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THE following History of my Religious Opinions, now that it 
is detached from the context in which it originally stood, re 
quires some preliminary explanation; and that, not only in order 
to introduce it generally to the reader, but specially to make 
him understand, how I came to write a whole book about my 
self, and about my most private thoughts and feelings. Did I 
consult indeed my own impulses, I should do my best simply 
to wipe out of my Volume and consign to oblivion every trace 
of the circumstances to which it is to be ascribed; but its orig 
inal title of Apologia is too exactly borne out by its matter and 
structure, and these again are too suggestive of correlative cir 
cumstances, and those circumstances are of too grave a char 
acter, to allow of my indulging so natural a wish. And there 
fore, though in this new edition I have managed to omit nearly 
a hundred pages of my original Volume, which I could safely 
consider to bo of merely ephemeral importance, I am even for 
that very reason obliged, by way of making up for their absence, 
to prefix to my narrative some account of the provocation out 
of which it arose. 

It is now more than twenty years that a vague impression to 
my disadvantage has rested on the popular mind, as if my con 
duct towards the Anglican Church, while I was a member of it, 
was inconsistent with Christian simplicity and uprightness. An 
impression of this kind was almost unavoidable under the cir 
cumstances of the case, when a man, who had written strongly 
against a cause, and had collected a party round him by virtue 
of such writings, gradually faltered in his opposition to it, unsaid 
his words, threw his own friends into perplexity, and their pro 
ceedings into confusion, and ended by passing over to the side 
of those whom he had so vigorously denounced. Sensitive then 
as I have ever been of the imputations which have been so 
freely cast upon me, I have never felt much impatience under 
them, as considering them to be a portion of the penalty which 
I naturally and justly incurred by my change of religion, even 
though they were to continue as long as I lived. I left their 
removal to a future day, when personal feelings would have died 
out, and documents would see the light, which were as yet 
buried in closets or scattered through the country. 

This was my state of mind, as it had been for many years, 
when, in the beginning of 186i, I unexpectedly found myself 
publicly put upon my defence, and furnished withi an opportunity 
of pleading my cause before the world, and, as it so happened, 
with a fair prospect of an impartial hearing. Taken indeed by 
surprise, as I was, I had much reason to be anxious how I should 
be able to acquit myself in so serious a matter; however, I had 
long had a tacit understanding with myself, that in the improb 
able event of a challenge being formally made to me by a 
person of name, it would be my duty to meet it. That oppor 
tunity had now occurred; it never might occur again ; not to 
avail myself of it at once would be virtually to give up my 


cause ; accordingly, I took advantage of it, and, as it has turned 
out, the circumstance that no time was allowed me for any 
studied statements has compensated, in the equitable judgment 
of the public, for such imperfections in composition as my want 
of leisure involved. 

It was in the number for January 1864, of a magazine of wide 
circulation, and in an article upon Queen Elizabeth, that a 
popular writer took occasion formally to accuse me by name of 
thinking so lightly of the virtue of Veracity, as in set terms to 
have countenanced and defended that neglect of it which he at 
the same time imputed to the Catholic Priesthood. His words 
were these: 

Truth, for its own sake, had never been a virtue with the 
Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and 
on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which 
heaven has given to the Saints wherewith to withstand the brute 
male force of the wicked world Avhich marries and is given in 
marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it 
is at least historically so. 

These assertions, going far beyond the popular prejudice enter 
tained against me, had no foundation whatever in fact. I never 
had said, I never had dreamed of saying, that truth for its own sake, 
need not, and on the whole ought not to be, a virtue with the Roman 
Clergy; or that cunning is the weapon which heaven has given 
to the Saints wherewith to withstand the wicked world. To 
what work of mine then could the writer be referring? In a 
correspondence which ensued upon the subject between him and 
myself, he rested his charge against me on a sermon of mine, 
preached, before I was a Catholic, in the pulpit of my church 
at Oxford; and he gave me to understand, that, after having 
done as much as this, he was not bound, over and above such 
a general reference to my sermon, to specify the passages of it 
in which the doctrine, which he imputed to me, was contained. 
On my part, I considered this not enough; and I demanded of 
him to bring out his proof of his accusation in form and in detail, 
or to confess he was unable to do so. But he persevered in his 
refusal to cite any distinct passages, from any writing of mine; 
and, though he consented to withdraw his charge, he would not 
do so on the issue of its truth or falsehood, but simply on the 
ground that I assured him that I had had no intention of in 
curring it. This did not satisfy my sense of justice. Formally 
to charge me with committing a fault is one thing; to allow 
that I did not intend to commit it, is another; it is no satisfact 
ion to me, if a man accuses me of this offence, for him to 
profess that he does not accuse me of that] but he thought 
differently. Not being able then to gain redress in the quarter, 
where I had a right to ask it, I appealed to the public. I pub 
lished the correspondence in the shape of a pamphlet, with 
some remarks of my own at the end, on the course which that 
correspondence had taken. 

This pamphlet, which appeared in the first weeks of February, 
received a reply from my accuser towards the end of March, in 
another pamphlet of 48 pages, entitled What then does Dr Neiv- 


man mean ? in which he professed to do that which I had called 
upon him to do; that is, he brought together a number of ex 
tracts from various works of mine, Catholic and Anglican, with 
the object of showing that, if I was to be acquitted of the crime 
of teaching and practising deceit and dishonesty, according to 
his first supposition, it was at the price of my being considered 
no longer responsible for my actions; for, as he expressed it, 
I had a human reason once, no doubt, but I had gambled it 
away , and I had worked my mind into that morbid state, in 
which nonsense was the only food for which it hungered ; and 
that it could not be called a hasty, or far-fetched or unfounded 
mistake, when he concluded that I did not care for truth for its 
own sake, or teach my disciples to regard it as a virtue ; and, 
though too many prefer the charge of insincerity to that of 
insipience, Dr Newman seemed not to be of that number. 

He ended his pamphlet by returning to his original imputa 
tion against me, which he had professed to abandon. Alluding 
by anticipation to my probable answer to what he was then 
publishing, he professed his heartfelt embarrassment how he was 
to believe anything I might say in my exculpation, in the plain 
and literal sense of the words. I am henceforth , he said, in 
doubt and fear, as much as an honest man can be, concerning 
every word Dr Newman may write. How can I tell, that I shall 
not be the dupe of some cunning equivocation, of one of the 
three kinds laid down as permissible by the blessed St Alfonso 
da Liguori and his pupils, even when confirmed with an oath, 
because "then we do not deceive our neighbour, but allow him 
to deceive himself"? . . . How can I tell, that I may not in 
this pamphlet have made an accusation, of the truth of which 
Dr Newman is perfectly conscious; but that, as I, a heretic 
Protestant, have no business to make it, he has a full right to 
deny it? 

Even if I could have found it consistent with my duty to my 
own reputation to leave such an elaborate impeachment of my 
moral nature unanswered, my duty to my brethren in the 
Catholic Priesthood would have forbidden such a course. Then 
were involved in the charges which this writer, all along, from 
the original passage in the magazine, to the very last paragraph 
of the pamphlet, had so confidently, so pertinaciously made. In 
exculpating myself, it was plain I should be pursuing no mere 
personal quarrel; I was offering my humble service to a sacred 
cause. I was making my protest in behalf of a large body of 
men of high character, of honest and religious minds, and of 
sensitive honour who had their place and their rights in this 
world, though they were ministers of the world unseen, and who 
were insulted by my accuser, as the above extracts from him 
sufficiently show, not only in my person, but directly and point 
edly in their own. Accordingly, I at once set about writing the 
Apologia pro vita sua, of which the present volume is a now 
edition; and it was a great reward to me to find, as the con 
troversy proceeded, such large numbers of my clerical brethren 
supporting me by their sympathy in the course which I was 
pursuing, and, as occasion offered, bestowing on me the formal 
and public expression of their approbation. 




History of my Religious Opinions up to 1833 .... 1 

History of my Religious Opinions from 1833 to 1839. . 41 


History of my Religious Opinions from 1839 to 1841. . 1(K 

History of my Religious Opinions from 1841 to 1845. . 1G( 


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

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

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

In the paper to which I have referred, written 
either in the Long Vacation of 1820, or in 
October 1823, the following notices of my school 


days were sufficiently prominent in my memory 
for me to consider them worth recording: 
e l used to wish the Arabian Tales were true: 
my imagination ran on unknown influences, on 
magical powers, and talismans... I thought 
life might be a dream, or I an Angel, and 
all this world a deception, my fellow-angels by 
a playful device concealing themselves from me, 
and deceiving me with the semblance of a 
material world. 

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

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

Of course I must have got this practice from 
some external source or other ; but I can make 
no sort of conjecture whence ; and certainly no 
one had ever spoken to me on the subject of 
the Catholic religion, which 1 . only knew by 
name. The French master was an emigre Priest, 
but he was simply made a butt, as French 
masters too commonly were in that day, and 
spoke English very imperfectly. There was a 
Catholic family in the village, old maiden ladies, 
we used to think ; but I knew nothing but their 
name. I have of late years heard that there 
were one or two Catholic boys in the school ; 
but, either we were carefully kept from knowing 
this, or the knowledge of it made simply no 

TO THE YEAR 1833 3 

impression on our minds. My brother will bear 
witness how free the school was from Catholic 

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

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


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

When I was fifteen (in the autumn of 1816) 
a great change of thought took place in me. 
I fell under the influences of a definite Creed, 
and received into my intellect impressions of 
dogma, which, through God s mercy, have never 
been effaced or obscured. Above and beyond 
the conversations, and sermons, and the excellent 
man, long dead, who was the human means of 
of this beginning of divine faith in me, was the 
effect of the books which he put into my hands, 
all of the school of Calvin. One of the first 
books I read was a work of Romaine s ; I neither 
recollect the title nor the contents, except one 
doctrine, which of course I do not include among 
those which I believe to have come from a divine 
source, viz. the doctrine of final perseverance. 
I received it at once, and believed that the in 
ward conversion of which I was conscious (and 
of which I still am more certain than that I 
have hands and feet) would last into the next 
life, and that I was elected to eternal glory. 
I have no consciousness that this belief had any 
tendency whatever to lead me to be careless 
about pleasing God. I retained it till the age of 
twenty-one, when it gradually faded away ; but I 

TO THE YEAR 1833 5 

believe that it had some influence on my opinions, 
in the direction of those childish imaginations 
which I have already mentioned, vis. in isolating 
me from the objects which surrounded me, in 
confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of 
material phenomena, and making me rest in the 
thought of two, and two only, supreme and lumin 
ously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator ; 
for while I considered myself predestined to 
salvation, I thought others simply passed over, 
not predestined to eternal death. I only thought 
of the mercy to myself. 

The detestable doctrine last mentioned is 
simply denied and abjured, unless my memory 
strangely deceives me, by the writer who made 
a deeper impression on my mind than any other, 
and to whom (humanly speaking) 1 almost owe 
my soul- -Thomas Scott, of Aston Sandford. I so 
admired and delighted in his writings, that, when 
I was an undergraduate, I thought of making a 
visit to his parsonage, in order to see a man 
whom I so deeply revered. I hardly think I 
could have given up the idea of this expedition, 
even after I had taken my degree ; for the news 
of his death, in 1821, came upon me as a dis 
appointment as well as a sorrow. I hung upon 
the lips of Daniel Wilson, afterwards Bishop of 
Calcutta, as in two sermons at St. John s Chapel, 
he gave the history of Scott s life and death. 
I had been possessed of his Essays from a boy ; 
his Commentary I bought when I was an under 

What, I suppose, will strike any reader of 
Scott s history and writings, is his bold unworld- 
liness and vigorous independence of mind. He 
followed truth wherever it led him, beginning 


with Unitarianism, and ending in a zealous faith 
in the Holy Trinity. It was he who first planted 
deep in my mind that fundamental truth of 
religion. With the assistance of Scott s Essays, 
and the admirable work of Jones of Nayland, 
I made a collection of Scripture texts in proof 
of the doctrine, with remarks (I think) of my 
own upon them, before I was sixteen; and a 
few months later I drew up a series of texts 
in support of each verse of the Athanasian 
Creed. These papers I have still. 

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

Calvinists make a sharp separation between 
the elect and the world ; there is much in this 
that is parallel or cognate to the Catholic doc 
trine ; but they go on to say, as I understand 
them, very differently from Catholicism that 
the converted and the unconverted can be dis 
criminated by man, that the justified are conscious 
of their state of justification, and that the re 
generate cannot fall away. Catholics, on the 
other hand, shade and soften the awful antag 
onism between good and evil, which is one of 
their dogmas, by holding that there is a great 
difference in point of gravity between sin and 
sin, that there is the possibility and the danger 
of falling away, and that there is no certain 
knowledge given to any one that he is simply 


in a state of grace, and much less that he is 
to persevere to the end: of the Calvinistic tenets, 
the only one which took root in my mind was 
the fact of heaven and hell, divine favour and 
divine wrath, of the justified and the unjustified. 
The notion that the regenerate and the justified 
were one and the same, and that the regenerate, 
as such, had the gift of perseverance, remained 
with me not many years, as I have said already. 

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

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

Now I come to two other works, which pro 
duced a deep impression on me in the same 
autumn of 181 6, when I was fifteen years old, 
each contrary to each, and planting in me the 
seeds of an intellectual inconsistency which 
disabled me for a long course of ^ears. I read 
Joseph Milner s Church History, and was nothing 
short of enamoured of the long extracts from 
St Augustine and the other Fathers which I 
found there. I read them as being the religion 
of the primitive Christians: but simultaneously 
with Milner, I read Newton s On the Prophecies, 
and in consequence became most firmly convinced 
that the Pope was the Antichrist predicted by 
Daniel, St Paul, and St John. My imagination 
was stained by the effects of this doctrine up 


to the year 1843; it had been obliterated from 
my reason and judgment at an earlier date, 
but the thought remained upon me as a sort 
of false conscience. Hence came that conflict of 
mind, which so many have felt besides myself; 
leading some men to make a compromise between 
two ideas, so inconsistent with each other, driving 
others to beat out the one idea or the other from 
their minds, and ending in my own case, after 
many years of intellectual unrest, in the gradual 
decay and extinction of one of them I do not 
say in its violent death, for why should I not 
have murdered it sooner, if I murdered it at all ? 
I am obliged to mention, though I do it with 
great reluctance, another deep imagination, which 
at this time, the autumn of 18 16, took possession 
of me, there can be no mistake about the fact, 
viz. that it was the will of God that I should 
lead a single life. This anticipation, which has 
held its ground almost continuously ever since 
with the break of a month now and a month 
then, up to 1829, and, after that date, without 
any break at all was more or less connected, 
in my mind, with the notion that my calling in 
life would require such a sacrifice as celibacy 
involved ; as, for instance, missionary work among 
the heathen, to which I had a great drawing 
for some years. It also strengthened my feeling 
of separation from the visible world, of which 
I have spoken above. 

In 1822 I came under very different influences 
from those to which I had hitherto been subjected. 
At that time, Mr Whately, as he was then, after 
wards Archbishop of Dublin, for the few months 
he remained in Oxford, which he was leaving for 

TO THE YEAR 1833 9 

good, showed great kindness to me. He renewed 
it in 1825, when he became Principal of Alban 
Hall, making me his Vice- Principal and Tutor. 
Of Dr Whately I will speak presently, for from 
1822 to 1825 I saw most of the present Provost 
of Oriel, Dr Hawkins, at that time Vicar of 
St Mary s; and, when I took orders in 1824, 
and had a curacy at Oxford, then, during the 
Long Vacations, I was especially thrown into 
his company. I can say with a full heart, that 
I love him, and have never ceased to love him ; 
and I thus preface what otherwise might sound 
rude, that in the course of the many years in 
which we were together afterwards, he provoked 
me very much from time to time, though I am 
perfectly certain that I have provoked him a 
great deal more. Moreover, in me such provoca 
tion was unbecoming, both because he was the 
Head of my College, and because in the first 
years that I knew him, he had been in many 
ways of great service to my mind. 

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

Then, as to doctrine, he was the means of 
great additions to my belief. As I have noticed 


elsewhere, he gave me the Treatise on Apostolical 
Preaching, by Summer, afterwards Archbishop of 
Canterbury, from which I learned to give up 
my remaining Calvinism, and to receive the 
doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. In many 
other ways, too, he was of use to me, on subjects 
semi-religious and semi-scholastic. 

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

There is one other principle which I gained 
from Dr Hawkins, more directly bearing upon 
Catholicism, than any that I have mentioned ; 
and that is the doctrine of Tradition. When I 
was an undergraduate, I heard him preach in 
the University Pulpit his celebrated sermon on 
the subject, and recollect how long it appeared 
to me, though he was at that time a very 
striking preacher; but, when I read it and 
studied it as his gift, it made a most serious 
impression upon me. He does not go one step, 
I think, beyond the high Anglican doctrine, 
nay he does not reach it ; but he does his 
work thoroughly, and his view was original 
with him, and his subject was a novel one at 
the time. He lays down a proposition, self- 
evident as soon as stated, to those who have 
at all examined the structure of Scripture, viz. 
that the sacred text was never intended to 
teach doctrine, but only to prove it, and that, if 
we would learn doctrine, we must have recourse 

TO THE YEAR 1833 11 

to the formularies of the Church ; for instance 
to the Catechism, and to the Creeds. He 
considers, that, after learning from them the 
doctrines of Christianity, the inquirer must 
verify them by Scripture. This view, most 
true in its outline, most fruitful in its con 
sequences, opened upon me a large field of 
thought. Dr Whately held it too. One of its 
effects was to strike at the root of the principle 
on which the Bible Society was set up. I be 
longed to its Oxford Association; it became a 
matter of time when I should withdraw my 
name from its subscription-list, though I did 
not do so at once. 

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

It was at about this date, I suppose, that I 
read Bishop Butler s Analogy; the study of 
which has been to so many, as it was to me, 
an era in their religious opinions. Its inculcation 
of a visible Church, the oracle of truth and a 
pattern of sanctity, of the duties of external 
religion, and of the historical character of Re 
velation, are characteristics of this great work 
which strike the reader at once ; for myself, if 
I may attempt to determine what I most gained 
from it, it lay in two points, which I shall have 
an opportunity of dwelling on in the sequel ; they 
are the underlying principles of a great portion 
of my teaching. First, the very idea of an 
analogy between the separate works of God 


leads to the conclusion, that the system which 
is of less importance is economically or sacra- 
mentally connected with the more momentous 
system, and of this conclnsion the theory, to 
which I was inclined as a boy, viz. the unreality 
of material phenomena, is an ultimate resolution. 
At this time I did not make the distinction 
between matter itself and its phenomena, which 
is so necessary and so obvious in discussing the 
subject. Secondly, Butler s doctrine that Pro 
bability is the guide of life led me, at least 
under the teaching to which a few years later 
I was introduced, to the question of the logical 
cogency of Faith, on which I have written so 
much. Thus to Butler I trace those two prin 
ciples of my teaching, which have led to a charge 
against me both of fancifulness and of scepticism. 
And now, as to Dr Whately. I owe him a 
great deal. He was a man of generous and 
warm heart. He was particularly loyal to his 
friends, and to use the common phrase, f all 
his geese were swans . While I was still awkward 
and timid, in 1822, he took me by the hand, 
and acted the part to me of a gentle and en 
couraging instructor. He, emphatically, opened 
my mind, and taught me to think and to use 
my reason. After being first noticed by him, in 
1822, I became very intimate with him in 1825, 
when I was his Vice- Principal at Alban Hall. 
I gave up that office in 1826, when I became 
Tutor of my College, and his hold upon me 
gradually relaxed. He had done his work towards 
me, or nearly so, when he had taught me to 
see with my own eyes, and to walk with my 
own feet. Not that I had not a good deal to 
learn from others still, but I influenced them 

TO THE YEAR 1833 13 

as well as they me, and co-operated rather than 
merely concurred with them. As to Dr Whately_, 
his mind was too different from mine for us 
to remain long on one line. I recollect how 
dissatisfied he was with an article of mine in 
the London Review, which Blanco White, good- 
humouredly, only called Platonic. When I was 
diverging from him (which he did not like), I 
thought of dedicating my first book to him, in 
words to the effect, that he had not only taught 
me to think, but to think for myself. He left 
Oxford in 1831 ; after that, as far as I can re 
collect, I never saw him but twice when he 
visited the University; once in the street, once 
in a room. From the time that he left, I have 
always felt a real affection for what I must call 
his memory ; for thenceforward he made himself 
dead to me. My reason told me that it was 
impossible that we could have got on together 
longer ; yet I loved him too much to bid him 
farewell without pain. After a few years had 
passed, I began to believe that his influence on 
me in a higher respect than intellectual advance 
(I will not say through his fault) had not been 
satisfactory. I believe that he has inserted 
sharp things in his later works about me. 
They have never come in my way, and I have 
not thought it necessary to seek out what 
would pain me so much in the reading. 

What he did for me in point of religious 
opinion was first to teach me the existence of 
the Church, as a substantive body or corporation ; 
next to fix in me those anti-Erastian views of 
Church polity, which were one of the most 
prominent features of the Tractarian movement. 
On this point, and, as far as I know, on this 


point alone, he and Hurrell Froude intimately 
sympathized, though Froude s development of 
opinion here was of a later date. In the year 
1826, in the course of a walk, he said much to 
me about a work then just published, called 
Letters on the Church, by an Episcopalian. He 
said that it would make my blood boil. It was 
certainly a most powerful composition. One of 
our common friends told me, that, after reading 
it, he could not keep still, but went on walking 
up and down his room. It was ascribed at 
once to Whately ; I gave eager expression to 
the contrary opinion ; but I found the belief of 
Oxford in the affirmative to be too strong for 
me ; rightly or wrongly I yielded to the general 
voice ; and I have never heard, then or since, 
of any disclaimer of authorship on the part of 
Dr. Whately. 

The main positions of this able essay are 
these; first that Church and State should be 
independent of each other; he speaks of the 
duty of protesting f against the profanation of 
Christ s kingdom, by that double usurpation, the 
interference of the Church in temporals, of the 
State in spirituals (p. 191) ; and, secondly, that 
the Church may justly and by right retain its 
property, though separated from the State. 
The clergy , he says (p. 133), though they 
ought not to be the hired servants of the 
Civil Magistrate, may justly retain their reven 
ues ; and the State, though it has no right of 
interference in spiritual concerns, not only is justly 
entitled to support from the ministers of religion, 
and from all other Christians, but would, under 
the system I am recommending, obtain it much 
more effectually. The author of this work, 

TO THE YEAR 1833 15 

whoever he may be, argues out both these 
points with great force and ingenuity, and with 
a thorough-going vehemence., which, perhaps, we 
may refer to the circumstance, that he wrote, 
not in propria persona, but in the professed 
character of a Scotch Episcopalian. His work 
had a gradual, but a deep effect on my mind. 

I am not aware of any other religious opinion 
which I owe to Dr Whately. For his special 
theological tenets I had no sympathy. In the 
next year, 1827, he told me he considered that 
I was Arianizing. The case was this : though at 
that time I had not read Bishop Bull s Defensio, 
nor the Fathers, I was just then very strong for 
that ante-Nicene view of the Trinitarian doctrine, 
which some writers, both Catholic and non-Catholic, 
have accused of wearing a sort of Arian exterior. 
This is the meaning of a passage in Froude s 
Remains, in which he seems to accuse me of 
speaking against the Athanasian Creed. I had 
contrasted the two aspects of the Trinitarian 
doctrine, which are respectively presented by 
the Athanasian Creed and the Nicene. My 
criticisms were to the effect, that some of the 
verses of the former Creed were unnecessarily 
scientific. This is a specimen of a certain dis 
dain for antiquity which had been growing on 
me now for several years. It showed itself in 
some flippant language against the Fathers in 
the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, about whom I 
knew little at the time, except what I had 
learnt as a boy from Joseph Milner. In writing 
on the Scripture Miracles in 1 825-6, I had read 
Middleton on The Miracles of the Early Church, 
and had imbibed a portion of his spirit. 

The truth is, I was beginning to prefer intellec- 


tual excellence to moral ; I was drifting in the 
direction of liberalism. I was rudely awakened 
from my dream at the end of 1827, by two great 
blows illness and bereavement. 

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

Whately was considerably annoyed at me, 
and he took a humourous revenge, of which 
he had given me due notice beforehand. As 
head of a house, he had duties of hospitality 
to men of all parties; he asked a set of the 
least intellectual men in Oxford to dinner, and 
men most fond of port ; he made me one of 
the party ; placed me between Provost This 
and Principal That, and then asked me if I 

To THE YEA ft 18.33 17 

was proud of my friends. However, he had 
a serious meaning in his act ; he saw, more 
clearly than I could do, that I was separating 
from his own friends for good and all. 

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

During the first years of my residence at 
Oriel, though proud of my College, I was not 
at home there. I was very much alone, and I 
used often to take my daily walk by myself. 
I recollect once meeting Dr Copleston, then 
Provost, with one of the Fellows. He turned 
round, and with the kind courteousness which 
sat so well on him, made me a bow, and said 
Nunquam minus solus, quam cum solus . At 
that time, indeed, (from 1823) I had the intimacy 
of my dear and true friend Dr Pusey, and could 
not fail to admire and revere a soul so devoted 
to the cause of religion, so full of good works, 
so faithful in his affections ; but he left residence 
when I was getting to know him well. As to 


Dr Whately himself, he was too much my 
superior to allow of my being at my ease with 
him ; and to no one in Oxford at this time did 
I open my heart fully and familiarly. But 
things changed in 1 826. At that time 1 became 
one of the Tutors of my College, and this gave 
me position; besides I had written one or two 
Essays which had been well received. I began 
to be known. I preached my first University 
Sermon. Next year I was one of the Public 
Examiners for the B.A. degree. It was to me 
like the feeling of spring weather after winter ; 
and, if I may so speak, I came out of my 
shell; I remained out of it till 1841. 

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

The true and primary author of it, however, 
as is usual with great motive-powers, was out 

TO THE YEAR 1833 19 

of sight. Having carried off, as a mere boy, the 
highest honours of the University, he had turned 
from the admiration which haunted his steps, 
and sought for a better and holier satisfaction 
in pastoral work in the country. Need I say 
that I am speaking of John Keble? The first 
time that I was in a room with him was on 
occasion of my election to a fellowship at Oriel, 
when I was sent for into the Tower, to shake 
hands with the Provost and Fellows. How is 
that hour fixed in my memory after the changes 
of forty-two years, forty-two this very day on 
which I write ! I have lately had a letter in 
my hands, which I sent at the time to my 
great friend, John Bowden, with whom I passed 
almost exclusively my Undergraduate years. 
f l had to hasten to the Tower , I say to him, 
to receive the congratulations of all the Fellows. 
I bore it till Keble took my hand, and then 
felt so abashed and unworthy of the honour 
done me, that I seemed desirous of quite sinking 
into the ground . His had been the first name 
which I had heard spoken of, with reverence 
rather than admiration, when I came up to 
Oxford. When, one day, I was walking in High 
Street with my dear earliest friend just mentioned, 
with what eagerness did he cry out, There s 
Keble ! and with what awe did I look at him! 
Then at another time I heard a Master of Arts 
of my college give an account how he had just 
then had occasion to introduce himself on some 
business to Keble, and how gentle, courteous, 
and unaffected Keble had been, so as almost 
to put him out of countenance. Then, too, it 
was reported, truly or falsely, how a rising man 
of brilliant reputation, the present Dean of 


St Paul s, Dr Milman, admired and loved him, 
adding, that somehow he was unlike any one 
else. However, at the time when I was elected 
Fellow of Oriel, he was not in residence, and 
he was shy of me for years in consequence of 
the marks which I bore upon me of the evan 
gelical and liberal schools. At least so I have 
ever thought. Hurrell Froude brought us together 
about 1828: it is one of the sayings preserved 
in his Remains : Do you know the story of the 
murderer who had done one good thing in his 
life ? Well ; if I was ever asked what good deed 
I had ever done, I should say that I had brought 
Keble and Newman to understand each other. 
The Christian Year made its appearance in 
1827. It is not necessary, and scarcely becoming, 
to praise a book which has already become one 
of the classics of the language. When the general 
tone of religious literature was so nerveless and 
impotent, as it was at that time, Keble struck 
an original note and woke up in the hearts of 
thousands a new music, the music of a school, 
long unknown in England. Nor can I pretend 
to analyze, in my own instance, the effect of 
religious teaching so deep, so pure, so beautiful. 
I have never till now tried to do so ; yet I think 
I am not wrong in saying, that the two main 
intellectual truths which it brought home to me, 
were the same two, which J had learned from 
Butler, though recast in the creative mind of 
my new master. The first of these was what 
may be called, in a large sense of the word, 
the Sacramental system ; that is, the doctrine 
that material phenomena are both the types 
and the instruments of real things unseen, a 
doctrine w r hich embraces not only what Angli- 

TO THE YEAR 1833 21 

cans as well as Catholics believe about Sacraments 
properly so called, but also the article of the 
Communion of Saints in its fulness : and like 
wise the Mysteries of the faith. The connexion 
of this philosophy of religion with what is some 
times called f Berkeleyism has been mentioned 
above ; I knew little of Berkeley at this time 
except by name ; nor have I ever studied him. 

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

I considered that Mr Keble met this difficulty 
by ascribing the firmness of assent which we give 
to religious doctrine, not to the probabilities which 
introduced it, but to the living power of faith and 
love which accepted it. In matters of religion, 
he seemed to say, it is riot merely probability 
which makes us intellectually certain, but 
probability as it is put to account by faith and 
love. It is faith and love which give to proba 
bility a force which it has not in itself. Faith 
and love are directed towards an Object; in 


the vision of that Object they live ; it is that 
Object, received in faith and love, which renders 
it reasonable to take probability as sufficient 
for internal conviction. Thus the argument about 
Probability, in the matter of religion, became 
an argument from Personality, which in fact is 
one form of the argument from Authority. 

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

I did not at all dispute this view of the 
matter, for I made use of it myself; but I was 
dissatisfied, because it did not go to the root 
of the difficulty. It was beautiful and religious. 

TO THE YEAR 1833 23 

but it did not even profess to be logical ; and, 
accordingly, I tried to complete it by consider 
ations of my own, which are implied in my 
University Sermons, Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles, 
and Essay on Development of Doctrine. My argu 
ment is in outline as follows : that that absolute 
certitude which we were able to possess, whether 
as to the truths of natural theology, or as to 
the fact of a revelation, was the result of an 
assemblage of concurring and converging proba 
bilities, and that, both according to the con 
stitution of the human mind and the will of 
its Maker, that certitude was a habit of mind, 
that certainty was a quality of propositions ; 
that probabilities which did not reach to logical 
certainty, might create a mental certitude ; that 
the certitude thus created might equal in measure 
and strength the certitude which was created 
by the strictest scientific demonstration ; and 
that to have such certitude might, in given cases 
and to given individuals, be a plain duty, though 
not to others in other circumstances : 

Moreover, that as there were probabilities 
which sufficed to create certitude, so there were 
other probabilities which were legitimately adapt 
ed to create opinion ; that it might be quite as 
much a matter of duty in given cases and to 
given persons to have about a fact an opinion 
of a definite strength and consistency, as in the 
case of greater or of more numerous probabilities 
it was a duty to have a certitude ; that, accord 
ingly, we were bound to be more or less sure, 
on a sort of (as it were) graduated scale of 
assent, viz. according as the probabilities attach 
ing to a professed fact were brought home to 
us, and, as the case might be, to entertain about 


it a pious belief, or a pious opinion, or a religious 
conjecture, or ot least, a tolerance of such belief, 
or opinion, or conjecture in others ; that on the 
other hand, as it was a duty to have a belief, 
of more or less strong texture, in given cases, 
so in other cases it was a duty not to believe, 
not to opine, not to conjecture, not even to 
tolerate the notion that a professed fact was 
true, inasmuch as it would be credulity, or 
superstition, or some other moral fault, to do 
so. This was the region of Private Judgment 
in religion ; that is, of a Private Judgment, not 
formed arbitrarily, and according to one s fancy 
or liking, but conscientiously, and under a sense 
of duty. 

