Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Occasional Papers by R.W. Church

Part 5 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download Occasional Papers pdf
File size: 0.7 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

which is to be made wiser and better by them. And his aim was to reach
up to an ever more exact, and real, and harmonious hold of these
truths, which in their essential greatness he felt to be above him; to
reach to it in life as much as in thought. And so to the end he was
ever striving, not so much to find new truths as to find the heart and
core of old ones, the truth of the truth, the inner life and
significance of the letter, of which he was always loth to refuse the
traditional form. In these efforts at unfolding and harmonising there
was considerable uniformity; no one could mistake Mr. Maurice's manner
of presenting the meaning and bearing of an article of the Creed for
the manner of any one else; but the result of this way of working, in
the effect of the things which he said, and in his relations to
different bodies of opinion and thought both in the Church and in
society, was to give the appearance of great and important changes in
his teaching and his general point of view, as life went on. This
governing thought of his, of the immeasurably transcendent compass and
height of all truths compared with the human mind and spirit which was
to bow to them and to gain life and elevation by accepting them,
explains the curious and at present almost unique combination in him,
of deep reverence for the old language of dogmatic theology, and an
energetic maintenance of its fitness and value, with dissatisfaction,
equally deep and impartially universal, at the interpretations put on
this dogmatic language by modern theological schools, and at the modes
in which its meaning is applied by them both in directing thought and
influencing practice. This habit of distinguishing sharply and
peremptorily between dogmatic language and the popular reading of it at
any given time is conspicuous in his earliest as in his latest handling
of these subjects; in the pamphlet of 1835, _Subscription no Bondage_,
explaining and defending the old practice at Oxford; and in the papers
and letters, which have appeared from him in periodicals, on the
Athanasian Creed, and which are, we suppose, almost his last writings.

The world at large thought Mr. Maurice obscure and misty, and was, as
was natural, impatient of such faults. The charge was, no doubt, more
than partially true; and nothing but such genuine strength and
comprehensive power as his could have prevented it from being a fatal
one to his weight and authority. But it is not uninstructive to
remember what was very much at the root of it. It had its origin, not
altogether, but certainly in a great degree, in two of his moral
characteristics. One was his stubborn, conscientious determination, at
any cost of awkwardness, or apparent inconsistency, or imperfection of
statement, to say out what he had to say, neither more nor less, just
as he thought it, and just as he felt it, with the most fastidious care
for truthful accuracy of meaning. He never would suffer what he
considered either the connection or the balance and adjustment of
varied and complementary truths to be sacrificed to force or point of
expression; and he had to choose sometimes, as all people have, between
a blurred, clumsy, and ineffective picture and a consciously incomplete
and untrue one. His choice never wavered; and as the artist's aim was
high, and his skill not always equally at his command, he preferred the
imperfection which left him the consciousness of honesty. The other
cause which threw a degree of haze round his writings was the personal
shape into which he was so fond of throwing his views. He shrunk from
their enunciation as arguments and conclusions which claimed on their
own account and by their own title the deference of all who read them;
and he submitted them as what he himself had found and had been granted
to see--the lessons and convictions of his own experience. Sympathy is,
no doubt, a great bond among all men; but, after all, men's experience
and their points of view are not all alike, and when we are asked to
see with another's eyes, it is not always easy. Mr. Maurice's desire to
give the simplest and most real form to his thoughts as they arose in
his own mind contributed more often than he supposed to prevent others
from entering into his meaning. He asked them to put themselves in his
place. He did not sufficiently put himself in theirs.

But he has taught us great lessons, of the sacredness, the largeness,
and, it may be added, the difficulty of truth; lessons of sympathy with
one another, of true humility and self-conquest in the busy and
unceasing activity of the intellectual faculties. He has left no school
and no system, but he has left a spirit and an example. We speak of him
here only as those who knew him as all the world knew him; but those
who were his friends are never tired of speaking of his grand
simplicity of character, of his tenderness and delicacy, of the
irresistible spell of lovableness which won all within its reach. They
remember how he spoke, and how he read; the tones of a voice of
singularly piercing clearness, which was itself a power of
interpretation, which revealed his own soul and went straight to the
hearts of hearers. He has taken his full share in the controversies of
our days, and there must be many opinions both about the line which he
took, and even sometimes about the temper in which he carried on
debate. But it is nothing but the plainest justice to say that he was a
philosopher, a theologian, and, we may add, a prophet, of whom, for his
great gifts, and, still more, for his noble and pure use of them, the
modern English Church may well be proud.



_Guardian_, 26th March 1873.

General Sir Richard Church died last week at Athens. Many English
travellers in the East find their way to Athens; most of them must have
heard his name repeated there as the name of one closely associated
with the later fortunes of the Greek nation, and linking the present
with times now distant; some of them may have seen him, and may
remember the slight wiry form which seemed to bear years so lightly,
the keen eye and grisled moustache and soldierly bearing, and perhaps
the antique and ceremonious courtesy, stately yet cordial, recalling a
type of manners long past, with which he welcomed those who had a claim
on his attentions or friendly offices. Five and forty years ago his
name was much in men's mouths. He was prominent in a band of
distinguished men, who represented a new enthusiasm in Europe. Less by
what they were able to do than by their character and their unreserved
self-devotion and sacrifice, they profoundly affected public opinion,
and disarmed the jealousy of absolutist courts and governments in
favour of a national movement, which, whether disappointment may have
followed its success, was one of the most just and salutary of
revolutions--the deliverance of a Christian nation from the hopeless
tyranny of the Turks.

He was one of the few remaining survivors of the generation which had
taken part in the great French war and in the great changes resulting
from it--changes which have in time given way to vaster alterations,
and been eclipsed by them. He began his military life as a boy-ensign
in one of the regiments forming part of the expedition which, under Sir
Ralph Abercromby, drove the French out of Egypt in 1801; and on the
shores of the Mediterranean, where his career began, it was for the
most part continued and finished. His genius led him to the more
irregular and romantic forms of military service; he had the gift of
personal influence, and the power of fascinating and attaching to
himself, with extraordinary loyalty, the people of the South. His
adventurous temper, his sympathetic nature, his chivalrous courtesy,
his thorough trustworthiness and sincerity, his generosity, his high
spirit of nobleness and honour, won for him, from Italians and Greeks,
not only that deep respect which was no unusual tribute from them to
English honesty and strength and power of command, but that love, and
that affectionate and almost tender veneration, for which strong and
resolute Englishmen have not always cared from races of whose
characteristic faults they were impatient.

His early promise in the regular service was brilliant; as a young
staff-officer, and by a staff-officer's qualities of sagacity,
activity, and decision, he did distinguished service at Maida; and had
he followed the movement which made Spain the great battle-ground for
English soldiers, he had every prospect of earning a high place among
those who fought under Wellington. But he clung to the Mediterranean.
He was employed in raising and organising those foreign auxiliary corps
which it was thought were necessary to eke out the comparatively scanty
numbers of the English armies, and to keep up threatening
demonstrations on the outskirts of the French Empire. It was in this
service that his connection with the Greek people was first formed, and
his deep and increasing interest in its welfare created. He was
commissioned to form first one, and then a second, regiment of Greek
irregulars; and from the Ionian Islands, from the mainland of Albania,
from the Morea, chiefs and bands, accustomed to the mountain warfare,
half patriotic, half predatory, carried on by the more energetic Greek
highlanders against the Turks, flocked to the English standards. The
operations in which they were engaged were desultory, and of no great
account in the general result of the gigantic contest; but they made
Colonel Church's name familiar to the Greek population, who were
hoping, amid the general confusion, for an escape from the tyranny of
the Turks. But his connection with Greece was for some time delayed.
His peculiar qualifications pointed him out as a fit man to be a medium
of communication between the English Government and the foreign armies
which were operating on the outside of the circle within which the
decisive struggle was carried on against Napoleon; and he was the
English Military Commissioner attached to the Austrian armies in Italy
in 1814 and 1815.

At the Peace, his eagerness for daring and adventurous enterprise was
tempted by great offers from the Neapolitan Government. The war had
left brigandage, allied to a fierce spirit of revolutionary
freemasonry, all-powerful in the south of Italy; and a stern and
resolute, yet perfectly honest and just hand, was needed to put it
down. He accepted the commission; he was reckless of conspiracy and
threats of assassination; he was known to be no sanguinary and
merciless lover of severity, but he was known also to be fearless and
inexorable against crime; and, not without some terrible examples, yet
with complete success, he delivered the south of Italy from the
scourge. But his thoughts had always been turned towards Greece; at
last the call came, and he threw himself with all his hopes and all his
fortunes into a struggle which more than any other that history can
show engaged at the time the interest of Europe. His first efforts
resulted in a disastrous defeat against overwhelming odds, for which,
as is natural, he has been severely criticised; his critics have shown
less quickness in perceiving the qualities which he displayed after
it--his unshaken, silent fortitude, the power with which he kept
together and saved the wrecks of his shattered and disheartened
volunteer army, the confidence in himself with which he inspired them,
the skill with which he extricated them from their dangers in the face
of a strong and formidable enemy, the humanity which he strove so
earnestly by word and example to infuse into the barbarous warfare
customary between Greeks and Turks, the tenacity with which he clung to
the fastnesses of Western Greece, obtaining by his perseverance from
the diplomacy of Europe a more favourable line of boundary for the new
nation which it at length recognised. To this cause he gave up
everything; personal risks cannot be counted; but he threw away all
prospects in England; he made no bargains; he sacrificed freely to the
necessities of the struggle any pecuniary resource that he could
command, neither requiring nor receiving any repayment. He threw in his
lot with the people for whom he had surrendered everything, in order to
take part in their deliverance. Since his arrival in Greece in 1827 he
has never turned his face westwards. He took the part which is perhaps
the only becoming and justifiable one for the citizen of one State who
permits himself to take arms, even in the cause of independence, for
another; having fought for the Greeks, he lived with them, and shared,
for good and for evil, their fortunes.

For more than forty years he has resided at Athens under the shadow of
the great rock of the Acropolis. Distinguished by all the honours the
Greek nation could bestow, military or political, he has lived in
modest retirement, only on great emergencies taking any prominent part
in the political questions of Greece, but always throwing his influence
on the side of right and honesty. The course of things in Greece was
not always what an educated Englishman could wish it to be. But
whatever his judgment, or, on occasion, his action might be, there
never could be a question, with his friends any more than with his
opponents--enemies he could scarcely be said to have--as to the
straightforwardness, the pure motives, the unsullied honour of anything
that he did or anything that he advised. The Greeks saw among them one
deeply sympathising with all that they cared for, commanding, if he had
pleased to work for it, considerable influence out of Greece, the
intimate friend of a Minister like Sir Edmund Lyons, yet keeping free
from the temptation to make that use of influence which seems so
natural to politicians in a place like Athens; thinking much of Greece
and of the interests of his friends there, but thinking as much of
truth and justice and conscience; hating intrigue and trick, and
shaming by his indignant rebuke any proposal of underhand courses that
might be risked in his presence.

The course of things, the change of ideas and of men, threw him more
and more out of any forward and prominent place in the affairs of
Greece. But his presence in Athens was felt everywhere. There was a man
who had given up everything for Greece and sought nothing in return.
His blameless unselfishness, his noble elevation of character, were a
warning and a rebuke to the faults which have done so much mischief to
the progress of the nation; and yet every Greek in Athens knew that no
one among them was more jealous of the honour of the nation or more
anxious for its good. To a new political society, freshly exposed to
the temptations of party struggles for power, no greater service can be
rendered than a public life absolutely clear from any suspicion of
self-seeking, governed uninterruptedly and long by public spirit,
public ends, and a strong sense of duty. Such a service General Church
has rendered to his adopted country. During his residence among them
for nearly half a century they have become familiar, not in word, but
in living reality, with some of the best things which the West has to
impart to the East. They have had among them an example of English
principle, English truth, English high-souled disinterestedness, and
that noble English faith which, in a great cause, would rather hope in
vain than not hope at all. They have learned to venerate all this, and,
some of them, to love it.



