see how you are to be answered—and I rejoice that Professor Huxley is put on the defensive.
'Yours affectionately,
OHN H. NEWMAN.' {572}


'The Oratory: Jany. 9, 1877.
'My dear Mrs. Froude,—Thank you for your affectionate letter and dear Isy for her desire to write. This is the first anniversary of Mrs. Wootten's death. Father Caswall was then quite strong—attended her in her illness, and had the whole administration of her will and property. He worked hard at it after his wont, always busy and never seeming tired. How little we thought that he was soon to be laid up by heart disease. He went off to Norway to attend the opening of a Church, which was a novelty there, and was seized in the midst of his journey back with a sudden breathlessness at night, which might have proved fatal. His death is now a question of months, weeks, or days.

'He is one of four very dear friends, who were in a position to place, and did place, themselves and all they had at my service; Ambrose St. John, Joseph Gordon, Mrs. Wootten, and he. His wife was suddenly carried off by cholera at Torquay. The next day he made a will in my favour. It was but a sample of the devotion he has shown to me for thirty years, to me unworthy, as I may truly say.

'My only comfort in the thought of having so many friends, (for I feel I must be a hypocrite, and taking them in, that they are so loving to me) is that they pray for me. For where shall I be hereafter, if I have, contrary to my deserts, so many "good things in my life-time"?

'All best wishes for the New Year to you, William, Isy and Eddie.

'W. Mallock's article is very good. Father Ignatius is very much taken with it. If you write, send to his sister my best New Year wishes.
'Ever yours affectionately,
(Signed) J

A few letters on theological and controversial matters may be added:


'The Oratory: April 19th, 1874.
'My dear John,—I have been so busy since I got your letter that I could not help delaying my answer. Moreover, I was puzzled what I could have said, which has so misled you as to my meaning, for certainly I give up the Catholic cause, if I must rest it either on the intellectual powers which it develops in its adherents, or its manifestation in them of a moral excellence undeniably superior to the results of every other form of Christianity.

'My view of the drift of revelation is as follows:—the truths in the natural order, which are the basis of the sciences, are few, clear, and have a ready acceptance in the world at large, though they do not admit of demonstration (as that every effect [fact] must have a cause)—but those which point to a system of things beyond this visible world, as the law of conscience, the sense of religion &c., are delicate, subtle, fitful, mysterious, incapable of being grasped, easily put down and trampled underfoot.

'The initial truths of science can take care of themselves—but not so those of religion and morals—and therefore, since in fact they often (though accidentally, in the action of life, not that they need) come into collision with each other, the weaker would assuredly go to the wall, had not the great Author of all things {573} interposed to support them by a direct and extraordinary assistance from Himself. Revelation then is the aid and the completion of nature on that side of it on which it is weak [Note].

'It follows that to suppose it will teach or defend those natural sciences, which issue in a large organisation of human society is to mistake the final cause of Revelation—or rather, not to start with anticipating that it will (accidentally) oppose or seem to oppose them, is to fail in apprehending duly its aim and outcome. When Our Lord introduces the rich man saying, "This will I do, I will pull down my barns &c. and I will say to my soul, take thine ease &c." and then commenting on his proceeding, says "Thou fool &c." He brings out emphatically the antagonism between the prosecution of the secular sciences and Revelation—not as if the science of farming, not as if the enjoyment of this life, were in themselves wrong, but that, as men are, that science, that enjoyment will inevitably lead to an obliteration in their minds of what is higher than anything here below, unless the sanctions of Revelation, (or, as I should say, the Catholic Church, which is the embodiment of Revelation,) are present to support and enforce those higher considerations.

'Coming back then to your two questions, as to "organisation," "reasoning" &c. I consider these to be natural products of the mind, and therefore the authorities and officials of the Church make use of them, because they are men, for the purposes of that Revelation of which they are the guardians and defenders; but in no sense profess to advance them.

'As to your other question, the virtues peculiar to Catholics, I think there are various such—but here we enter upon another large question—I do not think they make a show—that is, are such as to constitute what is called a Note of the Church. Our Lord Himself foretold that His net would contain fish of every kind—He speaks of rulers who would be tyrannical and gluttonous—and it was one of the first great controversies of the Christian Church, issuing in the Novatian schism, whether extraordinary means should or should not be taken to keep the Church pure—and it was decided in the negative, as (in fact) a thing impossible. Now when this is once allowed, considering how evil in its own nature flaunts itself and is loud, and how true virtue is both in itself a matter of the heart and in its nature retiring and unostentatious, it is very difficult to manage to make a "Note of the Church" out of the conduct of Catholics viewed as a visible body. Besides it must be recollected that the Church is a militant body, and its work lies quite as much in rescuing souls from the dominion of sin as in leading them on to any height of moral excellence.

'Moreover, in the course of 1800 years it has managed to impress its character on society, so that when countries fall away from its communion, the virtues, which it has created in their various people and civil polities, continue on by a kind of inheritance, and thus the contrast between the realm of nature and the realm of grace has not that sharpness which is seen in the juxtaposition of Romans I, 21-32, and Rom. XII.

'And, once more, civilisation itself, that is, the cultivation of the intellect, has a tendency to raise the standard of morals, at least in some departments, as we see in the history of philosophy, e.g. in the Stoics, in Juvenal, Persius, Epictetus &c. and as regards the minor virtues of gentlemanlikeness &c. &c., and this again tends to blur the contrast, which really exists between nature and grace, the special characteristic of the latter lying in the motive on which actions are done.

'Lastly, if, after these remarks, I am asked in what I conceive in matter of fact consists the superiority of well-conducted Catholics over Protestants, I should {574} answer, in purity of intention, in faith, in humility, in contrition, in chastity, in honesty, in command of the tongue.
'Yours affecly

Note: This argument is more fully stated in the Idea of a University, pp. 514 seq.


'Sept 20th, 1874.
'My dear President,—It is most natural and becoming in the holy Community at Westbury to be zealous in behalf of their great saint; and gladly would I do anything in my power to further the object about which they write to you. Moreover, as far as my own personal feelings go, nothing would rejoice me more than to find that the Holy Father had pronounced St. Francis a Doctor of the Church. But it seems to me that the Holy See alone has the means of judging who they are who have by their writings merited that high honour.

'In the Canonization indeed of Saints it is intelligible to appeal even to the popular voice, because sanctity can be apprehended, not only by good Catholics, but by bad, nay, by those who are not Catholics at all. But none except the learned can judge of learned men, and none but the Ecumenical Doctor of the Church, the Holy Father himself, can pronounce about Doctors.