Considerations such as these throw a new 
light on the subject of Miracles, and they seem 
to have led me to re-consider the view which 
I took of them in my Essay in 1825-6. I do 
not know what was the date of this change 
in me, nor of the train of ideas on which it 
was founded. That there had been already 
great miracles, as those of Scripture, as the 
Resurrection, was a fact establishing the principle 
that the laws of nature had sometimes been 
suspended by their Divine Author ; and since 
what had happened once might happen again, 
a certain probability, at least no kind of improb 
ability, was attached to the idea, taken in 
itself, of miraculous intervention in later times, 
and miraculous accounts were to be regarded 
in connexion with the verisimilitude, scope, 
instrument, character, testimony, and circum 
stances, with which they presented themselves 
to us ; and, according to the final result of 
those various considerations, it was our duty to 

TO THE YEAR 1 833 25 

be sure, or to believe, or to opine, or to surmise, 
or to tolerate, or to denounce. The main 
difference between my Essay on Miracles in 1826 
and my Essay in 1842 is this: that in 1826 
I considered that miracles were sharply divided 
into two classes, those which were to be received, 
and those which were to be rejected ; whereas 
in 184-2 I saw that they were to be regarded 
according to their greater or less probability, 
which was in some cases sufficient to create 
certitude about them, iu other cases only belief 
or opinion. 

Moreover, the argument from Analogy, on 
which this view of the question was founded, 
suggested to me something besides, in recom 
mendation of the Ecclesiastical Miracles. It 
fastened itself upon the theory of Church 
History which I had learned as a boy from 
Joseph Milner. It is Milner s doctrine, that 
upon the visible Church come down from above, 
from time to time, large and temporary Effu 
sions of divine grace. This is the leading idea 
of his work. He begins by speaking of the 
Day of Pentecost, as marking the first of those 
Effusion s of the Spirit of God, which from age 
to age have visited the earth since the coming 
of Christ , (vol. i. p. 3). In a note he adds 
that in the term " Effusion " there is not here 
included the idea of the miraculous or extra 
ordinary operations of the Spirit of God ; but 
still it was natural for me, admitting Milner s 
general theory, and applying to it the principle 
of analogy, not to stop short at his abrupt ipse 
dixit, but boldly to pass forward to the conclu 
sion, on other grounds plausible, that, as miracles 
accompanied the first effusion of grace, so they 


might accompany the later. It is surely a 
natural and, on the whole, a true anticipation 
(though of course there are exceptions in par 
ticular cases), that gifts and graces go together ; 
now, according to the ancient Catholic doctrine, 
the gift of miracles was viewed as the attendant 
and shadow of transcendent sanctity ; and more 
over, as such sanctity was not of every day s 
occurrence, nay further, as one period of Church 
history differed widely from another, and, as 
Joseph Milner would say, there have been 
generations or centuries of degeneracy or dis 
order, and times of revival, and as one region 
might be in the mid-day of religious fervour, 
and another in twilight or gloom, there was no 
force in the popular argument, that, because 
we did not see miracles with our own eyes, 
miracles had not happened in former times, or 
were not now at this very time taking place in 
distant places but I must not dwell longer on 
a subject, to which in a few words it is impos 
sible to do justice. 

Hurrell Froude was a pupil of Keble s, formed 
by him, and in turn reacting upon him. I 
knew r him first in 1826, and was in the closest 
and most affectionate friendship with him from 
about 1829 till his death in 1836. He was a 
man of the highest gifts so truly many-sided, 
that it would be presumptuous in me to at 
tempt to describe him, except under those 
aspects, in which he came before me. Nor have 
I here to speak, of the gentleness and tender 
ness of nature, the playfulness, the free elastic 
force, and graceful versatility of mind, and the 
patient winning cpnsiderateness in discussion. 

TO THE YEAR 1833 27 

which endeared him to those to whom he opened 
his heart ; for I am all along engaged upon matters 
of belief and opinion, and am introducing others 
into my narrative, not for their own sake, or 
because I love, and have loved them, so much 
as because, and so far as they have influenced 
my theological views. In this respect then, I 
speak of Hurrell Froude in his intellectual 
aspect as a man of high genius, brimful, and 
overflowing with ideas and views, in him original, 
which were too many and strong even for his 
bodily strength, and which crowded arid jostled 
against each other in their effort after distinct 
shape and expression. And he had an intellect 
as critical and logical as it was speculative and 
bold. Dying prematurely, as he did, and in 
the conflict and transition-state of opinion, his 
religious views never reached their ultimate 


conclusion, by the very reason of their multitude 
and their depth. His opinions arrested and 
influenced me, even when they did not gain 
my assent. He professed openly his admiration 
of the Church of Rome, and his hatred of the 
Reformers. He delighted in the notion of an 
hierarchical system, of sacerdotal power and of 
full ecclesiastical liberty. He felt scorn of the 
maxim, The Bible and the Bible only is the 
religion of Protestants ; and he gloried in accept 
ing Tradition as a main instrument of religious 
teaching. He had a high, severe idea of the 
intrinsic excellence of Virginity ; and he con 
sidered the Blessed Virgin its great Pattern. 
He delighted in thinking of the Saints ; he had 
a keen appreciation of the idea of sanctity, its 
possibility and its heights ; and he was more 
thaq inclined tq believe a large amount of 


miraculous interference as occurring in the early 
and middle ages. He embraced the principle 
of penance and mortification. He had a deep 
devotion to the Real Presence, in which he had 
a firm faith. He was powerfully drawn to the 
Medieval Church, but not to the Primitive. 

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

of Italy. 

It is difficult to enumerate the precise addi 
tions to my theological creed which I derived 

TO THE YEAR 1833 2<) 

from a friend to whom I owe so much. He 
made me look with admiration towards the 
Church of Rome, and in the same degree to 
dislike the Reformation. He fixed deep in me 
the idea of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and 
he led me gradually to believe in the Real 

There is one remaining source of my opinions 
to be mentioned, and that far from the least 
important. In proportion as I moved out of the 
shadow of liberalism which haH hung over my 
course, my early devotion towards the Fathers 
returned; and in the Long Vacation of 1828 I 
set about to read them chronologically, beginning 
with St Ignatius and St Justin. About 1830 a 
proposal was made to me by Mr Hugh Rose, 
who with Mr Lyall (afterwards Dean of Canter 
bury) was providing writers for a Theological 
Library, to furnish them with a History of the 
Principal Councils. I accepted it, and at once 
set to work 011 the Council of Nicaea. It was 
launching myself on an ocean with currents 
innumerable ; and I was drifted back first to the 
ante-Nicene history, and then to the Church of 
Alexandria. The work at last appeared under 
the title of The Arians of the Fourth Century ; 
and, of its 422 pages, the first 117 consisted of 
introductory matter, and the Council of Nicaea 
did not appear till the 254th, and then occupied 
at most twenty pages. 

I do not know when I first learnt to consider 
that Antiquity was the true exponent of the 
doctrines of Christianity, and the basis of the 
Church of England ; but I take it for granted 
that Bishop Bull, whose works at this time I 



read, was my chief introduction to this principle. 
The course of reading which I pursued in the 
composition of my work was directly adapted 
to develop it in my mind. What principally 
attracted me in the Ante-Nicene period was the 
great Church of Alexandria, the historical centre 
of teaching in those times. Of Rome, for some 
centuries, comparatively little is known. The 
battle of Arianism was first fought in Alexandria ; 
Athanasius, the champion of the truth, was Bishop 
of Alexandria ; and in his writings he refers to 
the great religious names of an earlier date, to 
Origen, Dionysius, and others who were the glory 
of its see, or of its school. The broad philo 
sophy of Clement and Origen carried me away ; 
the philosophy, not the theological doctrine; 
and I have drawn out some features of it in 
my volume, with the zeal and freshness, but 
with the partiality of a neophyte. Some portions 
of their teaching, magnificent in themselves, came 
like music to my inward ear, as if the response 
to ideas, which, with little external to encourage 
them, I had cherished so long. These were 
based on the mystical or sacramental principle, 
and spoke of the various Economies or Dispen 
sations of the Eternal. I understood them to 
mean that the exterior world, physical and 
historical, was but the outward manifestation of 
realities greater than itself. Nature was a par 
able*: Scripture was an allegory: pagan liter 
ature, philosophy, and mythology, properly 
understood, were but a preparation for the 
Gospel. The Greek poets and sages were in a 
certain sense prophets; for thoughts beyond 

* Vide Mr Morris s beautiful poem with this title. 

TO THE YEAR 183.3 31 

their thought to those high bards were given . 
There had been a divine dispensation granted 
to the Jews ; there had been in some sense a 
dispensation carried on in favour of the Gentiles. 
He who had taken the seed of Jacob for His 
elect people, had not therefore cast the rest of 
mankind out of His sight. In the fulness of 
time both Judaism and Paganism had come to 
nought : the outward framework, which concealed, 
yet suggested, the Living Truth, had never been 
intended to last, and it was dissolving under 
the beams of the Sun of Justice behind it, and 
through it. The process of change had been 
slow ; it had been done, not rashly, but by rule 
and measure, at sundry times and in divers 
manners , first one disclosure and then another, 
till the whole was brought into full manifestation. 
And thus room was made for the anticipation 
of further and deeper disclosures, of truths still 
under the veil of the letter, and in their season 
to be revealed. The visible world still remains 
without its divine interpretation ; Holy Church 
in her sacraments and her hierarchical appoint 
ments, will remain even to the end of the world, 
only a symbol of those heavenly facts which fill 
eternity. Her mysteries are but the expressions 
in human language of truths to which the human 
mind is unequal. It is evident how much there 
was in all this in correspondence with the 
thoughts which had attracted me when I was 
young, and with the doctrine which I have 
already connected with the Analogy and the 
Christian Year. 

I suppose it was to the Alexandrian school, 
and to the early Church, that I owe in particular 
what I definitely held about the Angels. I 


viewed them, not only as the ministers employed 
by the Creator in the Jewish and Christian 
dispensations, as we find on the face of Scrip 
ture, but as carrying on, as Scripture also implies, 
the Economy of the Visible World. I considered 
them as the real causes of motion, light, and 
life, and of those elementary principles of the 
physical universe, which, when offered in their 
developments to our senses, suggest to us the 
notion of cause and effect, and of what are 
called the laws of nature. I have drawn 
out this doctrine in my Sermon for Michael 
mas day, written not later than 1 834. I say of the 
Angels: Every breath of air and ray of light and 
heat, every beautiful prospect, is, as it were, the 
skirts of their garments, the waving of the robes 
of those whose faces see God . Again, I ask what 
would be the thoughts of a man who, when 
examining a flower, or a herb, or a pebble, or 
a ray of light, which he treats as something so 
beneath him in the scale of existence, suddenly 
discovered that he was in the presence of some 
powerful being who was hidden behind the visible 
things he was inspecting, who, though concealing 
his wise hand, was giving them their beauty, 
grace, and perfection, as being God s instrument 
for the purpose, nay, whose robe and ornaments 
those objects were, which he was so eager to 
analyze? and I therefore remark, that f we may 
say with grateful and simple hearts, with the 
Three Holy Children, "O all ye works of the 
Lord, etc., etc., bless ye the Lord, praise Him. 
and magnify Him for ever." 

Also, besides the hosts of evil spirits, I con 
sidered there was a middle race, 3*/pow, neithei 
in heaven, nor in hell ; partially fallen, capricious 



TO THE YEAR 1833 33 

wayward ; noble or crafty, benevolent or mali 
cious, as the case might be. They gave a sort 
of inspiration or intelligence to races, nations, 
and classes of men. Hence the action of bodies 
politic, and associations, which is so different 
often from that of the individuals who compose 
them. Hence the character and the instinct of 
states and governments, of religious communities 
and communions. I thought they were inhabited 
by unseen intelligences. My preference of the 
Personal to the Abstract would naturally lead 
me to this view. I thought it countenanced 
by the mention of the Prince of Persia in the 
Prophet Daniel; and I think I considered that 
it was of such intermediate beings that the 
Apocalypse spoke, when it introduced f the 
Angels of the Seven Churches. 

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


in its parts, surrendered itself to one or other of 
these simulations of the truth ? . . How are we 
to avoid Scylla and Charybdis, and go straight 
on to the very image of Christ? etc., etc. 

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

While I was engaged in writing my work upon 
the Arians, great events were happening at home 
and abroad, which brought out into form and 
passionate expression the various beliefs which 
had so gradually been winning their way into 
my mind. Shortly before, there had been a 
Revolution in France ; the Bourbons had been 
dismissed : and I believed that it was unchristian 
for nations to cast off their governors, and, much 
more, sovereigns who had the Divine Right of 
inheritance. Again, the great Reform Agitation 
was going on around me as I wrote. The Whigs 
had come into power ; Lord Grey had told the 
Bishops to set their house in order, and some 
of the prelates had been insulted and threat 
ened in the streets of London. The vital question 
was how were we to keep the Church from being 
liberalized? There was such apathy on the subject 
in some quarters ; such imbecile alarm in others ; 

TO THE YEAR 1833 35 

the true principles of Churchmanship seemed so 
radically decayed, and there was such distraction 
in the councils of the Clergy. The Bishop of 
London of the day, an active and open-hearted 
man, had been for years engaged in diluting the 
high orthodoxy of the Church by the introduction 
of the Evangelical body into places of influence 
and trust. He had deeply offended men who 
agreed with myself, by an off-hand saying (as 
it was reported) to the effect that belief in the 
Apostolical succession had gone out with the 
Non-jurors. We can count you , he said to some 
of the gravest and most venerated persons of 
the old school. And the Evangelical party itself 
seemed,, with their late successes, to have lost 
that simplicity and unworldliness which I admired 
so much in Milner and Scott. It was not that I 
did not venerate such men as the then Bishop 
of Lichfield, and others of similar sentiments, 
who were not yet promoted out of the ranks 
of the Clergy, but I thought little of them as 
a class. I thought they played into the hands 
of the Liberals. With the Establishment thus 
divided and threatened, thus ignorant of its true 
strength, I compared that fresh vigorous power 
of which I was reading in the first centuries. 
In her triumphant zeal on behalf of that Primeval 
Mystery, to which I had had so great a devotion 
from my youth, I recognized the movement of my 
Spiritual Mother. Incessu patuit Dea . The self- 
conquest of her Ascetics, the patience of her Mar 
tyrs, the irresistible determination of her Bishops, 
the joyous swing of her advance, both exalted 
and abashed me. I said to myself, Look on 
this picture and on that ; I felt affection for 
my own Church, but not tenderness; I felt 


dismay at her prospects, anger and scorn at 
her do-nothing perplexity. I thought that if 
Liberalism once got a footing within her, it 
was sure of the victory in the event. I saw 
that Reformation principles were powerless to 
rescue her. As to leaving her, the thought never 
crossed my imagination ; still, I ever kept before 
me that there was something greater than the 
Established Church, and that that was the Church 
Catholic and Apostolic, set up from the beginning, 
of which she was but the local presence and 
organ. She was nothing, unless she was this. She 
must be dealt with strongly, or she would be lost. 
There was need of a second Reformation. 

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

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

TO THE YEAR 1833 37 

to speak of the vision which haunted me ; that 
vision is more or less brought out in the whole 
series of these compositions. 

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


It was the success of the Liberal cause which 
fretted me inwardly. I became fierce against 
its instruments and its manifestations. A French 
vessel was at Algiers; I would not even look 
at the tricolour. On my return, though forced 
to stop a day at Paris, I kept indoors the whole 
time, and all that 1 saw of that beautiful city, 
was what I saw from the diligence. The Bishop 
of London had already sounded me as to my 
filling one of the Whitehall preacherships, which 
he had just then put on a new footing; but I 
was indignant at the line which he was taking, 
and from my steamer I had sent home a letter 
declining the appointment, by anticipation, should 
it be offered to me. At this time I was specially 
annoyed with Dr Arnold, though it did not last 
into "later years. Some one, I think, asked in 
conversation, at Rome, whether a certain inter 
pretation of Scripture was Christian? it was 
answered that Dr Arnold took it; I interposed 
But is he a Christian ? The subject went out 
of my head at once; when afterwards I was 
taxed with it I could say no more in explanation 
than, that I thought I must have been allud 
ing to some free views of Dr Arnold about 
the Old Testament I thought I must have 
meant But who is to answer for Arnold ? 
It was at Rome too that we began the Lyra 
ApostoUca, which appeared monthly in The 
British Magazine. The motto shows the feeling 
of both Froude and myself at the time: we 
borrowed from M. Bunse n a Homer, and Froude 
chose the ^ ords in which Achilles, on returning 
to the battle, says, You shall know the differ 
ence, now that I am back again. 

Especially when I was left by myself, the 

TO THE YEAR 1833 39 

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

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

I was aching to get home ; yet for want of 
a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks. 


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


1833 TO 1839 

IN spite of the foregoing pages, I have no ro 
mantic story to tell ; but I wrote them, because 
it is my duty to tell things as they took place. 
I have not exaggerated the feelings with which 
I returned to England, and I have 110 desire 
to dress up the events which followed, so as to 
make them in keeping with the narrative which 
has gone before. I soon relapsed into the every 
day life which I had hitherto led ; in all things 
the same, except that a new object was given 
me. I had employed myself in my own rooms 
in reading and writing, and in the care of a 
Church, before I left England, and I returned 
to the same occupations when I was back again. 
And yet, perhaps, those first vehement feelings 
which carried me on were necessary for the 
beginning of the Movement; and afterwards, 
when it was once begun, the special need of 
me was over. 

When I got home from abroad, I found that 
already a movement had commenced in opposi 
tion to the specific danger which at that time 
was threatening the religion of the nation and 
its Church. Several zealous and able men had 
united their counsels, and were in correspondence 
with each other. The principal of these were 


Mr Keble, Hurrell Froude, who had reached 
home long before me, Mr William Palmer of 
Dublin, and Worcester College (not Mr W. 
Palmer of Magdalen, who is now a Catholic), 
Mr Arthur Perceval, and Mr Hugh Rose. 

To mention Mr Hugh Rose s name is to kindle 
in the minds of those who knew him a host of 
pleasant and affectionate remembrances. He was 
the man above all others fitted by his cast of 
mind and literary powers to make a stand, if a 
stand could be made, against the calamity of 
the times. He was gifted with a high and large 
mind, and a true sensibility of what was great 
and beautiful ; he wrote with warmth and energy ; 
and he had a cool head and cautious judgment. 
He spent his strength, and shortened his life, 
Pro Ecclesia Dei , as he understood that sovereign 
idea. Some years earlier, he had been the first 
to give warning, I think from the University 
Pulpit at Cambridge, of the perils to England 
which lay in the biblical and theological specula 
tions of Germany. The Reform agitation followed, 
and the Whig Government came into power ; and 
he anticipated in their distribution of Church 
patronage the authoritative introduction of liberal 
opinions into the country by f liberal I mean 
liberalism in religion, for questions of politics, 
as such, do not come into this narrative at all. He 
feared, that by the Whig party a door would be 
opened in England to the most grievous of heresies, 
which never could be closed again. In order, under 
such grave circumstances, to unite Churchmen 
together, and to make a front against the coming 
danger, he had, in ] 832, commenced The British 
Magazine, and in the same year he came to Oxford 
in the summer term, in order to beat up for writers 

1833 TO 1839 43 

For his publication ; on that occasion I became 
known to him through Mr Palmer. His reputa- 
;ion and position came in aid of his obvious fitness, 
n point of character and intellect, to become the 
centre of an ecclesiastical movement, if such a 
movement were to depend on the action of a 
party. His delicate health, his premature death, 
would have frustrated the expectation, even 
though the new school of opinion had been 
more exactly thrown into the shape of a party 
than in fact was the case. But he zealously 
backed up the first efforts of those who were 
principals in it ; and, when he went abroad to 
die, in 1838, he allowed me the solace of express 
ing my feelings of attachment and gratitude to 
him, by addressing him, in the dedication of a 
volume of my Sermons, as the man, who, when 
hearts were failing, bade us stir up the gift 
that was in us, and betake ourselves to our 
true Mother. 

But there were other reasons, besides Mr Rose s 
state of health, which hindered those who so 
much admired him from availing themselves of 
his close co-operation in the coming fight. United 
as both he and they were in the general scope 
of the Movement, they were in discordance with 
each other from the first in their estimate of the 
means to be adopted for attaining it. Mr Rose 
had a position in the Church, a name, and serious 
responsibilities ; he had direct ecclesiastical super 
iors ; he had intimate relations with his own 
University, and a large clerical connexion through 
the country. Froude and I were nobodies ; with 
no characters to lose, and 110 antecedents to fetter 
us. Rose could not go a-head across country, as 
Froude had no scruples in doing. Froude was 


a bold rider, as on horseback, so also in his 
speculations. After a long conversation with 
him on the logical bearing of his principles, 
Mr Rose said of him with quiet humour, that 
f he did not seem to be afraid of inferences . 
It was simply the truth ; Froude had that strong 
hold of first principles, and that keen perception 
of their value, that he was comparatively indifferent 
to the revolutionary action which would attend 
on their application to a given state of things; 
whereas, in the thoughts of Rose, as a practical 
man, existing facts had the precedence of every 
other idea, and the chief test of the soundness 
of a line of policy lay in the consideration whether 
it would work. This was one of the first questions, 
which, as it seemed to me, ever occured to his 
mind. With Froude, Erastianism that is, the 
union (so he viewed it) of Church and State- 
was the parent, or if not the parent, the service 
able and sufficient tool, of Liberalism. Till that 
union was snapped, Christian doctrine never 
could be safe ; and, while he well knew how 
high and unselfish was the temper of Mr Rose, 
yet he used to apply to him an epithet, reproach 
ful in his own mouth Rose was a conservative . 
By bad luck, I brought out this word to Mr Rose 
in a letter of my own, which I wrote to him in 
criticism of something he had inserted into the 
Magazine. I got a vehement rebuke for my pains, 
for though Rose persued a conservative line, he 
had as high a disdain, as Froude could have, of 
a worldly ambition, and an extreme sensitiveness 
of such an imputation. 

But there was another reason still, and a more 
elementary one, which severed Mr Rose from 
the Oxford Movement. Living movements do 

1833 TO 1839 45 

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

A far more essential unity was that of ante 
cedents a common history, common memories, 
an intercourse of mind with mind in the past, 
and a progress and increase of that intercourse 
in the present. Mr Perceval, to be sure, was 
a pupil of Mr Keble s ; but Keble, Rose, and 
Palmer, represented distinct parties, or at least 
tempers, in the Establishment. Mr Palmer had 
many conditions of authority and influence. He 
was the only really learned man among us. He 
understood theology as a science; he was practised 
in the scholastic mode of controversial writing; 
and, I believe, was as well acquainted, as he was 
dissatisfied, with the Catholic schools. He was as 
decided is his religious views, as he was cautious 


and even subtle in their expression, and gentle 
in their enforcement. But he was deficient in 
depth ; and besides, coming from a distance, he 


never had really grown into an Oxford man, 
nor was he generally received as such ; nor 
had he any insight into the force of personal 
influence and congeniality of thought in carrying 
out a religious theory a condition which Froude 
and I considered essential to any true success 
in the stand which had to be made against 
Liberalism. Mr Palmer had a certain connexion, 
as it may be called, in the Establishment, 
consisting of high Church dignitaries, archdea 
cons, London rectors, and the like, who 
belonged to what was commonly called the 
high-and-dry school. They were far more op 
posed than even he was to the irresponsible 
action of individuals. Of course their beau ideal 
in ecclesiastical action was a board of safe, 
sound, sensible men. Mr Palmer was their 
organ and representative ; and he wished for a 
Committee, an Association, with rules and meet 
ings, to protect the interests of the Church in 
its existing peril. He was in some measure 
supported by Mr Perceval 

I, on the other hand, had out of my own 
head begun the Tracts ; and these, as represent 
ing the antagonist principle of personality, were 
looked upon by Mr Palmer s friends with con 
siderable alarm. The great point at the time, 
with these good men in London some of them 
men of the highest principle, and far from in 
fluenced by what we used to call Erastianism- 
was to put down the Tracts. I, as their editor, 
and mainly their author, was not unnaturally 
willing to give way. Keble and Froude advocated 
their continuance strongly, and were angry with 
me for consenting to stop them. Mr Palmer 
shared the anxiety of his own friends; and, 

1833 TO 1839 47 

dnd as were his thoughts of us, he still not 
innaturally felt, for reasons of his own, some 
idget and nervousness at the course which his 
Oriel friends were taking. Froude, for whom 
he had a real liking, took a high tone in his 
Droject of measures for dealing with bishops 
ind clergy, which must have shocked and scan 
dalized him considerably. As for me, there 
was matter enough in the early Tracts to give 
him equal disgust ; and doubtless I much tasked 
his generosity, when he had to defend me, 
whether against the London dignitaries, or the 
2ountry clergy. Oriel, from the time of Dr 
Copleston to Dr. Hampden, had had a name 
far and wide for liberality of thought; it had 
received a formal recognition from The Edin- 
hurgh Review, if my memory serves me truly, 
is the school of speculative philosophy in Eng 
land ; and on one occasion, in 1833, when I 
presented myself, with some of the first papers 
of the Movement, to a country clergyman in 
Northamptonshire, he paused awhile, and then, 
eyeing me with significance, asked Whether 
Whately was at the bottom of them . 

Mr Perceval wrote to me in support of the 
judgment of Mr Palmer and the dignitaries. 
I replietl in a letter which he afterwards 
published. f As to the Tracts , I said to him 
(I quote my own words from his pamphlet), 
every one has his own taste. You object to 
some things, another to others. If we altered 
to please every one, the effect would be 
spoiled. They were not intended as symbols 
ex cathedra, but as the expression of individual 
minds ; and individuals, feeling strongly, while 
on the one hand, they are incidentally faulty 


in mode or language, are still peculiarly effect 
ive. No great work was done by a system ; 
whereas systems rise out of individual exertions. 
Luther was an individual. The very faults of 
an individual excite attention ; he loses, but his 
cause (if good, and he powerful-minded) gains. 
This is the way of things ; we promote truth 
by a self-sacrifice. 

The visit which I made to the Northampton 
shire rector was only one of a series of similar 
expedients, which I adopted during the year 
18.33. I called upon clergy in various parts of 
the country, whether I was acquainted with 
them or not, and I attended at the houses of 
friends where several of them were from time 
to time assembled. I do not think that much 
came of such attempts, nor were they quite in 
my way. Also I wrote various letters to clergy 
men, which fared not much better, except that 
they advertised the fact, that a rally in favour 
of the Church was commencing. I did not care 
whether my visits were made to high Church 
or low Church ; I wished to make a strong pull 
in union with all who were opposed to the 
principles of liberalism, whoever they might be. 
Giving my name to the editor, I commenced 
a series of letters in the Record newspaper: 
they ran to a considerable length ; and were 
borne by him with great courtesy and patience. 
They were headed as being on Church Reform . 
The first was on the Revival of Church Discipline ; 
the second, on its Scripture proof; the third, 
on the application of the doctrine ; the fourth, 
was an answer to objections; the fifth, was on 
the benefits of discipline. And then the series 
was abruptly brought to a termination. I had 

1833 TO 1839 49 

said what I really felt, and what was also in 
keeping with the strong teaching of the Tracts, 
but I suppose the Editor discovered in me some 
divergence from his own line of thought ; for 
at length he sent a very civil letter, apologizing 
for the non-appearance of my sixth communica 
tion, on the ground that it contained an attack 
upon Temperance Societies, about which he did 
not wish a controversy in his columns. He 
added, however, his serious regret as to the char 
acter of the Tracts. I had subscribed a small 
sum in 1828 towards the first start of the Record. 
Acts of the officious character, which I have 
been describing, were uncongenial to my natural 
temper, to the genius of the Movement, and 
to the historical mode of its success they 
were the fruit of that exuberant and joyous 
energy with which I had returned from abroad, 
and which I never had before or since. I had 
the exultation of health restored, and home 
regained. While I was at Palermo and thought of 
the breadth of the Mediterranean, and the weari 
some journey across France, I could not imagine 
how I was ever to get to England ; but now I 
was amid familiar scenes and faces once more. 
And my health and strength came back to me 
with such a rebound, that some friends at Oxford, 
on seeing me, did not well know that it was I, 
and hesitated before they spoke to me. And I 
had the consciousness that I was employed in 
that work which I had been dreaming about, 
and which I felt to be so momentous and inspir 
ing. I had a supreme confidence in our cause ; 
we were upholding that primitive Christianity 
which was delivered for all time by the early 
teachers of the Church, and which was registered 



and attested in the Anglican formularies and 
by the Anglican divines. That ancient religion 
had well nigh faded away out of the land, 
through the political changes of the last 150 
years, and it must be restored. It would be in 
fact a second Reformation a better reformation, 
for it would be a return not to the sixteenth 
century, but to the seventeenth. No time was 
to be lost, for the Whigs had come to do their 
worst, and the rescue might come too late. 
Bishoprics were already in course of suppres 
sion; Church property was in course of confis 
cation ; Sees would soon be receiving unsuitable 
occupants. We knew enough to begin preaching 
upon, and there was no one else to preach. I 
felt as on a vessel, which first gets under weigh, 
and then clears out the deck, and stores 
away luggage and live-stock into their proper 

Nor was it only, that I had confidence in our 
cause, both in itself, and in its controversial force, 
but besides, I despised every rival system of 
doctrine and its arguments. As to the High 
Church and the Low Church, I thought that the 
one had not much more of a logical basis than 
the other; while I had a thorough contempt 
for the evangelical. I had a real respect for the 
character of many of the advocates of each party, 
but that did not give cogency to their arguments ; 
and I thought, on the other hand, that the Apos 
tolical form of doctrine was essential and imper 
ative, and its grounds of evidence impregnable. 
Owing to this confidence, it came to pass at 
that time, that there was a double aspect in 
my bearing towards others, which it is necessary 
for me to enlarge upon. My behaviour had a 

1833 TO 1839 51 

mixture in it both of fierceness and of sport; 
and on this account, I dare say, it gave offence 
to many ; nor am I here defending it 

I wished men to agree with me, and I walked 
with them step by step, as far as they would 
go ; this I did sincerely ; but if they would stop 
I did not much care about it, but walked on 
with some satisfaction that I had brought them 
so far. I liked to make them preach the truth 
without knowing it, and encouraged them to do so. 
It was a satisfaction to me that the Record had 
allowed me to say so much in its columns with 
out remonstrance. I was amused to hear of one 
of the Bishops, who, on reading an early Tract on 
the Apostolical Succession, could not make up his 
mind whether he held the doctrine or not. I was 
not distressed at the wonder or anger of dull and 
self-conceited men at propositions which they 
did not understand. When a correspondent, in 
good faith, wrote to a newspaper to say, that 
the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist spoken of 
in the Tract, was a false print for Sacrament , I 
thought the mistake too pleasant to be corrected 
before I was asked about it. I was not un 
willing to draw an opponent on, step by step, 
to the brink of some intellectual absurdity, and 
to leave him to get back as he could. I was 
not unwilling to play with a man who asked 
me impertinent questions. I think I had in 
my mouth the words of the Wise Man Answer 
a fool according to his folly , especially if he was 
prying or spiteful. 1 was reckless of the gossip 
which was circulated about me ; and, when I 
might easily have set it right, did not deign to 
do so. Also I used irony in conversation, when 
matter-of-fact men would not see what I meant. 