_Guardian_, 23rd July 1873.

The beautiful summer weather which came on us at the beginning of this
week gives by contrast a strange and terrible point to the calamity,
the announcement of which sent such a shock through the whole country
on Monday last. Summer days in all their brilliance seemed come at
last, after a long waiting which made them the more delightful. But as
people came down to breakfast on that morning, or as they gathered at
railway stations on their way to business, the almost incredible
tidings met them that the Bishop of Winchester was dead; that he had
been killed by a fall from his horse. In a moment, by the most trivial
of accidents, one of the foremost and most stirring men of our
generation had passed away from the scene in which his part was so
large a one. With everything calm and peaceful round him, in the midst
of the keen but tranquil enjoyment of a summer evening ride with a
friend through some of the most charming scenery in England, looking
forward to meeting another friend, and to the pleasure which a quiet
Sunday brings to hard-worked men in fine weather, and a pleasant
country house, the blow fell. The moment before, as Lord Granville
remarks, he had given expression to the fulness of his enjoyment. He
was rejoicing in the fine weather, he was keenly noticing the beauty of
the scenery at every point of the way; with his characteristic love of
trees he was noticing the different kinds and the soils which suited
them; especially he was greatly pleased with his horse. There comes a
slight dip in the smooth turf; the horse stumbles and recovers himself
unhurt; but in that short interval of time all has vanished, all things
earthly, from that quick eye and that sensitive and sympathetic mind.
It is indeed tragic. He is said to have thought with distress of a
lingering end. He was spared it. He died as a soldier dies.

A shock like this brings with it also a shock of new knowledge and
appreciation of things. We are made to feel with a new force what it is
that we have lost, and to understand more exactly what is the
proportion of what we have lost to what we still retain. To friends and
opponents the Bishop of Winchester could not but be, under any
circumstances, a person of the greatest importance. But few of us,
probably, measured fully and accurately the place which he filled among
us. We are better aware of it now when he has been taken away from us.
Living among us, and acting before us from day to day, the object of
each day's observation and criticism, under each day's varying
circumstances and feelings, within our reach always if we wanted to see
him or to hear him, he was presented to our thoughts in that partial
disclosure, and that everyday homeliness, which as often disguise the
true and complete significance of a character, as they give substance
and reality to our conceptions of it. As the man's course moves on, we
are apt to lose in our successive judgments of the separate steps of
it--it may be stops of great immediate interest--our sense of its
connection and tendency, of the true measure of it as a whole, of the
degree in which character is growing and rising, or, on the other hand,
falling or standing still. The Bishop of Winchester had many
admirers--many who deeply loved and trusted him--many who, in the face
of a good deal of suspicion and hostile comment, stoutly insisted on
the high estimate which they had formed of him. But even among them,
and certainly in the more indifferent public, there were few who had
rightly made it clear to their own minds what he had really grown to be
both in the Church and the country.

For it is obvious, at the first glance now that he is gone, that there
is no one who can fill the place which he filled. It seems to us beyond
dispute that he has been the greatest Bishop the English Church has
seen for a century and a half. We do not say the greatest man, but the
greatest Bishop; the one among the leaders of the English Church who
most adequately understood the relations of his office, not only to the
Church, but to his times and his country, and who most adequately
fulfilled his own conception of them. We are very far from saying this
because of his exuberant outfit of powers and gifts; because of his
versatility, his sympathetic nature, his eager interest in all that
interested his fellows, his inexhaustible and ready resources of
thought and speech, of strong and practical good sense, of brilliant or
persuasive or pathetic eloquence. In all this he had equals and rivals,
though perhaps he had not many in the completeness and balance of his
powers. Nor do we say anything of those gifts, partly of the intellect,
but also of the soul and temper and character, by which he was able at
once to charm without tiring the most refined and fastidious society,
to draw to him the hearts of hard-working and anxious clergymen, and to
enchain the attention of the dullest and most ignorant of rustic
congregations. All these are, as it seems to us, the subordinate, and
not the most interesting, parts of what he was; they were on the
surface and attracted notice, and the parts were often mistaken for the
whole. Nor do we forget what often offended even equitable judges,
disliking all appearance of management and mere adroitness--or what was
often objected against his proceedings by opponents at least as
unscrupulous as they wished him to be thought. We are far from thinking
that his long career was free from either mistakes or faults; it is not
likely that a course steered amid such formidable and perplexing
difficulties, and steered with such boldness and such little attempt to
evade them, should not offer repeated occasions not only for
ill-natured, but for grave and serious objections.

But looking over that long course of his Episcopate, from 1845 to the
present year, we see in him, in an eminent and unique degree, two
things. He had a distinct and statesmanlike idea of Church policy; and
he had a new idea of the functions of a Bishop, and of what a Bishop
might do and ought to do. And these two ideas he steadily kept in view
and acted upon with increasing clearness in his purpose and unflagging
energy in action. He grasped in all its nobleness and fulness and
height the conception of the Church as a great religious society of
Divine origin, with many sides and functions, with diversified gifts
and ever new relations to altering times, but essentially, and above
all things, a religious society. To serve that society, to call forth
in it the consciousness of its calling and its responsibilities, to
strengthen and put new life into its organisation, to infuse ardour and
enthusiasm and unity into its efforts, to encourage and foster
everything that harmonised with its principle and purpose, to watch
against the counteracting influences of self-willed or ignorant
narrowness, to adjust its substantial rights and its increasing
activity to the new exigencies of political changes, to elicit from the
Church all that could command the respect and win the sympathy and
confidence of Englishmen, and make its presence recognised as a supreme
blessing by those whom nothing but what was great and real in its
benefits would satisfy--this was the aim from which, however perplexed
or wavering or inconsistent he may have been at times, he never really
swerved. In the breadth and largeness of his principle, in the freedom
and variety of its practical applications, in the distinctness of his
purposes and the intensity of his convictions, he was an example of
high statesmanship common in no age of the Church, and in no branch of
it. And all this rested on the most profound personal religion as its
foundation, a religion which became in time one of very definite
doctrinal preferences, but of wide sympathies, and which was always of
very exacting claims for the undivided work and efforts of a lifetime.

When he became Bishop he very soon revolutionised the old notion of a
Bishop's duties. He threw himself without any regard to increasing
trouble and labour on the great power of personal influence. In every
corner of his diocese he made himself known and felt; in all that
interested its clergy or its people he took his part more and more. He
went forth to meet men; he made himself their guest and companion as
well as their guide and chief; he was more often to be found moving
about his diocese than he was to be found at his own home at Cuddesdon.
The whole tone of communication between Bishop and people rose at once
in freedom and in spiritual elevation and earnestness; it was at once
less formal and more solemnly practical. He never spared his personal
presence; always ready to show himself, always ready to bring the rarer
and more impressive rites of the Church, such as Ordination, within the
view of people at a distance from his Palace or Cathedral, he was never
more at his ease than in a crowd of new faces, and never exhausted and
worn out in what he had to say to fresh listeners. Gathering men about
him at one time; turning them to account, assigning them tasks,
pressing the willing, shaming the indolent or the reluctant, at
another; travelling about with the rapidity and system of an officer
inspecting his positions, he infused into the diocese a spirit and zeal
which nothing but such labour and sympathy could give, and bound it
together by the bands of a strong and wise organisation.

What he did was but a very obvious carrying out of the idea of the
Episcopal office; but it had not seemed necessary once, and his merit
was that he saw both that it was necessary and practicable. It is he
who set the standard of what is now expected, and is more or less
familiar, in all Bishops. And as he began so he went on to the last. He
never flagged, he never grew tired of the continual and varied
intercourse which he kept up with his clergy and people. To the last he
worked his diocese as much as possible not from a distance, but from
local points which brought him into closer communication with his
flock. London, with its great interests and its great attractions,
social and political, never kept away one who was so keenly alive to
them, and so prominent in all that was eventful in his time, from
attending to the necessities and claims of his rural parishes. What his
work was to the very last, how much there was in him of unabated force,
of far-seeing judgment, of noble boldness and earnestness, of power
over the souls and minds of men in many ways divided, a letter from Dr.
Monsell[25] in our columns shows.

He had a great and all-important place in a very critical moment, to
which he brought a seriousness of purpose, a power and ripeness of
counsel, and a fearlessness distinctly growing up to the last. It is
difficult to see who will bend the bow which he has dropped.

... The shock that the sudden announcement of an event so
solemn must ever give, was tenfold great to one who, like myself,
had been, during the past week, closely associated with him in
anxious deliberations as to the best means of meeting the various
difficulties and dangers with which the Church is at present

He had gathered round him, as was his annual wont, his Archdeacons
and Rural Deans, to deliberate for the Church's interests; and in
his opening address, and conduct of a most important meeting, never
had he shone out more clearly in intellectual vigour, in theological
soundness, in moral boldness, in Christian gentleness and love.

... He spoke upon the gravest questions of the day--questions which
require more than they generally receive, delicate handling. He
divided from the evil of things, which some in the spirit of party
condemn wholesale, the hidden good which lies wrapt up in them, and
which it would be sin as well as folly to sweep away. He made every
man who heard him feel the blessing of having in the Church such a
veteran leader, and drew forth from more than one there the openly
expressed hope that as he had in bygone days been the bold and
cautious controller of an earlier movement in the right direction,
so now he would save to the Church some of her precious things which
rude men would sweep away, and help her to regain what is essential
to her spiritual existence without risking the sacredness of private
life, the purity of private thoughts, the sense of direct
responsibility between God and the soul, which are some of the most
distinctive characteristics of our dear Church of England.

From his council chamber in Winchester House I went direct with him
to the greater council chamber of St. Stephen's to hear him there
vindicate the rights and privileges of his order, and beat back the
assaults of those who, in high places, think that by a speech in, or
a vote of, either house they can fashion the Church as they please.
Never did he speak with more point and power; and never did he seem
to have won more surely the entire sympathy of the house.

To gather in overwhelming numbers round him in the evening his
London clergy and their families, to meet them all with the kind
cordiality of a real father and friend, to run on far into the
middle of the night in this laborious endeavour to please--was "the
last effort of his toilsome day."



_Guardian_, 4th November 1874.

Dr. Hawkins, the Provost of Oriel, has resigned the Provostship. He has
held it from 1828, within four years of half a century. The time during
which he has presided over his college has been one of the most
eventful periods in the history of the University; it has been a time
of revolt against custom, of reform, of keen conflict, of deep changes;
and in all connected with these he has borne a part, second to none in
prominence, in importance, and we must add, in dignity. No name of
equal distinction has disappeared from the list of Heads of Houses
since the venerable President of Magdalen passed away. But Dr. Routh,
though he watched with the keenest intelligence, and not without
sympathy, all that went on in the days into which his life had been
prolonged, watched it with the habits and thoughts of days long
departed; he had survived from the days of Bishop Horne and Dr. Parr
far into our new and strange century, to which he did not belong, and
he excited its interest as a still living example of what men were
before the French Revolution. The eminence of the Provost of Oriel is
of another kind. He calls forth interest because among all recent
generations of Oxford men, and in all their restless and exciting
movements, he has been a foremost figure. He belongs to modern Oxford,
its daring attempts, its fierce struggles, its successes, and its
failures. He was a man of whom not only every one heard, but whom every
one saw; for he was much in public, and his unsparing sense of public
duty made him regularly present in his place at Council, at
Convocation, at the University Church, at College chapel. The outward
look of Oxford will be altered by the disappearance in its ceremonies
and gatherings of his familiar form and countenance.