'For myself and of myself your letter makes it necessary for me to speak. I cannot understand why the existing assemblage of Doctors is just what it is in quantity and quality. It is easy to understand why St. Gregory Nazianzen or St. Augustine, St. Leo or St. Thomas, are doctors; but why should St. Peter Chrysologus, St. Isidore, or St. Peter Damian, be on the list, and St. Antoninus or St. Laurence Justinian not? I cannot make out by my own wit why St. Alfonso has lately been put upon the level of St. Athanasius and St. Jerome. I do not even clearly understand why a woman has never been pronounced a Doctor; for, though St. Paul says they are to "keep silence in the Churches," he is speaking of ecclesiastical and formal teaching, not of the supernatural gifts and great works, of such a one as St. Catherine of Siena.

'The conclusion I draw from this is plain. If I should have made such mistakes, left to myself, in determining who are Doctors and who are not, having in the view the existing list, how can I possibly tell that I should be correct, if I pretended to judge whether that great and beautiful Saint, St. Francis of Sales, has or has not upon him the notes of a Doctor? No—these things are matters of faith. What the Holy Father holds, I hold;—I follow, I do not go before him, in so deep and sacred a matter. I am sure Rev. Mother will sympathize, even though she may not agree with me.
'Ever yours very sincerely,


'(Private.) The Oratory: Dec. 2, 1875.
'My dear Mr. Jenkins,—I return to you the forcible incisive letter which you have paid me the compliment of addressing to me, and I have no difficulty in saying that for years I have wondered how a high ecclesiastic and a theologian could write some sentences which Cardinal Manning has written. The sciences necessary for a theologian and the responsibility weighing upon an ecclesiastical ruler, one should have thought, would have precluded indulgence in rhetoric.

'But you have in your letter solved for me, or at least reconciled me to this anomaly, by referring to the history of Ennodius, who, a bishop (at least afterwards) and (doubtless) a theologian, shows us that such a phenomenon, unhappy {575} as it may be in its consequences, is no new thing in the Church. But I do not think still, that that precedent can be used for your particular purpose, or that you can logically infer that Cardinal Manning ought to go on to formularize the Pope's impeccability, because he has used vague language about the extent of his infallibility. And I will say why.

'First, let me say that I thought it was granted that the Decretales Hildebrandi were not really Hildebrand's—but the embodiment of his general views by some authors of his school after his time.

'Next, the fourth and sixth Synods sub Symmacho are apocryphal—or at least the 5th and 6th as the Bollandists show in their edition of St. Leo.

'For the sentiment then of the sanctitas or innocentia of the occupant of the See of St. Peter we are thrown simply on Ennodius, at that time (I think) deacon and secretary to Symmachus, who was officially employed in defending his master against charges of immorality, violence etc. I am not aware that the question of the teaching came in at all. When Ennodius said that the Pope, as such, was officially "sanctus," he said so, not as driven to it by the necessity, or as a way of defending or proving his infallibility, but as an argument in favour of his being free from the imputation of those bad personal deeds which he was charged with. Because then Ennodius would prove the Pope guiltless of certain definite sins by the general proposition "He is impeccable," it does not at all follow that Cardinal Manning will be forced on to impeccability from infallibility—for a fault in teaching would not be a sin in him unless it was wilful, and even though the enunciation of a doctrine were in a particular case sinful, still it might be true. Infallibility and impeccability are ideas altogether separable.

'As to your letter of Nov. 23rd I wish I entered into your difficulty as fully as I attempt to do. You argue that, if the Church or the Pope has power to announce to the world the word of God (as being a sufficient Authority for such an act) she ought also to have power to infuse into the hearers faith in it—But then

'1. Those who, like the Anglicans, hold the infallibility of four or six Ecumenical Councils, must allow that the Third made Theotocos a point of faith, which is not in Scripture, and not known (except by that very Council) to be an article of the traditional Depositum Fidei, and that the sixth Council condemned the doctrine that there is but one [energeia] in Christ, which is again condemned neither by Scripture, except by inference, nor by tradition. If she did not supply grace to the hearer for the internal acceptance of the Pope's Infallibility, did she for the acceptance of the Theotocos and the double energies?

'2. It is said "Obey your rulers," but does not obedience require grace as well as faith? and if particular precepts are binding which come from the Rulers of the Church, let alone the question of grace, why not doctrinal teaching also?

'3. And further, grace is a gift of the Church viz.: through the Sacraments, and, if obedience is gained through the Sacraments, why not faith?

'I feel extremely the more than kind way in which you speak of me, and you must not doubt this, though I don't find the fitting words to thank you for it.
'Most truly yours,

‘P.S.—I have been so interrupted in writing this, that I have omitted accidentally some thoughts which would have brought out and recommended my arguments more fully.

'For instance, Ennodius' harangue is that of a counsel for the Pope. It would seem as if he found facts to be stubborn things or thought that to go into {576} the details of the charges against his master was dangerous or wearisome, or endless, so he takes a showy line and says "Can you conceive how a successor of St. Peter on whom the shadow of St. Peter falls can possibly be allowed to fall into sin"—(just as the counsel for a defendant might say "Here is the son of a most religious and honourable family, can you fancy his doing this dishonesty?") And he shews that this is his meaning by saying "It is not at all consistent with that piety which we ought to feel to so great an official to question his doings instead of leaving the judgment to Almighty God."
'J. H. N.'


'The Oratory, Rednal: Feb. 27, 1877.
'My dear Mr. Jenkins,—Your letter is very learned, important and interesting, and opens a large field for thought. I feel it to be a great compliment that you address it to me—very much more than I can claim. But, please do not call my Volume on the Arians "great," it is not even little. It was to have been, in Mr. Rose's intention, the beginning of a Manual on the Councils, and the gun went off in quite another direction, hitting no mark at all; and then, too, I was obliged to finish it by a fixed day, and had to hurry the last pages especially, till I knocked myself up.

'And now I have forgotten what I once knew, and do not recollect enough to criticise you and to say whether I follow you or not in your argument. I do not follow you in your interpretation of the Ephesine prohibition. In my "Prophetical Office" I had taken the usual Anglican view of it:—but, under date of July 15, 1839, only two years after my book came out, I find I had made this pencil note in the margin—"I very much doubt, having now read the Acts and History of the Council of Chalcedon, whether my use of it here is fair."

'I agree with you in one thing; though I grieve to say my antithesis to it and conclusion from it is different.

'The more one examines the Councils, the less satisfactory they are. My reflection is, the less satisfactory they, the more majestic and trust-winning, and the more imperatively necessary, is the action of the Holy See.
'J. H. N.'


'The Oratory: April 6, 1877.
'My dear Mr. Jenkins,—I thank you heartily for your most kind and sympathetic letter, and I return you your Easter greetings very sincerely.

'Also for the valuable Easter present you sent me.

'I am ashamed to receive so many things from you, but they will keep up your memory in our library.

