Sept. 4 was a beautiful day; the children in the Oratory Mission Schools were just entering upon their afternoon's work, little guessing what a happy and memorable afternoon this was to be for them.

About half-past two the news arrived that His Eminence Cardinal Newman intended to visit the schools at three o'clock. Joy filled every heart at the news and lit up every face: then for a moment a shade of disappointment succeeded, because of the impossibility of realising in so short a time the beloved projects of innocent show and grandeur, intended for the reception of such a visitor.

Wishing to give the children the pleasure of seeing him, he had resolved to visit the schools, but without giving notice of the day or time. The stratagem, however, did not quite succeed; a charitable friend betrayed the secret, and the school was hurriedly prepared for the coming honour. {206}

A gentleman supplied the Sisters with an arm chair which with carpets and platform served for the humble throne. Flowers and white dresses had been procured in the meantime, and every child wore the Cardinal's medal on a broad red ribbon.

His Eminence entered by the Infants' School, where the little ones sang their best hymns. In the Girls' School, on being seated, flowers were laid at his feet; then, the Address having been read, it was handed to him, the children meantime singing in Italian the hymn "Salve gran' Cardinale".

From the Children of the Mission Schools of the Oratory

Encouraged by the great honour of your presence amongst us, we venture to add our humble words to the addresses of the multitudes who vie with one another in presenting you their heartfelt homage on the occasion of your elevation to the dignity of Prince of the Church.

We cannot say anything new, but for the sake of variety we have ventured to sing a welcome to your Eminence in the euphonious Italian tongue, to which as Prince of the Holy Roman Church, you naturally must now assign a place by the side of our own English language.

We shall ever remember with gratitude the distinguished honour of your Eminence's visit to our schools and humbly beg the grace of your blessing for us all, {207} who call ourselves with filial devotion and profound veneration,
Your Eminence's most humble children, the scholars of the Oratory Middle School.
Girls' School.
Infants' School.

Birmingham, Sept. 4, 1879.
The Cardinal thanked the children, praising their singing and the correct pronunciation of the Italian words; and asked them whether they knew why they honoured him thus, bringing him flowers, singing, and wearing his medal. He explained to them in beautiful simple words that the greatest man in the world is the Vicar of Christ, the Pope; that all the honour paid to the Pope refers to our Blessed Lord Himself, whose representative he is. "Everything in this world should remind us of God, but especially the Pope. If the Pope were to send us a present, a book for instance, we should value it very much, because it came from him. Now when he sends us a Cardinal, it is just the same thing; we honour a Cardinal because he comes from the Pope. You honour me, because the Pope has sent me. All the honour you bestow upon me, refers to the Pope, the great Leo XIII., and through him to God Himself. A Pope," he continued, "when he is elected, chooses another name, besides his own. Some Popes have taken the name of Innocent, others Clement, others Pius, as did the late Pope. The present Pope has chosen the name of Leo. Can any of you tell me what the name of Leo means?—It means Lion. There have been many great Popes and Saints who have borne the name of Leo. Our Blessed Lord Himself is called a Lion in Holy Scripture, in the same way as {208} the Holy Ghost is called a Dove. It is a wonderful thing that Almighty God should allow Himself to be compared thus. Again, you know, our Lord is sometimes spoken of as a Lamb, to remind us that He is meek, patient and mild; but when He is called a Lion, it means to say that He is powerful and strong. The Pope, too, is powerful; but he derives all his power from God."

He concluded with these words: "In the name of the great Pope Leo XIII. who sent me, I will gladly give you my blessing!"

After the blessing was given, all the children kissed the Cardinal's ring, hymns being sung meanwhile. Then the Cardinal gave to the Sisters a number of rosaries and medals blessed by Pope Leo, to be given to those children " who are sometimes very good". After again giving his blessing His Eminence proceeded to the Boys' School.

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From the English Benedictine Congregation

(Presented at Birmingham, Sept. 18, 1879.)


Upon the first announcement of the intention of our Holy Father, Pope Leo XIII., to raise your Eminence to the high dignity of Princedom in the Holy Catholic Church, the President-General of the English Benedictine Congregation at once conveyed to your {209} Eminence an assurance of our participation in the universal joy with which such a well-deserved promotion was welcomed.

We now desire to express in a personal and more formal manner our congratulation, and approach your Eminence with the hope that our tribute of respect may be recorded amongst the many, but not too many, assurances which have gathered around you, and which your brethren and children of the Oratory are treasuring up amongst the heirlooms which your Eminence is to bequeath to them.

Others have with perfect truthfulness recorded your merits as Theologian, Philosopher, Poet, Preacher, and Historian. We may be allowed to single out, and to add to all these the spirit of the Ascetic, in which character your Eminence especially gains the sympathy of the children of St. Benedict. Like another Venerable Bede, you have loved to do your great intellectual work in retirement, and have been reluctant that any event should call you forth from your truly monastic cell. Obedience alone has effected what yourself would shrink from, but what all the world beside rejoices on witnessing. The voice of the Vicar of Jesus Christ has summoned your Eminence to take your rank amongst the Princes of the Church; and the voices of thousands, ours amongst them, are ascending in a chorus of {210} prayer, that you may long be spared to grace your exalted office, and to continue your fruitful labours in behalf of the Faith.

We beg your blessing upon our Congregation, and humbly subscribe ourselves,
Your Eminence's humble and devoted servants,

DOM. PLACIDUS BURCHALL, Abbas Westmonasteriensis, Pręses Generalis, O.S. B.
DOM. MAURUS MARGISON, Prior Cathed., Petrobourg.
DOM. WILFRIDUS RAYNAL, Prior Cath., S. Michaelis.
DOM. AIDANUS GASQUET, Prior Sti. Greg., Mag.

To the President-General, the Abbots, and others of the English Benedictine Congregation

Sept. 18, 1879.
I thought it a high honour, as indeed it was, to have received in the course of the last six months, on occasion of the Sovereign Pontiff's goodness to me, congratulations from several Benedictine houses; but now {211} I am called upon to give expression to my still warmer and deeper gratitude for so formal and public an act of kindness on my behalf as comes to me today from the whole English Benedictine Congregation, a kindness done to me by the President-General in person in company with other Abbots and high officials of the English body, and that with the express intention of preserving the memory of the interest they have taken in me for later times.

This indeed is a kindness which claims my heartfelt thanks; and it is the more gratifying to me, my dear Fathers, because, over and above the circumstances with which you have so studiously given emphasis to your act, it comes from Benedictines. The Holy Church at all times, early and late, is fair and gracious, replete with winning beauty and transcendent majesty; and one time cannot be pronounced more excellent than another; but I from a boy have been drawn in my affections to her first age beyond other ages, and to the monastic rule as it was then exemplified; and how was it possible to drink in the spirit of early Christianity, and to be enamoured of its loveliness, and to sit at {212} the feet of its Saints, Antony, Basil, Martin, Jerome, Paulinus, Augustine, and the others, without a special sensibility and attraction to the grandeur of St. Benedict, who completes the list of ancient monastic Saints, or without a devout attachment to his multitudinous family?

And when I became a Catholic, and found myself a son and servant of St. Philip, I rejoiced to think how much there was in the substance and spirit of his Institute like that which I had attributed to the primitive monks. His children, indeed, have no place in the pages of Ecclesiastical History; we have not poured ourselves over Christendom century after century; we have not withstood a flood of barbarism, and after its calamities "renewed the face of the earth"; we take up no great room in libraries, nor live in biographies and in the minds and hearts of spiritual men; but, as children of a Saint, we cannot but have a character of our own and a holy vocation; and, viewing it in itself, we may without blame ascribe to it a likeness to a Benedictine life, and claim a brotherhood with that old Benedictine world; in the spirit of Cardinal Baronio, one of Philip's first {213} disciples, who tells us in his Annals that by and in St. Philip's Rule a beautiful Apostolical method of spiritual life was renewed and primitive times came back again.

There are none, then, whose praise is more welcome to me than that of Benedictines; but it need scarcely be said, my dear Fathers, that to have a vivid admiration of a rule of life is not the same thing as to exemplify it. I know myself better than you do. You think far too well of me, and I beg your good prayers that I may be more like that ideal of work and prayer, which in your charitableness you identify with me.


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THURSDAY, September 18, 1879.

The Right Hon. the Earl of Denbigh, Chairman.
The Right Hon. Lord Dormer; The Right Hon. Lord Stafford; The Right Rev. Dr. Collier, O.S.B.; The Right Rev. T. C. Smith, O.S.B.; The Hon. Francis Stonor; W. R. Acton, Esq.; The Very Rev. Provost Bagnall; Henry Barchus, Esq.; Robt. Berkeley, Esq.; Major H. W. Berkeley; C. M. Berington, Esq.; Charles Blount, Esq.; J. J. Bradshaw, Esq.; E. H. Dering, Esq.; The Very Rev. Canon Dunne; The Very Rev. Canon Estcourt; George Eyston, Esq.; J. A. Farrell, Esq.; Marmion E. Ferrers, Esq.; Basil Fitzherbert, Esq.; T, H. Galton, Esq.; Captain F. Gerard; The Very Rev. J. A. Hawksford, D.D.; Richard Havers, Esq.; John B. Hardman, Esq.; Captain {214} Haydock; Robert Hill, Esq.; Edgar Hibbert, Esq.; The Very Rev. Canon Ilsley; The Very Rev. Canon Ivers; The Very Rev. Canon Jeffries; The Very Rev. Canon Knight; J. P. Lacy, Esq.; The Very Rev. Canon Longman, V.G.; Rev. J. McCave, D.D.; The Marquis de Lys; N. S. du Moulin, Esq.; Alfred Newdigate, Esq.; The Very Rev. Canon Northcote, D.D.; The Very Rev. Canon O'Sullivan; Daniel Parsons, Esq.; The Rev. J. Parker; Rev. T. Parkinson, S.J.; Thos. A. Perry, Esq.: Edward Petre, Esq.; W. Powell, Esq.; G. J. Reeve, Esq.; Thos. Richards, Esq.; Rev. J. H. Souter; The Very Rev. Canon Tandy, D.D.; Major Trafford; W. E. Willson, Esq.; George Young, Esq.
C. N. du Moulin, Esq., Hon. Secretary.

Circular from the Committee

April 24, 1879.
A strong feeling has been expressed in many influential quarters that on the occasion of the Very Rev. Dr. Newman's elevation to the dignity of a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, an Address should be presented to him from the Diocese of Birmingham (which has been for so many years past the scene of his labours), congratulating him on receiving this distinguished mark of the favour and approbation of the Holy See. It has been thought a fitting opportunity to tender likewise a substantial expression of our profound and cordial respect, and to testify our gratitude for the many and signal services he has rendered to the Catholic Church, by presenting Dr. Newman at the same time with an offering towards the support of his new dignity.

You are probably aware that a National Fund is being raised for this purpose, but there is every reason to believe that a separate Address and Offering emanating from those with whom Dr. Newman has been so long connected would be especially valued by {215} him: it is therefore to be hoped that this appeal to the Diocese will meet with an enthusiastic and liberal response. A letter from His Lordship the Bishop of Birmingham on the subject accompanies this circular, together with a copy of the proposed Address.

I remain,
Your obedient Servant,
Chairman of the Committee.