He would anywhere have been a remarkable man. His active and
independent mind, with its keen, discriminating, practical
intelligence, was formed and disciplined amid that company of
distinguished scholars and writers who, at Oxford, in the second decade
of the century were revolted by the scandalous inertness and
self-indulgence of the place, with its magnificent resources squandered
and wasted, its stupid orthodoxy of routine, its insensibility to the
questions and the dangers rising all round; men such as Keble, Arnold,
Davison, Copleston, Whately. These men, different as they were from one
another, all represented the awakening but still imperfect
consciousness that a University life ought to be something higher than
one of literary idleness, given up to the frivolities of mere elegant
scholarship, and to be crowned at last by comfortable preferment; that
there was much difficult work to be seriously thought about and done,
and that men were placed at Oxford under heavy responsibilities to use
their thoughts and their leisure for the direct service of their
generation. Clever fops and dull pedants joined in sneering at this new
activity and inquisitiveness of mind, and this grave interest and
employment of intellect on questions and in methods outside the
customary line of University studies and prejudices; but the men were
too powerful, and their work too genuine and effective, and too much in
harmony with the temper and tendencies of the time, to be stopped by
impertinence and obstructiveness. Dr. Hawkins was one of those who made
the Oriel Common-room a place of keen discussion and brilliant
conversation, and, for those days, of bold speculation; while the
College itself reflected something of the vigour and accomplishments of
the Common-room. Dr. Newman, in the _Apologia_, has told us, in
touching terms of acknowledgment, what Dr. Hawkins was when, fifty
years ago, the two minds first came into close contact, and what
intellectual services he believed Dr. Hawkins had rendered him. He
tells us, too, how Dr. Hawkins had profoundly impressed him by a work
in which, with characteristic independence and guarded caution equally
characteristic, he cuts across popular prejudices and confusions of
thought, and shows himself original in discerning and stating an
obvious truth which had escaped other people--his work on
_Unauthoritative Tradition_. His logical acuteness, his habits of
disciplined accuracy, abhorrent and impatient of all looseness of
thinking and expression, his conscientious efforts after substantial
reality in his sharpest distinctions, his capacity for taking trouble,
his serious and strong sense of the debt involved in the possession of
intellectual power--all this would have made him eminent, whatever the
times in which he lived.

But the times in which we live and what they bring with them mould most
of us; and the times shaped the course of the Provost of Oriel, and
turned his activity into a channel of obstinate and prolonged
antagonism, of resistance and protest, most conscientious but most
uncompromising, against two great successive movements, both of which
he condemned as unbalanced and recoiled from as revolutionary--the
Tractarian first, and then the Liberal movement in Oxford. Of the
former, it is not perhaps too much to say that he was in Oxford, at
least, the ablest and most hurtful opponent. From his counsels, from
his guarded and measured attacks, from the power given him by a partial
agreement against popular fallacies with parts of its views, from his
severe and unflinching determination, it received its heaviest blows
and suffered its greatest losses. He detested what he held to be its
anti-Liberal temper, and its dogmatic assertions; he resented its
taking out of his hands a province of theology which he and Whately had
made their own, that relating to the Church; he thought its tone of
feeling and its imaginative and poetical side exaggerated or childish;
and he could not conceive of its position except as involving palpable
dishonesty. No one probably guided with such clear and self-possessed
purpose that policy of extreme measures, which contributed to bring
about, if it did not itself cause, the break-up of 1845. Then succeeded
the great Liberal tide with its demands for extensive and immediate
change, its anti-ecclesiastical spirit, its scarcely disguised
scepticism, its daring philosophical and critical enterprises. By
degrees it became clear that the impatience and intolerance which had
purged the University of so many Churchmen had, after all, left the
Church movement itself untouched, to assume by degrees proportions
scarcely dreamed of when it began; but that what the defeat of the
Tractarians really had done was, to leave the University at the mercy
of Liberals to whom what had been called Liberalism in the days of
Whately was mere blind and stagnant Conservatism.

One war was no sooner over than the Provost of Oriel found another even
more formidable on his hands. The most dauntless and most unshaken of
combatants, he faced his new antagonists with the same determination,
the same unshrinking sense of duty with which he had fought his old
ones. He used the high authority and influence which his position and
his character justly gave him, to resist or to control, as far as he
could, the sweeping changes which, while bringing new life into Oxford,
have done so much to break up her connection of centuries with the
Church. He boldly confronted the new spirit of denial and unbelief. He
wrote, he preached, he published, as he had done against other
adversaries, always with measured and dignified argument, but not
shrinking from plain-spoken severity of condemnation. Never sparing
himself labour when he thought duty called, he did not avail himself of
the privilege of advancing years to leave the war to be carried on by
younger champions.

It is impossible for those who may at times have found themselves most
strongly, and perhaps most painfully, opposed to him, not to admire and
revere one who, through so long a career has, in what he held to be his
duty to the Church and to religion, fought so hard, encountered such
troubles, given up so many friendships and so much ease, and who, while
a combatant to the last, undiscouraged by odds and sometimes by
ill-success, has brought to the weariness and disappointment of old age
an increasing gentleness and kindliness of spirit, which is one of the
rarest tokens and rewards of patient and genuine self-discipline. A man
who has set himself steadily and undismayed to stem and bring to reason
the two most powerful currents of conviction and feeling which have
agitated his times, leaves an impressive example of zeal and
fearlessness, even to those against whom he has contended. What is the
upshot which has come of these efforts, and whether the controversies
of the moment have not in his case, as in others, diverted and absorbed
faculties which might have been turned to calmer and more permanent
tasks, we do not inquire.

Perhaps a life of combat never does all that the combatant thinks it
ought to accomplish, or compensates for the sacrifices it entails. In
the case of the Provost of Oriel, he had, with all his great and noble
qualities, one remarkable want, which visibly impaired his influence
and his persuasiveness. He was out of sympathy with the rising
aspirations and tendencies of the time on the two opposite sides; he
was suspicious and impatient of them. He was so sensible of their weak
points, the logical difficulties which they brought with them, their
precipitate and untested assumptions, the extravagance and unsoundness
of character which often seemed inseparable from them, that he seldom
did justice to them viewed in their complete aspect, or was even alive
to what was powerful and formidable in the depth, the complexity, and
the seriousness of the convictions and enthusiasm which carried them
onwards. In truth, for a man of his singular activity and reach of
mind, he was curiously indifferent to much that most interested his
contemporaries in thought and literature; he did not understand it, and
he undervalued it as if it belonged merely to the passing fashions of
the hour.

This long career is now over. Warfare is always a rude trade, and men
on all sides who have had to engage in it must feel at the end how much
there is to be forgiven and needing forgiveness; how much now appears
harsh, unfair, violent, which once appeared only necessary and just. A
hard hitter like the Provost of Oriel must often have left behind the
remembrance of his blows. But we venture to say that, even in those who
suffered from them, he has left remembrances of another and better
sort. He has left the recollection of a pure, consistent, laborious
life, elevated in its aim and standard, and marked by high public
spirit and a rigid and exacting sense of duty. In times when it was
wanted, he set in his position in the University an example of modest
and sober simplicity of living; and no one who ever knew him can doubt
the constant presence, in all his thoughts, of the greatness of things
unseen, or his equally constant reference of all that he did to the
account which he was one day to give at his Lord's judgment-seat. We
trust that he may be spared to enjoy the rest which a weaker or less
conscientious man would have claimed long ago.



_Guardian_, 6th August 1884.

The Rector of Lincoln, who died at Harrogate this day week, was a man
about whom judgments are more than usually likely to be biassed by
prepossessions more or less unconscious, and only intelligible to the
mind of the judge. There are those who are in danger of dealing with
him too severely. There are also those whose temptation will be to
magnify and possibly exaggerate his gifts and acquirements--great as
they undoubtedly were,--the use that he made of them, and the place
which he filled among his contemporaries. One set of people finds it
not easy to forget that he had been at one time closer than most young
men of his generation to the great religious leaders whom they are
accustomed to revere; that he was of a nature fully to understand and
appreciate both their intellectual greatness and their moral and
spiritual height; that he had shared to the full their ideas and hopes;
that they, too, had measured his depth of character, and grasp, and
breadth, and subtlety of mind; and that the keenest judge among them of
men and of intellect had pirlud him out as one of the most original and
powerful of a number of very able contemporaries. Those who remember
this cannot easily pardon the lengths of dislike and hitterness to
which in after life Pattison allowed himself to be carried against the
cause which once had his hearty allegiance, and in which, if he had
discovered, as he thought, its mistakes and its weakness, he had once
recognised with all his soul the nobler side. And on the other hand,
the partisans of the opposite movement, into whose interests he so
disastrously, as it seems to us, and so unreservedly threw himself,
naturally welcomed and made the most of such an accession to their
strength, and such an unquestionable addition to their literary fame.
To have detached such a man from the convictions which he had so
professedly and so earnestly embraced, and to have enlisted him as
their determined and implacable antagonist--to be able to point to him
in him maturity and strength of his powers as one who, having known its
best aspects, had deliberately despaired of religion, and had turned
against its representatives the scorn and hatred of a passionate
nature, whose fires burned all the more fiercely under its cold crust
of reserve and sarcasm--this was a triumph of no common order; and it
might conceivably blind those who could rejoice in it to the
comparative value of qualities which, at any rate, were very rare and
remarkable ones.

Pattison was a man who, in many ways, did not do himself justice. As a
young man, his was a severe and unhopeful mind, and the tendency to
despond was increased by circumstances. There was something in the
quality of his unquestionable ability which kept him for long out of
the ordinary prizes of an Oxford career; in the class list, in the
higher competition for Fellowships, he was not successful. There are
those who long remembered the earnest pleading of the Latin letters
which it was the custom to send in when a man stood for a Fellowship,
and in which Pattison set forth his ardent longing for knowledge, and
his narrow and unprosperous condition as a poor student. He always came
very near; indeed, he more than once won the vote of the best judges;
but he just missed the prize. To the bitter public disappointments of
1845 were added the vexations caused by private injustice and
ill-treatment. He turned fiercely on those who, as he thought, had
wronged him, and he began to distrust men, and to be on the watch for
proofs of hollowness and selfishness in the world and in the Church.
Yet at this time, when people were hearing of his bitter and unsparing
sayings in Oxford, he was from time to time preaching in village
churches, and preaching sermons which both his educated and his simple
hearers thought unlike those of ordinary men in their force, reality,
and earnestness. But with age and conflict the disposition to harsh and
merciless judgments strengthened and became characteristic. This,
however, should be remembered: where he revered ho revered with genuine
and unstinted reverence; where he saw goodness in which he believed he
gave it ungrudging honour. He had real pleasure in recognising height
and purity of character, and true intellectual force, and he maintained
his admiration when the course of things had placed wide intervals
between him and those to whom it had been given. His early friendships,
where they could be retained, he did retain warmly and generously even
to the last; he seemed almost to draw a line between them and other
things in the world. The truth, indeed, was that beneath that icy and
often cruel irony there was at bottom a most warm and affectionate
nature, yearning for sympathy, longing for high and worthy objects,
which, from the misfortunes especially of his early days, never found
room to expand and unfold itself. Let him see and feel that anything
was real--character, purpose, cause--and at any rate it was sure of his
respect, probably of his interest. But the doubt whether it was real
was always ready to present itself to his critical and suspicious mind;
and these doubts grew with his years.

People have often not given Pattison credit for the love that was in
him for what was good and true; it is not to be wondered at, but the
observation has to be made. On the other hand, a panegyrie, like that
which we reprint from the _Times_, sets too high an estimate on his
intellectual qualities, and on the position which they gave him. He was
full of the passion for knowledge; he was very learned, very acute in
his judgment on what his learning brought before him, very versatile,
very shrewd, very subtle; too full of the truth of his subject to care
about seeming to be original; but, especially in his poetical
criticisms, often full of that best kind of originality which consists
in seeing and pointing out novelty in what is most familiar and trite.
But, not merely as a practical but as a speculative writer, he was apt
to be too much under the empire and pressure of the one idea which at
the moment occupied and interested his mind. He could not resist it; it
came to him with exclusive and overmastering force; he did not care to
attend to what limited it or conflicted with it. And thus, with all the
force and sagacity of his University theories, they were not always
self-consistent, and they were often one-sided and exaggerated. He was
not a leader whom men could follow, however much they might rejoice at
the blows which he might happen to deal, sometimes unexpectedly, at
things which they disliked. And this holds of more serious things than
even University reform and reconstruction.

