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Title: Apologia pro Vita Sua
Author: Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By John Henry (Cardinal) Newman

London: Published
by J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd.
And in New York
by E.P. Dutton & Co.


_"No autobiography in the English language has been more read; to
the nineteenth century it bears a relation not less characteristic
than Boswell's 'Johnson' to the eighteenth."_

Rev. Wm. Barry, D.D.

Newman was already a recognised spiritual leader of over thirty
year's standing, but not yet a Cardinal, when in 1864 he wrote the
_Apologia_. He was London born, and he had, as many Londoners have
had, a foreign strain in him. His father came of Dutch stock; his
mother was a Fourdrinier, daughter of an old French Huguenot family
settled in this country. The date of his birth, 21st of February
1801, relates him to many famous contemporaries, from Heine to Renan,
from Carlyle to Pusey. Sent to school at Ealing--an imaginative
seven-year-old schoolboy, he was described even then as being fond of
books and seriously minded. It is certain he was deeply read in the
English Bible, thanks to his mother's care, before he began Latin and
Greek. Another lifelong influence--as we may be prepared to find by a
signal reference in the following autobiography, was Sir Walter
Scott; and in a later page he speaks of reading in bed _Waverley_ and
_Guy Mannering_ when they first came out--"in the early summer
mornings," and of his delight in hearing _The Lay of the Last
Minstrel_ read aloud. Like Ruskin, another nineteenth-century master
of English prose, he was finely affected by these two powerful
inductors. They worked alike upon his piety and his imagination which
was its true servant, and they helped to foster his seemingly
instinctive style and his feeling for the English tongue.

In 1816 he went to Oxford--to Trinity College--and two years later
gained a scholarship there. His father's idea was that he should read
for the bar, and he kept a few terms at Lincoln's Inn; but in the end
Oxford, which had, about the year of his birth, experienced a rebirth
of ideas, thanks to the widening impulse of the French Revolution,
held him, and Oriel College--the centre of the "Noetics," as old
Oxford called the Liberal set in contempt--made him a fellow. His
association there with Pusey and Keble is a matter of history; and
the Oxford Movement, in which the three worked together, was the
direct result, according to Dean Church, of their "searchings of
heart and communing" for seven years, from 1826 to 1833. A word might
be said of Whately too, whose _Logic_ Newman helped to beat into
final form in these Oxford experiences. Not since the days of Colet
and Erasmus had the University experienced such a shaking of the
branches. However, there is no need to do more than allude to these
intimately dealt with in the _Apologia_ itself.

There, indeed, the stages of Newman's pilgrimage are related with a
grace and sincerity of style that have hardly been equalled in
English or in any northern tongue. It ranges from the simplest facts
to the most complicated polemical issues and is always easily in
accord with its changing theme. So much so, that the critics
themselves have not known whether to admire more the spiritual logic
of the literary art of the writer and self-confessor. We may take, as
two instances of Newman's power, the delightful account in Part III.
of his childhood and the first growth of his religious belief; and
the remarkable opening to Part IV., where he uses the figure of the
death-bed with that finer reality which is born of the creative
communion of thought and word in a poet's brain. Something of this
power was felt, it is clear, in his sermons at Oxford. Dr. Barry
describes the effect that Newman made at the time of his parting with
the Anglican Church: "Every sermon was an experience;" made memorable
by that "still figure, and clear, low, penetrating voice, and the
mental hush that fell upon his audience while he meditated, alone
with the Alone, in words of awful austerity. His discourses were
poems, but transcripts too from the soul, reasonings in a heavenly

About his controversy with Charles Kingsley, the immediate cause of
his _Apologia_, what new thing need be said? It is clear that
Kingsley, who was the type of a class of mind then common enough in
his Church, impulsive, prejudiced, not logical, gave himself away
both by the mode and by the burden of his unfortunate attack. But we
need not complain of it to-day, since it called out one of the
noblest pieces of spiritual history the world possesses: one indeed
which has the unique merit of making only the truth that is intrinsic
and devout seem in the end to matter.

Midway in the forties, as the _Apologia_ tells us, twenty years that
is before it was written, Newman left Oxford and the Anglican Church
for the Church in which he died. Later portraits make us realise him
best in his robes as a Cardinal, as he may be seen in the National
Portrait Gallery, or in the striking picture by Millais (now in
the Duke of Norfolk's collection). There is one delightful earlier
portrait too, which shows him with a peculiarly radiant face, full of
charm and serene expectancy; and with it we may associate these lines
of his--sincere expression of one who was in all his earthly and
heavenly pilgrimage a truth-seeker, heart and soul:

   "When I would search the truths that in me burn,
     And mould them into rule and argument,
   A hundred reasoners cried,--'Hast thou to learn
     Those dreams are scatter'd now, those fires are spent?'
   And, did I mount to simpler thoughts, and try
   Some theme of peace, 'twas still the same reply.

   Perplex'd, I hoped my heart was pure of guile,
     But judged me weak in wit, to disagree;
   But now, I see that men are mad awhile,
     'Tis the old history--Truth without a home,
   Despised and slain, then rising from the tomb."

The following is a list of the chief works of Cardinal Newman:--

The Arians of the Fourth Century, 1833; 29 Tracts to Tracts for the
Times, 1834-1841; Lyra Apostolica, 1834; Elucidations of Dr.
Hampden's Theological Statements, 1836; Parochial Sermons, 6 vols.,
1837-1842; A Letter to the Rev. G. Faussett on Certain Points of
Faith and Practice, 1838; Lectures on Justification, 1838; Sermons on
Subjects of the Day, 1842; Plain Sermons, 1843; Sermons before the
University of Oxford, 1843; The Cistercian Saints of England, 1844;
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, 1845; Loss and
Gain, 1848; Discourse addressed to Mixed Congregations, 1849;
Lectures on Certain Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Catholic
Teaching, 1850; Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in
England, 1851; The Idea of a University, 1852; Callista, 1856; Mr.
Kingsley and Dr. Newman, 1864; Apologia pro Vita Sua, 1864; The Dream
of Gerontius, 1865; Letter to the Rev. E. B. Pusey on his Eirenicon,
1866; Verses on Various Occasions, 1868; An Essay in Aid of a Grammar
of Assent, 1870; Letter addressed to His Grace the Duke of Norfolk on
Occasion of Mr. Gladstone's Expostulation, 1875; Meditations and
Devotions, 1893.

Biographies.--By W. Meynell, 1890; by Dr. Wm Barry, 1890; by R. H.
Hutton, 1891; Letters and Correspondence of J. H. Newman, during his
life in the English Church (with a brief autobiography), edited by
Miss Anne Mozley, 1891; Anglican Career of Cardinal Newman, by Rd. E.
A. Abbott, 1892; as a Musician, by E. Bellasis, 1892; by A. R. Waller
and G. H. S. Burrow, 1901; an Appreciation, by Dr. A. Whyte, 1901;
Addresses to Cardinal Newman, with his Replies, edited by Rev. W. P.
Neville, 1905; by W. Ward (in Ten Personal Studies), 1908; Newman's
Theology, by Charles Sarolea, 1908; The Authoritative Biography, by
Wilfrid P. Ward (based on Cardinal Newman's private journals and
correspondence), 1912.


  PART                                                          PAGE
    I. Mr. Kingsley's Method of Disputation                        1
   II. True Mode of Meeting Mr. Kingsley                          15
  III. History of My Religious Opinions up to 1833                29
   IV. History of My Religious Opinions from 1833 to 1839         57
    V. History of My Religious Opinions from 1839 to 1841        101
   VI. History of My Religious Opinions from 1841 to 1845        147
  VII. General Answer to Mr. Kingsley                            215
       APPENDIX: Answer in Detail to Mr. Kingsley's Accusations  253


Part I

Mr. Kingsley's Method of Disputation

I cannot be sorry to have forced Mr. Kingsley to bring out in
fulness his charges against me. It is far better that he should
discharge his thoughts upon me in my lifetime, than after I am dead.
Under the circumstances I am happy in having the opportunity of
reading the worst that can be said of me by a writer who has taken
pains with his work and is well satisfied with it. I account it a
gain to be surveyed from without by one who hates the principles
which are nearest to my heart, has no personal knowledge of me to set
right his misconceptions of my doctrine, and who has some motive or
other to be as severe with me as he can possibly be.

And first of all, I beg to compliment him on the motto in his
title-page; it is felicitous. A motto should contain, as in a
nutshell, the contents, or the character, or the drift, or the
_animus_ of the writing to which it is prefixed. The words which he
has taken from me are so apposite as to be almost prophetical. There
cannot be a better illustration than he thereby affords of the
aphorism which I intended them to convey. I said that it is not more
than an hyperbolical expression to say that in certain cases a
lie is the nearest approach to truth. Mr. Kingsley's pamphlet
is emphatically one of such cases as are contemplated in that
proposition. I really believe, that his view of me is about as near
an approach to the truth about my writings and doings, as he is
capable of taking. He has done his worst towards me; but he has also
done his best. So far well; but, while I impute to him no malice, I
unfeignedly think, on the other hand, that, in his invective against
me, he as faithfully fulfils the other half of the proposition also.

This is not a mere sharp retort upon Mr. Kingsley, as will be seen,
when I come to consider directly the subject to which the words of
his motto relate. I have enlarged on that subject in various passages
of my publications; I have said that minds in different states and
circumstances cannot understand one another, and that in all cases
they must be instructed according to their capacity, and, if not
taught step by step, they learn only so much the less; that children
do not apprehend the thoughts of grown people, nor savages the
instincts of civilization, nor blind men the perceptions of sight,
nor pagans the doctrines of Christianity, nor men the experiences of
Angels. In the same way, there are people of matter-of-fact, prosaic
minds, who cannot take in the fancies of poets; and others of
shallow, inaccurate minds, who cannot take in the ideas of
philosophical inquirers. In a lecture of mine I have illustrated
this phenomenon by the supposed instance of a foreigner, who, after
reading a commentary on the principles of English Law, does not
get nearer to a real apprehension of them than to be led to accuse
Englishmen of considering that the queen is impeccable and
infallible, and that the Parliament is omnipotent. Mr. Kingsley
has read me from beginning to end in the fashion in which the
hypothetical Russian read Blackstone; not, I repeat, from malice, but
because of his intellectual build. He appears to be so constituted as
to have no notion of what goes on in minds very different from his
own, and moreover to be stone-blind to his ignorance. A modest man or
a philosopher would have scrupled to treat with scorn and scoffing,
as Mr. Kingsley does in my own instance, principles and convictions,
even if he did not acquiesce in them himself, which had been held so
widely and for so long--the beliefs and devotions and customs which
have been the religious life of millions upon millions of Christians
for nearly twenty centuries--for this in fact is the task on which he
is spending his pains. Had he been a man of large or cautious mind,
he would not have taken it for granted that cultivation must lead
every one to see things precisely as he sees them himself. But the
narrow-minded are the more prejudiced by very reason of their
narrowness. The apostle bids us "in malice be children, but in
understanding be men." I am glad to recognise in Mr. Kingsley an
illustration of the first half of this precept; but I should not be
honest, if I ascribed to him any sort of fulfilment of the second.

I wish I could speak as favourably either of his drift or of his
method of arguing, as I can of his convictions. As to his drift, I
think its ultimate point is an attack upon the Catholic Religion. It
is I indeed, whom he is immediately insulting--still, he views me
only as a representative, and on the whole a fair one, of a class or
caste of men, to whom, conscious as I am of my own integrity, I
ascribe an excellence superior to mine. He desires to impress upon
the public mind the conviction that I am a crafty, scheming man,
simply untrustworthy; that, in becoming a Catholic, I have just found
my right place; that I do but justify and am properly interpreted by
the common English notion of Roman casuists and confessors; that I
was secretly a Catholic when I was openly professing to be a
clergyman of the Established Church; that so far from bringing, by
means of my conversion, when at length it openly took place, any
strength to the Catholic cause, I am really a burden to it--an
additional evidence of the fact, that to be a pure, german, genuine
Catholic, a man must be either a knave or a fool.

These last words bring me to Mr. Kingsley's method of disputation,
which I must criticise with much severity;--in his drift he does but
follow the ordinary beat of controversy, but in his mode of arguing
he is actually dishonest.

He says that I am either a knave or a fool, and (as we shall see by
and by) he is not quite sure which, probably both. He tells his
readers that on one occasion he said that he had fears I should "end
in one or other of two misfortunes." "He would either," he continues,
"destroy his own sense of honesty, _i.e._ conscious truthfulness--and
become a dishonest person; or he would destroy his common sense,
_i.e._ unconscious truthfulness, and become the slave and puppet
seemingly of his own logic, really of his own fancy.... I thought for
years past that he had become the former; I now see that he has
become the latter." (p. 20). Again, "When I read these outrages upon
common sense, what wonder if I said to myself, 'This man cannot
believe what he is saying?'" (p. 26). Such has been Mr. Kingsley's
state of mind till lately, but now he considers that I am possessed
with a spirit of "almost boundless silliness," of "simple
credulity, the child of scepticism," of "absurdity" (p. 41), of a
"self-deception which has become a sort of frantic honesty" (p. 26).
And as to his fundamental reason for this change, he tells us, he
really does not know what it is (p. 44). However, let the reason be
what it will, its upshot is intelligible enough. He is enabled at
once, by this professed change of judgment about me, to put forward
one of these alternatives, yet to keep the other in reserve;--and
this he actually does. He need not commit himself to a definite
accusation against me, such as requires definite proof and admits of
definite refutation; for he has two strings to his bow;--when he is
thrown off his balance on the one leg, he can recover himself by the
use of the other. If I demonstrate that I am not a knave, he may
exclaim, "Oh, but you are a fool!" and when I demonstrate that I am
not a fool, he may turn round and retort, "Well, then, you are a
knave." I have no objection to reply to his arguments in behalf of
either alternative, but I should have been better pleased to have
been allowed to take them one at a time.

But I have not yet done full justice to the method of disputation,
which Mr. Kingsley thinks it right to adopt. Observe this first:--He
means by a man who is "silly" not a man who is to be pitied, but a
man who is to be _abhorred_. He means a man who is not simply weak
and incapable, but a moral leper; a man who, if not a knave, has
everything bad about him except knavery; nay, rather, has together
with every other worst vice, a spice of knavery to boot. _His_
simpleton is one who has become such, in judgment for his having once
been a knave. _His_ simpleton is not a born fool, but a self-made
idiot, one who has drugged and abused himself into a shameless
depravity; one, who, without any misgiving or remorse, is guilty of
drivelling superstition, of reckless violation of sacred things, of
fanatical excesses, of passionate inanities, of unmanly audacious
tyranny over the weak, meriting the wrath of fathers and brothers.
This is that milder judgment, which he seems to pride himself upon as
so much charity; and, as he expresses it, he "does not know" why.
This is what he really meant in his letter to me of January 14, when
he withdrew his charge of my being dishonest. He said, "The _tone_ of
your letters, even more than their language, makes me feel, _to my
very deep pleasure_,"--what? that you have gambled away your reason,
that you are an intellectual sot, that you are a fool in a frenzy.
And in his pamphlet, he gives us this explanation why he did not say
this to my face, viz. that he had been told that I was "in weak
health," and was "averse to controversy," (pp. 6 and 8). He "felt
some regret for having disturbed me."

But I pass on from these multiform imputations, and confine myself to
this one consideration, viz. that he has made any fresh imputation
upon me at all. He gave up the charge of knavery; well and good: but
where was the logical necessity of his bringing another? I am sitting
at home without a thought of Mr. Kingsley; he wantonly breaks in upon
me with the charge that I had "_informed_" the world "that Truth for
its own sake _need not_ and on the whole _ought not to be_ a virtue
with the Roman clergy." When challenged on the point he cannot bring
a fragment of evidence in proof of his assertion, and he is convicted
of false witness by the voice of the world. Well, I should have
thought that he had now nothing whatever more to do. "Vain man!" he
seems to make answer, "what simplicity in you to think so! If you
have not broken one commandment, let us see whether we cannot convict
you of the breach of another. If you are not a swindler or forger,
you are guilty of arson or burglary. By hook or by crook you shall
not escape. Are _you_ to suffer or _I_? What does it matter to you
who are going off the stage, to receive a slight additional daub
upon a character so deeply stained already? But think of me, the
immaculate lover of Truth, so observant (as I have told you p. 8) of
'_hault courage_ and strict honour,'--and (_aside_)--'and not as this
publican'--do you think I can let you go scot free instead of myself?
No; _noblesse oblige_. Go to the shades, old man, and boast that
Achilles sent you thither."

But I have not even yet done with Mr. Kingsley's method of
disputation. Observe secondly:--when a man is said to be a knave or a
fool, it is commonly meant that he is _either_ the one _or_ the
other; and that,--either in the sense that the hypothesis of his
being a fool is too absurd to be entertained; or, again, as a sort of
contemptuous acquittal of one, who after all has not wit enough to be
wicked. But this is not at all what Mr. Kingsley proposes to himself
in the antithesis which he suggests to his readers. Though he speaks
of me as an utter dotard and fanatic, yet all along, from the
beginning of his pamphlet to the end, he insinuates, he proves from
my writings, and at length in his last pages he openly pronounces,
that after all he was right at first, in thinking me a conscious liar
and deceiver.

Now I wish to dwell on this point. It cannot be doubted, I say, that,
in spite of his professing to consider me as a dotard and driveller,
on the ground of his having given up the notion of my being a knave,
yet it is the very staple of his pamphlet that a knave after all I
must be. By insinuation, or by implication, or by question, or by
irony, or by sneer, or by parable, he enforces again and again a
conclusion which he does not categorically enunciate.

For instance (1) P. 14. "I know that men _used to suspect Dr.
Newman_, I have been inclined to do so myself, of writing a whole
sermon ... for the sake of one single passing hint, one phrase, one
epithet, one little barbed arrow which ... he delivered unheeded, as
with his finger tip, to the very heart of an initiated hearer, _never
to be withdrawn again_."

(2) P. 15. "How _was_ I to know that the preacher, who had the
reputation of being the most _acute_ man of his generation, and of
having a specially intimate acquaintance with the weaknesses of the
human heart, was utterly blind to the broad meaning and the plain
practical result of a sermon like this, delivered before fanatic and
hot-headed young men, who hung upon his every word? That he did not
_foresee_ that they would think that they obeyed him, _by becoming
affected, artificial, sly, shifty, ready for concealments and

(3) P. 17. "No one _would have_ suspected him to be a dishonest man,
if he had not perversely chosen _to assume a style_ which (as he
himself confesses) the world always associates with dishonesty."

(4) Pp. 29, 30. "_If_ he will indulge in subtle paradoxes, in
rhetorical exaggerations; if, _whenever he touches on the question of
truth and honesty_, he will take a perverse pleasure in saying
something shocking to plain English notions, he _must take the
consequences of his own eccentricities_."

(5) P. 34. "At which most of my readers will be inclined to cry: 'Let
Dr. Newman alone, after that.... He had a human reason once, no
doubt: but he has gambled it away.' ... True: so true, etc."

(6) P. 34. He continues: "I should never have written these pages,
save because it was my duty to show the world, if not Dr. Newman, how
the mistake (!) of his _not caring_ for truth _arose_."

(7) P. 37. "And this is the man, who when accused of countenancing
falsehood, puts on first a tone of _plaintive_ (!) and startled
innocence, and then one of smug self-satisfaction--as who should ask,
'What have I said? What have I done? Why am I on my trial?'"

(8) P. 40. "What Dr. Newman teaches is clear at last, and _I see now
how deeply I have wronged him_. So far from thinking truth for its
own sake to be no virtue, _he considers it a virtue so lofty as to be
unattainable by man_."

(9) P. 43. "There is no use in wasting words on this 'economical'
statement of Dr. Newman's. I shall only say that there are people in
the world whom it is very difficult to _help_. As soon as they are
got out of one scrape, they walk straight into another."

(10) P. 43. "Dr. Newman has shown 'wisdom' enough of that
_serpentine_ type which is his professed ideal.... Yes, Dr. Newman is
a very economical person."

(11) P. 44. "Dr. Newman _tries_, by _cunning sleight-of-hand logic_,
to prove that I did not believe the accusation when I made it."

(12) P. 45. "These are hard words. If Dr. Newman shall complain of
them, I can only remind him of the fate which befel the stork caught
among the cranes, _even though_ the stork had _not_ done all he could
to make himself like a crane, _as Dr. Newman has_, by 'economising'
on the very title-page of his pamphlet."

These last words bring us to another and far worse instance of these
slanderous assaults upon me, but its place is in a subsequent page.

Now it may be asked of me, "Well, why should not Mr. Kingsley take a
course such as this? It was his original assertion that Dr. Newman
was a professed liar, and a patron of lies; he spoke somewhat at
random, granted; but now he has got up his references and he is
proving, not perhaps the very thing which he said at first, but
something very like it, and to say the least quite as bad. He is now
only aiming to justify morally his original assertion; why is he not
at liberty to do so?"

_Why_ should he _not_ now insinuate that I am a liar and a knave! he
had of course a perfect right to make such a charge, if he chose; he
might have said, "I was virtually right, and here is the proof of
it," but this he has not done, but on the contrary has professed that
he no longer draws from my works, as he did before, the inference of
my dishonesty. He says distinctly, p. 26, "When I read these outrages
upon common sense, what wonder if I said to myself, 'This man cannot
believe what he is saying?' _I believe I was wrong_." And in p. 31,
"I said, This man has no real care for truth. Truth for its own sake
is no virtue in his eyes, and he teaches that it need not be. _I do
not say that now_." And in p. 41, "I do not call this conscious
dishonesty; the man who wrote that sermon _was already past the
possibility_ of such a sin."

_Why_ should he _not_! because it is on the ground of my not being a
knave that he calls me a fool; adding to the words just quoted, "[My
readers] have fallen perhaps into the prevailing superstition that
cleverness is synonymous with wisdom. They cannot believe that (as is
too certain) great literary and even barristerial ability may
co-exist with almost boundless silliness."

_Why_ should he _not_! because he has taken credit to himself for
that high feeling of honour which refuses to withdraw a concession
which once has been made; though (wonderful to say!), at the very
time that he is recording this magnanimous resolution, he lets it out
of the bag that his relinquishment of it is only a profession and a
pretence; for he says, p. 8: "I have accepted Dr. Newman's denial
that [the Sermon] means what I thought it did; and _heaven forbid_"
(oh!) "that I should withdraw my word once given, _at whatever
disadvantage to myself_." Disadvantage! but nothing can be
advantageous to him which is _untrue_; therefore in proclaiming that
the concession of my honesty is a disadvantage to him, he thereby
implies unequivocally that there is some probability still, that I am
_dis_honest. He goes on, "I am informed by those from whose judgment
on such points there is no appeal, that '_en hault courage_,' and
strict honour, I am also _precluded_, by the _terms_ of my
explanation, from using any other of Dr. Newman's past writings to
prove my assertion." And then, "I have declared Dr. Newman to have
been an honest man up to the 1st of February, 1864; it was, as I
shall show, only Dr. Newman's fault that I ever thought him to be
anything else. It depends entirely on Dr. Newman whether he shall
_sustain_ the reputation which he has so recently acquired," (by
diploma of course from Mr. Kingsley.) "If I give him thereby a fresh
advantage in this argument, he is _most welcome_ to it. He needs, it
seems to me, _as many advantages as possible_."

What a princely mind! How loyal to his rash promise, how delicate
towards the subject of it, how conscientious in his interpretation of
it! I have no thought of irreverence towards a Scripture Saint, who
was actuated by a very different spirit from Mr. Kingsley's, but
somehow since I read his pamphlet words have been running in my head,
which I find in the Douay version thus; "Thou hast also with thee
Semei the son of Gera, who cursed me with a grievous curse when I
went to the camp, but I swore to him, saying, I will not kill thee
with the sword. Do not thou hold him guiltless. But thou art a wise
man and knowest what to do with him, and thou shalt bring down his
grey hairs with blood to hell."

Now I ask, Why could not Mr. Kingsley be open? If he intended still
to arraign me on the charge of lying, why could he not say so as a
man? Why must he insinuate, question, imply, and use sneering and
irony, as if longing to touch a forbidden fruit, which still he was
afraid would burn his fingers, if he did so? Why must he "palter in a
double sense," and blow hot and cold in one breath? He first said he
considered me a patron of lying; well, he changed his opinion; and as
to the logical ground of this change, he said that, if any one asked
him what it was, he could only answer that _he really did not know_.
Why could not he change back again, and say he did not know why? He
had quite a right to do so; and then his conduct would have been so
far straightforward and unexceptionable. But no;--in the very act of
professing to believe in my sincerity, he takes care to show the
world that it is a profession and nothing more. That very proceeding
which at p. 15 he lays to my charge (whereas I detest it), of avowing
one thing and thinking another, that proceeding he here exemplifies
himself; and yet, while indulging in practices as offensive as this,
he ventures to speak of his sensitive admiration of "hault courage
and strict honour!" "I forgive you, Sir Knight," says the heroine in
the Romance, "I forgive you as a Christian." "That means," said
Wamba, "that she does not forgive him at all." Mr. Kingsley's word of
honour is about as valuable as in the jester's opinion was the
Christian charity of Rowena. But here we are brought to a further
specimen of Mr. Kingsley's method of disputation, and having duly
exhibited it, I shall have done with him.

It is his last, and he has intentionally reserved it for his last.
Let it be recollected that he professed to absolve me from his
original charge of dishonesty up to February 1. And further, he
implies that, _at the time when he was writing_, I had not _yet_
involved myself in any fresh acts suggestive of that sin. He says
that I have had a great _escape_ of conviction, that he hopes I shall
take warning, and act more cautiously. "It depends entirely," he
says, "on _Dr. Newman, whether_ he shall _sustain_ the reputation
which he has so recently acquired" (p. 8). Thus, in Mr. Kingsley's
judgment, I was _then_, when he wrote these words, _still_ innocent
of dishonesty, for a man cannot sustain what he actually has not got;
_only he could not be sure of my future_. Could not be sure! Why at
this very time he had already noted down valid proofs, as he thought
them, that I _had_ already forfeited the character which he
contemptuously accorded to me. He had cautiously said "_up to_
February 1st," _in order_ to reserve the title-page and last three
pages of my pamphlet, which were not published till February 12th,
and out of these four pages, which he had _not_ whitewashed, he had
_already_ forged charges against me of dishonesty at the very time
that he implied that as yet there was nothing against me. When he
gave me that plenary condonation, as it seemed to be, he had already
done his best that I should never enjoy it. He knew well at p. 8,
what he meant to say at pp. 44 and 45. At best indeed I was only out
upon ticket of leave; but that ticket was a pretence; he had made
it forfeit when he gave it. But he did not say so at once, first,
because between p. 8 and p. 44 he meant to talk a great deal about my
idiotcy and my frenzy, which would have been simply out of place, had
he proved me too soon to be a knave again; and next, because he meant
to exhaust all those insinuations about my knavery in the past, which
"strict honour" did not permit him to countenance, in order thereby
to give colour and force to his direct charges of knavery in the
present, which "strict honour" _did_ permit him to handsel. So in the
fifth act he gave a start, and found to his horror that, in my
miserable four pages, I had committed the "enormity" of an "economy,"
which in matter of fact he had got by heart before he began the play.
Nay, he suddenly found two, three, and (for what he knew) as many as
four profligate economies in that title-page and those Reflections,
and he uses the language of distress and perplexity at this appalling

Now why this _coup de théâtre_? The reason soon breaks on us. Up to
February 1, he could not categorically arraign me for lying, and
therefore could not involve me (as was so necessary for his case), in
the popular abhorrence which is felt for the casuists of Rome: but,
as soon as ever he could openly and directly pronounce (saving his
"hault courage and strict honour") that I am guilty of three or four
new economies, then at once I am made to bear, not only my own sins,
but the sins of other people also, and, though I have been condoned
the knavery of my antecedents, I am guilty of the knavery of a whole
priesthood instead. So the hour of doom for Semei is come, and the
wise man knows what to do with him;--he is down upon me with the
odious names of "St. Alfonso da Liguori," and "Scavini" and
"Neyraguet," and "the Romish moralists," and their "compeers and
pupils," and I am at once merged and whirled away in the gulph of
notorious quibblers, and hypocrites, and rogues.

But we have not even yet got at the real object of the stroke, thus
reserved for his _finale_. I really feel sad for what I am obliged
now to say. I am in warfare with him, but I wish him no ill;--it is
very difficult to get up resentment towards persons whom one has
never seen. It is easy enough to be irritated with friends or foes,
_vis-à-vis_; but, though I am writing with all my heart against what
he has said of me, I am not conscious of personal unkindness towards
himself. I think it necessary to write as I am writing, for my own
sake, and for the sake of the Catholic priesthood; but I wish to
impute nothing worse to Kingsley than that he has been furiously
carried away by his feelings. But what shall I say of the upshot of
all this talk of my economies and equivocations and the like? What is
the precise _work_ which it is directed to effect? I am at war with
him; but there is such a thing as legitimate warfare: war has its
laws; there are things which may fairly be done, and things which may
not be done. I say it with shame and with stern sorrow;--he has
attempted a great transgression; he has attempted (as I may call it)
to _poison the wells_. I will quote him and explain what I mean.

"Dr. Newman tries, by cunning sleight-of-hand logic, to prove that I
did not believe the accusation when I made it. Therein he is
mistaken. I did believe it, and I believed also his indignant denial.
But when he goes on to ask with sneers, why I should believe his
denial, if I did not consider him trustworthy in the first instance?
I can only answer, I really do not know. There is a _great deal_ to
be said for _that_ view, _now that_ Dr. Newman has become (one must
needs suppose) _suddenly_ and _since_ the 1st of February, 1864, a
convert to the _economic_ views of St. Alfonso da Liguori and his
compeers. I am _henceforth_ in doubt and _fear_, as much as any
honest man can be, _concerning every word_ Dr. Newman may write. _How
can I tell that I shall not be the dupe of some cunning
equivocation_, of one of the three kinds laid down as permissible by
the blessed Alfonso da Liguori and his pupils, even when confirmed by
an oath, because 'then we do not deceive our neighbour, but allow him
to deceive himself?' ... It is admissible, therefore, to use words
and sentences which have a double signification, and leave the
hapless hearer to take which of them he may choose. _What proof have
I, then, that by 'mean it? I never said it!' Dr. Newman does not
signify_, I did not say it, but I did mean it?"--Pp. 44, 45.

Now these insinuations and questions shall be answered in their
proper places; here I will but say that I scorn and detest lying, and
quibbling, and double-tongued practice, and slyness, and cunning, and
smoothness, and cant, and pretence, quite as much as any Protestants
hate them; and I pray to be kept from the snare of them. But all this
is just now by the bye; my present subject is Mr. Kingsley; what I
insist upon here, now that I am bringing this portion of my
discussion to a close, is this unmanly attempt of his, in his
concluding pages, to cut the ground from under my feet;--to poison by
anticipation the public mind against me, John Henry Newman, and to
infuse into the imaginations of my readers, suspicion and mistrust of
everything that I may say in reply to him. This I call _poisoning the

"I am henceforth in _doubt and fear_," he says, "as much as any
_honest_ man can be, _concerning every word_ Dr. Newman may write.
_How can I tell that I shall not be the dupe of some cunning
equivocation?_ ... What proof have I, that by 'mean it? I never said
it!' Dr. Newman does not signify, 'I did not say it, but I did mean

Well, I can only say, that, if his taunt is to take effect, I am but
wasting my time in saying a word in answer to his foul calumnies; and
this is precisely what he knows and intends to be its fruit. I can
hardly get myself to protest against a method of controversy so base
and cruel, lest in doing so, I should be violating my self-respect
and self-possession; but most base and most cruel it is. We all know
how our imagination runs away with us, how suddenly and at what a
pace;--the saying, "Caesar's wife should not be suspected," is an
instance of what I mean. The habitual prejudice, the humour of the
moment, is the turning-point which leads us to read a defence in a
good sense or a bad. We interpret it by our antecedent impressions.
The very same sentiments, according as our jealousy is or is not
awake, or our aversion stimulated, are tokens of truth or of
dissimulation and pretence. There is a story of a sane person being
by mistake shut up in the wards of a lunatic asylum, and that, when
he pleaded his cause to some strangers visiting the establishment,
the only remark he elicited in answer was, "How naturally he talks!
you would think he was in his senses." Controversies should be
decided by the reason; is it legitimate warfare to appeal to the
misgivings of the public mind and to its dislikings? Anyhow, if
Mr. Kingsley is able thus to practise upon my readers, the more I
succeed, the less will be my success. If I am natural, he will tell
them, "Ars est celare artem;" if I am convincing, he will suggest
that I am an able logician; if I show warmth, I am acting the
indignant innocent; if I am calm, I am thereby detected as a smooth
hypocrite; if I clear up difficulties, I am too plausible and perfect
to be true. The more triumphant are my statements, the more certain
will be my defeat.

So will it be if Mr. Kingsley succeeds in his manoeuvre; but I do
not for an instant believe that he will. Whatever judgment my readers
may eventually form of me from these pages, I am confident that they
will believe me in what I shall say in the course of them. I have no
misgiving it all, that they will be ungenerous or harsh with a man
who has been so long before the eyes of the world; who has so many to
speak of him from personal knowledge; whose natural impulse it has
ever been to speak out; who has ever spoken too much rather than too
little; who would have saved himself many a scrape, if he had been
wise enough to hold his tongue; who has ever been fair to the
doctrines and arguments of his opponents; who has never slurred over
facts and reasonings which told against himself; who has never given
his name or authority to proofs which he thought unsound, or to
testimony which he did not think at least plausible; who has never
shrunk from confessing a fault when he felt that he had committed
one; who has ever consulted for others more than for himself; who has
given up much that he loved and prized and could have retained, but
that he loved honesty better than name, and truth better than dear

And now I am in a train of thought higher and more serene than any
which slanders can disturb. Away with you, Mr. Kingsley, and fly into
space. Your name shall occur again as little as I can help, in the
course of these pages. I shall henceforth occupy myself not with you,
but with your charges.

Part II

True Mode of Meeting Mr. Kingsley

What shall be the special imputation, against which I shall throw
myself in these pages, out of the thousand and one which my accuser
directs upon me? I mean to confine myself to one, for there is only
one about which I much care--the charge of untruthfulness. He may
cast upon me as many other imputations as he pleases, and they may
stick on me, as long as they can, in the course of nature. They will
fall to the ground in their season.

And indeed I think the same of the charge of untruthfulness, and I
select it from the rest, not because it is more formidable, but
because it is more serious. Like the rest, it may disfigure me for a
time, but it will not stain: Archbishop Whately used to say, "Throw
dirt enough, and some will stick;" well, will stick, but not stain. I
think he used to mean "stain," and I do not agree with him. Some dirt
sticks longer than other dirt; but no dirt is immortal. According to
the old saying, Prævalebit Veritas. There are virtues indeed, which
the world is not fitted to judge about or to uphold, such as faith,
hope, and charity: but it can judge about truthfulness; it can judge
about the natural virtues, and truthfulness is one of them. Natural
virtues may also become supernatural; truthfulness is such; but that
does not withdraw it from the jurisdiction of mankind at large. It
may be more difficult in this or that particular case for men to take
cognizance of it, as it may be difficult for the Court of Queen's
Bench at Westminster to try a case fairly which took place in
Hindoostan; but that is a question of capacity, not of right. Mankind
has the right to judge of truthfulness in the case of a Catholic, as
in the case of a Protestant, of an Italian, or of a Chinese. I have
never doubted, that in my hour, in God's hour, my avenger will
appear, and the world will acquit me of untruthfulness, even though
it be not while I live.

Still more confident am I of such eventual acquittal, seeing that my
judges are my own countrymen. I think, indeed, Englishmen the most
suspicious and touchy of mankind; I think them unreasonable and
unjust in their seasons of excitement; but I had rather be an
Englishman (as in fact I am) than belong to any other race under
heaven. They are as generous, as they are hasty and burly; and their
repentance for their injustice is greater than their sin.

For twenty years and more I have borne an imputation, of which I am
at least as sensitive, who am the object of it, as they can be, who
are only the judges. I have not set myself to remove it, first,
because I never have had an opening to speak, and, next, because I
never saw in them the disposition to hear. I have wished to appeal
from Philip drunk to Philip sober. When shall I pronounce him to be
himself again? If I may judge from the tone of the public press,
which represents the public voice, I have great reason to take heart
at this time. I have been treated by contemporary critics in this
controversy with great fairness and gentleness, and I am grateful to
them for it. However, the decision of the time and mode of my defence
has been taken out of my hands; and I am thankful that it has been
so. I am bound now as a duty to myself, to the Catholic cause, to the
Catholic priesthood, to give account of myself without any delay,
when I am so rudely and circumstantially charged with untruthfulness.
I accept the challenge; I shall do my best to meet it, and I shall be
content when I have done so.

I confine myself then, in these pages, to the charge of
untruthfulness; and I hereby cart away, as so much rubbish, the
impertinences, with which the pamphlet of Accusation swarms. I shall
not think it necessary here to examine, whether I am "worked into a
pitch of confusion," or have "carried self-deception to perfection,"
or am "anxious to show my credulity," or am "in a morbid state of
mind," or "hunger for nonsense as my food," or "indulge in subtle
paradoxes" and "rhetorical exaggerations," or have "eccentricities"
or teach in a style "utterly beyond" my accuser's "comprehension," or
create in him "blank astonishment," or "exalt the magical powers of
my Church," or have "unconsciously committed myself to a statement
which strikes at the root of all morality," or "look down on the
Protestant gentry as without hope of heaven," or "had better be sent
to the furthest" Catholic "mission among the savages of the South
seas," than "to teach in an Irish Catholic University," or have
"gambled away my reason," or adopt "sophistries," or have published
"sophisms piled upon sophisms," or have in my sermons "culminating
wonders," or have a "seemingly sceptical method," or have
"barristerial ability" and "almost boundless silliness," or "make
great mistakes," or am "a subtle dialectician," or perhaps have "lost
my temper," or "misquote Scripture," or am "antiscriptural," or
"border very closely on the Pelagian heresy."--Pp. 5, 7, 26,
29-34, 37, 38, 41, 43, 44, 48.

These all are impertinences; and the list is so long that I am almost
sorry to have given them room which might be better used. However,
there they are, or at least a portion of them; and having noticed
them thus much, I shall notice them no more.

Coming then to the subject, which is to furnish the staple of my
publication, the question of my truthfulness, I first direct
attention to the passage which the Act of Accusation contains at p. 8
and p. 42. I shall give my reason presently, why I begin with it.

My accuser is speaking of my sermon on Wisdom and Innocence, and he
says, "It must be _remembered always_ that it is not a Protestant,
but a Romish sermon."--P. 8.

Then at p. 42 he continues, "Dr. Newman does not apply to it that
epithet. He called it in his letter to me of the 7th of January
(published by him) a 'Protestant' one. I remarked that, but
considered it a mere slip of the pen. Besides, I have now nothing to
say to that letter. It is to his 'Reflections,' in p. 32, which are
open ground to me, that I refer. In them he deliberately repeats the
epithet 'Protestant:' only he, in an utterly imaginary conversation,
puts it into my mouth, 'which you preached when a Protestant.' I call
the man who preached that Sermon a Protestant? I should have sooner
called him a Buddhist. _At that very time he was teaching his
disciples to scorn_ and repudiate that name of Protestant, under
which, for some reason or other, he _now finds it convenient to take
shelter_. If _he_ forgets, the world does not, the famous article in
the _British Critic_ (the then organ of his party), of three years
before, July 1841, which, after denouncing the name of Protestant,
declared the object of the party to be none other than the
'_unprotestantising_' the English Church."

In this passage my accuser asserts or implies, 1, that the sermon, on
which he originally grounded his slander against me in the January
No. of the magazine, was really and in matter of fact a "Romish"
Sermon; 2, that I ought in my pamphlet to have acknowledged this
fact; 3, that I didn't. 4, That I actually called it instead a
Protestant Sermon. 5, That at the time when I published it, twenty
years ago, I should have denied that it was a Protestant sermon. 6,
By consequence, I should in that denial have avowed that it was a
"Romish" Sermon; 7, and therefore, not only, when I was in the
Established Church, was I guilty of the dishonesty of preaching what
at the time I knew to be a "Romish" Sermon, but now too, in 1864, I
have committed the additional dishonesty of calling it a Protestant
sermon. If my accuser does not mean this, I submit to such reparation
as I owe him for my mistake, but I cannot make out that he means
anything else.

Here are two main points to be considered; 1, I in 1864 have called
it a Protestant Sermon. 2, He in 1844 and now has styled it a Popish
Sermon. Let me take these two points separately.

1. Certainly, when I was in the English Church, I _did_ disown the
word "Protestant," and that, even at an earlier date than my accuser
names; but just let us see whether this fact is anything at all to
the purpose of his accusation. Last January 7th I spoke to this
effect: "How can you prove that _Father_ Newman informs us of a
certain thing about the Roman Clergy," by referring to a _Protestant_
sermon of the Vicar of St. Mary's? My accuser answers me thus:
"There's a quibble! why, _Protestant_ is _not_ the word which you
would have used when at St. Mary's, and yet you use it now!" Very
true; I do; but what on earth does this matter to my _argument_? how
does this word "Protestant," which I used, tend in any degree to make
my argument a quibble? What word _should_ I have used twenty years
ago instead of "Protestant?" "Roman" or "Romish?" by no manner of

My accuser indeed says that "it must always be remembered that it is
not a Protestant _but_ a Romish sermon." He implies, and, I suppose,
he thinks, that not to be a Protestant is to be a Roman; he may say
so, if he pleases, but so did not say that large body who have been
called by the name of Tractarians, as all the world knows. The
movement proceeded on the very basis of denying that position which
my accuser takes for granted that I allowed. It ever said, and it
says now, that there is something _between_ Protestant and Romish;
that there is a "Via Media" which is neither the one nor the other.
Had I been asked twenty years ago, what the doctrine of the
Established Church was, I should have answered, "Neither Romish _nor_
Protestant, _but_ 'Anglican' or 'Anglo-catholic.'" I should never
have granted that the sermon was Romish; I should have denied, and
that with an internal denial, quite as much as I do now, that it was
a Roman or Romish sermon. Well then, substitute the word "Anglican"
or "Anglo-catholic" for "Protestant" in my question, and see if the
argument is a bit the worse for it--thus: "How can you prove that
_Father_ Newman informs us a certain thing about the Roman Clergy, by
referring to an _Anglican_ or _Anglo-catholic_ Sermon of the Vicar of
St. Mary's?" The cogency of the argument remains just where it was.
What have I gained in the argument, what has he lost, by my having
said, not "an Anglican Sermon," but "a Protestant Sermon?" What dust
then is he throwing into our eyes!

For instance: in 1844 I lived at Littlemore; two or three miles
distant from Oxford; and Littlemore lies in three, perhaps in four,
distinct parishes, so that of particular houses it is difficult to
say, whether they are in St. Mary's, Oxford, or in Cowley, or in
Iffley, or in Sandford, the line of demarcation running even through
them. Now, supposing I were to say in 1864, that "twenty years ago I
did not live in Oxford, _because_ I lived out at Littlemore, in the
parish of Cowley;" and if upon this there were letters of mine
produced dated Littlemore, 1844, in one of which I said that "I
lived, not in Cowley, but at Littlemore, in St. Mary's parish," how
would that prove that I contradicted myself, and that therefore after
all I must be supposed to have been living in Oxford in 1844? The
utmost that would be proved by the discrepancy, such as it was,
would be, that there was some confusion either in me, or in the state
of the fact as to the limits of the parishes. There would be no
confusion about the place or spot of my residence. I should be saying
in 1864, "I did not live in Oxford twenty years ago, because I lived
at Littlemore in the Parish of Cowley." I should have been saying
in 1844, "I do not live in Oxford, because I live in St. Mary's,
Littlemore." In either case I should be saying that my _habitat_ in
1844 was _not_ Oxford, but Littlemore; and I should be giving the
same reason for it. I should be proving an _alibi_. I should be
naming the same place for the _alibi_; but twenty years ago I should
have spoken of it as St. Mary's, Littlemore, and to-day I should have
spoken of it as Littlemore in the Parish of Cowley.

And so as to my Sermon; in January, 1864, I called it a _Protestant_
sermon, and not a Roman; but in 1844 I should, if asked, have called
it an _Anglican_ sermon, and not a Roman. In both cases I should have
denied that it was Roman, and that on the ground of its being
something else; though I should have called that something else, then
by one name, now by another. The doctrine of the _Via Media_ is a
_fact_, whatever name we give to it; I, as a Roman Priest, find it
more natural and usual to call it Protestant: I, as all Oxford Vicar,
thought it more exact to call it Anglican; but, whatever I then
called it, and whatever I now call it, I mean one and the same object
by my name, and therefore not another object--viz. not the Roman
Church. The argument, I repeat, is sound, whether the _Via Media_ and
the Vicar of St. Mary's be called Anglican or Protestant.

This is a specimen of what my accuser means by my "economies;" nay,
it is actually one of those special two, three, or four, committed
after February 1, which he thinks sufficient to connect me with the
shifty casuists and the double-dealing moralists, as he considers
them, of the Catholic Church. What a "Much ado about nothing!"

2. But, whether or not he can prove that I in 1864 have committed any
logical fault in calling my Sermon on Wisdom and Innocence a
Protestant Sermon, he is and has been all along, most firm in the
belief himself that a Romish sermon it is; and this is the point on
which I wish specially to insist. It is for this cause that I made
the above extract from his pamphlet, not merely in order to answer
him, though, when I had made it, I could not pass by the attack on me
which it contains. I shall notice his charges one by one by and by;
but I have made this extract here in order to insist and to dwell on
this phenomenon--viz. that he does consider it an undeniable fact,
that the sermon is "Romish,"--meaning by "Romish" not "savouring of
Romish doctrine" merely, but "the work of a real Romanist, of a
conscious Romanist." This belief it is which leads him to be so
severe on me, for now calling it "Protestant." He thinks that,
whether I have committed any logical self-contradiction or not, I am
very well aware that, when I wrote it, I ought to have been
elsewhere, that I was a conscious Romanist, teaching Romanism;--or if
he does not believe this himself, he wishes others to think so, which
comes to the same thing; certainly I prefer to consider that he
thinks so himself, but, if he likes the other hypothesis better, he
is welcome to it.

He believes then so firmly that the sermon was a "Romish Sermon,"
that he pointedly takes it for granted, before he has adduced a
syllable of proof of the matter of fact. He _starts_ by saying that
it is a fact to be "remembered." "It _must_ be _remembered always_,"
he says, "that it is not a Protestant, but a Romish Sermon," (p. 8).
Its Romish parentage is a great truth for the memory, not a thesis
for inquiry. Merely to refer his readers to the sermon is, he
considers, to secure them on his side. Hence it is that, in his
letter of January 18, he said to me, "It seems to me, that, by
_referring_ publicly to the Sermon on which my allegations are
founded, I have given every one _an opportunity of judging of their
injustice_," that is, an opportunity of seeing that they are
transparently just. The notion of there being a _Via Media_, held all
along by a large party in the Anglican Church, and now at least not
less than at any former time, is too subtle for his intellect.
Accordingly, he thinks it was an allowable figure of speech--not
more, I suppose, than an "hyperbole"--when referring to a sermon of
the Vicar of St. Mary's in the magazine, to say that it was the
writing of a Roman priest; and as to serious arguments to prove the
point, why, they may indeed be necessary, as a matter of form, in an
act of accusation, such as his pamphlet, but they are superfluous to
the good sense of any one who will only just look into the matter

Now, with respect to the so-called arguments which he ventures to put
forward in proof that the sermon is Romish, I shall answer them,
together with all his other arguments, in the latter portion of this
reply; here I do but draw the attention of the reader, as I have said
already, to the phenomenon itself, which he exhibits, of an unclouded
confidence that the sermon is the writing of a virtual member of the
Roman communion, and I do so because it has made a great impression
on my own mind, and has suggested to me the course that I shall
pursue in my answer to him.

I say, he takes it for granted that the Sermon is the writing of a
virtual or actual, of a conscious Roman Catholic; and is impatient at
the very notion of having to prove it. Father Newman and the Vicar of
St. Mary's are one and the same: there has been no change of mind in
him; what he believed then he believes now, and what he believes now
he believed then. To dispute this is frivolous; to distinguish
between his past self and his present is subtlety, and to ask for
proof of their identity is seeking opportunity to be sophistical.
This writer really thinks that he acts a straightforward honest part,
when he says "A Catholic Priest informs us in his Sermon on Wisdom
and Innocence preached at St. Mary's," and he thinks that I am the
shuffler and quibbler when I forbid him to do so. So singular a
phenomenon in a man of undoubted ability has struck me forcibly, and
I shall pursue the train of thought which it opens.

It is not he alone who entertains, and has entertained, such an
opinion of me and my writings. It is the impression of large classes
of men; the impression twenty years ago and the impression now. There
has been a general feeling that I was for years where I had no right
to be; that I was a "Romanist" in Protestant livery and service; that
I was doing the work of a hostile church in the bosom of the English
Establishment, and knew it, or ought to have known it. There was no
need of arguing about particular passages in my writings, when the
fact was so patent, as men thought it to be.

First it was certain, and I could not myself deny it, that I scouted
the name "Protestant." It was certain again, that many of the
doctrines which I professed were popularly and generally known as
badges of the Roman Church, as distinguished from the faith of the
Reformation. Next, how could I have come by them? Evidently, I had
certain friends and advisers who did not appear; there was some
underground communication between Stonyhurst or Oscott and my rooms
at Oriel. Beyond a doubt, I was advocating certain doctrines, not
by accident, but on an understanding with ecclesiastics of the old
religion. Then men went further, and said that I had actually been
received into that religion, and withal had leave given me to profess
myself a Protestant still. Others went even further, and gave it out
to the world, as a matter of fact, of which they themselves had the
proof in their hands, that I was actually a Jesuit. And when the
opinions which I advocated spread, and younger men went further than
I, the feeling against me waxed stronger and took a wider range.

And now indignation arose at the knavery of a conspiracy such as
this:--and it became of course all the greater, in consequence of its
being the received belief of the public at large, that craft and
intrigue, such as they fancied they beheld with their own eyes, were
the very instruments to which the Catholic Church has in these last
centuries been indebted for her maintenance and extension.

There was another circumstance still, which increased the irritation
and aversion felt by the large classes, of whom I have been speaking,
as regards the preachers of doctrines, so new to them and so
unpalatable; and that was, that they developed them in so measured a
way. If they were inspired by Roman theologians (and this was taken
for granted), why did they not speak out at once? Why did they keep
the world in such suspense and anxiety as to what was coming next,
and what was to be the upshot of the whole? Why this reticence, and
half-speaking, and apparent indecision? It was plain that the plan of
operations had been carefully mapped out from the first, and that
these men were cautiously advancing towards its accomplishment, as
far as was safe at the moment; that their aim and their hope was to
carry off a large body with them of the young and the ignorant; that
they meant gradually to leaven the minds of the rising generation,
and to open the gate of that city, of which they were the sworn
defenders, to the enemy who lay in ambush outside of it. And when in
spite of the many protestations of the party to the contrary, there
was at length an actual movement among their disciples, and one went
over to Rome, and then another, the worst anticipations and the worst
judgments which had been formed of them received their justification.
And, lastly, when men first had said of me, "You will see, _he_ will
go, he is only biding his time, he is waiting the word of command
from Rome," and, when after all, after my arguments and denunciations
of former years, at length I did leave the Anglican Church for the
Roman, then they said to each other, "It is just as we said: I told
you so."

This was the state of mind of masses of men twenty years ago, who
took no more than an external and common-sense view of what was going
on. And partly the tradition, partly the effect of that feeling,
remains to the present time. Certainly I consider that, in my own
case, it is the great obstacle in the way of my being favourably
heard, as at present, when I have to make my defence. Not only am I
now a member of a most un-English communion, whose great aim is
considered to be the extinction of Protestantism and the Protestant
Church, and whose means of attack are popularly supposed to be
unscrupulous cunning and deceit, but besides, how came I originally
to have any relations with the Church of Rome at all? did I, or my
opinions, drop from the sky? how came I, in Oxford, _in gremio
Universitatis_, to present myself to the eyes of men in that
full-blown investiture of Popery? How could I dare, how could I have
the conscience, with warnings, with prophecies, with accusations
against me, to persevere in a path which steadily advanced towards,
which ended in, the religion of Rome? And how am I now to be trusted,
when long ago I was trusted, and was found wanting?

It is this which is the strength of the case of my accuser against
me;--not his arguments in themselves, which I shall easily crumble
into dust, but the bias of the court. It is the state of the
atmosphere; it is the vibration all around which will more or less
echo his assertion of my dishonesty; it is that prepossession against
me, which takes it for granted that, when my reasoning is convincing
it is only ingenious, and that when my statements are unanswerable,
there is always something put out of sight or hidden in my sleeve; it
is that plausible, but cruel conclusion to which men are so apt to
jump, that when much is imputed, something must be true, and that it
is more likely that one should be to blame, than that many should be
mistaken in blaming him;--these are the real foes which I have to
fight, and the auxiliaries to whom my accuser makes his court.

Well, I must break through this barrier of prejudice against me, if I
can; and I think I shall be able to do so. When first I read the
pamphlet of Accusation, I almost despaired of meeting effectively
such a heap of misrepresentation and such a vehemence of animosity.
What was the good of answering first one point, and then another, and
going through the whole circle of its abuse; when my answer to the
first point would be forgotten, as soon as I got to the second? What
was the use of bringing out half a hundred separate principles or
views for the refutation of the separate counts in the indictment,
when rejoinders of this sort would but confuse and torment the
reader by their number and their diversity? What hope was there of
condensing into a pamphlet of a readable length, matter which ought
freely to expand itself into half a dozen volumes? What means was
there, except the expenditure of interminable pages, to set right
even one of that series of "single passing hints," to use my
assailant's own language, which, "as with his finger tip, he had
delivered" against me?

All those separate charges of his had their force in being
illustrations of one and the same great imputation. He had a positive
idea to illuminate his whole matter, and to stamp it with a form, and
to quicken it with an interpretation. He called me a _liar_--a
simple, a broad, an intelligible, to the English public a plausible
arraignment; but for me, to answer in detail charge one by reason
one, and charge two by reason two, and charge three by reason three,
and so to proceed through the whole string both of accusations and
replies, each of which was to be independent of the rest, this would
be certainly labour lost as regards any effective result. What I
needed was a corresponding antagonist unity in my defence, and where
was that to be found? We see, in the case of commentators on the
prophecies of Scripture, an exemplification of the principle on
which I am insisting; viz. how much more powerful even a false
interpretation of the sacred text is than none at all;--how a certain
key to the visions of the Apocalypse, for instance, may cling to the
mind--(I have found it so in my own case)--mainly because they are
positive and objective, in spite of the fullest demonstration that
they really have no claim upon our belief. The reader says, "What
else can the prophecy mean?" just as my accuser asks, "What, then,
does Dr. Newman mean?" ... I reflected, and I saw a way out of my

Yes, I said to myself, his very question is about my _meaning_; "What
does Dr. Newman mean?" It pointed in the very same direction as that
into which my musings had turned me already. He asks what I _mean_;
not about my words, not about my arguments, not about my actions, as
his ultimate point, but about that living intelligence, by which I
write, and argue, and act. He asks about my mind and its beliefs and
its sentiments; and he shall be answered;--not for his own sake, but
for mine, for the sake of the religion which I profess, and of the
priesthood in which I am unworthily included, and of my friends and
of my foes, and of that general public which consists of neither one
nor the other, but of well-wishers, lovers of fair play, sceptical
cross-questioners, interested inquirers, curious lookers-on, and
simple strangers, unconcerned yet not careless about the issue.

My perplexity did not last half an hour. I recognised what I had to
do, though I shrank from both the task and the exposure which it
would entail. I must, I said, give the true key to my whole life; I
must show what I am that it may be seen what I am not, and that the
phantom may be extinguished which gibbers instead of me. I wish to be
known as a living man, and not as a scarecrow which is dressed up in
my clothes. False ideas may be refuted indeed by argument, but by
true ideas alone are they expelled. I will vanquish, not my accuser,
but my judges. I will indeed answer his charges and criticisms on me
one by one, lest any one should say that they are unanswerable, but
such a work shall not be the scope nor the substance of my reply. I
will draw out, as far as may be, the history of my mind; I will state
the point at which I began, in what external suggestion or accident
each opinion had its rise, how far and how they were developed from
within, how they grew, were modified, were combined, were in
collision with each other, and were changed; again how I conducted
myself towards them, and how, and how far, and for how long a time, I
thought I could hold them consistently with the ecclesiastical
engagements which I had made and with the position which I filled. I
must show--what is the very truth--that the doctrines which I held,
and have held for so many years, have been taught me (speaking
humanly) partly by the suggestions of Protestant friends, partly by
the teaching of books, and partly by the action of my own mind: and
thus I shall account for that phenomenon which to so many seems so
wonderful, that I should have left "my kindred and my father's house"
for a Church from which once I turned away with dread;--so wonderful
to them! as if forsooth a religion which has flourished through so
many ages, among so many nations, amid such varieties of social life,
in such contrary classes and conditions of men, and after so many
revolutions, political and civil, could not subdue the reason and
overcome the heart, without the aid of fraud and the sophistries of
the schools.

What I had proposed to myself in the course of half an hour, I
determined on at the end of ten days. However, I have many
difficulties in fulfilling my design. How am I to say all that has to
be said in a reasonable compass? And then as to the materials of my
narrative; I have no autobiographical notes to consult, no written
explanations of particular treatises or of tracts which at the
time gave offence, hardly any minutes of definite transactions
or conversations, and few contemporary memoranda, I fear, of the
feelings or motives under which from time to time I acted. I have an
abundance of letters from friends with some copies or drafts of my
answers to them, but they are for the most part unsorted, and, till
this process has taken place, they are even too numerous and various
to be available at a moment for my purpose. Then, as to the volumes
which I have published, they would in many ways serve me, were I well
up in them; but though I took great pains in their composition, I
have thought little about them, when they were at length out of my
hands, and, for the most part, the last time I read them has been
when I revised their proof sheets.

Under these circumstances my sketch will of course be incomplete. I
now for the first time contemplate my course as a whole; it is a
first essay, but it will contain, I trust, no serious or substantial
mistake, and so far will answer the purpose for which I write it. I
purpose to set nothing down in it as certain, for which I have not a
clear memory, or some written memorial, or the corroboration of some
friend. There are witnesses enough up and down the country to verify,
or correct, or complete it; and letters moreover of my own in
abundance, unless they have been destroyed.

Moreover, I mean to be simply personal and historical: I am not
expounding Catholic doctrine, I am doing no more than explaining
myself, and my opinions and actions. I wish, as far as I am able,
simply to state facts, whether they are ultimately determined to
be for me or against me. Of course there will be room enough for
contrariety of judgment among my readers, as to the necessity, or
appositeness, or value, or good taste, or religious prudence of the
details which I shall introduce. I may be accused of laying stress on
little things, of being beside the mark, of going into impertinent or
ridiculous details, of sounding my own praise, of giving scandal; but
this is a case above all others, in which I am bound to follow my own
lights and to speak out my own heart. It is not at all pleasant for
me to be egotistical; nor to be criticised for being so. It is not
pleasant to reveal to high and low, young and old, what has gone on
within me from my early years. It is not pleasant to be giving to
every shallow or flippant disputant the advantage over me of knowing
my most private thoughts, I might even say the intercourse between
myself and my Maker. But I do not like to be called to my face a liar
and a knave: nor should I be doing my duty to my faith or to my name,
if I were to suffer it. I know I have done nothing to deserve such an
insult; and if I prove this, as I hope to do, I must not care for
such incidental annoyances as are involved in the process.

Part III

History of My Religious Opinions

It may easily be conceived how great a trial it is to me to write the
following history of myself; but I must not shrink from the task. The
words, "Secretum meum mihi," keep ringing in my ears; but as men draw
towards their end, they care less for disclosures. Nor is it the
least part of my trial, to anticipate that my friends may, upon first
reading what I have written, consider much in it irrelevant to my
purpose; yet I cannot help thinking that, viewed as a whole, it will
effect what I wish it to do.

I was brought up from a child to take great delight in reading the
Bible; but I had no formed religious convictions till I was fifteen.
Of course I had perfect knowledge of my Catechism.

After I was grown up, I put on paper such recollections as I had of
my thoughts and feelings on religious subjects, at the time that I
was a child and a boy. Out of these I select two, which are at once
the most definite among them, and also have a bearing on my later

In the paper to which I have referred, written either in the long
vacation of 1820, or in October, 1823, the following notices of my
school days were sufficiently prominent in my memory for me to
consider them worth recording:--"I used to wish the Arabian Tales
were true: my imagination ran on unknown influences, on magical
powers, and talismans ... I thought life might be a dream, or I an
Angel, and all this world a deception, my fellow-angels by a playful
device concealing themselves from me, and deceiving me with the
semblance of a material world."

Again, "Reading in the Spring of 1816 a sentence from [Dr. Watts's]
'Remnants of Time,' entitled 'the Saints unknown to the world,' to
the effect, that 'there is nothing in their figure or countenance to
distinguish them,' etc. etc., I supposed he spoke of Angels who lived
in the world, as it were disguised."

The other remark is this: "I was very superstitious, and for some
time previous to my conversion" [when I was fifteen] "used constantly
to cross myself on going into the dark."

Of course I must have got this practice from some external source or
other; but I can make no sort of conjecture whence; and certainly no
one had ever spoken to me on the subject of the Catholic religion,
which I only knew by name. The French master was an _émigré_ priest,
but he was simply made a butt, as French masters too commonly were in
that day, and spoke English very imperfectly. There was a Catholic
family in the village, old maiden ladies we used to think; but I knew
nothing but their name. I have of late years heard that there were
one or two Catholic boys in the school; but either we were carefully
kept from knowing this, or the knowledge of it made simply no
impression on our minds. My brother will bear witness how free the
school was from Catholic ideas.

I had once been into Warwick Street Chapel, with my father, who, I
believe, wanted to hear some piece of music; all that I bore away
from it was the recollection of a pulpit and a preacher and a boy
swinging a censer.

When I was at Littlemore, I was looking over old copy-books of my
school days, and I found among them my first Latin verse-book; and in
the first page of it, there was a device which almost took my breath
away with surprise. I have the book before me now, and have just been
showing it to others. I have written in the first page, in my
school-boy hand, "John H. Newman, February 11th, 1811, Verse Book;"
then follow my first verses. Between "Verse" and "Book" I have drawn
the figure of a solid cross upright, and next to it is, what may
indeed be meant for a necklace, but what I cannot make out to be
anything else than a set of beads suspended, with a little cross
attached. At this time I was not quite ten years old. I suppose I got
the idea from some romance, Mrs. Radcliffe's or Miss Porter's; or
from some religious picture; but the strange thing is, how, among
the thousand objects which meet a boy's eyes, these in particular
should so have fixed themselves in my mind, that I made them thus
practically my own. I am certain there was nothing in the churches
I attended, or the prayer books I read, to suggest them. It must be
recollected that churches and prayer books were not decorated in
those days as I believe they are now.

When I was fourteen, I read Paine's tracts against the Old Testament,
and found pleasure in thinking of the objections which were contained
in them. Also, I read some of Hume's essays; and perhaps that on
Miracles. So at least I gave my father to understand; but perhaps it
was a brag. Also, I recollect copying out some French verses, perhaps
Voltaire's, against the immortality of the soul, and saying to myself
something like "How dreadful, but how plausible!"

When I was fifteen (in the autumn of 1816) a great change of thought
took place in me. I fell under the influences of a definite creed,
and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, through
God's mercy, have never been effaced or obscured. Above and beyond
the conversations and sermons of the excellent man, long dead, who
was the human means of this beginning of divine faith in me, was the
effect of the books which he put into my hands, all of the school
of Calvin. One of the first books I read was a work of Romaine's; I
neither recollect the title nor the contents, except one doctrine,
which of course I do not include among those which I believe to have
come from a divine source, viz. the doctrine of final perseverance. I
received it at once, and believed that the inward conversion of which
I was conscious (and of which I still am more certain than that I
have hands and feet) would last into the next life, and that I was
elected to eternal glory. I have no consciousness that this belief
had any tendency whatever to lead me to be careless about pleasing
God. I retained it till the age of twenty-one, when it gradually
faded away; but I believe that it had some influence on my opinions,
in the direction of those childish imaginations which I have already
mentioned, viz. in isolating me from the objects which surrounded me,
in confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of material phenomena,
and making me rest in the thought of two and two only supreme and
luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator;--for while I
considered myself predestined to salvation, I thought others simply
passed over, not predestined to eternal death. I only thought of the
mercy to myself.

The detestable doctrine last mentioned is simply denied and abjured,
unless my memory strangely deceives me, by the writer who made a
deeper impression on my mind than any other, and to whom (humanly
speaking) I almost owe my soul--Thomas Scott of Aston Sandford. I so
admired and delighted in his writings, that, when I was an
undergraduate, I thought of making a visit to his parsonage, in order
to see a man whom I so deeply revered. I hardly think I could have
given up the idea of this expedition, even after I had taken my
degree; for the news of his death in 1821 came upon me as a
disappointment as well as a sorrow. I hung upon the lips of Daniel
Wilson, afterwards Bishop of Calcutta, as in two sermons at St.
John's Chapel he gave the history of Scott's life and death. I had
been possessed of his essays from a boy; his commentary I bought when
I was an undergraduate.

What, I suppose, will strike any reader of Scott's history and
writings, is his bold unworldliness and vigorous independence of
mind. He followed truth wherever it led him, beginning with
Unitarianism, and ending in a zealous faith in the Holy Trinity. It
was he who first planted deep in my mind that fundamental truth of
religion. With the assistance of Scott's essays, and the admirable
work of Jones of Nayland, I made a collection of Scripture texts in
proof of the doctrine, with remarks (I think) of my own upon them,
before I was sixteen; and a few months later I drew up a series of
texts in support of each verse of the Athanasian Creed. These papers
I have still.

Besides his unworldliness, what I also admired in Scott was his
resolute opposition to Antinomianism, and the minutely practical
character of his writings. They show him to be a true Englishman, and
I deeply felt his influence; and for years I used almost as proverbs
what I considered to be the scope and issue of his doctrine,
"Holiness before peace," and "Growth is the only evidence of life."

Calvinists make a sharp separation between the elect and the world;
there is much in this that is parallel or cognate to the Catholic
doctrine; but they go on to say, as I understand them, very
differently from Catholicism,--that the converted and the unconverted
can be discriminated by man, that the justified are conscious of
their state of justification, and that the regenerate cannot fall
away. Catholics on the other hand shade and soften the awful
antagonism between good and evil, which is one of their dogmas, by
holding that there are different degrees of justification, that there
is a great difference in point of gravity between sin and sin, that
there is the possibility and the danger of falling away, and that
there is no certain knowledge given to any one that he is simply in a
state of grace, and much less that he is to persevere to the end:--of
the Calvinistic tenets the only one which took root in my mind was
the fact of heaven and hell, divine favour and divine wrath, of the
justified and the unjustified. The notion that the regenerate and the
justified were one and the same, and that the regenerate, as such,
had the gift of perseverance, remained with me not many years, as I
have said already.

This main Catholic doctrine of the warfare between the city of God
and the powers of darkness was also deeply impressed upon my mind by
a work of a very opposite character, Law's "Serious Call."

From this time I have given a full inward assent and belief to the
doctrine of eternal punishment, as delivered by our Lord Himself, in
as true a sense as I hold that of eternal happiness; though I have
tried in various ways to make that truth less terrible to the reason.

Now I come to two other works, which produced a deep impression on me
in the same autumn of 1816, when I was fifteen years old, each
contrary to each, and planting in me the seeds of an intellectual
inconsistency which disabled me for a long course of years. I read
Joseph Milner's Church History, and was nothing short of enamoured
of the long extracts from St. Augustine and the other Fathers which
I found there. I read them as being the religion of the primitive
Christians: but simultaneously with Milner I read Newton on the
Prophecies, and in consequence became most firmly convinced that the
Pope was the Antichrist predicted by Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John.
My imagination was stained by the effects of this doctrine up to the
year 1843; it had been obliterated from my reason and judgment at an
earlier date; but the thought remained upon me as a sort of false
conscience. Hence came that conflict of mind, which so many have felt
besides myself;--leading some men to make a compromise between two
ideas, so inconsistent with each other--driving others to beat out
the one idea or the other from their minds--and ending in my own
case, after many years of intellectual unrest, in the gradual decay
and extinction of one of them--I do not say in its violent death, for
why should I not have murdered it sooner, if I murdered it at all?

I am obliged to mention, though I do it with great reluctance,
another deep imagination, which at this time, the autumn of 1816,
took possession of me--there can be no mistake about the fact;--viz.
that it was the will of God that I should lead a single life. This
anticipation, which has held its ground almost continuously ever
since--with the break of a month now and a month then, up to 1829,
and, after that date, without any break at all--was more or less
connected, in my mind, with the notion that my calling in life would
require such a sacrifice as celibacy involved; as, for instance,
missionary work among the heathen, to which I had a great drawing for
some years. It also strengthened my feeling of separation from the
visible world, of which I have spoken above.

In 1822 I came under very different influences from those to which I
had hitherto been subjected. At that time, Mr. Whately, as he was
then, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin, for the few months he remained
in Oxford, which he was leaving for good, showed great kindness to
me. He renewed it in 1825, when he became Principal of Alban Hall,
making me his vice-principal and tutor. Of Dr. Whately I will speak
presently, for from 1822 to 1825 I saw most of the present Provost of
Oriel, Dr. Hawkins, at that time Vicar of St. Mary's; and, when I
took orders in 1824 and had a curacy at Oxford, then, during the long
vacations, I was especially thrown into his company. I can say with a
full heart that I love him, and have never ceased to love him; and I
thus preface what otherwise might sound rude, that in the course of
the many years in which we were together afterwards, he provoked me
very much from time to time, though I am perfectly certain that I
have provoked him a great deal more. Moreover, in me such provocation
was unbecoming, both because he was the head of my college, and
because in the first years that I knew him, he had been in many ways
of great service to my mind.

He was the first who taught me to weigh my words, and to be cautious
in my statements. He led me to that mode of limiting and clearing my
sense in discussion and in controversy, and of distinguishing between
cognate ideas, and of obviating mistakes by anticipation, which to my
surprise has been since considered, even in quarters friendly to me,
to savour of the polemics of Rome. He is a man of most exact mind
himself, and he used to snub me severely, on reading, as he was kind
enough to do, the first sermons that I wrote, and other compositions
which I was engaged upon.

Then as to doctrine, he was the means of great additions to my
belief. As I have noticed elsewhere, he gave me the "Treatise on
Apostolical Preaching," by Sumner, afterwards Archbishop of
Canterbury, from which I learned to give up my remaining Calvinism,
and to receive the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. In many other
ways too he was of use to me, on subjects semi-religious and

It was Dr. Hawkins too who taught me to anticipate that, before many
years were over there would be an attack made upon the books and the
canon of Scripture. I was brought to the same belief by the
conversation of Mr. Blanco White, who also led me to have freer views
on the subject of inspiration than were usual in the Church of
England at the time.

There is one other principle, which I gained from Dr. Hawkins, more
directly bearing upon Catholicism, than any that I have mentioned;
and that is the doctrine of Tradition. When I was an undergraduate, I
heard him preach in the University pulpit his celebrated sermon on
the subject, and recollect how long it appeared to me, though he was
at that time a very striking preacher; but, when I read it and
studied it as his gift, it made a most serious impression upon me. He
does not go one step, I think, beyond the high Anglican doctrine, nay
he does not reach it; but he does his work thoroughly, and his view
was original with him, and his subject was a novel one at the time.
He lays down a proposition, self-evident as soon as stated, to those
who have at all examined the structure of Scripture, viz. that the
sacred text was never intended to teach doctrine, but only to prove
it, and that, if we would learn doctrine, we must have recourse to
the formularies of the Church; for instance to the Catechism, and
to the Creeds. He considers, that, after learning from them the
doctrines of Christianity, the inquirer must verify them by
Scripture. This view, most true in its outline, most fruitful in its
consequences, opened upon me a large field of thought. Dr. Whately
held it too. One of its effects was to strike at the root of the
principle on which the Bible Society was set up. I belonged to its
Oxford Association; it became a matter of time when I should withdraw
my name from its subscription-list, though I did not do so at once.

It is with pleasure that I pay here a tribute to the memory of the
Rev. William James, then Fellow of Oriel; who, about the year 1823,
taught me the doctrine of Apostolical Succession, in the course of a
walk, I think, round Christ Church meadow: I recollect being somewhat
impatient on the subject at the time.

It was at about this date, I suppose, that I read Bishop Butler's
Analogy; the study of which has been to so many, as it was to me, an
era in their religious opinions. Its inculcation of a visible Church,
the oracle of truth and a pattern of sanctity, of the duties of
external religion, and of the historical character of revelation, are
characteristics of this great work which strike the reader at once;
for myself, if I may attempt to determine what I most gained from it,
it lay in two points, which I shall have an opportunity of dwelling
on in the sequel; they are the underlying principles of a great
portion of my teaching. First, the very idea of an analogy between
the separate works of God leads to the conclusion that the system
which is of less importance is economically or sacramentally
connected with the more momentous system, and of this conclusion the
theory, to which I was inclined as a boy, viz. the unreality of
material phenomena, is an ultimate resolution. At this time I did not
make the distinction between matter itself and its phenomena, which
is so necessary and so obvious in discussing the subject. Secondly,
Butler's doctrine that probability is the guide of life, led me, at
least under the teaching to which a few years later I was introduced,
to the question of the logical cogency of faith, on which I have
written so much. Thus to Butler I trace those two principles of my
teaching, which have led to a charge against me both of fancifulness
and of scepticism.

And now as to Dr. Whately. I owe him a great deal. He was a man of
generous and warm heart. He was particularly loyal to his friends,
and to use the common phrase, "all his geese were swans." While I
was still awkward and timid in 1822, he took me by the hand, and
acted the part to me of a gentle and encouraging instructor. He,
emphatically, opened my mind, and taught me to think and to use my
reason. After being first noticed by him in 1822, I became very
intimate with him in 1825, when I was his Vice-Principal at Alban
Hall. I gave up that office in 1826, when I became tutor of my
College, and his hold upon me gradually relaxed. He had done his work
towards me or nearly so, when he had taught me to see with my own
eyes and to walk with my own feet. Not that I had not a good deal to
learn from others still, but I influenced them as well as they me,
and co-operated rather than merely concurred with them. As to Dr.
Whately, his mind was too different from mine for us to remain long
on one line. I recollect how dissatisfied he was with an article of
mine in the _London Review_, which Blanco White, good-humouredly,
only called platonic. When I was diverging from him (which he did not
like), I thought of dedicating my first book to him, in words to the
effect that he had not only taught me to think, but to think for
myself. He left Oxford in 1831; after that, as far as I can
recollect, I never saw him but twice--when he visited the University;
once in the street, once in a room. From the time that he left, I
have always felt a real affection for what I must call his memory;
for thenceforward he made himself dead to me. My reason told me that
it was impossible that we could have got on together longer; yet I
loved him too much to bid him farewell without pain. After a few
years had passed, I began to believe that his influence on me in a
higher respect than intellectual advance (I will not say through his
fault) had not been satisfactory. I believe that he has inserted
sharp things in his later works about me. They have never come in my
way, and I have not thought it necessary to seek out what would pain
me so much in the reading.