Letter from the Bishop of Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, April 15, 1879.
I was happy to receive the Address so numerously and respectably signed, requesting me to call a Meeting of the Catholics of the Diocese, to consider upon an Address and Testimonial, to be presented to the Very Rev. Dr. Newman, on the occasion of his elevation to the Cardinalate. I am quite sure that Dr. Newman would appreciate the expression of that profound respect and reverence in which he is held in the Diocese, which has been his own for so many years, and to which he has rendered such great services. Nor should we forget the honour which the Sovereign Pontiff confers upon us, in placing one of his Cardinals in the midst of us. The words of His Holiness addressed to Cardinals Manning and Howard, ought here to be recorded. His Holiness said: "In conferring the Sacred Purple on Dr. Newman, I wish to honour his great virtues and learning, to do an act pleasing to the Catholics of England, and to England which I so much esteem".

But with respect to the mode of accomplishing {216}the Address and Testimonial, after conferring with the Committee, I think it would be much more delicate and considerate towards Dr. Newman, if, instead of a Public Meeting the Committee were to prepare an Address, and to organise a method of subscription to be submitted to the signers of the Address, and to others interested in the Testimonial, inviting their signatures and co-operation.

Wishing you every blessing, I remain,
Dear Mr. du Moulin,
Your faithful servant in Christ,

Address from the Diocese of Birmingham

(Presented Sept. 18, 1879.)

It is with no ordinary sentiments of joy and respect, that we, the undersigned Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Birmingham, approach to offer to your Eminence our sincere and affectionate congratulations on your elevation to the high dignity of the Cardinalate.

For the occasion itself is no ordinary one. For the first time in the history of the Church in England a simple priest resident in this country has through the special favour of the Vicar of Christ been made a Prince of the Church; and this event, which has elicited expressions of sympathy from every class of your fellow countrymen, cannot but awaken yet deeper emotion among ourselves, who have for so many years been bound to {217} you by more special ties, and who have shared with you all the joys and trials of your past career.

As we look back on the history of that life which has now been crowned with a dignity far different in character and value from the empty honours of the world, we remember with pleasure that, from the first, your life as a Catholic has been connected with the Diocese of Birmingham. A saintly priest of this district was the chosen instrument by whom you were admitted into the One true fold; and when after that event, for which your previous course had been a long preparation, you sought a retreat in which "to begin your life over again," you found it in this neighbourhood, which thus offered you the joys of your first Catholic home.

The refuge thus afforded you was amply repaid when, on your return from Rome, you once more came among us with the express commission of the Holy See to establish in Birmingham the first Oratory of St. Philip ever founded in this country. And since that time, every event most interesting to us in this Diocese has been made more memorable by words from you. Your name is inseparably united with the Installation of the first Bishop of Birmingham; the first Provincial Synod of the Church in England held at Oscott; the first Diocesan Synod in the Cathedral, and the opening of our Diocesan Seminary. {218}

But it is not for us to attempt an enumeration of the distinguished services which you have rendered to the Church. The Holy Father has marked his own sense of their value by raising you to the Sacred Purple; and in so doing he has at the same time conferred on the Catholics of this land a token of his paternal favour most precious to their hearts. For who is there among us who does not feel that he has his own individual share in the debt of gratitude owing to you from all English Catholics, which yet they know not how to pay?

Whether we regard your long labours in the cause of truth—the many works with which you have enriched our native literature—the spiritual benefits which have flowed in copious streams from the Oratory which claims you as its founder—or those other services, less conspicuous it may be, but not less precious, by which so many souls have been delivered from the trammels of error through your zeal and charity—we rejoice in recognising that this great debt has at length been discharged, as far as it can be in this world, by the hands of the Vicar of Christ, who in thus honouring you has established a fresh claim on our filial love and gratitude.

How many a time has your voice been heard among us, dispelling old prejudices of the past, or infusing new hope and confidence for the future. You have {219} taught the people of this country to understand the Catholic Religion better than they had done before; and by a rare and happy grace have won their confidence, even whilst you unveiled their errors. You have lost no occasion on which to remind us of the sublime vocation and graces which as Catholics we enjoy, and looking forward into the future you have bid us expect with confidence the dawn of our "Second Spring".

Well then may we rejoice as members of this Diocese that by a singular privilege we are still permitted to have you resident in the midst of us as one of the Sacred College! Well may we congratulate ourselves that the Holy Father should have been pleased to increase the value of his most gracious act, by not requiring your separation from that land of your birth which you love so well and in which you are held so dear, or from the religious family which has so long claimed you as its Head! That your Eminence may yet be preserved in your new position to add to the long list of services you have already rendered to the Church is the prayer of
Your Eminence's
Most humble devoted servants,
Signed in behalf of the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Birmingham.
DENBIGH AND DESMOND, Chairman of Committee.
C. N. DU MOULIN, Hon. Secretary. {220}

To the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Birmingham

Your most welcome Address brings before me memories of many past years. The greater part of my life, that is, more than half of the long interval since I was a schoolboy, has been spent here, and the words which you use about it come home to me with the force both of a surprise and a pleasure which I had thought no speakers or writers could excite but such as had the same vivid experience of those eventful years as I have myself. You are not so old as I am; how is it then that you recollect my past so well? Every year brings its inevitable changes, some entering, others leaving this perishable scene. Yet so it is that by the favour of a good Providence, I have lost old friends only to gain new ones, and the ever fresh generation of Catholics, clerical and lay, attached to this See, seems as if ever handing down a tradition of what has happened to me in the years before itself; a tradition always kind, nay I may say, always affectionate to me.

Of course I view that past under a {221} different aspect from yours. To me it is filled up with memorials of special kindnesses and honours which you have done to me, more than I can recount or represent in these few sentences.

I recollect, for instance, thirty-six years ago, with what kind anxiety Dr. Wiseman, then coadjutor Bishop, exerted himself, when I was living near Oxford, to bring me within the safe lines of Holy Church, and how, when I had been received by Father Dominic of the Congregation of the Passion, I at once found myself welcomed and housed at Oscott, the whole College, boys I may say as well as the authorities of the place, receiving me with open arms, till I was near forgetting that I must not encroach on their large hospitality. How many kind and eager faces, young and old, come before me now, as they passed along the corridors, or took part in the festivities of St. Cecilia's day, or assisted at more directly sacred commemorations during the first months that I was a Catholic! And afterwards, when Dr. Wiseman had called us from Oxford to be near him, the first act of the Bishop of the district, Dr. Walsh, was to give us old Oscott, {222} since called Maryvale, as our possession, a munificent act which Pope Pius confirmed in his Brief, though we felt it a duty, on our coming here, to restore it to the Diocese.

And when we had come here, and our position was permanently fixed, the same kindness was shown to me as before, and especially by our present venerated Bishop. What are those instances which you mention of my preaching at St. Chad's on his lordship's installation and on other special occasions, but so many singular honours shown in my behalf? As years went on, in a troublous time, and amid the conflict of opinion, there never was a misgiving about me in my own neighbourhood. I recollect with great gratitude the public meeting held by the Catholics of this place in acknowledgment of lectures which I had delivered during the excitement caused in the country by the establishment of the Hierarchy; and how, when those lectures involved me in serious legal difficulties soon afterwards, the Birmingham Catholics, and prominently some excellent laymen, whose memory is very dear to me, started and headed that general subscription to meet my expenses, which {224} reached so magnificent a sum. And again, years afterwards, when an affront offered to me had involved an affront to the whole Catholic priesthood, and I on both accounts had felt bound to take notice of it, I was, amid many anxieties, cheered and rewarded by an Address of thanks from the clergy assembled in Diocesan Synod, as is kept in continual memory by the autographs, on the walls of our guest room, of the kind priests who did me this honour. Nor was the Bishop wanting to this great acknowledgment; he gave it a sanction, as precious as it was rare, by proposing that each of the priests of his Diocese should, in connection with the subject of their Address, say Mass for me.

And now, after all this, you crown your kindness, when my course is all but run, by resolving that the Holy Father shall not raise me to the Sacred College, without, by your cordial congratulations, having a share in his act of grace.

What am I to say to all this? It has been put about by those who were not Catholics, that, as a convert, I have been received coldly by the Catholic body; but if this be coldness, I wonder what warmth is. One {224} thought more comes into my mind, and with it I will conclude. I have many times felt sorely what poor services I have rendered to you, to gain such recompenses as I have been recounting. It is very plain that I have had the wages of a public life with the freedom and comfort of a private one. You have let me go my own way, and have never been hard upon me. Following the lead of the good Bishop, you in all your communications with me, have made allowances for our Rule, for my health and strength, for my age, for my habits and peculiarities, and have ever been delicate, ever acted tenderly towards me.

May the Almighty God return to his Lordship, and to all of you, a hundred-fold, that mercy and that loving sympathy which he and you have shown so long to me.

Sept. 18, 1879.

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Oct. 5, 1879.

For the Address which led to this visit, see July 12, p. 110.

Cardinal Newman paid his long intended visit to St. Mary's College, Oscott, on Sunday, October 5, and by his presence added unusual {225} solemnity and rejoicing to the celebration of the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary.

His Eminence was received by the President [Dr. Hawksford] and the Professors; in the hall the boys were assembled to welcome him. Dr. Ullathorne (the Bishop), Bishop Amherst, Bishop Knight and Dr. Ilsley were also there to greet him.

At eleven o'clock High Mass coram Cardinali was sung; Bishop Amherst, Bishop Knight and Dr. Ilsley being in the stalls. The Cardinal was assisted by the Very Rev. the President of Oscott and Fr. John Norris of the Oratory, the Rev. W. Greaney being master of ceremonies.

After the Gospel, his Eminence preached on the devotion of the Holy Rosary, taking for his text St. Luke, ii. 26: "And they found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in the manger". The following is the substance of his address.

To the School-Boys of St. Mary's College, Oscott

[This has been printed in close lines to mark it off as made from shorthand notes and other sources, and without the Cardinal having revised it.]

"I am not going to make a long address to you, my dear boys, or say anything that you have not often heard before from your superiors, for I know well in what good hands you are, and I know that their instructions come to you with greater force than any you can have from a stranger. If I speak to you at all, it is because I have lately come from the Holy Father, and am, in some sort, his representative, and so in the years to come you may remember that you saw me today and heard me speak in his name and remember it to your profit.

"You know that today we keep the feast {226} of the Holy Rosary, and I propose to say to you what occurs to me on this great subject. You know how that devotion came about; how, at a time when heresy was very widespread, and had called in the aid of sophistry, which can so powerfully aid infidelity against religion, God inspired St. Dominic to institute and spread this devotion. It seems so simple and easy, but you know God chooses the small things of the world to humble the great. Of course it was first of all for the poor and simple, but not for them only, for every one who has practised the devotion knows that there is in it a soothing sweetness as in nothing else.

"It is difficult to know God by our own power, because He is incomprehensible. He is invisible to begin with, and therefore incomprehensible. We can, however, in some way know Him. Unaided Reason can, with great difficulty, arrive at some knowledge of Him, for even among the heathen there were some who had learned many truths about Him. But such knowledge of God is but a light in a dark place, and, as in the case of the philosophers of old of whom you have read, it had not power to influence the lives of those who possessed it. They did not act up to it; they found it too hard to conform their lives to their knowledge of God. And so He in His mercy, in order that we might know Him better, has given us a revelation of Himself by coming amongst us, to be one of ourselves, by taking upon Himself all the circumstances, all the relations and qualities of human nature, to gain us over.

