A GREAT number of letters remain, either written by Mr. Randall or addressed to him by his friends. Among the latter are letters from Dr. Pusey, Dr. Liddon, Bishop Wilberforce, Bishop Gray of Capetown, Bishop Claughton of St. Albans, Bishop Woodford of Ely, Archdeacon Denison, Canon Ashley of Chichester, Dr. Bright, and many others for which there is not space in this book. The letters illustrate the intimate relation between Randall and the other men of his time who were foremost in the work of the Catholic Revival. Those printed here are chosen because they are characteristic of their writers, or give interesting information.
In the following letter Dr. Liddon declined one of many invitations to preach at All Saints'.
MY DEAR RANDALL,
The real difference between us is that I cannot get you and other of my friends to recognize the fact that i have fixed and untransferable duties, which have a first claim upon my conscience and strength, and which are already more than I find I can do.
It is, therefore, no argument to me to say that I am fit for this or that besides. It may or may not be so, but I shall have to answer for doing what I have undertaken to do, and not for doing something else. Of course I see people like Mr. Clark and Mr. Body who have livings preaching about the country in all directions: I suppose that they keep curates for pastoral work at home. I can do nothing of the kind. Nobody else can read what I ought to read in order to keep my professorship moderately up to the level of existing knowledge and discussion; nobody else can take my place here. And I find that the double strain, with other old and varied obligations, taxes my powers to the utmost limit. . . . But I do assure you that I have to spend a considerable part of every morning in writing elaborate apologies for not undertaking work which is just as much out of my reach as the Governorship of New Zealand; and people do not suppose that a refusal is a matter of conscience or that it cannot be reversed by a sufficient amount of pressure. Not unfrequently indeed they see in it a proof of indifference to their work, which, God knows, is as far as possible from being the case. I do not say, dear friend, that this is the case with you, but I do not think that you see that it is not of any weight whatever to say that I am fit for this or that, while I am convinced that I could not attempt it without giving up duties which have a first claim on me.
Ever yours very truly,
H. P. LIDDON.
Dr. Scott Holland's refusals were affectionate and characteristic:
DEAR MR. RANDALL,
Forgive me. I have delayed and got tired, and been away to Cambridge.
And the worst is to come--I cannot think that I can possibly venture to go away two years running so far from home just as Term is beginning.
It is really radically wrong: especially, as I am obliged to go off to preach at Cambridge just at that same week. This is almost inevitable and, twice in one week, absence would be a positive wickedness.
You don't know how perilously hard it is to manage a journey away; every time I do it, I repent it with tears.
Do not, pray, think me ungrateful for your great kindness. I have seldom enjoyed a day as I did my day with you last year. My heart would gladly come, but it cannot go alone by train, and my head and will are the other way.
I am deeply regretful, and know not what evil things you will say of me.
I am almost sure, I am morally bound to give up going to you.
Yours ever most sadly,
H. S. HOLLAND.
Dr. King often came to preach at All Saints': he would accept Randall's invitations by such letters as these:
May 11, 1872.
MY DEAR RANDALL,
What can I say but 'yes': there is nothing else for me to say: nothing else that I ought to say: nothing else that I wish to say.
P. T. O.
MY DEAR UNSCRUPULOUS JESUIT,
How can I escape such craft!
No really if you think so, I will come, D.V., but I really am not fit for such subjects or such congregations.
Every Blessing to you, dear Friend, Yours ever affec.,
ED. KING. May 18, 1872.
Oct. 13, 1880.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Though your letter had no other signature but this--'Yours very truly, The joys of Communion'!!
yet I know who you must be.
I will, if you think it not injurious, speak in the morning; but you know for my own soul's sake I am bound to try to be honest, and I greatly fear what is honest for me is lowering for your People.
Thank you very sincerely for the great help you gave me, and all, last week. I could soon sing my Nunc dimittis at hearing such things, in such a place, in the Church of England. What could we want more?
Lavington was full of Love for you.
With kindest remembrance to Mrs. Randall.