'It is, as you say, a most cloudy time—clouds which both portend ill for our religious future and conceal it. What is coming? Yet evil has often before now threatened and passed away. These signs in the sky are doubtless those which will precede the end in all things; yet in former times they have faded away instead of becoming clearer, and so it may be now. But, whether religion is to be utterly cast out or no, anyhow I fear there is coming on us a time of fierce trial for Christianity, and one is naturally led to think with compassion and anxiety on the danger that will come on many of the fresh innocent souls all around us who are now entering into life. {577}

'The Pope is the key note, the Bishops the third, the Priests the 5th, the people the octave and the Protestants the flat 7th which needs resolving.—J. H. N.'


'The Oratory: April 10th, 1877.
'My dear Fr. Coleridge,—Confidential. I want to ask you a question. Rivington wishes to publish a selection (say 50) of my "Parochial and Plain Sermons." I have made it a condition that such only shall be selected as are able to stand a Catholic censorship, knowing that the want of this hinders Catholics from using them. Not that I mean to alter a word of Copeland's text of them, nor that I mean it to be stated that they have an Imprimatur. But I mean to publish them as from myself and not from Copeland as editor, and I mean to pluck out all of those selected which have anything un-catholic in them. (Perhaps you will say, "Then they will all be plucked.")

'Now my question is this, if you will in confidence answer it. Would Fr. Harper undertake the office of censor, his name being kept secret? has he time and health for it? is he the man? would he be fair, both to Catholics and to my Sermons?

'I add below the advertisement I contemplate.
'Most sincerely yours,


'In publishing in one Volume a selection from his "Parochial and Plain Sermons," the Author has been careful to follow faithfully the text as it stands in Mr. Copeland's Edition of them. At the same time he is glad to be able to state that they do not contain a word which, as a Catholic, he would wish to alter.'

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Appendix to Chapter 33

THE following are letters, some of them of considerable importance, relating to the conferring of the Cardinal's Hat on Dr. Newman (see p. 450). Some of them show his own feeling and the feelings of English Catholics at the time. Others are the official and semi-official communications on the occasion.


'The Duke of Norfolk and the Marquis of Ripon have represented to me on their own part, and on the part of Lord Petre, a strong desire, which is shared in, as they state, by many of the Catholics of this country, that the Holy See should manifest, by some public and conspicuous act, its sense of the singular and unequalled services rendered by Dr. Newman to the Catholic Faith and to the Catholic Church in England.

'He was the chief agent in the intellectual movement which in 1833 stirred the University of Oxford towards the Catholic Faith.

'The fact of his submission to the Church has done more to awaken the mind of Englishmen to the Catholic religion than that of any other man. Many both {578} directly and indirectly have been brought by his example to the Catholic Church. His writings both before and after his conversion have powerfully contributed to the rise and extension of the Catholic literature in England and wheresoever the English tongue is spoken.

'The veneration for his powers, his learning, and his life of singular piety and integrity is almost as deeply felt by the non-Catholic population of this country as by the members of the Catholic Church. In the rise and revival of Catholic Faith in England there is no one whose name will stand in history with so great a prominence. Nevertheless he has continued for thirty years without any token or mark of the confidence of the Holy See: and this apparent passing over of his great merits has been noted both among Catholics and non-Catholics, as implying division among the faithful in England, and some unexplained mistrust of Dr. Newman. It is obviously not only most desirable that this should be corrected, but obviously right that Dr. Newman should be cleared of any unjust suspicion.

'He is now in his seventy-eighth year and his life cannot be long. The opportunity in which the Holy See could render this testimony of confidence to the singular merits of Dr. Newman is therefore brief. Such an act of the Supreme Authority of the Holy See would have, it is believed, a powerful effect in demonstrating the unity of the Faith in England, and in adding force to the impulse already given by Dr. Newman in his life, writings, and influences, to the return of many to the Catholic Church.

'Some years ago Pius IX. designed that Dr. Newman should receive Episcopal consecration as Rector of the Catholic University in Ireland.

'This design was not then executed: and, when subsequently revived, Dr. Newman expressed his firm resolution to refuse such a proposal. There remains therefore only one mark of the confidence of the Holy See to so distinguished a Priest. And no greater gratification to the Catholics of England could be given than by the elevation of Dr. Newman into the Sacred College.

'I have felt it to be a duty, very grateful to myself, to convey to your Eminence this expression of the desire of the distinguished Catholic laymen in whose name I write and of those whom they represent.' [Note]

Note: The autograph copy from which the translation into Italian was made is neither dated nor signed; it is merely headed 'To Cardinal Nina.'

The following letters were written after the announcement in the Times that the honour had been offered and declined by Dr. Newman:


'Feb. 18, 1879.
'My dear Newman,—I do not know when I have heard a piece of news that has given me more pleasure than the announcement about you in The Times of this morning. It is the answer to a prayer I have again and again made in the Mass that your services to the Church might receive some public recognition in your lifetime, for indeed I felt that in such a prayer I was asking something for the Church as well as for you; since I do not know of anything which is more likely to win over to her the mind and heart of England than such an act as that which our Holy Father has done in offering you the highest ecclesiastical dignity which it is in his power to bestow. Of course I could have wished, as many others do, that you could have seen some way to accept it, but still the great fact is that you should have received the offer.
'Yours affectionately,
R. OAKELEY.' {579}


'Feb. 18, 1879.
'My dear Newman,—So you refuse to be a member of the Hebdomadal Board at Rome. I am very glad that the offer has been made, as it makes one think pleasantly of those who made it (if one may say such a thing without disrespect). And I think I should have been glad to see you a Cardinal, if you could have had the office without accepting it. It is a kind of recognition, which is like putting the seal to a document which is to go down to posterity—a proceeding which sets things in their proper places for future history. I suppose under the circumstances it would be purely honorary—as my imagination wholly refuses to conceive you posting off to Rome to work (to speak John Bullese) with those Italians.

'I think I have always preferred that you should decline things—from the beginning of time—and so I go on to the end.
'Ever yours affectionately,


'Feb. 19, 1879.
'Dear and Rev. Dr. Newman,—The assertions in the newspapers that you have been offered or are about to be offered the Cardinalate have assumed a form which must be my excuse for writing to you upon the subject, if they are really unfounded. My object is to implore you not to decline—I know that St. Philip declined, and that you will have a tendency to do the same. But I hope that you will allow some kind of weight to my opinion, as of one much younger than yourself, and one who sees much more of the world, from which you live so much secluded. I would most respectfully submit for your consideration whether you have any moral right to decline, either for the sake (1) of your own labours and principles, which would thus be sanctioned, and of your disciples, who have admired the one and received the other, and of the general world, to whom you would thus be made more useful, or (2) of the Sacred College, which you would (pardon my saying so) ennoble, or (3) of the Pope, who, placed amid many difficulties, calls upon you thus to stand by him.