"He came down from Heaven and dwelt among us, and died for us. All these things are in the Creed, which contains the chief things that He has revealed to us about Himself.

"And we cannot think of Him as the Creed brings Him before us without thinking of His Blessed Mother. And thus, from the earliest times, as soon as the Church had had time to settle down, and, as we may say, look about it, we find our Blessed Lady associated with our Lord. Go down into the Catacombs and there you will find her painted on the walls in connection with the mysteries of His Incarnation. {227}

"Now the great power of the Rosary lies in this, that it makes the Creed into a prayer; of course the Creed is in some sense a prayer and a great act of homage to God; but the Rosary gives us the great truths of His life and death to meditate upon, and brings them nearer to our hearts.

"And so we contemplate all the great mysteries of His life; in His birth in the manger; and so too in the mysteries of His suffering and his glorified life.

"But even Christians, with all their knowledge of God, have usually more awe of Him than love; hence the virtue of the Rosary lies in the special way in which it looks at these mysteries; for with all our thoughts of Him are mingled thoughts of His Mother, and in the relations between Mother and Son we have set before us the Holy Family, the Home in which God lived.

"Now the family is, even humanly considered, a sacred thing; how much more the family bound together by supernatural ties, and, above all, that in which God dwelt with His Blessed Mother. This is what I should most wish you to remember in future years. For you will all of you have to go out into the world, and going out into the world means leaving home; and, my dear boys, you don't now know what the world is. You look forward to the time when you will go out into the world, and it seems to you very bright and full of promise. It is not wrong for you to look forward to that time; but most men who know the world find it a world of great trouble and disappointments and even of misery. If it turns out so to you, seek a home in the Holy Family that you think about in the mysteries of the Rosary. School-boys know the difference between school and home. You often hear grown-up people say that the happiest time of their life was that passed at school; but you know that when they were at school they had a still happier time, which was when they went home; that shows there is a good in home which cannot be found elsewhere. So that even if the world should actually prove to be all that you now fancy it to be, if it should bring you all that you could wish, yet you ought to have in the Holy Family a home with a holiness and {228} sweetness about it that cannot be found elsewhere.

"This is, my dear boys, what I most earnestly ask you. I ask you when you go out into the world, as soon you must, to make the Holy Family your home, to which you may turn from all the sorrow and care of the world, and find a solace, a compensation and a refuge. And this I say to you, not as if I should speak to you again, not as if I had of myself any claim upon you, but with the claims of the Holy Father whose representative I am, and in the hope that in the days to come you will remember that I came amongst you and said it to you. And when I speak of the Holy Family I do not mean our Lord and His Blessed Mother only, but St. Joseph too; for as we cannot separate our Lord from His Mother, so we cannot separate St. Joseph from them both; for who but he was their protector in all the scenes of our Lord's early life? And with St. Joseph must be included St. Elizabeth and St. John, whom we naturally think of as part of the Holy Family; we read of them together and see them in pictures together. May you, my dear boys, throughout your life find a home in the Holy Family: the home of our Lord and His blessed Mother, St. Joseph, St. Elizabeth and St. John."

After luncheon his Eminence held a reception in the library, attended by all the members of the College. The President, in a short speech, expressed his gratitude to his Eminence and his deep sense of the honour he had conferred on Oscott, both by his visit and by the extreme kindness with which he had spoken of the College in his reply to the diocesan address. He hoped that his Eminence would often honour Oscott with his presence during the many years which he hoped yet remained of his valuable life.

His Eminence, in reply, said that it was a great pleasure to him to visit Oscott, in which he always felt a great interest, as a place endeared to him by many associations. {229} Latterly, indeed, his age and manner of life had hindered his taking advantage of his nearness to Oscott, but in former days he had had a great deal to do with it, more than the younger members of the College were likely to be aware of. He called to mind many occasions on which he had been at Oscott, and expressed his great interest in its welfare, and his great pleasure in visiting it once more.

The Professors were then presented to his Eminence, who, after spending a short time in the museum, took his leave, the College band playing the Pope's march, the strains of which were lost amidst the cheers of the boys.

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From the Rector and Senate of the Catholic University of Ireland

(Presented Oct. 28, 1879.)

The Bishop of Ardagh, the Right Rev. Dr. Woodlock, waited on Cardinal Newman on Tuesday last at the Oratory, Birmingham, and presented to his Eminence the following address, which had been adopted by the Senate of the University presided over by Dr. Woodlock as Rector. Before reading it he reminded the Cardinal that he had graciously arranged to receive it last June, on the return of his Eminence and his own return from Rome; and expressed his great regret that his Eminence's protracted illness in Italy had rendered it impossible to carry out that arrangement; press of diocesan duties had subsequently placed it out of his (the Bishop's) power to come to Birmingham to perform this {230} most agreeable duty, as his last official act in his capacity of Rector.

His Lordship then read the following:—

We, the Rector and Senate of the Catholic University of Ireland, beg to express to you our heartfelt and most respectful congratulations on the honour which you have received in being raised by our Most Holy Father, Pope Leo XIII., to the dignity of Cardinal.

The great joy with which we, as an academical body, have welcomed this event, is a feeling which we share with the whole Catholic world. The name of Newman is indeed one which Christendom has learned to venerate on many grounds. In your earlier years, like St. Augustine, an alien from Catholic communion, you were, like him, led, in your maturity, into the bosom of the Holy Catholic Church, by Divine Grace, using as its instrument learning and genius of the first order. Multitudes of disciples and friends followed your footsteps to the same refuge, and the blessed movement is not yet exhausted. Through many years of labour you have placed at the service of the Church writings which, were it but for the consummate style that is their least praise, will always remain among the monuments of the English Language, whilst for the depth of thought and vast erudition they display, they will be treasured alike by the searcher after {231} truth and by the learned in every age. You have established an important religious Congregation to aid in the reconstruction of Catholicism in your native land, under the invocation of a Saint whom you have taught England to venerate and cherish.

To these great services which you have rendered to the cause of learning and religion, we must add some that peculiarly interest ourselves. With another illustrious member of the Sacred College, whose loss you lately mourned with us, you may in a great measure be regarded as Joint-founder of the Catholic University of Ireland, to which you devoted your best and most valued energies for many years. We have always looked back with gratitude and admiration to your labours, during the time you held office as first Rector of this University, and we feel assured that the plan for the higher education and the system of University government which you initiated and organized, will, centuries hence, be studied by all who may have to legislate for Catholic education, as among the most precious of the documents which they shall possess to inform and guide them.

In conclusion, we pray Almighty God that you may long be spared to adorn (like another great Oratorian, Cardinal Baronius) the Congregation which is so dear to your heart, and that many years of health and happiness may be in store {232} for the noble life which is so worthily crowned by the Vicar of Christ.

We remain, my Lord Cardinal,
With profound respect,
Your Eminence's faithful friends,
BARTHOLOMEW WOODLOCK, Bp. of Ardagh, Rector of the Catholic University of Ireland.
Dublin, May 12, 1879.

To the Rector and Senate of the Catholic University of Ireland

This is not the first time that I have had the gratification of receiving from you a public expression of your attachment to me, and of your generous good opinion of my exertions in behalf of the University. Many years have passed since then, and now I receive your welcome praise a second time, together with the additional gratification that is the second.

And I notice further with great gratitude, that, whereas in most cases the sentiments which lead to such an act of kindness become, as time goes on, less lively than they were at first, you, on the contrary, use even {233} stronger and warmer language about me now, than that which cheered and gladdened me so much, and was so great a compensation of my anxieties, in 1858.

And there is still another pleasure which your Address has given me. Of course a lapse of time so considerable has brought with it various changes in the constituent members, in the ruling and teaching body of the University. I consider it, then, to be a singular favour conferred upon me, that those whom I have not the advantage of knowing personally should join in this gracious act with those who are my old friends.

No earthly satisfaction is without its drawbacks, and my last remark naturally leads me on to one sad thought, which you yourselves, towards the end of your Address, have suggested. A great Prelate has been lately taken from us, to whose simple faith and noble constancy in the cause of the University it is owing that the University maintains its place amid the many obstacles by which its progress has been beset. I ever had the greatest, the truest reverence for the good Cardinal Cullen. I used to say of him that his countenance had a {234} light upon it which made me feel as if, during his many years at Rome, all the saints of the Holy City had been looking into it and he into theirs. And I have cause to know from the mouth of Pope Pius himself, that on a very critical occasion, he promptly, emphatically, and successfully, stood my friend. That was in the year 1867. How sincere would have been his congratulations to me at this time! I am deprived of them; but by thus expressing my sense of my loss, I best relieve myself of the pain of it.

I cannot bring these acknowledgments to an end without tendering in turn my congratulations to you that the serious loss which you have lately sustained by the elevation to the Episcopate of my dear friend, your Rector, who has laboured for the University so long and with such devotion, has been so happily repaired by the appointment in his place of an Ecclesiastic whose antecedents are a guarantee for its prosperous advance in that enlarged field which is now open to its activity and its usefulness.

And now, thanking you from a full heart for your indulgence and abundant kindness towards me, I will {235} make no further claim upon your time, I subscribe myself, my dear friends, with much respect, your devoted servant,
Oct. 25, 1879.

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[Printed from the Cardinal's MS.]

January 27, 1880.
It was natural, my dear friends, when I found myself honoured by your request to preside at this great annual meeting of Catholics, being aware that, according to custom, I should have to address them, that I should be anxious to find some subject which was both seasonable in itself and interesting to my hearers.

But how could I hope to hit upon any topic which had not been anticipated by those who have preceded me in this chair? It has for more than twenty years been filled successively by men conspicuous in various lines of eminence; by great ecclesiastics, by noblemen and statesmen, by men of high position and distinguished name, by country gentlemen, by men of high talent or wide experience; who have made this one of the most remarkable Catholic gatherings in the country. And these former Presidents have had the pick of all subjects, and the judgment and tact to select those which were most suitable to the occasion. This reflection came to me with great force, and I felt that it would serve as my apology if I failed in finding a subject equal to the duty which lay upon me.

However, I am not so badly off as it may appear at first sight. The lapse of time is itself a subject, and I shall find one tonight far larger than I need, nay, one which rather is embarrassing from its very largeness, if I remind you of the circumstances under which {236} you began these social meetings, and the great change which has taken place in our condition as Catholics since then.

