Chapter V. Sketches of the College Life at Different Periods
THE College work began in Whitsuntide, 1854, before the buildings were ready for use. For that term there were only two students, Charles Porter and Edward Sturges, both Cambridge men; they lived in the Vicarage, and of the details of that term's life there are no records.
At Michaelmas the College building was opened, Liddon came as Vice-Principal, seven more students were admitted, and the College life properly began. A very exact record of all the notices that were placed on the College board during the first years provides the material for tracing the gradual growth of the practical and devotional systems with which all the students are familiar. It is most interesting to notice the simplicity of the beginning, the slowness of advance, the hortatory and apologetic tone of many of the new suggestions, and the difficulty that was caused by the combination of parish and College and Bishop's Chapel.
A brief retrospect, written at the end of December, 1854, will best describe the first term:--
Our first term is just closings and I am anxious to record its results with a view to future reference. It has been a term of experience--to [106/107] be used hereafter. For in starting the College we have had almost everything to learn: the sister establishments at Wells and Chichester being too generally dissimilar in organisation and character to be models in matters of systematic detail. Experience is always to a certain extent costly, and, we must hope, not unprofitable.
That one prerequisite for the clerical life which Oxford does not,--and which a modern Theological College does--profess to supply is an habituation to religious practices and thoughts, in short, spiritual training. We have accordingly endeavoured to lay great emphasis on this part of our system, without neglecting the intellectual side of Churchmanship.
[As regards Chapel services.] At the beginning of term we used only the Morning and Evening Service, the former in the Bishop's Chapel, the latter in our own, at 9 a.m. and 9-30 p.m. respectively. These were read without any musical accompaniment or hymn: we have gradually introduced the use of Helmore's Psalter, first for the Canticles, and, in the Evening Service, for the whole Psalter. The prayers are intoned, and the Hymnal Noted used. On Wednesday and Friday nights the service in church is at 7 o'clock during the winter; and it was accordingly the custom to end the day by an evening service at 9-30, consisting of the Compline Psalms and some stray Collects: for this we have since substituted the Compline service. With the Bishop's permission we have also introduced midday prayer, and as the College servants do not attend the Palace services at 9 a.m., it became necessary to use family prayer with them at 7.45. During the ten days preceding the Ordination, we had a daily Celebration at 7.
[The services, therefore, at the end of the first term were:--]
7 a.m. Celebration (for ten days before Ordination).
7.45 Terce for the servants and students.
9 Morning Service in the Bishop's Chapel.
12 noon. Sext (and, for ten days before Ordination, Litany of the Holy Ghost).
7 p.m. On Wednesdays and Fridays, Evening Service in the Parish Church.
9.30 Evening service in the College Chapel (on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, Compline in the College Chapel).
 On Sundays:
8 a.m. Celebration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Bishop's Chapel.
11 Morning Service in the Parish Church. The Blessed Sacrament on the first Sunday in the month.
3 Evening Service in Church.
Individual treatment.--I have given the students "Rules for Meditating," and a scheme of subjects for meditation for three weeks. They have been in constant use of these. I have also had opportunities for talking to them on the necessity of forming habits of mental prayer.
The Lent term of 1855 began with the same hours of service; the following devotional books were recommended: the Imitation of Christ (Book IV. especially with reference to Holy Communion), Sherlock's Practical Christian, Scudamore's Steps to the Altar, Daily Steps towards Heaven, "recommended specially as a help to daily morning meditation." As Lent came near, a special notice was issued:--
1. It is earnestly hoped that the approach of the Church's yearly season of penitence will suggest to the students of this College the necessity of anxious and searching enquiry into the things that belong to their eternal peace. "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
2. With a view to affording assistance towards this most needful object, and so furthering the general intention of the Church, the following arrangements are in contemplation:--
(i.) The Blessed Sacrament will be celebrated in the College Chapel on Thursday mornings at 7 a.m. (ii.) The Morning Service (9 a.m.) will be said in the Parish Church (with a view to the spiritual advantage of the Parishioners), (iii.) At midday prayers Psalm li. will be said after the Collect for the Day, except on Wednesdays, when the Gradual Psalms (cxx.-cxxxiv.), and Fridays, when the Penitential (vide Sherlock's Practical Christian, Pt. i. p. 72) will be substituted for the usual series, (iv.) At Evening Service in the College Chapel, a series of lectures will be delivered on points connected with the Spiritual Life.
 3. New habits of self-denial (as early rising), of self-examination, of meditation, of recollectedness are not formed at once. They imply anxious and persevering co-operation with the grace of Christ. So may faith, hope, and love, from untried (?) conventionalisms, become the daily link between our souls and God. So may the great Realities, an ever-present God, the hatefulness of sin in ourselves, the Cross of Christ, the Power of the Sacraments, Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell be daily unfolded to our souls in their full certainty and meaning, and give new life to the motives of our action and the sources of our hopes.