What he did for me in point of religious opinion, was first to teach
me the existence of the Church, as a substantive body or corporation;
next to fix in me those anti-Erastian views of Church polity, which
were one of the most prominent features of the Tractarian movement.
On this point, and, as far as I know, on this point alone, he and
Hurrell Froude intimately sympathised, though Froude's development of
opinion here was of a later date. In the year 1826, in the course of
a walk he said much to me about a work then just published, called
"Letters on the Church by an Episcopalian." He said that it would
make my blood boil. It was certainly a most powerful composition. One
of our common friends told me, that, after reading it, he could not
keep still, but went on walking up and down his room. It was ascribed
at once to Whately; I gave eager expression to the contrary opinion;
but I found the belief of Oxford in the affirmative to be too strong
for me; rightly or wrongly I yielded to the general voice; and I have
never heard, then or since, of any disclaimer of authorship on the
part of Dr. Whately.

The main positions of this able essay are these; first that Church
and State should be independent of each other:--he speaks of the duty
of protesting "against the profanation of Christ's kingdom, by that
_double usurpation_, the interference of the Church in temporals, of
the State in spirituals," (p. 191); and, secondly, that the Church
may justly and by right retain its property, though separated from
the State. "The clergy," he says p. 133, "though they ought not to be
the hired servants of the Civil Magistrate, may justly retain their
revenues; and the State, though it has no right of interference in
spiritual concerns, not only is justly entitled to support from the
ministers of religion, and from all other Christians, but would,
under the system I am recommending, obtain it much more effectually."
The author of this work, whoever he may be, argues out both these
points with great force and ingenuity, and with a thorough-going
vehemence, which perhaps we may refer to the circumstance, that he
wrote, not _in propriâ personâ_, but in the professed character of a
Scotch Episcopalian. His work had a gradual, but a deep effect on my

I am not aware of any other religious opinion which I owe to Dr.
Whately. For his special theological tenets I had no sympathy. In the
next year, 1827, he told me he considered that I was Arianising. The
case was this: though at that time I had not read Bishop Bull's
_Defensio_ nor the Fathers, I was just then very strong for that
ante-Nicene view of the Trinitarian doctrine, which some writers,
both Catholic and non-Catholic, have accused of wearing a sort of
Arian exterior. This is the meaning of a passage in Froude's Remains,
in which he seems to accuse me of speaking against the Athanasian
Creed. I had contrasted the two aspects of the Trinitarian doctrine,
which are respectively presented by the Athanasian Creed and the
Nicene. My criticisms were to the effect that some of the verses of
the former Creed were unnecessarily scientific. This is a specimen of
a certain disdain for antiquity which had been growing on me now for
several years. It showed itself in some flippant language against the
Fathers in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, about whom I knew little
at the time, except what I had learnt as a boy from Joseph Milner. In
writing on the Scripture Miracles in 1825-6, I had read Middleton on
the Miracles of the early Church, and had imbibed a portion of his

The truth is, I was beginning to prefer intellectual excellence to
moral; I was drifting in the direction of liberalism. I was rudely
awakened from my dream at the end of 1827 by two great blows--illness
and bereavement.

In the beginning of 1829, came the formal break between Dr. Whately
and me; Mr. Peel's attempted re-election was the occasion of it.
I think in 1828 or 1827 I had voted in the minority, when the
petition to Parliament against the Catholic claims was brought into
Convocation. I did so mainly on the views suggested to me by the
theory of the Letters of an Episcopalian. Also I disliked the
bigoted "two bottle orthodox," as they were invidiously called.
I took part against Mr. Peel, on a simple academical, not at all
an ecclesiastical or a political ground; and this I professed at
the time. I considered that Mr. Peel had taken the University by
surprise, that he had no right to call upon us to turn round on a
sudden, and to expose ourselves to the imputation of time-serving,
and that a great University ought not to be bullied even by a great
Duke of Wellington. Also by this time I was under the influence of
Keble and Froude; who, in addition to the reasons I have given,
disliked the Duke's change of policy as dictated by liberalism.

Whately was considerably annoyed at me, and he took a humourous
revenge, of which he had given me due notice beforehand. As head of a
house, he had duties of hospitality to men of all parties; he asked a
set of the least intellectual men in Oxford to dinner, and men most
fond of port; he made me one of the party; placed me between Provost
this and Principal that, and then asked me if I was proud of my
friends. However, he had a serious meaning in his act; he saw, more
clearly than I could do, that I was separating from his own friends
for good and all.

Dr. Whately attributed my leaving his _clientela_ to a wish on my
part to be the head of a party myself. I do not think that it was
deserved. My habitual feeling then and since has been, that it was
not I who sought friends, but friends who sought me. Never man had
kinder or more indulgent friends than I have had, but I expressed my
own feeling as to the mode in which I gained them, in this very year
1829, in the course of a copy of verses. Speaking of my blessings, I
said, "Blessings of friends, which to my door, _unasked, unhoped_,
have come." They have come, they have gone; they came to my great
joy, they went to my great grief. He who gave, took away. Dr.
Whately's impression about me, however, admits of this explanation:--

During the first years of my residence at Oriel, though proud of my
college, I was not at home there. I was very much alone, and I used
often to take my daily walk by myself. I recollect once meeting Dr.
Copleston, then provost, with one of the fellows. He turned round,
and with the kind courteousness which sat so well on him, made me a
bow and said, "Nunquam minus solus, quàm cùm solus." At that time
indeed (from 1823) I had the intimacy of my dear and true friend Dr.
Pusey, and could not fail to admire and revere a soul so devoted to
the cause of religion, so full of good works, so faithful in his
affections; but he left residence when I was getting to know him
well. As to Dr. Whately himself, he was too much my superior to allow
of my being at my ease with him; and to no one in Oxford at this time
did I open my heart fully and familiarly. But things changed in 1826.
At that time I became one of the tutors of my college, and this gave
me position; besides, I had written one or two essays which had been
well received. I began to be known. I preached my first University
Sermon. Next year I was one of the Public Examiners for the B.A.
degree. It was to me like the feeling of spring weather after winter;
and, if I may so speak, I came out of my shell; I remained out of it
till 1841.

The two persons who knew me best at that time are still alive,
beneficed clergymen, no longer my friends. They could tell better
than any one else what I was in those years. From this time my tongue
was, as it were, loosened, and I spoke spontaneously and without
effort. A shrewd man, who knew me at this time, said, "Here is a man
who, when he is silent, will never begin to speak; and when he once
begins to speak, will never stop." It was at this time that I began
to have influence, which steadily increased for a course of years.
I gained upon my pupils, and was in particular intimate and
affectionate with two of our probationer fellows, Robert I.
Wilberforce (afterwards archdeacon) and Richard Hurrell Froude.
Whately then, an acute man, perhaps saw around me the signs of an
incipient party of which I was not conscious myself. And thus we
discern the first elements of that movement afterwards called

The true and primary author of it, however, as is usual with great
motive-powers, was out of sight. Having carried off as a mere boy
the highest honours of the University, he had turned from the
admiration which haunted his steps, and sought for a better and
holier satisfaction in pastoral work in the country. Need I say that
I am speaking of John Keble? The first time that I was in a room with
him was on occasion of my election to a fellowship at Oriel, when I
was sent for into the Tower, to shake hands with the provost and
fellows. How is that hour fixed in my memory after the changes of
forty-two years, forty-two this very day on which I write! I have
lately had a letter in my hands, which I sent at the time to my
great friend, John Bowden, with whom I passed almost exclusively my
Undergraduate years. "I had to hasten to the tower," I say to him,
"to receive the congratulations of all the fellows. I bore it till
Keble took my hand, and then felt so abashed and unworthy of the
honour done me, that I seemed desirous of quite sinking into the
ground." His had been the first name which I had heard spoken of,
with reverence rather than admiration, when I came up to Oxford. When
one day I was walking in High Street with my dear earliest friend
just mentioned, with what eagerness did he cry out, "There's Keble!"
and with what awe did I look at him! Then at another time I heard a
master of arts of my college give an account how he had just then had
occasion to introduce himself on some business to Keble, and how
gentle, courteous, and unaffected Keble had been, so as almost to put
him out of countenance. Then too it was reported, truly or falsely,
how a rising man of brilliant reputation, the present Dean of St.
Paul's, Dr. Milman, admired and loved him, adding, that somehow he
was unlike any one else. However, at the time when I was elected
Fellow of Oriel he was not in residence, and he was shy of me for
years in consequence of the marks which I bore upon me of the
evangelical and liberal schools. At least so I have ever thought.
Hurrell Froude brought us together about 1828: it is one of the
sayings preserved in his "Remains,"--"Do you know the story of the
murderer who had done one good thing in his life? Well; if I was ever
asked what good deed I had ever done, I should say that I had brought
Keble and Newman to understand each other."

The Christian Year made its appearance in 1827. It is not necessary,
and scarcely becoming, to praise a book which has already become one
of the classics of the language. When the general tone of religious
literature was so nerveless and impotent, as it was at that time,
Keble struck an original note and woke up in the hearts of thousands
a new music, the music of a school, long unknown in England. Nor can
I pretend to analyse, in my own instance, the effect of religious
teaching so deep, so pure, so beautiful. I have never till now tried
to do so; yet I think I am not wrong in saying, that the two main
intellectual truths which it brought home to me, were the same two,
which I had learned from Butler, though recast in the creative mind
of my new master. The first of these was what may be called, in a
large sense of the word, the sacramental system; that is, the
doctrine that material phenomena are both the types and the
instruments of real things unseen,--a doctrine, which embraces, not
only what Anglicans, as well as Catholics, believe about sacraments
properly so called; but also the article of "the Communion of Saints"
in its fulness; and likewise the mysteries of the faith. The
connection of this philosophy of religion with what is sometimes
called "Berkeleyism" has been mentioned above; I knew little of
Berkeley at this time except by name; nor have I ever studied him.

On the second intellectual principle which I gained from Mr. Keble, I
could say a great deal; if this were the place for it. It runs
through very much that I have written, and has gained for me many
hard names. Butler teaches us that probability is the guide of life.
The danger of this doctrine, in the case of many minds, is, its
tendency to destroy in them absolute certainty, leading them to
consider every conclusion as doubtful, and resolving truth into an
opinion, which it is safe to obey or to profess, but not possible to
embrace with full internal assent. If this were to be allowed, then
the celebrated saying, "O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I
have a soul!" would be the highest measure of devotion:--but who can
really pray to a being, about whose existence he is seriously in

I considered that Mr. Keble met this difficulty by ascribing the
firmness of assent which we give to religious doctrine, not to the
probabilities which introduced it, but to the living power of faith
and love which accepted it. In matters of religion, he seemed to say,
it is not merely probability which makes us intellectually certain,
but probability as it is put to account by faith and love. It is
faith and love which give to probability a force which it has not in
itself. Faith and love are directed towards an object; in the vision
of that object they live; it is that object, received in faith and
love, which renders it reasonable to take probability as sufficient
for internal conviction. Thus the argument about probability, in the
matter of religion, became an argument from personality, which in
fact is one form of the argument from authority.

In illustration, Mr. Keble used to quote the words of the psalm: "I
will guide thee with mine _eye_. Be ye not like to horse and mule,
which have no understanding; whose mouths must be held with bit and
bridle, lest they fall upon thee." This is the very difference, he
used to say, between slaves, and friends or children. Friends do not
ask for literal commands; but, from their knowledge of the speaker,
they understand his half-words, and from love of him they anticipate
his wishes. Hence it is, that in his poem for St. Bartholomew's Day,
he speaks of the "Eye of God's word;" and in the note quotes Mr.
Miller, of Worcester College, who remarks, in his Bampton Lectures,
on the special power of Scripture, as having "this eye, like that of
a portrait, uniformly fixed upon us, turn where we will." The view
thus suggested by Mr. Keble, is brought forward in one of the
earliest of the "Tracts for the Times." In No. 8 I say, "The Gospel
is a Law of Liberty. We are treated as sons, not as servants; not
subjected to a code of formal commandments, but addressed as those
who love God, and wish to please Him."

I did not at all dispute this view of the matter, for I made use of
it myself; but I was dissatisfied, because it did not go to the root
of the difficulty. It was beautiful and religious, but it did not
even profess to be logical; and accordingly I tried to complete it by
considerations of my own, which are implied in my University sermons,
Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles, and Essay on Development of
Doctrine. My argument is in outline as follows: that that absolute
certitude which we were able to possess, whether as to the truths of
natural theology, or as to the fact of a revelation, was the result
of an _assemblage_ of concurring and converging probabilities, and
that, both according to the constitution of the human mind and the
will of its Maker; that certitude was a habit of mind, that certainty
was a quality of propositions; that probabilities which did not reach
to logical certainty, might create a mental certitude; that the
certitude thus created might equal in measure and strength the
certitude which was created by the strictest scientific
demonstration; and that to have such certitude might in given cases
and to given individuals be a plain duty, though not to others in
other circumstances:--

Moreover, that as there were probabilities which sufficed to create
certitude, so there were other probabilities which were legitimately
adapted to create opinion; that it might be quite as much a matter of
duty in given cases and to given persons to have about a fact an
opinion of a definite strength and consistency, as in the case of
greater or of more numerous probabilities it was a duty to have a
certitude; that accordingly we were bound to be more or less sure, on
a sort of (as it were) graduated scale of assent, viz. according as
the probabilities attaching to a professed fact were brought home to
us, and, as the case might be, to entertain about it a pious belief,
or a pious opinion, or a religious conjecture, or at least, a
tolerance of such belief, or opinion, or conjecture in others; that
on the other hand, as it was a duty to have a belief, of more or less
strong texture, in given cases, so in other cases it was a duty not
to believe, not to opine, not to conjecture, not even to tolerate the
notion that a professed fact was true, inasmuch as it would be
credulity or superstition, or some other moral fault, to do so. This
was the region of private judgment in religion; that is, of a private
judgment, not formed arbitrarily and according to one's fancy or
liking, but conscientiously, and under a sense of duty.

Considerations such as these throw a new light on the subject of
Miracles, and they seem to have led me to re-consider the view which
I took of them in my Essay in 1825-6. I do not know what was the date
of this change in me, nor of the train of ideas on which it was
founded. That there had been already great miracles, as those of
Scripture, as the Resurrection, was a fact establishing the principle
that the laws of nature had sometimes been suspended by their Divine
Author; and since what had happened once might happen again, a
certain probability, at least no kind of improbability, was attached
to the idea, taken in itself, of miraculous intervention in later
times, and miraculous accounts were to be regarded in connection with
the verisimilitude, scope, instrument, character, testimony, and
circumstances, with which they presented themselves to us; and,
according to the final result of those various considerations, it was
our duty to be sure, or to believe, or to opine, or to surmise, or to
tolerate, or to reject, or to denounce. The main difference between
my essay on Miracles in 1826 and my essay in 1842 is this: that
in 1826 I considered that miracles were sharply divided into two
classes, those which were to be received, and those which were to
be rejected; whereas in 1842 I saw that they were to be regarded
according to their greater or less probability, which was in some
cases sufficient to create certitude about them, in other cases only
belief or opinion.

Moreover, the argument from analogy, on which this view of the
question was founded, suggested to me something besides, in
recommendation of the ecclesiastical miracles. It fastened itself
upon the theory of church history which I had learned as a boy from
Joseph Milner. It is Milner's doctrine, that upon the visible Church
come down from above, from time to time, large and temporary
_Effusions_ of divine grace. This is the leading idea of his work. He
begins by speaking of the Day of Pentecost, as marking "the first of
those _Effusions_ of the Spirit of God, which from age to age have
visited the earth since the coming of Christ" (vol. i. p. 3). In a
note he adds that "in the term 'Effusion' there is not here included
the idea of the miraculous or extraordinary operations of the Spirit
of God;" but still it was natural for me, admitting Milner's general
theory, and applying to it the principle of analogy, not to stop
short at his abrupt _ipse dixit_, but boldly to pass forward to the
conclusion, on other grounds plausible, that, as miracles accompanied
the first effusion of grace, so they might accompany the later. It
is surely a natural and on the whole, a true anticipation (though
of course there are exceptions in particular cases), that gifts and
graces go together; now, according to the ancient Catholic doctrine,
the gift of miracles was viewed as the attendant and shadow of
transcendent sanctity: and moreover, as such sanctity was not of
every day's occurrence, nay further, as one period of Church history
differed widely from another, and, as Joseph Milner would say, there
have been generations or centuries of degeneracy or disorder, and
times of revival, and as one region might be in the mid-day of
religious fervour, and another in twilight or gloom, there was no
force in the popular argument, that, because we did not see miracles
with our own eyes, miracles had not happened in former times, or were
not now at this very time taking place in distant places:--but I must
not dwell longer on a subject, to which in a few words it is
impossible to do justice.

Hurrell Froude was a pupil of Keble's, formed by him, and in turn
reacting upon him. I knew him first in 1826, and was in the closest
and most affectionate friendship with him from about 1829 till his
death in 1836. He was a man of the highest gifts--so truly
many-sided, that it would be presumptuous in me to attempt to
describe him, except under those aspects, in which he came before me.
Nor have I here to speak of the gentleness and tenderness of nature,
the playfulness, the free elastic force and graceful versatility of
mind, and the patient winning considerateness in discussion, which
endeared him to those to whom he opened his heart; for I am all along
engaged upon matters of belief and opinion, and am introducing others
into my narrative, not for their own sake, or because I love and have
loved them, so much as because, and so far as, they have influenced
my theological views. In this respect then, I speak of Hurrell
Froude--in his intellectual aspect--as a man of high genius, brimful
and overflowing with ideas and views, in him original, which were too
many and strong even for his bodily strength, and which crowded and
jostled against each other in their effort after distinct shape and
expression. And he had an intellect as critical and logical as it was
speculative and bold. Dying prematurely, as he did, and in the
conflict and transition-state of opinion, his religious views never
reached their ultimate conclusion, by the very reason of their
multitude and their depth. His opinions arrested and influenced me,
even when they did not gain my assent. He professed openly his
admiration of the Church of Rome, and his hatred of the reformers.
He delighted in the notion of an hierarchical system, or sacerdotal
power and of full ecclesiastical liberty. He felt scorn of the maxim,
"The Bible and the Bible only is the religion of Protestants;" and he
gloried in accepting Tradition as a main instrument of religious
teaching. He had a high severe idea of the intrinsic excellence of
virginity; and he considered the Blessed Virgin its great pattern.
He delighted in thinking of the saints; he had a keen appreciation
of the idea of sanctity, its possibility and its heights; and he
was more than inclined to believe a large amount of miraculous
interference as occurring in the early and middle ages. He embraced
the principle of penance and mortification. He had a deep devotion to
the Real Presence, in which he had a firm faith. He was powerfully
drawn to the medieval church, but not to the primitive.

He had a keen insight into abstract truth; but he was an Englishman
to the backbone in his severe adherence to the real and the concrete.
He had a most classical taste, and a genius for philosophy and art;
and he was fond of historical inquiry, and the politics of religion.
He had no turn for theology as such. He had no appreciation of the
writings of the Fathers, of the detail or development of doctrine, of
the definite traditions of the Church viewed in their matter, of the
teaching of the ecumenical councils, or of the controversies out of
which they arose. He took an eager, courageous view of things on the
whole. I should say that his power of entering into the minds of
others did not equal his other gifts; he could not believe, for
instance, that I really held the Roman Church to be Antichristian. On
many points he would not believe but that I agreed with him, when I
did not. He seemed not to understand my difficulties. His were of a
different kind, the contrariety between theory and fact. He was a
high Tory of the cavalier stamp, and was disgusted with the Toryism
of the opponents of the Reform Bill. He was smitten with the love of
the theocratic church; he went abroad and was shocked by the
degeneracy which he thought he saw in the Catholics of Italy.

It is difficult to enumerate the precise additions to my theological
creed which I derived from a friend to whom I owe so much. He made me
look with admiration towards the Church of Rome, and in the same
degree to dislike the Reformation. He fixed deep in me the idea of
devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and he led me gradually to believe in
the Real Presence.

There is one remaining source of my opinions to be mentioned, and
that far from the least important. In proportion as I moved out of
the shadow of liberalism which had hung over my course, my early
devotion towards the fathers returned; and in the long vacation of
1828 I set about to read them chronologically, beginning with St.
Ignatius and St. Justin. About 1830 a proposal was made to me by Mr.
Hugh Rose, who with Mr. Lyall (afterwards Dean of Canterbury) was
providing writers for a theological library, to furnish them with a
history of the principal councils. I accepted it, and at once set to
work on the Council of Nicæa. It was launching myself on an ocean
with currents innumerable; and I was drifted back first to the
ante-Nicene history, and then to the Church of Alexandria. The work
at last appeared under the title of "The Arians of the Fourth
Century;" and of its 422 pages, the first 117 consisted of
introductory matter, and the Council of Nicæa did not appear till the
254th, and then occupied at most twenty pages.

I do not know when I first learnt to consider that antiquity was the
true exponent of the doctrines of Christianity and the basis of the
Church of England; but I take it for granted that Bishop Bull, whose
works at this time I read, was my chief introduction to this
principle. The course of reading which I pursued in the composition
of my work was directly adapted to develop it in my mind. What
principally attracted me in the ante-Nicene period was the great
Church of Alexandria, the historical centre of teaching in those
times. Of Rome for some centuries comparatively little is known. The
battle of Arianism was first fought in Alexandria; Athanasius, the
champion of the truth, was Bishop of Alexandria; and in his writings
he refers to the great religious names of an earlier date, to Origen,
Dionysius, and others who were the glory of its see, or of its
school. The broad philosophy of Clement and Origen carried me away;
the philosophy, not the theological doctrine; and I have drawn out
some features of it in my volume, with the zeal and freshness, but
with the partiality of a neophyte. Some portions of their teaching,
magnificent in themselves, came like music to my inward ear, as if
the response to ideas, which, with little external to encourage
them, I had cherished so long. These were based on the mystical
or sacramental principle, and spoke of the various economies or
dispensations of the eternal. I understood them to mean that the
exterior world, physical and historical, was but the outward
manifestation of realities greater than itself. Nature was a
parable:[1] Scripture was an allegory: pagan literature, philosophy,
and mythology, properly understood, were but a preparation for the
Gospel. The Greek poets and sages were in a certain sense prophets;
for "thoughts beyond their thought to those high bards were given."
There had been a divine dispensation granted to the Jews; there had
been in some sense a dispensation carried on in favour of the
Gentiles. He who had taken the seed of Jacob for His elect people,
had not therefore cast the rest of mankind out of His sight. In the
fulness of time both Judaism and Paganism had come to nought; the
outward framework, which concealed yet suggested the living truth,
had never been intended to last, and it was dissolving under the
beams of the sun of justice behind it and through it. The process of
change had been slow; it had been done not rashly, but by rule and
measure, "at sundry times and in divers manners," first one
disclosure and then another, till the whole was brought into full
manifestation. And thus room was made for the anticipation of further
and deeper disclosures, of truths still under the veil of the letter,
and in their season to be revealed. The visible world still remains
without its divine interpretation; Holy Church in her sacraments and
her hierarchical appointments, will remain even to the end of the
world, only a symbol of those heavenly facts which fill eternity. Her
mysteries are but the expressions in human language of truths to
which the human mind is unequal. It is evident how much there was in
all this in correspondence with the thoughts which had attracted me
when I was young, and with the doctrine which I have already
connected with the Analogy and the Christian Year.

I suppose it was to the Alexandrian school and to the early church
that I owe in particular what I definitely held about the angels. I
viewed them, not only as the ministers employed by the Creator in the
Jewish and Christian dispensations, as we find on the face of
Scripture, but as carrying on, as Scripture also implies, the economy
of the visible world. I considered them as the real causes of motion,
light, and life, and of those elementary principles of the physical
universe, which, when offered in their developments to our senses,
suggest to us the notion of cause and effect, and of what are called
the laws of nature. I have drawn out this doctrine in my sermon for
Michaelmas day, written not later than 1834. I say of the angels,
"Every breath of air and ray of light and heat, every beautiful
prospect, is, as it were, the skirts of their garments, the waving of
the robes of those whose faces see God." Again, I ask what would be
the thoughts of a man who, "when examining a flower, or a herb, or a
pebble, or a ray of light, which he treats as something so beneath
him in the scale of existence, suddenly discovered that he was in the
presence of some powerful being who was hidden behind the visible
things he was inspecting, who, though concealing his wise hand, was
giving them their beauty, grace, and perfection, as being God's
instrument for the purpose, nay, whose robe and ornaments those
objects were, which he was so eager to analyse?" and I therefore
remark that "we may say with grateful and simple hearts with the
Three Holy Children, 'O all ye works of the Lord, etc., etc., bless
ye the Lord, praise Him, and magnify Him for ever.'"

Also, besides the hosts of evil spirits, I considered there was a
middle race, [greek: daimonia], neither in heaven, nor in hell;
partially fallen, capricious, wayward; noble or crafty, benevolent or
malicious, as the case might be. They gave a sort of inspiration or
intelligence to races, nations, and classes of men. Hence the action
of bodies politic and associations, which is so different often from
that of the individuals who compose them. Hence the character and
the instinct of states and governments, of religious communities and
communions. I thought they were inhabited by unseen intelligences. My
preference of the Personal to the Abstract would naturally lead me to
this view. I thought it countenanced by the mention of "the Prince
of Persia" in the Prophet Daniel; and I think I considered that it
was of such intermediate beings that the Apocalypse spoke, when it
introduced "the Angels of the Seven Churches."

In 1837 I made a further development of this doctrine. I said to my
great friend, Samuel Francis Wood, in a letter which came into my
hands on his death, "I have an idea. The mass of the Fathers (Justin,
Athenagoras, Irenæus, Clement, Tertullian, Origen, Lactantius,
Sulpicius, Ambrose, Nazianzen), hold that, though Satan fell from the
beginning, the Angels fell before the deluge, falling in love with
the daughters of men. This has lately come across me as a remarkable
solution of a notion which I cannot help holding. Daniel speaks as if
each nation had its guardian Angel. I cannot but think that there are
beings with a great deal of good in them, yet with great defects, who
are the animating principles of certain institutions, etc., etc....
Take England, with many high virtues, and yet a low Catholicism. It
seems to me that John Bull is a Spirit neither of heaven nor hell....
Has not the Christian Church, in its parts, surrendered itself to one
or other of these simulations of the truth? ...How are we to avoid
Scylla and Charybdis and go straight on to the very image of Christ?"
etc., etc.

I am aware that what I have been saying will, with many men, be doing
credit to my imagination at the expense of my judgment--"Hippoclides
doesn't care;" I am not setting myself up as a pattern of good sense
or of anything else: I am but vindicating myself from the charge of
dishonesty.--There is indeed another view of the economy brought out,
in the course of the same dissertation on the subject, in my History
of the Arians, which has afforded matter for the latter imputation;
but I reserve it for the concluding portion of my reply.

While I was engaged in writing my work upon the Arians, great events
were happening at home and abroad, which brought out into form and
passionate expression the various beliefs which had so gradually been
winning their way into my mind. Shortly before, there had been a
revolution in France; the Bourbons had been dismissed: and I believed
that it was unchristian for nations to cast off their governors, and,
much more, sovereigns who had the divine right of inheritance. Again,
the great Reform agitation was going on around me as I wrote. The
Whigs had come into power; Lord Grey had told the Bishops to set
their house in order, and some of the prelates had been insulted and
threatened in the streets of London. The vital question was how were
we to keep the Church from being liberalised? there was such apathy
on the subject in some quarters, such imbecile alarm in others; the
true principles of Churchmanship seemed so radically decayed, and
there was such distraction in the councils of the clergy. The Bishop
of London of the day, an active and open-hearted man, had been for
years engaged in diluting the high orthodoxy of the Church by the
introduction of the Evangelical body into places of influence and
trust. He had deeply offended men who agreed with myself, by an
off-hand saying (as it was reported) to the effect that belief in the
apostolical succession had gone out with the non-jurors. "We can
count you," he said to some of the gravest and most venerated persons
of the old school. And the Evangelical party itself seemed, with
their late successes, to have lost that simplicity and unworldliness
which I admired so much in Milner and Scott. It was not that I did
not venerate such men as the then Bishop of Lichfield, and others of
similar sentiments, who were not yet promoted out of the ranks of
the clergy, but I thought little of them as a class. I thought they
played into the hands of the Liberals. With the Establishment thus
divided and threatened, thus ignorant of its true strength, I
compared that fresh vigorous power of which I was reading in the
first centuries. In her triumphant zeal on behalf of that Primeval
Mystery, to which I had had so great a devotion from my youth, I
recognised the movement of my Spiritual Mother. "Incessu patuit Dea."
The self-conquest of her ascetics, the patience of her martyrs, the
irresistible determination of her bishops, the joyous swing of her
advance, both exalted and abashed me. I said to myself, "Look on this
picture and on that;" I felt affection for my own Church, but not
tenderness; I felt dismay at her prospects, anger and scorn at her
do-nothing perplexity. I thought that if Liberalism once got a
footing within her, it was sure of the victory in the event. I saw
that Reformation principles were powerless to rescue her. As to
leaving her, the thought never crossed my imagination; still I ever
kept before me that there was something greater than the Established
Church, and that that was the Church Catholic and Apostolic, set up
from the beginning, of which she was but the local presence and
organ. She was nothing, unless she was this. She must be dealt with
strongly, or she would be lost. There was need of a second

At this time I was disengaged from college duties, and my health had
suffered from the labour involved in the composition of my volume. It
was ready for the press in July, 1832, though not published till the
end of 1833. I was easily persuaded to join Hurrell Froude and his
Father, who were going to the south of Europe for the health of the

We set out in December, 1832. It was during this expedition that my
Verses which are in the Lyra Apostolica were written;--a few indeed
before it, but not more than one or two of them after it. Exchanging,
as I was, definite tutorial labours, and the literary quiet and
pleasant friendships of the last six years, for foreign countries and
an unknown future, I naturally was led to think that some inward
changes, as well as some larger course of action, was coming upon me.
At Whitchurch, while waiting for the down mail to Falmouth, I wrote
the verses about my Guardian Angel, which begin with these words:
"Are these the tracks of some unearthly Friend?" and go on to speak
of "the vision" which haunted me:--that vision is more or less
brought out in the whole series of these compositions.

I went to various coasts of the Mediterranean, parted with my friends
at Rome; went down for the second time to Sicily, at the end of
April, and got back to England by Palermo in the early part of July.
The strangeness of foreign life threw me back into myself; I found
pleasure in historical sites and beautiful scenes, not in men and
manners. We kept clear of Catholics throughout our tour. I had a
conversation with the Dean of Malta, a most pleasant man, lately
dead; but it was about the Fathers, and the Library of the great
church. I knew the Abbate Santini, at Rome, who did no more than copy
for me the Gregorian tones. Froude and I made two calls upon
Monsignore (now Cardinal) Wiseman at the Collegio Inglese, shortly
before we left Rome. I do not recollect being in a room with any
other ecclesiastics, except a Priest at Castro-Giovanni in Sicily,
who called on me when I was ill, and with whom I wished to hold a
controversy. As to Church Services, we attended the Tenebræ, at the
Sestine, for the sake of the Miserere; and that was all. My general
feeling was, "All, save the spirit of man, is divine." I saw nothing
but what was external; of the hidden life of Catholics I knew
nothing. I was still more driven back into myself, and felt my
isolation. England was in my thoughts solely, and the news from
England came rarely and imperfectly. The Bill for the Suppression of
the Irish Sees was in progress, and filled my mind. I had fierce
thoughts against the Liberals.

It was the success of the Liberal cause which fretted me inwardly.
I became fierce against its instruments and its manifestations. A
French vessel was at Algiers; I would not even look at the tricolour.
On my return, though forced to stop a day at Paris, I kept indoors
the whole time, and all that I saw of that beautiful city, was what I
saw from the Diligence. The Bishop of London had already sounded me
as to my filling one of the Whitehall preacherships, which he had
just then put on a new footing; but I was indignant at the line which
he was taking, and from my steamer I had sent home a letter declining
the appointment by anticipation, should it be offered to me. At this
time I was specially annoyed with Dr. Arnold, though it did not last
into later years. Some one, I think, asked in conversation at Rome,
whether a certain interpretation of Scripture was Christian? it was
answered that Dr. Arnold took it; I interposed, "But is _he_ a
Christian?" The subject went out of my head at once; when afterwards
I was taxed with it I could say no more in explanation, than that I
thought I must have been alluding to some free views of Dr. Arnold
about the Old Testament:--I thought I must have meant, "But who is to
answer for Arnold?" It was at Rome too that we began the Lyra
Apostolica which appeared monthly in the _British Magazine_. The
motto shows the feeling of both Froude and myself at the time: we
borrowed from M. Bunsen a Homer, and Froude chose the words in which
Achilles, on returning to the battle, says, "You shall know the
difference, now that I am back again."

Especially when I was left by myself, the thought came upon me that
deliverance is wrought, not by the many but by the few, not by bodies
but by persons. Now it was, I think, that I repeated to myself the
words, which had ever been dear to me from my school days, "Exoriare
aliquis!"--now too, that Southey's beautiful poem of Thalaba, for
which I had an immense liking, came forcibly to my mind. I began to
think that I had a mission. There are sentences of my letters to my
friends to this effect, if they are not destroyed. When we took leave
of Monsignore Wiseman, he had courteously expressed a wish that we
might make a second visit to Rome; I said with great gravity, "We
have a work to do in England." I went down at once to Sicily, and the
presentiment grew stronger. I struck into the middle of the island,
and fell ill of a fever at Leonforte. My servant thought that I was
dying, and begged for my last directions. I gave them, as he wished;
but I said, "I shall not die." I repeated, "I shall not die, for I
have not sinned against light, I have not sinned against light." I
never have been able to make out at all what I meant.

I got to Castro-Giovanni, and was laid up there for nearly three
weeks. Towards the end of May I set off for Palermo, taking three
days for the journey. Before starting from my inn in the morning of
May 26th or 27th, I sat down on my bed, and began to sob bitterly. My
servant, who had acted as my nurse, asked what ailed me. I could only
answer, "I have a work to do in England."

I was aching to get home; yet for want of a vessel I was kept at
Palermo for three weeks. I began to visit the Churches, and they
calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services. I knew
nothing of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament there. At last I got
off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles. We were becalmed a whole
week in the Straits of Bonifacio. Then it was that I wrote the lines,
"Lead, kindly light," which have since become well known. I was
writing verses the whole time of my passage. At length I got to
Marseilles, and set off for England. The fatigue of travelling was
too much for me, and I was laid up for several days at Lyons. At last
I got off again and did not stop night or day till I reached England,
and my mother's house. My brother had arrived from Persia only a few
hours before. This was on the Tuesday. The following Sunday, July
14th, Mr. Keble preached the assize Sermon in the University Pulpit.
It was published under the title of "National Apostasy." I have ever
considered and kept the day, as the start of the religious movement
of 1833.


[1] _Vid_. Mr. Morris's beautiful poem with this title.

Part IV

History of My Religious Opinions--1833-1839

In spite of the foregoing pages, I have no romantic story to tell;
but I wrote them, because it is my duty to tell things as they took
place. I have not exaggerated the feelings with which I returned to
England, and I have no desire to dress up the events which followed,
so as to make them in keeping with the narrative which has gone
before. I soon relapsed into the every-day life which I had hitherto
led; in all things the same, except that a new object was given me.
I had employed myself in my own rooms in reading and writing, and
in the care of a church, before I left England, and I returned to
the same occupations when I was back again. And yet perhaps those
first vehement feelings which carried me on were necessary for the
beginning of the movement; and afterwards, when it was once begun,
the special need of me was over.

When I got home from abroad, I found that already a movement had
commenced in opposition to the specific danger which at that time was
threatening the religion of the nation and its church. Several
zealous and able men had united their counsels, and were in
correspondence with each other. The principal of these were Mr.
Keble, Hurrell Froude, who had reached home long before me, Mr.
William Palmer of Dublin and Worcester College (not Mr. W. Palmer of
Magdalen, who is now a Catholic), Mr. Arthur Perceval, and Mr. Hugh

To mention Mr. Hugh Rose's name is to kindle in the minds of those
who knew him, a host of pleasant and affectionate remembrances. He
was the man above all others fitted by his cast of mind and literary
powers to make a stand, if a stand could be made, against the
calamity of the times. He was gifted with a high and large mind, and
a true sensibility of what was great and beautiful; he wrote with
warmth and energy; and he had a cool head and cautious judgment.
He spent his strength and shortened his life, Pro Ecclesia Dei, as
he understood that sovereign idea. Some years earlier he had been
the first to give warning, I think from the university pulpit at
Cambridge, of the perils to England which lay in the biblical and
theological speculations of Germany. The Reform agitation followed,
and the Whig government came into power; and he anticipated in their
distribution of church patronage the authoritative introduction of
liberal opinions into the country:--by "liberal" I mean liberalism in
_religion_, for questions of politics, as such, do not come into this
narrative at all. He feared that by the Whig party a door would be
opened in England to the most grievous of heresies, which never could
be closed again. In order under such grave circumstances to unite
Churchmen together, and to make a front against the coming danger, he
had in 1832 commenced the _British Magazine_, and in the same year he
came to Oxford in the summer term, in order to beat up for writers
for his publication; on that occasion I became known to him through
Mr. Palmer. His reputation and position came in aid of his obvious
fitness, in point of character and intellect, to become the centre of
an ecclesiastical movement, if such a movement were to depend on the
action of a party. His delicate health, his premature death, would
have frustrated the expectation, even though the new school of
opinion had been more exactly thrown into the shape of a party, than
in fact was the case. But he zealously backed up the first efforts of
those who were principals in it; and, when he went abroad to die,
in 1838, he allowed me the solace of expressing my feelings of
attachment and gratitude to him by addressing him, in the dedication
of a volume of my Sermons, as the man, "who, when hearts were
failing, bade us stir up the gift that was in us, and betake
ourselves to our true Mother."

But there were other reasons, besides Mr. Rose's state of health,
which hindered those who so much admired him from availing themselves
of his close co-operation in the coming fight. United as both he and
they were in the general scope of the Movement, they were in
discordance with each other from the first in their estimate of the
means to be adopted for attaining it. Mr. Rose had a position in the
church, a name, and serious responsibilities; he had direct
ecclesiastical superiors; he had intimate relations with his own
university, and a large clerical connection through the country.
Froude and I were nobodies; with no characters to lose, and no
antecedents to fetter us. Rose could not go ahead across country, as
Froude had no scruples in doing. Froude was a bold rider, as on
horseback, so also in his speculations. After a long conversation
with him on the logical bearing of his principles, Mr. Rose said
of him with quiet humour, that "he did not seem to be afraid of
inferences." It was simply the truth; Froude had that strong hold of
first principles, and that keen perception of their value, that he
was comparatively indifferent to the revolutionary action which would
attend on their application to a given state of things; whereas in
the thoughts of Rose, as a practical man, existing facts had the
precedence of every other idea, and the chief test of the soundness
of a line of policy lay in the consideration whether it would work.
This was one of the first questions, which, as it seemed to me, ever
occurred to his mind. With Froude, Erastianism--that is, the union
(so he viewed it) of church and state--was the parent, or if not the
parent, the serviceable and sufficient tool, of liberalism. Till that
union was snapped, Christian doctrine never could be safe; and, while
he well knew how high and unselfish was the temper of Mr. Rose,
yet he used to apply to him an epithet, reproachful in his own
mouth;--Rose was a "conservative." By bad luck, I brought out this
word to Mr. Rose in a letter of my own, which I wrote to him in
criticism of something he had inserted into the Magazine: I got a
vehement rebuke for my pains, for though Rose pursued a conservative
line, he had as high a disdain, as Froude could have, of a worldly
ambition, and an extreme sensitiveness of such an imputation.

But there was another reason still, and a more elementary one, which
severed Mr. Rose from the Oxford movement. Living movements do not
come of committees, nor are great ideas worked out through the post,
even though it had been the penny post. This principle deeply
penetrated both Froude and myself from the first, and recommended
to us the course which things soon took spontaneously, and without
set purpose of our own. Universities are the natural centres of
intellectual movements. How could men act together, whatever was
their zeal, unless they were united in a sort of individuality?
Now, first, we had no unity of place. Mr. Rose was in Suffolk, Mr.
Perceval in Surrey, Mr. Keble in Gloucestershire; Hurrell Froude had
to go for his health to Barbados. Mr. Palmer indeed was in Oxford;
this was an important advantage, and told well in the first months of
the Movement;--but another condition, besides that of place, was

A far more essential unity was that of antecedents,--a common
history, common memories, an intercourse of mind with mind in the
past, and a progress and increase of that intercourse in the present.
Mr. Perceval, to be sure, was a pupil of Mr. Keble's; but Keble,
Rose, and Palmer, represented distinct parties, or at least tempers,
in the Establishment. Mr. Palmer had many conditions of authority and
influence. He was the only really learned man among us. He understood
theology as a science; he was practised in the scholastic mode of
controversial writing; and I believe, was as well acquainted, as he
was dissatisfied, with the Catholic schools. He was as decided in his
religious views, as he was cautious and even subtle in their
expression, and gentle in their enforcement. But he was deficient in
depth; and besides, coming from a distance, he never had really grown
into an Oxford man, nor was he generally received as such; nor had he
any insight into the force of personal influence and congeniality of
thought in carrying out a religious theory,--a condition which Froude
and I considered essential to any true success in the stand which had
to be made against Liberalism. Mr. Palmer had a certain connection,
as it may be called, in the Establishment, consisting of high Church
dignitaries, archdeacons, London rectors, and the like, who belonged
to what was commonly called the high-and-dry school. They were
far more opposed than even he was to the irresponsible action of
individuals. Of course their _beau ideal_ in ecclesiastical action
was a board of safe, sound, sensible men. Mr. Palmer was their organ
and representative; and he wished for a Committee, an Association,
with rules and meetings, to protect the interests of the Church in
its existing peril. He was in some measure supported by Mr. Perceval.

I, on the other hand, had out of my own head begun the Tracts; and
these, as representing the antagonist principle of personality, were
looked upon by Mr. Palmer's friends with considerable alarm. The
great point at the time with these good men in London,--some of them
men of the highest principle, and far from influenced by what we used
to call Erastianism,--was to put down the Tracts. I, as their editor,
and mainly their author, was not unnaturally willing to give way.
Keble and Froude advocated their continuance strongly, and were angry
with me for consenting to stop them. Mr. Palmer shared the anxiety of
his own friends; and, kind as were his thoughts of us, he still not
unnaturally felt, for reasons of his own, some fidget and nervousness
at the course which his Oriel friends were taking. Froude, for whom
he had a real liking, took a high tone in his project of measures
for dealing with bishops and clergy, which must have shocked and
scandalised him considerably. As for me, there was matter enough in
the early Tracts to give him equal disgust; and doubtless I much
tasked his generosity, when he had to defend me, whether against the
London dignitaries, or the country clergy. Oriel, from the time of
Dr. Copleston to Dr. Hampden, had had a name far and wide for
liberality of thought; it had received a formal recognition from the
_Edinburgh Review_, if my memory serves me truly, as the school of
speculative philosophy in England; and on one occasion, in 1833, when
I presented myself, with some the first papers of the movement, to a
country clergyman in Northamptonshire, he paused awhile, and then,
eyeing me with significance, asked, "Whether Whately was at the
bottom of them?"

Mr. Perceval wrote to me in support of the judgment of Mr. Palmer and
the dignitaries. I replied in a letter, which he afterwards
published. "As to the Tracts," I said to him (I quote my own words
from his pamphlet), "every one has his own taste. You object to
some things, another to others. If we altered to please every one,
the effect would be spoiled. They were not intended as symbols
_è cathedrâ_, but as the expression of individual minds; and
individuals, feeling strongly, while on the one hand, they are
incidentally faulty in mode or language, are still peculiarly
effective. No great work was done by a system; whereas systems rise
out of individual exertions. Luther was an individual. The very
faults of an individual excite attention; he loses, but his cause
(if good and he powerful-minded) gains. This is the way of things:
we promote truth by a self-sacrifice."

The visit which I made to the Northamptonshire Rector was only one of
a series of similar expedients, which I adopted during the year 1833.
I called upon clergy in various parts of the country, whether I was
acquainted with them or not, and I attended at the houses of friends
where several of them were from time to time assembled. I do not
think that much came of such attempts, nor were they quite in my way.
Also I wrote various letters to clergymen, which fared not much
better, except that they advertised the fact, that a rally in favour
of the church was commencing. I did not care whether my visits were
made to high church or low church; I wished to make a strong pull in
union with all who were opposed to the principles of liberalism,
whoever they might be. Giving my name to the editor, I commenced a
series of letters in the _Record_ newspaper: they ran to a
considerable length; and were borne by him with great courtesy and
patience. They were headed as being on "Church Reform." The first was
on the Revival of Church Discipline; the second, on its Scripture
proof; the third, on the application of the doctrine; the fourth,
was an answer to objections; the fifth, was on the benefits
of discipline. And then the series was abruptly brought to a
termination. I had said what I really felt, and what was also in
keeping with the strong teaching of the Tracts, but I suppose the
Editor discovered in me some divergence from his own line of thought;
for at length he sent a very civil letter, apologising for the
non-appearance of my sixth communication, on the ground that it
contained an attack upon "Temperance Societies," about which he did
not wish a controversy in his columns. He added, however, his serious
regret at the character of the Tracts. I had subscribed a small sum
in 1828 towards the first start of the _Record_.

Acts of the officious character, which I have been describing, were
uncongenial to my natural temper, to the genius of the movement, and
to the historical mode of its success:--they were the fruit of that
exuberant and joyous energy with which I had returned from abroad,
and which I never had before or since. I had the exultation of health
restored, and home regained. While I was at Palermo and thought of
the breadth of the Mediterranean, and the wearisome journey across
France, I could not imagine how I was ever to get to England; but now
I was amid familiar scenes and faces once more. And my health and
strength came back to me with such a rebound, that some friends at
Oxford, on seeing me, did not well know that it was I, and hesitated
before they spoke to me. And I had the consciousness that I was
employed in that work which I had been dreaming about, and which I
felt to be so momentous and inspiring. I had a supreme confidence in
our cause; we were upholding that primitive Christianity which was
delivered for all time by the early teachers of the Church, and which
was registered and attested in the Anglican formularies and by the
Anglican divines. That ancient religion had well nigh faded away out
of the land, through the political changes of the last 150 years, and
it must be restored. It would be in fact a second Reformation:--a
better reformation, for it would be a return not to the sixteenth
century, but to the seventeenth. No time was to be lost, for the
Whigs had come to do their worst, and the rescue might come too late.
Bishopricks were already in course of suppression; Church property
was in course of confiscation; sees would soon be receiving
unsuitable occupants. We knew enough to begin preaching upon, and
there was no one else to preach. I felt as on a vessel, which first
gets under weigh, and then the deck is cleared out, and the luggage
and live stock stored away into their proper receptacles.

Nor was it only that I had confidence in our cause, both in itself,
and in its controversial force, but besides, I despised every rival
system of doctrine and its arguments. As to the high church and the
low church, I thought that the one had not much more of a logical
basis than the other; while I had a thorough contempt for the
evangelical. I had a real respect for the character of many of the
advocates of each party, but that did not give cogency to their
arguments; and I thought on the other hand that the apostolical form
of doctrine was essential and imperative, and its grounds of evidence
impregnable. Owing to this confidence, it came to pass at that time,
that there was a double aspect in my bearing towards others, which it
is necessary for me to enlarge upon. My behaviour had a mixture in it
both of fierceness and of sport; and on this account, I dare say, it
gave offence to many; nor am I here defending it.

I wished men to a agree with me, and I walked with them step by step,
as far as they would go; this I did sincerely; but if they would
stop, I did not much care about it, but walked on, with some
satisfaction that I had brought them so far. I liked to make them
preach the truth without knowing it, and encouraged them to do so. It
was a satisfaction to me that the _Record_ had allowed me to say so
much in its columns, without remonstrance. I was amused to hear of
one of the bishops, who, on reading an early Tract on the Apostolical
Succession, could not make up his mind whether he held the doctrine
or not. I was not distressed at the wonder or anger of dull and
self-conceited men, at propositions which they did not understand.
When a correspondent, in good faith, wrote to a newspaper, to say
that the "Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist," spoken of in the Tract,
was a false print for "Sacrament," I thought the mistake too pleasant
to be corrected before I was asked about it. I was not unwilling to
draw an opponent on step by step to the brink of some intellectual
absurdity, and to leave him to get back as he could. I was not
unwilling to play with a man, who asked me impertinent questions. I
think I had in my mouth the words of the wise man, "Answer a fool
according to his folly," especially if he was prying or spiteful. I
was reckless of the gossip which was circulated about me; and, when I
might easily have set it right, did not deign to do so. Also I used
irony in conversation, when matter-of-fact men would not see what I

This kind of behaviour was a sort of habit with me. If I have ever
trifled with my subject, it was a more serious fault. I never used
arguments which I saw clearly to be unsound. The nearest approach
which I remember to such conduct, but which I consider was clear of
it nevertheless, was in the case of Tract 15. The matter of this
Tract was supplied to me by a friend, to whom I had applied for
assistance, but who did not wish to be mixed up with the publication.
He gave it me, that I might throw it into shape, and I took his
arguments as they stood. In the chief portion of the Tract I fully
agreed; for instance, as to what it says about the Council of Trent;
but there were arguments, or some argument, in it which I did not
follow; I do not recollect what it was. Froude, I think, was
disgusted with the whole Tract, and accused me of _economy_ in
publishing it. It is principally through Mr. Froude's Remains that
this word has got into our language. I think I defended myself with
arguments such as these:--that, as every one knew, the Tracts were
written by various persons who agreed together in their doctrine, but
not always in the arguments by which it was to be proved; that we
must be tolerant of difference of opinion among ourselves; that the
author of the Tract had a right to his own opinion, and that the
argument in question was ordinarily received; that I did not give my
own name or authority, nor was asked for my personal belief, but only
acted instrumentally, as one might translate a friend's book into a
foreign language. I account these to be good arguments; nevertheless
I feel also that such practices admit of easy abuse and are
consequently dangerous; but then again, I feel also this,--that if
all such mistakes were to be severely visited, not many men in public
life would be left with a character for honour and honesty.

This absolute confidence in my cause, which led me to the imprudence
or wantonness which I have been instancing, also laid me open, not
unfairly, to the opposite charge of fierceness in certain steps which
I took, or words which I published. In the Lyra Apostolica, I have
said that, before learning to love, we must "learn to hate;" though I
had explained my words by adding "hatred of sin." In one of my first
sermons I said, "I do not shrink from uttering my firm conviction
that it would be a gain to the country were it vastly more
superstitious, more bigoted, more gloomy, more fierce in its religion
than at present it shows itself to be." I added, of course, that it
would be an absurdity to suppose such tempers of mind desirable in
themselves. The corrector of the press bore these strong epithets
till he got to "more fierce," and then he put in the margin a
_query_. In the very first page of the first Tract, I said of the
bishops, that, "black event though it would be for the country, yet
we could not wish them a more blessed termination of their course,
than the spoiling of their goods and martyrdom." In consequence of a
passage in my work upon the Arian History, a Northern dignitary wrote
to accuse me of wishing to re-establish the blood and torture of the
Inquisition. Contrasting heretics and heresiarchs, I had said, "The
latter should meet with no mercy; he assumes the office of the
Tempter, and, so far forth as his error goes, must be dealt with by
the competent authority, as if he were embodied evil. To spare him is
a false and dangerous pity. It is to endanger the souls of thousands,
and it is uncharitable towards himself." I cannot deny that this is a
very fierce passage; but Arius was banished, not burned; and it is
only fair to myself to say that neither at this, nor any other time
of my life, not even when I was fiercest, could I have even cut off a
Puritan's ears, and I think the sight of a Spanish _auto-da-fé_ would
have been the death of me. Again, when one of my friends, of liberal
and evangelical opinions, wrote to expostulate with me on the course
I was taking, I said that we would ride over him and his, as Othniel
prevailed over Chushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia. Again, I
would have no dealings with my brother, and I put my conduct upon a
syllogism. I said, "St. Paul bids us avoid those who cause divisions;
you cause divisions: therefore I must avoid you." I dissuaded a lady
from attending the marriage of a sister who had seceded from the
Anglican Church. No wonder that Blanco White, who had known me under
such different circumstances, now hearing the general course that I
was taking, was amazed at the change which he recognised in me. He
speaks bitterly and unfairly of me in his letters contemporaneously
with the first years of the Movement; but in 1839, when looking back,
he uses terms of me, which it would be hardly modest in me to quote,
were it not that what he says of me in praise is but part of a whole
account of me. He says: "In this party [the anti-Peel, in 1829] I
found, to my great surprise, my dear friend, Mr. Newman of Oriel. As
he had been one of the annual Petitioners to Parliament for Catholic
Emancipation, his sudden union with the most violent bigots was
inexplicable to me. That change was the first manifestation of the
mental revolution, which has suddenly made him one of the leading
persecutors of Dr. Hampden and the most active and influential member
of that association, called the Puseyite party, from which we have
those very strange productions, entitled, Tracts for the Times. While
stating these public facts, my heart feels a pang at the recollection
of the affectionate and mutual friendship between that excellent man
and myself; a friendship, which his principles of orthodoxy could not
allow him to continue in regard to one, whom he now regards as
inevitably doomed to eternal perdition. Such is the venomous
character of orthodoxy. What mischief must it create in a bad heart
and narrow mind, when it can work so effectually for evil, in one of
the most benevolent of bosoms, and one of the ablest of minds, in the
amiable, the intellectual, the refined John Henry Newman!" (Vol. iii.
p. 131.) He adds that I would have nothing to do with him, a
circumstance which I do not recollect, and very much doubt.

I have spoken of my firm confidence in my position; and now let me
state more definitely what the position was which I took up, and the
propositions about which I was so confident. These were three:--

1. First was the principle of dogma: my battle was with liberalism;
by liberalism I meant the anti-dogmatic principle and its
developments. This was the first point on which I was certain. Here I
make a remark: persistence in a given belief is no sufficient test of
its truth; but departure from it is at least a slur upon the man who
has felt so certain about it. In proportion then as I had in 1832 a
strong persuasion in beliefs which I have since given up, so far a
sort of guilt attaches to me, not only for that vain confidence, but
for my multiform conduct in consequence of it. But here I have the
satisfaction of feeling that I have nothing to retract, and nothing
to repent of. The main principle of the Movement is as dear to me now
as it ever was. I have changed in many things: in this I have not.
From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of
my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea
of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to
me a dream and a mockery. As well can there be filial love without
the fact of a father, as devotion without the fact of a Supreme
Being. What I held in 1816, I held in 1833, and I hold in 1864.
Please God, I shall hold it to the end. Even when I was under Dr.
Whately's influence, I had no temptation to be less zealous for the
great dogmas of the faith, and at various times I used to resist such
trains of thought on his part, as seemed to me (rightly or wrongly)
to obscure them. Such was the fundamental principle of the Movement
of 1833.

2. Secondly, I was confident in the truth of a certain definite
religious teaching, based upon this foundation of dogma; viz. that
there was a visible church with sacraments and rites which are the
channels of invisible grace. I thought that this was the doctrine of
Scripture, of the early Church, and of the Anglican Church. Here
again, I have not changed in opinion; I am as certain now on this
point as I was in 1833, and have never ceased to be certain. In 1834
and the following years I put this ecclesiastical doctrine on a
broader basis, after reading Laud, Bramhall, and Stillingfleet and
other Anglican divines on the one hand, and after prosecuting the
study of the Fathers on the other; but the doctrine of 1833 was
strengthened in me, not changed. When I began the Tracts for the
Times I rested the main doctrine, of which I am speaking, upon
Scripture, on St. Ignatius's Epistles, and on the Anglican Prayer
Book. As to the existence of a visible church, I especially argued
out the point from Scripture, in Tract 11, viz. from the Acts of the
Apostles and the Epistles. As to the sacraments and sacramental
rites, I stood on the Prayer Book. I appealed to the Ordination
Service, in which the Bishop says, "Receive the Holy Ghost;" to the
Visitation Service, which teaches confession and absolution; to the
Baptismal Service, in which the Priest speaks of the child after
baptism as regenerate; to the Catechism, in which Sacramental
Communion is receiving "verily the Body and Blood of Christ;" to the
Commination Service, in which we are told to do "works of penance;"
to the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to the calendar and rubricks,
wherein we find the festivals of the apostles, notice of certain
other saints, and days of fasting and abstinence.

And further, as to the Episcopal system, I founded it upon the
Epistles of St. Ignatius, which inculcated it in various ways. One
passage especially impressed itself upon me: speaking of cases of
disobedience to ecclesiastical authority, he says, "A man does not
deceive that Bishop whom he sees, but he practises rather upon the
Bishop Invisible, and so the question is not with flesh, but with
God, who knows the secret heart." I wished to act on this principle
to the letter, and I may say with confidence that I never consciously
transgressed it. I loved to act in the sight of my bishop, as if I
was, as it were, in the sight of God. It was one of my special
safeguards against myself and of my supports; I could not go very
wrong while I had reason to believe that I was in no respect
displeasing him. It was not a mere formal obedience to rule that I
put before me, but I desired to please him personally, as I
considered him set over me by the Divine Hand. I was strict in
observing my clerical engagements, not only because they _were_
engagements, but because I considered myself simply as the servant
and instrument of my bishop. I did not care much for the bench of
bishops, except as they might be the voice of my Church: nor should I
have cared much for a Provincial Council; nor for a Diocesan Synod
presided over by my Bishop; all these matters seemed to me to be
_jure ecclesiastico_, but what to me was _jure divino_ was the voice
of my bishop in his own person. My own bishop was my pope; I knew no
other; the successor of the apostles, the vicar of Christ. This was
but a practical exhibition of the Anglican theory of Church
Government, as I had already drawn it out myself. This continued all
through my course; when at length in 1845 I wrote to Bishop Wiseman,
in whose Vicariate I found myself, to announce my conversion, I could
find nothing better to say to him, than that I would obey the Pope as
I had obeyed my own Bishop in the Anglican Church. My duty to him was
my point of honour; his disapprobation was the one thing which I
could not bear. I believe it to have been a generous and honest
feeling; and in consequence I was rewarded by having all my time for
ecclesiastical superior a man, whom had I had a choice, I should have
preferred, out and out, to any other Bishop on the Bench, and for
whose memory I have a special affection, Dr. Bagot--a man of noble
mind, and as kind-hearted and as considerate as he was noble. He ever
sympathised with me in my trials which followed; it was my own fault,
that I was not brought into more familiar personal relations with him
than it was my happiness to be. May his name be ever blessed!

And now in concluding my remarks on the second point on which my
confidence rested, I observe that here again I have no retractation
to announce as to its main outline. While I am now as clear in my
acceptance of the principle of dogma, as I was in 1833 and 1816,
so again I am now as firm in my belief of a visible church, of
the authority of bishops, of the grace of the sacraments, of the
religious worth of works of penance, as I was in 1833. I have added
Articles to my creed; but the old ones, which I then held with a
divine faith, remain.

3. But now, as to the third point on which I stood in 1833, and which
I have utterly renounced and trampled upon since--my then view of the
Church of Rome;--I will speak about it as exactly as I can. When I
was young, as I have said already, and after I was grown up, I
thought the Pope to be Antichrist. At Christmas 1824-5 I preached a
sermon to that effect. In 1827 I accepted eagerly the stanza in the
Christian Year, which many people thought too charitable, "Speak
_gently_ of thy sister's fall." From the time that I knew Froude I
got less and less bitter on the subject. I spoke (successively, but I
cannot tell in what order or at what dates) of the Roman Church as
being bound up with "the _cause_ of Antichrist," as being _one_ of
the "_many_ antichrists" foretold by St. John, as being influenced by
"the _spirit_ of Antichrist," and as having something "very
Antichristian" or "unchristian" about her. From my boyhood and in
1824 I considered, after Protestant authorities, that St. Gregory I.
about A.D. 600 was the first Pope that was Antichrist, and again that
he was also a great and holy man; in 1832-3 I thought the Church of
Rome was bound up with the cause of Antichrist by the Council of
Trent. When it was that in my deliberate judgment I gave up the
notion altogether in any shape, that some special reproach was
attached to her name, I cannot tell; but I had a shrinking from
renouncing it, even when my reason so ordered me, from a sort of
conscience or prejudice, I think up to 1843. Moreover, at least
during the Tract Movement, I thought the essence of her offence to
consist in the honours which she paid to the Blessed Virgin and the
saints; and the more I grew in devotion, both to the saints and to
Our Lady, the more impatient was I at the Roman practices, as if
those glorified creations of God must be gravely shocked, if pain
could be theirs, at the undue veneration of which they were the

On the other hand, Hurrell Froude in his familiar conversations was
always tending to rub the idea out of my mind. In a passage of one of
his letters from abroad, alluding, I suppose, to what I used to say
in opposition to him, he observes: "I think people are injudicious
who talk against the Roman Catholics for worshipping Saints, and
honouring the Virgin and images, etc. These things may perhaps be
idolatrous; I cannot make up my mind about it; but to my mind it
is the Carnival that is real practical idolatry, as it is written,
'the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.'" The
carnival, I observe in passing, is, in fact, one of those very
excesses, to which, for at least three centuries, religious Catholics
have ever opposed themselves, as we see in the life of St. Philip, to
say nothing of the present day; but this he did not know. Moreover,
from Froude I learned to admire the great medieval Pontiffs; and, of
course, when I had come to consider the Council of Trent to be the
turning-point of the history of Christian Rome, I found myself as
free, as I was rejoiced, to speak in their praise. Then, when I was
abroad, the sight of so many great places, venerable shrines, and
noble churches, much impressed my imagination. And my heart was
touched also. Making an expedition on foot across some wild country
in Sicily, at six in the morning I came upon a small church; I heard
voices, and I looked in. It was crowded, and the congregation was
singing. Of course it was the Mass, though I did not know it at the
time. And, in my weary days at Palermo, I was not ungrateful for the
comfort which I had received in frequenting the Churches, nor did I
ever forget it. Then, again, her zealous maintenance of the doctrine
and the rule of celibacy, which I recognised as apostolic, and her
faithful agreement with Antiquity in so many points besides, which
were dear to me, was an argument as well as a plea in favour of the
great Church of Rome. Thus I learned to have tender feelings towards
her; but still my reason was not affected at all. My judgment was
against her, when viewed as an institution, as truly as it ever had

This conflict between reason and affection I expressed in one of the
early Tracts, published July, 1834. "Considering the high gifts and
the strong claims of the Church of Rome and its dependencies on our
admiration, reverence, love, and gratitude; how could we withstand
it, as we do, how could we refrain from being melted into tenderness,
and rushing into communion with it, but for the words of Truth
itself, which bid us prefer It to the whole world? 'He that loveth
father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me.' How could 'we
learn to be severe, and execute judgment,' but for the warning of
Moses against even a divinely-gifted teacher, who should preach new
gods; and the anathema of St. Paul even against Angels and Apostles,
who should bring in a new doctrine?"--_Records_, No. 24. My feeling
was something like that of a man, who is obliged in a court of
justice to bear witness against a friend; or like my own now, when I
have said, and shall say, so many things on which I had rather be

As a matter, then, of simple conscience, though it went against my
feelings, I felt it to be a duty to protest against the Church of
Rome. But besides this, it was a duty, because the prescription of
such a protest was a living principle of my own church, as expressed
in not simply a _catena_, but a _consensus_ of her divines, and the
voice of her people. Moreover, such a protest was necessary as an
integral portion of her controversial basis; for I adopted the
argument of Bernard Gilpin, that Protestants "were _not able_ to give
any _firm and solid_ reason of the separation besides this, to wit,
that the Pope is Antichrist." But while I thus thought such a protest
to be based upon truth, and to be a religious duty, and a rule of
Anglicanism, and a necessity of the case, I did not at all like the
work. Hurrell Froude attacked me for doing it; and, besides, I felt
that my language had a vulgar and rhetorical look about it. I
believed, and really measured, my words, when I used them; but I knew
that I had a temptation, on the other hand, to say against Rome as
much as ever I could, in order to protect myself against the charge
of Popery.

And now I come to the very point, for which I have introduced the
subject of my feelings about Rome. I felt such confidence in the
substantial justice of the charges which I advanced against her, that
I considered them to be a safeguard and an assurance that no harm
could ever arise from the freest exposition of what I used to call
Anglican principles. All the world was astounded at what Froude and I
were saying: men said that it was sheer Popery. I answered, "True, we
seem to be making straight for it; but go on awhile, and you will
come to a deep chasm across the path, which makes real approximation
impossible." And I urged in addition, that many Anglican divines had
been accused of Popery, yet had died in their Anglicanism;--now, the
ecclesiastical principles which I professed, they had professed also;
and the judgment against Rome which they had formed, I had formed
also. Whatever faults then the Anglican system might have, and
however boldly I might point them out, anyhow that system was not
vulnerable on the side of Rome, and might be mended in spite of her.
In that very agreement of the two forms of faith, close as it might
seem, would really be found, on examination, the elements and
principles of an essential discordance.

It was with this supreme persuasion on my mind that I fancied that
there could be no rashness in giving to the world in fullest measure
the teaching and the writings of the Fathers. I thought that the
Church of England was substantially founded upon them. I did not know
all that the Fathers had said, but I felt that, even when their
tenets happened to differ from the Anglican, no harm could come of
reporting them. I said out what I was clear they had said; I spoke
vaguely and imperfectly, of what I thought they said, or what some
of them had said. Anyhow, no harm could come of bending the crooked
stick the other way, in the process of straightening it; it was
impossible to break it. If there was anything in the Fathers of a
startling character, it would be only for a time; it would admit of
explanation; it could not lead to Rome. I express this view of the
matter in a passage of the preface to the first volume, which I
edited, of the Library of the Fathers. Speaking of the strangeness at
first sight, presented to the Anglican mind, of some of their
principles and opinions, I bid the reader go forward hopefully, and
not indulge his criticism till he knows more about them, than he will
learn at the outset. "Since the evil," I say, "is in the nature of
the case itself, we can do no more than have patience, and recommend
patience to others, and, with the racer in the Tragedy, look forward
steadily and hopefully to the _event_, [greek: tô telei pistin pherôn],
when, as we trust, all that is inharmonious and anomalous in the
details, will at length be practically smoothed."

Such was the position, such the defences, such the tactics, by which
I thought that it was both incumbent on us, and possible to us, to
meet that onset of liberal principles, of which we were all in
immediate anticipation, whether in the Church or in the University.
And during the first year of the Tracts, the attack upon the
University began. In November 1834 was sent to me by the author the
second edition of a pamphlet entitled, "Observations on Religious
Dissent, with particular reference to the use of religious tests in
the University." In this pamphlet it was maintained, that "Religion
is distinct from Theological Opinion" (pp. 1, 28, 30, etc.); that it
is but a common prejudice to identify theological propositions
methodically deduced and stated, with the simple religion of Christ
(p. 1); that under Theological Opinion were to be placed the
Trinitarian doctrine (p. 27), and the Unitarian (p. 19); that a dogma
was a theological opinion insisted on (pp. 20, 21); that speculation
always left an opening for improvement (p. 22); that the Church of
England was not dogmatic in its spirit, though the wording of its
formularies may often carry the sound of dogmatism (p. 23).

I acknowledged the receipt of this work in the following letter:--

"The kindness which has led to your presenting me with your late
pamphlet, encourages me to hope that you will forgive me, if I take
the opportunity it affords of expressing to you my very sincere and
deep regret that it has been published. Such an opportunity I could
not let slip without being unfaithful to my own serious thoughts on
the subject.

"While I respect the tone of piety which the pamphlet displays, I
dare not trust myself to put on paper my feelings about the
principles contained in it; tending, as they do, in my opinion,
altogether to make shipwreck of Christian faith. I also lament, that,
by its appearance, the first step has been taken towards interrupting
that peace and mutual good understanding which has prevailed so long
in this place, and which, if once seriously disturbed, will be
succeeded by dissensions the more intractable, because justified in
the minds of those who resist innovation by a feeling of imperative

Since that time Phaeton has got into the chariot of the sun; we,
alas! can only look on, and watch him down the steep of heaven.
Meanwhile, the lands, which he is passing over, suffer from his

Such was the commencement of the assault of liberalism upon the old
orthodoxy of Oxford and England; and it could not have been broken,
as it was, for so long a time, had not a great change taken place in
the circumstances of that counter-movement which had already started
with the view of resisting it. For myself, I was not the person to
take the lead of a party; I never was, from first to last, more than
a leading author of a school; nor did I ever wish to be anything
else. This is my own account of the matter, and I say it, neither as
intending to disown the responsibility of what was done, nor as if
ungrateful to those who at that time made more of me than I deserved,
and did more for my sake and at my bidding than I realised myself.
I am giving my history from my own point of sight, and it is as
follows:--I had lived for ten years among my personal friends; the
greater part of the time, I had been influenced, not influencing; and
at no time have I acted on others, without their acting upon me. As
is the custom of a university, I had lived with my private, nay, with
some of my public, pupils, and with the junior fellows of my college,
without form or distance, on a footing of equality. Thus it was
through friends, younger, for the most part, than myself, that my
principles were spreading. They heard what I said in conversation,
and told it to others. Undergraduates in due time took their degree,
and became private tutors themselves. In this new _status_, in turn,
they preached the opinions which they had already learned themselves.
Others went down to the country, and became curates of parishes.
Then they had down from London parcels of the Tracts, and other
publications. They placed them in the shops of local booksellers,
got them into newspapers, introduced them to clerical meetings, and
converted more or less their rectors and their brother curates. Thus
the Movement, viewed with relation to myself, was but a floating
opinion; it was not a power. It never would have been a power, if it
had remained in my hands. Years after, a friend, writing to me in
remonstrance at the excesses, as he thought them, of my disciples,
applied to me my own verse about St. Gregory Nazianzen, "Thou couldst
a people raise, but couldst not rule." At the time that he wrote to
me, I had special impediments in the way of such an exercise of
power; but at no time could I exercise over others that authority,
which under the circumstances was imperatively required. My great
principle ever was, live and let live. I never had the staidness or
dignity necessary for a leader. To the last I never recognised the
hold I had over young men. Of late years I have read and heard that
they even imitated me in various ways. I was quite unconscious of it,
and I think my immediate friends knew too well how disgusted I should
be at the news, to have the heart to tell me. I felt great impatience
at our being called a party, and would not allow that we were. I had
a lounging, free-and-easy way of carrying things on. I exercised no
sufficient censorship upon the Tracts. I did not confine them to the
writings of such persons as agreed in all things with myself; and, as
to my own Tracts, I printed on them a notice to the effect, that any
one who pleased, might make what use he would of them, and reprint
them with alterations if he chose, under the conviction that their
main scope could not be damaged by such a process. It was the same
afterwards, as regards other publications. For two years I furnished
a certain number of sheets for the _British Critic_ from myself and
my friends, while a gentleman was editor, a man of splendid talent,
who, however, was scarcely an acquaintance of mine, and had no
sympathy with the Tracts. When I was Editor myself, from 1838 to
1841, in my very first number, I suffered to appear a critique
unfavourable to my work on Justification, which had been published a
few months before, from a feeling of propriety, because I had put the
book into the hands of the writer who so handled it. Afterwards I
suffered an article against the Jesuits to appear in it, of which I
did not like the tone. When I had to provide a curate for my new
church at Littlemore, I engaged a friend, by no fault of his, who,
before he entered into his charge, preached a sermon, either in
depreciation of baptismal regeneration, or of Dr. Pusey's view of it.
I showed a similar easiness as to the editors who helped me in the
separate volumes of Fleury's Church History; they were able, learned,
and excellent men, but their after history has shown, how little my
choice of them was influenced by any notion I could have had of any
intimate agreement of opinion between them and myself. I shall have
to make the same remark in its place concerning the Lives of the
English Saints, which subsequently appeared. All this may seem
inconsistent with what I have said of my fierceness. I am not bound
to account for it; but there have been men before me, fierce in act,
yet tolerant and moderate in their reasonings; at least, so I read
history. However, such was the case, and such its effect upon the
Tracts. These at first starting were short, hasty, and some of them
ineffective; and at the end of the year, when collected into a
volume, they had a slovenly appearance.

It was under these circumstances, that Dr. Pusey joined us. I
had known him well since 1827-8, and had felt for him an
enthusiastic admiration. I used to call him [greek: hô megas].
His great learning, his immense diligence, his scholarlike mind, his
simple devotion to the cause of religion, overcame me; and great
of course was my joy, when in the last days of 1833 he showed a
disposition to make common cause with us. His tract on Fasting
appeared as one of the series with the date of December 21. He was
not, however, I think fully associated in the Movement till 1835 and
1836, when he published his tract on Baptism, and started the Library
of the Fathers. He at once gave to us a position and a name. Without
him we should have had no chance, especially at the early date of
1834, of making any serious resistance to the liberal aggression.
But Dr. Pusey was a Professor and Canon of Christ Church; he had a
vast influence in consequence of his deep religious seriousness,
the munificence of his charities, his Professorship, his family
connections, and his easy relations with university authorities.
He was to the Movement all that Mr. Rose might have been, with that
indispensable addition, which was wanting to Mr. Rose, the intimate
friendship and the familiar daily society of the persons who had
commenced it. And he had that special claim on their attachment,
which lies in the living presence of a faithful and loyal
affectionateness. There was henceforth a man who could be the
head and centre of the zealous people in every part of the country,
who were adopting the new opinions; and not only so, but there was
one who furnished the Movement with a front to the world, and gained
for it a recognition from other parties in the University. In
1829 Mr. Froude, or Mr. R. Wilberforce, or Mr. Newman were but
individuals; and, when they ranged themselves in the contest of that
year on the side of Sir Robert Inglis, men on either side only asked
with surprise how they got there, and attached no significancy to
the fact; but Dr. Pusey was, to use the common expression, a host in
himself; he was able to give a name, a form, and a personality to
what was without him a sort of mob; and when various parties had to
meet together in order to resist the liberal acts of the Government,
we of the Movement took our place by right among them.

Such was the benefit which he conferred on the Movement externally;
nor was the internal advantage at all inferior to it. He was a man of
large designs; he had a hopeful, sanguine mind; he had no fear of
others; he was haunted by no intellectual perplexities. People are
apt to say that he was once nearer to the Catholic Church than he is
now; I pray God that he may be one day far nearer to the Catholic
Church than he was then; for I believe that, in his reason and
judgment, all the time that I knew him, he never was near to it at
all. When I became a Catholic, I was often asked, "What of Dr.
Pusey?" when I said that I did not see symptoms of his doing as I
had done, I was sometimes thought uncharitable. If confidence in his
position is (as it is), a first essential in the leader of a party,
Dr. Pusey had it. The most remarkable instance of this, was his
statement, in one of his subsequent defences of the Movement, when
too it had advanced a considerable way in the direction of Rome, that
among its hopeful peculiarities was its "stationariness." He made it
in good faith; it was his subjective view of it.

Dr. Pusey's influence was felt at once. He saw that there ought to be
more sobriety, more gravity, more careful pains, more sense of
responsibility in the Tracts and in the whole Movement. It was
through him that the character of the Tracts was changed. When he
gave to us his Tract on Fasting, he put his initials to it. In 1835
he published his elaborate treatise on Baptism, which was followed by
other Tracts from different authors, if not of equal learning, yet of
equal power and appositeness. The Catenas of Anglican divines which
occur in the series, though projected, I think, by me, were executed
with a like aim at greater accuracy and method. In 1836 he advertised
his great project for a Translation of the Fathers:--but I must
return to myself. I am not writing the history either of Dr. Pusey or
of the Movement; but it is a pleasure to me to have been able to
introduce here reminiscences of the place which he held in it, which
have so direct a bearing on myself, that they are no digression from
my narrative.