Not long before these annual gatherings commenced, and close upon thirty years ago, Catholics had suddenly become very unpopular, both in Birmingham and through the whole country. I am not proposing to enter into the history of an unhappy time. This misfortune to us arose from a singular misunderstanding, which Catholics would have hindered by anticipation could they have conjectured that it would take place. It was generally fancied that in some way or other our authorities at Rome were conspiring together against the religious liberties of England; and that by appointing an English Cardinal and English Bishops they intended or hoped in some unjustifiable way or other to propagate in this country the Catholic Religion. It was thought also to be a great insult to the religion of the country not to recognise that there was established here already a Christian Hierarchy, and that to set up another as if in its stead was a great offence. And, when the Government of the day, or at least some very distinguished statesmen, took the same view, the excitement became extreme. We were thought very ill of, and very unmindful of the tolerance already extended to us, and then, as it will happen at such a time, all the old stories against us were brought out anew and put into circulation, and, as we have lasted 1800 years and the Protestant sects around us only 300, it need not surprise any one, if more could be said by our enemies against us, truths or falsehoods, exaggerations or misstatements, than could be said against them, even if we tried; especially, since from our very greatness we have had vastly more temptations and opportunities to act wrongly than they had had. And, since (bad luck for us) we have never kept a register of Protestant scandals, as our enemies had kept of ours, and in consequence were in no condition to show that what there had been evil or faulty in times past in our body, was to be laid to the charge, not of our religion, but of depraved human nature, we were at a great disadvantage, and even good and well-meaning {237} Protestants got to entertain a bad opinion of us; and a great prejudice, distrust, and dislike of us was diffused through the country, and an animosity leading in many cases both to cruel and to violent acts.

Things are very different now with us, and we have cause to be grateful to the inhabitants of this great town that so it is. Not that the ill-opinion of those among whom one lives is the worst of trials—there are others far worse than it; but words break no bones; and calumny is generally short-lived;—but, though popular disfavour, if it does not go further, is not an extraordinary trial, the good opinion of others, their respect, their good wishes, their sympathy, their kindness, is a very great pleasure, a very great gain; and therefore I think it quite a point to be remembered and recorded, a matter for congratulating each other upon, and rejoicing in, so far as we have it. And certainly there is a very striking contrast in the sort of welcome given by Englishmen to the late Cardinal Wiseman when he came as Cardinal to England in Michaelmas 1850 and their conduct towards us at the present time.

The contrast is striking, and I may be allowed perhaps to set before you one or two causes of the change of which that contrast is the evidence; and in the remarks which I am about to make, and especially in any criticism I may incidentally pass on some acts of my countrymen, I hope I may say nothing which can be taken as inconsistent with the true affection and esteem I feel for them, or with my gratitude to that great aggregate of ranks and classes which constitute what is called the public, from whom, though sometimes unfair to me, I have of late years, and now again recently, received such abounding marks of good-will.

First, the adverse sentiment was too violent, too unjust, sometimes too extravagant to last. No wonder there was so wide-spread an alarm, and no wonder again it was of such short continuance, when we recollect what it was that was said about us. For instance, in a village which I happened to know, it had been prophesied even at an earlier date, that if the Papists got the upper hand, the street of the village would run with blood. A {238} statement of a less prodigious character, but one far more cruel in its action on an unoffending and defenceless class, came from a high ecclesiastical quarter in the Establishment, and was to the effect that Protestant families would do well to be on their guard against Catholic servants, for these were spies on their masters and mistresses, and told all that happened indoors to their priest.

Such extreme sayings, and they were not few, would necessarily lead to a reaction, and thereby do us a service, though not so intended; and in fact in a little time the public did begin to be ashamed of saying them and believing them. Englishmen are a kind-hearted people at bottom, when they have not gone mad, which, alas, they do every now and then. Accordingly, in a little time, after passing an Act of Parliament against us, and against the Catholics of Ireland, who had nothing to do with the cause of the quarrel, for they had had no need of a Hierarchy of Bishops, having had one from time immemorial,—after the Act of Parliament, I say, they felt a satisfaction and relief, and calmed down. And then a generous feeling came over them, that perhaps they had been hard upon us.

This is the first cause how we came to be in happier relations with our countrymen now than we were thirty years ago. It is an instance of the operation of the psychological law, that reaction of mind follows on great excitement.

There was a second reason for a change which followed close upon the first, and that was the experience which came to the nation as time went on, that after all, their alarm somehow had been unnecessary. Their Act of Parliament did not hinder us having diocesan Bishops and Chapters, Cardinals and Orders of religious men; how could it? it could only hinder us using certain names, calling our Bishops Bishops, and carrying out the duties of our religion with certain solemnities; but Holy Church is intangible, nor could they touch her children, unless indeed they meant to proceed to actual persecution. This they did not dream of; and soon they made the second discovery that, as {239} they could not touch us, neither could we touch them; that we and they belonged to different spheres of life, that their objects were secular, and ours religious. I don't mean to say that there could not be usurpations on our side or on theirs, but, while what might be called a concordat was observed between temporals and spirituals, there might indeed be small collisions between the regale and pontificale; they might injure us indirectly as by now and then troubling us by their legislation, and we might employ our civil rights in a way they did not like in the interests of the rights of conscience, as other religious bodies do; but this was all; there was no reason for the grave prophecies of danger, and the panic, fright, and the stringent measures on the part of the executive and the country, of which we had been the subjects and the victims. We wished to live in peace with our countrymen, and there was no reason why they too should not be friendly, and cherish good-will and act charitably towards us.

As time went on this was felt more and more by candid minds, and even those who had been prejudiced against us began to see that there was no reason why the Church of Rome should not have clergy for her people in England, any more than that the Protestant missionary bodies of England should refrain from sending their clergy and ministers to Africa or New Zealand, which is sometimes a great offence to the English Establishment in foreign parts, and causes great quarrels, as in Ceylon now.

But you may say that in thus speaking I am not mending matters, because this was just one of our greatest offences in the eyes of our countrymen thirty years ago, viz., the insult of proposing to convert Englishmen, as if they were heathen, and such intention was a great source of irritation. This was, I need hardly say, a great misunderstanding, and thus I am brought to what I consider to be a third and most remarkable instrument in the change of feeling in our favour which has taken place of late years among Protestants.

That change has arisen in good part from that very consequence which they anticipated and so much dreaded, and which has actually {240} taken place, the conversions—which have not been few. Of course it would be very absurd in us, and I may say, very wicked, if we said that this was a heathen country, and needed conversion as a heathen country needs it. There is a wide-spread knowledge of Christianity among us, a love of its main truths, a zeal in their behalf, and an admirable prodigality, as I may call it, of contributions in furthering them. There are a great many religious, a great many actively benevolent men among Protestants. This is not inconsistent with our holding that they only know half the Gospel, and, as we are sure that we have the whole, not merely the half, this is a good reason why we should wish to make them Catholics, even though they be not heathen. We never conceal that we would make them Catholics if we could by fair and honest means; on the other hand, it is but natural that they should oppose us, be angry with us, and be afraid of us. True, but what I wish to show, and what I believe to be the remarkable fact is, that, whereas there have been many conversions to the Catholic Church during the last thirty years, and a great deal of ill-will felt towards us in consequence, nevertheless that ill-will has been overcome, and a feeling of positive goodwill has been created instead, in the minds of our very enemies by means of those conversions which they feared from their hatred of us; and I will say how. The Catholics in England fifty years ago were an unknown sect among us; now, there is hardly a family but has brothers, or sisters, or cousins, or connections, or friends and acquaintances, or associates in business or work, of that religion; not to mention the large influx of population from the sister Island; and such an interpenetration of Catholics with Protestants, especially in our great cities, could not take place without there being a gradual accumulation of experience, slow indeed, but therefore the more sure, about individual Catholics, and what they really are in character, and whether or not they can be trusted in the concerns and intercourse of life. And I fancy that Protestants, spontaneously and before setting about to form a judgment, have found them to be men whom they could be {241} drawn to like and to love, quite as much as their fellow Protestants might be;—to be human beings in whom they could be interested and sympathise with, and interchange good offices with, before the question of religion came into consideration. Perhaps they even got into intimacy and fellowship with some one of them before they knew he was a Catholic, for religious convictions in this day do not show themselves in a man's exterior, and then, when their minds turned back on their existing prejudices against the Catholic religion, it would be forced on them that that hated creed at least had not destroyed what was estimable and agreeable in him, or at least that he was a being with human affections and human tastes, whatever might be his inner religious convictions. Perhaps, the particular specimen of a Catholic whom I have supposed, might only go half way in possessing this sort of ethical appeal to the goodwill of others, or a quarter way, but he would have enough to destroy their imaginary notions of what a Catholic, and much more, a priest, must be, and to make short work, once and for all, of that Guy Faux or Duke of Alva sort of Papist who hitherto stood in their minds for the normal representative of a Roman Catholic.

I have been speaking of those ordinary and visible traits of character, of what is human merely, what is social in personal bearing, which, as a moral magnetism, unites men to each other; of those qualities which are the basis, the sine quā non of a political community; of those qualities which may be expressed by the word "neighbourly;" and I say that Roman Catholics, as a body, are, to say the least, quite as neighbourly as Protestants, as attractive, as capable of uniting in civil society; and I say that in consequence their multiplication in England, by making them visible, tangible, sensible, must, as an inevitable consequence, create a more kindly feeling to them than has existed hitherto, and it has; I have not spoken of social virtues such as make a man respected and honoured, for that was not necessary for my purpose, though, whatever our failings may be as sons of Adam, I trust that at least we do not fall below that standard which is received in our {242} country as the condition of a good name. And I might have enlarged on this, that, much as members of a Protestant country may dislike their relations being converted to a religion not their own, and angry as they may be with them at first, yet, as time goes on, they take their part when others speak against them, and anyhow feel the cruelty as well as the baseness of the slanders circulated against Catholics, when those slanders include those dear to them, and they are indignant at the slanderer and feel tender towards the slandered, from the very fact that among the subjects of such calumnious treatment are persons who, as their experience tells them, so little deserve it.

And now, had time admitted, I might have gone on to other distinct causes of the change which I have taken for my subject; but since this cannot be, I will content myself with referring to another kind of knowledge of Catholics, which has operated in their favour, a knowledge not to any great extent experimental and personal, but public, coming to the population at large from special witnesses, perhaps few, and only on special occasions, and by means of the periodical press and the trustworthy informants of whose testimony it is the vehicle. And, as an instance of what I mean, I will notice the great figure presented in this way to the whole world by the late Pope Pius IX. and its effect in favour of Catholics. This surely is a fair and striking instance of knowledge of Catholics, telling in their favour. If there is any representative of the Roman Church, from whom Protestants ought to shrink, it is her Head. In their theory, in their controversial publications, in their traditions, the Pope is all that is bad. You know the atrocious name they give him; he is the embodiment of evil, and the worst foe of the Gospel. Then, as to Pope Pius IX., no one could, both by his words and deeds, offend them more. He claimed, he exercised, larger powers than any other Pope ever did; he committed himself to ecclesiastical acts bolder than those of any other Pope; his secular policy was especially distasteful to Englishmen; he had some near him who put into print just that kind of gossip concerning him {243} which would put an Englishman's teeth on edge; lastly, he it was who, in the beginning of his reign, was the author of the very measure which raised such a commotion among us; yet his personal presence was of a kind which no one could withstand. I believe one special cause of the abatement of the animosity felt towards us by our countrymen was the series of tableaux, as I may call them, brought before them in the newspapers; of his receptions of visitors in the Vatican.