On February 27th two notices were issued, one informing the students that "by the Bishop's express desire, all smoking within the precincts of the College is absolutely prohibited," and the other requesting "that, when possible, no engagement may be allowed to interfere with attendance at Morning and Evening Prayer. A month later absence at these services was forbidden without express permission, because attendance at these offices was "part of the recognised and invariable discipline of the College."
On March 5th it was announced that in obedience to the requirements of the seventeenth canon, and regard being had to received practice within the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as to the general objects and circumstances of this College, the attention of students is hereby directed to the subjoined regulations:--
1. That on and after the Third Sunday in Lent next approaching, and on all following Sundays, the students shall wear surplices, with the hoods of their respective degrees, at all the services of the day, as well as at the Saturday evening service preceding.
2. That this regulation applies also to all services on Holidays and their Eves, whether in or out of the Parish Church, beginning with the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
3. That all students of the College who have not surplices are, in consequence of the above regulation, hereby requested to procure them.
 For Passiontide the following notices were issued:--
The attention of students is again directed to the deepening solemnity of the closing weeks of Lent, viz. Passion Week, on which we have just entered, and Holy Week beginning on Palm Sunday.
With a view to the more edifying observance of this sacred season the following arrangements have been decided on:--
1. During Passion Week the Evening Prayer will be said every day in the College Chapel at quarter-past 7 o'clock, beginning on Tuesday, March 27th. It will be followed by a lecture on every day except Saturday. The students will consider themselves at liberty to allow no engagement whatever to interfere with their attendance at this service. Compline will be said daily at 9-30.
2. During Holy Week the Blessed Sacrament will be celebrated daily in the College Chapel at 7, except on Good Friday, when a Litany of the Passion (No. 3 of the Litanies for domestic use by Dr. Bell, Bell, London) will be said instead at the same hour. Daily prayer will be said, morning and evening, in the Parish Church. On Holy Saturday the Easter celebration of the Holy Communion will take place at midnight.
3. At early prayer Psalm xxii. will be substituted for Psalm cxxx., and at midday prayers No. 4 in the collection of Litanies above referred to will be said instead of Psalm li. until Easter Eve.
4. The Principal and Vice-Principal feel deeply convinced that no outward observance of this holy season can be other than harmful to the soul except it be accompanied by that contrite self-abasement which a real knowledge of the conscience must produce, and by a vivid yet chastened devotion to the awful mysteries which pass day by day before us. They would therefore earnestly press upon the students the necessity of Rules for other times than those devoted to common prayers. The following are suggested:--
(1) More searching daily self-examination.
(2) During Holy Week increased self-denial at meals, that "the flesh being subdued to the Spirit," they may better learn whatever lessons He may vouchsafe to teach them.
(3) Seek solitude, as far as possible, in walking and in College, with a view to increased Recollectedness.
(4) Frequent short mental prayer, thanking God for His love, and aiming at conformity to the Spirit of His Passion.
 (5) Those students who visit the poor will in all cases endeavour to direct their attention to the Great Subject which engages their own thoughts--Christ Crucified.
A week later, on the Monday in Holy Week, there was a renewed appeal:--
The Principal and Vice-Principal desire earnestly to impress upon the students the importance of Recollectedness and Retirement during the present holy season. They hope, therefore, that none of them will allow themselves to indulge in any recreation, visits to Oxford, or other dissipating engagement, such as must interfere with the quiet and devotion which alone can make the special services of the week profitable to them.
On Good Friday, on returning from morning service, the students are particularly advised to spend the time alone until 3 o'clock P-m.--the hour of our Lord's death; and it is further particularly suggested that all distracting occupations, e.g. reading newspapers and desultory conversation, are wholly unsuited to a reverential observance of this solemn day.
In the next term, Easter term, 1855, Mattins and Evensong are compulsory on all, and the former is said every day in the Parish Church; "a short form of prayer" is said in Chapel at 7.15 a.m., and at 1 p.m.; and at 10 p.m. on Sundays and Holy Days Compline was said in Chapel.
At this time the College meals were:--breakfast 7.30; dinner 3 ("thus two hours will be secured for reading between the midday prayer and dinner"); tea 8 p.m. A year later dinner was put at 1.30.
As each Lent and Advent came near similar solemn exhortations were placed on the College notice-board, increasing each year in the tone of earnest warning against carelessness about opportunities, and of the danger of their misuse.