'Forgive me if I am thrusting myself improperly into your affairs, and, believe me respectfully yours,


'Feb. 20, 1879.
'My dear Dr. Newman,—Today I think is your birthday, and you must let a dutiful and loving friend who owes you much and loves you truly—as he ought indeed—send you one line of good wishes and hopes that it may please God to grant you many years yet if it is as good for you as for your friends. Many and happy returns of the day I send you with a full heart.

'I assume that the notice in the papers of the offer to make you a Cardinal is correct. Nothing could make you to us greater or higher than you are; but it may be allowed me to say that though you could not accept it, it is a real joy and satisfaction to think that the greatest worldly honour which the Church can bestow has at last been offered to you.

'Always your most grateful and affectionate,
OLERIDGE.' {580}


'Feb. 20, 1879.
'My dear Dr. Newman,—I cannot resist the impulse which prompts me to tell you with what extreme satisfaction I learnt the offer which has just been made to you by the Holy Father.

'Those who like myself owe to your teaching, more than to any other earthly cause, the blessing of being members of the Catholic Church, must rejoice with a very keen joy at this recognition on the part of the Holy See of your eminent services to the Church and to so many individual souls.

'I do not venture to question the wisdom of your refusal to accept the dignity of Cardinal, though I cannot but regret that you should have felt bound to decline it.

'I believe that this letter will reach you on your birthday; if I am right in this respect, will you allow me to offer you the heartiest good wishes.
'Believe me, ever yours sincerely and gratefully,


'Feb. 22, 1879.
'Very Rev. dear Dr. Newman,—I thought I had passed the time for taking as much pleasure in any piece of information as I felt in reading the D. of Norfolk's letter with the Resolutions of the Catholic Union in The Times of yesterday. Most warmly do I congratulate you on this testimony of the Holy See to the long, laborious, and wise course you have followed in the service of God's Church. Scarcely less do I congratulate Catholic England on the effect this testimony from his Holiness will have in guiding and stimulating the cultivation of the vineyard.

'But I won't waste your time in the expression of my own gratification, and so conclude with a very earnest hope that the next news may be that you have been created Cardinal, and are on your way to take your place at the Council Board of the Pope. Though the expression of the wish of the Sovereign Pontiff in this matter may be equally satisfactory to your own feelings (probably much more) as the carrying the wish into effect, it cannot have the same fruits of public utility, either now or at a later period.

'With sincere congratulations to your Community,
'I remain, dear Dr. Newman,
Yours sincerely,
@ G


'Feb. 24, 1879.
'My dear Fr. Newman,—In common, I believe, with every English-speaking Catholic, I desire to offer you my respectful congratulations, and to say how rejoiced I am that the Holy Father has intimated his wish to make you a Cardinal.

'I cannot speak as one of the large number whom you have helped to find the true Church. But I know English Catholic feeling for the last twenty-five years. One of the first things that ever stirred me and lifted me up was your sermon, the "Second Spring," which I read when a boy at school. Since then I can testify, from personal knowledge, that the whole generation of Catholics with whom I have grown up have, to a very large extent indeed, formed themselves on your {581} writings. We have longed for you to speak, we have devoured what you gave us, and we have all along looked to you with pride and confidence, as to a leader and a father.

'I pray to God that He may long spare you to labour for His Church and His flock.
'With great respect and devotion,
I remain, dear Fr. Newman,
Your faithful servant in Christ,
@ J. C. H


'March 3, 1879.
'My dear Fr. Newman,—I cannot help writing you just a line to tell you how deeply gratified I have been by the great and signal token of respect which you have lately received from the highest authority on earth. It is what I have long been ardently wishing for, in common, I suppose, with all English and Irish Catholics, who know well how deep a debt of gratitude they owe to you, and indeed in common with Catholics of all countries—I might add in common with many who are not Catholics, judging from the tone in which the subject has been treated in the chief journals.

'Some of the journals speak as if the final issue were still doubtful. Should this be the case I cannot but earnestly hope you will find yourself able to accept the high dignity which so many would regard as itself dignified by your acceptance of it, that is, always supposing your doing so imposed no burden upon you, and required no alteration, permanent or temporary, in your usual mode of life.
'Believe me ever,
My dear Father Newman,
Affectionately yours,


'The Oratory, Birmingham: Feb. 24, 1879.
'My dear Lord,—I lose no time in thanking you for your very kind letter.

'But so far, though not more, I may say, that the statement in The Times is incorrect, and that I have not received the offer of a Cardinal's Hat, and therefore have not declined it.

'In such circumstances, I have always understood silence is a duty. Certainly I should account such a communication as sacred myself.

'The statement of the Catholic Union, which has done me so great a service by its Resolutions, and so high and kind an honour, speaks of having "received intelligence of the offer," but does not speak of my having declined a Cardinal's Hat.

'If I am forced to speak hypothetically, I should say that I do not anticipate my friends (among whom I hope you will allow me to consider your Lordship) would fail to pardon me, if at my age I felt it impossible to migrate from England to Italy.
'I am, begging your Lordship's blessing,
'Your faithful servant in Christ,
OHN H. NEWMAN.' {582}


'Feb. 11, 1879.
'Most Eminent and Reverend Lord,—After much anxious consideration I feel that I shall hardly have done my duty, unless I open my mind to your Eminence in regard to the Rev. Fr. Newman, to whom I have shown your gracious letter, and as to whose disposition of mind in regard of accepting the Sacred Purple I have carefully inquired. I am the rather moved to this, because a report has been spread in London, though as yet it has not reached Birmingham, that this sacred dignity has been offered to Fr. Newman, and that it has been declined by him. Letters have come from London, altogether unknown to the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory, stating what I have just written. It has not been, certainly, Fr. Newman's intention to decline what the Holy Father has so graciously offered, but simply to state the difficulties of his position. He is a man so modest and humble, especially to his superiors, and above all towards the Holy Father, that in the letter he addressed to me, he wished simply to express his sense of his own unworthiness, his advanced age, his state of health, and his unfitness for living in Rome, both on account of his age, and of his want of readiness in speaking any modern language but his own. And thus he said to me: "How can I possibly intimate, or in any way suggest conditions—it would be altogether unbecoming." I answered: "Write your letter, and leave it to me to give the needful explanations." And thus, in addition to his letter, I sent another to the most eminent Cardinal Manning, in which I gave my full explanations. But when the most eminent Cardinal, in acknowledging the receipt of the letters, said that he would forward Dr. Newman's to your Eminence, without a word about mine, and when I found it reported and believed in London, that Dr. Newman had shrunk from and declined that very great honour, I began to fear that my explanatory letter had not been sent on to Rome.