And next, though every competent reader must do justice to Pattison's
distinction as a man of letters, as a writer of English prose, and as a
critic of what is noble and excellent and what is base and poor in
literature, there is a curious want of completeness, a frequent crudity
and hardness, a want, which is sometimes a surprising want, of good
sense and good taste, which form unwelcome blemishes in his work, and
just put it down below the line of first-rate excellence which it ought
to occupy. Morally, in that love of reality, and of all that is high
and noble in character, which certainly marked him, he was much better
than many suppose, who know only the strength of his animosities and
the bitterness of his sarcasm. Intellectually, in reach, and fulness,
and solidity of mental power, it may be doubted whether he was so great
as it has recently been the fashion to rate him.



_Essays by the late Mark Pattison, sometime Rector of Lincoln
College_. Collected and arranged by Henry Nettleship, M.A., Corpus
Professor of Latin in the University of Oxford. _Guardian_, 1st May

This is a very interesting but a very melancholy collection of papers.
They are the remains of the work of a man of first-rate intellect,
whose powers, naturally of a high order, had been diligently and wisely
cultivated, whose mind was furnished in a very rare degree with all
that reading, wide and critical, could give, and which embraced in the
circle of its interest all that is important to human life and society.
Mr. Pattison had no vulgar standard of what knowledge is, and what
goodness is. He was high, sincere, exacting, even austere, in his
estimates of either; and when he was satisfied he paid honour with
sometimes unexpected frankness and warmth. But from some unfortunate
element in his temperament, or from the effect upon it of untoward and
unkindly circumstances at those critical epochs of mental life, when
character is taking its bent for good and all, he was a man in whose
judgment severity--and severity expressing itself in angry scorn--was
very apt to outrun justice. Longing for sympathy and not ill-fitted for
it, capable of rare exertions in helping those whom he could help, he
passed through life with a reputation for cynicism which, while he
certainly exhibited it, he no less certainly would, if he had known
how, have escaped from. People could easily tell what would incur his
dislike and opposition, what would provoke his slow, bitter, merciless
sarcasm; it was never easy to tell what would satisfy him, what would
attract his approval, when he could be tempted to see the good side of
a thing. It must not be forgotten that he had gone through a trial to
which few men are equal. He had passed from the extreme ranks and the
strong convictions of the Oxford movement--convictions of which the
translation of Aquinas's _Catena Aurea_, still printed in the list of
his works, is a memorial--to the frankest form of Liberal thought. As
he himself writes, we cannot give up early beliefs, much less the deep
and deliberate convictions of manhood, without some shock to the
character. In his case the change certainly worked. It made him hate
what he had left, and all that was like it, with the bitterness of one
who has been imposed upon, and has been led to commit himself to what
he now feels to be absurd and contemptible, and the bitterness of this
disappointment gave an edge to all his work. There seems through all
his criticism, powerful as it is, a tone of harshness, a readiness to
take the worst construction, a sad consciousness of distrust and
suspicion of all things round him, which greatly weakens the effect of
his judgment. If a man will only look for the worst side, he will only
find the worst side; but we feel that we act reasonably by not
accepting such a teacher as our guide, however ably he may state his
case. There is a want of equitableness and fairness in his stern and
sometimes cruel condemnations; and yet not religion only, but the
wisest wisdom of the world tells of the indispensable value of this
equitableness, this old Greek virtue of [Greek: epieikeia], in our
views of men and things. It is not religion only, but common sense
which says that "sweetness and light," kindliness, indulgence,
sympathy, are necessary for moral and spiritual health. Scorn,
indignation, keenly stinging sarcasm, doubtless have their place in a
world in which untruth and baseness abound and flourish; but to live on
these is poison, at least to oneself.

These fierce antipathies warped his judgment in strange and unexpected
ways. Among these papers is a striking one on Calvin. If any character
in history might be expected to have little attraction for him it is
Calvin. Dogmatist, persecutor, tyrant, the proud and relentless
fanatic, who more than any one consecrated harsh narrowness in religion
by cruel theories about God, what was there to recommend him to a lover
of liberty who had no patience for ecclesiastical pretensions of any
kind, and who tells us that Calvin's "sins against human liberty are of
the deepest dye"? For if Laud chastised his adversaries with whips,
Calvin chastised his with scorpions. Perhaps it is unreasonable to be
suprised, yet we are taken by surprise, when we find a thinker like Mr.
Pattison drawn by strong sympathy to Calvin and setting him up among
the heroes and liberators of humanity. Mr. Pattison is usually fair in
details, that is, he does not suppress bad deeds or qualities in those
whom he approves, or good deeds or qualities in those whom he hates: it
is in his general judgments that his failing comes out. He makes no
attempt to excuse the notorious features of Calvin's rule at Geneva;
but Mr. Pattison reads into his character a purpose and a grandeur
which place him far above any other man of his day. To recommend him to
our very different ways of thinking, Mr. Pattison has the courage to
allege that his interest in dogmatic theology was a subordinate matter,
and that the "renovation of character," the "moral purification of
humanity," was the great guiding idea of him who taught that out of the
mass of human kind only a predestined remnant could possibly be saved.
It is a singular interpretation of the mind of the author of the

The distinction of Calvin as a Reformer is not to be sought in the
doctrine which now bears his name, or in any doctrinal peculiarity.
His great merit lies _in his comparative neglect of dogma. He
seized the idea of reformation as a real renovation of human
character_. The moral purification of humanity as the original
idea of Christianity is the guiding idea of his system.... He
swept away at once the sacramental machinery of material media of
salvation which the middle-age Church had provided in such
abundance, and which Luther frowned upon, but did not reject. He
was not satisfied to go back only to the historical origin of
Christianity, but would found human virtue on the eternal
antemundane will of God.


Calvin thought neither of fame or fortune. The narrowness of his
views and the disinterestedness of his soul alike precluded him
from regarding Geneva as a stage for the gratification of personal
ambition. This abegnation of self was one great part of his

And then Mr. Pattison goes on to describe in detail how, governed and
possessed by one idea, and by a theory, to oppose which was "moral
depravity," he proceeded to establish his intolerable system of
discipline, based on dogmatic grounds--meddlesome, inquisitorial,
petty, cruel--over the interior of every household in Geneva. What is
there fascinating, or even imposing, in such a character? It is the
common case of political and religious bigots, whether Jacobin, or
Puritan, or Jesuit, poor in thought and sympathy and strong in will,
fixing their yoke on a society, till the plague becomes unbearable. He
seeks nothing for himself and, forsooth, he makes sacrifices. But he
gets what he wants, his idea carried out; and self-sacrifice is of what
we care for, and not of what we do not care for. And to keep up this
supposed character of high moral purpose, we are told of Calvin's
"comparative neglect of dogma," of his seizing the idea of a "real
reformation of human character," a "moral purification of humanity," as
the guiding idea of his system. Can anything be more unhistorical than
to suggest that the father and source of all Western Puritan theology
"neglected dogma," and was more of a moralist than a divine? It is not
even true that he "swept away at once the sacramental machinery" of
mediaeval and Lutheran teaching; Calvin writes of the Eucharist in
terms which would astonish some of his later followers. But what is the
reason why Mr. Pattison attributes to the historical Calvin so much
that does not belong to him, and, in spite of so much that repels, is
yet induced to credit him with such great qualities? The reason is to
be found in the intense antipathy with which Mr. Pattison regarded what
he calls "the Catholic reaction" over Europe, and in the fact that
undoubtedly Calvin's system and influence was the great force which
resisted both what was bad and false in it, and also what was good,
true, generous, humane. Calvinism opposed the "Catholic reaction"
point-blank, and that was enough to win sympathy for it, even from Mr.

The truth is that what Popery is to the average Protestant, and what
Protestant heresy is to the average Roman Catholic, the "Catholic
reaction," the "Catholic revival" in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries and in our own, is to Mr. Pattison's final judgment. It was
not only a conspiracy against human liberty, but it brought with it the
degradation and ruin of genuine learning. It is the all-sufficing cause
and explanation of the mischief and evil doings which he has to set
before us. Yet after the violence, the ignorance, the injustice, the
inconsistencies of that great ecclesiastical revolution which we call
by the vague name of Reformation, a "Catholic reaction" was inevitable.
It was not conceivable that common sense and certain knowledge would
submit for ever to be overcrowed by the dogmas and assertions of the
new teachers. Like other powerful and wide and strongly marked
movements, like the Reformation which it combated, it was a very mixed
thing. It produced some great evils and led to some great crimes. It
started that fatal religious militia, the Jesuit order, which,
notwithstanding much heroic self-sacrifice, has formed a permanent bar
to all possible reunion of Christendom, has fastened its yoke on the
Papacy itself, and has taught the Church, as a systematic doctrine, to
put its trust in the worst expedients of human policy. The religious
wars in France and Germany, the relentless massacres of the Low
Countries and the St. Bartholomew, the consecration of treason and
conspiracy, were, without doubt, closely connected with the "Catholic
reaction." But if this great awakening and stimulating influence raised
new temptations to human passion and wickedness, it was not only in the
service of evil that this new zeal was displayed. The Council of Trent,
whatever its faults, and it had many, was itself a real reformation.
The "Catholic revival" meant the rekindling of earnest religion and
care for a good life in thousands of souls. If it produced the Jesuits,
it as truly produced Port Royal and the Benedictines. Europe would be
indeed greatly the poorer if it wanted some of the most conspicuous
products of the Catholic revival.

It is Mr. Pattison's great misfortune that through obvious faults of
temper he has missed the success which naturally might have seemed
assured to him, of dealing with these subjects in a large and
dispassionate way. Scholar, thinker, student as he is, conversant with
all literature, familiar with books and names which many well-read
persons have never heard of, he has his bitter prejudices, like the
rest of us, Protestants or Catholics; and what he hates is continually
forcing itself into his mind. He tells, with great and pathetic force,
the terrible story of the judicial murder of Calas at Toulouse, and of
Voltaire's noble and successful efforts to bring the truth to light,
and to repair, as far as could be repaired, its infamous injustice. It
is a story which shows to what frightful lengths fanaticism may go in
leading astray even the tribunals of justice. But unhappily the story
can be paralleled in all times of the world's history; and though the
Toulouse mob and Judges were Catholics, their wickedness is no more a
proof against the Catholic revival than Titus Oates and the George
Gordon riots are against Protestantism, or the Jacobin tribunals
against Republican justice. But Mr. Pattison cannot conclude his
account without an application. Here you have an example of what the
Catholic revival does. It first breaks Calas on the wheel; and then,
because Voltaire took up his cause, it makes modern Frenchmen, if they
are Catholics, believe that Calas deserved it:--

It is part of that general Catholic revival which has been working
for some years, and which like a fog is spreading over the face of
opinion.... The memory of Calas had been vindicated by Voltaire and
the Encyclopedists. That was quite enough for the Catholics....
It is the characteristic of Catholicism that it supersedes reason,
and prejudges all matters by the application of fixed principles.

It is no use that M. Coquerel flatters himself that he has set the
matter at rest. He flatters himself in vain; he ought to know his
Catholic countrymen better:--

We have little doubt that as long as the Catholic religion shall
last their little manuals of falsified history will continue to
repeat that Jean Calas murdered his son because he had become a
convert to the Catholic faith.

Are little manuals of falsified history confined only to one set
of people? Is not John Foxe still proof against the assaults of
Dr. Maitland? The habit of _a priori_ judgments as to historical
facts is, as Mr. Pattison truly says, "fatal to truth and
integrity." It is most mischievous when it assumes a philosophic
gravity and warps the criticism of a distinguished scholar.