Yours ever gratefully and affectionately,
In July, 1879, Dr. Benson, Bishop of Truro and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, accepted an invitation to preach at All Saints' during the patronal octave of that year, on behalf of the building fund of his cathedral church. On November 4th Randall received from the Bishop a telegram: 'Your bishop seeing the announcement of my preaching for you, writes expressly to point out his relations to you and to suggest to me to consider the course I adopt in his diocese. I am advised that this is an expression of his wishes which I may not disregard. I have, therefore, applied for his consent.' Another telegram arrived late in the evening: 'The Bishop of Gloucester has given his consent.' Dr. Benson arrived in due course and preached; he afterwards wrote this letter of thanks:
I should like to thank your people for their kind gift of £70 to our Cathedral and for their goodwill. I shall try to do so by my poor prayers. It is hard to think who could have sent the Bishop's letter and my telegrams so neatly to your newspapers. . . . My copies were seen by no one but the Bishop of Exeter and my Secretary. Have no disquietude for me. I cannot but be soberly and quietly glad to have been with you.
Dr. Benson wrote again on December 3rd:
MY DEAR MR. RANDALL,
Cambridge joyfully condones 'all that ends so well.'
If the Wardens had requested a little balance back of £7. 2s. 2d. owing to the converse error I should have shrieked 'The Church in Danger!'
What a pleasant little heartening in the note you send me! How good people are.
Bristol Mirror cuttings still arrive by post! but they burn instantly on 'B. of T.' or 'G. and B.' revealing themselves. Nothing anonymous and nothing in a newspaper ever reaches my brain about myself--much less my heart.
I send the correspondence back. If ever you come across a spare copy, give it me for my Arcane. . . .
Private. G. H. Wilkinson (as I did) thought I might try to use this as a help to bring back reconcilement. We do so need, so sorely need, unity. Work and tears have not in them the promise which unity has to effect the purpose of God. We pray in vain with war in our hearts.
I grieve to say I have written to G. H. W. to tell him I don't see my way, because my relations to the Bishop of G. have been earthly through this matter. Two or three letters passed--and they would right me and hurt him if they were published, and he would not mind their being published because the 'Protestant Party' (N.B.--I am an unashamed Protestant though not a party) would be prepared perhaps to find a champion in him, though somehow they do not seem to be satisfied with him.
But I shan't for the sake of righting myself let the Philistines make merry over him. We must not give him to the dogs without.
Bui you do desire reconcilement. If any glimmer should appear (and G. H. W. is still trying to help) would you make any concessions? G. H. W. says 'it seems right that R. should make some alteration in his ritual,' i.e. for the sake of this, and the church. Now--could you?
You please understand that all I say is really private. No one knows except he and I what is so much in my thoughts and prayers. And no one shall.
Yours ever most sincerely,
E. W. TRURON:
At rare intervals after this Randall and Dr. Benson exchanged very cordial letters, but Dr. Benson did not preach again at All Saints'.
A Lenten dispensation:
THE PALACE, GLOUCESTER,
29 Feb., 1869.
DEAR MR. RANDALL,
I certainly judge that you may rightly take flesh meat at least thrice in the week to sustain you for the due discharge of your duties. . . .
Very sincerely yours,
C. J. GLOUC: & BRISTOL.
Don't forget three things which make past and present very different.
(1) We do much more active church work and need more strength.
(2) We never feast.
(3) Some of us (e.g. I) spend a Lenten life; from pressure of thought and other causes I don't eat ever more than two or three real dinners per week.
All these are modifying considerations.
Here is a Christmas letter from Bishop Wilberforce:
LAVINGTON HOUSE, PETWORTH,
Dec. 25 ,
MY DEAR R. RANDALL,
I thank you heartily for your letter. Christmas here can never be parted in our minds from your image. Your work, your hearty kindness, your words, your voice, your Christian love, haunt. It is a heavy, guestless, black-draped Christmas with us. And yet it has great blessings. The sight of Ernest's great settled sorrow and yet of his submission to God's Will and his belief in God's love are most instructive.1 We had an early celebration (he and I celebrating) here this morning and a nice attendance. A large congregation afterwards at Graffham and as hearty and bright a service as I ever saw anywhere, and again this afternoon here. I deeply regret your Bishop's aspect to you. There is with all his really high qualities a strain of oddness which must always be counted on in his doings of all kinds and with all people. Your taking certain steps (was it vestments or lights?) is at the root of all his standing apart from you.