‘Wherefore, by way of precaution, I now enclose a copy of my English letter to Cardinal Manning. For so many erroneous statements have reached Rome, in regard of Dr. Newman's disposition of mind, that as his Bishop, knowing better than most his modesty, his perfect faith and charity, knowing, moreover, the great things he has done for the Church of God, and how many he has drawn from heresy to the Faith, and in what esteem as a writer he is held by all, both within the Church and outside it, I deem it a part of my duty, in a matter of such grave moment, that his disposition of mind should not be misapprehended. And if, while acting with a good intention, I err in act, I know I shall be readily forgiven.

'And now, kissing your Eminence's hand in token of my reverence, I have the honour to be,
'Your Eminence's
Most humble, most devoted and obedient Servant,
@ W
Bishop of Birmingham.'

Translation of the official notice of the Pope's intention to confer on Dr. Newman the Cardinal's Hat:

'(From the Vatican): March 15, 1879.
'Very Rev. Father,—The Holy Father deeply appreciating the genius and learning which distinguish you, your piety, the zeal displayed by you in the exercise of the Holy Ministry, your devotion and filial attachment to the Holy Apostolic See, and the signal services you have for long years rendered to religion,
{583} has decided on giving you a public and solemn proof of his esteem and good-will. And to this end he will deign to raise you to the honours of the Sacred Purple, in the next Consistory, the precise day of which will be notified to you in due time.

'In forwarding you this joyful announcement by its fitting and prescribed channel, I cannot refrain from congratulating your Paternity on seeing your merits rewarded in so splendid a manner by the august Head of the Church, and I rejoice in heart that I shall very soon have you as a colleague in the Sacred Senate, of which you will not fail to be one of the chief ornaments.

'Accept, I entreat you, this expression of my regard, and at the same time the assurance of the particular esteem with which I sign myself,
'Of your Very Rev. Paternity,
(From the Vatican,)
The true servant,
L. C


'My Lord Cardinal,—Were I to delay my answer to the very generous communication your Eminence deigned to make to me, on the part of his Holiness, until I could write what seems to be befitting and adequate to express all the feeling of my heart, I fear that I should never write at all. For the longer I think of it, the more generous and gracious the condescension of the Holy Father seems to me, and the more deeply I feel that I am altogether unworthy of it.

'I am overpowered, first of all, by the weight of the high dignity to which the Holy Father condescends to raise me, and still more by the words he has used to announce to me his intention, words breathing a goodness so fatherly, and implying an approval the more touching and precious that it is the Vicar of Christ who awards it.

'I venture to hope that the Holy Father will allow me, as soon as the weather becomes milder, and the journey less toilsome, to present myself before his sacred person, that I may try to tell him how deeply I feel his immense goodness, and may receive his apostolic blessing.

'I cannot close this letter, my Lord Cardinal, without begging you to accept the homage of my profound respect and my deep-felt gratitude for the kind courtesy with which you have condescended to discharge the commission of his Holiness.
'I have the honour to kiss the Sacred Purple and to be,
'Your Eminence's most humble and devoted servant,


'The Deanery, St. Paul's: March 12, 1879.
'My dear Newman,—I too have been waiting to be certain before writing to you; for I did not know how to trust the newspapers in such a matter. I heard incidentally yesterday from Oakeley that he considered it certain; and was thinking of writing, when your note came.

'I don't know how to thank you enough for writing. It is indeed quite right; one's sense of justice is satisfied, and it seems like the accomplishment of what has been going on, at least in England, since the "Apologia." It is indeed wonderful to look back, and it is very pleasant to see what curious and genuine satisfaction {584} it gives to most intelligent and well-feeling Englishmen, even to those from whom it might least be expected. I have been more than once surprised in society with the hearty expression of feeling that it was just what ought to be, and was the proper crown and finish.

'But now we shall not know how to behave to you. It is as if you had been carried up among Dukes and Princes and great Court people and none of my old friends has risen higher than a Viscount, most not higher than Barons. You must tell us for instance how to write to you. I know it is very absurd not to know all these things by instinct—but one doesn't.

'With all our best good wishes and heartiest rejoicings,
'Ever yours affectionately,
R. W. C


'March 14, 1879.
'My dear Newman,—It is very kind of you to tell me at once of the completion, or at least the completion of the certainty, of your Cardinalate. I am very glad it is as it is. And the Pope's letter certainly shows a very pleasant power of saying happily what is true.

'I suppose it does not make a journey to Rome necessary. Certainly your going to live there would have been an impossible uprooting.

'Knowing how particular you are in answering letters, I began half to think that I might have said something rude, or difficult to answer—and I was the least in the world relieved to get your announcement.

'I suppose all Cardinals who are not Diocesan Bishops have to reside at Rome.
'Ever yours affectionately,


'April 5, 1879.
'My dear Father Newman,—I write these few lines wishing to join my voice with that of all your friends in congratulating you on the honour which the Holy Father has conferred upon you by nominating you a member of the Sacred College of Cardinals. There are many reasons why all your friends rejoice at your elevation, but the reason for which above all others they value so highly this act of the Holy Father, is because they feel that by it the highest approval of Christ's Vicar is set upon all that you have laboured and written for the cause of God's Church. To yourself also this must be the source of great satisfaction. I returned to Clifton from Rome only last night. When I saw the Holy Father he spoke to me of the great pleasure he felt in making you a Cardinal, and he is much gratified at hearing of the universal satisfaction with which his choice has been received.

'I sincerely hope, my dear Father Newman, that God will give you life and health for some years to come still to labour for His glory, and to enjoy the honour which His Vicar has bestowed upon you.
'I remain, dear Fr. Newman,
Yours most sincerely,
@ W
Bishop of Clifton.'


'Rome, from the Vallicella: March 23, 1879.
'Very Reverend Father,—All Europe is gladdened at hearing that our Holy Father Leo XIII. has resolved, for the glory of God, for the honour of the Catholic Church, and as a reward of your many labours, to honour you with the high rank of Cardinal, and give you as a stay and support to the Church itself. Wherefore, although I am still very weak, from a serious and dangerous illness, I cannot refrain from sending you my congratulations, and this for many reasons; especially for the gratitude I owe you continually. Receive then this very sincere expression of my feelings: like that of the poor woman in the Gospel, who could offer to the treasury of the Temple only two mites—she gave all she had, and I in my insufficiency, offer with my whole heart all I can.
'Kissing your hands and begging your holy blessing,
'I am,
Your Eminence's most devoted servant,
Of the Oratory.'

Note: Early in life Father Rossi was a notable Father of the Oratory in Rome, and it was he who, in 1847, was appointed by Pius IX. to teach Dr. Newman the Rule of St. Philip. Father Rossi was ill and away from Rome when Dr. Newman was there in January 1856, and thus they had not met in the long interval between 1847 and 1879.