His misfortunes indeed had something to do with his popularity. The whole world felt that he was shamefully used as regards his temporal possessions; no foreign power had any right to seize upon his palaces, churches, and other possessions; and the injustice shown him created a wide interest in him; but the main cause of his popularity was the magic of his presence, which was such as to dissipate and utterly destroy the fog out of which the image of a Pope looms to the ordinary Englishman; His uncompromising faith, his courage, the graceful intermingling in him of the human and the divine, the humour, the wit, the playfulness with which he tempered his severity, his naturalness, and then his true eloquence, and the resources he had at command for meeting with appropriate words the circumstances of the moment, overcame those who were least likely to be overcome. A friend of mine, a Protestant, a man of practised intellect and mature mind, told me to my surprise, that, at one of the Pope's receptions at the Vatican he was so touched by the discourse made by his Holiness to his visitors, that he burst into tears. And this was the experience of hundreds; how could they think ill of him or of his children when his very look and voice were so ethical, so eloquent, so persuasive? Yet, I believe, wonderful as was the mode and the effect with which Pius IX. preached our holy Religion, we have not lost by his being taken away. It is not decorous to praise the living; it is not modest to panegyrise those whom rather one should obey; but in the Successor of Pius IX. I recognise a depth of thought, a tenderness of heart, a winning simplicity, a power answering to his name, which keeps me from {244} lamenting that Pope Pius IX. is no longer here. But I must cut short what has been already too long, though I have not reached the end. I will only say in conclusion, that, though Englishmen are much more friendly to us as individuals, I see nothing to make me think that they are more friendly to our religion. They do not indeed believe, as they once believed, that the religion is so irrational that a man who professes it must be wanting either in honesty or in wit; but this is not much to grant, for the great question remains, to decide whether it is possible for a country to continue any long time in the unnatural position of thinking ill of a religion and thinking well of believers in it. One would expect that either dislike of the religion would create an unfriendly feeling towards its followers, or friendliness towards its followers would ensure goodwill towards the religion. How this problem will be solved is one of the secrets of the future.

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(Presented, April 10, 1880.)


A private preliminary meeting was held, on March 28 (1879), at the residence of the Right Hon. Lord O'Hagan, with the object of originating a movement for presenting a testimonial from Ireland to Dr. Newman on his investiture with the Sacred Purple. Amongst those present were:—
Lord Emly, Judge Flanagan, Alderman M'Swiney, Piers White, Q.C., Very Rev. Dr. Molloy, D.D., Chief Justice Morris, T. H. Burke, Under Secretary, E. D. Gray, M.P., P. J. Kennan, C.B, Very Rev. Dr. Woodlock, J. Lentaigne, C.B., W. Gernon, H. O'Hara, Q.C., Sir J. Mackey, Charles Kennedy, Rev. A. Murphy, S.J., Rev. N. Walsh, S.J., Canon M'Mahon, James M'Cann, James Coffey, Q.C., James Monahan, Q.C., Sir R. Kane, Richard Martin, Chief Baron Palles, George Morris, M.P., Very Rev. R. White, OP., Very
{245} Rev. Patrick O'Neill, Adm., Alderman Campbell, Canon Murphy, R. D. Lyons, M.D., John O'Hagan, Q.C., George Waters, Q.C., P. Maxwell, K. P. Carson, Q.C., etc.

On the motion of the Commendatore M'Swiney, Lord Emly was requested to preside.

Lord Emly, after explaining that Lord O'Hagan was detained in London to hear some appeal cases before the House of Lords, said …
"Ireland would be untrue to her traditions if she did not manifest, in the most open and practical manner, her devotional love to the man who in every hour of trial has been the most powerful defender of the faith—who only the other day silenced and overthrew the great and eminent statesman who, having written his name in the history of Ireland as the greatest of her benefactors, unhappily thought it his duty to attack him whom we reverence as the representative of God upon earth. These are the Catholic reasons which appeal to us as a united people. But in addition to them, there are the special services which Dr. Newman has rendered to the cause of Catholic Education in Ireland. In this city, year after year, as you will recollect, the rich abundance of Dr. Newman's intellect was given up to the great question of Irish Education. And I am proud to remember that it was at my place, at Tervoe, that many of those immortal lectures of his, afterwards delivered at the Catholic University, were composed. As Catholics and as Irishmen our duty then is plain; we must not be behindhand in the great work."

Letters apologising for absence were read from the following:—Lord O'Hagan, Dr. Cruise, Rev. Mr. Walsh, O.S.A., Judge O'Brien, the High Sheriff, Rev. K. Holland, Vice-Prov. St. Teresa's, Ignatius Kennedy, etc. {246}

The following resolutions were passed unanimously:—

Proposed by Right Hon. Michael Morris, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and seconded by Monsignor Woodlock:—
That the gentlemen present constitute themselves into a committee, with a power of adding to their number, for the purpose of co-operating with the movement for presenting a testimonial to Dr. Newman on his elevation to the Cardinalate.

Proposed by the Right Hon. Judge Flanagan, seconded by Canon M'Mahon, O.P.:—
That Lord O'Hagan and Lord Emly be appointed honorary secretaries of the committee.

Proposed by T. H. Burke, Esq., Under Secretary for Ireland, and seconded by Very Rev. Robert White, O.P.:—
That subscriptions be paid to the National Bank in the names of Lords O'Hagan and Emly, and, while the names of all subscribers be preserved, that no list of subscriptions be published.

Proposed by the Right Hon. Christopher Palles, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and seconded by Sir Robert Kane, F.R.S.—
That the following circular be adopted:—
We are directed by the committee appointed to organise in Ireland the movement for presenting a testimonial to Dr. Newman on his elevation to the dignity of Cardinal to solicit your kind assistance and contribution.

It is fitting that as Catholics we should pay our tribute of admiration and affection to the man whom the world recognises as being in every intellectual attainment and achievement the most eminent son of the Church in our days, and who has been in every moment of trial the most powerful defender of her principles by whomsoever assailed.

On us as Irishmen he has special claims. To the cause of the educational future of our country he dedicated for many years, with ungrudging self-devotion, his unrivalled powers, and his essays and lectures delivered in Ireland on the great topic of University education will remain undying memorials of his work amongst us. {247}

Proposed by E. D. Gray, Esq., M.P.:—
That copies of the foregoing circular be addressed to the Catholic clergy, gentry, magistrates, professional men, merchants and others.

After the usual votes of thanks, the proceedings terminated.

At the second meeting of the Testimonial Committee, April 24, Lord O'Hagan in the chair, subscriptions were announced and letters read from the Right Rev. Dr. MacCarthy, Right Rev. Dr. Walshe, Right Rev. Dr. W. Fitzgerald, Right Rev. Dr. Donnelly, Right Rev. Dr. Gillooly, Right Rev. Dr. MacEvilly, Right Rev. Dr. Conaty, Right Rev. Dr. Leahy, Right Rev. Dr. MacCormack.



At a meeting held at the Catholic Literary Institute, April 5, the Bishop, on taking the chair, said:—

"My Lord Emly, Mr. Mayor, and gentlemen, it is most gratifying to me to see this meeting assembled, and to take part in it, and I thank you very much for the honour you have done me by voting me to the chair. It is not necessary to say much about the object that brings us together. It is an object that must commend itself to every Catholic mind and heart, and especially, I would say, to the mind and heart of every Irish Catholic. One whom we all revere and love, and who is admired and revered throughout Christendom; one who, moreover, has been the steady unchanging friend and generous benefactor of our own nation, John Henry Newman, has been raised by the Pope to the highest dignity that can be conferred by the Head of the {248} Church upon one of her Sons. Thousands have been for years back desiring this, and hoping for it, and numbers praying for it; and now that it has come to pass, it is meet that we should all rejoice over it, and convey some fitting expression of that joy to the great but humble man whom the Vicar of Christ has honoured and exalted. It is this feeling—a feeling that is now stirring so many hearts all over the earth—that has brought us together; and I am delighted to see here those gentlemen whose hand is in every good work that is undertaken amongst us, and who will be sure, in a labour of love and duty such as is now before us, not to allow Limerick to lag behind. Gentlemen, I will not detain you by any further remarks; it is useless to multiply words when anything that could be said must fall so far short of what every one feels. I am sure you will do what is fitting, and say what is becoming, and that the result of the movement commenced here today will be as creditable to Limerick as it must be pleasing and gratifying to him whom we desire to honour."

The Mayor (Mr. M. O'Gorman) then proposed, and the Hon. Gaston Monsell, J.P., seconded a resolution: "That a committee be formed to co-operate in the movement for presenting a testimonial of our respect and affection to Dr. Newman on his elevation to the dignity of Cardinal". The Very Rev. Cornelius Conway and Mr. James Barry were appointed hon. secretaries to the committee. The Bishop of Limerick announced that Archbishop Croke authorised him to say that he desired to take part in the movement. A list was then opened, and over one hundred pounds was subscribed in the room. {249}

Address from the Catholics of Ireland

(Presented Saturday, April 10, 1880.)

On Saturday afternoon an influential deputation from Ireland waited upon Cardinal Newman, at the Oratory, Birmingham, to present his Eminence with an Address of Congratulation on behalf of the Roman Catholic people of Ireland.

Among the deputation were Lord O'Hagan, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishop of Galway, the Coadjutor-Archbishop of Tuam, the Bishop of Limerick, the Bishop of Clogher, Viscount Gormanston, Lord Emly, the Lord Chief Baron Palles, Lord Chief Justice Morris, Mr. Justice Barry, Mr. Justice Flanagan, Mr. Errington, M.P., the Very Rev. N. Walsh, S.J., the Very Rev. Dr. Molloy (Vice-president of the Roman Catholic University), Mr. J. O'Hagan, Q.C., Mr. J. H. Monahan, Q.C., Mr. R. P. Carson, Q.C., Dr. J. S. Hughes, Mr. Ignatius Kennedy, Mr. T. W. Flanagan, and others.

Lord O'Hagan read the following:—

On behalf of the Catholics of Ireland, we approach your Eminence to congratulate you on your elevation to the Sacred Purple, and to express the sentiments of reverence and affection with which you have inspired them ... To your high qualities and memorable acts eloquent testimony has been borne in the Addresses lately presented to your Eminence, and we are conscious that no words of ours can increase the universal estimation which they have commanded. But we remember with honest pride that our country has had peculiar relations with you; and as Catholic Irishmen we cannot refrain from the special utterance of our feelings towards one who has been {250} so signally our friend and benefactor. In the prime of your years and the fulness of your fame you came to do us service. You left your home and those who were most dear to you, and the engagements and avocations in which you had found your happiness, to labour for our intellectual and moral well-being. You dedicated yourself to the improvement of the higher education of our people—a work as noble in conception as it was difficult in execution; and whatever success that work has achieved, or may achieve hereafter, must be largely attributed to your Eminence. Of the wisdom of your administration as Rector of the Catholic University, the untiring toil you gave to all its details, and the enthusiastic attachment which bound to you its professors, its students, and all who came within the sphere of your influence, the memory has survived your departure, and is still fresh amongst us. And when you returned to England you left behind many precious and enduring memorials of your presence in the beautiful collegiate church, which we owe in great measure to you; the discourses you delivered within its walls, unsurpassed even among your own incomparable sermons; the excellent periodicals, the Atlantis and Gazette, which you brought into existence and enriched by some of the finest of your compositions; and above all those lectures and essays on University Education, abounding in {251} ripe erudition, suggestive thought, perfect language, and sage counsel on matters affecting the highest human interest, which are a possession of incalculable worth to Ireland and the world. We cannot forget the words of cordial kindness in which you have proved so often your sympathy with the Irish race, and encouraged them to find in the remembrance of their faithfulness to their old religion the pledge and promise of a happier future. For these reasons we, who have watched your career with constant admiration and unwavering confidence, desire to offer you our homage, in union with that which has been tendered to you so abundantly on every side. You have not been altogether spared the dishonouring misconceptions which have been the portion of the best and greatest of mankind. But they have ceased to trouble you. Your endowments of heart and intellect have compelled a recognition quite unexampled in its unanimity and earnestness; and we have come today, on the part of the Roman Catholic people of Ireland, to join in the applause with which the nations of Christendom have hailed your enrolment among the Princes of the Church, and to proclaim their reverential gratitude to the Sovereign Pontiff for the gracious act by which he has marked his appreciation of your labours, and crowned them with the highest earthly sanction. {252}

Reply to the Address from the Catholics of Ireland

I should be strangely constituted if I were not deeply moved by the Address which your Lordship has done me the honour of presenting to me, on occasion of my elevation by the grace of the Sovereign Pontiff to a seat in the Sacred College.