This kind of behaviour was a sort of habit 
with me. If I have ever trifled with my sub 
ject, it was a more serious fault. I never used 
arguments which I saw clearly to be unsound. 
The nearest approach which I remember to 
such conduct, but which I consider was clear 
of it nevertheless, was in the case of Tract 15. 
The matter of this Tract was supplied to me 
by a friend, to whom I had applied for assist 
ance, but who did not wish to be mixed up 
with the publication. He gave it me, that I 
might throw it into shape, and I took his argu 
ments as they stood. In the chief portion of 
the Tract I fully agreed; for instance, as to 
what it says about the Council of Trent; but 
there were arguments, or some argument, in it 
which I did not follow ; I do not recollect what 
it was. Froude, I think, was disgusted with 
the whole Tract, and accused me of economy in 
publishing it. It is principally through Mr 
Froude s Remains that this word has got into 
our language. I think, I defended myself with 
arguments such as these: that, as every one 
knew, the Tracts were written by various per 
sons who agreed together in their doctrine, but 
not always in the arguments by which it was 
to be proved; that we must be tolerant of 
difference of opinion among ourselves ; that the 
author of the Tract had a right to his own 
opinion, and that the argument in question was 
ordinarily received ; that I did not give my own 
name or authority, nor was asked for my persona] 
belief, but only acted instrumentally, as one 
might translate a friend s book into a foreigr 
language. I account these to be good argu 
ments ; nevertheless, I feel also that such prac 

1833 TO 1839 53 

tices admit of easy abuse, and are consequently 
dangerous ; but then again, I feel also this 
that if all such mistakes were to be severely 
visited, not many men in public life would be 
left with a character for honour and honesty. 
This absolute confidence in my cause, which 
led me to the imprudence or wantonness which 
I have been instancing, also laid me open, not 
unfairly, to the opposite charge of fierceness in 
certain steps which I took, or words which I 
published. In the Lyra Apostolica I have said 
that, before learning to love, w r e must learn 
to hate ; though I had explained my words 
by adding hatred of sin . In one of my first 
sermons I said, I do not shrink from uttering 
my firm conviction that it would be a gain to 
the country were it vastly more superstitious, 
more bigoted, more gloomy, more fierce in its 
religion than at present it shows itself to be. 
I added, of course, that it would be an absurdity 
to suppose such tempers of mind desirable in 
themselves. The corrector of the press bore 
these strong epithets till he got to more fierce , 
and then he put in the margin a query. In the 
very first page of the first Tract, I said of the 
Bishops, that black event though it would be 
for the country, yet we could not wish them a 
more blessed termination of their course, than 
the spoiling of their goods and martyrdom. In 
consequence of a passage in my work upon the 
Arian History, a Northern dignitary wrote to 
accuse me of wishing to re-establish the blood 
and torture of the Inquisition. Contrasting heretics 
and heresiarchs, I had said, The latter should 
meet with 110 mercy : he assumes the office of 
the Tempter, and, so far forth as his error goes,, 


must be dealt with by the competent authority, 
as if he were embodied evil. To spare him is 
a false and dangerous pity. It is to endanger 
the souls of thousands, and it is uncharitable 
towards himself. I cannot deny that this is a 
very fierce passage ; but Arius was banished, not 
burned ; and it is only fair to myself to say that 
neither at this, nor any other time in my life, 
not even when I was fiercest, could I have even 
cut off a Puritan s ears, and I think the sight 
of a Spanish auto-da-fe would have been the 
death of me. Again, when one of my friends, 
of liberal and evangelical opinions, wrote to 
expostulate with me on the course I was taking, 
I said that we would ride over him and his as 
Othniel prevailed over Chushan-rishathaim, king 
of Mesopotamia. Again, I would have no dealings 
with my brother, and I put my conduct upon a 
syllogism. I said, St Paul bids us avoid those 
who cause divisions ; you cause divisions : there 
fore I must avoid you. I dissuaded a lady from 
attending the marriage of a sister who had 
seceded from the Anglican Church. No wonder 
that Blanco White, who had known me under 
such different circumstances, now, hearing the 
general course that I was taking, was amazed 
at the change which he recognized in me. He 
speaks bitterly and unfairly of me in his letters, 
contemporaneously with the first years of the 
Movement; but in 1839, when looking back, 
he uses terms of me, which it would be hardly 
modest in me to quote, were it not that what 
he says of me in praise is but part of a whole 
account of me. He says: f ln this party [the 
anti-Peel, in 1829] I found, to my great surprise, 
my dear friend, Mr Newman of Oriel. AS he 

1833 TO 1839 55 

had been one of the annual petitioners to Par 
liament for Catholic Emancipation, his sudden 
union with the most violent bigots was inex 
plicable to me. That change was the first 
manifestation of the mental revolution, which 
has suddenly made him one of the leading 
persecutors of Dr Hampden, and the most 
active and influential member of that association, 
called the Puseyite party, from which we have 
those very strange productions, entitled Tracts 
for the Times. While stating these public facts, 
my heart feels a pang at the recollection of 
the affectionate and mutual friendship between 
that excellent man and myself; a friendship, 
which his principles of orthodoxy could not 
allow him to continue in regard to one whom 
he now regards as inevitably doomed to eternal 
perdition. Such is the venomous character of 
orthodoxy. What mischief must it create in a 
bad heart and narrow mind, when it can work 
so effectually for evil, in one of the most be 
nevolent of bosoms, and one of the ablest of 
minds, in the amiable, the intellectual, the re 
fined John Henry Newman! (vol. iii. p. 131). 
He adds, that I would have nothing to do with 
him, a circumstance which I do not recollect, 
and very much doubt. 

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

1. First was the principle of dogma: my battle 
was with liberalism; by liberalism I meant the 
antidogmatic principle and its developments,, 


This was the first point on which I was certain. 
Here I make a remark : persistence in a given 
belief is no sufficient test of its truth; but 
departure from it is at least a slur upon the 
man who has felt so certain about it. In pro 
portion,, then, as I had in 1832 a strong per 
suasion in beliefs which I have since given up, 
so far a sort of guilt attaches to me, not only 
for that vain confidence, but for my multiform 
conduct in consequence of it. But here I have 
the satisfaction of feeling that I have nothing 
to retract, and nothing to repent of. The main 
principle of the Movement is as dear to me 
now as it ever was. I have changed in many 
things ; in this I have not. From the age of 
fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental prin 
ciple of my religion : I know no other religion ; I 
cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of relig 
ion, 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 ] 864. 
Please God, I shall hold it to the end. Even 
when I was under Dr Whately s influence, I 
had no temptation to be less zealous for the 
great dogmas of the faith, and at various times 
I used to resist such trains of thought on his part, 
as seemed to me (rightly or wrongly) to obscure 
them. Such was the fundamental principle of 
the Movement of 1 833. 

2. Secondly, I was confident in the truth of 
certain definite religious teaching, based upon 
this foundation of dogma; vis. that there was 
a visible Church with sacraments and rites which 
are the channels of invisible grace. I thought 

1833 TO 1839. 57 

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

And, further, as to the episcopal system, I 
founded it upon the Epistles of St. Ignatius, 
which inculcated it in various ways. One passage 


especially impressed itself upon me: speaking 
of cases of disobedience to ecclesiastical author 
ity, he says, A man does not deceive that Bishop 
whom he sees, but he practises rather with the 
Bishop Invisible, and so the question is not 
with flesh, but with God, who knows the secret 
heart. I wished to act on this principle to the 
letter, and I may say with confidence that I 
never consciously transgressed it. loved to 
act in the sight of my Bishop as if I was, as 
it were, in the sight of God. It was one of my 
special safeguards against myself and of my 
supports ; I could not go very wrong while I had 
reason to believe that I was in no respect dis 
pleasing him. It was not a mere formal obed 
ience to rule that I put before me, but 
desired to please him personally, as I considered 
him set over me by the Divine Hand. I was 
strict in observing my clerical engagements, not 
only because they were engagements, but because 
I considered myself simply as the servant and 
instrument of my Bishop. I did not care much 
for the Bench of Bishops, except as they might 
be the voice of my Church : nor should I have 
cared much for a Provincial Council; nor for a 
Diocesan Synod presided over by my Bishop; 
all these matters seemed to me to be jure 
ecclesiastico, but what to me was jure divino 
was the voice of my Bishop in his own person. 
My own Bishop was my Pope; I knew no 
other ; the successor of the Apostles, the Vicar 
of Christ. This was but a practical exhibition 
of the Anglican theory of Church Government 
as I had already drawn it out myself. This 
continued all through my course. When at 
Jength, in 1845, I wrote to Bishop Wiseman, in 

1833 TO 1839 59 

whose Vicariate I found myself, to announce 
my conversion, I could find nothing better to 
say to him than that I would obey the Pope 
as I had obeyed my own Bishop in the Anglican 
Church. My duty to him was my point of 
honour; his disapprobation was the one thing 
which I could not bear. I believe it to have 
been a generous and honest feeling; and, in 
consequence, I was rewarded by having all my 
:ime, for ecclesiastical superior, a man, whom 
lad I had a choice, I should have preferred, 
)ut and out, to any other Bishop on the Bench, 
md for whose memory I have a special affection, 
Dr Bagot a man of noble mind, and as kind- 
icarted and as considerate as he was noble, 
rle ever sympathized with me in my trials 
-vhich followed ; it was my own fault, that I 
vas not brought into more familiar personal 
elations with him than it was my happiness 
:o be. May his name be ever blessed ! 

And now, in concluding my remarks on the 
econd point on which my confidence rested, 

observe that here again 1 have no retractation 
o announce as to its main outline. While I 
,m now as clear in my acceptance of the prin- 
iple of dogma as I was in 1833 and 1816, so 
.gain I am now as firm in my belief of a visible 
Jhurch, of the authority of Bishops, of the 
jrace of the sacraments, of the religious worth 
f works of penance, as I was in 1833. I have 
dded Articles to my Creed ; but the old ones, 
diich I then held with a divine faith, remain. 

3. But now, as to the third point on which 

stood in 1833, and which I have utterly 

enounced and trampled upon since my then 

lew of the Church of Rome; I will speak 


about it as exactly as I can. When I was young, 
as I have said already, and after I was grown 
up, I thought the Pope to be Antichrist. At 
Christmas 1824-5 I preached a Sermon to that 
effect: In 1827 I accepted eagerly the stanza 
in the Christian Year, which many people 
thought too charitable, < Speak gently of thy 
sister s fall . From the time that knew 
Froude I got less and less bitter on the sub 
ject. I spoke (successively, but I cannot tell 
in what order, or at what dates) of the Roman 
Church as being bound up with the cause of 
Antichrist , as being one of the many antichrists 
foretold by St John, as being influenced by 
the spirit of Antichrist , and as having some 
thing very Antichristian , or ( unchristian , about 
her. From my boyhood, and in 1 824, 1 considered, 
after Protestant authorities, that St Gregory I, 
about A.D. 600, was the first Pope that was Anti 
christ, and again that he was also a great and 
holy man; in 1832-3 I thought the Church of 
Rome was bound up with the cause of Anti 
christ by the Council of Trent. When it was, 
that in my deliberate judgment I gave up 
notion altogether in any shape, that some special 
reproach was attached to her name, I cannot 
tell ; but I had a shrinking from renouncing it 
even when my reason so ordered me, from ; 
sort of conscience or prejudice, I think up tc 
1843. Moreover, at least during the Trac 
Movement, I thought the essence of 
offence to consist in the honours which sh< 
paid to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints 
and the more I grew in devotion, both to 
Saints and to Our Lady, the more impatien 
was I at the Roman practices, as if 

1833 TO 1839 61 

rlorified creations of God must be gravely 
.hocked, if pain could be theirs, at the undue 
veneration of which they were the objects. 

On the other hand, Hurrell Froude in his 
amiliar conversation was always tending to rub 
;he idea out of my mind. In a passage of one 
)f his letters from abroad, alluding, I suppose, 
;o what I used to say in opposition to him, 
le observes: ( I think people are injudicious 
,vho talk against the Roman Catholics for wor 
shipping Saints, and honouring the Virgin and 
mages, etc. These things may perhaps be 
dolatrous ; I cannot make up my mind about 
t; but to my mind it is the Carnival that is 
eal, practical idolatry, as it is written, "the 
people sat down to eat, and drink, and rose up 
:o play". The Carnival, I observe in passing, 
is, in fact, one of those very excesses, to which, 
for at least three centuries, religious Catholics 
have ever opposed themselves, as we see in the 
life of St Philip, to say nothing of the present 
day ; but this he did not know. Moreover, 
from Froude I learned to admire the great 
medieval Pontiffs ; and, of course, when I had 
come to consider the Council of Trent to be 
the turning-point of the history of Christian 
Rome, I found myself as free, as I was rejoiced, 
to speak in their praise. Then, when I was 
abroad, the sight of so many great places, 
venerable shrines, and noble churches, much 
impressed my imagination. And my heart was 
touched also. Making an expedition on foot 
across some wild country in Sicily, at six in 
the morning I came upon a small church ; I 
heard voices, and I looked in. It was crowded, 
and the congregation was singing. Of course 


it was the Mass, though I did not know it at 
the time. And, in my weary days at Palermo, 
I was not ungrateful for the comfort which 
I had received in frequenting the Churches, 
nor did I ever forget it. Then, again, her zealous 
maintenance of the doctrine and the rule of 
celibacy, which I recognized as Apostolic, and 
her faithful agreement with Antiquity in so 
many points, besides, which were dear to me, 
was an argument as well as a plea in favour of 
the great Church of Rome. Thus I learned to 
have tender feelings towards her ; but still my 
reason was not affected at all. My judgment 
was against her, when viewed as an institution, 
as truly as it ever had been. 

This conflict between reason and affection I 
expressed in one of the early Tracts, published 
July, 1834. Considering the high gifts, and the 
strong claims of the Church of Rome and its 
dependencies on our admiration, reverence, love, 
and gratitude ; how could we withstand it, as 
we do, how could we refrain from being melted 
into tenderness, and rushing into communion with 
it, but for the words of Truth itself, which bid 
us prefer It to the whole world? "He that 
loveth father or mother more than Me, is not 
worthy of me." How could "we learn to be 
severe, and execute judgment ", but for the 
warning of Moses against even a divinely-gifted 
teacher, who should preach new gods ; and the 
anathema of St Paul even against Angels and 
Apostles, who should bring in a new doctrine? 1 
-Records No. 24*. My feeling was something 
like that of a man, who is obliged in a court 
of justice to bear witness against a friend; 01 
like my own now, when I have said, and shall 
" * 

h . " < > s 




1833 TO 1839 63 

say, so many things on which I had rather be 

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

And now I come to the very point for which 
I have introduced the subject of my feelings 
about Rome. I felt such confidence in the substan 
tial justice of the charges which I advanced against 
her, that I considered them to be a safeguard and 
an assurance, that no harm could ever arise from 
the freest exposition of what I used to call Angli 
can principles. All the world was astounded at 
what Froude and I were saying ; men said that 


it was sheer Popery. I answered, True, we 
seem to be making straight for it; but go on 
awhile, and you will come to a deep chasm 
across the path, which makes real approximation 
impossible . And I urged in addition, that 
many Anglican divines had been accused of 
Popery, yet had died in their Anglicanism - 
now, the ecclesiastical principles which I pro 
fessed, they had professed also; and the judg 
ment against Rome which they had formed, I 
had formed also. Whatever faults, then, the 
Anglican system might have, and however boldly 
I might point them out, anyhow that system 
was not vulnerable on the side of Rome, and 
might be mended in spite of her. In that very 
agreement of the two forms of faith, close as 
it might seem, would really be found, on exa 
mination, the elements and principles of an 
essential discordance. 

It was with this supreme persuasion on my 
mind, that I fancied that there could be no 
rashness in giving to the world in fullest meas 
ure the teaching and the writings of the Fathers. 
I thought that the Church of England was 
substantially founded upon them. I did not 
know all that the Fathers had said, but I felt 
that, even when their tenets happened to differ 
from the Anglican, no harm could come of 
reporting them. I said out what I was clear 
they had said ; I spoke vaguely and imperfectly 
of what I thought they said, or what some 
of them had said. Anyhow, no harm could 
come of bending the crooked stick the othei 
way, in the process of straightening it; it was 
impossible to break it. If there was any thing 
in the Fathers of a startling character, it woulc 

1833 TO 1839 65 

be only for a time; it would admit of explana 
tion ; it could not lead to Rome. I express this 
/iew of the matter in a passage of the preface 
:o the first volume, which I edited, of the 
Library of the Fathers. Speaking of the strange- 
icss, at first sight, presented to the Anglican 
nind, of some of their principles and opinions, I 
jid the reader go forward hopefully, and not 
ndulge his criticism till he knows more about 
;hem, than he will learn at the outset. Since 
:he evil , I say, f is in the nature of the case 
tself, we can do no more than have patience, 
ind recommend patience to others, and, with 
;he racer in the Tragedy, look forward steadily 
ind hopefully to the event, T w retei T/O-T/V Qepcav, 
vhen as we trust, all that is inharmonious and 
tnomalous in the details will at length be 
tactically smoothed. 

Such was the position, such the defences, 
uch the tactics, by which I thought that it 
vas both incumbent on us, and possible to us, 
o meet that onset of Liberal principles of 
vhich we were all in immediate anticipation, 
vhether in the Church or in the University. 
\nd during the first year of the Tracts, the 
ttack upon the University began. In November 
834 was sent to me by the author, the second 
dition of a pamphlet entitled Observations on 
Religious Dissent, with particular reference to the 
se of religious tests in the University. In this 
amphlet it was maintained, that Religion is 
listinct from Theological Opinion (pp. 1, 28, 
!0, etc.); that it is but a common prejudice to 
ientify theological propositions, methodically 
deduced and stated, with the simple religion 
f Christ (p. 1 ) ; that under Theological Opinion 


were to be placed the Trinitarian doctrine (p. 
27), and the Unitarian (p. 19) ; that a dogma 
was a theological opinion insisted on (pp. 20, 
21); that speculation always left an opening 
for improvement (p. 22) ; that the Church of 
England was not dogmatic in its spirit, though 
the wording of its formularies may often carry 
the sound of dogmatism (p. 23). 

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

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

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

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

Such was the commencement of the assaul 
of Liberalism upon the old orthodoxy of Oxforc 
and England ; and it could not have been broken 
as it was, for so long a time, had not a grea 

1833 TO 1839 67 

hange taken place in the circumstances of that 
;ounter-movement which had already started with 
;he view of resisting it. For myself, I was not the 
)erson to take the lead of a party ; I never was, 
rom first to last, more than a leading author of a 
chool ; nor did I ever wish to be any thing else. 
Phis is my own account of the matter, and I say it, 
icither as intending to disown the responsibility of 
vhat was done, nor as if ungrateful to those who 
it that time made more of me than I deserved, 
,nd did more for my sake, and at my bidding, 
han I realized myself. I am giving my history 
rom my own point of sight, and it is as follows: 

had lived for ten years among my personal 
i-iends ; the greater part of the time, I had been 
nfluenced, not influencing ; and at no time have 

acted on others, without their acting upon 
ne. As is the custom of a University, I had 
ived with my private, nay, with some of my 
mblic, pupils, and with the junior Fellows of 
ny College, without form or distance, on a 
boting of equality. Thus it was through friends, 
r ounger, for the most part, than myself, that 
ay principles were spreading. They heard what 

said in conversation, and told it to others. 
Jndergraduates in due time took their degree, 
nd became private tutors themselves. In this 
lew status, in turn, they preached the opinions 
vhich they had already learned themselves. Others 
vent down to the country, and became curates 
>f parishes. Then they had down from London 
>arcels of the Tracts, and other publications. 
They placed them in the shops of local book- 
ellers, got them into newspapers, introduced 
hem to clerical meetings, and converted more 
r less their Rectors and their brother curates. 


Thus the Movement, viewed with relation to 
myself, was but a floating opinion ; it was not 
a power. It never would have been a power, if 
it had remained in my hands. Years after, a 
friend, writing to me in remonstrance at the 
excesses, as he thought them, of my disciples, 
applied to me my own verse about St Gregory 
Nazianzen: f Thou couldst a people raise, but 
couldst not rule. At the time that he wrote 
to me, I had special impediments in the way 
of such an exercise of power ; but at no time 
could I exercise over others that authority which 
under the circumstances was imperatively required, 
My great principle ever was, Live and let live. I 
never had the staidness or dignity necessary for 
a leader. To the last, I never recognized the 
hold I had over young men. Of late years, I 
have read and heard that they even imitated 
me in various ways. I was quite unconscious of 
it, and I think my immediate friends knew too 
well how disgusted I should be at the news to 
have the heart to tell me. I felt great impatience 
at our being called a party, and would not allow 
that we were. I had a lounging, free-and-easy 
way of carrying things on. I exercised no suffic 
ient censorship upon the Tracts. I did not 
confine them to the writings of such persons as 
agreed in all things with myself; and, as to my 
own Tracts, I printed on them a notice to the 
effect, that any one who pleased might make what 
use he would of them, and reprint them with 
alterations, if he chose, under the conviction that 
their main scope could not be damaged by such 
a process. It was the same afterwards, as regards 
other publications. For two years I furnished a 
certain number of sheets for The British Critic 

1833 TO 1839 69 

from myself and my friends, while a gentleman 
was editor, a man of splendid talent, who, how 
ever, was scarcely an acquaintance of mine, and 
had no sympathy with the Tracts. When I was 
editor myself, from 1838 to 1841, in my very 
first number, I suffered to appear a critique un 
favourable to my work on Justification, which 
had been published a few months before, from 
a feeling of propriety, because I had put the 
book into the hands of the writer who so 
handled it. Afterwards, I suffered an article 
against the Jesuits to appear in it of which I 
did not like the tone. When I had to provide 
a curate for my new church at Littlemore, I 
engaged a friend, by no fault of his, who, before 
he entered into his charge, preached a sermon, 
either in depreciation of Baptismal Regeneration, 
or of Dr Pusey s view of it. I showed a similar 
easiness as to the editors who helped me in 
the separate volumes of Fleury s Church History ; 
they were able, learned, and excellent men, but 
their after-history has shown how little my 
choice of them was influenced by any notion 
I could have had of any intimate agreement 
of opinion between them and myself. I shall 
have to make the same remark in its place 
concerning the Lives of the English Saints, which 
subsequently appeared. All this may seem 
inconsistent with what I have said of my fierce 
ness. I am not bound to account for it; but 
there have been men before me, fierce in act, 
yet tolerant and moderate in their reasonings ; 
at least so I read history. However, such was 
the case, and such its effect upon the Tracts. 
These, at first starting, were short, hasty, and 
some of them ineffective ; and at the end of 


the year, when collected into a volume, they 
had a slovenly appearance. 

It was under these circumstances,, that Dr 
Pusey joined us. I had known him well since 
1827-8, and had felt for him an enthusiastic 
admiration. I used to call him 6 neyus. His 
great learning, his immense diligence, his scholar- 
like mind, his simple devotion to the cause of 
religion, overcame me ; and great of course was 
m y jy> when in the last days of 1833 he 
showed a disposition to make common cause 
with us. His Tract on Fasting appeared as one 
of the series, with the date of December 21. 
He was not, however, I think fully associated 
in the Movement till 1835 and 1836, when he 
published his Tract on Baptism, and started the 
Library of the Fathers. He at once gave to us 
a position and a name. Without him we should 
have had no chance, especially at the early date 
of 1834, of making any serious resistance to the 
Liberal aggression. But Dr Pusey was a Pro 
fessor and Canon of Christ Church; he had a 
vast influence in consequence of his deep religious 
seriousness, the munificence of his charities, his 
professorship, his family connexions, and his 
easy relations with University authorities. He was 
to the Movement all that Mr Rose might have 
been, with that indispensable addition, which 
was wanting to Mr Rose, the intimate friendship 
and the familiar daily society of the persons 
who had commenced it. And he had that 
special claim on their attachment which lies 
in the living presence of a faithful and loyal 
affectionateness. There was henceforth a man 
who could be the head and centre of the zealous 
people, in every part of the country, who were 

1833 TO 1839 71 

adopting the new opinions ; and not only so, 
but there was one who furnished the Movement 
with a front to the world, and gained for it a 
recognition from other parties in the University. 
In 1829,, Mr Froude, or Mr R. Wilberforce, or 
Mr Newman were but individuals ; and, when 
they ranged themselves in the contest of that 
year on the side of Sir Robert Inglis, men on 
either side only asked with surprise how they 
got there, and attached no significancy to the 
fact ; but Dr Pusey was, to use the common 
expression, a host in himself; he was able to 
give a name, a form, and a personality to what 
was without him a sort of mob ; and when various 
parties had to meet together in order to resist 
the Liberal acts of the Government, we of the 
Movement took our place by right among them. 
Such was the benefit which he conferred on 
the Movement externally; nor was the internal 
advantage at all inferior to it. He was a man 
of large designs ; he had a hopeful, sanguine 
mind ; he had no fear of others ; he was haunted 
by no intellectual perplexities. People are apt 
to say that he was once nearer to the Catholic 
Church than he is now ; I pray God that he 
may be one day nearer to the Catholic Church 
than he was then ; for I believe that, in his 
reason and judgment, all the time that I knew 
him, he never was near to it at all. When I 
became a Catholic, I was often asked, What of 
Dr Pusey ? - -when I said that I did not see 
symptoms of his doing as I had done, I was 
sometimes thought uncharitable. If confidence 
in his position is (as it is) a first essential in 
the leader of a party, Dr Pusey had it. The 
most remarkable instance of this was his state- 


ment, in one of his subsequent defences of the 
Movement, when, too, it had advanced a consider 
able way in the direction of Rome, that among 
its most hopeful peculiarities was its stationari- 
iiess . He made it in good faith; it was his 
subjective view of it. 

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

I suspect it was Dr Pusey s influence and 
example which set me, and made me set others, 
on the larger and more careful works in defence 
of the principles of the Movement which follow 
ed in a course of years some of them demanding, 
and receiving from their authors, such elaborate 

1833 TO 1839 73 

treatment that they did not make their appear 
ance till both its temper and its fortunes had 
changed. I set about a work at once ; one in 
which was brought out with precision the relat 
ion in which we stood to the Church of Rome. 
We could not move a step in comfort till this 
was done. It was of absolute necessity, and 
a plain duty, to provide as soon as possible a 
large statement, which would encourage and 
re-assure our friends, and repel the attacks of 
our opponents. A cry was heard on all sides of 
us, that the Tracts and the writings on the 
Fathers would lead us to become Catholics be 
fore we were aware of it. This was loudly ex 
pressed by members of the Evangelical party, who, 
in 1856 had joined us in making a protest in 
Convocation against a memorable appointment 
of the Prime Minister. These clergymen even 
then avowed their desire, that the next time 
they were brought up to Oxford to give a vote, 
it might be in order to put down the Popery 
of the Movement. There was another reason 
still, and quite as important. Monsignore Wiseman, 
with the acuteness and zeal which might be 
expected from that great prelate, had antici 
pated what was coming, had returned to England 
in 1836 , had delivered lectures in London on 
the doctrines of Catholicism, and created an 
impression through the country, shared in by 
ourselves, that we had for our opponents in 
controversy, not only our brethren, but our 
hereditary foes. These were the circumstances 
which led to my publication of The Prophetical 
office of the Church viewed relatively to Romanism 
and Popular Protestant ism . 

This work employed me for three years, from 


the beginning of 1834 to the end of 1836. It 
was composed after a careful consideration and 
comparison of the principal Anglican divines of 
the 17th century. It was first written in the 
shape of controversial correspondence with a 
learned French priest; then it was re-cast, and 
delivered in. lectures at St Mary s: lastly, with 
considerable retrenchments and additions, it was 
re-written for publication. 

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

But this volume had a larger scope than that 

1833 TO 1839 75 

of opposing the Roman system. It was an attempt 
at commencing a system of theology on the 
Anglican idea, and based upon Anglican authori 
ties. Mr Palmer, about the same time, was 
projecting a work of a similar nature in his 
own way. It was published, I think, under the 
title, A Treatise on the Christian Church. As was 
to be expected from the author, it was a most 
learned, most careful composition ; arid in its 
form, I should say, polemical. So happily at 
least did he follow the logical method of the 
Roman Schools, that Father Perrone in his Trea 
tise on Dogmatic Theology, recognized in him a 
combatant of the true cast, and saluted him as 
a foe worthy of being vanquished. Other soldiers 
in that field he seems to have thought little 
better than the Lanzknechts of the middle ages, 
and, I dare say, with very good reason. When 
I knew that excellent and kind-hearted man 
at Rome, at a later time, he allowed me to 
put him to ample penance for those light thoughts 
of me, which he had once had, by encroaching 
on his valuable time with my theological ques 
tions. As to Mr Palmer s book, it was one which 
no Anglican could write but himself in no 
sense, if I recollect aright, a tentative w^ork. 
The ground of controversy was cut into squares, 
and then every objection had its answer. This 
is the proper method to adopt in teaching authori 
tatively young men ; and the work in fact was 
intended for students in theology. My own 
book, on the other hand, was of a directly 
tentative and empirical character. I wished to 
build up an Anglican theology out of the stores 
which already lay cut and hewn upon the ground, 
the past toil of great divines. To do this could 


not be the work of one man ; much less could it be at 
once received into Anglican theology, however well 
it was done. I fully trusted that my statements of 
doctrine would turn out true and important ; yet I 
wrote, to use the common phrase, c under correction. 
There was another motive for my publishing, 
of a personal nature, which I think I should 
mention. I felt then, and all along felt, that 
there was an intellectual cowardice in not having 
a basis in reason for my belief, and a moral 
cowardice in not avowing that basis. I should 
have felt myself less than a man if I did not 
bring it out, whatever it was. This is one 
principal reason why I wrote and published 
The Prophetical Office. It was on the same 
feeling that in the spring of 1836, at a meet 
ing of residents on the subject of the struggle 
then proceeding, someone wanted us all merely 
to act on college and conservative grounds (as 
I understood him), with as few published state 
ments as possible: I answered, that the person 
whom we were resisting had committed himself 
in writing, and that we ought to commit our 
selves too. This again was a main reason for 
the publication of Tract 90. Alas ! it was my 
portion for whole years to remain without any 
satisfactory basis for my religious profession, in 
a state of moral sickness, neither able to acquiesce 
in Anglicanism, nor able to go to Rome. But I 
bore it till, in course of time, my way was made 
clear to me. If here it be objected to me, that as 
time went on I often in my writings hinted at 
things which I did not fully bring out, I submit 
for consideration whether this occurred except 
when I was in great difficulties^ how to speak, or 
how to be silent, with due regard for the position 

1833 TO 1839 77 

of mind or the feelings of others. However, I 

may have an opportunity to say more on this 

subject. But to return to the Prophetical Office. 

I thus speak in the Introduction to my Volume : 

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

The subject of the volume is the doctrine 
of the Via Media, a name which had already 


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

Lest I should be misunderstood, let me ob 
serve that this hesitation about the validity of 

1833 TO 1839 79 

the theory of the Via Media implied no doubt 
of the three fundamental points on which it 
was based, as I have described above, dogma, 
the sacramental system, and opposition to the 
Church of Rome. 

