IN the Preface to the fourth volume of Dr. Pusey's 'Life,' the Editors expressed their intention of publishing a volume of his Spiritual Letters. They pointed out that their task would not be complete without some such addition. Dr. Pusey spent a considerable portion of his life dealing, whether by word of mouth or by letter, with the difficulties of individual souls; but in the record of his busy years, no room could be found for any suitable recognition of this side of his work, without unduly interrupting the course of the narrative. It was felt therefore that a small collection of his Spiritual Letters could alone supply this gap in the account of his life. Hence it will be understood by all who have sympathetically followed the long course of the biography, that the present volume is properly a necessary supplement to the work on which Dr Liddon spent so many years; yet it is issued in a separate form, partly because it is in itself independent, and partly because its contents will appeal to many people who have not had the time, nor [vi] perhaps the inclination, to read the other volumes, which deal so largely in matters of modern ecclesiastical history and the tangle of theological controversy.
From the nature of the case only a comparatively small number of the letters which Dr. Pusey wrote on the difficulties of those who consulted him, were entrusted to Dr. Liddon for publication. And even of these some were not of sufficient general interest; some were practically repetitions of what Dr. Pusey had often said: while others again seemed to require so much annotation that there was a danger lest the necessary notes should distract the attention of the reader to a wearisome extent. Out of the whole number thus reduced, only a very small selection is here published. And they have been chosen partly for their own interest, partly as specimens of the manner in which Dr. Pusey dealt with various anxieties of the same correspondent, or guided different minds in dealing with the same questions. As regards the style of these letters, it must be remembered that no applicant who seemed to need his help was left unnoticed; in fact some of his longest letters were written to people utterly unknown to him. To make time for this vast correspondence under the heavy strain of a multiplicity of public business and literary work, he had often to work far into the night, and sometimes through the whole night. The strain of such prolonged work must have been very severe; and traces of it will be found again and again in a literary style which [vii] is condensed and obscure to an extent unusual even in his writings (which on other occasions are not always models of clearness). More especially it will be noticed that his quotations of the Holy Scriptures are written down with a freedom bred of an intimate appreciation and a familiar use, which does not always stop for mere verbal accuracy. It has been thought best to leave, as a rule, all such obscurities and free quotations, as he left them; and not to disparage the intelligence of the reader by the frequent insertion of irritating glosses.
It will be noticed that at different periods of his life, the tone of his letters varies greatly. When writing between 1840 and 1850, he frequently displays a rugged severity, which is to be accounted for only in part by the needs of the person to whom the letters were addressed. They reflect in fact the darkness of that day of trial through which the Church of England was then passing; and in them he lays bare the stern and solemn truths which at that crisis filled his own mind, and by which he strove to direct those whom he was trying to pilot through the storm. In later life writing to the same people, under conditions which had changed so happily, his language reflects more the peace and confidence of the brighter days of the Church.
The title which has been given to this volume, in its more narrow meaning, is really descriptive of the greater part of its contents. It consists chiefly of letters of advice with regard to the trials of the spiritual life. Such trials bear no special marks of [viii] time or place. They reappear everywhere in similar forms from generation to generation; and letters which deal with them have therefore a universal and an undying interest.
But with intellectual questions, the case is different; the special form of the difficulties which the intellect has to face in dealing with religious questions varies with almost every decade. Young men of to-day can hardly understand how the great perplexities which confronted their fathers' early manhood can ever have been true occasions of distress. The solution seems to them too obvious and easy. They have inherited the land without passing through that part of the wilderness. Yet the wilderness was great and terrible for many years; and the value of the letters of consolation and guidance which were then written can only be understood by those who fully know the precise juncture at which they were penned. Hence comparatively few of Dr. Pusey's letters on the Intellectual difficulties of twenty years ago, and of yet earlier dates, are printed in this volume. Those who are interested in his methods of dealing with such questions as they presented themselves, will find them fully set forth in the three volumes of his University Sermons. In these he is conspicuously the Christian Apologist, the guide of souls in the intellectual unrest of the day, trying to rescue them from misunderstandings of the Truth and from the plausible misleadings of error, and to restate the fundamental verities of the Faith with the clearness of mature [ix] study, and the fire of deep conviction and of heartfelt devotion.
