THE first seven years of the movement, as it is said in the Apologia, had been years of prosperity. There had been mistakes; there had been opposition; there had been distrust and uneasiness. There was in some places a ban on the friends of Mr. Newman; men like Mr. James Mozley and Mr. Mark Pattison found their connexion with him a difficulty in the way of fellowships. But on the whole, things had gone smoothly, without any great breakdown, or any open collision with authority. But after1840 another period was to begin of trouble and disaster. The seeds of this had been partially sown before in the days of quiet, and the time was come for their development. Differences in the party itself had been growing sharper; differences between the more cautious and the more fearless, between the more steady-going and the more subtle thinkers. The contrast between the familiar and customary, and the new--between the unknown or forgotten, and a mass of knowledge only recently realised-- became more pronounced. Consequences of a practical kind, real or supposed, began to show themselves, and to press. And above all, a second generation, without the sobering experience of the. first, was starting from where the first had reached to, and, in some instances, was rising up against their teachers' caution and patience. The usual dangers of all earnest and aggressive assertions of great principles appeared: contempt for everything in opinion and practice that was not advanced, men vying with each other in bold inferences, in the pleasure of "talking strong." With this grew fear and exasperation on the other side, misunderstandings, misgivings, strainings of mutual confidence, within. Dr. Hook alternated between violent bursts of irritation and disgust, and equally strong returns of sympathy, admiration, and gratitude; and he represented a large amount of feeling among Churchmen. It was but too clear that storms were at hand. They came perhaps quicker than they were anticipated.
Towards the end of 1838, a proposal was brought forward, for which in its direct aspect much might plausibly be said, but which was in intention and indirectly a test question, meant to put the Tractarians in a difficulty, and to obtain the weight of authority in the University against them. It was proposed to raise a subscription, and to erect a monument in Oxford, to the martyrs of the Reformation, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer. Considering that the current and popular language dated the Church of England from the Reformation of the sixteenth century, and cited the Reformers as ultimate and paramount authorities on its doctrine, there was nothing unreasonable in such a proposal. Dr. Hook, strong Churchman as he was, "called to union on the principles of the English Reformation." But the criticism which had been set afloat by the movement had discovered and realised, what defenders of the English Church had hitherto felt it an act of piety to disbelieve, when put before them by Romanists like Lingard, and radicals like Cobbett, that the Reformers had been accomplices in many indefensible acts, and had been inconsistent and untrustworthy theologians. Providentially, it was felt, the force of old convictions and tradition and the historical events of the time had obliged them to respect the essentials of Catholic truth and polity and usage; we owed to them much that was beautiful and devotional in the Prayer Book; and their Articles, clear in all matters decided by the early theology, avoided foreign extremes in dealing with later controversies. But their own individual language was often far in advance of the public and official language of formularies, in the direction of the great Protestant authorities of Geneva and Zurich. There were still, even among the movement party, many who respected the Reformers for the work which they had attempted, and partly and imperfectly done, to be more wisely and soberly carried on by their successors of the seventeenth century. But the charges against their Calviniistic and even Zwinglian language were hard to parry; even to those who respected them for their connexion with our present order of things, their learning, their soundness, their authority appeared to be greatly exaggerated; and the reaction from excessive veneration made others dislike and depreciate them. This was the state of feeling when the Martyrs' Memorial was started. It was eagerly pressed with ingenious and persevering arguments by Mr. Golightly, the indefatigable and long-labouring opponent of all that savoured of Tractarianism. The appeal seemed so specious that at first many even of the party gave in their adhesion. Even Dr. Pusey was disposed to subscribe to it. But Mr. Newman, as was natural, held aloof; and his friends for the most part did the same. It was what was expected and intended. They were either to commit themselves to the Reformation as understood by the promoters of the Memorial; or they were to be marked as showing their disloyalty to it. The subscription was successful. The Memorial was set up, and stood, a decisive though unofficial sign of the judgment of the University against them.