It almost bewilders me to receive an expression of approval, so warm, so special, so thorough, from men so high in station, ecclesiastical and civil, speaking, too, as they avow, in behalf of a whole Catholic people; and in order to this giving themselves the inconvenience and fatigue of a long journey in the midst of their serious occupations. But while I reply to their commendation of me with somewhat of shame from the consciousness how much more I might have done, and how much better, still my reverence for them obliges me to submit myself to their praise as to a grave and emphatic judgment upon me, which it would be rude to question, and unthankful not to be proud of, and impossible ever to forget.

But their Address is not only an expression of their praise; it also conveys to me from Ireland a message of attachment. It is a renewal and enlargement of a singular kindness done to me a year ago, and even then not for the first time. I have long known what good friends I have in Ireland; they in their affection have taken care that I should know it, and the knowledge has been at times a great support to me. They have not been of those who trust a man one day and forget him the next; and, though I have not much to boast of in most points of view, I will dare to say, that, if, on my appointment to a high post in Ireland, I came there with the simple desire and aim to serve a noble people, who I felt had a great future, deeply sensible of the trust, but otherwise, I may say, without thought of myself—if this creates a claim upon your remembrance, I can with a good conscience accept it.

And here I am led on to refer to a special circumstance on which you touch with much delicacy and sympathy, and which I can hardly avoid, since you mention it, namely, the accident that in past years I have not {254} always been understood, or had justice done to my real sentiments and intentions, in influential quarters at home and abroad. I will not deny that on several occasions this has been my trial, and I say this without assuming that I had no blame myself in its coming upon me. But then I reflected that, whatever pain that trial might cost me, it was the lightest that I could have, that a man was not worth much who could not bear it; that, if I had not had this, I might have had a greater; that I was conscious to myself of a firm faith in the Catholic Church, and of loyalty to the Holy See, that I was and had been blest with a fair measure of success in my work, and that prejudice and misconception did not last for ever. And my wonder is, as I feel it, that the sunshine has come out so soon, and with so fair a promise of lasting through my evening.

My Lord and Gentlemen, in speaking so much of myself I feel I must be trying your patience; but you have led me on to be familiar with you. I will say no more than to offer a prayer to the Author of all good, that the best blessings may descend from Him on all those who have taken {255} part in this gracious act, exercised towards one who has so faint a claim on their generosity.

April 10, 1880.

[This Reply closes the Addresses from Ireland, of which there were five. The following letter represents the mind of many towards Dr. Newman who had not the opportunity of expressing it.]

LIMERICK, March 20, 1879.
I fear I am coming a little late with my congratulations. They are, however, very sincere and cordial. I do not know that any event in the ecclesiastical world ever gave me more real joy than your elevation to the Cardinalate. I have been desiring it, and speaking of it, as a thing that ought to be—and now that it is come I have a right to rejoice. It is strongly in my mind—but this is perhaps a delusion—that amongst your many claims to favour and honour at the hands of the Church, what you did for Ireland in connection with the Catholic University was not, and could not have been forgotten by our Holy Father. You laboured hard and suffered much, and made many sacrifices in our cause whilst you were with us; and you did this because you loved our nation, and you wished to give effect, as no one else could with equal power, to the behests of the Holy Father in our regard. It is most pleasant to me to think that Leo XIII., who loves us too, has remembered this, and that it has counted for something amongst the weighty reasons that moved him to call you to his side as one of his most eminent and trusted counsellors.

You will hardly, I fear, remember me, and {256} therefore let me mention, and this is my apology for writing so much—that I claim to be an old acquaintance of yours. When you came here twenty years ago to preach for us, it was my privilege to have charge of you, and to be somewhat with you and about you. You have no doubt forgotten this—why should you remember it—but it has been always a fresh and most pleasing memory of mine. Let me then express to you my unqualified joy at your elevation to the foremost rank in the Church of which you have deserved so well, and say ex intimo corde (though you may not desire this) ad multos annos.

Believe me to be,
Most devotedly yours,

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[The Cardinal’s discourse to the Brothers of the Little Oratory, for which at its close they thank him in the following Address, has been very imperfectly preserved; through the crowd, the pressure, and distance from the speaker, only very fragmentary notes of it were taken down. Nor had the Cardinal any notes of his own. At almost the last moment he had to change the subject he had chosen, because he found that the audience he was to address were likely to be strangers to his intended line of thought. He actually spoke on some traits of character in St. Philip which had hitherto been little brought forward, but to which his attention had recently been drawn by Cardinal Capecelatro’s Life of St. Philip Neri, then in course of translation by Fr. Thomas Pope.

The discourse was given on the Sunday which fell in the period during which he was entertained, as Cardinal, by the Duke of Norfolk, at Norfolk House. It is printed in close lines to mark it off as put together from shorthand notes, and without the Cardinal’s revision. So far as can be gathered from notes taken at the time, it ran as follows.]

Reminding his hearers that they were now in the month in which St. Philip was taken to his reward, and that it was therefore natural to have special thought of him at that time, {257} he drew out St. Philip’s self-restraint in not bringing himself into notice, even on occasions of great interest to him. He instanced, first, the attempted condemnation of the writings of Savonarola, next, the movement in advocacy of the removal of the ecclesiastical censures on Henry IV. which barred the recognition by the Church of his right to the throne of France. Both these questions were of most exciting interest, and among the most important ecclesiastical and political questions of the day.

It might on first thought seem unlikely and even foreign to St. Philip’s character that he should have an opinion at all on such subjects as these. He was not of such station as would make it in place for him to come forward; nor was he likely to be sought out; for, hiding, as he ordinarily did, his gifts and acquirements, he was to those who did not know him, or who saw but little of him, as many another,—a very good man, a holy man, but nothing more; they did not think him anything out of the way. He went on in his own good and quiet way, but, for all that, he had great thoughts within him, he had strong feelings on what he saw to be injustice and wrong; he had learning, too, to guide him thereon; and when appealed to by responsible persons, it was found that, in the absence of duty to speak, his sense of propriety had claimed his silence, and that his reserve had been only that which beseemed his position. "Thus it was," the Cardinal continued, "that as regards questions bearing on the welfare of religion, he had a distinct view, and a deep feeling, and an interior illumination, and on appeal such as has been named he could espouse the cause he believed to be right, with a knowledge of the subject, and with a keenness, I was going to say fierceness, of energy, that would be, as it was in the cause of Henry IV., most powerful."

The Cardinal described the gaining the cause of Savonarola’s writings—the well-known miracle of St. Philip’s prayer. He noticed in passing that St. Philip was a Florentine and in his youth a frequenter of S. Marco, Savonarola’s convent, whose Fathers he ever held in grateful memory for the spiritual benefits he had there received. {258} "This would naturally," said the Cardinal, "have added to the feeling, the very deep feeling in his heart, of the holiness, if I may say so, or at least, if not of the holiness, of the very great work of the Florentine Dominican." [Savanarola, put to death, 1498. St. Philip Neri, born 1515.]

From speaking of Henry IV. and his adversities, arising as they did from the imputation of insincerity to him, he was led on to speak of detraction generally, but especially as it is seen in imputation of motives. "I think that detraction," so the notes run, " is not a fault which Catholics are so prone to as those who are not Catholics, at least according to my observation, which, I dare say, is not great; still, it comes before one again and again, how greatly detraction prevails in the world generally, especially in the political and professional worlds, and towards prominent men. If a person deserves wrong motives being attributed to him—well and good; there are times when we all have to bear witness and protest, and there are instances in which it is a matter of duty to speak; but how often it takes place without any really good cause or reason, and comes from those it does not concern—and how recklessly,—with an absence, it would seem, of a sense of its being wrong to criticise other people and say sharp things of them. They think it fair because the back is turned." He brought out the unkindness and the cruelty of this, though the cause of it often lay not in wrong intention, but, in the human mind there is a restlessness because it is not able, by putting this and that together, to find out why something has been done, and this, he said, is why people impute motives. "And this leads, I do not say to envy, but rather to jealousy of another’s praise—and thus we have some sly word, or hint, or insinuation, some little detraction, whether true or false, as though there were a determination that what is to another’s praise shall not pass unchallenged. And thus, too, we have the case of persons who condemn with faint praise, and insinuate what is against a person, though the farm in which it comes seems to be praise." An example of this was to be {259} found in a play, where, as he could call it to mind, the plot turns upon a love of scandal, and a kind of restless eagerness, and a desire, from habit, to speak ill of others.

In contrast to this he showed the charity of St. Philip, instancing occasions both when censuring others, or bearing blame himself,—how mindful, notwithstanding his deep feeling, he is found to be of the duty of charity,—how steadfast to the ethical truths taught by St. Paul. I could read you, the Cardinal said, passages from St. Paul where again and again he tells us to put down all cruelty, bitterness towards each other—and when he speaks of charity what is it but the contrary of all that I have described—and so, too, when he speaks of charity thinking no evil; "let love be without dissimulation," and then also when he says so beautifully, "let your modesty [[epieikela], sweet-reasonableness.—Matt. Arnold.] be known to all men"—what does he mean but your moderation, your not claiming all you might claim, your not insisting on your rights, and the like; but instead, having that sweet, harmonious, musical state of mind, which is so wanting in the world, and which would make the world so much better.

From this contrast between the charity of St. Philip and the cruel ways of the world, he was led to speak of the great devotion of St. Philip to St. Paul—a devotion remarkable towards one so very unlike himself,—St. Paul violent, St. Philip so gentle; the one going round the world, and hither and thither, making converts to the faith, the other abiding in one city drawing souls to God. "Charitas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris per spiritum sanctum qui datus est nobis" are the words of St. Paul which Holy Church applies to St. Philip on his Feast-day. Both had that principle in their hearts which makes men alike though differing in much—that deep principle, that characteristic of all Saints—a love of God—that sovereign principle which the world knows not, but with the possession of which the troubles of the world neither vex nor fret.

Then closing his discourse he said: "You recollect the lines of the poet—though by a Protestant poet, they are beautiful lines:— {260}

'Thou art the source and centre of all minds
Their only point of rest, Eternal Word,
From Thee departing, they are lost, and rove
At random, without honour, hope, or peace.
From Thee is all that soothes the life of man,
His high endeavour and his glad success,
His strength to suffer and his will to serve.
But oh, Thou Sovereign Giver of all good,
Thou art of all Thy gifts Thyself the crown;
Give what Thou canst, without Thee we are poor,
And with Thee rich, take what Thou wilt away.'

