Project Canterbury

The Oxford Movement
Twelve Years


by R. W. Church, M.A., D.C.L.,
Sometime Dean of St Paul's, and Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford

London: Macmillan & Co. 1894

Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
AD 2003


 By the end of 1835, the band of friends, whom great fears and great hopes for the Church had united, and others who sympathised with them both within and outside the University, had grown into what those who disliked them naturally called a party. The Hampden controversy, although but an episode in the history of the movement, was an important one, and undoubtedly gave a great impulse to it. Dr. Hampden's attitude and language seemed to be its justification--a palpable instance of what the Church had to expect. And in this controversy, though the feeling against Dr. Hampden's views was so widely shared, and though the majority which voted against him was a very mixed one, and contained some who hoped that the next time they were called to vote it might be against the Tractarians, yet the leaders of the movement had undertaken the responsibility, conspicuously and almost alone, of pointing out definitely and argumentatively the objections to Dr. Hampden's teaching. The number of Mr. Newman's friends might be, as Mr. Palmer says, insignificant, but it was they who had taken the trouble to understand and give expression to the true reasons for alarm. Even in this hasty and imperfect way, the discussion revealed to many how much deeper and more serious the treatment of the subject was in the hands of Mr. Newman and Dr. Pusey compared with the ordinary criticisms on Dr. Hampden. He had learned in too subtle a school to be much touched by the popular exceptions to his theories, however loudly expressed. The mischief was much deeper. It was that he had, unconsciously, no doubt, undermined the foundation of definite Christian belief, and had resolved it into a philosophy, so-called scholastic, which was now exploded. It was the sense of the perilous issues to which this diluted form of Blanco White's speculations, so recklessly patronised by Whately, was leading theological teaching in the University, which opened the eyes of many to the meaning of the movement, and brought some fresh friends to its side.

There was no attempt to form a party, or to proselytise; there was no organisation, no distinct and recognised party marks. "I would not have it called a party," writes Dr. Newman in the Apologia. But a party it could not help being: quietly and spontaneously it had grown to be what community of ideas, aims, and sympathies, naturally, and without blame, leads men to become. And it had acquired a number of recognised nicknames, to friends and enemies the sign of growing concentration. For the questions started in the Tracts and outside them became of increasing interest to the more intelligent men who had finished their University course and were preparing to enter into life, the Bachelors and younger Masters of Arts. One by one they passed from various states of mind--alienation, suspicion, fear, indifference, blank ignorance--into a consciousness that something beyond the mere commonplace of religious novelty and eccentricity, of which there bad been a good deal recently, was before them; that doctrines and statements running counter to the received religious language of the day, doctrines about which, in confident prejudice, they had perhaps bandied about off-hand judgments, had more to say for themselves than was thought at first; that the questions thus raised drove them in on themselves, and appealed to their honesty and seriousness; and that, at any rate, in the men who were arresting so much attention, however extravagant their teaching might be called, there was a remarkable degree of sober and reserved force, an earnestness of conviction which could not be doubted, an undeniable and subtle power of touching soul and attracting sympathies. One by one, and in many different ways, these young men went through various stages of curiosity, of surprise, of perplexity, of doubt, of misgiving, of interest; some were frightened, and wavered, and drew back more or less reluctantly; others, in spite of themselves, in spite of opposing influences, were led on step by step, hardly knowing whither, by a spell which they could not resist, of intellectual, or still more, moral pressure. Some found their old home teaching completed, explained, lighted up, by that of the new school. Others, shocked at first at hearing the old watchwords and traditions of their homes decried and put aside, found themselves, when they least expected it, passing from the letter to the spirit, from the technical and formal theory to the wide and living truth. And thus, though many of course held aloof, and not a few became hostile, a large number, one by one, some rapidly, others slowly, some unreservedly, others with large and jealous reserves, more and more took in the leading idea of the movement, accepted the influence of its chiefs, and looked to them for instruction and guidance. As it naturally happens, when a number of minds are drawn together by a common and strong interest, some men, by circumstances, or by strength of conviction, or by the mutual affinities of tastes and character, came more and more into direct personal and intimate relations with the leaders, took service, as it were, under them, and prepared to throw themselves into their plans of work. Others, in various moods, but more independent, more critical, more disturbed about consequences, or unpersuaded on special points, formed a kind of fringe of friendly neutrality about the more thoroughgoing portion of the party. And outside of these were thoughtful and able men, to whom the whole movement, with much that was utterly displeasing and utterly perplexing, had the interest of being a break-up of stagnation and dull indolence in a place which ought to have the highest spiritual and intellectual aims; who, whatever repelled them, could not help feeling that great ideas, great prospects, a new outburst of bold thought, a new effort of moral purpose and force, had disturbed the old routine; could not help being fascinated, if only as by a spectacle, by the strange and unwonted teaching, which partly made them smile, partly perhaps permanently disgusted them, but which also, they could I not deny, spoke in a language more fearless, more pathetic, more subtle, and yet more human, than they had heard from the religious teachers of the day. And thus the circle of persons interested in the Tracts, of persons who sympathised with their views, of persons who more and more gave a warm and earnest adherence to them, was gradually extended in the University--and, in time, in the country also. The truth was that the movement, in its many sides, had almost monopolised for the time both the intelligence and the highest religious earnestness of the University, and either in curiosity or inquiry, in approval or in condemnation, all that was deepest and most vigorous, all that was most refined, most serious, most high-toned, and most promising in Oxford was drawn to the issues which it raised. It is hardly too much too say that wherever men spoke seriously of the grounds and prospects of religion, in Oxford, or in Vacation reading-parties, in their walks and social meetings, in their studies or in common-room, the "Tractarian-" doctrines, whether assented to or laughed at, deplored or fiercely denounced, were sure to come to the front. All subjects in discussion seemed to lead up to them--art and poetry, Gothic architecture and German romance and painting, the philosophy of language, and the novels of Walter Scott and Miss Austen, Coleridge's transcendentalism and Bishop Butler's practical wisdom, Plato's ideas and Aristotle's analysis. It was difficult to keep them out of lecture rooms and examinations for Fellowships.