But the "Memorial" made little difference to the progress of the movement. It was an indication of hostility in reserve, but this was all; it formed an ornament to the city, but failed as a religious and effective protest. Up to the spring of 1839, Anglicanism, placed on an intellectual basis by Mr. Newman, developed practically in different ways by Dr. Pusey and Dr. Hook, sanctioned in theory by divines who represented the old divinity of the English Church, like Bishop Phillpotts and Mr. H. J. Rose, could speak with confident and hopeful voice. It might well seem that it was on its way to win over the coming generations of the English clergy. It had on its side all that gives interest and power to a cause,--thought, force of character, unselfish earnestness; it had unity of idea and agreement in purpose, and was cemented by the bonds of warm affection and common sympathies. It had the promise of a nobler religion, as energetic and as spiritual as Puritanism and Wesleyanism, while it drew its inspiration, its canons of doctrine, its moral standards, from purer and more venerable sources;--from communion, not with individual teachers and partial traditions, but with the consenting teaching and authoritative documents of the continuous Catholic Church.
Anglicanism was agreed, up to this time--the summer of 1839--as to its general principles. Charges of an inclination to Roman views had been promptly and stoutly met; nor was there really anything but the ignorance or ill-feeling of the accusers to throw doubt on the sincerity of these disavowals. The deepest and strongest mind in the movement was satisfied; and his steadiness of conviction could be appealed to if his followers talked wildly and rashly. He had kept one unwavering path; he had not shrunk from facing with fearless honesty the real living array of reasons which the most serious Roman advocates could put forward. With a frankness new in controversy, he had not been afraid to state them with a force which few of his opponents could have put forth. With an eye ever open to that supreme Judge of all our controversies, who listens to them on His throne on high, he had with conscientious fairness admitted what he saw to be good and just on the side of his adversaries, conceded what in the confused wrangle of conflicting claims he judged ought to be conceded. But after all admissions and all concessions, the comparative strength of his own case appeared all the more undeniable. He had stripped it of its weaknesses, its incumbrances, its falsehoods; and it did not seem the weaker for being presented in its real aspect and on its real grounds. People felt that he had gone to the bottom of the question as no one had yet dared to do. He was yet staunch in his convictions; and they could feel secure.
But a change was at hand. In the course of 1839, the little cloud showed itself in the outlook of the future; the little rift opened, small and hardly perceptible, which was to widen into an impassable gulf. Anglicanism started with undoubting confidence in its own foundations and its own position, as much against Romanism as against the more recent forms of religion. In the consciousness of its strength, it could afford to make admissions and to refrain from tempting but unworthy arguments in controversy with Rome; indeed the necessity of such controversy had come upon it unexpectedly and by surprise. With English frankness, in its impatience of abuses and desire for improvement within, it had dwelt strongly on the faults and shortcomings of the English Church which it desired to remedy; but while allowing what was undeniably excellent in Rome, it had been equally outspoken and emphatic in condemnation of the evils of Rome. What is there to wonder at in such a position? It is the position of every honest reforming movement, at least in England. But Anglican self-reliance was unshaken, and Anglican hope waxed stronger as the years went on, and the impression made by Anglican teaching became wider and deeper. Outside attacks, outside persecution, could now do little harm; the time was past for that. What might have happened, had things gone on as they began, it is idle to inquire. But at the moment when all seemed to promise fair, the one fatal influence, the presence of internal uncertainty and doubt, showed itself. The body of men who had so far acted together began to show a double aspect. While one portion of it continued on the old lines, holding the old ground, defending the old principles, and attempting to apply them for the improvement of the practical system of the English Church, another portion had asked the question, and were pursuing the anxious inquiry, whether the English Church was a true Church at all, a true portion of the one uninterrupted Catholic Church of the Redeemer. And the question had forced itself with importunate persistence on the leading mind of the movement. From this time the fate of Tractarianism, as a party, was decided.
In this overthrow of confidence, two sets of influences may be traced.