Let us ever keep in mind, and be sure there is no good in the world—there is no good except it be found in Almighty God and the love of Him; His word is faithful, and if we depend upon Him He will never be untrue to us, but He will be with us to the end."

From Fr. Sebastian Bowden as Prefect of the Little Oratory, London

I beg leave, on behalf of the brotherhood, to offer their sincere thanks for your presence here this day, and for the words your Eminence has spoken. It was their wish to express in an Address the admiration, respect, and gratitude they entertain for your Eminence; but these expressions have already been made known to you in the Address presented long since [See pp. 32, 33.] by the Congregation to which they are affiliated. They thought, moreover, that your Eminence would prefer the exercises in their ordinary simplicity, and to assist at them as did the first Cardinals of the Oratory, in whatever town they might be staying, not so much as Princes of the Church as sons of St. Philip. Had they spoken, there are two points to which {261} they would wish particularly to refer. Some thirty years since your Eminence delivered a series of Lectures on the position of Catholics in this land. Those Lectures brought upon yourself anxiety, trial, and suffering, lightened only by the expressions of gratitude they called forth throughout the world; but the result of those Lectures was to contribute materially to the improvement of the position of Catholics in this land. There are many audiences, intellectual and distinguished, to whom you might have addressed yourself, for your Eminence has only to speak to be heard, but you preferred one audience, and that nearer home, the brotherhood of the Oratory of Birmingham, and the brothers of that Oratory are associated with your name wherever those Lectures are read. On a more recent occasion, when the civil allegiance of Catholics in this land was called in question, your Eminence came forward and met the challenge, and proved to the satisfaction of our countrymen that, in the conscience of every true Catholic, faith and loyalty go hand in hand. Again, to whom did your Eminence address yourself? To one from whose name you were pleased to say you gained support—to one who is known by all, as the leader of the Catholic laity in this land, but known to us and loved by us in this Chapel from his boyhood as a devoted brother of the Oratory and a son of St. Philip to his {262} heart’s core. The Brothers then beg leave to return you their most sincere thanks for giving them the privilege of your presence and allowing them to hear your voice. By all of us those words which you have spoken will be valued with a deep and special interest. But there are many here who have heard that voice from childhood—many who were told by parents, now no more, that your voice first awoke in those parents’ souls the desire for the faith, and therefore by that faith their children are now procured the priceless heritage of the truth. I beg one favour more from you, My Lord Cardinal, before you depart, and that is that you will grant us your blessing that so the benediction of the Patriarch may descend upon the children, who will carry it and the words you have spoken in their memories to their lives’ end.

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(May 12, 1880.)

[ For the previous proceedings (Spring, 1879) of the Catholic Union, see pp. 76-87. For the Presentation of the Testimonial from Australia, see p. 275.]

The First Half-Yearly Meeting for 1880 of the Catholic Union of Great Britain was held at Willis’s Rooms on Wednesday, the 12th of May; His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, E.M., President, in the chair. {263}

About three hundred members were present, of whom the following gave their names:—

The Earl of Denbigh, the Earl of Ashburnham, the Earl of Gainsborough, the Lord Braye, the Lord Arundell of Wardour, the Lord Stafford, the Viscount Bury, the Lord Herries, the Lord Lovat, Lord Edmund Talbot, Sir George Bowyer, Sir H. Bedingfeld, Sir R. H. Pollen, Sir Reginald Barnewall, the Count Stuart d’Albanie, Sir Charles Clifford, Hon. W. North, Hon. F. Stonor, Major-General Patterson, Mr. Charles Langdale, Mr. T. W. Allies, Mr. St. George Mivart, F.R.S., Mgr. Carter, Canon Macmullen, Rev. Fr. Coleridge, Canon Drinkwater, Rev. J. F. Knox, Admiral Jerningham, Mr. J. Hasslacher, Mr. A. Gerard, Mr. J. E. Doyle, Mr. J. G. Kenyon, Mr. G. Goldie, Mr. R. Wilson, Mr. H. Gosselin, Col. Butler, CD., Mr. R. Davey, Mr. Watts, Rev. P. W. Dromgoole, Rev. W. Davey, Rev. A. Burns, Mr. L. J. B. Dolan, Mr. Edwin de Lisle, Mr. J. Bradney, Major Gape, Mr. Allen Fennings, Mr. E. E. Sass, Mr. J. W. D. Mather, Dr. Fincham, Rev. Reg. Tuke, Mr. H. Wheeler, Canon Rymer, Mr. J. V. Harting, Mr. R. Ward, Mr. Reg. Reynolds, Mr. H. Rymer, Mr. J. G. Sutcliffe, Mr. S. J. Nicholl, Mr. Francis Kerr, Mr. O. Seagar, Canon Butt, Mr. K. Walford, Mr. L. Bowring, Mr. E. De Poix, Mr. L. P. Casella, Mr. E. L. Aves, Mr. W. F. Mylius, Captain Jones, Mr. E. Meynell, Major Trevor, Mr. A. Blount, Major W. Fletcher Gordon, Mr. S. Ward, Mr. Lewis H. Perry, Mr. Charles Stonor, Mr. Richard Mills, Mr. T. Longueville, Mr. E. Trevelyan Smith, Mr. Osmund Lambert, Mr. R. B. Woodward, Mr. J. H. Lilly, Mr. H. J. Lescher, Mr. M. Ellison, Mr. K. Gresham Wells, Mr. Daniel O’Connell, Mr. G. S. Lane-Fox, Canon Bamber, Mr. Henry Matthews, Q.C., Mr. F. R. Wegg-Prosser, Mgr. Croskell, Rev. F. H. Laing, Mr. Charles Kent, Canon Moore, Mr. Thos. Walmesley, Rev. Fr. Bowden, Rev. Fr. Gordon, Rev. Fr. Antrobus, Very Rev. G. Akers, Mr. J. Hansom, Mr. C. A. Buckler, Mr. G. Elliot Ranken, Rev. J. Reeks.

Letters of apology were received from the Marquis of Ripon, Lord Petre, and Lord Henry Kerr.

The President: As I am quite sure that you will not welcome many words from me upon an occasion when an address is expected from one who is so much more worthy, in every way, of your attention, I shall content myself, before resigning the chair, with explaining {264} the reasons why this meeting has been postponed from the ordinary date. It should have been held, as no doubt you are aware, last February, but His Eminence Cardinal Newman, who had been asked to address the Union, found it inconvenient to attend then. The meeting was therefore postponed until April, and then the dissolution of Parliament having caused the absence from town of many members of the Union who were most anxious to hear and meet His Eminence, a further postponement until the present date was resolved upon. In taking this course, the Council and myself have acted, I am afraid, somewhat in excess of the powers given us by the Rules; but we felt convinced that the general body of the members would condone and forgive that which has occurred in consideration of the cause to which it is due. (Cheers.)

His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, on resuming the chair as President, thanked the members for again electing him to it, and proceeded to call upon His Eminence Cardinal Newman to address the meeting, as he had graciously consented to do, in compliance with a request from the Council.


The Conversion of England to the Catholic Faith
[Printed from copy of his MS.]

"When I say to you, gentlemen, that the question to which I shall ask your attention bears upon the subject of the conversion of England to the Catholic Faith, you will think, perhaps, I am venturing without necessity upon difficult and dangerous ground—difficult because it relates to the future, and dangerous from the offence which it may possibly give to our Protestant {265} brethren. But a man must write and speak on such matters as interest and occupy his mind. At the time when you paid me the great compliment of asking me to address you, you were aware who it was that you were asking. You were aware what I could attempt and what I could not attempt; and I claim in consequence—and I know I shall obtain—your indulgence in case you should be dissatisfied, whether with my subject or with my mode of treating it. However, I am not going to consider the prospect of this country becoming Catholic, but to inquire what we mean when we speak of praying for its conversion. I cannot, indeed, say anything which will strike you as new, for to be new is to be paradoxical; and yet if I can bring out what is in my mind, I think something may be said upon the subject. Now, of course it is obviously an act of both simple charity and religious duty on our part to use our privilege of intercession on behalf of our own people—of charity, if we believe our religion is true, and that there is only one true religion; and of strict religious duty in the case of English Catholics, because such prayer has been expressly enjoined upon them by ecclesiastical authority. There is a third reason, which comes to us all accompanied with very touching and grateful reminiscences. Our martyrs in the sixteenth century, and their successors and representatives in the times which followed, at home and abroad, hidden in out-of-the-way nooks and corners of England, or exiles and refugees in foreign countries, kept up a tradition of continuous fervent prayer for their dear England down almost to our own day, when it was taken up as if from a fresh beginning. It was a fresh start on the part of a holy man, Father Spencer of the Passion, himself a convert, who made it his very mission to bring into shape a system of prayer for the conversion of his country, and we know what hardships, mortifications, slights, insults, and disappointments he underwent for this object. We know, too, how in spite of this immense discouragement, or rather I should say by means of it (for trial is the ordinary law of Providence), he did a great work—great in its success. That success lies in the visible fact {266} of the conversions that have been so abundant among us since he entered upon his evangelical labour, coupled as it is with the general experience which we all have in the course of life of the wonderful answers which are granted to persevering prayer. Nor must we forget, while we bless the memory of his charity, that such a religious service was one of the observances which he inherited from the Congregation which he had joined, though he had begun it before he was one of its members; for St. Paul of the Cross, its founder, for many years in his Roman monastery had the conversion of England in his special prayers. Nor, again, must we forget the great aid which Father Spencer found from the first in the zeal of Cardinal Wiseman, who not only drew up a form of prayer for England for the use of English Catholics, but introduced Father Spencer’s object to the Bishops of France, and gained for us the powerful intercession of an affectionate people, who in my early days were considered in this country to be nothing else than our natural enemies. The experience, then, of what has actually come of prayer for our country in this and the foregoing generation is a third reason, in addition to the claim of charity and the duty of obedience, for steadily keeping up an observance which we have inherited. And now, after this introduction, let us consider what it is we ask for when we ask for the conversion of England. Do we mean the conversion of the State, or of the nation, or of the people, or of the race? Of which of these, or of all of these together; for there is an indistinctness in the word 'England'? And again, a conversion from what to what? This, too, has to be explained. Yet I think that at all times, whether in the sixteenth century or the nineteenth, those who have prayed for it have mainly prayed for the same thing. That is, I think they have ever meant, first, by conversion, a real and absolute apprehension and acknowledgment, with an internal assent and consent, of the Catholic Creed as true, and an honest acceptance of the Catholic Roman Church as its divinely ordained exponent; and, next, by England, the whole population of England, every man, woman, and child in it. Nothing short of {267} this ought to satisfy the desire of those who pray for the conversion of England. So far our martyrs and confessors, and their surroundings of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and later centuries, are at one with each other; but so abstract an object is hardly all they prayed for. They prayed for something concrete, and so did we; but as times and circumstances have changed, so has what is possible, desirable, assignable changed as regards the objects of their and our prayers. It must be recollected that the sixteenth and following centuries have been a period of great political movements and international conflicts, and with those movements and conflicts, and their issues, religion has been intimately bound up. To pray for the triumph of religion was in times past to pray for the success in political and civil matters of certain Sovereigns, Governments, parties, nations. So it was in the fourth century, when Julian attempted to revive and re-establish Paganism. To pray for the Church then was to pray for the overthrow of Julian. And so in England Catholics in the sixteenth century would pray for Mary, and Protestants for Elizabeth. But those times are gone; Catholics do not now depend for the success of their religion on the patronage of Sovereigns—at least in England—and it would not help them much if they gained it. Indeed, it is a question if it succeeded here in England even in the sixteenth century. Queen Mary did not do much for us. In her short reign she permitted acts, as if for the benefit of Catholics, which were the cause, the excuse, for terrible reprisals in the next reign, and have stamped on the minds of our countrymen a fear and hatred of us, viewed as Catholics, which at the end of three centuries is as fresh and keen as it ever was. Nor did James II. do us any good in the next century by the exercise of his regal power. The event has taught us not to look for the conversion of England to political movements and changes, and in consequence not to turn our prayers for it in that direction. At a time when priests were put to death or forced out of the country if they preached or said Mass, there was no other way open for conversion but the allowance or sanction of the Government. {268} It was as natural, therefore, then to look for political intervention, to pray for the success of dynasties, of certain heirs or claimants to thrones, of parties, of popular insurrections, of foreign influence, on behalf of Catholic England, as it would be preposterous and idle to do so now. I think the best favour which Sovereigns, Parliaments, municipalities, and other political powers can do us is to let us alone. Yet, though we cannot, as sensible men, because times have changed, pray for the cause of the Catholic religion among us with the understanding and intention of those who went before us, still, besides what they teach us ethically as to perseverance amid disappointment, I think we may draw two lessons from their mode of viewing the great duty of which I am speaking—lessons which we ought to lay to heart, and from which we may gain direction for ourselves. And on these I will say a few words. And first, they suggest to us that in praying for the conversion of England we ought to have, as they had, something in view which may be thrown into the shape of an object, present or immediate. An abstract idea of conversion—a conversion which is to take place some day or other, without any conception of what it is to be and how it is to come about—is, to my mind, very unsatisfactory. I know, of course, that we must ever leave events to the Supreme Disposer of all things. I do not forget the noble lines,

Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
But leave to Heaven the measure and the choice.

But this great precept does not interfere with our duty of taking pains to understand what we pray for—what our prayer definitely means; for the question is not what we shall get, but for what we shall ask. The views of our predecessors were clear enough; on the other hand, a want of distinctness is not only unjust to our object, but is very likely very apt to irritate those for whom we pray, as if we had in mind some secret expedients and methods against them, or else as if we were giving expression to a feeling of superiority and compassion about them, and thus betaking ourselves to the only resource left to men who have been beaten in argument. {269} Certainly those who prayed for the accession of Mary Tudor or Mary Stuart to the throne of England did not lay themselves open to this charge. They were definite enough in their petitions, and would have been quite satisfied with ordinary acts of Providence in their favour, such as form the staple of the world’s history. And this is the point as to which, I think, they give us a second lesson for our own profit. I consider, then, that when we pray we do not ask for miracles, and that this limitation of our prayers is neither a prescribing to Divine mercy nor any want of faith. I do not forget the displeasure of the prophet Eliseus with the King of Israel, who smote the ground only three times with his arrow instead of more times. 'If thou hadst smitten five, six, or seven times,' says the prophet, 'then thou hadst smitten Syria, even to utter destruction; but now three times shalt thou smite it;' but in this case there is no question of miracles. Nor will it be to the purpose to refer to the parable of the importunate widow, for that has nothing to do with miracles either. What I would urge is this; the Creator acts by a fixed rule, which we call a system of laws, and ordinarily, and on the whole, He honours and blesses His own ordinance, and acts through it, and we best honour Him when we follow His guidance in looking for His presence where He has lodged it. Moreover, what is very remarkable, even when it is His will to act miraculously—even when He oversteps His ordinary system—He is wont to do honour to it while overstepping it. Sometimes, indeed, He directly contradicts His own laws, as in raising the dead; but such rare acts have their own definite purpose, which make them necessary for their own sake; but for the most part His miracles are rather what may be called exaggerations, or carrying out to an extreme point, of the laws of Nature, than naked contrarieties to them; and if we would see more of His wonder-working hand we must look for it as thus mixed up with His natural appointments. As Divine aid given to the soul acts through and with natural reason, natural affection, and conscience, so miraculous agency, when exerted, is in many, nay, in most cases, a {270} co-operation with the ordinary ways of physical nature. As an illustration, I may take the division of the waters of the Red Sea at the Word of Moses. This was a miracle, yet it was effected with the instrumentality of a natural cause, acting according to its nature, but at the same time beyond it. 'When Moses,' says the sacred writer, 'had stretched forth his hands over the sea, the Lord took it away by a strong and burning wind blowing all the night and turned it into dry ground.' The coincidence that it happened at so critical a time and in answer to prayers, and then the hot wind’s abnormal and successful action—all this makes it a miracle, but still it is a miracle co-operating with the laws of Nature, and recognising them while it surpasses them. If the Almighty thus honours His own ordinances, we may well honour them, too; and, indeed, this is commonly recognised as a duty by Catholics in medical cases, not to look to miracles until natural means had failed. I do not say that they neglect this rule in regard to their prayers for conversions, but they have not it before their minds so consistently and practically. For instance, prayers for the conversion of given individuals, however unlikely to succeed, are, in the case of their relations, friends, benefactors, and the like, obviously a sacred duty. St. Monica prayed for her son; she was bound to do so. Had he remained in Africa he might have merely exchanged one heresy for another. He was guided to Italy by natural means, and was converted by St. Ambrose. It was by hoping against hope, by perseverance in asking, that her request was gained, that her reward was wrought out. However, I conceive the general rule of duty is to take likely objects of prayer, not unlikely objects, about whom we know little or nothing. But I have known cases when good Catholics have said of a given Protestant, 'We will have him,' and that with a sort of impetuosity, and as if, so to say, they defied Providence, and which have always reminded me of that doctrine of the Hindoo theology represented in Southey’s poem—that prayers and sacrifices had a compulsory force on the Supreme Being, as if no implicit act {271} of resignation were necessary in order to make our intercession acceptable. If, then, I am asked what our predecessors in the faith, were they on earth, would understand now by praying for the conversion of England, as two or three centuries ago they understood by it the success of those political parties and those measures with which that conversion was bound up, I answer that they would contemplate an object present, immediate, concrete, and in the way of Providence, and it would be, if worded with strict correctness, not the conversion of England to the Catholic Church, but the growth of the Catholic Church in England. They would expect, again, by their prayers nothing sudden, nothing violent, nothing evidently miraculous, nothing inconsistent with the free will of our countrymen, nothing out of keeping with the majestic march and slow but sure triumph of truth and right in this turbulent world. They would look for the gradual, steady, and sound advance of Catholicity by ordinary means, and issues which are probable, and acts and proceedings which are good and holy. They would pray for the conversion of individuals, and for a great many of them, and out of all ranks and classes, and those especially who are in faith and devotion nearest to the Church, and seem, if they do not themselves defeat it, to be the objects of God’s election; for a removal from the public mind of prejudice and ignorance about us; for a better understanding in all quarters of what we hold and what we do not hold; for a feeling of good-will and respectful bearing in the population towards our bishops and priests; for a growing capacity in the educated classes of entering into a just appreciation of our characteristic opinions, sentiments, ways, and principles; and in order to effect all this, for a blessing on our controversialists, that they may be gifted with an abundant measure of prudence, self-command, tact, knowledge of men and things, good sense, candour, and straightforwardness, that their reputation may be high and their influence wide and deep; and, as a special means and most necessary for our success, for a larger increase in the Catholic body of brotherly love and mutual sympathy, unanimity, and high principle, for rectitude of {272} conduct and purity of life. I could not have selected a more important subject to bring before you; but in proportion to my sense of its importance is my consciousness that it deserves a treatment far superior to that which I have given it. I have done as well as I could, though poor is the best."

The Earl of Gainsborough: I have been suddenly called upon to move a resolution which I know you will willingly respond to ... The resolution which I have to move is this: "That the best thanks of the Catholic Union of Great Britain be respectfully offered to Cardinal Newman for the honour His Eminence has conferred upon the Union on this occasion". (Great applause.)

Canon Macmullen: I feel that no speech of mine is necessary to recommend to this meeting the resolution which the Earl of Gainsborough has proposed and which I have been called upon by His Grace the President to support. Cardinal Newman’s voice has carried me back to years that have long passed away; years when, from week to week, I enjoyed the blessedness of hearing those words of His Eminence from the pulpit of St. Mary’s, Oxford, by which my mind was first awakened to the truths of the Catholic religion and guided on to the Catholic Church. That time has come back to me in all its vividness during the last half-hour, and I think of it with feelings of the profoundest gratitude to him, which no lapse of years can weaken, and which no language can adequately describe. It is extremely gratifying to me, as it must be to all of us this afternoon, to find that even the physical power of His Eminence’s voice remains so unimpaired. Time must no doubt have, to some extent, weakened it, but it still retains not only all its old sweetness, but its moral and spiritual influence. We all know in how many instances that voice has been raised, and that influence employed, with the happiest results, when the needs of the Church required it; while I know in my own experience, and no doubt many here know too, how often that voice has given satisfaction to the doubting and encouragement to the perplexed. And now it is a fresh and a deep debt of gratitude which {273} we owe to His Eminence, for putting aside for a time the quiet daily habits of his life, to come to address to us those beautiful words which we have all listened to with so much interest and admiration, I cannot think that those words will soon depart from our minds. We are all engaged day by day in our different ways in the work of which His Eminence has been speaking, and I must express my earnest hope that we may ever act in the spirit of his words and remember that it is by his wisdom and prudence, by his kindness and candour to his opponents, by his force of sympathy and everflowing charity, together with his firm grasp of principle, that he has established for himself his unexampled influence over the intelligence and affections of his fellow-countrymen of every school of opinion and of every creed. (Loud cheers.)

The motion was then put by the President, and carried by acclamation.

Cardinal Newman: I am sure, my dear friends, you will not consider the paucity of words which I use to be the measure of my feelings. Of course it is known that the more a man feels the less he will speak; and so it is with me most certainly at this moment. You have spoken in a way to do me extreme honour. For myself, I know that I am now very old, and therefore it is a great comfort to think that there are those who take such an interest in me; and I am extremely gratified at all that has been said of me, and the kind thoughts and feelings which have been expressed. It is a great privilege from Almighty God to have such {274} kindness shown to one. I cannot but feel, indeed, that far kinder and more flattering things have been said of me than I really deserve. But I will not attempt to weigh nicely your words, or to judge myself—that I will leave to Him. And now let me say one word in explanation of something I said in my address just now. I must not for an instant be supposed to forget that miracles are one of the standing gifts of the Catholic Church, and that though in particular cases it may be presumptuous to look for them, or hasty and rash to pronounce their occurrence, nevertheless they are at times granted for our encouragement and edification, and, even when they are not of the nature of evidence, answer various good purposes in the Divine dispensation. I am grateful to you all for your favourable judgment of me, your charity and sympathy for me, your resolute intention to think well of me in all things, and in so many ways to do me honour. (Loud cheers.)


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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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