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

I had brought out in The Prophetical Office 
in what the Roman and the Anglican systems 
differed from each other, but less distinctly in 
what they agreed. I had, indeed, enumerated 
the Fundamentals common to both in the 
following passage: 

In both systems the same Creeds are acknowledged. 
Besides other points in common, we both hold, that certain 
doctrines are necessary to be believed for salvation; we 
both believe in the doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, 
and Atonement; in original sin ; in the necessity of regenera 
tion; in the supernatural grace of the Sacraments; in the 
Apostolical succession; in the obligation of faith and 
obedience, and in the eternity of future punishment, 
pp. 556) 

So much I had said, but I had not said 
enough. This enumeration implied a great many 
more points of agreement than were found in 
those very Articles which were fundamental. 
If the two Churches were thus the same in 


fundamentals, they were also one and the same 
in such plain consequences as are contained in 
those fundamentals, or as outwardly represented 
them. It was an Anglican principle that f the 
abuse of a thing doth not take away the lawful 
use of it ; and an Anglican Canon, in 1603, had 
declared that the English Church had no pur 
pose to forsake all that was held in the Churches 
of Italy, France, and Spain, and reverenced 
those ceremonies and particular points which 
were Apostolic. Excepting then such exeptional 
matters, as are implied in this avowal, whether 
they were many or few, all these Churches 
were evidently to be considered as one with 
the Anglican. The Catholic Church in all lands 
had been one from the first for many centuries ; 
then, various portions had followed their own 
way, to the injury, but not to the destruction, 
whether of truth or of charity. These portions, 
or branches, were mainly three: the Greek, 
Latin, and Anglican. Each of these inherited 
the early undivided Church in solido as its own 
possession. Each branch was identical with that 
early, undivided Church, and in the unity of 
that Church it had unity with the other branches. 
The three branches agreed together in all but 
their later accidental errors. Some branches 
had retained in detail portions of Apostolical 
truth and usage which the others had not; and these 
portions might be, and should be, appropriated 
again by the others which had let them slip. Thus, 
the middle age belonged to the Anglican Church, 
and much more did the middle age of England. 
The Church of the 12th century was the Church 
of the 19th. Dr Howley sat in the seat of 
St Thomas the Martyr ; Oxford was a medieval 

1833 TO 1839 81 

University. Saving our engagements to Prayer 
Book and Articles, we might breathe, and live, 
and act, and speak, in the atmosphere and cli 
mate of Henry Ill s day, or the Confessor s, or 
of Alfred s. And we ought to be indulgent of 
all that Rome taught now, as of what Rome 
taught then, saving our protest. We might 
boldly welcome even what we did not ourselves 
think right to adopt. And, when we were 
obliged, on the contrary, boldly to denounce, we 
should do so with pain, not with exultation. 
By very reason of our protest, which we had 
made, and made ex animo, we could agree to 
differ. What the members of the Bible Society 
did on the basis of Scripture, we could do on 
the basis of the Church ; Trinitarian and Unitar 
ian were further apart than Roman and Anglican. 
Thus we had a real wish to co-operate with 
Rome in all lawful things, if she would let us, 
and the rules of our own Church let us ; and 
we thought there was no better way towards the 
restoration of doctrinal purity and unity. And 
we thought that Rome was not committed by 
her formal decrees to all that she actually taught ; 
ind again, if her disputants had been unfair to 
as, or her rulers tyrannical, that on our side 
;oo there had been rancour and slander in our 
controversy with her, and violence in our polit- 
cal measures. As to ourselves being instruments 
n improving the belief or practice of Rome 
lirectly, I used to say, Look at home ; let us 
irst, or at least let us the while, supply our 
)wn short-comings before we attempt to be 
)hysicians to any one else . This is very much 
he spirit of Tract 71, to which I referred just 
low. I am well aware that there is a paragraph 



contrary to it in the Prospectus to the Library 
of the Fathers ; but I never concurred in it. In 
deed, I have no intention whatever of implying 
that Dr Pusey concurred in the ecclesiastical 
theory which I have been drawing out ; nor 
that I took it up myself, except by degrees, in 
the course of ten years. It was necessarily the 
growth of time. In fact, hardly any two 
persons, who took part in the Movement, 
agreed in their view of the limit to which 
our general principles might religiously be 

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

I will mention in illustration some of the princi 
pal works, doctrinal and historical, which orig 
inated in the object which I have stated. 

I wrote my Essay on Justification in 1837; i 1 
was aimed at the Lutheran dictum that justifica 

1833 TO 1839 83 

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

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

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


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

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

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

1833 TO 1839 85 

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

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

That dear and familiar companion, who thus 
put the Breviary into my hands, is still in the 
Anglican Church. So, too, is that early vene 
rated, long-loved friend, together with whom 


I edited a work which, more perhaps than 
any other, caused disturbance and annoyance 
in the Anglican world, Froude s Remains; yet, 
however judgment might run as to the prudence 
of publishing it, I never heard any one impute 
to Mr Keble the very shadow of dishonesty or 
treachery towards his Church in so acting. 

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

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

So I went on for years, up to 1841. It was, 
in a human point of view, the happiest time 
of my life. I was truly at home. I had in 
one of my volumes appropriated to myself the 
words of Bramhall, Bees, by the instinct of 
nature, do love their hives, and birds their 
nests . I did not suppose that such sunshine 
would last, though I knew not what would be 
its termination. It was the time of plenty, 
and, during its seven years, I tried to lay up 
as much as I could for the death which was 
to follow it, We prospered and spread. I have 

1833 TO 1839 87 

spoken of the doings of these years, since I 
was a Catholic, in a passage, part of which I 
will quote, though there is a sentence in it that 
requires some limitation: 

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

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

In your Lordship s Charge for 1 838 , I said, 


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

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

From the time that I had entered upon the 
duties of Public Tutor at my college, when my 
doctrinal views were very different from what 
they were in 1841, I had meditated a comment 
upon the Articles. Then, when the Movement 
was in its swing, friends had said to me What 
will you make of the Articles ? - -but I did not 
share the apprehension which their question 
implied. Whether, as time went on, I should 

1833 TO 1839 89 

have been forced, by the necessities of the original 
theory of the Movement, to put on paper the 
speculations which I had about them, I am not 
able to conjecture. The actual cause of my doing 
so, in the beginning of 1841, was the restlessness, 
actual and prospective, of those who neither liked 
the Via Media nor my strong judgment against 
Rome. I had been enjoined, I think by my Bishop, 
to keep these men straight, and I wished so to 
do : but their tangible difficulty was subscription 
to the Articles ; and thus the question of the 
Articles came before me. It was thrown in our 
teeth ; How can you manage to sign the 
Articles? They are directly against Rome . 
! Against Rome? I made answer, What do 
you mean by Rome? and then I proceeded to 
make distinctions, of which I shall now give an 

By < Roman doctrine might be meant one of 
three things: 1, the Catholic teaching of the 
^arly centuries ; or 2, informal dogmas of Rome 
is contained in the later Councils, especially 
:he Council of Trent, and as condensed in the 
3reed of Pope Pius IV ; 3, the actual popular 
leliejs and usages sanctioned by Rome in the 
countries in communion with it, over and above 
he dogmas ; and these I called dominant errors . 
Now Protestants commonly thought that in all 
hree senses Roman doctrine was condemned 
n the Articles: I thought that the Catholic 
caching was not condemned; that the dominant 
rrors were; and as to the Jormal dogmas, that 
ome were, some were not, and that the line 
lad to be drawn between them. Thus, 1, the 
ise of prayers for the dead was a Catholic 
loctrine- not condemned ; 2, the prison of Pur- 


gatory was a Roman dogma which was con 
demned; but the infallibility of Ecumenical 
Councils was a Roman dogma not condemned ; 
and 3, the fire of Purgatory was an authorized 
and popular error, not a dogma which was 

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

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

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

Such being the object which I had in view 
what were my prospects of widening anc 
defining their meaning? The prospect wa, 
encouraging ; there was no doubt at all of th 
elasticity of the Articles : to take a palmar 
instance, the seventeenth was assumed by on< 
party to be Lutheran, by another Calviriistic 
though the two interpretations were contradict 

1833 TO 1839 91 

3ry to each other ; why then should not other 
Articles be drawn up with a vagueness of an equal- 
y intense character? I wanted to ascertain what 
vas the limit of that elasticity in the direction 
)f Roman dogma. But next, I had a way of 
nquiry of my own which I state without defend- 
ng. I instanced it afterwards in my Essay on 
Doctrinal Development. That work, I believe, I 
lave not read since I published it, and I doubt 
lot at all that I have made many mistakes in 
t; partly from my ignorance of the details of 
loctrine as the Church of Rome holds them, 
mt partly from my impatience to clear as large 
i range for the principle of doctrinal development 
waiving the question of historical Jacf) as was 
consistent with the strict Apostolicity and identity 
>f the Catholic Creed. In like manner, as regards 
he 39 Articles, my method of inquiry was to 
eap in medias res. I wished to institute an inquiry, 
low far, in critical fairness, the text could be 
>pened ; I was aiming far more at ascertaining 
vhat a man who subscribed it might hold than 
vhat he must, so that my conclusions were 
icgative rather than positive. It was but a first 
;ssay. And I made it with the full recognition 
.nd consciousness, which I had already expressed 
n my Prophetical Office as regards the Via Media, 
hat I was making only f a first approximation to 
. required solution , a series of illustrations sup- 
)lying hints in the removal of a difficulty, and 
vith full acknowledgment, that in minor points, 
vhether in question of fact or of judgment, there 
vas room for difference or error of opinion , and 
hat I should not be ashamed to own a mistake, 
f it were proved against me, nor reluctant to 
)ear the just blame of it P. 31, 


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

1. But in the way of such an attempt comes 
the prompt objection, that the Articles were 
actually drawn up against Popery , and there 
fore it was transcend eritly absurd and dishonest 
to suppose that Popery in any shape patristic 
belief, Tridentine dogma, or popular corruption 
authoritatively sanctioned would be able to take 
refuge under their text. This premiss I denied. 
Not any religious doctrine at all, but a political 
principle, was the primary English idea at that 
time of Popery . And what was that political 
principle, and how could it best be kept out of 
England? What was the great question in the 
days of Henry and Elizabeth? The Supremacy 

-now, was I saying one single word in favour 
of the Supremacy of the Holy See, of the foreign 
jurisdiction ? No ; I did not believe in it myself. 
Did Henry VIII religiously hold Justification 
by faith only ; did he disbelieve Purgatory ? Was 
Elizabeth zealous for the marriage of the Clergy 
or had she a conscience against the Mass? Tli 
Supremacy of the Pope was the essence of the 
Popery , to which, at the time of the Articles 
the Supreme Head or Governor of the Englisl 
Church was so violently hostile. 

2. But again I said this : let Popery meai 
what it would in the mouths of the compiler 
of the Articles^ let it even, for argument s sake 

1833 TO 1839 93 

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

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

Let the reader observe : the 35th Article says : 
The second Book of Homilies doth contain a 
and wholesome doctrine, and necessary for 


these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies. 
Here the doctrine of the Homilies is recognized 
as godly and wholesome, and subscription to that 
proposition is imposed on all subscribers of the 
Articles. Let us then turn to the Homilies, and 
see what this godly doctrine is : I quoted from 
them to the following effect: 

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

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

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

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

5. That the Four first General Councils belong to the 
Primitive Church. 

6. That there are Six Councils which are allowed and 
received by all men. 

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

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

9. Of the declaration of Christ and Hfs Apostles and 
all the rest of the Holy Fathers. 

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

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

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

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

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

1833 TO 1839 95 

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

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

17. That Ordination is a Sacrament. 

18. That Matrimony is a Sacrament. 

19. That there are other Sacraments besides Baptism 
ind the Lord s Supper. 

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

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

22. That mercifulness wipes out and washes away 
nfirmity and weakness, as salves and remedies to heal 
tores and grievous diseases. 

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

24. That fasting, used with prayer, is of great efficacy and 
veigheth much with God; so the Angel Baphael told Tobias. 

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

26. That Constantino, Bishop of Borne, did condemn 
Philippicus, the Emperor, not without a cause indeed, 
Dut most justly. 

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


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

5. So much for the writers of the Articles 
and Homilies; they were witnesses, not author 
ities, and I used them as such ; but in the 
next place, who were the actual authorities 
imposing them ? I cousidered the imponens to 
be the Convocation of 1571 ; but, here again, it 
would be found that the very Convocation, 
which received and confirmed the 39 Articles, 
also enjoined by Canon that { preachers should 
be careful, that they should never teach aught 
in a sermon, to be religiously held and believed 
by the people, except that which is agreeable 
to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, 
and which the Catholic Fathers and ancient Bishop* 
have collected from that very doctrine. Here 
let it be observed, an appeal is made by the 

1833 TO 1839 97 

Convocation imponens to the very same ancient 
authorities, as had been mentioned with such 
profound veneration by the writers of the Ho 
milies and of the Articles, and thus, if the 
Homilies contained views of doctrine which now 
would be called Roman, there seemed to me 
to be an extreme probability that the Convo 
cation of 1571 also countenanced and received, 
or at least did not reject, those doctrines. 

6. And further, when at length I came ac 
tually to look into the text of the Articles, I 
saw in many cases a patent fulfilment of all 
that I had surmised as to their vagueness and 
indecisiveness, and that, not only on questions 
which lay between Lutherans, Calvinists, and 
Zwinglians, but on Catholic questions also; and 
I have noticed them in my Tract. In the con 
clusion of my Tract I observe : 

They are evidently framed on the principle of leaving 
>pen large questions on which the controversy hinges. 
They state broadly extreme truths, and are silent about 
heir adjustment. For instance, they say that all necessary 
aith must be proved from Scripture ; but do not say who 
s to prove it. They say, that the Church has authority 
n controversies; they do not say what authority. They 
say that it may enforce nothing beyond Scripture, but do 
lot say where the remedy lies when it does. They say 
hat works before grace and justification are worthless 
.nd worse, and that works after grace and justification 
ire acceptable, but they do not speak at all of works 
cith God s aid before justification. They say that men 
,re lawfully called, and sent to minister and preach, who 
,re chosen and called by men who have public authority 
nven them in the Congregation; but they do not add 
>t/ whom the authority is to be given. They say that 
Councils called by Princes may err; they do not determine 
vhether Councils called in the name of Christ may err. 

Such were the considerations which weighed 
.vith me in my inquiry how far the Articles were 



tolerant of a Catholic, or even a Roman inter 
pretation ; and such was the defence which I 
made in my Tract for having attempted it. 
From what I have already said, it will appear 
that I have no need or intention at this day 
to maintain every particular interpretation which 
I suggested in the course of my Tract, nor 
indeed had I then. Whether it was prudent 
or not, whether it was sensible or not, any 
how I attempted only a first essay of a necessary 
work, an essay which, as I was quite prepared 
to find, would require revision and modification 
by means of the lights which I should gain 
from the criticism of others. I should have 
gladly withdrawn any statement which could 
be proved to me to be erroneous ; I considered 
my work to be faulty and objectionable in the 
same sense in which I now consider my Anglican 
interpretations of Scripture to be erroneous, but 
in no other sense. I am surprised that men do 
not apply to the interpreters of Scripture gen 
erally the hard names which they apply to the 
author of Tract 90. He held a large system 
of theology, and applied it to the Articles: 
Episcopalians, or Lutherans, or Presbyterians, 
or Unitarians, hold a large system of theology 
and apply it to Scripture. Every theology has 
its difficulties ; Protestants hold justification by 
faith only, though there is no text in St Paul 
which enunciates it, and though St James ex 
pressly denies it ; do we therefore call Protestants, 
dishonest? They deny that the Church has a divine 
mission, though St Paul says, that it is the 
pillar and ground of Truth ; they keep the Sab 
bath, though St Paul says : Let no man judge 
you in meat, or drink, or in respect of . . . the 

1833 TO 1839 99 

sabbath days. Every creed has texts in its 
favour, and, again, texts which run counter to 
t ; and this is generally confessed. And this 
s what I felt keenly : how had I done worse 
n Tract 90 than Anglicans, Wesleyans, and 
^alvinists did daily in their sermons and their 
publications? How had I done worse than the 
Svangelical party in their ex animo reception of 
;he Services for Baptism and Visitation of the 
Sick * ? Why was I to be dishonest and they 
mmaculate? There was an occasion on which 
our Lord gave an answer, which seemed to be 
ippropriate to my own case, when the tumult 
oroke out against my Tract: c He that is with- 
>ut sin among you, let him first cast a stone 
it him. I could have fancied that a sense of 
;heir own difficulties of interpretation would 

* For instance, let candid men consider the form of 
Absolution contained in that Prayer Book, of which all 
lergymen, Evangelical and Liberal, as well as High Church, 
nd (I think) all persons in University office declare, that 
it contaiueth nothing contrary to the Word of God I 
hallenge, in the sight of all England, Evangelical clergy- 
len generally, to put on paper an interpretation of this 
orm of words, consistent with their sentiments, which 
hall be less forced than the most objectionable of the 
iterpretations which Tract 90 puts upon any passage in 
he Articles. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to His 
Jhurch to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe 
a Him, of His great mercy forgive thee thine offences; 
nd by His authority committed to me, 1 absolve thee from 
II thy sins, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, 
nd of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 

I subjoin the Roman form, as used in England and 
Ise where : Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; 
t ego auctoritate ipsius te absolvo, ab omni vinculo ex- 
ommunicationis et interdicti, in quantum possum et tu 
ndiges. Deinde ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis, in nomine 
atris et Filii et ISpiritus Sancti. Amen. 


have persuaded the great party I have men 
tioned to some prudence, or at least moderation, 
in opposing a teacher of an opposite school. 
But I suppose their alarm and their anger over 
came their sense of justice. 

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

I saw, indeed, clearly, that my place in the Move 
ment was lost ; public confidence was at an end ; 
my occupation was gone. It was simply an im 
possibility, that I could say anything henceforth 
to good effect, when I had been posted up by 
the marshal on the buttery hatch of every 
College of my University, after the manner of 
discommoned pastry-cooks, and when in every 
part of the country, and every class of society, 
through every organ and occasion of opinion, 
in newspapers, in periodicals, at meetings, in 

1833 TO 1839 101 

pulpits, at dinner-tables, in coffee-rooms, in rail 
way carriages, I was denounced as a traitor who 
had laid his train and was detected in the very 
act of firing it against the time-honoured Estab 
lishment. There were indeed men, besides my 
own friends, men of name and position, who 
gallantly took my part, as Dr Hook, Mr Palmer, 
and Mr Perceval : it must have been a grievous 
trial for themselves; yet what, after all, could 
they do for me? Confidence in me was lost 
but I had already lost full confidence in myself. 
Thoughts had passed over me, a year and a half 
before, which for the time had profoundly troubled 
me. They had gone: I had not less confidence 
in the power and the prospects of the Apostolical 
movement than before ; not less confidence than 
before in the grievousness of what I called the 
1 dominant errors of Rome : but how was I any 
more to have absolute confidence in myself? 
How was I to have confidence in my present 
confidence? How was I to be sure that I 
should always think as I thought now? I felt 
that by this event a kind Providence had 
saved me from an impossible position in the 

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


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

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

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

I have nothing to be sorry for (I say to him) except 
having made your Lordship anxious, and others whom I 
am bound to revere. I have nothing to be sorry for, 
but every thing to rejoice in, and be thankful for. I 
have never taken pleasure in seeming to be able to move 

1833 TO 1839 103 

a party, and whatever influence I have had, has been 
found, not sought after. I have acted because others 
did not act, and have sacrificed a quiet which I prized. 
May God be with me in time to come, as He has been 
hitheito! and He will be, if I can but keep my hand 
clean and my heart pure. I think I can bear, or at least 
will try to bear, any personal humiliation, so that I am 
preserved from betraying sacred interests, which the 
Lord of grace and power has given into my charge. 


1839 TO 1841 -I 

AND now that I am about to trace, as far as I 
can, the course of that great revolution of mind, 
which led me to leave my own home, to which 
I was bound by so many strong and tender ties, 
I feel overcome with the difficulty of satisfying 
myself in my account of it, and have recoiled 
from doing so, till the near approach of the 
day on which these lines must be given to the 
world forces me to set about the task. For 
who can know himself, and the multitude of 
subtle influences which act upon him ? and who 
can recollect, at the distance of twenty-five 
years, all that he once knew about his thoughts 
and his deeds, and that, during a portion of 
his life, when, even at the time, his observation, 
whether of himself or the external world, was 
less than before or after, by very reason of the 
perplexity and dismay which weighed upon him 
-when, though it would be most unthankful 
to seem to imply that he had not all-suffiient 
light amid his darkness, yet a darkness it emphat 
ically was ? And who can gird himself suddenly 
to a new and anxious undertaking, which he 
might be able indeed to perform well, had he 
full and calm leisure to look through everything 
that he has written, whether in published works 
or private letters? but, on the other hand, as 

1839 TO 1841 105 

to that calm contemplation of the past, in itself 
so desirable, who can afford to be leisurely and 
deliberate, while he practises on himself a cruel 
operation, the ripping up of old griefs, and the 
venturing again upon the infandum dolorem of 
years, in which the stars of this lower heaven 
were one by one going out? I could not in 
cool blood, nor except upon the imperious call 
of duty, attempt what I have set myself to do. 
It is, both to head and heart, an extreme trial 
thus to analyze what has so long gone by, and 
to bring out the results of that examination. 
I have done various bold things in my life ; this 
is the boldest ; and, were I not sure I should 
after all succeed in my object, it would be 
madness to set about it. 

In the spring of 1839 niy position in the An 
glican Church was at its height. I had supreme 
confidence in my controversial status, and I had 
a great and still growing success in recommend 
ing it to others. I had in the foregoing 
autumn been somewhat sore at the Bishop s 
Charge, but I have a letter which shows that 
all annoyance had passed from my mind. In 
January, if I recollect aright, in order to meet 
the popular clamour against myself and others, 
and to satisfy the Bishop, I had collected into one, 
all the strong things which they, and especially 
I, had said against the Church of Rome, in 
order to their insertion among the advertise 
ments appended to our publications. Conscious 
as I was, that my opinions in religion were not 
gained, as the world said, from Roman sources, 
but were, on the contrary, the birth of my 
own mind and of the circumstances in which 


I had been placed, I had a scorn of the imputa 
tions which were heaped upon me. It was true 
that I held a large bold system of religion, very 
unlike the Protestantism of the day, but it was 
the concentration and adjustment of the state 
ments of great Anglican authorities, and I had 
as much right to do so, as the Evangelical 
party had, and more right than the Liberal, to 
hold their own respective doctrines. As I spoke 
on occasion of Tract 90, I claimed, in behalf 
of who would, that he might hold in the An 
glican Church a comprecation with the Saints 
with Bramhall, and the Mass, all but Transub- 
stantiation, with Andrewes ; or with Hooker, that 
Transubstantiation itself is not a point for Churches 
to part communion upon, or with Hammond, that 
a General Council, truly such, never did, never 
shall, err in a matter of faith, or with Bull, that 
man lost inward grace by the fall, or with Thorn- 
dike that penance is a propitiation for post- 
baptismal sin, or with Pearson that the all- 
powerful name of Jesus is no otherwise given 
than in the Catholic Church. f Two can play 
at that , was often in my mouth, when men 
of Protestant sentiments appealed to the Articles, 
Homilies, or Reformers ; in the sense that, if 
they had a right to speak loud, I had both the 
liberty and the means of giving them tit for tat. 
I thought that the Anglican Church had been 
tyrannized over by a party, and I aimed at 
bringing into effect the promise contained in 
the motto to the Lyia They shall know the 
difference now. I only asked to be allowed 
to show them the difference. 

What will best describe my state of mind, at 
the early part of 1839, is an article in The 


1839 TO 1841 107 

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

In this article I begin by bringing together 
testimonies from our enemies to the remarkable 
success of our exertions. One writer said : Opin 
ions and views of a theology of a very marked 
and peculiar kind have been extensively adopted 
and strenuously upheld, and are daily gaining 
ground among a considerable and influential 
portion of the members, as well as ministers of 
the Established Church. Another: The Move 
ment has manifested itself with the most rapid 
growth of the hot-bed of these evil days. An 
other: The Via Media is crowded with young 
enthusiasts, who never presume to argue except 
against the propriety of arguing at all. Another: 
Were I to give you a full list of the works, which 
they have produced within the short space of five 
years, I should surprise you. You would 


a task it would be to make yourself complete 
master of their system, even in its present pro 
bably immature state. The writers have adopted 
the motto, " In quietness and confidence shall be 
your strength". With regard to confidence, they 
have justified their adopting it; but as to quiet 
ness, it is not very quiet to pour forth such a 
succession of controversial publications. Another: 
f The spread of these doctrines is in fact now 
having the effect of rendering all other distinctions 
obsolete, and of severing the religious community 
into two portions, fundamentally and vehemently 
opposed one to the other. Soon there will be no 
middle ground left ; and every man, and especially 
every clergyman, will be compelled to make his 
choice between the two. Another: The time 
has gone by when those unfortunate and deeply 
regretted publications can be passed over with 
out notice, and the hope that their influence 
would fail is now dead. Another: These doc 
trines had already made fearful progress. One 
of the largest churches in Brighton is crowded 
to hear them ; so is the church at Leeds. There 
are few towns of note to which they have not 
extended. They are preached in small towns 
in Scotland. They obtain in Elginshire, 600 
miles north of London. I found them myself 
in the heart of the highlands of Scotland. They 
are advocated in the newspaper and periodical 
press. They have even insinuated themselves 
into the House of Commons. And, lastly, a 
bishop in a Charge : It is daily assuming a 
more serious and alarming aspect. Under the 
specious pretence of deference to antiquity and 
respect for primitive models, the foundations of 
the Protestant Church are undermined by men, 

1839 TO 1841 10<) 

who dwell within her walls, and those who sit 
in the Reformers seat are traducing the Reform 

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

Then I spoke of Coleridge, thus : While 
history in prose and verse was thus made the 
instrument of Church feelings and opinions, a 
philosophical basis for the same was laid in 
England by a very original thinker, who, while 
he indulged a liberty of speculation, which no 
Christian can tolerate, and advocated conclusions 
which were often heathen rather than Christian, 


yet, after all, instilled a higher philosophy into 
inquiring minds than they had hitherto been 
accustomed to accept. In this way he made 
trial of his age, and succeeded in interesting its 
genius in the cause of Catholic truth. 

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

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

These being the circumstances under which 

1839 TO 1841 111 

the Movement began and progressed, it was 
ibsurd to refer it to the act of two or three 
ndividuals. It was not so much a movement 
is a spirit afloat ; it was within us, ( rising 
ap in hearts where it was least suspected, and 
working itself, though not in secret, yet so 
subtly and impalpably, as hardly to admit of 
orecaution or encounter on any ordinary human 
rules of opposition. It is , I continued, an 
idversary in the air, a something one and entire, 
i whole wherever it is, unapproachable and 
incapable of being grasped, as being the result 
}f causes far deeper than political or other visible 
igencies, the spiritual awakening of spiritual 

To make this clear, I proceed to refer to the 
?hief preachers of the revived doctrines at that 
moment, and to draw attention to the variety 
of their respective antecedents. Dr Hook and 
Mr Churton represented the high Church dig 
nitaries of the last century; Mr Perceval, the 
Tory aristocracy ; Mr Keble came from a country 
parsonage ; Mr Palmer from Ireland ; Dr Pusey 
Prom the universities of Germany, and the study 
rf Arabic MSS. ; Mr Dodsworth from the study 
Df prophecy ; Mr Oakeley had gained his views, 
is he himself expressed it, ( partly by study, 
>artly by reflection, partly by conversation with 
one or two friends, inquirers like himself: while 
[ speak of myself as being much indebted to 
the friendship of Archbishop Whateley. And 
thus I am led on to ask, What head of a sect 
is there ? What march of opinions can be traced 
from mind to mind among preachers such as 
these ? They are one and all in their degree 
the organs of one Sentiment, which has risen 


up simultaneously in many places very mys 

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

While I thus republish what I then said about 
such extravagances as occurred in these years, 
at the same time I have a very strong convic 
tion that they furnished quite as much the 

1839 TO 1841 113 

welcome excuse for those who were jealous or 
shy of us, as the stumbling-blocks of those who 
were well inclined to our doctrines. This too 
we felt at the time ; but it was our duty to 
see that our good should not be evil-spoken of; 
and accordingly, two or three of the writers of 
the Tracts for the Times had commenced a Series 
of what they called Plain Sermons, with the 
avowed purpose of discouraging and correcting 
whatever was uppish or extreme in our followers : 
to this Series I contributed a volume myself. 
Its conductors say in their Preface : 

If therefore, as time goes on, there shall be found per 
sons, who admiring the innate beauty and majesty of 
he fuller system of Primitive Christianity, and seeing 
;he transcendent strength of its principles, shall become 
oud and voluble advocates in their behalf, speaking the 
nore freely because they do not feel them deeply as founded 
n divine and eternal truth, of such persons it is our 
luty to declare plainly, that, as we should contemplate 
heir condition with serious misgiving, so would they be 
he last persons from whom we should seek support. 

But if, on the other hand, there shall be any, who, 
n the silent humility of their lives, and in their unaffected 
everence for holy things, show that they in truth accept 
hese principles as real and substantial, and by habitual 
mrity of heart and serenity of temper give proof of their 
leep veneration for sacraments and sacramental ordinances, 
hose, persons, whether our professed adherents or not, 
>est exemplify the kind of character which the writers 
if the Tracts for the Times have wished to form. 

These clergymen had the best of claims to use 
:hese beautiful words, for they were themselves, 
ill of them, important writers in the Tracts, the 
;wo Mr Kebles, and Mr Isaac Williams. And 
:his passage, with which they ushered their 
Series into the world, I quoted in the article 
if which I am giving an account, and I added: 
What more can be required of the preachers 



of neglected truth, than that they should admit 
that some who do not assent to their preaching 
are holier and better men than some who do ? 
They were not answerahle for the intemperance 
of those who dishonoured a true doctrine, pro 
vided they protested, as they did, against such 
intemperance. They were not answerable for 
the dust and din which attends any great moral 
movement. The truer doctrines are, the more 
liable they are to be perverted. 

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

Lastly, I proceeded to the question of tha 
future of the Anglican Church, which was t< 
be a new birth of the Ancient Religion. Am : 
I did not venture to pronounce upon it. Abou 
the future, we have no prospect before pu 
minds whatever, good or bad. Ever since tha 

1839 TO 1841 115 

great luminary, Augustine, proved to be the 
last bishop of Hippo, Christians have had a 
lesson against attempting to foretell, how Prov 
idence will prosper and (or?) bring to an end, 
what it begins . Perhaps the lately-revived 
principles would prevail in the Anglican Church ; 
perhaps they would be lost in some miserable 
schism, or some more miserable compromise ; 
but there was nothing rash in venturing to 
predict, that neither Puritanism nor Liberalism 
had any permanent inheritance within her . 
I suppose I meant to say, that in the present 
age, without the aid of Apostolical principles, 
the Anglican Church would, in the event, cease 
to exist. 

As to Liberalism, we think the formularies 
of the Church will ever, with the aid of a good 
Providence, keep it from making any serious 
inroads upon the Clergy. Besides, it is too 
cold a principle to prevail with the multitude . 
But as regarded what was called Evangelical 
religion or Puritanism, there was more to cause 
alarm. I observed upon its organization ; but 
on the other hand it had no intellectual basis ; 
no internal idea, no principle of unity, no 
theology. Its adherents , I said, are already 
separating from each other; they will melt 
iway like a snow-drift. It has no straight 
forward view on any one point on which it 
professes to teach, and to hide its poverty, it 
las dressed itself out in a maze of words. We 
lave no dread of it at all ; we only fear what 
t may lead to. It does not stand on intrenched 
ground, or make any pretence to a position ; 
t does but occupy the space between contending 
>owers, Catholic Truth and Rationalism. Then 


indeed will be the stern encounter, when two 
real and living principles, simple, entire, and 
consistent, one in the Church, the other out of 
it, at length rush upon each other, contending 
not for names and words, or half-views, but 
for elementary notions and distinctive moral 

Whether the ideas of the coming age upon 
religion were true or false, they would be real. 
In the present day , I said, mistiness is the 
mother of wisdom. A man who can set down 
half-a-dozen general propositions, which escape 
from destroying one another only by being diluted 
into truisms, who can hold the balance between 
opposites so skilfully as to do without fulcrum 
or beam, who never enunciates a truth without 
guarding himself against being supposed to exclude 
the contradictory who holds that Scripture is the 
only authority, yet that the Church is to be de 
ferred to, that faith only justifies, yet that it does 
not justify without works, that grace does not 
depend on the sacraments, yet is not given with 
out them, that bishops are a divine ordinance 
yet those who have them not are in the same 
religious condition as those who have this is 
your safe man, and the hope of the Church ; this 
is what the Church is said to want, not part) 
men, but sensible, temperate, sober, well-judging 
persons, to guide it through the channel of no- 
meaning, between the Scylla and Charybdis 01 
Aye and No. 