1. One, which came from above, from the highest leading authority in the movement, was the unsettlement of Mr. Newman's mind. He has told the story, the story as he believed of his enfranchisement and deliverance; and he has told the story, though the story of a deliverance, with so keen a feeling of its pathetic and tragic character,--as it is indeed the most tragic story of a conversion to peace and hope on record,--that it will never cease to be read where the English language is spoken. Up to the summer of 1839, his view of the English position had satisfied him--satisfied him, that is, as a tenable one in the anomalies of existing Christendom. All seemed clear and hopeful, and the one thing to be thought of was to raise the English Church to the height of its own standard. But in the autumn of that year (1839), as he has told us, a change took. place. In the summer of 1839, he had set himself to study the history of the Monophysite controversy. "I have no reason," he writes, "to suppose that the thought of Rome came across my mind at all. . . . It was during this course of reading that for the first time a doubt came across me of the tenableness of Anglicanism. I had seen the shadow of a hand on the wall. He who has seen a ghost cannot be as if he had never seen it. The heavens had opened and closed again." To less imaginative and slower minds this seems an overwrought description of a phenomenon which must present itself sometime or other to all who search the foundations of conviction; and by itself he was for the time proof against its force. "The thought for the moment had been, The Church of Rome will be found right after all; and then it had vanished. My old convictions remained as before." But another blow came, and then another. An article by Dr. Wiseman on the Donatists greatly disturbed him. The words of St. Augustine about the Donatists, securus judicat orbis terrarum, rung continually in his ears, like words out of the sky. He found the threatenings of the Monophysite controversy renewed in the Arian: "the ghost had come a second time." It was a "most uncomfortable article," he writes in his letters; "the first real hit from Romanism which has happened to me"; it gave him, as he says, "a stomach-ache." But he still held his ground, and returned his answer to the attack in an article in the British Critic, on the "Catholicity of the English Church." He did not mean to take the attack for more than it was worth, an able bit of ex parte statement. But it told on him, as nothing had yet told on him. What it did, was to "open a vista which was closed before, and of which he could not see the end"; "we are not at the bottom of things," was the sting it left behind. From this time, the hope and exultation with which, in spite of checks and misgivings, he had watched the movement, gave way to uneasiness and distress. A new struggle was beginning, a long struggle with himself, a long struggle between rival claims which would not be denied, each equally imperious, and involving fatal consequences if by mistake the wrong one was admitted. And it was not only the effect of these thoughts on his own mind which filled him with grief and trouble. He always thought much for others; and now there was the misery of perhaps unsettling others--others who had trusted him with their very souls--others, to whom it was impossible to explain the conflicts which were passing in his own mind. It was so bitter to unsettle their hope and confidence. All through this time, more trying than his own difficulties, were the perplexities and sorrows which he foresaw for those whom he loved. Very illogical and inconsecutive, doubtless; if only he had had the hard heart of a proselytiser, he would have seen that it was his duty to undermine and shatter their old convictions. But he cared more for the tempers and beliefs in which he was at one with his Anglican friends, than for those in which they could not follow him. But the struggle came on gradually. What he feared at first was not the triumph of Rome, but the break-up of the English Church; the apparent probability of a great schism in it. "I fear I see more clearly that we are working up to a schism in the English church, that is, a split between Peculiars and Apostolicals. . . . I never can be surprised at individuals going off to Rome, but that is not my chief fear, but a schism; that is, those two parties, which have hitherto got on together as they could, from the times of Puritanism downwards, gathering up into clear, tangible, and direct forces, and colliding. Our Church is not at one with itself, there is no denying it." That was at first the disaster before him. His thought for himself began to turn, not to Rome, but to a new life without office and authority, but still within the English Church. "You see, if things come to the worst, I should turn brother of charity in London." And he began to prepare for a move from Oxford, from St. Mary's, from his fellowship. He bought land at Littlemore, and began to plant. He asks his brother-in-law for plans for building what he calls a moné. He looks forward to its becoming a sort of Monastic school, but still connected with the University.