'To my excellent and very dear Father Carlo Rossi, Vallicella, Rome.
'Birmingham: March 29, 1879.
'I well knew, my dear father, that your affection towards me was so deep that it would be a great joy to you that the Holy Father has deigned to raise me to the high dignity of the Cardinalate. This I very well knew, and yet I feel now a two-fold pleasure in receiving, under your own hand, the assurance and memorial of that joy.

'This comes to increase my joy; happily I hope to be in Rome sooner or later, and to find you freed from illness and weakness. The seeing you, and talking with you, will be much better than the reading of many letters. I had never ventured to hope that I should again see the face of your Paternity, but the mercy of God has, it would seem, decreed otherwise. I hope to be with you, and to be able to talk with you face to face, "that our joy may be full."
'Believe me, very dear Father,
Ever your most loving
Priest of the Oratory.'

The following letters—the first to a non-Catholic friend, the other two to his co-religionists—illustrate what has been said in the text of the feelings which prompted Dr. Newman to accept the offer of the Cardinal's Hat:

(1) 'Feb. 28, 1879.
'Everything has two sides. Of course my accepting would disappoint these men, but declining would disappoint those. And just now for the same reasons would their feelings be contrary, viz., because my accepting would show the closest adherence of my mind to the Church of Rome, and my declining would
{586} seem an evidence of secret distance from her. Both sides would say: "You see, he is not a Catholic in heart."

‘Now this has ailed me this thirty years; men won't believe me. This act would force them to do so. So that to a man in my mental position your argument tells the contrary way to what you anticipate.

'But again, as to what you kindly call my "post of deep moral value," this must be viewed relatively to Unitarians, Theists and Sceptics, on the one side, and Catholics and Anglicans on the other. I wish to be of religious service, such as I can, to both parties—but, if I must choose between Theists and Catholics, "blood is thicker than water." You forget that I believe the Catholic religion to be true, and you do not. It is not that I am insensible to and ungrateful for the good opinion of Theists, but Catholics are my brothers, and I am bound to consult for them first.
'J. H. N.'

(2) 'March 6.
'I knew what gladness it would cause to you and yours to hear of the high honour to be conferred on me by the Holy Father. It has a special value in my case, who have suffered so much from the suspicions which have been so widely prevalent about me. My writing and publishing days are over, and I am looking for a far more solemn Tribunal than any on earth; but one naturally likes the good opinion of one's Catholic brethren, and it was hard to receive letters to the effect that I was under a cloud, and why did I not set myself right, and why did I take part with ——, —— and Garibaldi? Now the Pope in his generosity has taken this reproach simply away, and it is a wonderful Providence that even before my death that acquittal of me comes, which I knew would come some day or other, though not in my lifetime ...
'J. H. N.'

(3) 'March 29.
'Thank you also for your congratulations on my elevation. It has, as you may suppose, startled and even scared me, when I am of the age when men look out for death rather than any other change.
'J. H. N.'

The following is the unfinished letter to William Froude referred to in the text at p. 466. I give it as it stands with the later additions in brackets and the suggestions of alternative phrases put down by the Cardinal above some of the words he had at first used [rather, within italic brackets—NR]. Here and there, however, it has been necessary to insert a few words to complete a sentence. These are placed in square brackets.

'Rome: April 29, 1879.
'I have been much touched by your consideration for me in writing to me, when you would put into shape your thoughts upon religion, thus putting me in your affection and regard, on a level with dear Hurrell; and I wish I had just now leisure enough and vigour of mind enough to answer your letter so thoroughly as I think it could be answered, and as its delicacy and tenderness for me deserves. But I will set down just as it strikes me on reading, having no books and depending mainly on my memory.

'My first and lasting impression is that in first principles we agree together more than you allow; and this is a difficulty in my meeting you, that I am not {587} sure you know what I hold and what I don't; otherwise why should [you] insist so strongly on points which I maintain as strongly as you?

'Thus you insist very strongly on knowledge mainly depending upon the experience of facts, as if I denied it; whereas, as a general truth and when experience is attainable, I hold it more fully than you. I say "more fully," because, whereas you hold that "to select, square, and to fit together materials which experience has supplied is the very function of the intellect," I should [not] allow the intellect to select, but only to estimate them.

'I will set down dicta of mine, which I think you do not recollect, which are to be found in my University Sermons, Essay on Development of Doctrine, and Essay on Assent:

'"No one can completely define things which exist externally to the mind, and which are known to him by experience."

'"Our notions of things are never simply commensurate with the things themselves."

'"It is as easy to create as to define."

'"This distinction between inference and assent is exemplified even in mathematics."

'"Argument is not always able to command our assent though it be demonstration."

'"Concrete matter does not admit of demonstration."

'"It is to me a perplexity that grave authors seem to enunciate as an intuitive truth, that everything must have a cause."

'"The notion of causation is one of the first lessons which we learn from experience."

'"Starting from experience, I call a cause an effective will."

'"There are philosophers who teach an invariable uniformity in the laws of nature; I do not see on what ground of experience or reason they take up this position."

'"Gravitation is not an experience any more than is the mythological doctrine of the presence of innumerable spirits in physical phenomena."

'"Because we have made a successful analysis of some complicated assemblage of phenomena, which experience has brought before us, in the visible scene of things, and have reduced them to a tolerable dependence on each other, we call the ultimate points of this analysis and the hypothetical facts in which the whole mass of phenomena is gathered up by the name of causes, whereas they are really only formulæ under which these phenomena are conveniently represented" etc., and so on.

'You say "I doubt whether it is really possible to give a blind man a common idea of a star." I have drawn out elaborately in one of my University Sermons the necessity of experience from the case of a blind man attempting to write upon colours, how he might go on swimmingly at first—but before long—in spite of his abstract knowledge would be precipitated into some desperate mistake.

'I can't think you would write as you have written had you recollected in my volumes passages such as these. Therefore you must let me state what, according to my own view of the matter, I consider to be our fundamental difference, and it is certainly so considerable and accompanied with so [much that is] simply a priori and personal, that, if you really hold firmly all you say, I must with great grief think [consider] I shall have done all that I can do, when I have clearly stated what I conceive it to be.

'We differ in our sense and our use of the word "certain." I use it of minds, you of propositions. I fully grant the uncertainty of all conclusions in {588} your sense of the word, but I maintain that minds may in my sense be certain of conclusions which are uncertain in yours.