Already in 1856 complaints were being made to the Bishop about the College. They caused him to enquire again and again [111/112] most carefully into the College life, and to be present frequently at the Chapel services, so that he might be assured that there was no basis for the rumours. But in the Quarterly Review for January, 1858, a formal attack was made upon the College, and the Rev. C. P. Golightly, the curate of Marston, attempted to "arouse the diocese to a sense of its danger" by an inflammatory public appeal based on the statement of this anonymous writer. At the Principal's request Bishop Wilberforce issued a commission to the three Archdeacons of the diocese to examine and enquire into the allegations. Accompanied by Mr. Golightly, the Commissioners visited the College on February 6th, and spent four hours in the enquiries. In a few days they made their report to the Bishop. It is reprinted here in full, as it describes a side of the College life which has so far been left untouched: but it is, as regards the details with which it deals, entirely out of proportion to the great work in which the College was engaged. So much was then said against the College that even now some people still have serious suspicions that evildoing of a grave kind was to be found in it. The report gives no handle to such surmises.
With regard to the two first allegations extracted by Mr. Golightly from the Quarterly Review, namely, "That the Chapel of the College is fitted up with every fantastic decoration to which a party meaning has been assigned," and "that the so-called Altar affects in every particular the closest approximation to the Romish model":--We find that the Chapel is very highly adorned with painting and gilding on the walls and roof, and with hangings at the east end. We see no reason for imputing a party meaning to any of these decorations--nevertheless, we think it right to express our opinion that there is too lavish a display of ornaments; and we consider that excess of decoration in the Chapel of such an Institution has a tendency on the one hand to strengthen a prejudice which already exists in some minds against Theological Colleges, and on the other hand to encourage in the students a disproportionate regard for the mere accessories of Public Worship, and to invest them with an over-prominent [112/113] importance. The "so-called Altar" is a moveable table of wood. It has on the side next the east wall a raised shelf, on which stand two candlesticks. The candles in these are never lighted, except when the Chapel is lighted throughout. The covering of the Table is of crimson velvet. The front of it is ornamented with a flower of borders in embroidered work, to which we see no objection. In Advent and Lent it appears that a darker covering is used. At the time of the Celebration of the Holy Communion the Table is covered with a Fair Linen Cloth without lace or other ornament. A cloth with lace was formerly used: but the use has been discontinued in consequence of the recent Judgment of the Privy Council. We find that at one period a small metal cross stood on the shelf of the Table. It was given: and was placed there by the Donor without objection on the part of the Heads of the College; but was removed about a year ago by your Lordship's direction.
With regard to the third allegation, "that the Service of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is conducted with Genuflections, rinsings of Cups in the Piscina, and other ceremonial acts, foreign to the ritual and usages of the English Church." We gathered from Mr. Golightly that we were to understand by "Genuflections," a slight bending of the knee, expressive of religious adoration, such as is used by the Clergy of the Church of Rome in approaching or passing the Altar; as distinguished from the posture of kneeling at the proper parts of the service. And we were distinctly assured by the Principal and Vice-Principal that no such genuflections are or ever have been practised either by the authorities of the College or by those under their charge.
We have been further told that it was at one time the custom to rinse the Sacramental Vessels in the Piscina of the Chapel: but that this act was performed after the conclusion of the Service, and that it formed no part of the Service. It appears that this practice has for some time been abandoned, and that the Vessels are now cleansed elsewhere. We cannot learn that there are any "Ceremonial Acts" used in the Chapel "foreign to the ritual and usages of the Church of England."
With regard to the fourth allegation, "That a Service-Book is in use in the Chapel concocted from the seven canonical Hours of the Romish Church," we have to observe, that the Book in use, which is entitled "Hours of Prayer for daily use throughout the year," [113/114] consists of selections from the Psalms according to the Prayer Book version, of short Texts from Scripture, called in the book Antiphons, of short Lessons, also from Scripture, and of Prayers and Hymns, all designed to be suitable to different Seasons of the Church's Year, or Times of the Day.
The Book is intended for social or domestic purposes, and not as a substitute for the ordinary Church Services, which last the students are expected to attend twice every day. The Prayers are either taken from the Prayer Book, or from Bishop Cosin's Devotions, or original, or, in a few instances, altered from the ancient Latin Prayers of the Sarum use, the same source from whence many of our Prayer Book Collects are derived.
We have examined the Prayers and Hymns, and think them not only unexceptionable, but highly valuable. The Book is certainly not "concocted from the seven canonical Hours of the Romish Church"; nor, in our judgment, does it contain or suggest any Doctrine at variance with that of the Church of England. It has, however, been cast in a form which bears an unfortunate resemblance to the Breviary of the Church of Rome; and we think it would be much improved if the compilers would abandon the title Antiphon, and the obsolete designations of the Hours, re-arrange the Order and Number of the Services, and remodel the whole Book upon a more simple plan.
The controversy dragged on for twelve months, but it soon took the form of a general arraignment of the Bishop for his method of governing his diocese. So far as the College was concerned, the chief result was that the Principal was obliged through ill health to resign his work, and in the spring of 1859 Liddon also left, because of the continual pressure which was brought upon him by the Bishop, in the vain hope of silencing the many objectors to the College.