In Mr. Newman's view of the debate between England and Rome, he had all along dwelt on two broad features, Apostolicity and Catholicity, likeness to the Apostolic teaching, and likeness to the interrupted unity and extent of the undivided Church; and of those two features he found the first signally wanting in Rome, and the second signally wanting in England. When he began to distrust his own reasonings, still the disturbing and repelling element in Rome was the alleged defect of Apostolicity, the contrast between primitive and Roman religion; while the attractive one was the apparent widely extended Catholicity in all lands, East and West, continents and isles, of the world-wide spiritual empire of the Pope. It is these two great points which may be traced in their action on his mind at this crisis. The contrast between early and Roman doctrine and practice, in a variety of ways, some of them most grave and important, was long a great difficulty in the way of attempting to identify the Roman Church, absolutely and exclusively, with the Primitive Church. The study of antiquity indisposed him, indeed, more and more to the existing system of the English Church; its claims to model itself on the purity and simplicity of the Early Church seemed to him, in the light of its documents, and still more of the facts of history and life, more and more questionable. But modern Rome was just as distant from the Early Church though it preserved many ancient features, lost or unvalued by England. Still, Rome was not the same thing as the Early Church; and Mr. Newman ultimately sought a way out of his difficulty--and indeed there was no other--in the famous doctrine of Development. But when the difficulty about Apostolicity was thus provided for, then the force of the great vision of the Catholic Church came upon him, unchecked and irresistible. That was a thing present, visible, undeniable as a fact of nature; that was a thing at once old and new; it belonged as truly, as manifestly, to the recent and modern world of democracy and science, as it did to the Middle Ages and the Fathers, to the world of Gregory and Innocent, to the world of Athanasius and Augustine. The majesty, the vastness of an imperial polity, outlasting all states and kingdoms, all social changes and political revolutions, answered at once to the promises of the prophecies, and to the antecedent idea of the universal kingdom of God. Before this great idea, embodied in concrete form, and not a paper doctrine, partial scandals and abuses seemed to sink into insignificance. Objections seemed petty and ignoble; the pretence of rival systems impertinent and absurd. He resented almost with impatience anything in the way of theory or explanation which seemed to him narrow, technical, dialectical. He would look at nothing but what had on it the mark of greatness and largeness which befitted the awful subject, and was worthy of arresting the eye and attention of an ecclesiastical statesman, alive to mighty interests, compared to which even the most serious human affairs were dwarfed and obscured.
But all this was gradual in coming. His recognition of the claims of the English Church, faulty and imperfect as he thought it, did not give way suddenly and at once. It survived the rude shock of 1839. From first to almost the last she was owned as his "mother "--owned in passionate accents of disappointment and despair as a Church which knew not how to use its gifts; yet still, even though life seemed failing her, and her power of teaching and ruling seemed paralysed, his mother; and as long as there seemed to him a prospect of restoration to health, it was his duty to stay by her. This was his first attitude for three or four years after 1839. He could not speak of her with the enthusiasm and triumph of the first years of the movement. When he fought her battles, it was with the sense that her imperfections made his task the harder. Still he clung to the belief that she held a higher standard than she bad yet acted up to, and discouraged and perplexed he yet maintained her cause. But now two things happened. The Roman claims, as was natural when always before him, seemed to him more and more indisputable. And in England his interpretation of Anglican theology seemed to be more and more contradicted, disavowed, condemned, by all that spoke -with any authority in the Church. The University was not an ecclesiastical body, yet it had practically much weight in matters of theology; it informally, but effectually, declared against him. The Bishops, one by one, of course only spoke as individuals; but they were the official spokesmen of the Church, and their consent, though not the act of a Synod, was weighty--they too had declared 'against him. And finally that vague but powerful voice of public opinion, which claims to represent at once the cool judgment of the unbiassed, and the passion of the zealous--it too declared against him. Could he claim to understand the mind of the Church better than its own organs?
Then at length a change came; and it was marked outwardly by a curious retractation of his severe language about Rome, published in a paper called the Conservative Journal, in January 1843; and more distinctly, by his resignation of St. Mary's in September 1843, a step contemplated for some time, and by his announcement that he was preparing to resign his fellowship. From this time he felt that he could no longer hold office, or be a champion of the English Church; from this time, it was only a matter of waiting, waiting to make quite certain that he was right and was under no delusion, when he should leave her for the Roman Communion. And to his intimate friends, to his sisters, he gave notice that this was now impending. To the world outside, all that was known was that he was much unsettled and distressed by difficulties.