God bless and keep you.
I am, ever yours very affectly.,
Ernest asks me to send you his love. His great sorrow is marked by a great increase of what seems to me the working of God's grace. D.G. Reg. begs his Love.
[The wife of the Bishop's son, Ernest, died in October, 1870.]
The following letter expressed Bishop Wilberforce's view as to the binding force of the decisions of the Privy Council:
January 29, 1871.
MY DEAR RANDALL,
Yours of the ayth has reached me here to-day where I am preaching, etc., and confirming. I go to-morrow to Lavington.
I expect to be in town Wednesday and of course could see you there; or at Lavington most gladly.
I have not seen your Bishop's pastoral. But it is purely a private utterance and ought not to affect your position at all.
The decrees of the P.C. are the National utterance; absolute as regards their side of the compact whereby their establishment is united to the Catholic Church. Their judgements bind the citizen, be he Catholic, Roman, or Baptist whoever appeals to them. They can have no binding power on the conscience: they cannot affect the Catholic Church. We may submit (as to the spoiling of our goods) for peace: we may give up (I should say vestments) and whatever is not of the essence of truth, for the National good. But if the Court denies and requires the establishment to deny the Truth, the Catholic Church must cease to be the establishment.
I cannot see that more follows.
Yours ever affy.,
On January 6, 1873, Bishop Wilberforce wrote to Randall:
Just a line to thank you for your very kind letter reminding me of old days, and waking up old affection to you and yours. This New Year I celebrated early in Lavington Church, and I trust we did indeed begin this year with God. ... I have a far more sustained sense than formerly of the nearness of the end. Otherwise I cannot say that I feel much older.
The Bishop died that year on July 19th, as the result of a fall from his horse. The following letter tells of Randall's emotion on going to the funeral.
35 DELAMERE TERRACE, W.,
July 23, 1873.
ME DEAREST WIFE,
I am going down this afternoon to Lavington, and if I find that I can be of any comfort to the Bishop's sons I shall stay there till Friday, or even over Sunday if they wish it. The Funeral is to be on Friday at 1.
I cannot tell you how this sorrow broods over me. You know how real and true his love for me was in spite of all that there was in me to put it to the proof: and I think that I never realized my own love to him, nor what he was to me till now that he is taken away. There is no one now to whom I can turn, as at once a Bishop and a Father, in the perplexities of our day. Perhaps the lesson that I have to learn now is to go more to the great Shepherd and Bishop of Souls. But I feel very desolate.
Will not you all come to the funeral. We ought to gather like children round his grave in that dear churchyard where he knew so many sorrows and now is to rest from them. Till Friday morning letters will find me at Lavington. God bless you. I am very sore in heart.
Your affectionate husband,
R. W. RANDALL.
Five years later Randall went to Cuddesdon to give a retreat, and wrote to his wife:
CUDDESDON COLLEGE, WHEATLEY, OXFORD,
July 17, 1878.