On the other hand, the controversy with the Church of Rome is represented here with comparative fullness. It is true that Dr. Pusey has dealt with the whole question in the three volumes of his 'Eirenicon': yet each of those volumes is influenced by its having been written with a special purpose, in consequence of some controversial publication or historical event. But the questions at issue between the Church of England and the Church of Rome remain always essentially the same. In his letters Dr. Pusey deals with those questions more concisely, and quite as powerfully as in his longer work. The arguments with which he reassured anxious inquirers, and retained them in their allegiance, are as valuable now as when they were written. Had they been written in the present day, the polemic element would probably, in the light of recent history, have been more prominent, and the apologetic portion if the argument would have fallen into the background.
Readers of this volume may very naturally wish to know some details of the daily life of the writer of these letters. Externally it must have appeared a very simple existence that he spent at Christ Church; shared only during the last thirty years of his laborious career, by his son Philip, whose death so shortly preceded his own. Each morning at 8.30, when Philip returned from the daily College service in the Cathedral, the household assembled [x] for family prayers in Dr. Pusey's study. He used to kneel at his table with Philip, who was very deaf, close by his side and looking over his book. The prayers were chiefly from the Prayer Book, with the addition of a special thanksgiving which he used every day, and of some prayers taken from 'The Paradise of the Christian Soul' during Advent and Lent. When in health he always attended Mattins and Evensong at the Cathedral, unless prevented by some unavoidable engagement. As age came on, he was forbidden by his friend and medical adviser, Sir Henry Acland, to attend the Cathedral in cold weather, and at last he was not allowed to go there at all. The last service which he attended was on the morning of November 26, 1877. The whole day was spent in literary work, lecturing and preparing for lectures, attending University meetings, writing letters, and in seeing all who came to him. In his later years, he rarely even went for a walk, except when at Ascot in the summer vacations. His meals were of the simplest character. After many years of struggle with his doctor, he was at last forbidden to fast; but every meal was rigidly plain. At his 6 o'clock dinner, there were never more than two courses; there was neither soup nor fish. He particularly desired that there should be no waste at his table, not even of a small piece of bread. This was not only as an example, but because he would not allow the waste of that which so many of the poor needed so sorely. The day was closed by family prayers in the study at 9.30.
But of the inner side of his life, in its relation to God, even those nearest him saw but a few glimpses. The rules with which he desired to govern all his life have already appeared in his biography ; and the readers of these letters would do well to refer to them as explanatory of many points on which he gave advice to others. This habit of life he kept up so far as he was able into advance age. The stress of work and increasing years compelled him to modify it to a certain extent. Sometimes the demands which were made on his time by those who sought his help kept him at work beyond all the rules of prudence. His mother would sorrowfully complain in her letters to those who knew him well, that when staying with her in Grosvenor Square, he was out of the house by 6 or 7 o'clock, and did not return to dinner until 9 or 10 at night. On one day she report that he was out before 7 o'clock, and came back to breakfast at 2.30, having preached at 11: and that he preached again in the evening and sat up most of the night writing letters. Even at seventy years of age he would make appointments for 7 a.m., and continue working until I I and I 2 o'clock at night. Of course in the vacations, when he was at Malvern or in the Isle of Wight, or at Ascot, he was able to take more rest; but so long as work had to be done and his weary body could be made to do it, no consideration was allowed to interfere with his doing it with all his might.
At the age of sixty, it was his habit, when at Christ Church, to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in his own house every day, generally at 4 o'clock in the morning. He had received special permission from Bishop Wilberforce to do so. He used for this purpose a marble slab, which was placed on a small table in his study, on which table stood the picture of the Head of our Lord, supposed to be by Murillo, which his brother Philip brought for him from Spain. This picture now hangs over the altar in the Chapel of the Pusey House in Oxford, and the marble slab which he used has been let into the surface of the wooden altar beneath it. In later years he celebrated in this manner only on Sundays and Saints' Days, as a rule. His son Philip and any friends who happened to be staying with him would sometimes join in this service, if they desired. When celebrating in his own house, he wore only a surplice and scarf; but if he was in a Church or Chapel where the Eucharistic vestments were used, he always wore them.
As regards his books of private devotion, his favourite book for many years was 'The Paradise of the Christian Soul,' which he had with great care adapted for the use of members of the English Church. In later years, however, he reverted to the use of Bishop Andrewes' 'Devotions,' which he continued to use to the end of his life. But any devotional book could contain but a small part of his habitual devotions. He spent a great deal of time in mental prayer, not only 'filling up all [xiii] the chinks of time' in that manner, as he used to advise others to do; but also he would expand and supplement his ordinary prayers by meditations interspersed with them. In the last years of his life, he gave a friend a copy of Bishop Andrewes' 'Devotions,' saying that it was the book he used himself, and he placed marks here and there through many pages of it to indicate the places 'where pauses ought to be made.' He said that though it was all printed in unbroken paragraphs, many pauses ought to be made by those who used the book, because 'the prayers contained such wondrous thoughts.' Similar pauses he would make when ministering to others. He felt that words awoke ideas which would only be disturbed by passing too rapidly to other phrases. When ministering to one who was dying in his own house, it was noticed by those in attendance that he would repeat the one word 'Jesus' a great many times at intervals, slowly, distinctly, and with great earnestness. He explained afterwards that this was the more valuable help to a dying person. It recalled to him the thought of all the grace and loving help which he had received throughout his life, and pointed him to his only Comfort and Support. It may be gathered from one of his letters that he once spent twenty-two hours in prayer with a person passing through a prolonged death agony, most probably in the use of devotions such as these. With continual prayer he tried to help others, for it was the breath of his own life. Dr. Liddon used to [xiv] speak of him as 'constantly communicating in prayer throughout the day with his Gracious and Awful Friend': and Dr. Pusey doubtless describes himself, without intending to do so, when he speaks, in one of his Lenten Sermons in I862, of those 'whose home is prayer, whose labour is prayer, whose rest is prayer .' He frequently said that to turn to his prayers was like going home.
Since these letters derive their importance from their subject and their writer, all marks that would suggest the person to whom they were written have, so far as possible, been uniformly omitted. It is obvious that many of them were written in connexion with his great work of founding and guiding the early years of the restored works of Sisterhoods in the English Church; and it is hoped that they will still be of value to such institutions. But Dr. Pusey's advice was sought very widely-probably as widely as that of any man ever has been. With reference to only one side of this work, in a letter to the Editor of the Times in I866, wishing to show the widespread demand for opportunities of Private Confession, he wrote: 'I have been applied to to receive Confession from persons in every rank, of every age, old as well as young, in every profession, even those which you would think least accessible to it army, navy, medicine, law.' And if those who sought him for this purpose were so numerous, there were many more whose respect and love made them [xv] ask his counsel or desire his blessing on the work in which they were engaged. In illustration of this, one scene may now be described to which allusion could not be made when the last volume of his 'Life' was written. In 1881, when Mr. Gladstone was Prime Minister, he was spending a few days in Oxford; and he called to see Dr. Pusey. The visit was for many reasons an act of the most kindly consideration, and it gave Dr. Pusey the most genuine pleasure. 'Only think,' he said playfully to one of his friends later in the day, 'of the Prime Minister being kept waiting in my hall, while the servant came to ask whether I would see him.' Then he went on to say how very kind he thought it of Mr. Gladstone, with all he had to think about as Prime Minister, to come and call on him; and he added in a tender voice, 'He was so affectionate: when he went away he kissed my hand, and knelt down, and asked for my blessing.' It was their last meeting in this world. The next time that Mr. Gladstone stood at that well-known door in the corner of the Great Quadrangle of Christ Church, it was as a pall-bearer at Dr. Pusey's funeral; and the crowd of men who on that day joined with him in the solemn procession towards the Cathedral witnessed to the thousands of souls who bless God for the help which He gave them through the words and works of Dr. Pusey.
The Editors desire again to express their thanks to all who sent to Dr. Liddon the letters that are here printed. In nearly all cases, a second [xvi] permission has been given for their insertion in this volume. If, in any instance, this permission has not been asked, the Editors offer their apologies for the omission. They desire also to express their thanks to the Governors of the Pusey House for permission to photograph the bust which appears as the frontispiece to this volume. This bust is the work of Mr. George Richmond, R.A. A special interest is attached to it as reproducing with exact fidelity the casts which were taken of Dr Pusey's head after death.
 Vol. iii. pp. 104-107.
 'Lenten Sermons,' p. 337.
LETTERS OF COUNSEL AND SYMPATHY . . . I-I28
I. TO A MOTHER.
II. TO THE SAME.
III. ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD.
IV. TO A MOTHER ON THE DEATH OF HER SON.
V. SYMPATHY ON THE DEATH OF A DAUGHTER.
VI. TO A HUSBAND ON THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE.
VIII. TO A HUSBAND ON THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE.
IX. TRUST IN GOD.
X. DELAYED ANSWER TO A PRAYER.
XI. SORROW AND CONTROVERSY.
XVI. PARENTAL CLAIMS.
XVII. THE RELIGIOUS LIFE.
XVIII. RELIGIOUS OCCUPATIONS.
XIX. EXAMINATION OF THE WHOLE LIFE.
XX. DAILY SELF-EXAMINATION.
XXI. RULES FOR THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. For One living in Society who was Hoping to become a Sister.
XXII. SPIRITUAL ADVICE.
XXIII. THE SAME.
XXIV. THE SAME.
XXV. THE SAME.
XXVI. THE SAME.
XXVII. THE SAME.
XXIX. THE SAME.
XXX. THE SAME.
XXXII. SPIRITUAL ADVICE.
XXXIII. THE SAME.
XXXV. THE SAME.
XXXVI. A CALL OF GOD.
XXXVII. A REBUKE.
XLII. THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE.
XLIV. SPIRITUAL ADVICE.
XLV. THE SAME.
XLVI. THE SAME.
XLVII. THE SAME.
XLVIII. THE SAME.
XLIX. UNBELIEVING THOUGHTS.
LI. THE SAME.
LIII. EVIL THOUGHTS.
LIV. THE EFFORT TO LOVE GOD.
LVI. CASTING LOTS.
LVII. THE SAME.
LVIII. APPARENT FAILURE IN MISSION WORK.
LIX. SELF-DENIAL AND ALMSGIVING.
LX. SELF-DENIAL IN FAMILIES.
LXI. THE POVERTY OF THE RICH.
LXIII. INTELLECTUAL PERILS.
LXIV. THE STUDY OF THEOLOGY.
LXV. OXFORD STUDIES.
LXVI. SPIRITUAL ADVICE.
LXVII. PROFESSIONAL DISAPPOINTMENT.
LXVIII. THE SAME.
LXIX. THE TRIALS OF CONVALESCENCE.
LXXII. THE TRIALS OF SICKNESS.
LETTERS ON INTELLECTUAL DIFFICULTIES . . . I29-I7I
LETTERS ON THEOLOGICAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL SUBJECTS . I73-29I
XXXIX. On Reading in Preparation for Holy Orders
FRAGMENTS OF CONVERSATIONS AND LETTERS . . 293-344