It may be asked why this change was not at this time communicated, not to a few intimates, but to the world? Why did he not at this time hoist his quarantine flag and warn every one that he was dangerous to come near? So keen a mind must, it was said, have by this time foreseen how things would end; he ought to have given earlier notice. His answer was that he was sincerely desirous of avoiding, as far as possible, what might prejudice the Church in which he had ministered, even at the moment of leaving her. He saw his own way becoming clearer and clearer; but he saw it for himself alone. He was not one of those who force the convictions of others; he was not one of those who think it a great thing to be followed in a serious change by a crowd of disciples. Whatever might be at the end, it was now an agonising wrench to part from the English body, to part from the numbers of friends whose loyalty was immovable, to part from numbers who had trusted and learned from him. Of course, if he was in the right way, he could wish them nothing better than that they should follow him. But they were in God's hands; it was not his business to unsettle them; it was not his business to ensnare and coerce their faith. And so he tried for this time to steer his course alone. He wished to avoid observation. He was silent on all that went on round him, exciting as some of the incidents were. He would not be hurried; he would give himself full time; he would do what he could to make sure that he was not acting under the influence of a delusion.
The final result of all this was long in coming; there was, we know, a bitter agony of five years, a prolonged and obstinate and cruel struggle between the deepest affections and ever-growing convictions. But this struggle, as has been said, did not begin with the conviction in which it ended. It began and long continued with the belief that though England was wrong, Rome was not right; that though the Roman argument seemed more and more unanswerable, there were insuperable difficulties of certain fact which made the Roman conclusion incredible; that there was so much good and truth in England, with all its defects and faults, which was unaccountable and unintelligible on the Roman hypothesis; that the real upshot was that the whole state of things in Christendom was abnormal; that to English Churchmen the English Church had immediate and direct claims which nothing but the most irresistible counter-claims could overcome or neutralise--the claims of a shipwrecked body cut off from country and home, yet as a shipwrecked body still organised, and with much saved from the wreck, and not to be deserted, as long as it held together, in an uncertain attempt to rejoin its lost unity. Resignation, retirement, silence, lay communion, the hope of ultimate, though perhaps long-deferred reunion--these were his first thoughts. Misgivings could not be helped, would not be denied, but need not be paraded, were to be kept at arm's-length as long as possible. This is the picture presented in the autobiography of these painful and dreary years; and there is every evidence that it is a faithful one. It is conceivable, though not very probable, that such a course might go on indefinitely. It is conceivable that under different circumstances he might, like other perplexed and doubting seekers after truth, have worked round through doubt and perplexity to his first conviction. But the actual result, as it came, was natural enough; and it was accelerated by provocation, by opponents without, and by the pressure of advanced and impatient followers and disciples in the party itself.