The second stage in the history of the College dates from the appointment of the Rev. H. H. Swinny as Principal in succession to the Rev. A. Pott, and his entry upon his office in Easter term, 1859.
The few months that had elapsed since the Commission of Enquiry in 1858, and the slight modifications in some matters of College detail that followed its recommendations had been months of change and disturbance.
After the resignation of Mr. Pott (August 25th), whose health had been for some time past indifferent, the Principalship had been offered by the Bishop, in the first place, to the Rev. J. W. Burgon, Fellow of Oriel, with the full assent of the Vice-Principal, and on his refusal to the Rev. H. H. Swinny, Vicar of Wargrave, who accepted it.
The Bishop thus describes him in a letter to a friend:--
I believe him to be a thoroughly earnest, devoted Church of England Christian, sound on the Sacraments and very likely to influence young men. I do not believe that he differs doctrinally with Liddon any more than I do myself; yet he is a man of a different stamp, different ways, whose incidental influence would tend to prevent idiosyncrasy of manner, etc., being acquired by our men; whilst he would thoroughly work with Liddon in stamping on their hearts a sense of God's perpetual presence and of the blessedness of working for Him.
 In spite of certain differences of view between the Bishop and himself, on the one side, and the Vice-Principal on the other, mainly in connection with the Holy Eucharist, Liddon consented, after consultation with him, to continue his work at the College, and a circular in their names and that of the chaplain, the Rev. E. King, who had been appointed in 1858, was issued for Easter term, 1859, when the new Principal would enter upon his work. [Life of Bishop Wilberforce, vol. ii. 366, 367.]
However, in January, 1859, a further correspondence ensued between the Bishop and Liddon, which resulted in Liddon's resignation (on February 5th), which the Bishop, while deeply concerned at the loss of him from the College, nevertheless felt sorrowfully constrained to accept.
The vacancy thus unexpectedly occurring, it was requisite that no time should be lost in filling it up, that the College might be fully equipped for Easter term, up to which time Mr. Liddon had consented to continue his work in College.
The Rev. W. H. Davey, who had been acting as Vice-Principal at Chichester Theological College for some years, was recommended for the post, and after some little delay, upon the urgent request of the Bishop, agreed to exchange his work at Chichester for that at Cuddesdon, and to enter upon his new office simultaneously with the new Principal in Easter term, Mr. King continuing to remain as chaplain.
The new Principal and Vice-Principal accordingly began their duties after Easter, 1859, the work of the College being continued upon the lines indicated by the Commission of the preceding year, and hitherto so carried on since that time.
It was, however, a time of anxious crisis in many ways through which the College was passing. The number of students had dwindled down to a very low ebb for some little time past, and but few (eight or nine only) remained to be handed over to the [116/117] new officers. This state of things may be accounted for to a great extent partly from the disturbed feeling that prevailed very much outside the College consequent upon the untoward events of the past year, and partly also from the uncertainty that in some quarters hung over the College as to the possibly altered character of its Church position in the future. The University authorities at the same time especially looked on suspiciously and stood aloof with regard to any acceptance of the College, or recommendation of it to their pupils who had Holy Orders in view. There was, too, perhaps naturally, a certain soreness on the part of many of its old students with reference to the resignation of their beloved Vice-Principal, which was wrongly interpreted as a cavalier dismissal by the Bishop, and an exaggerated suspicion in some quarters of a vital change in the future with reference to the possible character of its Church teaching.
It was soon found by degrees that such mistakes or exaggerations were baseless. The visits of old students and of members of the University were shown to be at all times gladly welcomed, and any latent suspicion or aloofness that had existed before long gave way to hearty acceptance and approval of all that was seen or heard of the College and its work. Amongst the students themselves the new Principal, the more he became known, became the more endeared to them. The deep spirituality and winning gentleness of a life spent so manifestly in the continuous realisation of the power of the Divine Presence soon won the close affection of all who came in contact with him, whilst at the same time added to all this the sweet reasonablenesss, entire self-devotedness, and mitis sapientia of their beloved Chaplain contributed a special charm and power to the daily character of the College life that made it to be in truth a life of a holy and happy brotherhood.
In the meantime the number of the students gradually and steadily increased, so that when the Bishop delivered his charge in [117/118] the autumn of 1860, he could bear willing witness both to the progress of the College and to his hearty approval of its work in the following terms:--
Since Easter, 1859 (one year and three-quarters), 17 have left, 15 of whom are now in the work of the ministry, and 23 have been admitted. The applications made to the College for curates are incessant, and far beyond its power to meet. In the last year and a half not less than 100 applications from 17 different dioceses have been received. Never have I seen with more thankfulness to God than at the present moment the character of the work which the College has done and is doing. It is, indeed, fulfilling its high object in helping graduates of the Universities in their preparation both literary and spiritual for Holy Orders. Most earnestly, my brethren, do I commend it, its work, and its conductors to your sympathy and your prayers. [Charge, Bishop of Oxford, 1860.]
The next two years that followed were by God's good favour years of continued strengthening of the spiritual work of the College, and of enlarged acceptance by the authorities of the Church outside, as betokened by the happy and successful gatherings of leading clergy and Churchmen at its festivals in 1861 and 1862.
At the end of the last-mentioned year the sudden death of the Principal brought to a close a comparatively short but most important period in the history of the College, and called forth not only at the time, but in subsequent days, the most heartfelt and emphatic testimony to his great worth and loved memory, alike from his Bishop and from all who had had the happy privilege of working with him or under him, and of having known him as a spiritual friend and counsellor.
By this time the College, which he found on entering upon its charge in a state of weakness and depression, had renewed its strength and was settled upon a firm foundation of solid spiritual [118/119] worth and Churchmanship. And the new Principal (so long known far and near as its beloved chaplain), whose appointment was hailed by all with so much real enthusiasm and thankfulness, succeeded to the government of a College now established in the past and made ready to his hand for the future, to be directed by him with a power and success of which his past work had been a happy anticipation and augury.
The history of this period may well be concluded by a reference to the general summary given by the Bishop in his Charge of 1863.
Of our own Diocesan Seminary I can now speak after three more years' experience of its work: and that added experience has increased my belief in its importance. . . . The training, too, afforded by such a College as I have seen it in action under my own eye is invaluable. . . .
... In our College the three years' period over which our retrospect especially extends, has been marked by some peculiar features. Amongst these I must give the chief place to the loss of its late Principal, the Rev. Henry Hutchinson Swinny. Short as has been his presidency there, it has been long enough to make generally known and felt throughout our diocese and beyond it what he was and what he was doing for his Lord. There was in him a rare mixture of great qualities, forming a character most singularly fitted for the efficient discharge of the peculiar duties of his office. There was in him a nobleness of spirit which no one who approached him could fail to appreciate: it really seemed as if a low thought could not harbour in his mind. And linked as this was to a true and tender sympathy with everyone who came within his sphere he could not but acquire over them an almost boundless influence. That influence was ever used with a rare singleness of purpose and of act to lead them on in that path of increasing saintliness along which he was himself advancing. In that great gift of continual advance lay, I believe, the secret of his strength in raising others. . . .
I need not tell you of the sadness of separation which accompanied even so blessed a death . . . nor need I say anything to you of the great anxiety of appointing his successor. He who has been chosen is one like-minded with him who has entered on his rest: one who had worked with him in life; and who, taking up the fallen mantle of the [119/120] former prophet, set at once, and in the same strength, to continue and to complete his work. May it be with him--join me, brethren, in the prayer--as with the younger prophet of Israel! May a double portion of the spirit of Elijah descend upon the head of Elisha. . . .
. . . During the last three years 41 students have been admitted into the College. The average attendance has been, in 1861,12; in 1862, 14; in 1863, 19; showing a steady increase of numbers, the average of 1859 and I860 having been 11. At present the College is quite full, the numbers in residence amounting to 22. Besides the actual students many old students and some few visitors have resided in College a term or part of a term in preparation for Priest's Orders. . . .
Once again I earnestly commend this College to your sympathy and prayers. The periodical gathering of its old students shows year by year how widely its influence is extending: and their work in many dioceses manifests a growing tradition of that loving earnest quietness in labour which these times so pre-eminently need. May the blessing of the Lord the Spirit rest abundantly upon it and make it to be indeed mighty for His work amongst the schools of the Prophets.
