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overcame his judgment; he was out on a weltering sea, driven by the winds and tossed. The Poet Laureate speaks of such a struggle :
Dr. Newman, however, laid the spectres of his mind by blinding his noble judgment, and it is a sad sight to see a Samson put out his own eyes, and then call the darkness light. He set himself most earnestly and resolutely to the re-reforming of the Episcopal Church ! his idea was not to restore after the model of the Primitive, but the Mediaval Church. His theory was, that the Anglican Establishment was the representative of the Church of the early Fathers—of Ignatius, Justin, and Augustine. Into this work of Romanizing the Church he threw all his purpose and all his strength; he travelled through England to make converts; he preached and organised, and wrote pamphlets and the notorious Tracts for the Times ; he was the head and heart of the movement. Bishop Bloomfield made a good pun when the furor was at its height, he said it was a Newmania. Pusey's thorough identification with Newman, and his great activity, caused the movement for many years to bear the name of “Puseyism.” Their avowed endeavour was to open a via media between Protestantism and Popery. In 1837 Dr. Newman challenged the doctrine of Justification by Faith, denying that it was a cardinal doctrine of Scripture. Then came an edition of the Lives of the Saints, a work abounding in puerilities of the most childish description. Ultimately he issued an amended Roman Breviary.
An important question was asked him,-how he could sign the Articles, which in their fair grammatical construction are against his most cherished beliefs. With great subtlety and refinement, but we believe with entire truthfulness, he met the question by showing that he held Catholic teaching which was not condemned in these formulas. He constructed twenty-six theses from the Homilies, which show that many Romanist dogmas linger about the doctrinal documents of the Church. And let any impartial person look carefully into the matter, and the conclusion will be forced upon him that Dr. Newman's views are legitimate and natural. These views were boldly enunciated in the famous Tract 90. This tract was received by a universal storm of indignation. He says, " In every part of the country, and every class of society, through every organ of opinion, in newspapers, in periodicals, at meetings, in pulpits, at dinner tables, in coffee rooms, in railway carriages, I was denounced as a traitor, who had laid his train, and was detected in the very act of firing it against my
Church.” Up to this time he had never indulged the thought of leaving the Church of his fathers and of his youth. The official condemnation of his views by the bishops first started the thought of his going over to Popery. He was now on his “ deathbed, as regards membership with the Anglican Church.” He threw up his living of St. Mary's, Oxford; he gave himself up to close study of Romanist authorities, and held, as we find, communication with one or two eminent Papists: he set himself to write an Essay on the Development of Doctrine; he says he began to write an Anglican, and finished it a Romanist. Several of his friends went over to Rome; and on the 8th of October, 1845, a remarkable-looking man, evidently a foreigner, shabbily dressed in black, who was no other than the Father Dominic, a Passionist monk, a missionary priest, was admitted by him into his semi-monastic retreat at Littlemore, near Oxford, and received him into the Popish Church.
The reasons, given at great length, with unmistakable honesty and sincerity, for his perversion really astonish us. Briefly stated the case is thus, and we give his own words as often as we can. The human race is involved in some terrible aboriginal calamity; it is out of joint with the purposes of its Creator. Thus the doctrine of original sin is as certain as the existence of a God. It is the will of the Creator to interfere in this anarchical condition of things; and since the world is in so abnormal a state, the interposition must be extraordinary-that is miraculous. In an emergency like this reason cannot be relied on. We know that truth is the real object of our reason, and if not attained there must be some fault in the premiss or process. This is true enough of reason in right conditioned men. In fallen man its tendency is towards a simple unbelief in matters of religion. No truth, however sacred, can withstand reason so perverted, and things are tending, outside the Catholic Church, with great speed towards Atheism in one shape or another. Look at the spectacle presented to us by the educated intellect of England and Germany. Various expedients have been attempted to arrest fierce and wilful human nature in its onward course, and bring it into subjection. The necessity of some form of religion for the weal of humanity, is everywhere admitted. But where is the concrete representative of things invisible, which would have the force and toughness necessary to be a breakwater against the rising deluge? The Bible itself cannot resist the coming flood; art, science, education, have all been tried and found wanting. The Catholic Church is the only prompt, active, and efficient barrier ; she must suppress, ban, and anathematize the first risings of proud, rebellious reason. She has a right to do this, as the Catholic Church is infallible. And then we have the most wonderful piece of special pleading and acute sophistry that we ever read. Had our purpose in writing been polemical, many things arise calling for animadversion. But the thought of the servile and unreasoning submission of this noble intellect is sad and melancholy; he is happy and quiet, he says, but his quietness is perforce, and his happiness is in the ignoble sense that he must not think, nor reason, nor speculate, beyond very narrow limits. It is nothing but the immolation of all that is noble in man and worthy in human life. His quiescence is unnatural. He has been treu und fest to his authority, while it has led him into all kinds of monstrosities of dogma, fable, and relics.