But in addition to the intrinsic interest of the questions and discussions which the movement opened, personal influence played a great and decisive part in it. As it became a party, it had chiefs. It was not merely as leaders of thought but as teachers with their disciples, as friends with friends, as witnesses and examples of high self-rule and refined purity and goodness, that the chiefs whose names were in all men's mouths won the hearts and trust of so many, in the crowds that stood about them. Foremost, of course, ever since he had thrown himself into it in 1835, was Dr. Pusey. His position, his dignified office, his learning, his solidity and seriousness of character, his high standard of religious life, the charm of his charity, and the sweetness of his temper naturally gave him the first place in the movement in Oxford and the world. It came to be especially associated with him. Its enemies fastened on it a nickname from his name, and this nickname, partly from a greater smoothness of sound, partly from an odd suggestion of something funny in it, came more into use than others; and the terms Puseismus, Puséisme, Puseista found their way into German lecture-halls and Paris salons and remote convents and police offices in Italy and Sicily; indeed, in the shape of pouzeismos it might be lighted on in a Greek newspaper. Dr. Pusey was a person who commanded the utmost interest and reverence; he was more in communication with the great world outside than Oxford people generally, and lived much in retirement from Oxford society; but to all interested in the movement he was its representative and highest authority. He and Mr. Newman had the fullest confidence in one another, though conscious at times of not perfect agreement; yet each had a line of his own, and each of them was apt to do things out of his own head. Dr. Pusey was accessible to all who wished to see him; but he did not encourage visits which wasted time. And the person who was pre-eminently, not only before their eyes, but within their. reach in the ordinary intercourse of man with man, was Mr. Newman. Mr. Newman, who lived in College in the ordinary way of a resident Fellow, met other university men, older or younger, on equal terms. As time went on, a certain wonder and awe gathered round him. People were a little afraid of him; but the fear was in themselves, not created by any intentional stiffness or coldness on his part. He did not try to draw men to him, he was no proselytiser; he shrank with fear and repugnance from the character--it was an invasion of the privileges of the heart. But if men came to him, he was accessible; he allowed his friends to bring their friends to him, and met them more than half-way. He was impatient of mere idle worldliness, of conceit and impertinence, of men who gave themselves airs; he was very impatient of pompous and solemn emptiness. But he was very patient with those whom he believed to sympathise with what was nearest his heart; no one, probably, of his power and penetration and sense of the absurd, was ever so ready to comply with the two demands which a witty prelate proposed to put into the examination in the Consecration Service of Bishops : "Wilt thou answer thy letters?" " Wilt thou suffer fools gladly?" But courteous, affable, easy as he was, he was a keen trier of character; he gauged, and men felt that he gauged, their motives, their reality and soundness of purpose; he let them see, if they at all came into his intimacy, that if they were not, he, at any rate, was in the deepest earnest. And at an early period, in a memorable sermon, the vivid impression of which at the time still haunts the recollection of some who heard it, he gave warning to his friends and to those whom his influence touched, that no child's play lay before them; that they were making, it might be without knowing it, the "Ventures of Faith." But feeling that he had much to say, and that a university was a place for the circulation and discussion of ideas, he let himself be seen and known and felt, both publicly and in private. He had his breakfast parties and his evening gatherings. His conversation ranged widely, marked by its peculiar stamp--entire ease, unstudied perfection of apt and clean-cut words, unexpected glimpses of a sure and piercing judgment. At times, at more private meetings, the violin, which he knew how to touch, came into play.