This state of things, however, I said, coulc 
not last, if men were to read and think. The} 
will not keep standing in that very attitude 
which you call sound Church-of-Englandism o; 
orthodox Protestantism. They cannot go on fo] 

1839 TO 1841 117 

ever standing on one leg, or sitting without a 
chair, or walking with their feet tied, or grazing 
like Tityrus s stags in the air. They will take 
one view or another, but it will be a consistent 
view. It may be Liberalism, or Erastianism, or 
Popery, or Catholicity; but it will be real. 

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

And thus I left the matter. But, while I was 
thus speaking of the future of the Movement, I 
was, in truth, winding up my accounts with it, 
little dreaming that it was so to be ; while I 
was still, in some way or other, feeling about 
for an available Via Media, I was soon to receive 
a shock which was to cast out of my imagina 
tion all middle courses and compromises for ever. 
As I have said, this article appeared in the April 
number of The British Critic ; in the July number, 
I cannot tell why, there is no article of mine ; 


before the number for October, the event had 
happened to which I have alluded. 

Bnt before I proceed to describe what hap 
pened to me in the summer of 1839, I must 
detain the reader for a while, in order to describe 
the issue of the controversy between Rome and 
the Anglican Church, as I viewed it. This will 
involve some dry discussion ; but it is as neces 
sary for my narrative, as plans of buildings and 
homesteads are often found to be in the pro 
ceedings of our law courts. 

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

When I first turned myself to it, 1 had neither 
doubt on the subject, nor suspicion that doubt 
would ever come upon me. It was in this state 
of mind that I began to read up Bellarmine on 
the one hand, and numberless Anglican writers 
on the other. But I soon found, as others had 
found before me, that it was a tangled and 
manifold controversy, difficult to master, more 
difficult to put out of hand with neatness and 
precision. It was easy to make points, not easy 
to sum up and settle. It was not easy to find 
a clear issue for the dispute, and still less by 
a logical process to decide it in favour of Angli- 

1839 TO 1841 119 

canism. This difficulty, however, had no ten 
dency whatever to harass or perplex me : it was 
a matter, not of convictions, but of proofs. 

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

While I made this distinction between the 
decrees and the traditions of Rome, I drew a 
parallel distinction between Anglicanism qui 
escent, and Anglicanism in action. In its formal 
creed Anglicanism was not at a great distance 
from Rome : far otherwise, when viewed in its 
insular spirit, the traditions of its establishment, 
its historical characteristics, its controversial 
rancour, and its private judgment. I disavowed 
and condemned those excesses, and called them 
( Protestantism or ( Ultra- Protestantism ; J wish- 


ed to find a parallel disclaimer, on the part of 
Roman controversialists, of that popular system 
of beliefs and usages in their own Church which 
I called Popery . When that hope was a dream, 
I saw that the controversy lay between the 
book-theology of Anglicanism on the one side, 
and the living system of what I called Roman 
corruption on the other. I could not get further 
than this ; with this result I was forced to 
content myself. 

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

However, in thus stating the matter, of course 
I do not wish it supposed^ that I considered 

1839 TO 1841 121 

the note of Catholicity really to belong to Rome, 
to the disparagement of the Anglican Church ; 
but that the special point or plea of Rome in 
the controversy was Catholicity, as the Anglican 
plea was Antiquity. Of course, I contended 
that the Roman idea of Catholicity was not 
ancient and apostolic. It was, in my judgment, 
at the utmost only natural, becoming, expedient, 
that the whole of Christendom should be united 
in one visible body; while such a unity might 
be, on the other hand, a mere heartless and 
political combination. For myself, I held with 
the Anglican divines, that in the Primitive 
Church there was a very real, mutual inde 
pendence between its separate parts, though, 
from a dictate of charity, there was in fact a 
close union between them. I considered, that 
each see and diocese might be compared to a 
crystal, and that each was similar to the rest, 
and that the sum total of them all was only a 
collection of crystals. The unity of the Church 
lay, not in its being a polity, but in its being 
a family, a race coming down by apostolical 
descent from its first founders and bishops. And 
I considered this truth brought out beyond the 
possibility of dispute in the Epistles of St. 
Ignatius, in which the bishop is represented as 
the one supreme authority in the Church, that 
is, in his own place, with no one above him, 
except as, for the sake of ecclesiastical order 
and expedience, arrangements had been made 
by which one was put over or under another. 
So much for our own claim to Catholicity, which 
was so perversely appropriated by our opponents 
to themselves : on the other hand, as to our 
special strong point, Antiquity, while of course, 


by means of it, we were able to condemn most 
emphatically the novel claim of Rome to domineer 
over other Churches, which were in truth her 
equals ; further than that we thereby especially 
convicted her of the intolerable offence of 
having added to the Faith. This was the critical 
head of accusation urged against her by the 
Anglican disputant, and, as he referred to St. 
Ignatius in proof that he himself was a true 
Catholic in spite of being separated from Rome, 
so he triumphantly referred to the Treatise of 
Vincentius of Lerins upon the c Quod semper, 
quod ubique, quod ab omnibus , in proof that 
the controversialists of Rome were separated in 
their creed from the Apostolical and primi 
tive faith. 

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

Now I will proceed to illustrate what I have 
been saying of the status of the controversy, as 
it presented itself to my mind, by extracts from 
my writings of the dates of 1836, 1840, and 
1841. And I introduce them with a remark, 
which especially applies to the paper from 
which I shall quote first, of the date of 1836. 
That paper appeared in the March and April 
numbers of The British Magazine of that year, 
and was entitled, Home Thoughts Abroad. Now 
it will be found, that, in the discussion which 
it contains, as in various other writings of mine 
when I was in the Anglican Church, the argu 
ment in behalf of Rome is stated with consider 
able perspicuity and force. And at the time 

1839 TO 1841 

my friends and supporters cried out, How im 
prudent ! and both at the time, and especially 
at a later date, my enemies have cried out, How 
insidious ! Friends and foes virtually agreed in 
their criticism ; I had set out the cause which I 
was combating to the best advantage : this was an 
offence ; it might be from imprudence, it might 
be with a traitorous design. It was from neither 
the one nor the other; but for the following 
reasons. First, I had a great impatience, what 
ever was the subject, of not bringing out the 
whole of it as clearly as I could ; next I wished 
to be as fair to my adversaries as possible ; and, 
thirdly, I thought that there was a great deal 
of shallowness among our own friends, and that 
they undervalued the strength of the argument 
in behalf of Rome, and that they ought to be 
roused to a more exact apprehension of the 
position of the controversy. At a later date 
(1841) when I really felt the force of the Roman 
side of the question myself as a difficulty which 
had to be met, I had a fourth reason for such 
frankness in argument, and that was, because 
a number of persons were unsettled far more 
than I was, as to the Catholicity of the Anglican 
Church. It was quite plain, that, unless I was 
perfectly candid in stating what could be said 
against it, there was no chance that any repre 
sentations which I felt to be in its favour, or 
at least to be adverse to Rome, would have 
had their real weight duly acknowledged. At 
all times I had a deep conviction, to put the 
matter on the lowest ground, that honesty 
was the best policy. Accordingly, in 1841, I 
expressed myself thus on the Anglican difficulty : 
( This is an objection which we must honestly 


say is deeply felt by many people, and not in 
considerable ones ; and the more it is openly 
avowed to be a difficulty, the better; for there 
is then the chance of its being acknowledged, 
and in the course of time obviated, as far as 
may be, by those who have the power. Flagrant 
evils cure themselves by being flagrant ; and we 
are sanguine that the time is come when so 
great an evil as this is cannot stand its ground 
against the good feeling and common sense of 
religious persons. It is the very strength of 
Romanism against us ; and, unless the proper 
persons take it into their serious consideration, 
they may look for certain to undergo the loss, 
as time goes on, of some whom they would 
least like to be lost to our Church. The mea 
sure which I had especially in view in this 
passage was the project of a Jerusalem Bishopric, 
which the then Archbishop of Canterbury was 
at that time concocting with M. Bunsen, and 
of which I shall speak more in the sequel. And 
now to return to the Home Thoughts Abroad of 
the spring of 1836: 

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

The other answers: The present is an un- 

1839 TO 1841 125 

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

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

The other replies by denying the fact that the 
present Roman communion is like St Augustine s 
Catholic Church, inasmuch as there are to be 
taken into account the large Anglican and Greek 
communions. Presently he takes the offensive, 
naming distinctly the points in which Rome has 
departed from Primitive Christianity, viz., the 
practical idolatry, the virtual worship of the 
Virgin and Saints, which are the offence of the 
Latin Church, and the degradation of moral truth 


and duty, which follows from these. And again: 
f We cannot join a Church, did we wish it ever so 
much, which does not acknowledge our orders, 
refuses us the Cup, demands our acquiescence 
in image-worship, and excommunicates us, if we 
do not receive it and all other decisions of the 
Tridentine Council. 

His opponent answers these objections by re 
ferring to the doctrine of e developments of Gospel 
truth . Besides, The Anglican system itself is 
riot found complete in those early centuries; so 
that the (Anglican) principle (of Antiquity) is self- 
destructive. When a man takes up this Via 
Media, he is a mere doctrinaire ; he is like those 
who, in some matter of business, start up to 
suggest their own. little crotchet, and are ever 
measuring mountains with a pocket ruler, or im 
proving the planetary courses . The Via Media 
has slept in libraries; it is a substitute of infancy 
for manhood. 

It is plain, then, that at the end of 1835, or 
beginning of 1836, I had the whole state of the 
question before me, on which, to my mind, the 
decision between the Churches depended. It is 
observable that the question of the position of 
the Pope, whether as the centre of unity, or 
as the source of jurisdiction, did not come into 
my thoughts at all ; nor did it, I think I may 
say, to the end. I doubt whether I ever distinctly 
held any of his powers to be de jure divino while 
I was in the Anglican Church ; not that I saw 
any difficulty in the doctrine ; not that, together 
with the history of St. Leo, of which I shall 
speak by and by, the idea of his infallibility 
did not cross my mind, for it did but after 
all, in my view the controversy did not turn 

1839 TO 1841 127 

upon it ; it turned upon the Faith and the 
Church. This was my issue of the controversy 
from the beginning to the end. There was a 
contrariety of claims between the Roman and 
Anglican religions, and the history of my con 
version is simply the process of working it out 
to a solution. In 1838, I illustrated it by the 
contrast presented to us between the Madonna 
and Child, and a Calvary. I said that the pecu 
liarity of the Anglican theology was this, that 
it supposed the Truth to be entirely objective 
and detached, not (as the Roman) lying hid 
in the bosom of the Church as if one with her, 
clinging to, and (as it were) lost in her embrace, 
but as being sole and unapproachable, as on the 
Cross or at the Resurrection, with the Church close 
by, but in the background. 

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


And still more strongly in July, 184-1: 
If the Note of schism, on the one hand, lies 
against England, an antagonist disgrace lies upon 
Rome, the Note of idolatry. Let us not be mis 
taken here ; we are neither accusing Rome of ido 
latry, nor ourselves of schism; we think neither 
charge tenable; but still the Roman Church prac 
tises what is so like idolatry, and the English 
Church makes much of what is so very like schism, 
that, without deciding what is the duty of a 
Roman Catholic towards the Church of England in 
her present state, we do seriously think that 
members of the English Church have a pro 
vidential direction given them, how to comport 
themselves towards the Church of Rome, while 
she is what she is. 

One remark more about Antiquity and the 
Via Media. As time went on, without doubting 
the strength of the Anglican argument from 
Antiquity, I felt also, that it was not merely 
our special plea, but our only one. Also I felt 
that the Via Media, which was to represent it, 
was to be a sort of remodelled and adapted 
Antiquity. This I observe both in Home Thoughts 
Abroad, and in the Article of The British Critic 
which I have analysed above. But this circum 
stance, that after all we must use private judg 
ment upon Antiquity, created a sort of distrust 
of my theory altogether, which in the conclusion 
of my volume on The Prophetical Office I express 
thus : Now that our discussions draw to a close, 
the thought with which we entered on the sub 
ject is apt to recur, when the excitement of 
the inquiry has subsided, and weariness has 
succeeded, that what has been said is but a 
dream, the wanton exercise, rather than the 

18.39 TO 1841 12.9 

practical conclusions of the intellect . And I 
conclude the paragraph by anticipating a line 
of thought into which I was, in the event, al 
most obliged to take refuge: After all , I say, 
the Church is ever invisible in its day, and 
faith only apprehends it. What was this but to 
give up the Notes of a visible Church altogether, 
whether the Catholic Note or the Apostolic? 

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

I have described in a former work how the his 
tory affected me. My stronghold was Antiquity ; 
now here, in the middle of the fifth century, I 


found, as it seemed to me, Christendom of the 
sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries reflected. 
I saw my face in that mirror, and I was a Mono- 
physite. The Church of the Via Media was in 
the position of the Oriental communion, Rome 
was, where she now is ; and the Protestants were 
the Eutychians. Of all passages of history since 
history has been, who would have thought of 
going to the sayings aud doings of old Eutyches, 
that delirus senex, as (I think) Petavius calls 
him, and to the enormities of the unprincipled 
Dioscorus, in order to be converted to Rome ! 
Now let it be simply understood that I am 
not writing controversially, but with the one 
object of relating things as they happened to 
me in the course of my conversion. With this 
view 1 will quote a passage from the account, 
which I gave in 1850, of my reasonings and 
feelings in 1 839 : 

It was difficult to make out how the Eutychians or 
Monophysites were heretics, unless Protestants and Ang 
licans were heretics also; difficult to find arguments 
against the Tridentine Fathers, which did not tell against 
the Fathers of Chalcedon; difficult to condemn the Popes 
of the sixteenth century, without condemning the Popes 
of the fifth. The drama of religion, and the combat of 
truth and error, were ever one and the same. The prin 
ciples and proceedings of the Church now were those of 
the Church then; the principles and proceedings of 
heretics then were those of Protestants now. I found it 
so almost fearfully; there was an awful similitude, more 
awful, because so silent and unimpassioned, between the 
dead records of the past and the feverish chronicle of 
the present. The shadow of the fifth century was on the 
sixteenth. It was like a spirit rising from the troubled 
waters of the old world with the shape and lineaments 
of the new. The Church then, as now, might be called 
peremptory and stern, resolute, overbearing, and relentless; 
and heretics were shifting, changeable, reserved, and 
deceitful, ever courting civil power, and never agreeing 

1839 TO 1841 131 

together, except by its aid ; and the civil power was ever 
aiming at comprehensions, trying to put the invisible 
out of view, and substituting expediency for faith. What 
was the use of continuing the controversy, or defending 
my position, if, after all, I was forging arguments for 
Arius or Eutyches, and turning devil s advocate against 
the much-enduring Athanasius and the majestic Leo? Be 
my soul with the Saints! and shall I lift up my hand 
against them? Sooner may my right hand forget her 
cunning, and wither outright, as his who once stretched 
it out against a prophet of God! anathema to a whole 
tribe of Cranmers, fUdleys, Latimers, and Jewels! perish 
the names of Bramhall, Ussher, Taylor, Stillingfleet, and 
Barrow from the face of the earth, ere I should do aught 
but fall at their feet in love and in worship, whose 
image was continually before my eyes, and whose musical 
words were ever in my ears and on my tongue 1 

Hardly had I brought my course of reading 
to a close, when The Dublin Review of that same 
August was put into my hands by friends who 
were more favourable to the cause of Rome 
than I was myself. There was an Article in it 
on The Anglican Claim by Bishop Wiseman. This 
was about the middle of September. It was on 
the Donatists, with an application to Anglicanism. 
I read it, and did not see much in it. The Do- 
natist controversy was known to me for some 
years, as I have instanced above. The case was 
not parallel to that of the Anglican Church. 
St Augustine in Africa wrote against the Do- 
natists in Africa. They were a furious party 
who made a schism within the African Church, 
and not beyond its limits. It was a case of 
Altar against Altar, of two occupants of the 
same See, as that between the Non-jurors in 
England and the Established Church ; not the 
case of one Church against another, as Rome 
against the Oriental Monophysites. But my friend, 
an anxiously religious man, now, as then, very 


dear to me, a Protestant still, pointed out the 
palmary words of St Augustine, which were 
contained in one of the extracts made in the 
Review, and which had escaped my observation. 
Securus judicat orbis terrarum. He repeated 
these words again and again, and, when he was 
gone, they kept ringing in my ears. Securus 
judicat orbis terrarum ; they were words which 
went beyond the occasion of the Donatists ; they 
applied to that of the Monophysites. They gave 
a cogency to the article, which had escaped 
me at first. They decided ecclesiastical questi 
ons on a simpler rule than that of Antiquity ; 
nay, St Augustine was one of the prime oracles 
of Antiquity ; here then Antiquity was deciding 
against itself. What a light was hereby thrown 
upon every controversy in the Church ! not that, 
for the moment, the multitude may not falter 
in their judgment not that, in the Arian hur 
ricane, Sees more than can be numbered did 
not bend before its fury, and fall off from St 
Athanasius not that the crowd of Oriental 
bishops did not need to be sustained during 
the contest by the voice and the eye of St Leo ; 
but that the deliberate judgment, in which the 
whole Church at length rests and acquiesces, is 
an infallible prescription and a final sentence 
against such portions of it as protest and secede. 
Who can account for the impressions which are 
made on him ? For a mere sentence, the words 
of St Augustine struck me with a power which 
I never had felt from any words before. To take 
a familiar instance, they were like the Turn 
again Whittington of the chime ; or, to take 
a more serious one, they were like the Tolle, 
lege Tolle, lege of the child, which converted 

1839 TO 1841 133 

St Augustine himself. Securus judicat orbis 
terrarum ! By those great words of the ancient 
Father the theory of the Via Media was absolutely 

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

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

that we could take that simple view of things, as 
to feel that the one thing which lies before us is to 
please God! What gain is it to please the world, to 
please the great, nay even to please those whom we love, 
compared with this? What gain is it to be applauded, 
admired, courted, followed compared with this one aim, 
of not being disobedient to a heavenly vision? What 
can this world offer comparable with that insight into 
spiritual things, that keen faith, that heavenly peace, that 
high sanctity, that everlasting righteousness, that hope of 
glory which they have, who in sincerity love and follow 


our Lord Jesus Christ? Let us beg and pray Him day 
by day to reveal Himself to our souls more fully, to 
quicken our senses, to give us sight and hearing, taste 
and touch of the world to come; so to work within us 
that we may sincerely say, Thou shalt guide me witt 
Thy counsel, and after that receive me with glory. Whotr 
have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth 
that I desire in comparison of Thee. My flesh and mj 
heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and 
my portion for ever. 

Now to trace the succession of thoughts, and 
the conclusions, arid the consequent innovations 
on my previous belief, and the general conduct, 
to which I was led upon this sudden visitation. 
And first, I will say, whatever comes of saying 
it, for I leave inferences to others, that for 
years I must have had something of an habitual 
notion, though it was latent, and had never led 
me to distrust my own convictions, that my 
mind had not found its ultimate rest, and thai 
in some sense or other I was on journey. During 
the same passage across the Mediterranean in 
which I wrote Lead, kindly light, I also wrote 
the verses, which are found in the Lyra undei 
the head of Providences , beginning When 
look back . This was in 1833; and, since 1- 
have begun this narrative, I have found a memor 
andum under the date of September 7, 1829 
in which I speak of myself, as now in my room; 
in Oriel College, slowly advancing, etc., and lee 
on by God s hand blindly, not knowing whithe: 
He is taking me . But, whatever this presenti 
ment be worth, it was no protection agains 
the dismay and disgust, which I felt in conse 
quence of the dreadful misgiving of which 
have been relating the history. The one questior 
was, what was I to do ? I had to make up m) 
mind for myself, and others could not help me 

1839 TO 1841 135 

I determined to be guided, not by my imagin 
ation, but by my reason. And this I said, over 
and over again, in the years which followed, 
both in conversation and in private letters. Had 
it not been for this severe resolve, I should 
have been a Catholic sooner than I was. More 
over, I felt on consideration a positive doubt, 
on the other hand, whether the suggestion did 
not come from below. Then I said to myself: 
Time alone can solve that question. It was my 
business to go on as usual, to obey those con 
victions to which I had so long surrendered 
myself, which still had possession of me, and 
on which my new thoughts had no direct bear 
ing. That new conception of things should only 
so far influence me as it had a logical claim 
to do so. If it came from above, it would come 
again; so I trusted and with more definite 
outlines. I thought of Samuel, before he knew 
the word of the Lord ; and therefore I went, 
and lay down to sleep again. This was my 
broad view of the matter, and my prima facie 

However, my new historical fact had, to a 
certain point, a logical force. Down had come 
the Via Media, as a definite theory or scheme, 
under the blows of St Leo. My Prophetical Office 
had come to pieces ; not indeed as an argument 
against Roman errors , nor as against Protest 
antism, but as in behalf of England. I had 
no more a distinctive plea for Anglicanism, un 
less I would be a Monophysite. I had, most 
painfully, to fall back upon my three original 
points of belief, which I have spoken so much 
of in a former passage the principle of dogma, 
the sacramental system, and anti- Romanism. Of 


these three, the first two were better secured 
in Rome than in the Anglican Church. The 
Apostolical Succession, the two prominent sacra* 
ments, and the primitive creeds, belonged, in 
deed, to the latter, but there had been, and 
was, far less strictness on matters of dogma and 
ritual in the Anglican system than in the Roman | 
in consequence, my main argument for the Angli 
can claims lay in the positive and special char 
ges which I could bring against Rome. I had 
no positive Anglican theory. I was very nearly 
a pure Protestant. Lutherans had a sort of 
theology, so had Calvinists ; I had none. 

However, this pure Protestantism, to which 
I was gradually left, was really a practical prin 
ciple. It was a strong, though it was only a 
negative ground, and it still had great hold on 
me. As a boy of fifteen, I had so fully imbibed 
it, that I had actually erased in my Gradus ad 
Parnassum, such titles, under the word Papa , 
as f Christi Vicarius , sacer interpres , and 
sceptra gerens , and substituted epithets so 
vile that I cannot bring myself to write them 
down here. The effect of this early persuasion 
remained as, what I have already called it, a 
stain upon my imagination . As regards my 
reason, I began in 1833 to form theories on the 
subject, which tended to obliterate it. In the first 
part of Home Thoughts Abroad, written in that 
year, after speaking of Rome as undeniably the 
most exalted Church in the whole world , and 
manifesting c in all the truth and beauty of the 
Spirit, that side of high mental excellence, which 
Pagan Rome attempted but could not realize-^ 
high-mindedness, majesty, and the calm conscious 
ness of power - -I proceed to say: Alas! . . the old 

1839 TO 1841 137 

spirit has revived, and the monster of Daniel s 
vision, untamed by its former judgments, has 
seized upon Christianity as the new instrument 
of its impieties, and awaits a second and final 
woe from God s hand. Surely the doctrine of 
the Genius Loci is not without foundation, and 
explains to us how the blessing or the curse 
attaches to cities and countries, not to genera 
tions. Michael is represented (in the book of 
Daniefy as opposed to the Prince of the kingdom 
of Persia. Old Rome is still alive. The Sorceress 
upon the Seven Hills, in the book of Revelation, 
is not the Church of Rome, but Rome itself, 
the bad spirit, which, in its former shape, was 
the animating spirit of the Fourth Monarchy. 
Then I refer to St Malachi s Prophecy which 
makes a like distinction between the City and 
the Church of Rome. "In the last persecution 
(it says) of the Holy Roman Church, Peter of 
Rome shall be on the throne, who shall feed 
his flock in many tribulations. When these are 
past, the City upon the Seven Hills shall be 
destroyed, and the awful Judge shall judge the 
people". Then I append my moral: f l deny 
that the distinction is unmeaning; Is it nothing 
to be able to look on our Mother, to whom we 
owe the blessing of Christianity, with affection 
instead of hatred? with pity indeed, aye, and 
fear, but not with horror? Is it nothing to 
rescue her from the hard names which inter 
preters of prophecy have put upon her, as an 
idolatress, and an enemy of God, when she is 
deceived rather than a deceiver? Nothing to 
be able to account her priests as ordained of 
God, and anointed for their spiritual functions 
by the Holy Spirit, instead of considering her 


communion the bond of Satan? This was my 
first advance in rescuing, on an intelligible; 
intellectual basis, the Roman Church from the 
designation of Antichrist; it was not the Church, 
but the old dethroned Pagan monster, still living 
in the ruined city, that was Antichrist. 

In a Tract in 1838 I profess to give the opinions 
of the Fathers on the subject, and the conclusions 
to which I come are still less violent against the 
Roman Church, though on the same basis as before. 
I say that the local Christian Church of Rome has 
been the means of shielding the pagan city from 
the fulness of those judgments which are due 
to it ; and that, in consequence of this, though 
Babylon has been utterly swept from the earth, 
Rome remains to this day. The reason seemed 
to be simply this, that, when the barbarians came 
down, God had a people in that city. Babylon 
was a mere prison of the Church ; Rome had 
received her as a guest. That vengeance has 
never fallen : it is still suspended ; nor can reason 
be given why Rome has not fallen under the 
rule of God s general dealings with His rebellious 
creatures, except that a Christian Church is still 
in that city, sanctifying it, interceding for it, 
saving it. I add, in a note: e No opinion, one 
way or the other, is here expressed as to the 
question, how far, as the local Church has saved 
Rome, so Rome has corrupted the local Church ; 
or whether the local Church in consequence, or 
again whether other Churches elsewhere, may or 
may not be types of Antichrist. I quote all this 
in order to show how Bishop Newton was still upon 
mj mind, even in 1 838 ; and how I was feeling after 
some other interpretation of prophecy instead of 
his, and not without a good deal of hesitation. 

1839 TO 1841 

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

To the inconsistencies then, to the ambition 
and intrigue, to the sophistries of Rome (as 1 


considered them to be) I had recourse in my 
opposition to her, both public and personal. I 
did so by way of a relief. I had a great and 
growing dislike, after the summer of 1839, to 
speak against the Roman Church herself, or her 
formal doctrines. I was very averse to speak 
against doctrines which might possibly turn out 
to be true, though at the time I had no reason 
for thinking they were, or against the Church 
which had preserved them. I began to have 
misgivings, that, strong as my own feelings had 
been against her, yet in some things which I 
had said, I had taken the statements of Anglican 
divines for granted, without weighing them for 
myself. I said to a friend in 1840, in a letter 
which I shall use presently : I am troubled by 
doubts whether as it is, I have not, in what I 
have published, spoken too strongly against Rome, 
though I think I did it in a kind of faith, being 
determined to put myself into the English system, 
and say all that our divines said, whether I had 
fully weighed it or not. I was sore about the 
great Anglican divines, as if they had taken me 
in, and made me say strong things, which facts 
did not justify. Yet I did still hold in substance 
all that i had said against the Church of Rome 
in my Prophetical Office. I felt the force of the 
usual Protestant objections against her ; I believed 
that we had the Apostolical succession in the 
Anglican Church, and the grace of the sacraments; 
I was not sure that the difficulty of its isolation 
might not be overcome, though I was far from 
sure that it could. I did not see any clear proof 
that it had committed itself to any heresy, or 
had taken part against the truth ; and I was not 
sure that it would not revive into full Apostolic 

1839 TO 1841 141 

purity and strength, and grow into union with 
Rome herself (Rome explaining her doctrines, 
and guarding against their abuse), that is, if 
we were but patient and hopeful. I wished for 
union between the Anglican Church and Rome, 
if, and when, it was possible ; and I did what 
I could to gain weekly prayers for that object. 
The ground which I felt good against her was 
the moral ground ; I felt I could not be wrong 
in striking at her political and social line of 
action. The alliance of a dogmatic religion with 
Liberals, high or low, seemed to me a providential 
direction against moving towards it, and a better 
Preservative against Poperi/ than the three volumes 
folio, in which, I think, that prophylactic is to be 
found. However, on accasions which demanded 
it, I felt it a duty to give out plainly all that 
I thought, though I did not like to do so. One 
such instance occurred when I had to publish 
a letter about Tract 90. In that letter I said, 
Instead of setting before the soul the Holy 
Trinity, and heaven and hell, the Church of 
Rome does seem to me, as a popular system, to 
preach the Blessed Virgin, and the Saints, and 
purgatory. On this occasion I recollect expres 
sing to a friend the distress it gave me thus 
to speak ; but I said, How can I help saying 
it, if I think it ? and do think it ; my bishop 
calls on me to say out what I think ; and that 
is the long and the short of it. But I recol 
lected Hurrell Froude s words to me, almost 
his dying words, I must enter another protest 
against your cursing and swearing. What good 
can it do ? and I call it uncharitable to an excess. 
How mistaken we may ourselves be on many 
points that are only gradually opening on us! 


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

This feeling led me into the excess of being 
very rude to that zealous and most charitable 
man, Mr Spencer, when he came to Oxford in 
January, 1340, to get Anglicans to set about 
praying for Unity. I myself then, or soon after, 
drew up such prayers ; it was one of the first 
thoughts which came upon me after my shock, 
but I was too much annoyed with the political 
action of the members of the Roman Church 
in England to wish to have any thing to dc 
with them personally. So glad in my heart was 
I to see him when he came to my rooms, 
whither Mr Palmer of Magdalen brought him. 
that I could have laughed for joy; I think I 

1839 TO 1841 143 

did ; but I was very rude to him, I would not 
meet him at dinner, and that (though I did 
not say so) because I considered him f in loco 
apostatae from the Anglican Church, and I 
hereby beg his pardon for it. I wrote afterwards 
with a view to apologize, but I dare say he 
must have thought that I made the matter 
worse, for these were my words to him: 

The news that you are praying for us is most 
touching, and raises a variety of indescribable 
emotions. May their prayers return abundantly 
into their own bosoms ! Why, then, do I not 
meet you in manner conformable with these 
first feelings? For this single reason, if I may 
say it, that your acts are contrary to your words. 
You invite us to a - union of hearts, at the same 
time that you are doing all you can, not to 
restore, not to reform, not to re-unite, but to 
destroy our Church. You go further than your 
principles require. You are leagued with our 
enemies. "The voice is Jacob s voice, but the 
hands are the hands of Esau." This is what 
especially distresses us ; this is what we cannot 
understand, how Christians, like yourselves, with 
the clear view you have, that a warfare is ever 
waging in the world between good and evil, 
should, in the present state of England, ally 
yourselves with the side of evil against the side 
of good... Of parties now in the country, you 
cannot but allow, that next to yourselves we are 
nearest to revealed truth. We maintain great and 
holy principles; we profess Catholic doctrines... 
So near are we as a body to yourselves in 
modes of thinking, as even to have been taunted 
with the nicknames which belong to you ; and, 
on the other hand, if there are professed infidels, 


scoffers, sceptics, unprincipled men, rebels, they 
are found among our opponents. And yet you 
take part with them against us... You consent 
to act hand in hand (with these and others) 
for our overthrow. Alas ! all this it is, that im 
presses us irresistibly with the notion that you 
are a political, not a religious party ; that, in 
order to gain an end on which you set your 
hearts an open stage for yourselves in England 
you ally yourselves with those who hold nothing, 
against those who hold something. This is what 
distresses my own mind so greatly, to speak of 
myself, that, with limitations which need not 
now be mentioned, I cannot meet familiarly 
any leading persons of the Roman Communion, 
and least of all when they come on a religious 
errand. Break off, I would say, with Mr O Connell 
in Ireland and the Liberal party in England, or 
come not to us with overtures for mutual prayer 
and religious sympathy. 

And here came in another feeling of a personal 
nature, which had little to do with the argument 
against Rome, except that, in my prejudice, I 
connected it with my own ideas of the usual 
conduct of her advocates and instruments. I was 
very stern upon any interference in our Oxford 
matters on the part of charitable Catholics, and 
on any attempt to do me good personally. There 
was nothing, indeed, at the time more likely to 
throw me back. Why do you meddle? Why 
cannot you let me alone ? You can do me no 
good ; you know nothing on earth about me ; 
you may actually do me harm ; I am in better 
hands than yours. I know my own sincerity of 
purpose ; and I am determined upon taking my 
time. Since I have been a Catholic, people have 

1839 TO 1841 145 

sometimes accused me of backwardness in making 
converts ; and Protestants have argued from it that 
I have no great eagerness to do so. It would be 
against my nature to act otherwise than I do ; but 
besides, it would be to forget the lessons which 
1 gained in the experience of my own history 
in the past. 