MY DEAREST WIFE,
I am very lonely, and sometimes very sad in my work here. I have never been here to a Retreat since the dear Bishop was here, and one both misses him, and yet seems to see him, or to expect to see him at every turn. All is full of him, College, Chapel, Church, the Palace, the garden. Here he gave that wonderful Retreat of his own. Here he was in Retreat under Mr. Carter. Here I rode, and talked with him. Here, above all, I was ordained Priest in the Village Church. I walked over the very spot where he sat, and where I knelt. It seems as if he could only be gone away for a little while, and must come here again while the Retreat is going on, to ask about it in his old kind way, with the old smile, and the shake of the hand. And yet it cannot be. Sometimes I can hardly bear the thought of his being gone from us, or the memories of those past years. What makes it still harder to bear is that there is no one to speak to here who remembers him, or knew him so as to love him. This is strangest of all. This place used to be full of those who had grown up round him, and were bound to him, as surely few men could be bound to another, through common work done for a common Master. Furse is away. The Vice-Principal is a young man who knew little of the Bishop, and of the Clergy in Retreat several come from other Dioceses, and few seem to have known much of him who was the centre of all work here, and the Founder of all the Buildings in which the Retreat is held. His very memory seems to be fading away. I called on the present Bishop but he is away. I saw Mrs. Mackarness who was very kind, but who spoke as if she had no keen interest in him to whom we all owe so much. Oh! what a lesson as to the passing character of even high and noble work done in this world! She most kindly has let us use the Palace garden for our walks, and I have been there, but it wellnigh breaks my heart. How one would have found him at old times in the Study, or how he would have come out for a turn round the old walk and pointed out the distant views, and brightened one's heart, and then gone back to his work tenfold harder than one's own, bright in the midst of all its burden! Oh! will the Church of God ever see one to inspire hope, and love, and energy in God's cause as he did? There, I have poured out my heart to you. You will understand me, for you loved him too (you were more patient with him than I), and neither you nor I can ever forget that he bound the golden chain round us in Holy Matrimony which has been to me at least the tie to a heart so true, and so full of ever ready sympathy. The remembrance of him has made the work here hard. I have been haunted with a feeling of the way in which he would have done the work. I have often used his very words, so wise, so true, so loving, yet they scarcely seemed to be his words, lacking the charm and grace of voice and manner, and the energy of earnestness that came out in all that he did and said. It was the memory of all this that has always kept me back from undertaking to conduct a Retreat at Cuddesdon, and now that I am doing it, it seems so strange that there is almost no one here that can remember him, and the way in which he did such work. One cannot but ask oneself whether he knows in the Paradise of God what is being done here. If so at least we have his Prayers to correct what might be done amiss. I hope the Retreat is doing good, but the real work of it is a secret that is known to God only.
Ever your affectionate husband,
R. W. RANDALL.
In a letter to his wife Randall describes a visit he and his father made to Dr. Pusey at Ascot Priory in August, 1877:
Yesterday we drove over to the late Miss Sellon's Convalescent Hospital at Ascot, and called on Dr. Pusey, and my father and I had about an hour's talk together with him. It was interesting to see them together. Dr. Pusey talked about the Church difficulties. He is hopeful that all will quiet down, and go right. He has now finished the Commentary on the Minor Prophets, and has begun one on the Psalms, and has got as far as the 70th Psalm. What a treasure a Commentary on the Psalms by him would be! He asked after you. Oh! if you had seen him! Untidy to the last degree. Unshaven, with a long, stubbly beard, a worn, unbrushed coat, and really I should think about the worst hat in England, quite covered over with coarse bad crape!
The following letter is important as giving Father Mackonochie's defence of the 'extreme men' of 1880:
S. ALBAN'S CLERGY HOUSE, BROOKE STREET, HOLBORN, E.G.,
July 8, 1880.
MY DEAR RANDALL,
I wrote as far as the word 'July' some days back, and since have got no further. Thank you very much for your most kind contribution. It seems that we are to have a little more trouble; but all will be well in the end.
Your idea of a Conference would be very desirable, when peace is established. In the meantime, I doubt whether the ground is not being better broken up for a final order, by the irregular and often mistaken efforts of individuals--however eccentric--than by a too hasty effort at organization. The national history seems to show that this kind of irregular action, more than anything else, has, by God's Hand, been over-ruled for the formation of the most sterling parts of the nation's character.
The time will come for rule and discipline, and the sooner the better if the ground has been sufficiently broken. Probably this fresh outbreak of the Bishops will delay the order, but promote the breaking up of ground which is to prepare for it.
Believe me, Yours very truly, In Our Bl. Lord,
ALEX. HERIOT MACKONOCHIE.
The following letters illustrate Dr. Liddon's views as to the relation between politics and religion, and as to toleration in the Church:
CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD,
Nov. 16, 1876.