'Thus, when you say that "no man of high scientific position but bears in mind that a residue of doubt attaches to the most thoroughly established scientific truths," I am glad at all times to learn of men of science, as of all men, but I did not require their help in this instance, since I have myself laid it down, as I had already quoted my words, [that] "concrete matter does not admit of demonstration." That is, in your sense of the word "doubt," viz. a recognition and judgment that the proof is not wholly complete, attaches to all propositions; this I would maintain as well as you. But if you mean that the laws of the human mind do not command and force it to accept as true and to assent absolutely to propositions which are not logically demonstrated, this I think so great a paradox, that all the scientific philosophers in Europe would be unable by their united testimony to make me believe it. That Great Britain is an island is a geographical, scientific truth. Men of science are certain of it; they have in their intellects no doubt at all about it; they would hold and rightly that a residuum of defectiveness of proof attaches to it as a thesis; and, in consequence they would admit some great authority, who asserted that it was geographically joined to Norway, tho' a canal was cut across it, to give them his reasons, but they would listen without a particle of sympathy for the great man or doubt about [as to] his hallucination, and all this, while they allowed it had not been absolutely and fully proved impossible that he was right.

'Then I go on to say, that [it is] just this, what [which] scientific men believe of Great Britain, viz. that its insularity is an absolute truth, that we believe of the divinity of Christianity; and, as men of science nevertheless would give a respectful attention and a candid and careful though not a sympathetic hearing (to any man) of name and standing who proposes to prove to them that Great Britain is not an island, so we too, did men in whom we confide come to us stating their conviction that Christianity was not true, we should indeed feel drawn to such men as little as professors of science to the man who would persuade them that Great Britain was joined to the continent, but we should, if we acted rightly, do our utmost, as I have ever tried to do, in the case of unbelievers, to do justice to their arguments. Of course it may be said that I could not help being biassed, but that may be said of men of science too.

'I hold, then, and I certainly do think that scientific philosophers must, if they are fair, confess too, that there are truths of which they are certain, tho' they are not logically proved; which are to be as cordially accepted as if they were absolutely proved, which are to be accepted beyond their degree of probability, considered as conclusions from premisses. You yourself allow that there are cases in which we are forced and have a duty to act, as if what is but possible were certainly true, as in our precautions against fire; I go further so much, not as to say that in merely possible, or simply probable cases, but in particular cases of the highest probability, as in that of the insularity of Great Britain, it is a law of the thought [human intellect] to accept with an inward assent as absolutely true, what is not yet demonstrated. We all observe this law; science may profess to ignore it; but men of science observe it every day of their lives, just as religious men observe it in their own province.

'In opposition then to what you assume without proof, which you don't seem to know that I have denied, even to throwing down the gauntlet in denying, I maintain that an act of inference is distinct from an act of assent, and that [its] {589} strength does not vary with the strength of the inference. A hundred and one eye witnesses add strength to the inference drawn from the evidence of a hundred, but not to the assent which that evidence creates. There is a faculty in the mind which I think I have called the inductive sense, which, when properly cultivated and used, answers to Aristotle's [phronesis], its province being, not virtue, but the "inquisitio veri," which decides for us, beyond any technical rules, when, how, etc. to pass from inference to assent, and when and under what circumstances, etc. etc. not. You seem yourself to admit this faculty, when you speak of the intellect not only as adjusting, but as selecting the results of experience. Indeed I cannot understand how you hold certain opinions with such strength of conviction, as you[r] view of divine justice, of the inutility, if not worse, of prayer, ("it seems to me impossible that I should ever etc.) against eternal punishment, against the Atonement, unless you were acting by means of some mental faculty (rightly or wrongly used) which brought you on to assents far more absolute than could be reached by experience and the legitimate action of logic upon its results.

'I am led to conclude then that you grant or rather hold two principles most important to my view of this great matter:—first that there is a mental faculty which reasons in a far higher way than that of merely measuring the force of conclusions by the force of premisses: and next, that the mind has a power of determining ethical questions, which serve as major premisses to syllogisms, without depending upon experience. And now I add a third, which is as important as any: the gradual process by which great conclusions are forced upon the mind, and the confidence of their correctness which the mind feels from the fact of that gradualness.

'This too you feel as much as I should do. You say, "the communication of mind with mind cannot be effected by any purely abstract process." I consider, when I sum up the course of thought by which I am landed in Catholicity, that it consists in three propositions: that there has been or will be a Revelation; that Christianity is that Revelation; and that Catholicity is its legitimate expression; and that these propositions naturally strengthen the force of each. But this is only how I should sum up in order to give outstanders an idea of my line of argument, not as myself having been immediately convinced by abstract propositions. Nothing surely have I insisted on more earnestly in my Essay on Assent, than on the necessity of thoroughly subjecting abstract propositions to concrete. It is in the experience of daily life that the power of religion is learnt. You will say that deism or scepticism is learnt by that experience. Of course; but I am not arguing, but stating what I hold, which you seem to me not to know. And I repeat, it is not by syllogisms or other logical process that trustworthy conclusions are drawn, such as command our assent, but by that minute, continuous, experimental reasoning, which shows baldly on paper, but which drifts silently into an overwhelming cumulus of proof, and, when our start is true, brings us on to a true result. Thus it is that a man may be led on from scepticism, deism, methodism, anglicanism, into the Catholic Church, God being with him all through his changes, and a more and more irresistible assent to the divinity of the Catholic Church being wrought out by those various changes; and he will simply laugh and scoff at your doctrine that his evidence is necessarily defective and that scientific authorities are agreed that he can't be certain. And here I must digress a moment to give expression to a marvel that you should think I do not hold with [Hurrell]. "There is another point in which etc. etc. he used to feel that, whoever was heartily doing his best to do God's will, as far as he knew it, would be divinely guided to a clear knowledge of theological truth." Why, this is what I have enunciated or implied in all that I have written:—but to return.