This is the account which I have to give of 
some savage and ungrateful words in The British 
Critic of 1840 against the controversialists of 
Rome: By their fruits ye shall know them. . . 
We see it attempting to gain converts among 
us by unreal representations of its doctrines, 
plausible statements, bold assertions, appeals to 
the weaknesses of human nature, to our fancies, 
our eccentricities, our fears, our frivolities, our 
false philosophies. We see its agents, smiling 
and nodding and ducking to attract attention, 
as gipseys make up to truant boys, holding out 
tales for the nursery, and pretty pictures, and 
gilt gingerbread, and physic concealed in jam, 
and sugar-plums for good children. Who can 
but feel shame when the religion of Ximenes, 
Borromeo, and Pascal, is so overlaid ? Who can 
but feel sorrow, when its devout and earnest 
defenders so mistake its genius and its capabili 
ties? We Englishmen like manliness, openness, 
consistency, truth. Rome will never gain on 
us till she learns these virtues, and uses them ; 
and then she may gain us, but it will be by 
ceasing to be what we now mean by Rome, by 
having a right, not to "have dominion over 
our faith", but to gain and possess our affections 
in the bonds of the gospel. Till she ceases to 
be what she practically is, a union is impos 
sible between her and England ; but, if she does 



reform (and who can presume to say that so 
large a part of Christendom never can ?) then it 
will be our Church s duty at once to join in 
communion with the continental Churches what 
ever politicians at home may say to it, and 
whatever steps the civil power may take in 
consequence. And though we may not live to see 
that day, at least we are bound to pray for it; 
we are bound to pray for our brethren that they 
and we may be led together into the pure light 
of the gospel, and be one as we once were one. 
It was most touching news to be told, as we 
were lately, that Christians on the Continent were 
praying together for the spiritual well-being of 
England. May they gain light, while they aim 
at unity, and grow in faith while they manifest 
their love ! We, too, have our duties to them ; 
not of reviling, not of slandering, not of hating, 
though political interests require it; but the 
duty of loving brethren still more abundantly 
in spirit, whose faces for our sins and their 
sins we are not allowed to see in the flesh. 

No one ought to indulge in insinuations ; it 
certainly diminishes my right to complain oi 
slanders uttered against myself, when, as in this 
passage, I had already spoken iu condemnation 
of that class of controversialists to which 1 
myself now belong. 

I have thus put together, as well as I could, 
what has to be said about my general state oi 
mind from the autumn of 1839 to the summei 
of 184-1 ; and, having done so, I go on to narrate 
how my new misgivings affected my conduct 
and my relations towards the Anglican Church 

When I got back to Oxford in October, 1839 

1839 TO 1841 147 

after the visits which I had been paying, it so 
happened there had been, in my absence, occur 
rences of an awkward character, bringing me into 
collision both with my Bishop and also with the 
University authorities; and this drew my attention 
at once to the state of what would be considered 
the Movement party there, and made me very 
anxious for the future. In the spring of the year, 
as has been seen in the article analyzed above, 
I had spoken of the excesses which were to be 
found among persons commonly included in it ; 
at that time I thought little of such an evil, 
but the new thoughts, which had come on me 
during the Long Vacation, on. the one hand 
made me comprehend it, and on the other took 
away my power of effectually meeting it. A firm 
and powerful control was necessary to keep men 
straight ; I never had a strong wrist, but at the 
very time when it was most needed the reins 
had broken in my hands. With an anxious presenti 
ment on my mind of the upshot of the whole 
inquiry, which it was almost impossible for me 
to conceal from men who saw me day by day, 
who heard my familiar conversation, who came 
perhaps for the express purpose of pumping me, 
and having a categorical yes or no to their ques 
tions how could I expect to say anything about 
my actual, positive, present belief, which would be 
sustaining or consoling to such persons as were 
haunted already by doubts of their own? Nay, 
how could I, with satisfaction to myself, analyze 
my own mind, and say what I held and what 
I did not ? or say with what limitations, shades 
of difference, or degrees of belief, I held that 
body of opinions which I had openly professed 
and taught? how could I deny or assert this 


point or that, without injustice to the new view 
in which the whole evidence for those old opin 
ions presented itself to my mind? 

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

1839 TO 1841 149 

me despond so much , that is, as to its effect 
upon others. 

But, secondly, the great stumbling-block lay in 
the 39 Articles. It was urged that here was a 
positive Note against Anglicanism: Anglicanism 
claimed to hold that the Church of England was 
nothing else than a continuation in this country 
(as the Church of Rome might be in France or 
Spain) of that one Church of which, in old times, 
Athanasius and Augustine were members. But, 
if so, the doctrine must be the same ; the doctrine 
of the Old Church must live and speak in Anglican 
formularies, in the 39 Articles. Did it? Yes, it 
did ; that is what I maintained ; it did in sub 
stance, in a true sense. Man had done his worst 
to disfigure, to mutilate the old Catholic Truth, 
but there it was, in spite of them, in the Articles 
still. It was there, but this must be shown. It 
was a matter of life and death to us to show 
it. And I believed that it could be shown ; I 
considered that those grounds of justification, 
which I gave above, when I was speaking of 
Tract 90, were sufficient for the purpose ; and 
therefore I set about showing it at once. This 
was in March 1840, when I went up to Lit- 
tlemore. And, as it was a matter of life and 
death with us, all risks must be run to show it. 
When the attempt was actually made, I had 
got reconciled to the prospect of it, and had 
no apprehensions as to the experiment ; but in 
1840, while my purpose was honest, and my 
grounds of reason satisfactory, I did nevertheless 
recognize that I was engaged in an experimentum 
cruets. I have no doubt that then I acknowledged 
to myself, that it would be a trial of the Anglican 
Church which it had never undergone before 


not that the Catholic sense of the Articles had 
not been held, or at least suffered by their framers 
and promulgators, and was not implied in the 
teaching of Andrewes or Beveridge, but that it 
had never been publicly recognized, while the 
interpretation of the day was Protestant and 
exclusive. I observe also, that, though my Tract 
was an experiment, it was, as I said at the time, 
nojeeler y the event showed it; for, when my 
principle was not granted, I did not draw back, 
but gave up. I would not hold office in a Church 
which would not allow my sense of the Articles. 
My tone was, This is necessary for us, and have 
it we must and will, and, if it tends to bring 
men to look less bitterly on the Church of 
Rome, so much the better. 

This, then, was the second work to which I 
set myself; though when I got to Littlemore, 
other things came in the way of accomplishing 
it at the moment. I had in mind to remove 
all such obstacles as were in the way of holding 
the Apostolic and Catholic character of the 
Anglican teaching ; to assert the right of all 
who chose to say in the face of day, Our 
Church teaches the primitive ancient faith . I 
did not conceal this : in Tract 90, it is put 
forward as the first principle of all, f lt is a 
duty which we owe, both to the Catholic Church, 
and to our own, to take our reformed confessions 
in the most Catholic sense they will admit : we 
have no duties towards their framers. And still 
more pointedly in my letter, explanatory of the 
Tract, addressed to Dr Jelf, I say: The only 
peculiarity of the view I advocate, if I must 
so call it, is this that whereas it is usual at 
this day to make the particular belief of their 

1839 TO 1841 151 

writers their true interpretation, I would make 
the belief of the Catholic Church such. That is, 
as it is often said that infants are regenerated 
in Baptism , not on the faith of their parents, 
but of the Church, so in like manner I would 
say that the Articles are received, not in the 
sense of their framers, but (as far as the wording 
will admit, or any ambiguity requires it) in the 
one Catholic sense. 

A third measure which I distinctly contem 
plated, was the resignation of St Mary s, whatever 
became of the question of the Articles ; and as a 
first step I meditated a retirement to Littlemore. 
I had built a Church there, several years before ; 
and I went there to pass the Lent of 1840, and 
gave myself up to teaching in the Poor Schools, 
and practising the choir. At the same time, I 
contemplated a monastic house there. I bought 
ten acres of ground, and began planting ; but this 
great design was never carried out. I mention 
it, because it shows how little I had really the 
idea then of ever leaving the Anglican Church. 
That I also contemplated even the further step 
of giving up St Mary s itself as early as 18,39, 
appears from a letter wrich I wrote in October, 
1840, to the friend whom it was most natural for 
me to consult on such a point. It ran as follows : 

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

First, it is certain that I do not know my Oxford 
parishioners; I am not conscious of influencing them, and 
certainly I have no insight into their spiritual state, I 
have no personal, no pastoral acquaintance with th,era, 


To very few have I any opportunity of saying a religious 
word. Whatever influence I exert on them is precisely 
that which I may be exerting on persons out of my 
parish. In my excuse, I am accustomed to say to myself 
that I am not adapted to get on with them, while others 
are. On the other hand, I am conscious, that by means 
of my position at St Mary s I do exert a considerable 
influence on the University, whether on undergraduates 
or graduates. It seems, then, on the whole, that I am 
using St Mary s, to the neglect of its direct duties, for 
objects not belonging to it; I am converting a parochial 
charge into a sort of University office. 

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

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

But further than this, I cannot disguise from myself 
that my preaching is not calculated to defend that system 
of religion which has been received for 300 years, and 
of which the Heads of Houses are the legitimate main- 
tainers in this place. They exclude me, as far as may 
be, from the University Pulpit ; and, though I never have 
preached strong doctrine in it, they do so rightly, so far 
as this, that they understand that my sermons are cal 
culated to undermine things established, I cannot disguise 
from myself that they are. No one will deny that most 
of my sermons are on moral subjects, not doctrinal; still 

1839 TO 1841 153 

I am leading ray hearers to the Primitive Church, if you 
will, but not to the Church of England. Now, ought one 
to be disgusting the minds of young men with the received 
religion, in the exercise of a sacred office, yet without a 
commission, against the wish of their guides and governors? 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Here, I observe, that what was contemplated 
was the bursting of the Catholicity of the Ang 
lican Church, that is, my subjective idea of that 
Church. Its bursting would not hurt her with the 
world, but would be a discovery that she was pure 
ly and essentially Protestant, and would be really 
the hoisting of the engineer with his own petard , 
And this was the was result. I continue 

1839 TO 1841 155 

2. Say, that I move sympathies for Rome: in the same 
sense do Hooker, Taylor, Ball, &c. Their arguments 
may be against Rome, but the sympathies they raise must 
be towards Rome, so far as Rome maintains truths which 
our Church does not teach or enforce. Thus it is a 
question of degree between our divines and me. I may, 
if so be, go further; I may raise sympathies more; but I 
am but urging minds in the same direction as they do. 
I am doing just the very thing which all our doctors 
have ever been doing. In short, would not Hooker, if 
Vicar of St Mary s, be in my difficulty? 

Here it may be said, that Hooker could 
preach against Rome, and I could not; but I 
doubt whether he could have preached effective 
ly against Transubstantiation better than I, 
though neither he nor I held it. 

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

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

Also, this same year, 1840, I made arrange 
ments for giving up The British Critic in the 
following July, which were carried into effect 
at that date. 

Such was about my state of mind on the publi 
cation of Tract 90, in February, 184-1. The im 
mense commotion consequent upon the publication 
of the Tract did not unsettle me again ; for I had 
weathered the storm: the Tract had not been 


condemned : that was the great point ; I made 
much of it. 

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

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

2. The Bishop sent me word on Sunday to write a 
letter to him instanter*. So I wrote it on Monday: on 
Tuesday it passed through the press: on Wednesday it 
was out: and to-day (Thursday) it is in London. 

I trust that things are smoothing now; and that we 
have made a great step is certain. It is not right to 
boast, till I am clear out of the wood, i. e. till I know 
how the letter is received in London. You know, I sup 
pose, that I am to stop the Tracts- but you will see in 
the letter, though I speak quite what I feel, yet I have 
managed to take out on my side my snubbing s worth. And 
this makes me anxious how it will be received in London. 

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

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

And to my friend, Mr Bowden, under date 
of March 1 5 : 

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

1839 TO 1841 157 

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

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

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

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

1. I had got but a little way in my work, 
when my trouble returned on me. The ghost 
had come a second time. In the Arian History 
I found the very same phenomenon, in a far 
bolder shape, which I had found in the Mono- 
physite. I had not observed it in 1832. Wonder 
ful that this should come upon me ! I had not 
sought it out ; I was reading and writing in 
my own line of study, far from the controversies 
of the day, on what is called a metaphysical 
subject; but I saw clearly, that in the history 
of Arianism, the pure Arians were the Protestants, 
the semi-Arians were the Anglicans, and that 
Home now was, what it was. The truth lay, not 


with the Via Media, but in what was called 
f the extreme party . As I am not writing a 
work of controversy, I need not enlarge upon 
the argument ; I have said something on the 
subject, in a volume which I published fourteen 
years ago. 

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

On October 1 7th, I wrote thus to a friend : 

I suppose it will be necessary in some shape or other 
to re-assert Tract 90; else, it will seem, after these Bis 
hop s Charges, as if it were silenced, which it has not 
been, nor do I intend it should be. I wish to keep quiet 
but if bishops speak, I will speak, too. If the view were 
silenced, I could not remain in the Church, nor conic 
many others; and therefore, since it is not silenced, 3 
shall take care to show that it isn t. 

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

1839 TO 1841 159 

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

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

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

I think I am right in saying, that it had been 
long a desire with the Prussian Court to intro 
duce Episcopacy into the Evangelical religion, 
which was intended in that country to embrace 
both the Lutheran and Calvinistic bodies. J 
almost think I heard of the project, when I 
was at Rome in 1833, at the hotel of the 
Prussian Minister, M. Bunsen, who was most 
hospitable and kind, as to other English visitors, 
so also to my friends and myself. I suppose 
that the idea of Episcopacy, as the Prussian 
king understood it, was very different from that 
taught in the Tractarian School ; but still, I 
suppose, that the chief authors of that school 
would have gladly seen such a measure carried 
out in Prussia, had it been done without com 
promising those principles which were necessary 
to the being of a Church. About the time of 


the publication of Tract 90, M. Bunsen and the 
then archbishop of Canterbury were taking steps 
for its execution, by appointing and consecrating 
a bishop for Jerusalem. Jerusalem, it would seem, 
was considered a safe place for the experiment ; 
it was too far from Prussia to awaken the 
susceptibilities of any party at home ; if the 
project failed, it failed without harm to any 
one; and, if it succeeded, it gave Protestantism 
a status in the East, which, in association with 
the Monophysite, or Jacobite, and the Nestorian 
bodies, formed a political instrument for England, 
parallel to that which Russia had in the Greek 
Church, and France in the Latin. 

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

I do not pretend, so long after the time, to 
give a full or exact account of this measure in 
detail. I will but say that in the Act of Par 
liament, under date of October 5, 1841 (if the 
copy, from which I quote, contains the measure 
as it passed the Houses) provision is made for the 
consecration of ( British subjects, or the subjects 

1839 TO 1841 161 

or citizens of any foreign state, to be bishops 
in any foreign country, whether such foreign 
subjects or citizens be or be not subjects or 
citizens of the country in which they are to 
act, and... without requiring such of them as 
may be subjects or citizens of any foreign 
kingdom or state to take the oaths of allegiance 
and supremacy, arid the oath of due obedience 
to the Archbishop for the time being ... also 
that such bishop or bishops, so consecrated, 
may exercise, within such limits, as may from 
time to time be assigned for that purpose in 
such foreign countries by her Majesty, spiritual 
jurisdiction over the ministers of British congrega 
tions of the United Church of England and 
Ireland, and over such other Piotestant Congrega 
tions, as may be desirous of placing themselves 
under his or their authority. 

Now here, at the very time that the Anglican 
bishops were directing their censure upon me 
for avowing an approach to the Catholic Church 
not closer than I believed the Anglican formul 
aries would allow, they were on the other hand 
fraternizing, by their act or by their sufferance, 
with Protestant bodies, and allowing them to put 
themselves under an Anglican bishop, without 
any renunciation of their errors or regard to the 
due reception of baptism and confirmation ; while 
there was great reason to suppose that the said 
bishop was intended to make converts from the 
orthodox Greeks, and the schismatical Oriental 
bodies, by means of the influence of England. 
This was the third blow, which finally shattered 
my faith in the Anglican Church. That Church 
was not only forbidding any sympathy or concur 
rence with the Church of Rome, but it actually 



was courting an intercommunion with Protestant 
Prussia, and the heresy of the Orientals. The 
Anglican Church might have the Apostolical 
succession, as had the Monophysites ; but such 
acts as were in progress led me to the gravest 
suspicion., not that it would soon cease to be 
a Church, but that it had never been a Church 
all along. 

On October 12th I thus wrote to a friend: 

We have not a single Anglican in Jerusalem, so we 
are sending a bishop to make a communion, not to govern 
our own people. Next, the excuse is, that there are 
converted Anglican Jews there who require a bishop ; 
I am told there are not half-a-dozen. But for them the 
bishop is sent out, and for them he is a bishop of the 
circumcision (I think he was a converted Jew, who boasted 
of his Jewish descent), against the Epistle to the Ga- 
latians pretty nearly. Thirdly, for the sake of Prussia, 
he is to take under him all the foreign Protestants who 
will come; and the political advantages will be so great, 
from the influence of England, that there is no doubt 
they will come. They are to sign the Confession of Augs 
burg, and there is nothing to show that they hold the 
doctrine of Baptismal Begeneration. 

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

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

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

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

1839 TO 1841 163 

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

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

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

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

I am, etc. 


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

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

And whereas to admit maintainers of heresy to com 
munion, without formal renunciation of their errors, goes 
far towards recognizing the same: 

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

And whereas it is reported that the Most Reverend 
Primate and other Right Reverend rulers of onr Church 
have consecrated a Bishop with a view to exorcising 
spiritual jurisdiction over Protestant, that is, Lutheran 


and Calvinist congregations in the East (under the privisions 
of an Act made in the last session of Parliament to 
amend an Act made in the 26th year of the reign of his 
Majesty King George the Third, intituled An Act to em 
power the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Archbishop of 
York for the time being, to consecrate to the office of Bishop 
persons being subjects or citizens of countries out of his 
Majesty s dominions), dispensing at the same time, not 
in particular cases, and accidentally, but as if on principle, 
and universally, with any abjuration of error on the part 
of such congregations, and with any reconciliation to the 
Church on the part of the presiding Bishop; thereby 
giving some sort of formal recognition to the doctrines 
which such congregations maintain: 

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

On these grounds, I in my place, being a priest of the 
English Church and Vicar of St Mary the Virgin s, Ox 
ford, by way of relieving my conscience, do hereby solemn 
ly protest against the measure aforesaid, and disown it, 
as removing onr Church from her present ground, and 
tending to her disorganization. 

November 11, 1841. 

Looking back two years afterwards on the 
above-mentioned and other acts, on the part of 
Anglican ecclesiastical authorities, I observe: 
Many a man might have held an abstract theory 
about the Catholic Church, to which it was 
difficult to adjust the Anglican might have 
admitted a suspicion, or even painful doubts 
about the latter yet never have been impelled 
onwards, had our rulers preserved the quies 
cence of former years; but it is the corrobora- 
tion of a present, living, and energetic heter 
odoxy, which realizes and makes them practical ; 
it has been the recent speeches and acts of 
authorities, who had so long been tolerant of 

1839 TO 1841 

Protestant error., which have given to inquiry 
and to theory its force and its edge. 

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


1841 TO 1845 

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

1841 TO 1845 167 

And first as to my position in the view of 
duty; it was this: (1) I had given up my place 
in the Movement in my letter to the Bishop of 
Oxford in the spring of 1841 ; but (2) I could 
not give up my duties towards the many and 
various minds who had more or less been brought 
into it by me ; (3) I expected, or intended, grad 
ually to fall back into Lay Communion ; (4) I never 
contemplated leaving the Church of England ; 

(5) I could not hold office in her, if I were not 
allowed to hold the Catholic sense of the Articles ; 

(6) I could not go to Rome while she suffered 
honours to be paid to the Blessed Virgin and 
the Saints which I thought incompatible with 
the Supreme, Incommunicable Glory of the One 
Infinite and Eternal ; (7) I desired a union with 
Rome under conditions, Church with Church ; 
(8) I called Littlemore my Torres Vedras, and 
thought that some day we might advance again 
within the Anglican Church, as we had been 
forced to retire ; (9) I kept back all persons who 
were disposed to go to Rome with all my might. 

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

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


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

Accordingly, I abandoned that old ground and 
took another. I deliberately quitted the old 
Anglican ground as untenable ; but I did not 
do so all at once, but as I became more and 
more convinced of the state of the case. The 
Jerusalem bishopric was the ultimate condem- 

1841 TO 1845 169 

nation of the old theory of the Via Media ; from 
that time the Anglican Church was, in my mind, 
either not a normal portion of that One Church 
to which the promises were made, or at least in 
an abnormal state, and from that time I said 
boldly, as I did in my protest, and as indeed 
I had even intimated in my letter to the Bishop 
of Oxford, that the Church in which I found 
myself had no claim on me, except on condition 
of its being a portion of the One Catholic Com 
munion, and that that condition must ever be 
borne in mind as a practical matter, and had 
to be distinctly proved. All this was not inconsist 
ent with my saying that, at this time, I had no 
thought of leaving that Church ; because I felt 
some of my old objections against Rome as 
strongly as ever. I had no right, I had no leave, 
to act against my conscience. That was a higher 
rule than any argument about the Notes of the 

Under these circumstances I turned for protec 
tion to the Note of Sanctity, with a view of 
showing that we had at least one of the necess 
ary Notes, as fully as the Church of Rome ; or, 
at least, without entering into comparisons, that 
we had it in such a sufficient sense as to reconcile 
iis to our position, and to supply full evidence, 
and a clear direction, on the point of practical 
duty. We had the Note of Life; not any sort 
of life, not such only as can come of nature, but 
a supernatural Christian life, which could only 
come directly from above. In my article in The 
British Critic, to which I have so often referred, 
in January 1840 (before the time of Tract 90), 
I said of the Anglican Church, that she has 
the note of possession, the note of freedom 


from party titles,, the note of life a tough life 
and a vigorous ; she has ancient descent, un 
broken continuance, agreement in doctrine with 
the Ancient Church. Presently I go on to speak 
of sanctity: Much as Roman Catholics may 
denounce us at present as schismatical, they 
could not resist us if the Anglican communion 
had but that one note of the Church upon it- 
Sanctity. The Church of the day (4th century) 
could not resist Meletius ; his enemies were 
fairly overcome by him, by his meekness and 
holiness, which melted the most jealous of them. 
And I continue : e We are almost content to say 
to Romanists, account us not yet as a branch 
of the Catholic Church, though we be a branch, 
till we are like a branch, provided that when 
we do become like a branch, then you consent 
to acknowledge us etc. And so I was led on 
in the article to that sharp attack on English 
Catholics for their shortcomings as regards this 
Note, a good portion of which I have already 
quoted in another place. It is there, that I 
speak of the great scandal which I took at their 
political, social, and controversial bearing; and 
this was a second reason why I fell back upon 
the Note of Sanctity, because it took me away 
from the necessity of making any attack upon 
the doctrines of the Roman Church, nay, from 
the consideration of her popular beliefs, and 
brought me upon a ground on which I felt I 
could not make a mistake ; for what is a highei 
guide for us in speculation and in practice, than 
that conscience of right and wrong, of truth 
and falsehood, those sentiments of what is decor 
ous, consistent, and noble, which our Creator ha! 
made a part of our original nature ? Therefore 

1841 TO 1845 171 

I felt I could not be wrong in attacking what 
I fancied was a fact the uncrupulousness, the 
deceit, and the intriguing spirit of the agents 
and representatives of Rome. 

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

According to this theory, a religious body is 
part of the One Catholic and Apostolic Church, 


if it has the succession and the creed of the 
Apostles, with the note of holiness of life ; and 
there is much in such a view to approve itself 
to the direct common sense and practical habits 
of an Englishman. However, with events con 
sequent upon Tract 90, I sunk my theory to 
a lower level. What could be said in apology, 
when the bishops and the people of my Church, 
not only did not suffer, but actually rejected 
primitive Catholic doctrine, and tried to eject 
from their communion all who held it? after 
the bishops charges? after the Jerusalem 
1 abomination ? - Well, this could be said; still 
we were not nothing : we could not be as if we 
never had been a Church; we were Samaria . 
This then was that lower level on which I 
placed myself, and all who felt with me, at 
the end of 1841. 

To bring out this view was the purpose of 
four sermons preached at St Mary s in Decem 
ber of that year. Hitherto I had not introduced 
the exciting topics of the day into the pulpit; 
on this occasion I did. I did so, for the moment 
was urgent ; there was great unsettlement oi 
mind among us, in consequence of those same 
events which had unsettled me. One special 
anxiety, very obvious, which was coming on me 
now, was, that what was one man s meat was 
another man s poison . I had said, even,of Tract 90 
It was addressed to one set of persons, and ha; 
been used and commented on by another ; stil 
more was it true now, that whatever I wrote fo 
the service of those whom I knew to be in troubl< 
of mind, would become on the one hand matte 
of suspicion and slander in the mouths of m 
opponents, and of distress and surprise to thos 

1841 TO 1845 173 

on the other hand, who had no difficulties of 
faith at all. Accordingly, when I published these 
Four Sermons, at the end of 1 843, I introduced 
them with a recommendation that none should 
read them who did not need them. But in truth, 
the virtual condemndation of Tract 90, after 
that the whole difficulty seemed to have been 
weathered, was an enormous disappointment and 
trial. My protest also against the Jerusalem 
bishopric was an unavoidable cause of excitement 
in the case of many; but it calmed them too, 
for the very fact of a protest was a relief to 
their impatience. And so, in like manner, as 
regards the Four Sermons of which I speak, 
though they acknowledged freely the great scan 
dal which was involved in the recent episcopal 
doings, yet at the same time they might be 
said to bestow upon the multiplied disorders 
and shortcomings of the Anglican Church, a sort 
of place in the Revealed Dispensation, and an 
intellectual position in the controversy, and the 
dignity of a great principle, for unsettled minds 
to take and use, which might teach them to 
recognize their own consistency, and to be re 
conciled to themselves, and which might absorb 
into itself and dry up a multitude of their grudg- 
ings, discontents, misgivings, and questionings, 
and lead the way to humble, thankful, and 
tranquil thoughts and this was the effect which 
certainly it produced on myself. 

The point of these Sermons is, that, in spite 
of the rigid character of the Jewish law, the 
formal and literal force of its precepts, and the 
manifest schism, and worse than schism, of the 
Ten Tribes, yet, in fact, they were still recognized 
as a people by the Divine Mercy ; that the great 


prophets Elias and Eliseus were sent to them, 
and not only so, but sent to preach to them 
and reclaim them, without any intimation that 
they must be reconciled to the line of David and 
the Aaronic priesthood, or go up to Jerusalem 
to worship. They were not in the Church, yet 
they had the means of grace and the hope of 
acceptance with their Maker. The application 
of all this to the Anglican Church was immediate; 
whether a man could assume or exercise min 
isterial functions under the circumstances, or 
not, might not clearly appear, though it must be 
remembered that England had the Apostolic 
Priesthood, whereas Israel had no priesthood 
at all ; but so far was clear, that there was no 
call at all for an Anglican to leave his Church 
for Rome, though he did not believe his own 
to be part of the One Church and for this 
reason, because it was a fact that the kingdom 
of Israel was cut off from the temple; and yet 
its subjects, neither in a mass, nor as individuals, 
neither the multitudes on Mount Carmel, nor 
the Shunammite and her household, had any 
command given them, though miracles were 
displayed before them, to break off from their 
own people, and to submit themselves to Judah *. 
It is plain, that a theory such as this, whethei 
the marks of a divine presence and life in the 
Anglican Church were sufficient to prove thai 
she was actually within the covenant, or onlj 
sufficient to prove that she was at least enjoying 

* As I am not writing controversially, I will only her 
remark upon this argument, that there is a great diffej 
ence between a command, which implies physical cond 
tions, and one which is moral. To go to Jerusalem wa 
a matter of the body, not of the soul. 

1841 TO 1845 175 

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

Nov. 8, 1845. I do not think, at all more than I did, 
that the Anglican principles which I advocated at the 
date you mention, lead men to the Church of Rome. If 
I must specify what I mean by Anglican principles , I 
should say, e. g. taking Antiquity, not the existing Church, 
as the oracle of truth; and holding that the Apostolical 
Succession is a sufficient guarantee of Sacramental Gra<-< . 
without union with the Christian Church throughout the 


world. I think these still the firmest, strongest ground 
against Borne that is, if they can be held. They have 
been held by many, and are far more difficult to refute 
in the Roman controversy, than those of any other religi 
ous body. 

For myself, I found / could not hold them. I left them. 
From the time I began to suspect their unsoundness, 1 
ceased to put them forward. When I was fairly sure of 
their unsoundness, I gave up my Living. When I was 
fully confident that the Church of Rome was the only 
true Church, I joined her. 

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

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

However, my friends of the moderate Apostol 
ical party, who were my friends for the ver} 
reason of my having been so moderate ant 

1841 TO 1845 177 

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

Oriel, Dec. 24, 1841. Carissime, you cannot tell how 
sad your account of Moberly has made me. His view 
of the sinfulness of the decrees of Trent is as much 
against union of Churches as against individual conver 
sions. To tell the truth, I never have examined those 
decrees with this object, and have no view; but that is 
very different from having a deliberate view against them. 
Gould not he say which they are? I suppose Transubstantia- 
tion is one. A. B., though of course he would not like 
to have it repeated, does not scruple at that. I have not 
my mind clear. Moberly must recollect that Palmer 



thinks they all bear a Catholic interpretation. For my 
self, this only I see, that there is indefinitely more in 
the Fathers against our own state of alienation from 
Christendom than against the Tridentine Decrees. 

The only thing I can think of (that I can 
have said) is this, that there were persons who, 
if our Church committed herself to heresy, sooner 
than think that there was no Church anywhere, 
would believe the Roman to be the Church ; 
and therefore would on faith accept what they 
could not otherwise acquiesce in. 

I suppose, it would be no relief to him to insist upon 
the circumstance that there is no immediate danger. 
Individuals can never be answered for of course ; but I 
should think lightly of that man who, for some act of 
the bishops, should all at once leave the Church. Now, 
considering how the clergy really are improving, con 
sidering that this row is even making them read the 
Tracts, is it not possible we may all be in a better state 
of mind seven years hence to consider these matters? 
And may we not leave them meanwhile to the will of 
Providence? I cannot believe this work has been of man; 
God has a right to His own work, to do what He will 
with it. May we not try to leave it in His hands, and 
be content? 

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

The Bishop of London has rejected a man, (1), For 
holding any Sacrifice in the Eucharist, (2), The Eeal 
Presence, (3), That there is a grace in Ordination *. 

Are we quite sure that the bishops will not be drawing 
up some stringent declarations of faith? Is this what 
Moberly fears? Would the Bishop of Oxford accept them? 

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

1841 TO 1845 179 

If so, I should be driven into the Befuge for the 
Destitute (Littlemore). But I promise JMoberly, I would 
do my utmost to catch all dangerous persons and clap 
them into confinement there. 

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

He surely does not mean to say, that nothing could 
separate a man irom the English Church, e.g. its avowing 
Socinianism; its holding the Holy Eucharist in a Socinian 
sense. Yet, he would say, it was not right to contemplate 
such things. 

Again, our case is (diverging) from that of Ken s. To 
say nothing of the last miserable century, which has 
given us, to start from, a much lower level, and with much 
less to spare, than a Churchman in the 17th century, 
questions of doctrine are now coming in; with him, it 
was a question of discipline. 