I have been asked to contribute some recollections toward the Jubilee volume. It is not much that I can offer. I think that I first visited the College at the Festival of May 24th, 1864 (just forty years ago). Mr. Keble preached on that occasion a sermon on "Pentecostal Fear," which was published separately, but is not to be found (I think) in any of the published volumes of his sermons. I remember it was written on loose leaves of paper, and that he spoke of the Blessed Virgin with tender reverence. He was then seventy-two years of age, and died in less than two years afterwards. I came to reside as a student in July, 1865; was ordained deacon by Bishop Wilberforce in Lent, 1866, and took a curacy. I returned to be Chaplain and lecturer in January, 1867; was ordained priest at Trinity, 1867, by Bishop Wilberforce; finally left to take a parish in September, 1871. What have I to say of the College as I knew it? I have become aware since those days of the extraordinary presumption with which I began to lecture on Holy Scripture and Theology, without possessing any tincture of sacred science. But perhaps I improved as I went on. Certainly I managed in my leisure hours to acquire for myself some knowledge of S. Augustine's works. We led a life of pleasant friendliness, touched here and there by the awakening of higher spiritual interests. Domestically, there was a good deal lacking to our perfection; in fact, the [121/122] students, when I as Chaplain went round each week to ask for any complaints, used openly to aver that they made none, because they found it was of no use. I remember keenly some of our household difficulties, but we had some most willing and most trustworthy servants. The Principal's sermons (especially those on Wednesday nights after Compline in the dear ancient chapel) were illuminative, and made all things seem new. I heard, from time to time, many interesting lectures: on August 31st, 1865, there was an excellent lecture by Father Benson on the missionary work of the Church towards the middle classes. Some time in that same autumn came a striking course on S. Cyprian and S. Anselm, by the Rev. Robert Milman (afterwards Bishop of Calcutta). Under the same date I have some interesting notes of lectures by Rev. W. H. Davey, late Vice - Principal (now Dean of LlandafF), on the Communion Service; a splendid set by Dr. Bright on the Theology of the Councils must belong to the summer of 1867. A noteworthy set on Dogmatic Theology, by the Principal, are of February, 1868. Canon Woodgate's learned Ember' Addresses on the Rule of Faith, belong to Advent, 1868. A most useful lecture by our good friend the Rev. Edward Sturges, on the danger in which the parson stands of borrowing from trust funds that are in his care, with strong advice to put all trust money into the savings bank at once, has been of inestimable service to me. I don't remember its date. Of many excellent Parochialia and Butler lectures periere etiam notae; but perhaps some more accurate memories may be enkindled by what I have mentioned.
Bishop Wilberforce's personality was magnetic, and we had chances to meet great men at his table. I remember particularly seeing there Bishop Lay of Arkansas and Bishop Claughton of Rochester. But Bishop Wilberforce was not much at Cuddesdon in the latter years of his episcopate, and it was a change when in [122/123] January, 1870, the new Bishop and his family came to reside at the Palace. Old Sir John Taylor Coleridge, the new Bishop's father-in-law, paid us a memorable visit soon afterwards, and presented us with a portrait of Mr. Keble. The Bishop's presence brought with it many benefits, for to know Bishop Mackarness was an education in sincerity and uprightness; the only drawback was, we lost our liberty of wandering in the Palace gardens.
The spring of 1871 was variously troubled. The Principal had been pressed to receive two students who had belonged to the extinct community at Stoke, both of whom were strongly inclined to the Church of Rome, and soon retired thither. Scarlatina, too, visited us at that very time, nor had we much convenience for isolating patients.
On Sundays undergraduates visited us and brought a perfume of the neighbouring University. I sometimes walked over to Dorchester with students, visited the glorious Abbey Church, and had tea with Ibbotson; on one occasion we met there the choir of S. Alban's, Holborn. Wide grassy fields, bright sunsets, harvest sheaves, bathes in the Thames, village gardens full of flowers, the distant "clump" against the western sky, the broad Chiltern Range flecked by passing clouds, Brill on its eminence in the northern horizon: such memories are laid up and last as long as life itself lasts. When I reluctantly gave up my office at the College I was succeeded by the Rev. Bernard Puller, of dear and sacred memory. The Principal, during the short time that he himself remained, employed me sometimes to lecture, so that I did not wholly part at once from so beloved a place. In those first years of absence I generally used to come for the night before the Festival to share discomforts and devotions.
I first came under the spell of Cuddesdon influence at the Leeds Church Congress, where the address of Dr. King increased the distinction given to the devotional meeting by Bishop Forbes' paper on the Deepening of the Spiritual Life.
There still lingered traditions of Bishop Wilberforce's episcopate, and of the freedom with which the students might roam through the Palace grounds, on the single condition that they must not strike a light, or become "redolent of the weed."