I suspect it was Dr. Pusey's influence and example which set me, and
made me set others, on the larger and more careful works in defence
of the principles of the Movement which followed in a course of
years,--some of them demanding and receiving from their authors, such
elaborate treatment that they did not make their appearance till both
its temper and its fortunes had changed. I set about a work at once;
one in which was brought out with precision the relation in which we
stood to the Church of Rome. We could not move a step in comfort till
this was done. It was of absolute necessity and a plain duty, to
provide as soon as possible a large statement, which would encourage
and re-assure our friends, and repel the attacks of our opponents. A
cry was heard on all sides of us, that the Tracts and the writings of
the Fathers would lead us to become Catholics, before we were aware
of it. This was loudly expressed by members of the Evangelical party,
who in 1836 had joined us in making a protest in Convocation against
a memorable appointment of the Prime Minister. These clergymen even
then avowed their desire, that the next time they were brought up to
Oxford to give a vote, it might be in order to put down the popery of
the Movement. There was another reason still, and quite as important.
Monsignore Wiseman, with the acuteness and zeal which might be
expected from that great prelate, had anticipated what was coming,
had returned to England in 1836, had delivered lectures in London on
the doctrines of Catholicism, and created an impression through the
country, shared in by ourselves, that we had for our opponents
in controversy, not only our brethren, but our hereditary foes.
These were the circumstances, which led to my publication of "The
Prophetical office of the Church viewed relatively to Romanism and
Popular Protestantism."

This work employed me for three years, from the beginning of 1834 to
the end of 1836. It was composed, after a careful consideration and
comparison of the principal Anglican divines of the seventeenth
century. It was first written in the shape of controversial
correspondence with a learned French Priest; then it was re-cast, and
delivered in Lectures at St. Mary's: lastly, with considerable
retrenchments and additions, it was re-written for publication.

It attempts to trace out the rudimental lines on which Christian
faith and teaching proceed, and to use them as means of determining
the relation of the Roman and Anglican systems to each other. In this
way it shows that to confuse the two together is impossible, and that
the Anglican can be as little said to tend to the Roman, as the Roman
to the Anglican. The spirit of the volume is not so gentle to the
Church of Rome, as Tract 71 published the year before; on the
contrary, it is very fierce; and this I attribute to the circumstance
that the volume is theological and didactic, whereas the Tract, being
controversial, assumes as little and grants as much as possible on
the points in dispute, and insists on points of agreement as well as
of difference. A further and more direct reason is, that in my volume
I deal with "Romanism" (as I call it), not so much in its formal
decrees and in the substance of its creed, as in its traditional
action and its authorised teaching as represented by its prominent
writers;--whereas the Tract is written as if discussing the
differences of the Churches with a view to a reconciliation between
them. There is a further reason too, which I will state presently.

But this volume had a larger scope than that of opposing the Roman
system. It was an attempt at commencing a system of theology on the
Anglican idea, and based upon Anglican authorities. Mr. Palmer, about
the same time, was projecting a work of a similar nature in his own
way. It was published, I think, under the title, "A Treatise on the
Christian Church." As was to be expected from the author, it was a
most learned, most careful composition; and in its form, I should
say, polemical. So happily at least did he follow the logical method
of the Roman Schools, that Father Perrone in his treatise on dogmatic
theology, recognised in him a combatant of the true cast, and saluted
him as a foe worthy of being vanquished. Other soldiers in that field
he seems to have thought little better than the _lanzknechts_ of the
middle ages, and, I dare say, with very good reason. When I knew that
excellent and kind-hearted man at Rome at a later time, he allowed me
to put him to ample penance for those light thoughts of me, which he
had once had, by encroaching on his valuable time with my theological
questions. As to Mr. Palmer's book, it was one which no Anglican
could write but himself,--in no sense, if I recollect aright, a
tentative work. The ground of controversy was cut into squares, and
then every objection had its answer. This is the proper method to
adopt in teaching authoritatively young men; and the work in fact was
intended for students in theology. My own book, on the other hand,
was of a directly tentative and empirical character. I wished to
build up an Anglican theology out of the stores which already lay cut
and hewn upon the ground, the past toil of great divines. To do this
could not be the work of one man; much less, could it be at once
received into Anglican theology, however well it was done. I fully
trusted that my statements of doctrine would turn out true and
important; yet I wrote, to use the common phrase, "under correction."

There was another motive for my publishing, of a personal nature,
which I think I should mention. I felt then, and all along felt, that
there was an intellectual cowardice in not having a basis in reason
for my belief, and a moral cowardice in not avowing that basis. I
should have felt myself less than a man, if I did not bring it out,
whatever it was. This is one principal reason why I wrote and
published the "Prophetical Office." It was on the same feeling, that
in the spring of 1836, at a meeting of residents on the subject of
the struggle then proceeding some one wanted us all merely to act on
college and conservative grounds (as I understood him), with as few
published statements as possible: I answered, that the person whom we
were resisting had committed himself in writing, and that we ought
to commit ourselves too. This again was a main reason for the
publication of Tract 90. Alas! it was my portion for whole years to
remain without any satisfactory basis for my religious profession, in
a state of moral sickness, neither able to acquiesce in Anglicanism,
nor able to go to Rome. But I bore it, till in course of time my way
was made clear to me. If here it be objected to me, that as time went
on, I often in my writings hinted at things which I did not fully
bring out, I submit for consideration whether this occurred except
when I was in great difficulties, how to speak, or how to be silent,
with due regard for the position of mind or the feelings of others.
However, I may have an opportunity to say more on this subject. But
to return to the "Prophetical Office."

I thus speak in the Introduction to my volume:--

"It is proposed," I say, "to offer helps towards the formation of a
recognised Anglican theology in one of its departments. The present
state of our divinity is as follows: the most vigorous, the clearest,
the most fertile minds, have through God's mercy been employed in the
service of our Church: minds too as reverential and holy, and as
fully imbued with Ancient Truth, and as well versed in the writings
of the Fathers, as they were intellectually gifted. This is God's
great mercy indeed, for which we must ever be thankful. Primitive
doctrine has been explored for us in every direction, and the
original principles of the Gospel and the Church patiently brought to
light. But one thing is still wanting: our champions and teachers
have lived in stormy times: political and other influences have acted
upon them variously in their day, and have since obstructed a careful
consolidation of their judgments. We have a vast inheritance, but no
inventory of our treasures. All is given us in profusion; it remains
for us to catalogue, sort, distribute, select, harmonise, and
complete. We have more than we know how to use; stores of learning,
but little that is precise and serviceable; Catholic truth and
individual opinion, first principles and the guesses of genius, all
mingled in the same works, and requiring to be discriminated. We meet
with truths overstated or misdirected, matters of detail variously
taken, facts incompletely proved or applied, and rules inconsistently
urged or discordantly interpreted. Such indeed is the state of every
deep philosophy in its first stages, and therefore of theological
knowledge. What we need at present for our Church's well-being, is
not invention, nor originality, nor sagacity, nor even learning in
our divines, at least in the first place, though all gifts of God are
in a measure needed, and never can be unseasonable when used
religiously, but we need peculiarly a sound judgment, patient
thought, discrimination, a comprehensive mind, an abstinence from all
private fancies and caprices and personal tastes,--in a word, Divine

The subject of the volume is the doctrine of the _Via Media_, a name
which had already been applied to the Anglican system by writers of
name. It is an expressive title, but not altogether satisfactory,
because it is at first sight negative. This had been the reason of my
dislike to the word "Protestant;" in the idea which it conveyed, it
was not the profession of any religion at all, and was compatible
with infidelity. A _Via Media_ was but a receding from extremes,
therefore I had to draw it out into a shape, and a character; before
it had claims on our respect, it must first be shown to be one,
intelligible, and consistent. This was the first condition of any
reasonable treatise on the _Via Media_. The second condition, and
necessary too, was not in my power. I could only hope that it would
one day be fulfilled. Even if the _Via Media_ were ever so positive a
religious system, it was not as yet objective and real; it had no
original anywhere of which it was the representative. It was at
present a paper religion. This I confess in my Introduction; I say,
"Protestantism and Popery are real religions ... but the _Via Media_,
viewed as an integral system, has scarcely had existence except on
paper." I grant the objection and proceed to lessen it. There I
say, "It still remains to be tried, whether what is called
Anglo-Catholicism, the religion of Andrewes, Laud, Hammond, Butler,
and Wilson, is capable of being professed, acted on, and maintained
on a large sphere of action, or whether it be a mere modification or
transition-state of either Romanism or popular Protestantism." I
trusted that some day it would prove to be a substantive religion.

Lest I should be misunderstood, let me observe that this hesitation
about the validity of the theory of the _Via Media_ implied no doubt
of the three fundamental points on which it was based, as I have
described above, dogma, the sacramental system, and opposition to the
Church of Rome.

Other investigations which followed gave a still more tentative
character to what I wrote or got written. The basis of the _Via
Media_, consisting of the three elementary points, which I have just
mentioned, was clear enough; but, not only had the house to be built
upon them, but it had also to be furnished, and it is not wonderful
if both I and others erred in detail in determining what that
furniture should be, what was consistent with the style of building,
and what was in itself desirable. I will explain what I mean.

I had brought out in the "Prophetical Office" in what the Roman and
the Anglican systems differed from each other, but less distinctly in
what they agreed. I had indeed enumerated the Fundamentals, common to
both, in the following passage:--"In both systems the same Creeds are
acknowledged. Besides other points in common we both hold, that
certain doctrines are necessary to be believed for salvation; we both
believe in the doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, and Atonement;
in original sin; in the necessity of regeneration; in the
supernatural grace of the Sacraments; in the apostolical succession;
in the obligation of faith and obedience, and in the eternity of
future punishment" (Pp. 55, 56). So much I had said, but I had not
said enough. This enumeration implied a great many more points of
agreement than were found in those very Articles which were
fundamental. If the two Churches were thus the same in fundamentals,
they were also one and the same in such plain consequences as are
contained in those fundamentals or as outwardly represented them.
It was an Anglican principle that "the abuse of a thing doth not
take away the lawful use of it;" and an Anglican Canon in 1603 had
declared that the English Church had no purpose to forsake all that
was held in the Churches of Italy, France, and Spain, and reverenced
those ceremonies and particular points which were apostolic.
Excepting then such exceptional matters, as are implied in this
avowal, whether they were many or few, all these Churches were
evidently to be considered as one with the Anglican. The Catholic
Church in all lands had been one from the first for many centuries;
then, various portions had followed their own way to the injury, but
not to the destruction, whether of truth or of charity. These
portions or branches were mainly three:--the Greek, Latin, and
Anglican. Each of these inherited the early undivided Church _in
solido_ as its own possession. Each branch was identical with that
early undivided Church, and in the unity of that Church it had unity
with the other branches. The three branches agreed together in _all
but_ their later accidental errors. Some branches had retained in
detail portions of apostolical truth and usage, which the others had
not; and these portions might be and should be appropriated again by
the others which had let them slip. Thus, the middle age belonged to
the Anglican Church, and much more did the middle age of England.
The Church of the twelfth century was the Church of the nineteenth.
Dr. Howley sat in the seat of St. Thomas the Martyr; Oxford was
a medieval University. Saving our engagements to Prayer Book and
Articles, we might breathe and live and act and speak, in the
atmosphere and climate of Henry III.'s day, or the Confessor's, or of
Alfred's. And we ought to be indulgent of all that Rome taught now,
as of what Rome taught then, saving our protest. We might boldly
welcome, even what we did not ourselves think right to adopt. And,
when we were obliged on the contrary boldly to denounce, we should do
so with pain, not with exultation. By very reason of our protest,
which we had made, and made _ex animo_, we could agree to differ.
What the members of the Bible Society did on the basis of Scripture,
we could do on the basis of the Church; Trinitarian and Unitarian
were further apart than Roman and Anglican. Thus we had a real wish
to co-operate with Rome in all lawful things, if she would let us,
and the rules of our own Church let us; and we thought there was no
better way towards the restoration of doctrinal purity and unity. And
we thought that Rome was not committed by her formal decrees to all
that she actually taught; and again, if her disputants had been
unfair to us, or her rulers tyrannical, that on our side too there
had been rancour and slander in our controversy with her, and
violence in our political measures. As to ourselves being instruments
in improving the belief or practice of Rome directly, I used to say,
"Look at home; let us first, or at least let us the while, supply our
own short-comings, before we attempt to be physicians to any one
else." This is very much the spirit of Tract 71, to which I referred
just now. I am well aware that there is a paragraph contrary to it in
the prospectus to the Library of the Fathers; but I never concurred
in it. Indeed, I have no intention whatever of implying that Dr.
Pusey concurred in the ecclesiastical theory, which I have been
drawing out; nor that I took it up myself except by degrees in the
course of ten years. It was necessarily the growth of time. In fact,
hardly any two persons, who took part in the Movement, agreed in
their view of the limit to which our general principles might
religiously be carried.

And now I have said enough on what I consider to have been the
general objects of the various works which I wrote, edited, or
prompted in the years which I am reviewing; I wanted to bring out in
a substantive form, a living Church of England in a position proper
to herself, and founded on distinct principles; as far as paper could
do it, and as earnestly preaching it and influencing others towards
it, could tend to make it a fact;--a living Church, made of flesh and
blood, with voice, complexion, and motion and action, and a will of
its own. I believe I had no private motive, and no personal aim. Nor
did I ask for more than "a fair stage and no favour," nor expect the
work would be done in my days; but I thought that enough would be
secured to continue it in the future under, perhaps, more hopeful
circumstances and prospects than the present.

I will mention in illustration some of the principal works, doctrinal
and historical, which originated in the object which I have stated.

I wrote my essay on Justification in 1837; it was aimed at the
Lutheran dictum that justification by faith only was the cardinal
doctrine of Christianity. I considered that this doctrine was either
a paradox or a truism--a paradox in Luther's mouth, a truism in
Melanchthon. I thought that the Anglican Church followed Melanchthon,
and that in consequence between Rome and Anglicanism, between high
Church and low Church, there was no real intellectual difference on
the point. I wished to fill up a ditch, the work of man. In this
volume again, I express my desire to build up a system of theology
out of the Anglican divines, and imply that my dissertation was a
tentative inquiry. I speak in the Preface of "offering suggestions
towards a work, which must be uppermost in the mind of every true son
of the English Church at this day,--the consolidation of a
theological system, which, built upon those formularies, to which all
clergymen are bound, may tend to inform, persuade, and absorb into
itself religious minds, which hitherto have fancied, that, on the
peculiar Protestant questions, they were seriously opposed to each
other."--P. vii.

In my University Sermons there is a series of discussions upon the
subject of Faith and Reason; these again were the tentative
commencement of a grave and necessary work; it was an inquiry into
the ultimate basis of religious faith, prior to the distinction into

In like manner in a pamphlet which I published in the summer of 1838
is an attempt at placing the doctrine of the Real Presence on an
intellectual basis. The fundamental idea is consonant to that to
which I had been so long attached; it is the denial of the existence
of space except as a subjective idea of our minds.

The Church of the Fathers is one of the earliest productions of the
Movement, and appeared in numbers in the _British Magazine_, and was
written with the aim of introducing the religious sentiments, views,
and customs of the first ages into the modern Church of England.

The translation of Fleury's Church History was commenced under these
circumstances:--I was fond of Fleury for a reason which I express in
the advertisement; because it presented a sort of photograph of
ecclesiastical history without any comment upon it. In the event,
that simple representation of the early centuries had a good deal to
do with unsettling me; but how little I could anticipate this, will
be seen in the fact that the publication was a favourite scheme of
Mr. Rose's. He proposed it to me twice, between the years 1834 and
1837; and I mention it as one out of many particulars curiously
illustrating how truly my change of opinion arose, not from foreign
influences, but from the working of my own mind, and the accidents
around me. The date at which the portion actually translated began
was determined by the publisher on reasons with which we were not

Another historical work, but drawn from original sources, was given
to the world by my old friend Mr. Bowden, being a Life of Pope
Gregory VII. I need scarcely recall to those who have read it, the
power and the liveliness of the narrative. This composition was the
author's relaxation on evenings and in his summer vacations, from his
ordinary engagements in London. It had been suggested to him
originally by me, at the instance of Hurrell Froude.

The series of the Lives of the English Saints was projected at a
later period, under circumstances which I shall have in the sequel to
describe. Those beautiful compositions have nothing in them, as far
as I recollect, simply inconsistent with the general objects which I
have been assigning to my labours in these years, though the
immediate occasion of them and their tone could not in the exercise
of the largest indulgence be said to have an Anglican direction.

At a comparatively early date I drew up the Tract on the Roman
Breviary. It frightened my own friends on its first appearance, and,
several years afterwards, when younger men began to translate for
publication the four volumes _in extenso_, they were dissuaded from
doing so by advice to which from a sense of duty they listened. It
was an apparent accident which introduced me to the knowledge of that
most wonderful and most attractive monument of the devotion of
saints. On Hurrell Froude's death, in 1836, I was asked to select one
of his books as a keepsake. I selected Butler's Analogy; finding that
it had been already chosen, I looked with some perplexity along the
shelves as they stood before me, when an intimate friend at my elbow
said, "Take that." It was the Breviary which Hurrell had had with him
at Barbados. Accordingly I took it, studied it, wrote my Tract from
it, and have it on my table in constant use till this day.

That dear and familiar companion, who thus put the Breviary into my
hands, is still in the Anglican Church. So too is that early
venerated long-loved friend, together with whom I edited a work
which, more perhaps than any other, caused disturbance and annoyance
in the Anglican world, Froude's Remains; yet, however judgment might
run as to the prudence of publishing it, I never heard any one impute
to Mr. Keble the very shadow of dishonesty or treachery towards his
Church in so acting.

The annotated translation of the treatise of St. Athanasius was of
course in no sense a tentative work; it belongs to another order of
thought. This historico-dogmatic work employed me for years. I had
made preparations for following it up with a doctrinal history of the
heresies which succeeded to the Arian.

I should make mention also of the _British Critic_. I was editor of
it for three years, from July 1838 to July 1841. My writers belonged
to various schools, some to none at all. The subjects are
various,--classical, academical, political, critical, and artistic,
as well as theological, and upon the Movement none are to be found
which do not keep quite clear of advocating the cause of Rome.

So I went on for years, up to 1841. It was, in a human point of view,
the happiest time of my life. I was truly at home. I had in one of my
volumes appropriated to myself the words of Bramhall, "Bees, by the
instinct of nature, do love their hives, and birds their nests." I
did not suppose that such sunshine would last, though I knew not what
would be its termination. It was the time of plenty, and, during its
seven years, I tried to lay up as much as I could for the dearth
which was to follow it. We prospered and spread. I have spoken of the
doings of these years, since I was a Catholic, in a passage, part of
which I will quote, though there is a sentence in it that requires
some limitation:

"From beginnings so small," I said, "from elements of thought so
fortuitous, with prospects so unpromising, the Anglo-Catholic party
suddenly became a power in the National Church, and an object of
alarm to her rulers and friends. Its originators would have found it
difficult to say what they aimed at of a practical kind: rather, they
put forth views and principles, for their own sake, because they were
true, as if they were obliged to say them; and, as they might be
themselves surprised at their earnestness in uttering them, they had
as great cause to be surprised at the success which attended their
propagation. And, in fact, they could only say that those doctrines
were in the air; that to assert was to prove, and that to explain was
to persuade; and that the Movement in which they were taking part was
the birth of a crisis rather than of a place. In a very few years a
school of opinion was formed, fixed in its principles, indefinite and
progressive in their range; and it extended itself into every part of
the country. If we inquire what the world thought of it, we have
still more to raise our wonder; for, not to mention the excitement it
caused in England, the Movement and its party-names were known to the
police of Italy and to the back-woodmen of America. And so it
proceeded, getting stronger and stronger every year, till it came
into collision with the Nation, and that Church of the Nation, which
it began by professing especially to serve."

The greater its success, the nearer was that collision at hand. The
first threatenings of the crisis were heard in 1838. At that time, my
bishop in a charge made some light animadversions, but they _were_
animadversions, on the Tracts for the Times. At once I offered to
stop them. What took place on the occasion I prefer to state in the
words, in which I related it in a pamphlet addressed to him in a
later year, when the blow actually came down upon me.

"In your Lordship's Charge for 1838," I said, "an allusion was made
to the Tracts for the Times. Some opponents of the Tracts said that
you treated them with undue indulgence ... I wrote to the Archdeacon
on the subject, submitting the Tracts entirely to your Lordship's
disposal. What I thought about your Charge will appear from the words
I then used to him. I said, 'A Bishop's lightest word _ex cathedra_
is heavy. His judgment on a book cannot be light. It is a rare
occurrence.' And I offered to withdraw any of the Tracts over which I
had control, if I were informed which were those to which your
Lordship had objections. I afterwards wrote to your Lordship to this
effect, that 'I trusted I might say sincerely, that I should feel a
more lively pleasure in knowing that I was submitting myself to your
Lordship's expressed judgment in a matter of that kind, than I could
have even in the widest circulation of the volumes in question.' Your
Lordship did not think it necessary to proceed to such a measure, but
I felt, and always have felt, that, if ever you determined on it, I
was bound to obey."

That day at length came, and I conclude this portion of my narrative,
with relating the circumstances of it.

From the time that I had entered upon the duties of public tutor at
my College, when my doctrinal views were very different from what
they were in 1841, I had meditated a comment upon the Articles. Then,
when the Movement was in its swing, friends had said to me, "What
will you make of the Articles?" but I did not share the apprehension
which their question implied. Whether, as time went on, I should have
been forced, by the necessities of the original theory of the
Movement, to put on paper the speculations which I had about them, I
am not able to conjecture. The actual cause of my doing so, in the
beginning of 1841, was the restlessness, actual and prospective, of
those who neither liked the _Via Media_, nor my strong judgment
against Rome. I had been enjoined, I think by my Bishop, to keep
these men straight, and wished so to do: but their tangible
difficulty was subscription to the Articles; and thus the question of
the articles came before me. It was thrown in our teeth; "How can you
manage to sign the Articles? they are directly against Rome."
"Against Rome?" I made answer, "What do you mean by 'Rome'?" and then
proceeded to make distinctions, of which I shall now give an account.

By "Roman doctrine" might be meant one of three things: 1, the
_Catholic teaching_ of the early centuries; or 2, the _formal dogmas
of Rome_ as contained in the later Councils, especially the Council
of Trent, and as condensed in the Creed of Pope Pius IV.; 3, the
_actual popular beliefs and usages_ sanctioned by Rome in the
countries in communion with it, over and above the dogmas; and these
I called "dominant errors." Now Protestants commonly thought that in
all three senses, "Roman doctrine" was condemned in the Articles: I
thought that the _Catholic teaching_ was not condemned; that the
_dominant errors_ were; and as to the _formal dogmas_, that some
were, some were not, and that the line had to be drawn between them.
Thus, 1, the use of prayers for the dead was a Catholic doctrine--not
condemned; 2, the prison of purgatory was a Roman dogma--which was
condemned; but the infallibility of ecumenical councils was a Roman
dogma--not condemned; and 3, the fire of Purgatory was an authorised
and popular error, not a dogma--which was condemned.

Further, I considered that the difficulties, felt by the persons whom
I have mentioned, mainly lay in their mistaking, 1, Catholic
teaching, which was not condemned in the Articles, for Roman dogma
which was condemned; and 2, Roman dogma, which was not condemned in
the Articles, for dominant error which was. If they went further than
this, I had nothing more to say to them.

A further motive which I had for my attempt, was the desire to
ascertain the ultimate points of contrariety between the Roman and
Anglican creeds, and to make them as few as possible. I thought that
each creed was obscured and misrepresented by a dominant
circumambient "Popery" and "Protestantism."

The main thesis then of my essay was this:--the Articles do not
oppose Catholic teaching; they but partially oppose Roman dogma; they
for the most part oppose the dominant errors of Rome. And the problem
was to draw the line as to what they allowed and what they condemned.

Such being the object which I had in view, what were my prospects of
widening and defining their meaning? The prospect was encouraging;
there was no doubt at all of the elasticity of the Articles: to take
a palmary instance, the seventeenth was assumed by one party to be
Lutheran, by another Calvinistic, though the two interpretations were
contradictory to each other; why then should not other Articles be
drawn up with a vagueness of an equally intense character? I wanted
to ascertain what was the limit of that elasticity in the direction
of Roman dogma. But next, I had a way of inquiry of my own, which I
state without defending. I instanced it afterwards in my Essay on
Doctrinal Development. That work, I believe, I have not read since I
published it, and I doubt not at all that I have made many mistakes
in it;--partly, from my ignorance of the details of doctrine, as the
Church of Rome holds them, but partly from my impatience to clear as
large a range for the _principle_ of doctrinal development (waiving
the question of historical _fact_) as was consistent with the strict
apostolicity and identity of the Catholic Creed. In like manner, as
regards the 39 Articles, my method of inquiry was to leap _in medias
res_. I wished to institute an inquiry how far, in critical fairness,
the text _could_ be opened; I was aiming far more at ascertaining
what a man who subscribed it might hold than what he must, so that my
conclusions were negative rather than positive. It was but a first
essay. And I made it with the full recognition and consciousness,
which I had already expressed in my Prophetical Office, as regards
the _Via Media_, that I was making only "a first approximation to a
required solution;"--"a series of illustrations supplying hints in
the removal" of a difficulty, and with full acknowledgment "that in
minor points, whether in question of fact or of judgment, there was
room for difference or error of opinion," and that I "should not be
ashamed to own a mistake, if it were proved against me, nor reluctant
to bear the just blame of it."--P. 31.

In addition, I was embarrassed in consequence of my wish to go as far
as was possible, in interpreting the Articles in the direction of
Roman dogma, without disclosing what I was doing to the parties whose
doubts I was meeting, who might be thereby encouraged to go still
further than at present they found in themselves any call to do.

1. But in the way of such an attempt comes the prompt objection that
the Articles were actually drawn up against "Popery," and therefore
it was transcendently absurd and dishonest to suppose that Popery, in
any shape--patristic belief, Tridentine dogma, or popular corruption
authoritatively sanctioned--would be able to take refuge under their
text. This premiss I denied. Not any religious doctrine at all, but a
political principle, was the primary English idea at that time of
"Popery." And what was that political principle, and how could it
best be kept out of England? What was the great question in the days
of Henry and Elizabeth? The _Supremacy_;--now, was I saying one
single word in favour of the supremacy of the holy see, of the
foreign jurisdiction? No; I did not believe in it myself. Did Henry
VIII. religiously hold justification by faith only? did he disbelieve
Purgatory? Was Elizabeth zealous for the marriage of the Clergy? or
had she a conscience against the Mass? The supremacy of the Pope was
the essence of the "Popery" to which, at the time of the Articles,
the supreme head or governor of the English Church was so violently

2. But again I said this;--let "Popery" mean what it would in the
mouths of the compilers of the Articles, let it even, for argument's
sake, include the doctrines of that Tridentine Council, which was not
yet over when the Articles were drawn up, and against which they
could not be simply directed, yet, consider, what was the religious
object of the Government in their imposition? merely to disown
"Popery"? No; it had the further object of gaining the "Papists."
What then was the best way to induce reluctant or wavering minds, and
these, I supposed, were the majority, to give in their adhesion to
the new symbol? how had the Arians drawn up their creeds? Was it not
on the principle of using vague ambiguous language, which to the
subscribers would seem to bear a Catholic sense, but which, when
worked out in the long run, would prove to be heterodox? Accordingly,
there was great antecedent probability, that, fierce as the Articles
might look at first sight, their bark would prove worse than their
bite. I say antecedent probability, for to what extent that surmise
might be true, could only be ascertained by investigation.

3. But a consideration came up at once, which threw light on this
surmise:--what if it should turn out that the very men who drew up
the Articles, in the very act of doing so, had avowed, or rather in
one of those very Articles themselves had imposed on subscribers,
a number of those very "Papistical" doctrines, which they were now
thought to deny, as part and parcel of that very Protestantism, which
they were now thought to consider divine? and this was the fact, and
I showed it in my Essay.

Let the reader observe:--the 35th Article says: "The second Book of
Homilies doth contain _a godly and wholesome doctrine, and necessary
for_ these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies." Here the
_doctrine_ of the Homilies is recognised as godly and wholesome, and
subscription to that proposition is imposed on all subscribers of the
Articles. Let us then turn to the Homilies, and see what this godly
doctrine is: I quoted from them to the following effect:

1. They declare that the so-called "apocryphal" book of Tobit is the
teaching of the Holy Ghost, and is Scripture.

2. That the so-called "apocryphal" book of Wisdom is Scripture, and
the infallible and undeceivable word of God.

3. That the Primitive Church, next to the apostles' time, and, as
they imply, for almost 700 years, is no doubt most pure.

4. That the Primitive Church is specially to be followed.

5. That the four first general councils belong to the Primitive

6. That there are six councils which are allowed and received by all

7. Again, they speak of a certain truth which they are enforcing, as
declared by God's word, the sentences of the ancient doctors, and
judgment of the Primitive Church.

8. Of the learned and holy Bishops and doctors of the first eight
centuries being of good authority and credit with the people.

9. Of the declaration of Christ and His apostles and all the rest of
the Holy Fathers.

10. Of the authority of both Scripture and also of Augustine.

11. Of Augustine, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, and about thirty other
Fathers, to some of whom they give the title of "Saint," to others of
ancient Catholic Fathers and doctors.

12. They declare that, not only the holy apostles and disciples of
Christ, but the godly Fathers also before and since Christ were
endued without doubt with the Holy Ghost.

13. That the ancient Catholic Fathers say that the "Lord's Supper" is
the salve of immortality, the sovereign preservative against death,
the food of immortality, the healthful grace.

14. That the Lord's Blessed Body and Blood are received under the
form of bread and wine.

15. That the meat in the Sacrament is an invisible meat and a ghostly

16. That the holy Body and Blood ought to be touched with the mind.

17. That Ordination is a Sacrament.

18. That Matrimony is a Sacrament.

19. That there are other Sacraments besides "Baptism and the Lord's

20. That the souls of the Saints are reigning in joy and in heaven
with God.

21. That alms-deeds purge the soul from the infection and filthy
spots of sin, and are a precious medicine, an inestimable jewel.

22. That mercifulness wipes out and washes away infirmity and
weakness as salves and remedies to heal sores and grievous diseases.

23. That the duty of fasting is a truth more manifest than it should
need to be proved.

24. That fasting, used with prayer, is of great efficacy and weigheth
much with God; so the angel Raphael told Tobias.

25. That the puissant and mighty Emperor Theodosius was, in the
Primitive Church which was most holy and godly, excommunicated by St.

26. That Constantine, Bishop of Rome, did condemn Philippicus, the
Emperor, not without a cause indeed, but most justly.

Putting altogether aside the question how far these separate theses
came under the matter to which subscription was to be made, it was
quite plain, that the men who wrote the Homilies, and who thus
incorporated them into the Anglican system of doctrine, could not
have possessed that exact discrimination between the Catholic and
Protestant faith, or have made that clear recognition of formal
Protestant principles and tenets, or have accepted that definition of
"Roman doctrine," which is received at this day:--hence great
probability accrued to my presentiment, that the Articles were
tolerant, not only of what I called "Catholic teaching," but of much
that was "Roman."

4. And here was another reason against the notion that the Articles
directly attacked the Roman dogmas as declared at Trent and as
promulgated by Pius the Fourth:--the Council of Trent was not over,
nor its decrees promulgated at the date when the Articles were drawn
up, so that those Articles must be aiming at something else. What was
that something else? The Homilies tell us: the Homilies are the best
comment upon the Articles. Let us turn to the Homilies, and we shall
find from first to last that, not only is not the Catholic teaching
of the first centuries, but neither again are the dogmas of Rome, the
objects of the protest of the compilers of the Articles, but the
dominant errors, the popular corruptions, authorised or suffered by
the high name of Rome. As to Catholic teaching, nay as to Roman
dogma, those Homilies, as I have shown, contained no small portion of
it themselves.

5. So much for the writers of the Articles and Homilies;--they were
witnesses, not authorities, and I used them as such; but in the next
place, who were the actual authorities imposing them? I considered
the _imponens_ to be the Convocation of 1571; but here again, it
would be found that the very Convocation, which received and
confirmed the 39 Articles, also enjoined by Canon that "preachers
should be _careful_, that they should _never_ teach aught in a
sermon, to be religiously held and believed by the people, except
that which is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament,
and _which the Catholic Fathers and ancient Bishops have collected_
from that very doctrine." Here, let it be observed, an appeal is made
by the Convocation _imponens_ to the very same ancient authorities,
as had been mentioned with such profound veneration by the writers of
the Homilies and of the Articles, and thus, if the Homilies contained
views of doctrine which now would be called Roman, there seemed to me
to be an extreme probability that the Convocation of 1571 also
countenanced and received, or at least did not reject, those

6. And further, when at length I came actually to look into the text
of the Articles, I saw in many cases a patent fulfilment of all that
I had surmised as to their vagueness and indecisiveness, and that,
not only on questions which lay between Lutherans, Calvinists, and
Zuinglians, but on Catholic questions also; and I have noticed them
in my Tract. In the conclusion of my Tract I observe: They are
"evidently framed on the principle of leaving open large questions on
which the controversy hinges. They state broadly extreme truths, and
are silent about their adjustment. For instance, they say that all
necessary faith must be proved from Scripture; but do not say _who_
is to prove it. They say, that the Church has authority in
controversies; they do not say _what_ authority. They say that it may
enforce nothing beyond Scripture, but do not say _where_ the remedy
lies when it does. They say that works _before_ grace _and_
justification are worthless and worse, and that works _after_ grace
_and_ justification are acceptable, but they do not speak at all of
works _with_ God's aid _before_ justification. They say that men are
lawfully called and sent to minister and preach, who are chosen and
called by men who have public authority _given_ them in the
Congregation; but they do not add _by whom_ the authority is to be
given. They say that Councils called by _princes_ may err; they do
not determine whether Councils called in the name of Christ may err."

Such were the considerations which weighed with me in my inquiry how
far the Articles were tolerant of a Catholic, or even a Roman
interpretation; and such was the defence which I made in my Tract for
having attempted it. From what I have already said, it will appear
that I have no need or intention at this day to maintain every
particular interpretation which I suggested in the course of my
Tract, nor indeed had I then. Whether it was prudent or not, whether
it was sensible or not, anyhow I attempted only a first essay of a
necessary work, an essay which, as I was quite prepared to find,
would require revision and modification by means of the lights which
I should gain from the criticism of others. I should have gladly
withdrawn any statement, which could be proved to me to be erroneous;
I considered my work to be faulty and objectionable in the same sense
in which I now consider my Anglican interpretations of Scripture to
be erroneous, but in no other sense. I am surprised that men do not
apply to the interpreters of Scripture generally the hard names
which they apply to the author of Tract 90. He held a large system
of theology, and applied it to the Articles: Episcopalians, or
Lutherans, or Presbyterians, or Unitarians, hold a large system
of theology and apply it to Scripture. Every theology has its
difficulties; Protestants hold justification by faith only, though
there is no text in St. Paul which enunciates it, and though
St. James expressly denies it; do we therefore call Protestants
dishonest? they deny that the Church has a divine mission, though St.
Paul says that it is "the Pillar and ground of Truth;" they keep the
Sabbath, though St. Paul says, "Let no man judge you in meat or drink
or in respect of ... the sabbath days." Every creed has texts in its
favour, and again texts which run counter to it: and this is
generally confessed. And this is what I felt keenly:--how had I done
worse in Tract 90 than Anglicans, Wesleyans, and Calvinists did daily
in their Sermons and their publications? How had I done worse, than
the Evangelical party in their _ex animo_ reception of the Services
for Baptism and Visitation of the Sick?[2] Why was I to be dishonest
and they immaculate? There was an occasion on which our Lord gave an
answer, which seemed to be appropriate to my own case, when the
tumult broke out against my Tract:--"He that is without sin among
you, let him first cast a stone at him." I could have fancied that a
sense of their own difficulties of interpretation would have
persuaded the great party I have mentioned to some prudence, or at
least moderation, in opposing a teacher of an opposite school. But I
suppose their alarm and their anger overcame their sense of

In the universal storm of indignation with which the Tract was
received on its appearance, I recognise much of real religious
feeling, much of honest and true principle, much of straightforward
ignorant common sense. In Oxford there was genuine feeling too; but
there had been a smouldering stern energetic animosity, not at all
unnatural, partly rational, against its author. A false step had been
made; now was the time for action. I am told that, even before the
publication of the Tract, rumours of its contents had got into the
hostile camp in an exaggerated form; and not a moment was lost in
proceeding to action, when I was actually in the hands of the
Philistines. I was quite unprepared for the outbreak, and was
startled at its violence. I do not think I had any fear. Nay, I will
add I am not sure that it was not in one point of view a relief to

I saw indeed clearly that my place in the Movement was lost; public
confidence was at an end; my occupation was gone. It was simply an
impossibility that I could say anything henceforth to good effect,
when I had been posted up by the marshal on the buttery hatch of
every College of my University, after the manner of discommoned
pastry-cooks, and when in every part of the country and every
class of society, through every organ and occasion of opinion,
in newspapers, in periodicals, at meetings, in pulpits, at
dinner-tables, in coffee-rooms, in railway carriages, I was denounced
as a traitor who had laid his train and was detected in the very act
of firing it against the time-honoured Establishment. There were
indeed men, besides my own friends, men of name and position, who
gallantly took my part, as Dr. Hook, Mr. Palmer, and Mr. Perceval: it
must have been a grievous trial for themselves; yet what after all
could they do for me? Confidence in me was lost;--but I had already
lost full confidence in myself. Thoughts had passed over me a year
and a half before which for the time had profoundly troubled me. They
had gone: I had not less confidence in the power and the prospects of
the apostolical movement than before; not less confidence than before
in the grievousness of what I called the "dominant errors" of Rome:
but how was I any more to have absolute confidence in myself? how was
I to have confidence in my present confidence? how was I to be sure
that I should always think as I thought now? I felt that by this
event a kind Providence had saved me from an impossible position in
the future.

First, if I remember right, they wished me to withdraw the Tract.
This I refused to do: I would not do so for the sake of those who
were unsettled or in danger of unsettlement. I would not do so
for my own sake; for how could I acquiesce in a mere Protestant
interpretation of the Articles? how could I range myself among the
professors of a theology, of which it put my teeth on edge, even to
hear the sound?

Next they said, "Keep silence; do not defend the Tract;" I answered,
"Yes, if you will not condemn it--if you will allow it to continue on
sale." They pressed on me whenever I gave way; they fell back when
they saw me obstinate. Their line of action was to get out of me as
much as they could; but upon the point of their tolerating the Tract
I _was_ obstinate. So they let me continue it on sale; and they said
they would not condemn it. But they said that this was on condition
that I did not defend it, that I stopped the series, and that I
myself published my own condemnation in a letter to the Bishop of
Oxford. I impute nothing whatever to him, he was ever most kind to
me. Also, they said they could not answer for what individual Bishops
might perhaps say about the Tract in their own charges. I agreed to
their conditions. My one point was to save the Tract.

Not a scrap of writing was given me, as a pledge of the performance
on their side of the engagement. Parts of letters from them were read
to me, without being put into my hands. It was an "understanding." A
clever man had warned me against "understandings" some six years
before: I have hated them ever since.

In the last words of my letter to the Bishop of Oxford I thus
resigned my place in the Movement:--

"I have nothing to be sorry for," I say to him, "except having made
your Lordship anxious, and others whom I am bound to revere. I have
nothing to be sorry for, but everything to rejoice in and be thankful
for. I have never taken pleasure in seeming to be able to move a
party, and whatever influence I have had, has been found, not sought
after. I have acted because others did not act, and have sacrificed a
quiet which I prized. May God be with me in time to come, as He has
been hitherto! and He will be, if I can but keep my hand clean and my
heart pure. I think I can bear, or at least will try to bear, any
personal humiliation, so that I am preserved from betraying sacred
interests, which the Lord of grace and power has given into my


[2] For instance, let candid men consider the form of Absolution
contained in that Prayer Book, of which all clergymen, Evangelical
and Liberal as well as high Church, and (I think) all persons in
University office declare that "it containeth _nothing contrary to
the Word of God_."

I challenge, in the sight of all England, Evangelical clergymen
generally, to put on paper an interpretation of this form of words,
consistent with their sentiments, which shall be less forced than the
most objectionable of the interpretations which Tract 90 puts upon
any passage in the Articles.

"Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left _power_ to His Church to
absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, of His great
mercy forgive thee thine offences; and by _His authority committed to
me, I absolve thee from all thy sins_, in the Name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

I subjoin the Roman form, as used in England and elsewhere "Dominus
noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego auctoritate ipsius te
absolvo, ab omni vinculo excommunicationis et interdicti, in quantum
possum et tu indiges. Deinde ego te absolvo à peccatis tuis, in
nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritûs Sancti. Amen."

Part V

History of My Religious Opinions--1839-1841

And now that I am about to trace, as far as I can, the course of that
great revolution of mind, which led me to leave my own home, to which
I was bound by so many strong and tender ties, I feel overcome with
the difficulty of satisfying myself in my account of it, and have
recoiled from doing so, till the near approach of the day, on which
these lines must be given to the world, forces me to set about
the task. For who can know himself, and the multitude of subtle
influences which act upon him? and who can recollect, at the distance
of twenty-five years, all that he once knew about his thoughts and
his deeds, and that, during a portion of his life, when even at the
time his observation, whether of himself or of the external world,
was less than before or after, by very reason of the perplexity and
dismay which weighed upon him,--when, though it would be most
unthankful to seem to imply that he had not all-sufficient light amid
his darkness, yet a darkness it emphatically was? And who can gird
himself suddenly to a new and anxious undertaking, which he might be
able indeed to perform well, had he full and calm leisure to look
through everything that he has written, whether in published works
or private letters? but, on the other hand, as to that calm
contemplation of the past, in itself so desirable, who can afford to
be leisurely and deliberate, while he practises on himself a cruel
operation, the ripping up of old griefs, and the venturing again upon
the "infandum dolorem" of years, in which the stars of this lower
heaven were one by one going out? I could not in cool blood, nor
except upon the imperious call of duty, attempt what I have set
myself to do. It is both to head and heart an extreme trial, thus to
analyse what has so long gone by, and to bring out the results of
that examination. I have done various bold things in my life: this is
the boldest: and, were I not sure I should after all succeed in my
object, it would be madness to set about it.

In the spring of 1839 my position in the Anglican Church was at its
height. I had supreme confidence in my controversial _status_, and I
had a great and still growing success, in recommending it to others.
I had in the foregoing autumn been somewhat sore at the bishop's
charge, but I have a letter which shows that all annoyance had passed
from my mind. In January, if I recollect aright, in order to meet the
popular clamour against myself and others, and to satisfy the bishop,
I had collected into one all the strong things which they, and
especially I, had said against the Church of Rome, in order to their
insertion among the advertisements appended to our publications.
Conscious as I was that my opinions in religion were not gained, as
the world said, from Roman sources, but were, on the contrary, the
birth of my own mind and of the circumstances in which I had been
placed, I had a scorn of the imputations which were heaped upon me.
It was true that I held a large bold system of religion, very unlike
the Protestantism of the day, but it was the concentration and
adjustment of the statements of great Anglican authorities, and I had
as much right to do so as the Evangelical party had, and more right
than the Liberal, to hold their own respective doctrines. As I spoke
on occasion of Tract 90, I claimed, in behalf of who would, that he
might hold in the Anglican Church a comprecation with the saints with
Bramhall, and the Mass all but transubstantiation with Andrewes,
or with Hooker that transubstantiation itself is not a point for
Churches to part communion upon, or with Hammond that a general
council, truly such, never did, never shall err in a matter of faith,
or with Bull that man lost inward grace by the fall, or with
Thorndike that penance is a propitiation for post-baptismal sin, or
with Pearson that the all-powerful name of Jesus is no otherwise
given than in the Catholic Church. "Two can play at that," was often
in my mouth, when men of Protestant sentiments appealed to the
Articles, Homilies, or Reformers; in the sense that, if they had a
right to speak loud, I had both the liberty and the means of giving
them tit for tat. I thought that the Anglican Church had been
tyrannised over by a party, and I aimed at bringing into effect the
promise contained in the motto to the Lyra, "They shall know the
difference now." I only asked to be allowed to show them the

What will best describe my state of mind at the early part of 1839,
is an article in the _British Critic_ for that April. I have looked
over it now, for the first time since it was published; and have been
struck by it for this reason:--it contains the last words which I
ever spoke as an Anglican to Anglicans. It may now be read as my
parting address and valediction, made to my friends. I little knew it
at the time. It reviews the actual state of things, and it ends by
looking towards the future. It is not altogether mine; for my memory
goes to this,--that I had asked a friend to do the work; that then,
the thought came on me, that I would do it myself: and that he was
good enough to put into my hands what he had with great appositeness
written, and I embodied it into my article. Every one, I think, will
recognise the greater part of it as mine. It was published two years
before the affair of Tract 90, and was entitled "The State of
Religious Parties."

In this article, I begin by bringing together testimonies from our
enemies to the remarkable success of our exertions. One writer said:
"Opinions and views of a theology of a very marked and peculiar kind
have been extensively adopted and strenuously upheld, and are daily
gaining ground among a considerable and influential portion of the
members, as well as ministers of the Established Church." Another:
The Movement has manifested itself "with the most rapid growth of the
hot-bed of these evil days." Another: "The _Via Media_ is crowded
with young enthusiasts, who never presume to argue, except against
the propriety of arguing at all." Another: "Were I to give you a full
list of the works, which they have produced within the short space of
five years, I should surprise you. You would see what a task it would
be to make yourself complete master of their system, even in its
present probably immature state. The writers have adopted the motto,
'In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.' With regard
to confidence, they have justified their adopting it; but as to
quietness, it is not very quiet to pour forth such a succession of
controversial publications." Another: "The spread of these doctrines
is in fact now having the effect of rendering all other distinctions
obsolete, and of severing the religious community into two portions,
fundamentally and vehemently opposed one to the other. Soon there
will be no middle ground left; and every man, and especially every
clergyman, will be compelled to make his choice between the two."
Another: "The time has gone by, when those unfortunate and deeply
regretted publications can be passed over without notice, and the
hope that their influence would fail is now dead." Another: "These
doctrines had already made fearful progress. One of the largest
churches in Brighton is crowded to hear them; so is the church at
Leeds. There are few towns of note, to which they have not extended.
They are preached in small towns in Scotland. They obtain in
Elginshire, 600 miles north of London. I found them myself in the
heart of the highlands of Scotland. They are advocated in the
newspaper and periodical press. They have even insinuated themselves
into the House of Commons." And, lastly, a bishop in a charge:--It
"is daily assuming a more serious and alarming aspect. Under the
specious pretence of deference to Antiquity and respect for primitive
models, the foundations of the Protestant Church are undermined by
men, who dwell within her walls, and those who sit in the Reformers'
seat are traducing the Reformation."

After thus stating the phenomenon of the time, as it presented itself
to those who did not sympathise in it, the Article proceeds to
account for it; and this it does by considering it as a reaction from
the dry and superficial character of the religious teaching and the
literature of the last generation, or century, and as a result of
the need which was felt both by the hearts and the intellects of
the nation for a deeper philosophy, and as the evidence and as the
partial fulfilment of that need, to which even the chief authors
of the then generation had borne witness. First, I mentioned the
literary influence of Walter Scott, who turned men's minds to the
direction of the middle ages. "The general need," I said, "of
something deeper and more attractive, than what had offered itself
elsewhere, may be considered to have led to his popularity; and by
means of his popularity he reacted on his readers, stimulating their
mental thirst, feeding their hopes, setting before them visions,
which, when once seen, are not easily forgotten, and silently
indoctrinating them with nobler ideas, which might afterwards be
appealed to as first principles."

Then I spoke of Coleridge, thus: "While history in prose and verse
was thus made the instrument of Church feelings and opinions, a
philosophical basis for the same was laid in England by a very
original thinker, who, while he indulged a liberty of speculation,
which no Christian can tolerate, and advocated conclusions which
were often heathen rather than Christian, yet after all instilled a
higher philosophy into inquiring minds, than they had hitherto been
accustomed to accept. In this way he made trial of his age, and
succeeded in interesting its genius in the cause of Catholic truth."

Then come Southey and Wordsworth, "two living poets, one of whom in
the department of fantastic fiction, the other in that of
philosophical meditation, have addressed themselves to the same high
principles and feelings, and carried forward their readers in the
same direction."

Then comes the prediction of this reaction hazarded by "a sagacious
observer withdrawn from the world, and surveying its movements from a
distance," Mr. Alexander Knox. He had said twenty years before the
date of my writing: "No Church on earth has more intrinsic excellence
than the English Church, yet no Church probably has less practical
influence ... The rich provision, made by the grace and providence of
God, for habits of a noble kind, is evidence that men shall arise,
fitted both by nature and ability, to discover for themselves, and
to display to others, whatever yet remains undiscovered, whether in
the words or works of God." Also I referred to "a much venerated
clergyman of the last generation," who said shortly before his death,
"Depend on it, the day will come, when those great doctrines, now
buried, will be brought out to the light of day, and then the effect
will be fearful." I remarked upon this, that they who "now blame the
impetuosity of the current, should rather turn their animadversions
upon those who have dammed up a majestic river, till it had become a

These being the circumstances under which the Movement began and
progressed, it was absurd to refer it to the act of two or three
individuals. It was not so much a movement as a "spirit afloat;" it
was within us, "rising up in hearts where it was least suspected, and
working itself, though not in secret, yet so subtly and impalpably,
as hardly to admit of precaution or encounter on any ordinary human
rules of opposition. It is," I continued, "an adversary in the air, a
something one and entire, a whole wherever it is, unapproachable and
incapable of being grasped, as being the result of causes far deeper
than political or other visible agencies, the spiritual awakening of
spiritual wants."

To make this clear, I proceed to refer to the chief preachers of the
revived doctrines at that moment, and to draw attention to the
variety of their respective antecedents. Dr. Hook and Mr. Churton
represented the high Church dignitaries of the last century; Mr.
Perceval, the tory aristocracy; Mr. Keble came from a country
parsonage; Mr. Palmer from Ireland; Dr. Pusey from the Universities
of Germany, and the study of Arabic MSS.; Mr. Dodsworth from the
study of Prophecy; Mr. Oakeley had gained his views, as he himself
expressed it, "partly by study, partly by reflection, partly by
conversation with one or two friends, inquirers like himself;" while
I speak of myself as being "much indebted to the friendship of
Archbishop Whately." And thus I am led on to ask, "What head of a
sect is there? What march of opinions can be traced from mind to mind
among preachers such as these? They are one and all in their degree
the organs of one Sentiment, which has risen up simultaneously in
many places very mysteriously."

My train of thought next led me to speak of the disciples of the
Movement, and I freely acknowledged and lamented that they needed to
be kept in order. It is very much to the purpose to draw attention to
this point now, when such extravagances as then occurred, whatever
they were, are simply laid to my door, or to the charge of the
doctrines which I advocated. A man cannot do more than freely confess
what is wrong, say that it need not be, that it ought not to be, and
that he is very sorry that it should be. Now I said in the Article,
which I am reviewing, that the great truths themselves, which we were
preaching, must not be condemned on account of such abuse of them.
"Aberrations there must ever be, whatever the doctrine is, while the
human heart is sensitive, capricious, and wayward. A mixed multitude
went out of Egypt with the Israelites." "There will ever be a number
of persons," I continued, "professing the opinions of a movement
party, who talk loudly and strangely, do odd or fierce things,
display themselves unnecessarily, and disgust other people; persons,
too young to be wise, too generous to be cautious, too warm to be
sober, or too intellectual to be humble. Such persons will be very
apt to attach themselves to particular persons, to use particular
names, to say things merely because others do, and to act in a
party-spirited way."

While I thus republish what I then said about such extravagances as
occurred in these years, at the same time I have a very strong
conviction that they furnished quite as much the welcome excuse for
those who were jealous or shy of us, as the stumbling-blocks of
those who were well inclined to our doctrines. This too we felt at
the time; but it was our duty to see that our good should not be
evil-spoken of; and accordingly, two or three of the writers of the
Tracts for the Times had commenced a Series of what they called
"Plain Sermons" with the avowed purpose of discouraging and
correcting whatever was uppish or extreme in our followers: to this
series I contributed a volume myself.

Its conductors say in their Preface: "If therefore as time goes on,
there shall be found persons, who admiring the innate beauty and
majesty of the fuller system of Primitive Christianity, and seeing
the transcendent strength of its principles, _shall become loud and
voluble advocates_ in their behalf, speaking the more freely,
_because they do not feel them deeply as founded_ in divine and
eternal truth, of such persons _it is our duty to declare plainly_,
that, as we should contemplate their condition with serious
misgiving, _so would they be the last persons from whom we should_
seek support.

"But if, on the other hand, there shall be any, who, in the silent
humility of their lives, and in their unaffected reverence for holy
things, show that they in truth accept these principles as real and
substantial, and by habitual purity of heart and serenity of temper,
give proof of their deep veneration for sacraments and sacramental
ordinances, those persons, _whether our professed adherents or not_,
best exemplify the kind of character which the writers of the Tracts
for the Times have wished to form."

These clergymen had the best of claims to use these beautiful words,
for they were themselves, all of them, important writers in the
Tracts, the two Mr. Kebles, and Mr. Isaac Williams. And this passage,
with which they ushered their Series into the world, I quoted in the
Article, of which I am giving an account, and I added, "What more can
be required of the preachers of neglected truth, than that they
should admit that some, who do not assent to their preaching, are
holier and better men than some who do?" They were not answerable for
the intemperance of those who dishonoured a true doctrine, provided
they protested, as they did, against such intemperance. "They were
not answerable for the dust and din which attends any great moral
movement. The truer doctrines are, the more liable they are to be

The notice of these incidental faults of opinion or temper in
adherents of the Movement, led on to a discussion of the secondary
causes, by means of which a system of doctrine may be embraced,
modified, or developed, of the variety of schools which may all be in
the One Church, and of the succession of one phase of doctrine to
another, while it is ever one and the same. Thus I was brought on to
the subject of Antiquity, which was the basis of the doctrine of the
_Via Media_, and by which was not implied a servile imitation of the
past, but such a reproduction of it as is really young, while it is
old. "We have good hope," I say, "that a system will be rising up,
superior to the age, yet harmonising with, and carrying out its
higher points, which will attract to itself those who are willing to
make a venture and to face difficulties, for the sake of something
higher in prospect. On this, as on other subjects, the proverb will
apply, 'Fortes fortuna adjuvat.'"

Lastly, I proceeded to the question of that future of the Anglican
Church, which was to be a new birth of the Ancient Religion. And I
did not venture to pronounce upon it. "About the future, we have no
prospect before our minds whatever, good or bad. Ever since that
great luminary, Augustine, proved to be the last bishop of Hippo,
Christians have had a lesson against attempting to foretell, _how_
Providence will prosper and" [or?] "bring to an end, what it begins."
Perhaps the lately-revived principles would prevail in the Anglican
Church; perhaps they would be lost in "some miserable schism, or some
more miserable compromise; but there was nothing rash in venturing to
predict that "neither Puritanism nor Liberalism had any permanent
inheritance within her." I suppose I meant to say that in the present
age, without the aid of apostolic principles, the Anglican Church
would, in the event, cease to exist.

"As to Liberalism, we think the formularies of the Church will ever,
with the aid of a good Providence, keep it from making any serious
inroads upon the Clergy. Besides, it is too cold a principle to
prevail with the multitude." But as regarded what was called
Evangelical Religion or Puritanism, there was more to cause alarm.
I observed upon its organisation; but on the other hand it had no
intellectual basis; no internal idea, no principle of unity, no
theology. "Its adherents," I said, "are already separating from
each other; they will melt away like a snow-drift. It has no
straightforward view on any one point, on which it professes to
teach; and to hide its poverty, it has dressed itself out in a maze
of words. We have no dread of it at all; we only fear what it may
lead to. It does not stand on intrenched ground, or make any pretence
to a position; it does but occupy the space between contending
powers, Catholic Truth and Rationalism. Then indeed will be the stern
encounter, when two real and living principles, simple, entire, and
consistent, one in the Church, the other out of it, at length rush
upon each other, contending not for names and words, or half-views,
but for elementary notions and distinctive moral characters."

Whether the ideas of the coming age upon religion were true or false,
they would be real. "In the present day," I said, "mistiness is the
mother of wisdom. A man who can set down half-a-dozen general
propositions, which escape from destroying one another only by being
diluted into truisms, who can hold the balance between opposites so
skilfully as to do without fulcrum or beam, who never enunciates a
truth without guarding himself against being supposed to exclude the
contradictory--who holds that Scripture is the only authority, yet
that the Church is to be deferred to, that faith only justifies, yet
that it does not justify without works, that grace does not depend on
the sacraments, yet is not given without them, that bishops are a
divine ordinance, yet those who have them not are in the same
religious condition as those who have--this is your safe man and the
hope of the Church; this is what the Church is said to want, not
party men, but sensible, temperate, sober, well-judging persons, to
guide it through the channel of no-meaning, between the Scylla and
Charybdis of Aye and No."

This state of things, however, I said, could not last, if men were to
read and think. They "will not keep standing in that very attitude
which you call sound Church-of-Englandism or orthodox Protestantism.
They cannot go on for ever standing on one leg, or sitting without a
chair, or walking with their feet tied, or grazing like Tityrus's
stags in the air. They will take one view or another, but it will be
a consistent view. It may be Liberalism, or Erastianism, or Popery,
or Catholicity; but it will be real."

I concluded the article by saying, that all who did not wish to be
"democratic, or pantheistic, or popish," must "look out for _some_
Via Media which will preserve us from what threatens, though it
cannot restore the dead. The spirit of Luther is dead; but Hildebrand
and Loyola are alive. Is it sensible, sober, judicious, to be so very
angry with those writers of the day, who point to the fact, that our
divines of the seventeenth century have occupied a ground which is
the true and intelligible mean between extremes? Is it wise to
quarrel with this ground, because it is not exactly what we should
choose, had we the power of choice? Is it true moderation, instead of
trying to fortify a middle doctrine, to fling stones at those who do?
... Would you rather have your sons and daughters members of the
Church of England or of the Church of Rome?"

And thus I left the matter. But, while I was thus speaking of the
future of the Movement, I was in truth winding up my accounts with
it, little dreaming that it was so to be;--while I was still, in some
way or other, feeling about for an available _Via Media_, I was soon
to receive a shock which was to cast out of my imagination all middle
courses and compromises for ever. As I have said, this article
appeared in the April number of the _British Critic_; in the July
number, I cannot tell why, there is no article of mine; before the
number for October, the event had happened to which I have alluded.

But before I proceed to describe what happened to me in the summer of
1839, I must detain the reader for a while, in order to describe the
_issue_ of the controversy between Rome and the Anglican Church, as I
viewed it. This will involve some dry discussion; but it is as
necessary for my narrative, as plans of buildings and homesteads are
often found to be in the proceedings of our law courts.

I have said already that, though the object of the Movement was to
withstand the liberalism of the day, I found and felt this could not
be done by mere negatives. It was necessary for us to have a positive
Church theory erected on a definite basis. This took me to the great
Anglican divines; and then of course I found at once that it was
impossible to form any such theory, without cutting across the
teaching of the Church of Rome. Thus came in the Roman controversy.

When I first turned myself to it, I had neither doubt on the subject,
nor suspicion that doubt would ever come upon me. It was in this
state of mind that I began to read up Bellarmine on the one hand, and
numberless Anglican writers on the other. But I soon found, as others
had found before me, that it was a tangled and manifold controversy,
difficult to master, more difficult to put out of hand with neatness
and precision. It was easy to make points, not easy to sum up and
settle. It was not easy to find a clear issue for the dispute,
and still less by a logical process to decide it in favour of
Anglicanism. This difficulty, however, had no tendency whatever to
harass or perplex me: it was a matter, not of convictions, but of

First I saw, as all see who study the subject, that a broad
distinction had to be drawn between the actual state of belief and of
usage in the countries which were in communion with the Roman Church,
and her formal dogmas; the latter did not cover the former. Sensible
pain, for instance, is not implied in the Tridentine decree upon
purgatory; but it was the tradition of the Latin Church, and I had
seen the pictures of souls in flames in the streets of Naples. Bishop
Lloyd had brought this distinction out strongly in an Article in the
_British Critic_ in 1825; indeed, it was one of the most common
objections made to the Church of Rome, that she dared not commit
herself by formal decree, to what nevertheless she sanctioned and
allowed. Accordingly, in my Prophetical Office, I view as simply
separate ideas, Rome quiescent, and Rome in action. I contrasted her
creed on the one hand, with her ordinary teaching, her controversial
tone, her political and social bearing, and her popular beliefs and
practices on the other.

While I made this distinction between the decrees and the traditions
of Rome, I drew a parallel distinction between Anglicanism quiescent,
and Anglicanism in action. In its formal creed Anglicanism was not
at a great distance from Rome: far otherwise, when viewed in its
insular spirit, the traditions of its establishment, its historical
characteristics, its controversial rancour, and its private judgment.
I disavowed and condemned those excesses, and called them
"Protestantism" or "Ultra-Protestantism:" I wished to find a parallel
disclaimer, on the part of Roman controversialists, of that popular
system of beliefs and usages in their own Church, which I called
"Popery." When that hope was a dream, I saw that the controversy lay
between the book-theology of Anglicanism on the one side, and the
living system of what I called Roman corruption on the other. I could
not get further than this; with this result I was forced to content

These then were the _parties_ in the controversy:--the Anglican _Via
Media_ and the popular religion of Rome. And next, as to the _issue_,
to which the controversy between them was to be brought, it was
this:--the Anglican disputant took his stand upon Antiquity or
apostolicity, the Roman upon Catholicity. The Anglican said to the
Roman: "There is but One Faith, the Ancient, and you have not kept to
it;" the Roman retorted: "There is but One Church, the Catholic, and
you are out of it." The Anglican urged: "Your special beliefs,
practices, modes of action, are nowhere in Antiquity;" the Roman
objected: "You do not communicate with any one Church besides your
own and its offshoots, and you have discarded principles, doctrines,
sacraments, and usages, which are and ever have been received in the
East and the West." The true Church, as defined in the Creeds, was
both Catholic and Apostolic; now, as I viewed the controversy in
which I was engaged, England and Rome had divided these notes or
prerogatives between them: the cause lay thus, Apostolicity _versus_

However, in thus stating the matter, of course I do not wish it
supposed, that I considered the note of Catholicity really to belong
to Rome, to the disparagement of the Anglican Church; but that the
special point or plea of Rome in the controversy was Catholicity, as
the Anglican plea was Antiquity. Of course I contended that the Roman
idea of Catholicity was not ancient and apostolic. It was in my
judgment at the utmost only natural, becoming, expedient, that the
whole of Christendom should be united in one visible body; while such
a unity might be, on the other hand, a mere heartless and political
combination. For myself, I held with the Anglican divines, that, in
the Primitive Church, there was a very real mutual independence
between its separate parts, though, from a dictate of charity, there
was in fact a close union between them. I considered that each see
and diocese might be compared to a crystal, and that each was similar
to the rest, and that the sum total of them all was only a collection
of crystals. The unity of the Church lay, not in its being a polity,
but in its being a family, a race, coming down by apostolical descent
from its first founders and bishops. And I considered this truth
brought out, beyond the possibility of dispute, in the Epistles of
St. Ignatius, in which the bishop is represented as the one supreme
authority in the Church, that is, in his own place, with no one above
him, except as, for the sake of ecclesiastical order and expedience,
arrangements had been made by which one was put over or under
another. So much for our own claim to Catholicity, which was so
perversely appropriated by our opponents to themselves:--on the other
hand, as to our special strong point, Antiquity, while of course, by
means of it, we were able to condemn most emphatically the novel
claim of Rome to domineer over other Churches, which were in truth
her equals, further than that, we thereby especially convicted her of
the intolerable offence of having added to the Faith. This was the
critical head of accusation urged against her by the Anglican
disputant, and, as he referred to St. Ignatius in proof that he
himself was a true Catholic, in spite of being separated from Rome,
so he triumphantly referred to the Treatise of Vincentius of Lerins
upon the "Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus," in proof that
the controversialists of Rome were separated in their creed from the
apostolical and primitive faith.

Of course those controversialists had their own answer to him, with
which I am not concerned in this place; here I am only concerned with
the issue itself, between the one party and the other--Antiquity
_versus_ Catholicity.

Now I will proceed to illustrate what I have been saying of the
_status_ of the controversy, as it presented itself to my mind, by
extracts from my writings of the dates of 1836, 1840, and 1841. And I
introduce them with a remark, which especially applies to the paper,
from which I shall quote first, of the date of 1836. That paper
appeared in the March and April numbers of the _British Magazine_ of
that year, and was entitled "Home Thoughts Abroad." Now it will be
found, that, in the discussion which it contains, as in various other
writings of mine, when I was in the Anglican Church, the argument in
behalf of Rome is stated with considerable perspicuity and force. And
at the time my friends and supporters cried out "How imprudent!" and
both at the time, and especially at a later date, my enemies have
cried out, "How insidious!" Friends and foes virtually agreed in
their criticism; I had set out the cause which I was combating to the
best advantage: this was an offence; it might be from imprudence, it
might be with a traitorous design. It was from neither the one nor
the other; but for the following reasons. First, I had a great
impatience, whatever was the subject, of not bringing out the whole
of it, as clearly as I could; next I wished to be as fair to my
adversaries as possible; and thirdly I thought that there was a great
deal of shallowness among our own friends, and that they undervalued
the strength of the argument in behalf of Rome, and that they ought
to be roused to a more exact apprehension of the position of the
controversy. At a later date (1841), when I really felt the force of
the Roman side of the question myself, as a difficulty which had to
be met, I had a fourth reason for such frankness in argument, and
that was, because a number of persons were unsettled far more than I
was, as to the Catholicity of the Anglican Church. It was quite
plain, that, unless I was perfectly candid in stating what could be
said against it, there was no chance that any representations, which
I felt to be in its favour, or at least to be adverse to Rome, would
have had their real weight duly acknowledged. At all times I had a
deep conviction, to put the matter on the lowest ground, that
"honesty was the best policy." Accordingly, in 1841, I expressed
myself thus on the Anglican difficulty: "This is an objection which
we must honestly say is deeply felt by many people, and not
inconsiderable ones; and the more it is openly avowed to be a
difficulty, the better; for there is then the chance of its being
acknowledged, and in the course of time obviated, as far as may be,
by those who have the power. Flagrant evils cure themselves by being
flagrant; and we are sanguine that the time is come when so great an
evil as this is, cannot stand its ground against the good feeling and
common sense of religious persons. It is the very strength of
Romanism against us; and, unless the proper persons take it into
their serious consideration, they may look for certain to undergo the
loss, as time goes on, of some whom they would least like to be lost
to our Church." The measure which I had especially in view in this
passage, was the project of a Jerusalem Bishopric, which the then
Archbishop of Canterbury was at that time concocting with M. Bunsen,
and of which I shall speak more in the sequel. And now to return to
the Home Thoughts Abroad of the spring of 1836:--

The discussion contained in this composition runs in the form of a
dialogue. One of the disputants says: "You say to me that the Church
of Rome is corrupt. What then? to cut off a limb is a strange way of
saving it from the influence of some constitutional ailment.
Indigestion may cause cramp in the extremities; yet we spare our poor
feet notwithstanding. Surely there is such a religious _fact_ as the
existence of a great Catholic body, union with which is a Christian
privilege and duty. Now, we English are separate from it."

The other answers: "The present is an unsatisfactory, miserable state
of things, yet I can grant no more. The Church is founded on a
doctrine,--on the gospel of Truth; it is a means to an end. Perish
the Church (though, blessed be the promise! this cannot be), yet let
it perish _rather_ than the Truth should fail. Purity of faith is
more precious to the Christian than unity itself. If Rome has erred
grievously in doctrine, then it is a duty to separate even from

His friend, who takes the Roman side of the argument, refers to the
image of the Vine and its branches, which is found, I think, in St.
Cyprian, as if a branch cut from the Catholic Vine must necessarily
die. Also he quotes a passage from St. Augustine in controversy with
the Donatists to the same effect; viz. that, as being separated from
the body of the Church, they were _ipso facto_ cut off from the
heritage of Christ. And he quotes St. Cyril's argument drawn from the
very title Catholic, which no body or communion of men has ever dared
or been able to appropriate, besides one. He adds, "Now, I am only
contending for the fact, that the communion of Rome constitutes the
main body of the Church Catholic, and that we are split off from it,
and in the condition of the Donatists."

The other replies, by denying the fact that the present Roman
communion is like St. Augustine's Catholic Church, inasmuch as there
are to be taken into account the large Anglican and Greek communions.
Presently he takes the offensive, naming distinctly the points, in
which Rome has departed from Primitive Christianity, viz. "the
practical idolatry, the virtual worship of the Virgin and Saints,
which are the offence of the Latin Church, and the degradation of
moral truth and duty, which follows from these." And again: "We
cannot join a Church, did we wish it ever so much, which does not
acknowledge our orders, refuses us the Cup, demands our acquiescence
in image-worship, and excommunicates us, if we do not receive it and
all the decisions of the Tridentine Council."

His opponent answers these objections by referring to the doctrine of
"developments of gospel truth." Besides, "The Anglican system
itself is not found complete in those early centuries; so that the
[Anglican] principle [of Antiquity] is self-destructive." "When a man
takes up this _Via Media_, he is a mere _doctrinaire_;" he is like
those, "who, in some matter of business, start up to suggest their
own little crotchet, and are ever measuring mountains with a pocket
ruler, or improving the planetary courses." "The _Via Media_ has
slept in libraries; it is a substitute of infancy for manhood."

It is plain, then, that at the end of 1835 or beginning of 1836, I
had the whole state of the question before me, on which, to my mind,
the decision between the Churches depended. It is observable that the
question of the position of the Pope, whether as the centre of unity,
or as the source of jurisdiction, did not come into my thoughts at
all; nor did it, I think I may say, to the end. I doubt whether I
ever distinctly held any of his powers to be _de jure divino_, while
I was in the Anglican Church;--not that I saw any difficulty in the
doctrine; not that, together with the story of St. Leo, of which I
shall speak by and by, the idea of his infallibility did not cross my
mind, for it did--but after all, in my view the controversy did not
turn upon it; it turned upon the Faith and the Church. This was my
issue of the controversy from the beginning to the end. There was a
contrariety of claims between the Roman and Anglican religions, and
the history of my conversion is simply the process of working it out
to a solution. In 1838 I illustrated it by the contrast presented to
us between the Madonna and Child, and a Calvary. I said that the
peculiarity of the Anglican theology was this--that it "supposed the
Truth to be entirely objective and detached, not" (as the Roman)
"lying hid in the bosom of the Church as if one with her, clinging
to and (as it were) lost her embrace, but as being sole and
unapproachable, as on the Cross or at the Resurrection, with the
Church close by, but in the background."

As I viewed the controversy in 1836 and 1838, so I viewed it in 1840
and 1841. In the _British Critic_ of January 1840, after gradually
investigating how the matter lies between the Churches by means of a
dialogue, I end thus: "It would seem, that, in the above discussion,
each disputant has a strong point: our strong point is the argument
from Primitiveness, that of Romanists from Universality. It is a
fact, however it is to be accounted for, that Rome has added to the
Creed; and it is a fact, however we justify ourselves, that we are
estranged from the great body of Christians over the world. And each
of these two facts is at first sight a grave difficulty in the
respective systems to which they belong." Again, "While Rome, though
not deferring to the Fathers, recognises them, and England, not
deferring to the large body of the Church, recognises it, both Rome
and England have a point to clear up."

And still more strongly in July, 1841:

"If the Note of schism, on the one hand, lies against England, an
antagonist disgrace lies upon Rome, the Note of idolatry. Let us not
be mistaken here; we are neither accusing Rome of idolatry, nor
ourselves of schism; we think neither charge tenable; but still the
Roman Church practises what is so like idolatry, and the English
Church makes much of what is so very like schism, that without
deciding what is the duty of a Roman Catholic towards the Church of
England in her present state, we do seriously think that members of
the English Church have a providential direction given them, how to
comport themselves towards the Church of Rome, while she is what she

One remark more about Antiquity and the _Via Media_. As time went on,
without doubting the strength of the Anglican argument from
Antiquity, I felt also that it was not merely our special plea, but
our only one. Also I felt that the _Via Media_, which was to
represent it, was to be a sort of remodelled and adapted Antiquity.
This I observe both in Home Thoughts Abroad, and in the Article of
the _British Critic_ which I have analysed above. But this
circumstance, that after all we must use private judgment upon
Antiquity, created a sort of distrust of my theory altogether, which
in the conclusion of my volume on the Prophetical Office I express
thus: "Now that our discussions draw to a close, the thought, with
which we entered on the subject, is apt to recur, when the excitement
of the inquiry has subsided, and weariness has succeeded, that what
has been said is but a dream, the wanton exercise, rather than the
practical conclusions of the intellect." And I conclude the paragraph
by anticipating a line of thought into which I was, in the event,
almost obliged to take refuge: "After all," I say, "the Church is
ever invisible in its day, and faith only apprehends it." What was
this, but to give up the Notes of a visible Church altogether,
whether the Catholic Note or the Apostolic?

The Long Vacation of 1839 began early. There had been a great many
visitors to Oxford from Easter to Commemoration; and Dr. Pusey and
myself had attracted attention, more, I think, than any former year.
I had put away from me the controversy with Rome for more than two
years. In my Parochial Sermons the subject had never been introduced:
there had been nothing for two years, either in my Tracts or in the
_British Critic_, of a polemical character. I was returning, for the
vacation, to the course of reading which I had many years before
chosen as especially my own. I have no reason to suppose that the
thoughts of Rome came across my mind at all. About the middle of June
I began to study and master the history of the Monophysites. I was
absorbed in the doctrinal question. This was from about June 13th to
August 30th. It was during this course of reading that for the first
time a doubt came upon me of the tenableness of Anglicanism. I
recollect on the 30th of July mentioning to a friend, whom I had
accidentally met, how remarkable the history was; but by the end of
August I was seriously alarmed.

I have described in a former work, how the history affected me. My
stronghold was Antiquity; now here, in the middle of the fifth
century, I found, as it seemed to me, Christendom of the sixteenth
and the nineteenth centuries reflected. I saw my face in that mirror,
and I was a Monophysite. The Church of the _Via Media_ was in the
position of the Oriental communion, Rome was, where she now is; and
the Protestants were the Eutychians. Of all passages of history,
since history has been, who would have thought of going to the
sayings and doings of old Eutyches, that _delirus senex_, as (I
think) Petavius calls him, and to the enormities of the unprincipled
Dioscorus, in order to be converted to Rome!