I, LIKE you, am no politician. For the sake of education, I would gladly keep the present people in power. But I fear that the conduct of Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Derby must have convinced the most fervid churchman who is disposed to support the existing government, that the Conservatism of the Prime Minister has very little to do with the defence of Christianity. Christianity is upheld in England, not for its own sake, but because its maintenance is intimately connected with the present distribution of property. Islam is the 'vested interest' in South-Eastern Europe, and therefore, notwithstanding its gigantic crimes--not merely against the kingdom and name of Christ, but against the primary laws of natural morality--it is upheld at all costs by our present Prime Minister.
It will be strange if the Christian feeling, even of the Conservative clergy, does not revolt against Lord Beaconsfield, should that personage persist in his evident wish to drag us into a war with Russia, on behalf of the authors of the Bulgarian atrocities.
I cannot think that any of us, to whom our Lord's Name is dear, will hold our tongues, if the Premier really attempts this truly gigantic crime. To support such a government would be to give a helping hand to Nero, and Decius, and Diocletian--without any exaggeration whatever. Not a month passes, but our 'august ally' on the Bosphorus sends many a Christian martyr to Paradise.
Many men keep their politics, like their philosophy, in a separate department of their minds where incompatibility with the deepest religious convictions cannot make itself felt. But this cannot go on for ever--?
H. P. LIDDON
3 AMEN COURT,
S. PAUL'S, E.C.,
Jan. 28, 1881.
MY DEAR RANDALL,
The Address, as I think, fairly admits of the paraphrase which you suggest. But I also had supposed that 'toleration' rather than 'justice' was, on this occasion, the necessary word (i) partly in order to include cases of disobedience to the rulings of the old Court of Arches, previous to any Appeals to the Judicial Committee, and (2) partly to cover features of exaggerated Ritual for which you and I would say that there is no authority in the Prayer Book. That these should be abandoned, when possible, I should much wish, but the immediate need of the Church is a cessation from all prosecutions.
In the Archbishop's mind 'toleration' would apply, no doubt, to the Ornaments Rubric. The apology for the Address so far, would be that it adopts a language which he would understand--on the principle that the British Ambassador at Paris talks French, without being supposed to forget the English language.
I adhere to my dislike of the expression 'Schools of thought.' It tends to obscure the real character and function of truth, by ignoring real differences. Those who confess and deny, e.g. Baptismal Regeneration, do not look at the same truth from different points of view; one affirms while the other denies a proposition of very serious import. Nothing is gained by shutting the eyes to this. I hope and pray that sooner or later the Puritan and Latitudinarian 'Schools' will be converted to an acknowledgement of those parts of Divine Revelation which at present they, in whatever degree, reject.
But toleration of divergent Ritual practice stands on a different basis, and may, for sufficient reasons of spiritual expediency, be acquiesced in, without damage to the Church's faithfulness. At least I had supposed so.
H. P. LIDDON.
A letter from Mr. Randall on difficulties in prayer:
Aug. 8, 1870.
MY DEAR CHILD,
I am so glad you wrote to me. Pray do so whenever you think that I can help you. So that great trouble of difficulty in prayer has come upon you. You must not wonder at that. Even great Saints have suffered from it, and so we who are not great Saints, but very poor, failing children of God, may well expect to find our prayers often poor and feeble. I will try to advise you in your trouble to the best of my power.
1. Never begin your prayers without earnestly asking God to help you to pray. Prayer is a gift. The power really to pray comes from God. We are apt to think that we have only got to kneel down and that we shall be able to pray as a matter of course. This is not so. We must beg for the grace of prayer.
2. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, and put yourself in the Presence of God. Say such words as 'Dear Father! I am going to speak to Thee,' 'O my God, I am going to do a great work for my soul with Thee,' or the like.
3. Fix some one or two special things to ask for. Make spaces in your prayers to confess particular sins--to ask for certain graces--to pray against certain temptations--to offer your acts to God.
4. Remember that comfort and what is called sensible devotion is not the object of Prayer. By the act of Praying we put ourselves into God's Hand: we tell Him that we feel that we must come to Him. And He likes that. It is a proof that we believe in Him and act upon His invitation, 'Seek ye My face: Thy face, Lord, will I seek.'