This fixed habit of mind is the more provoking because, putting aside
the obtrusive and impertinent injustice to which it leads, Mr.
Pattison's critical work is of so high a character. His extensive and
accurate reading, the sound common sense with which he uses his
reading, and the modesty and absence of affectation and display which
seem to be a law of his writing, place him very high. Perhaps he
believes too much in books and learning, in the power which they exert,
and what they can do to enable men to reach the higher conquests of
moral and religious truth--perhaps he forgets, in the amplitude of his
literary resources, that behind the records of thought and feeling
there are the living mind and thought themselves, still clothed with
their own proper force and energy, and working in defiance of our
attempts to classify, to judge, or to explain: that there are the real
needs, the real destinies of mankind, and the questions on which they
depend--of which books are a measure indeed, but an imperfect one. As
an instance, we might cite his "Essay on the Theology of
Germany"--elaborate, learned, extravagant in its praise and in its
scorn, full of the satisfaction of a man in possession of a startling
and little known subject, but with the contradictions of a man who in
spite of his theories believes more than his theories. But, as a
student who deals with books and what books can teach, it is a pleasure
to follow him; his work is never slovenly or superficial; the reader
feels that he is in the hands of a man who thoroughly knows what he is
talking about, and both from conscience and from disposition is anxious
above all to be accurate and discriminative. If he fails, as he often
seems to us to do, in the justice and balance of his appreciation of
the phenomena before him, if his statements and generalisations are
crude and extravagant, it is that passion and deep aversions have
overpowered the natural accuracy of his faculty of judgment.

The feature which is characteristic in all his work is his profound
value for learning, the learning of books, of documents, of all
literature. He is a thinker, a clear and powerful one; he is a
philosopher, who has explored the problems of abstract science with
intelligence and interest, and fully recognises their importance; he
has taken the measure of the political and social questions which the
progress of civilisation has done so little to solve; he is at home
with the whole range of literature, keen and true in observation and
criticism; he has strongly marked views about education, and he took a
leading part in the great changes which have revolutionised Oxford. He
is all this; but beyond and more than all this he is a devotee of
learning, as other men are of science or politics, deeply penetrated
with its importance, keenly alive to the neglect of it, full of faith
in the services which it can render to mankind, fiercely indignant at
what degrades, or supplants, or enfeebles it. Learning, with the severe
and bracing discipline without which it is impossible, learning
embracing all efforts of human intellect--those which are warning
beacons as well those which have elevated and enlightened the human
mind--is the thing which attracts and satisfies him as nothing else
does; not mere soulless erudition, but a great supply and command of
varied facts, marshalled and turned to account by an intelligence which
knows their use. The absence of learning, or the danger to learning, is
the keynote of a powerful but acrid survey of the history and prospects
of the Anglican Church, for which, in spite of its one-sidedness and
unfairness, Churchmen may find not a little which it will be useful to
lay to heart. Dissatisfaction with the University system, in its
provision for the encouragement of learning and for strengthening and
protecting its higher interests, is the stimulus to his essay on Oxford
studies, which is animated with the idea of the University as a true
home of real learning, and is full of the hopes, the animosities, and,
it may be added, the disappointments of a revolutionary time. He exults
over the destruction of the old order; but his ideal is too high, he is
too shrewd an observer, too thorough and well-trained a judge of what
learning really means, to be quite satisfied with the new.

The same devotion to learning shows itself in a feature of his literary
work, which is almost characteristic--the delight which he takes in
telling the detailed story of the life of some of the famous working
scholars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These men, whose
names are known to the modern world chiefly in notes to classical
authors, or occasionally in some impertinent sneer, he likes to
contemplate as if they were alive. To him they are men with individual
differences, each with a character and fortunes of his own, sharers to
the full in the struggles and vicissitudes of life. He can appreciate
their enormous learning, their unwearied labour, their sense of honour
in their profession; and the editor of texts, the collator of various
readings and emendations, the annotator who to us perhaps seems but a
learned pedant appears to him as a man of sound and philosophic
thought, of enthusiasm for truth and light--perhaps of genius--a man,
too, with human affections and interests, with a history not devoid of
romance. There is something touching in Mr. Pattison's affection for
those old scholars, to whom the world has done scant justice. His own
chief literary venture was the life of one of the greatest of them,
Isaac Casaubon. We have in these volumes sketches, not so elaborate, of
several others, the younger Scaliger, Muretus, Huet, and the great
French printers, the Stephenses; and in these sketches we are also
introduced to a number of their contemporaries, with characteristic
observations on them, implying an extensive and first-hand knowledge of
what they were, and an acquaintance with what was going on in the
scholar world of the day. The most important of these sketches is the
account of Justus Scaliger. There is first a review article, very
vigorous and animated. But Mr. Pattison had intended a companion volume
to his Casaubon; and of this, which was never completed, we have some
fragments, not equal in force and compactness to the original sketch.
But sketch and fragments together present a very vivid picture of this
remarkable person, whose temper and extravagant vanity his biographer
admits, but who was undoubtedly a marvel both of knowledge and of the
power to use it, and to whom we owe the beginning of order and system
in chronology. Scaliger was to Mr. Pattison the type of the real
greatness of the scholar, a greatness not the less real that the world
could hardly understand it. He certainly leaves Scaliger before us,
with his strange ways of working, his hold of the ancient languages as
if they were mother tongues, his pride and slashing sarcasm, and his
absurd claim of princely descent, with lineaments not soon forgotten;
but it is amusing to meet once more, in all seriousness, Mr. Pattison's
_bete noire_ of the Catholic reaction, in the quarrels between Scaliger
and some shallow but clever and scurrilous Jesuits, whom he had
provoked by exposing the False Decretals and the False Dionysius, and
who revenged themselves by wounding him in his most sensitive part, his
claim to descent from the Princes of Verona. Doubtless the religious
difference envenomed the dispute, but it did not need the "Catholic
reaction" to account for such ignoble wrangles in those days.

These remains show what a historian of literature we have lost in Mr.
Pattison. He was certainly capable of doing much more than the
specimens of work which he has left behind; but what he has left is of
high value. Wherever the disturbing and embittering elements are away,
it is hard to say which is the more admirable, the patient and
sagacious way in which he has collected and mastered his facts, or the
wise and careful judgment which he passes on them. We hear of people
being spoilt by their prepossessions, their party, their prejudices,
the necessities of their political and ecclesiastical position; Mr.
Pattison is a warning that a man may claim the utmost independence, and
yet be maimed in his power of being just and reasonable by other things
than party. As it is, he has left us a collection of interesting and
valuable studies, disastrously and indelibly disfigured by an
implacable bitterness, in which he but too plainly found the greatest

Mr. Pattison used in his later years to give an occasional lecture to a
London audience. One of the latest was one addressed, we believe, to a
class of working people on poetry, in which he dwelt on its healing and
consoling power. It was full of Mr. Pattison's clearness and directness
of thought, and made a considerable impression on some who only knew it
from an abstract in the newspapers; and it was challenged by a
working-man in the _Pall Mall Gazette_, who urged against it with some
power the argument of despair. Perhaps the lecture was not written; but
if it was, and our recollection of it is at all accurate, it was not
unworthy of a place in this collection.



_Guardian_, 28th October 1885.

Every one must be deeply touched by the Bishop of Manchester's sudden,
and, to most of us, unexpected death; those not the least who,
unhappily, found themselves in opposition to him in many important
matters. For, in spite of much that many people must wish otherwise in
his career as Bishop, it was really a very remarkable one. Its leading
motive was high and genuine public spirit, and a generous wish to be in
full and frank sympathy with all the vast masses of his diocese; to put
himself on a level with them, as man with man, in all their interests,
to meet them fearlessly and heartily, to raise their standard of
justice and large-heartedness by showing them that in their life of
toil he shared the obligation and the burden of labour, and felt bound
by his place to be as unsparing and unselfish a worker as any of his
flock. Indeed, he was as original as Bishop Wilberforce, though in a
different direction, in introducing a new type and ideal of Episcopal
work, and a great deal of his ideal he realised. It is characteristic
of him that one of his first acts was to remove the Episcopal residence
from a mansion and park in the country to a house in Manchester. There
can be no doubt that he was thoroughly in touch with the working
classes in Lancashire, in a degree to which no other Bishop, not even
Bishop Wilberforce, had reached. There was that in the frankness and
boldness of his address which disarmed their keen suspicion of a
Bishop's inevitable assumption of superiority, and put them at their
ease with him. He was always ready to meet them, and to speak off-hand
and unconventionally, and as they speak, not always with a due
foresight of consequences or qualifications. If he did sometimes in
this way get into a scrape, he did not much mind it, and they liked him
the better for it. He was perfectly fearless in his dealings with them;
in their disputes, in which he often was invited to take a part, he
took the part which seemed to him the right one, whether or not it
might be the unpopular one. Very decided, very confident in his
opinions and the expression of them, there yet was apparent a curious
and almost touching consciousness of a deficiency in some of the
qualities--knowledge, leisure, capacity for the deeper and subtler
tasks of thought--necessary to give a strong speaker the sense of being
on sure ground. But he trusted to his manly common sense; and this,
with the populations with which he had to deal, served him well, at
least in the main and most characteristic part of his work.

And for his success in this part of his work--in making the crowds in
Manchester feel that their Bishop was a man like themselves, quite
alive to their wants and claims and feelings, and not so unlike them in
his broad and strong utterances--his Episcopate deserves full
recognition and honour. He set an example which we may hope to see
followed and improved upon. But unfortunately there was also a less
successful side. He was a Bishop, an overseer of a flock of many ways
of life and thought, a fellow-worker with them, sympathetic, laborious,
warm-hearted. But he was also a Bishop of the Church of Christ, an
institution with its own history, its great truths to keep and deliver,
its characteristic differences from the world which it is sent to
correct and to raise to higher levels than those of time and nature.
There is no reason why this side of the Episcopal office should not be
joined to that in which Bishop Frazer so signally excelled. But for
this part of it he was not well qualified, and much in his performance
of it must be thought of with regret. The great features of Christian
truth had deeply impressed him; and to its lofty moral call he
responded with conviction and earnestness. But an acquaintance with
what he has to interpret and guard which may suffice for a layman is
not enough for a Bishop; and knowledge, the knowledge belonging to his
profession, the deeper and more varied knowledge which makes a man
competent to speak as a theologian, Bishop Frazer did not possess. He
rather disbelieved in it, and thought it useless, or, it might be,
mischievous. He resented its intrusion into spheres where he could only
see the need of the simplest and least abstruse language. But facts are
not what we may wish them, but what they are; and questions, if they
are asked, may have to be answered, with toil, it may be, and
difficulty, like the questions, assuredly not always capable of easy
and transparent statement, of mathematical or physical science; and
unless Christianity is a dream and its history one vast delusion, such
facts and such questions have made what we call theology. But to the
Bishop's practical mind they were without interest, and he could not
see how they could touch and influence living religion. And did not
care to know about them; he was impatient, and even scornful, when
stress was laid on them; he was intolerant when he thought they
competed with the immediate realities of religion. And this want of
knowledge and of respect for knowledge was a serious deficiency. It
gave sometimes a tone of thoughtless flippancy to his otherwise earnest
language. And as he was not averse to controversy, or, at any rate,
found himself often involved in it, he was betrayed sometimes into
assertions and contradictions of the most astounding inaccuracy, which
seriously weakened his authority when he was called upon to accept the
responsibility of exerting it.

Partly for this reason, partly from a certain vivacity of temper, he
certainly showed himself, in spite of his popular qualities, less equal
than many others of his brethren to the task of appeasing and assuaging
religious strife. The difficulties in Manchester were not greater than
in other dioceses; there was not anything peculiar in them; there was
nothing but what a patient and generous arbiter, with due knowledge of
the subject, might have kept from breaking out into perilous scandals.
Unhappily he failed; and though he believed that he had only done his
duty, his failure was a source of deep distress to himself and to
others. But now that he has passed away, it is but bare justice to say
that no one worked up more conscientiously to his own standard. He gave
himself, when he was consecrated, ten or twelve years of work, and then
he hoped for retirement. He has had fifteen, and has fallen at his
post. And to the last, the qualities which gave his character such a
charm in his earlier time had not disappeared. There seemed to be
always something of the boy about him, in his simplicity, his confiding
candour and frankness with his friends, his warm-hearted and kindly
welcome, his mixture of humility with a sense of power. Those who can
remember him in his younger days still see, in spite of all the storms
and troubles of his later ones, the image of the undergraduate and the
young bachelor, who years ago made a start of such brilliant promise,
and who has fulfilled so much of it, if not all. These things at any
rate lasted to the end--his high and exacting sense of public duty, and
his unchanging affection for his old friends.