2. This last was the second of the two influences spoken of above. It worked from below, as the first worked from above.
Discussions and agitations, such as accompanied the movement, however much under the control of the moral and intellectual ascendancy of the leaders, could not of course be guaranteed from escaping from that control. And as the time went on, men joined the movement who had but qualified sympathy with that passionate love and zeal for the actual English Church, that acquaintance with its historical theology, and that temper of discipline, sobriety, and self-distrust, which marked its first representatives. These younger disciples shared in the growing excitement of the society round them. They were attracted by visible height of character, and brilliant intellectual power. They were alive to vast and original prospects, opening a .new world which should be a contrast to the worn-out interest of the old. Some of these were men of wide and abstruse learning; quaint and eccentric scholars both in habit and look, students of the ancient type, who even fifty years ago seemed out of date to their generation. Some were men of considerable force of mind, destined afterwards to leave a mark on their age as thinkers and writers. To the former class belonged Charles Seager, and John Brande Morris, of Exeter College, both learned Orientalists, steeped in recondite knowledge of all kinds; men who had worked their way to knowledge through hardship and grinding labour, and not to be outdone in Germany itself for devouring love of learning and a scholar's plainness of life. In the other class may be mentioned Frederic Faber, J. D. Dalgairns, and W. G. Ward, men who have all since risen to eminence in their different spheres. Faber was a man with a high gift of imagination, remarkable powers of assimilating knowledge, and a great richness and novelty and elegance of thought, which with much melody of voice made him ultimately a very attractive preacher. If the promise of his powers has not been adequately fulfilled, it is partly to be traced to a want of severity of taste and self-restraint, but his name will live in some of his hymns, and in some very beautiful portions of his devotional writings. Dalgairns's mind was of a different order. "That man has an eye for theology," was the remark of a competent judge on some early paper of Dalgairns's which came before him. He had something of the Frenchman about him. There was in him, in his Oxford days, a bright and frank briskness, a mixture of modesty and arch daring, which gave him an almost boyish appearance; but beneath this boyish appearance there was a subtle and powerful intellect, alive to the problems of religious philosophy, and impatient of any but the most thorough solutions of them; while, on the other hand, the religious affections were part of his nature, and mind and will and heart yielded an unreserved and absolute obedience to the leading and guidance of faith. In his later days, with his mind at ease, Father Dalgairns threw himself into the great battle with unbelief; and few men have commanded more the respect of opponents not much given to think well of the arguments for religion, by the freshness and the solidity of his reasoning. At this time, enthusiastic in temper, and acute and exacting as a thinker, he found the Church movement just, as it were, on the turn of the wave. He was attracted to it at first by its reaction against what was unreal and shallow, by its affinities with what was deep in idea and earnest in life; then, and finally, he was repelled from it, by its want of completeness, by its English acquiescence in compromise, by its hesitations and clinging to insular associations and sympathies, which had little interest for him.
Another person, who was at this time even more prominent in the advanced portion of the movement party, and whose action had more decisive influence on its course, was Mr. W. G. Ward, Fellow of Balliol. Mr. Ward, who was first at Christ Church, had distinguished himself greatly at the Oxford Union as a vigorous speaker, at first on the Tory side; he came afterwards under the influence of Arthur Stanley, then fresh from Rugby, and naturally learned to admire Dr. Arnold; but Dr. Arnold's religious doctrines did not satisfy him; the movement, with its boldness and originality of idea and ethical character, had laid strong hold on him, and he passed into one of the most thoroughgoing adherents of Mr. Newman. There was something to smile at in his person, and in some of his ways--his unbusiness-like habits, his joyousness of manner, his racy stories; but few more powerful intellects passed through Oxford in his time, and he has justified his University reputation by his distinction since, both as a Roman Catholic theologian and professor, and as a profound metaphysical thinker, the equal antagonist on their own ground of J. Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer. But his intellect at that time was as remarkable for its defects as for its powers. He used to divide his friends, and thinking people in general, into those who had facts and did not know what to do with them, and those who had in perfection the logical faculties, but wanted the facts to reason upon. He belonged himself to the latter class. He had, not unnaturally, boundless confidence in his argumentative powers; they were subtle, piercing, nimble, never at a loss, and they included a power of exposition which, if it was not always succinct and lively, was always weighty and impressive. Premises in his hands were not long in bringing forth their conclusions; and if abstractions always corresponded exactly to their concrete embodiments, and ideals were fulfilled in realities, no one could point out more perspicuously and decisively the practical judgments on them which reason must sanction. But that knowledge of things and of men which mere power of reasoning will not give was not one of his special endowments. The study of facts, often in their complicated and perplexing reality, was not to his taste. He was apt to accept them on what he considered adequate authority, and his argumentation, formidable as it always was, recalled, even when most unanswerable at the moment, the application of pure mathematics without allowance for the actual forces, often difficult to ascertain except by experiment, which would have to be taken account of in practice.