In reference to the personal charge, that Dr. Newman had tampered with the sacredness of truth, we think no man can read this Apologia and believe it. But knowing well the doctrines of his Church on this part of Moral Theology, he sets up a defence of their “Economies”and “Reserve.” And, singular to say, he grounds his defence upon the assertion that eminent Protestants, such as Jerome, Taylor, Milton, Johnson, and Paley, advise that under special circumstances the truth should be withheld, a deception practised, or a falsehood affirmed. But, on the face of it, it is absurd to compare Jobn Milton with such moralists as Scavini and Liguori. But, supposing these instances to be true parallels, any protestant may avowedly and absolutely disagree with Milton or Paley. Not so with Dr. Newman. He may, as he does, say personally and privately that he prefers others to “ these holy and charitable men in this part of their teaching,” but if he were appointed to teach Moral Theology in any popish seminary these are his text-books. But we were shocked to find that so devout and reverend a man as Dr. Newman brings Christ in to countenance and teach this casuistry and lying, by an obvious perversion of the words, “ Cast not your pearls before swine."
We have honestly attempted to give an idea of this remarkable, and this interesting and beautifully written Apology-using the term in its proper and early sense, not in its modern sense. The three things that finally decided him to embrace Popery were : 1st. The entire break-down of his scheme to construct a Via Media; this break-down, as we have seen, occurring at the publication of Tract 90. 2nd. A quotation in an article of Cardinal Wiseman's, in the Dublin Review, which amounts to this: “That truth sides with the majority.” This, Dr. Newman says, “sprang a mine under his feet.” 3rd. The writing of the Development essay. To us it is an enigma that so close a reasoner, so severe a logician, should have been drawn by such paltry considerations. We believe there is another phase to his history which is not seen in this book. Any person may be open to unconscious self-deception when recalling the long past; and memories will be complexioned by present mental conditions; more so in the case of a spirit so constantly varying in its attitude towards the past and
the present. This spirit, we say, so sensitive and finely strung, like a harp of wondrous tone, might soon be unstrung or damaged.
The second volume in the list at the head of this paper brings Dr. Newman before us as a poet. No reader can deny to him the divine gift of poesy. He has the “ vision and faculty divine;" that activity of soul which when it is imaginative takes the form of song. But he lacks most as an artist. His manner is often clumsy and laboured. His was not the disposition of mind to dwell constantly in poetic regions by preference. He was too busy, too excitable. He had not time to perfect his conceptions. He duly made excursions into the ideal world of the poet; he was not a dweller there ; so that we think he did wisely in not going beyond the lyric. The longest poem in this volume is the “ Dream of Gerontius,” a weird, gloomy production. It is a description of a soul passing from earth to purgatory. The subject is certainly uncanny, but eminently fitted to show Dr. Newman's subtle, analytic power ; his facility in dealing with strange abnormal mental states. There is no rich colouring, no sounding language; he has eschewed ornamentation; the language is severely pure and antique, and the feeling is often profound though unimpassioned. We have already given our readers a taste of his quality, and can only find space for another short
“ DAVID AND JONATHAN."
Thou flower of Jesse's race !
Last greeted face to face !
And Crime's encircling tide,
Earth-joy and kingly pride;
Thy spirit keen and high;
So dear in memory ;
He lives to us who dies; he is but lost who lives." There is to us a sad poem in this book, headed thus : “ To F. W. N., a birth-day offering," written on the younger brother, F.W.Newman, attaining his majority. How far this brother bas wandered from the truth let the reader of his “ Phases of Faith"
say. has not only denied Christ's deity, but has challenged his moral character, and openly declared his greater admiration of St. Paul
than Christ, and tears away the robe which even the instincts of humanity have invested him with, and which the terrible criticisms of Strauss, the hostile refinements of Renan, or the vehement iconoclasm of Theodore Parker, have left untouched. Both of these gifted men started from one point; nd, while
bas embraced the hugest of superstitions, the other has gone to the extremest infidelity. In this birth ode he recalls the care and piety of a deceased mother. He says,
“ And we became her dearest theme,
Her waking thought, her nightly dream;
Her prayers were not in vain,
Has faller as a gentle rain,
Tints the young leaf, perfumes the flower." We now propose to turn to Dr. Newman as a preacher. It is not often that a set of sermons, after having had a very large circulation, can command the market so extensively in the same generation. But these sermons have both an accidental and intrinsic worth, and have left their impress upon history. A recent writer* has intro
* duced us to the notable preacher.
66 To understand these sermons fully we must go back, if we can, into the time of their delivery. We must imagine, if we are not fortunate enough to remember, the living preacher and the impressible hearers, knit to each other by the closest sympathy. We must try to conceive the charm of that countenance, so marked with the deep lines of thought; the figure bowed with study, the whole air and manner as of one who lived in a higher world, and yet when he came down into this common world of ours, had the kindliest sympathy with its inhabitants, and longed and strove to lift them above it into the purer air in which he himself dwelt; the deep seriousness; the affectionate anxiety for the good of the hearer ; the warm colouring of poetry thrown without effort over the whole; the profound thinking expressed in pellucid language; the glimpses opened of much beyond what was distinctly disclosed ; must have made such sermons intensely interesting to intellectual men.
Many no doubt there were who gained from these sermons what has been to them the treasure of a lifetime: some owed to them even their own selves. The effect of all must have been wonderfully enhanced by the great preacher's apparent unconsciousness of his great powers, and the entire absence of any studied oratory.
· People who read the sermons now, for the first time, can scarcely appreciate the effect produced by their simplicity and naturalness when they were delivered.
The sermon was like a stream, which
* Rev. T. E. Vaughan, in Contemporary Review for January, 1869.,