Cuddesdon life was felt to be the most delightful life which we had ever experienced. Our numbers were not too large for a sense of family affection and closeness of intercourse. There was a tinge of cloistered retirement, of common spiritual interest, which made it possible, without any sense of presumption or sacrilege, to speak of the longings and aspirations closest to our hearts, and for those to whom spiritual life was comparatively a new thing to be aided by the longer experience of more proficient friends. Example also was most effective. It was impossible to see the effect of careful thanksgiving after Communion and of regular meditation in chapel upon the lives and even the faces of the devout students and not be drawn to strive after some share in it. But above all there was the influence of the life and instruction of Dr. King. We had never known such sermons, such meditations. It was a new experience to find a good man [124/125] full of such affectionate interest in our individual spiritual welfare. His lectures on systematic Christian doctrine were a veritable tMologie affective, in which the dry bones of dogma were clothed with the sensitive flesh of living, loving devotion, and lit up with the glow of poetic contemplation, under the guidance of Dante. We were first awed by the consideration of the responsibilities of the preacher, and later inspired with the longing to put in practice the directions which made it seem possible for us to speak for God to souls. The student preacher of a written sermon twice a week after Evensong before the College had the right to dine at the Vicarage, and receive a detailed criticism after dinner; the extempore preacher once a week had a short stroll in the garden, or an interview in the study, after Mattins. Practical hints on the visitation of the sick were enlivened by details of personal experience, and we learnt the possibility of training a devout chronic sufferer to appreciate the ancient offices of the Church. Hooker was illustrated by reference to questions of the day, Butler by application of his principles to what had just happened in the village or the College. The dominant note of all was intelligent sympathy. There was a genuine ring in the "dear people" from the pulpit. The Holy Week sermons took account of the difficulties of a village girl preparing amid uncongenial surroundings for the Easter Communion. We felt it most for ourselves. We were most tenderly, yet most unflinchingly, compelled to face our lives before God. Until now we had never understood ourselves. At last the tangle was unravelled by one as familiar, it seemed, with its every twist and turn as if he had himself lived it out along with us. Doctrine, sermon, meditation each went home with direct personal application, until it was plain that our only course was to submit our lives and difficulties, our temptations and sins, our hopes and fears, to one who seemed to know them all without needing to be told, and so benefit by the guidance for the future [125/126] of one who had shown himself clairvoyant of the past. Qui non ardet, non incendit! We struck out the negatives as we looked up to him, but we feared them for ourselves. Mundamini, qui fertis vasa Domini! We dared not stretch out our hands for consecration uncleansed with the purification of the sanctuary. The result was that men felt that "they owed their souls" to him, and this explains the never-to-be-forgotten scene in the old chapel after Compline, when Dr. King briefly stated that he had felt it his duty to accept the offer of a university professorship. Strong men, well-known athletes, might be seen sobbing like children. To them the Principal made Cuddesdon. Who, if he left it, could do such work? To think of the College without him, and with another in his place, seemed almost sacrilege.
"I see that all things come to an end," read Dr. King from the pulpit, and Canon Furse succeeded him. The vicarage from being an exemplar of filial devotion, became a sample of the happiness of family life. The new Principal was closely scanned. Suspect of a tendency to "Aitkenism," his reverence for Mr. Twigg was redeemed by his heartfelt devotion to Dr. Newman. If he referred to Calvin and "Owen on the Hebrews," he introduced his hearers to Piconius, and his line of thought sometimes suggested the Catechisme de Persévérance. He was to Dr. King as S. Paul to S. John. His delicate artistic perception was never at fault. Its helpfulness perhaps reached its height in marvellous meditations on the Passion, where the symbolism of all its surroundings became luminous, and we were pointed to the Italian picture of the scourging in which the master, not revelling in blood gouts like a Fleming, turns the wounds away from our sight and portrays their effect upon the pain-racked face. His love for the horse was, in part, due to its beautiful symmetry, although he had an infallible method of raising it, if fallen, to its feet, and won the heart of a Yorkshireman, as having amazed Lord Westminster's [126/127] stud groom, when he found a parson familiar with the pedigree of all his charges. His manly character challenged to combat or to co-operation the evil and the good in his hearers. He was a grand sight, as, drawn to his full height, his face quivering with the sense of responsibility, he delivered his message "whether they will hear or whether they will forbear," enforced by the measured beat of his outstretched right hand. To see him kneel at the head of his wife's grave and cast the earth himself with his face set in self-sacrificing resignation, touched the hearts of those who knew a little of what she had been to him. A missioner's experience gave point to his pastoral instruction, and lectures were occasionally broken off by parenthetic allusions to past or present history. They were stirring times. The Public Worship Act, Gladstone and Newman on Vaticanism, Lightfoot on Supernatural Religion were before us. We learnt of Newman's restraint as a preacher, whose only gesture, on a single occasion, was to raise his MS. one inch from the desk and let it fall; and how the silver tones of his voice supplied the lack of action, able as it was to express by exquisite modulation the tenor of the argument in a chapter of Romans, so that by statement and proof, by objection and concession, the conclusion was reached, and every intelligent hearer knew why "we establish the law." Per contra, there was scorn of the preacher abjectly dependent on his "nosebag." There was the fisherman's resolution during a Mission: "The devil shan't land me next Good Friday"! A strict disciplinarian, his condemnation fell severely on laxity, irregularity, sloth, or self-indulgence. By some this was resented, who hinted that in his eyes the College contained a few swans among its brood of ugly ducklings. He instituted the custom in the new chapel of a fixed half-hour being set apart for meditation, and was usually found there himself.
Edward Francis Willis was a striking instance of that genius [127/128] which consists in the capacity for taking infinite pains. In spite of a gruff voice and a habit of frequently clearing his throat, he made himself a preacher by the value of the matter which his sermons contained. His lectures on the Old Testament and Church History were the result of careful study, and year by year became fuller and more valuable, as well as more scientifically arranged. Unattractive in appearance at first sight, shy and awkward, inclined to be silent in many languages, he won the affection of those who knew him intimately, for his loving nature, and the readiness with which his stores of learning and any help that he could give were generously placed at their service. Unsparing of himself in labour and fasting, ready to undertake any work for which no one else could be found, or in which he could win no credit for brilliant success, his example of a devout and disciplined life made him an increasing power for good, until, in his self-devotion to the Oxford Mission to Calcutta, he found others ready to follow his lead. This Mission was the outcome, in the main, of two causes, the inspiring lectures of Dr. King on work for Missions as a necessary part of parochial efficiency, and the letter of Bishop Douglas on Indian Missions. The latter was largely the quarry from which were drawn the petitions of the Cuddesdon Litany for Missions, of which (as well as of the Cuddesdon Annual Record) Willis was the originator and editor. His generosity bestowed on the College, at a cost of £2,000, the chapel organ and mural paintings, in memory of the sister whom (together with his mother) he dearly loved.
Bernard Puller was an ascetic saint. Devoted to Holy Scripture and its careful study, he was especially attracted by the doctrine of the Millennium, and his mind unfortunately gave way under the strain of the devout expectation which possessed his soul. His liberality provided valuable and useful books for students ordained during his chaplaincy, and adorned the altar of the new chapel with costly ornaments.
 The life of the College was so much a whole, to which each member contributed his quota, that it is no easy task to analyse it.
Of the many excellent Ember lectures, two are specially prominent. The Rev. W. H. Cleaver expounded S. John xv. Every word was written, but such was the delivery that any blind hearer would have thought them the extempore outpouring of the fervent heart and eloquent tongue of a true Irishman. The Rev. E. T. Churton (later Bishop of Nassau) had not a single note, but his lectures were the perfect essays of a scholarly theologian, developing the desire of S. Vincent de Paul to convert the world by "making good Priests." His practical and devotional counsels, often in apt quotations from Greek, Latin, French, and Spanish, took by storm the minds and hearts of the students.
When I first entered on the office of Chaplain my honoured and beloved friend Canon Furse was Principal. Such an excellent account of him has been written by the late Bishop of Bombay in his introduction to the Beauty of Holiness that I do not feel that I can or need add anything to this. I can only testify to the extreme warmth of his affection, the breadth and compass of his mind, the manliness and sincerity of his piety, and the interest and delight of his conversation. All this is known to hundreds who still live to honour his memory.
The Vice-Principal was the Rev. E. F. Willis, who had been long in that office, and who maintained to the end of his connection with the College the same constant enthusiasm with which he began his work. His great subject was the Old Testament, especially that portion which dealt with the Mosaic Ritual, and the substance of his lectures was embodied in his book, The Worship of the Old Covenant. I should say that Willis' work with the students was done mainly in the lecture room or from the pulpit of the parish church and College chapel. He was in some respects a shy man, but when exercising his ministry as a teacher sent from God he spoke with the enthusiasm and earnestness of one who knew what he believed, and who believed that he had a message to deliver. This made him always an interesting speaker whom we were glad to hear. [130/131] Another recollection that I shall always have of him was as a fives player; in this he was excellent, and as a master of crafty little strokes he excelled, I think, all others who took part in this game. I need not mention his munificence, as the decorative chapel is the evidence of his generous expenditure.
To him succeeded Charles Gore. Of him it is difficult to write. His life has been so full, and his activities so constant that I find it impossible to separate all one knows and thinks of him so as to be able to describe the Cuddesdon days. He at once learnt to know individually all the men. They felt that he was one who would be able to help them to know themselves, and his work was far more intimate than that of his predecessor. Not that his lectures or sermons were not appreciated as fully--they certainly were--but in addition we felt that here was a spiritual guide full of sympathy and possessed of an extraordinary power of bringing conscience to work--both his own and that of others '--which produced a marked result.
I remember Gore had a picture of Jowett in his room, to which he would point and say that when he met his eye he knew he must ask himself if he were pressing an argument too far. Opposite Jowett, I think, was a portrait of Dr. King, and Gore would have looked to these two as the inspiring guides of his work--one would to a certain extent balance the other, and both would bring to him a large measure of help. In those days Gore used often to talk about the Old Testament, and how it was to be read and understood, holding the same views respecting it even then which have since become so widely spread. Above all, perhaps, we felt that the Vice-Principal was one who held converse with God, and took into the presence chamber every aspect of his work. I remember well when there was some little irregularity in the conduct of the students how he grieved over it, and how difficult it was for him to put it away from his thoughts, [131/132] and to think that it would only prove a temporary anxiety--as indeed it did.
It was a very happy time that I spent at Cuddesdon. Probably those there now know just as well now as we did then the blessing of dwelling together in unity--living with those who had all the same high ideal--the same zeal for God and His Church, and with love going out to all connected with the work.