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

Is not this a time of strange providences? Is it not our 
safest course, without looking to consequences, to do 
simply what we think right, day by day? shall we not be 
sure to go wrong, if we attempt to trace by anticipation 
the course of divine Providenc;-? 

Has not all our misery, as a Church, aiisen from people 
being afraid to look difficulties in the face? They have 
palliated acts, when they should have denounced them. 
There is that good fellow, Worcester Palmer, can white- 


wash the Ecclesiastical Commission and the Jerusalem 
Bishopric. And what is the consequence? That our Church 
has, through centuries, ever been sinking lower and 
lower, till good part of its pretensions and professions 
is a mere sham, though it be a duty to make the best 
of what we have received. Yet, though bound to make 
the best of other men s shams, let us not incur any of 
our own. The truest friends of our Church are they 
who say boldly when her rulers are going wrong, and 
the consequences; and (to speak catachrestically) they are 
most likely to die in the Church, who are, under these 
black circumstances, most prepared to leave it. 

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

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

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

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

St. Stephen s [December 26]. How I fidget! I now fear 
that the note I wrote yesterday only makes matters worse 


1841 TO 1845 181 

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

There was one very old friend, at a distance 
from Oxford, afterwards a Catholic, now dead 
some years, who must have said something to 
me, I do not know what, which challenged a 
frank reply; for I disclosed to him, I do not 
know in what words, my frightful suspicion, 
hitherto only known to two persons, that, as 
regards my Anglicanism, perhaps I might break 
down in the event, that perhaps we were both 
out of the Church. He answered me thus, 
under date of Jan. 29, 1842: 

I don t think that I ever was so shocked by any com 
munication, which was ever made to me, as by your 
letter of this morning. It has quite unnerved me. . . I 
cannot but write to you, though I am at a loss where to 
begin. . . I know of no act by which we have dissevered 
ourselves from the communion of the Church Universal. . . 
The more I study Scripture, the more am I impressed 
with the resemblance between the Komish principle in 
the Church and the Babylon ot St John. . . I am ready to 
grieve that I ever directed my thoughts to theology, if 
it is indeed so uncertain, as your doubts seem to indicate. 

While my old and true friends were thus in 
trouble about me, I suppose they felt not only 
anxiety but pain, to see that I was gradually 
surrendering myself to the influence of others, 
who had not their own claims upon me, younger 
men, and of a cast of mind uncongenial to my 
own. A new school of thought was vising, as 


is usual in such movements, and was sweeping 
the original party of the movement aside, and 
was taking its place. The most prominent 
person in it was a man of elegant genius, of 
classical mind, of rare talent in literary composi 
tion Mr. Oakeley. He was not far from my 
own age ; I had long known him, though of 
late years he had not been in residence at Ox 
ford ; and quite lately he has been taking 
several signal occasions of renewing that kind 
ness, which he ever showed towards me when 
we were both in the Anglican Church. His 
tone of mind was not unlike, which gave a 
character to the early movement ; he was almost 
a typical Oxford man, and, as far as I recollect, 
both in political and ecclesiastical views, would 
have been of one spirit with the Oriel party 
of 1826 33. But he had entered late into the 
Movement ; he did not know its first years ; 
and, beginning with a new start, he was naturally 
thrown together with that body of eager, acute, 
resolute minds who had begun their Catholic 
life about the same time as he, who knew 
nothing about the Via Media, but had heard 
much about Rome. This new party rapidly formed 
and increased, in and out of Oxford, and, as it 
so happened, contemporaneously with that very 
summer, when I received so serious a blow to 
my ecclesiastical views from the study of the 
Monophysite controversy. These men cut into 
the original Movement at an angle, fell across 
its line of thought, and then set about turning 
that line in its own direction. They were most 
of them keenly religious men, with a true 
concern for their souls as the first matter of 
all, with a great zeal for me, but giving little 

1841 TO 1845 183 

certainty at the time as to which way they 
would ultimately turn. Some, in the event, 
have remained firm to Anglicanism, some have 
become Catholics, and some have found a 
refuge in Liberalism. Nothing was clearer 
concerning them than that they needed to 
be kept in order; and on me who had had 
so much to do with the making of them, 
that duty was as clearly incumbent; and it 
is equally clear, from what I have already said, 
that I was just the person, above all others, who 
could not undertake it. There are no friends like 
old friends ; but of those old friends, few could 
help me, few could understand me, many were 
annoyed with me, some were angry, because I 
was breaking up a compact party, and some, as 
a matter of conscience, could not listen to me. 
I said, bitterly, You are throwing me on others, 
whether I will or no. Yet still I had good and 
true friends around me of the old sort, in and 
out of Oxford too. But, on the other hand, 
though I neither was so fond of the persons, 
nor of the methods of thought, which belonged 
to this new school, excepting two of three men, 
as of the old set ; though I could not trust in 
their firmness of purpose, for, like a swarm of 
flies, they might come and go, and at length 
be divided and dissipated, yet I had an intense 
sympathy in their object, and in the direction 
of their path, in spite of my old friends, in spite 
of my old life-long prejudices. In spite of my 
ingrained fears of Rome, and the decision of 
my reason and conscience against her usages, 
in spite of my affection for Oxford and Oriel, 
yet I had a secret, longing love of Rome, the 
mother of English Christianity, and I had a. 


true devotion to the Blessed Virgin, in whose 
College I lived, whose Altar I served, and whose 
Immaculate Purity I had in one of my earliest 
printed sermons made much of. And it was the 
consciousness of this bias in myself, if it is so to 
be called, which made me preach so earnestly 
against the danger of being swayed by our sym 
pathy, rather than our reason, in religious inquiry. 
And, moreover, the members of this new school 
looked up to me, as I have said, and did me 
true kindnesses, and really loved me, and stood 
by me in trouble, when others went away, and 
for all this I was grateful ; nay, many of them 
were in trouble themselves, and in the same 
boat with me, and that was a further cause of 
sympathy between us ; and hence it was, when 
the new school came on in force, and into 
collision with the old, I had not the heart, any 
more than the power, to repel them ; I was in 
great perplexity, and hardly knew where I stood ; 
I took their part ; and, when I wanted to be 
in peace and silence, I had to speak out, and 
I incurred the charge of weakness from some 
men, and of mysteriousness, shuffling, and under 
hand dealing from the majority. 

Now I will say here frankly, that this sort of 
charge is a matter which I cannot properly meet, 
because I cannot duly realize it. I have never 
had any suspicion of my own honesty ; and, when 
men say that I was dishonest, I cannot grasp 
the accusation as a distinct conception, such as 
it is possible to encounter. If a man said to 
me, f On such a day, and before such persons 
you said a thing was white, when it was black , 
I understand what is meant well enough, and 
I can set myself to prove an alibi, or to explain 

1841 TO 1845 185 

the mistake ; or if a man said to me, You tried 
to gain me over to your party, intending to 
take me with you to Rome, but you did not 
succeed , I can give him the lie, and lay down 
an assertion of my own, as firm and as exact as 
his, that never, from the time that I was first 
unsettled, did I ever attempt to gain anyone 
over to myself, or to my Romanizing opinions, 
and that it is only his own coxcombical fancy 
which has bred such a thought in him : but my 
imagination is at a loss in presence of those 
vague charges, which have commonly been 
brought against me, charges, which are made 
up of impressions, and understandings, and infer 
ences, and hearsay, and surmises. Accordingly, 
I shall not make the attempt, for, in doing so, 
I should be dealing blows in the air; what I 
shall attempt is to state what I know of my 
self, and what I recollect, and leave its applica 
tion to others. 

While I had confidence in the Via Media, 
and thought that nothing could overset it, I 
did not mind laying down large principles, 
which I saw would go further than was commonly 
perceived. I considered, that to make the Via 
Media concrete and substantive, it must be much 
more than it was in outline; that the Anglican 
Church must have a ceremonial, a ritual, and 
a fulness of doctrine and devotion, which it 
had not at present, if it were to compete with 
the Roman Church with any prospect of success. 
Such additions would not remove it from its 
proper basis, but would merely strengthen and 
beautify it : such, for instance, would be con 
fraternities, particular devotions, reverence for 
the Blessed Virgin, prayers for the dead, beautiful 


churches, rich offerings to them and in them, 
monastic houses, and many other observances 
and institutions, which I used to say belonged 
to us as much as to Rome, though Rome had 
appropriated them, and boasted of them, by 
reason of our having let them slip from us. 
The principle, on which all this turned, is 
brought out in one of the letters I published 
on occasion of Tract 90. The age is moving , 
I said, towards something; and most unhappily 
the one religious communion among us, which 
has of late years been practically in possession 
of this something, is the Church of Rome. She 
alone, amid all the errors and evils of her 
practical system, has given free scope to the 
feelings of awe, mystery, tenderness, reverence, 
devotedness, and other feelings which may be 
especially called Catholic. The question then 
is, whether we shall give them up to the Roman 
Church or claim them for ourselves. . . But if 
we do give them up, we must give up the men 
who cherish them. We must consent either to 
give up the men, or to admit their principles. 
With these feelings, I frankly admit, that, while 
I was working simply for the sake of the An 
glican Church, I did not at all mind, though I 
found myself laying down principles in its defence, 
which went beyond that particular defence 
which high-and-dry men thought perfection, and 
though I ended in framing a sort of defence, 
which they might call a revolution, while I 
thought it a restoration. Thus, for illustration, 
I might discourse upon the Communion of Saints 
in such a manner (though I do not recollect 
doing so) as might lead the way towards devotion 
to the Blessed Virgin and the saints on the one 

1841 TO 1845 187 

hand, and towards prayers for the dead on the 
other. In a memorandum of the year 1844 or 
1845, I thus speak on this subject: If the Church 
be not defended on establishment grounds, it 
must be upon principles, which go far beyond 
their immediate object. Sometimes I saw these 
further results, sometimes not. Though I saw 
them, I sometimes did not say that I saw them ; 
so long as I thought they were inconsistent, not 
with our Church, but only with the existing 
opinions, I was not unwilling to insinuate truths 
into our Church, which I thought had a right 
to be there. 

To so much I confess; but I do not confess, 
I simply deny, that I ever said any thing which 
secretly bore against the Church of England, 
knowing it myself, in order that others might 
unwarily accept it. It was, indeed, one of my 
great difficulties and causes of reserve, as time 
went on, that I at length recognized in principles, 
which I had honestly preached as if Anglican, 
conclusions favourable to the Roman Church. 
Of course I did not like to confess this ; and, 
when interrogated, was in consequence in per 
plexity. The prime instance of this was the 
appeal to Antiquity ; St Leo had overset, in my 
own judgment, its force in the special argument 
for Anglicanism: yet I was committe.d to Anti 
quity, together with the whole Anglican school ; 
what then was I to say, when acute minds urged 
this or that application of it against the Via 
Media ? It was impossible that, in such circum 
stances, any answer could be given which was 
not unsatisfactory, or any behaviour adopted 
which was not mysterious. Again, sometimes 
in what I wrote, I went just as far as I saw, 


and could as little say more, as I could see 
what is below the horizon ; and therefore, when 
asked as to the consequences of what I had 
said, had no answer to give. Again, sometimes 
when I was asked, whether certain conclusions 
did not follow from a certain principle, I might 
not be able to tell at the moment, especially 
if the matter were complicated ; and for this 
reason, if for no other, because there is great 
difference between a conclusion in the abstract 
and a conclusion in the concrete, and because 
a conclusion may be modified in fact by a 
conclusion from some opposite principle. Or it 
might so happen, that I got simply confused 
by the very clearness of the logic which was 
administered to me, and thus gave my sanction 
to conclusions which really were not mine ; and 
when the report of those conclusions came round 
to me through others, I had to unsay them. 
And then, again, perhaps I did not like to see 
men scared or scandalized by unfeeling logical 
inferences, which would not have touched them 
to the day of their death, had they not been 
made to eat them. And then I felt altogether 
the force of the maxim of St Ambrose, Non 
in dialectica complacuit Deo salvum facere pop- 
ulum suum -I had a great dislike of paper logic. 
For myself, it was not logic, then, that carried 
me on; as well might one say that the quick 
silver in the barometer changes the weather. 
It is the concrete being that reasons ; pass a 
number of years, and I find my mind in a new 
place ; how ? the whole man moves ; paper logic 
is but the record of it. All the logic in the 
world would not have made me move faster 
towards Rome than I did; as well might you 

1841 TO 1845 189 

say that I have arrived at the end of my jour 
ney, because I see the village church before 
me, as venture to assert that the miles, over 
which my soul had to pass before it got to 
Rome, could be annihilated, even though I 
had had some far clearer view than I then had, 
that Rome was my ultimate destination. Great 
acts take time. At least, this is what I felt in 
my own case; and therefore to come to me 
with methods of logic had in it the nature of 
a provocation, and, though I do not think I 
ever showed it, made me somewhat indifferent 
how I met them, and perhaps led me, as a 
means of relieving my impatience, to be mysteri 
ous or irrelevant, or to give in because I could 
not reply. And a greater trouble still than these 
logical mazes, was the introduction of logic into 
every subject whatever, so far, that is, as it 
was done. Before I was at Oriel, I recollect 
an acquaintance saying to me, that the Oriel 
common-room stank of logic . One is not 
at all pleased when poetry, or eloquence, or 
devotion, is considered as if chiefly intended to 
feed syllogisms. Now, in saying all this, I am 
saying nothing against the deep piety and 
earnestness which were characteristics of this 
second phase of the Movement, in which I 
have taken so prominent a part. What I have 
been observing is, that this phase had a tendency 
to bewilder and to upset me, and, that instead 
of saying so, as I ought to have done, in a sort 
of easiness, for what I know, I gave answers 
at random which have led to my appearing 
close or inconsistent. 

I have turned up two letters of this period, 
which in a measure illustrate what I have been 


saying. The first is what I said to the Bishop 
of Oxford on occasion of Tract 90: 

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

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

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

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

There was another source of the perplexity 
with which at this time I was encompassed, and 

1841 TO 1845 191 

of the reserve and mysteriousness, of which it 
gave me the credit. After Iract 90, the Protestant 
world would not let me alone ; they pursued me 
in the public journals to Littlemore. Reports of 
all kinds were circulated about me. Imprimis, 
why did I go up to Littlemore at all? For no 
good purpose certainly ; I dared not tell why. 
Why, to be sure, it was hard that I should be 
obliged to say to the editors of newspapers that 
I went up there to say my prayers ; it was hard 
to have to tell the world in confidence, that I 
had a certain doubt about the Anglican system, 
and could not at that moment resolve it, or say 
what would come of it ; it was hard to have to 
confess, that I had thought of giving up my 
living a year or two before, and that this was 
a first step to it. It was hard to have to plead, 
that, for what I knew, my doubts would vanish, 
if the newspapers would be so good as to give 
me time and let me alone. Who would ever 
dream of making the world his confidant? Yet 
I was considered insidious, sly, dishonest, if I 
would not open my heart to the tender mercies 
of the world. But they persisted : What was I 
doing at Littlemore? Doing there? have I 
not retreated from you? have I not given up 
my position and my place ? Am I alone, of 
Englishmen, not to have the privilege to go 
where I will, no questions asked ? am I alone 
to be followed about by jealous prying eyes, 
who note down whether I go in at a back door 
or at the front, and who the men are who 
happen to call on me in the afternoon ? Cowards ! 
if I advanced one step, you would run away ; it 
is not you that I fear : Di me terrent, et Jupiter 
hostis. It is because the bishops still go on 


charging against me, though I have quite given 
up: it is that secret misgiving of heart which 
tells me that they do well, for I have neither 
lot not part with them : this it is which weighs 
me down. I cannot walk into or out of my house, 
but curious eyes are upon me. Why will you not 
let me die in peace ? Wounded brutes creep into 
some hole to die in, and no one grudges it them. 
Let me alone, I shall not trouble you long. This 
was the keen heavy feeling which pierced me, 
and, I think, these are the very words that I 
used to myself. I asked, in the words of a great 
motto, Ubi lapsus ? quid feci ? One day, when 
I entered my house, I found a flight of under 
graduates inside. Heads of Houses, as mounted 
patrols, walked their horses round those poor 
cottages. Doctors of Divinity dived into the 
hidden recesses of that private tenement un 
invited, and drew domestic conclusions from what 
they saw there. I had thought that an English 
man s house was his castle ; but the newspapers 
thought otherwise, and at last the matter came 
before my good Bishop. I insert his letter, and 
a portion of my reply to him: 

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

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

Now, as I have understood, that you really are possessed 
of some., tenements at Littlemore as it is generally be 
lieved, that they are destined for the purposes of study 

1841 TO 1845 If);; 

and devotion and as much suspicion and jealousy are 
felt about the matter, I am anxious to afford you an 
opportunity of making me an explanation on the subject. 
I know you too well not to be aware that you are the 
last man Jiving to attempt in my Diocese a revival of the 
Monastic orders (in any thing approaching to the Komanist 
sense of the term) without previous communication with 
me or indeed that you should take upon yourself to 
originate any measure of importance without authority 
from the heads of the Church and therefore I at once 
exonerate you from the accusation brought against you 
by the newspaper I have quoted, but I feel it never 
theless a duty to my Diocese and myself, as well as to 
you, to ask you to put in my power to contradict what, 
if uncontradicted. would appear to imply a glaring in 
vasion of all ecclesiastical discipline on your part, or of 
inexcusable neglect and indifference to my duties on mine. 

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

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

With the same view of personal improvement I was 
led more seriously to a design which had been long on 
my mind. For many years, at least thirteen, I have 
wished to give myself to a life of greater religious 
regularity than I have hitherto led; but it is very un 
pleasant to confess such a wish even to my Bishop, be 
cause it seems arrogant, and because it is committing 
me to a profession which may come to nothing. For 
what have I done, that I am to be calleoVtojju^count by 


the world for my private actions in a way in which no 
one else is called? Why may I not have that liberty 
which all others are allowed? I am often accused of 
being underhand and uncandid in respect to the intentions 
to which I have been alluding: but no one likes his own 
good resolutions noised about, both from mere common 
delicacy, and from fear lest he should not be able to 
fulfil them. I feel it very cruel, thongb the parties in 
fault do not know what they are doing, that very sacred 
matters between me and my conscience are made a matter 
of public talk. May I take a case parallel though different? 
suppose a person in prospect of marriage; would he like 
the subject discussed in newspapers, and parties, circum 
stances, etc.. etc., publicly demanded of him, at the penalty 
of being accused of craft and duplicity? 

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

As to my intentions, I purpose to live there myself a 
good deal, as I have a resident curate in Oxford. In 
doing this, I believe I am consulting for the good of my 
parish, as my population at Littlemore is at least equal 

1841 TO 1845 195 

to that of St Mary s in Oxford, and the whole of Little- 
more is double of it. It has been very much neglected ; 
and in providing a parsonage-house at Littlemore, as this 
will be, and will be called, I conceive I am doing a very 
great benefit to my people. At the same time, it has 
appeared to me, that a partial or temporary retirement 
from St Mary s Church might be expedient under the 
prevailing excitement. 

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

One calumny there was which the Bishop 
did not believe, and of which of course he had 
no idea of speaking. It was, that I was actually 
in the service of the enemy. I had been already 
received into the Catholic Church, and was 
rearing at Littlemore a nest of Papists, who, 
like me, were to take the Anglican oaths which 
they did not believe, and for which they got 
dispensation from Rome, and thus in due time 
were to bring over to that unprincipled Church 
great numbers of the Anglican clergy and laity. 
Bishops gave their countenance to this imputa 
tion against me. The case was simply this : as 
I made Littlemore a place of retirement for 
myself, so did I offer it to others. There were 
young men in Oxford whose testimonials for 


Orders had been refused by their Colleges ; there 
were young clergymen, who had found them 
selves unable from conscience to go on with 
their duties, and had thrown up their parochial 
engagements. Such men were already going 
straight to Rome, and I interposed ; I interposed 
for the reasons I have given in the beginning 
of this portion of my narrative. I interposed 
from fidelity to my clerical engagements, and 
from duty to my Bishop ; and from the interest 
which I was bound to take in them, and from 
belief that they were premature or excited. 
Their friends besought me to quiet them, if I 
could. Some of them came to live with me at 
Littlemore. They were laymen, or in the place 
of laymen. I kept some of them back for several 
years from being received into the Catholic 
Church. Even when I had given up my living, 
I was still bound by my duty to their parents 
or friends, and I did not forget still to do what 
I could for them. The immediate occasion of 
my resigning St Mary s was the unexpected 
conversion of one of them. After that, I felt it 
was impossible to keep my post there, for I had 
been unable to keep my word with my Bishop. 

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

1. 1843 or 1844. I did not explain to you sufficiently 
the state of mind of those who were in danger. I only 
spoke of those who were convinced that our Church was 
external to the Church Catholic, though they felt it 
unsafe to trust their own private convictions; but there 
are two other states of mind; (1) that of those who are 
unconsciously near Home, and whose despair about our 
Church would at once develope into a state of conscious 
approximation, or a ^Mem-resolution to go over; (2) those 
who feel they can with a safe conscience remain with 

1841 TO 1845 197 

us tvhile they are allowed to testify in behalf of Catho 
licism, i. e. as if by such acts they were putting our 
Church, or at least that portion of it in which they were 
included, in the position of catechumens. 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Such fidelity, however, was taken in malam 
partem by the high Anglican authorities ; they 
thought it insidious. I happen still to have a 
correspondence in which the chief place is filled 
by one of the most eminent bishops of the day, 
a theologian and reader of the Fathers, a moderate 
man, who, at one time, was talked of as likely 
to have the reversion of the Primacy. A young 
clergyman in his diocese became a Catholic ; 
the papers at once reported, on authority from 
f a very high quarter , that, after his reception, 
f the Oxford men had been recommending him 
to retain his living . I had reasons for thinking 

1841 TO 1845 199 

that the allusion was to me, and I authorized 
the editor of a paper, who had inquired of me 
on the point, to give it, as far as I was con 
cerned, an unqualified contradiction ; when, from 
a motive of delicacy, he hesitated, I added my 
direct and indignant contradiction . Whoever 
is the author of it, no correspondence or inter 
course of any kind, direct or indirect, has passed , 
I continued to the editor, between Mr S. and 
myself, since his conforming to the. Church of 
Rome, except my formally, and merely, acknow 
ledging the receipt of his letter in which he 
informed me of the fact, without, as far as I 
recollect, my expressing any opinion upon it. 
You may state this as broadly as I have set it 
down. My denial was told to the bishop ; what 
took place upon it is given in a letter from 
which I copy. My father showed the letter to 
the bishop, who, as he laid it down, said "Ah, 
those Oxford men are not ingenuous." " How 
do you mean?" asked my father. "Why", said 
the bishop, "they advised Mr. B. S. to retain 
his living after he turned Catholic. I know that 
to be a fact, because A. B. told me so." The 
bishop , continues the letter, who is perhaps 
the most influential man in reality on the bench, 
evidently believes it to be the truth. Dr Pusey 
too wrote for me to the bishop, and the bishop 
instantly beat a retreat. I have the honour , 
he says in the autograph which I transcribe, 
( to acknowledge the receipt of your note, and 
to say in reply that it has not been stated by 
me (though such a statement has, I believe, 
appeared in some of the public prints) that 
Mr Newman had advised Mr 13. S. to retain 
his living, after lu> had forsaken our Church. 


But it has been stated to me, that Mr Newman 
was in close correspondence with Mr B. S., and, 
being fully aware of his state of opinions and 
feelings, yet advised him to continue in our 
communion. Allow me to add , he says to Dr 
Pusey, that neither your name, nor that of 
Mr Keble, was mentioned to me in connection 
with that of Mr B. S. 

I was not going to let the bishop off on this 
evasion, so I wrote to him myself. After quoting 
his letter to Dr Pusey, I continued : 

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

(2) As to my knowledge of his opinions and feelings, 
as far as I remember, the only point of perplexity which 
I knew, the only point which to this hour I know as 
pressing upon him, was that of the Pope s supremacy. 
He professed to be searching Antiquity whether the See 
of Eome had formerly that relation to the whole Church 
which Roman Catholics now assign to it. My letter was 
directed to the point, that it was his duty not to perplex 
himself with arguments on (such) a question, . . . and 
to put it altogether aside ... It is hard that I am put 

1841 TO 1845 201 

upon my memory, without knowing the details of the 
statement made against me, considering the various 
correspondence in which I am from time to time unavoid 
ably engaged. ... Be assured, my Lord, that there are 
very definite limits, beyond which persons like me would 
never urge another to retain preferment in the English 
Church, nor would retain it themselves; and that the 
censure which has been directed against them by so 
many of its ruleis has a very grave bearing upon those 

The bishop replied in a civil letter, and sent 
my own letter to his original informant, who 
wrote to me the letter of a gentleman. It 
seems that an anxious lady had said something 
or other which had been misinterpreted, against 
her real meaning, into the calumny which was 
circulated, and so the report vanished into thin 
air. I closed the correspondence with the follow 
ing letter to the bishop : 

I hope your Lordship will believe me when I say, that 
statements about me, equally incorrect with that which 
has come to your Lordship s ears, are from time to time 
reported to me as credited and repeated by the highest 
authorities in our Church, though it is very seldom that 
I have the opportunity of denying them. I am obliged 
by your Lordship s letter to Dr. Pusey as giving me such 
an opportunity. 

Then I added, with a purpose : 

Your Lordship will observe that in my letter I had no 
occasion to proceed to the question, whether a -person 
holding Horn an Catholic opinions can in honesty remain 
in our Church. Lest then any misconception should arise 
from my silence, I here take the liberty of adding, that 
I see nothing wrong in such a person s continuing in 
communion with us, provided he holds no preferment or 
office, abstains from the management of ecclesiastical 
matters, and is bound by no subscription or oath to our 

This was written on March 7, 1843, and was 
in anticipation of my own retirement into lav 


communion. This again leads me to a remark ; 
for two years I was in lay communion, not in 
deed being a Catholic in my convictions, but 
in a state of serious doubt, and with the proba 
ble prospect of becoming some day what as 
yet I was not. Under these circumstances, I 
thought the best thing I could do was to give 
up duty, and to throw myself into lay com 
munion, remaining an Anglican. I could not 
go to Rome while I thought what I did of the 
devotions she sanctioned to the Blessed Virgin 
and the Saints. I did not give up my fellow 
ship, for I could not be sure that my doubts 
would not be reduced or overcome, however 
unlikely I thought such an event. But I gave 
up my living ; and, for two years before my 
conversion, I took no clerical duty. My last 
sermon was in September, 1 843 ; then I remained 
at Littlemore in quiet for two years. But it 
was made a subject of reproach to me at the 
time, and is at this day, that I did not leave 
the Anglican Church sooner. To me this seems 
a wonderful charge; why, even had I been 
quite sure that Rome was the true Church, 
the Anglican Bishops would have had no just 
subject of complaint against me, provided I 
took no Anglican oath, no clerical duty, 110 
ecclesiastical administration. Do they force all 
men who go to their Churches to believe in 
the 39 Articles, or to join in the Athanasian 
Creed ? However, I was to have other measure 
dealt to me ; great authorities ruled it so ; and 
a learned controversialist in the North thought 
it a shame that I did not leave the Church of 
England as much as ten years sooner than I 
did. His nephew, an Anglican clergyman, kindly 

1841 TO 1845 203 

wished to undeceive him on this point. So, in 
1850, after some correspondence, I wrote the 
following letter, which will be of service to 
this narrative, from its chronological character: 

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

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

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

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

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

For the second four yeai-s, I wished to benefit the 
Church of England wi hout prejudice to the Church of 

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

At the beginning of the tenth year I distinctly contem 
plated leaving it. but I also distinctly told ray friends 
that it was in my contemplation. 

lastly, during tho last hull of that tenth year I was 


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

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

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

I have now reached an important date in 
my narrative, the year 1843, but before proceed 
ing to the matters which it contains, I will 
insert portions of my letters from 1841 to 184.% 
addressed to Catholic acquaintances. 

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

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

I am afraid, that in one respect you may be disap 
pointed. It is my trust, though I must not be too sanguine, 
that we shall not have individual members of our com- 

1841 TO 1845 20;> 

rnunion going over to yours. What one s duty would be 
under other circumstances, what our duty ten or twenty 
years ago, I cannot say; but I do think that there is 
less of private judgment in going with one s Church 
than in leaving it. I can earnestly desire a union be 
tween my Church and yours. I cannot listen to the 
thought of your being joined by individuals among us. 

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

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

I say this lest any lurking suspicion should be left in 
the mind of your friends, that persons who think with 
me are likely, by the growth of their present views, to 
iind it imperative on them to pass over to your com 
munion. Allow me to state strongly, that if you have 
any such thoughts, and proceed to act upon them, your 
friends will be committing a fatal mistake. We have 
(I trust) the principle and temper of obedience too in 
timately wrought into us to allow of our separating our 
selves from our ecclesiastical superiors, because in many 
points we may sympathize with others. We have too 
great a horror of the principle of private judgment to 


trust it in so immense a matter as that of changing from 
one communion to another. We may be cast out of our 
communion, or it may decree heresy to be truth you 
shall say whether such contingencies are likely; but I 
do not see other conceivable causes of our leaving the 
Church in which we were baptized. 

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

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

5. I have the first sketch, or draft, of a letter 
which I wrote to a zealous Catholic layman ; 
it runs as follows, as I have preserved it : 

September 12, 1841. It would rejoice all Catholic minds 
among us, more than words can say, if you could persuade 
members of the Church of Rome to take the line in 
politics which you so earnestly advocate. Suspicion and 

ISM TO 1845 207 

distrust arc the main causes at present of the separation 
between us, and the nearest approaches in doctrine will 
but increase the hostility, which, alas ! our people feel 
towards yours, while these causes continue. Depend 
upon it, you must not rely upon our Catholic tendencies 
till they are removed. I am not speaking of myself, or 
of any friends of mine; but of our Church generally. 
Whatever our personal feelings may be, we shall but tend 
to raise and spread a rival Church to yours in the four 
quarters of the world, unless you do what none but you 
can do. Sympathies, which would flow over to the 
Church of Rome, as a matter of course, did she admit 
them, will but be developed in the consolidation of our 
our own system, if she continues to be the object of our 
suspicions and fears. I wish, of course I do, that our 
own Church may be built up and extended, but still, not 
at the cost of the Church of Rome, not in opposition to 
it. 1 am sure, that while you suffer, we suffer too, from 
the separation; but we cannot remove the obstacles; it is 
with you to do so. You do not fear us; we fear you. 
Till we cease to fear you, we cannot love you. 

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

Are you aware that tho more serious thinkers among 
us are used, as far as they dare form an opinion, to 
regard the spirit of Liberalism as the characteristic of 
the destined Antichrist? In vain does anyone clear the 
Church of Rome from the badges of Antichrist, in which 
Protestants would invest her, if she deliberately takes 
up her position in the very quarter, whither we have 
cast them, when we took them off from her. Antichrist 


is described as the izvopcq, as exalting himself above the 
yoke of religion and law. The spirit of lawlessness came 
in with the Reformation, and Liberalism is its offspring. 

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

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

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

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

Nov. 22, 1842. I only wish that your Church were 
more known among us by such writings. You will not 

1841 TO 1845 20.0 

interest us in her, till we see her, not in politics, but in 
her true functions of exhorting, teaching, and guiding. 
I wish there were a chance of making the leading men 
among you understand, what I believe is no novel thought 
to yourself. It is not by learned discussions, or acute 
arguments, or reports of miracles, that the heart of 
England can be gained. It is by men approving them 
selves , like the Apostle, ministers of Christ . 