5. Always acknowledge any wandering or carelessness at the end of your prayers. Ask God's pardon. Promise Him to try and pray more earnestly.
6. If you still feel that you are cold in prayer, tell Him that you know that you have so many faults, that you must expect to go wrong in prayer. So humble yourself. 'God giveth grace to the humble.'
7. Never be discouraged. Always begin afresh. All the life of the Saints is made up of beginnings. We must begin over and over again.
8. Sometimes kneel before God with your heart open to Him, like a Trusting Child, and say, 'O dear Father, pity me, bear with me, I wish to pray. Thou knowest it.' I am sure that God will bless you if you go to Him thus. 'He knoweth all our desire, and our groaning is not hid from Him.'
I should act in the same way about being present at a Celebration. Go, and try your best. Think of our Beloved Lord being there--and lay your heart wide to Him. Perhaps you might find help from a book called The Hour of Sacrifice, by Father O'Neill, if your parents think it will suit you. Possibly if the two services try your attention too much, it might be well for you sometimes only to go to the Celebration, and not to Mattins.
Above all let these difficulties draw you to God. He is making you feel that you cannot get on without Him. This is one of the best things. He wants you to find out that He can do in you, what you cannot do of yourself; you know S. Paul said, 'When I am weak, then am I strong.' You are weak in yourself, but you may be made strong in God. Meanwhile it is no sin to be tempted, if we do not give way to the temptation. A good man has said: 'The greatest of all temptations is not to be tempted.' God help you!
I remain, yours most truly for His sake,
R. W. RANDALL.
A letter to a little girl on her birthday, accompanying a present of Kingsley's Madam How and Lady Why:
September 3, 1875.
MY DEAR MADIE,
I tried to get the book for your Birthday, but it did not come in time, and so I send it now. I wish you many happy returns of the day, and I hope that my little present will make your birthdays a little happier by making you a little wiser, and so a little better. Mind I do not mean that I want you to be 'a wise woman,' which was what old-fashioned folks used to call a witch. Nor do I want you to think that you are 'wise,' if you should happen to know all kinds of things that other people do not know. That would be to be very foolish, and not to be really wise. I want you to be wise enough to see more and more how great, and how good, and how wonderful, and how loving God is, and to try to please Him, to give up what you like, and to do what He likes. And then the wiser you grow the better you will grow, and every birthday will be happier than the last.
Perhaps Madam How and Lady Why will help you to grow wise in this way.
R. W. RANDALL.
A letter of thanks from Dean Randall:
Christmas Eve, 1897.
MY DEAR MRS. WILBERFORCE,
Thank you for your kind present. How often such simple acts of kindness come at moments when they are needed! Two hours ago all the Wonder and Heavenly Brightness of Christmas was shining into me, and now an unaccountable cloud has settled down on me and memories of past Christmas Days radiant with Praise and Worship of the Incarnate God come sweeping across me. And then comes the gleam of your thoughtful kindness. But you do not know, you cannot know how much meaning there is in your words 'to light you on your way.' I often fear that I have lost my way in entering on work and surroundings so contrary to the experience of the past.
You know perhaps the Picture of the trembling Figure clinging as the sole Hope to the side of our Blessed Lord. That is what I have to try to do, but I fear so often that I shall lose my hold on Him.
He seems to be slipping from me. It may be that as with the two going to Emmaus, that He is only making as if He would go further; but what if it is more than this?
R. W. RANDALL.
A letter to Miss Wilberforce who had sent him for his birthday a sketch of the Wilberforce graves at Lavington:
April 13, 1898.
MY DEAR MISS WILBERFORCE,
Thank you for remembering my Birthday, and for your most welcome Present of the Drawing of that Church so dear to me, and to which I owe so much, and the Drawing of those Graves so full of the memories of ... Founts of Blessing. You could not have sent me anything which could be more dear to me.
Lavington was in a most special way the nursing time of my life. All spoke of Him to Whom we belong. The Place, the Woods, and Fields were full of voices that came from Him. I used to say that He had made there a nest for my soul. And there too your grandfather brought home to me, as no one else has ever done, what our Blessed Lord is to us, and what we should be to Him. Out of the seventy-four years of my life, the years spent there were the chief lesson time. If only I could have turned those lessons to better account my life might have been more fruitful. At least on this day I cannot help seeing what God has been to me, and what I ought to have been to Him.
Yours very truly,
R. W. RANDALL.
The following letter on the value of Manning's Sermons was written by the Dean when he was already seriously ill, three months before his death:
September 28, 1906.
I AM very glad that you write to me because it will give me an opportunity of telling you what I did say about Manning's Sermons. It was those that he preached when he was Archdeacon of Chichester, and still in the Communion of the English Church, which I so highly commended. Volumes I and II were published by Burns in 1846, and Volume III in 1847. Volume IV was published by Pickering in 1850. The ist and the 3rd volumes are to my mind the best, and the Sermons which I think most remarkably helpful are those on 'The Good Shepherd' and 'The True Sheep,' and on 'Halting between God and the World,' and on 'Self-Deceit,' and Sermon 8 on 'Slowness in the Spiritual Life,' which is of the greatest use to those who are out of heart about themselves.
There are two sermons on 'The Cross the measure of Sin' and on 'The Cross the measure of Love' which contain most practical lessons.
Sermon 13 on 'A Life of Prayer a Life of Peace' can hardly be equalled and I do not think could be surpassed. Sermon 14 on 'The Intercession of Christ the strength of our prayers' makes that great doctrine most practical to us, and Sermon 15 on 'Praise' lifts that whole subject very high. Sermons 17, 18, 19, and 20 on 'Preparation for Death a state of Life,' 'The Death of Christ our only stay,' 'The Tearfulness of Death,' 'The Blessedness of Death' are stamped with a remarkable reality because they were written during the time when he felt himself at the very point of Death. There is also very great beauty and helpfulness in Sermon 22 on 'The great Betrothal.' All these are in the 3rd volume. The 2nd volume contains a striking sermon on the Incarnation, a practical sermon on Fasting, a very carefully expressed sermon on 'The Nature and Limits of Temptation,' followed by sermons on the different temptations addressed to Our Lord.
In the same volume is a sermon on 'The sympathy of Christ,' and one on 'Mixing in the World and its Safeguards' has in it at least one remarkable sentence, 'after all it matters not so much where as what we are.'
You will see that I have not said much about the 4th volume. One of the very best sermons in the whole series is Sermon 1 on 'Christ's love to us our law of life.' In the same volume Sermon 15 on 'Worthy Communion' is of very great use to those who wish to test the reality of their communions. I read these sermons again and again and find hardly anything that comes up to them in the teaching of the present day. There is one great feature to be discerned in them all. Our Lord is the centre round which all the Teaching in each sermon is gathered. [I was walking in the fields at Lavington one afternoon, and it came to my mind that the Apostles going forth a latere Jesu must have always preached in His name, making Him and it their aformh and keeping up their consciousness of their personal relation to Him and His to them. This made me believe that we ought also to do the same; and I have ever since endeavoured to choose the matter and to dispose the manner so as to make Him the beginning and the ending, the chief person and main idea, of all preaching.' Note by Cardinal Manning, dated Nov. 15, 1888. Purcell: Life of Cardinal Manning, II, pp. 727, 8.] Whatever else he might learn, a careful reader of any of the sermons could hardly help learning one thing, what Our Lord Jesus Christ should be to us and what we should be to Him. I lent the sermons to one of my Nurses who read them, and her remark was, 'How plain and simple their Teaching is.' They go straight to the mark and are not merely specimens of oratory but the expression of one soul that has taken in the Truth dealing with other souls that may be helped by receiving into themselves the power of the same Truth. You will pardon this long letter but I wished you to learn from the same source from which I have learnt so much. As to the Roman sermons, I should advise you to have nothing to do with them. They have almost nothing in common with the English sermons and are hard, dry, bony, and unsympathetic. It is difficult to see how the same man could have published sermons so unlike those of his early days. The change can hardly be traced to anything else but the fatal effect of the Roman Teaching.