He had great gifts for leadership. But as a party chief he was also deficient in some of the qualities which make a successful one. His doctrine of the Church had the disadvantage of an apparently intermediate and ambiguous position, refusing the broad, intelligible watchwords and reasonings of popular religionism. It was not without clearness and strength; but such a position naturally often leads to what seem over-subtle modes of argument, seemingly over-subtle because deeper and more original than the common ones; and he seemed sometimes to want sobriety in his use of dialectic weapons, which he wielded with such force and effect. Over-subtlety in the leader of a party tends to perplex friends and give a handle to opponents. And with all his confidence in his cause, and also in his power and his call to use it, he had a curious shyness and self-distrust as to his own way of doing what he had to do; he was afraid of "wilfulness," of too great reliance on intellect. He had long been accustomed to observe and judge himself, and while conscious of his force, he was fully alive to the drawbacks, moral and intellectual, which wait on the highest powers. When attacks were made on him by authorities, as in the case of the Tract No.90, his more eager friends thought him too submissive; they would have liked a more combative temper and would not accept his view that confidence in him was lost, because it might be shaken. But if he bent before official authority the disapproval of friends was a severer trouble. Most tender in his affections, most trustful in his confidence, craving for sympathy, it came like a shock and chill when things did not go right between himself and his friends. He was too sensitive under such disapproval for a successful party chief. The true party leader takes these things as part of that tiresome human stupidity and perverseness with which he must make his account. Perhaps they sting for the moment, but he brushes them away and goes forward, soon forgetting them. But with Mr. Newman, his cause was identified with his friendships and even his family affections. And as a leader, he was embarrassed by the keenness with which he sympathised with the doubts and fears of friends; want of sympathy and signs of distrust darkened the prospect of the future; they fell like a blight on his stores of hope, never over-abundant; they tempted him, not to assert himself, but to throw up the game as convicted of unfitness, and retire for good and all to his books and silence. "Let them," he seemed to say, "have their way, as they will not let me have mine; they have the right to take theirs, only not to make me take it." In spite of his enthusiasm and -energy, his unceasing work, his occasional bursts of  severe punishment inflicted on those who provoked him, there was always present this keen sensitiveness, the source of so much joy and so much pain. He would not have been himself without it. But he would have been a much more powerful and much more formidable combatant if he had cared less for what his friends felt, and followed more unhesitatingly his own line and judgment. This keen sensitiveness made him more quickly alive than other people to all that lay round him and before; it made him quicker to discern danger and disaster; it led him to give up hope and to retire from the contest long before he had a right to do so. The experience of later years shows that he had despaired too soon. Such delicate sensitiveness, leading to impatience, was not capable of coping with the rough work involved in the task of reform, which he had undertaken.