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

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

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



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

Now it must be observed, that the writings 
of St Alfonso, as I knew them by the extracts 
commonly made from them, prejudiced me as 
much against the Roman Church as any thing 
else, on account of what was called their 
( Mariolatry ; but there was nothing of the 
kind in this book. I wrote to ask Dr Russell 
whether anything had been left out in the 
translation ; he answered that there certainly 
was an omission of one passage about the Blessed 
Virgin. This omission, in the case of a book 
intended for Catholics, at least showed that 
such passages as are found in the works of 
Italian authors were not acceptable to every 

1841 TO 184.1 211 

part of the Catholic world. Such devotional 
manifestations in honour of Our Lady had been 
my great crux as regards Catholicism ; I say 
frankly, I do not fully enter into them now; 
I trust I do not love her the less, because I 
cannot enter into them. They may be fully 
explained and defended ; but sentiment and taste 
do not run with logic ; they are suitable for 
Italy, but they are not suitable for England. 
But, over and above England, my own case was 
special ; from a boy I had been led to consider 
that my Maker and I, His creature, were the 
two beings, certainly such, in rerum natura. I 
will not here speculate, however, about my own 
feelings. Only this I know full well now, and 
did not know then, that the Catholic Church 
allows no image of any sort, material or im 
material, no dogmatic symbol, no rite, no sacra 
ment, no Saint, not even the Blessed Virgin 
herself, to come between the soul and its Creator. 
It is face to face, solus cum solo , in all matters 
between man and his God. He alone creates; 
He alone has redeemed ; before His awful eyes 
we go in death ; in the vision of Him is our 
eternal beatitude. < Solus cum solo I recollect 
but indistinctly the effect produced upon me 
by this volume, but it must have been consider 
able. At all events, I had got a key to a difficulty ; 
in these sermons, (or rather heads of sermons, as 
they seem to be, taken down by a hearer,) there 
is much of what would be called legendary illus 
tration ; but the substance of them is plain, 
practical, awful preaching upon the great truths 
of salvation. What I can speak of with greater 
confidence is the effect upon me a little later 
of the A .irm .sr.v of St Ignatius. Here again, in 


a pure matter of the most direct religion, in 
the intercourse between God and the soul, during 
a season of recollection, of repentance, of good 
resolution, of inquiry into vocation, the soul was 
sola cum solo ; there was no cloud interposed 
between the creature and the Object of his faith 
and love. The command practically enforced was 
My son, give Me thy heart. The devotions, then, 
to angels and saints, as little interfered with the 
incommunicable glory of the Eternal, as the love 
which we bear our friends and relations, our 
tender human sympathies, are inconsistent with 
that supreme homage of the heart to the Unseen, 
which really does but sanctify and exalt what 
is of earth. At a later date, Dr Russell sent me 
a large bundle of penny or half-penny books of 
devotion, of all sorts, as they are found in the 
booksellers shops at Rome ; and, on looking them 
over, I was quite astonished to find how different 
they were from what I had fancied, how little 
there was in them to which I could really object. 
I have given an account of them in my Essay 
on the Development of Doctrine. Dr Russell sent 
me St Alfonso s book at the end of 1842; how 
ever, it was still a long time before I got over 
my difficulty on the score of the devotions paid 
to the Saints; perhaps, as I judge, from a letter 
I have turned up, it was some way into 1844, 
before I could be said to have got over it. 

I am not sure that another consideration did 
not also weigh with me then. The idea of the 
Blessed Virgin was, as it were, magnified in the 
Church of Rome, as time went on but so were 
all the Christian ideas ; as that of the Blessed 
Eucharist. The whole scene of pale, faint, distant 
Apostolic Christianity is seen in Rome, as through 

18-41 TO 181.5 21.S 

a telescope or magnifier. The harmony of the 
whole, however, is of course what it was. It is 
unfair then to take one Roman idea, that of 
the Blessed Virgin, out of what may be called 
its context. 

Thus I am brought to the principle of develop 
ment of doctrine in the Christian Church, to which 
I gave my mind at the end of 184-2. I had spoken 
of it in the passage, which I quoted many pages 
back, in Home Thoughts Abroad, published in 
1836 ; but it had been a favourite subject with 
me all along. And it is certainly recognized 
in that celebrated Treatise of Vincent of Lerins, 
which has so often been taken as the basis of 
the Anglican theory. In 1843 I began toVon- 
sider it steadily ; and the general view to which 
I came is stated thus in a letter to a friend, 
of the date of July 14, 1844; it will be observed 
that, now as before, my issue is still Faith 
versus Church : 

The kind of considerations which weigh with me are 
such as the following: (1) I am far more certain (accord 
ing to the Fathers i that we are in a state of culpable 
separation, than that developments do not exist under the 
Gospel, and that the Roman developments are not the 
trnc ones. (2) I am far more certain, that our (modern) 
doctrines are wrong, than that the Roman (modern) doc 
trines are wrong. (3) Granting that the Roman (special) 
doctrines are not found drawn out in the early Church, 
yet I think there is sufficient trace of them in it, to 
recommend and prove them, on the hypothesis of the 
Church having a divine guidance, though not sufficient 
to prove them by itself. So that the question simply 
turns on the nature of the promise of the Spirit, made 
to the Chuch. (4) The proof of the Roman (modern) 
doctrine is as strong (or stronger) in Antiquity, as that 
of certain doctrines which both we and Romans hold: 
e. <j. there is more of evidence in Antiquity for the 
necessity of Unity, than for the Apostolical Succession; 
tor the Supremacy of the See of Rome, than for 


Presence in the Eucharist; for the practice of Invocation, 
than for certain books in the present Canon of Sciipture, 
etc. etc. (5) The analogy of the Old Testament, and also 
of the New, leads to the acknowledgment of doctrinal 

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

And thus, again, I w r as led on to examine 
more attentively what I doubt not was in my 
thoughts long before, viz, the concatenation of 
argument by which the mind ascends from its 
first to its final religious idea; and I came to 
the conclusion, that there was no medium, in 
true philosophy, betw r een Atheism and Catholi 
city, and that a perfectly consistent mind, under 
those circumstances in which it finds itself here 
below, must embrace either the one or the other. 
And I hold this still : I am a Catholic by virtue 
of my believing in a God ; and if I am asked 
why I believe in a God, I answer that it is 
because I believe in myself, for I feel it imposs 
ible to believe in my own existence (and of that 
fact I am quite sure) without believing also in 
the existence of Him, who lives as a Personal, 
All-seeing, All-judging Being in my conscience, 

1841 TO 18k") 215 

Now, I dare say, I have not expressed myself 
with philosophical correctness, because I have 
not given myself to the study of what others 
have said on the subject ; but I think I have a 
strong true meaning in what I say which will 
stand examination. 

Moreover, I came to the conclusion which I 
have been stating, on reasoning of the same 
nature as that which I had adopted on the 
subject of development of doctrine. The fact 
of the operation from first to last of that prin 
ciple of development is an argument in favour 
of the identity of Roman and Primitive Chris 
tianity ; but, as there is a law which acts upon 
the subject-matter of dogmatic theology, so is 
there a law in the matter of religious faith. In 
the third part of this narrative I spoke of cert 
itude as the consequence, divinely intended 
and enjoined upon us, of the accumulative force 
of certain given reasons which, taken one by 
one, were only probabilities. Let it be recollect 
ed that I am historically relating my state of 
mind at the period of my life which I am 
surveying. I am not speaking theologically, nor 
have I any intention of going into controversy, 
or of defending myself; but speaking historically 
of what I held in 1843-4, I say, that I believed 
in a God on a ground of probability, that I 
believed in Christianity on a probability, and 
that I believed in Catholicism on a probability, 
and that all three were about the same kind of 
probability, a cumulative, a transcendent prob 
ability, but still probability ; inasmuch as He 
who made us has so willed that in mathematics, 
indeed, we arrive at certitude by rigid demon 
stration, but in religious inquiry we arrive at 


certitude by accumulated probabilities inasmuch 
as He who has willed that we should so act, co 
operates with us in our acting, and thereby bestows 
on us a certitude which rises higher than the 
logical force of our conclusions. And thus I 
came to see clearly, and to have a satisfaction 
in seeing, that, in being led on into the Church 
of Rome, I was proceeding, not by any second 
ary grounds of reason, or by controversial points 
in detail, but was protected and justified, even 
in the use of those secondary arguments, by a 
great and broad principle. But, let it be observed, 
that I am stating a matter of fact, not defending 
it ; and if any Catholic says in consequence, that 
1 have been converted in a wrong way, I cannot 
help that now. 

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

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

1SH TO 181.5 217 

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

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

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


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

But, not only did I think such language necess 
ary for my Church s religious position, but all 
the great Anglican divines had thought so before 

ISM TO 181,-) 2 If) 

inc. They had thought so, and they had acted 
accordingly. And therefore I said, with much 
propriety, that I had not done it simply out of 
my own head, but that I was following the 
track, or rather reproducing the teaching, of 
those who had preceded me. 

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

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

But there was a far deeper reason for my 
saying what I said in this matter, on which I 
have not hitherto touched ; and it was this : The 
most oppressive thought, in the whole process 


of my change of opinion, was the clear anticip 
ation, verified by the event, that it would issue 
in the triumph of Liberalism. Against the Anti- 
dogmatic principle I had thrown my whole mind ; 
yet now I was doing more than any one else 
could do, to promote it. I was one of those 
who had kept it at bay in Oxford for so many 
years ; and thus my very retirement was its 
triumph. The men who had driven me from 
Oxford were distinctly the Liberals ; it was they 
who had opened the attack upon Tract 90, and 
it was they who would gain a second benefit, 
if I went on to retire from the Anglican Church. 
But this was not all. As I have already said, 
there are but two alternatives, the way to Rome, 
and the way to Atheism : Anglicanism is the 
halfway house on the one side, and Liberalism 
is the halfway house on the other. How many 
men were there, as I knew full well, who would 
not follow me now in my advance from Angli 
canism to Rome, but would at once leave Anffli- 

* ~ 

canism and me for the Liberal camp. It is not 
at all easy (humanly speaking) to wind up an 
Englishman to a dogmatic level. I had done 
so in a good measure, in the case both of young 
men and of layman, the Anglican Via Media being 
the representative of dogma. The dogmatic and 
the Anglican principle were one, as I had taught 
them ; but I was breaking the Via Media to 
pieces, and would not dogmatic faith altogether 
be broken up, in the minds of a great number, 
by the demolition of the Via Media ? Oh ! how 
unhappy this made me ! I heard once from an 
eye-witness the account of a poor sailor whose 
legs were shattered by a ball, in the action 
off Algiers in 1816, and who was taken below 

1844 TO 181. ) 221 

for an operation. The surgeon and the chaplain 
persuaded him to have a leg off; it was done 
and the tourniquet applied to the wound. Then, 
they broke it to him that he must have the other 
off too. The poor fellow said You should have 
told me that, gentlemen , and deliberately un 
screwed the instrument, and bled to death. Would 
not that be the case with many friends of my 
own? How could I ever hope to make them 
believe in a second theology, when I had cheated 
them in the first ? with what face could I publish 
a new edition of a dogmatic creed, and ask them 
to receive it as gospel? Would it not be plain 
to them that no certainty was to be found any 
where ? Well, in my defence I could but make 
a lame apology ; however, it was the true one, ? /.:. 
that I had not read the Fathers critically enough ; 
that in such nice points, as those which determine 
the angle of divergence between the two Churches, 
I had made considerable miscalculations ; and how 
came this about? Why the fact was, unpleasant 
as it was to avow, that I had leaned too much 
upon the assertions of Ussher, Jeremy Taylor, 
or Barrow, and had been deceived by them. 
Valeat quantum , it was all that could be said. 
This, then, was a chief reason of that wording of 
the retractation which has given so much offence, 
and the following letter will illustrate it: 

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


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

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

Nor surely is it a thing I need be sorry for, that I 
defended the system in which I found myself, and thus 
have had to unsay my words. For is it not one s duty, 
instead of beginning with criticism, to throw oneself 
generously into that form of religion which is providen 
tially put before one ? Is is right, or is it wrong, to 
begin with private judgment? May we not, on the other 
hand, look for a blessing through obedience even to an 
erroneous system, and a guidance even by means of it 
out of it ? Were those who were strict and conscientious 
in their Judaism, or those who were lukewarm and scep 
tical, more likely to be led into Christianity, when Christ 
came ? Yet in proportion to their previous zeal would 
be their appearance of inconsistency. Certainly, 1 have 
always contended that obedience even to an erring con 
science was the way to gain light, and that it mattered 
not where a man began, so that he began on what came 
to hand, and in faith; and that anything might become 
u divine method of Truth ; that to the pure all things 

1841 TO 1845 

are pure, and have a self-correcting virtue and a power 
of germinating. And, though I have no right at all to 
assume that this mercy is granted to me, yet the fact, 
that a person in my situation may have it granted to 
him, seems to me to remove the perplexity which my 
change of opinion may occasiou. 

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

(2) And now, secondly, as to my resignation 
of St Mary s, which was the second of the steps 
which I took in 1843. The ostensible, direct, 
and sufficient cause of my doing so was the 
persevering attack of the bishops on Tract 90. 
I alluded to it in the letter which I have inserted 
above, addressed to one of the most influential 
among them. A series of their ex cathedra judg 
ments, lasting through three years, and including 
a notice of no little severity in a charge of my 
own bishop, came as near to a condemnation of 
my tract, and, so far, to a repudiation of the 
ancient Catholic doctrine, which was the scope 
of the tract, as was possible in the Church of 
England. It was in order to shield the Trad 
from such a condemnation, that I had, at the 
time of its publication, so simply put myself at 
the disposal of the higher powers in London. 
At that time, all that was distinctly contemplated 


in the way of censure, was the message which 
my bishop sent me., that it was objectionable . 
That I thought was the end of the matter. I 
had refused to suppress it, and they had yielded 
that point. Since I wrote the former portions 
of this narrative, I have found what I wrote to 
Dr Pusey on March 24, while the matter was 
in progress. The more I think of it , I said, 
the more reluctant I am to suppress Tract 90, 
though of course I will do it if the bishop wishes 
it ; I cannot, however, deny that I shall feel it 
a severe act. According to the notes which I 
took of the letters or messages which I sent to 
him in the course of that day, I went on to say : 
1 My first feeling was to obey without a word ; 
I will obey still ; but my judgment has steadily 
risen against it ever since. Then, in the post 
script, If I have done any good to the Church, 
I do ask the bishop this favour, as my reward 
for it, that he would not insist on a measure 
from which I think good will not come. How 
ever, I will submit to him. Afterwards, I get 
stronger still : I have almost come to the 
resolution, if the bishop publicly intimates that 
I must suppress the Tract, or speaks strongly 
in his charge against it, to suppress it indeed, 
but to resign my living also. I could not in 
conscience act otherwise. You may show this 
in any quarter you please. 

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

1841 TO 1845 225 

unsettlement of mind on the question of the 
Churches. I will insert portions of two of my 
letters : 

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

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

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

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

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

By retaining St. Mary s I am an offence and a stum 
bling-block. Persons are keen-sighted enough to make 
out what I think on certain points, and then they 



infer that such opinions are compatible with holding 
situations of trust in our Church. A number of younger 
men take the validity of their interpretation of the 
Articles, etc., from me on faith. Is not my present position 
a cruelty, as well as a treachery towards the Church? 

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

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

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

It is easy to say Why will you do anything? Why 
won t you keep quiet? What business had you to think 
of any such plan at all? But I cannot leave a number 
of poor fellows in the lurch. I am bound to do my best 
for a great number of people, both in Oxford and else 
where, If / did not act, others would find means to 
do so. 

Well, the plan has been taken up with great eagerness 
and interest. Many men are setting tp work. I set down 
the names of men, most of them engaged, the rest half 
engaged and probable, some actually writing. 

About thirty names follow, some of them at 
that time of the school of Dr Arnold, others 
of Dr Pusey s, some my personal friends and 
of my own standing, others whom I hardly 
knew, while of course the majority were of the 
party of the new Movement. I continue : 

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

1841 TO 1845 227 

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

In November, 1844, I wrote thus to one of 
the authors of them : 

I am not editor, I have no direct control over the 
series. It is T. s work; he may admit what he pleases; 
and exclude what he pleases. I was to have been 
editor. I did edit the two first numbers. I was respons 
ible for them, in the way in which an editor is respons 
ible. Had I continued editor, I should have exercised 
a control over all. I laid down in the preface that 
doctrinal subjects were, if possible, to be excluded. But, 
even then, I also set down that no writer was to be held 
answerable for any of the Lives but his own. When I 
gave up the editorship, I had various engagements with 
friends for separate Lives remaining on my hands. I 


should have liked to have broken from them all, but 
there were some from "which I could not break, and I let 
them take their course. Some have come to nothing; 
others, like yours, have gone on. I have seen such, either 
in MS. or proof. As time goes on, I shall have less and 
less to do with the series. I think the engagement be 
tween you and me should come to an end. I have any 
how abundant responsibility on me, and too much. I 
shall write to T, that if he wants the advantage of your 
assistance, he must write to you direct. 

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

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

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

1841 TO 1845 229 

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

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

September 7, 1843. I this day ask the bishop s leave to 
resign St Mary s. Men whom you little think, or at least 
whom I little thought, are in almost a hopeless way. 
Really wo may expect anything. I am going to publish 
a volume of sermons, including those four against 

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

I said to a friend : 

Victrix causa diis placuit, sod victa Catoni. 


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

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

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

Up to January, 1842, I had not disclosed my 
state of unsettlement to more than three persons, 
as has been mentioned above, and is repeated 
in the letters which I am now about to give 
to the reader. To two of them, intimate and 
familiar companions, in the Autumn of 1839; 
to the third, an old friend too, when, I suppose, 

1841 TO 1845 231 

I was in great distress of mind upon the affair 
of the Jerusalem Bishopric. In May, 1843, I 
mentioned it to the friend, by whose advice 
I wished, as far as possible, to be guided. To 
mention it on set purpose to any one, unless 
indeed I was asking advice, I should have felt 
to be a crime. If there is any thing that was, 
and is, abhorrent to me, it is the scattering 
doubts, and unsettling consciences without ne 
cessity. A strong presentiment that my existing 
opinions would ultimately give way, and that 
the grounds of them were unsound, was not a 
sufficient warrant for disclosing the state of my 
mind. I had no guarantee yet, that that presenti 
ment would be realized. Supposing I were crossing 
ice, which came right in my way, which I had good 
reasons for considering sound, and which I saw 
numbers before me crossing in safety, and suppo 
sing a stranger from the bank, in a voice of 
authority, and in an earnest tone, warned me 
that it was dangerous, and then was silent, I 
think I should be startled, and should look about 
me anxiously, but I also should go on, till I 
had better grounds for doubt ; and such was my 
state, I believe, till the end of 1842. Then, again, 
when my dissatisfaction became greater, it was 
hard at first to determine the point of time, 
when it was too strong to suppress with propriety. 
Certitude of course is a point, but doubt is a pro 
gress ; I was not near certitude yet. Certitude is a 
reflex action ; it is to know that one knows. I 
believe I had riot that, till close upon my recep 
tion into the Catholic Church. Again, a practical, 
effective doubt is a point too, but who can easily 
ascertain it for himself? Who can determine 
when it is, that the scales in the balance of 


opinion begin to turn, and what was a greater 
probability in behalf of a belief becomes a 
positive doubt against it? 

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

These were my two acts of the year, and I 
said : I cannot be wrong in making them ; let 
that follow which must follow in the thoughts 
of the world about me, when they see what I 
do. They fully answered my purpose. What 
I felt as a simple duty to do, did create a 
general suspicion about me, without such re 
sponsibility as would be involved in my taking 
the initiative in creating it. Then, when friends 

1841 TO 1845 

wrote me on the subject, I either did not deny 
or I confessed it, according to the character 
and need of their letters. Sometimes, in the 
case of intimate friends, whom I seemed to 
leave in ignorance of what others knew about 
me, I invited the question. 

And here comes in another point for ex 
planation. While I was fighting for the Angli 
can Church in Oxford, then, indeed, I was very 
glad to make converts, and, though I never 
broke away from that rule of my mind (as I 
may call it) of which I have already spoken, 
of finding disciples rather than seeking them, 
yet, that I made advances to others in a special 
way, I have no doubt ; this came to an end, 
however, as soon as I fell into misgivings as to 
the true ground to be taken in the controversy. 
Then, when I gave up my place in the Move 
ment, I ceased from any such proceeding: and 
my utmost endeavour was to tranquillize such 
persons, especially those who belonged to the 
new school, as were unsettled in their relig 
ious views, and, as J judged, hasty in their 
conclusions. This went on till 1843; but, at 
that date, as soon as I turned my face Rome- 
ward, I gave up altogether, and in any shape, 
as far as ever was possible, the thought of 
acting upon others. Then I myself was 
simply my own concern. How could 1 in any 
sense direct others, w r ho had to be guided in 
so momentous a matter myself? How could I 
be considered in a position even to say a word 
to them one way or the other? How could I 
presume to unsettle them, as I was unsettled, 
when I had no means of bringing them out of 
such unsettlement ? And, if they were unsettled 


already, how could I point out to them a place 
of refuge, which I was not sure that I should 
choose for myself? My only line, my only duty, 
was to keep simply to my own case. I recollected 
Pascal s words ( Je mourrai seul. I deliberately 
put out of my thoughts all other works and 
claims, and said nothing to any one, unless I 
was obliged. 

But this brought upon me a great trouble. 
In the newspapers there were continual reports 
about my intentions ; I did not answer them. 
Presently strangers or friends wrote, begging to 
be allowed to answer them ; and, if I still kept 
to my resolution, and said nothing, then I was 
thought to be mysterious, and a prejudice was 
excited against me. But, what was far worse, 
there were a number of tender, eager hearts, 
of whom I knew nothing at all, who were 
w r atching me, wishing to think as I thought, 
and to do as I did, if they could but find it 
out ; who in consequence were distressed, that, 
in so solemn a matter, they could not see what 
was coming, and who heard reports about me 
this way or that, on a first day and on a second ; 
and felt the weariness of waiting, and the sickness 
of delayed hope, and did not understand that I 
was as perplexed as themselves, and, being of 
more sensitive complexion of mind than myself, 
were made ill by the suspense. And they, too, 
of course for the time, thought me mysterious 
and inexplicable. I ask their pardon as far as 
I was really unkind to them. There was a gifted 
and deeply earnest lady, who, in a parabolical 
account of that time, has described both my 
conduct as she felt it, and that of such as herself. 
In a singularly graphic, amusing vision of pilgrims, 

1841 TO 1845 235 

who were making their way across a bleak common 
in great discomfort, and who were ever warned 
against, yet continually nearing, f the king s 
highway on the right, she says All my fears 
and disquiets were speedily renewed by seeing 
the most daring of our leaders (the same who 
had first forced his way through the palisade, 
and in whose courage and sagacity we all put 
implicit trust) suddenly stop short, and declare 
that he would go on no further. He did not, 
however, take the leap at once, but quietly 
sat down on the top of the fence with his feet 
hanging towards the road, as if he meant to 
take his time about it, and let himself down 
easily. I do not wonder at all that I thus 
seemed so unkind to a lady, who at that time 
had never seen me. We were both in trial in 
our different ways. I am far from denying 
that I was acting selfishly both towards them 
and towards others ; but it was a religious 
selfishness. Certainly, to myself, my own duty 
seemed clear. They that are whole can heal 
others ; but in my case it was Physician, heal 
thyself. My own soul was my first concern, 
and it seemed an absurdity to my reason to be 
converted in partnership. I wished to go to 
my Lord by myself, and in my own way, or 
rather His way. I had neither wish, nor, I 
may say, thought of taking a number with 
me. But nothing of this could be known to 

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


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

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

Even my own bishop has said that my mode of inter 
preting the Articles makes them mean anything or 
nothing. When I heard this delivered, I did not believe 
my ears. I denied to others that it was said. . . . Out 
came the charge, and the words could not be mistaken. 
This astonished me the more, because I published that 
letter to him, (how unwillingly you know), on the under 
standing that / was to deliver his judgment on No. 90 
instead of him. A year elapses, and a second and heavier 
judgment came forth. I did not bargain for this nor 
did he, but the tide was too strong for him. 

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

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

2. Oct. 25, 1843. You have engaged in a dangerous 

1841 TO 1845 237 

correspondence; I am deeply sorry for the pain I shall 
give you. 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

My correspondent wrote to me once more, 
and I replied thus : 

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

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

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

I had from the first a great difficulty in 

1841 TO 1845 239 

making Dr Pusey understand such differences 
of opinion as existed between himself and me. 
When there was a proposal, about the end of 
1838, for a subscription for a Cranmer Memorial, 
he wished us both to subscribe together to it. 
I could not, of course, and wished him to sub 
scribe by himself. That he would not do; he 
could not bear the thought of our appearing 
to the world in separate positions, in a matter 
of importance. And, as time went on, he would 
not take any hints, which I gave him, on the 
subject of my growing inclination to Rome. 
When I found him so determined, I often had not 
the heart to go on. And then I knew, that, 
from affection to me, he so often took up and 
threw himself into what I said, that I felt the 
great responsibility I should incur, if I put things 
before him just as I might view them. And, 
not knowing him so well as I did afterwards, 
I feared lest I should unsettle him. And more 
over, I recollected well how prostrated he had 
been with illness in 1832, and I used always 
to think that the start of the Movement had 
given him a fresh life. I fancied that his physical 
energies even depended on the presence of a 
vigorous hope and bright prospects for his imagin 
ation to feed upon ; so much so, that when he 
was so unworthily treated by the authorities of 
the place in 1843, I recollected writing to the 
late Mr Dodsworth to state my anxiety, lest, if 
his mind became dejected in consequence, his 
health WT>uld suffer seriously also. These were 
difficulties in my way; and then, again, another 
difficulty was, that, as we were not together 
under the same roof, we only saw each other 
at set times ; others, indeed, who were coming 


in or out of my rooms freely, and as there 
might be need at the moment, knew all my 
thoughts easily ; but for him to know them 
well, formal efforts were necessary. A common 
friend of ours broke it all to him in 1841, as 
far as matters had gone at that time, and showed 
him clearly the logical conclusions which must 
lie in propositions to which 1 had committed 
myself; but somehow or other, in a little while, 
his mind fell back into its former happy state, 
and he could not bring himself to believe that 
he and I should not go on pleasantly together 
to the end. But that affectionate dream needs 
must have been broken at last ; and two years 
afterwards, that friend to whom I wrote the 
letters which I have just now inserted, set 
himself, as I have said, to break it. Upon that, 
I too begged Dr Pusey to tell in private to 
any one he would, that I thought, in the event, 
I should leave the Church of England. However, 
he would not do so; and, at the end of 1844, 
had almost relapsed into his former thoughts 
about me, if I may judge from a letter of his 
which I have found. Nay, at the Commemoration 
of 1 845, a few months before I left the Anglican 
Church, I think he said about me to a friend, 
I trust after all we shall keep him. 

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

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

While I write, I will add a word about myself. You 
may come near a person or two, who, owing to circum- 

1841 TO 1845 241 

stances, know more exactly my state of feeling than yon 
do, though they would not toll you. Now I do not like 
that you should not be aware of this, though I see no 
reason why you should know what they happen to know. 
Your wishing it otherwise would be a reason. 

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

I wrote to him on Michaelmas Day, 18-43: 

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

The next year, January 22, I wrote to him : 

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

And on February 21: Half-past ten. I am just up, 
having a bad cold; the like has not happened to mo 
(except twice in January) in my memory. You may think 
you have been in my thoughts, long before my rising. 
Of course you are so continually, as yon well know. I 
could not come to see you; I am not worthy of friends. 
With my opinions, to the full of which I dare not con I 
I feel like a guilty person with others, though I trust I 



am not so. People kindly think that I have much to 
bear externally, disappointment, slander, etc. No, I have 
nothing to bear, but the anxiety which I feel for my 
friends anxiety for me, and their perplexity. This 
(letter) is a better Ash-Wednesday than birthday present (his 
birthday was the same day as mine; it was Ash-Wednesday 
that year) ; but I cannot help writing about what is up 
permost. And now all kindest and best wishes to you, 
my oldest friend, whom I must not speak more about, 
and with reference to myself, lest you should be angry. 

It was not in his nature to have doubts : lie 
used to look at me with anxiety, and wonder 
what had come over me. 

On Easter Monday : 

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

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

1841 TO 1815 243 

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

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


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

My intention is, if nothing comes upon me, which I 
cannot foresee, to remain quietly in statu quo for a con 
siderable time, trusting that my friends will kindly re 
member me and my trial in their prayers. And I should 
give up my fellowship some time before any thing fur 
ther took place. 

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

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

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

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

1841 TO 1845 245 

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

3. January 8, 1845. My full belief is, in accordance 
with your letter, that, if there is a move in our Church, 
very few persons indeed will be partners to it. I doubt 
whether one or two at the most among residents at 
Oxford. And I don t know whether I can wish it. The 
state of the Roman Catholics is at present so unsatisfac 
tory. This I am sure of, that nothing but a simple, 
direct call of duty is a warrant for anyone leaving our 
Church : no preference of another Church, no delight in 
its services, no hope of greater religious advancement iu 
it, no indignation, no disgust, at the persons and things, 
among which we may find ourselves in the Church of 
England. The simple question is, Can 1 (it is personal, 
not whether another, but can 1) be saved in the English 
Church? Am 1 in safety, were I to die to-night? Is it 
a mortal sin in me, not joining another communion ? 
P.S. I hardly see my way to concur in attendance, though 
occasional, in the Roman Catholic chapel, unless a man 
has made up his mind pretty well to join it eventually. 
Invocations are not required in the Church of Rome ; 
somehow, I do not like using them, except under the 
sanction of the Church, and this makes me unwilling to 
admit them in members of our Church. 

4. March 30. Now I will tell you more than any one 
knows except two friends. My own convictions are as 
strong as I suppose they can become: only it is so 
difficult to know whether it is a call of reason or of con 
science. I cannot make out, if I am impelled by what 
seems clear, or by a sense of duty. You can understand 
how painful this doubt is; so I have waited, hoping for 
light, and using the words of the Psalmist Show some 


token upon me . But I suppose I have no right to wait 
for ever for this. Then I am waiting because friends 
are most considerately bearing me in mind, and asking 
guidance for me; and, I trust, I should attend to any 
new feelings which came upon me, should that be the effect 
of their kindness. And then this waiting subserves the 
purpose of preparing men s minds. I dread shocking, un 
settling people. Anyhow, I can t avoid giving incal 
culable pain. So, if I had my will, I should like to wait 
till the summer of 1846, which would be a fall seven 
years from the time that my convictions first began to 
fall on me. But I don t think I shall last so long. 

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

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

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

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

1841 TO 18-15 

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

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

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

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

Littlemore, October 8, 1845. I am this night expecting 
Father Dominic, the Passionist, who, from his youth, has 
been led to have distinct and direct thoughts, lirst of the 
countries of the North, then of England. After thirty 


years (almost) waiting, he was, without his own act, sent 
here. But he has had little to do with conversions. 
I saw him here for a few minutes on St John Baptist s 
day last year. He does not know of my intention; but 
I mean to ask of him admission into the one Fold of 
Christ. . . . 

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

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

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

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

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

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

1841 TO 1845 249 

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

I wrote to a friend : 

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

I left Oxford for good on Monday, February 
23, 1846. On the Saturday and Sunday before, 
I was in my house at Littlemore, simply by 
myself, as I had been for the first day or two 
when I had originally taken possession of it. 
I slept on Sunday night at my dear friend s, 
Mr Johnson s, at the Observatory. Various 
friends came to see the last of me ; Mr Copeland, 
Mr Church, Mr Buckle, Mr Pattison, and Mi- 
Lewis. Dr Pusey, too, came up to take leave 
of me ; and I called on Dr Ogle, one of my 
very oldest friends, for he was my private tutor, 
when I was an undergraduate. In him 1 took 
leave of my first College, Trinity, which was 
so dear to me, and which held on its foundation 
so many who have been kind to me, both when 
I was a boy, and all through my Oxford life. 
Trinity had never been unkind to me. There used 
to be much snapdragon growing on the walls 
opposite my freshman s rooms there, and I had 
for years taken it as the emblem of my own perpet 
ual residence, even unto death, in my University. 

On the morning of the 23rd, I left the Observ 
atory. I have never seen Oxford since, except 
ing its spires, as they are seen from the railway.