Now let it be simply understood that I am not writing
controversially, but with the one object of relating things as they
happened to me in the course of my conversion. With this view I will
quote a passage from the account, which I gave in 1850, of my
reasonings and feelings in 1839:

"It was difficult to make out how the Eutychians or Monophysites were
heretics, unless Protestants and Anglicans were heretics also;
difficult to find arguments against the Tridentine Fathers, which did
not tell against the Fathers of Chalcedon; difficult to condemn the
Popes of the sixteenth century, without condemning the Popes of the
fifth. The drama of religion, and the combat of truth and error, were
ever one and the same. The principles and proceedings of the Church
now, were those of the Church then; the principles and proceedings of
heretics then, were those of Protestants now. I found it so,--almost
fearfully; there was an awful similitude, more awful, because so
silent and unimpassioned, between the dead records of the past and
the feverish chronicle of the present. The shadow of the fifth
century was on the sixteenth. It was like a spirit rising from the
troubled waters of the old world, with the shape and lineaments of
the new. The Church then, as now, might be called peremptory and
stern, resolute, overbearing, and relentless; and heretics were
shifting, changeable, reserved, and deceitful, ever courting civil
power, and never agreeing together, except by its aid; and the civil
power was ever aiming at comprehensions, trying to put the invisible
out of view, and substituting expediency for faith. What was the use
of continuing the controversy, or defending my position, if, after
all, I was forging arguments for Arius or Eutyches, and turning
devil's advocate against the much-enduring Athanasius and the
majestic Leo? Be my soul with the Saints! and shall I lift up my hand
against them? Sooner may my right hand forget her cunning, and wither
outright, as his who once stretched it out against a prophet of God!
anathema to a whole tribe of Cranmers, Ridleys, Latimers, and Jewels!
perish the names of Bramhall, Ussher, Taylor, Stillingfleet, and
Barrow from the face of the earth, ere I should do aught but fall at
their feet in love and in worship, whose image was continually before
my eyes, and whose musical words were ever in my ears and on my

Hardly had I brought my course of reading to a close, when the
_Dublin Review_ of that same August was put into my hands, by friends
who were more favourable to the cause of Rome than I was myself.
There was an Article in it on the "Anglican Claim" by Bishop Wiseman.
This was about the middle of September. It was on the Donatists, with
an application to Anglicanism. I read it, and did not see much in it.
The Donatist controversy was known to me for some years, as I have
instanced above. The case was not parallel to that of the Anglican
Church. St. Augustine in Africa wrote against the Donatists in
Africa. They were a furious party who made a schism within the
African Church, and not beyond its limits. It was a case of altar
against altar, of two occupants of the same see, as that between the
non-jurors in England and the Established Church; not the case of one
Church against another, as Rome against the Oriental Monophysites.
But my friend, an anxiously religious man, now, as then, very dear to
me, a Protestant still, pointed out the palmary words of St.
Augustine, which were contained in one of the extracts made in the
_Review_, and which had escaped my observation. "Securus judicat
orbis terrarum." He repeated these words again and again, and, when
he was gone, they kept ringing in my ears. "Securus judicat orbis
terrarum;" they were words which went beyond the occasion of the
Donatists: they applied to that of the Monophysites. They gave a
cogency to the Article, which had escaped me at first. They decided
ecclesiastical questions on a simpler rule than that of Antiquity;
nay, St. Augustine was one of the prime oracles of Antiquity; here
then Antiquity was deciding against itself. What a light was hereby
thrown upon every controversy in the Church! not that, for the
moment, the multitude may not falter in their judgment,--not that, in
the Arian hurricane, Sees more than can be numbered did not bend
before its fury, and fall off from St. Athanasius,--not that the
crowd of Oriental Bishops did not need to be sustained during the
contest by the voice and the eye of St. Leo; but that the deliberate
judgment, in which the whole Church at length rests and acquiesces,
is an infallible prescription and a final sentence against such
portions of it as protest and secede. Who can account for the
impressions which are made on him? For a mere sentence, the words of
St. Augustine, struck me with a power which I never had felt from any
words before. To take a familiar instance, they were like the "Turn
again Whittington" of the chime; or, to take a more serious one, they
were like the "Tolle, lege,--Tolle, lege," of the child, which
converted St. Augustine himself. "Securus judicat orbis terrarum!" By
those great words of the ancient Father, the theory of the _Via
Media_ was absolutely pulverised.

I became excited at the view thus opened upon me. I was just starting
on a round of visits; and I mentioned my state of mind to two most
intimate friends: I think to no others. After a while, I got calm,
and at length the vivid impression upon my imagination faded away.
What I thought about it on reflection, I will attempt to describe
presently. I had to determine its logical value, and its bearing upon
my duty. Meanwhile, so far as this was certain,--I had seen the
shadow of a hand upon the wall. It was clear that I had a good deal
to learn on the question of the Churches, and that perhaps some new
light was coming upon me. He who has seen a ghost, cannot be as if he
had never seen it. The heavens had opened and closed again. The
thought for the moment had been, "The Church of Rome will be found
right after all;" and then it had vanished. My old convictions
remained as before.

At this time, I wrote my Sermon on Divine Calls, which I published in
my volume of Plain Sermons. It ends thus:--

"O that we could take that simple view of things, as to feel that the
one thing which lies before us is to please God! What gain is it
to please the world, to please the great, nay even to please those
whom we love, compared with this? What gain is it to be applauded,
admired, courted, followed,--compared with this one aim, of 'not
being disobedient to a heavenly vision'? What can this world offer
comparable with that insight into spiritual things, that keen faith,
that heavenly peace, that high sanctity, that everlasting
righteousness, that hope of glory, which they have, who in sincerity
love and follow our Lord Jesus Christ? Let us beg and pray Him day by
day to reveal Himself to our souls more fully, to quicken our senses,
to give us sight and hearing, taste and touch of the world to come;
so to work within us, that we may sincerely say, 'Thou shalt guide me
with Thy counsel, and after that receive me with glory. Whom have I
in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in
comparison of Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the
strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.'"

Now to trace the succession of thoughts, and the conclusions, and the
consequent innovations on my previous belief, and the general
conduct, to which I was led, upon this sudden visitation. And first,
I will say, whatever comes of saying it, for I leave inferences to
others, that for years I must have had something of an habitual
notion, though it was latent, and had never led me to distrust my own
convictions, that my mind had not found its ultimate rest, and that
in some sense or other I was on journey. During the same passage
across the Mediterranean in which I wrote "Lead kindly light," I also
wrote the verses, which are found in the Lyra under the head of
"Providences," beginning, "When I look back." This was in 1833; and,
since I have begun this narrative, I have found a memorandum under
the date of September 7, 1829, in which I speak of myself, as "now in
my rooms in Oriel College, slowly advancing etc. and led on by God's
hand blindly, not knowing whither He is taking me." But, whatever
this presentiment be worth, it was no protection against the dismay
and disgust, which I felt, in consequence of the dreadful misgiving,
of which I have been relating the history. The one question was, what
was I to do? I had to make up my mind for myself, and others could
not help me. I determined to be guided, not by my imagination, but by
my reason. And this I said over and over again in the years which
followed, both in conversation and in private letters. Had it not
been for this severe resolve, I should have been a Catholic sooner
than I was. Moreover, I felt on consideration a positive doubt, on
the other hand, whether the suggestion did not come from below. Then
I said to myself, Time alone can solve that question. It was my
business to go on as usual, to obey those convictions to which I had
so long surrendered myself, which still had possession of me, and
on which my new thoughts had no direct bearing. That new conception
of things should only so far influence me, as it had a logical
claim to do so. If it came from above, it would come again;--so I
trusted,--and with more definite outlines. I thought of Samuel,
before "he knew the word of the Lord;" and therefore I went, and lay
down to sleep again. This was my broad view of the matter, and my
_prima facie_ conclusion.

However, my new historical fact had to a certain point a logical
force. Down had come the _Via Media_ as a definite theory or scheme,
under the blows of St. Leo. My "Prophetical Office" had come to
pieces; not indeed as an argument against "Roman errors," nor as
against Protestantism, but as in behalf of England. I had no more a
distinctive plea for Anglicanism, unless I would be a Monophysite. I
had, most painfully, to fall back upon my three original points of
belief, which I have spoken so much of in a former passage,--the
principle of dogma, the sacramental system, and anti-Romanism. Of
these three, the first two were better secured in Rome than in the
Anglican Church. The Apostolical Succession, the two prominent
sacraments, and the primitive Creeds, belonged, indeed, to the
latter, but there had been and was far less strictness on matters of
dogma and ritual in the Anglican system than in the Roman: in
consequence, my main argument for the Anglican claims lay in the
positive and special charges, which I could bring against Rome. I had
no positive Anglican theory. I was very nearly a pure Protestant.
Lutherans had a sort of theology, so had Calvinists; I had none.

However, this pure Protestantism, to which I was gradually left, was
really a practical principle. It was a strong, though it was only a
negative ground, and it still had great hold on me. As a boy of
fifteen, I had so fully imbibed it, that I had actually erased in my
_Gradus ad Parnassum_, such titles, under the word "Papa," as
"Christi Vicarius," "sacer interpres," and "sceptra gerens," and
substituted epithets so vile that I cannot bring myself to write them
down here. The effect of this early persuasion remained as, what I
have already called it, a "stain upon my imagination." As regards my
reason, I began in 1833 to form theories on the subject, which tended
to obliterate it. In the first part of Home Thoughts Abroad, written
in that year, after speaking of Rome as "undeniably the most exalted
Church in the whole world," and manifesting, "in all the truth and
beauty of the Spirit, that side of high mental excellence, which
Pagan Rome attempted but could not realise,--high-mindedness,
majesty, and the calm consciousness of power,"--I proceed to say,
"Alas! ...the old spirit has revived, and the monster of Daniel's
vision, untamed by its former judgments, has seized upon Christianity
as the new instrument of its impieties, and awaits a second and final
woe from God's hand. Surely the doctrine of the _Genius Loci_ is not
without foundation, and explains to us how the blessing or the curse
attaches to cities and countries, not to generations. Michael is
represented [in the book of Daniel] as opposed to the Prince of the
kingdom of Persia. Old Rome is still alive. The Sorceress upon the
Seven Hills, in the book of Revelation, is not the Church of Rome,
but Rome itself, the bad spirit, which, in its former shape, was the
animating spirit of the Fourth Monarchy." Then I refer to St.
Malachi's Prophecy which "makes a like distinction between the City
and the Church of Rome. 'In the last persecution,' it says, 'of the
Holy Roman Church, Peter of Rome shall be on the throne, who shall
feed his flock in many tribulations. When these are past, the City
upon the Seven Hills shall be destroyed, and the awful Judge shall
judge the people.'" Then I append my moral. "I deny that the
distinction is unmeaning; Is it nothing to be able to look on our
Mother, to whom we owe the blessing of Christianity, with affection
instead of hatred? with pity indeed, aye, and fear, but not with
horror? Is it nothing to rescue her from the hard names, which
interpreters of prophecy have put upon her, as an idolatress and an
enemy of God, when she is deceived rather than a deceiver? Nothing to
be able to account her priests as ordained of God, and anointed for
their spiritual functions by the Holy Spirit, instead of considering
her communion the bond of Satan?" This was my first advance in
rescuing, on an intelligible, intellectual basis, the Roman Church
from the designation of Antichrist; it was not the Church, but the
old dethroned Pagan monster, still living in the ruined city, that
was Antichrist.

In a Tract in 1838, I profess to give the opinions of the Fathers on
the subject, and the conclusions to which I come, are still less
violent against the Roman Church, though on the same basis as before.
I say that the local Christian Church of Rome has been the means of
shielding the pagan city from the fulness of those judgments, which
are due to it; and that, in consequence of this, though Babylon has
been utterly swept from the earth, Rome remains to this day. The
reason seemed to be simply this, that, when the barbarians came down,
God had a people in that city. Babylon was a mere prison of the
Church; Rome had received her as a guest. "That vengeance has never
fallen: it is still suspended; nor can reason be given why Rome
has not fallen under the rule of God's general dealings with His
rebellious creatures, except that a Christian Church is still in that
city, sanctifying it, interceding for it, saving it." I add in a
note, "No opinion, one way or the other, is here expressed as to
the question, how far, as the local Church has saved Rome, so Rome
has corrupted the local Church; or whether the local Church in
consequence, or again whether other Churches elsewhere, may or may
not be types of Antichrist." I quote all this in order to show how
Bishop Newton was still upon my mind even in 1838; and how I was
feeling after some other interpretation of prophecy instead of his,
and not without a good deal of hesitation.

However, I have found notes written in March, 1839, which anticipate
my article in the _British Critic_ of October, 1840, in which I
contended that the Churches of Rome and England were both one, and
also the one true Church, for the very reason that they had both been
stigmatised by the name of Antichrist, proving my point from the
text, "If they have called the Master of the House Beelzebub, how
much more them of His household," and quoting largely from Puritans
and Independents to show that, in their mouths, the Anglican Church
is Antichrist and Anti-christian as well as the Roman. I urged in
that article that the calumny of being Antichrist is almost "one of
the notes of the true Church;" and that "there is no medium between a
Vice-Christ and Anti-Christ;" for "it is not the _acts_ that make the
difference between them, but the _authority_ for those acts." This of
course was a new mode of viewing the question; but we cannot unmake
ourselves or change our habits in a moment. It is quite clear, that,
if I dared not commit myself in 1838, to the belief that the Church
of Rome was not a type of Antichrist, I could not have thrown off the
unreasoning prejudice and suspicion, which I cherished about her,
for some time after, at least by fits and starts, in spite of the
conviction of my reason. I cannot prove this, but I believe it to
have been the case from what I recollect of myself. Nor was there
anything in the history of St. Leo and the Monophysites to undo the
firm belief I had in the existence of what I called the practical
abuses and excesses of Rome.

To the inconsistencies then, to the ambition and intrigue, to the
sophistries of Rome (as I considered them to be) I had recourse in my
opposition to her, both public and personal. I did so by way of a
relief. I had a great and growing dislike, after the summer of 1839,
to speak against the Roman Church herself or her formal doctrines. I
was very averse to speak against doctrines, which might possibly turn
out to be true, though at the time I had no reason for thinking they
were, or against the Church, which had preserved them. I began to
have misgivings, that, strong as my own feelings had been against
her, yet in some things which I had said, I had taken the statements
of Anglican divines for granted without weighing them for myself. I
said to a friend in 1840, in a letter, which I shall use presently,
"I am troubled by doubts whether as it is, I have not, in what I have
published, spoken too strongly against Rome, though I think I did it
in a kind of faith, being determined to put myself into the English
system, and say all that our divines said, whether I had fully
weighed it or not." I was sore about the great Anglican divines, as
if they had taken me in, and made me say strong things, which facts
did not justify. Yet I _did_ still hold in substance all that I had
said against the Church of Rome in my Prophetical Office. I felt the
force of the usual Protestant objections against her; I believed that
we had the apostolical succession in the Anglican Church, and the
grace of the sacraments; I was not sure that the difficulty of its
isolation might not be overcome, though I was far from sure that it
could. I did not see any clear proof that it had committed itself to
any heresy, or had taken part against the truth; and I was not sure
that it would not revive into full apostolic purity and strength, and
grow into union with Rome herself (Rome explaining her doctrines and
guarding against their abuse), that is, if we were but patient and
hopeful. I wished for union between the Anglican Church and Rome, if,
and when, it was possible; and I did what I could to gain weekly
prayers for that object. The ground which I felt good against her was
the moral ground: I felt I could not be wrong in striking at her
political and social line of action. The alliance of a dogmatic
religion with liberals, high or low, seemed to me a providential
direction against moving towards it, and a better "Preservative
against Popery," than the three volumes of folio, in which, I think,
that prophylactic is to be found. However, on occasions which
demanded it, I felt it a duty to give out plainly all that I thought,
though I did not like to do so. One such instance occurred, when I
had to publish a letter about Tract 90. In that letter I said,
"Instead of setting before the soul the Holy Trinity, and heaven and
hell, the Church of Rome does seem to me, as a popular system, to
preach the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, and purgatory." On this
occasion I recollect expressing to a friend the distress it gave me
thus to speak; but, I said, "How can I help saying it, if I think it?
and I _do_ think it; my Bishop calls on me to say out what I think;
and that is the long and the short of it." But I recollected Hurrell
Froude's words to me, almost his dying words, "I must enter another
protest against your cursing and swearing. What good can it do? and I
call it uncharitable to an excess. How mistaken we may ourselves be,
on many points that are only gradually opening on us!"

Instead then of speaking of errors in doctrine, I was driven, by my
state of mind, to insist upon the political conduct, the
controversial bearing, and the social methods and manifestations of
Rome. And here I found a matter close at hand, which affected me most
sensibly too, because it was before my eyes. I can hardly describe
too strongly my feeling upon it. I had an unspeakable aversion to the
policy and acts of Mr. O'Connell, because, as I thought, he
associated himself with men of all religions and no religion against
the Anglican Church, and advanced Catholicism by violence and
intrigue. When then I found him taken up by the English Catholics,
and, as I supposed, at Rome, I considered I had a fulfilment before
my eyes how the Court of Rome played fast and loose, and fulfilled
the bad points which I had seen put down in books against it. Here we
saw what Rome was in action, whatever she might be when quiescent.
Her conduct was simply secular and political.

This feeling led me into the excess of being very rude to that
zealous and most charitable man, Mr. Spencer, when he came to Oxford
in January, 1840, to get Anglicans to set about praying for unity. I
myself then, or soon after, drew up such prayers; it was one of the
first thoughts which came upon me after my shock, but I was too much
annoyed with the political action of the members of the Roman Church
in England to wish to have anything to do with them personally. So
glad in my heart was I to see him when he came to my rooms, whither
Mr. Palmer of Magdalen brought him, that I could have laughed for
joy; I think I did; but I was very rude to him, I would not meet him
at dinner, and that (though I did not say so) because I considered
him "in loco apostatæ" from the Anglican Church, and I hereby beg his
pardon for it. I wrote afterwards with a view to apologise, but I
dare say he must have thought that I made the matter worse, for these
were my words to him:--

"The news that you are praying for us is most touching, and raises a
variety of indescribable emotions. May their prayers return
abundantly into their own bosoms! Why then do I not meet you in a
manner conformable with these first feelings? For this single reason,
if I may say it, that your acts are contrary to your words. You
invite us to a union of hearts, at the same time that you are doing
all you can, not to restore, not to reform, not to reunite, but to
destroy our Church. You go further than your principles require. You
are leagued with our enemies. 'The voice is Jacob's voice, but the
hands are the hands of Esau.' This is what especially distresses us;
this is what we cannot understand, how Christians, like yourselves,
with the clear view you have that a warfare is ever waging in the
world between good and evil, should, in the present state of England,
ally yourselves with the side of evil against the side of good.... Of
parties now in the country, you cannot but allow, that next to
yourselves we are nearest to revealed truth. We maintain great and
holy principles; we profess Catholic doctrines.... So near are we as
a body to yourselves in modes of thinking, as even to have been
taunted with the nicknames which belong to you; and, on the other
hand, if there are professed infidels, scoffers, sceptics,
unprincipled men, rebels, they are found among our opponents. And yet
you take part with them against us.... You consent to act hand in
hand [with these and others] for our overthrow. Alas! all this it is
that impresses us irresistibly with the notion that you are a
political, not a religious party; that, in order to gain an end on
which you set your hearts,--an open stage for yourselves in
England--you ally yourselves with those who hold nothing against
those who hold something. This is what distresses my own mind so
greatly, to speak of myself, that, with limitations which need not
now be mentioned, I cannot meet familiarly any leading persons of the
Roman Communion, and least of all when they come on a religious
errand. Break off, I would say, with Mr. O'Connell in Ireland and the
liberal party in England, or come not to us with overtures for mutual
prayer and religious sympathy."

And here came in another feeling, of a personal nature, which had
little to do with the argument against Rome, except that, in my
prejudice, I connected it with my own ideas of the usual conduct of
her advocates and instruments. I was very stern upon any interference
in our Oxford matters on the part of charitable Catholics, and on any
attempt to do me good personally. There was nothing, indeed, at the
time more likely to throw me back. "Why do you meddle? why cannot you
let me alone? You can do me no good; you know nothing on earth about
me; you may actually do me harm; I am in better hands than yours. I
know my own sincerity of purpose; and I am determined upon taking my
time." Since I have been a Catholic, people have sometimes accused me
of backwardness in making converts; and Protestants have argued from
it that I have no great eagerness to do so. It would be against my
nature to act otherwise than I do; but besides, it would be to forget
the lessons which I gained in the experience of my own history in the

This is the account which I have to give of some savage and
ungrateful words in the _British Critic_ of 1840 against the
controversialists of Rome: "By their fruits ye shall know them.... We
see it attempting to gain converts among us by unreal representations
of its doctrines, plausible statements, bold assertions, appeals to
the weaknesses of human nature, to our fancies, our eccentricities,
our fears, our frivolities, our false philosophies. We see its
agents, smiling and nodding and ducking to attract attention, as
gipsies make up to truant boys, holding out tales for the nursery,
and pretty pictures, and gilt gingerbread, and physic concealed in
jam, and sugar-plums for good children. Who can but feel shame when
the religion of Ximenes, Borromeo, and Pascal, is so overlaid? Who
can but feel sorrow, when its devout and earnest defenders so mistake
its genius and its capabilities? We Englishmen like manliness,
openness, consistency, truth. Rome will never gain on us, till she
learns these virtues, and uses them; and then she may gain us, but it
will be by ceasing to be what we now mean by Rome, by having a right,
not to 'have dominion over our faith,' but to gain and possess our
affections in the bonds of the gospel. Till she ceases to be what she
practically is, a union is impossible between her and England; but,
if she does reform (and who can presume to say that so large a part
of Christendom never can?) then it will be our Church's duty at once
to join in communion with the continental Churches, whatever
politicians at home may say to it, and whatever steps the civil power
may take in consequence. And though we may not live to see that day,
at least we are bound to pray for it; we are bound to pray for our
brethren that they and we may be led together into the pure light of
the gospel, and be one as we once were one. It was most touching news
to be told, as we were lately, that Christians on the Continent were
praying together for the spiritual well-being of England. May they
gain light, while they aim at unity, and grow in faith while they
manifest their love! We too have our duties to them; not of reviling,
not of slandering, not of hating, though political interests require
it; but the duty of loving brethren still more abundantly in spirit,
whose faces, for our sins and their sins, we are not allowed to see
in the flesh."

No one ought to indulge in insinuations; it certainly diminishes my
right to complain of slanders uttered against myself, when, as in
this passage, I had already spoken in condemnation of that class of
controversialists to which I myself now belong.

I have thus put together, as well as I could, what has to be said
about my general state of mind from the autumn of 1839 to the summer
of 1841; and, having done so, I go on to narrate how my new
misgivings affected my conduct, and my relations towards the Anglican

When I got back to Oxford in October, 1839, after the visits which I
had been paying, it so happened, there had been, in my absence,
occurrences of an awkward character, bringing me into collision both
with my Bishop and also with the University authorities; and this
drew my attention at once to the state of what would be considered
the Movement party there, and made me very anxious for the future. In
the spring of the year, as has been seen in the Article analysed
above, I had spoken of the excesses which were to be found among
persons commonly included in it; at that time I thought little of
such an evil, but the new thoughts, which had come on me during the
long vacation, on the one hand made me comprehend it, and on the
other took away my power of effectually meeting it. A firm and
powerful control was necessary to keep men straight; I never had a
strong wrist, but at the very time, when it was most needed, the
reins had broken in my hands. With an anxious presentiment on my mind
of the upshot of the whole inquiry, which it was almost impossible
for me to conceal from men who saw me day by day, who heard my
familiar conversation, who came perhaps for the express purpose of
pumping me, and having a categorical _yes_ or _no_ to their
questions--how could I expect to say anything about my actual,
positive, present belief, which would be sustaining or consoling to
such persons as were haunted already by doubts of their own? Nay, how
could I, with satisfaction to myself, analyse my own mind, and say
what I held and what I did not? or say with what limitations, shades
of difference, or degrees of belief, I held that body of opinions
which I had openly professed and taught? how could I deny or assert
this point or that, without injustice to the new view, in which the
whole evidence for those old opinions presented itself to my mind?

However, I had to do what I could, and what was best, under the
circumstances; I found a general talk on the subject of the article
in the _Dublin Review_; and, if it had affected me, it was not
wonderful, that it affected others also. As to myself, I felt no kind
of certainty that the argument in it was conclusive. Taking it at the
worst, granting that the Anglican Church had not the note of
Catholicity; yet there were many notes of the Church. Some belonged
to one age or place, some to another. Bellarmine had reckoned
Temporal Prosperity among the notes of the Church; but the Roman
Church had not any great popularity, wealth, glory, power, or
prospects, in the nineteenth century. It was not at all certain yet,
even that we had not the note of Catholicity; but, if not we had
others. My first business then, was to examine this question
carefully, and see, if a great deal could not be said after all for
the Anglican Church, in spite of its acknowledged shortcomings. This
I did in an Article "on the Catholicity of the English Church," which
appeared in the _British Critic_ of January, 1840. As to my personal
distress on the point, I think it had gone by February 21st in that
year, for I wrote then to Mr. Bowden about the important Article in
the Dublin, thus: "It made a great impression here [Oxford]; and, I
say what of course I would only say to such as yourself, it made me
for a while very uncomfortable in my own mind. The great speciousness
of his argument is one of the things which have made me despond so
much," that is, as to its effect upon others.

But, secondly, the great stumbling-block lay in the 39 Articles.
It was urged that here was a positive Note _against_
Anglicanism:--Anglicanism claimed to hold that the Church of England
was nothing else than a continuation in this country (as the Church
of Rome might be in France or Spain) of that one Church of which in
old times Athanasius and Augustine were members. But, if so, the
doctrine must be the same; the doctrine of the Old Church must live
and speak in Anglican formularies, in the 39 Articles. Did it? Yes,
it did; that is what I maintained; it did in substance, in a true
sense. Man had done his worst to disfigure, to mutilate, the old
Catholic Truth, but there it was, in spite of them, in the Articles
still. It was there, but this must be shown. It was a matter of life
and death to us to show it. And I believed that it could be shown; I
considered that those grounds of justification, which I gave above,
when I was speaking of Tract 90, were sufficient for the purpose; and
therefore I set about showing it at once. This was in March, 1840,
when I went up to Littlemore. And, as it was a matter of life and
death with us, all risks must be run to show it. When the attempt was
actually made, I had got reconciled to the prospect of it, and had no
apprehensions as to the experiment; but in 1840, while my purpose was
honest, and my grounds of reason satisfactory, I did nevertheless
recognise that I was engaged in an _experimentum crucis_. I have no
doubt that then I acknowledged to myself that it would be a trial of
the Anglican Church, which it had never undergone before--not that
the Catholic sense of the Articles had not been held or at least
suffered by their framers and promulgators, and was not implied in
the teaching of Andrewes or Beveridge, but that it had never been
publicly recognised, while the interpretation of the day was
Protestant and exclusive. I observe also, that, though my Tract was
an experiment, it was, as I said at the time, "no _feeler_," the
event showed it; for, when my principle was not granted, I did not
draw back, but gave up. I would not hold office in a Church which
would not allow my sense of the Articles. My tone was, "This is
necessary for us, and have it we must and will, and, if it tends to
bring men to look less bitterly on the Church of Rome, so much the

This then was the second work to which I set myself; though when I
got to Littlemore, other things came in the way of accomplishing it
at the moment. I had in mind to remove all such obstacles as were in
the way of holding the Apostolic and Catholic character of the
Anglican teaching; to assert the right of all who chose to say in the
face of day, "Our Church teaches the Primitive Ancient faith." I did
not conceal this: in Tract 90, it is put forward as the first
principle of all, "It is a duty which we owe both to the Catholic
Church, and to our own, to take our reformed confessions in the most
Catholic sense they will admit: we have no duties towards their
framers." And still more pointedly in my letter, explanatory of the
Tract, addressed to Dr. Jelf, I say: "The only peculiarity of the
view I advocate, if I must so call it, is this--that whereas it is
usual at this day to make the _particular belief of their writers_
their true interpretation, I would make the _belief of the Catholic
Church such_. That is, as it is often said that infants are
regenerated in Baptism, not on the faith of their parents, but of the
Church, so in like manner I would say that the Articles are received,
not in the sense of their framers, but (as far as the wording will
admit or any ambiguity requires it) in the one Catholic sense."

A third measure which I distinctly contemplated, was the resignation
of St. Mary's, whatever became of the question of the Articles; and
as a first step I meditated a retirement to Littlemore. I had built a
Church there several years before; and I went there to pass the Lent
of 1840, and gave myself up to teaching in the poor schools, and
practising the choir. At the same time, I contemplated a monastic
house there. I bought ten acres of ground and began planting; but
this great design was never carried out. I mention it, because it
shows how little I had really the idea then of ever leaving the
Anglican Church. That I also contemplated even the further step of
giving up St. Mary's itself as early as 1839, appears from a letter
which I wrote in October, 1840, to the friend whom it was most
natural for me to consult on such a point. It ran as follows:--

"For a year past a feeling has been growing on me that I ought to
give up St. Mary's, but I am no fit judge in the matter. I cannot
ascertain accurately my own impressions and convictions, which are
the basis of the difficulty, and though you cannot of course do this
for me, yet you may help me generally, and perhaps supersede the
necessity of my going by them at all.

"First, it is certain that I do not know my Oxford parishioners; I am
not conscious of influencing them, and certainly I have no insight
into their spiritual state. I have no personal, no pastoral
acquaintance with them. To very few have I any opportunity of saying
a religious word. Whatever influence I exert on them is precisely
that which I may be exerting on persons out of my parish. In my
excuse I am accustomed to say to myself that I am not adapted to get
on with them, while others are. On the other hand, I am conscious
that by means of my position at St. Mary's I do exert a considerable
influence on the University, whether on Undergraduates or Graduates.
It seems, then, on the whole that I am using St. Mary's, to the
neglect of its direct duties, for objects not belonging to it; I am
converting a parochial charge into a sort of University office.

"I think I may say truly that I have begun scarcely any plan but for
the sake of my parish, but every one has turned, independently of me,
into the direction of the University. I began Saints'-days Services,
daily Services, and Lectures in Adam de Brome's Chapel, for my
parishioners; but they have not come to them. In consequence I
dropped the last mentioned, having, while it lasted, been naturally
led to direct it to the instruction of those who did come, instead of
those who did not. The Weekly Communion, I believe, I did begin for
the sake of the University.

"Added to this the authorities of the University, the appointed
guardians of those who form great part of the attendants on my
Sermons, have shown a dislike of my preaching. One dissuades men from
coming;--the late Vice-Chancellor threatens to take his own children
away from the Church; and the present, having an opportunity last
spring of preaching in my parish pulpit, gets up and preaches against
doctrine with which I am in good measure identified. No plainer proof
can be given of the feeling in these quarters, than the absurd myth,
now a second time put forward, that 'Vice-Chancellors cannot be got
to take the office on account of Puseyism.'

"But further than this, I cannot disguise from myself that my
preaching is not calculated to defend that system of religion which
has been received for 300 years, and of which the Heads of Houses are
the legitimate maintainers in this place. They exclude me, as far as
may be, from the University Pulpit; and, though I never have preached
strong doctrine in it, they do so rightly, so far as this, that they
understand that my sermons are calculated to undermine things
established. I cannot disguise from myself that they are. No one will
deny that most of my sermons are on moral subjects, not doctrinal;
still I am leading my hearers to the Primitive Church, if you will,
but not to the Church of England. Now, ought one to be disgusting the
minds of young men with the received religion, in the exercise of a
sacred office, yet without a commission, against the wish of their
guides and governors?

"But this is not all. I fear I must allow that, whether I will or no,
I am disposing them towards Rome. First, because Rome is the only
representative of the Primitive Church besides ourselves; in
proportion then as they are loosened from the one, they will go to
the other. Next, because many doctrines which I have held, have far
greater, or their only scope, in the Roman system. And, moreover, if,
as is not unlikely, we have in process of time heretical Bishops or
teachers among us, an evil which _ipso facto_ infects the whole
community to which they belong, and if, again (what there are at this
moment symptoms of), there be a movement in the English Roman
Catholics to break the alliance of O'Connell and of Exeter Hall,
strong temptations will be placed in the way of individuals, already
imbued with a tone of thought congenial to Rome, to join her

"People tell me, on the other hand, that I am, whether by sermons or
otherwise, exerting at St. Mary's a beneficial influence on our
prospective clergy; but what if I take to myself the credit of seeing
further than they, and of having in the course of the last year
discovered that what they approve so much is very likely to end in

"The _arguments_ which I have published against Romanism seem to
myself as cogent as ever, but men go by their sympathies, not by
argument; and if I feel the force of this influence myself, who bow
to the arguments, why may not others still more who never have in the
same degree admitted the arguments?

"Nor can I counteract the danger by preaching or writing against
Rome. I seem to myself almost to have shot my last arrow in the
Article on English Catholicity. It must be added, that the very
circumstance that I have committed myself against Rome has the effect
of setting to sleep people suspicious about me, which is painful now
that I begin to have suspicions about myself. I mentioned my general
difficulty to A. B. a year since, than whom I know no one of a more
fine and accurate conscience, and it was his spontaneous idea that I
should give up St. Mary's, if my feelings continued. I mentioned it
again to him lately, and he did not reverse his opinion, only
expressed great reluctance to believe it must be so."

My friend's judgment was in favour of my retaining my living; at
least for the present; what weighed with me most was his saying, "You
must consider, whether your retiring either from the Pastoral Care
only, or from writing and printing and editing in the cause, would
not be a sort of scandalous thing, unless it were done very warily.
It would be said, 'You see he can go on no longer with the Church of
England, except in mere Lay Communion;' or people might say you
repented of the cause altogether. Till you see [your way to mitigate,
if not remove this evil] I certainly should advise you to stay." I
answered as follows:--

"Since you think I _may_ go on, it seems to follow that, under the
circumstances, I _ought_ to do so. There are plenty of reasons for
it, directly it is allowed to be lawful. The following considerations
have much reconciled my feelings to your conclusion.

"1. I do not think that we have yet made fair trial how much the
English Church will bear. I know it is a hazardous experiment--like
proving cannon. Yet we must not take it for granted, that the metal
will burst in the operation. It has borne at various times, not to
say at this time, a great infusion of Catholic truth without damage.
As to the result, viz. whether this process will not approximate the
whole English Church, as a body to Rome, that is nothing to us. For
what we know, it may be the providential means of uniting the whole
Church in one, without fresh schismatising or use of private

Here I observe, that, what was contemplated was the bursting of the
_Catholicity_ of the Anglican Church, that is, my _subjective idea_
of that Church. Its bursting would not hurt her with the world, but
would be a discovery that she was purely and essentially Protestant,
and would be really the "hoisting of the engineer with his own
petard." And this was the result. I continue:--

"2. Say, that I move sympathies for Rome: in the same sense does
Hooker, Taylor, Bull, etc. Their _arguments_ may be against Rome, but
the sympathies they raise must be towards Rome, _so far_ as Rome
maintains truths which our Church does not teach or enforce. Thus it
is a question of _degree_ between our divines and me. I may, if so
be, go further; I may raise sympathies _more_; but I am but urging
minds in the same direction as they do. I am doing just the very
thing which all our doctors have ever been doing. In short, would not
Hooker, if Vicar of St. Mary's, be in my difficulty?"--Here it may be
said, that Hooker could preach against Rome, and I could not; but I
doubt whether he could have preached effectively against
transubstantiation better than I, though neither he nor I held it.

"3. Rationalism is the great evil of the day. May not I consider my
post at St. Mary's as a place of protest against it? I am more
certain that the Protestant [spirit], which I oppose, leads to
infidelity, than that which I recommend, leads to Rome. Who knows
what the state of the University may be, as regards Divinity
Professors in a few years hence? Anyhow, a great battle may be coming
on, of which C. D.'s book is a sort of earnest. The whole of _our_
day may be a battle with this spirit. May we not leave to another age
_its own_ evil--to settle the question of Romanism?"

I may add that from this time I had a Curate at St. Mary's, who
gradually took more and more of my work.

Also, this same year, 1840, I made arrangements for giving up the
_British Critic_, in the following July, which were carried into
effect at that date.

Such was about my state of mind, on the publication of Tract 90 in
February, 1841. The immense commotion consequent upon the publication
of the Tract did not unsettle me again; for I had weathered the
storm: the Tract had not been condemned: that was the great point; I
made much of it.

To illustrate my feelings during this trial, I will make extracts
from my letters to a friend, which have come into my possession. The
dates are respectively March 25, April 1, and May 9.

1. "I do trust I shall make no false step, and hope my friends will
pray for me to this effect. If, as you say, a destiny hangs over us,
a single false step may ruin all. I am very well and comfortable; but
we are not yet out of the wood."

2. "The Bishop sent me word on Sunday to write a letter to him
'_instanter_.' So I wrote it on Monday: on Tuesday it passed through
the press: on Wednesday it was out: and to-day [Thursday] it is in

"I trust that things are smoothing now; and that we have made a
_great step_ is certain. It is not right to boast, till I am clear
out of the wood, _i.e._ till I know how the letter is received in
London. You know, I suppose, that I am to stop the Tracts; but you
will see in the Letter, though I speak _quite_ what I feel, yet I
have managed to take out on _my_ side my snubbing's worth. And this
makes me anxious how it will be received in London.

"I have not had a misgiving for five minutes from the first: but I do
not like to boast, lest some harm come."

3. "The Bishops are very desirous of hushing the matter up: and I
certainly have done my utmost to co-operate with them, on the
understanding that the Tract is not to be withdrawn or condemned."

And to my friend, Mr. Bowden, under date of March 15, "The Heads, I
believe, have just done a violent act: they have said that my
interpretation of the Articles is an _evasion_. Do not think that
this will pain me. You see, no _doctrine_ is censured, and my
shoulders shall manage to bear the charge. If you knew all, or were
here, you would see that I have asserted a great principle, and I
_ought_ to suffer for it:--that the Articles are to be interpreted,
not according to the meaning of the writers, but (as far as the
wording will admit) according to the sense of the Catholic Church."

Upon occasion of Tract 90 several Catholics wrote to me; I answered
one of my correspondents thus:--

"April 8.--You have no cause to be surprised at the discontinuance of
the Tracts. We feel no misgivings about it whatever, as if the cause
of what we hold to be Catholic truth would suffer thereby. My letter
to my Bishop has, I trust, had the effect of bringing the
preponderating _authority_ of the Church on our side. No stopping of
the Tracts can, humanly speaking, stop the spread of the opinions
which they have inculcated.

"The Tracts are not _suppressed_. No doctrine or principle has been
conceded by us, or condemned by authority. The Bishop has but said
that a certain Tract is 'objectionable,' no reason being stated. I
have no intention whatever of yielding any one point which I hold on
conviction; and that the authorities of the Church know full well."

In the summer of 1841, I found myself at Littlemore without any
harass or anxiety on my mind. I had determined to put aside all
controversy, and I set myself down to my translation of St.
Athanasius; but, between July and November, I received three blows
which broke me.

1. I had got but a little way in my work, when my trouble returned on
me. The ghost had come a second time. In the Arian History I found
the very same phenomenon, in a far bolder shape, which I had found in
the Monophysite. I had not observed it in 1832. Wonderful that this
should come upon me! I had not sought it out; I was reading and
writing in my own line of study, far from the controversies of the
day, on what is called a "metaphysical" subject; but I saw clearly,
that in the history of Arianism, the pure Arians were the
Protestants, the semi-Arians were the Anglicans, and that Rome now
was what it was. The truth lay, not with the _Via Media_, but in what
was called "the extreme party." As I am not writing a work of
controversy, I need not enlarge upon the argument; I have said
something on the subject in a volume which I published fourteen years

2. I was in the misery of this new unsettlement, when a second blow
came upon me. The bishops one after another began to charge against
me. It was a formal, determinate movement. This was the real
"understanding;" that, on which I had acted on occasion of Tract 90,
had come to nought. I think the words, which had then been used to
me, were, that "perhaps two or three might think it necessary to say
something in their charges;" but by this time they had tided over the
difficulty of the Tract, and there was no one to enforce the
"understanding." They went on in this way, directing charges at me,
for three whole years. I recognised it as a condemnation; it was the
only one that was in their power. At first I intended to protest; but
I gave up the thought in despair.

On October 17th, I wrote thus to a friend: "I suppose it will be
necessary in some shape or other to reassert Tract 90; else, it will
seem, after these Bishops' Charges, as if it were silenced, which it
has not been, nor do I intend it should be. I wish to keep quiet; but
if Bishops speak, I will speak too. If the view were silenced, I
could not remain in the Church, nor could many others; and therefore,
since it is _not_ silenced, I shall take care to show that it isn't."

A day or two after, Oct. 22, a stranger wrote to me to say, that the
Tracts for the Times had made a young friend of his a Catholic, and
to ask, "would I be so good as to convert him back;" I made answer:

"If conversions to Rome take place in consequence of the Tracts for
the Times, I do not impute blame to them, but to those who, instead
of acknowledging such Anglican principles of theology and
ecclesiastical polity as they contain, set themselves to oppose them.
Whatever be the influence of the Tracts, great or small, they may
become just as powerful for Rome, if our Church refuses them, as they
would be for our Church if she accepted them. If our rulers speak
either against the Tracts, or not at all, if any number of them, not
only do not favour, but even do not suffer the principles contained
in them, it is plain that our members may easily be persuaded either
to give up those principles, or to give up the Church. If this state
of things goes on, I mournfully prophesy, not one or two, but many
secessions to the Church of Rome."

Two years afterwards, looking back on what had passed, I said, "There
were no converts to Rome, till after the condemnation of No. 90."

3. As if all this were not enough, there came the affair of the
Jerusalem Bishopric; and, with a brief mention of it, I shall

I think I am right in saying that it had been long a desire with the
Prussian Court to introduce Episcopacy into the Evangelical Religion,
which was intended in that country to embrace both the Lutheran and
Calvinistic bodies. I almost think I heard of the project, when I was
at Rome in 1833, at the hotel of the Prussian Minister, M. Bunsen,
who was most hospitable and kind, as to other English visitors, so
also to my friends and myself. I suppose that the idea of Episcopacy,
as the Prussian king understood it, was very different from that
taught in the Tractarian School; but still, I suppose also, that the
chief authors of that school would have gladly seen such a measure
carried out in Prussia, had it been done without compromising those
principles which were necessary to the being of a Church. About the
time of the publication of Tract 90, M. Bunsen and the then
Archbishop of Canterbury were taking steps for its execution, by
appointing and consecrating a Bishop for Jerusalem. Jerusalem, it
would seem, was considered a safe place for the experiment; it was
too far from Prussia to awaken the susceptibilities of any party at
home; if the project failed, it failed without harm to any one; and,
if it succeeded, it gave Protestantism a _status_ in the East, which
in association with the Monophysite or Jacobite and the Nestorian
bodies, formed a political instrument for England, parallel to that
which Russia had in the Greek Church and France in the Latin.

Accordingly, in July 1841, full of the Anglican difficulty on the
question of Catholicity, I thus spoke of the Jerusalem scheme in an
Article in the _British Critic_: "When our thoughts turn to the East,
instead of recollecting that there are Christian Churches there, we
leave it to the Russians to take care of the Greeks, and the French
to take care of the Romans, and we content ourselves with erecting a
Protestant Church at Jerusalem, or with helping the Jews to rebuild
their Temple there, or with becoming the august protectors of
Nestorians, Monophysites, and all the heretics we can hear of, or
with forming a league with the Mussulman against Greeks and Romans

I do not pretend so long after the time to give a full or exact
account of this measure in detail. I will but say that in the Act of
Parliament, under date of October 5, 1841 (if the copy, from which I
quote, contains the measure as it passed the Houses), provision is
made for the consecration of "British subjects, or the subjects or
citizens of any foreign state, to be Bishops in any foreign country,
whether such foreign subjects or citizens be or be not subjects or
citizens of the country in which they are to act, and ... without
requiring such of them as may be subjects or citizens of any foreign
kingdom or state to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and
the oath of due obedience to the Archbishop for the time being" ...
also "that such Bishop or Bishops, so consecrated, may exercise,
within such limits, as may from time to time be assigned for that
purpose in such foreign countries by her Majesty, spiritual
jurisdiction over the ministers of British congregations of the
United Church of England and Ireland, and over _such other
Protestant_ Congregations, as may be desirous of placing themselves
under his or their authority."

Now here, at the very time that the Anglican Bishops were directing
their censure upon me for avowing an approach to the Catholic Church
not closer than I believed the Anglican formularies would allow, they
were on the other hand fraternising, by their act or by their
sufferance, with Protestant bodies, and allowing them to put
themselves under an Anglican Bishop, without any renunciation of
their errors or regard to the due reception of baptism and
confirmation; while there was great reason to suppose that the said
Bishop was intended to make converts from the orthodox Greeks, and
the schismatical Oriental bodies, by means of the influence of
England. This was the third blow, which finally shattered my faith in
the Anglican Church. That Church was not only forbidding any sympathy
or concurrence with the Church of Rome, but it actually was courting
an intercommunion with Protestant Prussia and the heresy of the
Orientals. The Anglican Church might have the apostolical succession,
as had the Monophysites; but such acts as were in progress led me to
the gravest suspicion, not that it would soon cease to be a Church,
but that it had never been a Church all along.

On October 12th I thus wrote to a friend:--"We have not a single
Anglican in Jerusalem, so we are sending a Bishop to _make_ a
communion, not to govern our own people. Next, the excuse is, that
there are converted Anglican Jews there who require a Bishop; I am
told there are not half-a-dozen. But for _them_ the Bishop is sent
out, and for them he is a Bishop of the _circumcision_" (I think he
was a converted Jew, who boasted of his Jewish descent), "against the
Epistle to the Galatians pretty nearly. Thirdly, for the sake of
Prussia, he is to take under him all the foreign Protestants who will
come; and the political advantages will be so great, from the
influence of England, that there is no doubt they will come. They are
to sign the Confession of Augsburg, and there is nothing to show that
they hold the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration.

"As to myself, I shall do nothing whatever publicly, unless indeed it
were to give my signature to a Protest; but I think it would be out
of place in _me_ to agitate, having been in a way silenced; but the
Archbishop is really doing most grave work, of which we cannot see
the end."

I did make a solemn Protest, and sent it to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, and also sent it to my own Bishop, with the following

"It seems as if I were never to write to your Lordship, without
giving you pain, and I know that my present subject does not
specially concern your Lordship; yet, after a great deal of anxious
thought, I lay before you the enclosed Protest.

"Your Lordship will observe that I am not asking for any notice of
it, unless you think that I ought to receive one. I do this very
serious act, in obedience to my sense of duty.

"If the English Church is to enter on a new course, and assume a new
aspect, it will be more pleasant to me hereafter to think, that I did
not suffer so grievous an event to happen, without bearing witness
against it.

"May I be allowed to say, that I augur nothing but evil, if we in any
respect prejudice our title to be a branch of the Apostolic Church?
That Article of the Creed, I need hardly observe to your Lordship, is
of such constraining power, that, if _we_ will not claim it, and use
it for ourselves, _others_ will use it in their own behalf against
us. Men who learn, whether by means of documents or measures, whether
from the statements or the acts of persons in authority, that our
communion is not a branch of the one Church, I foresee with much
grief, will be tempted to look out for that Church elsewhere.

"It is to me a subject of great dismay, that, as far as the Church
has lately spoken out, on the subject of the opinions which I and
others hold, those opinions are, not merely not _sanctioned_ (for
that I do not ask), but not even _suffered_.

"I earnestly hope that your Lordship will excuse my freedom in thus
speaking to you of some members of your Most Rev. and Right Rev.
Body. With every feeling of reverent attachment to your Lordship,
I am, etc."


"Whereas the Church of England has a claim on the allegiance of
Catholic believers only on the ground of her own claim to be
considered a branch of the Catholic Church:

"And whereas the recognition of heresy, indirect as well as direct,
goes far to destroy such claim in the case of any religious body
advancing it:

"And whereas to admit maintainers of heresy to communion, without
formal renunciation of their errors, goes far towards recognising the

"And whereas Lutheranism and Calvinism are heresies, repugnant to
Scripture, springing up three centuries since, and anathematised by
East as well as West:

"And whereas it is reported that the Most Reverend Primate and other
Right Reverend Rulers of our Church have consecrated a Bishop with a
view to exercising spiritual jurisdiction over Protestant, that is,
Lutheran and Calvinist congregations in the East (under the
provisions of an Act made in the last session of Parliament to amend
an Act made in the 26th year of the reign of his Majesty King George
the Third, intituled, 'An Act to empower the Archbishop of
Canterbury, or the Archbishop of York for the time being, to
consecrate to the office of Bishop persons being subjects or citizens
of countries out of his Majesty's dominions'), dispensing at the
same time, not in particular cases and accidentally, but as if on
principle and universally, with any abjuration of error on the part
of such congregations, and with any reconciliation to the Church on
the part of the presiding Bishop; thereby giving some sort of formal
recognition to the doctrines which such congregations maintain:

"And whereas the dioceses in England are connected together by so
close an intercommunion, that what is done by authority in one,
immediately affects the rest:

"On these grounds, I in my place, being a priest of the English
Church and Vicar of St. Mary the Virgin's, Oxford, by way of
relieving my conscience, do hereby solemnly protest against the
measure aforesaid, and disown it, as removing our Church from her
present ground and tending to her disorganisation.


"November 11, 1841."

Looking back two years afterwards on the above-mentioned and other
acts, on the part of Anglican Ecclesiastical authorities, I observe:
"Many a man might have held an abstract theory about the Catholic
Church, to which it was difficult to adjust the Anglican--might have
admitted a suspicion, or even painful doubts about the latter--yet
never have been impelled onwards, had our Rulers preserved the
quiescence of former years; but it is the corroboration of a present,
living, and energetic heterodoxy, which realises and makes them
practical; it has been the recent speeches and acts of authorities,
who had so long been tolerant of Protestant error, which have given
to inquiry and to theory its force and its edge."

As to the project of a Jerusalem Bishopric, I never heard of any good
or harm it has ever done, except what it has done for me; which many
think a great misfortune, and I one of the greatest of mercies. It
brought me on to the beginning of the end.

Part VI

History of My Religious Opinions--1841-1845

From the end of 1841, I was on my death-bed, as regards my membership
with the Anglican Church, though at the time I became aware of it
only by degrees. I introduce what I have to say with this remark, by
way of accounting for the character of this remaining portion of my
narrative. A death-bed has scarcely a history; it is a tedious
decline, with seasons of rallying and seasons of falling back; and
since the end is foreseen, or what is called a matter of time, it has
little interest for the reader, especially if he has a kind heart.
Moreover, it is a season when doors are closed and curtains drawn,
and when the sick man neither cares nor is able to record the stages
of his malady. I was in these circumstances, except so far as I was
not allowed to die in peace,--except so far as friends, who had still
a full right to come in upon me, and the public world which had not,
have given a sort of history to those last four years. But in
consequence, my narrative must be in great measure documentary.
Letters of mine to friends have come to me since their deaths; others
have been kindly lent me for the occasion; and I have some drafts of
letters, and notes of my own, though I have no strictly personal or
continuous memoranda to consult, and have unluckily mislaid some
valuable papers.

And first as to my position in the view of duty; it was this:--1. I
had given up my place in the Movement in my letter to the Bishop of
Oxford in the spring of 1841; but 2. I could not give up my duties
towards the many and various minds who had more or less been brought
into it by me; 3. I expected or intended gradually to fall back into
Lay Communion; 4. I never contemplated leaving the Church of England;
5. I could not hold office in her, if I were not allowed to hold the
Catholic sense of the Articles; 6. I could not go to Rome, while she
suffered honours to be paid to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints
which I thought incompatible with the Supreme, Incommunicable Glory
of the One Infinite and Eternal; 7. I desired a union with Rome under
conditions, Church with Church; 8. I called Littlemore my Torres
Vedras, and thought that some day we might advance again within the
Anglican Church, as we had been forced to retire; 9. I kept back all
persons who were disposed to go to Rome with all my might.

And I kept them back for three or four reasons; 1, because what I
could not in conscience do myself, I could not suffer them to do; 2,
because I thought that in various cases they were acting under
excitement; 3, while I held St. Mary's, because I had duties to my
Bishop and to the Anglican Church; and 4, in some cases, because I
had received from their Anglican parents or superiors direct charge
of them.

This was my view of my duty from the end of 1841, to my resignation
of St. Mary's in the autumn of 1843. And now I shall relate my view,
during that time, of the state of the controversy between the

As soon as I saw the hitch in the Anglican argument, during my course
of reading in the summer of 1839, I began to look about, as I have
said, for some ground which might supply a controversial basis for
my need. The difficulty in question had affected my view both of
Antiquity and Catholicity; for, while the history of St. Leo showed
me that the deliberate and eventual consent of the great body of the
Church ratified a doctrinal decision, it also showed that the rule of
Antiquity was not infringed, though a doctrine had not been publicly
recognised as a portion of the dogmatic foundation of the Church,
till centuries after the time of the apostles. Thus, whereas the
Creeds tell us that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic,
I could not prove that the Anglican communion was an integral part of
the One Church, on the ground of its being Apostolic or Catholic,
without reasoning in favour of what are commonly called the Roman
corruptions; and I could not defend our separation from Rome without
using arguments prejudicial to those great doctrines concerning our
Lord, which are the very foundation of the Christian religion. The
_Via Media_ was an impossible idea; it was what I had called
"standing on one leg;" and it was necessary, if my old issue of the
controversy was to be retained, to go further either one way or the

Accordingly, I abandoned that old ground and took another. I
deliberately quitted the old Anglican ground as untenable; but I did
not do so all at once, but as I became more and more convinced of
the state of the case. The Jerusalem bishopric was the ultimate
condemnation of the old theory of the _Via Media_; from that time the
Anglican Church was, in my mind, either not a normal portion of that
One Church to which the promises were made, or at least in an
abnormal state, and from that time I said boldly, as I did in my
Protest, and as indeed I had even intimated in my letter to the
Bishop of Oxford, that the Church in which I found myself had no
claim on me, except on condition of its being a portion of the One
Catholic Communion, and that that condition must ever be borne in
mind as a practical matter, and had to be distinctly proved. All
this was not inconsistent with my saying that, at this time, I had
no thought of leaving that Church because I felt some of my old
objections against Rome as strongly as ever. I had no right, I had no
leave, to act against my conscience. That was a higher rule than any
argument about the notes of the Church.

Under these circumstances I turned for protection to the note of
sanctity, with a view of showing that we had at least one of the
necessary notes, as fully as the Church of Rome; or, at least,
without entering into comparisons, that we had it in such a
sufficient sense as to reconcile us to our position, and to supply
full evidence, and a clear direction, on the point of practical duty.
We had the note of life,--not any sort of life, not such only as can
come of nature, but a supernatural Christian life, which could only
come directly from above. In my article in the _British Critic_, to
which I have so often referred, in January, 1840 (before the time of
Tract 90), I said of the Anglican Church that "she has the note of
possession, the note of freedom from party titles, the note of
life,--a tough life and a vigorous; she has ancient descent, unbroken
continuance, agreement in doctrine with the Ancient Church."
Presently I go on to speak of sanctity: "Much as Roman Catholics may
denounce us at present as schismatical, they could not resist us if
the Anglican communion had but that one note of the Church upon
it,--sanctity. The Church of the day [fourth century] could not
resist Meletius; his enemies were fairly overcome by him, by his
meekness and holiness, which melted the most jealous of them." And I
continue, "We are almost content to say to Romanists, account us not
yet as a branch of the Catholic Church, though we be a branch, till
we are like a branch, provided that when we do become like a branch,
then you consent to acknowledge us," etc. And so I was led on in
the Article to that sharp attack on English Catholics for their
short-comings as regards this note, a good portion of which I have
already quoted in another place. It is there that I speak of
the great scandal which I took at their political, social, and
controversial bearing; and this was a second reason why I fell back
upon the note of sanctity, because it took me away from the necessity
of making any attack upon the doctrines of the Roman Church, nay,
from the consideration of her popular beliefs, and brought me upon
a ground on which I felt I could not make a mistake; for what is
a higher guide for us in speculation and in practice, than that
conscience of right and wrong, of truth and falsehood, those
sentiments of what is decorous, consistent, and noble, which our
Creator has made a part of our original nature? Therefore I felt I
could not be wrong in attacking what I fancied was a fact,--the
unscrupulousness, the deceit, and the intriguing spirit of the agents
and representatives of Rome.

This reference to holiness as the true test of a Church was steadily
kept in view in what I wrote in connection with Tract 90. I say in
its Introduction, "The writer can never be party to forcing the
opinions or projects of one school upon another; religious changes
should be the act of the whole body. No good can come of a change
which is not a development of feelings springing up freely and calmly
within the bosom of the whole body itself; every change in religion"
must be "attended by deep repentance; changes" must be "nurtured in
mutual love; we cannot agree without a supernatural influence;"
we must come "together to God to do for us what we cannot do for
ourselves." In my letter to the bishop I said, "I have set myself
against suggestions for considering the differences between ourselves
and the foreign Churches with a view to their adjustment." (I meant
in the way of negotiation, conference, agitation, or the like.) "Our
business is with ourselves,--to make ourselves more holy, more
self-denying, more primitive, more worthy of our high calling. To be
anxious for a composition of differences is to begin at the end.
Political reconciliations are but outward and hollow, and fallacious.
And till Roman Catholics renounce political efforts, and manifest in
their public measures the light of holiness and truth, perpetual war
is our only prospect."

According to this theory, a religious body is part of the One
Catholic and Apostolic Church, if it has the succession and the creed
of the apostles, with the note of holiness of life; and there is much
in such a view to approve itself to the direct common sense and
practical habits of an Englishman. However, with events consequent
upon Tract 90, I sunk my theory to a lower level. What could be said
in apology, when the bishops and the people of my Church, not only
did not suffer, but actually rejected primitive Catholic doctrine,
and tried to eject from their communion all who held it? after the
Bishops' charges? after the Jerusalem "abomination?" Well, this could
be said; still we were not nothing: we could not be as if we never
had been a Church; we were "Samaria." This then was that lower level
on which I placed myself, and all who felt with me, at the end of

To bring out this view was the purpose of four sermons preached at
St. Mary's in December of that year. Hitherto I had not introduced
the exciting topics of the day into the pulpit; on this occasion
I did. I did so, for the moment was urgent; there was great
unsettlement of mind among us, in consequence of those same events
which had unsettled me. One special anxiety, very obvious, which was
coming on me now, was, that what was "one man's meat was another
man's poison." I had said even of Tract 90, "It was addressed to one
set of persons, and has been used and commented on by another;" still
more was it true now, that whatever I wrote for the service of those
whom I knew to be in trouble of mind, would become on the one hand
matter of suspicion and slander in the mouths of my opponents, and of
distress and surprise to those on the other hand, who had no
difficulties of faith at all. Accordingly, when I published
these four sermons at the end of 1843, I introduced them with a
recommendation that none should read them who did not need them.
But in truth the virtual condemnation of Tract 90, after that the
whole difficulty seemed to have been weathered, was an enormous
disappointment and trial. My Protest also against the Jerusalem
Bishopric was an unavoidable cause of excitement in the case of many;
but it calmed them too, for the very fact of a Protest was a relief
to their impatience. And so, in like manner, as regards the four
sermons, of which I speak, though they acknowledged freely the great
scandal which was involved in the recent episcopal doings, yet at the
same time they might be said to bestow upon the multiplied disorders
and shortcomings of the Anglican Church a sort of place in the
Revealed Dispensation, and an intellectual position in the
controversy, and the dignity of a great principle, for unsettled
minds to take and use, which might teach them to recognise their own
consistency, and to be reconciled to themselves, and which might
absorb into itself and dry up a multitude of their grudgings,
discontents, misgivings, and questionings, and lead the way to
humble, thankful, and tranquil thoughts;--and this was the effect
which certainly it produced on myself.

The point of these sermons is, that, in spite of the rigid character
of the Jewish law, the formal and literal force of its precepts, and
the manifest schism, and worse than schism, of the ten tribes, yet
in fact they were still recognised as a people by the Divine Mercy;
that the great prophets Elias and Eliseus were sent to them, and not
only so, but sent to preach to them and reclaim them, without any
intimation that they must be reconciled to the line of David and the
Aaronic priesthood, or go up to Jerusalem to worship. They were not
in the Church, yet they had the means of grace and the hope of
acceptance with their Maker. The application of all this to the
Anglican Church was immediate;--whether a man could assume or
exercise ministerial functions under the circumstances, or not, might
not clearly appear, though it must be remembered that England had the
apostolic priesthood, whereas Israel had no priesthood at all; but so
far was clear, that there was no call at all for an Anglican to leave
his Church for Rome, though he did not believe his own to be part of
the One Church:--and for this reason, because it was a fact that the
kingdom of Israel was cut off from the Temple; and yet its subjects,
neither in a mass, nor as individuals, neither the multitudes on
Mount Carmel, nor the Shunammite and her household, had any command
given them, though miracles were displayed before them, to break off
from their own people, and to submit themselves to Judah.[3]

It is plain that a theory such as this, whether the marks of a divine
presence and life in the Anglican Church were sufficient to prove
that she was actually within the covenant, or only sufficient to
prove that she was at least enjoying extraordinary and uncovenanted
mercies, not only lowered her level in a religious point of view,
but weakened her controversial basis. Its very novelty made it
suspicious; and there was no guarantee that the process of subsidence
might not continue, and that it might not end in a submersion.
Indeed, to many minds, to say that England was wrong was even to say
that Rome was right; and no ethical reasoning whatever could overcome
in their case the argument from prescription and authority. To this
objection I could only answer that I did not make my circumstances. I
fully acknowledged the force and effectiveness of the genuine
An glican theory, and that it was all but proof against the disputants
of Rome; but still like Achilles, it had a vulnerable point, and that
St. Leo had found it out for me, and that I could not help it;--that,
were it not for matter of fact, the theory would be great indeed, it
would be irresistible, if it were only true. When I became a
Catholic, the editor of a magazine who had in former days accused me,
to my indignation, of tending towards Rome, wrote to me to ask, which
of the two was now right, he or I? I answered him in a letter, part
of which I here insert, as it will serve as a sort of leave-taking of
the great theory, which is so specious to look upon, so difficult to
prove, and so hopeless to work.

"Nov. 8, 1845. I do not think, at all more than I did, that the
Anglican principles which I advocated at the date you mention, lead
men to the Church of Rome. If I must specify what I mean by 'Anglican
principles,' I should say, _e.g._ taking _Antiquity_, not the
_existing Church_, as the oracle of truth; and holding that the
_Apostolical Succession_ is a sufficient guarantee of Sacramental
Grace, without _union with the Christian Church throughout the
world_. I think these still the firmest, strongest ground against
Rome--that is, _if they can be held_. They _have_ been held by many,
and are far more difficult to refute in the Roman controversy, than
those of any other religious body.

"For myself, I found _I could not_ hold them. I left them. From the
time I began to suspect their unsoundness, I ceased to put them
forward. When I was fairly sure of their unsoundness, I gave up my
Living. When I was fully confident that the Church of Rome was the
only true Church, I joined her.

"I have felt all along that Bp. Bull's theology was the only theology
on which the English Church could stand. I have felt, that opposition
to the Church of Rome was _part_ of that theology; and that he who
could not protest against the Church of Rome was no true divine in
the English Church. I have never said, nor attempted to say, that any
one in office in the English Church, whether Bishop or incumbent,
could be otherwise than in hostility to the Church of Rome."

The _Via Media_ then disappeared for ever, and a new Theory, made
expressly for the occasion, took its place. I was pleased with my new
view. I wrote to an intimate friend, Dec. 13, 1841, "I think you will
give me the credit, Carissime, of not undervaluing the strength of
the feelings which draw one [to Rome], and yet I am (I trust) quite
clear about my duty to remain where I am; indeed, much clearer than I
was some time since. If it is not presumptuous to say, I have ... a
much more definite view of the promised inward Presence of Christ
with us in the Sacraments now that the outward notes of it are being
removed. And I am content to be with Moses in the desert, or with
Elijah excommunicated from the Temple. I say this, putting things at
the strongest."

However, my friends of the moderate Apostolical party, who were my
friends for the very reason of my having been so moderate and
Anglican myself in general tone in times past, who had stood up for
Tract 90 partly from faith in me, and certainly from generous and
kind feeling, and had thereby shared an obloquy which was none of
theirs, were naturally surprised and offended at a line of argument,
novel, and, as it appeared to them, wanton, which threw the whole
controversy into confusion, stultified my former principles, and
substituted, as they would consider, a sort of methodistic
self-contemplation, especially abhorrent both to my nature and to my
past professions, for the plain and honest tokens, as they were
commonly received, of a divine mission in the Anglican Church. They
could not tell whither I was going; and were still further annoyed,
when I would view the reception of Tract 90 by the public and the
Bishops as so grave a matter, and threw about what they considered
mysterious hints of "eventualities," and would not simply say, "An
Anglican I was born, and an Anglican I will die." One of my familiar
friends, who was in the country at Christmas, 1841-2, reported to me
the feeling that prevailed about me; and how I felt towards it will
appear in the following letter of mine, written in answer:--

"Oriel, Dec. 24, 1841. Carissime, you cannot tell how sad your
account of Moberly has made me. His view of the sinfulness of the
decrees of Trent is as much against union of Churches as against
individual conversions. To tell the truth, I never have examined
those decrees with this object, and have no view; but that is very
different from having a deliberate view against them. Could not he
say _which_ they are? I suppose Transubstantiation is one. A. B.,
though of course he would not like to have it repeated, does not
scruple at that. I have not my mind clear. Moberly must recollect
that Palmer thinks they all bear a Catholic interpretation. For
myself, this only I see, that there is indefinitely more in the
Fathers against our own state of alienation from Christendom than
against the Tridentine Decrees.

"The only thing I can think of [that I can have said] is this, that
there were persons who, if our Church committed herself to heresy,
_sooner_ than think that there was no Church anywhere, would believe
the Roman to be the Church; and therefore would on faith accept what
they could not otherwise acquiesce in. I suppose, it would be no
relief to him to insist upon the circumstance that there is no
immediate danger. Individuals can never be answered for of course;
but I should think lightly of that man, who, for some act of the
Bishops, should all at once leave the Church. Now, considering how
the Clergy really are improving, considering that this row is even
making them read the Tracts, is it not possible we may all be in a
better state of mind seven years hence to consider these matters? and
may we not leave them meanwhile to the will of Providence? I _cannot_
believe this work has been of man; God has a right to His own work,
to do what He will with it. May we not try to leave it in His hands,
and be content?

"If you learn anything about Barter, which leads you to think that I
can relieve him by a letter, let me know. The truth is this--our good
friends do not read the Fathers; they assent to us from the common
sense of the case: then, when the Fathers, and we, say _more_ than
their common sense, they are dreadfully shocked.

"The Bishop of London has rejected a man, 1. For holding _any_
Sacrifice in the Eucharist. 2. The Real Presence. 3. That there is a
grace in Ordination.[4]

"Are we quite sure that the Bishops will not be drawing up some
stringent declarations of faith? is this what Moberly fears? Would
the Bishop of Oxford accept them? If so, I should be driven into the
Refuge for the Destitute [Littlemore]. But I promise Moberly, I would
do my utmost to catch all dangerous persons and clap them into
confinement there."

Christmas Day, 1841. "I have been dreaming of Moberly all night.
Should not he and the like see, that it is unwise, unfair, and
impatient to ask others, What will you do under circumstances, which
have not, which may never come? Why bring fear, suspicion, and
disunion into the camp about things which are merely _in posse_?
Natural, and exceedingly kind as Barter's and another friend's
letters were, I think they have done great harm. I speak most
sincerely when I say, that there are things which I neither
contemplate, nor wish to contemplate; but, when I am asked about them
ten times, at length I begin to contemplate them.

"He surely does not mean to say, that _nothing_ could separate a man
from the English Church, _e.g._ its avowing Socinianism; its holding
the Holy Eucharist in a Socinian sense. Yet, he would say, it was not
_right_ to contemplate such things.

"Again, our case is [diverging] from that of Ken's. To say nothing of
the last miserable century, which has given us to _start_ from a much
lower level and with much less to _spare_ than a Churchman in the
17th century, questions of _doctrine_ are now coming in; with him, it
was a question of discipline.

"If such dreadful events were realised, I cannot help thinking we
should all be vastly more agreed than we think now. Indeed, is it
possible (humanly speaking) that those, who have so much the same
heart, should widely differ? But let this be considered, as to
alternatives. _What_ communion could we join? Could the Scotch or
American sanction the presence of its Bishops and congregations in
England, without incurring the imputation of schism, unless indeed
(and is that likely?) they denounced the English as heretical?

"Is not this a time of strange providences? is it not our safest
course, without looking to consequences, to do simply _what we think
right_ day by day? shall we not be sure to go wrong, if we attempt to
trace by anticipation the course of divine Providence?

"Has not all our misery, as a Church, arisen from people being afraid
to look difficulties in the face? They have palliated acts, when they
should have denounced them. There is that good fellow, Worcester
Palmer, can whitewash the Ecclesiastical Commission and the Jerusalem
Bishopric. And what is the consequence? that our Church has, through
centuries, ever been sinking lower and lower, till good part of its
pretensions and professions is a mere sham, though it be a duty to
make the best of what we have received. Yet, though bound to make the
best of other men's shams, let us not incur any of our own. The
truest friends of our Church are they, who say boldly when her
rulers are going wrong, and the consequences; and (to speak
catachrestically) _they_ are most likely to die in the Church, who
are, under these black circumstances, most prepared to leave it.

"And I will add, that, considering the traces of God's grace which
surround us, I am very sanguine, or rather confident (if it is right
so to speak), that our prayers and our alms will come up as a
memorial before God, and that all this miserable confusion tends to

"Let us not then be anxious, and anticipate differences in prospect,
when we agree in the present.

"P.S. I think, when friends [_i.e._ the extreme party] get over their
first unsettlement of mind and consequent vague apprehensions, which
the new attitude of the Bishops, and our feelings upon it, have
brought about, they will get contented and satisfied. They will see
that they exaggerated things.... Of course it would have been wrong
to anticipate what one's feelings would be under such a painful
contingency as the Bishops' charging as they have done--so it seems
to me nobody's fault. Nor is it wonderful that others" [moderate men]
"are startled" [_i.e._ at my Protest, etc. etc.]; "yet they should
recollect that the more implicit the reverence one pays to a Bishop,
the more keen will be one's perception of heresy in him. The cord is
binding and compelling, till it snaps.

"Men of reflection would have seen this, if they had looked that way.
Last spring, a very high churchman talked to me of resisting my
Bishop, of asking him for the Canons under which he acted, and so
forth; but those, who have cultivated a loyal feeling towards their
superiors, are the most loving servants, or the most zealous
protestors. If others became so too, if the clergy of Chester
denounced the heresy of their diocesan, they would be doing their
duty, and relieving themselves of the share which they otherwise have
in any possible defection of their brethren."

"St. Stephen's [December 26]. How I fidget! I now fear that the note
I wrote yesterday only makes matters worse by _disclosing_ too much.
This is always my great difficulty.

"In the present state of excitement on both sides, I think of leaving
out altogether my reassertion of No. 90 in my Preface to Volume 6,
and merely saying, 'As many false reports are at this time in
circulation about him, he hopes his well-wishers will take this
Volume as an indication of his real thoughts and feelings: those who
are not, he leaves in God's hand to bring them to a better mind in
His own time.' What do you say to the logic, sentiment, and propriety
of this?"

There was one very old friend, at a distance from Oxford, afterwards
a Catholic, now dead some years, who must have said something to me,
I do not know what, which challenged a frank reply; for I disclosed
to him, I do not know in what words, my frightful suspicion, hitherto
only known to two persons, as regards my Anglicanism, perhaps I might
break down in the event, that perhaps we were both out of the Church.
He answered me thus, under date of Jan. 29, 1842: "I don't think that
I ever was so shocked by any communication, which was ever made to
me, as by your letter of this morning. It has quite unnerved me.... I
cannot but write to you, though I am at a loss where to begin ... I
know of no act by which we have dissevered ourselves from the
communion of the Church Universal.... The more I study Scripture, the
more am I impressed with the resemblance between the Romish principle
in the Church and the Babylon of St. John.... I am ready to grieve
that I ever directed my thoughts to theology, if it is indeed so
uncertain, as your doubts seem to indicate."

While my old and true friends were thus in trouble about me, I
suppose they felt not only anxiety but pain, to see that I was
gradually surrendering myself to the influence of others, who had not
their own claims upon me, younger men, and of a cast of mind
uncongenial to my own. A new school of thought was rising, as is
usual in such movements, and was sweeping the original party of the
movement aside, and was taking its place. The most prominent person
in it, was a man of elegant genius, of classical mind, of rare talent
in literary composition:--Mr. Oakeley. He was not far from my own
age; I had long known him, though of late years he had not been in
residence at Oxford; and quite lately, he has been taking several
signal occasions of renewing that kindness, which he ever showed
towards me when we were both in the Anglican Church. His tone of mind
was not unlike that which gave a character to the early movement; he
was almost a typical Oxford man, and, as far as I recollect, both in
political and ecclesiastical views, would have been of one spirit
with the Oriel party of 1826-1833. But he had entered late into the
Movement; he did not know its first years; and, beginning with a new
start, he was naturally thrown together with that body of eager,
acute, resolute minds who had begun their Catholic life about the
same time as he, who knew nothing about the _Via Media_, but had
heard much about Rome. This new party rapidly formed and increased,
in and out of Oxford, and, as it so happened, contemporaneously with
that very summer, when I received so serious a blow to my
ecclesiastical views from the study of the Monophysite controversy.
These men cut into the original Movement at an angle, fell across its
line of thought, and then set about turning that line in its own
direction. They were most of them keenly religious men, with a true
concern for their souls as the first matter of all, with a great zeal
for me, but giving little certainty at the time as to which way they
would ultimately turn. Some in the event have remained firm to
Anglicanism, some have become Catholics, and some have found a refuge
in Liberalism. Nothing was clearer concerning them, than that they
needed to be kept in order; and on me who had had so much to do with
the making of them, that duty was as clearly incumbent; and it is
equally clear, from what I have already said, that I was just the
person, above all others, who could not undertake it. There are no
friends like old friends; but of those old friends, few could help
me, few could understand me, many were annoyed with me, some were
angry, because I was breaking up a compact party, and some, as a
matter of conscience, could not listen to me. I said, bitterly, "You
are throwing me on others, whether I will or no." Yet still I had
good and true friends around me of the old sort, in and out of Oxford
too. But on the other hand, though I neither was so fond of the
persons, nor of the methods of thought, which belonged to this new
school, excepting two or three men, as of the old set, though I could
not trust in their firmness of purpose, for, like a swarm of flies,
they might come and go, and at length be divided and dissipated, yet
I had an intense sympathy in their object and in the direction of
their path, in spite of my old friends, in spite of my old life-long
prejudices. In spite of my ingrained fears of Rome, and the decision
of my reason and conscience against her usages, in spite of my
affection for Oxford and Oriel, yet I had a secret longing love of
Rome the author of English Christianity, and I had a true devotion to
the Blessed Virgin, in whose College I lived, whose altar I served,
and whose immaculate purity I had in one of my earliest printed
Sermons made much of. And it was the consciousness of this bias in
myself, if it is so to be called, which made me preach so earnestly
against the danger of being swayed by our sympathy rather than our
reason in religious inquiry. And moreover, the members of this new
school looked up to me, as I have said, and did me true kindnesses,
and really loved me, and stood by me in trouble, when others went
away, and for all this I was grateful; nay, many of them were in
trouble themselves, and in the same boat with me, and that was a
further cause of sympathy between us; and hence it was, when the new
school came on in force, and into collision with the old, I had not
the heart, any more than the power, to repel them; I was in great
perplexity, and hardly knew where I stood; I took their part: and,
when I wanted to be in peace and silence, I had to speak out, and I
incurred the charge of weakness from some men, and of mysteriousness,
shuffling, and underhand dealing from the majority.