All this time the four o'clock sermons at St. Mary's were always going on. But, besides these, he anticipated a freedom--familiar now, but unknown then--of public lecturing. In Advent and after Easter a company, never very large, used to gather on a weekday afternoon in Adam de Brome's Chapel--the old Chapel of "Our Lady of Littlemore "--to hear him lecture on some theological subject. It is a dark, dreary appendage to St. Mary's on the north side, in which Adam de Brome, Edward II's almoner, and the founder of Oriel College, is supposed to lie, beneath an unshapely tomb, covered by a huge slab of Purbeck marble, from which the brass has been stripped. The place is called a chapel, but is more like a court or place of business, for which, indeed, it was used in the old days by one of the Faculties of the House of Convocation, which held its assemblies there. At the end is a high seat and desk for the person presiding, and an enclosure and a table for officials below him; and round the rest of the dingy walls run benches fixed to the wall, dingy as the walls themselves. But it also had another use. On occasions of a university sermon, a few minutes before it began, the Heads of Houses assembled, as they still assemble, in the chapel, ranging themselves on the benches round the walls. The Vice-Chancellor has his seat on one side, the preacher, with the two Proctors below him, sits opposite; and there all sit in their robes, more or less grand, according to the day, till the beadle comes to announce that it is time to form the procession into church. This desolate place Mr. Newman turned into his lecture-room; in it he delivered the lectures which afterwards became the volume on the Prophetical Character of the Church, or Romanism and Popular Protestantism; the lectures which formed the volume on Justifcation; those on Antichrist, and on Rationalism and the Canon of Scripture, which afterwards became Nos. 83 and 85 of the Tracts for the Times. The force, the boldness, the freedom from the trammels of commonplace, the breadth of view and grasp of the subject which marked those lectures, may be seen in them still. But it is difficult to realise now the interest with which they were heard at the time by the first listeners to that clear and perfectly modulated voice, opening to them fresh and original ways of regarding questions which seemed worn out and exhausted. The volumes which grew out of the Adam de Brome lectures were some of the most characteristic portions of the theological literature of the early movement. They certainly greatly influenced the course of thought in it, and some of its most serious issues.

The movement was not one of mere opinion. It took two distinct though connected lines. It was, on the one hand, theological; on the other, resolutely practical. Theologically, it dealt with great questions of religious principle--What is the Church? Is it a reality or a mode of speech? On what grounds does it rest? How may it be known? Is it among us? How is it to be discriminated from its rivals or counterfeits? What is its essential constitution? What does it teach? What are its shortcomings? Does it need reform? But, on the other hand, the movement was marked by its deep earnestness on the practical side of genuine Christian life. Very early in the movement (1833) a series of sketches of primitive Christian life appeared in the British Magazine--afterwards collected under the title of the Church of the Fathers (1840)--to remind people who were becoming interested in ancient and patristic theology that, besides the doctrines to be found in the vast folios of the Fathers, there were to be sought in them and laid to heart the temptations and trials, the aspirations and moral possibilities of actual life, "the tone and modes-of thought, the habits and manners of the early times of the Church." The note struck in the first of Mr. Newman's published sermons--"Holiness necessary for future blessedness"--was never allowed to be out of mind. The movement was, above all, a moral one; it was nothing, allowed to be nothing, if it was not this. Seriousness, reverence, the fear of insincere words and unsound professions, were essential in the character, which alone it would tolerate in those who made common cause with it.

Its ethical tendency was shown in two things, which were characteristic of it. One was the increased care for the Gospels, and study of them, compared with other parts of the Bible. Evangelical theology had dwelt upon the work of Christ, and laid comparatively little stress on His example, or the picture left us of His Personality and Life. It regarded the Epistles of St. Paul as the last word of the Gospel message. People who can recall the popular teaching, which was spoken of then as "sound" and " faithful," and "preaching Christ," can remember how the Epistles were ransacked for texts to prove the "sufficiency of Scripture" or the "right of private judgment," or the distinction between justification and sanctification, while the Gospel narrative was imperfectly studied and was felt to be much less interesting. The movement made a great change. The great Name stood no longer for an abstract symbol of doctrine, but for a living Master, who could teach as well as save. And not forgetting whither He had gone and what He was, the readers of Scripture now sought Him eagerly in those sacred records, where we can almost see and hear His going in and out among men. It was a change in the look and use of Scripture, which some can still look back to as an epoch in their religious history. The other feature was the increased and practical sense of the necessity of self-discipline, of taking real trouble with one's self to keep thoughts and wishes in order, to lay the foundation of habits, to acquire the power of self-control. Deeply fixed in the mind of the teachers, this serious governance of life, this direction and purification of its aims, laid strong hold on the consciences of those who accepted their teaching. This training was not showy; it was sometimes austere, even extravagantly austere; but it was true, and enduring, and it issued often in a steady and unconscious elevation of the religious character. How this character was fed and nurtured and encouraged--how, too, it was frankly warned of its dangers, may be seen in those Parochial Sermons at St. Mary's, under whose inspiration it was developed, and which will always be the best commentary on the character thus formed. Even among those who ultimately parted from the movement, with judgment more or less unfavourable to its theology and general line, it left, as if uneffaceable, this moral stamp; this value for sincerity and simplicity of feeling and life, this keen sense of the awfulness of things unseen. There was something sui generis in the profoundly serious, profoundly reverent tone, about everything: that touched religion in all who had ever come strongly under its influence.

Of course the party soon had the faults of a party, real and imputed. Is it conceivable that there should ever have been a religious movement, which has not provoked smiles from those outside of it, and which has not lent itself to caricature? There were weaker members of it, and headstrong ones, and imitative ones; there were grotesque and absurd ones; some were deeper, some shallower; some liked it for its excitement, and some liked it for its cause; there were those who were for pushing on, and those who were for holding back; there were men of combat, and men of peace; there were those whom it made conceited and self-important, and those whom it drove into seriousness, anxiety, and retirement. But, whatever faults it had, a pure and high spirit ruled in it; there were no disloyal members, and there were none who sought their own in it, or thought of high things for themselves in joining it. It was this whole-heartedness, this supreme reverence for moral goodness, more even than the great ability of the leaders, and in spite of mistakes and failures, which gave its cohesion and its momentum to the movement in its earlier stages.

The state of feeling and opinion among Churchmen towards the end of 1835, two years after the Tracts had begun, is thus sketched by one who was anxiously observing it, in the preface to the second volume of the Tracts (November 1835).

In completing the second volume of a publication, to which the circumstances of the day have given rise, it may be right to allude to a change which has taken place in them since the date of its commencement. At that time, in consequence of long security, the attention of members of our Church had been but partially engaged, in ascertaining the grounds of their adherence to it; but the imminent peril to all which is dear to them which has since been confessed, has naturally turned their thoughts that way, and obliged them to defend it on one or other of the principles which are usually put forward in its behalf. Discussions have thus been renewed in various quarters, on points which had long remained undisturbed; and though numbers continue undecided in opinion, or take up a temporary position in some one of the hundred middle points which may be assumed between the two main theories in which the question issues; and others, again, have deliberately entrenched themselves in the modern or ultra-Protestant alternative; yet, on the whole, there has been much hearty and intelligent adoption, and much respectful study, of those more primitive views maintained by our great Divines. As the altered state of public information and opinion has a necessary bearing on the efforts of those who desire to excite attention to the subject (in which number the writers of these Tracts are to be included), it will not be inappropriate briefly to state in this place what it is conceived is the present position of the great body of Churchmen with reference to it.

While we have cause to be thankful for the sounder and more accurate language, which is now very generally adopted among well-judging men on ecclesiastical subjects, we must beware of overestimating what has been done, and so becoming sanguine in our hopes of success, or slackening our exertions to secure it. Many more persons, doubtless, have taken up a profession of the main doctrine in question, that, namely, of the one Catholic ,and Apostolic Church, than fully enter into it. This was to be expected, it being the peculiarity of all religious teaching, that words are imparted before ideas. A child learns his Creed or Catechism before he understands it; and in beginning any deep subject we are all but children to the end of our lives. The instinctive perception of a rightly instructed mind, the prima facie force of the argument, or the authority of our celebrated writers, have all had their due and extensive influence in furthering the reception of the doctrine, when once it was openly maintained; to which must be added the prospect of the loss of State protection, which made it necessary -to look out for other reasons for adherence to the Church besides that of obedience to the civil magistrate. Nothing which has spread quickly has been received thoroughly. Doubtless there are a number of seriously-minded persons who think that they admit the doctrine in question much more fully than they do, and who would be startled at seeing that realised in particulars which they confess in an abstract form. Many there are who do not at all feel that it is capable of a practical application; and while they bring it forward on special occasions, in formal expositions of faith, or in answer to a direct interrogatory, let it slip from their minds almost entirely in their daily conduct or their religious teaching, from the long and inveterate habit of thinking and acting without it. We must not, then, at all be surprised at finding that to modify the principles and motives on which men act is not the work of a day; nor at undergoing disappointments, at witnessing relapses, misconceptions, sudden disgusts, and, on the other hand, abuses and perversions of the true doctrine, in the case of those who have taken it up with more warmth than discernment.

From the end of 1835, or the beginning of 1836, the world outside of Oxford began to be alive to the force and the rapid growth of this new and, to the world at large not very intelligible movement. The ideas which had laid hold so powerfully on a number of minds in the University began to work with a spell, which seemed to many inexplicable, on others unconnected with them. This rapidity of expansion, viewed as a feature of a party, was noticed on all sides, by enemies no less than friends. In an article in the British Critic of April 1839, by Mr. Newman, on the State of Religious Parties, the fact is illustrated from contemporary notices.

There is at the present moment a reaction in the Church, and a growing reaction, towards the views which it has been the endeavours [of the Tract writers] and, as it seemed at the commencement, almost hopeless endeavours, to advocate. The fairness of the prospect at present is proved by the attack made on them by the public journals, and is confessed by the more candid and the more violent among their opponents. Thus the amiable Mr. Bickersteth speaks of it as having manifested itself "with the most rapid growth of the hotbed of these evil days." The scoffing author of the Via Media says: "At this moment the Via is crowded with young enthusiasts who never presume to argue, except against the propriety of arguing at all" The candid Mr. Baden-Powell, who sees more of the difficulties of the controversy than the rest of their antagonists put together, says that it is clear that "these views . . . have been extensively adopted, and are daily gaining ground among a considerable and influential portion of the members, as well as the ministers of the Established Church." The author of the Natural History of Enthusiasm says: "The spread of these doctrines is in fact having the effect of rendering all other distinctions obsolete. Soon there will be no middle ground left, and every man, especially every clergyman, will be compelled to make his choice between the two." . . . The Bishop of Chester speaks of the subject "daily assuming a more serious and alarming aspect": a gossiping writer of the moment describes these doctrines as having insinuated themselves not only into popular churches and fashionable chapels, and the columns of newspapers, but "into the House of Commons."

And the writer of the article goes on:--

Now, if there be any truth in these remarks, it is. plainly idle and perverse to refer the change of opinions which is now going on to the acts of two or three individuals, as is sometimes done. Of course every event in human affairs has a beginning; and a beginning implies a when, and a where, and a by whom, and how. But except in these necessary circumstances, the phenomenon in question is in a manner quite independent of things visible and historical. It is not here or there; it has no progress, no causes, no fortunes: it is not a movement, it is a spirit, it is a spirit afloat, neither "in the secret chambers" nor "in the desert," but everywhere. It is within us, rising up in the heart where it was least expected, and working its way, though not in secret, yet so subtly and impalpably, as hardly to admit of precaution or encounter on any ordinary human rules of opposition. It is an adversary in the air, a something one and entire, a whole wherever it is, unapproachable and incapable of being grasped, as being the result. of causes far deeper than political or other visible agencies, the spiritual awakening. of spiritual wants.

Nothing can show more strikingly the truth of this representation than to refer to what may be called the theological history of the individuals who, whatever be their differences from each other on important or unimportant points, yet are associated together in the advocacy of the doctrines in question. Dr. Hook and Mr. Churton represent the High Church dignitaries of the last generation; Mr. Perceval, the Tory aristocracy; Mr. Keble is of the country clergy, and comes from valleys and woods, far removed both from notoriety and noise; Mr. Palmer and Mr. Todd are of Ireland; Dr. Pusey became what he is from among the Universities of Germany, and after a severe and tedious analysis of Arabic MSS. Mr. Dodsworth is said to have begun in the study of Prophecy; Mr. Newman to have been much indebted to the friendship of Archbishop Whately; Mr. Froude, if any one, gained his views from his own mind. Others have passed over from Calvinism and kindred religions.

Years afterwards, and in changed circumstances, the same writer has left the following record of what came before his experience in those years:--

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

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