_Apologia pro Vita Sua_. By John Henry Newman, D.D. _Guardian_, 22nd
June 1864.

We have not noticed before Dr. Newman's _Apologia_, which has been
coming out lately in weekly numbers, because we wished, when we spoke
of it, to speak of it as a whole. The special circumstances out of
which it arose may have prescribed the mode of publication. It may have
been thought more suitable, in point of form, to answer a pamphlet by a
series of pamphlets rather than at once by a set octavo of several
hundred pages. But the real subject which Dr. Newman has been led to
handle is one which will continue to be of the deepest interest long
after the controversy which suggested it is forgotten. The real subject
is the part played in the great Church movement by him who was the
leading mind in it; and it was unsatisfactory to speak of this till all
was said, and we could look on the whole course described. Such a
subject might have well excused a deliberate and leisurely volume to
itself; perhaps in this way we should have gained, in the laying out
and concentration of the narrative, and in what helps to bring it as a
whole before our thoughts. But a man's account of himself is never so
fresh and natural as when it is called out by the spur and pressure of
an accidental and instant necessity, and is directed to a purpose and
quickened by feelings which belong to immediate and passing
circumstances. The traces of hurried work are of light account when
they are the guarantees that a man is not sitting down to draw a
picture of himself, but stating his case in sad and deep earnest out of
the very fulness of his heart.

The aim of the book is to give a minute and open account of the steps
and changes by which Dr. Newman passed from the English Church to the
Roman. The history of a change of opinion has often been written from
the most opposite points of view; but in one respect this book seems to
stand alone. Let it be remembered what it is, the narrative and the
justification of a great conversion; of a change involving an entire
reversal of views, judgments, approvals, and condemnations; a change
which, with all ordinary men, involves a reversal, at least as great,
of their sympathies and aversions, of what they tolerate and speak
kindly of. Let it be considered what changes of feeling most changes of
religion compel and consecrate; how men, commonly and very naturally,
look back on what they have left and think they have escaped from, with
the aversion of a captive to his prison; how they usually exaggerate
and make absolute their divergence from what they think has betrayed,
fooled, and degraded them; how easily they are tempted to visit on it
and on those who still cling to it their own mistakes and faults. Let
it be remembered that there was here to be told not only the history of
a change, but the history of a deep disappointment, of the failure of a
great design, of the breakdown of hopes the most promising and the most
absorbing; and this, not in the silence of a man's study, but in the
fever and contention of a great struggle wrought up to the highest
pitch of passion and fierceness, bringing with it on all sides and
leaving behind it, when over, the deep sense of wrong. It is no history
of a mere intellectual movement, or of a passage from strong belief to
a weakened and impaired one, to uncertainty, or vagueness, or
indifference; it is not the account of a change by a man who is half
sorry for his change, and speaks less hostilely of what he has left
because he feels less friendly towards what he has joined. There is no
reserved thought to be discerned in the background of disappointment or
a wish to go back again to where he once was. It is a book which
describes how a man, zealous and impatient for truth, thought he had
found it in one Church, then thought that his finding was a delusion,
and sought for it and believed he had gained it in another. What it
shows us is no serene readjustment of abstract doctrines, but the wreck
and overturning of trust and conviction and the practical grounds of
life, accompanied with everything to provoke, embitter, and exasperate.
It need not be said that what Dr. Newman holds he is ready to carry out
to the end, or that he can speak severely of men and systems.

Let all this be remembered, and also that there is an opposition
between what he was and what he is, which is usually viewed as
irreconcilable, and which, on the ordinary assumptions about it, is so;
and we venture to say that there is not another instance to be quoted,
of the history of a conversion, in which he who tells his conversion
has so retained his self-possession, his temper, his mastery over his
own real judgment and thoughts, his ancient and legitimate sympathies,
his superiority to the natural and inevitable temptations of so altered
a position; which is so generous to what he feels to be strong and good
in what he has nevertheless abandoned, so fearless about letting his
whole case come out, so careless about putting himself in the right in
detail; which is so calm, and kindly, and measured, with such a quiet
effortless freedom from the stings of old conflicts, which bears so few
traces of that bitterness and antipathy which generally--and we need
hardly wonder at it--follows the decisive breaking with that on which a
man's heart was stayed, and for which he would once have died.

There is another thing to be said, and we venture to say it out
plainly, because Dr. Newman himself has shown that he knows quite well
what he has been doing. While he has written what will command the
sympathy and the reverence of every one, however irreconcilably opposed
to him, to whom a great and noble aim and the trials of a desperate and
self-sacrificing struggle to compass it are objects of admiration and
honour, it is undeniable that ill-nature or vindictiveness or stupidity
will find ample materials of his own providing to turn against him.
Those who know Dr. Newman's powers and are acquainted with his career,
and know to what it led him, and yet persist in the charge of
insincerity and dishonesty against one who probably has made the
greatest sacrifice of our generation to his convictions of truth, will
be able to pick up from his own narrative much that they would not
otherwise have known, to confirm and point the old familiar views
cherished by dislike or narrowness. This is inevitable when a man takes
the resolution of laying himself open so unreservedly, and with so
little care as to what his readers think of what he tells them, so that
they will be persuaded that he was ever, even from his boyhood, deeply
conscious of the part which he was performing in the sight of his
Maker. Those who smile at the belief of a deep and religious mind in
the mysterious interventions and indications of Providence in the
guidance of human life, will open their eyes at the feeling which leads
him to tell the story of his earliest recollections of Roman Catholic
peculiarities, and of the cross imprinted on his exercise-book. Those
who think that everything about religion and their own view of religion
is such plain sailing, so palpable and manifest, that all who are not
fools or knaves must be of their own opinion, will find plenty to
wonder at in the confessions of awful perplexity which equally before
and after his change Dr. Newman makes. Those who have never doubted,
who can no more imagine the practical difficulties accompanying a great
change of belief than they can imagine a change of belief itself, will
meet with much that to them will seem beyond pardon, in the actual
events of a change, involving such issues and such interests, made so
deliberately and cautiously, with such hesitation and reluctance, and
in so long a time; they will be able to point to many moments in it
when it will be easy to say that more or less ought to have been said,
more or less ought to have been done. Much more will those who are on
the side of doubt, who acquiesce in, or who desire the overthrow of
existing hopes and beliefs, rejoice in such a frank avowal of the
difficulties of religion and the perplexities of so earnest a believer,
and make much of their having driven such a man to an alternative so
obnoxious and so monstrous to most Englishmen. It is a book full of
minor premisses, to which many opposite majors will be fitted. But
whatever may be thought of many details, the effect and lesson of the
whole will not be lost on minds of any generosity, on whatever side
they may be; they will be touched with the confiding nobleness which
has kept back nothing, which has stated its case with its weak points
and its strong, and with full consciousness of what was weak as well as
of what was strong, which has surrendered its whole course of conduct,
just as it has been, to be scrutinised, canvassed, and judged. What we
carry away from following such a history is something far higher and
more solemn than any controversial inferences; and it seems almost like
a desecration to make, as we say, capital out of it, to strengthen mere
argument, to confirm a theory, or to damage an opponent.

The truth, in fact, is, that the interest is personal much more than
controversial. Those who read it as a whole, and try to grasp the
effect of all its portions compared together and gathered into one,
will, it seems to us, find it hard to bend into a decisive triumph for
any of the great antagonist systems which appear in collision. There
can be no doubt of the perfect conviction with which Dr. Newman has
taken his side for good. But while he states the effect of arguments on
his own mind, he leaves the arguments in themselves as they were, and
touches on them, not for the sake of what they are worth, but to
explain the movements and events of his own course. Not from any
studied impartiality, which is foreign to his character, but from his
strong and keen sense of what is real and his determined efforts to
bring it out, he avoids the temptation--as it seems to us, who still
believe that he was more right once than he is now--to do injustice to
his former self and his former position. At any rate, the arguments to
be drawn from this narrative, for or against England, or for or against
Rome, seem to us very evenly balanced. Of course, such a history has
its moral. But the moral is not the ordinary vulgar one of the history
of a religious change. It is not the supplement or disguise of a
polemical argument. It is the deep want and necessity in our age of the
Church, even to the most intensely religious and devoted minds, of a
sound and secure intellectual basis for the faith which they value more
than life and all things. We hope that we are strong enough to afford
to judge fairly of such a spectacle, and to lay to heart its warnings,
even though the particular results seem to go against what we think
most right. It is a mortification and a trial to the English Church to
have seen her finest mind carried away and lost to her, but it is a
mortification which more confident and peremptory systems than hers
have had to undergo; the parting was not without its compensations if
only that it brought home so keenly to many the awfulness and the
seriousness of truth; and surely never did any man break so utterly
with a Church, who left so many sympathies behind him and took so many
with him, who continued to feel so kindly and with such large-hearted
justice to those from whom his changed position separated him in this
world for ever.

The _Apologia_ is the history of a great battle against Liberalism,
understanding by Liberalism the tendencies of modern thought to destroy
the basis of revealed religion, and ultimately of all that can be
called religion at all. The question which he professedly addresses
himself to set at rest, that of his honesty, is comparatively of slight
concern to those who knew him, except so far that they must be
interested that others, who did not know him, should not be led to do a
revolting injustice. The real interest is to see how one who felt so
keenly the claims both of what is new and what is old, who, with such
deep and unusual love and trust for antiquity, took in with quick
sympathy, and in its most subtle and most redoubtable shapes, the
intellectual movement of modern times, could continue to feel the force
of both, and how he would attempt to harmonise them. Two things are
prominent in the whole history. One is the fact of religion, early and
deeply implanted in the writer's mind, absorbing and governing it
without rival throughout. He speaks of an "inward conversion" at the
age of fifteen, "of which I was conscious, and of which I am still more
certain than that I have hands and feet." It was the religion of dogma
and of a definite creed which made him "rest in the thought of two, and
two only, supreme and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my
Creator"--which completed itself with the idea of a visible Church and
its sacramental system. Religion, in this aspect of it, runs unchanged
from end to end of the scene of change:--

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 dogmas of
the faith.

The other thing is the haunting necessity, in an age of thought and
innovation, of a philosophy of religion, equally deep, equally
comprehensive and thorough, with the invading powers which it was
wanted to counteract; a philosophy, not on paper or in theory, but
answering to and vouched for by the facts of real life. In the English
Church he found, we think that we may venture to say, the religion
which to him was life, but not the philosophy which he wanted. The
_Apologia_ is the narrative of his search for it. Two strongly marked
lines of thought are traceable all through, one modern in its scope and
sphere, the other ancient. The leading subject of his modern thought is
the contest with liberal unbelief; contrasted with this was his strong
interest in Christian antiquity, his deep attachment to the creed, the
history, and the moral temper of the early Church. The one line of
thought made him, and even now makes him, sympathise with Anglicanism,
which is in the same boat with him, holds the same principle of the
unity and continuity of revealed truth, and is doing the same work,
though, as he came to think in the end, feebly and hopelessly. The
other, more and more, carried him away from Anglicanism; and the
contrast and opposition between it and the ancient Church, in
organisation, in usage, and in that general tone of feeling which
quickens and gives significance and expression to forms, overpowered
more and more the sense of affinity, derived from the identity of
creeds and sacraments and leading points of Church polity, and from the
success with which the best and greatest Anglican writers had
appropriated and assimilated the theology of the Fathers. But though he
urges the force of ecclesiastical precedents in a startling way, as in
the account which he gives of the effect of the history of the
Monophysites on his view of the tenableness of the Anglican theory,
absolutely putting out of consideration the enormous difference of
circumstances between the cases which are compared, and giving the
instance in question a force and importance which seem to be in
singular contrast with the general breadth and largeness of his
reasoning, it was not the halting of an ecclesiastical theory which
dissatisfied him with the English Church.