Now I will say here frankly, that this sort of charge is a matter
which I cannot properly meet, because I cannot duly realise it. I
have never had any suspicion of my own honesty; and, when men say
that I was dishonest, I cannot grasp the accusation as a distinct
conception, such as it is possible to encounter. If a man said to me,
"On such a day and before such persons you said a thing was white,
when it was black," I understand what is meant well enough, and I can
set myself to prove an alibi or to explain the mistake; or if a man
said to me, "You tried to gain me over to your party, intending to
take me with you to Rome, but you did not succeed," I can give him
the lie, and lay down an assertion of my own as firm and as exact as
his, that not from the time that I was first unsettled, did I ever
attempt to gain any one over to myself or to my Romanizing opinions,
and that it is only his own coxcombical fancy which has bred such a
thought in him: but my imagination is at a loss in presence of those
vague charges, which have commonly been brought against me, charges,
which are made up of impressions, and understandings, and inferences,
and hearsay, and surmises. Accordingly, I shall not make the attempt,
for, in doing so, I should be dealing blows in the air; what I shall
attempt is to state what I know of myself and what I recollect, and
leave its application to others.

While I had confidence in the _Via Media_, and thought that nothing
could overset it, I did not mind laying down large principles, which
I saw would go further than was commonly perceived. I considered that
to make the _Via Media_ concrete and substantive, it must be much
more than it was in outline; that the Anglican Church must have a
ceremonial, a ritual, and a fulness of doctrine and devotion, which
it had not at present, if it were to compete with the Roman Church
with any prospect of success. Such additions would not remove it from
its proper basis, but would merely strengthen and beautify it: such,
for instance, would be confraternities, particular devotions,
reverence for the Blessed Virgin, prayers for the dead, beautiful
churches, rich offerings to them and in them, monastic houses, and
many other observances and institutions, which I used to say belonged
to us as much as to Rome, though Rome had appropriated them, and
boasted of them, by reason of our having let them slip from us. The
principle, on which all this turned, is brought out in one of the
letters I published on occasion of Tract 90. "The age is moving,"
I said, "towards something; and most unhappily the one religious
communion among us, which has of late years been practically in
possession of this something, is the Church of Rome. She alone, amid
all the errors and evils of her practical system, has given free
scope to the feelings of awe, mystery, tenderness, reverence,
devotedness, and other feelings which may be especially called
Catholic. The question then is, whether we shall give them up to the
Roman Church or claim them for ourselves.... But if we do give them
up, we must give up the men who cherish them. We must consent either
to give up the men, or to admit their principles." With these
feelings I frankly admit, that, while I was working simply for the
sake of the Anglican Church, I did not at all mind, though I found
myself laying down principles in its defence, which went beyond that
particular defence which high-and-dry men thought perfection, and
though I ended in framing a sort of defence, which they might call a
revolution, while I thought it a restoration. Thus, for illustration,
I might discourse upon the "Communion of Saints" in such a manner,
(though I do not recollect doing so) as might lead the way towards
devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the saints on the one hand, and
towards prayers for the dead on the other. In a memorandum of the
year 1844 or 1845, I thus speak on this subject: "If the Church be
not defended on establishment grounds, it must be upon principles,
which go far beyond their immediate object. Sometimes I saw these
further results, sometimes not. Though I saw them, I sometimes did
not say that I saw them; so long as I thought they were inconsistent,
_not_ with our Church, but only with the existing opinions, I was not
unwilling to insinuate truths into our Church, which I thought had a
right to be there."

To so much I confess; but I do not confess, I simply deny that I ever
said anything which secretly bore against the Church of England,
knowing it myself, in order that others might unwarily accept it. It
was indeed one of my great difficulties and causes of reserve, as
time went on, that I at length recognised in principles which I had
honestly preached as if Anglican, conclusions favourable to the Roman
Church. Of course I did not like to confess this; and, when
interrogated, was in consequence in perplexity. The prime instance of
this was the appeal to Antiquity; St. Leo had overset, in my own
judgment, its force in the special argument for Anglicanism; yet I
was committed to Antiquity, together with the whole Anglican school;
what then was I to say, when acute minds urged this or that
application of it against the _Via Media_? it was impossible that, in
such circumstances, any answer could be given which was not
unsatisfactory, or any behaviour adopted which was not mysterious.
Again, sometimes in what I wrote I went just as far as I saw, and
could as little say more, as I could see what is below the horizon;
and therefore, when asked as to the consequences of what I had said,
had no answer to give. Again, sometimes when I was asked, whether
certain conclusions did not follow from a certain principle, I might
not be able to tell at the moment, especially if the matter were
complicated; and for this reason, if for no other, because there
is great difference between a conclusion in the abstract and a
conclusion in the concrete, and because a conclusion may be modified
in fact by a conclusion from some opposite principle. Or it might
so happen that I got simply confused, by the very clearness of the
logic which was administered to me, and thus gave my sanction to
conclusions which really were not mine; and when the report of those
conclusions came round to me through others, I had to unsay them. And
then again, perhaps I did not like to see men scared or scandalised
by unfeeling logical inferences, which would not have touched them to
the day of their death, had they not been made to eat them. And then
I felt altogether the force of the maxim of St. Ambrose, "Non in
dialecticâ complacuit Deo salvum facere populum suum;"--I had a great
dislike of paper logic. For myself, it was not logic that carried me
on; as well might one say that the quicksilver in the barometer
changes the weather. It is the concrete being that reasons; pass a
number of years, and I find my mind in a new place; how? the whole
man moves; paper logic is but the record of it. All the logic in the
world would not have made me move faster towards Rome than I did; as
well might you say that I have arrived at the end of my journey,
because I see the village church before me, as venture to assert that
the miles, over which my soul had to pass before it got to Rome,
could be annihilated, even though I had had some far clearer view
than I then had, that Rome was my ultimate destination. Great acts
take time. At least this is what I felt in my own case; and therefore
to come to me with methods of logic, had in it the nature of a
provocation, and, though I do not think I ever showed it, made me
somewhat indifferent how I met them, and perhaps led me, as a means
of relieving my impatience, to be mysterious or irrelevant, or to
give in because I could not reply. And a greater trouble still than
these logical mazes, was the introduction of logic into every subject
whatever, so far, that is, as it was done. Before I was at Oriel, I
recollect an acquaintance saying to me that "the Oriel Common Room
stank of Logic." One is not at all pleased when poetry, or eloquence,
or devotion, is considered as if chiefly intended to feed syllogisms.
Now, in saying all this, I am saying nothing against the deep piety
and earnestness which were characteristics of this second phase of
the Movement, in which I have taken so prominent a part. What I have
been observing is, that this phase had a tendency to bewilder and to
upset me, and, that instead of saying so, as I ought to have done, in
a sort of easiness, for what I know, I gave answers at random, which
have led to my appearing close or inconsistent.

I have turned up two letters of this period, which in a measure
illustrate what I have been saying. The first is what I said to the
Bishop of Oxford on occasion of Tract 90:

"March 20, 1841. No one can enter into my situation but myself. I see
a great many minds working in various directions and a variety of
principles with multiplied bearings; I act for the best. I sincerely
think that matters would not have gone better for the Church, had I
never written. And if I write I have a choice of difficulties. It is
easy for those who do not enter into those difficulties to say, 'He
ought to say this and not say that,' but things are wonderfully
linked together, and I cannot, or rather I would not be dishonest.
When persons too interrogate me, I am obliged in many cases to give
an opinion, or I seem to be underhand. Keeping silence looks like
artifice. And I do not like people to consult or respect me, from
thinking differently of my opinions from what I know them to be. And
again (to use the proverb) what is one man's food is another man's
poison. All these things make my situation very difficult. But that
collision must at some time ensue between members of the Church of
opposite sentiments, I have long been aware. The time and mode has
been in the hand of Providence; I do not mean to exclude my own great
imperfections in bringing it about; yet I still feel obliged to think
the Tract necessary.

"Dr. Pusey has shown me your Lordship's letters to him. I am most
desirous of saying in print anything which I can honestly say to
remove false impressions created by the Tract."

The second is part of the notes of a letter sent to Dr. Pusey in the
next year:

"October 16, 1842. As to my being entirely with A. B., I do not know
the limits of my own opinions. If A. B. says that this or that is a
development from what I have said, I cannot say Yes or No. It is
plausible, it _may_ be true. Of course the fact that the Roman Church
_has_ so developed and maintained, adds great weight to the
antecedent plausibility. I cannot assert that it is not true; but I
cannot, with that keen perception which some people have, appropriate
it. It is a nuisance to me to be _forced_ beyond what I can fairly

There was another source of the perplexity with which at this time I
was encompassed, and of the reserve and mysteriousness, of which it
gave me the credit. After Tract 90 the Protestant world would not let
me alone; they pursued me in the public journals to Littlemore.
Reports of all kinds were circulated about me. "Imprimis, why did I
go up to Littlemore at all? For no good purpose certainly; I dared
not tell why." Why, to be sure, it was hard that I should be obliged
to say to the Editors of newspapers that I went up there to say my
prayers; it was hard to have to tell the world in confidence, that I
had a certain doubt about the Anglican system, and could not at that
moment resolve it, or say what would come of it; it was hard to have
to confess that I had thought of giving up my living a year or two
before, and that this was a first step to it. It was hard to have
to plead, that, for what I knew, my doubts would vanish, if the
newspapers would be so good as to give me time and let me alone.
Who would ever dream of making the world his confidant? yet I was
considered insidious, sly, dishonest, if I would not open my heart
to the tender mercies of the world. But they persisted: "What was I
doing at Littlemore?" Doing there? have I not retreated from you?
have I not given up my position and my place? am I alone, of
Englishmen, not to have the privilege to go where I will, no
questions asked? am I alone to be followed about by jealous prying
eyes, who note down whether I go in at a back door or at the front,
and who the men are who happen to call on me in the afternoon?
Cowards! if I advanced one step, you would run away; it is not you
that I fear: "Di me terrent, et Jupiter hostis." It is because the
Bishops still go on charging against me, though I have quite given
up: it is that secret misgiving of heart which tells me that they do
well, for I have neither lot nor part with them: this it is which
weighs me down. I cannot walk into or out of my house, but curious
eyes are upon me. Why will you not let me die in peace? Wounded
brutes creep into some hole to die in, and no one grudges it them.
Let me alone, I shall not trouble you long. This was the keen heavy
feeling which pierced me, and, I think, these are the very words that
I used to myself. I asked, in the words of a great motto, "Ubi
lapsus? quid feci?" One day when I entered my house, I found a flight
of undergraduates inside. Heads of houses, as mounted patrols, walked
their horses round those poor cottages. Doctors of divinity dived
into the hidden recesses of that private tenement uninvited, and drew
domestic conclusions from what they saw there. I had thought that an
Englishman's house was his castle; but the newspapers thought
otherwise, and at last the matter came before my good Bishop. I
insert his letter, and a portion of my reply to him:--

"April 12, 1842. So many of the charges against yourself and your
friends which I have seen in the public journals have been, within my
own knowledge, false and calumnious, that I am not apt to pay much
attention to what is asserted with respect to you in the newspapers.

"In a" [newspaper], "however, of April 9, there appears a paragraph
in which it is asserted, as a matter of notoriety, that a 'so-called
Anglo-Catholic Monastery is in process of erection at Littlemore, and
that the cells of dormitories, the chapel, the refectory, the
cloisters all may be seen advancing to perfection, under the eye of a
Parish Priest of the Diocese of Oxford.'

"Now, as I have understood that you really are possessed of some
tenements at Littlemore--as it is generally believed that they are
destined for the purposes of study and devotion--and as much
suspicion and jealousy are felt about the matter, I am anxious to
afford you an opportunity of making me an explanation on the subject.

"I know you too well not to be aware that you are the last man living
to attempt in my Diocese a revival of the Monastic orders (in
anything approaching to the Romanist sense of the term) without
previous communication with me--or indeed that you should take upon
yourself to originate any measure of importance without authority
from the heads of the Church--and therefore I at once exonerate you
from the accusation brought against you by the newspaper I have
quoted, but I feel it nevertheless a duty to my Diocese and myself,
as well as to you, to ask you to put it in my power to contradict
what, if uncontradicted, would appear to imply a glaring invasion of
all ecclesiastical discipline on _your_ part, or of inexcusable
neglect and indifference to my duties on _mine_."

"April 14, 1842. I am very much obliged by your Lordship's kindness
in allowing me to write to you on the subject of my house at
Littlemore; at the same time I feel it hard both on your Lordship and
myself that the restlessness of the public mind should oblige you to
require an explanation of me.

"It is now a whole year that I have been the subject of incessant
misrepresentation. A year since I submitted entirely to your
Lordship's authority; and with the intention of following out the
particular act enjoined upon me, I not only stopped the series of
Tracts, on which I was engaged, but withdrew from all public
discussion of Church matters of the day, or what may be called
ecclesiastical politics. I turned myself at once to the preparation
for the Press of the translations of St. Athanasius to which I had
long wished to devote myself, and I intended and intend to employ
myself in the like theological studies, and in the concerns of my own
parish and in practical works.

"With the same view of personal improvement I was led more seriously
to a design which had been long on my mind. For many years, at least
thirteen, I have wished to give myself to a life of greater religious
regularity than I have hitherto led; but it is very unpleasant to
confess such a wish even to my Bishop, because it seems arrogant, and
because it is committing me to a profession which may come to
nothing. For what have I done that I am to be called to account by
the world for my private actions, in a way in which no one else is
called? Why may I not have that liberty which all others are allowed?
I am often accused of being underhand and uncandid in respect to the
intentions to which I have been alluding: but no one likes his own
good resolutions noised about, both from mere common delicacy and
from fear lest he should not be able to fulfil them. I feel it very
cruel, though the parties in fault do not know what they are doing,
that very sacred matters between me and my conscience are made a
matter of public talk. May I take a case parallel though different?
suppose a person in prospect of marriage; would he like the subject
discussed in newspapers, and parties, circumstances, etc., etc.,
publicly demanded of him, at the penalty of being accused of craft
and duplicity?

"The resolution I speak of has been taken with reference to myself
alone, and has been contemplated quite independent of the
co-operation of any other human being, and without reference to
success or failure other than personal, and without regard to the
blame or approbation of man. And being a resolution of years, and one
to which I feel God has called me, and in which I am violating no
rule of the Church any more than if I married, I should have to
answer for it, if I did not pursue it, as a good Providence made
openings for it. In pursuing it then I am thinking of myself alone,
not aiming at any ecclesiastical or external effects. At the same
time of course it would be a great comfort to me to know that God had
put it into the hearts of others to pursue their personal edification
in the same way, and unnatural not to wish to have the benefit of
their presence and encouragement, or not to think it a great
infringement on the rights of conscience if such personal and private
resolutions were interfered with. Your Lordship will allow me to add
my firm conviction that such religious resolutions are most necessary
for keeping a certain class of minds firm in their allegiance to our
Church; but still I can as truly say that my own reason for anything
I have done has been a personal one, without which I should not have
entered upon it, and which I hope to pursue whether with or without
the sympathies of others pursuing a similar course." ...

"As to my intentions, I purpose to live there myself a good deal, as
I have a resident curate in Oxford. In doing this, I believe I am
consulting for the good of my parish, as my population at Littlemore
is at least equal to that of St. Mary's in Oxford, and the _whole_ of
Littlemore is double of it. It has been very much neglected; and in
providing a parsonage-house at Littlemore, as this will be, and will
be called, I conceive I am doing a very great benefit to my people.
At the same time it has appeared to me that a partial or temporary
retirement from St. Mary's Church might be expedient under the
prevailing excitement.

"As to the quotation from the [newspaper] which I have not seen, your
Lordship will perceive from what I have said, that no 'monastery is
in process of erection;' there is no 'chapel;' no 'refectory,' hardly
a dining-room or parlour. The 'cloisters' are my shed connecting the
cottages. I do not understand what 'cells of dormitories' means. Of
course I can repeat your Lordship's words that 'I am not attempting
a revival of the Monastic Orders, in anything approaching to the
Romanist sense of the term,' or 'taking on myself to originate any
measure of importance without authority from the Heads of the
Church.' I am attempting nothing ecclesiastical, but something
personal and private, and which can only be made public, not private,
by newspapers and letter-writers, in which sense the most sacred and
conscientious resolves and acts may certainly be made the objects of
an unmannerly and unfeeling curiosity."

One calumny there was which the bishop did not believe, and of which
of course he had no idea of speaking. It was that I was actually in
the service of the enemy. I had been already received into the
Catholic Church, and was rearing at Littlemore a nest of Papists,
who, like me, were to take the Anglican oaths which they did not
believe, and for which they got dispensation from Rome, and thus in
due time were to bring over to that unprincipled Church great numbers
of the Anglican clergy and laity. Bishops gave their countenance to
this imputation against me. The case was simply this:--as I made
Littlemore a place of retirement for myself, so did I offer it to
others. There were young men in Oxford, whose testimonials for Orders
had been refused by their Colleges; there were young clergymen, who
had found themselves unable from conscience to go on with their
duties, and had thrown up their parochial engagements. Such men were
already going straight to Rome, and I interposed; I interposed for
the reasons I have given in the beginning of this portion of my
narrative. I interposed from fidelity to my clerical engagements, and
from duty to my Bishop; and from the interest which I was bound to
take in them, and from belief that they were premature or excited.
Their friends besought me to quiet them, if I could. Some of them
came to live with me at Littlemore. They were laymen, or in the place
of laymen. I kept some of them back for several years from being
received into the Catholic Church. Even when I had given up my
living, I was still bound by my duty to their parents or friends, and
I did not forget still to do what I could for them. The immediate
occasion of my resigning St. Mary's, was the unexpected conversion of
one of them. After that, I felt it was impossible to keep my post
there, for I had been unable to keep my word with my Bishop.

The following letters refer, more or less, to these men, whether they
were with me at Littlemore or not:--

1. 1843 or 1844. "I did not explain to you sufficiently the state of
mind of those who were in danger. I only spoke of those who were
convinced that our Church was external to the Church Catholic, though
they felt it unsafe to trust their own private convictions; but
there are two other states of mind; 1, that of those who are
unconsciously near Rome, and whose _despair_ about our Church would
at once develop into a state of conscious approximation, or a
_quasi_-resolution to go over; 2, those who feel they can with a safe
conscience remain with us _while_ they are allowed to _testify_ in
behalf of Catholicism, _i.e._ as if by such acts they were putting
our Church, or at least that portion of it in which they were
included, in the position of catechumens."

2. "July 16, 1843. I assure you that I feel, with only too much
sympathy, what you say. You need not be told that the whole subject
of our position is a subject of anxiety to others beside yourself. It
is no good attempting to offer advice, when perhaps I might raise
difficulties instead of removing them. It seems to me quite a case,
in which you should, as far as may be, make up your mind for
yourself. Come to Littlemore by all means. We shall all rejoice in
your company; and, if quiet and retirement are able, as they very
likely will be, to reconcile you to things as they are, you shall
have your fill of them. How distressed poor Henry Wilberforce must
be! Knowing how he values you, I feel for him; but, alas! he has his
own position, and every one else has his own, and the misery is that
no two of us have exactly the same.

"It is very kind of you to be so frank and open with me, as you are;
but this is a time which throws together persons who feel alike. May
I without taking a liberty sign myself, yours affectionately, etc."

3. "1845. I am concerned to find you speak of me in a tone of
distrust. If you knew me ever so little, instead of hearing of me
from persons who do not know me at all, you would think differently
of me, whatever you thought of my opinions. Two years since, I got
your son to tell you my intention of resigning St. Mary's, before I
made it public, thinking you ought to know it. When you expressed
some painful feeling upon it, I told him I could not consent to his
remaining here, painful as it would be to me to part with him,
without your written sanction. And this you did me the favour to

"I believe you will find that it has been merely a delicacy on your
son's part, which has delayed his speaking to you about me for two
months past; a delicacy, lest he should say either too much or too
little about me. I have urged him several times to speak to you.

"Nothing can be done after your letter, but to recommend him to go to
A. B. (his home) at once. I am very sorry to part with him."

4. The following letter is addressed to a Catholic prelate, who
accused me of coldness in my conduct towards him:--

"April 16, 1845. I was at that time in charge of a ministerial office
in the English Church, with persons entrusted to me, and a Bishop to
obey; how could I possibly write otherwise than I did without
violating sacred obligations and betraying momentous interests which
were upon me? I felt that my immediate, undeniable duty, clear if
anything was clear, was to fulfil that trust. It might be right
indeed to give it up, that was another thing; but it never could be
right to hold it, and to act as if I did not hold it.... If you knew
me, you would acquit me, I think, of having ever felt towards your
Lordship an unfriendly spirit, or ever having had a shadow on my mind
(as far as I dare witness about myself) of what might be called
controversial rivalry or desire of getting the better, or fear lest
the world should think I had got the worst, or irritation of any
kind. You are too kind indeed to imply this, and yet your words lead
me to say it. And now in like manner, pray believe, though I cannot
explain it to you, that I am encompassed with responsibilities, so
great and so various, as utterly to overcome me, unless I have mercy
from Him, who all through my life has sustained and guided me, and to
whom I can now submit myself, though men of all parties are thinking
evil of me."

5. "August 30, 1843. A. B. has suddenly conformed to the Church of
Rome. He was away for three weeks. I suppose I must say in my
defence, that he promised me distinctly to remain in our Church three
years, before I received him here."

Such fidelity, however, was taken _in malam partem_ by the high
Anglican authorities; they thought it insidious. I happen still to
have a correspondence, in which the chief place is filled by one of
the most eminent bishops of the day, a theologian and reader of the
Fathers, a moderate man, who at one time was talked of as likely to
have the reversion of the Primacy. A young clergyman in his diocese
became a Catholic; the papers at once reported on authority from "a
very high quarter," that, after his reception, "the Oxford men had
been recommending him to retain his living." I had reasons for
thinking that the allusion was to me, and I authorised the editor of
a paper, who had inquired of me on the point, to "give it, as far as
I was concerned, an unqualified contradiction;"--when from a motive
of delicacy he hesitated, I added "my direct and indignant
contradiction." "Whoever is the author of it, no correspondence or
intercourse of any kind, direct or indirect, has passed," I continued
to the Editor, "between Mr. S. and myself, since his conforming to
the Church of Rome, except my formally and merely acknowledging the
receipt of his letter, in which he informed me of the fact, without,
as far as I recollect, my expressing any opinion upon it. You may
state this as broadly as I have set it down." My denial was told to
the Bishop; what took place upon it is given in a letter from which I
copy. "My father showed the letter to the Bishop, who, as he laid it
down, said, 'Ah, those Oxford men are not ingenuous.' 'How do you
mean?' I asked my father. 'Why,' said the Bishop, 'they advised Mr.
B. S. to retain his living after he turned Catholic. I know that to
be a fact, because A. B. told me so.'" "The Bishop," continues the
letter, "who is perhaps the most influential man in reality on the
bench, evidently believes it to be the truth." Dr. Pusey too wrote
for me to the Bishop; and the Bishop instantly beat a retreat. "I
have the honour," he says in the autograph which I transcribe, "to
acknowledge the receipt of your note, and to say in reply that it has
not been stated by me (though such a statement has, I believe,
appeared in some of the Public Prints), that Mr. Newman had advised
Mr. B. S. to retain his living, after he had forsaken our Church. But
it has been stated to me, that Mr. Newman was in close correspondence
with Mr. B. S., and, being fully aware of his state of opinions and
feelings, yet advised him to continue in our communion. Allow me to
add," he says to Dr. Pusey, "that neither your name, nor that of Mr.
Keble, was mentioned to me in connection with that of Mr. B. S."

I was not going to let the Bishop off on this evasion, so I wrote to
him myself. After quoting his letter to Dr. Pusey, I continued,
"I beg to trouble your Lordship with my own account of the two
allegations" [_close correspondence_ and _fully aware_, etc.] "which
are contained in your statement, and which have led to your speaking
of me in terms which I hope never to deserve. 1. Since Mr. B. S. has
been in your Lordship's diocese, I have seen him in common rooms or
private parties in Oxford two or three times, when I never (as far as
I can recollect) had any conversation with him. During the same time
I have, to the best of my memory, written to him three letters. One
was lately, in acknowledgment of his informing me of his change of
religion. Another was last summer, when I asked him (to no purpose)
to come and stay with me in this place. The earliest of the three
letters was written just a year since, as far as I recollect, and it
certainly was on the subject of his joining the Church of Rome. I
wrote this letter at the earnest wish of a friend of his. I cannot
be sure that, on his replying, I did not send him a brief note in
explanation of points in my letter which he had misapprehended. I
cannot recollect any other correspondence between us.

"2. As to my knowledge of his opinions and feelings, as far as I
remember, the only point of perplexity which I knew, the only point
which to this hour I know, as pressing upon him, was that of the
Pope's supremacy. He professed to be searching Antiquity whether the
see of Rome had formally that relation to the whole Church which
Roman Catholics now assign to it. My letter was directed to the
point, that it was his duty not to perplex himself with arguments on
[such] a question ... and to put it altogether aside.... It is hard
that I am put upon my memory, without knowing the details of the
statement made against me, considering the various correspondence in
which I am from time to time unavoidably engaged.... Be assured, my
Lord, that there are very definite limits, beyond which persons like
me would never urge another to retain preferment in the English
Church, nor would retain it themselves; and that the censure which
has been directed against them by so many of its Rulers has a very
grave bearing upon those limits." The Bishop replied in a civil
letter, and sent my own letter to his original informant, who wrote
to me the letter of a gentleman. It seems that an anxious lady had
said something or other which had been misinterpreted, against her
real meaning, into the calumny which was circulated, and so the
report vanished into thin air. I closed the correspondence with the
following letter to the Bishop:--

"I hope your Lordship will believe me when I say, that statements
about me, equally incorrect with that which has come to your
Lordship's ears, are from time to time reported to me as credited and
repeated by the highest authorities in our Church, though it is very
seldom that I have the opportunity of denying them. I am obliged
by your Lordship's letter to Dr. Pusey as giving me such an
opportunity." Then I added, with a purpose, "Your Lordship will
observe that in my Letter I had no occasion to proceed to the
question, whether a person holding Roman Catholic opinions can in
honesty remain in our Church. Lest then any misconception should
arise from my silence, I here take the liberty of adding, that I see
nothing wrong in such a person's continuing in communion with us,
provided he holds no preferment or office, abstains from the
management of ecclesiastical matters, and is bound by no subscription
or oath to our doctrines."

This was written on March 7, 1843, and was in anticipation of my own
retirement into lay communion. This again leads me to a remark; for
two years I was in lay communion, not indeed being a Catholic in my
convictions, but in a state of serious doubt, and with the probable
prospect of becoming some day, what as yet I was not. Under these
circumstances I thought the best thing I could do was to give up duty
and to throw myself into lay communion, remaining an Anglican. I
could not go to Rome, while I thought what I did of the devotions she
sanctioned to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. I did not give up
my fellowship, for I could not be sure that my doubts would not be
reduced or overcome, however unlikely I thought such an event. But I
gave up my living; and, for two years before my conversion, I took no
clerical duty. My last sermon was in September, 1843; then I remained
at Littlemore in quiet for two years. But it was made a subject of
reproach to me at the time, and is at this day, that I did not leave
the Anglican Church sooner. To me this seems a wonderful charge;
why, even had I been quite sure that Rome was the true Church, the
Anglican Bishops would have had no just subject of complaint
against me, provided I took no Anglican oath, no clerical duty, no
ecclesiastical administration. Do they force all men who go to their
Churches to believe in the 39 Articles, or to join in the Athanasian
Creed? However, I was to have other measure dealt to me; great
authorities ruled it so; and a learned controversialist in the North
thought it a shame that I did not leave the Church of England as much
as ten years sooner than I did. His nephew, an Anglican clergyman,
kindly wished to undeceive him on this point. So, in 1850, after some
correspondence, I wrote the following letter, which will be of
service to this narrative, from its chronological character:--

"Dec. 6, 1849. Your uncle says, 'If he (Mr. N.) will declare, sans
phrase, as the French say, that I have laboured under an entire
mistake, and that he was not a concealed Romanist during the ten
years in question' (I suppose, the last ten years of my membership
with the Anglican Church), 'or during any part of the time, my
controversial antipathy will be at an end, and I will readily express
to him that I am truly sorry that I have made such a mistake.'

"So candid an avowal is what I should have expected from a mind like
your uncle's. I am extremely glad he has brought it to this issue.

"By a 'concealed Romanist' I understand him to mean one, who,
professing to belong to the Church of England, in his heart and will
intends to benefit the Church of Rome, at the expense of the Church
of England. He cannot mean by the expression merely a person who in
fact is benefiting the Church of Rome, while he is intending to
benefit the Church of England, for that is no discredit to him
morally, and he (your uncle) evidently means to impute blame.

"In the sense in which I have explained the words, I can simply and
honestly say that I was not a concealed Romanist during the whole, or
any part of, the years in question.

"For the first four years of the ten (up to Michaelmas, 1839) I
honestly wished to benefit the Church of England, at the expense of
the Church of Rome:

"For the second four years I wished to benefit the Church of England
without prejudice to the Church of Rome:

"At the beginning of the ninth year (Michaelmas, 1843) I began to
despair of the Church of England, and gave up all clerical duty; and
then, what I wrote and did was influenced by a mere wish not to
injure it, and not by the wish to benefit it:

"At the beginning of the tenth year I distinctly contemplated leaving
it, but I also distinctly told my friends that it was in my

"Lastly, during the last half of that tenth year I was engaged in
writing a book (Essay on Development) in favour of the Roman Church,
and indirectly against the English; but even then, till it was
finished, I had not absolutely intended to publish it, wishing
to reserve to myself the chance of changing my mind when the
argumentative views which were actuating me had been distinctly
brought out before me in writing.

"I wish this statement, which I make from memory, and without
consulting any document, severely tested by my writings and doings,
as I am confident it will, on the whole, be borne out, whatever real
or apparent exceptions (I suspect none) have to be allowed by me in

"Your uncle is at liberty to make what use he pleases of this

I have now reached an important date in my narrative, the year 1843,
but before proceeding to the matters which it contains, I will insert
portions of my letters from 1841 to 1843, addressed to Catholic

1. "April 8, 1841 ... The unity of the Church Catholic is very near
my heart, only I do not see any prospect of it in our time; and I
despair of its being effected without great sacrifices on all hands.
As to resisting the Bishop's will, I observe that no point of
doctrine or principle was in dispute, but a course of action, the
publication of certain works. I do not think you sufficiently
understood our position. I suppose you would obey the holy see in
such a case; now, when we were separated from the Pope, his authority
reverted to our Diocesans. Our Bishop is our Pope. It is our theory,
that each diocese is an integral Church, intercommunion being a duty
(and the breach of it a sin), but not essential to Catholicity.
To have resisted my Bishop, would have been to place myself in an
utterly false position, which I never could have recovered. Depend
upon it, the strength of any party lies in its being _true to its
theory_. Consistency is the life of a movement.

"I have no misgivings whatever that the line I have taken can be
other than a prosperous one: that is, in itself, for of course
Providence may refuse to us its legitimate issues for our sins.

"I am afraid, that in one respect you may be disappointed. It is my
trust, though I must not be too sanguine, that we shall not have
individual members of our communion going over to yours. What one's
duty would be under other circumstances, what our duty ten or twenty
years ago, I cannot say; but I do think that there is less of private
judgment in going with one's Church, than in leaving it. I can
earnestly desire a union between my Church and yours. I cannot listen
to the thought of your being joined by individuals among us."

2. "April 26, 1841. My only anxiety is lest your branch of the Church
should not meet us by those reforms which surely are _necessary_. It
never could be, that so large a portion of Christendom should have
split off from the communion of Rome, and kept up a protest for 300
years for nothing. I think I never shall believe that so much piety
and earnestness would be found among Protestants, if there were
not some very grave errors on the side of Rome. To suppose the
contrary is most unreal, and violates all one's notions of moral
probabilities. All aberrations are founded on, and have their life
in, some truth or other--and Protestantism, so widely spread and so
long enduring, must have in it, and must be witness for, a great
truth or much truth. That I am an advocate for Protestantism, you
cannot suppose--but I am forced into a _Via Media_, short of Rome, as
it is at present."

3. "May 5, 1841. While I most sincerely hold that there is in the
Roman Church a traditionary system which is not necessarily connected
with her essential formularies, yet, were I ever so much to change my
mind on this point, this would not tend to bring me from my present
position, providentially appointed in the English Church. That
your communion was unassailable, would not prove that mine was
indefensible. Nor would it at all affect the sense in which I receive
our Articles; they would still speak against certain definite errors,
though you had reformed them.

"I say this lest any lurking suspicion should be left in the mind of
your friends that persons who think with me are likely, by the growth
of their present views, to find it imperative on them to pass over to
your communion. Allow me to state strongly, that if you have any such
thoughts, and proceed to act upon them, your friends will be
committing a fatal mistake. We have (I trust) the principle and
temper of obedience too intimately wrought into us to allow of our
separating ourselves from our ecclesiastical superiors because in
many points we may sympathise with others. We have too great a horror
of the principle of private judgment to trust it in so immense a
matter as that of changing from one communion to another. We may be
cast out of our communion, or it may decree heresy to be truth--you
shall say whether such contingencies are likely; but I do not see
other conceivable causes of our leaving the Church in which we were

"For myself, persons must be well acquainted with what I have written
before they venture to say whether I have much changed my main
opinions and cardinal views in the course of the last eight years.
That my _sympathies_ have grown towards the religion of Rome I do not
deny; that my _reasons_ for _shunning_ her communion have lessened or
altered it would be difficult perhaps to prove. And I wish to go by
reason, not by feeling."

4. "June 18, 1841. You urge persons whose views agree with mine to
commence a movement in behalf of a union between the Churches. Now
in the letters I have written, I have uniformly said that I did not
expect that union in our time, and have discouraged the notion of all
sudden proceedings with a view to it. I must ask your leave to repeat
on this occasion most distinctly, that I cannot be party to any
agitation, but mean to remain quiet in my own place, and to do all I
can to make others take the same course. This I conceive to be my
simple duty; but, over and above this, I will not set my teeth on
edge with sour grapes. I know it is quite within the range of
possibilities that one or another of our people should go over to
your communion; however, it would be a greater misfortune to you than
grief to us. If your friends wish to put a gulf between themselves
and us, let them make converts, but not else. Some months ago, I
ventured to say that I felt it a painful duty to keep aloof from all
Roman Catholics who came with the intention of opening negotiations
for the union of the Churches: when you now urge us to petition our
Bishops for a union, this, I conceive, is very like an act of

5. I have the first sketch or draft of a letter, which I wrote to a
zealous Catholic layman: it runs as follows, as I have preserved
it:--September 12, 1841. "It would rejoice all Catholic minds among
us, more than words can say, if you could persuade members of the
Church of Rome to take the line in politics which you so earnestly
advocate. Suspicion and distrust are the main causes at present of
the separation between us, and the nearest approaches in doctrine
will but increase the hostility, which, alas, our people feel towards
yours, while these causes continue. Depend upon it, you must not rely
upon our Catholic tendencies till they are removed. I am not speaking
of myself, or of any friends of mine; but of our Church generally.
Whatever _our_ personal feelings may be, we shall but tend to raise
and spread a _rival_ Church to yours in the four quarters of the
world, unless _you_ do what none but you _can_ do. Sympathies, which
would flow over to the Church of Rome, as a matter of course, did she
admit them, will but be developed in the consolidation of our own
system, if she continues to be the object of our suspicions and
fears. I wish, of course I do, that our own Church may be built up
and extended, but still, not at the cost of the Church of Rome, not
in opposition to it. I am sure, that, while you suffer, we suffer too
from the separation; _but we cannot remove the obstacles_; it is with
you to do so. You do not fear us; we fear you. Till we cease to fear
you, we cannot love you.

"While you are in your present position, the friends of Catholic
unity in our Church are but fulfilling the prediction of those of
your body who are averse to them, viz. that they will be merely
strengthening a rival communion to yours. Many of you say that _we_
are your greatest enemies; we have said so ourselves: so we are, so
we shall be, as things stand at present. We are keeping people from
you, by supplying their wants in our own Church. We _are_ keeping
persons from you: do you wish us to keep them from you for a time or
for ever? It rests with you to determine. I do not fear that you will
succeed among us; you will not supplant our Church in the affections
of the English nation; only through the English Church can you act
upon the English nation. I wish of course our Church should be
consolidated, with and through and in your communion, for its sake,
and your sake, and for the sake of unity.

"Are you aware that the more serious thinkers among us are used, as
far as they dare form an opinion, to regard the spirit of Liberalism
as the characteristic of the destined Antichrist? In vain does any
one clear the Church of Rome from the badges of Antichrist, in which
Protestants would invest her, if she deliberately takes up her
position in the very quarter, whither we have cast them, when we took
them off from her. Antichrist is described as the [greek: anomos],
as exalting himself above the yoke of religion and law. The spirit
of lawlessness came in with the Reformation, and Liberalism is its

"And now I fear I am going to pain you by telling you, that you
consider the approaches in doctrine on our part towards you, closer
than they really are. I cannot help repeating what I have many times
said in print, that your services and devotions to St. Mary in matter
of fact do most deeply pain me. I am only stating it as a fact.

"Again, I have nowhere said that I can accept the decrees of Trent
throughout, nor implied it. The doctrine of Transubstantiation is a
great difficulty with me, as being, as I think, not primitive. Nor
have I said that our Articles in all respects admit of a Roman
interpretation; the very word 'Transubstantiation' is disowned in

"Thus, you see, it is not merely on grounds of expedience that we do
not join you. There are positive difficulties in the way of it. And,
even if there were not, we shall have no divine warrant for doing so,
while we think that the Church of England is a branch of the true
Church, and that intercommunion with the rest of Christendom
is necessary, not for the life of a particular Church, but for
its health only. I have never disguised that there are actual
circumstances in the Church of Rome, which pain me much; of the
removal of these I see no chance, while we join you one by one; but
if our Church were prepared for a union, she might make her terms;
she might gain the Cup; she might protest against the extreme honours
paid to St. Mary; she might make some explanation of the doctrine of
Transubstantiation. I am not prepared to say that a reform in other
branches of the Roman Church would be necessary for our uniting with
them, however desirable in itself, so that we were allowed to make a
reform in our own country. We do not look towards Rome as believing
that its communion is infallible, but that union is a duty."

The following letter was occasioned by the present of a book, from
the friend to whom it is written; more will be said on the subject of
it presently:--

"Nov. 22, 1842. I only wish that your Church were more known among us
by such writings. You will not interest us in her, till we see her,
not in politics, but in her true functions of exhorting, teaching,
and guiding. I wish there were a chance of making the leading men
among you understand, what I believe is no novel thought to yourself.
It is not by learned discussions, or acute arguments, or reports of
miracles, that the heart of England can be gained. It is by men
'approving themselves,' like the Apostle, 'ministers of Christ.'

"As to your question, whether the Volume you have sent is not
calculated to remove my apprehensions that another gospel is
substituted for the true one in your practical instructions, before I
can answer it in any way, I ought to know how far the Sermons which
it comprises are _selected_ from a number, or whether they are the
whole, or such as the whole, which have been published of the
author's. I assure you, or at least I trust, that, if it is ever
clearly brought home to me that I have been wrong in what I have said
on this subject, my public avowal of that conviction will only be a
question of time with me.

"If, however, you saw our Church as we see it, you would easily
understand that such a change of feeling, did it take place, would
have no necessary tendency, which you seem to expect, to draw a
person from the Church of England to that of Rome. There is a divine
life among us, clearly manifested, in spite of all our disorders,
which is as great a note of the Church, as any can be. Why should we
seek our Lord's presence elsewhere, when He vouchsafes it to us where
we are? What _call_ have we to change our communion?

"Roman Catholics will find this to be the state of things in time to
come, whatever promise they may fancy there is of a large secession
to their Church. This man or that may leave us, but there will be no
general movement. There is, indeed, an incipient movement of our
_Church_ towards yours, and this your leading men are doing all they
can to frustrate by their unwearied efforts at all risks to carry off
individuals. When will they know their position, and embrace a larger
and wiser policy?"

The last letter, which I have inserted, is addressed to my dear
friend, Dr. Russell, the present President of Maynooth. He had,
perhaps, more to do with my conversion than any one else. He called
upon me, in passing through Oxford in the summer of 1841, and I think
I took him over some of the buildings of the University. He called
again another summer, on his way from Dublin to London. I do not
recollect that he said a word on the subject of religion on either
occasion. He sent me at different times several letters; he was
always gentle, mild, unobtrusive, uncontroversial. He let me alone.
He also gave me one or two books. Veron's Rule of Faith and some
Treatises of the Wallenburghs was one; a volume of St. Alfonso
Liguori's Sermons was another; and to that the letter which I have
last inserted relates.

Now it must be observed that the writings of St. Alfonso, as I knew
them by the extracts commonly made from them, prejudiced me as much
against the Roman Church as anything else, on account of what was
called their "Mariolatry;" but there was nothing of the kind in this
book. I wrote to ask Dr. Russell whether anything had been left out
in the translation; he answered that there certainly was an omission
of one passage about the Blessed Virgin. This omission, in the case
of a book intended for Catholics, at least showed that such passages
as are found in the works of Italian authors were not acceptable to
every part of the Catholic world. Such devotional manifestations in
honour of our Lady had been my great _crux_ as regards Catholicism; I
say frankly, I do not fully enter into them now; I trust I do not
love her the less, because I cannot enter into them. They may be
fully explained and defended; but sentiment and taste do not run with
logic: they are suitable for Italy, but they are not suitable for
England. But, over and above England, my own case was special; from a
boy I had been led to consider that my Maker and I, His creature,
were the two beings, certainly such, _in rerum naturâ_. I will not
here speculate, however, about my own feelings. Only this I know full
well now, and did not know then, that the Catholic Church allows no
image of any sort, material or immaterial, no dogmatic symbol, no
rite, no sacrament, no Saint, not even the Blessed Virgin herself, to
come between the soul and its Creator. It is face to face, "solus cum
solo," in all matters between man and his God. He alone creates; He
alone has redeemed; before His awful eyes we go in death; in the
vision of Him is our eternal beatitude. "Solus cum solo:"--I
recollect but indistinctly the effect produced upon me by this
volume, but it must have been considerable. At all events I had got a
key to a difficulty; in these sermons (or rather heads of sermons, as
they seem to be, taken down by a hearer) there is much of what would
be called legendary illustration; but the substance of them is plain,
practical, awful preaching upon the great truths of salvation. What I
can speak of with greater confidence is the effect upon me a little
later of the Exercises of St. Ignatius. Here again, in a pure matter
of the most direct religion, in the intercourse between God and the
soul, during a season of recollection, of repentance, of good
resolution, of inquiry into vocation, the soul was "sola cum solo;"
there was no cloud interposed between the creature and the Object of
his faith and love. The command practically enforced was, "My son,
give Me thy heart." The devotions then to angels and saints as little
interfered with the incommunicable glory of the Eternal, as the love
which we bear our friends and relations, our tender human sympathies,
are inconsistent with that supreme homage of the heart to the Unseen,
which really does but sanctify and exalt what is of earth. At a later
date Dr. Russell sent me a large bundle of penny or half-penny books
of devotion, of all sorts, as they are found in the booksellers'
shops at Rome; and, on looking them over, I was quite astonished to
find how different they were from what I had fancied, how little
there was in them to which I could really object. I have given an
account of them in my Essay on the Development of Doctrine. Dr.
Russell sent me St. Alfonso's book at the end of 1842; however, it
was still a long time before I got over my difficulty, on the score
of the devotions paid to the saints; perhaps, as I judge, from a
letter I have turned up, it was some way into 1844, before I could be
said to have got over it.

I am not sure that another consideration did not also weigh with me
then. The idea of the Blessed Virgin was as it were _magnified_ in
the Church of Rome, as time went on,--but so were all the Christian
ideas; as that of the Blessed Eucharist. The whole scene of pale,
faint, distant Apostolic Christianity is seen in Rome, as through a
telescope or magnifier. The harmony of the whole, however, is of
course what it was. It is unfair then to take one Roman idea, that of
the Blessed Virgin, out of what may be called its context.

Thus I am brought to the principle of development of doctrine in the
Christian Church, to which I gave my mind at the end of 1842. I had
spoken of it in the passage, which I quoted many pages back, in Home
Thoughts Abroad, published in 1836; but it had been a favourite
subject with me all along. And it is certainly recognised in that
celebrated Treatise of Vincent of Lerins, which has so often been
taken as the basis of the Anglican theory. In 1843 I began to
consider it steadily; and the general view to which I came is stated
thus in a letter to a friend of the date of July 14, 1844; it will be
observed that, now as before, my _issue_ is still Faith _versus_

"The kind of considerations which weigh with me are such as the
following:--1. I am far more certain (according to the Fathers) that
we _are_ in a state of culpable separation, _than_ that developments
do _not_ exist under the Gospel, and that the Roman developments are
not the true ones. 2. I am far more certain, that _our_ (modern)
doctrines are wrong, _than_ that the _Roman_ (modern) doctrines are
wrong. 3. Granting that the Roman (special) doctrines are not found
drawn out in the early Church, yet I think there is sufficient trace
of them in it, to recommend and prove them, _on the hypothesis_ of
the Church having a divine guidance, though not sufficient to prove
them by itself. So that the question simply turns on the nature of
the promise of the Spirit, made to the Church. 4. The proof of the
Roman (modern) doctrine is as strong (or stronger) in Antiquity, as
that of certain doctrines which both we and Romans hold: _e.g._ there
is more of evidence in Antiquity for the necessity of Unity, than for
the Apostolical Succession; for the Supremacy of the See of Rome,
than for the Presence in the Eucharist; for the practice of
Invocation, than for certain books in the present Canon of Scripture,
etc., etc. 5. The analogy of the Old Testament, and also of the New,
leads to the acknowledgment of doctrinal developments."

And thus I was led on to a further consideration. I saw that the
principle of development not only accounted for certain facts,
but was in itself a remarkable philosophical phenomenon, giving
a character to the whole course of Christian thought. It was
discernible from the first years of the Catholic teaching up to the
present day, and gave to that teaching a unity and individuality.
It served as a sort of test, which the Anglican could not exhibit,
that modern Rome was in truth ancient Antioch, Alexandria, and
Constantinople, just as a mathematical curve has its own law and

And thus again I was led on to examine more attentively what I doubt
not was in my thoughts long before, viz. the concatenation of
argument by which the mind ascends from its first to its final
religious idea; and I came to the conclusion that there was no
medium, in true philosophy, between Atheism and Catholicity, and that
a perfectly consistent mind, under those circumstances in which it
finds itself here below, must embrace either the one or the other.
And I hold this still: I am a Catholic by virtue of my believing in a
God; and if I am asked why I believe in a God, I answer that it is
because I believe in myself, for I feel it impossible to believe in
my own existence (and of that fact I am quite sure) without believing
also in the existence of Him, who lives as a Personal, All-seeing,
All-judging Being in my conscience. Now, I dare say, I have not
expressed myself with philosophical correctness, because I have not
given myself to the study of what others have said on the subject;
but I think I have a strong true meaning in what I say which will
stand examination.

Moreover, I came to the conclusion which I have been stating, on
reasoning of the same nature, as that which I had adopted on the
subject of development of doctrine. The fact of the operation from
first to last of that principle of development is an argument in
favour of the identity of Roman and Primitive Christianity; but as
there is a law which acts upon the subject-matter of dogmatic
theology, so is there a law in the matter of religious faith. In the
third part of this narrative I spoke of certitude as the consequence,
divinely intended and enjoined upon us, of the accumulative force
of certain given reasons which, taken one by one, were only
probabilities. Let it be recollected that I am historically relating
my state of mind, at the period of my life which I am surveying. I am
not speaking theologically, nor have I any intention of going into
controversy, or of defending myself; but speaking historically of
what I held in 1843-4, I say, that I believed in a God on a ground of
probability, that I believed in Christianity on a probability, and
that I believed in Catholicism on a probability, and that all three
were about the same kind of probability, a cumulative, a transcendent
probability, but still probability; inasmuch as He who made us, has
so willed that in mathematics indeed we arrive at certitude by rigid
demonstration, but in religious inquiry we arrive at certitude by
accumulated probabilities--inasmuch as He who has willed that
we should so act, co-operates with us in our acting, and thereby
bestows on us a certitude which rises higher than the logical force
of our conclusions. And thus I came to see clearly, and to have a
satisfaction in seeing, that, in being led on into the Church of
Rome, I was proceeding, not by any secondary grounds of reason, or
by controversial points in detail, but was protected and justified,
even in the use of those secondary arguments, by a great and broad
principle. But, let it be observed, that I am stating a matter of
fact, not defending it; and if any Catholic says in consequence that
I have been converted in a wrong way, I cannot help that now.

And now I have carried on the history of my opinions to their last
point, before I became a Catholic. I find great difficulty in fixing
dates precisely; but it must have been some way into 1844, before I
thought not only that the Anglican Church was certainly wrong, but
that Rome was right. Then I had nothing more to learn on the subject.
How "Samaria" faded away from my imagination I cannot tell, but it
was gone. Now to go back to the time when this last stage of my
inquiry was in its commencement, which, if I dare assign dates, was
towards the end of 1842.

In 1843, I took two very important and significant steps:--1. In
February, I made a formal retractation of all the hard things which I
had said against the Church of Rome. 2. In September, I resigned the
living of St. Mary's, Littlemore inclusive:--I will speak of these
two acts separately.

1. The words, in which I made my retractation, have given rise to
much criticism. After quoting a number of passages from my writings
against the Church of Rome, which I withdrew, I ended thus:--"If you
ask me how an individual could venture, not simply to hold, but to
publish such views of a communion so ancient, so wide-spreading, so
fruitful in Saints, I answer that I said to myself, 'I am not
speaking my own words, I am but following almost a _consensus_ of the
divines of my own Church. They have ever used the strongest language
against Rome, even the most able and learned of them. I wish to throw
myself into their system. While I say what they say, I am safe. Such
views, too, are necessary for our position.' Yet I have reason to
fear still, that such language is to be ascribed, in no small
measure, to an impetuous temper, a hope of approving myself to
persons I respect, and a wish to repel the charge of Romanism."

These words have been, and are, cited again and again against me, as
if a confession that, when in the Anglican Church, I said things
against Rome which I did not really believe.

For myself, I cannot understand how any impartial man can so take
them; and I have explained them in print several times. I trust that
by this time they have been sufficiently explained by what I have
said in former portions of this narrative; still I have a word or two
to say about them, which I have not said before I apologised in the
lines in question for saying out charges against the Church of Rome
which I fully believed to be true. What is wonderful in such an

There are many things a man may hold, which at the same time he may
feel that he has no right to say publicly. The law recognises this
principle. In our own time, men have been imprisoned and fined for
saying true things of a bad king. The maxim has been held, that, "The
greater the truth, the greater is the libel." And so as to the
judgment of society, a just indignation would be felt against a
writer who brought forward wantonly the weaknesses of a great man,
though the whole world knew that they existed. No one is at liberty
to speak ill of another without a justifiable reason, even though he
knows he is speaking truth, and the public knows it too. Therefore I
could not speak ill against the Church of Rome, though I believed
what I said, without a good reason. I did believe what I said; but
had I a good reason for saying it? I thought I had, viz. I said what
I believed was simply necessary in the controversy, in order to
defend ourselves; I considered that the Anglican position could not
be defended, without bringing charges against the Church of Rome. Is
not this almost a truism? is it not what every one says, who speaks
on the subject at all? does any serious man abuse the Church of
Rome, for the sake of abusing her, or because it justifies his
own religious position? What is the meaning of the very word
"Protestantism," but that there is a call to speak out? This then is
what I said; "I know I spoke strongly against the Church of Rome; but
it was no mere abuse, for I had a serious reason for doing so."

But, not only did I think such language necessary for my Church's
religious position, but all the great Anglican divines had thought so
before me. They had thought so, and they had acted accordingly. And
therefore I said, with much propriety, that I had not done it simply
out of my own head, but that I was following the track, or rather
reproducing the teaching, of those who had preceded me.

I was pleading guilty; but pleading also that there were extenuating
circumstances in the case. We all know the story of the convict, who
on the scaffold bit off his mother's ear. By doing so he did not deny
the fact of his own crime, for which he was to hang; but he said that
his mother's indulgence, when he was a boy, had a good deal to do
with it. In like manner I had made a charge, and I had made it _ex
animo_; but I accused others of having led me into believing it and
publishing it.

But there was more than this meant in the words which I used:--first,
I will freely confess, indeed I said it some pages back, that I was
angry with the Anglican divines. I thought they had taken me in; I
had read the Fathers with their eyes; I had sometimes trusted their
quotations or their reasonings; and from reliance on them, I had used
words or made statements, which properly I ought rigidly to have
examined myself. I had exercised more faith than criticism in the
matter. This did not imply any broad misstatements on my part,
arising from reliance on their authority, but it implied carelessness
in matters of detail. And this of course was a fault.

But there was a far deeper reason for my saying what I said in this
matter, on which I have not hitherto touched; and it was this:--The
most oppressive thought, in the whole process of my change of
opinion, was the clear anticipation, verified by the event, that it
would issue in the triumph of Liberalism. Against the Anti-dogmatic
principle I had thrown my whole mind; yet now I was doing more than
any one else could do, to promote it. I was one of those who had kept
it at bay in Oxford for so many years; and thus my very retirement
was its triumph. The men who had driven me from Oxford were
distinctly the Liberals; it was they who had opened the attack upon
Tract 90, and it was they who would gain a second benefit, if I went
on to retire from the Anglican Church. But this was not all. As I
have already said, there are but two alternatives, the way to Rome,
and the way to Atheism: Anglicanism is the halfway house on the one
side, and Liberalism is the halfway house on the other. How many men
were there, as I knew full well, who would not follow me now in my
advance from Anglicanism to Rome, but would at once leave Anglicanism
and me for the Liberal camp. It is not at all easy (humanly speaking)
to wind up an Englishman to a dogmatic level. I had done so in a good
measure, in the case both of young men and of laymen, the Anglican
_Via Media_ being the representative of dogma. The dogmatic and the
Anglican principle were one, as I had taught them; but I was breaking
the _Via Media_ to pieces, and would not dogmatic faith altogether be
broken up, in the minds of a great number, by the demolition of the
_Via Media_? Oh! how unhappy this made me! I heard once from an
eyewitness the account of a poor sailor whose legs were shattered by
a ball, in the action off Algiers in 1816, and who was taken below
for an operation. The surgeon and the chaplain persuaded him to have
a leg off; it was done and the tourniquet applied to the wound. Then,
they broke it to him that he must have the other off too. The poor
fellow said, "You should have told me that, gentlemen," and
deliberately unscrewed the instrument and bled to death. Would not
that be the case with many friends of my own? How could I ever hope
to make them believe in a second theology, when I had cheated them in
the first? with what face could I publish a new edition of a dogmatic
creed, and ask them to receive it as gospel? Would it not be plain to
them that no certainty was to be found anywhere? Well, in my defence
I could but make a lame apology; however, it was the true one, viz.
that I had not read the Fathers critically enough; that in such nice
points, as those which determine the angle of divergence between the
two Churches, I had made considerable miscalculations; and how came
this about? Why the fact was, unpleasant as it was to avow, that I
had leaned too much upon the assertions of Ussher, Jeremy Taylor, or
Barrow, and had been deceived by them. Valeat quantum--it was all
that _could_ be said. This then was a chief reason of that wording of
the retractation, which has given so much offence, and the following
letter will illustrate it:--

"April 3, 1844. I wish to remark on W.'s chief distress, that my
changing my opinion seemed to unsettle one's confidence in truth and
falsehood as external things, and led one to be suspicious of the new
opinion as one became distrustful of the old. Now in what I shall
say, I am not going to speak in favour of my second thoughts in
comparison of my first, but against such scepticism and unsettlement
about truth and falsehood generally, the idea of which is very

"The case with me, then, was this, and not surely an unnatural
one:--as a matter of feeling and of duty I threw myself into the
system which I found myself in. I saw that the English Church had a
theological idea or theory as such, and I took it up. I read Laud on
Tradition, and thought it (as I still think it) very masterly. The
Anglican Theory was very distinctive. I admired it and took it on
faith. It did not (I think) occur to me to doubt it; I saw that it
was able, and supported by learning, and I felt it was a duty to
maintain it. Further, on looking into Antiquity and reading the
Fathers, I saw such portions of it as I examined, fully confirmed
(_e.g._ the supremacy of Scripture). There was only one question
about which I had a doubt, viz. whether it would _work_, for it has
never been more than a paper system....

"So far from my change of opinion having any fair tendency to
unsettle persons as to truth and falsehood viewed as objective
realities, it should be considered whether such change is not
_necessary_, if truth be a real objective thing, and be made to
confront a person who has been brought up in a system _short_ of
truth. Surely the _continuance_ of a person who wishes to go right in
a wrong system, and not his _giving it up_, would be that which
militated against the objectiveness of Truth, leading, as it would,
to the suspicion, that one thing and another were equally pleasing to
our Maker, where men were sincere.

"Nor surely is it a thing I need be sorry for, that I defended the
system in which I found myself, and thus have had to unsay my words.
For is it not one's duty, instead of beginning with criticism,
to throw oneself generously into that form of religion which is
providentially put before one? Is it right, or is it wrong, to begin
with private judgment? May we not, on the other hand, look for a
blessing _through_ obedience even to an erroneous system, and a
guidance even by means of it out of it? Were those who were strict
and conscientious in their Judaism, or those who were lukewarm and
sceptical, more likely to be led into Christianity, when Christ came?
Yet in proportion to their previous zeal, would be their appearance
of inconsistency. Certainly, I have always contended that obedience
even to an erring conscience was the way to gain light, and that
it mattered not where a man began, so that he began on what came
to hand, and in faith; and that anything might become a divine
method of Truth; that to the pure all things are pure, and have a
self-correcting virtue and a power of germinating. And though I have
no right at all to assume that this mercy is granted to me, yet the
fact, that a person in my situation _may_ have it granted to him,
seems to me to remove the perplexity which my change of opinion may

"It may be said--I have said it to myself--'Why, however, did you
_publish_? had you waited quietly, you would have changed your
opinion without any of the misery, which now is involved in the
change, of disappointing and distressing people.' I answer, that
things are so bound up together, as to form a whole, and one cannot
tell what is or is not a condition of what. I do not see how possibly
I could have published the Tracts, or other works professing to
defend our Church, without accompanying them with a strong protest or
argument against Rome. The one obvious objection against the whole
Anglican line is, that it is Roman; so that I really think there was
no alternative between silence altogether, and forming a theory and
attacking the Roman system."

2. And now, secondly, as to my resignation of St. Mary's, which was
the second of the steps which I took in 1843. The ostensible, direct,
and sufficient cause of my doing so was the persevering attack of the
Bishops on Tract 90. I alluded to it in the letter which I have
inserted above, addressed to one of the most influential among them.
A series of their _ex cathedrâ_ judgments, lasting through three
years, and including a notice of no little severity in a Charge of my
own Bishop, came as near to a condemnation of my Tract, and, so far,
to a repudiation of the ancient Catholic doctrine, which was the
scope of the Tract, as was possible in the Church of England. It was
in order to shield the Tract from such a condemnation, that I had at
the time of its publication so simply put myself at the disposal of
the higher powers in London. At that time, all that was distinctly
contemplated in the way of censure, was the message which my Bishop
sent me, that it was "objectionable." That I thought was the end of
the matter. I had refused to suppress it, and they had yielded that
point. Since I wrote the former portions of this narrative, I have
found what I wrote to Dr. Pusey on March 24, while the matter was in
progress. "The more I think of it," I said, "the more reluctant I am
to suppress Tract 90, though _of course_ I will do it if the Bishop
wishes it; I cannot, however, deny that I shall feel it a severe
act." According to the notes which I took of the letters or messages
which I sent to him in the course of that day, I went on to say, "My
first feeling was to obey without a word; I will obey still; but my
judgment has steadily risen against it ever since." Then in the
postscript, "If I have done any good to the Church, I do ask the
Bishop this favour, as my reward for it, that he would not insist on
a measure, from which I think good will not come. However, I will
submit to him." Afterwards, I get stronger still: "I have almost come
to the resolution, if the Bishop publicly intimates that I must
suppress the Tract, or speaks strongly in his charge against it, to
suppress it indeed, but to resign my living also. I could not in
conscience act otherwise. You may show this in any quarter you

All my then hopes, all my satisfaction at the apparent fulfilment of
those hopes, were at an end in 1843. It is not wonderful then, that
in May of that year I addressed a letter on the subject of St. Mary's
to the same friend, whom I had consulted about retiring from it in
1840. But I did more now; I told him my great unsettlement of mind on
the question of the Churches. I will insert portions of two of my

"May 4, 1843.... At present I fear, as far as I can analyze my own
convictions, I consider the Roman Catholic Communion to be the Church
of the Apostles, and that what grace is among us (which, through
God's mercy, is not little) is extraordinary, and from the
overflowings of His dispensation. I am very far more sure that
England is in schism, than that the Roman additions to the Primitive
Creed may not be developments, arising out of a keen and vivid
realizing of the Divine Depositum of Faith.

"You will now understand what gives edge to the Bishops' Charges,
without any undue sensitiveness on my part. They distress me in two
ways:--first, as being in some sense protests and witnesses to my
conscience against my own unfaithfulness to the English Church, and
next, as being samples of her teaching, and tokens how very far she
is from even aspiring to Catholicity.

"Of course my being unfaithful to a trust is my great subject of
dread--as it has long been, as you know."

When he wrote to make natural objections to my purpose, such as the
apprehension that the removal of clerical obligations might have the
indirect effect of propelling me towards Rome, I answered:--

"May 18, 1843.... My office or charge at St. Mary's is not a mere
_state_, but a continual _energy_. People assume and assert certain
things of me in consequence. With what sort of sincerity can I obey
the Bishop? how am I to act in the frequent cases, in which one way
or another the Church of Rome comes into consideration? I have to the
utmost of my power tried to keep persons from Rome, and with some
success; but even a year and a half since, my arguments, though more
efficacious with the persons I aimed at than any others could be,
were of a nature to infuse great suspicion of me into the minds of

"By retaining St. Mary's, I am an offence and a stumbling-block.
Persons are keen-sighted enough to make out what I think on certain
points, and then they infer that such opinions are compatible with
holding situations of trust in our Church. A number of younger men
take the validity of their interpretation of the Articles, etc., from
me on _faith_. Is not my present position a cruelty, as well as a
treachery towards the Church?

"I do not see how I can either preach or publish again, while I hold
St. Mary's;--but consider again the following difficulty in such a
resolution, which I must state at some length.

"Last Long Vacation the idea suggested itself to me of publishing the
Lives of the English Saints; and I had a conversation with [a
publisher] upon it. I thought it would be useful, as employing the
minds of men who were in danger of running wild, bringing them from
doctrine to history, and from speculation to fact;--again, as giving
them an interest in the English soil, and the English Church, and
keeping them from seeking sympathy in Rome, as she is; and further,
as seeking to promote the spread of right views.

"But, within the last month, it has come upon me, that, if the scheme
goes on, it will be a practical carrying out of No. 90; from the
character of the usages and opinions of ante-reformation times.

"It is easy to say, 'Why _will_ you do _any_ thing? why won't you
keep quiet? what business had you to think of any such plan at all?'
But I cannot leave a number of poor fellows in the lurch. I am bound
to do my best for a great number of people both in Oxford and
elsewhere. If _I_ did not act, others would find means to do so.

"Well, the plan has been taken up with great eagerness and interest.
Many men are setting to work. I set down the names of men, most of
them engaged, the rest half engaged and probable, some actually
writing." About thirty names follow, some of them at that time of the
school of Dr. Arnold, others of Dr. Pusey's, some my personal friends
and of my own standing, others whom I hardly knew, while of course
the majority were of the party of the new Movement. I continue:--

"The plan has gone so far, that it would create surprise and talk,
were it now suddenly given over. Yet how is it compatible with my
holding St. Mary's, being what I am?"

Such was the object and the origin of the projected series of the
English Saints; and, as the publication was connected, as has been
seen, with my resignation of St. Mary's, I may be allowed to conclude
what I have to say on the subject here, though it will read like a
digression. As soon then as the first of the series got into print,
the whole project broke down. I had already anticipated that some
portions of the series would be written in a style inconsistent with
the professions of a beneficed clergyman, and therefore I had given
up my living; but men of great weight went further, when they saw the
Life of St. Stephen Harding, and decided that it was of such a
character as to be inconsistent even with its being given to the
world by an Anglican publisher: and so the scheme was given up at
once. After the two first parts, I retired from the editorship, and
those Lives only were published in addition, which were then already
finished, or in advanced preparation. The following passages from
what I or others wrote at the time will illustrate what I have been

In November, 1844, I wrote thus to one of the authors of them: "I am
not Editor, I have no direct control over the Series. It is T.'s
work; he may admit what he pleases; and exclude what he pleases. I
was to have been Editor. I did edit the two first numbers. I was
responsible for them, in the way in which an Editor is responsible.
Had I continued Editor, I should have exercised a control over all. I
laid down in the Preface that doctrinal subjects were, if possible,
to be excluded. But, even then, I also set down that no writer was to
be held answerable for any of the Lives but his own. When I gave up
the Editorship, I had various engagements with friends for separate
Lives remaining on my hands. I should have liked to have broken from
them all, but there were some from which I could not break, and I let
them take their course. Some have come to nothing; others like yours
have gone on. I have seen such, either in MS. or Proof. As time goes
on, I shall have less and less to do with the Series. I think the
engagement between you and me should come to an end. I have anyhow
abundant responsibility on me, and too much. I shall write to T. that
if he wants the advantage of your assistance, he must write to you

In accordance with this letter, I had already advertised in January
1844, ten months before it, that "other Lives," after St. Stephen
Harding, "will be published by their respective authors on their own
responsibility." This notice is repeated in February, in the
advertisement to the second volume entitled "The Family of St.
Richard," though to this volume also, for some reason, I also put my
initials. In the Life of St. Augustine, the author, a man of nearly
my own age, says in like manner, "No one but himself is responsible
for the way in which these materials have been used." I have in MS.
another advertisement to the same effect, but cannot tell whether it
was ever put into print.

I will add, since the authors have been considered hot-headed boys,
whom I was in charge of and whom I suffered do intemperate things,
that, while the writer of St. Augustine was of the mature age which I
have stated, most of the others were on one side or other of thirty.
Three were under twenty-five. Moreover, of these writers some became
Catholics, some remained Anglicans, and others have professed what
are called free or liberal opinions.

The immediate cause of the resignation of my living is stated in the
following letter, which I wrote to my Bishop:--

"August 29, 1843. It is with much concern that I inform your
Lordship, that Mr. A. B., who has been for the last year an inmate of
my house here, has just conformed to the Church of Rome. As I have
ever been desirous, not only of faithfully discharging the trust,
which is involved in holding a living in your Lordship's diocese, but
of approving myself to your Lordship, I will for your information
state one or two circumstances connected with this unfortunate
event.... I received him on condition of his promising me, which he
distinctly did, that he would remain quietly in our Church for three
years. A year has passed since that time, and, though I saw nothing
in him which promised that he would eventually be contented with his
present position, yet for the time his mind became as settled as one
could wish, and he frequently expressed his satisfaction at being
under the promise which I had exacted of him."

I felt it impossible to remain any longer in the service of the
Anglican Church, when such a breach of trust, however little I had to
do with it, would be laid at my door. I wrote in a few days to a

"September 7, 1843. I this day ask the Bishop leave to resign St.
Mary's. Men whom you little think, or at least whom I little thought,
are in almost a hopeless way. Really we may expect anything. I am
going to publish a Volume of Sermons, including those Four against

I resigned my living on September 18th. I had not the means of doing
it legally at Oxford. The late Mr. Goldsmid aided me in resigning it
in London. I found no fault with the Liberals; they had beaten me in
a fair field. As to the act of the Bishops, I thought, as Walter
Scott has applied the text, that they had "seethed the kid in his
mother's milk."

I said to a friend:--

  "Victrix causa diis placuit, sed victa Catoni."

And now I have brought almost to an end, as far as this sketch has
to treat of them, the history both of my opinions, and of the public
acts which they involved. I had only one more advance of mind to
make; and that was, to be _certain_ of what I had hitherto
anticipated, concluded, and believed; and this was close upon my
submission to the Catholic Church. And I had only one more act to
perform, and that was the act of submission itself. But two years yet
intervened before the date of these final events; during which I was
in lay communion in the Church of England, attending its services as
usual, and abstaining altogether from intercourse with Catholics,
from their places of worship, and from those religious rites and
usages, such as the Invocation of Saints, which are characteristics
of their creed. I did all this on principle; for I never could
understand how a man could be of two religions at once.

What then I now have to add is of a private nature, being my
preparation for the great event, for which I was waiting, in the
interval between the autumns of 1843 and 1845.

And I shall almost confine what I have to say to this one point, the
difficulty I was in as to the best mode of revealing the state of my
mind to my friends and others, and how I managed to do it.

Up to January, 1842, I had not disclosed my state of unsettlement to
more than three persons, as has been mentioned above, and is repeated
in the letters which I am now about to give to the reader. To two of
them, intimate and familiar companions, in the Autumn of 1839: to the
third, an old friend too, when, I suppose, I was in great distress
of mind upon the affair of the Jerusalem Bishopric. In May, 1843,
I mentioned it to the friend, by whose advice I wished, as far as
possible, to be guided. To mention it on set purpose to any one,
unless indeed I was asking advice, I should have felt to be a crime.
If there is anything that was and is abhorrent to me, it is the
scattering doubts, and unsettling consciences without necessity. A
strong presentiment that my existing opinions would ultimately give
way, and that the grounds of them were unsound, was not a sufficient
warrant for disclosing the state of my mind. I had no guarantee yet,
that that presentiment would be realised. Supposing I were crossing
ice, which came right in my way, which I had good reasons for
considering sound, and which I saw numbers before me crossing in
safety, and supposing a stranger from the bank, in a voice of
authority, and in an earnest tone, warned me that it was dangerous,
and then was silent, I think I should be startled, and should look
about me anxiously, but I also should go on, till I had better
grounds for doubt; and such was my state, I believe, till the end of
1842. Then again, when my dissatisfaction became greater, it was hard
at first to determine the point of time, when it was too strong to
suppress with propriety. Certitude of course is a point, but doubt
is a progress; I was not near certitude yet. Certitude is a reflex
action; it is to know that one knows. I believe I had not that, till
close upon my reception into the Catholic Church. Again, a practical,
effective doubt is a point too, but who can easily ascertain it for
himself? Who can determine when it is, that the scales in the balance
of opinion begin to turn, and what was a greater probability in
behalf of a belief becomes a positive doubt against it?

In considering this question in its bearing upon my conduct in 1843,
my own simple answer to my great difficulty was, _Do_ what your
present state of opinion requires, and let that _doing_ tell: speak
by _acts_. This I did my first _act_ of the year was in February,
1843. After three months' deliberation I published my retractation of
the violent charges which I had made against Rome: I could not be
wrong in doing so much as this; but I did no more: I did not retract
my Anglican teaching. My second _act_ was in September; after much
sorrowful lingering and hesitation, I resigned my Living. I tried
indeed to keep Littlemore for myself, even though it was still to
remain an integral part of St. Mary's. I had made it a parish, and I
loved it; but I did not succeed in my attempt. I could indeed bear to
become the curate at will of another, but I hoped still that I might
have been my own master there. I had hoped an exception might have
been made in my favour, under the circumstances; but I did not gain
my request. Indeed, I was asking what was impracticable, and it is
well for me that it was so.

These were my two acts of the year, and I said, "I cannot be wrong in
making them; let that follow which must follow in the thoughts of
the world about me, when they see what I do." They fully answered my
purpose. What I felt as a simple duty to do, did create a general
suspicion about me, without such responsibility as would be involved
in my taking the initiative in creating it. Then, when friends wrote
me on the subject, either I did not deny or I confessed it, according
to the character and need of their letters. Sometimes, in the case of
intimate friends, whom I seemed to leave in ignorance of what others
knew about me, I invited the question.

And here comes in another point for explanation. While I was fighting
for the Anglican Church in Oxford, then indeed I was very glad to
make converts, and, though I never broke away from that rule of my
mind (as I may call it) of which I have already spoken, of finding
disciples rather than seeking them, yet, that I made advances to
others in a special way, I have no doubt; this came to an end,
however, as soon as I fell into misgivings as to the true ground to
be taken in the controversy. Then, when I gave up my place in the
Movement, I ceased from any such proceeding: and my utmost endeavour
was to tranquillise such persons, especially those who belonged to
the new school, as were unsettled in their religious views, and, as I
judged, hasty in their conclusions. This went on till 1843; but, at
that date, as soon as I turned my face Romeward, I gave up altogether
and in any shape, as far as ever was possible, the thought of acting
upon others. Then I myself was simply my own concern. How could I in
any sense direct others, who had to be guided in so momentous a
matter myself? How could I be considered in a position, even to say a
word to them one way or the other? How could I presume to unsettle
them, as I was unsettled, when I had no means of bringing them out of
such unsettlement? And, if they were unsettled already, how could I
point to them a place of refuge, which I was not sure that I should
choose for myself? My only line, my only duty, was to keep simply
to my own case. I recollected Pascal's words, "Je mourrai seul." I
deliberately put out of my thoughts all other works and claims, and
said nothing to any one, unless I was obliged.

But this brought upon me a great trouble. In the newspapers there
were continual reports about my intentions; I did not answer them;
presently strangers or friends wrote, begging to be allowed to answer
them; and, if I still kept to my resolution and said nothing, then I
was thought to be mysterious, and a prejudice was excited against me.
But, what was far worse, there were a number of tender, eager hearts,
of whom I knew nothing at all, who were watching me, wishing to think
as I thought, and to do as I did, if they could but find it out; who
in consequence were distressed, that, in so solemn a matter, they
could not see what was coming, and who heard reports about me this
way or that, on a first day and on a second; and felt the weariness
of waiting, and the sickness of delayed hope, and did not understand
that I was as perplexed as themselves, and, being of more sensitive
complexion of mind than myself, were made ill by the suspense.
And they too of course for the time thought me mysterious and
inexplicable. I ask their pardon as far as I was really unkind
to them. There was a gifted and deeply earnest lady, who in a
parabolical account of that time, has described both my conduct as
she felt it, and that of such as herself. In a singularly graphic,
amusing vision of pilgrims, who were making their way across a bleak
common in great discomfort, and who were ever warned against, yet
continually nearing, "the king's highway" on the right, she says,
"All my fears and disquiets were speedily renewed by seeing the most
daring of our leaders (the same who had first forced his way through
the palisade, and in whose courage and sagacity we all put implicit
trust) suddenly stop short, and declare that he would go on no
further. He did not, however, take the leap at once, but quietly sat
down on the top of the fence with his feet hanging towards the road,
as if he meant to take his time about it, and let himself down
easily." I do not wonder at all that I thus seemed so unkind to a
lady, who at that time had never seen me. We were both in trial in
our different ways. I am far from denying that I was acting selfishly
both towards them and towards others; but it was a religious
selfishness. Certainly to myself my own duty seemed clear. They that
are whole can heal others; but in my case it was, "Physician, heal
thyself." My own soul was my first concern, and it seemed an
absurdity to my reason to be converted in partnership. I wished to go
to my Lord by myself, and in my own way, or rather His way. I had
neither wish, nor, I may say, thought of taking a number with me. But
nothing of this could be known to others.