'You continue:—"The consciousness that they mean the same thing by the {590} same words is a consciousness growing out of experience or daily experiment." This I have virtually insisted on in a whole chapter in my Essay on Assent, in which, among other instances in point, I refer to the difference of the aspects under which the letters of the alphabet present themselves to different minds, asking "which way does B look? to the right or to the left?" Moreover, it is the principle of my Essay on Doctrinal Development, and I consider it emphatically enforced in the history of the Catholic Schools. You must not forget that, though we maintain the fact of a Revelation as a first principle, as firmly as you can hold that nature has its laws, yet, when the matter of the Revelation [given] comes to be considered, very little is set down as the original doctrine which alone is de fide, and within which the revealed truth lies and is limited. As Newton's theory is the development of the laws of motion and the first principles of geometry, so the corpus of Catholic doctrine is the outcome of Apostolic preaching. That corpus is the slow working out of conclusions by means of meditation, prayer, analytical thought, argument, controversy, through a thousand minds, through eighteen centuries and the whole of Europe. There has been a continual process in operation of correction, refinement, adjustment, revision, enucleation, etc., and this from the earliest times, as recognised by Vincent of Lerins. The arguments by which the prerogatives of the Blessed Virgin are proved may be scorned as insufficient by mechanicians, but in fact they are beyond their comprehension, and I claim for theologians that equitable concession that they know their own business better than others do which you claim for mechanical philosophers. Cuique in arte sua credendum: I do not call your friends "technical" in their mechanics, because [tho'] you do call me "technical" in my theology; but I go so far as to take for my own friends what I grant to yours, and should ever do (so); I have long thought your great men in science to be open to the charge of superciliousness, and I will never indulge them in it. Our teaching, as well as yours, requires the preparation and exercise of long thought and of a thorough imbuing in religious ideas. Even were those ideas not true, still a long study would be necessary for understanding them; [when such a study is given] what you call the random reasonings of theologians will be found to have as clear a right to be treated with respect as those proceedings of mechanical philosophers who you say are so microscopic in their painstaking. Words are but the symbols of ideas, and the microscopic reasoner, who is not only so painstaking, but so justly successful in his mechanics, is simply an untaught child in questions of theology. Hence it is that we, as well as you, make such account of authority, even though it be not infallible. Athanasius, Gregory, Augustine, Leo, Thomas Aquinas, Suarez, Francis de Sales, Petavius, Lambertini, and a host besides have, from (our estimate of) their theological instinct that honour with us, which, on account of their mechanical and physical instincts, you accord to your men of material science. You say that an ordinary man would think it his duty to listen to any great mechanical philosopher who should bring reasons for even so great a paradox as the possibility of perpetual motion; why should such personal reverence be reserved for mechanicians alone? why not for theologians? To none indeed of the opinions of the schools, nor to the reasonings even of Councils and Popes, are we bound; none are de fide; none but may be changed. I think there was a day when the whole body of divines was opposed to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception; two great men, St. Bernard and St. Thomas, threw back the reception of it for 600 years. The Jesuits have reversed the long dominant opinion of St. Augustine of absolute predestination, and have been confirmed by two saints, St. Francis de Sales and St. Alfonso. On the other hand sometimes a doctrine of the schools has been {591} made a dogma, that is, has been pronounced a portion of the original revelation, but this, when it has occurred, has been no sudden extempore procedure, but the issue of long examination and the controversy of centuries. There were circumstances in the mode of conducting the Vatican Council which I could not like, but its definition of the Pope's Infallibility was nothing short of the upshot of numberless historical facts looking that way, and of the multitudinous mind of theologians acting upon them.

'What then you say of mechanical science, I say emphatically of theology, viz. that it "makes progress by being always alive to its own fundamental uncertainties." We may allowably argue, and do argue, against everything but what has been ruled to be Apostolic; we do (thus argue), and I grant sometimes with far less temper, and sometimes with far less freedom of mind than mechanical philosophers (argue) in their own province, and for a plain reason, because theology involves more questions which may be called burning than physics; but if you [who] are modest before Newton and Faraday may be fierce with table-turners, and the schola astronomicorum with that poor man who some years ago said [maintained] that the moon did not rotate, I think it no harm to extend an indulgence towards the prejudicium or the odium theologicum, in religious writers.

'And now I go on to the relation of the will to assent, in theological matters, as to which, perhaps from my own fault, I have not made my doctrine quite clear to you in the passage in Loss and Gain. You seem to think that I hold that in religion the will is simply to supersede the intellect, and that we are to force ourselves to believe against evidence, or at least in some way or other not to give the mind fair play in the question of accepting or rejecting Christianity. I will say then what I really meant. Now, as far as I recollect, Reding says, "I see the truth as tho' seen thro' clouds. I have real grounds for believing, and only floating imaginations against it; is this enough for faith?"

'First of all, then, I had fancied that every one granted that in practical matters our wishes were apt to bias our judgments and decisions, how then is it strange that a Catholic Priest, as in that story, who was quite sure that there was but one truth and that he possessed it, should be urgent with a youth who was within grasp of this pearl of great price, lest, under the strong secular motives against his acting, he might through faintheartedness lose [miss] it? But he would hold, and I hold most distinctly that, tho' faith is the result of will, itself ever follows intellectual judgment.

'But again; it must be recollected, that, since nothing concrete admits of demonstration, and there is always a residuum of imperfection in the proof, it is always also possible, perhaps even plausibly to resist a conclusion, even tho' it be one which all sensible men consider beyond question. Thus, in this day especially, new lights are thrown upon historical events and characters, sometimes important, sometimes, as the world agrees, clever, ingenious, but not likely to have a permanent value. Now here it is the common sense, good judgment, [phronesis], which sweeps away the aggressive theory. But there are cases in which judgment influences the will. Thus a tutor might say to his pupil, "I advise you not to begin your historical studies with Niebuhrism or you will end by knowing nothing; depend upon it the world is not mistaken in the grand outline of events. When objections come before you, consider them fairly, but don't begin with doubting:" and his pupil might, by an act of the will, put from his mind, at least for the time, real difficulties. {592}

'Still more [does this apply] to the cases, not a few, in which excited, timid, narrow, feeble, or over-sensitive minds have their imaginations so affected by a one single difficulty connected with a received truth that [it] decides for them their rejection of it against reason, evidence, authority, and general reception. They cannot get over what so distresses them, and after a thousand arguments for the truth, return with full confidence to their objection. Thus if a man said he was fully convinced of the divinity of the Catholic Church, if he judged her by her rites, her doctrines, her history, or her fruits, but that he could not get over the fact that in the Apocalypse the dragon was red and red was the colour of the Cardinal's cassocks, I should (think) it would be the duty of a friend to tell him to put this difficulty aside by a vigorous act of the will, and to become a Catholic.

'This is an extreme case; there are others more intelligible and to the point. Wives may be unfaithful, but Othello ought by a strong act of the will to have put aside his suspicions. Do you mean to say that a man can feel any doubt whatever of the truth and affection of an old friend? is he not in his inward heart fully confident and certain of him, while he will willingly own that there is a residue of doubt looking at the fact as a matter of inference and proof? Will it be anything to him that a stranger who has not his experience does not feel the force of them, when put into words? That stranger will of course disbelieve, but that is not reason against his own believing. You will say that cases of perfidy are possible, and a man may at length be obliged to pronounce against his friend; certainly, and (false) arguments may overcome the Christian and he may give up his faith, but, till such a strong conclusion has overtaken him, he will by an act of the will reject, it will be his duty, as well as his impulse to reject, all doubts, as a man rejects doubts about his friend's truth. And if it be said that his friend is visibly present, and the object of faith invisible, there the action of supernatural grace comes in, which I cannot enter upon here. It brings us into a leading question of premisses, not of proof. I have said much on this point in my Essay on Assent.'

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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