Anglicanism was not daring enough for him. With his ideas of the coming
dangers and conflicts, he wanted something bold and thoroughgoing,
wide-reaching in its aims, resolute in its language, claiming and
venturing much. Anglicanism was not that. It had given up as
impracticable much that the Church had once attempted. It did not
pretend to rise so high, to answer such great questions, to lay down
such precise definitions. Wisely modest, or timidly uncertain--mindful
of the unalterable limits of our human condition, _we_ say; forgetful,
_he_ thought, or doubting, or distrustful, of the gifts and promises of
a supernatural dispensation--it certainly gave no such complete and
decisive account of the condition and difficulties of religion and the
world, as had been done once, and as there were some who did still.
There were problems which it did not profess to solve; there were
assertions which others boldly risked, and which it shrunk from making;
there were demands which it ventured not to put forward. Again, it was
not refined enough for him; it had little taste for the higher forms of
the saintly ideal; it wanted the austere and high-strung-virtues; it
was contented, for the most part, with the domestic type of excellence,
in which goodness merged itself in the interests and business of the
common world, and, working in them, took no care to disengage itself or
mark itself off, as something distinct from them and above them. Above
all, Anglicanism was too limited; it was local, insular, national; its
theory was made for its special circumstances; and he describes in a
remarkable passage how, in contrast with this, there rung in his ears
continually the proud self-assertion of the other side, _Securus
judicat orbis terrarum_. What he wanted, what it was the aim of his
life to find, was a great and effective engine against Liberalism; for
years he tried, with eager but failing hope, to find it in the theology
and working of the English Church; when he made up his mind that
Anglicanism was not strong enough for the task, he left it for a system
which had one strong power; which claimed to be able to shut up
dangerous thought.

Very sorrowful, indeed, is the history, told so openly, so simply, so
touchingly, of the once promising advance, of the great breakdown. And
yet, to those who still cling to what he left, regret is not the only
feeling. For he has the nobleness and the generosity to say what he
_did_ find in the English Church, as well as what he did not find. He
has given her up for good, but he tells and he shows, with no grudging
frankness, what are the fruits of her discipline. "So I went on for
years, up to 1841. It was, in a human point of view, the happiest time
of my life.... 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." He explains and defends what to us seem
the fatal marks against Rome; but he lets us see with what force, and
for how long, they kept alive his own resistance to an attraction which
to him was so overwhelming. And he is at no pains to conceal--it seems
even to console him to show--what a pang and wrench it cost him to
break from that home under whose shadow his spiritual growth had
increased. He has condemned us unreservedly; but there must, at any
rate, be some wonderful power and charm about that which he loved with
a love which is not yet extinguished; else how could he write of the
past as he does? He has shown that he can understand, though he is
unable to approve, that others should feel that power still.

Dr. Newman has stated, with his accustomed force and philosophical
refinement, what he considers the true idea of that infallibility,
which he looks upon as the only power in the world which can make head
against and balance Liberalism--which "can withstand and baffle the
fierce energy of passion, and the all-corroding, all-dissolving
scepticism of the intellect in religious inquiries;" which he considers
"as a provision, adapted by the mercy of the Creator, to preserve
religion in the world, and to restrain that freedom of thought which is
one of the greatest of our natural gifts, from its own suicidal
excesses." He says, as indeed is true, that it is "a tremendous power,"
though he argues that, in fact, its use is most wisely and beneficially
limited. And doubtless, whatever the difficulty of its proof may be,
and to us this proof seems simply beyond possibility, it is no mere
power upon paper. It acts and leaves its mark; it binds fast and
overthrows for good. But when, put at its highest, it is confronted
with the "giant evil" which it is supposed to be sent into the world to
repel, we can only say that, to a looker-on, its failure seems as
manifest as the existence of the claim to use it. It no more does its
work, in the sense of _succeeding_ and triumphing, than the less
magnificent "Establishments" do. It keeps _some_ check--it fails on a
large scale and against the real strain and pinch of the mischief; and
they, too, keep _some_ check, and are not more fairly beaten than it
is, in "making a stand against the wild living intellect of man."

Without infallibility, it is said, men will turn freethinkers and
heretics; but don't they, _with_ it? and what is the good of the engine
if it will not do its work? And if it is said that this is the fault of
human nature, which resists what provokes and checks it, still that
very thing, which infallibility was intended to counteract, goes on
equally, whether it comes into play or not. Meanwhile, truth does stay
in the world, the truth that there has been among us a Divine Person,
of whom the Church throughout Christendom is the representative,
memorial, and the repeater of His message; doubtless, the means of
knowledge are really guarded; yet we seem to receive that message as we
receive the witness of moral truth; and it would not be contrary to the
analogy of things here if we had often got to it at last through
mistakes. But when it is reached, there it is, strong in its own power;
and it is difficult to think that if it is not strong enough in itself
to stand, it can be protected by a claim of infallibility. A future, of
which infallibility is the only hope and safeguard, seems to us indeed
a prospect of the deepest gloom.

Dr. Newman, in a very remarkable passage, describes the look and
attitude of invading Liberalism, and tells us why he is not forward in
the conflict. "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.'" And he interprets "recent acts of the highest Catholic
authority" as meaning that there is nothing to do just now but to sit
still and trust. Well; but the _Christian Year_ will do that much for
us, just as well.

People who talk glibly of the fearless pursuit of truth may here see a
real example of a life given to it--an example all the more solemn and
impressive if they think that the pursuit was in vain. It is easy to
declaim about it, and to be eloquent about lies and sophistries; but it
is shallow to forget that truth has its difficulties. To hear some
people talk, it might be thought that truth was a thing to be made out
and expressed at will, under any circumstances, at any time, amid any
complexities of facts or principles, by half an hour's choosing to be
attentive, candid, logical, and resolute; as if there was not a chance
of losing what perhaps you have, as well as of gaining what you think
you need. If they would look about them, if they would look into
themselves, they would recognise that Truth is an awful and formidable
goddess to all men and to all systems; that all have their weak points
where virtually, more or less consciously, more or less dexterously,
they shrink from meeting her eye; that even when we make sacrifice of
everything for her sake, we find that she still encounters us with
claims, seemingly inconsistent with all that she has forced us to
embrace--with appearances which not only convict us of mistake, but
seem to oblige us to be tolerant of what we cannot really assent to.

She gives herself freely to the earnest and true-hearted inquirer; but
to those who presume on the easiness of her service, she has a side of
strong irony. You common-sense men, she seems to say, who see no
difficulties in the world, you little know on what shaky ground you
stand, and how easily you might be reduced to absurdity. You critical
and logical intellects, who silence all comers and cannot be answered,
and can show everybody to be in the wrong--into what monstrous and
manifest paradoxes are you not betrayed, blind to the humble facts
which upset your generalisations, not even seeing that dulness itself
can pronounce you mistaken!

In the presence of such a narrative as this, sober men will think more
seriously than ever about charging their most extreme opponents with
dishonesty and disregard to truth.

As we said before, this history seems to us to leave the theological
question just where it was. The objections to Rome, which Dr. Newman
felt so strongly once, but which yielded to other considerations, we
feel as strongly still. The substantial points of the English theory,
which broke down to his mind, seem to us as substantial and trustworthy
as before. He failed, but we believe that, in spite of everything,
England is the better for his having made his trial. Even Liberalism
owes to the movement of which he was the soul much of what makes it now
such a contrast, in largeness of mind and warmth, to the dry,
repulsive, narrow, material Liberalism of the Reform era. He, and he
mainly, has been the source, often unrecognised and unsuspected, of
depth and richness and beauty, and the strong passion for what is
genuine and real, in our religious teaching. Other men, other
preachers, have taken up his thoughts and decked them out, and had the
credit of being greater than their master.

In looking back on the various turns and vicissitudes of his English
course, we, who inherit the fruits of that glorious failure, should
speak respectfully and considerately where we do not agree with him,
and with deep gratitude--all the more that now so much lies between
us--where we do. But the review makes us feel more than ever that the
English Church, whose sturdy strength he underrated, and whose
irregular theories provoked him, was fully worthy of the interest and
the labours of the leader who despaired of her. Anglicanism has so far
outlived its revolutions, early and late ones, has marched on in a
distinct path, has developed a theology, has consolidated an
organisation, has formed a character and tone, has been the organ of a
living spirit. The "magnetic storms" of thought which sweep over the
world may be destructive and dangerous to it, as much as, but not more
than, to other bodies which claim to be Churches and to represent the
message of God. But there is nothing to make us think that, in the
trials which may be in store, the English Church will fail while others
hold their own.



_The Times_, 31st March 1866.

Dr. Pusey's Appeal has received more than one answer. These answers,
from the Roman Catholic side, are--what it was plain that they would
be--assurances to him that he looks at the question from an entirely
mistaken point of view; that it is, of course, very right and good of
him to wish for peace and union, but that there is only one way of
peace and union--unconditional submission. He may have peace and union
for himself at any moment, if he will; so may the English Church, or
the Greek Church, or any other religious body, organised or

The way is always open; there is no need to write long books or make
elaborate proposals about union. Union means becoming Catholic;
becoming Catholic means acknowledging the exclusive claims of the Pope
or the Roman Church. In the long controversy one party has never for an
instant wavered in the assertion that it could not, and never would, be
in the wrong. The way to close the controversy, and the only one, is to
admit that Dr. Pusey shall have any amount of assurance and proof that
the Roman position and Roman doctrine and practice are the right ones.

His misapprehensions shall be corrected; his ignorance of what is Roman
theology fully, and at any length, enlightened. There is no desire to
shrink from the fullest and most patient argument in its favour, and he
may call it, if he likes, explanation. But there is only one practical
issue to what he has proposed--not to stand bargaining for impossible
conditions, but thankfully and humbly to join himself to the true
Church while he may. It is only the way in which the answer is given
that varies. Here characteristic differences appear. The authorities of
the Roman Catholic Church swell out to increased magnificence, and
nothing can exceed the suavity and the compassionate scorn with which
they point out the transparent absurdity and the audacity of such
proposals. The Holy Office at Rome has not, it may be, yet heard of Dr.
Pusey; it may regret, perhaps, that it did not wait for so
distinguished a mark for its censure; but its attention has been drawn
to some smaller offenders of the same way of thinking, and it has been
induced to open all the floodgates of its sonorous and antiquated
verbiage to sweep away and annihilate a poor little London
periodical--"_ephemeridem cui titulus, 'The Union Review_.'" The
Archbishop of Westminster, not deigning to name Dr. Pusey, has seized
the opportunity to reiterate emphatically, in stately periods and with
a polished sarcasm, his boundless contempt for the foolish people who
dare to come "with swords wreathed in myrtle" between the Catholic
Church and "her mission to the great people of England." On the other
hand, there have been not a few Roman Catholics who have listened with
interest and sympathy to what Dr. Pusey had to say, and, though
obviously they had but one answer to give, have given it with a sense
of the real condition and history of the Christian world, and with the
respect due to a serious attempt to look evils in the face. But there
is only one person on the Roman Catholic side whose reflections on the
subject English readers in general would much care to know. Anybody
could tell beforehand what Archbishop Manning would say; but people
could not feel so certain what Dr. Newman might say.