The following three letters are written to a friend, who had every
claim upon me to be frank with him:--it will be seen that I disclose
the real state of mind to him, in proportion as he presses me.

1. "October 14, 1843. I would tell you in a few words why I have
resigned St. Mary's, as you seem to wish, were it possible to do so.
But it is most difficult to bring out in brief, or even _in extenso_,
any just view of my feelings and reasons.

"The nearest approach I can give to a general account of them is to
say, that it has been caused by the general repudiation of the view,
contained in No. 90, on the part of the Church. I could not stand
against such an unanimous expression of opinion from the Bishops,
supported, as it has been, by the concurrence, or at least silence,
of all classes in the Church, lay and clerical. If there ever was a
case, in which an individual teacher has been put aside and virtually
put away by a community, mine is one. No decency has been observed in
the attacks upon me from authority; no protests have been offered
against them. It is felt,--I am far from denying, justly felt,--that
I am a foreign material, and cannot assimilate with the Church of

"Even my own Bishop has said that my mode of interpreting the
Articles makes them mean _anything or nothing_. When I heard this
delivered, I did not believe my ears. I denied to others that it was
said.... Out came the charge, and the words could not be mistaken.
This astonished me the more, because I published that Letter to him
(how unwillingly you know) on the understanding that _I_ was to
deliver his judgment on No. 90 _instead_ of him. A year elapses, and
a second and heavier judgment came forth. I did not bargain for
this,--nor did he, but the tide was too strong for him.

"I fear that I must confess, that, in proportion as I think the
English Church is showing herself intrinsically and radically alien
from Catholic principles, so do I feel the difficulties of defending
her claims to be a branch of the Catholic Church. It seems a dream to
call a communion Catholic, when one can neither appeal to any clear
statement of Catholic doctrine in its formularies, nor interpret
ambiguous formularies by the received and living Catholic sense,
whether past or present. Men of Catholic views are too truly but a
party in our Church. I cannot deny that many other independent
circumstances, which it is not worth while entering into, have led me
to the same conclusion.

"I do not say all this to every body, as you may suppose; but I do
not like to make a secret of it to you."

2. "Oct. 25, 1843. You have engaged in a dangerous correspondence; I
am deeply sorry for the pain I shall give you.

"I must tell you then frankly (but I combat arguments which to me,
alas, are shadows), that it is not from disappointment, irritation,
or impatience, that I have, whether rightly or wrongly, resigned St.
Mary's; but because I think the Church of Rome the Catholic Church,
and ours not part of the Catholic Church, because not in communion
with Rome; and because I feel that I could not honestly be a teacher
in it any longer.

"This thought came to me last summer four years.... I mentioned it to
two friends in the autumn.... It arose in the first instance from the
Monophysite and Donatist controversies, the former of which I was
engaged with in the course of theological study to which I had given
myself. This was at a time when no Bishop, I believe, had declared
against us, and when all was progress and hope. I do not think I have
ever felt disappointment or impatience, certainly not then; for I
never looked forward to the future, nor do I realise it now.

"My first effort was to write that article on the Catholicity of the
English Church; for two years it quieted me. Since the summer of 1839
I have written little or nothing on modern controversy.... You know
how unwillingly I wrote my letter to the Bishop in which I committed
myself again, as the safest course under circumstances. The article I
speak of quieted me till the end of 1841, over the affair of No. 90,
when that wretched Jerusalem Bishopric (no personal matter) revived
all my alarms. They have increased up to this moment. At that time I
told my secret to another person in addition.

"You see then that the various ecclesiastical and
quasi-ecclesiastical acts, which have taken place in the course of
the last two years and a half, are not the _cause_ of my state of
opinion, but are keen stimulants and weighty confirmations of a
conviction forced upon me, while engaged in the _course of duty_,
viz. that theological reading to which I had given myself. And this
last-mentioned circumstance is a fact, which has never, I think, come
before me till now that I write to you.

"It is three years since, on account of my state of opinion, I urged
the Provost in vain to let St. Mary's be separated from Littlemore;
thinking I might with a safe conscience serve the latter, though I
could not comfortably continue in so public a place as a University.
This was before No. 90.

"Finally, I have acted under advice, and that, not of my own
choosing, but what came to me in the way of duty, nor the advice of
those only who agree with me, but of near friends who differ from me.

"I have nothing to reproach myself with, as far as I see, in the
matter of impatience; _i.e._ practically or in conduct. And I trust
that He, who has kept me in the slow course of change hitherto, will
keep me still from hasty acts or resolves with a doubtful conscience.

"This I am sure of, that such interposition as yours, kind as it is,
only does what _you_ would consider harm. It makes me realise my own
views to myself; it makes me see their consistency; it assures me of
my own deliberateness; it suggests to me the traces of a Providential
Hand; it takes away the pain of disclosures; it relieves me of a
heavy secret.

"You may make what use of my letters you think right."

My correspondent wrote to me once more, and I replied thus: "October
31, 1843. Your letter has made my heart ache more, and caused me more
and deeper sighs than any I have had a long while, though I assure
you there is much on all sides of me to cause sighing and heartache.
On all sides I am quite haunted by the one dreadful whisper repeated
from so many quarters, and causing the keenest distress to friends.
You know but a part of my present trial, in knowing that I am
unsettled myself.

"Since the beginning of this year I have been obliged to tell the
state of my mind to some others; but never, I think, without being in
a way obliged, as from friends writing to me as you did, or guessing
how matters stood. No one in Oxford knows it or here" [Littlemore],
"but one friend whom I felt I could not help telling the other day.
But, I suppose, very many suspect it."

On receiving these letters, my correspondent, if I recollect rightly,
at once communicated the matter of them to Dr. Pusey, and this will
enable me to state as nearly as I can the way in which my changed
state of opinion was made known to him.

I had from the first a great difficulty in making Dr. Pusey
understand such differences of opinion as existed between himself
and me. When there was a proposal about the end of 1838 for a
subscription for a Cranmer Memorial, he wished us both to subscribe
together to it. I could not, of course, and wished him to subscribe
by himself. That he would not do; he could not bear the thought of
our appearing to the world in separate positions, in a matter of
importance. And, as time went on, he would not take any hints, which
I gave him, on the subject of my growing inclination to Rome. When I
found him so determined, I often had not the heart to go on. And then
I knew, that, from affection to me, he so often took up and threw
himself into what I said, that I felt the great responsibility I
should incur, if I put things before him just as I might view them.
And, not knowing him so well as I did afterwards, I feared lest I
should unsettle him. And moreover, I recollected well, how prostrated
he had been with illness in 1832, and I used always to think that the
start of the Movement had given him a fresh life. I fancied that his
physical energies even depended on the presence of a vigorous hope
and bright prospects for his imagination to feed upon; so much so,
that when he was so unworthily treated by the authorities of the
place in 1843, I recollect writing to the late Mr. Dodsworth to state
my anxiety, lest, if his mind became dejected in consequence, his
health would suffer seriously also. These were difficulties in my
way; and then again, another difficulty was, that, as we were not
together under the same roof, we only saw each other at set times;
others indeed, who were coming in or out of my rooms freely, and as
there might be need at the moment, knew all my thoughts easily; but
for him to know them well, formal efforts were necessary. A common
friend of ours broke it all to him in 1841, as far as matters had
gone at that time, and showed him clearly the logical conclusions
which must lie in propositions to which I had committed myself; but
somehow or other in a little while, his mind fell back into its
former happy state, and he could not bring himself to believe that
he and I should not go on pleasantly together to the end. But that
affectionate dream needs must have been broken at last; and two years
afterwards, that friend to whom I wrote the letters which I have just
now inserted, set himself, as I have said, to break it. Upon that, I
too begged Dr. Pusey to tell in private to any one he would, that I
thought in the event I should leave the Church of England. However,
he would not do so; and at the end of 1844 had almost relapsed into
his former thoughts about me, if I may judge from a letter of his
which I have found. Nay, at the Commemoration of 1845, a few months
before I left the Anglican Church, I think he said about me to a
friend, "I trust after all we shall keep him."

In that autumn of 1843, at the time that I spoke to Dr. Pusey, I
asked another friend also to communicate to others in confidence the
prospect which lay before me.

To another friend I gave the opportunity of knowing it, if he would,
in the following postscript to a letter:--

"While I write, I will add a word about myself. You may come near a
person or two who, owing to circumstances, know more exactly my state
of feeling than you do, though they would not tell you. Now I do not
like that you should not be aware of this, though I see no _reason_
why you should know what they happen to know. Your wishing it
otherwise would _be_ a reason."

I had a dear and old friend, near his death; I never told him my
state of mind. Why should I unsettle that sweet calm tranquillity,
when I had nothing to offer him instead? I could not say, "Go to
Rome;" else I should have shown him the way. Yet I offered myself for
his examination. One day he led the way to my speaking out; but,
rightly or wrongly, I could not respond. My reason was, "I have no
certainty on the matter myself. To say 'I think' is to tease and to
distress, not to persuade."

I wrote to him on Michaelmas Day, 1843: "As you may suppose, I have
nothing to write to you about, pleasant. I _could_ tell you some very
painful things; but it is best not to anticipate trouble, which after
all can but happen, and, for what one knows, may be averted. You are
always so kind, that sometimes, when I part with you, I am nearly
moved to tears, and it would be a relief to be so, at your kindness
and at my hardness. I think no one ever had such kind friends as I

The next year, January 22, I wrote to him: "Pusey has quite enough on
him, and generously takes on himself more than enough, for me to add
burdens when I am not obliged; particularly too, when I am very
conscious, that there _are_ burdens, which I am or shall be obliged
to lay upon him some time or other, whether I will or no."

And on February 21: "Half-past ten. I am just up, having a bad cold;
the like has not happened to me (except twice in January) in my
memory. You may think you have been in my thoughts, long before my
rising. Of course you are so continually, as you well know. I could
not come to see you; I am not worthy of friends. With my opinions,
to the full of which I dare not confess, I feel like a guilty person
with others, though I trust I am not so. People kindly think that I
have much to bear externally, disappointment, slander, etc. No, I
have nothing to bear, but the anxiety which I feel for my friends'
anxiety for me, and their perplexity. This [letter] is a better
Ash-Wednesday than birthday present;" [his birthday was the same day
as mine; it was Ash-Wednesday that year]; "but I cannot help writing
about what is uppermost. And now all kindest and best wishes to you,
my oldest friend, whom I must not speak more about, and with
reference to myself, lest you should be angry." It was not in his
nature to have doubts: he used to look at me with anxiety, and wonder
what had come over me.

On Easter Monday: "All that is good and gracious descend upon you and
yours from the influences of this Blessed Season; and it will be so
(so be it!), for what is the life of you all, as day passes after
day, but a simple endeavour to serve Him, from whom all blessing
comes? Though we are separated in place, yet this we have in common,
that you are living a calm and cheerful time, and I am enjoying the
thought of you. It is your blessing to have a clear heaven, and peace
around, according to the blessing pronounced on Benjamin. So it is,
and so may it ever be."

He was in simple good faith. He died in September that year. I had
expected that his last illness would have brought light to my mind,
as to what I ought to do. It brought none. I made a note, which runs
thus: "I sobbed bitterly over his coffin, to think that he left me
still dark as to what the way of truth was, and what I ought to do in
order to please God and fulfil His will." I think I wrote to Charles
Marriott to say, that at that moment, with the thought of my friend
before me, my strong view in favour of Rome remained just what it
was. On the other hand, my firm belief that grace was to be found in
the Anglican Church remained too.[5] I wrote to a friend upon his

"Sept. 16, 1844. I am full of wrong and miserable feelings, which it
is useless to detail, so grudging and sullen, when I should be
thankful. Of course, when one sees so blessed an end, and that, the
termination of so blameless a life, of one who really fed on our
ordinances and got strength from them, and see the same continued in
a whole family, the little children finding quite a solace of their
pain in the Daily Prayer, it is impossible not to feel more at ease
in our Church, as at least a sort of Zoar, a place of refuge and
temporary rest, because of the steepness of the way. Only, may we be
kept from unlawful security, lest we have Moab and Ammon for our
progeny, the enemies of Israel."

I could not continue in this state, either in the light of duty or of
reason. My difficulty was this: I had been deceived greatly once; how
could I be sure that I was not deceived a second time? I then thought
myself right; how was I to be certain that I was right now? How many
years had I thought myself sure of what I now rejected? how could I
ever again have confidence in myself? As in 1840 I listened to the
rising doubt in favour of Rome, now I listened to the waning doubt
in favour of the English Church. To be certain is to know that one
knows; what test had I, that I should not change again, after that I
had become a Catholic? I had still apprehension of this, though I
thought a time would come, when it would depart. However, some limit
ought to be put to these vague misgivings; I must do my best and then
leave it to a higher power to prosper it. So, I determined to write
an essay on Doctrinal Development; and then, if, at the end of it, my
convictions in favour of the Roman Church were not weaker, to make up
my mind to seek admission into her fold. I acted upon this resolution
in the beginning of 1845, and worked at my Essay steadily into the

I told my resolution to various friends at the beginning of the year;
indeed, it was at that time known generally. I wrote to a friend

"My intention is, if nothing comes upon me, which I cannot foresee,
to remain quietly _in statu quo_ for a considerable time, trusting
that my friends will kindly remember me and my trial in their
prayers. And I should give up my fellowship some time before anything
further took place."

One very dear friend, now no more, Charles Marriott, sent me a letter
at the beginning of the next year, from which, from love of him, I
quote some sentences:--

"January 15, 1845. You know me well enough to be aware, that I never
see through anything at first. Your letter to B. casts a gloom over
the future, which you can understand, if you have understood me, as I
believe you have. But I may speak out at once, of what I see and
feel at once, and doubt not that I shall ever feel: that your whole
conduct towards the Church of England and towards us, who have
striven and are still striving to seek after God for ourselves,
and to revive true religion among others, under her authority and
guidance, has been generous and considerate, and, were that word
appropriate, dutiful, to a degree that I could scarcely have
conceived possible, more unsparing of self than I should have thought
nature could sustain. I have felt with pain every link that you have
severed, and I have asked no questions, because I felt that you ought
to measure the disclosure of your thoughts according to the occasion,
and the capacity of those to whom you spoke. I write in haste, in
the midst of engagements engrossing in themselves, but partly made
tasteless, partly embittered by what I have heard; but I am willing
to trust even you, whom I love best on earth, in God's Hand, in the
earnest prayer that you may be so employed as is best for the Holy
Catholic Church."

There was a lady, who was very anxious on the subject, and I wrote to
her the following letters:--

1. "October, 1844. What can I say more to your purpose? If you will
ask me any specific questions, I will answer them, as far as I am

2. "November 7, 1844. I am still where I was; I am not moving. Two
things, however, seem plain, that every one is prepared for such an
event, next, that every one expects it of me. Few indeed, who do not
think it suitable, fewer still, who do not think it likely. However,
I do not think it either suitable or likely. I have very little
reason to doubt about the issue of things, but the when and the how
are known to Him, from whom, I trust, both the course of things and
the issue come. The expression of opinion, and the latent and
habitual feeling about me, which is on every side and among all
parties, has great force. I insist upon it, because I have a great
dread of going by my own feelings, lest they should mislead me. By
one's sense of duty one must go; but external facts support one in
doing so."

3. "January 8, 1845. My full belief is, in accordance with your
letter, that, if there is a move in our Church, very few persons
indeed will be partners to it. I doubt whether one or two at the most
among residents at Oxford. And I don't know whether I can wish it.
The state of the Roman Catholics is at present so unsatisfactory.
This I am sure of, that nothing but a simple, direct call of duty is
a warrant for any one leaving our Church; no preference of another
Church, no delight in its services, no hope of greater religious
advancement in it, no indignation, no disgust, at the persons and
things, among which we may find ourselves in the Church of England.
The simple question is, Can _I_ (it is personal, not whether another,
but can _I_) be saved in the English Church? am _I_ in safety, were I
to die tonight? Is it a mortal sin in _me_, not joining another
communion? P.S. I hardly see my way to concur in attendance, though
occasional, in the Roman Catholic chapel, unless a man has made up
his mind pretty well to join it eventually. Invocations are not
_required_ in the Church of Rome; somehow, I do not like using them
except under the sanction of the Church, and this makes me unwilling
to admit them in members of our Church."

4. "March 30. Now I will tell you more than any one knows except two
friends. My own convictions are as strong, as I suppose they can
become: only it is so difficult to know whether it is a call of
_reason_ or of conscience. I cannot make out, if I am impelled by
what seems clear, or by a sense of _duty_. You can understand how
painful this doubt is; so I have waited, hoping for light, and using
the words of the Psalmist, 'Show some token upon me.' But I suppose I
have no right to wait for ever for this. Then I am waiting, because
friends are most considerately bearing me in mind, and asking
guidance for me; and, I trust, I should attend to any new feelings
which came upon me, should that be the effect of their kindness. And
then this waiting subserves the purpose of preparing men's minds.
I dread shocking, unsettling people. Anyhow, I can't avoid giving
incalculable pain. So, if I had my will, I should like to wait till
the summer of 1846, which would be a full seven years from the time
that my convictions first began to fall on me. But I don't think I
shall last so long.

"My present intention is to give up my Fellowship in October, and to
publish some work or treatise between that and Christmas. I wish
people to know _why_ I am acting, as well as _what_ I am doing; it
takes off that vague and distressing surprise, 'What _can_ have made

5. "June 1. What you tell me of yourself makes it plain that it is
your duty to remain quietly and patiently, till you see more clearly
where you are; else you are leaping in the dark."

In the early part of this year, if not before, there was an idea
afloat that my retirement from the Anglican Church was owing to the
feeling that I had so been thrust aside, without any one's taking my
part. Various measures were, I believe, talked of in consequence of
this surmise. Coincidently with it was an exceedingly kind article
about me in a quarterly, in its April number. The writer praised me
in feeling and beautiful language far above my deserts. In the course
of his remarks, he said, speaking of me as Vicar of St. Mary's: "He
had the future race of clergy hearing him. Did he value and feel
tender about, and cling to his position? ...Not at all.... No
sacrifice to him perhaps, he did not care about such things."

This was the occasion of my writing to a very intimate friend the
following letter:--

"April 3, 1845.... Accept this apology, my dear C., and forgive me.
As I say so, tears come into my eyes--that arises from the accident
of this time, when I am giving up so much I love. Just now I have
been overset by A. B.'s article in the C. D.; yet really, my dear C.,
I have never for an instant had even the temptation of repenting my
leaving Oxford. The feeling of repentance has not even come into my
mind. How could it? How could I remain at St. Mary's a hypocrite? how
could I be answerable for souls (and life so uncertain), with the
convictions, or at least persuasions, which I had upon me? It is
indeed a responsibility to act as I am doing; and I feel His hand
heavy on me without intermission, who is all Wisdom and Love, so that
my heart and mind are tired out, just as the limbs might be from
a load on one's back. That sort of dull aching pain is mine; but
my responsibility really is nothing to what it would be, to be
answerable for souls, for confiding loving souls, in the English
Church, with my convictions. My love to Marriott, and save me the
pain of sending him a line."

In July a bishop thought it worth while to give out to the world that
"the adherents of Mr. Newman are few in number. A short time will now
probably suffice to prove this fact. It is well known that he is
preparing for secession; and, when that event takes place, it will be
seen how few will go with him."

All this time I was hard at my essay on Doctrinal Development. As I
advanced, my view so cleared that instead of speaking any more of
"the Roman Catholics," I boldly called them Catholics. Before I got
to the end, I resolved to be received, and the book remains in the
state in which it was then, unfinished.

On October 8th I wrote to a number of friends the following letter:--

"Littlemore, October 8, 1845. I am this night expecting Father
Dominic, the Passionist, who, from his youth, has been led to have
distinct and direct thoughts, first of the countries of the North,
then of England. After thirty years' (almost) waiting, he was without
his own act sent here. But he has had little to do with conversions.
I saw him here for a few minutes on St. John Baptist's day last year.
He does not know of my intention; but I mean to ask of him admission
into the one Fold of Christ....

"I have so many letters to write, that this must do for all who
choose to ask about me. With my best love to dear Charles Marriott,
who is over your head, etc., etc.

"P.S. This will not go till all is over. Of course it requires no

For a while after my reception, I proposed to betake myself to some
secular calling. I wrote thus in answer to a very gracious letter of

"Nov. 25, 1845. I hope you will have anticipated, before I express
it, the great gratification which I received from your Eminence's
letter. That gratification, however, was tempered by the
apprehension, that kind and anxious well-wishers at a distance attach
more importance to my step than really belongs to it. To me indeed
personally it is of course an inestimable gain; but persons and
things look great at a distance, which are not so when seen close;
and, did your Eminence know me, you would see that I was one, about
whom there has been far more talk for good and bad than he deserves,
and about whose movements far more expectation has been raised than
the event will justify.

"As I never, I do trust, aimed at anything else than obedience to my
own sense of right, and have been magnified into the leader of a
party without my wishing it or acting as such, so now, much as I may
wish to the contrary, and earnestly as I may labour (as is my duty)
to minister in a humble way to the Catholic Church, yet my powers
will, I fear, disappoint the expectations of both my own friends, and
of those who pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

"If I might ask of your Eminence a favour, it is that you would
kindly moderate those anticipations. Would it were in my power to do,
what I do not aspire to do! At present certainly I cannot look
forward to the future, and, though it would be a good work if I could
persuade others to do as I have done, yet it seems as if I had quite
enough to do in thinking of myself."

Soon, Dr. Wiseman, in whose vicariate Oxford lay, called me to
Oscott; and I went there with others; afterwards he sent me to Rome,
and finally placed me in Birmingham.

I wrote to a friend:--

"January 20, 1846. You may think how lonely I am. 'Obliviscere
populum tuum et domum patris tui,' has been in my ears for the last
twelve hours. I realise more that we are leaving Littlemore, and it
is like going on the open sea."

I left Oxford for good on Monday, February 23, 1846. On the Saturday
and Sunday before, I was in my house at Littlemore simply by myself,
as I had been for the first day or two when I had originally taken
possession of it. I slept on Sunday night at my dear friend's, Mr.
Johnson's, at the Observatory. Various friends came to see the last
of me; Mr. Copeland, Mr. Church, Mr. Buckle, Mr. Pattison, and Mr.
Lewis. Dr. Pusey too came up to take leave of me; and I called on Dr.
Ogle, one of my very oldest friends, for he was my private tutor when
I was an undergraduate. In him I took leave of my first college,
Trinity, which was so dear to me, and which held on its foundation so
many who have been kind to me both when I was a boy, and all through
my Oxford life. Trinity had never been unkind to me. There used to be
much snapdragon growing on the walls opposite my freshman's rooms
there, and I had for years taken it as the emblem of my own perpetual
residence even unto death in my University.

On the morning of the 23rd I left the observatory. I have never seen
Oxford since, excepting its spires, as they are seen from the


[3] As I am not writing controversially, I will only here remark upon
this argument, that there is a great difference between a command,
which implies physical conditions, and one which is moral. To go to
Jerusalem was a matter of the body, not of the soul.

[4] I cannot prove this at this distance of time; but I do not think it
wrong to introduce here the passage containing it, as I am imputing
to the Bishop nothing which the world would think disgraceful, but,
on the contrary, what a large religious body would approve.

[5] On this subject, _vid_. my third lecture on "Anglican

Part VII

General answer to Mr. Kingsley

From the time that I became a Catholic, of course I have no further
history of my religious opinions to narrate. In saying this, I do not
mean to say that my mind has been idle, or that I have given up
thinking on theological subjects; but that I have had no changes to
record, and have had no anxiety of heart whatever. I have been in
perfect peace and contentment. I never have had one doubt. I was
not conscious to myself, on my conversion, of any difference of
thought or of temper from what I had before. I was not conscious of
firmer faith in the fundamental truths of revelation, or of more
self-command; I had not more fervour; but it was like coming into
port after a rough sea; and my happiness on that score remains to
this day without interruption.

Nor had I any trouble about receiving those additional articles,
which are not found in the Anglican Creed. Some of them I believed
already, but not any one of them was a trial to me. I made a
profession of them upon my reception with the greatest ease, and I
have the same ease in believing them now. I am far of course from
denying that every article of the Christian Creed, whether as held by
Catholics or by Protestants, is beset with intellectual difficulties;
and it is simple fact, that, for myself, I cannot answer those
difficulties. Many persons are very sensitive of the difficulties of
religion; I am as sensitive as any one; but I have never been able to
see a connection between apprehending those difficulties, however
keenly, and multiplying them to any extent, and doubting the
doctrines to which they are attached. Ten thousand difficulties do
not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and
doubt are incommensurate. There of course may be difficulties in
the evidence; but I am speaking of difficulties intrinsic to the
doctrines, or to their compatibility with each other. A man may be
annoyed that he cannot work out a mathematical problem, of which the
answer is or is not given to him, without doubting that it admits of
an answer, or that a particular answer is the true one. Of all points
of faith, the being of a God is, to my own apprehension, encompassed
with most difficulty, and borne in upon our minds with most power.

People say that the doctrine of Transubstantiation is difficult to
believe; I did not believe the doctrine till I was a Catholic. I had
no difficulty in believing it as soon as I believed that the Catholic
Roman Church was the oracle of God, and that she had declared this
doctrine to be part of the original revelation. It is difficult,
impossible to imagine, I grant--but how is it difficult to believe?
Yet Macaulay thought it so difficult to believe, that he had need of
a believer in it of talents as eminent as Sir Thomas More, before he
could bring himself to conceive that the Catholics of an enlightened
age could resist "the overwhelming force of the argument against it."
"Sir Thomas More," he says, "is one of the choice specimens of wisdom
and virtue; and the doctrine of transubstantiation is a kind of proof
charge. A faith which stands that test, will stand any test." But for
myself, I cannot indeed prove it, I cannot tell _how_ it is; but I
say, "Why should it not be? What's to hinder it? What do I know of
substance or matter? just as much as the greatest philosophers, and
that is nothing at all;"--so much is this the case, that there is a
rising school of philosophy now, which considers phenomena to
constitute the whole of our knowledge in physics. The Catholic
doctrine leaves phenomena alone. It does not say that the phenomena
go; on the contrary, it says that they remain: nor does it say that
the same phenomena are in several places at once. It deals with what
no one on earth knows anything about, the material substances
themselves. And, in like manner, of that majestic article of the
Anglican as well as of the Catholic Creed--the doctrine of the
Trinity in Unity. What do I know of the essence of the Divine Being?
I know that my abstract idea of three is simply incompatible with my
idea of one; but when I come to the question of concrete fact, I have
no means of proving that there is not a sense in which one and three
can equally be predicated of the Incommunicable God.

But I am going to take upon myself the responsibility of more than
the mere creed of the Church; as the parties accusing me are
determined I shall do. They say, that now, in that I am a Catholic,
though I may not have offences of my own against honesty to answer
for, yet, at least, I am answerable for the offences of others, of my
co-religionists, of my brother priests, of the Church herself. I am
quite willing to accept the responsibility; and, as I have been able,
as I trust, by means of a few words, to dissipate, in the minds of
all those who do not begin with disbelieving me, the suspicion with
which so many Protestants start, in forming their judgment of
Catholics, viz. that our creed is actually set up in inevitable
superstition and hypocrisy, as the original sin of Catholicism; so
now I will go on, as before, identifying myself with the Church and
vindicating it--not of course denying the enormous mass of sin and
ignorance which exists of necessity in that world-wide multiform
communion--but going to the proof of this one point, that its system
is in no sense dishonest, and that therefore the upholders and
teachers of that system, as such, have a claim to be acquitted in
their own persons of that odious imputation.

Starting then with the being of a God (which, as I have said, is as
certain to me as the certainty of my own existence, though when I try
to put the grounds of that certainty into logical shape I find a
difficulty in doing so in mood and figure to my satisfaction), I look
out of myself into the world of men, and there I see a sight which
fills me with unspeakable distress. The world seems simply to give
the lie to that great truth, of which my whole being is so full; and
the effect upon me is, in consequence, as a matter of necessity, as
confusing as if it denied that I am in existence myself. If I looked
into a mirror, and did not see my face, I should have the sort of
feeling which actually comes upon me, when I look into this living
busy world, and see no reflexion of its Creator. This is, to me, one
of the great difficulties of this absolute primary truth, to which I
referred just now. Were it not for this voice, speaking so clearly in
my conscience and my heart, I should be an atheist, or a pantheist,
or a polytheist when I looked into the world. I am speaking for
myself only; and I am far from denying the real force of the
arguments in proof of a God, drawn from the general facts of human
society, but these do not warm me or enlighten me; they do not take
away the winter of my desolation, or make the buds unfold and the
leaves grow within me, and my moral being rejoice. The sight of the
world is nothing else than the prophet's scroll, full of
"lamentations, and mourning, and woe."

To consider the world in its length and breadth, its various history,
the many races of man, their starts, their fortunes, their mutual
alienation, their conflicts; and then their ways, habits,
governments, forms of worship; their enterprises, their aimless
courses, their random achievements and acquirements, the impotent
conclusion of long-standing facts, the tokens so faint and broken,
of a superintending design, the blind evolution of what turn out
to be great powers or truths, the progress of things, as if from
unreasoning elements, not towards final causes, the greatness and
littleness of man, his far-reaching aims, his short duration, the
curtain hung over his futurity, the disappointments of life, the
defeat of good, the success of evil, physical pain, mental anguish,
the prevalence and intensity of sin, the pervading idolatries, the
corruptions, the dreary hopeless irreligion, that condition of the
whole race, so fearfully yet exactly described in the Apostle's
words, "having no hope and without God in the world,"--all this is a
vision to dizzy and appal; and inflicts upon the mind the sense of a
profound mystery, which is absolutely beyond human solution.

What shall be said to this heart-piercing, reason-bewildering fact? I
can only answer, that either there is no Creator, or this living
society of men is in a true sense discarded from His presence. Did I
see a boy of good make and mind, with the tokens on him of a refined
nature, cast upon the world without provision, unable to say whence
he came, his birthplace or his family connections, I should conclude
that there was some mystery connected with his history, and that he
was one, of whom, from one cause or other, his parents were ashamed.
Thus only should I be able to account for the contrast between the
promise and condition of his being. And so I argue about the
world;--_if_ there be a God, _since_ there is a God, the human race
is implicated in some terrible aboriginal calamity. It is out of
joint with the purposes of its Creator. This is a fact, a fact as
true as the fact of its existence; and thus the doctrine of what is
theologically called original sin becomes to me almost as certain as
that the world exists, and as the existence of God.

And now, supposing it were the blessed and loving will of the Creator
to interfere in this anarchical condition of things, what are we to
suppose would be the methods which might be necessarily or naturally
involved in His object of mercy? Since the world is in so abnormal a
state, surely it would be no surprise to me, if the interposition
were of necessity equally extraordinary--or what is called
miraculous. But that subject does not directly come into the scope of
my present remarks. Miracles as evidence, involve an argument; and of
course I am thinking of some means which does not immediately run
into argument. I am rather asking what must be the face-to-face
antagonist, by which to withstand and baffle the fierce energy of
passion and the all-corroding, all-dissolving scepticism of the
intellect in religious inquiries? I have no intention at all to deny,
that truth is the real object of our reason, and that, if it does not
attain to truth, either the premiss or the process is in fault; but I
am not speaking of right reason, but of reason as it acts in fact and
concretely in fallen man. I know that even the unaided reason, when
correctly exercised, leads to a belief in God, in the immortality of
the soul, and in a future retribution; but I am considering it
actually and historically; and in this point of view, I do not think
I am wrong in saying that its tendency is towards a simple unbelief
in matters of religion. No truth, however sacred, can stand against
it, in the long run; and hence it is that in the pagan world, when
our Lord came, the last traces of the religious knowledge of former
times were all but disappearing from those portions of the world in
which the intellect had been active and had had a career.

And in these latter days, in like manner, outside the Catholic Church
things are tending, with far greater rapidity than in that old time
from the circumstance of the age, to atheism in one shape or other.
What a scene, what a prospect, does the whole of Europe present at
this day! and not only Europe, but every government and every
civilization through the world, which is under the influence of the
European mind! Especially, for it most concerns us, how sorrowful, in
the view of religion, even taken in its most elementary, most
attenuated form, is the spectacle presented to us by the educated
intellect of England, France, and Germany! Lovers of their country
and of their race, religious men, external to the Catholic Church,
have attempted various expedients to arrest fierce wilful human
nature in its onward course, and to bring it into subjection. The
necessity of some form of religion for the interests of humanity, has
been generally acknowledged: but where was the concrete
representative of things invisible, which would have the force and
the toughness necessary to be a breakwater against the deluge? Three
centuries ago the establishment of religion, material, legal, and
social, was generally adopted as the best expedient for the purpose,
in those countries which separated from the Catholic Church; and for
a long time it was successful; but now the crevices of those
establishments are admitting the enemy. Thirty years ago, education
was relied upon: ten years ago there was a hope that wars would cease
for ever, under the influence of commercial enterprise and the reign
of the useful and fine arts; but will any one venture to say that
there is anything anywhere on this earth, which will afford a fulcrum
for us, whereby to keep the earth from moving onwards?

The judgment, which experience passes on establishments or education,
as a means of maintaining religious truth in this anarchical world,
must be extended even to Scripture, though Scripture be divine.
Experience proves surely that the Bible does not answer a purpose,
for which it was never intended. It may be accidentally the means of
the conversion of individuals; but a book, after all, cannot make a
stand against the wild living intellect of man, and in this day it
begins to testify, as regards its own structure and contents, to the
power of that universal solvent, which is so successfully acting upon
religious establishments.

Supposing then it to be the Will of the Creator to interfere in human
affairs, and to make provisions for retaining in the world a
knowledge of Himself, so definite and distinct as to be proof against
the energy of human scepticism, in such a case--I am far from saying
that there was no other way--but there is nothing to surprise the
mind, if He should think fit to introduce a power into the world,
invested with the prerogative of infallibility in religious matters.
Such a provision would be a direct, immediate, active, and prompt
means of withstanding the difficulty; it would be an instrument
suited to the need; and, when I find that this is the very claim of
the Catholic Church, not only do I feel no difficulty in admitting
the idea, but there is a fitness in it, which recommends it to my
mind. And thus I am brought to speak of the Church's infallibility,
as a provision, adapted by the mercy of the Creator, to preserve
religion in the world, and to restrain that freedom of thought, which
of course in itself is one of the greatest of our natural gifts, and
to rescue it from its own suicidal excesses. And let it be observed
that, neither here nor in what follows, shall I have occasion to
speak directly of the revealed body of truths, but only as they bear
upon the defence of natural religion. I say, that a power, possessed
of infallibility in religious teaching, is happily adapted to be
a working instrument, in the course of human affairs, for smiting
hard and throwing back the immense energy of the aggressive
intellect:--and in saying this, as in the other things that I have to
say, it must still be recollected that I am all along bearing in mind
my main purpose, which is a defence of myself.

I am defending myself here from a plausible charge brought against
Catholics, as will be seen better as I proceed. The charge is
this:--that I, as a Catholic, not only make profession to hold
doctrines which I cannot possibly believe in my heart, but that I
also believe in the existence of a power on earth, which at its own
will imposes upon men any new set of _credenda_, when it pleases, by
a claim to infallibility; in consequence, that my own thoughts are
not my own property; that I cannot tell that tomorrow I may not have
to give up what I hold today, and that the necessary effect of such
a condition of mind must be a degrading bondage, or a bitter inward
rebellion relieving itself in secret infidelity, or the necessity of
ignoring the whole subject of religion in a sort of disgust, and of
mechanically saying everything that the Church says, and leaving to
others the defence of it. As then I have above spoken of the relation
of my mind towards the Catholic Creed, so now I shall speak of the
attitude which it takes up in the view of the Church's infallibility.

And first, the initial doctrine of the infallible teacher must be an
emphatic protest against the existing state of mankind. Man had
rebelled against his Maker. It was this that caused the divine
interposition: and the first act of the divinely accredited messenger
must be to proclaim it. The Church must denounce rebellion as of all
possible evils the greatest. She must have no terms with it; if she
would be true to her Master, she must ban and anathematise it. This
is the meaning of a statement which has furnished matter for one of
those special accusations to which I am at present replying: I have,
however, no fault at all to confess in regard to it; I have nothing
to withdraw, and in consequence I here deliberately repeat it. I
said, "The Catholic Church holds it better for the sun and moon to
drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many
millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as
temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should
be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one
wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse." I
think the principle here enunciated to be the mere preamble in the
formal credentials of the Catholic Church, as an Act of Parliament
might begin with a "_Whereas_." It is because of the intensity of the
evil which has possession of mankind, that a suitable antagonist
has been provided against it; and the initial act of that
divinely-commissioned power is of course to deliver her challenge
and to defy the enemy. Such a preamble then gives a meaning to her
position in the world, and an interpretation to her whole course of
teaching and action.

In like manner she has ever put forth, with most energetic
distinctness, those other great elementary truths, which either are
an explanation of her mission or give a character to her work. She
does not teach that human nature is irreclaimable, else wherefore
should she be sent? not that it is to be shattered and reversed, but
to be extricated, purified, and restored; not that it is a mere mass
of evil, but that it has the promise of great things, and even now
has a virtue and a praise proper to itself. But in the next place
she knows and she preaches that such a restoration, as she aims at
effecting in it, must be brought about, not simply through any
outward provision of preaching and teaching, even though it be her
own, but from a certain inward spiritual power or grace imparted
directly from above, and which is in her keeping. She has it in
charge to rescue human nature from its misery, but not simply by
raising it upon its own level, but by lifting it up to a higher level
than its own. She recognises in it real moral excellence though
degraded, but she cannot set it free from earth except by exalting it
towards heaven. It was for this end that a renovating grace was put
into her hands, and therefore from the nature of the gift, as well as
from the reasonableness of the case, she goes on, as a further point,
to insist, that all true conversion must begin with the first springs
of thought, and to teach that each individual man must be in his own
person one whole and perfect temple of God, while he is also one of
the living stones which build up a visible religious community. And
thus the distinctions between nature and grace, and between outward
and inward religion, become two further articles in what I have
called the preamble of her divine commission.

Such truths as these she vigorously reiterates, and pertinaciously
inflicts upon mankind; as to such she observes no half-measures, no
economical reserve, no delicacy or prudence. "Ye must be born again,"
is the simple, direct form of words which she uses after her Divine
Master; "your whole nature must be re-born, your passions, and your
affections, and your aims, and your conscience, and your will, must
all be bathed in a new element, and reconsecrated to your Maker, and,
the last not the least, your intellect." It was for repeating these
points of her teaching in my own way, that certain passages of one of
my volumes have been brought into the general accusation which has
been made against my religious opinions. The writer has said that I
was demented if I believed, and unprincipled if I did not believe, in
my statement that a lazy, ragged, filthy, story-telling beggar-woman,
if chaste, sober, cheerful, and religious, had a prospect of heaven,
which was absolutely closed to an accomplished statesman, or lawyer,
or noble, be he ever so just, upright, generous, honourable, and
conscientious, unless he had also some portion of the divine
Christian grace; yet I should have thought myself defended from
criticism by the words which our Lord used to the chief priests,
"The publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you."
And I was subjected again to the same alternative of imputations,
for having ventured to say that consent to an unchaste wish was
indefinitely more heinous than any lie viewed apart from its causes,
its motives, and its consequences; though a lie, viewed under the
limitation of these conditions, is a random utterance, an almost
outward act, not directly from the heart, however disgraceful it may
be, whereas we have the express words of our Lord to the doctrine
that "whoso looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed
adultery with her already in his heart." On the strength of these
texts I have surely as much right to believe in these doctrines
as to believe in the doctrine of original sin, or that there is a
supernatural revelation, or that a Divine Person suffered, or that
punishment is eternal.

Passing now from what I have called the preamble of that grant of
power, with which the Church is invested, to that power itself,
Infallibility, I make two brief remarks: on the one hand, I am not
here determining anything about the essential seat of that power,
because that is a question doctrinal, not historical and practical;
nor, on the other hand, am I extending the direct subject-matter,
over which that power has jurisdiction, beyond religious
opinion:--and now as to the power itself.

This power, viewed in its fulness, is as tremendous as the giant evil
which has called for it. It claims, when brought into exercise in the
legitimate manner, for otherwise of course it is but dormant, to have
for itself a sure guidance into the very meaning of every portion of
the divine message in detail, which was committed by our Lord to His
Apostles. It claims to know its own limits, and to decide what it can
determine absolutely and what it cannot. It claims, moreover, to have
a hold upon statements not directly religious, so far as this, to
determine whether they indirectly relate to religion, and, according
to its own definitive judgment, to pronounce whether or not, in a
particular case, they are consistent with revealed truth. It claims
to decide magisterially, whether infallibly or not, that such and
such statements are or are not prejudicial to the apostolic
_depositum_ of faith, in their spirit or in their consequences, and
to allow them, or condemn and forbid them, accordingly. It claims to
impose silence at will on any matters, or controversies, of doctrine,
which on its own _ipse dixit_, it pronounces to be dangerous,
or inexpedient, or inopportune. It claims that whatever may be the
judgment of Catholics upon such acts, these acts should be received
by them with those outward marks of reverence, submission, and
loyalty, which Englishmen, for instance, pay to the presence of their
sovereign, without public criticism on them, as being in their matter
inexpedient, or in their manner violent or harsh. And lastly, it
claims to have the right of inflicting spiritual punishment, of
cutting off from the ordinary channels of the divine life, and of
simply excommunicating, those who refuse to submit themselves to its
formal declarations. Such is the infallibility lodged in the Catholic
Church, viewed in the concrete, as clothed and surrounded by the
appendages of its high sovereignty: it is, to repeat what I said
above, a supereminent prodigious power sent upon earth to encounter
and master a giant evil.

And now, having thus described it, I profess my own absolute
submission to its claim. I believe the whole revealed dogma as taught
by the apostles, as committed by the apostles to the Church, and
as declared by the Church to me. I receive it, as it is infallibly
interpreted by the authority to whom it is thus committed, and
(implicitly) as it shall be, in like manner, further interpreted by
that same authority till the end of time. I submit, moreover, to the
universally received traditions of the Church, in which lies the
matter of those new dogmatic definitions which are from time to time
made, and which in all times are the clothing and the illustration of
the Catholic dogma as already defined. And I submit myself to those
other decisions of the holy see, theological or not, through the
organs which it has itself appointed, which, waiving the question of
their infallibility, on the lowest ground come to me with a claim to
be accepted and obeyed. Also, I consider that, gradually and in the
course of ages, Catholic inquiry has taken certain definite shapes,
and has thrown itself into the form of a science, with a method and
a phraseology of its own, under the intellectual handling of great
minds, such as St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas; and
I feel no temptation at all to break in pieces the great legacy of
thought thus committed to us for these latter days.

All this being considered as the profession _ex animo_, as on my own
part, so also on the part of the Catholic body, as far as I know it,
it will at first sight be said that the restless intellect of our
common humanity is utterly weighed down to the repression of all
independent effort and action whatever, so that, if this is to be the
mode of bringing it into order, it is brought into order only to be
destroyed. But this is far from the result, far from what I conceive
to be the intention of that high Providence who has provided a great
remedy for a great evil--far from borne out by the history of the
conflict between infallibility and reason in the past, and the
prospect of it in the future. The energy of the human intellect "does
from opposition grow;" it thrives and is joyous, with a tough elastic
strength, under the terrible blows of the divinely-fashioned weapon,
and is never so much itself as when it has lately been overthrown. It
is the custom with Protestant writers to consider that, whereas there
are two great principles in action in the history of religion,
Authority and Private Judgment, they have all the Private Judgment to
themselves, and we have the full inheritance and the superincumbent
oppression of Authority. But this is not so; it is the vast Catholic
body itself, and it only, which affords an arena for both combatants
in that awful, never-dying duel. It is necessary for the very life
of religion, viewed in its large operations and its history, that
the warfare should be incessantly carried on. Every exercise of
Infallibility is brought out into act by an intense and varied
operation of the Reason, from within and without, and provokes again
a re-action of Reason against it; and, as in a civil polity the
State exists and endures by means of the rivalry and collision, the
encroachments and defeats of its constituent parts, so in like manner
Catholic Christendom is no simple exhibition of religious absolutism,
but it presents a continuous picture of Authority and Private
Judgment alternately advancing and retreating as the ebb and flow of
the tide;--it is a vast assemblage of human beings with wilful
intellects and wild passions, brought together into one by the beauty
and the majesty of a superhuman power--into what may be called a
large reformatory or training-school, not to be sent to bed, not to
be buried alive, but for the melting, refining, and moulding, as in
some moral factory, by an incessant noisy process (if I may proceed
to another metaphor), of the raw material of human nature, so
excellent, so dangerous, so capable of divine purposes.

St. Paul says in one place that his apostolical power is given him to
edification, and not to destruction. There can be no better account
of the Infallibility of the Church. It is a supply for a need, and it
does not go beyond that need. Its object is, and its effect also,
not to enfeeble the freedom or vigour of human thought in religious
speculation, but to resist and control its extravagance. What have
been its great works? All of them in the distinct province of
theology:--to put down Arianism, Eutychianism, Pelagianism,
Manichæism, Lutheranism, Jansenism. Such is the broad result of its
action in the past;--and now as to the securities which are given us
that so it ever will act in time to come.

First, infallibility cannot act outside of a definite circle of
thought, and it must in all its decisions, or _definitions_, as they
are called, profess to be keeping within it. The great truths of the
moral law, of natural religion, and of apostolical faith, are both
its boundary and its foundation. It must not go beyond them, and it
must ever appeal to them. Both its subject-matter, and its articles
in that subject-matter, are fixed. Thus, in illustration, it does not
extend to statements, however sound and evident, which are mere
logical conclusions from the articles of the apostolic _Depositum_;
again, it can pronounce nothing about the persons of heretics, whose
works fall within its legitimate province. It must ever profess
to be guided by Scripture and by tradition. It must refer to the
particular apostolic truth which it is enforcing, or (what is called)
_defining_. Nothing, then, can be presented to me, in time to come,
as part of the faith, but what I ought already to have received, and
have not actually received, (if not) merely because it has not been
told me. Nothing can be imposed upon me different in kind from what I
hold already--much less contrary to it. The new truth which is
promulgated, if it is to be called new, must be at least homogeneous,
cognate, implicit, viewed relatively to the old truth. It must be
what I may even have guessed, or wished, to be included in the
apostolic revelation; and at least it will be of such a character,
that my thoughts readily concur in it or coalesce with it, as soon as
I hear it. Perhaps I and others actually have always believed it, and
the only question which is now decided in my behalf, is that I am
henceforth to believe that I have only been holding what the apostles
held before me.

Let me take the doctrine which Protestants consider our greatest
difficulty, that of the Immaculate Conception. Here I entreat
the reader to recollect my main drift, which is this. I have no
difficulty in receiving it: if _I_ have no difficulty, why may not
another have no difficulty also? why may not a hundred? a thousand?
Now I am sure that Catholics in general have not any intellectual
difficulty at all on the subject of the Immaculate Conception; and
that there is no reason why they should. Priests have no difficulty.
You tell me that they _ought_ to have a difficulty;--but they have
not. Be large-minded enough to believe, that men may reason and feel
very differently from yourselves; how is it that men fall, when left
to themselves, into such various forms of religion, except that there
are various types of mind among them, very distinct from each other?
From my testimony then about myself, if you believe it, judge of
others also who are Catholics: we do not find the difficulties which
you do in the doctrines which we hold; we have no intellectual
difficulty in that in particular, which you call a novelty of this
day. We priests need not be hypocrites, though we be called upon to
believe in the Immaculate Conception. To that large class of minds,
who believe in Christianity, after our manner,--in the particular
temper, spirit, and light (whatever word is used) in which Catholics
believe it--there is no burden at all in holding that the Blessed
Virgin was conceived without original sin; indeed, it is a simple
fact to say, that Catholics have not come to believe it because it is
defined, but it was defined because they believed it.

So far from the definition in 1854 being a tyrannical infliction on
the Catholic world, it was received everywhere on its promulgation
with the greatest enthusiasm. It was in consequence of the unanimous
petition, presented from all parts to the holy see, in behalf of a
declaration that the doctrine was apostolic, that it was declared so
to be. I never heard of one Catholic having difficulties in receiving
it, whose faith on other grounds was not already suspicious. Of
course there were grave and good men, who were made anxious by the
doubt whether it could be proved apostolical either by Scripture or
tradition, and who accordingly, though believing it themselves, did
not see how it could be defined by authority; but this is another
matter. The point in question is, whether the doctrine is a burden.
I believe it to be none. So far from it being so, I sincerely think
that St. Bernard and St. Thomas, who scrupled at it in their day, had
they lived into this, would have rejoiced to accept it for its own
sake. Their difficulty, as I view it, consisted in matters of words,
ideas, and arguments. They thought the doctrine inconsistent with
other doctrines; and those who defended it in that age had not that
precision in their view of it, which has been given to it by means of
the long controversy of the centuries which followed. And hence the
difference of opinion, and the controversy.

Now the instance which I have been taking suggests another remark;
the number of those (so called) new doctrines will not oppress us,
if it takes eight centuries to promulgate even one of them. Such is
about the length of time through which the preparation has been
carried on for the definition of the Immaculate Conception. This of
course is an extraordinary case; but it is difficult to say what is
ordinary, considering how few are the formal occasions on which the
voice of infallibility has been solemnly lifted up. It is to the
Pope in ecumenical council that we look, as to the normal seat of
infallibility: now there have been only eighteen such councils since
Christianity was--an average of one to a century--and of these
councils some passed no doctrinal decree at all, others were employed
on only one, and many of them were concerned with only elementary
points of the Creed. The Council of Trent embraced a large field of
doctrine certainly; but I should apply to its canons a remark
contained in that University Sermon of mine, which has been so
ignorantly criticised in the pamphlet which has led to my writing;--I
there have said that the various verses of the Athanasian Creed are
only repetitions in various shapes of one and the same idea; and in
like manner, the Tridentine decrees are not isolated from each other,
but are occupied in bringing out in detail, by a number of separate
declarations, as if into bodily form, a few necessary truths. I
should make the same remark on the various theses condemned by popes,
and on their dogmatic decisions generally. I acknowledge that at
first sight they seem from their number to be a greater burden to the
faith of individuals than are the canons of councils; still I do not
believe in matter of fact that they are so at all, and I give this
reason for it:--it is not that a Catholic, layman or priest, is
indifferent to the subject, or, from a sort of recklessness, will
accept anything that is placed before him, or is willing, like
a lawyer, to speak according to his brief, but that in such
condemnations the holy see is engaged, for the most part, in
repudiating one or two great lines of error, such as Lutheranism or
Jansenism, principally ethical not doctrinal, which are foreign to
the Catholic mind, and that it is expressing what any good Catholic,
of fair abilities, though unlearned, would say himself, from common
and sound sense, if the matter could be put before him.

Now I will go on in fairness to say what I think _is_ the great trial
to the reason, when confronted with that august prerogative of the
Catholic Church, of which I have been speaking. I enlarged just now
upon the concrete shape and circumstances, under which pure
infallible authority presents itself to the Catholic. That authority
has the prerogative of an indirect jurisdiction on subject-matters
which lie beyond its own proper limits, and it most reasonably has
such a jurisdiction. It could not act in its own province, unless it
had a right to act out of it. It could not properly defend religious
truth, without claiming for it what may be called its _pomoeria_;
or, to take another illustration, without acting as we act, as a
nation, in claiming as our own, not only the land on which we live,
but what are called British waters. The Catholic Church claims, not
only to judge infallibly on religious questions, but to animadvert on
opinions in secular matters which bear upon religion, on matters of
philosophy, of science, of literature, of history, and it demands our
submission to her claim. It claims to censure books, to silence
authors, and to forbid discussions. In all this it does not so much
speak doctrinally, as enforce measures of discipline. It must of
course be obeyed without a word, and perhaps in process of time it
will tacitly recede from its own injunctions. In such cases the
question of faith does not come in; for what is matter of faith is
true for all times, and never can be unsaid. Nor does it at all
follow, because there is a gift of infallibility in the Catholic
Church, that therefore the power in possession of it is in all its
proceedings infallible. "O, it is excellent," says the poet, "to have
a giant's strength, but tyrannous, to use it like a giant." I think
history supplies us with instances in the Church, where legitimate
power has been harshly used. To make such admission is no more than
saying that the divine treasure, in the words of the apostle, is "in
earthen vessels;" nor does it follow that the substance of the acts
of the ruling power is not right and expedient, because its manner
may have been faulty. Such high authorities act by means of
instruments; we know how such instruments claim for themselves the
name of their principals, who thus get the credit of faults which
really are not theirs. But granting all this to an extent greater
than can with any show of reason be imputed to the ruling power in
the Church, what is there in this want of prudence or moderation more
than can be urged, with far greater justice, against Protestant
communities and institutions? What is there in it to make us
hypocrites, if it has not that effect upon Protestants? We are called
upon, not to profess anything, but to submit and be silent. Such
injunctions as I have supposed are laid merely upon our actions, not
upon our thoughts. How, for instance, does it tend to make a man a
hypocrite, to be forbidden to publish a libel? his thoughts are as
free as before: authoritative prohibitions may tease and irritate,
but they have no bearing whatever upon the exercise of reason.

So much at first sight; but I will go on to say further, that,
in spite of all that the most hostile critic may say upon the
encroachments or severities of high ecclesiastics, in times past, in
the use of their power, I think that the event has shown after all,
that they were mainly in the right, and that those whom they were
hard upon mainly in the wrong. I love, for instance, the name of
Origen: I will not listen to the notion that so great a soul was
lost; but I am quite sure that, in the contest between his doctrine
and his followers and ecclesiastical power, his opponents were right,
and he was wrong. Yet who can speak with patience of his enemy
and the enemy of St. John Chrysostom, that Theophilus, bishop of
Alexandria? who can admire or revere Pope Vigilius? And here
another consideration presents itself to my thoughts. In reading
ecclesiastical history, when I was an Anglican, it used to be
forcibly brought home to me, how the initial error of what afterwards
became heresy was the urging forward some truth against the
prohibition of authority at an unseasonable time. There is a time for
everything, and many a man desires a reformation of an abuse, or the
fuller development of a doctrine, or the adoption of a particular
policy, but forgets to ask himself whether the right time for it is
come; and, knowing that there is no one who will do anything towards
it in his own lifetime unless he does it himself, he will not listen
to the voice of authority, and spoils a good work in his own century,
that another man, as yet unborn, may not bring it happily to
perfection in the next. He may seem to the world to be nothing else
than a bold champion for the truth and a martyr to free opinion, when
he is just one of those persons whom the competent authority ought to
silence, and, though the case may not fall within that subject-matter
in which it is infallible, or the formal conditions of the exercise
of that gift may be wanting, it is clearly the duty of authority to
act vigorously in the case. Yet that act will go down to posterity as
an instance of a tyrannical interference with private judgment, and
of the silencing of a reformer, and of a base love of corruption or
error; and it will show still less to advantage, if the ruling power
happens in its proceedings to act with any defect of prudence or
consideration. And all those who take the part of that ruling
authority will be considered as time-servers, or indifferent to the
cause of uprightness and truth; while, on the other hand, the said
authority may be supported by a violent ultra party, which exalts
opinions into dogmas, and has it principally at heart to destroy
every school of thought but its own.

Such a state of things may be provoking and discouraging at the time,
in the case of two classes of persons; of moderate men who wish to
make differences in religious opinion as little as they fairly can
be made; and of such as keenly perceive, and are honestly eager to
remedy, existing evils--evils, of which divines in this or that
foreign country know nothing at all, and which even at home it is not
every one who has the means of estimating. This is a state of things
both of past time and of the present. We live in a wonderful age; the
enlargement of the circle of secular knowledge just now is simply
a bewilderment, and the more so, because it has the promise of
continuing, and that with greater rapidity, and more signal results.
Now these discoveries, certain or probable, have in matter of fact an
indirect bearing upon religious opinions, and the question arises how
are the respective claims of revelation and of natural science to be
adjusted. Few minds in earnest can remain at ease without some sort
of rational grounds for their religious belief; to reconcile theory
and fact is almost an instinct of the mind. When then a flood of
facts, ascertained or suspected, comes pouring in upon us, with a
multitude of others in prospect, all believers in revelation, be
they Catholic or not, are roused to consider their bearing upon
themselves, both for the honour of God, and from tenderness for those
many souls who, in consequence of the confident tone of the schools
of secular knowledge, are in danger of being led away into a
bottomless liberalism of thought.

I am not going to criticise here that vast body of men, in the mass,
who at this time would profess to be liberals in religion; and who
look towards the discoveries of the age, certain or in progress, as
their informants, direct or indirect, as to what they shall think
about the unseen and the future. The Liberalism which gives a colour
to society now, is very different from that character of thought
which bore the name thirty or forty years ago. It is scarcely now a
party; it is the educated lay world. When I was young, I knew the
word first as giving name to a periodical, set up by Lord Byron and
others. Now, as then, I have no sympathy with the philosophy of
Byron. Afterwards, Liberalism was the badge of a theological school,
of a dry and repulsive character, not very dangerous in itself,
though dangerous as opening the door to evils which it did not itself
either anticipate or comprehend. Now it is nothing else than that
deep, plausible scepticism, of which I spoke above, as being the
development of human reason, as practically exercised by the natural

The Liberal religionists of this day are a very mixed body, and
therefore I am not intending to speak against them. There may be, and
doubtless is, in the hearts of some or many of them a real antipathy
or anger against revealed truth, which it is distressing to think of.
Again; in many men of science or literature there may be an animosity
arising from almost a personal feeling; it being a matter of party, a
point of honour, the excitement of a game, or a consequence of
soreness or annoyance occasioned by the acrimony or narrowness of
apologists for religion, to prove that Christianity or that Scripture
is untrustworthy. Many scientific and literary men, on the other
hand, go on, I am confident, in a straightforward impartial way, in
their own province and on their own line of thought, without any
disturbance from religious opinion in themselves, or any wish at all
to give pain to others by the result of their investigations. It
would ill become me, as if I were afraid of truth of any kind, to
blame those who pursue secular facts, by means of the reason which
God has given them, to their logical conclusions: or to be angry with
science because religion is bound to take cognizance of its teaching.
But putting these particular classes of men aside, as having no
special call on the sympathy of the Catholic, of course he does most
deeply enter into the feelings of a fourth and large class of men, in
the educated portions of society, of religious and sincere minds, who
are simply perplexed--frightened or rendered desperate, as the case
may be--by the utter confusion into which late discoveries or
speculations have thrown their most elementary ideas of religion. Who
does not feel for such men? who can have one unkind thought of them?
I take up  St. Augustine's beautiful words, "Illi in vos sæviant,"
etc. Let them be fierce with you who have no experience of the
difficulty with which error is discriminated from truth, and the way
of life is found amid the illusions of the world. How many Catholics
have in their thoughts followed such men, many of them so good, so
true, so noble! how often has the wish risen in their hearts that
some one from among themselves should come forward as the champion of
revealed truth against its opponents! Various persons, Catholic and
Protestant, have asked me to do so myself; but I had several strong
difficulties in the way. One of the greatest is this, that at the
moment it is so difficult to say precisely what it is that is to be
encountered and overthrown. I am far from denying that scientific
knowledge is really growing, but it is by fits and starts; hypotheses
rise and fall; it is difficult to anticipate which will keep their
ground, and what the state of knowledge in relation to them will be
from year to year. In this condition of things, it has seemed to me
to be very undignified for a Catholic to commit himself to the work
of chasing what might turn out to be phantoms, and in behalf of some
special objections, to be ingenious in devising a theory, which,
before it was completed, might have to give place to some theory
newer still, from the fact that those former objections had already
come to nought under the uprising of others. It seemed to be a time
of all others, in which Christians had a call to be patient, in which
they had no other way of helping those who were alarmed, than that of
exhorting them to have a little faith and fortitude, and to "beware,"
as the poet says, "of dangerous steps." This seemed so clear to me,
the more I thought, as to make me surmise, that, if I attempted what
had so little promise in it, I should find that the highest Catholic
authority was against the attempt, and that I should have spent my
time and my thought, in doing what either it would be imprudent to
bring before the public at all, or what, did I do so, would only
complicate matters further which were already complicated more than
enough. And I interpret recent acts of that authority as fulfilling
my expectation; I interpret them as tying the hands of a
controversialist, such as I should be, and teaching us that true
wisdom, which Moses inculcated on his people, when the Egyptians were
pursuing them, "Fear ye not, stand still; the Lord shall fight for
you, and ye shall hold your peace." And so far from finding a
difficulty in obeying in this case, I have cause to be thankful and
to rejoice to have so clear a direction in a matter of difficulty.

But if we would ascertain with correctness the real course of a
principle, we must look at it at a certain distance, and as history
represents it to us. Nothing carried on by human instruments, but has
its irregularities, and affords ground for criticism, when minutely
scrutinised in matters of detail. I have been speaking of that aspect
of the action of an infallible authority, which is most open to
invidious criticism from those who view it from without; I have tried
to be fair, in estimating what can be said to its disadvantage, as
witnessed in the Catholic Church, and now I wish its adversaries to
be equally fair in their judgment upon its historical character. Can,
then, the infallible authority, with any show of reason, be said in
fact to have destroyed the energy of the intellect in the Catholic
Church? Let it be observed, I have not to speak of any conflict which
ecclesiastical authority has had with science, for there has been
none such, because the secular sciences, as they now exist, are a
novelty in the world, and there has been no time yet for a history of
relations between theology and these new methods of knowledge, and
indeed the Church may be said to have kept clear of them, as is
proved by the constantly cited case of Galileo. Here "exceptio probat
regulam:" for it is the one stock argument. Again, I have not to
speak of any relations of the Church to the new sciences, because my
simple question is whether the assumption of infallibility by the
proper authority is adapted to make me a hypocrite, and till that
authority passes decrees on pure physical subjects and calls on me
to subscribe them (which it never will do, because it has not the
power), it has no tendency by its acts to interfere with my private
judgment on those points. The simple question is whether authority
has so acted upon the reason of individuals, that they can have no
opinion of their own, and have but an alternative of slavish
superstition or secret rebellion of heart; and I think the whole
history of theology puts an absolute negative upon such a
supposition. It is hardly necessary to argue out so plain a point. It
is individuals, and not the holy see, who have taken the initiative,
and given the lead to Catholic minds, in theological inquiry. Indeed,
it is one of the reproaches urged against the Church of Rome, that it
has originated nothing, and has only served as a sort of _remora_ or
break in the development of doctrine. And it is an objection which I
embrace as a truth; for such I conceive to be the main purpose of its
extraordinary gift. It is said, and truly, that the Church of Rome
possessed no great mind in the whole period of persecution.
Afterwards for a long while, it has not a single doctor to show; St.
Leo, its first, is the teacher of one point of doctrine; St. Gregory,
who stands at the very extremity of the first age of the Church, has
no place in dogma or philosophy. The great luminary of the western
world is, as we know, St. Augustine; he, no infallible teacher, has
formed the intellect of Europe; indeed to the African Church
generally we must look for the best early exposition of Latin ideas.
The case is the same as regards the ecumenical councils. Authority
in its most imposing exhibition, grave bishops, laden with the
traditions and rivalries of particular nations or places, have been
guided in their decisions by the commanding genius of individuals,
sometimes young and of inferior rank. Not that uninspired intellect
overruled the super-human gift which was committed to the council,
which would be a self-contradictory assertion, but that in that
process of inquiry and deliberation, which ended in an infallible
enunciation, individual reason was paramount. Thus the writings of
St. Bonaventura, and, what is more to the point, the address of a
priest and theologian, Salmeron, at Trent, had a critical effect on
some of the definitions of dogmas. Parallel to this is the influence,
so well known, of a young deacon, St. Athanasius, with the 318
Fathers at Nicæa. In like manner we hear of the influence of St.
Anselm at Bari, and St. Thomas at Lyons. In the latter cases the
influence might be partly moral, but in the former it was that of a
discursive knowledge of ecclesiastical writers, a scientific
acquaintance with theology, and a force of thought in the treatment
of doctrine.

There are of course intellectual habits which theology does not
tend to form, as for instance the experimental, and again the
philosophical; but that is because it _is_ theology, not because of
the gift of infallibility. But, as far as this goes, I think it could
be shown that physical science on the other hand, or mathematical,
affords but an imperfect training for the intellect. I do not see
then how any objection about the narrowness of theology comes into
our question, which simply is, whether the belief in an infallible
authority destroys the independence of the mind; and I consider that
the whole history of the Church, and especially the history of the
theological schools, gives a negative to the accusation. There never
was a time when the intellect of the educated class was more active,
or rather more restless, than in the middle ages. And then again
all through Church history from the first, how slow is authority
in interfering! Perhaps a local teacher, or a doctor in some local
school, hazards a proposition, and a controversy ensues. It smoulders
or burns in one place, no one interposing; Rome simply lets it alone.
Then it comes before a Bishop; or some priest, or some professor in
some other seat of learning takes it up; and then there is a second
stage of it. Then it comes before a University, and it may be
condemned by the theological faculty. So the controversy proceeds
year after year, and Rome is still silent. An appeal perhaps is next
made to a seat of authority inferior to Rome; and then at last after
a long while it comes before the supreme power. Meanwhile, the
question has been ventilated and turned over and over again, and
viewed on every side of it, and authority is called upon to pronounce
a decision, which has already been arrived at by reason. But even
then, perhaps the supreme authority hesitates to do so, and nothing
is determined on the point for years; or so generally and vaguely,
that the whole controversy has to be gone through again, before it is
ultimately determined. It is manifest how a mode of proceeding, such
as this, tends not only to the liberty, but to the courage, of the
individual theologian or controversialist. Many a man has ideas,
which he hopes are true, and useful for his day, but he wishes to
have them discussed. He is willing or rather would be thankful to
give them up, if they can be proved to be erroneous or dangerous, and
by means of controversy he obtains his end. He is answered, and he
yields; or he finds that he is considered safe. He would not dare to
do this, if he knew an authority, which was supreme and final, was
watching every word he said, and made signs of assent or dissent to
each sentence, as he uttered it. Then indeed he would be fighting, as
the Persian soldiers, under the lash, and the freedom of his
intellect might truly be said to be beaten out of him. But this has
not been so:--I do not mean to say that, when controversies run high,
in schools or even in small portions of the Church, an interposition
may not rightly take place; and again, questions may be of that
urgent nature, that an appeal must, as a matter of duty, be made at
once to the highest authority in the Church; but, if we look into the
history of controversy, we shall find, I think, the general run of
things to be such as I have represented it. Zosimus treated Pelagius
and Coelestius with extreme forbearance; St. Gregory VII. was
equally indulgent with Berengarius; by reason of the very power of
the popes they have commonly been slow and moderate in their use of

And here again is a further shelter for the individual reason:--the
multitude of nations who are in the fold of the Church will be found
to have acted for its protection, against any narrowness, if so,
in the various authorities at Rome, with whom lies the practical
decision of controverted questions. How have the Greek traditions
been respected and provided for in the later Ecumenical Councils, in
spite of the countries that held them being in a state of schism!
There are important points of doctrine which have been (humanly
speaking) exempted from the infallible sentence, by the tenderness
with which its instruments, in framing it, have treated the opinions
of particular places. Then, again, such national influences have a
providential effect in moderating the bias which the local influences
of Italy may exert upon the See of St. Peter. It stands to reason
that, as the Gallican Church has in it an element of France, so Rome
must have an element of Italy; and it is no prejudice to the zeal and
devotion with which we submit ourselves to the holy see to admit this
plainly. It seems to me, as I have been saying, that Catholicity is
not only one of the notes of the Church, but, according to the divine
purposes, one of its securities. I think it would be a very serious
evil, which Divine Mercy avert! that the Church should be contracted
in Europe within the range of particular nationalities. It is a great
idea to introduce Latin civilization into America, and to improve
the Catholics there by the energy of French religion; but I trust
that all European races will have ever a place in the Church, and
assuredly I think that the loss of the English, not to say the
German element, in its composition has been a most serious evil.
And certainly, if there is one consideration more than another which
should make us English grateful to Pius the Ninth, it is that, by
giving us a Church of our own, he has prepared the way for our own
habits of mind, our own manner of reasoning, our own tastes, and our
own virtues, finding a place and thereby a sanctification, in the
Catholic Church.

There is only one other subject, which I think it necessary to
introduce here, as bearing upon the vague suspicions which are
attached in this country to the Catholic priesthood. It is one of
which my accuser says much, the charge of reserve and economy. He
founds it in no slight degree on what I have said on the subject in
my History of the Arians, and in a note upon one of my sermons in
which I refer to it. The principle of reserve is also advocated by an
admirable writer in two numbers of the Tracts for the Times.

Now, as to the economy itself, I leave the greater part of what I
have to say to an Appendix. Here I will but say that it is founded
upon the words of our Lord, "Cast not your pearls before swine;"
and it was observed by the early Christians more or less in their
intercourse with the heathen populations among whom they lived. In
the midst of the abominable idolatries and impurities of that fearful
time, they could not do otherwise. But the rule of the economy, at
least as I have explained and recommended it, did not go beyond (1)
the concealing the truth when we could do so without deceit, (2)
stating it only partially, and (3) representing it under the nearest
form possible to a learner or inquirer, when he could not possibly
understand it exactly. I conceive that to draw angels with wings is
an instance of the third of these economical modes; and to avoid the
question, "Do Christians believe in a Trinity?" by answering, "They
believe in only one God," would be an instance of the second. As to
the first, it is hardly an economy, but comes under what is called
the "Disciplina Arcani." The second and third economical modes
Clement calls _lying_; meaning that a partial truth is in some sense
a lie, and so also is a representative truth. And this, I think, is
about the long and the short of the ground of the accusation which
has been so violently urged against me, as being a patron of the

Of late years I have come to think, as I believe most writers do,
that Clement meant more than I have said. I used to think he used the
word "lie" as an hyperbole, but I now believe that he, as other early
Fathers, thought that, under certain circumstances, it was lawful
to tell a lie. This doctrine I never maintained, though I used to
think, as I do now, that the theory of the subject is surrounded with
considerable difficulty; and it is not strange that I should say so,
considering that great English writers simply declare that in certain
extreme cases, as to save life, honour, or even property, a lie is
allowable. And thus I am brought to the direct question of truth, and
the truthfulness of Catholic priests generally in their dealings with
the world, as bearing on the general question of their honesty, and
their internal belief in their religious professions.

It would answer no purpose, and it would be departing from the line
of writing which I have been observing all along, if I entered into
any formal discussion on the subject; what I shall do here, as I have
done in the foregoing pages, is to give my own testimony on the
matter in question, and there to leave it. Now first I will say,
that, when I became a Catholic, nothing struck me more at once than
the English out-spoken manner of the priests. It was the same at
Oscott, at Old Hall Green, at Ushaw; there was nothing of that
smoothness, or mannerism, which is commonly imputed to them, and they
were more natural and unaffected than many an Anglican clergyman. The
many years, which have passed since, have only confirmed my first
impression. I have ever found it in the priests of this Diocese; did
I wish to point out a straightforward Englishman, I should instance
the Bishop, who has, to our great benefit, for so many years presided
over it.

And next, I was struck, when I had more opportunity of judging of the
Priests, by the simple faith in the Catholic Creed and system of
which they always gave evidence, and which they never seemed to feel,
in any sense at all, to be a burden. And now that I have been in the
Church nineteen years, I cannot recollect hearing of a single
instance in England of an infidel priest. Of course there are men
from time to time, who leave the Catholic Church for another
religion, but I am speaking of cases, when a man keeps a fair outside
to the world and is a hollow hypocrite in his heart.

I wonder that the self-devotion of our priests does not strike
Protestants in this point of view. What do they gain by professing a
Creed, in which, if my assailant is to be believed, they really do
not believe? What is their reward for committing themselves to a
life of self-restraint and toil, and after all to a premature and
miserable death? The Irish fever cut off between Liverpool and Leeds
thirty priests and more, young men in the flower of their days, old
men who seemed entitled to some quiet time after their long toil.
There was a bishop cut off in the North; but what had a man of his
ecclesiastical rank to do with the drudgery and danger of sick calls,
except that Christian faith and charity constrained him? Priests
volunteered for the dangerous service. It was the same on the first
coming of the cholera, that mysterious awe-inspiring infliction.
If priests did not heartily believe in the Creed of the Church,
then I will say that the remark of the apostle had its fullest
illustration:--"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are
of all men most miserable." What could support a set of hypocrites in
the presence of a deadly disorder, one of them following another in
long order up the forlorn hope, and one after another perishing? And
such, I may say, in its substance, is every mission-priest's life. He
is ever ready to sacrifice himself for his people. Night and day,
sick or well himself, in all weathers, off he is, on the news of a
sick call. The fact of a parishioner dying without the sacraments
through his fault is terrible to him; why terrible, if he has not a
deep absolute faith, which he acts upon with a free service?
Protestants admire this, when they see it; but they do not seem to
see as clearly, that it excludes the very notion of hypocrisy.

Sometimes, when they reflect upon it, it leads them to remark on the
wonderful discipline of the Catholic priesthood; they say that no
Church has so well ordered a clergy, and that in that respect it
surpasses their own; they wish they could have such exact discipline
among themselves. But is it an excellence which can be purchased? is
it a phenomenon which depends on nothing else than itself, or is it
an effect which has a cause? You cannot buy devotion at a price. "It
hath never been heard of in the land of Chanaan, neither hath it been
seen in Theman. The children of Agar, the merchants of Meran, none
of these have known its way." What then is that wonderful charm,
which makes a thousand men act all in one way, and infuses a prompt
obedience to rule, as if they were under some stern military
compulsion? How difficult to find an answer, unless you will allow
the obvious one, that they believe intensely what they profess!

I cannot think what it can be, in a day like this, which keeps up the
prejudice of this Protestant country against us, unless it be the
vague charges which are drawn from our books of moral theology; and
with a notice of the work in particular which my accuser especially
throws in our teeth, I shall in a very few words bring these
observations to a close.

St. Alfonso Liguori, it cannot be denied, lays down that an
equivocation, that is, a play upon words, in which one sense is taken
by the speaker, and another sense intended by him for the hearer, is
allowable, if there is a just cause, that is, in a special case, and
may even be confirmed by an oath. I shall give my opinion on this
point as plainly as any Protestant can wish; and therefore I avow at
once that in this department of morality, much as I admire the high
points of the Italian character, I like the English character better;
but, in saying so, I am not, as will be seen, saying anything
disrespectful to St. Alfonso, who was a lover of truth, and whose
intercession I trust I shall not lose, though, on the matter under
consideration, I follow other guidance in preference to his.

Now I make this remark first:--great English authors, Jeremy Taylor,
Milton, Paley, Johnson, men of very distinct schools of thought,
distinctly say, that under certain special circumstances it is
allowable to tell a lie. Taylor says: "To tell a lie for charity, to
save a man's life, the life of a friend, of a husband, of a prince,
of a useful and a public person, hath not only been done at all
times, but commended by great and wise and good men. Who would not
save his father's life, at the charge of a harmless lie, from
persecutors or tyrants?" Again, Milton says: "What man in his senses
would deny, that there are those whom we have the best grounds for
considering that we ought to deceive--as boys, madmen, the sick, the
intoxicated, enemies, men in error, thieves? I would ask, by which of
the commandments is a lie forbidden? You will say, by the ninth.
If then my lie does not injure my neighbour, certainly it is not
forbidden by this commandment." Paley says: "There are falsehoods,
which are not lies, that is, which are not criminal." Johnson: "The
general rule is, that truth should never be violated; there must,
however, be some exceptions. If, for instance, a murderer should ask
you which way a man is gone."

Now, I am not using these instances as an _argumentum ad hominem_;
but this is the use to which I put them:--

1. First, I have set down the distinct statements of Taylor, Milton,
Paley, and Johnson; now, would any one give ever so little weight to
these statements, in forming a real estimate of the veracity of the
writers, if they now were alive? Were a man, who is so fierce with
St. Alfonso, to meet Paley or Johnson tomorrow in society, would he
look upon him as a liar, a knave, as dishonest and untrustworthy?
I am sure he would not. Why then does he not deal out the same
measure to Catholic priests? If a copy of Scavini, which speaks
of equivocation as being in a just cause allowable, be found in
a student's room at Oscott, not Scavini himself, but the unhappy
student, who has what a Protestant calls a bad book in his
possession, is judged for life unworthy of credit. Are all Protestant
text-books at the University immaculate? Is it necessary to take for
gospel every word of Aristotle's Ethics, or every assertion of Hey or
Burnett on the Articles? Are text-books the ultimate authority, or
are they manuals in the hands of a lecturer, and the groundwork of
his remarks? But, again, let us suppose, not the case of a student,
or of a professor, but of Scavini himself, or of St. Alfonso; now
here again I ask, if you would not scruple in holding Paley for an
honest man, in spite of his defence of lying, why do you scruple at
St. Alfonso? I am perfectly sure that you would not scruple at Paley
personally; you might not agree with him, but you would call him a
bold thinker: then why should St. Alfonso's person be odious to you,
as well as his doctrine?

Now I wish to tell you why you are not afraid of Paley; because, you
would say, when he advocated lying, he was taking _special cases_.
You would have no fear of a man who you knew had shot a burglar dead
in his own house, because you know you are _not_ a burglar: so you
would not think that Paley had a habit of telling lies in society,
because in the case of a cruel alternative he thought it the lesser
evil to tell a lie. Then why do you show such suspicion of a
Catholic theologian, who speaks of certain special cases in which an
equivocation in a penitent cannot be visited by his confessor as if
it were a sin? for this is the exact point of the question.

But again, why does Paley, why does Jeremy Taylor, when no practical
matter is before him, lay down a maxim about the lawfulness of lying,
which will startle most readers? The reason is plain. He is forming a
theory of morals, and he must treat every question in turn as it
comes. And this is just what St. Alfonso or Scavini is doing. You
only try your hand yourself at a treatise on the rules of morality,
and you will see how difficult the work is. What is the _definition_
of a lie? Can you give a better than that it is a sin against
justice, as Taylor and Paley consider it? but, if so, how can it be a
sin at all, if your neighbour is not injured? If you do not like this
definition, take another; and then, by means of that, perhaps you
will be defending St. Alfonso's equivocation. However, this is what I
insist upon; that St. Alfonso, as Paley, is considering the different
portions of a large subject, and he must, on the subject of lying,
give his judgment, though on that subject it is difficult to form any
judgment which is satisfactory.

But further still: you must not suppose that a philosopher or
moralist uses in his own case the licence which his theory itself
would allow him. A man in his own person is guided by his own
conscience; but in drawing out a system of rules he is obliged to
go by logic, and follow the exact deduction of conclusion from
conclusion, and be sure that the whole system is coherent and one.
You hear of even immoral or irreligious books being written by men of
decent character; there is a late writer who says that David Hume's
sceptical works are not at all the picture of the man. A priest may
write a treatise which would be called really lax on the subject of
lying, which might come under the condemnation of the holy see, as
some treatises on that score have been condemned, and yet in his
own person be a rigorist. And, in fact, it is notorious from St.
Alfonso's Life, that he, who has the repute of being so lax a
moralist, had one of the most scrupulous and anxious of consciences
himself. Nay, further than this, he was originally in the Law, and on
one occasion he was betrayed into the commission of what seemed like
a deceit, though it was an accident; and that was the very occasion
of his leaving the profession and embracing the religious life.

The account of this remarkable occurrence is told us in his Life:--

"Notwithstanding he had carefully examined over and over the details
of the process, he was completely mistaken regarding the sense of one
document, which constituted the right of the adverse party. The
advocate of the Grand Duke perceived the mistake, but he allowed
Alfonso to continue his eloquent address to the end without
interruption; as soon, however, as he had finished, he rose, and said
with cutting coolness, 'Sir, the case is not exactly what you suppose
it to be; if you will review the process, and examine this paper
attentively, you will find there precisely the contrary of all you
have advanced.' 'Willingly,' replied Alfonso, without hesitating;
'the decision depends on this question--whether the fief were granted
under the law of Lombardy, or under the French Law.' The paper being
examined, it was found that the Grand Duke's advocate was in the
right. 'Yes,' said Alfonso, holding the paper in his hand, 'I am
wrong, I have been mistaken.' A discovery so unexpected, and the fear
of being accused of unfair dealing, filled him with consternation,
and covered him with confusion, so much so, that every one saw his
emotion. It was in vain that the President Caravita, who loved him,
and knew his integrity, tried to console him, by telling him that
such mistakes were not uncommon, even among the first men at the bar.
Alfonso would listen to nothing, but, overwhelmed with confusion, his
head sunk on his breast, he said to himself, 'World, I know you now;
courts of law, never shall you see me again!' And turning his back on
the assembly, he withdrew to his own house, incessantly repeating to
himself, 'World, I know you now.' What annoyed him most was, that
having studied and re-studied the process during a whole month,
without having discovered this important flaw, he could not
understand how it had escaped his observation."

And this is the man who is so flippantly pronounced to be a patron of

But, in truth, a Catholic theologian has objects in view which men in
general little compass; he is not thinking of himself, but of a
multitude of souls, sick souls, sinful souls, carried away by sin,
full of evil, and he is trying with all his might to rescue them from
their miserable state; and, in order to save them from more heinous
sins, he tries, to the full extent that his conscience will allow
him to go, to shut his eyes to such sins, as are, though sins, yet
lighter in character or degree. He knows perfectly well that, if he
is as strict as he would wish to be, he shall be able to do nothing
at all with the run of men; so he is as indulgent with them as ever
he can be. Let it not be for an instant supposed, that I allow of the
maxim of doing evil that good may come; but, keeping clear of this,
there is a way of winning men from greater sins by winking for the
time at the less, or at mere improprieties or faults; and this is the
key to the difficulty which Catholic books of moral theology so often
cause to the Protestant. They are intended for the confessor, and
Protestants view them as intended for the preacher.

2. And I observe upon Taylor, Milton, and Paley thus: What would a
Protestant clergyman say to me, if I accused him of teaching that a
lie was allowable; and if, when he asked for my proof, I said in
reply that Taylor and Milton so taught? Why, he would sharply retort,
"_I_ am not bound by Taylor or Milton;" and if I went on urging that
"Taylor was one of his authorities," he would answer that Taylor was
a great writer, but great writers were not therefore infallible. This
is pretty much the answer which I make, when I am considered in this
matter a disciple of St. Alfonso.

I plainly and positively state, and without any reserve, that I do
not at all follow this holy and charitable man in this portion of his
teaching. There are various schools of opinion allowed in the Church:
and on this point I follow others. I follow Cardinal Gerdil, and
Natalis Alexander, nay, St. Augustine. I will quote one passage from
Natalis Alexander:--"They certainly lie, who utter the words of an
oath, without the will to swear or bind themselves: or who make use
of mental reservations and _equivocations_ in swearing, since they
signify by words what they have not in mind, contrary to the end for
which language was instituted, viz. as signs of ideas. Or they mean
something else than the words signify in themselves and the common
custom of speech." And, to take an instance: I do not believe any
priest in England would dream of saying, "My friend is not here;"
meaning, "He is not in my pocket or under my shoe." Nor should any
consideration make me say so myself. I do not think St. Alfonso would
in his own case have said so; and he would have been as much shocked
at Taylor and Paley, as Protestants are at him.

And now, if Protestants wish to know what our real teaching is, as on
other subjects, so on that of lying, let them look, not at our books
of casuistry, but at our catechisms. Works on pathology do not give
the best insight into the form and the harmony of the human frame;
and, as it is with the body, so is it with the mind. The Catechism
of the Council of Trent was drawn up for the express purpose of
providing preachers with subjects for their sermons; and, as my whole
work has been a defence of myself, I may here say that I rarely
preach a sermon, but I go to this beautiful and complete Catechism to
get both my matter and my doctrine. There we find the following
notices about the duty of veracity:--

"'Thou shalt not bear false witness,' etc.: let attention be drawn to
two laws contained in this commandment:--the one, forbidding false
witness; the other bidding, that removing all pretence and deceits,
we should measure our words and deeds by simple truth, as the Apostle
admonished the Ephesians of that duty in these words: 'Doing truth in
charity, let us grow in Him through all things.'

"To deceive by a lie in joke or for the sake of compliment, though to
no one there accrues loss or gain in consequence, nevertheless is
altogether unworthy: for thus the Apostle admonishes, 'Putting aside
lying, speak ye truth.' For therein is great danger of lapsing into
frequent and more serious lying, and from lies in joke men gain the
habit of lying, whence they gain the character of not being truthful.
And thence again, in order to gain credit to their words, they find
it necessary to make a practice of swearing.

"Nothing is more necessary than truth of testimony, in those things,
which we neither know ourselves, nor can allowably be ignorant of,
on which point there is extant that maxim of St. Augustine's; Whoso
conceals the truth, and whoso puts forth a lie, each is guilty; the
one because he is not willing to do a service, the other because he
has a wish to do a mischief.

"It is lawful at times to be silent about the truth, but out of a
court of law; for in court, when a witness is interrogated by the
judge according to law, the truth is wholly to be brought out.

"Witnesses, however, must beware, lest, from over-confidence in their
memory, they affirm for certain, what they have not verified.

"In order that the faithful may with more good will avoid the sin of
lying, the Parish Priest shall set before them the extreme misery and
turpitude of this wickedness. For, in holy writ, the devil is called
the father of a lie; for, in that he did not remain in Truth, he is a
liar, and the father of a lie. He will add, with the view of ridding
men of so great a crime, the evils which follow upon lying; and,
whereas they are innumerable, he will point out [at least] the
sources and the general heads of these mischiefs and calamities, viz.
1. How great is God's displeasure and how great His hatred of a man
who is insincere and a liar. 2. What security there is that a man
who is specially hated by God may not be visited by the heaviest
punishments. 3. What more unclean and foul, as St. James says, than
... that a fountain by the same jet should send out sweet water and
bitter? 4. For that tongue, which just now praised God, next, as far
as in it lies, dishonours Him by lying. 5. In consequence, liars are
shut out from the possession of heavenly beatitude. 6. That too is
the worst evil of lying, that that disease of the mind is generally

"Moreover, there is this harm too, and one of vast extent, and
touching men generally, that by insincerity and lying faith and truth
are lost, which are the firmest bonds of human society, and, when
they are lost, supreme confusion follows in life, so that men seem in
nothing to differ from devils.

"Lastly, the Parish Priest will set those right who excuse their
insincerity and allege the example of wise men, who, they say, are
used to lie for an occasion. He will tell them, what is most true,
that the wisdom of the flesh is death. He will exhort his hearers to
trust in God, when they are in difficulties and straits, nor to have
recourse to the expedient of a lie.

"They who throw the blame of their own lie on those who have already
by a lie deceived them, are to be taught that men must not revenge
themselves, nor make up for one evil by another." ...

There is much more in the Catechism to the same effect, and it is of
universal obligation; whereas the decision of a particular author in
morals need not be accepted by any one.

To one other authority I appeal on this subject, which commands from
me attention of a special kind, for they are the words of a Father.
They will serve to bring my work to a conclusion.

"St. Philip," says the Roman oratorian who wrote his Life, "had a
particular dislike of affectation both in himself and others, in
speaking, in dressing, or in anything else.

"He avoided all ceremony which savoured of worldly compliment, and
always showed himself a great stickler for Christian simplicity in
everything; so that, when he had to deal with men of worldly
prudence, he did not very readily accommodate himself to them.

"And he avoided, as much as possible, having anything to do with
_two-faced persons_, who did not go simply and straightforwardly to
work in their transactions.

"_As for liars, he could not endure them_, and he was _continually
reminding_ his spiritual children, _to avoid them as they would a

These are the principles on which I have acted before I was a
Catholic; these are the principles which, I trust, will be my stay
and guidance to the end.

I have closed this history of myself with St. Philip's name upon St.
Philip's feast-day; and, having done so, to whom can I more suitably
offer it, as a memorial of affection and gratitude, than to St.
Philip's sons, my dearest brothers of this house, the priests of the
Birmingham Oratory, Ambrose St. John, Henry Austin Mills, Henry
Bittleston, Edward Caswall, William Paine Neville, and Henry Ignatius
Dudley Ryder? who have been so faithful to me; who have been so
sensitive of my needs; who have been so indulgent to my failings; who
have carried me through so many trials; who have grudged no
sacrifice, if I asked for it; who have been so cheerful under
discouragements of my causing; who have done so many good works, and
let me have the credit of them;--with whom I have lived so long, with
whom I hope to die.

And to you especially, dear Ambrose St. John; whom God gave me, when
He took every one else away; who are the link between my old life and
my new; who have now for twenty-one years been so devoted to me, so
patient, so zealous, so tender; who have let me lean so hard upon
you; who have watched me so narrowly; who have never thought of
yourself, if I was in question.

And in you I gather up and bear in memory those familiar affectionate
companions and counsellors, who in Oxford were given to me, one after
another, to be my daily solace and relief; and all those others, of
great name and high example, who were my thorough friends, and showed
me true attachment in times long past; and also those many younger
men, whether I knew them or not, who have never been disloyal to me
by word or by deed; and of all these, thus various in their relations
to me, those more especially who have since joined the Catholic

And I earnestly pray for this whole company, with a hope against
hope, that all of us, who once were so united, and so happy in our
union, may even now be brought at length, by the Power of the Divine
Will, into One Fold and under One Shepherd.

May 26, 1864.

In Festo Corp. Christ.


Answer in Detail to Mr. Kingsley's Accusations

In proceeding now, according to the engagement with which I entered
upon my undertaking, to examine in detail the Pamphlet which has been
written against me, I am very sorry to be obliged to say, that it is
as slovenly and random and futile in its definite charges, as it is
iniquitous in its method of disputation. And now I proceed to show
this without any delay; and shall consider in order,

  1. My Sermon on the Apostolical Christian.
  2. My Sermon on Wisdom and Innocence.
  3. The Anglican Church.
  4. The Lives of the English Saints.
  5. Ecclesiastical miracles.
  6. Popular Religion.
  7. The Economy.
  8. Lying and Equivocation.

1. My Sermon on "The Apostolical Christian," being the 19th of
"Sermons on Subjects of the Day"

This writer says, "What Dr. Newman means by Christians ... he has
not left in doubt;" and then, quoting a passage from this sermon
which speaks of "the humble monk and the holy nun" being "Christians
after the very pattern given us in Scripture," he observes, "This is
his _definition_ of Christians."--p. 9.

This is not the case. I have neither given a definition, nor implied
one, nor intended one; nor could I, either now or in 1843-4, or
at any time, allow of the particular definition he ascribes to me. As
if all Christians must be monks or nuns!

What I have said is, that monks and nuns are patterns of Christian
perfection; and that Scripture itself supplies us with this pattern.
Who can deny this? Who is bold enough to say that St. John Baptist,
who, I suppose, is a Scripture character, is not a pattern-monk; and
that Mary, who "sat at our Lord's feet," was not a pattern-nun? and
"Anna too, who served God with fastings and prayers night and day?"
Again, what is meant but this by St. Paul's saying, "It is good for a
man not to touch a woman?" and, when speaking of the father or
guardian of a young girl, "He that giveth her in marriage doeth well;
but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better?" And what does
St. John mean but to praise virginity, when he says of the hundred
forty and four thousand on Mount Sion, "These are they which were not
defiled with women, for they are virgins?" And what else did our Lord
mean, when He said, "There be eunuchs who have made themselves
eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive
it, let him receive it?"

He ought to know his logic better: I have said that "monks and nuns
find their pattern in Scripture:" he adds, _Therefore_ I hold all
Christians are monks and nuns.

This is Blot _one_.

Now then for Blot _two_.

"Monks and nuns the _only_ perfect Christians ... what more?"--p. 9.

A second fault in logic. I said no more than that monks and nuns were
perfect Christians: he adds, _Therefore_ "monks and nuns are the
_only_ perfect Christians." Monks and nuns are _not_ the only perfect
Christians; I never thought so or said so, now or at any other time.

P. 42. "In the Sermon ... monks and nuns are spoken of as the _only
true_ Bible Christians." This, again, is not the case. What I said
is, that "monks and nuns are Bible Christians:" it does not follow,
nor did I mean, that "all Bible Christians are monks and nuns." Bad
logic again. Blot _three_.

2. My Sermon on "Wisdom and Innocence", Being the 20th of
"Sermons on Subjects of the Day"

This writer says, p. 8, about my Sermon 20, "By the world appears to
be signified, especially, the Protestant public of these realms."

He also asks, p. 14, "Why was it preached? ... to insinuate, that the
admiring young gentlemen, who listened to him, stood to their
fellow-countrymen in the relation of the early Christians to the
heathen Romans? Or that Queen Victoria's Government was to the Church
of England, what Nero's or Dioclesian's was to the Church of Rome? it
may have been so."

May or may not, it wasn't. He insinuates what not even with his
little finger does he attempt to prove. Blot _four_.

He asserts, p. 9, that I said in the sermon in question, that
"Sacramental Confession and the celibacy of the clergy are 'notes' of
the Church." And, just before, he puts the word "notes" in inverted
commas, as if it was mine. That is, he garbles. It is _not_ mine.
Blot _five_.

He says that I "_define_ what I mean by the Church in two 'notes' of
her character." I do not define, or dream of defining.

1. He says that I teach that the celibacy of the clergy enters into
the _definition_ of the Church. I do no such thing; that is the blunt
truth. Define the Church by the celibacy of the clergy! why, let him
read 1 Tim. iii.; there he will find that bishops and deacons are
spoken of as married. How, then, could I be the dolt to say or imply
that the celibacy of the clergy was a part of the definition of the
Church? Blot _six_.

And again in p. 42, "In the Sermon a celibate clergy is made a note
of the Church." Thus the untruth is repeated. Blot _seven_.

2. And now for Blot _eight_. Neither did I say that "Sacramental
confession" was "a note of the Church." Nor is it. Nor could I with
any cogency have brought this as an argument against the Church of
England, for the Church of England has retained Confession, nay,
Sacramental Confession. No fair man can read the form of Absolution
in the Anglican Prayer in the Visitation of the Sick, without seeing
that that Church _does_ sanction and provide for Confession and
Absolution. If that form does not contain the profession of a grave
sacramental act, words have no meaning. The form is almost in the
words of the Roman form; and, by the time that this clergyman has
succeeded in explaining it away, he will have also got skill enough
to explain away the Roman form; and if he did but handle my words
with that latitude with which he interprets his own formularies, he
would prove that, instead of my being superstitious and frantic, I
was the most Protestant of preachers and the most latitudinarian of
thinkers. It would be charity in him, in his reading of my words, to
use some of that power of evasion, of which he shows himself such a
master in his dealing with his own Prayer Book. Yet he has the
assurance at p. 14 to ask, "Why was the Sermon preached? to insinuate
that a Church which had sacramental confession and a celibate clergy
was the only true Church?"

"Why?" I will tell the reader, _why_; and with this view will speak,
first of the contents of the Sermon, then of its subject, then of its

1. It was one of the last six sermons which I wrote when I was an
Anglican. It was one of the five sermons I preached in St. Mary's
between Christmas and Easter, 1843, the year when I gave up my
living. The MS. of the sermon is destroyed; but I believe, and my
memory too bears me out, as far as it goes, that the sentence in
question about celibacy and confession _was not preached at all_. The
volume, in which this sermon is found, was published _after_ that I
had given up St. Mary's, when I had no call on me to restrain the
expression of anything which I might hold: and I state an important
fact about it in the advertisement, which this truth-loving writer
_suppresses_. Blot _nine_.

My words, which stared him in the face, are as follows:--"In
preparing [these Sermons] for publication, _a few words and
sentences_ have in several places been _added_, which will be found
to express more _of private or personal opinion_, than it was
expedient to introduce into the _instruction_ delivered in Church to
a parochial Congregation. Such introduction, however, seems
unobjectionable in the case of compositions, which are _detached_
from the sacred place and service to which they once belonged, and
_submitted to the reason_ and judgment of the general reader."

This volume of sermons then cannot be criticised at all as
_preachments_; they are _essays_; essays of a man who, at the time of
publishing them, was _not_ a preacher. Such passages, as that in
question, are just the very ones which I added _upon_ my publishing
them. I always was on my guard in the pulpit of saying anything which
looked towards Rome; and therefore all his rhetoric about my
"disciples," "admiring young gentlemen who listened to me," "fanatic
and hot-headed young men, who hung upon my every word," becomes
simple rubbish.

I have more to say on this point. This writer says, p. 14, "I know
that men used to suspect Dr. Newman--I have been inclined to do so
myself--of _writing a whole Sermon, not for the sake of the text or
of the matter_, but for the sake of one simple passing hint--one
phrase, one epithet." Can there be a plainer testimony borne to the
practical character of my sermons at St. Mary's than this gratuitous
insinuation? Many a preacher of Tractarian doctrine has been accused
of not letting his parishioners alone, and of teasing them with his
private theological notions. You would gather from the general tone
of this writer that that was my way. Every one who was in the habit
of hearing me, knows that it wasn't. This writer either knows nothing
about it, and then he ought to be silent; or he does know, and then
he ought to speak the truth. Others spread the same report twenty
years ago as he does now, and the world believed that my sermons at
St. Mary's were full of red-hot Tractarianism. Then strangers came to
hear me preach, and were astonished at their own disappointment. I
recollect the wife of a great prelate from a distance coming to hear
me, and then expressing her surprise to find that I preached nothing
but a plain humdrum sermon. I recollect how, when on the Sunday
before Commemoration one year, a number of strangers came to hear
me, and I preached in my usual way, residents in Oxford, of high
position, were loud in their satisfaction that on a great occasion, I
had made a simple failure, for after all there was nothing in the
sermon to hear. Well, but they were not going to let me off, for all
my common-sense view of duty. Accordingly, they got up the charitable
theory which this writer revives. They said that there was a double
purpose in those plain addresses of mine, and that my sermons were
never so artful as when they seemed common-place; that there were
sentences which redeemed their apparent simplicity and quietness. So
they watched during the delivery of a sermon, which to them was too
practical to be useful, for the concealed point of it, which they
could at least imagine, if they could not discover. "Men used to
suspect Dr. Newman," he says, "of writing a _whole_ Sermon, _not_ for
the sake of _the text or of the matter_, but for the sake of ...
_one_ phrase, _one_ epithet, _one_ little barbed arrow, which, as he
_swept magnificently_ past on the stream of his calm eloquence,
_seemingly_ unconscious of all presences, save those unseen, he
delivered unheeded," etc. p. 14. To all appearance, he says, I was
"unconscious of all presences;" so this kind writer supplies the true
interpretation of this unconsciousness. He is not able to deny that
"the _whole_ Sermon" had the _appearance_ of being "_for the sake_ of
the text and matter;" therefore he suggests that perhaps it wasn't.
And then he emptily talks of the "magnificent sweep of my eloquence,"
and my "oratoric power." Did he forget that the sermon of which he
thus speaks can be read by others as well as him? Now, the sentences
are as short as Aristotle's, and as grave as Bishop Butler's. It is
written almost in the condensed style of Tract 90. Eloquence there is
none. I put this down as Blot _ten_.

2. And now as to the subject of the sermon. The series of which the
volume consists are such sermons as are, more or less, exceptions to
the rule which I ordinarily observed, as to the subjects which I
introduced into the pulpit of St. Mary's. They are not purely ethical
or doctrinal. They were for the most part caused by circumstances of
the day or of the time, and they belong to various years. One was
written in 1832, two in 1836, two in 1838, five in 1840, five in
1841, four in 1842, seven in 1843. Many of them are engaged on one
subject, viz. in viewing the Church in its relation to the world. By
the world was meant, not simply those multitudes which were not in
the Church, but the existing body of human society, whether in the
Church or not, whether Catholics, Protestants, Greeks, or Mahometans,
theists or idolaters, as being ruled by principles, maxims, and
instincts of their own, that is, of an unregenerate nature, whatever
their supernatural privileges might be, greater or less, according to
their form of religion. This view of the relation of the Church to
the world as taken apart from questions of ecclesiastical politics,
as they may be called, is often brought out in my sermons. Two occur
to me at once; No. 3 of my Plain Sermons, which was written in 1829,
and No. 15 of my third volume, written in 1835. Then, on the other
hand, by Church I meant--in common with all writers connected with
the Tract Movement, whatever their shades of opinion, and with
the whole body of English divines, except those of the Puritan or
Evangelical School--the whole of Christendom, from the apostles' time
till now, whatever their later divisions into Latin, Greek, and
Anglican. I have explained this view of the subject above at pp.
83-85 of this Volume. When then I speak, in the particular sermon
before us, of the members, or the rulers, or the action of "the
Church," I mean neither the Latin, nor the Greek, nor the English,
taken by itself, but of the whole Church as one body: of Italy as one
with England, of the Saxon or Norman as one with the Caroline Church.
_This_ was specially the one Church, and the points in which one
branch or one period differed from another were not and could not be
notes of the Church, because notes necessarily belonged to the whole
of the Church everywhere and always.

This being my doctrine as to the relation of the Church to the world,
I laid down in the sermon three principles concerning it, and there
left the matter. The first is, that Divine Wisdom had framed for its
action, laws which man, if left to himself, would have antecedently
pronounced to be the worst possible for its success, and which in all
ages have been called by the world, as they were in the apostles'
days, "foolishness;" that man ever relies on physical and material
force, and on carnal inducements--as Mahomet with his sword and his
houris, or indeed almost as that theory of religion, called, since
the sermon was written, "muscular Christianity;" but that our
Lord, on the contrary, has substituted meekness for haughtiness,
passiveness for violence, and innocence for craft: and that the event
has shown the high wisdom of such an economy, for it has brought to
light a set of natural laws, unknown before, by which the seeming
paradox that weakness should be stronger than might, and simplicity
than worldly policy, is readily explained.

Secondly, I said that men of the world, judging by the event, and not
recognizing the secret causes of the success, viz. a higher order of
natural laws--natural, though their source and action were
supernatural, (for "the meek inherit the earth," by means of a
meekness which comes from above)--these men, I say, concluded, that
the success which they witnessed must arise from some evil secret
which the world had not mastered--by means of magic, as they said in
the first ages, by cunning as they say now. And accordingly they
thought that the humility and inoffensiveness of Christians, or of
Churchmen, was a mere pretence and blind to cover the real causes of
that success, which Christians could explain and would not; and that
they were simply hypocrites.

Thirdly, I suggested that shrewd ecclesiastics, who knew very well
that there was neither magic nor craft in the matter, and, from their
intimate acquaintance with what actually went on within the Church,
discerned what were the real causes of its success, were of course
under the temptation of substituting reason for conscience, and,
instead of simply obeying the command, were led to do good that good
might come, that is, to act _in order_ to their success, and not from
a motive of faith. Some, I said, did yield to the temptation more or
less, and their motives became mixed; and in this way the world in a
more subtle shape has got into the Church; and hence it has come to
pass, that, looking at its history from first to last, we cannot
possibly draw the line between good and evil there, and say either
that everything is to be defended, or some things to be condemned. I
expressed the difficulty, which I supposed to be inherent in the
Church, in the following words. I said, "_Priestcraft has ever been
considered the badge_, and its imputation is a kind of Note of the
Church; and _in part indeed truly_, because the presence of powerful
enemies, and the sense of their own weakness, _has sometimes tempted
Christians to the abuse, instead of the use of Christian wisdom, to
be wise without being harmless_; but partly, nay, for the most part,
not truly, but slanderously, and merely because the world called
their wisdom craft, when it was found to be a match for its own
numbers and power." This passage he has partly garbled, partly
omitted. Blot _eleven_.

Such is the substance of the sermon: and as to the main drift of it,
it was this; that I was, there and elsewhere, scrutinising the course
of the Church as a whole, as if philosophically, as an historical
phenomenon, and observing the laws on which it was conducted. Hence
the sermon, or essay as it more truly is, is written in a dry and
unimpassioned way: it shows as little of human warmth of feeling, I
repeat, as a sermon of Bishop Butler's. Yet, under that calm exterior
there was a deep and keen sensitiveness, as I shall now proceed to

3. If I mistake not, it was written with a secret thought about
myself. Every one preaches according to his frame of mind, at the
time of preaching. One heaviness especially oppressed me at that
season, which this writer, twenty years afterwards, has set himself
with a good will to renew: it arose from the sense of the base
calumnies which were thrown upon me on all sides. In this trouble of
mind I gained, while I reviewed the history of the Church, at once an
argument and a consolation. My argument was this: if I, who knew my
own innocence, was so blackened by party prejudice, perhaps those
high rulers and those servants of the Church, in the many ages which
intervened between the early Nicene times and the present, who were
laden with such grievous accusations, were innocent also; and this
reflection served to make me tender towards those great names of the
past, to whom weaknesses or crimes were imputed, and reconciled me to
difficulties in ecclesiastical proceedings, which there were no means
now of properly explaining. And the sympathy thus excited for them,
reacted on myself, and I found comfort in being able to put myself
under the shadow of those who had suffered as I was suffering, and
who seemed to promise me their recompense, since I had a fellowship
in their trial. In a letter to my bishop at the time of Tract 90,
part of which I have quoted, I said that I had ever tried to "keep
innocency;" and now two years had passed since then, and men were
louder and louder in heaping on me the very charges, which this
writer repeats out of my sermon, of "fraud and cunning," "craftiness
and deceitfulness," "double-dealing," "priestcraft," of being
"mysterious, dark, subtle, designing," when I was all the time
conscious to myself, in my degree, and after my measure, of
"sobriety, self-restraint, and control of word and feeling." I had
had experience how my past success had been imputed to "secret
management;" and how, when I had shown surprise at that success, that
surprise again was imputed to "deceit;" and how my honest heartfelt
submission to authority had been called, as it was called in a
colonial bishop's charge, "mystic humility;" and how my silence was
called an "hypocrisy;" and my faithfulness to my clerical engagements
a secret correspondence with the enemy. And I found a way of
destroying my sensitiveness about these things which jarred upon my
sense of justice, and otherwise would have been too much for me, by
the contemplation of a large law of the Divine Dispensation, and
found myself more and more able to bear in my own person a present
trial, of which in my past writings I had expressed an anticipation.

For thus feeling and thus speaking this writer has the charitableness
and the decency to call me "Mawworm." "I found him telling
Christians," he says, "that they will always seem 'artificial,' and
'wanting in openness and manliness;' that they will always be 'a
mystery' to the world; and that the world will always think them
rogues; and bidding them glory in what the world (that is, the rest
of their fellow-countrymen) disown, and say with Mawworm, 'I like to
be despised.' ... How was I to know that the preacher ... was utterly
blind to the broad meaning and the plain practical result of a sermon
like this delivered before fanatic and hot-headed young men, who hung
upon his every word?"--p. 17. Hot-headed young men! why, man, you are
writing a romance. You think the scene is Alexandria or the Spanish
main, where you may let your imagination play revel to the extent of
inveracity. It is good luck for me that the scene of my labours was
not at Moscow or Damascus. Then I might be one of your ecclesiastical
saints, of which I sometimes hear in conversation, but with whom, I
am glad to say, I have no personal acquaintance. Then you might
ascribe to me a more deadly craft than mere quibbling and lying; in
Spain I should have been an Inquisitor, with my rack in the
background; I should have had a concealed dagger in Sicily; at Venice
I should have brewed poison; in Turkey I should have been the
Sheik-el-Islam with my bowstring; in Khorassan I should have been a
veiled prophet. "Fanatic young men!" Why he is writing out the list
of a _dramatis Personæ_; "guards, conspirators, populace," and the
like. He thinks I was ever moving about with a train of Capulets at
my heels. "Hot-headed fanatics, who hung on my every word!" If he had
taken to write a history, and not a play, he would have easily found
out, as I have said, that from 1841 I had severed myself from the
younger generation of Oxford, that Dr. Pusey and I had then closed
our theological meetings at his house, that I had brought my own
weekly evening parties to an end, that I preached only by fits and
starts at St. Mary's, so that the attendance of young men was broken
up, that in those very weeks from Christmas till over Easter, during
which this sermon was preached, I was but five times in the pulpit
there. He would have known that it was written at a time when I was
shunned rather than sought, when I had great sacrifices in
anticipation, when I was thinking much of myself; that I was
ruthlessly tearing myself away from my own followers, and that, in
the musings of that sermon, I was at the very utmost only delivering
a testimony in my behalf for time to come, not sowing my rhetoric
broadcast for the chance of present sympathy. Blot _twelve_.

I proceed: he says at p. 15, "I found him actually using of such
[prelates], (and, as I thought, of himself and his party likewise),
the words 'They yield outwardly; to assent inwardly were to betray
the faith. Yet they are called deceitful and double-dealing, because
they do as much as they can, not more than they may.'" This too is a
proof of my duplicity! Let this writer go with some one else, just a
little further than he has gone with me; and let him get into a court
of law for libel; and let him be convicted; and let him still fancy
that his libel, though a libel, was true, and let us then see whether
he will not in such a case "yield outwardly," without assenting
internally; and then again whether we should please him, if we called
him "deceitful and double-dealing," because "he did as much as he
could, not more than he ought to do." But Tract 90 will supply a real
illustration of what I meant. I yielded to the bishops in outward
act, viz. in not defending the Tract, and in closing the series; but,
not only did I not assent inwardly to any condemnation of it, but I
opposed myself to the proposition of a condemnation on the part of
authority. Yet I was then by the public called "deceitful and
double-dealing," as this writer calls me now, "because I did as much
as I felt I could do, and not more than I felt I could honestly do."
Many were the publications of the day and the private letters which
accused me of shuffling, because I closed the series of tracts, yet
kept the tracts on sale, as if I ought to comply not only with what
my bishop asked, but with what he did not ask, and perhaps did not
wish. However, such teaching, according to this writer, was likely to
make young men suspect that truth was not a virtue for its own sake,
but only for the sake of "the spread of Catholic opinions," and the
"salvation of their own souls;" and that "cunning was the weapon
which heaven had allowed to them to defend themselves against the
persecuting Protestant public."--p. 16. Blot _thirteen_.

And now I draw attention to another point. He says at p. 15, "How was
I to know that the preacher ... did not foresee, that [fanatic and
hot-headed young men] would think that they obeyed him, by becoming
affected, artificial, sly, shifty, ready for concealments and
_equivocations?_" "How should he know!" What! I suppose that we are
to think every man a knave till he is proved not to be such. Know!
had he no friend to tell him whether I was "affected" or "artificial"
myself? Could he not have done better than impute _equivocation_ to
me, at a time when I was in no sense answerable for the
_amphibologia_ of the Roman casuists? Has he a single fact which
belongs to me personally or by profession to couple my name with
equivocation in 1843? "How should he know" that I was not sly,
smooth, artificial, non-natural! he should know by that common manly
frankness, if he had it, by which we put confidence in others, till
they are proved to have forfeited it; he should know it by my own
words in that very sermon, in which I say it is best to be natural,
and that reserve is at best but an unpleasant necessity. I say, "I do
not deny that there is something very engaging in a frank and
unpretending manner; some persons have it more than others; in _some
persons it is a great grace_. But it must be recollected that I am
speaking of _times of persecution and oppression_ to Christians, such
as the text foretells; and then surely frankness will become nothing
else than indignation at the oppressor, and vehement speech, if it is
permitted. Accordingly, as persons have deep _feelings_, so they will
find the necessity of self-control, lest they should say what they
ought not." He omits these words. I call, then, this base insinuation
that I taught equivocation, Blot the _fourteenth_.

Lastly, he sums up thus: "If [Dr. Newman] would ... persist (as in
this Sermon) in dealing with matters dark, offensive, doubtful,
sometimes actually forbidden, at least according to the notions of
the great majority of English Churchmen; if he would always do so in
a tentative, paltering way, seldom or never letting the world know
how much he believed, how far he intended to go; if, in a word, his
method of teaching was a suspicious one, what wonder if the minds of
men were filled with suspicions of him?"--p. 17.

Now first he is speaking of my sermons; where, then, is his proof
that in my sermons I dealt in matters dark, offensive, doubtful,
actually forbidden? he has said nothing in proof that I have not been
able flatly to deny.

"Forbidden according to the notions of the great majority of English
Churchmen." I should like to know what opinions, beyond those which
relate to the Creed, _are_ held by the "majority of English
Churchmen:"--are his own? is it not perfectly well known, that "the
great majority" think of him and his views with a feeling which I
will not describe, because it is not necessary for my argument? So
far is certain, that he has not the majority with him.

"In a tentative, paltering way." The word "paltering" I reject, as
vague; as to "tentative," he must show that I was tentative in my
sermons; and he has eight volumes to look through. As to the ninth,
my University sermons, of course I was "tentative;" but not because
"I would seldom or never let the world know how much I believed, or
how far I intended to go;" but because in deep subjects, which had
not been fully investigated, I said as much as I believed, and about
as far as I saw I could go; and a man cannot do more; and I account
no man to be a philosopher who attempts to do more. How long am I to
have the office of merely negativing assertions which are but
supported by former assertions, in which John is ever helping Tom,
and the elephant stands upon the tortoise? This is Blot

3. The Anglican Church

This writer says:--"If there is, as there is, a strong distrust of
certain Catholics, it is restricted to the proselytizing priests
among them; and especially to those, who, like Dr. Newman, have
turned round upon their mother Church (I had almost said their mother
country), with contumely and slander."--p. 18.

No one has a right to make a charge, without at least an attempt to
prove what he says; but this writer is consistent with himself. From
the time that he first spoke of me in the magazine, _when_ has he
ever even professed to give evidence of any sort for any one of his
charges, from his own sense of propriety, and without being
challenged on the point? After the sentence which I have been
quoting, and another like it, he coolly passes on to Tract 90! Blot
_sixteen_; but I shall dwell on it awhile, for its own sake.

Now I have been bringing out my mind in this volume on every subject
which has come before me; and therefore I am bound to state plainly
what I feel and have felt, since I was a Catholic, about the Anglican
Church. I said, in a former page, that, on my conversion, I was not
conscious of any change in me of thought or feeling, as regards
matters of doctrine; this, however, was not the case as regards some
matters of fact, and, unwilling as I am to give offence to religious
Anglicans, I am bound to confess that I felt a great change in my
view of the Church of England. I cannot tell how soon there came on
me--but very soon--an extreme astonishment that I had ever imagined
it to be a portion of the Catholic Church. For the first time, I
looked at it from without, and (as I should myself say) saw it as it
was. Forthwith I could not get myself to see in it anything else,
than what I had so long fearfully suspected, from as far back as
1836--a mere national institution. As if my eyes were suddenly
opened, so I saw it--spontaneously, apart from any definite act of
reason or any argument; and so I have seen it ever since. I suppose,
the main cause of this lay in the contrast which was presented to me
by the Catholic Church. Then I recognised at once a reality which was
quite a new thing with me. Then I was sensible that I was not making
for myself a Church by an effort of thought; I needed not to make
an act of faith in her; I had not painfully to force myself into a
position, but my mind fell back upon itself in relaxation and in
peace, and I gazed at her almost passively as a great objective fact.
I looked at her;--at her rites, her ceremonial, and her precepts; and
I said, "This _is_ a religion;" and then, when I looked back upon the
poor Anglican Church, for which I had laboured so hard, and upon all
that appertained to it, and thought of our various attempts to dress
it up doctrinally and esthetically, it seemed to me to be the veriest
of nonentities. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! How can I make a
record of what passed within me, without seeming to be satirical? But
I speak plain, serious words. As people call me credulous for
acknowledging Catholic claims, so they call me satirical for
disowning Anglican pretensions; to them it _is_ credulity, to them it
_is_ satire; but it is not so in me. What they think exaggeration, I
think truth. I am not speaking of the Anglican Church in any disdain,
though to them I seem contemptuous. To them of course it is "Aut
Cæsar aut nullus," but not to me. It may be a great creation, though
it be not divine, and this is how I judge of it. Men, who abjure the
divine right of kings, would be very indignant, if on that account
they were considered disloyal. And so I recognise in the Anglican
Church a time-honoured institution, of noble historical memories, a
monument of ancient wisdom, a momentous arm of political strength, a
great national organ, a source of vast popular advantage, and, to a
certain point, a witness and teacher of religious truth. I do not
think that, if what I have written about it since I have been a
Catholic, be equitably considered as a whole, I shall be found to
have taken any other view than this; but that it is something sacred,
that it is an oracle of revealed doctrine, that it can claim a share
in St. Ignatius or St. Cyprian, that it can take the rank, contest
the teaching, and stop the path of the Church of St. Peter, that it
can call itself "the Bride of the Lamb," this is the view of it which
simply disappeared from my mind on my conversion, and which it would
be almost a miracle to reproduce. "I went by, and lo! it was gone; I
sought it, but its place could no where be found;" and nothing can
bring it back to me. And, as to its possession of an episcopal
succession from the time of the apostles, well, it may have it, and,
if the holy see ever so decided, I will believe it, as being the
decision of a higher judgment than my own; but, for myself, I must
have St. Philip's gift, who saw the sacerdotal character on the
forehead of a gaily-attired youngster, before I can by my own wit
acquiesce in it, for antiquarian arguments are altogether unequal to
the urgency of visible facts. Why is it that I must pain dear friends
by saying so, and kindle a sort of resentment against me in the
kindest of hearts? but I must, though to do it be not only a grief to
me, but most impolitic at the moment. Anyhow, this is my mind; and,
if to have it, if to have betrayed it, before now, involuntarily by
my words or my deeds, if on a fitting occasion, as now, to have
avowed it, if all this be a proof of the justice of the charge
brought against me of having "turned round upon my Mother-Church with
contumely and slander," in this sense, but in no other sense, do I
plead guilty to it without a word in extenuation.

In no other sense surely; the Church of England has been the
instrument of Providence in conferring great benefits on me; had I
been born in Dissent, perhaps I should never have been baptised; had
I been born an English Presbyterian, perhaps I should never have
known our Lord's divinity; had I not come to Oxford, perhaps I never
should have heard of the visible Church, or of Tradition, or other
Catholic doctrines. And as I have received so much good from the
Anglican Establishment itself, can I have the heart, or rather the
want of charity, considering that it does for so many others, what it
has done for me, to wish to see it overthrown? I have no such wish
while it is what it is, and while we are so small a body. Not for its
own sake, but for the sake of the many congregations to which it
ministers, I will do nothing against it. While Catholics are so weak
in England, it is doing our work; and, though it does us harm in a
measure, at present the balance is in our favour. What our duty would
be at another time and in other circumstances, supposing, for
instance, the Establishment lost its dogmatic faith, or at least did
not preach it, is another matter altogether. In secular history we
read of hostile nations having long truces, and renewing them from
time to time, and that seems to be the position the Catholic Church
may fairly take up at present in relation to the Anglican

Doubtless the National Church has hitherto been a serviceable
breakwater against doctrinal errors, more fundamental than its own.
How long this will last in the years now before us, it is impossible
to say, for the nation drags down its Church to its own level; but
still the National Church has the same sort of influence over the
nation that a periodical has upon the party which it represents, and
my own idea of a Catholic's fitting attitude towards the National
Church in this its supreme hour, is that of assisting and sustaining
it, if it be in our power, in the interest of dogmatic truth. I
should wish to avoid everything, except under the direct call of
duty, which went to weaken its hold upon the public mind, or to
unsettle its establishment, or to embarrass and lessen its
maintenance of those great Christian and Catholic principles and
doctrines which it has up to this time successfully preached.

I say, "except under the call of duty;" and this exception, I am
obliged to admit, is not a slight one; it is one which necessarily
places a bar to any closer relation between it and ourselves, than
that of an armed truce. For, in the first place, it stands to reason
that even a volume, such as this has been, exerts an influence
adverse to the Establishment--at least in the case of many minds; and
this I cannot avoid, though I have sincerely attempted to keep as
wide of controversy in the course of it, as ever I could. And next I
cannot deny, what must be ever a very sore point with Anglicans,
that, if any Anglican comes to me after careful thought and prayer,
and with deliberate purpose, and says, "I believe in the Holy
Catholic Church, and that your Church and yours alone is it, and I
demand admittance into it," it would be the greatest of sins in me to
reject such a man, as being a distinct contravention of our Lord's
maxim, "Freely ye have received, freely give."

I have written three volumes which may be considered controversial;
Loss and Gain in 1847; Lectures on Difficulties felt by Anglicans in
submitting to the Catholic Church in 1850; and Lectures on the
present Position of Catholics in England in 1851. And though I have
neither time nor need to go into the matter minutely, a few words
will suffice for some general account of what has been my object and
my tone in these works severally.

Of these three, the Lectures on the "Position of Catholics" have
nothing to do with the Church of England, as such; they are directed
against the Protestant or Ultra-Protestant tradition on the subject
of Catholicism since the time of Queen Elizabeth, in which parties
indeed in the Church of England have largely participated, but which
cannot be confused with Anglican teaching itself. Much less can that
tradition be confused with the doctrine of the Laudian or of the
Tractarian School. I owe nothing to Protestantism; and I spoke
against it even when I was an Anglican, as well as in these Catholic
lectures. If I spoke in them against the Church Established, it was
because, and so far as, at the time when they were delivered the
Establishment took a violent part against the Catholic Church, on the
basis of the Protestant tradition. Moreover, I had never as an
Anglican been a lover of the actual Establishment; Hurrell Froude's
Remains, in which it is called an "incubus" and "Upas Tree," will
stand in evidence, as for him, so for me; for I was one of the
editors. What I said even as an Anglican, it is not strange that I
said when I was not. Indeed I have been milder in my thoughts of the
Establishment ever since I have been a Catholic than before, and for
an obvious reason:--when I was an Anglican, I viewed it as repressing
a higher doctrine than its own; and now I view it as keeping out a
lower and more dangerous.

Then as to my Lectures on Anglican Difficulties. Neither were these
formally directed against the National Church. They were addressed to
the "Children of the Movement of 1833," to impress upon them, that,
whatever was the case with others, their duty at least was to become
Catholics, since Catholicism was the real scope and issue of that
Movement. "There is but one thing," I say, "that forces me to
speak.... It will be a miserable thing for you and for me, if I have
been instrumental in bringing you but half-way, if I have co-operated
in removing your invincible ignorance, but am able to do no
more."--p. 5. Such being the drift of the volume, the reasoning
directed against the Church of England goes no further than this,
that it had no claims whatever on such of its members as were
proceeding onwards with the Movement into the Catholic Church.

Lastly, as to Loss and Gain: it is the story, simply ideal, of the
conversion of an Oxford man. Its drift is to show how little there is
in Anglicanism to satisfy and retain a young and earnest heart. In
this tale, all the best characters are sober Church-of-England
people. No Tractarians proper are introduced: and this is noted in
the advertisement: "No _proper_ representative is intended in this
tale, of the religious opinions, which had lately so much influence
in the University of Oxford." There _could_ not be such in the tale,
without the introduction of friends, which was impossible in its very
notion. But, since the scene was to be laid during the very years,
and at the head-quarters, of Tractarianism, some expedient was
necessary in order to meet what was a great difficulty. My expedient
was the introduction of what may be called Tractarians _improper_;
and I took them the more readily, because, though I knew that such
there were, I knew none of them personally. I mean such men as I used
to consider of "the gilt-gingerbread school," from whom I expected
little good, persons whose religion lay in ritualism or architecture,
and who "played at Popery" or at Anglicanism. I repeat I knew no such
men, because it is one thing to desire fine churches and ceremonies
(which of course I did myself), and quite another thing to desire
these and nothing else; but at that day there was in some quarters,
though not in those where I had influence, a strong movement in the
esthetic direction. Doubtless I went too far in my apprehension of
such a movement: for one of the best, and most devoted and
hard-working priests I ever knew was the late Father Hutchison, of
the London Oratory, and I believe it was architecture that directed
his thoughts towards the Catholic Church. However, I had in my mind
an external religion which was inordinate; and, as the men who were
considered instances of it, were personally unknown to me, even by
name, I introduced them, under imaginary representatives, in Loss and
Gain, and that, in order to get clear of Tractarians proper; and of
the three men, whom I have introduced, the Anglican is the best. In
like manner I introduced two "gilt-gingerbread" young ladies, who
were ideal, absolutely, utterly, without a shred of concrete
existence about them; and I introduced them with the remark that they
were "really kind charitable persons," and "_by no means_ put forth
as _a type_ of a class," that "among such persons were to be found
the gentlest spirits and the tenderest hearts," and that "these
sisters had open hands, if they had not wise heads," but that "they
did not know much of matters ecclesiastical, and they knew less of

It has been said, indeed, I know not to what extent, that I
introduced my friends or partisans into the tale; this is utterly
untrue. Only two cases of this misconception have come to my
knowledge, and I at once denied each of them outright; and I take
this opportunity of denying generally the truth of all other similar
charges. No friend of mine, no one connected in any way with the
Movement, entered into the composition of any one of the characters.
Indeed, putting aside the two instances which have been distinctly
brought before me, I have not even any sort of suspicion who the
persons are, whom I am thus accused of introducing.

Next, this writer goes on to speak of Tract 90; a subject of which I
have treated at great length in a former passage of this narrative,
and, in consequence, need not take up again now.

4. Series of Lives of the English Saints

I have given the history of this publication above at pp. 195-196. It
was to have consisted of almost 300 Lives, and I was to have been the
editor. It was brought to an end, before it was well begun, by the
act of friends who were frightened at the first Life printed, the
Life of St. Stephen Harding. Thus I was not responsible except for
the first two numbers; and the advertisements distinctly declared
this. I had just the same responsibility about the other Lives, that
my assailant had, and not a bit more. However, it answers his purpose
to consider me responsible.

Next, I observe, that his delusion about "hot-headed fanatic young
men" continues: here again I figure with my strolling company. "They
said," he observes, "what they believed; at least, what they had been
taught to believe that they ought to believe. And who had taught
them? Dr. Newman can best answer that question," p. 20. Well, I will
do what I can to solve the mystery.

Now as to the juvenile writers in the proposed series. One was my
friend Mr. Bowden, who in 1843 was a man of 46 years old; he was to
have written St. Boniface. Another was Mr. Johnson, a man of 42; he
was to have written St. Aldelm. Another was the author of St.
Augustine: let us hear something about him from this writer:--

"Dr. Newman," he says, "might have said to the Author of the Life of
St. Augustine, when he found him, in _the heat and haste of youthful
fanaticism_, outraging historic truth and the law of evidence, 'This
must not be.'"--p. 20.

Good. This juvenile was past 40--well, say 39. Blot _seventeen_.
"This must not be." This is what I ought to have said, it seems! And
then, you see, I have not the talent, and never had, of some people,
for lecturing my equals, much less men twenty years older than

But again, the author of St. Augustine's Life distinctly says in his
advertisement, "_No one but himself_ is responsible for the way in
which these materials have been used." Blot _eighteen_.

Thirty-three Lives were actually published. Out of the whole number
this writer notices _three_. Of these one is "charming;" therefore I
am not to have the benefit of it. Another "outrages historic truth
and the law of evidence;" therefore "it was notoriously sanctioned by
Dr. Newman." And the third was "one of the most offensive," and Dr.
Newman must have formally connected himself with it in "a moment of
amiable weakness."--p. 22. What even-handed justice is here! Blot

But to return to the juvenile author of St. Augustine:--"I found,"
says this writer, "the Life of St. Augustine saying, that, though the
pretended visit of St. Peter to England wanted _historic evidence_,
'yet it has undoubtedly been received as a _pious opinion_ by the
Church at large, as we learn from the often-quoted words of St.
Innocent I. (who wrote A.D. 416) that St. Peter was instrumental in
the conversion of the West generally.'"--p. 21. He brings this
passage against me (with which, however, I have nothing more to do
than he has) as a great misdemeanour; but let us see what his
criticism is worth. "And this sort of argument," continues the
passage, "though it ought to be kept _quite distinct from_
documentary and historic proof, will _not be without its effect_ on
devout minds," etc. I should have thought this a very sober doctrine,
viz. that we must not confuse together two things quite distinct from
each other, criticism and devotion, so proof and opinion--that a
_devout_ mind will hold _opinions_ which it cannot demonstrate by
"historic _proof_." What, I ask, is the harm of saying this? Is
_this_ my assailant's definition of opinion, "a thing which _can_ be
proved?" I cannot answer for him, but I can answer for men in
general. Let him read Sir David Brewster's "More Worlds than
One;"--this principle, which is so shocking to my assailant, is
precisely the argument of Sir David's book; he tells us that the
plurality of worlds _cannot_ be _proved_, but _will_ be _received_ by
religious men. He asks, p. 229, "_If_ the stars are _not_ suns, for
what conceivable _purpose_ were they created?" and then he lays down
dogmatically, p. 254, "There is no _opinion_, _out of_ the region of
_pure demonstration_, more universally _cherished_ than the doctrine
of the Plurality of worlds." And in his title-page he styles this
"opinion" "the _creed_ of the philosopher and the _hope_ of the
Christian." If Brewster may bring devotion into astronomy, why may
not my friend bring it into history? and that the more, when he
actually declares that it ought to be kept _quite distinct_ from
history, and by no means assumes that he is an historian because he
is a hagiographer; whereas, somehow or other, Sir David does seem to
me to show a zeal greater than becomes a _savant_, and to assume that
he himself is a theologian because he is an astronomer. This writer
owes Sir David as well as me an apology. Blot _twenty_.

He ought to wish his original charge against me in the magazine dead
and buried; but he has the good sense and good taste to revive it
again and again. This is one of the places which he has chosen for
it. Let him then, just for a change, substitute Sir David Brewster
for me in his sentence; Sir David has quite as much right to the
compliment as I have, as far as this Life of St. Augustine is
concerned. Then he will be saying, that, because Sir David teaches
that the belief in more worlds than one is a pious opinion, and not a
demonstrated fact, he "does not care for truth for its own sake, or
teach men to regard it as a virtue," p. 21. Blot _twenty-one_.

However, he goes on to give in this same page one other evidence of
my disregard of truth. The author of St. Augustine's Life also asks
the following question: "_On what evidence_ do we put faith in the
existence of St. George, the patron of England? Upon such, assuredly,
as an acute _critic or skillful pleader_ might easily scatter to the
winds; the belief of prejudiced or credulous witnesses, the unwritten
record of empty pageants and bauble decorations. On the side of
scepticism might be exhibited a powerful array of suspicious legends
and exploded acts. Yet, _after all, what Catholic is there but would
count it a profaneness to question the existence of St. George?_" On
which my assailant observes, "When I found Dr. Newman allowing his
disciples ... in page after page, in Life after Life, to talk
nonsense of this kind which is not only sheer Popery, _but saps the
very foundation of historic truth_, was it so wonderful that I
conceived him to have taught and thought like them?" p. 22, that is,
to have taught lying.

Well and good; here again take a parallel; not St. George, but

Mr. Grote says: "Plutarch begins his biography of Lycurgus with the
following ominous words: 'Concerning the lawgiver Lycurgus, we can
assert _absolutely nothing_, which is not controverted. There are
different stories in respect to his birth, his travels, his death,
and also his mode of proceeding, political as well as legislative:
least of all is the time in which he lived agreed on.' And this
exordium _is but too well borne out_ by the unsatisfactory nature of
the accounts which we read, not only in Plutarch himself, but in
those other authors, out of whom we are obliged to make up our idea
of the memorable Lycurgian system."--Greece, vol. ii. p 455. But
Bishop Thirlwall says, "Experience proves that _scarcely any amount
of variation_, as to the time or circumstances of a fact, in the
authors who record it, _can be a sufficient ground_ for doubting its
reality."--Greece, vol. i. p. 332.

Accordingly, my assailant is virtually saying of the latter of these
two historians, "When I found the Bishop of St. David's talking
nonsense of this kind, which saps the very foundation of historic
truth," was it "hasty or far-fetched" to conclude "that he did not
care for truth for its own sake, or teach his disciples to regard it
as a virtue?" p. 21. Nay, further, the Author of St. Angustine is no
more a disciple of mine, than the Bishop of St. David's is of my
assailant's, and therefore the parallel will be more exact if I
accuse this professor of history of _teaching_ Dr. Thirlwall not to
care for truth, as a virtue, for its own sake. Blot _twenty-two_.

It is hard on me to have this dull, profitless work. But I have
pledged myself;--so now for St. Walburga.

Now will it be believed that this writer suppresses the fact that the
miracles of St. Walburga are treated by the author of her Life as
mythical? yet that is the tone of the whole composition. This writer
can notice it in the Life of St. Neot, the first of the three Lives
which he criticises; these are his words: "Some of them, the writers,
for instance, of Volume 4, which contains, among others, a charming
life of St. Neot, treat the stories openly as legends and myths, and
tell them as they stand, without asking the reader, or themselves, to
believe them altogether. The method is harmless enough, if the
legends had stood alone; but dangerous enough, when they stand side
by side with stories told in earnest, like that of St. Walburga."--p.

Now, first, that the miraculous stories _are_ treated, in the Life of
St. Walburga, as legends and myths. Throughout, the miracles and
extraordinary occurrences are spoken of as "said" or "reported;" and
the suggestion is made that, even though they occurred, they might
have been after all natural. Thus, in one of the very passages which
my assailant quotes, the author says, "Illuminated men feel the
privileges of Christianity, and to them the evil influence of Satanic
power is horribly discernible, like the Egyptian darkness which could
be felt; and _the only way to express_ their keen perception of it is
_to say_, that they _see_ upon the countenances of the slaves of sin,
the marks, and lineaments, and stamp of the evil one; and [that] they
_smell_ with their nostrils the horrible fumes that arise from their
_vices_ and uncleansed _heart_," etc. p.78. This introduces St.
Sturme and the gambolling Germans; what does it mean but that "the
intolerable scent" was nothing physical, or strictly miraculous, but
the horror, parallel to physical distress, with which the saint was
affected, from his knowledge of the state of their souls? My
assailant is a lucky man, if mental pain has never come upon him with
a substance and a volume, as forcible as if it were bodily.

And so in like manner, the author of the Life says, as this writer
actually has quoted him, "a story _was told and believed_," p. 94.
"One evening, _says her history_," p. 87. "Another incident _is thus
related_," p. 88. "Immediately, _says_ Wülfhard," p. 91. "A vast
number of other cases are _recorded_," p. 92. And there is a distinct
intimation that they may be myths, in a passage which this assailant
himself quotes, "All these have the _character_ of a gentle mother
correcting the idleness and faults of careless and thoughtless
children with tenderness."--p. 95. I think the criticism which he
makes upon this Life is one of the most wanton passages in his
pamphlet. The Life is beautifully written, full of poetry, and, as I
have said, bears on its very surface the profession of a legendary
and mythical character. Blot _twenty-three_.

In saying all this, I have no intention whatever of implying that
miracles did not illustrate the Life of St. Walburga; but neither the
author nor I have bound ourselves to the belief of certain instances
in particular. My assailant, in the passage which I just now quoted
from him, made some distinction, which was apparently intended to
save St. Neot, while it condemned St. Walburga. He said that legends
are "dangerous enough, when they stand side by side with stories told
in earnest like St. Walburga." He will find he has here Dr. Milman
against him, as he has already had Sir David Brewster, and the Bishop
of St. David's. He accuses me of having "outraged historic truth and
the law of evidence," because friends of mine have considered that,
though opinions need not be convictions, nevertheless that legends
may be connected with history: now, on the contrary, let us hear the
Dean of St. Paul's:--

"_History_, to be _true_, must condescend to speak the language of
_legend_; the _belief_ of the times is _part_ of the _record_ of the
times; and, though there may occur what may baffle its more calm and
searching philosophy, it _must not disdain_ that which was the
primal, almost universal, motive of human life."--Latin. Christ.,
vol. i. p. 388. Dr. Milman's decision justifies me in putting this
down as Blot _twenty-four_.

However, there is one miraculous account for which this writer makes
me directly answerable, and with reason; and with it I shall conclude
my reply to his criticisms on the "Lives of the English Saints." It
is the medicinal oil which flows from the relics of St. Walburga.

Now, as I shall have occasion to remark under my next head, these two
questions among others occur, in judging of a miraculous story; viz.
whether the matter of it is extravagant, and whether it is a fact.
And first, it is plain there is nothing extravagant in this report of
the relics having a supernatural virtue; and for this reason, because
there are such instances in Scripture, and Scripture cannot be
extravagant. For instance, a man was restored to life by touching the
relics of the prophet Eliseus. The sacred text runs thus:--"And
Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites
invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass,
as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men;
and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha. And, when the man
was let down, _and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived_, and
stood upon his feet." Again, in the case of an inanimate substance,
which had touched a living saint: "And God wrought _special miracles_
by the hands of Paul; so that _from his body_ were brought unto the
sick _handkerchiefs or aprons_, and _the diseases departed from
them_." And again in the case of a pool: "An _angel went down_ at a
certain season into the pool, and troubled the water; whosoever then
first, after the troubling of the water, stepped in, _was made whole
of whatsoever disease_ he had." 2 Kings [4 Kings] xiii. 20, 21. Acts
xix. 11, 12. John v. 4. Therefore there is nothing _extravagant_ in
the _character_ of the miracle.

The main question then (I do not say the only remaining question, but
the main question) is the _matter of fact_:--_is_ there an oil
flowing from St. Walburga's tomb, which is medicinal? To this
question I confined myself in the Preface to the volume. Of the
accounts of medieval miracles, I said that there was no
_extravagance_ in their _general character_, but I could not affirm
that there was always _evidence_ for them. I could not simply accept
them as _facts_, but I could not reject them in their _nature_; they
_might_ be true, for they were not impossible: but they were _not
proved_ to be true, because there was not trustworthy testimony.
However, as to St. Walburga, I made _one_ exception, the fact of the
medicinal oil, since for that miracle there was distinct and
successive testimony. And then I went on to give a chain of
witnesses. It was my duty to state what those witnesses said in their
very words; and I did so; they were in Latin, and I gave them in
Latin. One of them speaks of the "sacrum oleum" flowing "de membris
ejus virgineis, maximè tamen pectoralibus;" and I so printed it;--if
I had left it out, this sweet-tempered writer would have accused me
of an "economy." I gave the testimonies in full, tracing them from
the saint's death. I said, "She is one of the principal Saints of her
age and country." Then I quoted Basnage, a Protestant, who says, "Six
writers are extant, who have employed themselves in relating the
deeds or miracles of Walburga." Then I said that her "renown was not
the mere natural _growth_ of ages, but begins with the very century
of the Saint's death." Then I observed that only two miracles seem to
have been "distinctly reported of her as occurring in her lifetime;
and they were handed down apparently by tradition." Also, that they
are said to have commenced about A.D. 777. Then I spoke of the
medicinal oil as having testimony to it in 893, in 1306, after 1450,
in 1615, and in 1620. Also, I said that Mabillon seems not to have
believed some of her miracles; and that the earliest witness had got
into trouble with his bishop. And so I left it, as a question to be
decided by evidence, not deciding anything myself.

What was the harm of all this? but my critic has muddled it together
in a most extraordinary manner, and I am far from sure that he knows
himself the definite categorical charge which he intends it to convey
against me. One of his remarks is, "What has become of the holy oil
for the last 240 years, Dr. Newman does not say," p. 25. Of course I
did not, because I did not know; I gave the evidence as I found it;
he assumes that I had a point to prove, and then asks why I did not
make the evidence larger than it was. I put this down as Blot

I can tell him more about it now; the oil still flows; I have had
some of it in my possession; it is medicinal; some think it is so by
a natural quality, others by a divine gift. Perhaps it is on the
confines of both.

5. Ecclesiastical Miracles

What is the use of going on with this writer's criticisms upon me,
when I am confined to the dull monotony of exposing and oversetting
him again and again, with a persistence, which many will think
merciless, and few will have the interest to read? Yet I am obliged
to do so, lest I should seem to be evading difficulties.

Now as to Miracles. Catholics believe that they happen in any age of
the Church, though not for the same purposes, in the same number, or
with the same evidence, as in apostolic times. The apostles wrought
them in evidence of their divine mission; and with this object they
have been sometimes wrought by evangelists of countries since, as
even Protestants allow. Hence we hear of them in the history of St.
Gregory in Pontus, and St. Martin in Gaul; and in their case, as in
that of the apostles, they were both numerous and clear. As they are
granted to evangelists, so are they granted, though in less measure
and evidence, to other holy men; and as holy men are not found
equally at all times and in all places, therefore miracles are in
some places and times more than in others. And since, generally, they
are granted to faith and prayer, therefore in a country in which
faith and prayer abound, they will be more likely to occur, than
where and when faith and prayer are not; so that their occurrence is
irregular. And further, as faith and prayer obtain miracles, so still
more commonly do they gain from above the ordinary interventions of
Providence; and, as it is often very difficult to distinguish between
a providence and a miracle, and there will be more providences than
miracles, hence it will happen that many occurrences will be called
miraculous, which, strictly speaking, are not such, and not more than
providential mercies, or what are sometimes called "graces" or

Persons who believe all this, in accordance with Catholic teaching,
as I did and do, they, on the report of a miracle, will of necessity,
the necessity of good logic, be led to say, first, "It _may_ be," and
secondly, "But I must have _good evidence_ in order to believe it."
It _may_ be, because miracles take place in all ages; it must be
clearly _proved_, because perhaps after all it may be only a
providential mercy, or an exaggeration, or a mistake, or an
imposture. Well, this is precisely what I have said, which this
writer considers so irrational. I have said, as he quotes me, p. 24,
"In this day, and under our present circumstances, we can only reply,
that there is no reason why they should not be." Surely this is good
logic, _provided_ that miracles _do_ occur in all ages; and so again
is it logical to say, "There is nothing, _primâ facie_, in the
miraculous accounts in question, to repel a _properly taught_ or
religiously disposed mind." What is the matter with this statement?
My assailant does not pretend to say _what_ the matter is, and he
cannot; but he expresses a rude, unmeaning astonishment. Next, I
stated _what_ evidence there is for the miracles of which I was
speaking; what is the harm of that? He observes, "What evidence Dr.
Newman requires, he makes evident at once. He at least will fear for
himself, and swallow the whole as it comes."--p. 24. What random
abuse is this, or, to use _his own words_ of me just before, what
"stuff and nonsense!" What is it I am "swallowing"? "the whole" what?
the evidence? or the miracles? I have swallowed neither, nor implied
any such thing. Blot _twenty-six_.

But to return: I have just said that a Catholic's state of mind, of
logical necessity, will be, "It _may_ be a miracle, but it has to be
_proved_." _What_ has to be proved? 1. That the event occurred as
stated, and is not a false report or an exaggeration. 2. That it is
clearly miraculous, and not a mere providence or answer to prayer
within the order of nature. What is the fault of saying this? The
inquiry is parallel to that which is made about some extraordinary
fact in secular history. Supposing I hear that King Charles II. died
a Catholic, I should say, 1. It _may_ be. 2. What is your _proof_?
Accordingly, in the passage which this writer quotes, I observe,
"Miracles are the kind of facts proper to ecclesiastical history,
just as instances of sagacity or daring, personal prowess, or crime,
are the facts proper to secular history." What is the harm of this?
But this writer says, "Verily his [Dr. Newman's] idea of secular
history is almost as degraded as his idea of ecclesiastical," p. 24,
and he ends with this muddle of an _Ipse dixit_! Blot _twenty-seven_.

In like manner, about the Holy Coat at Trèves, he says of me, "Dr.
Newman ... seems _hardly sure_ of the authenticity of the Holy Coat."
Why _need_ I be, more than I am sure that Richard III. murdered the
little princes? If I have not _means_ of making up my mind one way or
the other, surely my most logical course is "_not_ to be sure." He
continues, "Dr. Newman 'does not see _why it may not have been_ what
it professes to be.'" Well, is not that just what this writer would
say of a great number of the facts recorded in secular history? is it
not what he would be obliged to say of much that is told us about the
armour and other antiquities in the Tower of London? To this I
alluded in the passage from which he quotes; but he has _garbled_
that passage, and I must show it. He quotes me to this effect: "Is
the Tower of London shut against sight-seers because the coats of
mail or pikes there may have half-legendary tales connected with
them? why then may not the country people come up in joyous
companies, singing and piping, to _see_ the holy coat at Treves?" On
this he remarks, "To _see_, forsooth! to _worship_, Dr. Newman would
have said, had he known (as I take for granted he does not) the facts
of that imposture." Here, if I understand him, he implies that the
people came up, not only to see, but to worship, and that I have
slurred over the fact that their coming was an act of religious
homage, that is, what _he_ would call "worship." Now, will it be
believed that, so far from concealing this, I had carefully stated it
in the sentence immediately preceding, and _he suppresses it_? I say,
"The world pays civil honour to it [a jewel said to be Alfred's] on
the probability; we pay _religious honour_ to relics, if so be, on
the probability. Is the Tower of London," I proceed, "shut," etc.
Blot _twenty-eight_.

These words of mine, however, are but one sentence in a long
argument, conveying the Catholic view on the subject of
ecclesiastical miracles; and, as it is carefully worked out, and very
much to the present point, and will save me doing over again what I
could not do better or more fully now, if I set about it, I shall
make a very long extract from the Lecture in which it occurs, and so
bring this Head to an end.

The argument, I should first observe, which is worked out, is this,
that Catholics set out with a definite religious tenet as a first
principle, and Protestants with a contrary one, and that on this
account it comes to pass that miracles are credible to Catholics and
incredible to Protestants.

"We affirm that the Supreme Being has wrought miracles on earth ever
since the time of the Apostles; Protestants deny it. Why do we
affirm, why do they deny? We affirm it on a first principle, they
deny it on a first principle; and on either side the first principle
is made to be decisive of the question ... Both they and we start
with the miracles of the Apostles; and then their first principle or
presumption against our miracles is this, 'What God did once, He is
_not_ likely to do again;' while our first principle or presumption
for our miracles is this; 'What God did once, He _is_ likely to do
again.' They say, It cannot be supposed He will work _many_ miracles;
we, It cannot be supposed He will work _few_.

"The Protestant, I say, laughs at the very idea of miracles or
supernatural powers as occurring at this day; his first principle is
rooted in him; he repels from him the idea of miracles; he laughs at
the notion of evidence; one is just as likely as another; they are
all false. Why? because of his first principle, There are no miracles
since the Apostles. Here, indeed, is a short and easy way of getting
rid of the whole subject, not by reason, but by a first principle
which he calls reason. Yes, it _is_ reason, granting his first
principle is true; it is not reason, supposing his first principle is

"There is in the Church a vast tradition and testimony about
miracles; how is it to be accounted for? If miracles _can_ take
place, then the _fact_ of the miracle will be a natural explanation
of the _report_, just as the fact of a man dying accounts
satisfactorily for the news that he is dead; but the Protestant
cannot so explain it, because he thinks miracles cannot take place;
so he is necessarily driven, by way of accounting for the report of
them, to impute that report to fraud. He cannot help himself. I
repeat it; the whole mass of accusations which Protestants bring
against us under this head, Catholic credulity, imposture, pious
frauds, hypocrisy, priestcraft, this vast and varied superstructure
of imputation, you see, all rests on an assumption, on an opinion of
theirs, for which they offer no kind of proof. What then, in fact, do
they say more than this, _If_ Protestantism be true, you Catholics
are a most awful set of knaves? Here, at least, is a most sensible
and undeniable position.

"Now, on the other hand, let me take our own side of the question,
and consider how we ourselves stand relatively to the charge made
against us. Catholics, then, hold the mystery of the Incarnation;
and the Incarnation is the most stupendous event which ever can take
place on earth; and after it and henceforth, I do not see how we
can scruple at any miracle on the mere ground of its being unlikely
to happen.... When we start with assuming that miracles are not
unlikely, we are putting forth a position which lies embedded, as it
were, and involved in the great revealed fact of the Incarnation. So
much is plain on starting; but more is plain too. Miracles are not
only not unlikely, but they are positively likely; and for this
simple reason, because for the most part, when God begins, He goes
on. We conceive, that when He first did a miracle, He began a series;
what He commenced, He continued: what has been, will be. Surely this
is good and clear reasoning. To my own mind, certainly, it is
incomparably more difficult to believe that the Divine Being should
do one miracle and no more, than that He should do a thousand; that
He should do one great miracle only, than that He should do a
multitude of lesser besides.... If the Divine Being does a thing
once, He is, judging by human reason, likely to do it again. This
surely is common sense. If a beggar gets food at a gentleman's house
once, does he not send others thither after him? If you are attacked
by thieves once, do you forthwith leave your windows open at night?
... Nay, suppose you yourselves were once to see a miracle, would you
not feel the occurrence to be like passing a line? would you, in
consequence of it, declare, 'I never will believe another if I hear
of one?' would it not, on the contrary, predispose you to listen to a
new report? ...

"When I hear the report of a miracle, my first feeling would be of
the same kind as if it were a report of any natural exploit or event.
Supposing, for instance, I heard a report of the death of some public
man; it would not startle me, even if I did not at once credit it,
for all men must die. Did I read of any great feat of valour, I
should believe it, if imputed to Alexander or Coeur de Lion. Did
I hear of any act of baseness, I should disbelieve it, if imputed to
a friend whom I knew and loved. And so in like manner were a miracle
reported to me as wrought by a Member of Parliament, or a Bishop of
the Establishment, or a Wesleyan preacher, I should repudiate the
notion: were it referred to a saint, or the relic of a saint, or the
intercession of a saint, I should not be startled at it, though I
might not at once believe it. And I certainly should be right in
this conduct, supposing my First Principle be true. Miracles to
the Catholic are historical facts, and nothing short of this; and
they are to be regarded and dealt with as other facts; and as
natural facts, under circumstances, do not startle Protestants, so
supernatural, under circumstances, do not startle the Catholic. They
may or may not have taken place in particular cases; he may be unable
to determine which, he may have no distinct evidence; he may suspend
his judgment, but he will say 'It is very possible;' he never will
say 'I cannot believe it.'

"Take the history of Alfred; you know his wise, mild, beneficent, yet
daring character, and his romantic vicissitudes of fortune. This
great king has a number of stories, or, as you may call them, legends
told of him. Do you believe them all? no. Do you, on the other hand,
think them incredible? no. Do you call a man a dupe or a block-head
for believing them? no. Do you call an author a knave or a cheat who
records them? no. You go into neither extreme, whether of implicit
faith or of violent reprobation. You are not so extravagant; you see
that they suit his character, they may have happened: yet this is
so romantic, that has so little evidence, a third is so confused in
dates or in geography, that you are in matter of fact indisposed
towards them. Others are probably true, others certainly. Nor do you
force every one to take your view of particular stories; you and your
neighbour think differently about this or that in detail, and agree
to differ. There is in the museum at Oxford, a jewel or trinket said
to be Alfred's; it is shown to all comers; I never heard the keeper
of the museum accused of hypocrisy or fraud for showing, with
Alfred's name appended, what he might or might not himself believe to
have belonged to that great king; nor did I ever see any party of
strangers who were looking at it with awe, regarded by any
self-complacent bystander with scornful compassion. Yet the curiosity
is not to a certainty Alfred's. The world pays civil honour to it on
the probability; we pay religious honour to relics, if so be, on the
probability. Is the Tower of London shut against sight-seers, because
the coats of mail and pikes there may have half-legendary tales
connected with them? why then may not the country people come up in
joyous companies, singing and piping, to see the Holy Coat at Trèves?
There is our Queen again, who is so truly and justly popular; she
roves about in the midst of tradition and romance; she scatters myths
and legends from her as she goes along; she is a being of poetry, and
you might fairly be sceptical whether she had any personal existence.
She is always at some beautiful, noble, bounteous work or other, if
you trust the papers. She is doing alms-deeds in the Highlands; she
meets beggars in her rides at Windsor; she writes verses in albums,
or draws sketches, or is mistaken for the house-keeper by some
blind old woman, or she runs up a hill as if she were a child. Who
finds fault with these things? he would be a cynic, he would be
white-livered, and would have gall for blood, who was not struck with
this graceful, touching evidence of the love her subjects bear her.
Who could have the head, even if he had the heart, who could be so
cross and peevish, who could be so solemn and perverse, as to say
that some of these stories _may_ be simple lies, and all of them
might have stronger evidence than they carry with them? Do you think
she is displeased at them? Why then should He, the Great Father, who
once walked the earth, look sternly on the unavoidable mistakes of
His own subjects and children in their devotion to Him and His? Even
granting they mistake some cases in particular, from the infirmity of
human nature and the contingencies of evidence, and fancy there is or
has been a miracle here and there when there is not, though a
tradition, attached to a picture, or to a shrine, or a well, be very
doubtful, though one relic be sometimes mistaken for another, and St.
Theodore stands for St. Eugenius or St. Agathocles, still, once take
into account our First Principle, that He is likely to continue
miracles among us, which is as good as the Protestant's, and I do not
see why He should feel much displeasure with us on account of this,
or should cease to work wonders in our behalf. In the Protestant's
view, indeed, who assumes that miracles never are, our thaumatology
is one great falsehood; but that is _his_ First Principle, as I have
said so often, which he does not prove but assume. If _he_, indeed,
upheld _our_ system, or _we_ held _his_ principle, in either case he
or we should be impostors; but though we should be partners to a
fraud if we thought like Protestants, we surely are not if we think
like Catholics.

"Such then is the answer I make to those who would urge against us
the multitude of miracles recorded in our Saints' Lives and
devotional works, for many of which there is little evidence, and
for some next to none. We think them true in the same sense in which
Protestants think the history of England true. When they say _that_,
they do not mean to say that there are no mistakes, but no mistakes
of consequence, none which alter the general course of history. Nor
do they mean they are equally sure of every part; for evidence is
fuller and better for some things than for others. They do not stake
their credit on the truth of Froissart or Sully, they do not pledge
themselves for the accuracy of Doddington or Walpole, they do not
embrace as an Evangelist Hume, Sharon Turner, or Macaulay. And yet
they do not think it necessary, on the other hand, to commence a
religious war against all our historical catechisms, and abstracts,
and dictionaries, and tales, and biographies, through the country;
they have no call on them to amend and expurgate books of archæology,
antiquities, heraldry, architecture, geography, and statistics, to
re-write our inscriptions, and to establish a censorship on all new
publications for the time to come. And so as regards the miracles of
the Catholic Church; if, indeed, miracles never can occur, then,
indeed, impute the narratives to fraud; but till you prove they are
not likely, we shall consider the histories which have come down
to us true on the whole, though in particular cases they may be
exaggerated or unfounded. Where, indeed, they can certainly be proved
to be false, there we shall be bound to do our best to get rid of
them; but till that is clear, we shall be liberal enough to allow
others to use their private judgment in their favour, as we use ours
in their disparagement. For myself, lest I appear in any way to be
shrinking from a determinate judgment on the claims of some of those
miracles and relics, which Protestants are so startled at, and to be
hiding particular questions in what is vague and general, I will avow
distinctly, that, _putting out of the question_ the _hypothesis of
unknown laws of nature_ (which is an evasion from the force of any
proof), I think it impossible to _withstand the evidence_ which is
brought for the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius at Naples,
and for the motion of the eyes of the pictures of the Madonna in the
Roman States. I _see no reason to doubt_ the material of the Lombard
crown at Monza; and I _do not see why_ the Holy Coat at Trèves may
not have been what it professes to be. I _firmly believe_ that
portions of the True Cross are at Rome and elsewhere, that the Crib
of Bethlehem is at Rome, and the bodies of St. Peter and St. Paul
also.... Many men when they hear an educated man so speak, will at
once impute the avowal to insanity, or to an idiosyncrasy, or to
imbecility of mind, or to decrepitude of powers, or to fanaticism, or
to hypocrisy. They have a right to say so, if they will; and we have
a right to ask them why they do not say it of those who bow down
before the Mystery of mysteries, the Divine Incarnation?"

In my Essay on Miracles of the year 1826, I proposed three questions
about a professed miraculous occurrence, 1. is it antecedently
_probable_? 2. is it in its _nature_ certainly miraculous? 3. has it
sufficient _evidence_? These are the three heads under which I still
wish to conduct the inquiry into the miracles of ecclesiastical

6. Popular Religion

This writer uses much rhetoric against a lecture of mine, in which I
bring out, as honestly as I can, the state of countries which have
long received the Catholic Faith, and hold it by the force of
tradition, universal custom, and legal establishment; a lecture in
which I give pictures, drawn principally from the middle ages, of
what, considering the corruption of the human race generally, that
state is sure to be--pictures of its special sins and offences, _sui
generis_, which are the result of that faith when it is separated
from love or charity, or of what Scripture calls a "dead faith," of
the light shining in darkness, and the truth held in unrighteousness.
The nearest approach which this writer is able to make towards
stating what I have said in this lecture, is to state the very
reverse. Observe: we have already had some instances of the haziness
of his ideas concerning the "Notes of the Church." These notes are,
as any one knows who has looked into the subject, certain great and
simple characteristics, which He who founded the Church has stamped
upon her in order to draw both the reason and the imagination of men
to her, as being really a divine work, and a religion distinct from
all other religious communities; the principal of these notes being
that she is Holy, One, Catholic, and Apostolic, as the Creed says.
Now, to use his own word, he has the incredible "audacity" to say,
that I have declared, not the divine characteristics of the Church,
but the sins and scandals in her, to be her Notes--as if I made God
the author of evil. He says distinctly, "Dr. Newman, with a kind of
desperate audacity, _will_ dig forth such _scandals_ as _Notes_ of
the Catholic Church." This is what I get at his hands for my honesty.
Blot _twenty-nine_.

Again, he says, "[Dr. Newman uses] the blasphemy and profanity which
he confesses to be so common in Catholic countries, as an argument
_for_, and not _against_ the 'Catholic Faith.'"--p. 34. That is,
because I admit that profaneness exists in the Church, therefore I
consider it a token of the Church. Yes, certainly, just as our
national form of cursing is an evidence of the being of a God, and as
a gallows is the glorious sign of a civilised country,--but in no
other way. Blot _thirty_.

What is it that I really say? I say as follows: Protestants object
that the communion of Rome does not fulfil satisfactorily the
expectation which we may justly form concerning the true Church, as
it is delineated in the four notes, enumerated in the Creed; and
among others, _e.g._ in the note of sanctity; and they point, in
proof of what they assert, to the state of Catholic countries. Now,
in answer to this objection, it is plain what I might have done, if I
had not had a conscience. I might have denied the fact. I might have
said, for instance, that the middle ages were as virtuous, as they
were believing. I might have denied that there was any violence, any
superstition, any immorality, any blasphemy during them. And so as to
the state of countries which have long had the light of Catholic
truth, and have degenerated. I might have admitted nothing against
them, and explained away everything which plausibly told to their
disadvantage. I did nothing of the kind; and what effect has this had
upon this estimable critic? "Dr. Newman takes a seeming pleasure," he
says, "in detailing instances of dishonesty on the part of
Catholics."--p. 34. Blot _thirty-one_. Any one who knows me well,
would testify that my "seeming pleasure," as he calls it, at such
things, is just the impatient sensitiveness, which relieves itself by
means of a definite delineation of what is so hateful to it.

However, to pass on. All the miserable scandals of Catholic
countries, taken at the worst, are, as I view the matter, no argument
against the Church itself; and the reason which I give in the lecture
is, that, according to the proverb, Corruptio optimi est pessima. The
Jews could sin in a way no other contemporary race could sin, for
theirs was a sin against light; and Catholics can sin with a depth
and intensity with which Protestants cannot sin. There will be more
blasphemy, more hatred of God, more of diabolical rebellion, more of
awful sacrilege, more of vile hypocrisy in a Catholic country than
anywhere else, because there is in it more of sin against light.
Surely, this is just what Scripture says, "Woe unto thee, Chorazin!
woe unto thee, Bethsaida!" And, again, surely what is told us by
religious men, say by Father Bresciani, about the present unbelieving
party in Italy, fully bears out the divine text: "If, after they have
escaped the pollutions of the world ... they are again entangled
therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the
beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way
of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the
holy commandments delivered unto them."

And what is true of those who thus openly oppose themselves to the
truth, as it was true of the Evil One in the beginning, will in an
analogous way be true in the case of all sin, be it of a heavier or
lighter character, which is found in a Catholic country:--sin will be
strangely tinged or dyed by religious associations or beliefs, and
will exhibit the tragical inconsistencies of the excess of knowledge
over love, or of much faith with little obedience. The mysterious
battle between good and evil will assume in a Catholic country its
most frightful shape, when it is not the collision of two distinct
and far-separated hosts, but when it is carried on in hearts
and souls, taken one by one, and when the eternal foes are so
intermingled and interfused that to human eyes they seem to coalesce
into a multitude of individualities. This is in course of years, the
real, the hidden condition of a nation, which has been bathed in
Christian ideas, whether it be a young vigorous race, or an old and
degenerate; and it will manifest itself socially and historically
in those characteristics, sometimes grotesque, sometimes hideous,
sometimes despicable, of which we have so many instances, medieval
and modern, both in this hemisphere and in the western. It is, I say,
the necessary result of the intercommunion of divine faith and human

But it has a light side as well as a dark. First, much which seems
profane, is not in itself profane, but in the subjective view of the
Protestant beholder. Scenic representations of our Lord's Passion are
not profane to a Catholic population; in like manner, there are
usages, customs, institutions, actions, often of an indifferent
nature, which will be necessarily mixed up with religion in a
Catholic country, because all things whatever are so mixed up.
Protestants have been sometimes shocked, most absurdly as a Catholic
rightly decides, at hearing that Mass is sometimes said for a good
haul of fish. There is no sin here, but only a difference from
Protestant customs. Other phenomena of a Catholic nation are at most
mere extravagances. And then as to what is really sinful, if there be
in it fearful instances of blasphemy or superstition, there are also
special and singular fruits and exhibitions of sanctity; and, if
the many do not seem to lead better lives for all their religious
knowledge, at least they learn, as they can learn nowhere else, how
to repent thoroughly and to die well.

The visible state of a country, which professes Catholicism, need not
be the measure of the spiritual result of that Catholicism, at the
eternal judgment seat; but no one could say that that visible state
was a note that Catholicism was divine.

All this I attempted to bring out in the lecture of which I am
speaking; and that I had some success, I am glad to infer from the
message of congratulation upon it, which I received at the time, from
a foreign Catholic layman, of high English reputation, with whom I
had not the honour of a personal acquaintance. And having given the
key to the lecture, which the writer so wonderfully misrepresents,
I pass on to another head.

7. The Economy

For the subject of the Economy, I shall refer to my discussion upon
it in my History of the Arians, after one word about this writer. He
puts into his title-page these words from a sermon of mine: "It is
not more than an hyperbole to say, that, in certain cases, a lie is
the nearest approach to truth." This sermon he attacks; but I do not
think it necessary to defend it here, because any one who reads it,
will see that he is simply incapable of forming a notion of what it
is about. It treats of subjects which are entirely out of his depth;
and, as I have already shown in other instances, and observed in the
beginning of this volume, he illustrates in his own person the very
thing that shocks him, viz. that the nearest approach to truth, in
given cases, is a lie. He does his best to make something of it, I
believe; but he gets simply perplexed. He finds that it annihilates
space, robs him of locomotion, almost scoffs at the existence of the
earth, and he is simply frightened and cowed. He can but say "the man
who wrote that sermon was already past the possibility of conscious
dishonesty," p. 41. Perhaps it is hardly fair, after such a
confession on his part of being fairly beat, to mark down a blot;
however, let it be Blot _thirty-two_.

Then again, he quotes from me thus: "Many a theory or view of things,
on which an institution is founded, or a party held together, is of
the same kind (economical). Many an argument, used by zealous and
earnest men, has this economical character, being not the very ground
on which they act (for they continue in the same course, though it be
refuted), yet in a certain sense, a representation of it, a proximate
description of their feelings, in the shape of argument, on which
they can rest, to which they can recur when perplexed, and appeal
when they are questioned." He calls these "startling words," p. 39.
Yet here again he illustrates their truth; for in his own case, he
has acted on them in this very controversy with the most happy
exactness. Surely he referred to my sermon on Wisdom and Innocence,
when called on to prove me a liar, as "a proximate description of his
feelings about me, in the shape of argument," and he has "continued
in the same course though it has been refuted." Blot _thirty-three_.

Then, as to "a party being held together by a mythical
representation," or economy. Surely "Church and King," "Reform,"
"Non-intervention," are such symbols; or let this writer answer Mr.
Kinglake's question in his "Crimean War," "Is it true that ... great
armies were gathering, and that for the sake of the _Key_ and the
_Star_ the peace of the nations was brought into danger?" Blot

In the beginning of this work, pp. 17-23, I refuted his gratuitous
accusation against me at p. 42, founded on my calling one of my
Anglican sermons a Protestant one: so I have nothing to do but to
register it here as Blot _thirty-five_.

Then he says that I committed an economy in placing in my original
title-page, that the question between him and me, was whether "Dr.
Newman teaches that Truth is no virtue." It was a "wisdom of the
serpentine type," since I did not add, "for its own sake." Now
observe: First, as to the matter of fact, in the course of my
Letters, which bore that title-page, I printed the words "for its own
sake," _five_ times over. Next, pray, what kind of a virtue is that,
which is _not_ done for its own sake? So this, after all, is this
writer's idea of virtue! a something that is done for the sake of
something _else_; a sort of expedience! He is honest, it seems,
simply _because_ honesty is "the best policy," and on that score it
is that he thinks himself virtuous. Why, "for its own sake" enters
into the very idea or definition of a virtue. Defend me from such
virtuous men, as this writer would inflict upon us! Blot

These blots are enough just now; so I proceed to a brief sketch of
what I held in 1833 upon the Economy, as a rule of practice. I wrote
this two months ago; perhaps the composition is not quite in keeping
with the run of this Appendix; and it is short; but I think it will
be sufficient for my purpose:--

The doctrine of the _Economia_, had, as I have shown, pp. 49-51, a
large signification when applied to the divine ordinances; it also
had a definite application to the duties of Christians, whether
clergy or laity, in preaching, in instructing or catechizing, or in
ordinary intercourse with the world around them.

As Almighty God did not all at once introduce the Gospel to the
world, and thereby gradually prepared men for its profitable
reception, so, according to the doctrine of the early Church, it was
a duty, for the sake of the heathen among whom they lived, to observe
a great reserve and caution in communicating to them the knowledge of
"the whole counsel of God." This cautious dispensation of the truth,
after the manner of a discreet and vigilant steward, is denoted by
the word "economy." It is a mode of acting which comes under the head
of prudence, one of the four cardinal virtues.

The principle of the economy is this; that out of various courses, in
religious conduct or statement, all and each _allowable antecedently
and in themselves_, that ought to be taken which is most expedient
and most suitable at the time for the object in hand.

Instances of its application and exercise in Scripture are such as
the following:--1. Divine Providence did but gradually impart to the
world in general, and to the Jews in particular, the knowledge of His
will:--He is said to have "winked at the times of ignorance among the
heathen;" and He suffered in the Jews divorce "because of the
hardness of their hearts." 2. He has allowed Himself to be
represented as having eyes, ears, and hands, as having wrath,
jealousy, grief, and repentance. 3. In like manner, our Lord spoke
harshly to the Syro-Phoenician woman, whose daughter He was about
to heal, and made as if He would go further, when the two disciples
had come to their journey's end. 4. Thus too Joseph "made himself
strange to his brethren," and Elisha kept silence on request of
Naaman to bow in the house of Rimmon. 5. Thus St. Paul circumcised
Timothy, while he cried out "Circumcision availeth not."

It may be said that this principle, true in itself, yet is dangerous,
because it admits of an easy abuse, and carries men away into what
becomes insincerity and cunning. This is undeniable; to do evil that
good may come, to consider that the means, whatever they are, justify
the end, to sacrifice truth to expedience, unscrupulousness,
recklessness, are grave offences. These are abuses of the economy.
But to call them _economical_ is to give a fine name to what occurs
every day, independent of any knowledge of the _doctrine_ of the
Economy. It is the abuse of a rule which nature suggests to every
one. Every one looks out for the "mollia tempora fandi," and "mollia
verba" too.

Having thus explained what is meant by the economy as a rule of
social intercourse between men of different religious, or, again,
political, or social views, next I  go on to state what I said in the

I say in that volume first, that our Lord has given us the
_principle_ in His own words--"Cast not your pearls before swine;"
and that He exemplified it in His teaching by parables; that St. Paul
expressly distinguishes between the milk which is necessary to one
set of men, and the strong meat which is allowed to others, and that,
in two Epistles. I say, that the apostles in the Acts observe the
same rule in their speeches, for it is a fact, that they do not
preach the high doctrines of Christianity, but only "Jesus and the
resurrection" or "repentance and faith." I also say, that this is
the very reason that the Fathers assign for the silence of various
writers in the first centuries on the subject of our Lord's divinity.
I also speak of the catechetical system practised in the early
Church, and the _disciplina arcani_ as regards the doctrine of the
Holy Trinity, to which Bingham bears witness; also of the defence of
this rule by Basil, Cyril of Jerusalem, Chrysostom, and Theodoret.

And next the question may be asked, whether I have said anything in
my volume _to guard_ the doctrine, thus laid down, from the abuse to
which it is obviously exposed: and my answer is easy. Of course, had
I had any idea that I should have been exposed to such hostile
misrepresentations, as it has been my lot to undergo on the subject,
I should have made more direct avowals than I have done of my sense
of the gravity and the danger of that abuse. Since I could not
foresee when I wrote, that I should have been wantonly slandered, I
only wonder that I have anticipated the charge as fully as will be
seen in the following extracts.

For instance, speaking of the Disciplina Arcani, I say:--(1) "The
elementary information given to the heathen or catechumen was _in no
sense undone_ by the subsequent secret teaching, which was in fact
but the _filling up of a bare but correct outline_," p. 58, and I
contrast this with the conduct of the Manichæans "who represented the
initiatory discipline as founded on a _fiction_ or hypothesis, which
was to be forgotten by the learner as he made progress in the _real_
doctrine of the Gospel." (2) As to allegorising, I say that the
Alexandrians erred, whenever and as far as they proceeded "to
_obscure_ the primary meaning of Scripture, and to _weaken the force
of historical facts_ and express declarations," p. 69. (3) And that
they were "more open to _censure_," when, on being "_urged by
objections_ to various passages in the history of the Old Testament,
as derogatory to the divine perfections or to the Jewish Saints, they
had _recourse to an allegorical explanation by way of answer_," p.
71. (4) I add, "_It is impossible to defend such a procedure_, which
seems to imply a _want of faith_ in those who had recourse to it;"
for "God has given us _rules of right and wrong_," _ibid_. (5) Again,
I say--"The _abuse of the Economy_ in _the hands of unscrupulous
reasoners_, is obvious. _Even the honest_ controversialist or teacher
will find it very difficult to represent, _without misrepresenting_,
what it is yet his duty to present to his hearers with caution or
reserve. Here the obvious rule to guide our practice is, to be
careful ever to maintain  _substantial truth_ in our use of the
economical method," pp. 79, 80. (6) And so far from concurring at all
hazards with Justin, Gregory, or Athanasius, I say, "It _is plain_
[they] _were justified or not_ in their Economy, _according_ as they
did or did not _practically mislead their opponents_," p. 80. (7) I
proceed, "It is so difficult to hit the mark in these perplexing
cases, that it is not wonderful, should these or other Fathers have
failed at times, and said more or less than was proper," _ibid_.

The principle of the economy is familiarly acted on among us every
day. When we would persuade others, we do not begin by treading on
their toes. Men would be thought rude who introduced their own
religious notions into mixed society, and were devotional in a
drawing-room. Have we never thought lawyers tiresome who came down
for the assizes and talked law all through dinner? Does the same
argument tell in the House of Commons, on the hustings, and at Exeter
Hall? Is an educated gentleman never worsted at an election by the
tone and arguments of some clever fellow, who, whatever his
shortcomings in other respects, understands the common people?

As to the Catholic religion in England at the present day, this only
will I observe--that the truest expedience is to answer right out,
when you are asked; that the wisest economy is to have no management;
that the best prudence is not to be a coward; that the most damaging
folly is to be found out shuffling; and that the first of virtues is
to "tell truth, and shame the devil."

8. Lying and Equivocation

This writer says, "Though [a lie] be a sin, the fact of its being a
venial one seems to have gained for it as yet a very slight
penance."--p. 46. Yet he says also that Dr. Newman takes "a perverse
pleasure in eccentricities," because I say that "it is better for sun
and moon to drop from heaven than that one soul should tell one
wilful untruth."--p. 30. That is, he first accuses us without
foundation of making light of a lie; and, when he finds that we
don't, then he calls us inconsistent. I have noticed these words of
mine, and two passages besides, which he quotes, above at pp.
222-224. Here I will but observe on the subject of venial sin
generally, that he altogether forgets our doctrine of purgatory. This
punishment may last till the day of judgment; so much for duration;
then as to intensity, let the image of fire, by which we denote it,
show what we think of it. Here is the expiation of venial sins. Yet
Protestants, after the manner of this writer, are too apt to play
fast and loose; to blame us because we hold that sin may be venial,
and to blame us again when we tell them what we think will be its
punishment. Blot _thirty-seven_.

At the end of his pamphlet he makes a distinction between the
Catholic clergy and gentry in England, which I know the latter
consider to be very impertinent; and he makes it apropos of a passage
in one of my original letters in January. He quotes me as saying that
"Catholics differ from Protestants, as to whether this or that act in
particular is conformable to the rule of truth," p. 48; and then he
goes on to observe, that I have "calumniated the Catholic gentry,"
because "there is no difference whatever, of detail or other, between
their truthfulness and honour, and the truthfulness and honour of the
Protestant gentry among whom they live." But again he has garbled my
words; they run thus:

"Truth is the same in itself and in substance, to Catholic and
Protestant; so is purity; both virtues are to be referred to that
moral sense which is the natural possession of us all. But, when we
come to the question in detail, whether this or that act in
particular is conformable to the rule of truth, or again to the rule
of purity, then _sometimes_ there is a difference of opinion _between
individuals, sometimes_ between schools, and _sometimes_ between
religious communions." I knew indeed perfectly well, and I confessed
that "_Protestants_ think that the Catholic system, as such, leads to
a lax observance of the rule of truth;" but I added, "I am very sorry
that they should think so," and I never meant myself to grant that
all Protestants were on the strict side, and all Catholics on the
lax. Far from it; there is a stricter party as well as a laxer party
among Catholics, there is a laxer party as well as a stricter party
among Protestants. I have already spoken of Protestant writers who in
certain cases allow of lying, I have also spoken of Catholic writers
who do not allow of equivocation; when I wrote "a difference of
opinion between individuals," and "between schools," I meant between
Protestant and Protestant, and particular instances were in my mind.
I did not say then, or dream of saying, that Catholics, priests and
laity, were lax on the point of lying, and that Protestants were
strict, any more than I meant to say that all Catholics were pure,
and all Protestants impure; but I meant to say that, whereas the rule
of truth is one and the same both to Catholic and Protestant,
nevertheless some Catholics were lax, some strict, and again some
Protestants were strict, some lax; and I have already had
opportunities of recording my own judgment on which side this writer
is _himself_, and therefore he may keep his forward vindication of
"honest gentlemen and noble ladies," who, in spite of their priests,
are still so truthful, till such time as he can find a worse
assailant of them than I am, and they no better champion of them than
himself. And as to the Priests of England, those who know them, as he
does _not_, will pronounce them no whit inferior in this great virtue
to the gentry, whom he says that he _does_; and I cannot say more.
Blot _thirty-eight_.

Lastly, this writer uses the following words, which I have more than
once quoted, and with a reference to them I shall end my remarks upon
him. "I am henceforth," he says, "in doubt and fear, as much as _an
honest man can be_, concerning every word Dr. Newman may write. How
can I tell that I shall not be the dupe of some cunning equivocation,
of one of the three kinds, laid down as permissible by the blessed
St. Alfonso da Liguori and his pupils, even when confirmed with an

I will tell him why he need not fear; because he has _left out_ one
very important condition in the statement of St. Alfonso--and very
applicable to my own case, even if I followed St. Alfonso's view of
the subject. St. Alfonso says "_ex justâ causâ_;" but our "honest
man," as he styles himself, has _omitted these words_; which are a
key to the whole question. Blot _thirty-nine_. Here endeth our
"honest man." Now for the subject of lying.

Almost all authors, Catholic and Protestant, admit, that _when a just
cause is present_, there is some kind or other of verbal misleading,
which is not sin. Even silence is in certain cases virtually such a
misleading, according to the proverb, "Silence gives consent." Again,
silence is absolutely forbidden to a Catholic, as a mortal sin, under
certain circumstances, _e.g._ to keep silence, instead of making a
profession of faith.

Another mode of verbal misleading, and the most direct, is actually
saying the thing that is not; and it is defended on the principle
that such words are not a lie, when there is a "justa causa," as
killing is not murder in the case of an executioner.

Another ground of certain authors for saying that an untruth is not a
lie where there is a just cause, is, that veracity is a kind of
justice, and therefore, when we have no duty of justice to tell truth
to another, it is no sin not to do so. Hence we may say the thing
that is not, to children, to madmen, to men who ask impertinent
questions, to those whom we hope to benefit by misleading.

Another ground, taken in defending certain untruths, _ex justâ
causâ_, as if not lies, is that veracity is for the sake of society,
and, if in no case we might lawfully mislead others, we should
actually be doing society great harm.

Another mode of verbal misleading is equivocation or a play upon
words; and it is defended on the view that to lie is to use words in
a sense which they will not bear. But an equivocator uses them in a
received sense, though there is another received sense, and
therefore, according to this definition, he does not lie.

Others say that all equivocations are, after all, a kind of lying,
faint lies or awkward lies, but still lies; and some of these
disputants infer, that therefore we must not equivocate, and others
that equivocation is but a half measure, and that it is better to say
at once that in certain cases untruths are not lies.

Others will try to distinguish between evasions and equivocations;
but they will be answered, that, though there are evasions which are
clearly not equivocations, yet that it is difficult scientifically to
draw the line between them.

To these must be added the unscientific way of dealing with lies,
viz. that on a great or cruel occasion a man cannot help telling a
lie, and he would not be a man, did he not tell it, but still it is
wrong and he ought not to do it, and he must trust that the sin will
be forgiven him, though he goes about to commit it. It is a frailty,
and had better not be anticipated, and not thought of again, after
it is once over. This view cannot for a moment be defended, but, I
suppose, it is very common.

And now I think the historical course of thought upon the matter has
been this: the Greek Fathers thought that, when there was a _justa
causa_, an untruth need not be a lie. St. Augustine took another
view, though with great misgiving; and, whether he is rightly
interpreted or not, is the doctor of the great and common view that
all untruths are lies, and that there can be _no_ just cause of
untruth. In these later times, this doctrine has been found difficult
to work, and it has been largely taught that, though all untruths are
lies, yet that certain equivocations, when there is a just cause, are
not untruths.

Further, there have been and all along through these later ages,
other schools, running parallel with the above mentioned, one of
which says that equivocations, etc. after all _are_ lies, and another
which says that there are untruths which are not lies.

And now as to the "just cause," which is the condition, _sine quâ
non_. The Greek Fathers make them such as these, self-defence,
charity, zeal for God's honour, and the like.

St. Augustine seems to deal with the same "just causes" as the Greek
Fathers, even though he does not allow of their availableness as
depriving untruths, spoken with such objects, of their sinfulness. He
mentions defence of life and of honour, and the safe custody of a
secret. Also the Anglican writers, who have followed the Greek
Fathers, in defending untruths when there is the "just cause,"
consider that just cause to be such as the preservation of life and
property, defence of law, the good of others. Moreover, their moral
rights, _e.g._ defence against the inquisitive, etc.

St. Alfonso, I consider, would take the same view of the "justa
causa" as the Anglican divines; he speaks of it as "quicunque finis
_honestus_, ad servanda bona spiritui vel corpori utilia;" which is
very much the view which they take of it, judging by the instances
which they give.

In all cases, however, and as contemplated by all authors, Clement of
Alexandria, or Milton, or St. Alfonso, such a causa is, in fact,
extreme, rare, great, or at least special. Thus the writer in the
Mélanges Théologiques (Liège, 1852-3, p. 453) quotes Lessius:
"Si absque justa causa fiat, est abusio orationis contra virtutem
veritatis, et civilem consuetudinem, etsi proprie non sit mendacium."
That is, the virtue of truth, and the civil custom, are the _measure_
of the just cause. And so Voit, "If a man has used a reservation
(restrictione non purè mentali) without a _grave_ cause, he has
sinned gravely." And so the author himself, from whom I quote,
and who defends the Patristic and Anglican doctrine that there
are untruths which are not lies, says, "Under the name of mental
reservation theologians authorise many lies, _when there is for them
a grave reason_ and proportionate," _i.e._ to their character--p.
459. And so St. Alfonso, in another treatise, quotes St. Thomas to
the effect, that, if from one cause two immediate effects follow,
and, if the good effect of that cause is _equal in value_ to the bad
effect (bonus _æquivalet_ malo), then nothing hinders that the good
may be intended and the evil permitted. From which it will follow
that, since the evil to society from lying is very great, the just
cause which is to make it allowable, must be very great also. And
so Kenrick: "It is confessed by all Catholics that, in the common
intercourse of life, all ambiguity of language is to be avoided; but
it is debated whether such ambiguity is ever lawful. Most theologians
answer in the affirmative, supposing a _grave cause_ urges, and the
[true] mind of the speaker can be collected from the adjuncts, though
in fact it be not collected."

However, there are cases, I have already said, of another kind, in
which Anglican authors would think a lie allowable; such as when a
question is _impertinent_. Accordingly, I think the best word for
embracing all the cases which would come under the "justa causa," is,
not "extreme," but "special," and I say the same as regards St.
Alfonso; and therefore, above in pp. 242 and 244, whether I speak of
St. Alfonso or Paley, I should have used the word "special," or
"extraordinary," not "extreme."

What I have been saying shows what different schools of opinion there
are in the Church in the treatment of this difficult doctrine; and,
by consequence, that a given individual, such as I am, _cannot_ agree
with all, and has a full right to follow which he will. The freedom
of the schools, indeed, is one of those rights of reason, which the
Church is too wise really to interfere with. And this applies not to
moral questions only, but to dogmatic also.

It is supposed by Protestants that, because St. Alfonso's writings
have had such high commendation bestowed upon them by authority,
therefore they have been invested with a quasi-infallibility. This
has arisen in good measure from Protestants not knowing the force
of theological terms. The words to which they refer are the
authoritative decision that "nothing in his works has been found
_worthy of censure_," "censurâ dignum;" but this does not lead to the
conclusions which have been drawn from it. Those words occur in a
legal document, and cannot be interpreted except in a legal sense. In
the first place, the sentence is negative; nothing in St. Alfonso's
writings is positively approved; and secondly it is not said that
there are no faults in what he has written, but nothing which comes
under the ecclesiastical _censura_, which is something very definite.
To take and interpret them, in the way commonly adopted in England,
is the same mistake, as if one were to take the word "apologia" in
the English sense of apology, or "infant" in law to mean a little

1. Now first as to the meaning of the form of words viewed as a
proposition. When they were brought before the fitting authorities at
Rome by the Archbishop of Besançon, the answer returned to him
contained the condition that those words were to be interpreted,
"with due regard to the mind of the Holy See concerning the
approbation of writings of the servants of God, ad effectum
Canonisationis." This is intended to prevent any Catholic taking the
words about St. Alfonso's works in too large a sense. Before a saint
is canonised, his works are examined and a judgment pronounced upon
them. Pope Benedict XIV. says, "The _end_ or _scope_ of this judgment
is, that it may appear, whether the doctrine of the servant of God,
which he has brought out in his writings, is free from any soever
_theological censure_." And he remarks in addition, "It never can be
said that the doctrine of a servant of God is _approved_ by the Holy
See, but at most it can [only] be said that it is not disapproved
(non reprobatam) in case that the revisers had reported that there is
nothing found by them in his works, which is adverse to the decrees
of Urban VIII., and that the judgment of the Revisers has been
approved by the sacred Congregation, and confirmed by the Supreme
Pontiff." The Decree of Urban VIII. here referred to is, "Let works
be examined, whether they contain errors against faith or good morals
(bonos mores), or any new doctrine, or a doctrine foreign and alien
to the common sense and custom of the Church." The author from whom I
quote this (M. Vandenbroeck, of the diocese of Malines) observes, "It
is therefore clear, that the approbation of the works of the Holy
Bishop touches not the truth of every proposition, adds nothing to
them, nor even gives them by consequence a degree of intrinsic
probability." He adds that it gives St. Alfonso's theology an
extrinsic probability, from the fact that, in the judgment of the
Holy See, no proposition deserves to receive a censure; but that
"that probability will cease nevertheless in a particular case, for
any one who should be convinced, whether by evident arguments, or by
a decree of the Holy See, or otherwise, that the doctrine of the
Saint deviates from the truth." He adds, "From the fact that the
approbation of the works of St. Alfonso does not decide the truth of
each proposition, it follows, as Benedict XIV. has remarked, that we
may combat the doctrine which they contain; only, since a canonised
saint is in question, who is honoured by a solemn _culte_ in the
Church, we ought not to speak except with respect, nor to attack his
opinions except with temper and modesty."

2. Then, as to the meaning of the word _censura_: Benedict XIV.
enumerates a number of "Notes" which come under that name; he says,
"Out of propositions which are to be noted with theological censure,
some are heretical, some erroneous, some close upon error, some
savouring of heresy," and so on; and each of these terms has its own
definite meaning. Thus by "erroneous" is meant, according to Viva, a
proposition which is not _immediately_ opposed to a revealed
proposition, but only to a theological _conclusion_ drawn from
premisses which are _de fide_; "savouring of heresy," when a
proposition is opposed to a theological conclusion not evidently
drawn from premisses which are _de fide_, but most probably and
according to the common mode of theologising, and so with the rest.
Therefore when it was said by the revisers of St. Alfonso's works
that they were not "worthy of _censure_," it was only meant that they
did not fall under these particular Notes.

But the answer from Rome to the Archbishop of Besançon went further
than this; it actually took pains to declare that any one who pleased
might follow other theologians instead of St. Alfonso. After saying
that no priest was to be interfered with who followed St. Alfonso in
the Confessional, it added, "This is said, however, without on that
account judging that they are reprehended who follow opinions handed
down by other approved authors."

And this too, I will observe, that St. Alfonso made many changes of
opinion himself in the course of his writings; and it could not
for an instant be supposed that we were bound to every one of his
opinions, when he did not feel himself bound to them in his own
person. And, what is more to the purpose still, there are opinions,
or some opinion, of his which actually has been proscribed by the
Church since, and cannot now be put forward or used. I do not pretend
to be a well-read theologian myself, but I say this on the authority
of a theological professor of Breda, quoted in the Mélanges Théol.
for 1850-1. He says: "It may happen, that, in the course of time,
errors may be found in the works of St. Alfonso and be proscribed by
the Church, _a thing which in fact has already occurred_."

In not ranging myself then with those who consider that it is
justifiable to use words in a double sense, that is, to equivocate, I
put myself, first, under the protection of Cardinal Gerdil, who, in a
work lately published at Rome, has the following passage, which I owe
to the kindness of a friend:


"In an oath one ought to have respect to the intention of the party
swearing, and the intention of the party to whom the oath is taken.
Whoso swears binds himself in virtue of the words, not according to
the sense he retains in his own mind, but _in the sense according to
which he perceives that they are understood by him to whom the oath
is made_. When the mind of the one is discordant with the mind of the
other, if this happens by deceit or cheat of the party swearing, he
is bound to observe the oath according to the right sense (sana
mente) of the party receiving it; but, when the discrepancy in
the sense comes of misunderstanding, without deceit of the party
swearing, in that case he is not bound, except to that to which he
had in mind to wish to be bound. It follows hence, that _whoso uses
mental reservation or equivocation in the oath_, in order to deceive
the party to whom he offers it, _sins most grievously_, and is always
bound to observe the oath _in the sense in which he knew that his
words were_ taken by the other party, according to the decision of
St. Augustine, 'They are perjured, who, having kept the words, have
deceived the expectations of those to whom the oath was taken.' He
who swears externally, without the inward intention of swearing,
commits a most grave sin, and remains all the same under the
obligation to fulfil it.... In a word, all that is contrary to good
faith, is iniquitous, and by introducing the name of God the iniquity
is aggravated by the guilt of sacrilege."

Natalis Alexander

"They certainly lie, who utter the words of an oath, and without the
will to swear or bind themselves; or who _make use of mental
reservations and equivocations_ in swearing, since they signify by
words what they have not in mind, contrary to the end for which
language was instituted, viz. as signs of ideas. Or they mean
something else than the words signify in themselves, and the
common custom of speech, and the circumstances of persons and
business-matters; and thus they abuse words which were instituted for
the cherishing of society."


"Hence is apparent how worthy of condemnation is the temerity of
those half-taught men, who give a colour to lies and _equivocations_
by the words and instances of Christ. Than whose doctrine, which is
an art of deceiving, nothing can be more pestilent. And that, both
because what you do not wish done to yourself, you should not do to
another; now the patrons of equivocations and mental reservations
would not like to be themselves deceived by others, etc.... and also
because St. Augustine, etc.... In truth, as there is no pleasant
living with those whose language we do not understand, and, as St.
Augustine teaches, a man would more readily live with his dog than
with a foreigner, less pleasant certainly is our converse with those
who make use of frauds artificially covered, overreach their hearers
by deceits, address them insidiously, observe the right moment, and
catch at words to their purpose, by which truth is hidden under a
covering; and so on the other hand nothing is sweeter than the
society of those, who both love and speak the naked truth, ...
without their mouth professing one thing and their mind hiding
another, or spreading before it the cover of double words. Nor does
it matter that they colour their lies with the name of _equivocations
or mental reservations_. For Hilary says, 'The sense, not the speech,
makes the crime.'"

Concina allows of what I shall presently call _evasions_, but nothing
beyond, if I understand him; but he is most vehement against mental
reservation of every kind, so I quote him.


"That mode of speech, which some theologians call pure mental
reservation, others call reservation not simply mental; that language
which to me is lying, to the greater part of recent authors is only
amphibological.... I have discovered that nothing is adduced by more
recent theologians for the lawful use of _amphibologies_ which has
not been made use of already by the ancients, whether philosophers or
some Fathers, in defence of lies. Nor does there seem to me other
difference when I consider their respective grounds, except that the
ancients frankly called those modes of speech lies, and the more
recent writers, not a few of them, call them amphibological,
equivocal, and _material_."

In another place he quotes Caramuel, so I suppose I may do so too,
for the very reason that his theological reputation does not place
him on the side of strictness. Concina says, "Caramuel himself, who
bore away the palm from all others in relaxing the evangelical and
natural law, says:


"I have an innate aversion to mental reservations. If they are
contained within the bounds of piety and sincerity, then they are not
necessary; ... but if [otherwise] they are the destruction of human
society and sincerity, and are to be condemned as pestilent. Once
admitted, they open the way to all lying, all perjury. And the whole
difference in the matter is, that what yesterday was called a lie,
changing, not its nature and malice, but its name, is today entitled
'mental reservation;' and this is to sweeten poison with sugar, and
to colour guilt with the appearance of virtue."

St. Thomas

"When the sense of the party swearing, and of the party to whom he
swears, is not the same, if this proceeds from the deceit of the
former, the oath ought to be kept according to the right sense of the
party to whom it is made. But if the party swearing does not make use
of deceit, then he is bound according to his own sense."

St. Isidore

"With whatever artifice of words a man swears, nevertheless God who
is the witness of his conscience, so takes the oath as he understands
it, to whom it is sworn. And he becomes twice guilty, who both takes
the name of God in vain, and deceives his neighbour."

St. Augustine

"I do not question that this is most justly laid down, that the
promise of an oath must be fulfilled, not according to the words of
the party taking it, but according to the expectation of the party to
whom it is taken, of which he who takes it is aware."

And now, under the protection of these authorities, I say as

Casuistry is a noble science, but it is one to which I am led,
neither by my abilities nor my turn of mind. Independently, then, of
the difficulties of the subject, and the necessity, before forming
an opinion, of knowing more of the arguments of theologians upon it
than I do, I am very unwilling to say a word here on the subject of
lying and equivocation. But I consider myself bound to speak; and
therefore, in this strait, I can do nothing better, even for my own
relief, than submit myself and what I shall say to the judgment of
the Church, and to the consent, so far as in this matter there be a
consent, of the Schola Theologorum.

Now, in the case of one of those special and rare exigencies or
emergencies, which constitute the _justa causa_ of dissembling or
misleading, whether it be extreme as the defence of life, or a duty
as the custody of a secret, or of a personal nature as to repel an
impertinent inquirer, or a matter too trivial to provoke question, as
in dealing with children or madmen, there seem to be four courses:

1. _To say the thing that is not_. Here I draw the reader's attention
to the words _material_ and _formal_. "Thou shalt not kill;" _murder_
is the _formal_ transgression of this commandment, but _accidental
homicide_ is the _material_ transgression. The _matter_ of the act is
the same in both cases; but in the _homicide_, there is nothing more
than the act, whereas in _murder_ there must be the intention, etc.
which constitutes the formal sin. So, again, an executioner commits
the material act, but not that formal killing which is a breach of
the commandment. So a man, who, simply to save himself from starving,
takes a loaf which is not his own, commits only the material, not the
formal act of stealing, that is, he does not commit a sin. And so a
baptised Christian, external to the Church, who is in invincible
ignorance, is a material heretic, and not a formal. And in like
manner, if to say the thing which is not be in special cases lawful,
it may be called a _material lie_.

The first mode then which has been suggested of meeting those special
cases, in which to mislead by words has a sufficient object, or has a
_just cause_, is by a material lie.

The second mode is by an _æquivocatio_, which is not equivalent to
the English word "equivocation," but means sometimes a _play upon
words_, sometimes an _evasion_.

2. _A play upon words_. St. Alfonso certainly says that a play upon
words is allowable; and, speaking under correction, I should say that
he does so on the ground that lying is _not_ a sin against justice,
that is, against our neighbour, but a sin against God; because words
are the signs of ideas, and therefore if a word denotes two ideas, we
are at liberty to use it in either of its senses: but I think I must
be incorrect here in some respect, because the Catechism of the
Council, as I have quoted it at p. 248, says, "Vanitate et mendacio
fides ac veritas tolluntur, arctissima vincula _societatis humanæ_;
quibus sublatis, sequitur summa vitæ _confusio_, ut _homines nihil a
dæmonibus differre videantur_."

3. _Evasion_;--when, for instance, the speaker diverts the attention
of the hearer to another subject; suggests an irrelevant fact or
makes a remark, which confuses him and gives him something to think
about; throws dust into his eyes; states some truth, from which he is
quite sure his hearer will draw an illogical and untrue conclusion,
and the like. Bishop Butler seems distinctly to sanction such a
proceeding, in a passage which I shall extract below.

The greatest school of evasion, I speak seriously, is the House of
Commons; and necessarily so, from the nature of the case. And the
hustings is another.

An instance is supplied in the history of St. Athanasius: he was in a
boat on the Nile, flying persecution; and he found himself pursued.
On this he ordered his men to turn his boat round, and ran right to
meet the satellites of Julian. They asked him, Have you seen
Athanasius? and he told his followers to answer, "Yes, he is close to
you." _They_ went on their course, and _he_ ran into Alexandria, and
there lay hid till the end of the persecution.

I gave another instance above, in reference to a doctrine of
religion. The early Christians did their best to conceal their Creed
on account of the misconceptions of the heathen about it. Were the
question asked of them, "Do you worship a Trinity?" and did they
answer, "We worship one God, and none else;" the inquirer might, or
would, infer that they did not acknowledge the Trinity of Divine

It is very difficult to draw the line between these evasions, and
what are commonly called in English _equivocations_; and of this
difficulty, again, I think, the scenes in the House of Commons supply
us with illustrations.

4. The fourth method is _silence_. For instance, not giving the
_whole_ truth in a court of law. If St. Alban, after dressing himself
in the priest's clothes, and being taken before the persecutor, had
been able to pass off for his friend, and so gone to martyrdom
without being discovered; and had he in the course of examination
answered all questions truly, but not given the whole truth, the most
important truth, that he was the wrong person, he would have come
very near to telling a lie, for a half-truth is often a falsehood.
And his defence must have been the _justa causa_, viz. either that he
might in charity or for religion's sake save a priest, or again that
the judge had no right to interrogate him on the subject.

Now, of these four modes of misleading others by the tongue, when
there is a _justa causa_ (supposing there can be such)--a material
lie, that is an untruth which is not a lie, an equivocation, an
evasion, and silence,--First, I have no difficulty whatever in
recognizing as allowable the method of _silence_.

Secondly, But, if I allow of _silence_, why not of the method of
_material lying_, since half of a truth _is_ often a lie? And, again,
if all killing be not murder, nor all taking from another stealing,
why must all untruths be lies? Now I will say freely that I think it
difficult to answer this question, whether it be urged by St. Clement
or by Milton; at the same time, I never have acted, and I think, when
it came to the point, I never should act upon such a theory myself,
except in one case, stated below. This I say for the benefit of those
who speak hardly of Catholic theologians, on the ground that they
admit text-books which allow of equivocation. They are asked, how can
we trust you, when such are your views? but such views, as I already
have said, need not have anything to do with their own practice,
merely from the circumstance that they are contained in their
text-books. A theologian draws out a system; he does it partly as a
scientific speculation: but much more for the sake of others. He is
lax for the sake of others, not of himself. His own standard of
action is much higher than that which he imposes upon men in general.
One special reason why religious men, after drawing out a theory, are
unwilling to act upon it themselves, is this: that they practically
acknowledge a broad distinction between their reason and their
conscience; and that they feel the latter to be the safer guide,
though the former may be the clearer, nay even though it be the
truer. They would rather be wrong with their conscience, than right
with their reason. And again here is this more tangible difficulty in
the case of exceptions to the rule of veracity, that so very little
external help is given us in drawing the line, as to when untruths
are allowable and when not; whereas that sort of killing which is not
murder, is most definitely marked off by legal enactments, so that it
cannot possibly be mistaken for such killing as _is_ murder. On the
other hand the cases of exemption from the rule of Veracity are left
to the private judgment of the individual, and he may easily be led
on from acts which are allowable to acts which are not. Now this
remark does _not_ apply to such acts as are related in Scripture, as
being done by a particular inspiration, for in such cases there _is_
a command. If I had my own way, I would oblige society, that is, its
great men, its lawyers, its divines, its literature, publicly to
acknowledge, as such, those instances of untruth which are not lies,
as for instance, untruths in war; and then there could be no danger
in them to the individual Catholic, for he would be acting under a

Thirdly, as to playing upon words, or equivocation, I suppose it is
from the English habit, but, without meaning any disrespect to a
great Saint, or wishing to set myself up, or taking my conscience for
more than it is worth, I can only say as a fact, that I admit it as
little as the rest of my countrymen: and, without any reference to
the right and the wrong of the matter, of this I am sure, that, if
there is one thing more than another which prejudices Englishmen
against the Catholic Church, it is the doctrine of great authorities
on the subject of equivocation. For myself, I can fancy myself
thinking it was allowable in extreme cases for me to lie, but never
to equivocate. Luther said, "Pecca fortiter." I anathematise the
formal sentiment, but there is a truth in it, when spoken of material

Fourthly, I think _evasion_, as I have described it, to be perfectly
allowable; indeed, I do not know, who does not use it, under
circumstances; but that a good deal of moral danger is attached to
its use; and that, the cleverer a man is, the more likely he is to
pass the line of Christian duty.

But it may be said, that such decisions do not meet the particular
difficulties for which provision is required; let us then take some

1. I do not think it right to tell lies to children, even on this
account, that they are sharper than we think them, and will soon find
out what we are doing; and our example will be a very bad training
for them. And so of equivocation: it is easy of imitation, and we
ourselves shall be sure to get the worst of it in the end.

2. If an early Father defends the patriarch Jacob in his mode of
gaining his father's blessing, on the ground that the blessing was
divinely pledged to him already, that it was his, and that his father
and brother were acting at once against his own rights and the divine
will, it does not follow from this that such conduct is a pattern to
us, who have no supernatural means of determining _when_ an untruth
becomes a _material_ and not a _formal_ lie. It seems to me very
dangerous, be it allowable or not, to lie or equivocate in order to
preserve some great temporal or spiritual benefit, nor does St.
Alfonso here say anything to the contrary, for he is not discussing
the question of danger or expedience.

3. As to Johnson's case of a murderer asking you which way a man had
gone, I should have anticipated that, had such a difficulty happened
to him, his first act would have been to knock the man down, and to
call out for the police; and next, if he was worsted in the conflict,
he would not have given the ruffian the information he asked, at
whatever risk to himself. I think he would have let himself be killed
first. I do not think that he would have told a lie.

4. A secret is a more difficult case. Supposing something has been
confided to me in the strictest secrecy, which could not be revealed
without great disadvantage to another, what am I to do? If I am a
lawyer, I am protected by my profession. I have a right to treat with
extreme indignation any question which trenches on the inviolability
of my position; but, supposing I was driven up into a corner, I think
I should have a right to say an untruth, or that, under such
circumstances, a lie would be _material_, but it is almost an
impossible case, for the law would defend me. In like manner, as a
priest, I should think it lawful to speak as if I knew nothing of
what passed in confession. And I think in these cases, I do in fact
possess that guarantee, that I am not going by private judgment,
which just now I demanded; for society would bear me out, whether as
a lawyer or as a priest, that I had a duty to my client or penitent,
such, that an untruth in the matter was not a lie. A common type of
this permissible denial, be it _material lie_ or _evasion_, is at the
moment supplied to me: an artist asked a Prime Minister, who was
sitting to him, "What news, my Lord, from France?" He answered,
"_I do not know_; I have not read the Papers."

5. A more difficult question is, when to accept confidence has not
been a duty. Supposing a man wishes to keep the secret that he is
the author of a book, and he is plainly asked on the subject. Here
I should ask the previous question, whether any one has a right
to publish what he dare not avow. It requires to have traced the
bearings and results of such a principle, before being sure of it;
but certainly, for myself, I am no friend of strictly anonymous
writing. Next, supposing another has confided to you the secret of
his authorship: there are persons who would have no scruple at all in
giving a denial to impertinent questions asked them on the subject. I
have heard a great man in his day at Oxford, warmly contend, as if he
could not enter into any other view of the matter, that, if he had
been trusted by a friend with the secret of his being author of a
certain book, and he were asked by a third person, if his friend was
not (as he really was) the author of it, he ought without any scruple
and distinctly to answer that he did not know. He had an existing
duty towards the author; he had none towards his inquirer. The author
had a claim on him; an impertinent questioner had none at all. But
here again I desiderate some leave, recognised by society, as in the
case of the formulas "Not at home," and "Not guilty," in order to
give me the right of saying what is a _material_ untruth. And
moreover, I should here also ask the previous question, Have I any
right to accept such a confidence? have I any right to make such a
promise? and, if it be an unlawful promise, is it binding at the
expense of a lie? I am not attempting to solve these difficult
questions, but they have to be carefully examined.

As I put into print some weeks ago various extracts from authors
relating to the subject which I have been considering, I conclude by
inserting them here, though they will not have a very methodical

For instance, St. Dorotheus: "Sometimes the _necessity_ of some
matter urges (incumbit), which, unless you somewhat conceal and
dissemble it, will turn into a greater trouble." And he goes on to
mention the case of saving a man who has committed homicide from his
pursuers: and he adds that it is not a thing that can be done often,
but once in a long time.

St. Clement in like manner speaks of it only as a necessity, and as a
necessary medicine.

Origen, after saying that God's commandment makes it a plain duty to
speak the truth, adds, that a man, "when necessity urges," may avail
himself of a lie, as medicine, that is, to the extent of Judith's
conduct towards Holofernes; and he adds that that necessity may be
the obtaining of a great good, as Jacob hindered his father from
giving the blessing to Esau against the will of God.

Cassian says, that the use of a lie, in order to be allowable, must
be like the use of hellebore, which is itself poison, unless a man
has a fatal disease on him. He adds, "Without the condition of an
extreme necessity, it is a present ruin."

St. John Chrysostom defends Jacob on the ground that his deceiving
his father was not done for the sake of temporal gain, but in order
to fulfil the providential purpose of God; and he says, that, as
Abraham was not a murderer, though he was minded to kill his son, so
an untruth need not be a lie. And he adds, that often such a deceit
is the greatest possible benefit to the man who is deceived, and
therefore allowable. Also St. Hilary, St. John Climacus, etc., in
Thomassin, Concina, the _Mélanges_, etc.

Various modern Catholic divines hold this doctrine of the "material
lie" also. I will quote three passages in point.

Cataneo: "Be it then well understood, that the obligation to
veracity, that is, of conforming our words to the sentiments of our
mind, is founded principally upon the necessity of human intercourse,
for which reason they (_i.e._ words) ought not and cannot be lawfully
opposed to this end, so just, so necessary, and so important, without
which, the world would become a Babylon of confusion. And this would
in a great measure be really the result, as often as a man should be
unable to defend secrets of high importance, and other evils would
follow, even worse than confusion, in their nature destructive of
this very intercourse between man and man for which speech was
instituted. Every body must see the advantage a hired assassin would
have, if supposing he did not know by sight the person he was
commissioned to kill, I being asked by the rascal at the moment he
was standing in doubt with his gun cocked, were obliged to approve of
his deed by keeping silence, or to hesitate, or lastly to answer
'Yes, that is the man.' [Then follow other similar cases.] In such
and similar cases, in which your sincerity is unjustly assailed, when
no other way more prompt or more efficacious presents itself, and
when it is not enough to say, 'I do not know,' let such persons be
met openly with a downright resolute 'No' without thinking upon
anything else. For such a 'No' is conformable to the universal
opinion of men, who are the judges of words, and who certainly have
not placed upon them obligations to the injury of the Human Republic,
nor ever entered into a compact to use them in behalf of rascals,
spies, incendiaries, and thieves. I repeat that such a 'No' is
conformable to the universal mind of man, and with this mind your own
mind ought to be in union and alliance. Who does not see the manifest
advantage which highway robbers would derive, were travellers when
asked if they had gold, jewels, etc., obliged either to invent
tergiversations or to answer 'Yes, we have?' Accordingly in such
circumstances that 'No' which you utter [see Card. Pallav. lib. iii.
c. xi. n. 23, de Fide, Spe, etc.] remains deprived of its proper
meaning, and is like a piece of coin, from which by the command of
the government the current value has been withdrawn, so that by using
it you become in no sense guilty of lying."

Bolgeni says, "We have therefore proved satisfactorily, and with more
than moral certainty, that an _exception_ occurs to the general law
of not speaking untruly, viz. when it is impossible to observe a
certain other precept, more important, _without_ telling a lie. Some
persons indeed say, that in the cases of impossibility which are
above drawn out, what is said is _not_ a lie. But a man who thus
speaks confuses ideas and denies the essential characters of things.
What is a lie? It is 'locutio contra mentem;' this is its common
definition. But in the cases of impossibility, a man speaks _contra
mentem_; that is clear and evident. Therefore he tells a lie. Let us
distinguish between the lie and the sin. In the above cases, the man
really tells a lie, but this lie is not a sin, by reason of the
existing impossibility. To say that in those cases no one has a right
to ask, that the words have a meaning according to the common consent
of men, and the like, as is said by certain authors in order in those
cases to exempt the lie from sin, this is to commit oneself to
frivolous excuses, and to subject oneself to a number of retorts,
when there is the plain reason of the above-mentioned fact of

And the Author in the _Mélanges Théologiques_: "We have then gained
this truth, and it is a conclusion of which we have not the smallest
doubt, that if the intention of deceiving our neighbour is essential
to a lie, it is allowable in certain cases to say what we know to be
false, as, _e.g._ to escape from a great danger....

"But, let no one be alarmed, it is never allowable to lie; in this we
are in perfect agreement with the whole body of theologians. The only
point in which we differ from them is in what we mean by a lie. They
call that a lie which is not such in our view, or rather, if you
will, what in our view is only a material lie they account to be both
formal and material."

Now to come to Anglican authorities.

Taylor: "Whether it can in any case be lawful to tell a lie? To this
I answer, that the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament
do indefinitely and severely forbid lying. Prov. xiii. 5; xxx. 8.
Ps. v. 6. John viii. 44. Col. iii. 9. Rev. xxi. 8, 27. Beyond these
things, nothing can be said in condemnation of lying.

"_But then_ lying is to be understood to be _something said or
written to the hurt of our neighbour_, which cannot be understood
otherwise than to differ from the mind of him that speaks. 'A lie is
petulantly or from a desire of hurting, to say one thing, or to
signify it by gesture, and to think another thing;'[6] so Melancthon,
'To lie is to deceive our neighbour to his hurt.' For _in this sense_
a lie is naturally or _intrinsically_ evil; that is, to speak a lie
_to our neighbour_ is naturally evil ... _not_ because it is
different from an eternal truth.... A lie is an _injury_ to our
neighbour.... There is in mankind a universal _contract_ implied in
all their intercourses.... _In justice_ we are bound to speak, so as
that our neighbour do not lose his _right_, which by our speaking we
give him to the truth, that is, in our heart. And of a lie, _thus
defined_, which is _injurious_ to our neighbour, so long as his
_right_ to truth remains, it is that St. Austin affirms it to be
simply unlawful, and that it can in no case be permitted, nisi forte
regulas quasdam daturus es.... If a lie be _unjust_, it can never
become lawful; but, _if it can be separate from injustice_, then it
may be _innocent_. Here then I consider

"This right, though it be regularly and commonly belonging to all
men, yet it may be _taken away_ by a superior right intervening; or
it may be lost, or it may be hindered, or it may cease, upon a
greater reason.

"Therefore upon this account it was lawful for the children of Israel
to borrow jewels of the Egyptians, _which supposes a promise of
restitution, though they intended not to pry them back again_. God
gave commandment so to spoil them, and the Egyptians were divested of
their _rights_, and _were to be used like enemies_.

"_It is lawful to tell a lie to children or to madmen_; because they,
having no powers of judging, have no _right_ to truth; but then, _the
lie must be charitable and useful_.... _If a lie be told_, it must be
such as is _for their good_ ... and so do physicians to their
patients.... This and the like were so usual, so permitted to
physicians, that it grew to a proverb, 'You lie like a doctor;'[7]
which yet was always to be understood in the way of charity, and with
honour to the profession.... To tell a lie for charity, to save a
man's life, the life of a friend, of a husband, of a prince, of a
useful and a public person, hath not only been done at all times, but
commended by great and wise and good men.... Who would not save his
father's life ... at the charge of a _harmless lie_, from the rage of
persecutors or tyrants? ...When the telling of a truth will certainly
be the cause of evil to a man, though he have right to truth, yet it
must not be given to him to his harm.... _Every_ truth is no more
_justice_, than every restitution of a straw to the right owner is a
duty. 'Be not over-righteous,' says Solomon.... If it be objected,
that we must not tell a lie for God, therefore much less for our
brother, I answer, that it does not follow; for God needs not a lie,
_but our brother does_.... _Deceiving_ the enemy by the stratagem of
actions or _words_, is _not properly lying_; for this supposes a
conversation, of law or peace, trust or _promise_ explicit or
implicit. A lie is a deceiving of a _trust or confidence_."--Taylor,
vol. xiii. pp. 351-371, ed. Heber.

It is clear that Taylor thought that veracity was one branch of
justice; a social virtue; under the second table of the law, not
under the first; only binding, when those to whom we speak have a
claim of justice upon us, which ordinarily all men have. Accordingly,
in cases where a neighbour has no claim of justice upon us, there is
no opportunity of exercising veracity, as, for instance, when he is
mad, or is deceived by us for his own advantage. And hence, in such
cases, a lie is _not really_ a lie, as he says in one place,
"Deceiving the enemy is _not properly_ lying." Here he seems to make
that distinction common to Catholics; viz. between what they call a
_material_ act and a _formal_ act. Thus Taylor would maintain, that
to say the thing that is not to a madman, has the _matter_ of a lie,
but the man who says it as little tells a formal lie, as the judge,
sheriff, or executioner murders the man whom he certainly kills by
forms of law.

Other English authors take precisely the same view, viz. that
veracity is a kind of justice--that our neighbour generally has a
_right_ to have the truth told him; but that he may forfeit that
right, or lose it for the time, and then to say the thing that is not
to him is no sin against veracity, that is, no lie. Thus Milton says,
"Veracity is a virtue, by which we speak true things to him _to whom
it_ is equitable, and concerning what things it is suitable for the
_good of our neighbour_.... All dissimulation is not wrong, for it is
not necessary for us always openly to bring out the truth; that only
is blamed which is _malicious_.... I do not see why that cannot be
said of lying which can be said of homicide and other matters, which
are not weighed so much by the _deed_ as by _the object and end of
acting_. _What man in his senses will deny_ that there are those whom
we have the best of grounds for considering that we ought to
deceive--as boys, madmen, the sick, the intoxicated, enemies, men in
error, thieves? ...Is it a point of conscience not to deceive them?
... I would ask, by which of the commandments is a lie forbidden? You
will say, by the ninth. Come, read it out, and you will agree with
me. For whatever is here forbidden comes under the head of injuring
one's neighbour. If then any lie does _not_ injure one's neighbour,
certainly it is not forbidden by this commandment. It is on this
ground that, by the judgment of theologians, we shall acquit so many
holy men of lying. Abraham, who said to his servants that he would
return with his son; ... the wise man understood that it did not
matter to his servants to know [that his son would not return], and
that it was at the moment expedient for himself that they should not
know.... Joseph would be a man of many lies if the common definition
of lying held; [also] Moses, Rahab, Ehud, Jael, Jonathan." Here again
veracity is due only on the score of _justice_ towards the person
whom we speak with; and, if he has _no claim_ upon us to speak the
truth, we _need_ not speak the truth to him.

And so, again, Paley: "_A lie is a breach of promise_; for whoever
seriously addresses his discourse to another tacitly promises to
speak the truth, because he knows that the truth is expected. Or the
_obligation_ of veracity may be made out from the direct ill
consequences of lying to social happiness.... There are _falsehoods_
which are not _lies_; _that is, which are not criminal_." (Here, let
it be observed, is the same distinction as in Taylor between
_material_ and _formal_ untruths.) "1. When no one is deceived.... 2.
When the person to whom you speak has no _right_ to know the truth,
or, more properly, when little or no inconveniency results from the
want of confidence in such cases, as _where you tell a falsehood to a
madman_ for his own advantage; to a robber, to conceal your property;
to an assassin, to defeat or divert him from his purpose.... It is
upon this principle that, by the laws of war, it is allowable
to deceive an enemy by feints, false colours, spies, false
intelligence.... Many people indulge, in serious discourse, a habit
of fiction or exaggeration.... So long as ... their narratives,
though false, are _inoffensive_, it may seem a superstitious regard
to truth to censure them _merely for truth's sake_." Then he goes on
to mention reasons _against_ such a practice, adding, "I have seldom
known any one who deserted truth in trifles that could be trusted in
matters of importance."--Works, vol. iv. p. 123.

Dr. Johnson, who, if any one, has the reputation of being a sturdy
moralist, thus speaks:

"We talked," says Boswell, "of the casuistical question--whether it
was allowable at any time to depart from _truth_." Johnson. "The
general rule is, that truth should never be violated; because it is
of the utmost importance to the comfort of life, that we should have
a full security by mutual faith; and occasional inconveniences should
be willingly suffered, that we may preserve it. There must, however,
be some exceptions. If, for instance, a murderer should ask you which
way a man is gone, you may tell him what is not true, because you
are under a previous obligation not to betray a man to a murderer."
Boswell. "Supposing the person who wrote Junius were asked whether he
was the author, might he deny it?" Johnson. "I don't know what to say
to this. If you were _sure_ that he wrote Junius, would you, if he
denied it, think as well of him afterwards? Yet it may be urged, that
what a man has no right to ask, you may refuse to communicate; and
there is no other effectual mode of preserving a secret, and an
important secret, the discovery of which may be very hurtful to you,
but a flat denial; for if you are silent, or hesitate, or evade,
it will be held equivalent to a confession. But stay, sir; here is
another case. Supposing the author had told me confidentially that he
had written Junius, and I were asked if he had, I should hold myself
at liberty to deny it, as being under a previous promise, express or
implied, to conceal it. Now what I ought to do for the author, may I
not do for myself? But I deny the lawfulness of telling a lie to a
sick man for fear of alarming him. You have no business with
consequences; you are to tell the truth. Besides, you are not sure
what effect your telling him that he is in danger may have; it may
bring his distemper to a crisis, and that may cure him. Of all lying
I have the greatest abhorrence of this, because I believe it has been
frequently practised on myself."--Boswell's Life, vol. iv. p. 277.

There are English authors who allow of mental reservation and
equivocation; such is Jeremy Taylor.

He says, "In the same cases in which it is lawful to tell a lie, in
the same cases it is lawful to use a mental reservation."--Ibid. p.

He says, too, "When the things are true in _several senses_, the not
explicating in _what sense_ I mean the words is not a criminal
reservation.... But 1, this liberty is not to be used by inferiors,
but by superiors only; 2, not by those that are interrogated, but by
them which speak voluntarily; 3, not by those which speak of duty,
but which speak of grace and kindness."--Ibid. p. 378.

Bishop Butler, the first of Anglican authorities, writing in his
grave and abstract way, seems to assert a similar doctrine in the
following passage:

"Though veracity, as well as justice, is to be our rule of life, it
must be added, otherwise a snare will be laid in the way of some
plain men, that the use of common forms of speech generally
understood, cannot be falsehood; and, in general, that there can be
no designed falsehood without designing to deceive. It must likewise
be observed, that, _in numberless cases, a man may be under the
strictest obligations to what he foresees will deceive, without his
intending it_. For _it is impossible not to foresee_, that the words
and actions of men in different ranks and employments, and of
different educations, _will perpetually be mistaken by each other_;
and it cannot but be so, whilst they will judge with the utmost
carelessness, as they daily do, _of what they are not perhaps enough
informed to be competent judges of_, even though they considered it
with great attention."--_Nature of Virtue_, fin. These last words
seem in a measure to answer to the words in Scavini, that an
equivocation is permissible, because "then we do not deceive our
neighbour, but allow him to deceive himself." In thus speaking, I
have not the slightest intention of saying anything disrespectful to
Bishop Butler; and still less of course to St. Alfonso.

And a third author, for whom I have a great respect, as different
from the above two as they are from each other, bears testimony to
the same effect in his "Comment on Scripture," Thomas Scott. He
maintains indeed that Ehud and Jael were divinely directed in what
they did; but they could have no divine direction for what was in
itself wrong.

Thus on Judges iii. 15-21:

"'And Ehud said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king; I have
a message from God unto thee, and Ehud thrust the dagger into his
belly.' Ehud, indeed," says Scott, "had a secret errand, a message
from God unto him; _but it was of a far different nature than
Eglon expected_."

And again on Judges iv. 18-21:

"'And Jael said, Turn in, my lord, fear not. And he said to her,
When any man doth inquire, Is there any man here? thou shalt say,
No. Then Jael took a nail, and smote the nail into his temple.'
Jael," says Scott, "is not said to have promised Sisera that
she would deny his being there; she would give him shelter and
refreshment, but not utter a falsehood to oblige him."


[6] "Mendacium est petulanter, aut cupiditate nocendi, aliud loqui,
seu gestu significare, et aliud sentire."

[7] Mentiris ut medicus.


June 4, 1864

While I was engaged with these concluding pages, I received another
of those special encouragements, which from several quarters have
been bestowed upon me, since my controversy began. It was the
extraordinary honour done me of an address from the clergy of this
large diocese, who had been assembled for the Synod.

It was followed two days afterwards by a most gracious testimonial
from my Bishop, Dr. Ullathorne, in the shape of a letter which he
wrote to me, and also inserted in the Birmingham papers. With his
leave I transfer it to my own volume, as a very precious document,
completing and recompensing, in a way most grateful to my feelings,
the anxious work which has occupied me so fully for nearly ten

"Bishop's House, June 2, 1864.

"My dear Dr. Newman,--It was with warm gratification that, after the
close of the Synod yesterday, I listened to the Address presented to
you by the clergy of the diocese, and to your impressive reply. But
I should have been little satisfied with the part of the silent
listener, except on the understanding with myself that I also might
afterwards express to you my own sentiments in my own way.

"We have now been personally acquainted, and much more than
acquainted, for nineteen years, during more than sixteen of which we
have stood in special relation of duty towards each other. This has
been one of the singular blessings which God has given me amongst the
cares of the Episcopal office. What my feelings of respect, of
confidence, and of affection have been towards you, you know well,
nor should I think of expressing them in words. But there is one
thing that has struck me in this day of explanations, which you could
not, and would not, be disposed to do, and which no one could do so
properly or so authentically as I could, and which it seems to me is
not altogether uncalled for, if every kind of erroneous impression
that some persons have entertained with no better evidence than
conjecture is to be removed.

"It is difficult to comprehend how, in the face of facts, the notion
should ever have arisen that, during your Catholic life, you have
been more occupied with your own thoughts than with the service of
religion and the work of the Church. If we take no other work into
consideration beyond the written productions which your Catholic pen
has given to the world, they are enough for the life's labour of
another. There are the Lectures on Anglican Difficulties, the
Lectures on Catholicism in England, the great work on the Scope
and End of University Education, that on the Office and Work of
Universities, the Lectures and Essays on University Subjects, and the
two Volumes of Sermons; not to speak of your contributions to the
Atlantis, which you founded, and to other periodicals; then there are
those beautiful offerings to Catholic literature, the Lectures on the
Turks, Loss and Gain, and Callista, and though last, not least, the
Apologia, which is destined to put many idle rumours to rest, and
many unprofitable surmises; and yet all these productions represent
but a portion of your labour, and that in the second half of your
period of public life.

"These works have been written in the midst of labour and cares of
another kind, and of which the world knows very little. I will
specify four of these undertakings, each of a distinct character, and
any one of which would have made a reputation for untiring energy in
the practical order.

"The first of these undertakings was the establishment of the
congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri--that great ornament
and accession to the force of English Catholicity. Both the London
and the Birmingham Oratory must look to you as their founder and as
the originator of their characteristic excellences; whilst that of
Birmingham has never known any other presidency.

"No sooner was this work fairly on foot than you were called by the
highest authority to commence another, and one of yet greater
magnitude and difficulty, the founding of a University in Ireland.
After the Universities had been lost to the Catholics of these
kingdoms for three centuries, everything had to be begun from the
beginning: the idea of such an institution to be inculcated, the plan
to be formed that would work, the resources to be gathered, and the
staff of superiors and professors to be brought together. Your name
was then the chief point of attraction which brought these elements
together. You alone know what difficulties you had to conciliate and
what to surmount, before the work reached that state of consistency
and promise, which enabled you to return to those responsibilities in
England which you had never laid aside or suspended. And here, excuse
me if I give expression to a fancy which passed through my mind.

"I was lately reading a poem, not long published, from the MSS.
De Rerum Natura, by Neckham, the foster-brother of Richard the
Lion-hearted. He quotes an old prophecy, attributed to Merlin, and
with a sort of wonder, as if recollecting that England owed so much
of its literary learning to that country; and the prophecy says that
after long years Oxford will pass into Ireland--'Vada boum suo
tempore transibunt in Hiberniam.' When I read this, I could not
but indulge the pleasant fancy that in the days when the Dublin
University shall arise in material splendour, an allusion to this
prophecy might form a poetic element in the inscription on the
pedestal of the statue which commemorates its first Rector.

"The original plan of an oratory did not contemplate any parochial
work, but you could not contemplate so many souls in want of pastors
without being prompt and ready at the beck of authority to strain all
your efforts in coming to their help. And this brings me to the third
and the most continuous of those labours to which I have alluded. The
mission in Alcester Street, its church and schools, were the first
work of the Birmingham Oratory. After several years of close and hard
work, and a considerable call upon the private resources of the
Fathers who had established this congregation, it was delivered over
to other hands, and the Fathers removed to the district of Edgbaston,
where up to that time nothing Catholic had appeared. Then arose under
your direction the large convent of the Oratory, the church expanded
by degrees into its present capaciousness, a numerous congregation
has gathered and grown in it; poor schools and other pious
institutions have grown up in connection with it, and, moreover,
equally at your expense and that of your brethren, and, as I have
reason to know, at much inconvenience, the Oratory has relieved the
other clergy of Birmingham all this while by constantly doing the
duty in the poor-house and gaol of Birmingham.

"More recently still, the mission and the poor school at Smethwick
owe their existence to the Oratory. And all this while the founder
and father of these religious works has added to his other
solicitudes the toil of frequent preaching, of attendance in the
confessional, and other parochial duties.

"I have read on this day of its publication the seventh part of the
Apologia, and the touching allusion in it to the devotedness of the
Catholic clergy to the poor in seasons of pestilence reminds me that
when the cholera raged so dreadfully at Bilston, and the two priests
of the town were no longer equal to the number of cases to which they
were hurried day and night, I asked you to lend me two fathers to
supply the place of other priests whom I wished to send as a further
aid. But you and Father St. John preferred to take the place of
danger which I had destined for others, and remained at Bilston till
the worst was over.

"The fourth work which I would notice is one more widely known. I
refer to the school for the education of the higher classes, which at
the solicitation of many friends you have founded and attached to the
Oratory. Surely after reading this bare enumeration of work done, no
man will venture to say that Dr. Newman is leading a comparatively
inactive life in the service of the Church.

"To spare, my dear Dr. Newman, any further pressure on those feelings
with which I have already taken so large a liberty, I will only add
one word more for my own satisfaction. During our long intercourse
there is only one subject on which, after the first experience, I
have measured my words with some caution, and that has been where
questions bearing on ecclesiastical duty have arisen. I found some
little caution necessary, because you were always so prompt and ready
to go even beyond the slightest intimation of my wish or desires.

"That God may bless you with health, life, and all the spiritual
good which you desire, you and your brethren of the Oratory, is
the earnest prayer now and often of, my dear Dr. Newman, your
affectionate friend and faithful servant in Christ,


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