The tendency of this section of able men was unquestionably Romewards, almost from the beginning of their connexion with the movement. Both the theory and the actual system of Rome, so far as they understood it, had attractions for them which nothing else had. But with whatever perplexity and perhaps impatience, Mr. Newman's power held them back. He kept before their minds continually those difficulties of fact which stood in the way of their absolute and peremptory conclusions, and of which they were not much inclined to take account. He insisted on those features, neither few nor unimportant nor hard to see, which proved the continuity of the English Church with the Church Universal. Sharing their sense of anomaly in the Anglican theory and position, he pointed out with his own force and insight that anomaly was not in England only, but everywhere. There was much to regret, there was much to improve, there were many unwelcome and dangerous truths, invidiosi veri, to be told and defended at any cost. But patience, as well as honesty and courage, was a Christian virtue; and they who had received their Christianity at the hands of the English Church had duties towards it from which neither dissatisfaction nor the idea of something better could absolve them. Spartam nactus es, hanc exorna is the motto for every one whose lot is cast in any portion of Christ's Church. And as long as he could speak with this conviction, the strongest of them could not break away from his restraint. It was when the tremendous question took shape, Is the English Church a true Church, a real part of the Church Catholic?--when the question became to his mind more and more doubtful, at length desperate--that they, of course, became more difficult to satisfy, more confident in their own allegations, more unchecked in their sympathies, and, in consequence, in their dislikes. And in the continued effort--for it did continue--to make them pause and wait and hope, they reacted on him; they asked him questions which he found it hard to answer; they pressed him with inferences which he might put by, but of which he felt the sting; they forced on him all the indications, of which every day brought its contribution, that the actual living system of the English Church was against what he had taught to be Catholic, that its energetic temper and spirit condemned and rejected him. What was it that private men were staunch and undismayed? What was it that month by month all over England hearts and minds were attracted to his side, felt the spell of his teaching, gave him their confidence? Suspicion and disapprobation, which had only too much to ground itself upon, had taken possession of the high places of the Church. Authority in all its shapes had pronounced as decisively as his opponents could wish; as decisively as they too could wish, who desired no longer a barrier between themselves and Rome.
Thus a great and momentous change had come over the movement, over its action and prospects. It had started in a heroic effort to save the English Church. The claims, the blessings, the divinity of the English Church, as a true branch of Catholic Christendom, had been assumed as the foundation of all that was felt and said and attempted. The English Church was the one object to which English Christians were called upon to turn their thoughts. Its spirit animated the Christian Year, and the teaching of those whom the Christian Year represented. Its interests were what called forth the zeal and the indignation recorded in Froude's Remains. No one seriously thought of Rome, except as a hopelessly corrupt system, though it had some good and Catholic things, which it was Christian and honest to recognise. The movement of 1833 started out of the Anti-Roman feelings of the Emancipation time. It was Anti-Roman as much as it was Anti-Sectarian and Anti-Erastian. It was to avert the danger of people becoming Romanists from ignorance of Church principles. This was all changed in one important section of the party. The fundamental conceptions and assumptions were reversed. It was not the Roman Church, but the English Church, which was put on its trial; it was not the Roman Church, but the English, which was to be, if possible, apologised for, perhaps borne with for a time, but which was to be regarded as deeply fallen, holding an untenable position, and incomparably, unpardonably, below both the standard and the practical system of the Roman Church. From this point of view the object of the movement was no longer to elevate and improve an independent English Church, but to approximate it as far as possible to what was assumed to be undeniable--the perfect Catholicity of Rome. More almost than ideas and assumptions, the tone of feeling changed. It had been, towards the English Church, affectionate, enthusiastic, reverential, hopeful. It became contemptuous, critical, intolerant, hostile with the hostility not merely of alienation but disgust. This was not of course the work of a moment, but it was of very rapid growth. "How I hate these Anglicans!" was the expression of one of the younger men of this section, an intemperate and insolent specimen of it. It did not represent the tone or the language of the leader to whom the advanced section deferred, vexed as he often was with the course of his own thoughts, and irritated and impatient at the course of things without. But it expressed but too truly the difference between 1833 and 1840.