Dr. Newman has given his answer; and his answer is, of course, in
effect the same as that of the rest of his co-religionists. He offers
not the faintest encouragement to Dr. Pusey's sanguine hopes. If it is
possible to conceive that one side could move in the matter, it is
absolutely certain that the other would be inflexible. Any such dealing
on equal terms with the heresy and schism of centuries is not to be
thought of; no one need affect surprise at the refusal. What Dr. Pusey
asks is, in fact, to pull the foundation out from under the whole
structure of Roman Catholic pretensions. Dr. Newman does not waste
words to show that the plan of the _Eirenicon_ is impossible. He
evidently assumes that it is so, and we agree with him. But there are
different ways of dispelling a generous dream, and telling a serious
man who is in earnest that he is mistaken. Dr. Newman does justice, as
he ought to do, to feelings and views which none can enter into better
than he, whatever he may think of them now. He does justice to the
understanding and honesty, as well as the high aims, of an old friend,
once his comrade in difficult and trying times, though now long parted
from him by profound differences, and to the motives which prompted so
venturous an attempt as the _Eirenicon_ to provoke public discussion on
the reunion of Christendom. He is capable of measuring the real state
of the facts, and the mischiefs and evils for which a remedy is wanted,
by a more living rule than the suppositions and consequences of a
cut-and-dried theory. Rightly or wrongly he argues--at least, he gives
us something to think of. Perhaps not the least of his merit is that he
writes simply and easily in choice and varied English, instead of
pompously ringing the changes on a set of _formulae_ which beg the
question, and dinning into our ears the most extravagant assertions of
foreign ecclesiastical arrogance. We may not always think him fair, or
a sound reasoner, but he is conciliatory, temperate, and often
fearlessly candid. He addresses readers who will challenge and examine
what he says, not those whose minds are cowed and beaten down before
audacity in proportion to its coolness, and whom paradox, the more
extreme the better, fascinates and drags captive. To his old friend he
is courteous, respectful, sympathetic; where the occasion makes it
fitting, affectionate, even playful, as men are who can afford to let
their real feelings come out, and have not to keep up appearances.
Unflinching he is in maintaining his present position as the upholder
of the exclusive claims of the Roman Church to represent the Catholic
Church of the Creeds; but he has the good sense and good feeling to
remember that he once shared the views of those whom he now
controverts, and that their present feelings about the divisions of
Christendom were once his own. Such language as the following is plain,
intelligible, and manly. Of course, he has his own position, and must
see things according to it. But he recognises the right of conscience
in those who, having gone a long way with him, find that they can go no
further, and he pays a compliment, becoming as from himself, and not
without foundation in fact, to the singular influence which, from
whatever cause, Dr. Pusey's position gives him, and which, we may add,
imposes on him, in more ways than one, very grave responsibilities:--

You, more than any one else alive, have been the present and
untiring agent by whom a great work has been effected in it; and,
far more than is usual, you have received in your lifetime, as
well as merited, the confidence of your brethren. You cannot speak
merely for yourself; your antecedents, your existing influence,
are a pledge to us that what you may determine will be the
determination of a multitude. Numbers, too, for whom you cannot
properly be said to speak, will be moved by your authority or your
arguments; and numbers, again, who are of a school more recent
than your own, and who are only not your followers because they
have outstripped you in their free speeches and demonstrative acts
in our behalf, will, for the occasion, accept you as their
spokesman. There is no one anywhere--among ourselves, in your own
body, or, I suppose, in the Greek Church--who can affect so vast a
circle of men, so virtuous, so able, so learned, so zealous, as
come, more or less, under your influence; and I cannot pay them
all a greater compliment than to tell them they ought all to be
Catholics, nor do them a more affectionate service than to pray
that they may one day become such....

I recollect well what an outcast I seemed to myself when I took
down from the shelves of my library the volumes of St. Athanasius
or St. Basil, and set myself to study them; and how, on the
contrary, when at length I was brought into Catholicism, I kissed
them with delight, with a feeling that in them I had more than all
that I had lost, and, as though I were directly addressing the
glorious saints who bequeathed them to the Church, I said to the
inanimate pages, "You are now mine, and I am now yours, beyond any
mistake." Such, I conceive, would be the joy of the persons I
speak of if they could wake up one morning and find themselves
possessed by right of Catholic traditions and hopes, without
violence to their own sense of duty; and certainly I am the last
man to say that such violence is in any case lawful, that the
claims of conscience are not paramount, or that any one may
overleap what he deliberately holds to be God's command, in order
to make his path easier for him or his heart lighter.

I am the last man to quarrel with this jealous deference to the
voice of our conscience, whatever judgment others may form of us
in consequence, for this reason, because their case, as it at
present stands, has as you know been my own. You recollect well
what hard things were said against us twenty-five years ago which
we knew in our hearts we did not deserve. Hence, I am now in the
position of the fugitive Queen in the well-known passage, who,
"_haud ignara mali_" herself, had learned to sympathise with those
who were inheritors of her past wanderings.

Dr. Newman's hopes, and what most of his countrymen consider the hopes
of truth and religion, are not the same. His wish is, of course, that
his friend should follow him; a wish in which there is not the
slightest reason to think that he will be gratified. But differently as
we must feel as to the result, we cannot help sharing the evident
amusement with which Dr. Newman recalls a few of the compliments which
were lavished on him by some of his present co-religionists when he was
trying to do them justice, and was even on the way to join them. He
reprints with sly and mischievous exactness a string of those glib
phrases of controversial dislike and suspicion which are common to all
parties, and which were applied to him by "priests, good men, whose
zeal outstripped their knowledge, and who in consequence spoke
confidently, when they would have been wiser had they suspended their
adverse judgment of those whom they were soon to welcome as brothers in
communion." It is a trifle, but it strikes us as characteristic. Dr.
Newman is one of the very few who have carried into his present
communion, to a certain degree at least, an English habit of not
letting off the blunders and follies of his own side, and of daring to
think that a cause is better served by outspoken independence of
judgment than by fulsome, unmitigated puffing. It might be well if even
in him there were a little more of this habit. But, so far as it goes,
it is the difference between him and most of those who are leaders on
his side. Indirectly he warns eager controversialists that they are not
always the wisest and the most judicious and far-seeing of men; and we
cannot quarrel with him, however little we may like the occasion, for
the entertainment which he feels in inflicting on his present brethren
what they once judged and said of him, and in reminding them that their
proficiency in polemical rhetoric did not save them from betraying the
shallowness of their estimate and the shortness of their foresight.

When he comes to discuss the _Eirenicon_, Dr. Newman begins with a
complaint which seems to us altogether unreasonable. He seems to think
it hard that Dr. Pusey should talk of peace and reunion, and yet speak
so strongly of what he considers the great corruptions of the Roman
Church. In ordinary controversy, says Dr. Newman, we know what we are
about and what to expect; "'_Caedimur, et totidem plagis consumimus
hostem_.' We give you a sharp cut and you return it.... But we at least
have not professed to be composing an _Eirenicon_, when we treated you
as foes." Like Archbishop Manning, Dr. Newman is reminded "of the sword
wreathed in myrtle;" but Dr. Pusey, he says, has improved on the
ancient device,--"Excuse me, you discharge your olive-branch as if from
a catapult."

This is, no doubt, exactly what Dr. Pusey has done. Going much further
than the great majority of his countrymen will go with him in
admissions in favour of the Roman Catholic Church, he has pointed out
with a distinctness and force, never, perhaps, exceeded, what is the
impassable barrier which, as long as it lasts, makes every hope of
union idle. The practical argument against Rome is stated by him in a
shape which comes home to the consciences of all, whatever their
theological training and leanings, who have been brought up in English
ways and ideas of religion. But why should he not? He is desirous of
union--the reunion of the whole of Christendom. He gives full credit to
the Roman communion--much more credit than most of his brethren think
him justified in giving--for what is either defensible or excellent in
it. Dr. Newman must be perfectly aware that Dr. Pusey has gone to the
very outside of what our public feeling in England will bear in favour
of efforts for reconciliation, and he nowhere shows any sign that he is
thinking of unconditional submission. How, then, can he be expected to
mince matters and speak smoothly when he comes to what he regards as
the real knot of the difficulty, the real and fatal bar to all
possibility of a mutual understanding? If his charges are untrue or
exaggerated in detail or colouring, that is another matter; but the
whole of his pleading for peace presupposes that there are great and
serious obstacles to it in what is practically taught and authorised in
the Roman Church; and it is rather hard to blame him for "not making
the best of things," and raising difficulties in the way of the very
object which he seeks, because he states the truth about these
obstacles. We are afraid that we must be of Dr. Newman's opinion that
the _Eirenicon_ is not calculated to lead, in our time at least, to
what it aims at--the reunion of Christendom; but this arises from the
real obstacles themselves, not from Dr. Pusey's way of stating them.
There may be no way to peace, but surely if there is, though it implies
giving full weight to your sympathies, and to the points on which you
may give way, it also involves the possibility of speaking out plainly,
and also of being listened to, on the points on which you really
disagree. Does Dr. Newman think that all Dr. Pusey felt he had to do
was to conciliate Roman Catholics? Does it follow, because objections
are intemperately and unfairly urged on the Protestant side, that
therefore they are not felt quite as much in earnest by sober and
tolerant people, and that they may not be stated in their real force
without giving occasion for the remark that this is reviving the old
cruel war against Rome, and rekindling a fierce style of polemics which
is now out of date? And how is Dr. Pusey to state these objections if,
when he goes into them, not in a vague declamatory way, but showing his
respect and seriousness by his guarded and full and definite manner of
proof, he is to be met by the charge that he does not show sufficient
consideration? All this may be a reason for thinking it vain to write
an Eirenicon at all. But if one is to be attempted, it certainly will
not do to make it a book of compliments. Its first condition is that if
it makes light of lesser difficulties it should speak plainly about
greater ones.

But this is, after all, a matter of feeling. No doubt, as Dr. Newman
says, people are not pleased or conciliated by elaborate proofs that
they are guilty of something very wrong or foolish. What is of more
interest is to know the effect on a man like Dr. Newman of such a
display of the prevailing tendency of religious thought and devotion in
his communion as Dr. Pusey has given from Roman Catholic writers. And
it is plain that, whoever else is satisfied with them, these tendencies
are not entirely satisfactory to Dr. Newman. That rage for foreign
ideas and foreign usages which has come over a section of his friends,
the loudest and perhaps the ablest section of them, has no charms for
him. He asserts resolutely and rather sternly his right to have an
opinion of his own, and declines to commit himself, or to allow that
his cause is committed, to a school of teaching which happens for the
moment to have the talk to itself; and he endeavours at great length to
present a view of the teaching of his Church which shall be free, if
not from all Dr. Pusey's objections, yet from a certain number of them,
which to Dr. Newman himself appear grave. After disclaiming or
correcting certain alleged admissions of his own, on which Dr. Pusey
had placed a construction too favourable to the Anglican Church, Dr.
Newman comes to a passage which seems to rouse him. A convert, says Dr.
Pusey, must take things as he finds them in his new communion, and it
would be unbecoming in him to criticise. This statement gives Dr.
Newman the opportunity of saying that, except with large qualifications,
he does not accept it for himself. Of course, he says, there are
considerations of modesty, of becomingness, of regard to the feelings
of others with equal or greater claims than himself, which bind a
convert as they bind any one who has just gained admission into a
society of his fellow men. He has no business "to pick and choose," and
to set himself up as a judge of everything in his new position. But
though every man of sense who thought he had reason for so great a
change would be generous and loyal in accepting his new religion as a
whole, in time he comes "to have a right to speak as well as to hear;"
and for this right, both generally and in his own case, he stands up
very resolutely:--

Also, in course of time a new generation rises round him, and
there is no reason why he should not know as much, and decide
questions with as true an instinct, as those who perhaps number
fewer years than he does Easter communions. He has mastered the
fact and the nature of the differences of theologian from
theologian, school from school, nation from nation, era from era.
He knows that there is much of what may be called fashion in
opinions and practices, according to the circumstances of time and
place, according to current politics, the character of the Pope of
the day, or the chief Prelates of a particular country; and that
fashions change. His experience tells him that sometimes what is
denounced in one place as a great offence, or preached up as a
first principle, has in another nation been immemorially regarded
in just a contrary sense, or has made no sensation at all, one way
or the other, when brought before public opinion; and that loud
talkers, in the Church as elsewhere, are apt to carry all before
them, while quiet and conscientious persons commonly have to give
way. He perceives that, in matters which happen to be in debate,
ecclesiastical authority watches the state of opinion and the
direction and course of controversy, and decides accordingly; so
that in certain cases to keep back his own judgment on a point is

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest